Calling Community Developers - Let's Polish The Steemit.com Mothership!

in condenser •  last year

The Steem blockchain is intended to be a decentralized project with tons of different applications using the blockchain in various ways.

There are some amazing third party applications that our community developers have created. Busy.org, Vessel, SteemDice, SteemDB, SteemWhales, and ChainBB - just to name a few. There are obviously tons more, including a large list on SteemTools.com.

Community development is great, and I would love to see even more great community applications thriving here! I would also like to see the platform go mainstream though. We need some platform to take us there.

I am fairly neutral on what that platform that is - If Steemit.com takes us mainstream, great. If it is Busy.org, that is great too. If it is some other platform/tool that isn't even developed yet, that's great too. Regardless of which site/platform gets us there, we do need something to bring in millions of users.

Right now, Steemit.com gets the most traffic, and is the main website bringing new users to the platform. Therefore, I am currently focusing much of my efforts there.

I worry that most people in the community have decided that because this is a decentralized project, and Steemit.com is run by Steemit, Inc. - that it is entirely up to Steemit, Inc. to make changes to the website. I am not trying to say that Steemit doesn't have the lion share of responsibility over making sure Steemit.com is successful, but it is my view that we all have a vested interest in making the website better.

Condenser (the code for Steemit.com) is an open source project. Any developer can make changes and submit them to the project via a GitHub pull request. I would like to encourage more developers to start working on condenser issues!

I have talked to @sneak (the development manager for Steemit) and have five issues that have a 'green light' from the Steemit dev team for people in the community to work on. This is not a guarantee that the pull request will be accepted, but it is something that they will be likely to accept if it is coded / implemented well.

If you are interested in getting involved with Condenser development, one of these issues would be a great place to start:

  1. GitHub Issue 1569 - Having STEEM->SBD conversions that are in progress show up in the wallet.
  2. GitHub Issue 1647 - Auto convert the tags that a user enters to lower case, rather than giving a validation error.
  3. GitHub Issue 1258 - Add option to toggle vote sliders in the Settings page.
  4. GitHub Issue 402 - More visible follow button, with the same style as the promote button.
  5. GitHub Issue 1311 - Disable claim reward button during broadcast.

If you are planning to work on one of the issues, I suggest:

  • First get a local instance of condenser up and running, by following the instructions in GitHub.
  • Make a comment in the issue that you are planning to work on it, so that multiple developers do not work on the same thing.
  • Use the issue to document what you are planning to do, so you can get feedback before you code.
  • If you are unsure what the proper way to handle something is - ask a question in the GitHub issue.

There is a 'bonus' issue, if anyone wants to tackle a more difficult problem - auto-suggest tags based on the characters typed so far. If you are interested in working on this, please open an issue in GitHub to discuss with the dev team. It will need to be coordinated with the condenser team to ensure you are using the the right kind of react libraries.

If you have other issues that you are interested in working on, let me or @sneak know and we can help provide feedback as to whether or not it is something that the dev team wants the community to work on.

With more people helping out on the project, we can start to get more of the enhancements made that people in the community have been asking for :)

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One of the best Steemit posts this week - so much so that I reviewed your 5 development points in the Daily Dose today. Steem on Tim! UV/RS :)

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just went back and was reviewing my post and noticed this comment. Do you really think this was worth $56.65? The next top paying comment on the post was $19.81, which was from a professional web developer saying they are interested in developing code for Steemit.com. Wouldn't the money have been better spent on something like that?

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I may have to agree with you on that one Tim, but I promise you I've seen much worse than that my friend. Tomorrow's Daily Dose will cover this issue: Game Theory on Steemit.

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I have too, but it is up to you if you want to contribute to the problem :)

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Thanks @mindhunter! Always great to hear from you :)

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Always great to be around Tim :)

Professional front-end developer here. I've been thinking the same thing for a while now.

I'm currently working on my own steemit based app, but I keep getting frustrated with the lack of some functionality on Steemit itself.

I would like to help out improving the Steemit interface even if it's just minor things here and there. If I'm not mistaken it's built using React right? I'll have to do a refresher course on that to get anywhere (I'm an Angular guy mainly) but after my app is in beta I'm going to invest some time in Condenser too.

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Yes, react and nodejs. That would be awesome! Let me know if you have any questions.

Excellent post, I am not a great developer but will definitely check out github and see if I can tackle one of those issues.

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Cool!

If it's the time to talk about improvements, i have a list here:

  • The Ability to Pin at least 5 post on your profile.
  • A new tab/tabs on Steemit Home Page like "Random Post/s" and "Random Author/s"
  • A search box. (for homepage and profile)
  • The Ability to have Categories on your Profile. (like that you can organize better your posts)
  • A box on your profile where you can recommend to the people other people/friends which are posting on Steemit.
    (by the way this page https://steemit.com/static/search.html seems to be dead for me)
  • A dedicated page with Tutorials for newcomers or something to make people to understand this platform.
  • A new "about page" -> this one is dead https://steemit.com/about.html
  • Try to integrate tools direct on steemit, i've seen a lot tools but for each one i have to visit another domain.
  • A bit more intuitive/friendly interface.
  • A new editor for posts or improve this one, add more options.

And maybe more in the future...Still thinking how we can stop the spammers...

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This are very simple things that looks like no one care in Steemit.Inc. Til now everytime I read an update or a post about Steemit problems are all about programming or technical stuff but nothing about interface or relation user-web, navegability, information and so on... to many programmers and few or no designers (UI and so on) at all! When both stuff are very important! Normal people do not care at all how it works in the background Steemit, when will be the day that programmers will realize that????

And even so they are so dedicated to the "technical problems" I have read some post who talks about problems in scalation of the platform, the problem who I am really afraid of because means Steemit can not grow as they promise.

I really really hope for the good of the platform but the actions of Steemit.Inc (or not actions at all) does not look good for the future from my point of view... and I am here since more than one year now.(with the english account @juanmiguelsalas not this one)

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Be patient. It is a beta website, and right now they are working on laying the foundation for things to come. They understand that the things you mentioned are important, and they are not stupidly ignoring them. Things need to be done in the right order, and there is still a lot of technical/geeky stuff that has to get done.

