No-one yet fully understands what communities exactly will be, but tonight at @pennsif's Tribe.Talk both @roadscape (the lead communities developer at Steemit, Inc) and @elipowell shared some insights and progress on this long awaited feature on Steem.
I've seen a lot of comments both on and off chain about 'I still have no clue what communities will look like' so I decided to take notes during the show and see if they were worth sharing. After the show I cleaned up these for you all to read: this might be known info to some, this might be the first time hearing about communities for another.
DISCLAIMER: The content below is what I heard + what I understood + trying to multi-task while listening + a paraphrasing of comments from both @roadscape and @elipowell + some insights collected through the chat. Please read everything with a grain of salt and even better: share what you know outside of my summery in the comments and make this post even more useful to others.
What are communities?
In general communities will resemble sub-reddits more than Facebook groups - where Facebook groups often function with an added layer of privacy communities are on-chain and public.
We can imagine a wide variety of communities coming to Steem, or being formed from what's already happening on Steem. Some examples mentioned were:
- Communities centered around communicating local meet-ups
- Communities centered around specific interest topics like humor or bird watching
- Communities centered around professional topics like programming
The possibilities are endless.
How will communities work/be set up?
Communities will be initially set-up on steemitwallet.com. You start by creating the title and a brief description and you will become an administrator for the community. After this further tweaking happens on steemit.com: for example set up which tags are associated with the community, or which are the minimal requirements for sharing photos.
An administrator can assign users with moderator rights, so they can mute or pin posts, and perform other moderator tasks.
What will be the cost of creating a community?
The cost of creating a community will be the same as setting up a 'normal' Steem account, which currently is set at 3 STEEM by our witnesses. This 3 STEEM fee will be handled the same as in the case of account creation and thus essentially be burned.
[During discussing the cost of creating a community there were multiple mentions of 'creating a higher barrier', for example 100 STEEM for the creation. This in order to prevent SPAM or unnecessary communities.] @roadscape mentioned focussing on interesting communities and for example providing options to maybe burn STEEM in order to be featured on the Steem front page. This all sounded hypothetical but might lead to interesting opportunities for communities to show their interest and dedication and grow from there.
What can be done with communities?
There will be a lot of gamification opportunities through Communities. Proceeds could be paid out to operators of the community, be burned, maybe there will be options to share advertisement revenues with the (active/high-ranking) members... All things that are being thought about.
A community could decide to build their own app: buy a domain, run a clone of condenser, and have it function just as set-up while creating the community. Communities could interact solely through the app and have a customized experience.
If a community doesn't have their own domain name or app they will have a dedicated community page on steemit.com. It will be a similar page as a user profile page but with more fields/information to fill out, more opportunities to tweak, and added statistics.
What is the use of Steem Power in relation to communities?
Steem Power might be used as a requirement to get special features in the communities.
Communities will come with a basic notification system, and each notification will have a score which is based on a users Steem Power. There might be a cut-off score below which a user will not show up in the notification system so they can not spam all the members in the community.
Steem Power will furthermore be shown on users profiles, in order to show which members are supporters of the platform, or even be highlighted in one way or another.
In short: gamification and some practical use cases will be reasons for holding Steem Power in communities.
What's the difference between Hives/Communities/SMTs
- SMTs are a blockchain based token with built-in proof of brain emissions
- Hiveminds is a technical structure for building social apps
- Communties are a Hivemind plug-in
Where SMTs sit more on the technical side of things, communities can be seen as the key with which we can appeal to the masses.
How will Tribes and Communities co-exist once communities are launched?
Tribes and communities can run at the same time. @roadscape mentioned the hope is that communities provide a cross-platform protocol which Tribes might want to leverage because it makes their job easier and brings support to other User Interfaces. Communities should be both simple enough and powerful enough and through that make it unnecessary to reinvent the wheel.
How do onboarding and communities go together?
Communities could/should be able to take care of onboarding via an invite system. The idea is that 'Average Joe' has to be able to come to Steem and start a community without getting frustrated.
Tutorials should help with that.
Also, the idea is to highlight content that's already great and 'go out there' and for example convince that one subreddit to move their community to Steem.
Eli: "If I would set up a community it would definitely be sports or fitness related. I'm a huge college football fan. We should get MBA on Steem, they have a huge community."
Partnering and reaching out is part of the plan: maybe Hackernoon wants their own token? Why should they want that? And how will that work for them?
Will there be a chat functionality in the future?
There was mention of Discord being 'another thing to sign up for', especially problematic for newer users who feel like 'I already signed up for Steem, I don't want to sign up for another service!
Steem will probably never have a high-intensity chat app like Discord, but there was mention of sort of a 'troll box' or chat box that will show updates from administrators and moderators and where members of the community can react on. So a lower-intensity chat that will function as a way to empower the organization of the community.
OKAY, now, WHEN?
Of course the 'when question' popped up in the chat, and according to @roadscape a closed beta should be available in the course of 'a few weeks'.
That's all folks!