Your Hopes and Expectations for COMMUNITIES? + My Thoughts


The @steempeak blog is mostly for updates and sharing posts about features... so I'd like to lead a conversation getting some input about Communities. I'm interested in what you're expecting and maybe what some of your hopes and dreams are for communities interface.

I'd also like to share some of my big pictures thoughts about communities if you're interested

AKA ... My job to know what you want for



Back in February we were working on a community interface for using a different API and we had a chat with Steemit INC and talked about the benefits of using Hivemind to power communities. Sounded like a good proposition and we also knew that if we waited we'd fill that time with plenty of other features anyway.

So here we are working on the interface again and it's really nice to also have steemit also running a beta of the interface as well @roadscape who is in charge of the hivemind protocol all interfaces will be using to power communities is very responsive and very passionate about this project.

Obviously the history of communities extends far before steempeak came along... it's been something Steem has been talking about and wanting for a while.


Here's how i describe it:

Steem is a small town with small town drama and sometimes people leave the town when the drama gets too high or they're not loving the rules of the road/hoa. Communities will be tons of different small towns that will all have different levels of drama (maybe none) and often different rules of the road. Users will end up in lots of communities and some of these small towns may not fit them... but if they leave and go to another one the trick is that they're still IN STEEM. ... And then sometimes they'll find the perfect place for them where they never have to mingle with the old money people for example.

Putting everyone from every walk of life with every different kind of expectation and motivation into one place and telling them... "everyone get along" ... It's a noble desire... but it just isn't gonna happen.

EXAMPLE: Some people don't think cat pictures should get any rewards and then other people create communities just for kitten pictures.



Chatting with a friend who uses Reddit a lot I thought about: How is communities filling a need? There are gonna be 3 different types of communities and the one we're already testing deals with the concept of OWNERSHIP. Meaning as opposed to sub-reddits or FB groups you don't have to trust a company or one particular website. You still trust some code (hivemind, steem blockchain) but no need to trust one particular site or company and that's a huge deal. You are so much less dependent and you have several companies with sites all creating tools and working to make the best product for you and your community of users.

In a way you actually own your audience

What does ownership mean... what follows?

IF we hold to this idea of ownership in communities... that one person or one group or one DAO (decentralized autonomous organization) calls the shots for the community. Then i think what follows could be very interesting for Steem and

1. Could the community decide to use a different reward pool token?

Yes of course we've seen this already with Steem-Engine Tribes and we'll see it even more with SMTs which are also in testing phase over at Steemit INC.

2. Could the community be provided with different ways to monetize?

I think this is 100% a very real possibility that I'd like to see @SteemPeak pursuse. We've recently created a promotion system on feeds inside of our Explore page. The idea is the promotion system benefits the whole community through reducing the supply of steem. But inside a community could they speak for themselves and could they tell us what kind of split would be best to serve the interests of their smaller group of users. Maybe promotions in that community less is burned and more is just collected into an account and they have other plans for that. Maybe an SE token is burned... maybe it's all just straight payment.

3. Could SteemPeak and communities work like partnerships?

Maybe even in bigger communities we provide bigger better feature sets beyond promotion payment systems. We could listen to some big communities with thousands or tens of thousands of users and maybe we develop some addition features for those larger communities (At a cost... not to the users but the community)

4. Could Communities tweak their Steem experience? ... no reward pool?

Maybe a community doesn't want downvotes... or voting pool at all. Maybe a big content creator just loves the idea of non-censored location that is owned completely by themselves. So they bring their youtube audience of 2 million (aka probably 10-20k semi-active users) to Steem Communities because no company will own their connections. Each subscription by their fans to the community is stored blockchain level and will go with them no matter the site or company. They are free from a dependency on a company.

HOWEVER... let's say they're not a believer in Steem Rewards pool. They just kinda want a place like reddit but with the perks of the blockchain. Why couldn't they just say: "here in my land (community) we don't use the reward pool". I personally have zero objections to that. I'd think they put that intention in the metadata of the owning hive-account (each community has one) and then the interfaces can choose to honor that. I'd push for SteemPeak to honor that. I feel like many content creators are looking for ways to increase engagement and also not have drama... so maybe taking the money out of it benefits them more. Or maybe a rewards pool... just not Steem rewards because it comes with drama they're not interested in.

In my presentation at SteemFest I presented some findings that big full time content creators liked a lot of things about what we do on Steem and reward pool really wasn't even close to the highest on the list. Smaller creators probably like reward pool significantly more than big creators.


Over at what are we doing to get ready for Communities. Well we're working together with Steemit INC and even helping test their system and give feedback... all while thinking about what we may want.

  • Obviously we're thinking about the look and design
  • And we're thinking philosophically about the big picture elements (as listed in this post)
  • We're also trying to understand how to even navigate and find communities Even in private testing among just a few dozen users there are already dozens of communities... i suspect when it goes public there will quickly be perhaps even thousands of communities. So right now the question is HOW TO SORT and SEARCH?
  • More specifically what really quick bits of data beyond name and the short about text does a user need to see to even be interested enough to go in and check the community to see if there is enough interest to subscribe. Like number of subscribers... if the community has a lot of subscribers that's usually a decent indicator that maybe perhaps the community is good?
  • Also the big question for all interfaces is how to decide URLs. FYI there is no rush to go and grab a community name. There could be multiple communities of the same name. They each get a specific number ID instead. But there will be a big decision needed to be made about the vanity URLs for communities. What I think we don't really want is SteemPeak giving a URL to one Splinterlands community while Steemit or Busy giving the Splinterlands URL to another. So that's a big decision that should be a decision among a lot of interfaces after communities gets rolling.
  • Even questions like should a post in a community automatically be in the feed of people who follow you? Should you have to resteem a community post if you want it in your main blog?


