[STEEMPEAK STEEM] Steampeak and the Community Architecture


Community Property

When I saw that @jarvie had written a fairly long bit about the upcoming Community features on the Steem blockchain, there was a certain amount of interest and my original intention was to wait a few days and see if anyone raised the same issues that I want to and see if the discussion evolved organically in that direction.

A man needs dreams. Even futile ones.

I’m going to take on some of the points as we go, with a focus on aspects that are hugely important that, nevertheless, I think get short shrift too often.

Why Communities?

Putting everyone from every walk of life with every different kind of expectation and motivation into one place and telling them... "everyone get along" ... It's a noble desire... but it just isn't gonna happen.

Why indeed?

I'd like to open we use some very supportive commentary. This one paragraph is one of the most insightful things that I've seen written about the Steem blockchain and social media networking in general in quite some time. It encapsulates something that everyone who has ever dealt with human beings out in the world understands and has dealt with. Not everyone has the same expectations.

Not everyone is going to get along.

I will go one step further and say – nor should they.

The recognition that different social groups and social organizations need a way to define their own space which are amenable to their own rules shouldn't be an exotic thought. It just shouldn't. It should have been the first thought that someone had when they considered putting a bunch of different people online.

That we went from an environment which was so selectively siloed (early blogs, email lists, etc.) to giant fire hoses of undifferentiated content with no guidance for finding things you might like or people you might be interested in – I've always considered that to be institutional amnesia of a scale which borders on deliberate architectural suicide.

Instead of helping people find tools and resources which are useful to them, we have deliberately focused over simply burying them under ever more material which is ever less interesting to them. And then we wonder why social media users develop personal interactions and processes which aren't in line with what the developers intended, whether that be hyper-overreaction as a result of cyclic emotional amplification or an obsession with "reward" over all else to the point of using systemic automation in order to achieve that reward and not engage with the platform.

These are behaviors that we see on a regular basis all around us. All too often, behaviors which people expressed dismay about but then pretend not to understand how they happen.

So we're off to a good start.

Chatting with a friend who uses Reddit a lot I thought about: How is communities filling a need?

There are gonna be 3 different types of communities and the one we're already testing deals with the concept of OWNERSHIP. Meaning as opposed to sub-reddits or FB groups you don't have to trust a company or one particular website. You still trust some code (hivemind, steem blockchain) but no need to trust one particular site or company and that's a huge deal. You are so much less dependent and you have several companies with sites all creating tools and working to make the best product for you and your community of users.

In a way you actually own your audience

No and no and no and no, a thousand times no.

Remember when I was talking just above about being off to a good start because we've acknowledged that social media platforms have and require a purpose, and that they should express that purpose in ways which result in behavior which we find acceptable and desirable? We start off here well, by asking the most important question that you can ever put to yourself when working on a new project:

"How does this fulfill a need?"

Great. We have started in the right place. How communities fulfill a need for the user base is reflective of the opening which is all about individual people having individual expectations and individual needs which need to be seen to.

And then we turn around and piss all over it with:

"In a way, you actually own your audience."

No, you don't. Not only that, no, we don't want you to think about your audience that way. Nothing good comes out of thinking that members of a community own the other members of that community, creators own the people who generously give their money and attention to those creators, or any sort of possession of another individual is the "right way" to think about anything that goes on here. It's just not. Never has been, never will be, and that kind of thinking leads to behaviors which will be and have been toxic between individuals on this platform already.

We've already gone off the rails.

This is so close to being an idea that was useful. If you had said, "you actually own your content," that would be absolutely true. If you had said, "you own the things that you create," that would be absolutely true. If you had said, "we exist to help you share the things that you own with people who will be interested in help you get rewarded for it," that would be a desirable thing to have and cultivate behavior that we will.

You do not own your audience. You will never own your audience. You should never think of an audience as a thing you want to or can own – if you wish to continue having an audience.

It's that simple.

In particular, talking about communities, using the word "audience" is already wrong. Communities are made up of individual people. People who engage in a deliberate and conscious act and exertion of will to associate with one another around an idea, a place, a thing, a pastime. They are not owned. Places and things can be owned – communities can not be.

Communities grow and accrete. Communities have a purpose for being. Communities allow for self organization. Communities allow for personal isolation and protection. Communities represent a notional distance of separation from other communities. Communities manifest the idea of "location" in a digital frontier which has largely been driven by the idea of a single city where everybody lives, works, and plays – which doesn't really reflect how people want to live.

The Obsession

Which leads directly into that thing which you can always count on being first and foremost on people's minds on the Steem blockchain – "how does this affect my pocket?" "How can I make this into a financial instrument?" "How can I sell this as a product?" "How can I run money through this thing?"

Before even talking about what the thing actually does, why it exists, how anyone should interact with it, what the user experience is intended to create and provide – it's money. That's all it is. That is the only concern. It is, "how can I use this to affect the STEEM in my pocket?"

You want to know part and parcel of why the community, such as it is remaining on the Steem blockchain is toxic in the way it is? This thinking right here. Putting the money first. Putting the money where the thinking about "what service does this provide to users" should have an answer about content and process.

Monetization is more important to developers on the Steem blockchain than building a tool that helps people engage with content first and then figuring out how that can pay off. The question is always answered by saying "this is the way that money falls out" and avoiding/putting off answering "but why should money go in?"

This is the real problem.

Real innovation is driven by answering the question "what does a user need?" and then building something that fulfills that need. We're not answering that question here. We're just not.

Also Ran

The most important thing about communities on the Steem blockchain doesn't show up until the last third of the post, and it's dealt with as a single tossed-off line:

"Obviously we are thinking about the look and design"

No, I don't think you are. Or rather, I don't think it's a priority – and it should be number one with a bullet. It should be top of the list. There should be vast amounts of discussion about "the look and design," because that is the product. How do people use it? How do they get value out of it? Why should it be something that they do?

There are no bigger picture elements. Zero. Zip. Zilch. Nothing is more important than the design of how people on a social media platform will use the self organization tools you intend to provide in order to do just that. Understanding how to navigate and find communities is elemental to their existence. In fact, they have no existence beyond the ability that they can be discovered, joined, and have an impact in the user experience. There is nothing else to them.

That these things aren't what this post is about is damning. It goes to the heart of so many of the problems on the Steem blockchain both for content creators and for the people who would like to consume that content, if only they could find it. It speaks to the obsession with cryptocurrency-uber-alles which makes the focus of interaction purely masturbatory. It's all about playing with funny numbers and has nothing to do with content or users.

This is the way to fail in an ever grander way, and frankly Steemit Inc. doesn't need help. They seem to have failing grandly down pat.

Community Property

What do we really need?

The barest bones implementation of community organization can be found in the social media platform that Steemit Inc. started off well by ripping off: Reddit.

What are the basic components of a Reddit subReddit?

The name of the subReddit. There needs to be a clear, Unicode string which identifies the subReddit. It can't be arbitrarily long because it's intended to be a notional hook for people to find. It needs to be searchable, so it needs to be type-able. Because the name resolution is effectively decentralized, the name of the community can't be required to be unique; it needs to simply be a shorthand identifier.

The second thing it needs is a description. This description needs to be a longer Unicode string, probably involving Markdown because that makes it easy to store and easy to render with decorators. The description primarily exists so that individuals who are searching for content have something that they can stumble on and feel their interest piqued. The description also serves as a sort of vision statement so that members have a common reminder of what they're there to do.

The third thing it needs are posts. Content. Individual means of reference which those involved in the community have chosen to receive. That content is not owned by the community. It has been bequeathed, either wholly or in part to that community, but it is the property of the original creator.

The fourth thing that it requires is the most important thing of all: people. There are the people who decided to set it up so that others could share in the opportunity. There are those who are even more important, who engage in creation of content and commentary within the community and who truly define what's going on and why people are there. This is the core of the experience. This is what the whole thing is for.

Everything else exists to provide a framework for the people who are engaged with that community to engage with each other.

Everything else is implementation detail.

