Hive Communities: An Interview w/Steemit's Senior Product Engineer

hive communities road thumb.jpg

Hello Steemians, we’ve been doing a lot of video interviews recently (you can see the last one here), but today we wanted to try something different with our Senior Product Engineer, @roadscape. What follows is a text-based interview between @roadscape and our Head of Communications, @andrarchy.


@andrarchy: You’ve been working on Hive Communities for a long time. Why do you think they’re important for Steem?

@roadscape: Content discovery and the ability for users to organize go hand-in-hand. Without the ability to organize, groups are working against the grain. Without content discovery, curation is more difficult than it needs to be. This leads to automation but the data is still noisy. Hive Communities will allow us to completely reimagine how we use the platform, and give everyone a voice.

@andrarchy: Do you think that the impact of Communities on Steem will reach beyond the walls of the Steem ecosystem and impact the broader world?

@roadscape: Yes, but first things first. Hive Communities is progress towards revealing the power of the Steem blockchain, which is still mostly unrealized. Nobody has seen yet what that looks like. I’m cautiously optimistic, but this project has been something I’ve felt was deeply important and I’m excited to finally bring the concept to fruition.

@andrarchy: Our mission is to onboard the masses to blockchain, how do you think Hive Communities will help us achieve that mission?

@roadscape: Without a reasonable user experience, onboarding the masses is futile. Hive communities eliminate many of the pain points that have made our existing communities difficult to scale. The current challenges in organizing communities on Steem include:

  1. tags have no quality standards, nor consensus on how to enforce them
  2. community leaders have little recourse against spam or low-value posts
  3. communities have no recognizable leadership structure (at least in any sort of standardized way)
  4. communities have no way to brand themselves, e.g. by featuring posts, or highlighting specific users
  5. votes control post visibility (as opposed to just payout), so discussions are susceptible to drive-by flag wars

It's easy to solve this using private implementations of communities as people have been doing, but this leads to the fragmentation of what should be a common/open framework of organization. (Assuming most everyone's needs are met.) Hive Communities is an open protocol that will address these issues.

@andrarchy: Steemit.com hasn’t changed much since it was launched, how will Hive Communities impact the user experience and the user interface on steemit.com?

@roadscape: The initial rollout won't appear to be a drastic change; there is a minor restructuring of the UI, as well as a new notifications page. However, the expectation is that Community-led change will begin to take root and create an experience that is driven by all Steemians. This is a platform that developers can use for new projects, and that non-developers can use to simply have a more focused and navigable experience. Not to mention, it will be easier to identify and deal with spammers and bots. The initial roll out will be a rough proof of concept, but I’m confident users will quickly see how powerfully it could improve our user experience.

@andrarchy: The reason why we’re referring to it as “Hive Communities” is because we are talking about a feature set that is built using a piece of software you developed called “Hivemind.” Could you explain why it was necessary to build Hivemind before building Communities?

@roadscape: In layman’s terms, Hivemind provides a framework which is easier to develop and faster to iterate on; it bridges the gap between frontend and backend. Hivemind basically just stores posts in a traditional database, is written in Python, and allows you to process arbitrary events. Although Communities (or the hivemind daemon itself) could have been written as a steemd plugin (in C++), leveraging standard web technologies makes development more flexible and accessible.

@andrarchy: Hivemind isn’t just limited to Communities-related features. From the sound of it, Hivemind can support a seemingly infinite number of feature sets. It almost turns Steem into a smart contracts platform, except without a lot of the downsides. Is that right?

@roadscape: Yes, Hivemind can do an infinite number of things. However, it’s important to keep in mind that Hivemind is geared toward social applications. Certain trade-offs were made that are important for developers to understand. For instance, hivemind trades consistency for speed and simplicity. To be as consistent as the blockchain itself would essentially require you to re-implement steemd in Python. Currently it is not equipped to robustly handle forks, thus, it is not ideal for wallets or financial transactions. For instance, to avoid inconsistencies due to forks, you could follow the last irreversible block, but then the data would all be a minute old. Alternatively, you could implement an undo database, though this would decrease capacity and make the system more complex.

I am excited to share specific ideas that harness the potential I see for Hive Communities with Steemians at Steemfest in November. I don’t like to talk things up before they are delivered, but I have faith that once this rolls out, it will speak for itself.

End of Interview


We hope this interview helped provide a better understanding of both Hivemind, and Hive Communities. If there is something else you’d like to know about Communities or Hivemind, please let us know in the comment section below.

