Tribes, Communities, & Nested Communities …

in Spring 2021 Seminar3 years ago (edited)

Hopefully this is not too much info for a single post.

And, hopefully I have been able to coherently organize my thoughts.

TL;DR version:

  • existing #onboarding is either too cumbersome (full onboarding) or too restrictive (‘one-click’ onboarding)
  • #affinity-groups are the ultimate key to expanding the #Hive user base
  • affinity groups can also play a meaningful role in assisting with the onboarding process
  • low-friction creation of new #front-ends (similar to #LeoFinance) represents the quickest path to explosive growth

The Onboarding Process

After learning about Hive a couple weeks ago, many of my students commented about the difficulty of the onboarding process (they felt that widespread adoption would remain elusive until that process becomes much more streamlined and seamless). This info is, of course, not new to the Hive community.

‘One-Click’ Onboarding via a Key Custodian is a Big Step in the Right Direction, but Remains too Restrictive

LeoFinance and #3Speak (and others, I presume) have done a good job making the onboarding process a lot easier (by automatically creating a newbie’s Hive account on their behalf, after simple email verification or via twitter login, then serving as ‘key custodian’ until that individual is ready to take control of their own keys).

Current Problems with ‘One-Click’ Onboarding

The problem with that approach (from what I can tell) is twofold:

  • the individual cannot operate outside of the front-end where they were onboarded until they actively take control of their keys, and
  • ‘one-click’ onboarding via one front-end excludes a new user from also using one-click onboarding elsewhere (unless they are willing to activate and use multiple Hive accounts -- one for each front-end).

As such, the ‘one-click’ processes currently in place unfortunately creates silo’d accounts that are only useful on a single front-end, thus severely limiting the new user’s ‘introduction to the ecosystem’ experience.

Affinity Groups: A Three-Fold Improvement Approach

I want to start by giving a shout-out to @aggroed. I drafted this document a few days ago, but gained a much richer understanding about tribes, tokens, and front-ends after @aggroed graciously spent a little over an hour yesterday educating me on the ins & outs of #hive-engine, #tokenization, #condenser, etc.

Prior to my conversation with @aggroed I was admittedly bullish about Hive; however, after talking to him, I am now uber bullish. I am convinced that hive-engine is a powder keg that, once fully ignited, will help blow Hive and everything Hive-related to the moon. That is, in part, because the ‘wish list’ that I had incorporated into my first draft of this document a few days ago (and mentioned here) is by-and-large already a reality (more on that a bit later).

What Can be Done Immediately? Establish a ‘Community Organizer’ Badge

Imho, affinity groups represent the single biggest user-base expansion opportunity for the Hive ecosystem. We should encourage every new Hive member to create a new Hive ‘community’ centered around any topic (not currently on Hive) that is especially relevant to an affinity group the new member identifies with. As suggested in the heading, this encouragement could be accomplished via a ‘Community Organizer’ badge that gets awarded once a new member creates a community that attains a certain number of initial subscribers.

Two big advantages emerge from encouraging the creation of new communities by new members:

  • once the new member has created a new community, there will be a natural propensity for that new member to try to recruit individuals from that affinity group to become Hive members and thus begin contributing both to the new community and to the overall Hive ecosystem. (NOTE: imho, a percentage of rewards for the posts within a given community should go to the creator / admin of that community -- this could be a system-level standard (i.e. posting within a community represents de facto acceptance that a portion of your rewards will go to that community’s creator), or simply applied as an added beneficiary to the default beneficiaries list), and
  • a new member who creates a new community and recruits new users to Hive can (and likely will) actively help those new users navigate the full onboarding process.

Two Needed Improvements to Expand the Outreach Potential of Affinity Groups

Two additional improvements to the Hive ecosystem could facilitate expansion of the Hive ecosystem. Those two improvements are:

  • enable nested (or linked) communities, and
  • make it easier for new ‘LeoFinance’-type front-ends (i.e. ‘tribes’) to be created.

I will expand upon both of these proposed improvements below.

Enable ‘Nested’ Communities

Currently, (as best I can tell) each post can be associated with one and only one community. This seems to be a reasonable restriction (to keep posters from spamming all available communities). However, it could be advantageous to allow community admins to ‘nest’ other communities within their community. For example, I have recently created a community for a class I teach (Entrepreneurial Value Creation in Society). The community is Spring 2021 Seminar.