Technicality

URLs should probably not be derived from the name of the community. Since we don't really care about name collisions, the unique ID should definitely be part of the URL. No matter where on the blockchain that ID is read, it should refer to the same conceptual entity – and to do that, it cannot be reified via single interface nailed down to a particular front end. The smart thing to do would be to let individual developers/providers create websites which are intended to be curated groups of name-association references, allowing, say, Utopian to focus on collecting what they think of as "the best groups for STEM-interested people" and evolved the issue of how to deal with short name collisions to those curators.

Because communities don't own content, the question of whether an individual post should be seen by everyone who follows the creator or only the community to which it is being submitted is not an issue for the community to determine, but for the user – and they should be able to make that determination on a community by community basis. After all, you might be interested in sharing every post about RPG is that you make to three or four different RPG-focus groups with anyone who is interested in your work, but more interested in keeping your-torture-and-incest-porn fanfic only visible to the community which is closed.

Which brings up another piece of information which needs to be associated with individual communities: open/public status versus closed/private/invite only status. There are a dozen different ways to handle that, but effectively they all hinge on being able to associate a user as an individual identifier with access. How to propagate that information through the blockchain is left as an exercise for the reader, but it brings up the question of whether or not content should be inherently unreadable at a public level on the Steem blockchain and since we've never had a really good answer to that, it must be answered first. If encrypted private content is impossible or undesirable on the Steem blockchain, that all groups must be, inevitably, "open readable" even if not "open post-able."

Bare Minimum

And this is just the bare minimum viable representation required for a community. If SteemPeak really wants me and theoretically people like me (if any such creatures exist) to believe that there interested in creating an implementation of communities which will be a net boon, these are the questions that have to be answered first before we start wondering about whether communities can choose to build their own reward pools.

First there needs to be communities worth being involved in.

Summinarium

Short version:

  • Stop obsessing over how to throw tokens around before anything and everything else.
  • Focus on the minimum viable architecture for what communities are intended to be.
  • Define, up front, what the intended user experience is. Decide, "why would anyone bother?”
  • Drive directly into deconstruction of how other platforms implement communities and decide what things they do well and where they’re lacking.
  • At every point, have a sketch of how the user experience should look like at the major phases of interaction:
    • Posting
    • Reading
    • Creating the Community
  • Don’t get eaten by thinking about "how is this going to be a financial instrument?
  • Build communities. Real communities. Of people who want to do things together. Then help them do that.

Do this, give people a reason to use the platform as a platform, and the rest does itself. If Steemit Inc. had done this over the last two years instead of obsessing about SMTs, fiddling with reward curves, and doing everything except building a social media platform that serves what people want to do on a social media platform – that have a social media platform that people wanted to use.

That could, in theory, still happen. But we have to stop obsessing about jingle in pockets and start obsessing about the user and what they get out of being here. First. Only.


Comments 29


@tipu curate 2

02.12.2019 20:03
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02.12.2019 20:03
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MY RESPONSE ... I LOVE THIS POST

First of all this is exactly the interaction i was hoping for on such an important part of steem as communities will be. Thank you!! Also i'd suggest #peakreview as one of the first 5 tags but tagging me did help me find it.

Keep in mind there will be 3 different types of communities. Also we are presently approaching owned communities which means a community account that you own the keys for and that assumption is that the person with the keys makes the decision... which doesn't mean they can't make that multi-signature or turn it into a DAO type structure.

MY RESPONSES

The recognition that different social groups and social organizations need a way to define their own space which are amenable to their own rules shouldn't be an exotic thought. It just shouldn't. It should have been the first thought that someone had when they considered putting a bunch of different people online.

Beautifully said


giant fire hoses of undifferentiated content with no guidance for finding things you might like or people you might be interested in – I've always considered that to be institutional amnesia of a scale which borders on deliberate architectural suicide.

I like the visuals of that statement


You do not own your audience. You will never own your audience. You should never think of an audience as a thing you want to or can own – if you wish to continue having an audience.

I think of this as an issue of semantics... it could have been stated differently no reason to go crazy reactive to it. Let's just find a different way to define it. I agree you don't actually own your audience in that direct sense of the word... it's not slavery. You have your own independent portal to an audience and they to you and no one stands between you in a centralized fashion. But... I mean that doesn't roll off the tongue so I went the lazy approach... Good thing we are early on and we can change the wording. It will be alright no need to overexagerate the issue... we'll find the right wording for it.


"Obviously we are thinking about the look and design"
No, I don't think you are. Or rather, I don't think it's a priority – and it should be number one with a bullet.

I don't appreciate your overreaching assumptions about our motives or inclinations I think it's a cheap statement and petty. BUT... i do appreciate your perspective on how important the design should be and would love your help with that.


URLs should probably not be derived from the name of the community.
It's gonna end up happening eventually by some site. We may not need to worry about it for a while but eventually tons of communities are gonna come beating down our doors demanding a human readable URL for their users. So thinking about a solution (hopefully decentralized) is a decent thing to consider for the time being.


Don’t get eaten by thinking about "how is this going to be a financial instrument?
Agreed there's a balance... "don't get eaten" is a nice way to think about it. Also don't make it a one trick pony when empowering communities with financial tools.


You bullet points were great


You missed something BIG in the discussion... help bring in people who actually know how to create communities and give those people the tools they need. Don't reward Steem users who all they do is be first to create an account with the name of a topic.


MY RECAP

You have awesome way of thinking about a lot of this... however you are decently agressive at times abbout your approach possibly thinking this is what will push us and posing it like a challenge (which can work). But i challenge you... why don't you just help us create it and be more intimately involved in the process.

02.12.2019 20:06
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Keep in mind there will be 3 different types of communities. Also we are presently approaching owned communities which means a community account that you own the keys for and that assumption is that the person with the keys makes the decision... which doesn't mean they can't make that multi-signature or turn it into a DAO type structure.

Yes, you've said that there will be "three different types of communities." But that's just handwaving. You have to start by defining what a community is, what a community is intended to do, and how the community will be interacted with. You need to start with one.

Once you have a strongly established idea and design for how the core mechanic is going to function, then and only then can you move on to saying "and there are these other two kinds of things, as well, which differ in the following ways." Until/unless the basic premises is in place, until there is a design which can act as an engine for something that can be built and worked with, it doesn't matter how many things you imagine because none of them are real.

I think of this as an issue of semantics... it could have been stated differently no reason to go crazy reactive to it. Let's just find a different way to define it. I agree you don't actually own your audience in that direct sense of the word... it's not slavery. You have your own independent portal to an audience and they to you and no one stands between you in a centralized fashion. But... I mean that doesn't roll off the tongue so I went the lazy approach... Good thing we are early on and we can change the wording or how to present it. It will be alright no need to overexagerate the issue... we'll find the right wording for it.

We are literally talking about social media networks. There isn't a single part of them which is not "an issue of semantics." Semantics reveal the underlying thinking that lead to decisions. If the underlying idea is about ownership of communities, particularly as phrased, "you own your audience," I can tell you that doesn't and in good places – not making any reference to political realities but as a result of decades of dealing with various kinds of creators who have emotional reactions to their audiences. It is a dangerous line of thinking because it is simply untrue, and so by necessity the right wording leads to the right thinking, not just for the people that hear that wording but for you as you are thinking about how to provide mechanics for people to interact with the experience.

Part of the reason that I went on at such length was to point out that "you have your own independent portal to an audience and they do you" is not useful thinking when it comes to considering how to construct and mechanize communities. Very few communities are one to many relationships. We already have those – people can follow your account and get updates on your content all the time, so you don't need a community for that. This is a thing you already possess.

This harkens back to "what is this good for?" What does it actually provide that you don't already have? Why would anyone use it?

Ownership of an audience in the sense that you originally intended doesn't say anything useful for communities. It doesn't provide anything new. If you want to sell the idea, it has to be a real idea that people want.

I don't appreciate your overreaching assumptions about our motives or inclinations I think it's a cheap statement and petty. BUT... i do appreciate your perspective on how important the design should be and would love your help with that.

I suppose I could use my vast psychic powers to perfectly intuit your motives and inclinations, but because I'm essentially lazy, I think that I will instead go by what you write and what you have written. Going by all of those things, including the piece to which I was responding specifically, I know it's not a priority. If it were a priority there would have already been discussion about that. If it were a priority, it would have come long before the "and how will this integrate SMTs?" If it were a priority, the post would have started with "here is how we imagine that users might interact with communities," and then you would have told a little user experience story which illustrated even a sketch of what you think the look and design might be like.

