Introducing my very early prototype to the community of Steem - a frontend with a quest to find and display gems produced by common Steem users

in introduceyourself •  3 months ago

What would Steem's trending list look like if it weren't full of promoted posts? That's a question that finally can be answered.

Introducing just another Steem Frontend but with a twist

Let's first step back and think what Steem blockchain offers us; a database that enables social interaction with built in reward mechanism between users.

Now, databases can be utilized in many different ways, you can shuffle the content order how you like and reshape it.
Yet we've only seen, to my knowledge, more of the same. Steemit.com, busy.org, partiko, esteem - yes, they all look a bit different but at their core they display the same content, in the same order - because all they follow the same rules.

But for as long as I've been on Steem, there has been complaints of what content gets to trend here. Perhaps it's time to offer an alternative?

The problem

Too much SP is in the hands of too few, simple as that. Whales possibly couldn't do a good job at curation even if they wanted to, there's just not enough time. And that's even before we add promotion bots to the picture, these days it's almost impossible to get to trending without promoting your post or if you aren't already in the know of some whale.

And that's something I'd really like to see change. Luckily I know a bit of web development and I have started to actually built something I'd myself want to use; something that also could be shown to others, outside of Steem ecosystem, that could display them the quality content that is produced here by people just like them, proving that proof-of-brain truly is alive and well on Steem blockchain.

Now I have to warn you

My project is in a very early phase but I'd like to show it to you all even in this state to get discussion going as I'm building this service for you, who wants to see quality content and also have a chance to get seen by others like you as well.

How the site works

This is all work in progress, when it comes looks especially. So keep that in mind as we move on.

Landing page


steemfrontend.jpg

Not very colorful, I know. But what you're looking at is the frontpage, the trending content of Steem or should I say, alternative version of it. By default you'll only be shown content that hasn't been promoted or isn't from someone that is in favor of a whale. In future there'll be more sophisticated ways on how to determine that, but that's for later.

At top you can see the most popular tags for easy navigation and also quick way to see content from most popular Steem apps like Dtube and the likes with few community projects added in also like #openmic. Shoutout for @luzcypher, you're doing a great job!

And at right side you can see "recommended authors" element, it will in future display recommended authors from all of the popular tags so new users can quickly find good quality authors to follow within their topics of interest. I think the best route is to keep this section manually curated by group of individuals that'll hopefully be volunteers.

What is new also is the filters item at top left. Clicking on the icon disables all the filters that are on by default and clicking on filters text itself opens up the options for filters. So it is just matter of seconds to switch between normal and alternative listing method.

Everything else you can see in this view is basic and already familiar to normal steem and social media users.

Filters


steemfrontend_filters.jpg

Not all of these work yet, but it gives a glimpse to the future that might be.

  • "allow bidbots" works (By default user doesn't see promoted posts)
  • "include regular trenders" works (By default user doesn't see "old regular trenders" that are in favor of whales)
  • "order by stake amount rather than vote amount" works (By default the 20 post batch get ordered by vote amount rather than stake behind them - this means SP still holds most power but isn't the only factor)
  • "minimum comment amount" works (How many comments are required for a post to be displayed)
  • "minimum vote amount" works (How many votes are required for a post to be displayed)

The rest are still under work and consideration.

Outro

If you want to try the prototype yourself, you can do that here: https://steemfrontend.herokuapp.com/index.html
Currently you can only view content on the site but as the main point really is to offer a totally different experience when it comes to consuming content on Steem I felt it's best to show this as early as possible to help shape it up to the best service it can be through your feedback!

Steem can be used in so many ways, there's just not the one and the only way. We all need to start testing waters on what works on attracting mainstream to our blockchain as that's what we need in order to survive. If it's not Steem, it'll be some other blockchain. Hopefully you show support to those who are trying to make that happen, thank you.

People who might be interested in providing feedback or just checking this new addition to Steem ecosystem:

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Wow! This is just what is needed.

Posted using Partiko Android

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Indeed! Yet it's strange that no other has taken time to fix this or offer solutions other than small dolphin like me with minimal web dev skills. When taken into account the amount of number of users who have been complaining about bid promotion, I would had guessed some bigger SP holders would had done something by now.

But this is a service being built by a small SP holder to other users similar like me, who don't have the cash to buy their content to the top and don't want to view such content with their limited time. I'll try and and get this fully working as soon as possible.

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Totally agree. Can't wait for your final release! Should be a game changer.

Posted using Partiko Android

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One important part I'm missing is a name for the service. Suggestions are welcome :)

I actually had a conversation about this exact topic yesterday.....
Getting an algorithm that works and customizes it to the user's preferences is going to be a must in order to grow.

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Yes, as a active Steem user myself I felt the need and had to act on it to see myself continue using this platform. I've seen numerous complaints about this same issue for as long as promotion has been a thing, I doubt anyone likes them except those who profit from them.

Forcing everyone to promote their posts just to get to trending is just wrong, there's no question about it in my mind.

