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Addressing one major problem in dev.to: The Emptiness

entrptaher profile image Md. Abu Taher 👨‍💻 ・1 min read

Recently I noticed lots of posts on dev.to, I am not on the admin panel so maybe I am wrong, or it might be just me who felt that.

Making posts are good thing, but if you read them, they do not have quality most of the time. I have a hard time reading them and finding good ones. I know same happens with my posts, cause I can write absolutely garbage post and it will still end up posted.

This is an example,

Look how empty it is. I made this absolutely empty post with no content whatsoever.

It triggered when I saw this post,

My intention is not to disrespect anyone, but to share the actual problem here. (Please, I could've written the comment with please share the mistakes etc. But that's not the point here. Ben commented and pointed out it was a markdown problem.)

Problem: You can make completely empty post and still get love reacts.

As valuable it is to have valuable content, it is dangerous to have non-valuable posts. It loses value when there is no content due to some bug/problem/whatever.

Yes, the post was done by mistake, probably. But, the platform still accepted it when set published to true. Also the recent posts have almost little to no content at all. Most of the time we end up asking for more explanation and then the actual data appears.

We need a guideline and a checking system to prevent possible abuse of this system.

Posted on by:

entrptaher profile

Md. Abu Taher 👨‍💻

@entrptaher

Full Stack Developer, focused on web automation, open source enthusiast and contributor. Passionate about programming, specializing in JavaScript.

Discussion

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and still get love reacts

Some of this is admins. We are very generous with reactions when we're on the site, sometimes too much. We tend to hang around and give a quick heart a lot. Probably something we should curb a bit.

To this point, some people add the body of their post to the description frontmatter field instead of the posts.

Regarding the UX issue of headline-only posts, I agree as it stands today. There could also be some benefit to quick headline-only posts, like status updates, but they would need to be treated a bit differently than the rest of posts.

 

"We tend to hang around and give a quick heart a lot"
That's why I am dead scared of "StackOverflow" but keep Dev.to open at all times!
For some reason, people on stack overflow are super angry at all times!

 

What if, until you design a proper way to differentiate "quick status updates", you disable the publishing of the post if it has no body? Could that improve the experience or do you think it will have an opposite effect?

I know, people could still put "x" and post it but at least this should nudge the poster towards making an effort and fill in the body of the article.

This reminds of how a PM I know writes entire feature requests or bug reports in the title of Trello cards, just because Trello allows the user to do it. It's one less click for him (literally) but having the entire body of the request renders the summaries in the board harder to read for others and kind of pointless.

If I were to publish this post could I potentially take a lot of space in the latest page?

yo

I've also seen some people posting the headline and then the actual content or the question they wanted to pose in the comments section, like this post:

 

I know, people could still put "x" and post it but at least this should nudge the poster towards making an effort and fill in the body of the article.

Another example of this would be /r/AskReddit, in a way.

They have long had the rule that you can't answer your own question in the body of your post. Your title should be the one sentence question, and if you have something relevant, post in the comments as well.

Once things got more modern (like the dude who made AutoMod being hired by reddit and AutoMod became an official thing) they extended that to be any post that has content beyond 1 character would be automatically removed. (The 1 character rule in effect because most mobile apps had the requirement you suggest, but reddit itself didn't require post bodys. So people on mobile tended to have a body of . not because of they were answering themselves but because they needed to do so to post)

 

Probably something we should curb a bit.

Meh. Err on the side of aaaaall the hearts. I'd rather know the admin team is heart-happy and help keep people from getting weird and focused on "points" or something. :D