Since none of those things happened…

Do you disagree?

It's not my job to sell this idea. I'm not getting paid to use my technical expertise and ability to construct user experiences in order to make SteemPeak a better place. I have a certain self-interested motivation in pointing out places where that could happen, but that's not my job.

It's your job.

But from where I'm sitting, all of the discussion – and to be fair, not just from SteemPeak but from Steemit Inc. and 99% of the Steem blockchain developers – is all about pushing numbers around. It always has been. Even before Communities and Hivemind were even being talked about, user experience wasn't and hasn't been anything people talk about. It's all about tokens. Then that same group of people look surprised when others come to the platform, poke at it for a little while, find that the obsession with token accumulation is about all there is, and leave because the story they've been told doesn't match the experience that they have.

SteemPeak is literally the best interface for interacting with the Steem blockchain right now. It has the best user experience of all of the options. But it is still just a more pleasant and cleaner front end to what is essentially Reddit with fewer functions and a complex fake money database slapped on. It doesn't even have the basic straightforward blogging platform facilities that Medium does and they barely pretend to be any kind of social media platform at all.

This is the place where you get to start and it doesn't serve you at all to pretend otherwise.

The design has to come first – because you're already starting behind and in a hole. You have to be able to convince people that you are going to offer them something that makes their lives and how they interact with other people essentially better.

That really starts and has to start before the design, when you sit back and imagine who the user you're actually building this thing is for. Who are they? What do they want? Why are they here? What are they expecting to be able to do?

I don't think that kind of design has ever been applied to most of the interfaces on the Steem blockchain, absent – maybe – the brief few moments where we had streaming-focused video platforms growing off the side. They had a definite target user and consumption vision and did a pretty good job of banging on it in different ways (and a couple of them are still around). The rest? It doesn't seem to be the case.

It's gonna end up happening eventually by some site. We may not need to worry about it for a while but eventually tons of communities are gonna come beating down our doors demanding a human readable URL for their users. So thinking about a solution (hopefully decentralized) is a decent thing to consider for the time being.

It's absolutely going to happen, eventually. Whether it be someone that just is building it for their own convenience and it turns into a broader public project or whether someone sets out to deliberately capitalize on the opportunity.

The smart money is on making it someone else's problem. If you believe that tons of communities are going to come beating down your door demanding a human readable URL for their users, despite the fact that it looks like I'm contradicting myself here, monetize that known need. Say upfront that you are willing to sell parts of that namespace, just as other providers sell off DNS namespace, and roll with it. You'll also have to simultaneously accept that other providers are going to sell off their own gateways to that namespace, and they will inevitably conflict. That's not actually a real problem.

It's not something you want built into the blockchain (even as a bit of dependent code), because nothing ever goes away once it's been committed to the blockchain. It is static. It is monolithic. It never changes. Communities should be dynamic. They may want to change their names. They may want to change their descriptions. They may want to set any number of dynamic traits about themselves – and it will be really helpful if for something as simple as name spaces, you don't have to walk the entire blockchain back to the beginning of time to access that information whenever people need it.

The decentralization happens naturally as multiple providers want to provide the service. That gives you inherent replication without inherent control. (Again, as DNS can be.)

You missed something BIG in the discussion... help bring in people who actually know how to create communities and give those people the tools they need. Don't reward Steem users who all they do is be first to create an account with the name of a topic.

Except there is no way to know who those people are beforehand. Again, your thinking like "a cryptocultist", as I like to put it. You're trying to determine the value of a thing before the thing exists rather than letting individuals determine the value of a thing to them.

If someone is the first to create an account with the name of topic or the first to create a Community with the name of a topic, we don't really care. It's not important. They aren't privileged by the simple dint of being first if IDs are effectively 64 bit hashes (or whatever), group names aren't unique, and the process of discovery is by search or by organic sharing (that is, by people deliberately sharing content which may be Communities themselves or posts tagged with Communities so that individuals that stumble over that content can follow to the source). This demands that organic discovery can occur and by observation of other social media platforms we know that organic discovery is one of the most powerful drivers of community growth.

All of this does suggest that Community creation, from the ground up, at the beginning, shouldn't be tied to content rewards. If you don't want people rewarded for being the first to create a Community, design the system so that they don't get rewarded for creating Communities. Decouple those mechanics.

Now, yes, I can already hear the question. "If people don't get rewarded for creating Communities, why would they?"

For the same reason that they create subReddits on Reddit or Groups on MeWe or Pages on Facebook or used to create Groups on Google+ and will forever create mailing lists via email – so that it is convenient for groups of individuals who have similar interests to share content. People use Community mechanics so that they can reify, mechanically, relationships with other people that already implicitly exist. Those relationships can be positively correlated as well as negatively correlated. Both of those correlations are important.

For instance, imagine two Communities devoted to Harry Potter fanfic. It's easy to imagine two different groups of people who are interested in sharing in talking about Harry Potter fanfic. In one group, Harry/Snape is the primary ship. In the other group, Harry/Snape is anathema and considered heretical, and Harry/Ron is what they're all about.

These groups are correlated positively by the fact that they share an interest in Harry Potter fanfic. They are correlated negatively by being interested in different parts of the concept and finding some things more desirable than others. As long as there upfront with their descriptions, there is no reason that either one should be considered preeminent over the other.

That's what I mean when I talk about Communities being a proxy for "locations," with the distance between Communities being both the conceptual distance between their central ideas and a gradient distance as defined by the relationships between their members.

You have awesome way of thinking about a lot of this... however you are decently agressive at times abbout your approach possibly thinking this is what will push us and posing it like a challenge (which can work). But i challenge you... why don't you just help us create it and be more intimately involved in the process.

I have had little rule decades of thinking about social media platforms, online communities, and how the dynamic of how they come together actually happens. I predate the web. When I first started going online, it required telnet and USENET – and I have to be honest, in a lot of ways we have stepped back from the ability of people to engage with each other via of the means of communications available to us from that deeply distributed, deeply federated architecture that works so well with so little digital overhead.

I also have no illusions about whether anyone will actually listen to me. I know they won't. I don't expect you to. I'm not trying to push you into anything because I don't expect you to move.

I do this because it amuses me. I'm confrontational and aggressive because – well, I'm confrontational and aggressive. Though it might help if you imagine everything you read of me being said by someone who looks vaguely bemused at having the conversation in the first place.

At this point, however, I have seen way too many projects that have preceded online, particularly in the Cryptocommodities space, which suffer from what I call "nobody is over 30." Or at least nobody has any experience with anything that is older than 15 years. And that's a problem – because there is no general sense of understanding what has gone before, what has been tried, what has been experimented with, what has failed, what has been successful and why. Worse, little curiosity about that.

On the positive side, at least you are not the decentralized communications/mesh messaging folks, who tend to combine a lack of awareness of anything older than a few years with a complete and utter delusion about how everything works. Good technical folks, lousy people. Comparatively, the occasional cryptocultist is fairly tolerable.

I am, however, helping you create it. I'm commenting. Just as importantly, I'm using. I'm a user of the platform; I have yet to abandon the place altogether. Even though as a social media platform it really doesn't fulfill a need across the board for me or even significantly, I stick with it because it has a few interesting mechanics from a game perspective and I love games.

In the meantime, I respond as I will.

Though if you are really curious, it might be worth looking back at some of the things I wrote two years ago on this platform about discovery, web of trust organic presentation, and content lensing. It is not about cryptocurrency. It's not about blockchain. It's about social media platforms and user experience.

One day someone will read that and go, "you mean the stuff was sitting here this whole time?" But I'm betting today is not that day.

02.12.2019 21:11
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02.12.2019 20:21
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Absolutely hit the nail on the head with this one, lets hope the right people read, see and understand it, and do not put your nail through their foot or the final nail in the coffin. Extremely well thought out response.

02.12.2019 20:32
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Yeah, I know. I should stop being so verbose and thought out. One day I will stop doing that.

What I want to see is a well designed walk-through user experience script which tells me what designers are thinking about as the thing that users will do. I want to see that they have thought about what users do on the platform and are going about making it better and easier.

