Curator Cat on the Power of Hive's Communities: Part 1 — Let's Get Started!

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Greetings Felines and Hoomans of LeoFinance and Greater Hivelandia!

Today I want to start exploring a topic that has long been near and dear to my heart... which is that of communities and how they could potentially serve as the backbone of what helps Hive grow and thrive.

Pay attention!


I remember back on that thing we called "Steemit," for the longest time the "big deal" that was allegedly going to "save the world" and cause tremendous growth and success was this thing called Communities.

In time, after many false starts and broken promises, we did end up with some version of "communities" that confused a lot of people, and were loosely associated and intermixed with the term "Smart Media Tokens" (or SMTs) not to be confused with (what was then) Steem-Engine "tribes" and their associated tokens.

Confusing or not, number of communities did take root and started thriving in their own way.


So Now We're Here

We do have a "communities" feature on Hive.

I still find it a little ambiguous, in terms of understanding "what is what."

LeoFinance stands out because it has its own identity, its own niche, its own front end, its own token, its own DEX and its own white paper and action plan. The community is very successful, and nothing ambiguous about that!

Among the rest, some communities have their own hive-engine tokens; most do not. A few communities have their own front ends with their own unique domains, most do not. Some people created tokens, but neither a formal community or separate front end to go with them.

Meanwhile, many users create content and arbitrarily use a whole string of community tags, typically without actually supporting or being an active part of the communities they are tagging. For that matter, the used tags are often completely irrelevant.

For them — I expect — it's just a glorified "cash grab."


As For Myself...

I mostly got interested in communities and their potential when the original Steem-Engine was created and suddenly these PAL tokens showed up, via the original airdrop.

Not really understanding what they were (for a while, I thought they were SMTs), I decided to stake them, rather than sell them.

Meanwhile, literally hundreds of people started creating tokens, most of them for pretty meaningless and unsustainable (and joke!) reasons.

Some did seem like a good idea, like SteemLeo; now LeoFinance; or CreativeCoin for artists, musicians and other creatives. Many just left me scratching my head... and struck me mostly as a reflection that the community/token creation process was too easy and too cheap. And perhaps that too many players were more interested in scoring some quick cash than creating lasting value.


Communities That Make SENSE: How We Use the Web

Of course, most of all the silly tokens vanished when HIVE was created out of Steem, and Hive-Engine was created with a whole new set of criteria and attendant costs for community leaders... but it all still left me considering the fundamental reality of how communities make sense.


Very few of us do "general things" online. We tend to pursue interests; we are part of hobby groups; we join forums and follow bloggers focused on specific things we tend to be interested in; maybe we study things to further our knowledge and careers.

What "communities" do — if executed and promoted appropriately — is help us sort content and thereby make the user experience more enjoyable... and content discovery easier.

Perhaps those who purport to be here ONLY for the rewards would disagree, since they possibly only care about "the next upvote," and nothing else.


Selling The Weasel...

Let us, for a moment, consider social media giant Farcebook.

In the beginning, everyone was saying "Join Facebook!"

15 years later, you really don't hear anyone say "Join Facebook!" anymore... if you are invited to do something related to Facebook, chances are you are being asked to "like" someone's business page, or "join" someone's interest-specific group, each of which is a subset of Facebook.

For example, I do belong to the "Black Cats Appreciation" page on Facebook. Even with 427,000(!) followers, this is still a subset (or "community") of Facebook.

I bring it up because it is really VERY "niche," and yet it has 427,000 followers which in not "chump change" by anyone's reckoning!


Now, if someone came to me and say "check out this black cat page" (on Facebook) I'd very likely be interested and act on it. If someone just said "check out Facebook," I'd likely just ignore them.

And this is why I believe the future of Hive as a thriving ecosystem may well happen at the hands of our growing communities, which can appeal to individual interest groups, from Foodies, to Stem Geeks, to Blockchainiacs, to Psychology Nerds, to Artists, to Photographers, to Homesteaders, to Anarchists and beyond.

Hive gets to primarily be the container for it all.

Going Forward...

Going forward, I plan to take a little time to explore the deeper possibilities and invitations inherent within communities and interest groups... and I plan to look at some of our individual communities and perhaps "review" them, in some sense.

Thanks for reading, and have a great remainder of your weekend!


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