I discovered DEV through various posts and finally joined last week. It seems like a great platform to be on.
I’ve written and published articles on a range of platforms and there are lots of small things that make DEV a great place to write.
Variety of post formats
I’ve seen posts ranging from small wins to in-depth articles, and that’s a unique feature of this site. There are no arbitrary word minimums (under a paradoxical quality over quantity guise) and anyone can write on here.
The variety is refreshing and lowers barriers to writing. In an industry where the old entry points are quickly disppearing, this is definitely a Good Thing.
Encouragement to write in general is also a Good Thing, especially for beginners and anyone who hasn’t written before. It’s easy to feel that everything has already been written, but I share Sara Soueidan’s view that she eloquently expressed on her blog:
Even if only one person learns something from your article, you’ll feel great, and that you’ve contributed — even if just a little bit — to this amazing community that we’re all constantly learning from. And if no one reads your article, then that’s also okay. That voice telling you that people are just sitting somewhere watching our every step and judging us based on the popularity of our writing is a big fat pathetic attention-needing liar.
– Sara Soueidan, Just write
The follower algorithm
This is something I think the DEV team have really nailed. Encouraging new users to follow members who are publishing content in areas they’ve expressed an interest in is a well-considered move.
It’s all-to-easy for platforms to weight algorithms in favour of already-established writers as a reward of sorts. It’s amazing to see a platform finally do away with public follower counts, too.
This gives all community members a reasonable shot at developing an audience if they want to. In comparison with Medium, the only way to grow readership now is to publish content behind the paywall and hope the curators distribute it.
Engagement and audience
The web is a big place with a necessarily wide range of skills and areas. Naturally, there are points of crossover and the ability to follow topics you have an interest in makes the reading experience relevant.
The result of this is an audience that’s much more likely to be interested in the topics, which means engagement is higher.
This is a small point, but something some platforms haven’t grasped. Giving authors control over canonical URLs is a great thing.
Most authors crosspost their content to gain maximum readership. Letting authors specify the canonical URL will only encourage more of them to post their great stuff here.
Preaching to the converted
DEV members may be familiar with all of these things, but I wanted to share these thoughts for anyone not already writing here. It looks to me that DEV has a bright future as an independent open-source social network with a great Code of Conduct.
I look forward to writing here more! 🙌
Top comments (5)
Great write up!!
I love that follower counts are hidden, I think this is a distraction on social media entirely - as it just creates a status quo bias where others follow/like as well (simply because everyone else is!) I think A LOT of quality content get swept under the rug in all the other platforms because of this...
That and being able to reference the original content with a canonical are the main reasons I joined DEV as well (just a few weeks ago) :)
Yes, 100%. I think this system will encourage a lot of people to write, which is good.
Dev.to is the pinnacle of quality social networking. I'm a huge fan, and find it immensity inspiring end educational. Welcome to the party hehe.
If we could spread this kind of social media to other areas i'd be immensely pleased and overjoyed.
This is what social media and the internet were for!
Spreading knowledge and love.
Thanks, Damir and Theo!
Yes, I’m certainly getting the impression. The flexibility to write a brief Twitter-like post alongside more in-depth articles is a great strength.
Completely agree. Spreading positivity (not in a vomit-inducing way) is definitely a good thing.