So here is one more feature that should be done in the near future: groups. And today I got a great idea, of course we should call groups steemrooms in here.
I think there are two basic functions that a group feature should have: join/subscribe to a group and exclude users from a group.
Without any way to subscribe to a group, it won't be a real community. Users just come and go, depending on how popular posts are published in the group.
Without a possibility to exclude other users, a group feature can't become successful platform for building communities. There will be always toxic people, who come to troll and bully and diminish the value of the group. There must be a way to ban and kick out people like them.
Technically steemroom is like a tag that can be owned and owner can decide who can publish a post using that tag.
How steemroom work in practice?
Users can register a steemroom in the blockchain for themselves. It should cost something to prevent creating steemrooms just for fun and then forgetting them and making the blockchain bloat. Ownership of a steemroom can be transferred to other users (steemroom can become valuable asset).
Steemrooms can be black and whitelisted. It means that the owner of a steemroom can either let everybody post who hasn't been banned (blacklist) or allow only particular users to post (whitelist). This is the exclusion functionality that will keep out the unwanted people.
All users can subscribe to a steemroom. It doesn't mean that the user has a right to post, it's just like following a tag – user will see all posts that are published in the steemroom in their feed. Users who are whitelisted are subscribed automatically.
Ideally the owner will be active moderator who adds and removes users to the group, based on how good posts they are writing and how well they are behaving towards other people in the group. Bigger and better the group is, the more valuable it becomes. This creates also economic incentive for the steemroom owner. Successful steemroom will attract lots of subscribers which means bigger rewards for the content publishers. They will have even bigger incentive to write good content so they can secure their right to publish in the steemroom.
The group feature will be win-win situation for everybody:
- For owner of the steemroom, it's an investment. If they build a great steemroom, it will become valuable and they can sell it later. Or keep it forever and enjoy the great community.
- For regular users it offers better quality posts to read. All kinds of unwanted posting will be reduced because writers don't want to lose their right to post in a steemroom. And it offers users a way to follow only posts about particular topic – a feature that is currently missing in Steem (we can only follow users, not tags).
- For good writers it gives a way to become noticed. A newbie could write a couple of posts to introduce themselves, show them to a steemroom owner and ask for a right to post there. That way they can easily reach bigger audiences. Much better way for professional writers to start making money than current system where they need to do a lot of work to attract followers.
Group functionality could be also build on the UI. But because there will lots of different UIs in the future, I think it's best to make this feature on the blockchain level. It will make sure that "group experience" will be same always and everywhere and it's not depending on one particular UI.
In my opinion, too much noise is one of the biggest problems for Steemit now and will be in the near future. When a platform gives everything to everybody, the user experience will suffer because people will see too much stuff they are not interested in. Or even worse, they see stuff they really don't like. That makes them feel bad everytime when they use Steemit. Obviously that's not a good thing if we want to get more active users.
Steemrooms would reduce the noise dramatically and make the user experience much better. It would also reduce conflicts between steemians. It would give users a way to build communities together with like-minded people, instead of fighting against other users who post content they don't want to see.
If you like this idea and want to see it in the roadmap for Steemit, please resteem this and let other know about this and join the discussion. I'd love to hear comments about this feature and whether or not you agree that this is the best way to achieve the desired result.