STEEM Forum Interface (Prototype)

3 months ago
68 in steemdb

Over the last two weeks or so I've been fiddling with the STEEM blockchain and what it would look like if it were a formatted like a more traditional forum. Today I'm happy to share the results of this experiment, with the goals of collecting feedback and any ideas related to it you may have.

This prototype forum is not finished or optimized, so I apologize for any slowness or strange errors you might run into. A permanent link to the forums experiment is also available in the Labs section of SteemDB.com.

You are all free to give it a shot here:

https://steemdb.com/forums

or if you'd like, you can finish reading this post on the forums here:

https://steemdb.com/forums/steemdb/@jesta/steem-forum-interface-prototype

Features

  • Homepage: Categorizes popular tags into groupings presented on the homepage, giving users a topic based approach to discovering content on the blockchain. If you have ideas for additional forums (and tags) that I'm not using, please let me know!
    https://steemdb.com/examples/steemdb-forums-home.png

  • "First Tag Only" Groupings: Only the first tag (or category as it's known) is used for placing topics into forums. This prevents posts from appearing in multiple forums and gives more weight to the first tag you choose when writing a post.

  • Forum List of Topics: Under each "forum", a list of posts is displayed and ordered by the most recently active (just like a forum). Replying to a post will "bump" it to the top of that forum, perpetuating the discussions with others. The icons on the page also represent indicators of the posts payout (battery icons), the declining of rewards (star), or it being archives (lock).

https://steemdb.com/examples/steemdb-forums-icons.png

  • Posts as threads: Each post on steemit is displayed as a traditional forum thread, with the author information in the left column and the content in the middle. A right sidebar will likely be added in the future containing meta information about the post.

https://steemdb.com/examples/steemdb-forums-post.png

  • A summary at the bottom of each top-level post: This summary contains information related to the original post, as well as a summary of all the information that will follow on the page. Clicking on the "Latest Reply" block will scroll the page to the latest reply. Below the summary is information about when/where the post originated, a link to reply directly to this post, as well as links to view this post on steemit.com and on steemdb.com.

https://steemdb.com/examples/steemdb-forums-summary.png

  • Forum Breadcrumbs: A trail of links is provided in the top portion of each page to help you navigate backwards through the forums.

https://steemdb.com/examples/steemdb-forums-forum.png

  • Flattened Discussions: Comments are no longer nested, but displayed chronologically in order, with any nesting being shown as "Quotes". You can use the "jump" link to scroll up to the comment which this was a response to. The image below compares the forum (left) to a discussion on steemit (right). The second image shows how the "Read More" button shows the complete text of the quoted post, and the jump button scrolls your browser up to the post that was quoted.

https://steemdb.com/examples/steemdb-forums-threads.png

https://steemdb.com/examples/quotedposts.gif

  • SteemConnect Integration for Responding: You can actually reply to threads using this forum prototype thanks to SteemConnect.com. Disclaimer: Please be think twice about submitting your login information to any website, including SteemDB/SteemConnect. Be safe and keep your account safe, this technology is all very experimental still. I've personally used the service to leave a few comments already (using my posting key for safety reasons), but your account safety is in your hands.

Where's this going?

No clue. Welcome to the my lab :)

In all seriousness, I feel this concept may actually have a lot of merit, and I may integrate this type of data view deeply into SteemDB. It's an attempt at categorization of the information within the blockchain, and attempting to bring it into a perspective that many on the internet are comfortable with for discussions.

This is a prototype of what could be, and could be perfected into nearly a perfect blockchain based forum. Some of the code I wrote for this is bad, some of the APIs I had to use to make it aren't designed for it, and the integration for participating on STEEM with the client aren't quite "perfect" yet.

So there you have it, a STEEM-powered forum!

Quick Update not related to SteemDB

I just wanted to say "hello" and "sorry I haven't been posting much", life's been very busy (lots of stories). I'm still involved in STEEM related stuff almost every day, I just honestly haven't had the motivation to post a lot lately. I'm always around on steemit.chat if you need to contact me for any reason.

But I am still around, and still working on a handful of neat projects. I haven't abandoned anything and am very excited with where we're heading with STEEM in 2017!

(Diff testing... sneaky sneay)

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Sort Order:  trending
71
  ·  3 months ago

Would it be possible to have indepenedant forum people could starts? Meaning in a way were the forum only display the stuff that is the forum users posts?

I would see this as a killer app...there are so many communities that be using this if it wasnt displaying ALL steem blockchain content.

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68
  ·  3 months ago

As @the-ego-is-you mentioned, it would be absolutely possible just by using a specific tag. Anyone using that tag as the first tag in their post would have their content fall under that new forum. To make it even more clear while posting, I'd also likely make it so while you're in a forum (any forum), and click "Post New Thread", that it would automatically assign the first tag to match the forum and then let you pick 4 additional tags.

Right now these forums run only on the SteemDB server (because I'm using the database that powers SteemDB for the prototype), but with enough time and effort put forth, this forum software could actually run a lot like I have Reprint setup, where anyone could download and set it up on their own server.