If I convince other faculty members (from my university or from other universities) to create similar communities, there would be a significant synergistic advantage for us to create a larger ‘University Communities’ community with each of our individual communities nested within the larger community.

I envision this added feature being accomplished by a couple of relatively simple revisions to the status quo.

  • allow the admin of any community to ‘nest’ within their community whatever other communities the admin believes would be beneficial to its subscribers, and
  • allow the admin to stipulate whether the posts from each ‘nested’ community are displayed flatly or in a hierarchical structure within their community.

Establish LeoFinance as a ‘Cloneable’ Model for New Affinity Groups

The way LeoFinance has been able to establish itself as a stand-alone affinity group (which, I guess is more correctly referred to as a ‘tribe’) is a testament in and of itself to the power of Hive as a decentralization powerhouse. We need dozens of similarly tight-knit autonomous tribes operating within the Hive ecosystem.

The way LeoFinance offers its own ‘One-Click’ onboarding, the way it utilizes its own rewards token and rewards-granting criteria, etc. make for an extremely attractive user portal for new tribes to mimic (e.g. external organizations who might migrate their own member activity to Hive, or entrepreneurial indidivuals seeking to create some entirely new ‘gathering place’ for a specific affinity group).

My naïve ‘wish list’ initially envisioned:

  • a checklist of the features currently utilized by LeoFinance,
  • a price-list identifying the cost associated with ‘cloning’ each specific feature, and
  • a ‘Create Tribe’ button that would establish the new tribe, complete with landing page, token, customized rewards criteria, etc.

Little did I know (until my discussion with @aggroed yesterday) that hive-engine is already set up to provide just that sort of service.

As such, I am excited to be launching (with @aggroed’s assistance) a new tribe in the next week or two that will be (at least initially) centered around a class I teach at Oklahoma State University. My hope is that the new ‘tribe’ will either be a model that other university-based tribes can mimic, or that it will be (in and of itself) a scalable front-end that can expand to encompass other university classrooms and other universities and university-based activities.

Expand the Hive by encouraging and facilitating the creation of new communities and tribes!


With respect to onboarding, here is what I am planning to do with my students:

  • Create one Hive account for each student (using a generic naming convention, such as “osu-xx”).
  • Store the private keys.
  • Distribute the ‘posting key’ to each student for his/her ‘classroom’ account.
    • Because it is a key with limited capabilities, it should not require any more safeguarding on their part than their twitter password.
  • At the end of the semester,
    • encourage students to create their own personal Hive accounts,
    • transfer any rewards they’ve accumulated to their respective personal accounts,
    • reset the ‘posting key’ for each of the ‘classroom’ accounts (to reuse them next semester).

Anyone see any potential problems with this approach?

In similar fashion, the ‘one-click’ custodians could, during onboarding, store the owner key and active key while immediately distributing the posting key (and tell the user to protect it the same way they protect their twitter password). Then inform the user that they can retrieve their active key once they have rewards they want to manage and the owner key once they are ready to assume full control of the account.


That's some great feedback and it's really helpful to hear how newcomers find the whole onboarding process! For us who've been involved all this time and had to learn a lot of technical things, I sometimes forget the difficulties involved!

I created an Evergreen List of Communities blog that's pinned on my profile page so once you have created your own community, got a link for it etc, feel free to drop a comment on the post below and I'll add yours to it!

I recently on-boarded my worker and even with the assistance of myself and tools like Hive Keychain, it is still pretty long process for him to get up and running. If he didn't have a background in tech I don't think he would have been able to handle it nearly as well as he did. We need something that is accessible to the masses. Something as easy as installing a new app on their Smart Phone.

Posted Using LeoFinance Beta

Agreed. I am currently getting my own brother @rsarnold316 on here and yeah you're right, it takes a lot of work and a lot of time and also some money as well.

Yeah, it can be a pain. That is cool about your brother though!

Except that a travel post of my brother was muted and yet it was a travel post. And it appears as if it was downvoted even as it made $0.51. But the post says it got low ratings. But it didn't get flagged. It simply got muted. There's a difference and yet it doesn't say that.