One day that might happen.

02.12.2019 21:13
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One day that might happen.

It will be nice, but I think far to many of them use the David Icke method, of Problem, reaction, solution. Only the problems they are seeking to fix are the users. example:

We do not have enough people down voting, we need to have more rewards from smaller accounts returned to the reward pool so we can harvest a larger part of the pie, so how do we fix this?

We cause an uproar over something that is dying anyways because people wised up to it, I am speaking of the Bid Bots, so we get people to hate on them, to take their frustration of lack of rewards out on them, even though they only take 1% of the reward pool, that is 1% we don't get. So free down votes, make the bid bots the devils own spawn. Then we insert the circle jerk accounts, we might take a little bit of a hit, but in the end we get to rake it in. After the circle jerks, we need to but a stop to any that think toward a basic vote income, we go after the small ones first, then the big guns, yes I am talking SBI, we must kill it.

Then Ladies and Gentlemen we have our solution, our rewards once again increase and we can go back to doing nothing but taking from the plebs.

Cynical me.

02.12.2019 21:28
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We do not have enough people down voting, we need to have more rewards from smaller accounts returned to the reward pool so we can harvest a larger part of the pie, so how do we fix this?

You know, the really funny part from my perspective is that I essentially oppose, from a game theoretic point of view, the entire underpinning of the essential original question. That is to say, I absolutely agree with the way that you have phrased their conception of the problem – and I essentially disagree that the thing called out as the problem is the real problem.

Mainly because it's essentially a dishonest position to take, although it is definitely a position I've seen a lot of people take publicly on the Steem blockchain.

However, it requires that you start by being honest about what you want:

"I want more rewards from the reward pool."

That's very honest. And I can't fault anyone for wanting that because it's perfectly reasonable.

Now, that immediately moves on to a completely untenable idea, which is "… So we need more downvotes so that the rewards which get downvoted on redistribute that value to everyone else on the blockchain." The immediate, pressing criticism is that to believe that you have to truly think that the volume of downvotes is a significant pressure. That the sum downvote value is significant enough that with enough people doing it, enough value will be redistributed across the reward pool, to increase your portion.

That's stupid. There is no other or better way to say it, that is an absolutely stupid understanding of the numbers.

And you are absolutely right, the intended target of the increased downvoting, were bid bots, of which I am not a fan but I absolutely understand how the mechanics of the system which care nothing for the content and everything about the timing of votes in the distribution of active SP, lead to automation being far better at using your resources than you ever will or could be. In so doing, what they did was to create another way in which automation will always be superior to human interaction – because there is no way that a human being can downvote all the content that bid bots vote up. It is literally impossible because of the sheer number of accounts, the number of votes, hidden information, machines don't sleep, etc. So what do we get? More bid bots, at least under the hood, which get delegated SP in order to use those free downvotes on automation probably run in the same coloc facility on the next virtual machine over to keep more SP in play.

(Back when I was running the numbers based on relationship maps of transactions and transactional accounts, I eventually came to the conclusion that bid bots were responsible for way more than 1% of the daily volume going across the Steem blockchain because it was literally impossible for human beings in the time zones that they reside to be active around the clock and transferring/interacting with that much active SP. I'd say that bid bots or other forms of automated SP activity driving probably make up more than 60% of the daily transactions on the Steem blockchain – because they have to. Automatic follows, automatic upvotes, vote trains, all of this stuff are effectively bid bots of the sort because they all our automated responses to mechanics which don't care about content. The literal "bid bots" just constitute a separate minigame of bidding which, in and of themselves, specifically talking about that type of automated interactive agent, may be make up 10 to 15% of the upvote transactions on any given day. Not as low as 1%, but not as high as all the forms of automation on the platform. If anything, it's automation in general that should be gone after with torches and pitchforks because it takes human value out of the loop and makes the token effectively valueless, but that is a discussion nobody wants to have with me.)

Circle jerks have been around since the early days of the platform and are effectively indistinguishable from "a small group of friends who like each other's work." They really don't bother me – but they absolutely have been demonized well beyond any of the influence that they actually leverage. There are some really interesting mutual support architectures of related accounts who clearly have some complex algorithmic plans for trying to keep their heads down but can't come up with better names than "root65354" for accounts.

Basic vote income doesn't do Jack, very much like basic guaranteed income plans in the real world, because all they do is decrease the ceiling of values and not actually increase the value of the tokens held by those involved. You get more in terms of raw, absolute numbers, but they end up being worth less. The only positive is that BVI systems end up dragging down everyone else so they can be as miserable as you. Beyond that, they don't really have a useful value and they don't make up even 1% of the value transfer on the blockchain.

It ultimately, yes, you are absolutely correct – the Powers That Be somehow imagine that the rewards will once again increase and things will be fine. But it's not because they want to take from the plebs and do nothing else. It's because they don't actually understand what generates "value." They understand "increasing numbers." They recognize when absolute values get bigger. But they don't understand what the numbers are talking about, because they never understood what the numbers were talking about – because they never had a plan for what they wanted the numbers to talk about.

When the numbers started off not having a meaning, not having a value, nothing that they actually represented, it would be foolish to imagine they would suddenly acquire one just by waving your hands.

The real underlying value that STEEM represents is the subjective value in aggregate that the community as a whole holds for the content stored in the Steem blockchain. That perceptual value varies based on whether the community believes that more stuff that they want is going to come out through the Steem blockchain. My assessment is that the value of STEEM is accurate, and it reflects the fact that on a week to week basis the people who are still bothering to check have less expectation that content that they will value will happen on the Steem blockchain.

In order to fix that, we have to stop paying attention to the token and start paying attention to the content. We have to give people a reason to look in the expectation that they will find something valuable. We have to give them the tools and mechanisms to turn up that content. And then, naturally, just as a result of interacting with it and each other, they will perceive greater value of the content stored in the Steem blockchain and, inevitably, the value of STEEM will go up.

The real value of the thing is only what someone else thinks it's worth. Most of the developers in the Steem blockchain have forgotten that the token is a proxy and not the thing itself. They have confused the map for the terrain. Until that gets fixed, nothing else gets fixed.

02.12.2019 21:56
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02.12.2019 20:51
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thanks for articulating very clearly the far ranging impacts of the reward-focused approach to user experience and development. I think we are more likely to see a team like steempeak take this post to heart and actually work toward true communities than we are likely to see steemit inc do anything of the sort.

02.12.2019 20:54
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At this point, I'm just happy to see that Steemit Inc. has come in to work in the morning. It's been a while since I've been really happy to see what they've been working on – probably about the time of hard fork 20 and the roadmap that they pushed out around then. Maybe it was 19? Regardless, everything from them since then has been relentlessly about SMTs and promoting SMTs and deliberately avoiding discussing the fact that what they are trying to build the system for is a social media platform.

It's true that SteemPeak is more likely to see the need for a proper social media support architecture than Steemit Inc. is. SteemPeak is much more dependent on users coming, staying, and using the platform than Steemit.

The main negative that I've seen regarding them is that it's taken this long for them to really be engaging on a level that looks at the social media platform itself and thinking about how it should be molded to fit the user. And I'm still a little disappointed that they always start by talking about the token and not about the user experience.

Still, it's the most promising thing going on right now – so I'll take it.

If the Steem blockchain wants to truly grow, the development environment has to change aggressively, and if there is one idea that needs to be that change, it's that the reward for engaging with the platform should not be the token. The reward should be the content that you get exposed to. The content should make you happy. It should gratify you. It should be part of your daily routine because doing so is good for you, gives you something that you want. The token should be a decorator on top of that, a signifier, a convenient means of getting more of what you want. Yes, it's nice that if you get really lucky and write something that a lot of people really like, maybe you can buy a sandwich that afternoon. But more importantly, in an ideal sense, if someone creates something that you really like – you should be able to buy them a sandwich that afternoon (or at least a part of one).

Flipping around the purpose for users being on the platform is something that absolutely needs to happen if it wants to get better. If it wants to be a better place. If it wants to be a place where investors bring their money, it needs to have an experience that people want that aching give them. That's what investors want. They want to buy part of the thing that works.

Step one: Make it work.