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Hi @timcliff! Do you know that I ask for the same "problems"(kind of) in the SteemFest 1? That was last year.... At that time i got as an answer that Steemit.inc would be hiring a group of UI designers or something like that... Steemfest 2 is almost there and I do not see a lot of change(there were some done, minimun changes) I honestly do not think that to change to a better interface is a diffccult job (I also made web design in some moments of my live so I could say I know wha I am talking about it) or need more than 6 months. But what I know working with coders and programmers is that they really do not care about UI design or things like that, and it is ok, I complete understand that has nothing to do with their jobs so is secundary in their minds. They are not "stupidly" ignoring them just think is not so important.

Things need to be done in the right order,, and there is still a lot of technical/geeky stuff that has to get done.

Right order for who? From a technical point of view (developer) you are right but from a user point of view, sorry but I disagree with you. You can have development in both parts, geeky stuff and UI and more design related stuff at the same time.

And do not get me wrong, I am in Steemit now since more than one year and will be still here next year for sure. I really like Steemit and can see the great future can have but ...

Edit: sorry, I answer with my english account. It is the same person ;)

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The original plan was to hire UI designers, but from what I heard they got refocused into mobile and communities.

I realize from an end user perspective, everyone wants the UI/UX features that mainstream users expect from social media platforms.

The goal is to take the platform mainstream. End users are not necessarily going to know the right way to get us there though. Building a bunch of bells and whistles, and changing the UI design when there are plans for changes that will be altering how the whole platform works (like communities) is not smart actually from a business/development perspective.

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and changing the UI design when there are plans for changes that will be altering how the whole platform works (like communities) is not smart actually from a business/development perspective.

It will be soooo different the website with the "communities" and "go mobile" that it has to change overall even the design UI/UX of the complete site? And again you are thinking from a bussines/developer perspective. You should think a bit in the users who are the people who will support the platform with content at the end. And actually as a bussines who depend of the users I personally would disagree with this strategy (my bussines perspective) I would try to get a balance between everything.

Look, normal people need to see things changing, at least a bit. And give some design changes that take a looot less time that developing changes normally will make people happy. You should have seeing that on Facebook, they release things drop by drop and people get happy even if they do not get paid there :o)... And normally you do not make big changes from one day to the other also. At least I would not do it in that way.

End users are not necessarily going to know the right way to get us there though.

I think you are underestimating end users a bit here. And more in Steemit where there is a "Public opinion" that normally is listened. (or it supose to be listened)

Pd: sorry for my english... it is not the best but I hope you can understand what i mean.

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Be patient. That's about the only advice I have to give. If you don't like what they are doing, there are other projects like Busy.org and others that are more focused on the front end UI stuff. It is not that Steemit doesn't consider that stuff important, but they are a relatively small team, and they have other priorities at the moment.

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Yes I will :) but.... In the meantime https://scrypto.io/

Edit: This is what I was talking about it, sadly is not Steemit.

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Good suggestions!

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Those are good suggestions, can I also add some thoughts:

  • direct messaging system, including group chat functionality inside Steemit (instead of having to go to Discord or Steemit.chat)
  • next to 'home', 'new', 'hot', 'trending' and 'promoted' a 'curated' tag, where posts appear that have been selected by different curating groups (like curie, whalepower, PAL, minnowbooster, etc)
  • Ability to sub-categorize your feed, make different lists of people you follow so you can have a specific feed for for example"funny accounts", "photographers", "steemit developers", etc. When you are following more than 200 people, the feed really becomes disorganized. (Twitter has this feature, called Twitter lists, it's a life saviour for me)

This is a great post and like all other users are adding a lot of improvements need to take place to really grow the platform to different levels. I have not been around long enough but one feature that is missing for a regular user is to be able to purchase steem straight from the platform using a credit card. As this is not problem for many of us as we buy our steem at the exchanges ,this will be a big problem for new users joining in. Maybe there is such a feature but I am not aware of it. I also see a problem that the company is not taking ownership in leading the new projects and employing coders and developers to take those further. 2 weeks ago a new initiative started to implement #SteemBnB (basically AirBnB) for steemians. However, for this to really take of there needs to be a properly working platform with leadership in place to make sure everything is working perfectly and not just this being initiative from the users. If SteemBbB kicks in this alone would drive the price of STEEM to levels that are hard to imagine right now. AirBnB is valued at 31 billion USD so I do not see the reason why SteemBnB could not rise to those levels in years to come as the platform is users for users, cutting the middleman. There are so many options how the platform could be utilized but that needs developers, coders and most of all leadership. Well, those are just my thoughts. Thanks again.

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The ability to buy/sell STEEM directly is its own animal. The regulations behind it are extremely complex and expensive. There are not many companies that are able to take on that challenge. Coinbase is one of the only ones.

Regarding third party projects like you mentioned, the leadership for those needs to come from the community members themselves. If people are expecting to throw out a good idea, and have someone else do all the heavy lifting to make it happen - it probably won't come to fruition.

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I hear you out but for a normal person joining the platform and wanting to buy steem you need to simply take the card a purchase steem immeditalely right here on the platform without going through any additional hassle. Hopefully this will change in the near future since this will make a huge difference! Thank you for answering back and have a great day. Wishing you the best of luck with all your projects.

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I think we all want that. It would surely be a game changer.

@timcliff thanks for the great post. I'm new but I work in crypto so understand the complications and realize this is still beta. I hope to see more devs chip in. This is made harder by the fact that atm, most good devs are already millionaires. Just hiring a decent one is an achievement.

I agree with @cryptoted that the playing field needs to be leveled some. I am the one in the post he used as an example. I was still happy. Got lots of positive responses. I have met some great people. And i love playing music. It can be hard to see others raking it in with less effort. Not that my posts are great or anything but i'm trying to do it right. To see a meme get 330 bucks is a bit much not to mention the post I saw at 13K the other day.

Despite that I think the site has promise but people are going to have to be patient to expect mainstream adoption were far away from that at about 12% of people staying active. The learning curve for just steem, steem power, vests etc,.etc. and how that affects your acct is enough to make any non crypto person walk away. Most at least.

Something that would be cool to add is the ability to change the look o f our Blog. Like enabling CSS or something. I realize that would add yet another level of complexity. Anything to make our little space more ours. The ability to have a banner on our blog or change the color scheme would be great but I am sure this has been brought up to nauseum already over the year.

I am looking at leasing steem power for a bit. I'm glad to have read this and see you doing well after a year. It seems people who are doing it right and stick to it do well after a time. That gives me hope. I look at this all as an experiment. Anyways good stuff! Thanks for the great post!