Great ideas, love your passion for hive.

There is a technological solution for hive that can help with onboarding, but it's currently still being debated and if it will ever be implemented it's not soon.

It consists of creating lite accounts that have only one private key, similar to other blockchains bitcoin and ethereum.

That way, we can let the whole crypto ecosystem educate users about private keys, and when they join hive, the experience is similar. This would only allow lite accounts to transact in hive, but it is better than the current one-click accounts for multiple reasons:

  • lite accounts can access the whole ecosystem using a single account.
  • more secure since people own their own private key. With the current model, if 3speak or leo get hacked, hackers could gain access to a lot of private keys, which would be disastrous.
  • easier for dapps to reward lite accounts than creating custodial hive accounts.
  • Lite accounts could theoretically be converted to full hive accounts in a trustless manner, without 3rd parties.

The drawbacks would be the following:

  • for people who never heard of blockchains before, even one private key is complicated.
  • a lite account would not be able to make real hive posts, so no censorship resistance.
  • lots of complicated dev work to make this a reality.

However, I think that censorship resistance is a secondary concern for most people (sadly), what they really want is to earn tokens from the community they join.

If you have some ideas to add in the pros and cons to add would love to hear them.

Thanks for the background info about lite accounts.

Personally, I don’t know if requiring users to manage one key is all that different from four keys. All the required steps to safeguard and use the keys is the same.

Logically, you are correct. Whether you're looking after one key or four the actual process is the broadly the same.

However, if you're aiming for any sort of adoption at scale, you will be trying to encourage non technical folk into the ecosystem. The idea of being able to spin up specific communities for what could be small interest groups (and also affiliate them) is very cool (it's already sent my mind spinning off with possibilities in terms of community). But your audience will change. And it's their perceptions that will come into play. Regardless of what the actual, logical approach is - how they feel about it will inform their decision.

Mrs. Miggins runs the cat sanctuary in the village and wants to keep in touch with her benefactors, and also maybe earn a little bit of extra income to help feed the cats. She's heard of Hive somehow, and can see that it could help her do both. She's no techy, but can find her way around Facebook. Just about. Even though she often posts a story when she means to post to the news feed.
She could quite easily be phased by 4 complex keys coming up. She could handle one, as she'll equate that with a 'normal' password. But four?
"Why are there 4? I only have one password for everything else I use. What do they do? I understand posting, I think. But what does active mean? Why is one called owner? Don't I own them all? I don't understand this. And if I don't understand, most of the people I know who I want to use this won't either. I'll stick with Facebook, everyone knows what's going on there..."

OK - I'm making the scenario fit the point - but I've come cross this in multiple places in the crypto sphere. Some awesome ideas and some incredible dev work - but the UX can sometimes be -er- challenging. 😉

I agree with your points about Mrs. Miggins. The difference being that she would be far better off if you simply handed her the posting key and told her to treat that like she does her facebook password. Also, let her know that once she accumulates some significant value in her account, she will need a different password to allow her to manage those funds. This is far better (imho) than giving her a single owner key that does it all (because of the risk that she will treat it like she does her facebook password and when it gets hacked she has lost far more than explaining to her friends why there are lewd posts on her facebook page).

Once she gets to that point (of having real value tied to her account), she will then recognize that the 'money password' needs to be more tightly controlled than the 'posting password' (and thus will be ready and willing and informed when it comes to accepting custody of that key).

Yeah - that makes sense to me. The language you use there is really good too.

Trying to put myself in Mrs Miggins head (there's a lot of soft sofas and fluffy cushions. With cat pictures on the wall), having a posting password that lets me manage my community, and then a separate money password to manage my funds not only feels understandable - but sensible.


See my update to the original post (about how I am planning to handle key distribution for my class).

If a new person were to get a lite account, would he be able to upgrade for a premium full account? I mean, forget I said premium. But you know what I mean? Like, would there be a difference between lite accounts and regular accounts like the ones we have other than we have at least four keys? Also, what is the difference between giving a new user only one password and giving them their master password or the super secret 12-random-words passphrase key which is similar to that of Bitcoin, Ethereum, other cryptocurrency seeds?

