DEV Community πŸ‘©β€πŸ’»πŸ‘¨β€πŸ’»

Andrew Brown πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦
Andrew Brown πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦

Posted on

What if DEV became the new Twitter-like platform for developers?

Just playing a "what-if" game.

Do you think if Dev tweaked its content publishing model it might bring folks back in droves to Dev.to?

This is my personal opinion but as Dev audience has grown, the quality of posts have worsened, if Dev were just to extend headings to be the length of twitter posts with body articles being optional and more inline chat, could you imagine that?

Top comments (16)

Collapse
 
j3ffjessie profile image
J3ffJessie

As mentioned below, the user base here fluctuates a bit so we haven’t really seen β€œdroves” of people leave the platform.

The quality of posts is subjective to each individual. What you and I may see as pointless and low level knowledge and information may be the key to someone else figuring something out.
Trust me, as a moderator for a couple of the most used tags here on Dev, I see almost all the craziness that gets posted and as moderators we do our best within policy and practice to keep the platform clear of the spam and horribly written articles.

Extending the headlines to Twitter length would make Dev look horrible UI wise for the major, and honestly it wouldn’t really fit the platform. As mentioned in other comments, if that were to happen, I probably wouldn’t stick around much after that. It would be horrible to look at and dig through for good content.

I will also add as a moderator that if your β€œarticle” doesn’t have any body at all, I personally downvote it and put some heavy weight to keep it from the main feed of others. Certain posts that do this get leniency depending on what the reasoning is, but for the most part if you can’t bother to share an opinion in the title, it’s not worth anyone else’s time. Just my opinion on the matter.

Collapse
 
jmau111 profile image
jmau111⭐

I will also add as a moderator that if your β€œarticle” doesn’t have any body at all, I personally downvote it and put some heavy weight to keep it from the main feed of others

I've noticed many posts are often for testing purposes, though, like "test 123", "testing article".

Collapse
 
tqbit profile image
tq-bit • Edited on

To be perfectly honest: No. For a few reasons (careful: Opinion ahead!):

  • Do you think if Dev tweaked its content publishing model it might bring folks back in droves to Dev.to?
    -> Bring back implies that lots and lots of people left. Is this true? Can you verify this statement? And call me old fashioned, but I personally really like this forum-feed like design, where everything revolves more around the content and less around the comments. There are plenty of platforms with lots of content which basically deliver no value, I love dev.to for being excatly the opposite.

  • This is my personal opinion but as Dev audience has grown, the quality of posts have worsened
    -> Perhaps, but dev to me is an open platform where people learn. When new people join, their writing quality might not be as good as of veterans, but even from these articles I learn basic things I never paid attention to. To me, the variety, even in quality, does more good than bad.

  • if Dev were just to extend headings to be the length of twitter posts with body articles being optional and more inline chat, could you imagine that?
    -> If this was the case, I'd probably quit & look for an alternative platform. I like concepts like the dev.to codes thread, it's just not my primary reason to keep coming back.

Collapse
 
ingosteinke profile image
Ingo Steinke

I think DEV is much better than Twitter, hopefully they won't

  • oversimplify
  • reward controversy and hate speech
  • make people split their content into threads of mini snippets
  • assume every reader in the same bubble / location / context like the writer etc.

We have been discussing DEV challenges before in posts like Stop rewarding quantity!.

DEV is not Twitter, DEV is not medium, and DEV is not StackOverflow:

  • DEV is very inclusive and beginner-friendly, anyone can post anything. Downside: a lot of low quality posts, some spam, a lot of posts about things that I either already knew or which is irrelevant to me. DEV has options to follow topical hash tags and set an expertise level as a reader, as well as an audience expertise level when writing. We can report spam posts. We can unfollow or block users.
  • medium tried to capitalize on content and seems to attract overconfident boosting tone of writing, even worse than on LinkedIn, while DEV is (still) more in between fellow developers,
  • Twitter is full of noise, full of controversy, full of fake news, full of hate speech.

I am quite happy that, driven by the ridiculous actions of the new owner who seems to act in a seemingly irrational way much like Donald Trump did as a president, Twitter seemed to reach a tipping point, and we finally have much more reason to leave the platform altogether.

That being said, I "left" facebook so many times before, and it will probably not be the last time that I logged into my Twitter account to post something either. Still I hope that DEV will never become more Twitter-like, as this would not be helpful to the developer community at all.

