Hive is a Frontier Town in the ‘New World’ of Decentralized Social Software.

in Hive Marketing2 months ago
@Strategizer is all about the growth of Hive, if you haven't already seen our DHF/DAO proposal then please check it out and consider supporting us with your vote - we at 22% support so far - all your votes count!

History has much to teach and we can often apply its lessons to areas of life that might initially seem quite different to the context in which the original experiences took place. In the spirit of not missing valuable insights, let's explore what can be learned from the experiences of the creation of the USA... So tie up your mule and take a seat by the fire pardner... (and other Wild West clichés!)

When we look at Hive as a whole, we see many areas that can be compared metaphorically to Hive being a kind of new society/culture being built in a ‘new land'. If we think about the psychology and motivations of people who traveled from Europe in order to take over the lands of North America (at least as far as we are told) they often did so in order to be more free. Some felt oppressed in their current homeland and some wanted to specifically create a new way of living, while also being attracted to taking advantage of previously untouched resources.

Hive is similar in some ways, with many people having migrated here due to the oppression they experience via the centralized social networks of the 'old world'. Yes, others come looking for opportunities too... and access to a new kind of gold rush – cryptocurrency!

Hive's future sees it's community's impressive plans spring to life, expanding to create all kinds of wonderful new experiences.. but wait, we're getting ahead of ourselves!

Expanding Hivelandia

What can we learn by comparing the development of Hive and its community to the creation and development of the USA as a nation?

While there are numerous differences between the two situations in terms of culture, motivations and practicalities, there are still straight forward comparisons to be made that are helpful in understanding some of the factors that affect growth and expansion on Hive.

For example, only certain types of people were initially attracted to relocate to the land that became the USA and it took many years of evolution and change before others would be motivated to relocate there from more comfortable surroundings. Those who were most oppressed in Europe were among those most motivated to leave that region, while plenty of those who weighed up the difficulty of the journey against the comforts they did enjoy in Europe often stayed behind. The ‘new world’ of decentralized online community offers the most dis-enfranchized and perhaps also the most visionary people a new way to manifest their goals.

The growth of the population of the USA was driven by numerous factors and limited by the difficulty of the journey for early settlers, coupled by the often harsh conditions on arrival. In the context of Hive, we might compare this to the ‘terrible hardships’ involved for new users who have to come to terms with long passwords and learning to use the sign-in and sign-up processes on Hive dApp sites! Clearly in this aspect, at least, Hive is extremely comfortable compared to a creaky wooden boat carrying people across the Atlantic!

It is at the level of the socio-economic systems on Hive that the comparison to a frontier town is perhaps the most relevant. The early development of centralized social networks occurred decades ago and people are accustomed to experiencing slick user interfaces that have had the benefit of big budgets and large professional teams improving them throughout that time. We can compare this to the creature comforts and developed infrastructures in the more ‘developed’ nations that people often left behind on their travels to the Americas.

The limited resources and smaller teams that are typically involved in the development of decentralized dApps on Hive often means that despite the best intentions, the User Experience on these sites is not as comfortable as it is on sites like Facebook and Youtube. Features might break, not function as expected or be completely missing – just as houses in early America lacked running water and required a high degree of maintenance just to continue to serve their purpose.

A new arrival to Hivelandia surveys the terrain.

Skilled people in a frontier town need to work together in order to survive and Hive is no different.
There are, however, key differences between those physical towns and the online ‘towns’ that are created in our modern social networks. A key point here is that expansion in the early USA was driven and fueled by access to external resources in the form of timber, minerals, gold and other things gathered in nature – whereas, today, Hive is driven largely by the internal imagination and creativity of its own members. Tip: This is part of why it is even more important that Hive members work as a team than it was back in the early days of the USA.

Growth of physical frontier towns was somewhat guaranteed once communication channels let people know that they could, with some hard work, have relatively unhindered access to a huge amount of new resources. However, Hive is different – access to the resources on Hive requires navigation of somewhat challenging mechanisms that are entirely directed/controlled by other people.

Despite Hive offering such promising systems for inspiring ingenuity and the sharing of ideas online, some people are put off by their growth on Hive requiring the approval of stakeholders that they don’t know or understand - discovering a bit more centralization than they might have been expecting. The exciting freedom of frontier town Hive and the willingness to put up with its unfinished accommodation and sometimes shaky services can be dampened for some by the reality that settlers have been in Hive town for quite a while already and the gold rush days are, for now, over. There is, at least, less freedom than in the early ‘wild west’ days of Steem.

Early Hive settler tentatively welcome new arrivals - guns at the ready.

