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Vincent A. Cicirello
Vincent A. Cicirello

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About the #showdev tag from one of the #showdev moderators

I'm a DEV Tag Moderator for the #showdev and #java tags. In this post, I briefly explain what the #showdev tag is, and what it is not. I include links to a few good examples of #showdev posts.

But first, what is a Tag Moderator? Tag Moderators are users like you who volunteer to make sure that the tags they moderate are used on relevant posts. The DEV Tag Moderation Guide explains in more detail. Essentially a Tag Moderator can remove a tag from a post if it doesn't fit the guidelines for the tag, and can also add a tag to a relevant post if it doesn't already have that tag (provided it is a tag that they moderate). In most cases I try to suggest a different tag that fits better whenever I remove a tag. It has been rare that I've actually added a tag, since that can only be done if the post doesn't already have 4 tags. If you are interested in becoming a Tag Moderator, see the DEV Tag Moderation Guide for details.

What #showdev is

The guidelines for #showdev start with "For showing off projects and launching products." If you created something that you want to share with the DEV community, then write a post about it and tag it with #showdev. What exactly qualifies as a "project"? Just about anything that you've created (within the scope of DEV itself) that you want to show others. Maybe a game, or a development tool, or a library, or a website, or a mobile app, or a data set, or a portfolio, etc. "Products" are also certainly fine, it says so right in the first line of the guidelines ("launching products"), although it also indicates to "make posts community-driven and not overly corporate or salesy".

What #showdev isn't

The most common type of post from which I've removed #showdev are tutorials. The intended context of "show" in the tag name is "showing what" rather than "showing how". Use #tutorial for posts that are intended to be tutorials (i.e., "how"), whose primary purpose is to explain how to do something, how to use a tool, etc. However, sometimes #showdev and #tutorial are both relevant to a post simultaneously. For example, perhaps the post shows off a project that you created (#showdev), and then proceeds to explain how to use it, or how the reader can recreate it, or how they can do something similar (#tutorial). In that case, either use both #showdev and #tutorial, or just pick the one that better represents the purpose of the post (e.g., perhaps your intention is to show us a tool that you created, #showdev, and you incidentally included how to use the tool).

Technically, my use of #showdev on this post is off-topic since this post isn't showing you a project or product. But since it is about the #showdev tag itself it seems fitting. By the way, the other tag I used, #meta, is for posts about DEV itself.

A few good #showdev examples

Here are a few recent examples of effective use of the #showdev tag.

This first example is one where both #showdev and #tutorial are appropriate simultaneously, and is also generally a high quality post. The author, @derlin, went with #showdev along with some other relevant tags. The first part of her post shows a project (#showdev) that she developed (a data analysis of tag usage on DEV using Jupyter Notebooks and hosted on GitHub Pages). The remainder of her post explains in detail all of the technologies that she used to create her project, as well as how to use them.

The #showdev tag is great for introducing software that you've created to the DEV community. Here's a recent post of this type from @ryoma about a CLI tool called dim that is essentially a package manager but for open data sets used by a project.

Some DEV users use #showdev to announce new releases of projects, such as with release notes, etc. If you use it for this purpose, then you might combine it with DEV's series feature to organize all of your project's release announcements as a series. Here's an example from the other #showdev moderator (@matteobruni) who has a series for posts about new releases of tsParticles.

Here's one where @alvaromontoro shows us some rather impressive CSS art that he created.

I stumbled upon this next example of using the #showdev tag a few moments ago, where @louiseann93 shows us an image generator created with the assistance of ChatGPT.

One of my favorite tags to follow is #showdev because I like checking out all of the cool stuff that people build. It is a good way to find new tools that community members announce as well. If you aren't already, then consider following the showdev tag, which will increase the visibility of posts like the above examples appearing in your feed.

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Vincent A Cicirello

Vincent A. Cicirello

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Top comments (10)

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derlin profile image
Lucy Linder

Thank you for clarifying how this tag should rightly be used!

And thank you for the mention (highly appreciated). I am just wondering about the use of the they pronoun ("their post explains in detail all of the technologies that they used") ?

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cicirello profile image
Vincent A. Cicirello

The "they" was a remnant from my first draft where I didn't pay attention to who the authors of the posts were, and I missed it when I added the links to the authors before I posted. I'll fix it. Sorry about that.

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derlin profile image
Lucy Linder

No worries, thanks 😊

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cicirello profile image
Vincent A. Cicirello

You're welcome

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10xlearner profile image
10x learner

Great timing for this article as I am working on a small project which will be out very soon πŸ˜‚

Mind reader

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cicirello profile image
Vincent A. Cicirello

Great. Share a post about it when you're ready.

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matteobruni profile image
Matteo Bruni

Thanks for the mention and for this post! This is a must read!

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cicirello profile image
Vincent A. Cicirello

You're welcome

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louiseann93 profile image
Lou Willoughby

Thank you for the mention Vincent ! It was the first time using this tag so I’m glad I used it to its purpose 😊

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cicirello profile image
Vincent A. Cicirello

You're welcome

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