MVPs of The Week: @quochuy & @eonwarped

Speaking of Communities, we wanted to highlight two community developers who have been generously volunteering their time to help bring Hive Communities to life: @quochuy and @eonwarped. As a special "thank you" we decided to use the beneficiaries features recently added to steemit.com to make them the beneficiaries of this post. Both will be receiving 50% of all the STEEM paid out to this post, totaling 100% of the rewards. We also want to thank @jarvie who suggested we leverage this feature in his comment on our last post.

The Steemit Team


Comments
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  • @smartsteem

    👍👍👍 ~Smartsteem Curation Team

  • @quochuy

    I'm looking forwards to seeing Communities released. This should give some new energy to Steem.

    I was wondering if Hivemind could give us the ability to enable some kind of anonymous or non-steem social commenting. Whenever someone share their Steem blog posts to other social platforms, the audience from those platform might want to interact with the author and leave a comment but they currently can't unless they sign up but they might not want to or it takes too long to on board and by the time it's successful they might forget about why they signed up. With Google/FB/Twitter authentication and allowing those to leave comments we might be able to attract some external users.

  • @worldtraveller32

    well done!

  • @stealthtrader

    Will the subreddit style landing page be implemented the day of roll-out?

  • @masterthematrix

    Great News, we are all very excited to see what the new community feature will bring for the future. Also great move that you are sharing your post rewards with users who contributed to this project. Overall, I see much more improvement in your communication with the Steem Userbase which is awesome. Keep up the great work!

    Posted using Partiko Android

  • @preparedwombat

    communities have no recognizable leadership structure

    I’ve wondered about the overlap between Communities and SMT’s. For instance housing. How would it be determined who had the rights to issue a HOUSING token or have leadership of the HOUSING community? First come, first served? Stake-based proposal voting? Something else?

  • @justineh

    I’m so looking forward to communities and having the opportunity to chat with Roadscape on his visions of what Steem is, and what it can be.. I think it’s going to be a game changer.

    Great interview, keep them coming.

  • @steevc

    Steem really needs communities if we want large groups of like-minded people to use it. They want to gather around an interest and not necessarily a single account. As you say tags are easily abused. I won't be at Steemfest, but I'll tune in for the presentations.

  • @mattclarke

    image.png

  • @chrisrice

    Excellent post and good job @quochuy & @eonwarped.

    I'm glad you two are developing for the Steem Blockchain 😀

  • @soyrosa

    It's the lesser talked about but to me probably most exciting upcoming change :-) Can't wait to see more social features and changes in the way we can explore/find content <3 Thanks for working on this and sharing this interview with us!

  • @marcosbh

    Excellent post!!!

    Posted using Partiko iOS

  • @princeprincewill

    Wow! That was really awesome

  • @isthatart

    If youre into art and music and stuff I got you covered!*

    [email protected]

  • @jhonsus0712

    Hello, I'am new.

  • @enn0

    This is amazing news. I'm so waiting for this

  • @trafalgar

    Very much looking forward to communities and agree that they will play a crucial role in content discovery and platform engagement.

    Quoc and Eon definitely deserve recognition for their contributions.

  • @por500bolos

    We also want to thank @jarvie who suggested we leverage this feature in his comment on our last post.

    Interesting and entertaining interview. And glad to hear that "The Steemit Team" also pay attention (every) now and then, to what members of this community suggest & propose thru comments once in a while on their posts. }:)

  • @adrianodona

    Es bueno que se este haciendo cosas nuevas para mejora Steemr. Sigan así. Saludos

  • @malay11

    Great thought. Looking for somothing more about hivemind project. Thanks for sharing.

  • @michealb

    when?

  • @hafijur-rahman

    Steem really needs communities if we want large groups of like-minded people to use it. They want to gather around an interest and not necessarily a single account. They would use far less RC than normal comments, so it makes them useful for smaller accounts, but they could also be leveraged by UIs to allow for 'guest' comments. The UI would still need to reasonably limit spam, but there would be less at stake in terms of resource abuse....( i liked your pust)

  • @marcosdk

    I'm very excited about this feature but I hope SMT comes to us soon also

  • @raees786

    Screenshot_20190324-015558.png

    Best elergy nasal pray use this is great to remove ur tissues

  • @imwatsi

    Yes, hivemind enables many new possibilities. Great interview!

  • @liberosist

    I've been requesting a subreddit-like feature since mid-2016. I've grown old waiting for it, but it's still my most anticipated feature on Steem. Hope to use it out soon-ish.

  • @meczup

    More communicate bring more people 🤙🏽

    Posted using Partiko iOS

  • @ammonite

    So will the Steem Engine tribes morph into communities? Otherwise I don't see how this is going to bring people together and not splinter them apart. Nice interview and I'm glad to see so much gong on behind the scenes.

