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Monkey see, monkey do (the story of

This morning I stumbled upon an article here on written by @jonrandy that pointed out that the last thing this site needs is its 1000th article (okay I'm exaggerating a little, but not as much as you would hope) explaining the difference between let, const, and var . They were essentially pointing out that there is a huge amount of repetitive content here on the site. This is a thought I had been having myself over the last few weeks and something I had been trying to think through so I could try to answer the question: why are so many people writing near replica articles of the same tired concepts? Have we really covered everything there is to cover in the programming world? To the point that were now just stuck repeating what everyone else said over the last 3 months? No. Not at all. Development is a vast topic so surely we should have topics to cover that are not so over represented. So why is this happening? Whats generating this lazy repetition?

Two words my friends: content creation, and the adage that "putting out something is better then putting out nothing". When you look at these articles what do they tend to have in common? Usually something like an attached blog, a click through ad or some terribly over priced "course". These lazy and uninspired articles are often nothing more then an incredibly involved pop up. It works like this: they find a topic that's currently getting a fair amount of coverage. They sift through all the already created articles and copy and paste their 'version'. They conclude the article with "Here's my super duper best course ever that will make you a full stack dev in 14 minutes!", or a link, etc.

Now, I understand there is a networking and self promotion angle to be used on this site. But, the articles I am speaking of specifically are the uninspired, repetitive, "bringing nothing new to the conversation" kind of articles that are currently clogging everyone's feeds. The shameless promotion at the end is really just adding insult to injury to the poor soul that just suffered through the article only to end up at yet another over done project ("here's the worlds 100,200,231 to-do app") and a request to "be sure to share", of course. If the angle here is "networking" what are you saying to the potential network you attract with this technique? "I'm lazy" and "I'm un-creative" are two descriptors that come to mind.

I am not talking about the people who are just starting out their learning journey and are looking to share with others, I am speaking specifically of the people that make an entire 'career' here on this site out of this behavior. The people who put out at least one of these articles a week or in some cases even everyday while claiming to be super duper devs .. but also sometimes being unable to explain the code in their own articles 🤣 (true story) or answer the questions in their comments section. Highlighting a lack of understanding on the writers part concerning the thing they are writing about and a strong indication of a copy/paste job.

So how do we combat this as writers? Especially if our intention isn't just an involved pop up ad? If we really are here attempting to share and learn new things or help others to do the same? If the effort is not just so you can link elsewhere and generate click through traffic?

You can start by using the search bar. Did you have an idea for an article? Awesome. Now go look up the subject matter and determine if the world really needs whatever you are attempting to bring to the table. How is your approach different? To put it bluntly: what are you doing that would cause anyone to care about this particular approach? I understand there will be occasional over lap but the current state of this site is kind of ridiculous. Its like were playing from a "greatest-hits" album.

This tactic also doesn't help you gain as much positive attention as you think, simply because it gets lost in a pack of 100 other articles just like it. Creative content will always produce better results. It stands out more, its more memorable, it demonstrates far more control and understanding over whatever topic you are discussing. If you show me something clever or creative its going to stick. If the project you've created is at least somewhat unique (structure, style, approach, etc) I am far more likely to follow you not just here but on other socials as well. Whereas covering the same thing everyone else has 1000 times gets you scrolled past and probably an insult mumbled under the intended audiences breath.

Quality work will produce quality results, the same is true for the opposite.

None of this is meant to say that there wont be some form of repetition. As they say there is "nothing new under the sun", but maybe even just instead of "brand new" we could shoot for "not the 10th of this article posted today". Again, show me something new, something clever, a new approach or perspective, don't show me how ctrl + c works.

Happy coding everyone.

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