I know where this all started. The name Steemit.com sort of gives it away. Steemit.com and therefore Condenser was originally created to be essentially a Crypto Reddit. The big spoiler comment of this post is that we're so far past that and I think it's time to start thinking and planning bigger. With measured steps of course, but the ultimate goal in my mind is condenser and therefore Hive being the backbone of all decentralized social activity on the internet.
I think this is a lofty but possible goal and I think we should settle for nothing less than that.
A quick aside about my personal motivations.
I personally feel like a ton of the worlds problems stem from the fact that too much power is in the hands of too few people. I think using technology to empower regular people is a worthwhile pursuit and something worth working for, fighting for, nurturing, and protecting.
Just as I think ultimately money and value is too important to be controlled by a few random humans, I also feel that in this day and age, digital social interaction is also too important to be controlled by a few random humans. We all use social applications for fun. For sharing memes or funny videos, for sharing our ideas, or snapshots of our lives, but we also use these tools to find out what's going on in the world, to listen to the voices of the otherwise voiceless, to speak truth to power and to express ourselves as free human beings that should have some inalienable rights.
What we're building today may very well be the foundation of the "Free Internet". What we just went through may be a historical turning point in the beginning of something that changes the world. If Steem were a private company, with proprietary assets, we'd have been screwed. What we did here wasn't just a social achievement by our community, it was a technological proof of concept that this system can withstand attacks that maybe few other system could.
Anyway, that's where I'm coming from. That's a peek into my values and why I'm doing everything I'm doing. It all comes down to those goals at the end of the day.
Back to Condenser. We have these behemoth social applications that have billions of users that the whole world is addicted to. They make insane amounts of money selling people's data to advertisers. Truth is most people don't care about that because they find the applications fun/useful and their data being sold typically doesn't negatively influence their life in any way that they can really perceive...yet.
In the past four years what I've seen is that all of those applications can work on Hive. Tweaks need to be made, especially to the frontend and I think in general in how people are looking at all this, but it CAN work. So my vision of Condenser in its final form looks something like this...
If you think of a mall, that is Condenser, and each Community in Condenser is like a store in the mall.
The role of the mall is to showcase the most popular stores and to help get you to the store you want to get to and make that journey as pleasant as possible. Each store within the mall is totally unique and once you cross that threshold from the general in-between area of the mall into the store. You're in that store's world. How it's designed, how it's decorated is up to the store owner(within reason).
Also, just because a store is in a mall, that doesn't mean that's the only place that store lives. That store can also own its own buildings, be in several malls, be wherever it thinks it can be that will be beneficial to the store.
Alright let's jump out of the metaphor and get a bit more plain. I think Condenser should be modular in a way operating on three levels. The base(Mall) that functions primarily to show you generically "good" and popular stuff, then facilitate you getting to the very specific thing you want.
Then I think there is the Community layer that I think should be HIGHLY customizable. In it's visible appearance and in its primary use case. For example...
- If your community is primarily just a place where you and your friends hang out and chat, you should be able to specify that the landing page is your public group chat (powered by OpenSeed of course 😉)
- If you've got an art Community like OnChainArt you should be able to showcase that art in a variety of ways.
- If you have a Community all about sharing video content, when someone lands on your community page, you should be able to lay that out to only see videos, and the view and experience should be able to be optimized for that. Basically, we can have it all. Why settle for just one experience?
Our brand can be to be brandless, therefore being able to fit the brand at the communities level.
The third and final layer is the Community Module layer. These would be features that you can turn on or off depending on what your community is and what it does. For example...
- A digital marketplace
- Ad space buying and selling
- Different flavors of chat
- Other Stuff
This gets back to what I and a lot of other community members have been saying for a long time that Hive(it's weird injecting Hive when I'd normally say Steem) should aim for an experience similar to Wordpress where we have lots of modules and widgets that we can use to customize the experience to whatever suites the communities needs.
I know that what I'm describing is thousands of development hours, but as I mentioned I think it should be a long term goal, to ultimately get all this stuff out and slick and opensource. I think this is our path to world domination.
What do you think? Let me know in the comments.