Large numbers

Ben Lovy on November 21, 2018

Sometime last night I clicked over 10k views across the articles I've posted here. Thanks, post analytics! While an arbitrary milestone, it was s... [Read Full]
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Yup, I feel the same, man. I was really taken aback when I saw my analytics. What started out as a small project for me became something that I'm actually putting out into the world for a lot of people to see. It's a strange feeling how a hobby turned into something you'd be accountable for.

As great of a feature analytics are, it only made me realize that what I say will influence the thoughts of the readers. My words will have a lot of weight to a relatively large audience. That's absolutely INTIMIDATING. It's scary even.

Admit it or not, seeing the large numbers makes us feel more obligated to be more professional about our writing. The margin for error is much smaller now. Everything was casual writing until you realize how powerful your words can be.

 

Well put! You're right - it's hard to take anything casually when that many eyes are on it.

 

This is quite the opposite of stackoverflow 🤣

Hah - too true. We still need heavily moderated spaces like SO - there's good reason it's such a high-quality place to get answers, fast. But this website is filling a previously vacant niche.

 

In the grander scale of things, I think this is why I really love the DEV community. It's a relatively small community (but is gaining popularity really fast) that allows me to be a bit more casual in my writing. I'm pretty comfortable that I can write about the things I've learned before (to confirm my knowledge on that topic) without worrying too much about the people reading my words.

It's nonetheless scary to see those numbers, but I find solace in the fact that this is the DEV community. Behind all of the big numbers are people; the people of the DEV community. This strange feeling of "home" enables me to still write casually despite the larger audience.

True as well - this place is just so damn nice

Anyway, thanks for the read. I feel relieved to know that I wasn't the only one who thought that way when first seeing their analytics.

 

On the subject of learning in public, one of my favorite moments of the last week was reading @antogarand on JSON Hijacking, and seeing his edit saying he had been mistaken on something. That's not to say it wasn't a well-researched, interesting, and informative piece, but "correctness" in this field is a moving target much of the time. I've rarely found an interesting blog post from a few years ago on someone's personal site and seen a correction based off audience feedback. That feels not just cool, but important and deeply positive for the industry.

 

That's awesome! I find having someone knowledgable tell you how and why you're wrong is the coolest experience, and it's great this community has managed to foster that sort of exchange.

 

That led me to thinking that there are people and companies who have been wrong on a more massive scale. Think about the creator of Null type.

 

I can relate! I never wrote any articles anywhere else, but dev.to instantly felt like a very cozy and small community, and it felt safe to just spurt out my random thoughts. Now the numbers and amount of feedback hold me back on writing other things I wanted to. It is a bit unexpected and somewhat intimidating. Here comes the impostor syndrome 😅

 

Congrats. Don't let it get to your head and keep up the good work.

 

Should that happen, I'd like to formally request one (1) swift kick in the gut.

Thanks!

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