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:
or if you'd like, you can finish reading this post on the forums here:
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!
"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).
- 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.
- 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.
- Forum Breadcrumbs: A trail of links is provided in the top portion of each page to help you navigate backwards through the forums.
- 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.
- 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)