PSA: No this isn’t going to be another of those ‘look how awesome my boring work is’ screencasts you can see on dLive and Twitch!
Since many hours of Steemhunt mod work have passed, I have reviewed hundreds of hunts and
ran on almost as many bombs was executed publicly almost as often answered almost as many questions in Steemhunt’s Discord.
In that time we, the moderation team, and also the Steemhunt team, have learned a lot and we think that we are ready now to take Steemhunt yet again to another level. Not yet to the moon, but like any great extra planetary flight, also Steemhunt has staged rockets. 🚀
One of the biggest struggles encountered so far, aside from Steemians trying to milk and even abuse the platform, is consistency of approvals - or lack thereof.
As such, in this post, I’m going to provide an insight to the Steemhunt Posting Guidelines and pick the most important ones apart by sharing how I review and apply them.
This analysis, or rather insight, is a combination of the Posting Guidelines and also the weight in which they are applied. It is important to understand that while the posting guidelines have existed for a long time, as long as Steemhunt, due to the success of Steemhunt the guidelines have evolved. In this post I will focus on the most important ones only.
Before we get to that though, allow me to also insert this little note: Steemhunt’s moderation process is very young.
Since the process started around a month ago, the team is now 11 strong (initially 6 only) and recently two Guardians, @folken and myself, were assigned. What I mean by that is that Steemhunt is in a very early stage of designing, and developing, the whole moderation process. Good things take time and more often than not in startup life, hyper team growth is a reactionary measure rather than a proactive one. As such next weeks and months will undoubtedly see many changes and further evolutions of our actual flow.
Just like Rome, Steemhunt wasn’t built over night.
Anyway... let’s get this show going!
The Steemhunt Posting Guidelines, an “Inside Thinking Flow of a Mod” Insight
Obviously, things can’t be as easy as you hoped and I am opening this insight with a disclaimer. Yet Another Disclaimer Yes.
Steemhunt mods are humans and Steemhunt also does in cool. Cool is a subjective element but not in the aspect that we are that cool that our flow doesn’t involve a series of checks to go through and tick off. That we don’t have that is totally cool!
Sometimes a mod may approve a hunt because they found it cool. It’s called ‘at the mod’s discretion’. Also:
Please note that since we can not predict every possible product, category, and/or situation, our moderation team will have the final say on all approved and/or delisted posts and will be prepared to give an explanation regarding why a product has been delisted.
The main goal of this post is to give an insight in how we think when reviewing. To get an understanding of why your awesome hunt may have been rejected. This is not a definitive guide nor a law book. This post may even not bring the consistency/strict rules some hunters have been asking for. We moderate as humans, without checklist, after all. And sometimes we assess subjectively even. Because... cool.
This post is merely an insight in how the moderation team inside Steemhunt thinks.
What Product’s Are Welcome on Steemhunt
2. Types of Products to Post
Steemhunt generally covers unique IT or hardware products, including:
- Web services
- Mobile apps
- API, IT solutions, bots, open sources or other types of software
- Tech gadgets, hardware, IoT/connected/wearable devices
- Innovative Engineering/Design Products
By this is mostly meant web apps: platforms, tools which help you achieve or automate something. This can be PaaS or SaaS sites and somehow involve the user in some way. This could be a tool to help you schedule your Tweets like Buffer, a hosted inventory platform like TradeGecko, a poll/questionnaire/survey/forms platform like TypeForm or a user generated content (UGC) platform like Steemit or Busy.
What should it not be: what we have started calling internally a static database. By which we refer to sites where the user can not access any tools neither truly participates. This includes but isn’t limited to, news sites/blogs, directories (link directories/recipe sites/tutorial sites) or basically anything which merely provides content.
Let’s be honest, currently the mobile apps hunted generally are... a mess. So far we’ve accepted most mobile apps submitted, as long as they weren’t too old.
Only rarely have we rejected mobile apps, most of which were too generic and offered too little functionality or all offered the same functionality without any unique touch. Apps too generic which come to mind are Android file explorers, dictionaries, blog/news site apps, recipe apps without any other functionality than having a bunch of recipes. If your app doesn’t offer more functionality than a 2005 website... it shouldn’t be on Steemhunt.