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In looking at it, I didn't really know if there was enough data stored on the blockchain to get a truely customized "trending" feed. I was thinking an app with some additional stored data based on a users usage, tags they like etc. It would be a huge project to do it and rather expensive.
Something else that just occurred to me a "like" but not upvote button. Basically saying I like the content but don't want to spend SP on it. HF20 may actually provide a way to do that, all votes will be recorded now, I think that a vote around 1.5SP or less will be recorded as a 0 vest vote. Perhaps that is the intention for SMT's to possibly just have a like button that doesn't burn SP.

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Yes, for some tags there aren't a lot of trending posts that fit all the filters. There is SteemSQL database that perhaps could work but sadly it costs these days to use.

Interesting, that's something I could use.

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yep, I've been looking at it. Also thinking about spinning up some of the github projects that use postgres or one of the other db's.
Have you looked at the utopian.io stuff? I'm just starting to check them out and seems pretty good so far. It might help to pay for some dev on this project.

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Utopian is for projects that are open source and linked with their system, my code is hacked together spaghetti that even I have hard time jumping back to at times, leaving me with feeling of abuse of said system if I'd decide to go that route.

Perhaps if I ever manage to get everything working and clean everything up it would make sense to go open source and let other people built upon it if they wish but knowing myself, it is rather unlikely. Getting it to work is enough for me and I'll be ready to move to see if I can make my next idea work. Of course if there'd be a lot of support, that would change things.

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I'm kind of the same way, I've never worked anything open source. Then my ADHD kicks in and it usually gets left for a month, then I forget what I was doing...

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Hello igster :). There is a white screen again in steemgar. Can you fix it?

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It's working again, thank you. =)

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Hello Igster, it's white screen again. Can you please fix it again?

I clicked the link and got a message saying nothing is there. :-(

Question, though: On the minimum vote amount, will your tool rank by number of votes? It would be cool if we could rank content by number of votes as well as by earned STU and number of comments. Also, what if a post is captured by one of the popular curation trails. How will that affect the trending? And it looks like you can search by all the popular tags, but what if someone wants to search by non-popular tags. For instance, what if someone creates a new tag and they want to see how many people are using it?

@quillfire might be interested in this, as well.

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That's a good point. A post picked up by @curie would jump to the top of the stack right away. Not that that's a bad thing, they find quality content. But at the same time, it would defeat the purpose without some sort of controls attached.

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Yeah, I was thinking the same thing. So if you could turn off curation trails and just see organic trending, that would be cool.

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Or perhaps an ignore function for specific curation trails?

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Curation trails could be added as another filter, yes.

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The prototype was taken down but will be back up with more functionality as for now there's no logging in, voting or commenting working so it isn't really ready to be used by users.

Minimum vote amount cuts off any post from displaying that doesn't make the cut. That's something that user can tune himself.

Then there's also filter for enabling ordering by vote amount + stake rather than just stake. What it means is that the site loads 20 posts for you to see, these 20 posts being the ones with most stake that fit your filters and if you have vote ordering enabled they'll be then ordered by vote amount so the post at the top will have the most votes but not most usd value.

And giving user option to see most voted or commented posts would be nice addition indeed, but it might have to come later.
I think doing stuff like that would be easiest through SteemSQL and it costs 10SBD/month, so it might come later if this project gains enough support to make it worth it for me financially. If not, I'll look into the ways of implementing it with the tools that are available now.

Searching non-popular tags could be added later, but I'd like to keep the the project down to bare minimum as I work on it by myself when I have time. So the initial release will focus on just providing the users enough tools so they can start using the frontend daily with filters.

This looks really interesting. I'm curious about the recommended Tab and how it's going to work with manual curators. I hope it doesn't become another thing where a certain group of popular authors are always at the top of the trending or recommended page.

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That's why I built it with new and proven sections, it will always have new and fresh authors there who are yet to be found by public and those who already had their time in spotlight also can be found by new users.

Once the project goes live with all the functionality, I'll setup a discord channel for it where a group of people can have their own channel just for discussing who should be shown on that element. Currently I'm building the database myself as I slowly spot new authors to add.

Remember, this is just an early prototype to test this idea and show how it changes the trending. There's zero polish or finality to be seen.

If there are some other drastic changes you'd like to see tried out in a Steem frontend or just want to tell your thoughts in private, you can contact me in discord.

The prototype site has been taken down for now and will be back up once public testing is needed, in meanwhile you can ask your favorite Steem app to implement the same features if you feel the need for them.

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Why didn't you use the #utopian-io tag? It's the first actually Reddit-esque frontend I've ever seen, it may deserve some exposure.

Posted using Partiko Android

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utopion-io is for projects that have linked with utopian. Perhaps one day I'll submit it to there once I'm happy with it personally.

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I hope the best, pal!

Posted using Partiko Android

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Thanks, you were working with Steem-ua, right? I'll be looking into ways of integrating it as well. Perhaps one of the easiest implementations would be to just show users UA instead of normal rep

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No, I have very few time to contribute to OSS - at SteemUA, @scipio is in charge

Posted using Partiko Android

@igster,

This is a BRILLIANT idea!