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wow i learn something for your valuable comment. thanks.

I Think @ned Should See This :)

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This post received a 4.2% upvote from @randowhale thanks to @steemian69! For more information, click here!

Great suggestions. Many of them seem like fairly easy coding tasks. I may even pickup one of those PRs myself. Though I suspect the lions share of the first one is getting the environment up and running locally; I have not looked at the setup but that is a chunk of work in most projects.

I have just started considering some of my own Steem based projects, hopefully one or the other ideas gather enough steam to get off the ground. :-D

Cheers,
@kellyjanderson

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Yeah, that would be awesome! You are correct, getting condenser up and running is probably a large part of the effort :) I've done it quite a few times myself now though - basically just following the GitHub instructions. I have it down to a science and can get a fresh instance up and running in about 20 min now.

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Cool, well I will have to put getting the environment up and running on my list to get done soon. Then I can start looking at these things.

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I think I will put up a ticket for the lack of OG tags on profile pages, so sharing a link to your blog will produce more compelling previews on social media.

Screen Shot 2017-08-16 at 11.09.31 AM.png

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A simple Embeddable plugin for a steemit upvote is all we need for cross pollination to other sites. With a hover info to join if not logged in. YouTube needs to be the biggest target.

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Cool concept!

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This is a really good idea. The main problem I see though is that unlike so many other sites people can't just sign up. They have to sign up and then wait a day or more for account approval.

Thanks @timcliff, for posting this! I think you're bringing something really important to light here... and I tend to agree with you that it seems like there are a lot of people "sitting around waiting for something to happen," when a large part of the truth is that WE are the ones that get to make most of it happen.

Of course, I'm not a developer. In fact, my years in IT was in usability and human factors... which often got me the distinction of "most hated" with the developers because I was the one who had to say "I'm sure this is truly STUNNING code, but it bears little relation to anything a REAL ground-level user would understand."

But that's beside the point there... a few months back, I started working on a sort of "wish list" that is slowly growing into a rather large document with the working title "Steemit 2020: Our Future" which is basically a sort of "idea map" of all the things Steemit/Steem (in tandem) could create and become, in order to (A) mainstream the core social content platform (B) add loads of integrated apps leading to (C) a strong economic infrastructure for the Steem token, hopefully leading to (D) catching the interest of investors who would see this-- as compared to other alt coins-- as really having "something going on," which in turn could organically grow the price of Steem... purely as a "value play."

My motivation? As a sometime business consultant, I am not seeing a "Long Term Plan" with benchmarking anywhere. Yes, there's the White Paper, and yes there's the "Road Map" but from where I am sitting, it all feels more like a very long series of "course corrections" than tangible goals: "By July 2018, this, this, and this needs to be implemented" or "By the end of 2020, the goal is to have 10 million users and and the following core feature set."

Yes, I know, "decentralized" and all that good stuff. But I feel we must also be mindful to not throw out ALL of the "centralized baby" with the bathwater.

I am sort of trying to "manage" this beast right now... considering publishing it in "parts" at some point... maybe with an "index" post that just has summaries, with links to more detailed posts for specific areas. But didn't really want to toss it out there while still a "minnow," because... well... who listens to minnows, anyway? And that's NOT a complaint!

Just sticking my toe in the water with you, here, since you run one of the leading witnesses and evidently have the ear of the development team. Worth working on and throwing out there... or am I "in above my head" here? No "right" or "wrong" answer here!

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I'm very interested. Keep me posted with what you are up to. Feel free to message me on Steemit chat. I'm happy to discuss more.

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Thanks! I'll keep plugging and "polishing" it a bit more... I'll let you know when something publishable comes together, but this is encouraging.

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I Upvoted you for the easy form that you explained the A, B, C, D. Now I understand what Tim is looking for.

I have a question for Tim: those people who are using Apple, to make applications (and they usually think Apple is the only way to go), do you think they will be valuable members to bring their projects to this platform? In other words, if they are already doing the applications there, do you think they can handle their projects here?

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I guess it would depend on what it is that they are doing. Most likely any third party software would require some adaptation to be able to interface with the blockchain.

You've got my full support @timcliff because you see the bigger picture with Steemit being a mainstream, household name one day. You will be fix and and fine tuning the platform and I will be promoting it as it improves with time.

I love all of it, except for this:

auto-suggest tags based on the characters typed so far.

No, I suggest due diligence on knowing what you are doing pays off here. Paying attention to detail should get you better rewards.

I always go through the effort of fixing my own spelling mistakes. Having an autocomplete feature seems nice, I'd leave that out for now.

Now on the otherhand, if you could "change your tags" within the first 30 minutes of a post, I'd prefer that instead.

I know it sounds hypocritical to ask for that... but I would much prefer that..

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Currently it allows you to change the last 4 out of 5 tags for as long as you can edit the post. It doesn't let you change the first tag ever, because of the way it is used to save the data in the blockchain. It would probably be a pretty major change to change that actually - probably requiring a hardfork.

I do think an auto complete (if done right) could add a lot of value. For example, if you are writing a post about your pet, do you use the 'pet' or 'pets' tag? If it could show both, along with some type of usage statistics, so users could make an educated decision on which one(s) to use, that would be pretty cool.

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I hate autocorrect systems. Autosuggestion systems. When my computer thinks it is smarter than I am, I hate it. :)

I type in "pet" and it wants to suggest "pets" so I delete the "s" and it wants to put it back again. I get angry. "

Yes, I know pets is more popular, but I wanted to create my own pet tag. now leave me alone!"

...but no, the autocorrect, autosuggest gets in the way... "surely you wanted this instead didn't you?" - NO!

...but you wanted me to recommend it didn't you?

NO! If I want you to suggest or recommend something, I'll ask you.

.....yeah, autocorrect and autosuggestions really bug me. It is a petpeeve of mine.

P.S. I didn't know you could change your tags on the post except the primary tag. I'm now smarter cuz of you. Thanks for that info!

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Haha, well if it is implemented, I will make sure to suggest a setting where you have the option to turn it off :)

What about changing how the "hot" and "trending" pages show posts? It doesn't seem like these pages actually provide any value other than show posts from whales.

Trending


Specifically the trending page doesn't have anyone with a Reputation Under 55, almost ever. This should be fixed to encourage other users' posts to pop up on this page. A post Should Not Be First in "TRENDING" when it was posted more than 36 Hours Ago.