While it’s accurate to say that the underlying technology of Hive is inherently more free and fair than the rules we find on Web 2 sites like Facebook - it seems that the majority of new users who weigh up their experiences, often reject Hive and abandoned their plans to relocate to its community shortly after arrival... (Possibly moving on to a metaphorical Canadian social network instead?) 😄.

There’s still plenty of reason to imagine that Hive can grow and evolve into a powerhouse in the online social networking landscape, similar to the USA did on the world stage – but we need to learn and evolve in some areas first. Just as with a physical nation, the more people that participate in making Hive interesting, the more 'resources' can become available, provided the newcomers bring investment and interesting skills. From that perspective, the equivalent to 'natural resources' on Hive might be more accurately said to be the DHF, since this is a pool that exists initially but, despite regenerating, can be used up until more is minted/mined through the community's own activity.

Highly optimized usage of Hive’s DHF (DAO) tokens to drive growth in ways that are targeted and pre-calculated to drive growth in managed/monitored ways will help Hive greatly. To me, most logical goal of DHF use is to attract new content creators, investors and developers - through a combination of the development of new features and also through marketing ventures. We need to direct the DHF in ways that are as refined and graceful as the natural forces that shaped North America and yielded such abundant natural resources!

One way or another, growth depends on Hive improving its offerings and being able to meet the expectations of potential new users who, for their own reasons, do not yet feel uncomfortable enough on web 2.0 social networks or who just haven’t been able to hop on-board the regular ships that depart to Hivelandia for one reason or another. Each potential new user has their own concerns, pain points and requirements and they need to be understood and responded to appropriately.

Hive Census

As unpopular as governments might be among many people on Hive, who rightly value their anonymity and sovereignty - at the same time we all benefit through communication and mutual understanding. Like it or not, Hive is a community of many individuals and we need to understand each other in order to build what works best for us all.

Thankfully, Hive doesn't involve the kind of involuntary extortion that national taxation so often seems to represent, but we do still have more voluntary processes in place that are designed to solve mutual problems. One of the strengths of stake weighted voting in DPOS on Hive is that it ensures those with the most 'skin in the game' are able to direct funds more than those who have less risk if things perform poorly. However, if we are to improve and grow Hive, the largest stakeholders need to at least understand the real needs of the wider community in order to direct policies/programs that work for the people they never even meet who may become future Hive members.

This is where the market research and the 'Hive Census' aspect of the Strategizer proposal comes in. The idea being that we can come to understand not only the wider Hive community, but also the general public who have yet to join us. Without such information we are to some extent 'flying blind' when it comes to marketing related governance decisions.

The Land Of The Free?

Today's America sometimes seems to have not quite settled on a stable identity, though it is known for being a place where people with different ideologies battle it out to see who is the 'real American'! In other words, there is no overall consensus on how 'freedom' should manifest.

Hive is somewhat similar, in that there are many diverse views about what's best and where Hive should go. Overall, the open nature of Hive allows anyone with enough skill and resources to build on top of Hive - or to even buy in sufficiently to be able to direct governance themselves. However, just like the USA and also other nations, balance and growth are stifled - plus discomfort increases - when those with the most power are disconnected from the views of the rest of the community.

The general philosophy of decentralization has included, since the beginning of Bitcoin, the intention to empower all of those involved in key ways. Achieving that in ways which are superior to the - in many ways - failed models of democracy that we see in modern nations, means respecting the views of as many people as possible, while also holding the balance points that prevent structural failures.

Free speech is a huge part of this process and enabling communication between 'the masses' and those with the most power is an essential part of real free speech in a community.


The expansion of Hive is in some ways an entirely new kind of problem for us to overcome, yet we can always draw inspiration from many other fields in order to achieve success. Lessons from history provide insights into principles that we can learn which greatly help us to find the paths of least resistance on the journey towards meeting our goals.

Thankfully, the topic of the growth of social networks and digital systems is well studied and there are numerous examples for us to learn from. Ultimately it is necessary to monitor the userbase through their feedback and sentiment in order to understand their real needs and to then meet them with new features and changes that draw them in.

We can also be thankful that we don't have the ability to 'pressgang' new 'recruits' to hive like the British Navy did back in the day! Though that means that it's on us to establish how to best ease the 'immigration' from Web 2.0 to Web 3.0 on Hive as painlessly as possible!

Maybe we'll meet again at 'Hive Town Supplies' next time you need some more feed.. Til then, you stay safe out there Y'hear?

The @strategizer team

frontier town hive icon.jpg

Note: Old-time narration in this post may or may not represent accurate historic characterization.


You made hive a literal community.
Not sure everyone view it that was but I do.

Yes, we agree - just as in a town or country, there are sub-groups, but there remains one community overall! 😃