First Look From Inside the Communities

in Communities Feedback3 years ago (edited)

We had our first look at Hivemind Communities during Steemfest 4 and they certainly showed a new potential for content discovery and the possibility to find your place in the huge ecosystem which Steem has become.

Since then Communities were in a closed beta version, meaning that you could test them, but you needed an username and password to test them.

UPDATE: It seems access to beta has been restricted again. Probably too many people were messing around in the communities and things became less clean than they needed to be at this stage.

Since very recently, the closed beta became open beta, meaning anyone can go ahead and test the Communities. I have to admit, if there was an announcement letting us know closed beta became open beta, I missed it. But maybe they feared a huge influx of people trying out the beta without the infrastructure being ready to handle it at this point.

Anyway, if you want to take a look (even to create your own community), here's the link:

Careful! For those who tested closed beta or read about the testing of closed beta, at this stage, if you post in a community from the open beta, the post will be shown on your blog feed as well on main interfaces. You cannot see it from the beta interface on your feed, but you will see it from the main interface (and so will your readers), because the main interface doesn't understand communities yet.

In fact, what does posting to a community technically means, from what I understand? It means posting with the community tag (i.e. hive-xxxxxx). The Communities code knows to show that post to the right community and not to the personal blog feed, the interfaces which don't support Hivemind Communities (yet), will simply show the post on your feed. In both cases, the post is on the blockchain, only where it is displayed differs.

I publish this post in the "Communities Feedback" community, but knowing it will go to my feed as well (warned by the experience of others who tried it before I did), I made so my readers understand what I'm talking about.

My first impression is that Communities will be indeed a great improvement in content discovery compared to the options currently available to us.

And it's already fantastic at this point if you subscribe to only a few (like max. 4?) communities with well-balanced content between each other.

What do I mean by well-balanced content? It's easier to explain what unbalanced content is and you will understand then. If one community is hyper-active and in another community posts are seldom, then you'll likely miss the posts of the less active community in the feed of your communities. You'd have to go to that community to see what has been posted. That is an issue for now, without proper sorting options for the communities.

Regarding sorting, filtering and searching in the communities explorer, the increasing number of communities will pose a great problem, in this iteration of the Hivemind Communities. I've seen there is a Github issue by @roadscape (currently closed), in which further improvements to the communities explorer are mentioned. And they are certainly needed.

If someone wants to join more than a few communities (10?), then things start to look a little bit like the current condenser and every post that is shown. But... there could genuinely be an interest in more communities, in which case a better filtering at the level of "My communities" page is needed.

Let's say one is indeed subscribed to 10 communities, but at no single time he or she wants to see posts from more than a few communities. A possibility to filter the posts shown on the "My Communities" page by using a list of check boxes (+apply button) filter -- which includes each community the user is subscribed to -- can make the feed easier to customize.

Overall, the basis for further improvements has been laid. We can always find things to improve, and if the basis is solid, then they will come, probably in quite rapid iterations.

I think communities will make us look at Steem quite differently going forward.

Content discovery is probably the biggest problem Steem has. With a better content discovery, we will have better retention, better onboarding (and something to push out there), and likely we will have a more fair distribution of value (although that I believe will always be debatable).

The ones mentioned above combined should lead to a better image that can be well marketed and we will benefit from for SMTs. And finally that should help with the STEEM price.

Does this make sense to you?


One quick question @gadrian

Can one post be part of few different communities? Or just one and only one?

And also if I subscribe then to some community and new publication will be posted, then how VISIBLE is this post on my feed? I mean - will I be at least notified?

Just wondering how real visibility will increase.


You can be part of as many communities as you want (including as a mod in more than one, from what I saw).

I haven't seen any notifications for new posts. But they will be easy to add, either directly in the Communities code, or as separate tools / features. And I'm sure they will appear.

Actually, you can use GINAbot to receive notifications for new posts in a community. Just add the community tag ("hive-xxxxxx") and you should be notified of any new posts in that community.

Thank you for your prompt reply @gadrian

Perhaps I didn't make myself clear. I'm aware that I can subscribe and be part of many communities.

However I'm not sure if it is possible that my post would be displayed in more than one community at the time.

However I'm not sure if it is possible that my post would be displayed in more than one community at the time.

No, that's not possible. Tribes work like that, communities don't.

That kind of sucks :(

New community leaders will most likely struggle to convince content creators to publish via their communities, since most authors will probably chose to post in those communities that are already well known and established.

Cheers, Piotr

Will see. Things will evolve for sure.

hi @gadrian

Actually, you can use GINAbot to receive notifications for new posts in a community. Just add the community tag ("hive-xxxxxx") and you should be notified of any new posts in that community.

I'm more concerned about users who subscribe to community - will they receive visible notifications? GINAbot is surely great solution, but majority users do not know this tool.

Yours, Piotr

Yes, I saw they included notifications in beta. But they are not the kind that pop up on your screen, make noise on your phone, send you an email etc. You need to log in to see them. Maybe there will be an evolution of them in the future.

I also know eSteem will add communities in the first wave. They have notifications on their mobile app (although I'm not sure they'll add communities on the mobile app first).

@gadrian very much appreciate this post. I just went to the open beta and subscribed to a handful of communities of interest. It doesn't look like much activity in most right now, but sure there will be. The hive, or communities, is something I have been looking forward to since returning to Steemit and the Steem blockchain.


Hey Joe!

It's normal it shouldn't be much of an activity yet in communities. Since right now posting in a community only works in the beta interface, and everywhere else it is seen as a normal personal blog post, I believe many are still waiting.

I'm subscribed to quite a few communities... maybe when the communities start getting really active things may change.


Yep... I was thinking in perspective, when they'll become active on the main interfaces. :) Right now, there isn't much activity in the communities. By the way, have you guys opened your interface for communities at Steempeak, or not yet?

No we still have some more features to work on next week. This week we were working on peakmonsters stuff. #timing haha

Yeah, I know you have your hands full. I talked with @ asgarth a little while ago about a small issue I am experiencing on Opera and probably my issue goes well down the priorities list right now. :)

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