At a Minimum, a post from 2+ days ago should not be the first post listed on this page (Sort Order needs to be strongly reconsidered). This page NEEDS to be fixed regardless of whether or not the algorithm of how a post gets onto the trending page is fixed.

Hot


The hot page is a little better.. I've seen various levels of reputation, number of votes, number of comments, etc. However, it's so varied that I seriously have zero clue (or ambition) in trying to figure out how that page was coded because it appears outrageously inconsistent. These posts seem to be listed with more recent posts first, so I think this is working properly.

Suggestion


Similar to how we have the "New" page, I would like to see Hot / Trending to be a mixture of all 3. Personally, I don't think we need to have both a Hot and Trending Tab (the New tab is working exactly as it should, and while it is frustrating, I do enjoy scrolling through it and refreshing the page often for new articles as they are posted). Hot and Trending are so similar that I doubt there are more than a handful of people who know the difference between the pages.

So.. Create a Hot / Trending Page with some of these guidelines:

  • The Sorting Criteria should be based on either a linear or log-based value related to 1. The Time of the Original Post, 2. The Time of the Most Recent UpVote, and 3. The Time of the Most Recent Comment.
  • The time of the Original Post should constantly be deteriorating the ranking of any post on this list.
  • Comments should count more toward ranking than UpVotes (it takes more time and effort / energy to make a comment.. most of the time)
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Both algorithms are based on the amount of increase in rewards, over a period of time - I believe. Hot is basically the same thing as trending, just on a shorter term. I agree that some more tweaking would be good here though.

As far as the authors that are hot/trending, that is more a matter of user voting behavior, than the algorithm itself. If stakeholders are not voting for lesser known authors, then they won't be finding themselves in the hot/trending pages.

Basing anything on comments gets tricky/messy because it can easily be abused by people with multiple accounts, just creating a bunch of low quality comments. Being able to do it in a way that is not prone to abuse is actually a really difficult problem.

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As far as the authors that are hot/trending, that is more a matter of user voting behavior, than the algorithm itself. If stakeholders are not voting for lesser known authors, then they won't be finding themselves in the hot/trending pages.

This makes sense, but I feel that this is also the problem. To your point, the "voting behavior" is not based on the number of votes, but based on the amount of power that the votes have.

Basing anything on comments gets tricky/messy because it can easily be abused by people with multiple accounts, just creating a bunch of low quality comments. Being able to do it in a way that is not prone to abuse is actually a really difficult problem.

This is another significant issue in the community, people with multiple accounts (including bots). We need to (as a community), develop a method to identify and de-prioritize the posting and auto-voting bots. While no individual bot is drastically draining the rewards pool (yet), the increase in the number of bots and the decrease in the number of original posts generated by the community, all of the bots seem to be taking over a recognizable portion of the rewards pool.

The more we let the bots take over, the more bots you will see pop up. More and More People are running with the "If you can't beat 'em, Join 'em" mentality and that is only hurting the community more.

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Bots are allowed. They in of themselves are not a problem. It all depends on how they are used. There is also not really a way to stop them either. There are people that are problematic too - it is not just bots :)

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There are people that are problematic too - it is not just bots :)

I agree 100%! haha

Afterall, bots are created by people. But in either case, each of the "malicious" bots are diluting the rewards pool by generating more votes than a single person would ever generate, in a much shorter time period. By letting these bots continue to exist, we're encouraging more of them to be built and discouraging new original content from being shared in the community. If you can just make a bot, then sit back and reap the rewards, the incentive to build and grow the community for the future is greatly depressed.

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The number of accounts/votes doesn't matter at all as far as payouts. It is 100% a matter of SP.

There are bots that do a lot better job at curating actual 'good' posts better than many humans. There also many humans who do a better job than bots.

I think you hit on it earlier, it is not really the bots that are the problem, it is their owners. Whether the bots are there or not, most of the underlying problems are the same.

Nice posting

I would say if Steemit is to go "mainstreem" like Facebook,Instagram etc, there needs to be some work done on leveling the playing field... a LOT. As a new user with a 3 month old account I have put up various post on different subjects, and spent considerable time attempting to create posts with creative interesting content, only to see them be consistently ignored by the community. Still I have been able to acheive some "mild" successes thanks to a few friendly "whales" that have perhaps taken mercy on me and hit my posts. I feel if I am struggling to keep above water here, how can I convince my 800 Facebook friends to join? Just to be ignored? The changes I would suggest to start would be capping certain accounts - I am not sure where, but what Steemit is now is an environment where 95% of the users are flopping while 5 percent are totally killing it. There are a few Kobe Bryants (not naming any names) on here making $20-30 thousand bucks a month. OK they provide great content, sure and they have brought their existing clientele over from their other very successful ventures on YouTube or wherever - so now they are making bank on YouTube and doubling it here at Steemit. Users have learned to survive you should only "upvote" these Kobe Bryants (earlier the better), and not touch anyone else, lest you should lose money with your upvote. So people are sitting on the New posts section waiting for posts from these Whale, Kobe Byrant whatever users and trying to use Max SteemPower and jump on a post early - so it is almost like daytrading. Anyway, after seeing this for a few months I have vowed to not PowerDown as I am tempted to do when my posts I spent 2 hours on sit for 3 days at .16 cents, but figure out what everyone else who is succeeding here is doing and adapt to that model. But this type of lopsided model will never bring in mainstream users, people come over , try a few things, get disapointed and go back to facebook or wherever. So I would suggest Steemit somehow restructure itself to be somehow more fair and easier for new users if it expects or hopes to become a mainstream Social Media platform. For now it is a slightly addictive puzzle for myself and the other 95% of users like me, to figure how to gain more value than you are giving away, and at the same time have fun and provide great content. IDK my apologies if I am rambling, but I have tried getting some of my "non-crypto" friends (pretty much everybody I know) to come over. A few have tried but have already bailed. I have vowed to stay the course and be patient, lower my expectations and give it 6 months to a year. Rome wasn't built in a day.. but if you want mainstream to come over, there need to be some major changes to the distribution of wealth, or changes to the definition of "success" - nobody likes being ignored. Sorry that was so long but that is how I see the current environment here and ain't no way this thing is going mainstream as it is. Believe me I REALLY want to see Steemit succeed, I love it here, but nobody should be able to make $20 thousand or $30 thousand a month here while everyone else is raking in the .06 cents. Peace and always remember my Steemit friends....

