Crowdsourced Marketing Protocol: Ideas, Proposals, Projects

in #steemit3 years ago (edited)

Hello Steemians, today we are happy to present to you the protocol we've designed (spearheaded by @andrarchy) with the goal of empowering users with ideas, proposals, and projects aimed at growing Steem by giving them a predefined path for bringing them to the community and the Steemit Team for support.

Version 1

I, @andrarchy, developed this protocol with feedback from @zurvanic (Mitchell Loureiro, VP of Marketing for Steemit Inc.) and members of the community. This is only version 1 and it is intended to bridge the gap until that time when we can build out better infrastructure that is custom-tailored for this purpose. For those who have ideas about how to improve this system, or develop that infrastructure, feel free to use this protocol to propose them. I, and the Steemit Team, will be paying close attention to such proposals.

The goal of this protocol is to create a standardized format that enables those who are interested in supporting marketing or growth related projects (including but not limited to the Steemit Team) to find those projects. At the same time, we want to give those who are interested in spearheading such projects a pre-defined path for getting support for their projects.

Why This Matters

As we discussed in Mitchell’s 2017 Growth Plan we’re convinced that combining our own expertise and efforts with the best ideas and projects coming from our amazing community will be the most effective strategy for increasing Steem adoption. It will enable us to grow the value of Steem as sustainably, organically, and rapidly as possible which benefits every Steem holder, big and small.

TL;DR Video


There are 3 phases to the process: Idea, Proposal, and Project

Each phase begins with a post on

Phase #1: Post “Ideas” under the “growth-ideas” tag

The first step is to create a post outlining your idea and to post it under the “growth-ideas” tag on You should only proceed to the subsequent phases if you receive positive feedback from either the community or the Steemit Team regarding the idea.

If the feedback is mixed or negative, you can always modify the idea and create another “idea post” until you do get sufficient positive feedback. What constitutes “sufficient” will be up to you for now, but we’ll monitor the results and if it becomes apparent that providing “harder” targets will improve the process, we’ll do so at a future date.

We suggest using your “idea post” to answer the following questions:

  1. What is the problem?
  2. What is the solution?
  3. How will you prove your project was a success?

Idea posts should be as short as possible so that those looking to support projects can view as many ideas as possible, but we are withholding from imposing any specific constraints until a reliable pattern emerges. That being said, the posts still need to be compelling enough to generate enough interest and enthusiasm to fuel its development.

Phase #2: Post “Proposals” under the “growth-proposals” tag

If an “idea post” receives sufficient positive feedback, create a “proposal post” under the “growth-proposals” tag which conforms to the following format:

  1. Metrics on the positive feedback (E.g. Idea post received 200 upvotes, steempoll received 60 votes 80% favorable to the idea)
  2. Summary
  3. Problem
  4. Solution
  5. Desired Outcome
  6. Cost

Phase #3: Post “Projects” under the “growth-projects” tag

If the “proposal post” receives sufficient support, submit a “project post” and post it under the “growth-projects” tag.

We define “sufficient support” as: gaining enough people to “staff” the project as well as parties willing to support the project if certain goal-posts are met, which should be included in the “project post.”

The Steemit Team will support those projects which our analysis indicates would deliver the most value to the Steem blockchain, though this doesn’t necessarily mean that we will be entirely data driven. Other parties are free to apply whatever standard they wish.

The “project post” should conform to the following format:

  1. Mission/Vision Statement
  2. Team Members
  3. Roadmap with specific goal posts, including scheduled progress and status updates
  4. Description of support needed: This could be anything from an official partnership with the Steemit Team, to publicity support (e.g. a promise to promote the project to one's followers), to financial support
  5. Justification for support: why is it necessary?
  6. Schedule detailing when the support will be required. If the support is financial in nature then the schedule should detail when the funds, or portions of the funds, will be needed.

That’s it! One of the primary goals for this protocol is to provide just enough detail for people to get started, but not so much detail that it could potentially scare people off or otherwise limit the number of people who feel comfortable presenting their ideas to the community. I’m sure it has plenty of room for improvement and look forward to using your constructive feedback to make the process more efficient and productive.

Example Proposals

Below you will find links to proposals by @voronoi under @hansikhouse, as well as @pgarcgo and @gargon under @cervantes. These are real proposals which we hope you will consider sharing and supporting, but which also serve as examples of the types of posts we are looking for.

