Introducing Deep Dives
What is Deep Dives?
Deep Dives is part of an overarching project that’s been percolating in my mind ever since joining Steemit.
It’s a way to engage the community in quality, focused and supportive research. The desired outcome is to produce a diverse body of well sourced, immutable and original works of research articles preserved on the blockchain.
At the same time, Deep Dives aims to reward original content creators who contribute high-quality articles to the challenge, the community and the platform.
Many of us already see the importance of the blockchain for preserving content and are devising ways in which to leverage the strengths of the blockchain for the benefit of quality independent journalism and research.
Ultimately, it is hoped that together we can produce a sustainable mechanism for fostering open sourced investigations, solid research, and independent journalism.
The vision we have in mind is that eventually research initiatives, such as Deep Dives will be completely determined by the will of the community through discussion, debate and expression of mutual interest.
In time, we hope that the project will move beyond the contest label and through community engagement the body of research we generate will be both substantial and resilient.
The Quality Content Conundrum
Nobody wants to be a controlling tyrant dictating what you should or shouldn’t research, or at least we don’t. Therefore, community interaction will play an essential role in the process.
Even so, in order to be effective quality research requires a point of focus with some sort of parameters. For this reason, I believe that, at least in the early stages, Deep Dives is best suited to a contest format. It also provides an opportunity to gauge community interest in this type of project and to gain direct feedback.
As always, the question will arise – who’s able to judge quality research?
Quality content is for the most part subjective, yet I believe there are certain principles and guidelines that can be followed to surmise what is and what is not considered quality research.
Presence of Quality
- Original content - Work that is your own, unique perspective or angle
Ex: leak/email/doc/court filings that have not been widely reported on
- Corroborating evidence - backup what you say
- Well sourced – links/ citations/ quotes/ etc.
- Clear and concise - Explain the significance of your findings
- Analysis - Dot connecting
- Well written - clarity
Absence of Quality
- Lack of supporting evidence
- Lack of sources
- Overabundance of links
- Analysis – Scattered, muddled or perplexing
- Poorly written – unclear
Everyone is welcome to participate in Deep Dives, the more the merrier. Still, those wishing to have their contributions chosen as first-rate research should meet certain criteria to have their work recognized and earn additional rewards.
Support for Deep Dives
This project has been in the making for some time. In lengthy conversations with fellow researchers and Steemians @fortified and @ausbitbank we’ve been discussing how to best organize an initiative that harnesses the power of open source investigations and the blockchain.
The Writer’s Block (TWB / @thewritersblock) is also in full support of this project and TWB administrator @rhondak has created a special channel called ‘The Big Dig’ dedicated to bringing this project to life.
“The Big Dig” channel will be a place for sharing ideas, investigative resources, reviewing the work of fellow researchers, and providing a space to discuss research oriented topics.
Along with myself, these individuals will form part of the core group behind Deep Dives in the early stages.
Here’s a link to The Writer's Block discord main channel - https://discord.gg/n88PSw
Tell the Writers' Block hosts in Welcome Center that you're there for The Big Dig channel, and they will give you a role that creates instant access.
Be aware that the Big Dig is fresh as can be and will need a bit of time before it gets rolling ;)
Community Engagement Feedback
Community feedback, participation and engagement are crucial to the success of this initiative. It’s hoped that through community input this project can be refined over time and produce sustainable quality content on a continuous basis.
With Communities / Hivemind / and _SMT_s on the horizon, there’s never been a better time to create the necessary scaffolding for community based research.
Who exactly do I have in mind when I speak of community? Well that’s easy.
- Independent Journalists
- Citizen Journalists
- Open source investigators
- Information, news and political junkies
- Crowd Sourced Investigators
- Those looking for a challenge
There are already communities forming in these areas. #informationwar, #familyprotection and #donaldmarshall are several examples that quickly come to mind as well as numerous communities blossoming on various discord channels from the Minnow Support Project to @Suzi3d’s discord group – Suzie’s Steemit Club.
A quick note, @suzi3d and @elizbethleavos host a weekly live YouTube research project called Decipher You based on the Snowden Files made available to the public. I highly recommend that you tune in and check it out.
This post would not be complete without mentioning the excellent people and free-thinkers at the MSP Truth-Conspiracy-Politics channel on Discord as well.
Deep Dives does not seek to compete with these initiatives but rather to compliment them.
You may already be a member of one of these communities and many of us have common ground.
- Counter Propaganda
- Exposing corruption
- Honest Reporting
- Open Source Intelligence (OSINT)
- Digging Deeper
- Political commentary
By participating in Deep Dives I hope to bring people together to share information, debate hot topics and to discuss current events and research related research.
Importance of Community Feedback
To be clear, Deep Dives is the name of a research based challenge series. It’s not a community per se but a puzzle piece towards connecting communities through active research.
What will this research community look like?
Well a number of items will need to be addressed going forward.
- Creation of Community account / Naming the account
- Regular contest vs #deepdives hashtag
- Directing future research / Prioritizing research focus
- Community leadership framework
- Creating a Discord channel
- Long term research models
- Onboarding Devs / creating research tools
If you have any feedback or questions of any kind, please leave a comment below. I would love to hear your honest opinions and suggestions.
As I’ve been putting this post together, I’ve noticed a few successful examples of the use of #hashtags in fostering community engagement.
I’d like to tip my hat to those working to bring people together around common interests Kudos to @canadian-coconut, @fulltimegeek, @markwhittam, @stevescoins, @truthforce, @wakeupnd
It is my personal opinion that Deep Dives could work just as well as a hashtag as in contest form. I’d like to test the waters with Deep Dives challenge to see if the community responds positively to the initiative and to take into consideration any feedback you might have.
As the host of several successful contests on the blockchain with the Conspiracy Writing Contest and Tin Foil Raps competitions, I’ve seen firsthand that providing the right prompts and incentives absolutely results in the creation of high-quality original content.
Future Editions of Deep Dives
The first edition of Deep Dives will focus on the Wikileaks archive at Wikileaks.org.
Other Deep Dive challenges may be guided by themes instead. For example, the Middle East, US politics, human trafficking, surveillance the deep state, etc.
The emphasis on using archives as the starting point is that they provide a strong foundation to build on top of. Grounding your research in government cables/emails/documents can add weight and legitimacy to your work. It also makes it more likely that solid research posted to the blockchain will be cited or referenced elsewhere. This has the potential to bring more views and generate more interest in original works produced on the platform.
Personally, I’m very excited to see how this initiative unfolds. I hope you join me on this journey deep below the surface.
If you’d like to get involved please feel free to contact me on discord or steemchat.
Deep Dives 1st Edition to Follow Shortly
Deep Dives | Research Challenge | First Edition (1.0) |The Wikileaks Archive
EDIT / UPDATE - @deepdives account is UP!
Here's the link to Deep Dives Research Challenge - First Edition - The Wikileaks Archives