We are always making small tweaks to DEV in order to best serve the community, and I wanted to share some thoughts about what we have planned on the tags and discussion front.
We plan to become more active in communicating and enforcing the "purpose" of tags like #help, #discuss, #explainlikeimfive, #ama, etc. Some tags on the site have an expected format and we have not been great about moderating those features to date. It's a good idea to visit a tag's landing page (
dev.to/t/nameoftag) to check the description & submission guidelines in the sidebar prior to publishing.
The #discuss tag is the big one. We want it to be reserved for "sparking discussions" in the form of asking the community a question and looking for feedback. Some folks append it to all sorts of posts, regardless of format. Ensuring tat some tags are reserved for certain content will remove confusion and lead to better discussions.
This applies to our other tags, as well. #help is used as way for the author to ask the community for help on something specific. #ama offers authors the ability to open up a public forum for folks to ask questions about their tech experience. #explainlikeimfive should be either structured as a question, asking for an explanation of a topic, or it could be an author's attempt to offer up a simplified explanation of a topic.
There are several other format-oriented tags like #news, #challenge and others. Expect us to roll out better guidelines and mod processes in the near future.
If you mis-tag something, you'll get a friendly notification letting you know that mods removed the tag. It's not a punishment and there are no hard feelings — we consider it a design and moderation issue rather than an expectation that everybody gets it right. If you abuse the platform egregiously, that's another story.
Lately I've been asking more broad questions that lots of folks in the community can weigh in on:
I've noticed that these are well-loved, and that they're a useful way to unearth "unknown unknowns" in your development process. I think threads like this are great for that:
In order to encourage more folks from the community to spin up these sorts of threads, we're introducing a new profile badge:
We will give out one of these badges each week on Monday morning, beginning next Monday. It will be awarded to the user who posts the biggest thread in terms of total comments and total comment ❤ reactions in the thread. DEV core team members will be ineligible from winning, so you won't be competing with me. It will be a little community contest for bragging rights. Hopefully nobody takes too seriously. 😄
We still really love smaller, nuanced discussion threads, we don't want to only reward the big stuff. But community-wide discussions are truly an awesome type of thread we want to promote. In the future we'll look for ways to explicitly reward small quality discussion threads in similar ways, perhaps with a more qualitative selection process.
Like all badges, you can only receive it once.
Because your DEV profile is sort of a public resumé, you may not want your profile feed to be crammed with #discuss threads instead of the more portfolio-worthy content that shows off your expertise.
In order to alleviate that issue, and to make profiles more awesome in general, we will be implementing this feature soon:
Is your feature request related to a problem? Please describe. I would love to be able to feature different posts on my profile page. I have a lot of discussion-based or re-occurring posts which are great from the community, but I would love for people to see my best writing work when they go to my profile instead of those posts. I think this is especially helpful for people trying to share their articles outside of the dev.to ecosystem (i.e. tweeting check out my blog or something along those lines). Also, it would be helpful for job seekers who want to put their best content first.
Describe the solution you'd like I think there are a number of solutions to this:
- Something like "pinned repositories" on GitHub profiles (maybe these could use the
cover_imagetoo) -- I think this would be the best solution
- A "sort by reactions" view on profiles that is link-able
- One "pinned post" similar to a pinned tweet
- The ability for the user to decide how posts are sorted on their profile page
- A boolean on posts for whether they should appear on the person's profile or not
Pinning to profiles will make them more beautiful in general, and will offer certain authors much more freedom to post community threads without being worried about how it will look on their profile. This is not an anxiety everyone feels, but it is a big deal for some.
The pinning feature will be one improvement, but you can also expect some yak shaving which could lead to a few more related features in the profile area. That's how it goes sometimes.
On the tag side, we will be adding more visibility into "tag purpose" in the editor to help make it clear which tags are appropriate for which posts.
All posts on DEV can spark discussion threads, but some posts should be featured as strictly about community discussion.
One question for you: Should we consider differentiating from #discuss and center some kind of discussions around #askDEV? That is a format commonly understood on other forums, and we make use of a similar format with #showDEV.
Let me know in the comments.
Anyway, happy coding!