@voronoi and @hansikhouse via @hitheryon

Idea: Steem-Powered Education + Design
Proposal: Steemit as an Educational Design Tool - Introducing "Social x Design"
Project: Power Up Your Neighborhood - Introducing "Sandbox"

@pgarcgo and @gargon via @cervantes

Cripto-cervantes: International short stories writing competition on the blockchain / Premio internacional de relatos cortos en el blockchain [ENG/ESP]

User Spotlight: @lovejoy

I also want to give a very special “Thank You” to the user @lovejoy who has been a tremendous help in jumpstarting this crowdsourced marketing effort. @lovejoy started a crowdsourced community map as well as the #steem-community channel in and an associated blog, @steem-community, for anyone interested in contributing to the crowdsourced marketing effort. Lastly, @lovejoy has also launched @imagine with a Steem Design Challenge and Steem Community Directory which I urge you all to check out. The goal of the @imagine channel is to inspire, incentivize, and support steem(it) community creatives to build awareness of the steem blockchain and its whole family of apps.

That’s it for now! So far we’re extremely happy with the community’s response to our crowdsourced marketing effort and their eagerness to contribute. It is our hope that this protocol will make that process easier and more rewarding.

Thank you and Steem on!


Great work @andrarchy, you've definitely been hard at work!
Now we have a way to organize the community's ideas and suggestions, going forward should be a much smoother ride

Thanks! That's the plan :)

Great job! Steem has so much potential but needs to stay focused on building killer social media based apps. This comes from experience of founding and running a successful hair extensions business over the last 8 years. Specialization is key! All it takes is one killer app to go to the moon. In my opinion Steem needs to get the communities up and running ASAP. Also there needs to be a direct Power Up tool linked to credit and debit cards. Steem is still not user friendly enough. Steem Youtube and Steem Instagram launch ASAP! Ned needs to take funds out to hire top developers and much faster. You have major competition coming soon. BATS, Alaska, Seneryo.

I suppose it's not a secret that I like where this is going. ;)

If anyone has questions, you're welcome to ask @andrarchy and I as they come to you.

Great job Andrew and team! I'm really excited to see where this goes and what comes out of it.

Thanks, me too!

Great job on creating a protocol for us to leverage the bright hearts and minds of this community! I think you and @zurvanic are just about the best possible combination of forces at work for the benefit of the steem community, and I'm excited to be working with you guys. Thanks for the generous shout out! I will do my best to keep up the momentum! Cheers!

My pleasure, thanks for all the hard work

What is the problem?

The hashtag #steemutt did not exist.

What is the solution?

To create the hashtag #steemutt by posting a cute picture of a dog and threatening others with death if they did not also do the same.

How will you prove your project was a success?

#boom #crowdsourcedmarketing #aheadoftehcurve

LOL, 1-2-3 boom, done! ... and to think that I stayed up all night modeling and photoshopping community gardens...

I am interested to see what kind of projects and ideas are out there. I have to imagine there are many that really just need funding to get off the ground. If I am reading this accurately, it sounds like if their idea is good enough, the funding will be there! Now we just gotta make sure they see this... :)

Awesome! Great work so far @andrarchy!

Can't wait to read some of the proposals and propose some ideas I've had for a long time now but due to limited funding and a declining price haven't seen much light of day yet.

Let's work together to build something great, people!

Great job team! Looking forward to hearing everyone's feedback on our Idea / Proposal / Project! We're super excited to share these with you all today and can't wait to see all of the great work sure to come as a result of this crowdsourcing protocol. Lot's more on the horizon for Steem and the Steemit community! Steem on!

I really like @hitheryon's proposals! There should also be a protocol for measuring the effectiveness of a project after it has been implemented.

Look forward to more ideas from the community!

Thanks @liberosist! Check the comment section of our Sandbox post here, you bring up a great question regarding measuring effectiveness which we have been brainstorming. Anyway, lots of exciting stuff to digest today, thanks again!

Looking great, guys! Will be checking growth ideas, proposals and projects, excited to see what new projects we will be seeing soon...
btw. To support this format, I have included latest tipping bot idea to growth ideas

@andrarchy Just an FYI digame is still in the works, just back burnered a bit. But finally viable due to HF18 WOOHOO!

I want to make a simple suggestion that will increase the number of businesses coming to the platform. That suggestion is to document the API much better than it currently is and also to freeze it from changes unless there is a strict security reason. Because when APIs change, it shakes business confidence in steemit as a stable and reliable platform.

If we bring businesses, they will bring customers, those customers will be steemians by definition.

I have something in the works that we fully expect will bring a ton of new users to steemit. Biggest problem has been finding which API calls to use to register new accounts.

We are definitely taking a hard look at the API docs. Thanks for the feedback.

Thanks for the response on this Andrew. Very happy you are on the team and doing all you're doing.