02.12.2019 21:22
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This is a really interesting look at the ideas involved in having communities on the steem blockchain. I have no suggestions to make, but I think you spelled out a lot of the questions that should be asked.

03.12.2019 06:47
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At every point, have a sketch of how the user experience should look like at the major phases of interaction:

Posting
Reading
Creating the Community

Two communities come to mind where quality posts are required for members to join without token involvement is @steemitbloggers AKA Powerhouse Creatives and recently with a token is @qurator

Stop obsessing over how to throw tokens around before anything and everything else.

Life before crypto and tokens most were content with adding content, sadly not all, always have those who arrive for self .

Everyone is still learning however too many coins/tokens are being developed creating confusion. To entertain the idea of attracting more people into blockchain blogging, fewer coins would assist new arrivals to settle and learn. Long standing members understand coins/tokens may be used in a variety of ways, however to newbies it is like going down the rabbit hole.

Social Media takes effort to grow whether in a community, using tokens, it always comes down to the fact "Content is King".

Blockchain and the technology that goes along with it is peeks interest bringing new blood into the platform, many are seeking to find a way of earning also desperately needing to learn etiquette of Social Media.
Finding the right community takes time, many communities keep searching for new arrivals to assist/guide, there really is no such thing as earning a quick buck unless you have the gift of the gab, get comfortable, learn to earn is my reasoning, everything is changing very quickly.

Push selling has gone out of style on a sailing boat. Pull in your audience with interesting content and keep them entertained or you will go down on a sinking ship.

03.12.2019 10:16
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Two communities come to mind where quality posts are required for members to join without token involvement is @steemitbloggers AKA Powerhouse Creatives and recently with a token is @qurator

And that's great – but it comes to mind that the token isn't integral to the existence of the community. But, more importantly to how I think about communities, neither one of them are about "a topic." They are self-aggregated groups of creators who wish to support each other, but they are not actual communities which have aggregated around mutual interest beyond supporting each other.

And I'm not saying that such communities are invalid, but they don't help us. They help each other. They don't create an environment where individuals can find their interests represented but rather mutualism societies.

Or, to personalize it a bit, they both represent the kind of group that I avoid joining. As a professional games journalist, there are several groups of people who do much the same thing and who exist for mutual support, and I don't join any of them because they basically turn into just a big advertising outlet for each other, shouting into the void and hoping that the sympathy someone else has for the speaker only by dint that they do much the same thing will be enough to get them attention and vice versa. That's not the kind of thing I like. Others can, and others do, but I don't.

I don't think I'm alone in that.

Blockchain and the technology that goes along with it is peeks interest bringing new blood into the platform, many are seeking to find a way of earning also desperately needing to learn etiquette of Social Media.

This is where my inevitable reference to the Eternal September comes into play. This is not a new situation. It's not even a new problem. It literally predates the web. It is part and parcel of social groupings which are growing faster than the organic spread of cultural assimilation occurs.

I have a theory that much of the problem arises from a focus on making groups as large as technically possible, passing the Dunbar number like it was an inconvenient stop sign, and discovering that your group is not made up of people sufficiently bound together by similar interests. Platforms are, to significant degree, responsible for the situation by thinking of growth as the ultimate metric of success – unified, singular growth. It's more useful to think of Reddit and their success metric as the number of subReddits which get created every week than the number of users or accounts created on the platform every week.

Finding the right community takes time, many communities keep searching for new arrivals to assist/guide, there really is no such thing as earning a quick buck unless you have the gift of the gab, get comfortable, learn to earn is my reasoning, everything is changing very quickly.

There is no such thing as earning a quick buck on the Steem blockchain anymore, no matter what your gifts are, unless that gift is "have a lot of real money to buy a lot of the fake money in order to be able to leverage a lot of SP (which represents a sunken cost which you will not be able to extract value from readily) in order to get more fake money that people want consistently less of." Which, now that I say it out loud, doesn't sound like a quick bucket all but more like a description of Hollywood:

"A really great way to take a big pile of money and turn it into a little one."

People create communities organically. People want to associate with other people who enjoy the same things. People want to find content which pleases them. Creators (a proper subset of "people") want to put the content they create in front of people who want to see it. People want to share the experience of discussing things they care about.

Community designs which don't start with a thorough understanding of those points are bound for failure. If your community is about how much money you can make via process (as opposed to literally talking about "how much money you can make" which is a shared interest some people have, I assume), you don't have a real community.

From the point of view of platform and experience design, you have to start with a vision of how you think the user will engage with other people and use your platform/mechanisms as a tool to do so. The platform is not the end, it's a means.

And way down the list of important things, nowhere near the first page, there is "integrating cryptocurrency." It's so far down the list because it is not important to the primary function of the system, or shouldn't be. As I have said in many other posts, "you get what you reward." If you reward playing the numbers game with your token mechanics, that is what you will get – people who come and enjoy playing the numbers game with no interest in content or individuality because they weren't important to the design.

We have empirical proof of that. Just look around you.

03.12.2019 17:05
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Coming from someone that has never stepped foot into our space before - that is a richly naive "blanket statement" to make. Perhaps you should consider "experiencing" specific spaces before casting an axe of judgement like you just did. All you have done is made it ABUNDANTLY clear that you have absolutely NO CLUE what the PHC community stands for, despite the fact that you have just epitomized PHC in your very own words. @joanstewart and plenty others will testify to this...

People create communities organically. People want to associate with other people who enjoy the same things. People want to find content which pleases them. Creators (a proper subset of "people") want to put the content they create in front of people who want to see it. People want to share the experience of discussing things they care about. Community designs which don't start with a thorough understanding of those points are bound for failure.

However, having said that - each to their own :)

03.12.2019 17:17
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Coming from someone that has never stepped foot into our space before - that is a richly naive "blanket statement" to make. Perhaps you should consider "experiencing" specific spaces before casting an axe of judgement like you just did.

Here's the problem for you.

Rather than tell me what the PHC community is organized around, rather than talk about the kind of content that you focus on, rather than connect to topicality, rather than build consensus, rather than attempting to recruit someone who is clearly a professional writer, has strong opinions, and clear conceptions – in short, rather than talk about why the community you're involved with isn't exactly how I described it…

Your first reaction was to "call me out" and attempt to minimize my observation. Not subvert, not prove wrong, not address the actual content, but to attack the communicator. To kill the messenger.

Maybe you should consider the fact that when you go on the defensive about your community, you designate yourself as their representative, their spokesperson, their mouth. The things that come out of your mouth come out of their mouths.

You just had an opportunity to say all the best things about the people in the PHC. You have an audience, they are engaged, and they are actively interested in the topic of communities in general and how they manifest.

You blew it.

You, supposedly, have every clue what the PHC community stands for – and you didn't want to talk about it. Not even a little bit.

Also, and this is just me being a pedant, I didn't "epitomize PHC, in my very own words". I may have "described" or even "outlined," but I certainly didn't epitomize it. (Worse for your painfully stretched response, what I did was describe every functioning community on earth, be it digital, analog, or otherwise – so saying that what I defined applies to your community is the weakest kind of claim possible.)

Is it any wonder I might have a little bit of contempt? I don't think so.

03.12.2019 18:16
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My heavens you waffle a lot! lol!

I have ZERO desire nor obligation to "sell" myself, nor my community to you - It has spoken and proven it's value to this community a long time ago - so by all means, you carry on screaming on your pulpit. I have a community to tend to and absolutely NOTHING to prove to you :)

03.12.2019 18:23
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As a professional games journalist, there are several groups of people who do much the same thing and who exist for mutual support, and I don't join any of them because they basically turn into just a big advertising outlet for each other, shouting into the void and hoping that the sympathy someone else has for the speaker only by dint that they do much the same thing will be enough to get them attention and vice versa.

Well now isn't this the new world order "Pull Selling" in digital technology, one has the option to join like-minded folks, or go it alone hoping your voice is heard (I may point out PHC has talented authors, travel bloggers, poetry, crypto enthusiasts, artists, gamers).

Cross-pollination does take place, those reading excellent authors some who offering writing skills at the foot of their posts are monetizing their online career by letting people know what talent the have. Authors of books have links to fully published books or poetry, photographers will make offerings alongside snippets teaching. So learning from each other may enrich your life as well as when sharing comes into play, spreading information further into social media platforms. Everyone uses more than one platform, again tools of the trade.