I don't see any issues with your approach. You can reset the posting key with ease. There is a lot of work being done on making onboarding much easier for Hive. We are getting closer to a "standard" in which apps can opt into with ease to share the same easy login system across the various front ends.

Your last point about one-click custodians is a great point, It would be nice to have this feature streamlined for app/tribe owners.

I really like this idea!

Posted Using LeoFinance Beta

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Check out the last post from @hivebuzz:

Hive Tour Update - Advanced posting
Valentine's day challenge - Give a badge to your beloved!

Many ideas have been revealed through this relevant post, thanks so much @trostparadox

Topics collated under one banner for people to find, onboarding made easy for new arrivals, a lot is covered here.

@tipu curate

One of my main concerns and questions is in regards to what the distinction between regular groups, communities, or hives might be with that of the affinity groups you're describing. I think I somewhat know already what you mean. I think you're talking about making an app or a series of apps which features these affinity groups.

The idea for having separate apps with their own tokens started back in like 2018 if not earlier on Steemit. So, that was before the fork into Hive Blog. Steem had their own cryptocurrencies. Hive split and started their own crypto coins. And then there are the added apps. I forget if they were going to be called hives or communities or what. I've not been on Leo Finance yet. Is that like a separate app that rests on the Hive blockchain? Does LeoFinance have their own tokens which are separate from the Hive coins of Hive Backed Dollars (HBD), Hive Power (HP), and liquid Hive?

I like the idea of having different cryptocurrencies, communities, and different apps as well because it breeds competition. So, your ideas relating to having systems of groups with an incentive for new users to create and expand is contagious. I agree with what you were saying about the problems with onboarding new people. Your ideas here could hugely minimize some if not all of those challenges at hand.

centered around a class I teach at Oklahoma State University. My hope is that the new ‘tribe’ will either be a model that other university-based tribes can mimic, or that it will be (in and of itself) a scalable front-end that can expand to encompass other university classrooms and other universities and university-based activities.

I have always thought that universities are the place where we should aim. This is great and I'll be watching your steps to see what I can come up with.

Thanks! I welcome feedback and ideas. I will keep posting about my experiences with this grand experiment I am enthusiastically embarking upon.

The way LeoFinance has been able to establish itself as a stand-alone affinity group (which, I guess is more correctly referred to as a ‘tribe’) is a testament in and of itself to the power of Hive as a decentralization powerhouse. We need dozens of similarly tight-knit autonomous tribes operating within the Hive ecosystem.

I have been saying this since day 1 but unfortunately don't have the shills to do it myself. The fastest way for hive to grow is with upgraded tribes that are a clone of LeoFinance and the benifits that it offers. A token, easy onboarding, good ui, in built ad revenue.

I've said it to @aggroed many times about pushing the tribes up to this level and making it quick and easy to launch our own tokenised communities. It looks as if he might be doing a bit more with them now but they haven't improved since they first launched.

If anybody could launch a sports community with all of those features and no need for technical skills we could focus on recruitment and marketing. I would like to start an Irish tribe and that has a target market of millions but it needs to be a matter of editing rather than coding. That is the tipping point. I have almost 4 years here and have seen some great strides to improve the system so still have my long term attitude to hive.

I would have just love to see aggroed focus more on upgrading tribes which had the biggest potential to grow the eco system exponentially rather than some of the other projects he pushed with no outside appeal.

I like the sound of your experiment and will be watching eagerly. Hive will explode at some stage, it's only a matter of time with the projects we see getting built now.
Ease of use takes time to build but things are moving in the right direction.

great ideas!

I agree, would love to see a simple method of tribe/token creation to make it a possibility for us technologically impaired types that have good ideas

La verdad es muy hermozas las fachadas y las fotos muy lindas, gracias por compartir.

Exelente publicacion y lo explayado, se ve muy instructivo, gracias por compartir.

Talking about building new communities
What are different opportunities or ways that are available for the new communities to grow? If a new member wants to start a community is there any support we can expect from Hive?
Recently created a learning community, looking for ways to promote it. Can anyone suggest some ways?

There is a community that exists to support new communities:

I believe @acidyo manages that community.

They also have a discord server where you can get more info: