5 Recommendations to Improve the Steem Experience for All Users

in steem •  4 months ago 

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).

Reddit:

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.

Pinterest

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

example: steemit.com/tags/photography+art+cooking

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.

Possibilities:

  • 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.

Next steps

  1. Think: Is there anything else that's missing in this post? Think about it, write it down and share it.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

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#todo
These are things that anyone can do, even I, in our free time. If I have free time in the following weeks, I'll move forward with some of this code:

Develop a curation API for Steempeak.

  1. Curator finds a great post and copies its link
  2. Pastes it in the API's submission form
  3. Sends it to Steempeak under the curator's credentials
  4. Steempeak user requests curation feed
  5. Steempeak client requests API url (https://api.com/curations?from=ocd)
  6. Steempeak user can read posts recommended by anyone

Develop saved posts API

  1. User presses 'save'
  2. Client sends this link to a database attached with the user and the date, perhaps a keyword (like a board or category)
  3. User clicks 'saved posts'
  4. Client requests saved posts to API (https://api.com/saved?by=username)
  5. User can browse own favourites and delete them if they want

Make some megathreads

Ask broad questions or make broad prompts and have users come and leave their input. These prompts can be about things from outside, or you can ask post recommendations ("give me the best posts you saw this week regarding this topic"), etc.

In Steem SPS we have enough funds, i think we should use it :)

I'll have to research some proposals and see which ideas I can push toward a proposal level. If you have recommendations, I surely welcome them. I'm not very familiar with the system.

if you have some good idea for steem like above i think it gets funded. I would say if its not only for steempeak, but for all front end would be awesome and really usefull for steem. Like the search function or recommendation.

To make a proposal you need 10SBD and some text what your plan is. The 10 SBD are to prevent for Spam. I think there is some Guide too "how to create a proposal".

Far too sensible ideas I fear. If you could also add a decent mobile app and keychain for mobile I think we'd have cracked it! I only comment from a simple users point of view but everyone has been saying it for years that we need simplicity and usability. The devs we have working on this blockchain are technical genius and I am absolutely grateful for everything they have given to me but for UX , there seems to be a huge mental block!

Brilliant suggestions, exactly what we need but will they fall upon deaf ears?

Best wishes.

I swear keychain for mobile would be a godsend as well as having an app that supports tribe integrations basically like steempeak but in my app!

I just can't

Posted using Partiko Android

What you should do is just take a break you put too much of your heart into this place

Mate, you need to try and avoid these trigger posts lol

Posted using Partiko Android

Far too sensible ideas I fear.

Yeah, sadly they're too simple and people take them for granted. We must implement solutions that will encourage interconnectivity so that usage of the platform and currency will increase in the general public.

I'd add or rather insist on scaling down steemit to a lower level interms of the inter-activeness. If you ask me, as far as the blockchain complexity is entirely built on perfect UIs, simplest end user hasn't been well thought of.

Steemit or Steem? Steemit being the UI, it should have even more interactiveness in order to create a better user experience regarding the content they see. People stay more time if there's always something to see.

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Pretty straightforward updates and I think any of the front ends could pull it off with ease! So far with all the front ends we have id say steempeak is the best! I feel like their should be multiple ones and you find the one that suits you

I will 2nd steempeak. Wish they had an app for mobile.

I'm more with improving than with creating alternatives. Our problem has been this one from the beginning, too much creation of alternative solutions, too little developing them. Partiko, eSteem, SteemKR, Musing, Steemit, Busy, etc. We've even got a few dozen clones of the Steem blockchain trying to be what Steem isn't.

If people focused on collaborating for a common purpose rather than launching the improvements as alternatives, I bet we'd be in a much better place right now. In my opinion, our best shot is using Steempeak's code, improving it and proposing merges, using a centralised platform and decentralising the effort only and not the results.

Proof of Brain but development edition.

Well if developers want to spend time working on steemit by all means! I get what you’re saying but in a decentralized web everyone can use the blockchain as they see fit that way we actually get more innovation then having it funnel through a single point of failure

Having worked on websites of various sizes over the years I know how it can bottle neck very quickly and more resources to one site doesn’t always mean more updates

AI can't be implemented within blockchain?

They’ve already done it on the steev front end

I'm aware of steve utilizing ai, however im not so sure if its store on the blockchain itself

Why would you need to store the information on the blockchain?

Securty wise? Don't know to be honest.

I don’t think it’s needed the data is secured by the blockchain and only manipulated and displayed server side by the AI

Not within, not with Steem. I can't say if in the future it will happen, but right now it's not a possibility. Right now, the most effective way is to create AI as a parallel information digester that can create a smart and flexible recommendation and indexation system.

Theoretically speaking steem needs to fork in order to enable AI to be implemented or there few lines of code would be enough?

nothing new

Many people have some of these ideas but each isolated and unsystematised. I've connected and digested them into a result-driven proposal.

If you think these things already exist, show me at least one good general-public implementation of any of my recommendations and I'll fight to have it be mainstream.

Great Post, I hope many off the devs are getting inspired by this. Steem On!!!

Thanks. It's not only for the devs, though. Everyone interested has to join the effort. Find which of the recommendations you can do and either do them or find someone who will.

Megathreads, for example, and sharing/recommending/finding good posts, all that interconnectivity has to come from the users as well.

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boom nail hit on head, throw in bullying, malicious downvoting and not enough safety features (imho) and it doesn't exactly make it easy for new users, the retention rate reflects this, I think you sum it up best in your paragraph that says :
"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."

While DPOS and proof of brain rule this place the big big crucial thing that's missing imho is proof of heart maybe

What would Proof of Heart mean?

I guess like, just being nice and civil and welcoming to newcomers since it can be a hard place to be at times. There is no way to prove it just I guess like <3 feeling vibes?

Ah, I see. I think it also needs a little bit of integration effort, not just making them feel that they're welcome, but actually making them welcome by showing them stuff that fits their interests, I guess. It would probably have to be a keyword-based recommendation tool with Steem posts in a database.