There's also the option that I could just add some features to SteemDB that lets you login and create a forum of your choosing as well, and have it hosted :)

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58
  ·  3 months ago

You are too awesome.

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71
  ·  3 months ago

really cool! I think you've got yourself a killer app right there. Can you imagine if that software was setup with the new arbitrary reward for the publisher? That way you could definitely fund this project through all the forums deciding to use your system :-)

How's Reprint and GreyMass doing?

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68
  ·  3 months ago

Absolutely - the new system in development (that splits a small portion of the reward with the platform you're using) might be a way to really fund a project like this. I look forward to seeing where that feature heads and when it lands!

Reprint's doing alright, albeit slow. We've hit some hiccups on the business side of things, it seems the market really wants an inclusive tool (with authoring and GUI components), which is just something it doesn't have and will take a lot of time to build.

The open source project itself is working great though, the "updates" section on steemdb is actually running the newest version. Right now it also seems a bit too technically demanding for those who would migrate over from wordpress. It's definitely turning out to be a marathon project rather than the sprint we had hoped it would be.

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58
  ·  3 months ago

I'm not a developer, but I imagine as a start that it could be done fairly easily by using a specific tag such as "forumbitcoin".

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74
  ·  3 months ago

Definitely works as an open-forum. Just decide on some naming template #communityname-General (etc) and it's a community's forum already. Not sure if there can be closed-off tags only for community members.

Nice one @jesta , not sure how it's gonna be used yet but a great working prototype nonetheless!

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66
  ·  3 months ago

I need this exact thing right now!

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70
  ·  3 months ago

I am doing something similar... :)

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59
  ·  3 months ago

I own steemitforum.com. Let me know if anyone wants to hack something like this into it. Just sitting there doing nothing.

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56
  ·  3 months ago

Hi @steemitqa, why did you close steemitforum ?

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59
  ·  3 months ago

Ran out of money. It was costing about $100 a mo. to run it.

72
  ·  3 months ago

This is great showcase for forum lovers. A lot of crypto nerds like and used to have forum style conversations and this should be awesome news for them. Well done :)

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58
  ·  3 months ago

Indeed. I think it's also a great step in the right direction in terms of promoting more transparent discussion directly on the blockchain.

55
  ·  3 months ago

Brilliant! Absolutely brilliant!
Bookmarked & checking it out now. Wish I could vote for this more than once.

67
  ·  3 months ago

All crypto currencies and projects can start their forums on steem blockchain and reward its members by participating!

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58
  ·  3 months ago

Yes, this sure opens up a lot of doors!

57
  ·  3 months ago

If voting would be implemented (could be a feature not forced on people), I could see this as a way to have commenters see increased payouts.

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68
  ·  3 months ago

I'm looking into how best to integrate voting (from a technical perspective). It's on my radar, as well as making the entire process of interacting with posts a lot smoother.

69
  ·  3 months ago

Great work @jesta :)

58
  ·  3 months ago

As a crypto nerd and perpetual forum browser, I'm officially stoked!

Resteeming. Thank you for all your good work!

65
  ·  3 months ago

This could be a killer feature!

But to keep the poets happy ...
https://steemit.com/poetry/@breezin/all-you-want-original-poetry
This is reformatted as short paragraphs on steemdb/forums. Not at all urgent, but for your todo. Many thanks.

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68
  ·  3 months ago

That was an easy one, should be fixed now!

https://steemdb.com/forums/poetry/@breezin/all-you-want-original-poetry

Getting SteemDB to display content exactly as the user intended has been a rough process of trial and error. I still don't have the image loading (when it's just a image url, and not a tag), as well as a few other issues, but if you spot stuff like this feel free to let me know!

58
  ·  3 months ago

I like where your head is at @jesta , keep experimenting with ideas. Upvoted + following.

  • Johal
69
  ·  3 months ago

This is very cool. Maybe we'll eventually have a variety of options in how to view Steemit posts and this could be one of them.

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68
  ·  3 months ago

Absolutely! Everyone would have the opportunity to choose how they enjoy reading, and the best part is that all activity on one option would translate to all the other options, creating a true multi-website community :)

67
  ·  3 months ago

This is great! Upvoted & resteemed...Everything I've seen you do so far has made Steemit easier for me to understand (and that's saying something) I check your Steemstats everyday to check on my account. This isda sounds wonderful as well!

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58
  ·  3 months ago

Yes, it's all coming along now isn't it! =)

68
  ·  3 months ago

Great initiative and quality as always @Jesta
Keep sharing what you having cooking in your brain and lab. Even if it never makes it to production, it is impressive, like everything you have done for Steemit.

69
  ·  3 months ago

This looks really great @jesta! Having a lot of great apps running on the steem block chain would be amazing. This forum seems like something people could get onboard with, a forum that pays you to post...

Get paid for all your internet activities with #steem. The currency which values your attention.

