Debato - update blog 5 - Introduction of the about page and Twitter profile
It has been a while since the previous update, and until July activity will remain low. Exams are just around the corner and this is obviously priority for me. This however, does not mean improvements have stopped. In the last months Debato has continued to be tested and stability issues were resolved. A major implementation required for attracting a broader public was the 'about page'. This page should inform new users, even outside of the Steem blockchain, to understand what Debato is, how it works and how to get started. This page is now online.
Now that final flaws are getting fixed, with a lot of testing from @ckole (much appreciated!) I am feeling more and more confident in making publicity for the project to attract new users. This will most likely be a project for July. There is also a Twitter page for Debato which will make it easier to share the project with users outside of the Steem community.
What is debato?
You can find debato at https://debato.org
Debato is an online platform that accommodates online debates on topics big an small. We are all passionate about certain topics and inevitably it can happen that a difference in opinion leads to conversations that resemble a bottomless pit of arguments and acquisitions. This results in many people not even getting involved or finding it a waste of time to formulate their points of view. By filtering the thoughtful arguments and by structuring arguments and sub-discussions, debato allows anyone to share their thoughts and points of view in a clear way. And why stop there? Because debato is built on the decentralized Steem blockchain, writing thoughtful and interesting arguments or discussions gets rewarded as well.
A twitter page! As mentioned already this would be a great way of communicating changes, creating feedback and sharing the project with others outside of the Steem community. Because Debato does not only aim at existing Steem users this will help in attracting those external users. Debato is also designed in a way that users do not need prior understanding to get started as an attempt to attract a wider audience. If you would like to stay up to date on smaller changes or events, go to https://twitter.com/debato_org
About page Also with the idea of attracting users without prior knowledge about Steem or blockchain, an about page was essential to explain how to use the discussion system, how the token system works or how to get started. This page also links to the discord server. The page will be continuously updated when frequently asked questions arise or when new features can be explained.
Website footer A footer at the bottom of every page gives you quick access to the most used features of Debato. It is a simple feature that can improve accessibility greatly. It also links to the main communication platforms such as our new twitter page, discord server or GitHub repository. There is already a space reserved for learning modules that go into more depth about learning how to properly use the argumentation structure and other features of Debato and Steem. These would quickly overcrowd the about section and deserve a page for themselves.
Character limit -To avoid people writing entire pages as an argument, there is an arbitrarily character limit of 300 characters. Arguments are ment as concise view points. To back those statements, the comment section should be used.
Status bar for discussion cards - When you browse discussions you will see a bar with a green and red color on the discussion card. This is an indicator for how many arguments are already posted pro, or against the statement. Its a nice indication to see the current status of a discussion or argument. Arguments also have this bar. The number that previously indicated this ratio now shows how many replies have been submitted to that statement (and sub statements) to indicate about the discussion activity.
long term plans
Many of the long term goals remain since the primary focus lied on making the project more presentable and ready to share.
A system of points (using Smart Media Tokens (SMT)) for rewarding authors and popular discussions/arguments. A system like this can give interesting incentives for users to start controversial discussions and formulate their opinions thoughtfully.
A leader board/ranking system to provide additional incentives for engaging with thoughtful comments and debate. Having a leader board were users can view there position according to others might provide an additional motivation to be engaged in debates.
Display statistics about a discussion (distribution of age, gender, location... on the different sides of the topic). In the long term this might prove interesting to see how other variables correlate with certain points of view. Of course this would imply that users give up certain personal information. If wanted, this can also be encouraged by offering points in a point system. Whether this conflicts with the original idea that anyone can be anonymous on the blockchain can be debated.
Displaying the structure of the discussion you are currently viewing. Interactively showing where you are in the vast tree structure of debates. As discussions get complex and with a lot of sub discussions it is important that a user can navigate in and between topics. Discussions will develop a tree structure with arguments and sub arguments and climbing this tree should be made clear and convenient.
short term plans
- A value indicator to show how much your vote is worth when sliding the Voting Power slider. I think this is very useful to adjust the voting power you vote with on debato.
- Storing draft discussions. Storing drafts on your browser can be useful when working on an elaborate discussion context. The user then does not need to finish the discussion directly and can revisit it later
- An upload function for the discussion thumbnail. Currently you have to enter a image URL to be used as thumbnail. Making it possible to upload an image directly from your computer can be a useful tool for people who want to use images they own already.
- Showing when an argument or discussion is edited. With the new feature of editing arguments and discussions it is also important to be able to see when a post was edited. Viewing the edit history can be interesting to understand comments on it that seem out of place.
- Adding button animations and disabling buttons when first clicked To provide an additional feedback when a button is pressed, animations will be added and the button will be visually disabled as well. This to increase the 'satisfaction' of pressing a button and to reduce the odds of a user pressing multiple times to reduce chance of failure.
How can you contribute?
As a developer, this is my first major project. So I don't mind feedback on issues such as inefficient/improper syntax or spelling mistakes.
suggesting features that are of great value to the project and not already mentioned in the planned changes, here or on GitHub.
- Existing steemJS functions do not allow for complex queries. you can, for example, get the posts of a certain user, but then you can't specify a tag. This is currently resolved by loading the maximum amount of posts (100) and filtering those further. But this is not the best way when scaling up the project. Another option is to use steemSQL but this is only viable when the project has grown to a certain extend where it can support a 20 SBD per month subscription fee. Until then, other alternatives for more advanced querying of posts are more then welcome.
- Some people experience issues when they go to debato via https://www.debato.org. An message appears saying 'Your connection is not private'. URL's with just 'https://' work fine and URL's with 'www.' work well. If there is anyone with more experience that can point out where it goes wrong?
- If you can think of anything else, feel free!
- Debato - update blog 4
- Debato - update blog 3
- Debato - update blog 2
- Debato - update blog 1
- Debato - introduction
written by @samve