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Cover image for πŸ’‘ Quick Tips: Make your DEV.TO home feed better with "Anti-follow" Tag Weightings

πŸ’‘ Quick Tips: Make your DEV.TO home feed better with "Anti-follow" Tag Weightings

InHuOfficial
Specialising in accessibility and website load speed / performance. If you have a question about [accessibility] or [page-speed-insights] ask away and I will help any way I can!
・3 min read

TL;DR

In a rush? This article two sentences: Set a higher value on your tags weighting so they appear higher up your home feed.

Add a negative value to a tag weighting to suppress that tag and make it appear lower down your home feed.

Intro

Maybe you are new to dev.to, maybe you have been here a while, but one thing is for sure you will probably spend most of your time looking at your home feed for new and interesting articles to read.

But do you find yourself getting loads of random things that aren't relevant to your interests on your dev.to feed? We can fix this with tag weightings and in-particular "anti-follow" weightings.

Tag weightings

If you are on a PC viewing dev.to you will see the main navigation on the left.

Below that are the tags you follow.

My Tags section located below main navigation on dev.to

You will notice next to the title "My Tags" there is an icon that looks a little bit like a nut (as in nut and bolt).

Clicking on that will take you to the "Following Tags" page.

Adjusting your weightings

Now this is really straight forward.

If you want a particular subject to appear more often in your feed just increase the number in the input under that tag.

location of the weightings input underneath each tag you follow

Obviously if you give a tag a higher number than another tag it has a higher priority.

I am sure you are already aware of this, but there is something most people aren't aware of.

Anti-follow

Yet again really straight forward but maybe not immediately obvious.

Lets say you are like me and want to have accessibility (a11y) have a high priority. But you have been in the accessibility game for years so the last thing you need are a load of "beginner" posts cluttering up your feed and telling you the same information you have seen before.

You can set an "anti-follow" on the "beginner" tag in this instance. That way anything with the "beginner" tag will get less priority in your feed.

To set this all you need to do is set a negative number of the weighting for a tag.

Step 1

So although it seems a little counter intuitive you first head to the tags page and follow a tag you want to suppress ("beginner")

top tags page - followed the beginner tag

Step 2

Now just head to your followed tags via the URL or using the nut icon discussed earlier.

Locate your newly followed tag (which will have a weighting of 1 initially) and then simply set a negative number.

Finally click "Update Weights" button below all of your tags.

Beginners tag set to minus one and location of update weights button

All Done!

Once you press "Update Weights" you will see the page reload and the tag(s) you gave a negative value to will now have the "anti-follow" badge attached.

beginner tag now with an "anti follow" badge next to it

Now go back to your home page and notice that items you aren't interested in are lower down your feed!

Conclusion

Just a super simple trick to help you get the articles you want to see in your feed (or more accurately supress topics you don't want to see).

Using tag weightings and "anti-follow" weightings for tags on dev.to helps make your home feed even better, start using them today!

Click to Tweet: "Using tag weightings and "anti-follow" weightings for tags on dev.to helps make your home feed even better, start using them today!"

Let me know if you find this useful or if you already knew this and have managed to fine tune your home feed to perfection!

Discussion (17)

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inhuofficial profile image
InHuOfficial Author • Edited

Go on, be honest, how many of you actually knew about the "anti-follow" bit. Maybe it is obvious (maybe it is even explained when you sign up....I am terrible at following onboarding stuff!) but I only stumbled across it a couple of weeks ago!

Now if they just introduced an "anti-listicles" feature, I would have the perfect home feed! πŸ˜‹

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moopet profile image
Ben Sinclair • Edited

I knew - ish.
Last I'd heard, you couldn't set a negative value because the search query didn't work that way, but you could set a low (0.001) value and follow pretty much every other tag.
This seems like a good change, though making it controlled by a "see less of this tag" or even a "mute" button would be good progress.

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inhuofficial profile image
InHuOfficial Author • Edited

Not a bad idea of β€œsee less”, although being developers weightings work, perhaps as forem evolves they will change it to a scale of 1-5 and introduce your "see less" idea to make things less techy as different communities start using FOREM!

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mayankav profile image
mayankav

I did not know this. Thank you :)

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inhuofficial profile image
InHuOfficial Author

Not a problem at all, glad it isn't just me! :-)

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link2twenty profile image
Andrew Bone

I knew πŸ˜‰

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inhuofficial profile image
InHuOfficial Author • Edited

Hehe I did wonder if anyone heavily involved in DEV would not know about it πŸ˜‹, kind of wanted Ben to turn up and go "when the hell did we add this?" 🀣

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link2twenty profile image
Andrew Bone

If I remember correctly it was Ben that added the feature πŸ˜….

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inhuofficial profile image
InHuOfficial Author

That doesn't necessarily mean he remembers doing it!

I have loads of older projects where I go "this would be a good idea", go look at implementing it and I already added it 3 years ago 🀣

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afif profile image
Temani Afif

wait, there is a home feed?? since when? 😨
I thought the home page was: dev.to/t/css/. Now I see strange articles about strange things. What the hell people are doing!!😱

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inhuofficial profile image
InHuOfficial Author

Oh I am so thoughtless, I always forget to protect you from the scary world of "not CSS" and warn you!

To ensure you don't accidentally see something that isn't CSS I would suggest you follow every tag on the site, set CSS to +50 and set everything else to -50.

Then even if you accidentally hit the home feed you will be safe. πŸ˜‹πŸ€£

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link2twenty profile image
Andrew Bone

There are only 1 or 2 tags that aren't CSS anyway, right?

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inhuofficial profile image
InHuOfficial Author • Edited

1 or 2? TWO?? Don't scare Temani with such exaggerations!

There is only one tag that isn't CSS and it can't hurt you, it's ok! 🀣

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afif profile image
Temani Afif

There is the HTML that is supposed to work with CSS (even if I don't see why .. CSS is enough) I am ok with it but I am discovering the others ... I will sugget to DEV to make all of them synonym of "other" or "non-css".

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inhuofficial profile image
InHuOfficial Author • Edited

haha I can just see that, tags are "CSS" or "not CSS" - those are the only tags that matter. Perhaps we could add a third "evil" tag for SVG just to make sure you don't accidentally stumble across an article on SVG πŸ˜‹

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

I knew about it for having reading it here

But even then it was really worth repeating because I didn't act on this article at that time. My timeline was ok-ish, now it's flooded with annoying articles on "42 THINGS EVERY REAL DEVELOPER MUST DO" and I hope my feed willl contain less of those now that I've unfollowed tags like #productivity

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inhuofficial profile image
InHuOfficial Author • Edited

What you don't like listicles? they are awesome πŸ˜‹πŸ€£πŸ€£

Great job tracking the announcement down! I would imagine most people aren't aware as it was 2018 and DEV has grown an awful lot since then!

Plus it doesn't mention "anti follow" so I am guessing that is newer?