What Hive needs before it can grow massively

This was originally a comment I made, however as it's something many Hive users may be interested in hearing, I've made it into a standalone post.



The on-boarding system needs a massive overhaul. Requiring a phone number is too high a bar and will scare off a lot of potential users. Having an option to verify using a Twitter, Facebook, or Google account as an alternative to using a phone would make it much easier for users to join.

HIVE Onboard needs a major UI redesign as well, it's got some ugly elements and looks unprofessional. No offence to Christian Fürst, most developers are terrible at UI design.

Ecency does a better job of on-boarding users, they do verification by email. However, that failed when I tried to use it and I ended up buying an account using Blocktrades instead.


Once that's fixed we need to solve the user retention issue, Hive user retention is abysmal. While I don't have exact numbers, a quick skim of accounts created last week shows that most of them have not interacted at all or went dormant within a few hours of creation.

How do we fix that? Either by creating a new DApp made from the ground up to retain users or an overhaul of Hive Condenser and Ecency.

Firstly, new users need to be presented with a short tutorial on how to use Hive. I don't remember Ecency, Hive Condenser, or PeakD having one of these. A tutorial also needs to be easy to access again later if someone gets lost. It also needs to be hard enough to dismiss that users don't accidentally close it and forget it exists but also easy enough to dismiss that experienced users don't get upset.

New users also need to be presented with some recommended accounts to follow. These recommended accounts can be determined algorithmically based on if an account has been active in the last 72 hours, if an account is over a certain amount of reputation, and the chance of being recommended can be weighted based on how many upvotes and replies said account has received in the last 72 hours.

There also needs to be a reason for users to return periodically, Ecency has a points system which partially solves this but it's quite basic. A larger variety of high quality games on Hive would likely help massively here, most games that use Hive right now are pretty jank.

As for feeding content to users, the existing Trending and Hot sections do pretty good at that as is, it would however be beneficial to have an algorithm option too which shows content similar to other content a user has liked.


This last major problem is a combined social and ethical one and by far the most difficult to solve, and that's making the majority of new users feel welcome. Hive is already headed in a bad direction regarding this and if it continues onward it could potentially lock out a lot of target audiences from being onboarded.

Services like 3speak are ultimately harmful to the Hive blockchain. Not because of what they do, but because of how they advertise themselves. Advertising yourself as a censor-free, free speech platform is going to bring in a particular crowd of people. Most of these people have been banned off other platforms because those platforms feel that they're harmful to the platforms' bottom lines, and the platforms are right. The users banned for this reason are harmful to the value of a platform because they scare off more users than they bring in.

A free speech platform that does its job well doesn't need to advertise itself as a free speech platform. The people who genuinely have some truth they need to get out will naturally find such platforms on their own, in fact, advertising as a free speech platform is more likely to scare off genuine whistle blowers as it may come off as a red flag.

Not to mention, the current Hive ecosystem actively pushes away use by genuine whistle blowers. It's difficult to use over Tor due to every major interface using Cloudflare combined with the lack of an on-Tor presence. The interoperability with I2P is also nonexistant.

The thing is, Hive is functionally moderated by democracy. Given a representative distribution of people with different views, it will naturally trend towards promoting content that a majority of people like. This problem fixes itself if you have a large enough pool of users.

We need to focus on bringing in your average person.


This last section is some suggestions which could also help a lot but aren't absolutely necessary.

  • A robust referral system to incentivise people to get all their friends to join and stick around.
  • Some form of community funded bounty program offering people some Hive if they move from Wordpress/Blogger/et cetera to Hive.
  • A community funded targeted advertising campaign run on Reddit and Twitter, this would need to happen after the first two problems are fixed, it would also help alleviate the third issue by bringing in more average internet users.

Somewhat unrelated, but if anyone has the resources and wants to fund improvements to Hive's Tor and I2P friendliness, let me know, I've got the technical skills but lack the resources. It would involve running a new Witness node and any profit generated by it can be split. I can begin looking into how long it would take to get something operational, how much it will cost to initially set up and maintain, et cetera, if anyone is interested.

A preliminary, mostly safe, estimate is an initial setup cost of USD$5K/54 XMR/₿0.46 and that the witness node won't be profitable until it's in the top 26 witnesses. Maintenance and setup cost would likely be significantly lower though after running through all the options as I'm currently unsure of the hardware requirements that the servers would need.



I really do hope the Hive community can come together and fix these issues, it's in the interest of everyone on Hive, especially people with significant amounts of money here, to bring in as many new users as possible.

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Wow you bring up a lot of great points! I believe in time things will improve and the product will speak for itself.

Hello @death-and-taxes

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Interesting choice of topic @death-and-taxes

You raised some solid points. It's definetly difficult to expect to be able to attract many new users is phone number would be required for any sort of verification.

However, this should be an option. After all, not everyone is actually still using Twitter, FB or google. Many people out there refuse to use any of those services.

I would also like to point out, that as a comunity leader / active curator -> it would make my life much easier if I could choose to see all posts or posts which I didn't upvote. Scrolling through community feed in order to seek for quality posts, which didnt receive my support is ... time consuming.


I was wondering: is there any reason you wrote most of your points in form of ... quote? My impression is, that most people do not read quotes. Neither on steem or hive. (I tend to skip quotes as well - especially since I dislike focusing on reading light grey colour text).

ps. check out comment from project.hope and cyu on our discord.
Cheers, Piotr

However, this should be an option. After all, not everyone is actually still using Twitter, FB or google. Many people out there refuse to use any of those services.

I did say "as an alternative" rather than "as a replacement" for a reason. I'm one of said people who refuses to use such services.

