As I write these words (November 24th, 2020), Bitcoin has passed the $19,000 mark and seems headed for a new all-time-high in the near future. For many, there is considerable excitement in the air as the de-facto "gold standard" of cryptocurrencies approaches new territory.
As I watch this unfold, I can't help but ponder what the future of our own Hive community and token might have. And I am not alone in having these thoughts, so when I came across @jaynie's recent post challenging the greater Hive Community to share their feelings about Hive I decided to dust off my keyboard and take the bait, ignoring my previous "no more posts about Hive" moratorium.
First, a Quick PSA: Hey, Go DO this! You can WIN something!
Just to make things clear, this is a broader community challenge looking for lots of participants! And you can win Hive, too!
At least go read the post, but better yet, make a post of your own after that!
In her post, Jaynie wrote: "No min or max word count — just SPEAK YOUR MIND!" so I'm take that at face value with the warning that you might find yourself screaming TL;DR!
Sorry, not going to summarize... you'll either care, or you won't.
This is Hive, at 8 Months of Age!
Interestingly enough, I wrote my own Introduce Yourself Ver. 2.0 post here on the brand new Hive platform on March 20th, 2020... almost exactly eight months ago. Of course, it was largely ignored, probably because I was about the 13th person to arrive here from St€€m and I was basically playing to an empty house.
I mention this, though, because I think back to the "perfect storm" of hard work, energy, enthusiasm and publicity that not only caused the bulk of the active St€€m community to abandon the hijacked Good Ship St€€m, but then by sheer force of will and more enthusiasm put the "Good Ship Hive" on the Blockchain/Cryptosphere map in an unprecedented way.
Things were happening because we — as a collective community — were making them happen.
The Bloom Comes off the Rose...?
So I'm looking at Bitcoin at $19,140.65, and pondering Hive and all its promise.
Then I remember — with a bit of sadness — my old skepticism and my regular cautionary words to The Powers That Be that it is exceptionally difficult to succeed with a splinter group that's basically a copy of something original. The so-called "First Mover Advantage" is almost insurmountable. Almost...
Right now, the price of Hive is $0.1314. Hive's all-time-high is $0.9271... so we're not exactly following in Bitcoin's footsteps. Though, when Hive was making its highs I did become concerned I would have to eat my words...
Then I ponder pre-Justin Sun St€€m and how the primary bellyaching of the community seemed to revolve around "nothing new ever happens," along with containing reward pool abuses and spam, and "what are we going to DO about rewards pool abuses and circle jerks?" and things like that.
Not saying we have actually gone back there, but it's a veerrrry slippery slope...
The rose sprouts again...?
You Can't Please Everyone, All the Time...
In early 2017, I repeatedly raised the issue of there being no clear definition of what St€€m "is." That question seems to have no more of an answer now that we've become Hive.
What's my point?
Hive is one thing to the witnesses, one thing to the devs, one thing to the everyday users, one thing to the gamers and a different thing to the bloggers. And it's awfully hard to make anything of yourself as a "generalist" in a world dominated by 6000lb gorillas like Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and others.
Without a "thing" (in marketing, we call it "differentiation"), it's really hard to have much of an impact. Our "somethings;" our points of differentiation... were basically our community and the promise of censorship resistance via decentralization.
Social in the Time of Covid
As an aside, one of the observations I made in my comment on Jaynie's post was this:
One thing worth considering, though, is that Hive's entire lifespan has happened in the shadow of Covid-19.
You might wonder what that has to do with anything, but there's this thing called "Covid Fatigue," part of which also means that we are spending more time than ever online with various social endeavors. Which also means that we have higher expectations from our online social experience than we've ever had before.
Mediocre doesn't cut it, because there are a million choices.
If you're like me — self-employed — chances are you're also just plain tired because you're working longer hours for less pay. I know many of my clients are nervous about their own job situations and personal economics, so they are spending less... it's a snowball effect.
For all I know, some of the Hive Developers are experiencing this, too... having to take outside gigs rather than working on Hive-related projects.
We all have to EAT, in the end.
The Success of LeoFinance
One of the bright lights in the Hive Ecosystem is the ongoing success of the LeoFinance community.
And then it occurred to me that maybe Hive is doing precisely what it is supposed to.
I got to thinking about what we DO on Facebook. Nobody's just "on Facebook." We do specific targeted niche things. Facebook it merely the framework. And we don't really give a damn what Facebook is doing, we care about how our groups, and our fan pages, and our business pages are doing. People don't "surf" Facebook, in a general sense... or at least very few do.
Then I thought about how everyone back on St€€m was always clamoring for us to get "Communties." And now we have them! And when I think about it, as long as the base layer Hive is sound and operational, I am far more interested in how specific communities are doing, and what those community members are doing.
Perhaps LeoFinance is simply the model/prototype for what actually needs to happen here!
There IS a Precedent!
I started creating content for a site called HubPages in 2007. HubPages is also a site that pays content creators micro rewards for their work... although their business model is advertising based.
The point, though, is that HubPages spent many years as a "general" content site before it "divided itself" into highly focused niche content sites. How, even if you've never heard of HubPages, they
are were no small potatoes, at one time ranking in the top 200 on Alexa, worldwide.
Anyway, the move that allowed them to halt a long gradual decline and turn things around was to re-invent the entire community into dozens of small niche sites.
Sure, there are still articles that get written and published on the parent HubPages site, but the individual creator successes are happening at the niche level.
Hive is already set up to do that... perhaps we should be embracing that, rather than fighting it. And it's not about Hive failing, it's about redirecting our focus.
Lifespans and Evolutions
Part of the process of growing and evolving is... well... change. And that includes change in our mindset.
Visualize this: If we had something on the order of 15-20 "LeoFinance-like" communities, catering to everything from finance, to bloggers, to gamers, to homesteaders, to artists, to STEM fans, to foodies, to developers, to sports nuts... and we had a good 15-20 "Splinterlands-like" caliber gaming apps... all with their own native tokens... I doubt anyone would be terribly concerned about "what HIVE is doing" as long as the witnesses were keeping the chain stable and current.
We'd all be too busy contributing to things were were really interested in and building our successes there.
Oh, wait... we already have most of that infrastructure in place!
Meanwhile, the "price of admittance" would still be Hive, so I expect the price of the base layer token probably would rise quite a bit.
There IS no "They!" WE are the "They!"
Just to echo something from a recent post by @theycallmedan, I think the time is here for everyone to simply "DO" what needs to be done, because there is no "they" that's going to magically make Hive come to life.
To be honest, waiting for a "they" is centralized thinking!
My Thoughts on Hive of Late?
I'm here, not planning to go anywhere. I also agree with the many who keep saying "it's early days, yet." It is, indeed. Expecting "success" from an 8-month old venture is pretty much insane. So I'm going to revisit this discussion in January 2022.
I'm hopeful that a general altcoin rally is going to happen, and it will life Hive with it. A lot of people are purely motivated by the token value, and we've previously seen the activity level pick up as the token price rises.
And that's really about it...
My WISH around here is that more of the layer two community creators... would be inspired by what's happened with LeoFinance and create their own serious roadmaps, initiatives and plans to follow suit with their own communities.
Thanks for reading!
How about YOU? What are YOUR thoughts on Hive, lately? You gonna write your own post? Comments, feedback and other interaction is invited and welcomed! Because — after all — SOCIAL content is about interacting, right? Leave a comment — share your experiences — be part of the conversation!
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Created at 20201124 23:41 PDT