If you don't mind, I'd like to contact via DM.

Quill

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Thank you. I'm glad to see this kind of response here. Replied back in discord.

Good to see your keeping busy anyway. You might be onto something with this. I've stared using partiko lately as it is really handy for accessing content but like you said its just showing the same old stuff. It could be a great thing to block out all the trending and also all the spam posts from peoples feed. One of the main problems here is filtering out all the crap to find the good stuff. If your site does it successfully it come become very popular.

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Thank you. Perhaps some of the apps I mentioned will see this and consider giving their users more control over the content as well. That would be ideal case as they already have everything else ready. My prototype is far from that state and time is limited but until others start offering similar functionality I'll keep working on this project and trying more radical ideas as they come.

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Well the hope was that hive mind was going to solve some of these issues and group content in a better way for the users. Grouping content for users and communities so that our feeds were a lot more relevant. Since there has been no mention of it again it might be a while coming if at all.
That leaves a big gap on the site for what you are trying to do. I have to say partiko is so easy to use that if they could combine your vision with their app it would be very hard to top.

Posted using Partiko Android

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But to my knowledge hive wouldn't fix the main trending list that is supposed to display the best content that is produced in Steem ecosystem.

There are millions of people who just browse the first page of reddit.com couple times a day. Currently I dislike the trending we have so it's a problem.

What we as users need to do is start demanding features like these, I'm sure one of the many frontends already working will jump in to fill this need and if not, I'll keep slowly building mine so it'll be usable but I'd prefer if app like Partiko would make the necessary change and offer users option to hide promoted posts totally.

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No I don't think that it's designed to fix the trending page but from what I understand it will allow communities to form and group content together in better ways.

If you are interested in sport there would be a community for it which would have good well supported sports content rather that what we have now which would be the trending section under the sports hashtag. The same issues that we have with all trending posts.

I might be completely wrong with that but it's what I remember from the developer posts on the subject. A better process for filtering good content to the front.

I'm sure some of the front end sites will move towards this at some stage but if you are the first mover to fill that gap then it might be yours that people look to use. Even if it's rough and ready now so are most sites at the beginning but with time and effort they continue to improve.

Posted using Partiko Android

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I'm sure someone will eventually join in, it's clear there's people who want it. And why wouldn't they, I'd see it as a another community forming up within Steem that chooses to engage only with others who don't use money to promote content.

I'm more of an idea guy, problem solver. Not that good of maintaining and staying put but I'll get all the required functionality built so people who wish can use this as their daily frontend if no other service offers their users more control over ads like they really should.

Great work on this!

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Thank you!

Perhaps something like how Google introduced the Social and Promo tabs in Gmail.

Welcome to Steem! Partiko is a fast and beautiful mobile app for Steem and we upvote our users to help them grow! Please feel free to download the Android app here and the iOS app here.

To learn more about us and stay connected with us, please join our Discord server here: https://discord.gg/N7Et97G

You are welcome

Hello, igster. I hope that I do not disturb you. Do you like to stop by Steemgar, if you have the time? It does not work several days.

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Yes, I think the best course is to wait until I personally or Steemplayroom can support proper server financially to ensure the game is actually playable rather than lag fest for everyone. It's a game after all, and if it's unplayable, it's not worth it until it is. Until then, Steemplayroom will sell votes and keep accumulating more SP.

Congratulations! Your post has been selected as a daily Steemit truffle! It is listed on rank 9 of all contributions awarded today. You can find the TOP DAILY TRUFFLE PICKS HERE.

I upvoted your contribution because to my mind your post is at least 14 SBD worth and should receive 200 votes. It's now up to the lovely Steemit community to make this come true.

I am TrufflePig, an Artificial Intelligence Bot that helps minnows and content curators using Machine Learning. If you are curious how I select content, you can find an explanation here!

Have a nice day and sincerely yours,
trufflepig
TrufflePig


Welcome to Steem @igster.

Do read A thumb rule for steemit minnows - 50:100:200:25 for starter tips.

Spend time reading Steem Blue Paper to know how Steem blockchain works and if you still have any queries ask them on our Ask me anything about Steemit post and we will try to answer that.

All the Best!!!

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Hi @igster! We are @steem-ua, a new Steem dApp, using UserAuthority for algorithmic post curation! In our last Algorithmic Curation Round, consisting of 107 contributions, your post is ranked at #12. The readers appreciate your great work! Keep up the good work! Feel free to join our Discord server!

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It was nice. Thank you very much, you are the savior, you have made this outstanding, now every one are alone the winner, too <3

Hello igster, there aren't any balls in steemgar. Can you fix it, please? =)

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Thank you, igster :D

Thank you igster :D

test2

test3

test4

Hello Igster, it's white screen. Can you please fix it?

Thank you, igster :D

Hi igster, steemgar is not working. Can you fix it please? : D

It is sad that at the moment we can not play Steemgar :.(...