Collapse
 
jenc profile image
Jen Chan

But isn't it...? Just in more longform? πŸ˜›

Collapse
 
andrewbrown profile image
Andrew Brown πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦

lol

Collapse
 
jankapunkt profile image
Jan KΓΌster

I think we have seen in all social networks that grow to a global large audience (millions of users) that there WILL BE accounts that publish toxic or illegal content or start campaigns to manipulate political debates, elections etc.

The problem is, that to my current knowledge the countermeasures have trade-offs:

Manual review

  • less false-positives / false-negatives, good overall quality
  • people can get psychologically stressed or even traumatized, depending on the content
  • personal opinions and political views will affect decisions
  • requires many people, high costs, requires a high-income business model, everything gets oriented on making $$$ to pay these people

Automatic review

  • higher chance of false-negatives / false-positives
  • cheaper than using many people
  • machine learning involved, lots of data required, can be a problem with privacy etc.
  • training set still affects decisions (think of the news on "racist AI")

I have no solution but I see this as an issue that rises in any social network, once it's large enough.

On dev.to I already flagged many users / articles that were obviously spam or scam content (mostly tried to sell pharmaceuticals) and I think moderators are already occupied at least partially with such content.

just my 2cents on what I observed the recent years

Collapse
 
jmfayard profile image
Jean-Michel Fayard πŸ‡«πŸ‡·πŸ‡©πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡¬πŸ‡§πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡ΈπŸ‡¨πŸ‡΄ • Edited on

I mean the danger is always there. I think that any platform that has too many users and worse strive to have more users for the sake of improving vanity metrics likeTwitter is going to shit like Twitter because they behave the same than Twitter.

Are we there for dev? I don't think so.

The simplest problem that dev has its that by default its feed algorithm isn't great.

The good news is that by following the tips below you can significantly improve that experience

Collapse
 
integerman profile image
Matt Eland

Broad audiences are good, and Dev's strength is that anyone can do technical writing and get better at it through an informed and engaged community. Filtering and prioritization become more important the bigger it gets.

Collapse
 
michaeltharrington profile image
Michael Tharrington (he/him) • Edited on

I think it's an interesting idea and appreciate ya putting it forth!

I wouldn't want us to give up the option for long form content that's for sure and if we were to offer some sort of short form, tweet-style posts, I'd like them be siphoned into their own area β€” maybe a separate feed?

The selfish side of me thinks oh jeez, I don't wanna moderate tweets, haha but as far as for the health of Forem (making it more capable and extendable to other use-cases, meaning communities outside of DEV) and our ability to cater to different folks' desired experiences right here on DEV, I really think it's a cool idea!

I don't really know what effect it would have on bringing folks back to the platform, but it would be a fresh new offering that might interest some folks enough to pull them back into our orbit.

Anywho, thanks for sharing the thought! I think there's more potential here than many have given credit if we were to take a nuanced approach. To be clear, I'm not saying we're headed this way, but it's interesting!

Collapse
 
andrewbrown profile image
Andrew Brown πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦

Better articulated I think that my posting lol.

I wonder if splitting content between short and long-form content would improve engagement.

Collapse
 
codingjlu profile image
codingjlu

When I think of DEV, I think of a site where you can find posts about interesting (programming-related) topics or tutorials. I would hardly regard it as a social media site, and I think that would be out of scope.

Collapse
 
toul_codes profile image
Toul

No I prefer it to be posts. And not become a personality program of bots posting and automated regurgitated posts that saturate tech twitter. I like this being a writers platform as that is the hobby I enjoy.

Collapse
 
bwca profile image
Volodymyr Yepishev

I wouldn't qualify posts as high or low quality, it's too subjective. I rather view them as means of expression for developers. Well, at least that's my view on this πŸ€“

Collapse
 
reytortugo profile image
ReyTortuga

Very well exaplined! Love it! Congrats! :D

Collapse
 
mikerostx profile image
πŸ‡΅πŸ‡· bonafide SeΓ±or Pinky πŸ‘οΈβ™₯️2️⃣πŸ’ͺβ™€οΈβš™οΈπŸ‘©β€πŸ’»

The tip that I would recommend, is to find 1 or more Discord communities that are relative to you dev stack.

Want to Create an Account?
Now it's your turn!
Β 
πŸ—’ Share a tutorial
πŸ€” Reflect on your coding journey
❓ Ask a question

Create an account to join hundreds of thousands of DEV members on their journey.