Narrative Launch: My First Impressions

in #blockchainlast year

Those of you who have been following me for four months or more know that I've been hot on Narrative. Well, today it launched and beta is live. What follows are my initial thoughts post-beta.

Narrative beta
Screenshot of Narrative's home page post-beta launch.

Where Did the Color Go?

Overall, I like the new Narrative design, but it's missing a lot of color that the Alpha version had.

Screenshot of Narrative Alpha

That's neither good nor bad. It's just the way it is. I like the clean look, but it is somewhat plain. A little extra color wouldn't hurt things.

Nike is the Big Winner

In less than four hours, Narrative beta users have posted more than 800 published posts. A good many of those were pre-loaded. I had almost 20 posts myself already in the queue and ready to publish at launch when I woke up this morning.

Narrative posts

As you can see from the above screenshot, Nike has the most content published to it so far. That's followed by Air Jordan. That's a huge surprise. You give a handful of people the freedom to publish anything they want and they tout a brand name. Really?

A quick survey of the Nike niche indicates that the niche is owned by a user named Gary Trousdale, who has also published most of the content in that niche. My guess is, he's looking at dollar signs.

Gary Trousdale

I think it's too early to look at dollar signs. But that's just me.

Further down, space exploration, aerospace, and food are pretty popular. Writing currently holds ninth place. I guess that puts my own niche, Speculative Fiction, pretty far down the list with only six posts, and four of them mine.

My Favorite Page

There's something to be said for making discoveries on a new website. That's why I like the Discovery page.

Narrative Discover

But you have to be careful. If you're over 18 and you don't change the personal setting on your account, you'll get hit in the face with eye candy. That might be embarrassing if the kids are around or you're at work.

Besides showing you featured posts in a quick and visually appealing manner, you also get a quick look at how many niches are awaiting approval and how many are for sale (22 and 2,200, respectively). You can even click the links and visit those pages to check out those niches. The niche approvals page went from 10 to 20 in a couple of hours, so beta users are pretty active, it looks like. Below that are trending niches, which gives you some places to check out if you aren't already following them.

Speculative Fiction: Become a Moderator

My own niche is the speculative fiction niche. Narrative will begin moderator elections soon. They want to give people time to level up their reputations, which you do by posting content and interacting with others.

Once moderator elections begin, I'd like to have at least one other moderator in place. Otherwise, it's just myself. And I do plan to promote the niche on Facebook where I know many speculative fiction writers hang out.

To put your name in the hat, go to the niche home page and click the moderator election link just below my name. Or click this link and nominate yourself.

Narrative Speculative Fiction

What to Look Forward To

It's interesting to note that my reputation score has moved from 53 to 60 just in the few hours since launch. Most of that, I'm sure, has to do with my content getting favorable interactions. But I've also been interacting with others and that has helped. That reputation score makes me one of the top-tier leaders on the platform.

Narrative reputation

My encouragement to you is to get on the platform and play around. Discover what you like and don't like about it and look for ways to be helpful. Here's what you have to look forward to in the coming months.

  • More users discovering the platform. From what I've seen, there has been more positive feedback than negative. I think that's a good sign for any launch.
  • Moderator elections. This is an opportunity to have some influence. Not only will you be compensated for your content contributions, but you'll earn NRVE for moderating niches. Moderators are elected by the community.
  • Tribunal elections. The Tribunal is the governing body of Narrative. They will be elected by the community and be instrumental in settling disputes. You have to have a high reputation to be on The Tribunal. The elections will take place in September this year. It is my goal to be on the first elected Tribunal.
  • Improvements. Narrative is by no means a perfect platform. It still has a long way to go. I look forward to the many coming improvements.

Tips for Making the Most of Your Narrative Experience

If you joined Narrative in the Alpha phase and decided against it because you had a negative experience, I completely understand. But I'd encourage you to give it another try. This time, take it slow and learn the lay of the land before you dive in the deep waters.

