@sndbox-alpha is a curation account with rotating themes and liaisons. Each month, a new theme will be announced alongside a new team who will be tasked with upvoting content. “Alpha” is a community account created for the first cohort of the @sndbox incubator; a diverse group of 100 Steemians representing nearly 20 countries and languages.
Curation Experimentation & Empowerment
Today we’re excited to announce the launch of the @sndbox-alpha account! This will be a rotating curation initiative operated by the incubator’s first cohort. Each @sndbox incubator cohort will receive their own independent account to experiment with curation practices and empower strong Steemit content. In this post, we’ll go through how the trail will operate and what goals this account will have looking from short to long-term.
Alpha Schedule & Guidelines
10 core themes were chosen by popular vote among incubator members. These 10 themes will be covered by different teams of curators over the course of 5 months. Posts will be nominated and curated by Sndbox members.
The following are the themes that were selected through a recommendation process:
- January : Art + Music
- February : Meetups + Philanthropy
- March : Philosophy + Writing + Literature
- April : Education + Science
- May : Steemit Comments
- 30,000 SP will be delegated via @sndbox to the @sndbox-alpha account
- No voting on @sndbox posts other than major announcements
- Majority of curation dedicated to external (non-Sndbox affiliated) accounts
- Curation practices to be reevaluated on a monthly basis
- Curation Teams are compensated through 50% of SBD payouts (all else to be powered up)
- @sndbox retains full ownership of the account’s Steem Power
The Current State of Curation Trails
Trails on Steemit are an important resource to empower authors and curators. Each has it's own strategy. Trails wear a lot of hats within the Steem blockchain, here are the essentials of what they provide today:
Trails cultivate a support network for good curators. Trails can be used to back specific Steemit users and provide a boost beyond that individual's Steem Power. Trails "follow the leader" and are a nice way to strengthen a curator's standing within the Steemit community.
Maximize curation rewards. On the financial side, following a trail is a generally viable strategy to use your individual voting power to its fullest potential. In theory, if enough votes were trailing and cumulative votes generated a larger payout, you would receive higher curation than typical, non-'trailed' posts.
A resource to build communities. Upvote trails can also mobilize people around special topics or interests.
When we started out @sndbox, we used our Streemian curation trail as main way to bootstrap awareness and support for the project. As time went on and we experimented more with voting, we realized a few key issues in the curation trail approach. First of all, it’s a fairly simple transaction. Your upvote tags along to give a bigger bump and you receive a better curation reward. Trails don’t demand any more engagement than that and it also means that once the curator stops voting, there’s nothing created as consequence of the trail.
This leads to the issue of personal accounts. The majority of trails are tied to a single individual and because of that, it's rare to have collaborative exchange between trail leaders and trailers. Also, in the case that the curator starts upvoting material that you do not want to support, you’re not left with much room for negotiation.
Experimenting with New Curation Strategies
As a result of researching pros and cons, the @sndbox team wanted to try something different. By developing a program for account growth and using an external account with rotating leaders, we could establish a more dynamic and experimental trail that can grow exponentially in impact and scope.
The @sndbox-alpha account will be used by the cohort as a Steemit-wide curation account as well as the platform to post on specific member developments. The account will be flexible and up to the members to decide in which direction to drive it.
Long-Term Outlook and Growth
Ultimately, our primary goal is to incubate a framework that allows Steemit communities to scale cumulative impact. Much in the way we strive to build up Sndcastle communities to become autonomous and growing foundations, we believe that the @sndbox-alpha account is a first step toward structuring scalable communities with overlapping interests and ambitions.
With Sndbox recently shifting to a rotating program where we plan to incubate a few hundred new Steemians by the end of 2018, developing cohort-specific curation accounts will help increase the group’s impact beyond the core schedule. This means that alumni groups can begin to diversify topic growth and project development. After a few program rounds (alpha, beta, gamma...) we’ll have a number of dedicated and collaborative curation accounts completely dedicated to growing high quality content and user commitment on Steemit!
If you would like be involved and engage the first Sndbox cohort on this journey, we encourage you follow the @sndbox-alpha trail on Steemauto.com. As always, let us know your thoughts below!