  • @krishnaji

    great I understand very .. great work .. thank you upvote just

  • @earnmoneyy

    make them the beneficiaries of this post. Both will be receiving 50% of all the STEEM paid out to this post, totaling 100% of the rewards. We also want to thank @jarvie who suggested we leverage this feature in his comment on our last post.

  • @tayyab45

    Soo nice

  • @defencenews

    awesome just loved this

    worth reading (Y)

  • @dorvil2

    Yeah

    Posted using Partiko iOS

  • @yuris33

    Excelente entrevista, sería un gran beneficio para millones de personas llegar a comprender claramente este concepto . Estoy de acuerdo creo que steemit llegará a influenciar a la comunidad mundial mucho más aún.

  • @danleiros

    I am new here and this article was very interesting. I am excited to explore and figure out how to fit myself in here and contribute to the community. I will start using this platform to document the creation of a video game in relation to digital twins.

    I am open to advise and suggestions from anyone.

    Thank you for such a great post @andrarchy and @roadscape

  • @atomcollector

    This is very exciting and it's great to see that it has been approached in the right way by building a solid foundation that developers can build upon.

    I am looking forward to using this to integration our independent music platform into the Steem chain.

  • @meysamgholami

    Excellent

    Posted using Partiko Android

  • @kingscrown

    woot roadscape is alive

  • @thethreehugs

    Upvoted and resteemed. 👍

  • @gulraiz

    When

  • @treepi

    So, am I understanding this correctly? Hivemind will provide a framework to build communities? Are these communities similar to how Reddit is structured?

    Will these be built within steemit.com? Or are these individual communities to be built on their own domains with their own servers?

    I'm a bit confused on how this will function. And also, this is all written in Python and thus Python can be used to build these communities? If so, I'm in! I love Python haha.

  • @darmianto5

    Verry nice and like this is steem. Me go hold to all my steem. Good friends

  • @yapcat

    ... "enforcing tags" ... ...."leadership structure" ... there's always something about the way you people talk that makes me believe half of you are or used to work for law enforcement or the NSA or something, as if the end-game is de-centralized tribalism , somewhat of a contradiction in itself ... i'm sure its not as bad as you make it sound, i'd be fine already with the ability to pin a post to any feed of any account for starters myself, #musing and #steemstem have been around for quite a while and so have others , the #ghs , its not like you cant HAVE communities from the very start. I'm just gonna have to see for myself what it all means because the way you sometimes express things ... its a bit odd to me

  • @preparedwombat

    communities have no recognizable leadership structure

    I’ve wondered about the overlap between Communities and SMT’s. For instance housing. How would it be determined who had the rights to issue a HOUSING token or have leadership of the HOUSING community? First come, first served? Stake-based proposal voting? Something else?

  • @luisrudas

    Generoso es de su parte, e interesante propuesta ya que incentiva a otros a sumergirse en el mundo de los desarrolladores de programas, felicidades a los compañeros: @quochuy y @eonwarped .

  • @bluabaleno

    "Without a reasonable user experience, onboarding the masses is futile. "

    100%

  • @mycoyote

    I think this interview helped provide a better understanding of both Hivemind, and Hive Communities.

  • @aortron

    It was so cool!!!

  • @theguruasia

    @steem.marketing, Interesting, let's see how things align with current updates of Steemit Inc. $trdo

    Cheers~

  • @ddrfr33k

    Quick question: https://beta.steemit.com is prompting for login, but not taking my private posting key as password.

    Is this intentional? Or should I be able to access the beta site right now?

  • @loreennaa

    @roadscape I've been reading the github about communities in Steem, but I just didn't like the way they will work. The biggest problem I see is that only posts will be able to appear in the community if users post from there or tag. This affects both the community and the user: 1- Community: a) any publication will appear (if the community is free to publish) and the community cannot easily filter the content b) you cannot "grab" posts to your community that are not made from it 2- Users It limits the possible gains of the user, since he has to decide to which community he wants to "bet", that is very risky, another community may be interested in his publication but in that he is rejected.

    My idea is the following: In steemit there would be the option of "grabbing the publication" would be like a re-steem style, and add it to the community. At that time the community would be granting the right to profit from its token and the user would obtain "surprise" tokens.

    This solves the 2 above mentioned problems, you give the community complete freedom that it wants to appear in it and you give unlimited possibilities to users who make good content.

    I know that several projects are interested in the options you give, but I think it would be good to add this option when making the community