It is great to see so many communities being established on Steem.
This is a strong indication of the growth and diversity of the Steem community.
However we are becoming concerned about the sustainability of many of these communities.
Setting up a community and just hoping @steemcurator01 will arrive to support it is not a plan that will succeed.
Steemit is keen to help communities to grow and thrive but there are now too many for us to support them all.
We are therefore looking to establish some guidelines for communities to help us select those that we will be able to give more support to.
Before setting up a new community look around to see if there are already any existing communities covering the same topic you plan to cover. Ask around and use the Explore Communities Search facility.
We are unlikely to be able to support more than one community in each subject area.
Don’t Go It Alone
It is hard to run a community effectively by yourself. Try to find two or three others to join with you to help spread the load and generate extra ideas. If your community is not country specific then try to get people with other languages to widen the appeal.
Have some SP in your Wallet
You do really need some level of initial voting power to encourage people to join your community. Maybe wait until you have at least a few thousand SP before starting a community unless you know you can get some quick delegations from the start.
Methods of Operation
Community Description & Statement of Purpose
Every community should have a clear description that states what its purpose is.
Admins & Mods
Ideally communities should have at least two Admins. That way if one Admin leaves or loses their keys the community can still continue.
Recruiting at least one or two Moderators early on to help run a community is also a good idea.The number of Mods should grow as the membership and activity of the community grows.
Community Curation Account
Every community really needs a separate community curation account. That account can build up SP by posting community announcements and contests for example. It should also be the account that community supporters delegate to. We prefer to give votes to community curation accounts to help build the community. Ideally community curation accounts should never be powering down.
Delegations & Growing SP
For a community to grow and be successful it must build up its own voting power through its community account. This can be achieved by earning rewards from posting on that account, through delegations and through beneficiaries.
Getting delegations from members is the most popular way to grow the strength of the community account. Many communities offer some form of delegation rewards to encourage delegations but this is not compulsory.
A growing number of communities are now asking members to set a beneficiary on their posts to help build up the SP of the community account. Again this is not compulsory but up to the choice of the community and its members.
Communities generally have some rules covering for example type of accepted content, languages, NSFW, etc.
The number one rule for every community should be a clear and robust policy about non acceptance of plagiarism. This should be backed up by consistent and thorough checking by Admins and Moderators.
Ideally in a community every post should be commented on by an Admin or Mod. If a community team is not able to do this then it is a sign that more Mods are needed. Hopefully they will also be voting on a good number of the posts in a community as well. Members of the community should also be strongly encouraged to comment and vote on each other’s posts as well.
When we visit a community and see large numbers of posts without comments and almost no votes we are discouraged from wanting to support a community that makes little effort to support itself.
Growth and Promotion
Plans and Updates
Communities should have clear plans for how they intend to develop and grow. Particularly for how they intend to build up their voting power to become more self-sustaining.They should post regular updates on progress.
We are particularly keen to support communities which have a clear vision for their future development.
Communities obviously need to promote themselves to build up their membership. Contests are a popular way to do this.
Promotion to the outside world to recruit new people to Steem is also something we are keen to see in communities.
How Steemit Can Support Communities
While we have considerable resources through @steemcurator01 and the @booming accounts to support communities, our voting power is not unlimited.
With the growing number of communities all wanting our support we are going to have to become more selective.
We will be reviewing and refining over the next few weeks how we can most effectively support communities. Regular community voting visits, supporting ‘Picks of the Day’, and promoting contests are some of the ways we can help.
This post and the guidelines are a starting point for our review process.
We welcome any thoughts, feedback and suggestions.
The Steemit Team