Expect this category to be reviewed much stricter in a near future. There’s thousands of apps out there, many of which all copy each other just because it’s the season.
Apps which may soon be rejected for being too generic as well are photo filter apps, workout apps, 7-minute workout apps, etc. Unless, of course, a major app just saw an update with many new features. If for example Canva or Adobe Lightroom have a major update, they will still be allowed. But not that photo filter app of which version 4.3.867 just was released.
Another, albeit seasonal mess, currently are FIFA 2018 apps. Luckily the FIFA World Cup will soon be over and we will see many less submissions of that type.
In a not too distant future, apps will have to be whether feature rich platforms or simple, novel takes on a concept. Effortlessly cool.
API, IT solutions, bots, open sources or other types of software
What it says on the tin. Note that new is a defining factor here. Your 12 years old time tracker or mail client will not be accepted. No matter how unknown or cool you think it is. With the exception of major releases, releases which vastly expand the functionality.
Tech gadgets, hardware, IoT/connected/wearable devices
This is a more difficult category than it seems. Many hunters think that because it is a (tech) gadget that their hunt will be accepted. Thus we regularly see power banks, dash cams, even computer cases submitted. Steemhunt is also full of laptops, mobile phones, earphones, and TVs. At times we’ve even seen fridges and washing machines hunted.
What is most important to us when reviewing such hunts is whether the product follows any modern standards, whether the product is modern in 2018. Basically... is the item connected or does it have something which is still innovative and not yet a default standard.
Steemhunt doesn’t care about your vacuum cleaner or washing machine unless they’re smart/connected devices. Yet your wireless vacuum cleaner with an app to check battery status... won’t be approved. You still have to do the vacuuming yourself. Not cool.
Your grill only fits on Steemhunt unless it’s a smart grill or validated as novel/innovative by a popular crowdfunding campaign.
This category, just like mobile apps, is a category in constant motion. What is accepted this week may not be accepted in two months anymore. Products which come to mind here are fitness trackers, smart locks, and since it’s apparently the season this week... period trackers.
Did you just discover something cool and yet super simple in features?
Maybe it fits in the innovative engineering/product design category.
For now I’m going to leave out the Games category from this post. Feel free to hunt games, but hunt games older than a year at your own risk.
In the eyes, work flow of any mod this is the most important guideline.
Steemhunt does not allow the same product to be posted twice. The website automatically checks the URL, but it is still your responsibility to check that the product has not been posted earlier. If your product has already been featured from the same brand, the duplication is allowed only when:
- The product is a newer model (V2) or has been majorly updated from the original one.
- They are both main products (not accessories or sub-products).
The first thing any mod does is to check whether an item has been hunted already. Any previously hunted product can not be submitted again, unless it is a major update, newer model. It’s that simple.
For example the iPad (9”7) 2018 qualifies for that. Same with MacBook Pros despite still being the MBP13 when every 357 gazillion years they receive an update from Apple. But 2018/yearly model updates do not apply for cars, like Renault models which see every year minor exterior design updates.
The quality of the previous hunt is irrelevant. If it was hunted alright... NEXT!
Post Only Main Products
The main/sub-product guideline may seem confusing at first but it isn’t that hard to understand.
When it comes to a maker/brand, they usually have main and sub product. Steemhunt allows only the main product lines from the maker. For example, you cannot post an iPad Smart Cover because it is not from its main product line. However, you may be able to post an innovative iPad Smart Cover from a renowned accessory brand like Belkin because it is the brand's main product line (but in this case your product may not be under "cool product" in section 7).
Easiest to explain this rule is with few examples of what we won’t accept:
- Apple ARKit: ARKit is part of iOS and comes with iOS thus isn’t a stand-alone product
- Android Auto: Despite requiring the additional download of the app, Android Auto is part of the Android OS in cars and as such isn’t a stand-alone product
- PlayStation 4 Controller by Sony: this controller is an integral part of the PS4 and unless manufactured by another company, will not be accepted as a hunt. But if Sony were to release and advanced PS4 controller, with features which extend the functionality it would be accepted. A perfect analogy here is the Apple Pencil. Despite being an iPad sub-product it vastly extends the device’s functionality.