Communities is just getting rolling. SteemPeak is just getting the feature sets rolled out... still playing a bit of catch up as we've been doing a lot of Guest account stuff recently.

So as we get it more complete we'll be looking for people to jump into it.Communities itself doesn't require a hardfork and is already live on the blockchain but communities is basically a way to SEE the blockchain and content and a way to moderate it. We will have it in private beta for a while (same with steemit inc)... I'd push to get users on there that have lots to say about communities and can provide me with feedback and big ideas... it's part of my role at @steempeak so i'd push to get those types on there. So comment below...

I guess if you even made it through the whole post that may even qualify you. haha... So let me know.

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  • @cardboard

    It would be cool if community owners could customize the website look of the community on steempeak. Things like colors or top image :)

  • @naturalmedicine

    I'd really like to know how the existing tokens can be incorporated into the community experience.

    I'd like to know whether ownership can be transferred.

    I'd like to know about how to clearly and easily search for them and whether they'll be listed in a date created or alphabetical way - alpabetical would be more fair I think. And of course a good way to search for them - not just by title, but by interest. For example, could the community list their interests (thinking Natural Medicine is not just 'herbalism' but also 'vegan' 'meditation' and so on as part of the broader experience). If you were a new user, how would you know what community you'd fit into with random or not so self explanatory names? I mean, kittens is clearly aobut kittens - I hope - and not some dporn thing. So if there the communities had 'tags' within the communities to find them eg Hypothetically, I arrive on Steemit, and I'm interested in 'yoga'. I search 'yoga' in communities and it throws me three choices: 'Yogis On Steem' 'Natural Medicine' 'Yoga Mamas' - because those communities have elected 'yoga' to be ONE of the tags that helps find them.. Does that make sense?

    I definitely think that whatever community is made needs to be the same across all interfaces - can't even imagine the headf78k if it isn't.

    By the way, it's @riverflows.

  • @mattclarke

    Oh, pictures of kittens. I've been sharing recipes. No wonder I'm getting downvoted.

  • @bil.prag

    i can say that i have no idea what to expect of it. it could be interesting, it should be interesting but... i like that posts will not be automatically on the "main blog" but i feel that there should be a check box "do you want to post it outside the community".

  • @steemitqa

    As one who came here for the communities and a community ( been waiting for 3 years!) I have to say your description of it is well put.

    Communities will allow choice and with choice comes content discovery which is badly needed. As you stated , rules will be a nice way to control the flow of relevant information and stakeholders to a community.

    How is communities filling a need?

    Great question to try to tackle. You are right the biggest selling point of communities vs. reddit subs is there is no need to trust one particular site or company to maintain your audience. You own your audience which is pretty powerful once you think about it.

    As you mentioned in the following hypothetical situations you could have a separate reward pool dedicated to that particular niche topic. SMTs will help bring that out.

    Burning the particular SMT for a promotional purposes makes sense.

    One question I was wondering can rewards a particular topic creates be distributed back to moderators and admin. A kind of group beneficiary for their communities.

    Btw, love your diagram of what communities will look like in Steempeak. :)

  • @patrickulrich

    I personally think a decent option for community discovery would be a section for 'communities people I follow are subscribed to but I am not.' I believe that leveraging a user's shared social graph to find a community would provide users a better way to find communities they may already belong to and have connections within.

    I think this would also become crowded as more and more communities grow. To solve that I would just let users have an option to close the suggestion from appearing again similar to how announcement messages are often handled in feeds.

  • @celestal

    Would love to have an access to tinker around communities :)

  • @teamhumble

    i can think nothing more i'd want than a steempeak powered communties rather than hitting a login/password .htaccess file of steemit, i absolutely dislike this culture of the 'in the know' access to things that steemit and co have -- i'm sure what @roadscape has built is brilliant but it seems to be protected by the '300' right now so us minions don't get access to play.

    i'd love to get into a video chat debate/conversation with others about communities if you are up for it? maybe get like a handful of us together 4/8 people and record it? let me know!

  • @imwatsi

    Hey @jarvie. Could you hook me up? We could start discussions in the Hivemind Dev community.

  • @borislavzlatanov

    Glad to read about what you're playing with in regards to Communities. I would be really happy to join the testing and feedback giving if you would have me. :)

  • @midlet

    Couple things. Some are things that others have already mentioned.

    • Definitely need a top header image. I think that's all the visual customization necessary, but one image can quickly let a user know what a community is about.
    • Definitely think posts in Communities shouldn't show up on your blog by default. Appics should just be in Appics, 3Speak in 3Speak, and if you want to share it on your blog, let that be a separate option.
    • One thing I'd been thinking about it the idea of a Community within a Community, or a sub-community. Thinking about something like Appics. That's an entire app, and I'd want to be able to see a community JUST for Appics posts and have that NOT posted to my blog by default, but I'd also like to just be able to see art posts in Appics. Maybe this is done just with tags, but I think it would definitely be useful and something users would want.
    • As for Community searching, I think it would make sense to be able to define a set of keywords associated with a community, and have search make that community pop up if those words are searched for. For example, say I make a Community about digital art. I could then have some associated terms to go with that like (digital, art, photoshop, painting, concept, 3d, corel, painter, visual, development, effects, drawing, sculpting, zbrush, maya, 3dsmax, houdini, sketch, doodle) etc, you get the point.

    Would love to get some early access and throw around ideas with you guys!

  • @caseygrimley

    I'd love to beta test communities...add me to the list

  • @crypto.piotr

    Great read @jarvie. One quick question

    Can one post be part of few different communities? Or just one and only one?

    And also if I subscribe then to some community and new publication will be posted, then how VISIBLE is this post on my feed? I mean - will I be at least notified?

    Just wondering how real visibility will increase.

    Yours Piotr