I don't know who started the trend but all Hive (then Steemit) communities that I have been a part of had their hub on Discord. From random socialization, blog post promotions to important community meetings, Discord is the room where it happens. So it's sort of natural that as the community grows, people will think of ways to leverage Discord features to improve how the group operates.
Before the anti-abuse features came in, our @hiveph's Discord bot was first and foremost a curation tool. It's been part of the team for more than a year. And as @romeskie reviews, the bot has been a valuable helper to our community's curation efforts.
I hope that by sharing about our Discord curation bot, readers will gain inspiration on how to innovate their community operations. Similar to how we have been inspired by other communities before us.
The Origin of the Bot
Before diving into what the bot does, I'd like to give credit to the originator of the idea -- the @c-squared community. The majority of our prototype's curation-related functions were drawn from their bot. C-squared, or Curation Collective, aimed to support existing curation groups primarily by using their higher voting power to upvote each group's curated content. It was a melting pot of various groups across the world, across all niches. There were maybe close to a hundred or even more curators in their Discord server so it was necessary to keep the upvoting process fast and simple.
And they did just that by auto-upvoting posts that get a curator-role-restricted emoji. How cool is that?
A Discord Bot to lighten the burden of our active members
Community leadership, in any degree or form, is a tough role. To some, it will seem like that the things they do aren't that hard, but we got to remember that each of them has busier lives outside the community.
@romeskie, one of the leaders of @hiveph, is a home-schooler mom of a brilliant toddler and actively participates in several other communities such as #ocd and #needleworkmonday. She's tough and ever-enthusiastic with community building but I worry an upcoming burnout is just a few hectic weeks away. I feel for her and several other active members who contribute their valuable time to the community.
As @adamada once mentioned, @hiveph is kept alive by its quality members acting as its resilient pillars. With a small community like ours, these members aren't really afforded several benefits for their roles, so the responsibilities overwhelmingly tower over any little gain they may get. It's often a thankless job so I wanted to help out in some way by automating some of their everyday tasks within the group.
What the bot does:
Enable our curators to upvote content on behalf of the community
Before the bot's time, we do a tedious process of having our @hiveph curators drop URLs of blog posts in a specific discord channel. The curation leader who has the Posting Keys of the community account would log in as that account and upvote each of the posts individually.
Now, all our curators need to do is type in !vote URL to upvote the curated post. It's also possible to set a specific vote percentage in the command.
I'd like to show one of @juecoree's recent picks as an example. He's probably the most active curator within the group, and a talented writer too, so he often curates the best posts out of the lot.
Just by typing the text on Discord, the bot will upvote the post at the designated percentage. Our curators don't need to get a hold of the community account's key to upvote the post. Nor do we need to wait for the few people who know the keys to manually upvote the post.
The vote percentage allocated per curated post is up to our trusted curators' discretion. The percentage isn't necessarily a measure of the quality of the post. There are many things to consider such as how often the author publishes on their blog and how well they are rewarded. Another important determinant is the upvoting account's voting power at that given time. If it's nearing our designated threshold, the curators are encouraged to wait to let the voting power fill up or allocate a smaller voting rate. The curators can check the account's voting power through the command !vp.
Another thing the bot does: Stream posts to discord
Instead of having our curators go to their favorite condenser apps and individually check on @hiveph curated tags, we opted to have the bot drop all recent potentially curatable posts in one channel in our Discord server. The bot checks the blockchain for new posts at regular intervals. And whenever it finds a post with tags such as #hiveph or #philippines, the bot drops the post's URL on the channel feed. It's a tiny thing but even a few seconds saved of our curators' time is a welcome boon.
One last thing the bot does: Auto-publish a curation post
@hiveph team selects several recent posts, compiles them, and includes them on our very special, distinguished curation post :P
Through showcasing these featured authors, we hope we could get more eyes on their blogs. It also serves as a way to gain upvotes to grow the account's Hive power. The post isn't complex so we thought of just letting the bot auto-publish the post. Granted, we may have simplified further an already simple compilation post to allow its smooth automation but I'd like to think that even in its stripped-down form, the post has still served its purpose.
Our HivePH's curation post image. One example of our compilation post is here.
You may wonder if the bot just randomly selects posts to feature. No, it's still up to the curation group to decide which posts to showcase. Taking inspiration from @c-squared's nifty emoji-upvoting, we decided to have a consensus-based feature selection. Among the upvoted posts, curators can select and leave a 👍🏼 reaction emoji for the posts they want to feature. If a post, gets two or more curator votes, the bot will consider it eligible for the next @hiveph compilation post. We'll all know it qualifies when the bot emoji-reacts with 🙌🏼.
As a very small bonus, our curators will receive 5% of the curation compilation post's author rewards for every post they have recommended that was included in the feature. It's an incredibly small amount considering the amount of upvotes @hiveph gets but it's more of a thoughtful gesture rather than an actual payment for their contribution rendered.
I hope that readers will get some spark of ideas to do some innovations for your own community after reading this post. Even with the little automation the bot does, it has supported some of our community activities effectively and significantly. It goes to show that every bit of help has a wider impact. If you ever want to start something of your own (maybe a discord bot for your community too?), just give me a holler at the comments section and I may be able to help out.