17201244_10212457068284627_8331463499905846173_n.jpg

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I totally understand your view, and it is a very important issue. Personally, I started out here about a year ago. I knew nobody on the website (other than my brother who recruited me), and I had no real 'followers' from other websites to bring with me. For my first ~6 months here, I was posting tons of content, and most of my posts were making almost nothing. The majority of my friends were actually making fun of me for "still spending time on that stupid website", considering how little money I was making for my time. After almost a year of consistently working on building a 'brand' for myself, and consistently producing good content that people seem to enjoy - I am now actually making a decent amount of money from the website.

I think the problem is that the platform gives people the potential to earn, but there is no guarantee of earning. There is no 'formula' either, or recipe for success. It is up to each individual to find what works for them, and to try and make a name for themselves + build their following.

Users have learned to survive you should only "upvote" these Kobe Bryants (earlier the better), and not touch anyone else, lest you should lose money with your upvote. So people are sitting on the New posts section waiting for posts from these Whale, Kobe Byrant whatever users and trying to use Max SteemPower and jump on a post early - so it is almost like daytrading.

Kind of off topic from my main point, but just FYI - people who are doing this are probably earning less from curation rewards than they would get from upvoting a decent 'undiscovered' post. The curation formula is very misunderstood, and there is very rarely a time when upvoting a 'popular' author is good from a curation rewards perspective.

Back to the main point though, I do agree with what you are saying. Believe it or not, it is actually a lot better today than it was a year ago. I think that many of the major stakeholders are looking for ways to improve it more, although the big question is - how.

Keep in mind too, if we develop a platform that makes it easy for new users to sign up and make tons of money without putting in a lot of effort to improve the platform/community, then many users will likely find ways to exploit it in ways that are not good for the long-term success of the platform.

I'm very open to ideas on this subject though. I think finding a way to make the platform more appealing/fun/fair for "the average user" is a very important thing to get right.

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I think the problem is that the platform gives people the potential to earn, but there is no guarantee of earning. There is no 'formula' either, or recipe for success. It is up to each individual to find what works for them, and to try and make a name for themselves + build their following.

This is the key takeaway almost everyone needs to have. Steem is a great ecosystem and toolset for people to monetize their work and passions without the interference, fees and middlemen of other crowdfunding and media platforms. But especially as the user base grows, it's quite unreasonable to expect great success for everyone. Steem becomes a microcosm of the internet in general. Not many people can start a blog or Facebook page and make money at it.

The hard truth is the inflation rate of Steem is currently about 9.5% We'll say 10% and not even get into the fact that all of this doesn't go to content creators... just for the sake of simplicity. That means the average earnings of any user on the platform should be about a 10% gain per year. Period. If a minnow has 10 Steem Power and finishes the year with 11 Steem Power, unfortunately that's the norm. For everyone who over performs that amount, there will be hundreds or thousands more who underperform that.

We need a group of users and fans who interact more casually and I think we'll see that as Zappl and Steepshot evolve. Of course their success may mean even less of the rewards pool for the traditional long form blogging we've all come to accept as reward worthy. The normal use scenario will probably gravitate toward a balance where the vast majority of content earns nothing, professionals steadily earn, and everyday users have that jackpot chance of a post going viral like on Reddit, Facebook or Twitter now, but instead of just the thrill of a celebrity retweet and thousands of likes, they can also see a windfall post payout as well.

The reason to bring over hundreds of people from Facebook would be to build a community and group that would support each other. Active, participatory groups do the best. Collaboration isn't collusion. If a few thousand people flock to a certain tag and spend most of their time positively and earnestly interacting within that tag, they'll all see their earnings improve from the robust, concentrated activity.

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thanks for getting back so quickly. It is a extremely complicated I can imagine - because the last thing we want is mainstream folks coming over posting photos of their spaghetti dinner, or their cat or whatever and getting $20 for it. Yes I agree with you it does take time, but there are a few - OK a lot of things I don't understand. A direct example:

This openmic post was great, this guy got 21 Responses, 24 votes and received only $3.40. Way underpaid - if you poke around the openmic thread you will see loads of posts that were of similar or lesser quality ( I am a musician) - with very similar Response/Upvotes ratio to what this user received, that are up in the $120-$150 range. Now is this because of the amount of SteemPower or account value of this musician/user in this example? Or was he just very unlucky and was only upvoted by users with low account/SteemPower values? This is part of what I don't understand (there's plenty more) and I am just using this example because it highlights the financial rewards "lopsided" issue I mentioned
https://steemit.com/openmic/@tim-rumford/steemit-open-mic-week-45-love-in-vain-cover-tune

So I won't ramble on any more - I really THANK you for writing me back so quickly, if there is anything I can do to help let me know, I am not a programmer/IT guy, but I am a pretty good businessman and if I can help in any way to make this great Steemit platform (which I LOVE by the way) a better environment by sharing my experience and view on how I see it, please don't hesitate to contact me at any time. Thank you for all your hard work, I know I will be successful here after a bit of time goes by. Also I do not understand the "curation rewards" from upvoting strong posts, but that's a whole other subject and I will research that more on my own. Take care

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Well as far as the earnings from posts, there are a lot of factors that go into it. The payout amount is purely based on the amount of SP if the votes. A vote from a user with 1,000 SP is worth the same as 100 votes from 100 users with 10 SP each. The quality of the post is not the only factor as far as whether it will earn votes/rewards. A lot of it depends on who the author is - have they built up a following so that lots of people see their posts when they create them? Have they developed relationships with their followers, so that people actually want to take the time out of their day to read the post? Of course there is always a little bit of luck mixed in too :)

There is a lot to learn about the community/platform. I find it quite fun. I've been here for over a year now, and I still come across new stuff to learn about :)

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thanks!

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"only $3.40" - So this guy who nobody knows got 3.4 dollars for playing guitar and singing directly from their home when he decided to share it on social media and everyone is complaining? Let him go do the same on Facebook and Reddit or anywhere else and let's compare the results.

I do agree that everyone can't get "fair" rewards from the start. That would be very hard! This kind of problems continue to exist when the majority of voting power is in the hands of 0.01% of users in the platform. Minnows should be more vocal about changing that, maybe something would actually happen then.

