Nice article, Ryan, thanks for sharing!
I agree with your points, what brought me to blog on dev.to is the developer friendliness -it's really easy to work with markdown, especially for technical articles, as you point out-, and the community -one of the most friendly I've ever seen.
I also like that the site is very intuitive and easy to use, it has most of the features you'd want in a blogging platform, but it's not bloated with features that are hard to understand, have a high noise-to-value ratio, or condition the user behaviour too much (I especially dislike the kind of gamification that you can see in Stack Exchange, for instance, where the user behaviour is highly conditioned by earning reputation and badges, I hope to never see such things here).
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