I first put forward the idea of SteemTowns as way of moving steemit into the mainstream a few weeks back.
Since then I have been struggling to work out how SteemTowns (steem-based local community networks) could effectively be built on the existing steemit infrastructure.
Now Smart Media Tokens (SMT) have been announced and I believe they could provide the missing link to take SteemTowns forward.
My vision for SteemTowns has been to create local community networks where people in a town, village or city can exchange information, find local news and events, post jobs and business offers. Such networks are not new but they commonly lose momentum and eventually fail through lack of incentivisation for participation.
Commonly local networks have been displaced by Facebook which offers a pseudo local network but without any local power or automony over the user generated content.
SteemTowns seek to remedy those problems.
However in trying to work up the concept of SteemTowns I quickly hit a number of roadblocks. Steemit's structure for example does not lend itself at all to the sort of content that would commonly be produced in a local community network such as calendars of local events, searchable databases of jobs etc.
Furthermore the ready availability of NSFW content, without any age verification or restrictions, would make it impossible for local public authorities to accept SteemTowns in schools and libraries for example.
It has become clear that the best way to take the SteemTowns project forward will be build a separate layer on top of the steem blockchain in the same way chainbb has done for example.
This would allow a new interface with the specific tools that a SteemTown would need such as what's on listings, discussion forums, job database, local trading etc. It would also allow for the filtering out of NSFW content as needed.
While this abstracted SteemTowns platform could use steem directly as its reward scheme (like for example D-Tube), reading more about Smart Media Tokens I am thinking they would be much more appropriate.
Each SteemTown could have its own individual token. They might even develop into an alternative local currency like the Bristol Pound or the Totnes Pound in the UK.
With SMT I am thinking these local tokens might be interchangeable between different SteemTowns.
That opens a whole new interesting possibility of developing an alternative currency for a region or even a whole country.
I am more community activist than crypto technologist so I hope I have not totally misunderstood Smart Media Tokens.
I have based my knowledge on what I could understand of the White Paper as well as a number of very useful posts that have appeared in the last couple of days, including these :
I would love to hear feedback on the idea of using Smart Media Tokens to build SteemTowns. I would also be interested to hear from anyone who would like to help take the idea forward.
Setting up SteemTowns when I first thought of simply using steemit as the platform I knew would be a big task.
Building the SteemTowns / SMT system would be even bigger. But I firmly believe it would be even better.
It would really help put steem into the social media mainstream.
It might not be the Facebook killer (at least to start) but I'm darn sure it could inflict a nasty headwound.
If you found this post useful or interesting please do upvote, resteem and follow. Thank you.
You might also be interested in some of my other posts :
[header graphic by @pennsif // other images from pixabay - Creative Commons CC0]