  1. Your Personal Journal - Start with your personal journal. Create a few posts before you do anything else. Learn how to craft a post, choose niches, and publish. Before you do, visit the Narrative Home and Discovery pages to see what posts look like after they've been published.
  2. Visit a few niche pages - Start with mine. Manipulate the page. See what it looks like when you click Trending and Quality. If you're interested in particular topics, search for those by clicking the magnifying glass at the top of the page. Get an idea of what your content might look like in the niches you'd be interested in posting in.
  3. Volunteer to be a niche moderator - There are plenty of niches that need moderators. Find one with a topic of interest and nominate yourself to be a moderator. You'll earn extra NRVE as a moderator. However, take note that if you don't take it seriously and stay active, it will hurt your reputation. So think about it, then do it.
  4. Find a Niche to Buy - Before you start suggesting new niches, browse the Narrative niche shop for niches looking for owners. There are 2,200 approved niches that don't have owners. As an owner, you'll receive NRVE as passive income just for people publishing content in your niche. For instance, there's a niche for Advertising. There's another one for Quilting. And one for Bitcoin Mining. Look for something that interests you and that you would be passionate about promoting.
  • Suggest a Niche - If you can't find a niche to buy (frankly, I'd be surprised), then go ahead and suggest a niche, but make sure your description and title match. Also, make sure they are very clear, not obscure. And make sure there aren't any misspellings in the title. Most importantly, research niches first to make sure you aren't duplicating one that has already been suggested. If you don't do that, yours will likely be rejected.

Narrative is a New Content Frontier

Here's my most important advice: Look for the opportunity.

Narrative is not your typical social media website. I would call it a social content publishing platform.

It's social because it has social components. You can follow people, make friends, and yada yada yada. But the main point is not the social, unlike Facebook. The primary focus is the content. It starts with your personal journal. It flays out there to the niches. Eventually, there will be Publications. You see the taxonomy there?

  • Personal Journal - Your own content platform. Write what you want, publish at your discretion, you have total control. No censorship. But, if your content is for mature audiences, be sure to mark it as such because if you don't and it is discovered to be marked incorrectly, then it will reflect on your reputation.
  • Niches - Owned and moderated. Anyone can pick up to three niches for each personal journal entry. However, owners and moderators can unpublish you from their niches if your content doesn't belong. So make sure you choose the proper niches.
  • Publications - Soon to come. These will cost $99 (I believe by the year). Owners will have much more control over the content, but that's about all I know.

Where Facebook is about the social part of networking and Steemit is about the block rewards, Narrative is about the content. It's a place where the content truly is king. Join me there and let's create great content together.

Get your weird lit on:

The Biblical Legends Anthology Series

Garden of EdenSulfuringsDeluge
At AmazonAt AmazonAt Amazon

Limerents in the Bog

At Amazon

speculative fiction

While you're here, check out the backside 5:

review me
Review Me, Please

speculative fiction writers of steemit
Created by @EdibleCthulhu


promo mentors


NarrativeJoin me on Narrative


Every time I read one of your posts about Narrative, I’m intrigued at the idea.

Just not sure I have room in my life for yet another platform .... is there a way I can syndicate?

You mean cross-post? If that's what you mean, you can copy your Steemit posts and publish them on Narrative. I've done that a few times with my poetry and fiction. That helps it reach a new audience.

@blockurator Thanks for sharing your first impressions! ((:

I was fast asleep when Narrative first launched, so only taking a look right now. I have just applied to be a moderator for your niche (Speculative Fiction). Fingers crossed, haha.

Somehow, I'm really excited for Narrative. My personal view is that it is differentiated enough from Steemit, which I feel can sometimes be more for the social aspects. On Steemit, it's more of connections (sadly, how many whales you know or sometimes happens to come across your post). I hope the focus on Narrative on content will change that.

I'll continue to use both because I think there's a place for both to grow side by side, albeit for different purposes (:

P.S. Resteemed.

Awesome. Moderator elections probably won't happen until June or July, after first payouts, which will be the end of May.

I agree that Steemit and Narrative can both occupy the space. They're two completely different platforms. We live in interesting times.

Thanks for the resteem.

Would you mind telling me more on how you see this 'owning a niche' playing out?

Just off the top of my head - there are a finite number of niches (although probably expanding with number of people, they are at least asymptotic after mass adoption, approaching zero new possible niches). So early movers get the niches, maybe they can sell them if its profitable and the responsibility becomes too much? Or how will 'lazy' owners get booted? When you die in from a whitewater rafting mishap in the year 2093 who will run the speculative fiction niche?