- Modules for a product released by original manufacturer: if your smart LED lightning set can be extended with a music module, so it glows to the sound of your tunes, the module will not be accepted.
Post “NEW” Products
Without a doubt the most debated guideline yet is the “Post new products” one.
Steemhunt is about cool "new" products. Please make sure that your hunt is something recently introduced. If the product is not new, there must be a strong reason to post. For example, the product must be substantially updated or upgraded in a way that has a positive effect on users. Even though the set period of time to define whether it is newly launched is subjective, the moderators may ask if the product is widely considered to be a “new product” (or substantially updated).
As the guideline states itself, new is a subjective element and since Steemhunt switched to ABV, and more recently diversity index based voting matrix, we have been more lenient with this. Yet, the goal is that in a not too distant time only newish products will be shown on Steemhunt anymore.
Why the ish in newish?
One of the main elements we consider when looking at new is whether the product is mainstream already. For example smart locks have been receiving news coverage since at least 3 years already yet how many people do you know who actually have one of them? But, smart locks especially, come with the caveat that soon Steemhunt will have that many that the default 50 search results for
smart lock will be full and then any mod can easily say “enough of those, that’s not new anymore... Steemhunt is full of smart locks already”.
At other times any mod has the freedom to also approve older products. Even if the product is already 3-5 years old. This could for example be applied to lesser known web apps, web apps which the mod still thinks are rather unknown and/or cool.
Or as @project7 sometimes explains it: if Steemhunt is covered on TechCrunch in two years... technically Steemhunt is an old product already but not yet known thus it’s ok to accept.
Note that this leniency is totally at the discretion of the reviewing mod. Your awesome web app can be rejected because the reviewing mod thinks that it wasn’t awesome and will never achieve any popularity. Reject your hunt not because it isn’t yet mainstream but because it never will become mainstream. ;)
Post “Cool” Products
The last guideline I will cover today is another often hotly debated one.
In Steemhunt, the coolness is decided by hunter’s upvotes. If many people think that a product is really cool, then the ranking is likely to be higher than other products. However, all products that are hunted in the first place should be somewhat cooler than other products. When a hunter decides to introduce the product to our community, it must not be a generic product. It should have some killer features that make people say “wow.” If your product is considered to be ordinary, the moderators may hide your hunt.
Obviously, also cool, is a very subjective factor. What I find cool you may consider crap. Fair enough.
One good tip for cool is if the product hunted was a popular, several times over-funded, crowdfunding campaign.
A lamp with attitude backed by more than 6,000 people [with real money] and overfunded more than 4,000% stands a good chance to be cool.
An innovative take on the keyring overfunded 1,000% and backed with real money by more than 7,000 people? Why has nobody hunted it yet?
Now... that computer case you find so cool, or that air conditioning? Unless you can tell tech gadget
nerds geeks who look at products every day, what makes those items so cool, aside from their internal cooling systems... nah, they’re not going to be approved.
There’s nothing cool about a plasma lighter either.
Wait?! Did you say yours is a mini, portable A/C system I can throw in my day pack and cool my little office with? Environmentally friendly and smart too? You got it! The hunt is on!!!
Weekly Guardian Report
This post is at the same time my first weekly report as a Steemhunt Guardian. These weekly reports will always focus on Steemhunt specific content and often also relate to work done in that time.
In my first week as a Guardian, I helped investigate a community which gamed our daily rankings. The investigation resulted in more than 30 hunters blacklisted and that same day 5 Top 10 hunts were de-listed and not rewarded either because of malicious voting behavior. The next day the top hunt was a member of the blacklisted group too. This investigation resulted in around $TU being redistributed to other hunters.
Every day Steemhunt upvotes 100 randomly picked [by the upvote bot] comments in the Pro/Con format. As anyone who knows Steem can imagine... the Milkers did try to milk it hard. Tens of comment review abusers have been blacklisted from receiving upvotes too.
Lastly, as a Guardian I spent every day 4-6 hours in our Discord community, many of which answering questions. And sometimes, also just trolling @chuuuckie. ;)