Only 3 of the top 10 repositories on GitHub actually contain real code.
The rest are either landing pages for learning how to code, navigating a career in software development, or marketing for all of the above.
- freeCodeCamp/freeCodeCamp [learn to code] 341,877 stars
- 996icu/996.ICU [political] 261,290 stars
- EbookFoundation/free-programming-books [learn to code] 225,423 stars
- jwasham/coding-interview-university [career] 212,268 stars
- vuejs/vue [project] 193,839 stars
- sindresorhus/awesome [list] 192,415 stars
- kamranahmedse/developer-roadmap [career] 188,317 stars
- facebook/react [project] 183,907 stars
- donnemartin/system-design-primer [career] 165,859 stars
- tensorflow/tensorflow [project] 163,422 stars
GitHub READMEs are the new landing page for developer oriented products. 3 (coding-interview-university, awesome, and developer-roadmap) of them even have paid sponsorships for marketing.
GitHub isn't really about code anymore. The code is an integral part, but I imagine engagement for Issues, Pages, and Discussions is significantly higher than just the code. Maybe that's why GitHub search and discovery has historically been lacking – the signals that are typically useful don't apply for code.
An implication for project owners is that you should keep as much as possible "above the fold" – keep your top-level file list short so that users don't have to scroll to get your marketing, I mean README page.
Maybe it's an unbundling opportunity. GitHub is inherently limited by it's legacy architecture built on, well, git. Users exploiting what GitHub gives away for free - storage and bandwidth – for listicles and career resources might not drive the bottom line of bottoms-up conversion to enterprise contracts.