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In most cases the Kobe Bryants auto-vote instantly when they submit content. I might be wrong, but to my understanding if the author up-votes his story before 3mins (clicks the auto-upvote before post) there's nothing in it for the members liking the post in terms of reward. Again this is my understanding from reading the FAQS, correct me if I'm wrong, but you'd think these big shots would have enough in them to let the very same people that make them successful would give back to their following.
rewards.JPG

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interesting, so if an author upvotes his/her own post immediately there is no possible curation award for anyone else? so best to wait 15 or 20 min and hope they haven't already upvoted their own post. So you would have to look at who upvoted first, hmm sorry just trying to figure this out. why the heck am I auto upvoting and resteeming Jerry Banfields stuff? he probably auto upvotes right away, he's no dummie, I am lol. thanks for showing me ths

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Again this is what I understand from the FAQ and exactly why I stopped up-voting big guys like the one you mentioned.. I think the only way to stop that and actually make the eco-system better would be to cap how much the author can up-vote himself...

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I did not know that either. 30 minutes is a long time!!! Well, anyway I never pay attention to timing!

Tim, do you mind letting me translate this post into Chinese? I think this is important to let this message reach broader audience. Half of the post will be the translation, and the other half will be me talking to CN users about taking more responsibility in developing this platform that we all love.

I take rejection well. Just so you know. :)

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Yes, go for it. Please just reference my post as the source :)

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Send me a link too, once it is done. I will upvote :)

There is a client API for Ruby but not for Python? now that needs to change! I've coded in Ruby before, and honestly I'm not a fan. I guess there must be some sort of Steemit API somewhere. Need to find it and get familiar with it.

Let's get this going Cliff! Let's make this thing pop!

Thanks for the post it had a lot of great information on how to join in and I plan to do it soon...very soon

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Great!

With so many application developers from third parties, will this affect the blockchain .. ??
Whether the application can be applied in google play store applications such as esteem application developed by @ good-karma, thanks for the explanation.
I simply do not understand with the applications in question other than esteem.
Thanks @timcliff

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It is a complicated question, but the simple answer is not really. In theory, the network should scale to increased usage. If a third party app is successful and adds a lot of traffic, the developer/owner of the app could help by adding some more servers to the network.

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Oh yes. Thanks for the answer @timcliff

#What is a condenser?
The condenser (code for Steemit.com) is an open source project. Each developer can make changes and submit them to the project through the GitHub pull request. I want to encourage more developers to start working on condenser problems!
I think so.

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Condenser is what they call the code for Steemit.com.

Very interesting Tim. I have a very minor one. The profile link you can set should be set to target="_blank" so it opens in a new tab. :)

Not looked into condenser but will do a little reading.

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Great suggestion. There may have it disabled on purpose though for security reasons. I can check.

Thanks for sharing! I am not a developer and unfortunately can't contribute in these ways. However, as a designer and start-up interest I am having a couple of things in mind to build upon Steemit as a third party app. Also currently, working on one of those projects already! I do not want to spam your post with my links, but if you're interested you can check out my blog.

I am super psyched about Steemit and I would love to be able to contribute more to this platform. Maybe I can start just with opening issues in Steemit with some ideas? (Not sure if they're open for that)

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They are not actually. When you go to create an issue in GitHub, there are policies for the repository. Unless you are planning to do the development work for it, users are not allowed to open issues for enhancement requests. For those, the best way to make suggestions is by creating posts with your ideas.

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Yeah I figured ˆˆ

So many ideas and comments, haha! One day, maybe, when I gain all my energy and make a detailed post about potential solutions! :)

hi @timcliff...!!A very useful post for all steemit users around the world, hoping those who read it can post every piece of their writing beautifully by using such a good basic procedure, organized and nice to read, how not to. Using the clues you share can give birth to works that look very unusual.
Continue to work @rauzah good luck continued and many gave birth to the benefits for many people

I am satisfied with the current steemit.com, and also think it will be more attractive to new users, and in two year it will have a billion user! Keep it up!

Another community-driven approach to helping new users is to create meetups. This is a natural way to get Steem more viral, while giving the newbies a real person to help them. This way, we can get account sign up issues resolved in a more humane way....

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yeah, cool! I saw that and am very impressed with all your endeavors...it seems you have all the skills to make great changes, which you already have been doing since day 1!

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Thanks :)

I'm not a developer myself so I resteemed this post to reach any developers in my circle. I do agree that community has a stake in Steemit and it being open source, more developers need to engage themselves in the platform.

There have been improvements in the platform. I have observed the changes made to the items on the menu; some of them renamed. I think it should be simple for devs to rename but the impact is huge.

About a platform going mainstream, I know about SteemJ platform being developed under the guidance of @jerrybanfield and intends to bring freelancing into the fold of Steem blockchain. I am looking forward to the platform where payments will be made in Steem.

The Github issues mentioned in the post seem interesting to me. I totally appreciate your efforts to make Steemit a better place @timcliff.

Those are all great ideas! I'm currently busy building an online survival rpg which will interact with the steem blockchain as well. Definitely going to be a few months before it's ready to be tested by the public, but I'm well on my way to getting the first game up that actually connects with the blockchain for payments and rewards.

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wow...that sounds interesting....

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Follow @thriveordie to keep up to date! I write about my progress, and run contests to help promote the game and get the community involved in lending ideas that could get implemented! I'm not incredibly active on there, but I do have another dev blog in the works which will be published in the next couple days.

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That's awesome! I'm excited to see the finished product :)

Nice Post! Upvoted and Resteemed
I would like to add one more thing. Make easy to locate mentions!

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Great suggestion!

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Thank you. I have another too!
There should be a way that a person may see the full list of his upvoters when they cross 20.

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Steemd.com 😀

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No no, that is even more difficult! I am talking about the scroll down option.
Steemd.com confuses you when you have upvotes from multiple posts.

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You can open a post on steemd.com and it will show all of the votes on the post.

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Thank you! I really didn't know that! :)

I agree that it would be in the best interest of all if everyone focus on improving the most used platform to make it more user-friendly and versatile.

I ain't a developer but since I'm your follower, I read this article. But I'm somewhat shocked to see that @sneak has listed only 5 issues for the community developers. There are several such trivial issues which can be worked upon simultaneously.

Like when you work on auto-suggestion of tags after inserting a few characters, can't this could be applied to mentions? May be after a little code-tweaking, I really dunno. But it's really difficult to mention or search some one than tagging a word. And I can't even recall my followers or to whom I'm following by searching them with a wrong spell. And this is very frustrating.

