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Ben Halpern for The DEV Team

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What stood out to you from the Mayfield + DEV Discussion Series?

A couple weeks ago we wrapped up the Mayfield + DEV Discussion Series, where over 500 people contributed directly to the conversation and about 25k people stopped by to read.

The discussion series were a lot about what you do now and where you see things going. We will be publishing a handful of wrap-up posts ourselves, but first I wanted to know if anybody here wanted to peruse the discussions and tell me what conversations or specific comments stood out to them as most interesting.

Top comments (11)

grahamthedev profile image
GrahamTheDev • Edited

Not what you asked for, but I hope this is useful feedback nevertheless.

Personally all the discussions on feel a little bit too much (it seems to have calmed down the last couple of days and feels closer to a "normal" feed experience now BTW, so it could be a dial at your side was too high or just that you were leading heavily with discussions and people followed suit).

I know that is the big push with the commenter badges and the discussion initiative etc, but it made it difficult to discover actual content (articles) in the feed, rather than just questions to answer.

I hope this is useful feedback and not construed as negative, but this direction feels like it would damage in the long run (in its current form) as authors will be less likely to cross post here as the whole "feel" moved from creator driven content to question driven content. With less authors cross posting the quality will go down until it just becomes a Q&A site (which might be the intention and may not be a bad thing!).

I imagine that would have a negative impact on Forem site launches, as is the flagship site that drives people to use Forem, but yet again I have not given it much thought and maybe Q&A is far better for Forem!

Right metric (number of comments is a massive show of community engagement), wrong execution if the intention is not to move towards a Q&A platform.

Obviously I could be very wrong, maybe the engagement and discussions are great for traffic and visits and if so that is great, I will always have a soft spot for (even if it doesn't seem like it when I criticise 🤣), it just feels like a very different direction that is all and it might take some getting used to!

I would love to see what other people think, as I am often not in the majority on these opinions and despite the reservations as an author, I have enjoyed giving my 2 cents when I have something to offer so it might be better for end users! 🤣

p.s. I know I have been quiet from an author perspective, working on something interesting (plus settling into new job!) so should start churning out some new content soon...who knows I may even write nice stuff instead of controversial stuff 😜😁

leob profile image
leob • Edited

I see and respect your point, but I have to say I LOVED it, and I found it rather refreshing ... you say it takes attention away from the "real" content i.e. the articles, but when I see, on

  • the umptieth "listicle"
  • the gazillionth React Hooks intro
  • another self-serving "article" which is just an ad for someone's Youtube channel

well then give me some of these discussion topics with (generally) great member feedback anytime, over the cookie-cutter robotic drivel which I just mentioned.

grahamthedev profile image
GrahamTheDev • Edited

It may have got lost in there, but I did also enjoy it from a user perspective, we all know I am an opinionated so and so, so Q&A stuff is right up my street 🤣.

However in a year, when the novelty wears off and the same questions have been asked a million times (and the same problem of seeing the same "cookie cutter" questions rather than articles exists), are you going to keep coming back?

Are you just going to go to Reddit, or Quora. What does DEV then offer?

Maybe it is an issue, maybe not, as I said it wasn't something I have looked at in any depth, just a gut reaction and I could be entirely wrong.

At the end of the day if it helps DEV (and by extension Forem) actually grow then I am all for it.

Also bear in mind I am very biased, I am long form content inclined, so my perspective is also tainted and skewed by that! ❤

Edit: To be fair, I should lean into the new Q & A format and start asking some questions instead of answering them, maybe then I am better positioned to add something meaningful here once I have experienced that side of it.

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leob profile image
leob • Edited should definitely be a mix, not just a "forum" but of course also articles. But this Q&A format, I find it rather satisfying, interaction (in a good way) is one of the main draws of this site.

On the other hand (like I said) I find the articles becoming more and more one-of-a-kind - a lot of React (I'm more of a Vue fan, don't really understand the infatuation with React), lots of JS rather than other languages, listicles, and so on. Lots of short and simple articles, lots of self-promotion as well. Not all of it, but the more elaborate articles that delve a bit deeper seem to be the ones with less clicks and less visibility.

Let's say that at this time, right now, the Q&A tends to engage me more than the articles do.

P.S. "However in a year, when the novelty wears off ... are you going to keep coming back?" - actually I think I would, a quick visit to is embedded in my daily morning routine, that's not gonna change easily.

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grahamthedev profile image

Cool, great seeing the flip side and seeing outside of my narrow perspective, you make some great point!

shame a few others haven’t chimed in with their thoughts! ❤️

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leob profile image

Thank you, and I wouldn't say your perspective is narrow, at least that's not the impression I get :)

tnir profile image
T "@tnir" N

I felt similar thing like you.
Some topics to discuss looks like boring not new to me, but only a few comments are interesting to me. But due to insufficient UX design, I skipped comments unread 😭

I hope UX design around comments (discussion) is improved in the nearest future. While I wanted to try, failed.

nombrekeff profile image

I quite enjoyed it, a bit of discussion from time to time is really refreshing and interesting. I was kinda bored of DEV for a while if I'm honest, to many listicles and low quality posts, and this series got me to interact again.

brunoj profile image

I think some of the discussion and debate in "What developer products/tools should exist, but don't?" was the most interesting. A lot of strong opinions, and a few legitimately interesting ideas.

leob profile image

I liked the series a LOT, more of this please ... way more interesting and engaging than a lot of run-of-the-mill content which I'm seeing on and which I'm not even bothering to open.

dinerdas profile image
Diner Das