I'll echo William on this particular issue. A lot of energy, time and money have gone into trying to build fully integrated sites on Steem, only to be met with frustration. We'd really love to see this laid out clearly and get some support for it. Our goals will go a long way toward promoting the blockchain, but we're hampered by an inability to make it happen and our projects are hamstrung without that ability.

Thanks again. Keep up the great work.

First props on a very good video. A much better presentation (looking in the camera) and a clear message! It just looks way more professional. I'm really excited what users will come up with in the growth-ideas tag! Awesome job!

Thanks! Trying to get better every time :)

Yeah I really liked this post a lot more than the others so far. Video was short and got to the point and the small difference of looking into the camera had a bigger effect than I imagined it would.

Agreed - lighting, lensing, editing are all getting much better. Kudos!

Thanks for the feedback!

This is great. It reminds me of how Dash master node proposals work, only there's much more flexibility here on STEEM.

Great work, there is a palpable momentum here and I am heartened!

It is that simple: "use what you have for a start". Remind steemians that they are owners; make us active again "mining with mind" and in a matter of weeks, steemit will have renewed vigor and this is contagious. There will come results!

@andrarchy I am not sure, whether you are using prompter this time, but in general this recording feels much more natural. Great work! :)

finally not a HF to change rewards but something useful.

i like this guys!

Great! Thanks for your support

Great idea! Looking forward to seeing what shows up in #growth-projects during the next few weeks.

Good idea to collect ideas. :) Resteemed.

Should I only contribute my ideas, if am also able to implement/transform them, too? I do have a few ideas, but I am not a professional software developer ... is it worth to mention them nevertheless?
Just an example: I think a credit or debit card connected directly to ones steemit wallet, combined with a function to convert steem into other currecies (and reversed), would be fantastic. Steemit would become kind of a very comfortable to use "bank account". However I myself could never transform such a huge project into reality.
Then "steemit games" would be a nice idea as well: a place within the steemit platform where people could play chess, checkers or other games against each other and at the same time interact. Nowadays I have to leave steemit, if I want to play a game of chess with another steemian (I even have to leave steemit for chatting or send private messages).

Concerning the debit card I was thinking at a solution like the card offered by Bitwala, but directly connected to the steemit wallet. :)

Great idea, @jaki01. :-) However, I'm not so sure how hard it would be to implement such a feature. Maybe a direct cooperation with Bitwala or another company in that field, would be an additional idea worth considering...

That hand gesture in your post vid (still) is almost Vulcan looking @andrarchy! But seriously, I promise I will post some ideas to the #growth-ideas tag before long :) I also promise it will be mad!!! Upvoted and RS old friend :)

Totally not intentional, but I noticed that too! Looking forward to seeing your ideas

Glad to hear your a trekkie fan :) I've got something for you to watch in your lunch-hour - I gave you and Mitchell a mention ;) Speak soon @andrarchy!

Awesome! I agree, Mitchell and I do make a great team :)

You both have:
a) A strong purpose
b) Differing opinions
c) A love of Steemit
Those 3 things combine to make a killer marketing team! Steem on @andrarchy and Mitchell ;)

Excellent system @andrarchy. The Idea > Proposal > Project process will act to raise interest and refine each idea, while gauging community support. I will make an idea post of my own soon, Steem has a lot of potential for growth.

That's the idea! Looking forward to seeing that idea :)

Hmm, I want to jump on and say Great... but A magician should never reveal his tricks, and by using these suggestions I am not only revealing my tricks to you - but they are in fact open to the whole world...

When I raised $1M for the Red Cross in a month, I did not reveal my tricks to the higher ups... It is just... No, I cannot participate with this in an open format.

I can help you in a closed format under a NDA.

Not sure you really needed a post to say, "look at how awesome I am and how much help I can be but alas I can't help you in public" You could have just, you know, offered to help in private without the grandstanding.

Well, I be happy to contribute - but under a NDA. No reason to misquote me.

He made a valid point that I didn't consider when submitting my post... and it's a concern that I have come across before. His comment is a good heads up to anybody who might not realize it.. I however have already made my post and my idea and project have already been in the works and public, even before this marketing growth plan started.

If you want to contribute, we're just an email/ message away.

I have demonstrated and already offered my contribution - I need a NDA first if I am to collude with Steemit Inc. about on-boarding strategies. This is my profession among other things. I hope you understand that. You can find me at Discord 17/7 365 days a year.

Dear Mitchell, I try to find a way through steemit to raise funds to sell my small solar lighting KIT in Cameroon. I have one partner there who act as distributor. We could delivery a few KITs 15 days ago. People like it and we plan now to delivery 1000 more KITs.
Our target are twice :

  1. bring light to people in small isolated villages in Cameroon
  2. help people in Cameroon to get steem dollars : this will help them to import and export goods easy for small amounts.

