Communities: A Powerful Addition To Steem
Last night I was able to watch the steam from Steemfest. The presentation I, along with most I presume, were waiting for was from @roadscape. He was presenting more details about "Communities" and the progress being made there.
Like SMTs, this is a feature that was talked about for years yet we saw little progress. Also mirroring SMTs, it does appear that we are at the point of testing. That is a remarkable accomplishment considering where we were with it a few months ago.
Many feel that this feature is going to be a game-changer. One of those people is Roadscape himself. While his delivery method is rather subdued, it is evident that he feels Communities is an opportunity to really alter how content is found on the Internet.
A "Community" is really nothing more than a glorified tag. It is one that is created on Steem but is owned by the person who sets it up. This is a radical idea meaning that an individual can own his or her community forever.
At the same time, Admin and Moderator rights can be assigned (and unassigned) allowing for control over the community. While this sounds like it goes against the culture of decentralization,it is all about user experience. Under the present system, anyone can use a tag and the content is posted there. Unfortunately, as we know, much of the content is not applicable.
Communities are designed to reduce the amount of spamming via tags. It also looks to eliminate tag abuse.
Owners of communities are going to be able to assign whatever rules desired to the community. Once again, the community is owned, thus one is free to establish it with whatever he or she desires. Individuals, of course, are free to participate in the community or leave.
The goal is for the community to span all interfaces. To start, communities will be on Steemit.com, Steempeak, and ESteem. I would surmise that to incorporate it into the SE Tribes is rather simple since those were basically forks of Steemit.com.
Roadscape has an interesting view of the areas Steem needs to focus upon. His priority list is much different than others who posted on here.
In short, he feels the two biggest problems are:
- User Experience
As I thought about this, it makes a lot of sense. There are a number of instances where a great deal of success was achieved, especially online, without the use of marketing. Ideas simply can go viral.
In fact, Facebook, in the early days, did not market. It grew very quickly simply by targeting college campuses. Word spread throughout those "communities" each time a new school was opened up on the platform.
Tesla is a company that does not market, at least in the traditional sense. Yet, it is only new car company in the last 100 years to reach this level of success. For Tesla, their best marketing comes from the experiences of the car owners themselves.
Word of mouth is the best way to get one's message out there. In this situation, creating a "must have" experience is vital. This is also what can go viral.
Communities might serve that purpose. The best thing that can happen for Steem is people start saying "you have to try this". The ability for people to come together and create thriving subcultures can be a winning idea.
To me, a great deal of value is to be derived from being a central repository for these communities. The Internet is vast with people spread all over the place. Part of the value of platforms such as Amazon, Facebook, Netflix, and Reddit is that they offer one stop shopping. One only needs to go to those locations to find a great deal of what is needed or desired.
This is just another example of the tentacles of Steem starting to reach out further. While it is only in beta, we are going to see the penetration of communities expand, rapidly in my opinion. The combination of having a community that turns into an economy via tokenization is mind-blowing. There will be a lot of appeal.
Part of Web 3.0 is the convergence of the digital and physical worlds. We are starting to see this in place around the Web. One idea that Roadscape threw out was the concept of Meetup.com. This is a site that is dedicated to post meetups about different areas of interest. Of course, if there is a community on Steem, all physical meetups can be announced in that community.
Doing a quick search, I learned that Meetup.com gets 24M visits a month.
It is amazing to witness the power of decentralization. What looks like something that is not going anywhere is actually racing ahead. Without a centralized strategy, we are left to the whims of individual projects to forge a direction. After watching some of the events taking place, it is easy to see how the numbers on Steem can grow rapidly over the next 12-24 months.
One of the presentations was about a new game that is coming to Steem. It is called cryptobrewmaster and it deals with brewing virtual beer. This is something that I never heard of yet, according the presentation, will be going shortly.
The one thing that impacted me is the ideas for expansion that the team behind it has. They are actual brewers of beer meaning they understand the industry. The game is just a virtual representation of what is taking place in the real world.
They already have plans to bring in the manufacturers of brewing equipment. These companies, obviously, want to extend their reach. So, what is the market for these entities? According to the stat cited, in the United States alone, there are over 1M home brewers of beer. If only 3% of this group joins Steem, that is a rather large amount compared to where we are today.
Imagine for a second the 30,000 brewers do come on board. They will be able to form their own community which, at least for the game, there is a token. By the way, the plan is for the token that is earned in the game can be used to buy actual beer. That alone might push cryptocurrency to mass adoption. 😁
This is all exciting stuff. The efforts that these development teams are putting in is starting to pay off. We are seeing a large number of projects starting to spread out and expand their reach. While it is slow at the moment, we can expect things to grow. It is vital to remember that one breakout could change the landscape for all who are involved.
Personally, I feel the ecosystem made great strides in 2019. Since the beginning of the year, we saw a lot added that really alters where we were a year ago. Let us remember that it was November 2018 when Steemit Inc dropped the bombshell about having to lay off 70% of its staff.
Safe to say, they are in a much better position than a year ago. That said, we have a lot more to be thankful for. The addition of Steem-Engine and Tribes radically altered things. We are already forming communities around some of those Tribes which will only be enhanced when Roadscape's work is implemented.
As we move towards 2020, the place we are starting from is more advanced than a year ago. This means we can expect a larger impact next year.
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