Gamers, well we are all gaming; be it an author selling books or a writer seeking out opportunities, gaming with crypto is part of a new venture. If communities are not for you it is your decision as to how you will build your company going forward. Many may sing together, we are only able to speak one at a time to be heard.

As humans it is a most natural thing to be tribal.

Tribes.png

Platforms are, to significant degree, responsible for the situation by thinking of growth as the ultimate metric of success – unified, singular growth.

When a business plan is not properly formulated whether online or offline it will fail! One salesman may sit on social media all his/her life without a plan, putting out high grade content and get nowhere. A lowly good house salesman may put up an exceptional advertisement and sell a house earning good commission. Business Planning is the only way to success, knowing your stats leading to ROI is each company owners reality check.

People create communities organically. People want to associate with other people who enjoy the same things. People want to find content which pleases them. Creators (a proper subset of "people") want to put the content they create in front of people who want to see it. People want to share the experience of discussing things they care about.

Agree, this takes you back to tribes. Pinterest pinning will attract people, who then sub-divide into specific pins of interest, exactly the same thing happens on Reddit, Instagram, Twitter, Flickr, dTube, YouTube and every other social media platform I have been on since 2008 in the hope of capturing interest in what is being offered. Rinse and Repeat we all do it!

Sharing only what you are comfortable discussing by passing onto others, no one will share something that makes them personally feel uncomfortable. Before sharing crypto information of any sort have you researched thoroughly yourself, personally I would not touch any coin/token with doing the homework first. Being prepared to invest in some coins/tokens by possibly spending a little here or there (it may only be in your time, which is money) to learn more about blockchain, educating yourself along with possibilities on how this may be implemented into future business.

And way down the list of important things, nowhere near the first page, there is "integrating cryptocurrency." It's so far down the list because it is not important to the primary function of the system, or shouldn't be. As I have said in many other posts, "you get what you reward." If you reward playing the numbers game with your token mechanics, that is what you will get – people who come and enjoy playing the numbers game with no interest in content or individuality because they weren't important to the design.

OK so I take it you live in a 1st world country, think of Venezuela or where I reside South Africa, heck anywhere in Africa, Asia, South America where money is scarce, resources to internet marketing are expensive, difficult in some cases ridiculous, KYC is achieved by being integrated into communities. Crypto currency may be the only way to do business over borders where the likes of PayPal or Escrow cost an arm and a leg.

Steemit education have exceptionally high quality education content in the hope of earning something, small home business where I live I have seen promoting via blogging, musicians, artists are using the platform to raise awareness of talents, yes joining tribes and earning small amounts, not big business, just trying to eke out a living from day to day.

IMHO I enjoy #PHC community, I have learned much of the world where I will never have the privilege of visiting, I have learned more about gardening, animals, cultures, writing,and on the occasion when time allows I have read some incredible short stories as well, so thanks to people like @jaynie and many others who have taken the time to build and nurture communities.

04.12.2019 14:39
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Well now isn't this the new world order "Pull Selling" in digital technology, one has the option to join like-minded folks, or go it alone hoping your voice is heard (I may point out PHC has talented authors, travel bloggers, poetry, crypto enthusiasts, artists, gamers).

See, once you stack the hype-laden jargon words too deep, it stops sounding like something you're talking about and starts sounding like something nobody wants: advertising.

This reads like advertising. It reads like a pitch. It reads exactly like a group of people who get together to self promote and not a group of people who get together to share enthusiasm about a singular topic or focus – which is, I will point out, what the vast majority of people want to do. They don't want to be involved in circle jerk mutualist advertising.

What you're doing here is advertising to me and using my content to advertise your own, and while I am not inherently angry about it, I do find it a little distasteful. In many ways it feels like the "acceptable spam" of the Steem blockchain and one of things, among many, that people complain about when they talk about "communities" on the platform.

As for the rest of this opening part…

Cross-pollination does take place, those reading excellent authors some who offering writing skills at the foot of their posts are monetizing their online career by letting people know what talent the have.

… Advertising…

Gamers, well we are all gaming; be it an author selling books or a writer seeking out opportunities, gaming with crypto is part of a new venture.

… Excusing doing something that you know was a little shady…

If communities are not for you it is your decision as to how you will build your company going forward. Many may sing together, we are only able to speak one at a time to be heard.

… Pretending that you are talking about anything like what previous discussion has been about in order to loosely tie yourself into a superior position to discuss them while completely evading any actual discussion of what's gone before…

Yeah, I'm not impressed.

But let's focus on a specific part of that last quote, to wit, "… it is your decision as to how you will build your company going forward."

Again, I've said it before, I will say it forever, there is a toxic obsession with tokens on this platform, pervasive throughout 90% of the interactions, and it is definitely part of why "normal people" don't want to be here. It's because 90% of the conversations feel like walking into an Amway meeting. The place feels like somewhere only multilevel marketing people go to masturbate together.

This is harsh, I know – but it's real. And you provide a very excellent opportunity to pointed out as it occurs, so thank you for that.

And this continues – pretty much all the way through this content. It reads as an absolute pitch for an MLM marketing group who "wants to help you invest" and "will help you get more attention for your content" and… I'm pretty sure I've seen this before well before there was a Net. It's the same old MLM scam as ever! (That's an amused-and-excited-at-the-recognition exclamation point, not an angry one.)

It's all about success. It's all about return on investment. It's all about getting the most token that you can for your time. It's all about pushing – pushing, not pulling – your content.

I think it's interesting that the Steem blockchain and analysts there on have a specific term of art for this sort of thing. "Circle jerks" are really intended to describe a more general type of behavior than the specific manifestation, which is a group of accounts which are set up either via automation or human intervention to use their active SP as votes on other members of the group specifically in order to affect the distribution of the reward pool with no regard for or interest in the particular content those votes are affecting. Which is pretty much exactly what you're describing, except with the thin veneer of selling it as, peripherally, theoretically, not-really about the "community" of those involved.

OK so I take it you live in a 1st world country, think of Venezuela or where I reside South Africa, heck anywhere in Africa, Asia, South America where money is scarce, resources to internet marketing are expensive, difficult in some cases ridiculous, KYC is achieved by being integrated into communities. Crypto currency may be the only way to do business over borders where the likes of PayPal or Escrow cost an arm and a leg.

This is where I start to be a little concerned. Not about what you're trying to pitch.

I'm concerned that you really don't understand what's being discussed in this original post or in any of the conversation that has ensued. I'm concerned that you don't have any kind of connection, any kind of interest, or any kind of comprehension regarding what we are actually talking about. We are literally discussing the underlying mechanics and user experience of Communities (in the broad sense) on social media platforms and I am describing architectures that have worked, that are generalizable, that reflect the user script of how they get created, evolve, and build inherent value beyond any kind of tacked on score system.

You are trying to pitch your circle jerk mutualist advertising bunch. Poorly, I might add. And very much in the wrong place. (Which doesn't exactly make me think better of you even within the context of a bunch of people screaming their content at each other with the hopes that you'll get a nice circle jerk vote. I kind of expect a higher level of quality from my snake oil pitches. I don't care if you're doing a bad thing – but you're doing it badly, and that's annoying.)

But I want to thank you for being an excellent example of so many things, not the least of which is content-less posts which are part of the reason that the Steem blockchain has such a crappy reputation among social media platforms in general. It's effectively indirect spam. Don't feel too terribly bad because there is so much of it happening on this blockchain that yours is "just one more."

Two more things, and then you can go.

Let's go back to this…

OK so I take it you live in a 1st world country, think of Venezuela or where I reside South Africa, heck anywhere in Africa, Asia, South America where money is scarce, resources to internet marketing are expensive, difficult in some cases ridiculous, KYC is achieved by being integrated into communities

There are two things wrong with this. Well, there are lots of things wrong with this, but let's start with two.

You give away the game by, once again, going to "Internet marketing" as your pitch. It's very good at staying on point, because that's exactly what you're involved in here, but it doesn't serve showing that you have interest in the discussion that has already been going on or the participants. In fact, it shows a blatant disrespect, but that's exactly what I saw coming down the pipe from the beginning.