I would also like to point out, that as a comunity leader / active curator -> it would make my life much easier if I could choose to see all posts or posts which I didn't upvote. Scrolling through community feed in order to seek for quality posts, which didnt receive my support is ... time consuming.

I can throw together a quick tool that does this if you'd like, it should be quite easy to do for the Hive Condenser interface which is what you replied with. Do you have an experience using UserScripts via Greasemonkey/Tampermonkey/Violentmonkey/et cetera?

I was wondering: is there any reason you wrote most of your points in form of ... quote? My impression is, that most people do not read quotes. Neither on steem or hive. (I tend to skip quotes as well - especially since I dislike focusing on reading light grey colour text).

As stated at the start, the contents of my post here were copied from a comment I made in response to someone earlier. As comments are hard to find and don't get much publicity, I made it its own post so more people could see it.

ps. check out comment from project.hope and cyu on our discord.

You don't happen to have an IRC channel, do you? Preferably one not bridged to any centralised or corporate service like Discord or Telegram.

This amazing post
Good job

This last major problem is a combined social and ethical one and by far the most difficult to solve, and that's making the majority of new users feel welcome. Hive is already headed in a bad direction regarding this and if it continues onward it could potentially lock out a lot of target audiences from being onboarded.

honestly enough that would be my biggest issue we have so many people run off by toxic individuals and Petty drama.

If we could turn this into a more opening diverse and welcome area for others to comment talk and have communities supporting newer individuals then we could definitely reach whatever goals that we think we could achieve.

As it is most times trying to get information to join a group opens you up to abuse an assault which makes you not even want to be a part of a lot of these groups.

Some good concerns and suggestions. Nobody ever went wrong sharing ideas.

I especially liked the idea of tutorials, and other orientation materials.

New users also need to be presented with some recommended accounts to follow.

Or a write-up on the most important actors (like @blocktrades, for example) and their contributions over the years. What's our history? Could be very instructive for all, and all good Follows!

Cheers

Why not do both?

Personally I feel like Blocktrades has a little too much power here and ultimately harms decentralisation. I'll be making a post soon about some major centralisation problems Hive currently has, though admittedly Blocktrades is pretty far down on that list of problems.

If one entity can single-handily ruin something, they have way too much control over that thing.

Sometimes we run the risk of stating the obvious and coming off a bit less informed than we really are. The centralization issue is well known and being actively addressed, by one and all. We're still working to get witness op costs down, for example. The whale-minnow imbalance is something that's been talked about for years and that has been correcting nicely in a very organic way over that time as well.

I can tell from what you write that you are very tech savvy, and I'm sure your input and contributions are more than welcomed; however, I would caution against singling out - avoid getting personal and stick with the issues, and be patient.

One other thing, in the vein of friendly advice: in the course of human events, seldom is attention paid to critics who have no skin in the game. 😉

(A good background read on what some of these people mentioned really mean to HIVE: https://decrypt.co/38050/steem-steemit-tron-justin-sun-cryptocurrency-war )

The biggest centralisation issues have nothing to do with the blockchain protocol itself. I'm also well aware of the reasoning behind the fork.

The biggest issue also applies to Steem as well, and is something that can be resolved in an extremely short time as it is completely unrelated to the Hive blockchain itself.

The biggest centralisation issues have nothing to do with the blockchain protocol itself.

That's a good example of what we all know. 😉

The biggest issue also applies to Steem as well, and is something that can be resolved in an extremely short time as it is completely unrelated to the Hive blockchain itself.

Looking forward to seeing that post!

P.S. Sounds like you've got a lot of ideas ... material for a lot of posts.

P.S.S. If you're thinking about investing and really getting your feet wet, you might not find a better time than now to pick up HIVE at bargain basement prices.

Edit: The article is not recommended to understand "why", rather to understand "who": it's a human story, and the folks behind it are literally heroes, nothing more and nothing less, and I think they deserve our utmost respect. Hence my reference to the people involved.

P.S.S. If you're thinking about investing and really getting your feet wet, you might not find a better time than now to pick up HIVE at bargain basement prices.

Sadly I don't have anything to invest other than my own time. The fact I've been able to join in at all shows just how far Hive has come in comparison to Steem.

The article is not recommended to understand "why", rather to understand "who": it's a human story, and the folks behind it are literally heroes, nothing more and nothing less, and I think they deserve our utmost respect. Hence my reference to the people involved.

I almost missed this edit, and would have if it hadn't been for Electron randomly dying and making me re-open Esteem.

That does make it more understandable why you linked it. I don't think I need to ramble on about how we're all human though as work is already being done on the blockchain to prevent anything similar from even being possible. Hence why it's nowhere near the top of what I consider to be serious issues.

Also, fuck Justin Sun.

Some great points

I am honestly not convinced that there is a will to onboard lots of people. I think the people who make money on Hive don't want to enlarge it because that would mean losing power and share of the reward pool. I would be more than happy to be proved wrong.

More users coming into the Hive ecosystem will drive up the value of Hive. More users also means more interest from developers to build on top of Hive, further driving up the value of Hive.

Having a smaller portion of the reward pool won't matter if that smaller portion is worth more than the larger one was before new users and developers came in.

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Update for regular authors

I agree with some of these points and some I do not know enough about to say anything but I have to strongly disagree with the first point. I agree there needs to be a better verification system aside from a phone number but if we are trying to onboard people to blockchain why use a centralized services such as social media. Most centrized sites are good with just an email vericication.
Speaking of email, why is blockstack the only chain I'm aware of that has decentralized mail option?