Adding Native Ads Feature to Communities Through Hivemind (New Project)

in communities •  2 months ago 

Native ads.png

I want to let the Steem community know what I began working on recently.

What started as a curious musing on enabling communities to create attention economies that can spread the economic benefits to all members, quickly developed into groundwork for an interesting value add for hivemind.

Since my last post, I have been trying to figure out if a native ad system for communities could be implemented leveraging hivemind. So I forked the hivemind repo to work on these ideas.

You can read a document with an overview of the design specs on the GitHub repo that I'm working on for detailed information.

What is this Native Ads system for hivemind?

If I get it to work and if it is implemented into hivemind itself, it will be an optional feature that community owners or managers can enable to allow the selling of ad space and ad time.

If a community enables the feature, ads can be purchased using STEEM tokens or the community's own SMT. There will be moderation processes involved, just like with normal posts. I am also working on the design for supporting a bid-based system to purchasing the ads, which allows for free market price discovery of the ad spaces in a community. I will share more details on this in another post.

In summary, it will be possible to use STEEM (and in time, SMTs) to create attention economies within individual communities by bootstrapping a new utility for these tokens — to help create communities that are more self-sustaining.

So what value does this add to Steem?

Native Ads could be a useful (and optional) value-add to communities on Steem. By giving any community the power to monetize attention through moderated native ads, we expand their options for economic models.

If this system gains traction and communities use it to monetize their spaces, the most direct impact will be on the market value of STEEM and the SMTs involved. Attention has value, so much so that the incumbent social media platforms have built their businesses selling it.

What this system aims to achieve is the distribution of attention value to community members and token holders. When businesses, entreprenuers or non-profit organizations start buying STEEM or SMTs to purchase direct "ad space" or attention within communities, it adds value to the tokens themselves.

Communities will have the option to setup how the generated token revenue is used. It could be distributed to members, admins, mods, sent to charitable causes or simply burnt.

How much progress have I made so far?

The project is still in the very early stages of development (pre-alpha) and right now most of the work I'm doing falls into these categories:

Feasibility studies and requirements analysis

I'm familiarizing myself with hivemind's code and design, to get to a point where I have understanding deep enough to generate effective ways to design this extra feature and implement it in a way that has minimal impact on hivemind's original development path.

There are two reasons for taking a very careful approach:

  • Hivemind is in beta, so it will be undergoing changes as it progresses in development.

  • I need to be able to keep my repo in sync with the main repo throughout this process. If this feature is chosen to be added as an update, it needs to be compatible with the main repo.


I am working on various design elements of the native ads feature. This includes:

  • Core data flows for entire ad system: how inputs are made and the processes used to create data states for front-ends
  • Balancing out decentralization, accountability and liability
  • Design precautions to avoid abuse
  • Actual code changes to be implemented and relevant milestones

I will post updates on this blog as I work on this, so that people who are interested can keep abreast of development. If you want to contribute to this project, you can visit the repo on GitHub. Links to the GitHub repo and a document outlining the design specs are below.

What do you think of this proposed feature?

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