Why you should not publish content on Dev.to?

#publication#web

First things first: I’m not an Internet warrior. I do not wish to make Dev.to’s judgment here nor am I trying to convince you that this platform is right or wrong.

Instead, I would like to warn people of a trend that is endangering the web as we know it.

TL;DR

I don’t think Dev.to is a problem but how authors use it. Authors should not post their content only on dev.to. You should not publish content on Dev.to. You should share content on Dev.to.

“Actually, what’s your problem with Dev.to ?”

Being an author for several years, I used to share articles on my personal blog. I was quickly confronted with an obvious problem. It is difficult to “make” a small personal blog live in a web world where social networks are taking up more and more space.

By publishing on my personal blog, I had a small audience. It was difficult for my articles to get passed my first level contacts range.

I was therefore quickly tempted to find a solution to remedy this visibility problem. The solution presented by one of my colleagues seemed attractive to me.

“Why don’t you try the new Medium platform? Authors who publish on Medium have thousands of readers! Also, the editing interface is pretty cool!”

That’s what I did. I stopped publishing on my personal blog and started writing and publishing my posts on Medium only. And do I regret it today.

And then unfortunately the story went wrong!

Medium, in only a few months, and following some business decisions, has really become a platform to avoid.

User tracking, advertising, a paywall, a real disgusting cocktail that would make “la quadrature du net” scream. Many people have decided to leave the platform as a result of these decisions.

I’m not saying Dev.to will suffer the same fate. I’m not a medium, I don’t have the ability to see into the future. But in practice, Dev.to remains a company and thus is tied to financial issues. And the stability of Dev.to’s Business Model is rather obscure.

You really have to trust the team so that Dev.to doesn’t go in the wrong direction. I would very much like to hear Ben Halpern’s opinion on this subject.

So we should stop writing on Dev.to ?

The answer is NO

Dev.to is great, and have an amazing community. But, authors should not post their blog content only on Dev.to.

We should follow the P.O.S.S.E principle.

Publish (on your) Own Site, Syndicate Elsewhere

Respecting it will help authors being and staying responsible of their publications on the Internet. This will:

  • protect the web from hyper-centralization
  • avoid having your copyrights stolen
  • promote your blog

All authors should have their own personal blog where they publish the content. They can then share this content on other platforms by placing a canonical url pointing to their own blog page.

Dev.to has this feature, which is very rare. I would really like this feature to be highlighted so that the authors are aware of the problem.

For example, this post is available on my personal blog and its content is shared here on Dev.to.

I also worked on a project for an open source syndication platform named “Open Blog” in order to raise awareness about not being the owner of your content. If you liked this article, come take a look at it.


Antoine Caron

Written by Antoine Caron who lives and works in Lyon (France) building useful things at Bedrock. You should follow him on Twitter. Take a look at my friends websites. You could also take a look at the conferences I gave. If you want to see my professional background, my resume is available here.