Nice but I expected much more straightforward way to bring people to steem.

Donating to a park is cute but that's not like putting a Doge on a F1 racer.

Anything else coming ?

Great work Andrarchy. Simple, clear instructions on how things will progress. Looking forward to the awesome ideas that the community will present! :)

I really like this. Will be working on my first #growth-ideas post. :-)

Can't wait to see it!

It's moving, awesome news! Following everyone mentioned!

This is really cool. I have always loved the format of: challenge - solution - action. I feel that this is exactly like that... but with more appropriate terminology for the platform. I think this can generate a lot of positive and creative ideas. I like that there are specific tags I can check out in order to see if there are any ideas or projects I can help with. Thanks for setting this up!

Thanks! Glad you like it :)

This might be a useful read while you're refining the idea process.
The Idea-Driven Organization: Unlocking the Power in Bottom-Up Ideas .

Great work.
Good luck.!!

I can see and feel that you all work very hard and I really appreciate the effort to bring in more and more good ideas and especially solutions.

Smart idea to channel and evaluate the usefulness of an idea through the community rather than selected group of individuals. I will start to think of something that is worth proposing.

Great work guys!

Great Video @andrarchy and thank you for the mention . There is tons of great ideas all around. I think the protocol is a good idea to begin organizing ideas in a way that the become actually useful. To make facts out of thoughts. Why to use a distributed platform and work individually if we all have the same goal? We need to begin acting as a fish swarm, big and synchronous enough to beat the shark. And there are a lot of sharks around hunting us :)

I think that's a great way of putting it :)

Sounds and looks awesome. Keep up the good work !

Thanks, will do!

Fantastic. Things really seem to be starting to get going! I have shared on twitter and will try tweeting this out a few times (am using a new app called Buffer which helps with that).

Awesome, thanks!

Hi guys. I have a question. How much time do we have to present the idea? I do not want to hurry and I prefer to take the time to develop it properly.
What I am thinking of proposing will lead me to talk to several people and I would like to know how much time I have. Thank you!
I wrote you to steemitchat.

Pd: It's a great idea, look for the best proposals in the community. Cheers!

Our intent is to support projects. So people are going to have to take their concepts from "idea" through to "proposal" and all the way to "project." We expect that to take some time. Of course, the beauty of Steemit is that you can earn money on these posts as you develop the project. If an idea is good it should earn rewards before it even gets to the project phase.

A celebrity must go on Steemit.
This is the most powerful tool for entrepreneurs.
Elon Musk introduced his company Tesla thanks to Leonardo DiCaprio. ;)

@andrarchy was I wrong for moving onto the "phase2"? I was under the impression that I could move forward.. haven't received feedback from you on either, tho..[
Phase 1 Post - @ 220 upvotes
Phase 2 Post

Thanks for participating @mrwang! I'm excited to see your project progress. As I stated in this post it is up to the individual project creator to decide for themselves whether they are ready to proceed through the phases. There are no hard rules on this, I merely gave examples. That being said I do think you made the right call in proceeding to phase 2, though this is just my personal opinion. The real decision-makers in this process are the crowd. As far as your second post, I think it is a stellar example of such a post. That being said, I do have some constructive feedback specifically relating to your "solution" and "cost" section.

Your cost section is empty. That's a pretty serious flaw. I think this is information the crowd needs to have in order to evaluate your project. Arguably the most important piece of information. The reason for this seems to be that your "solution" section is, in reality, your cost section. Your solution is for us to provide resources. That's a cost, not a solution. The goal of this protocol is for us to provide support to people who have 1. specified what support they need, and 2. proven objectively why they deserve it (i.e. how the support will produce a positive return). I do not think your second post accomplishes this, but I do think it is a fantastic start. This is going to be a learning process for all of us and I appreciate you engaging in the process. I look forward to seeing your project progress!

Ok cool, thank you for your support and encouragement, it is a very exciting time for steemit.. now do you want a new revised post or correct the original submitted post?

@andrarchy My apologies.. I edited my post yesterday and forgot to change some formatting that blocked my COST breakdown for the project. I've corrected the formatting and updated the post. Please have a look when you get a chance, thanks.