Then you say something which is just not true. "KYC is achieved by being integrated into communities." That's exactly how "know your client" is not achieved. It is a deliberate and dangerous misrepresentation of what KYC is intended to mean when we're talking about cryptocommodity security, which is exactly when it comes up. Now, one can sensibly make an argument that KYC is ineffective and a toxic meddling in cryptocommodity governance by State actors who simply want to impede the adoption of Cryptocommodities as trade goods for a variety of reasons, and that would be a discussion with having – but not when it's based on lies.

And finally, let's talk about this…

IMHO I enjoy #PHC community, I have learned much of the world where I will never have the privilege of visiting, I have learned more about gardening, animals, cultures, writing,and on the occasion when time allows I have read some incredible short stories as well, so thanks to people like @jaynie and many others who have taken the time to build and nurture communities.

The last paragraph of a relatively long reply, and this is the only time you actually talk about anything having to do with the user generated content. And when I say "talk about," I mean that in the lightest possible sense. You don't talk about it at all. You tick off a list of topics, one which I might cynically point out just run down the list of tags which are most paid out on the platform (thanks @TruffleBot) which anybody and everybody knows without actually talking about that content. You say you can find it as part of the #PHC community but apparently not importantly enough that it's worth talking about it any length or doing anything but check boxing it.

This puts the capper on it. We know what you really think about in your group. It's not gardening, animals, cultures, writing, or by some mechanism which remains unknown separate from writing – short stories. It is the 10 paragraphs of talking about advertising to one another, investing in cryptocurrency, and MLM-speak.

"You get what you reward" is a thing that I've written a lot, especially in regards to the Steem blockchain, and this exhibit exactly what we get with the current architecture of rewards on the platform. This is it. The highest purpose that people can find for the social media interface as provided – is advertising for each other at one another with any kind of quality are useful content relegated to a postscript in the list of checkboxes. That is what we have been rewarding by designing the opportunities for people to build communities as we have, that is exactly what we have been rewarding by focusing obsessively on tokens and not content, that is exactly what we should expect to see as some of the prime movers on the platform. And that is what we do see.

I appreciate that @jarvie created the original post to which my original post was a reply and I think there has been some very productive discussion that has ensued. But this – this may be the most useful content to come along, not because it has inherent value in and of itself. It doesn't say anything particularly useful or desirable. But it's a perfect encapsulation of the kind of thing that we have been rewarding with the mechanics as they stand, and which any consideration of how Communities should be implemented should try and avoid. Not because they aren't a valid choice for people to decide to get together and do. I don't believe in restricting what people decide to get together and do. But because they don't need the help. They have been encouraged and motivated from the beginning. Their interests and foci are already catered to.

When I discussed community as "location" before, let me be clear – differentiating any kind of community that I was a part of from communities like PHC is hugely important. I want my communities to be in a different "location." The original discussion of the fact that not everyone will get along and it's unreasonable to expect that they would is dead on. Up until now, the Steem blockchain has just been one big fire hose where everybody is assumed and commanded to be in the same "location," and those who found the company of spamming advertisers to be undesirable have literally gone to a different location – other platforms.

As a result, this is an important consideration for any kind of Community architecture design going forward.

Thank you @joanstewart for the opportunity to use you as an excellent example of a bad example. Those don't come along every day and what needs to be appreciative when they do.

In closing, let me be clear – we are talking about the architecture of implementation, the framework, within which people of 10,000 different interests with 10,000 different inclinations will be able to freely design and implement the ability to come together in whatever groups they like to talk about a common goal, a common shared love, a common interest, a common hatred (I don't judge). Putting the token which is already the obsession of so much of the platform front and center in the middle of thinking about the architecture of Communities is probably not thinking that will end well. It is the path which Steemit Inc. has taken by tying SMTs and Communities so hard together in their upcoming design, and I recognize that as a result SteemPeak will have to follow suit because those mechanics must be implemented in a user accessible way. It's a bad idea, but it's going to have to happen. I simply counsel that it should be done with as little focus as possible and more interest put on Communities as first order user experiences in order to increase the value of the platform as a social media network and means of mutual engagement between individuals. That has to be first and foremost if we really want to have people come back to the Steem blockchain and continue posting their content here which will, ultimately, increase the value both monetarily and personally, of things as a whole.

(PS: I've got that itchy feeling right between my shoulder blades that makes me feel I'm about to get Bernie Sanders'd by deliberately calling out the cryptocultist MLM-squad. What happens happens, but if I disappear under an avalanche of free downvotes, know that I went down fighting.)

04.12.2019 17:08
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Architecture of platform, programer/builders will take into cognizance of requirements people are looking for, if I have not interpreted you correctly, my apologies, sorry for wasting your time.

Obviously interpretation of communities within architecture will become a long, heated debates, it's social media.

People on different continents will be affected in different ways, not all bloggers arrive to talk architecture or framework being technical. They may consider possibilities of launching small self sustaining business in using this social media platform which still requires attention to grow.

Taking into consideration I am not on SteemPeak perhaps I should never have entered into the fray of this conversation, (saying it the way I see it), which I very rarely do, I now take heed to the dangers of open conversation, thanks for pointing out - "Thank you @joanstewart for the opportunity to use you as an excellent example of a bad example. Those don't come along every day and what needs to be appreciative when they do."

In closing, I concur tokens have become a crazy new fashion, if people don't experiment (whether I agree or not) it is a learning curve many are participating in.

Have a wonderful day.

05.12.2019 08:48
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One quick question @lextenebris

Can one post be part of few different communities? Or just one and only one?

And also if I subscribe then to some community and new publication will be posted, then how VISIBLE is this post on my feed? I mean - will I be at least notified?

Just wondering how real visibility will increase.

Yours
Piotr

06.12.2019 12:05
1

Can one post be part of few different communities? Or just one and only one?

And also if I subscribe then to some community and new publication will be posted, then how VISIBLE is this post on my feed? I mean - will I be at least notified?

Those are good questions. As far as I know, there has been no actual discussion of what the Community one to one, one to many, many to one, or any of that set of relationships will be between posts and Communities. Nor has there been any discussion about what the user experience will be for someone looking to consume content from Communities.

Which is part and parcel of my complaints about the process of design that has been going on. You don't start by figuring out how you're going to distribute tokens, you start out by figuring what the tools will actually do for users, and none of that has actually been done.

In an ideal world as defined by me, these would be the answers:

An individual post could only be part of one Community at a time. This is actually the most contentious part of this idea to me, because I can come up with reasons myself why a post might be applicable to multiple groups – but then I chant the mantra "you get what you reward" and I realize that the reward in the case of the one to many relationship between posts and Communities would end up rewarding shot gunning posts at as many Communities as you could reasonably hit and bots would be much better at that than humans. For 90% of the normal use cases, there is no reason for an individual post to not be associated with a specific Community – though I am open to counterargument in the main. It won't be a big impediment to people who still want to spam but it's a road bump.

Right now, we have absolutely no means of showing you what new things are in your feed. My guess is that the current vision is to simply dump it into the fire hose of your main feed, maybe with an extra tag which visually marks it as from a Community and not from the fire hose per se – and I suspect that is going to be insufficient. A reasonable design would incorporate the way to focus specifically on one Community at a time like a lens applied over your feed that filters out everything else, and if someone wanted to be particularly insightful and draw on design that really worked in the past, they might look at how Google Reader allowed you to manage an absolute boat load of RSS feeds and slice down through them. Allowing the user to create arbitrary folders/groups of Communities and/or individual users that they follow and allowing those to be used as lenses as well would be awesome and actually be useful for the user experience.

Don't forget the most important part about Communities in terms of visibility increase: they provide an ad hoc way for people who want to consume and create content with a particular subject focus to put and get their stuff in one place. If you're interested in, say, "3D printing," then you may sensibly search for "3D printing" Communities and look into them for good content. When you find one that you like, add it to your collection, and every time you pop in their you know you're going to get good content that you're interested in that is largely related.

Effectively Communities helps build a means of clustering content that is done by thinking human entities who have a higher than usual chance of being good at it.

