The growth of dev.to and its transition towards becoming a "true" community followed an interesting path—
Stage 1: Twitter account, managed by Ben.
Stage 2: fledgling platform, with a small set of contributors. The main draw was exposure via the Twitter account
Stage 3: maturing community with a wider set of contributors and meaningful on-site activity (reactions, comments, follows, etc).
I think that having a strategic plan was important, as was sticking true to our major principles (welcoming environment, performant experience, focusing hard on the major product features).
We're a place where coders share, stay up-to-date and grow their careers.
We strive for transparency and don't collect excess data.