Those are all great questions, and, believe me, I've thought of them. I've been discussing niche ownership issues on their forum. There's one snag in the "ownership" department. It's not truly ownership. You lease for a year. So if I die mid-year, chances are, it would go to auction at renewal time. That is, unless I was wise enough to will it to someone and give them keys to my account, or give those keys to my testator. In that case, renewal would fall upon the person to whom I will it.

On a broader scale, there are plans for Narrative to allow niche sales from one owner to another. I don't have specifics, but I've seen it discussed.

Keep in mind, most people won't be interested in owning niches, or moderating them. They'll just want to create content. And there's nothing wrong with that. Right now, there are over 2,000 niches approved by the community that don't have owners. It will take a while, I think, before all them find their way to someone's heart. Maybe one of them could be yours. :-)

OOOH one year lease makes a LOT more sense, from a long term perspective!

I am very happy to explore other projects vicariously, not that I wouldn't move but currently it would take a lot for me to do something else. Keep telling us about them, because I love hearing about new projects!

Is there some way to get NEO payouts?

Keep telling us about them, because I love hearing about new projects!


Is there some way to get NEO payouts?

Not that I'm aware of, but it should be easy to convert from NRVE to NEO. You can also get USD payouts, but there's a surcharge you end up with less. NRVE is listed on CoinMarketCap. It's currently traded through Bilaxy and LAToken. Should be fairly easy to convert.

I appreciate the in-depth reviews you are sharing about your experience there! I've definitely heard some buzz about it (especially in the PHC discord), but it's nice to really have a well constructed take on how it actually functions so far. It's still not on my radar to join, however it is awesome to know some of you high-quality content creators have a place that hopefully rewards that more so than just the popularity votes that happens over here!

Thanks. I'm totally engaged over there, and my Speculative Fiction niche is picking up speed. I'm totally getting into reading what people are posting on it.

I love that space exploration is in 3rd place. It feels like we are on the verge of a revolutionary advance in technology with all the interest in space right now. We're getting a Space Force and we have Space Ex and Neil DeGrasse Tyson. It's a good time to be alive. :-)


Amen sister! There's a lot going on in space, and a lot of space going on. :-)

Space just keeps going and going and going...or so I hear. :-D

Had a quick look - don't like the look much, its very bland as you say. Sound complicated - not sure Im that keen on learning a whole new system! Keep us updated.

Okay, I will.

I took a quick peek when I got the "Beta has launched" email, but haven't really spent much time there yet. Thanks for all the info @blockurator, and I hope to get acquainted with the platform a bit more in the coming weeks.

I'd love to see you there. A few fellow Steemians have already made it.

Interesting. Seems like a good secondary for now. I admit, the whole owning a niche seems a bit odd. I don't have a niche unless we want to call it pickmybrain? I can see how that would benefit the owner of the niche, but from there I'm not sure.

I guess I'll have to find time to check it out. I agree, please keep us updated

Yes, Narrative is different. I can't wait to report earnings. I likely won't see a positive ROI in the first year, but some niches could be popular enough that they will. When they do, it will draw others to the platform and likely drive up the values of the niches. I see it as an investment. The right niche could earn an owner some pretty good coin.

I've got an account there and I'll check out speculative fiction. Can you post something there that has been posted here, or does it have to be original to there? Do you think you'll do something like Exquisite Corpse over there? i might be interested in your moderator job.

Yes, you can cross-post. No issues. And I'm already thinking about Exquisite Corpse, but I want to make sure there is a good base of spec-fic writers before I do.

Come join us. Throw your hat in the ring.


Good post, Block.

I got my Into Post out after a bit of "Discovery." I'll be heading over there is a few minutes and I'll check out your posts.


See you there.

i have an account there ever since alpha, but it was too confusing :3

im @spider over there :)

i'll take another gander at it sometime soon, thank you for the amazing and in-depth and HELPFUL article \o/

You're welcome. I'll look you up, @spider. :-)

Nowadays there are so many platforms for us to share our works. But time is my limitation. Great job to you in managing many works at the same time. :)

Thank you. I like to stay on top of things. But Narrative on your radar. It could become a contender. If it does, you'll likely end up there. :-)

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