Again, a reminder, I'm not getting paid to design the system so take everything you read above with a huge grain of salt. If I were in charge of deciding what is important to implement on SteemPeak, I would probably start with a lot more user-facing tools for filtering and keeping up with their content. Chief among them would be implementing a GNUS-like ranking system in order to give people the power to filter their feed and order it by what they think is most likely to be interesting/useful and couple that with a way to assign users and accounts to arbitrary groups visible only to that user (optionally able to be shared) to provide a little structure for those who want to go beyond simply ranking posts based on metadata and content.

Those two tools alone would be a massive help for users who want to come to the platform and consume content interesting to them. They would be completely overlooked in modern social media design, and so represent a selling point to attracting attention. They would focus on the user experience and making doing things better for the user – but have nothing to do with the blockchain or jiggling numbers in a database, so have almost 0 chance of ever seeing the light of day.

That's what I would do and how I would answer your questions, but how the people in charge of implementation would do so remains a mystery wrapped in an enigma.

peakreview

06.12.2019 16:19
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Dear @lextenebris

Thank you for your comment and I'm sorry for such a late reply.

An individual post could only be part of one Community at a time.

And that sucks. Big time.

From what I've learned users can chose only one community to which post will be "connected". That will make it really difficult for those who would participate in few communities and will have to chose to focus on posting to one of them.

For 90% of the normal use cases, there is no reason for an individual post to not be associated with a specific Community – though I am open to counterargument in the main.

Let's say that I would write post about "Impact of blockchain on world economy" and I would like to post it in community related to technology, economy etc. It should be possible.

ps.
May I ask you for little favour? I'm not sure if I did ask you about it already or not (hope I'm not repeating myself).

Could you please check out also my recent post if you have few min and share your thoughts on questions related to concept of "introducing steem blockchain to businesses":
https://goldvoice.club/steem/@crypto.piotr/my-very-first-trip-to-switzerland-one-of-the-most-crypto-and-blockchain-friendly-place-on-the-planet-earth

Your feedback is always appreciated ;) And I will upvote most valuable comment with 100-200k SP coming from project.hope account.
Yours, Piotr

15.12.2019 20:03
1

From what I've learned users can chose only one community to which post will be "connected". That will make it really difficult for those who would participate in few communities and will have to chose to focus on posting to one of them.

Aside from the issues that I pointed out in my original response, this actually brings up an important additional one:

Why is a given post of yours important to place in multiple Communities?

I'm not saying there is no justification for it; I discussed that in my original post. But it is an important question to actually deal with, because there really are very few reasons to be involved in multiple communities that cover enough of the same territory that a single post would meaningfully fit into several of them. Additionally, again – as I mentioned, this would also tend to support people shot-gunning posts into and across multiple Communities as a sort of targeted advertising. And that's definitely not behavior that we want to reward.

So I really need to know what kind of use case you imagine for being involved in a group of communities which are close enough to be important to the same post.

Now, as a side effect of the one post: one Community association, we will see pressure for closely similar Communities which cover the same topic to unify unless they have some sort of meaningful differentiation, and that meaningful differentiation would definitely keep posts meant for one from being reasonably associated with the other. Communities will have a pressure to merge if they cover the same territory – and that's not a bad thing. That is absolutely not a bad thing.

But none of that keeps you from being a member of or reading as many Communities as you like.

Let's say that I would write post about "Impact of blockchain on world economy" and I would like to post it in community related to technology, economy etc. It should be possible.

See, here's the problem – that would be a terrible article/post to shotgun across that many Communities. That's exactly what we should be trying to avoid and get away from. Otherwise, there's just a massive pressure to write the most general, least specific posts possible to make them reasonably applicable to as many Communities as possible, so you have an excuse to post them as widely as possible, to try and maximize your potential earnings.

This is just more targeted spam. That is not what we want.

Remember, one of the central tenets in existence is "you get what you reward." If what you don't want is being rewarded by your system, you need to change your system. As such, there are a lot more good arguments for limiting the relationship between an individual post and an individual Community to a one-to-one relationship then there are otherwise.

(All that said, under this proposed system, nothing would keep you from making multiple posts of the same content to multiple Communities – they just wouldn't share the same underlying comments and they would be rewarded separately. Mechanically, that is also probably a significant advantage, because different Communities will have different interests in comments and there's no reason to stir them all together. And yes, I'm sure that about five minutes after something like this was created, someone would make an automated system which says what Communities you want to post to, what that Poe should be, and then made a series of individual posts to those Communities – but we might as well not facilitate that upfront.)

Spam is a significant problem. Off-topic content will be a significant problem. We don't want to reward those things.

How much of anything like this will be what is actually implemented? Nobody knows. In part because none of the implementers are saying anything or communicating about what they think they want their user experience to be. I really wish they would because, if nothing else, it would let us shake out a lot of the weaknesses before things see daylight.

15.12.2019 20:16
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Good morning @lextenebris

I'm sorry for such a late reply.

Why is a given post of yours important to place in multiple Communities?

Simply because right now most users who write about investing, business, economy etc. will chose SteemLeo - simply because they may get huge upvote from them.
Or they will post in 3speak for similar reason.

If communities creators will have to compete with few strong and already established hives, then most of them will fail. It's going to be very hard to convince users to post in your community, instead of one of those few major ones.

But it is an important question to actually deal with

I fully agree with you.

ps.
Also - would you mind if I take few minutes of your time? (I hope I'm not asking this question to often ;)

Anyway .... together with few core members of project.hope team - we'te trying to promote our recent publication: an article explaining economy behind our non-profit community project build on STEEM blockchain.

Perhaps I could ask you to spare few minutes and check it out and share your feedback with me.

I would absolutely appreciate it a lot. I read all comments and I drop solid upvote on each valuable one.

Link: https://goldvoice.club/steem/@project.hope/3-ways-of-joining-our-efforts-project-hope-economy-explained

Yours, Piotr

05.01.2020 12:19
1

Simply because right now most users who write about investing, business, economy etc. will chose SteemLeo - simply because they may get huge upvote from them.

Or they will post in 3speak for similar reason.

If communities creators will have to compete with few strong and already established hives, then most of them will fail. It's going to be very hard to convince users to post in your community, instead of one of those few major ones.

I will grant that this is true. But here's your problem…

You have not specified why it is bad.

If Communities with a very broad remit have high populations, but as a result don't get as much benefit from being a Community (a place for specific content, inherent filtering, management of the community, etc.) – that's all right. The people choosing to interact to their have made that choice. And as a result, they are probably choosing to make less reward in the future as a result because they are throwing away the real benefits of smaller, more focused Communities.

I don't believe that your second point is actually true, however. Not to say that new Communities won't have to compete with older, more established Communities, but as a result the new Communities will have to have something that they offer which differentiates them from the older Communities. Something that better serves their interests, something that better serves what they want to do, something that better serves the audience they want to reach – and if somebody wants to move from one to the other, all the better. If they don't have an offering that's significantly better and more differentiated than the larger, more established Community? Then they fail and don't accrue membership.

This is not bad, it's a positive side effect of limiting a single post to a single Community.

The physical goods equivalent of what you're suggesting is that if I pay $10 for a meal, that meal should apply to every restaurant in the area and I should be able to go and eat food at all of them because more than one of them might be good for my meal. That's just silly.

I'm currently administrating the Tabletop Role-Playing Community on the Steem blockchain and I think it's perfectly reasonable that not only can anyone create a competing Community in that space, a post can only be put on one or the other without deliberate multi-posting. If someone creates, say, a Community specifically focused on Tabletop Dungeons & Dragons, with a post that might otherwise be put into my Community, more power to them for dropping it into the more focused Community. It might even be perfectly reasonable to write a post for my broader Community which talks about and links to the post in the other with more discussion which talks about the issues from a broader perspective.

It's the absence, right now, of mechanics which allow us to do that kind of sharing that is a real problem I'm finding. I'm having to make do by setting delegation on a given post if I refer to another because that seems like the fair thing to do, even though people could follow the link right on over and upvote the original.

Still better than having multiple Communities associated with a single post.

Perhaps I could ask you to spare few minutes and check it out and share your feedback with me.

I'm going to be honest, you're probably not going to like what I have to say. Your pitch is missing a very critical element, but I'll take it up over there.

05.01.2020 16:59
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06.12.2019 18:09
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