In my Blog tab, I'd like to have a different tab for Resteems and my own posts and I don't think this is too difficult to code but would have a more utility in finding our own old posts and will also make easier for my followers to find my own blog posts.

I mean, there are hundreds of such trivial things which should be taken care of at the earliest to mitigate the irritation among users. But how long will it take by just taking 5 issues at a time? 😥

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These are good suggestions. Please send me more if you have any.

While these are all great feature suggestions though, most of what you described are actually difficult changes. I don't think that they are things that a community developer (with little knowledge of the code) could implement.

The main purpose of the 5 was to pick 'easy' changes that someone could do without much experience working with the code. If we can get people to work on these, then after working on the 'easy' changes, they may be in a better position to tackle some of the more difficult ones.

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Thanks for appreciating my suggestions! But now I got the idea what you are seeking from community developers. I really don't know what to suggest for them. As a user I can only come up with some feature suggestion and I don't understand the complexity in executing them. So probably, I should keep an eye on road map than on community developers for the features we desire in the future. Is there a place where I can see all the feature requests made so far and if I could add some there if they aren't made already?

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No. The only way to find them all would be to go digging through posts.

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OMG! I'm sorry to say that I ain't too keen about it. The very first thing I'd suggest is that some one should take an initiative to make some place like forum where users can make feature requests they are looking for; if User Interface improvement is really desired. Every feature can have a thread for further discussion. Knowledge is in the masses. And community's insight should be given utmost importance for UI improvement at the least. But now it looks I'm digressing and taking you away in a different direction.

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About 9 months ago, I organized all the requests into a community 'wish list'. It is pretty out of date at this point though. Something like that would be nice to have :) Maybe one of the community devs will consider building it.

Hi and Congratulations for having been consulting with the head of Steemit and to try to make some improvements.
I would like to give you another suggestion that will allow a better look at Steemit:

  • make the amount you see (the one representing the amount earned by the upvotes) be that of the actual value (the exact amount that you will be taking when you are paid).

Currently the total amount collected by an item is not the same during the 7 days in advance of payment as the final sum paid on its wallet.

Good continuation !

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There is a post in the "Quick Start Guide" page that describes how the potential payouts work. Currently everything is functioning as per design.

I have the hope that the Best Developers will join this call and as always @timcliff showing his work, love and faith for the growth of Steemit.

thx for sharing

Steemit is a better place because of the people like you @timcliff 😀 Resteemed! 😀 Thank you so much for the 2 SBD I saw in my wallet. Bright Blessings! 😀

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Thanks :) Welcome for the 2 SBD - thanks for contributing to the marketing campaign!

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My pleasure 😀

Great initiative @timcliff , but I think we need more incentives here. Maybe a prize for accepted work would work.

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I have done bounties on specific features before. These are more just intended to get people who are interested in condenser development started though. They are welcome to write a post about whatever they develop. If it is a useful feature and a lot of people like it, it would probably get a lot of upvoted.

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They are welcome to write a post about whatever they develop. If it is a useful feature and a lot of people like it, it would probably get a lot of upvoted.

That's a good point.

Still, in general, the speed of development should be much higher IMO. Do you know if the number of developers is adequate for such a big job? Unfortunately, we (regular steemians) know too little about the Dev team:
-Who are they?
-How many are they?
-What is their experience?
-Are they paid? How much?
-Are they achieving their goals in time? etc.

If you have such info, you can write a great post.

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I agree that would be a great post. I don't have enough details to write it though. To me it looks like they have around 10 developers, but I'm not really sure. Most of them are working on less visible projects though. The front end UI is not getting much attention, other than the 'communities' implementation that is being added later.

You can do it 😏👌🏻

very good thanks to share very informative post.

hope some ideas here gets into trial soon.

Love all the ideas you mentioned here. That would be awesome to see them implemented into Steemit.
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It is really interesting to be one of the team, but i only know math and mechanics, i am learning the new technology . wish you all the best.

it is interesting to propose that you do for the community and it is true we must do an arduous job for the performance of steemit.com that good that you took into account the principles of @sneak. Greetings, I'll be reading you.

Like your post and resteem
@timcliff

im a newbie at steemit but i absolutely love it. Problem is most people have no idea about it. They need to find a way to get millions of users to start using it and grow the platform exponentially

The login process need to improve, is there any plan to improve that ?

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There are several issues in GitHub regarding that, and the dev team seems to be making changes related to that. They have stated that the long term plan is to streamline the process.

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I think, the priority of these should be increased. Believe, me I am not able to convince people for that. I tell them to Sign up and when they do not get an approval even in a week, the very first impression does not go well.

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It can be 'sold' as entrance into an exclusive community :) I had to wait for two weeks when I signed up a year ago. It wasn't a big deal.

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So what you are saying is whatever time it takes, people should still be fine with that ? Does it help to make the platform popular ?

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By the time the platform is ready to go mainstream, the signup process should be streamlined. Until then, everyone that is signing up is signing up to be a beta tester. Some expectation and understanding that the site is not fully ready yet is required.

But important issue is additing users to chain takes 3-4 days. This needs to be resovled so that signup should take only minutes.

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Steemit has posted that the current signup system is only temporary, until they have a chance to streamline it and make it more robust.

Your suggestions do merit serious considerations .

These are some very valid points, @timcliff. I kind of wish I was a developer. Steem on!

Of course it has a few bugs but I love that it is an open source project.

How about showing adds on the right side of the steemit.com page.

The users if clicks the add - s/he gets paid a bit of steem, if s/he upvote it -gets steem. And these steem come from the accounts of add providing users.

This will help generate additional reward steem for users without steem inflation.

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There have been a lot of discussions about it. There doesn't seem to be consensus on making the change.

I agree. It is super exciting to think where Steemit is going. Looking forward to future developments.

Followed all upvoted and Resteemed

Won't the addition of communities drastically change the UI?

Would it be best to wait for them to rollout before contributing?

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Yes. I checked with the dev team and made sure to pick things that didn't have dependencies on things that were being worked on by the dev team.

why we don't have 2factor here yet? Is it safe enough to put large or keep large amounts here?

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Any transfer of your coins requires the use of your active or owner key. There is a third party desktop wallet Vessel, if you would prefer that. There are also some more complicated things that you can do with your keys to add multiple authorities, but knowing how to do that is outside of my knowledge zone.

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oh I see, tks for the quick reply :-) also someone told me to put on savings that is safe too.