70
  ·  3 months ago

Just amazing!

57
  ·  3 months ago

Amazing work as always Jesta! I have been wondering what you've been up to lately, but you've been just busy being a mad scientist! Hah.

51
  ·  3 months ago

thanks

67
  ·  3 months ago

That looks great, thanks a bunch for sharing the results of your time in "lab", it is very very fruitful! I would suggest, as my opinion would dictate, to add up icons respective to the subject headers in the "summary at the bottom of each top-level post". It would be very visual and help, especially new users on their ventures along the way.

All for one and one for all! Namaste :)

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68
  ·  3 months ago

Thanks! :)

I'm not following exactly, but am curious. Which icons are you referring to adding up? The user avatars?

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67
  ·  3 months ago

I was thinking about the "Votes" with the little arrow and the "Resteem" with the return-like green arrow.

Namaste :)

67
  ·  3 months ago

@jesta you rock !!!

73
  ·  3 months ago

This is very cool.

67
  ·  3 months ago

Even if you don't post much, this is a really great post! :)

I have still not decided whether I prefer the forum view or the "normal view", although there are several options I like in the forum, like when posts are ordered respectively to the moment of the last comment!

Thanks a lot for all these developments!

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68
  ·  3 months ago

Why thank you!

I'm still trying to decide what I like more as well, forum or the steemit (reddit) style view. The one thing forum view has going for it is that you don't have to hunt for new replies (a problem which reddit suffers from as well).

Also for anyone reading this reply on steemdb, look at the line below this, and note how it shows where the post comes from. It will also display busy and esteem - or "unknown" in the case of a bot or unspecified application.

Edit - Whoops, looks like it's broken. Please excuse my dust!

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67
  ·  3 months ago

It actually looks working :)

61
  ·  3 months ago

great job, that's one slick looking interface indeed! not to mention the cool little details, such as the topic "total payouts" icons and "read more" on post comments

65
  ·  3 months ago

Hey @jesta. Love your work, and check steemdb all the time.
I'm trying to calculate my follower loyalty, and steemdb has the best breakdown I can find.
https://steemdb.com/@mattclarke/followers
Now I joined in early August, just over 5 months ago, but the list only goes back 4 months. I was followed early by @bitbutter, and he's not in the list.
It looks like I've only ever been unfollowed by two users, which would be fantastic if true, (305 left of 307 total), but I don't want to advertise a total or request a badge from @elyaque unless it's a legit 99.3%.
Is there a way to see total historical data, or could you include total historical follower loyalty as a metric on the site?
Either way, thanks again, for all you do.

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68
  ·  3 months ago

Hrm it looks like I'm missing some follower data - they show up as a follower on your account (via the blockchain) but I don't have a record of it. I'll add it to my bug list, but it's likely it'll take a while to fix because I'll have to find the bug, then replay the entire blockchain to pick up what I'm missing out on.

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65
  ·  3 months ago

I wouldn't know where to start, and have a lot of time for you guys who do :)
If we can get reliable data, I can see 'Follower Loyalty' becoming a key metric.
It says, 'Those who choose to follow me are glad they did'.

36
  ·  3 months ago

I see it as an ordinary system for a forum. Most of people who is active online will really understand this quickly. But the current one I'm viewing now is quite unique and cool.

61
  ·  3 months ago

I think if Steem is to survive and thrive in the long run that it needs more of this kind of thing. Multiple different kinds of interfaces and uses. I see it as the Usenet/Fidonet of the 21st century. I would be neat if someone could come up with a way to implement "Steempress" that would be something like Wordpress that individuals could install on their own servers. It would work in a similar manner except that it would leverage the steem blockchain for users, posts and comments.

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68
  ·  3 months ago

Hah, I've been working on a prototype for this as well. The Updates section (as well as jesta.us and geekinprison.com) are all running Reprint, which is an open source blog engine that reads from the STEEM blockchain.

It's been a little slow going for a number of reasons, but it definitely works :)

64
  ·  3 months ago

I agree with you guys, that's trully brilliant!! @hammaraxx @the-ego-is-you @good-karma @eric-boucher
Thanks for sharing this awesome post, Jesta :)
Upvoted and followed for more!!

65
  ·  3 months ago

This forum is so cool, I am loving the alternate interface.

64
  ·  3 months ago

This should push us over the top.
It makes finding information soooo much easier, and is a better format for comments.
Being able to follow a post's new comments is a great improvement.

53
  ·  3 months ago

This. Is. Epic.
Especially if individuals (and current forum operators) and open their own forum using a white label version.
They've been working on building a 'better' bitcointalk.org for - how long now? At what cost? Somewhere well into 6 digits? And you've gone and surpassed them here.
Yes, please build this and/or let us know how we can help!

65
  ·  3 months ago

I'll add my voice and appreciation for this wonderful project!

71
  ·  3 months ago

This is an amazing look into the future of forums :D Thankyou for all your hard work jesta!

68
  ·  3 months ago

Awesome work! Very creative!