Thank you for continuing to participate in this project! To be clear, I am not the one who needs to look. I cannot and will not be examining every single post about every single person's project. The protocol is designed to enable those who wish to develop projects to follow a predetermined route for acquiring community support and demonstrating objective proof that their project will return value to the community so that if they desire to receive support from Steemit they will have the necessary evidence (which will include community/crowd support) ready. When in doubt people should look to the protocol, not to me. If there is a flaw in the protocol they should point it out and acquire support for making the necessary adjustments. Note: that one does not receive support is not a legitimate criticism. Most projects will likely not receive official support which is precisely why we want to encourage people to design their projects to be sustainable regardless of whether Steemit Inc decides to give them support. The protocol is designed to help people develop sustainable projects that can function without steemit support, but which can also be amplified by steemit support. We are not looking to support projects that are based on the premise, "This will only work if steemit supports this." The protocol was also designed to make the process of finding and supporting the most productive projects as efficient as possible. I believe it accomplishes this, but am open to proof that it does not and making the adjustments necessary. As long as there are no supported modifications to the protocol, my general response will be, "When in doubt, follow the protocol." Thanks again for your participation and I look forward to seeing how your project progresses.

I thought the protocol could include some lines about how to fund the best project - or how to find investors. Anyway, it's a step forward.

How best to get investors to join Steem, then a way to encourage them to invest in the ideas here, seems like a way to kill two birds with one stone. This new creative platform is wonderful and I believe the entire way Steem functions will be changed by ideas from here. Exciting to see where this leads!

@andrarchy , what happens if you see a project get traction but no one volunteers to assist? It is work that I have done twice by myself so with no other team members it just stretches the time line.

Is this something the steemit team would consider funding or would they want to see a minumum of a few steemians working on the project?

@rubenalexander That's a great question. The first thing I want to make clear is that acquiring team members/participants/volunteers will be one of our most heavily weighted metrics. If a project can't acquire a team, I believe this is a strong argument that there is a flaw in the design of the concept and it should be re-worked until it can attract the talent it claims to deserve. That being said it is entirely conceivable (though unlikely) that a project that has potential value might not be able to attract participation. In these rare cases, I would say that we would be open to evaluating concrete and objective metrics which clearly demonstrate this. The reason I put it like this is because I do not want people thinking, "Ok I can't get other people to help out with this effort, but I know it's genius so I'm going to sink my heart and soul into it and Steemit Inc. will understand." In order to increase the value of Steem we have to make investments that we have a logical reason to believe will provide a positive return. Many of the projects that have teams, that have objective metrics which indicate they will be successful and which are built on a solid concept will STILL fail. But at least they will bring steemians together and have a chance of success.

It is critical to understand that the "wisdom of the crowd" is a fundamental philosophical concept that steemit is built upon. We believe in it. Science has validated it. That's why uses subjective proof of stake. The posts that get the most rewards are the ones that the most people with the most stake upvote. We are trying to direct that powerful mechanism toward marketing. To ignore the crowd's evaluation would defeat the purpose and violate part of what makes this platform so potentially disruptive.

All of that is to say, if one can't fulfill the standards we laid out that doesn't necessarily mean that we won't support your project, but it definitely means that the burden of proof that one's project will be productive will be that much higher.

Excellent. Thanks for the thorough explanation.

My pleasure, thanks for the question!

Hi @steemitblog, I just stopped back to let you know your post was one of my favourite reads and I included it in my Steemit Ramble. You can read what I wrote about your post here.

If people have feedback on how to improve this protocol, please use replies to this comment to share them. Replies with significant upvotes will be considered.

Maybe I was not all trigger happy 14 days ago but here it is - my first #growth-idea .

Thanks in advance to anyone who looks at it.

Finally I saw this and understand some comments by you @andrarchy my friend! Sorry i have been a bit direct in my messages on chat - i was not aware of this 3 phases approach - ok, understood - added more fuel so even younger marketing noobs might understand my second #growth-idea, think my first #growth-idea does not need any further explanation in terms of the three required questions as everyone should understand the need of it - my ideas no. 3-6 i already drafted will be pushed once we had further discussion with you or @lovejoy - it is also important we have some gut feel about certain ideas by experienced people from marketing before proceeding to the next level.

Thanks for your hard work though!

Great Guideline for me. This guide help me to start sharing idea and get support.

Resteemed... We've pushed the ball and it is rolling. Let's help is build up momentum.

Hi @andrarchy, is this initiative still operational?

I've just come across this, and wondered if my Cooking with Steem project would fit in?

Hi @pennsif, you can see my proposal above. I waited over a month for a reply, only to be told my project is not valuable. So keep your time & morale and avoid this best you can.

Thanks for this @gktown. Just read your post about this. I was hoping you would get a better reply - your Spotlight project looks very successful. I'll continue with my project with my own resources for now.

I was just checking out your project and it looks fantastic! So you'll be able to buy your cookbook with Steem/SBD?

Hello guys, please tell me is it still working now ?

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