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Yes, if your coins are in savings they cannot be immediately withdrawn.

Let do this guys

Great post, very interesting, I am a newbie in the development. I read more about this

thanks @timcliff, always interested in working with you or anyone on community building and we will get right to it. Thank you for the 2sbd you sent me.

Glad to see you motivated and keeping busy , keep working hard on your projects ! Steem will always be here waiting for you to show us your results :D @timcliff

i have a pretty good knack at dumbing things down into easy to understand language if any of you tech gurus need help explaining things.
im like a translator.....

Thank you for sharing.

Yes, the UI could be better. Not only for the visual aspect of it, but also to lower the learning curve for new users. This could definitely increase the popularity of Steemit overall.

Great initiative, @timcliff! I will follow this closely.

I have a few thoughts on this situation.

I get that condenser is open source but to my knowledge only steemit inc is actually using it to run their site so by improving it you are basically working for a for profit company(with a huge bankroll) for free.

The bigger problem for me is that I don't really feel like steemit as it is currently operated has the bandwidth or interest to focus on the front end. I understand the importance of the backend work they are doing but as far as the front end there are a lot of people putting in effort as you pointed out to make a better ui and it seems better to offer help to a front end that is being actively developed and managed rather than to have to try to get someones attention to fix minor issues.

Even if they approve a pull request that is no guarantee of how long it would be before they deploy any condenser changes to the steemit site. The major problems with the steemit site are little things like getting an error message if you use uppercase in tags, they are the majorly inadequate ability to discover valuable content with "home, new, hot, trending and promoted."

If they were to say they were going to hire one developer whose sole job was to review and approve pull requests and only other things like that for the front-end I think people would be far more likely to contribute site enhancements.

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They have been fairly public about what their priorities are, and that new UI features are not a priority until after their major 2017 roadmap items are completed. The turn-around time for most pull requests is not bad though. I've submitted quite a few, and they are usually reviewed within a week, and deployed to the live site a week after that.

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Well, I was unaware of the whole communities and overall planned facelift. It makes sense having read about that in other replies why they wouldn't want major changes to a ui that will change. I will take a look at the issues you mentioned above and see if there are any I can get to at the moment.

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Cool :)

Interested in helping? YES. Do I know how to fix these issues? Nope seems like a person who does coding for a living is the only one who could tackle this. Maybe in a few years I will be that person.

Wow, finally a place you can give input and it is actually read by someone ;-) Earlier posts I did got washed under in the tidal wave of posts that appear every minute.

So, let's give some input, stuff I think is important.
But first a quick remark:

  • auto-suggest tags based on the characters typed so far.

Please DON'T. Google introduced this in 2010, thinking it would speed searching for users.
If you search Google for "disable google autocomplete", you'll find over 6 million results. So there is a large group of people that really do not like it, and probably an even bigger group that just accepts is.
Personally I mostly just ignore it, it doesn't add anything in my case.
Another interesting point is that Google has now decided to remove autocomplete completely (had to do this ;-)).
Most searches are done on phones and tablets, where the functionality only hinders the experience. When Google decides that remove this feature completely it looks like also on pc's people are not really using it.
Otherwise they would have multiple versions, one for pc's/laptops and one for phones/tablets.

Points of improvement:

  • Multi-language support. This is in my opinion most critical to implement for a global community. It would also reduce the clutter in the timeline, not showing posts in languages I don't read and am not interested in. If you're interested I wrote a quick-and-dirty solution which could be implemented quickly. You can find the post here: https://steemit.com/steemit/@blevley/support-communities-with-multi-language-support-a-quick-approach.
  • Do not let me enter at the "trending" tab. The "trending" and "promoted" tab are in my opinion utterly useless. I checked them out once or twice when I joined, but no more. I am more interested in the "home" and "new" posts. The "hot" post can be interesting at times, but the "trending" and "promoted" are boring with the same names over and over.
  • Please show the replies to post ordered by date/time. These are now sorted by "trending", no idea what decides if something is trending or not? I have to wade through all comments, because you don't want to reply the same way someone else already did. I know I can sort them on age, but it's always an extra effort on my part.

While I'm not overly impressed with the UX of Steemit, it has grown on my, if only a bit ;-)
The reason is that everything is visible. Compare this to Facebook where you only see posts from your friends (or friends of friends YUK), or groups you subscribe to. There can be a lot of valuable info on FB I don't know about.
This is also my fear with the communities that are being developed. I hope there will still be an option to "view all".

I cannot really attribute to developing the website, but if you need input on functionality and some to test new developments, let me know.

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Point noted about auto suggestion. Multi language changes are being discussed in GitHub. The front page will likely change after communities. The option to toggle how comments are sorted is already there. Check the area near the bottom of the post, just above the comments.

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I know that the comments can be sorted by "trending" (default), "votes" or "age".
But Steemit does not remember these settings, if always default to "trending", whatever that may mean.

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That should be fixed. Want to open a GitHub issue for it?

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I will, let me check how to do this, I've only used Github until now as a spectator.

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Here is the link. You will need to open an account on GitHub.
https://github.com/steemit/condenser

Yes nice

Great ideas you have listed here. I especially like some of the tag recommendations and vote slider in settings. Following for more updates. I am too new to offer much but would gladly help in any way I could. Thanks for sharing this information.

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Me too. Technically speaking I cannot recommend myself. But I can bring some people who know how to do applications and are taking classes to become computer engineers. Being that experienced developers are making too much money, probably newbies will be paying more attention to the platform and will be happy to get involved in a project.

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I agree totally. I am a computer engineer and have been most of my life and I think developers that care about contributing would be the best ones to add substance. I have known some in the past that were just in it for the money. Do something you love and are passionate about and it makes greater sustainable projects for the long haul. I wish anyone involved the greatest wishes and hope it does very well. I'll be watching for more updates. Thank you

I love what you guys are doing
I believe in the future of this project
Well done guys
Thank you

Post is very useful .., I think also so, now steemit more in demand from all circles .., this can make them more creative in writing .., I @rerycore like your post @timcliff

Cool info - thanks! Resteemed :)

Hi Tim! Glad you are so up to date with this stuff! I will catch on soon! Meanwhile, I am doing interviews with Steemers via Zoom for my new tv show to spread the word about crypto and these platforms. Would love to interview you and educate more peeps :) Let me know if you are interested! Thanks!

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Possibly. Can you message me on Steemit chat with some details?

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