We look at it wrong. Rewards are needed, yes, but most of all, what is needed is classification and highlighting. Currently, most of the curation on the Steem ecosystem consists of centralised parties who highlight a few posts a day, only as many as they can vote on.
The problem with our current view and system is that there is most people are isolated and within a bubble they can't burst out of. Yet, most content is uncategorised and unfindable. Most big tags are oversaturated and it's impossible to know what's useful, what's not, what's interesting and what's boring. Yet, many people struggle to find the juicy richness that does live, undiscovered, within our blockchain.
Let's contrast Steem UI's with the big systems.
In order to understand what's wrong, let's look at the systems we love, the content management systems that have worked for more than a decade and have been bustling (for good reason).
Steem tags are like Subreddits, Subreddits are moderated, filtered for spam. The posts with the most activity rise. We can also filter for spam with downvotes and make posts rise with upvotes. What we don't have from Reddit are a few things:
- No crossposting or encouraging cross-linking.
- We also don't have a good search system because nobody has got all Steem posts archived in a good google-like-searchable database.
- We don't have "multi-tags" like reddit has Multireddits.
- We don't have a subscription to tags. We must search all tags manually, one by one.
- We don't have any "best of this tag by time period" kind of functionality.
Forums in general
Steem is very much like a forum, but at the same time, we have some dissimilarities. Here are some of them:
- There is no good search system like on Reddit
- We're post-centric: most effortful productions are their own post, and there are no "megathreads" per se. This is due to 2 factors, I believe:
- The opportunity to get votes for a good effort is bigger on own posts.
- Comment threads are perceived to be the personal space of the original poster, and the commenters can't take too much space due to an unwritten perception of trying to take over the spotlight. Comment threads are not "just another forum thread" but someone's post.
- A similar contrast exists with Twitter reply threads and Reddit's r/askreddit, r/photoshopbattles, etc.
- There is no mainstream 'order by date' or 'filter by date' or any other filter search Steem's main UI's.
People can only repost in general. It's hard for people to classify or save things without creating a post and posting the links.
'Links in a post' is the ideal method, but as I said before, the only people who do this are generally people with big votes who only post the links of stuff they are able to reward. This means that most things are left unclassified, even if they are good and relevant content.
Lastfm, Reddit's mobile app, Pinterest, Youtube, etc.
Our recommendation systems are pretty bad. This is understandable. Steem has no AI, it's a blockchain. However, being proof of brain and all, we make no attempt to recommend things to people. We're very respectful of their space, and thus many, many users leave because there is "no interesting content", everything is mixed up in a very big unedible soup and each user is left to pick out what they want on their own.
The solutions to all of these problems.
1. Shareable multitags
Ideally, you would be able to subscribe to these multitags, and even give them a name in your own profile so that you can see why a post was shared to you. This would emulate Reddit's subscription system and even make it a bit more flexible by default.
2. The creation of a centralised Google-like search engine
The code should be open source. This is because there have been search engines before, and when they died, they died. Nobody could restart them or run them on their own server because the coders took their code with them. A private one with private code is OK if it's done by a big Steemian who has sufficient reliability to make it long-term.
Including custom filtering: It would be important for this development to also include a few filters like "order by date, vote, reputation, SP", etc.
3. A recommendation bot
Let's say I that I'm a pizzahead and I want to see Gina-like recommendations when someone says "papajohns", "pizza", "pizzahut" "domino's pizza" and some other words, topics, etc.
This feature would increase the connection between all posts by a great margin, therefore improving people's experience maximally.
- Send lists of links to someone's wallet based on certain settings (the classical 0.001 steem spam, but voluntary). I can give 1 steem to a bot, and this lets the bot send me 1000 recommendations, or 500 and the rest is payment.
- Post comments under a post saying "related posts", either by the original poster, or other posters, depending on preferences.
- An API that Steempeak can subscribe to and let people's posts have these recommended posts as a footer underneath their posts, and on the sidebar, etc.
- Optional UI notifications based on recommendations.
4. Encouraging megathreads for anything
Wanna share interesting links? Megathread. Wanna share cool pictures of dogs? Megathread. Etc.
This would emulate askreddit, forum threads, photoshopbattles, and even subreddits like r/dankmemes where people share lots of very homogenous content knowing that dozens of people will see it at a minimum. This would remove the isolationism people have. It would also encourage new users to participate in the community.
5. Saving favourite posts somehow without resteeming
(Facebook, Reddit, Pinterest, Lastfm, Telegram, almost everyone has this)
- This can be accomplished whether through the UI (a Save button)
- Through a blockchain metadata save-to-profile, maybe even a "save" steem-engine token that carries the saved data.
- or by encouraging people to post links and pictures of their favourite stuff on Steem and rewarding them, even if these people don't have big votes to reward the posts they're sharing. We should be rewarding the interconnectivity of all the content on the blockchain.
Who are these recommendations for?
The biggest recommendations like making a search engine, implementing filtering, multitags, etc., those are for the coders and the funders. The curation, categorisation, sharing links, making sure everyone feels at home by sharing content between each other and using comment sections like sharing hubs, that's on everyone.
- Think: Is there anything else that's missing in this post? Think about it, write it down and share it.
- Can you follow any one of these recommendations? They are not all for everyone, but each for a group of people who will do them. As long as the tasks are being done by a sufficient number of people, the blockchain improves massively.
- Share the recommendations. You're allowed to copy and paste this, resteem, rewrite, whatever. My desire is not to gain from this, but to make Steem a better place. If that's your objective too, then let's make it a better place, these are my ideas after years of analysis.
What do you think about these recommendations? Can they be improved? Added to? What are your favourite recommendations? Share your thoughts about how we can accomplish these tasks. I will do my part.