About the STEMsocial app proposal?

in Hive Improvement5 months ago (edited)

A little bit more than a month ago, we (STEMsocial) made a proposal to help us with the development of our opensource app. For now, we are far from getting funded and got very little feedback about what is not very appealing with our plans.

As already mentioned elsewhere, we discussed a lot about the amount of funding to request, the duration of the funding and how to effectively proceed (one long proposal vs. several shorter ones).

We finally decided to request 120 HBD / day during 1.25 year, which was the estimated duration to make our app minimally viable. In our initial proposal, we included a one-year to-do list justifying this funding and the proposal duration.

One of the comments to the initial proposal mentioned that our to-do list this was a little bit messy and that a detailed roadmap for the project would be good. We agreed upon this and proceeded, as detailed in this post.

In the latter post, we described what the STEMsocial project was aiming at for the next year, both at the level of the development of the app and beyond. Whilst the plans for the first half of the year are quite well defined, it is a bit too early to provide very detailed plans for Q3 and Q4 (as a lot depends on the success/failure of what will be effectively done earlier on the year).

Maybe a proposal lasting until the end of August would have been better? Most probably, but this is too late to be changed as the length and amount related to our proposal are frozen. I however do not see this as a blocking point, as will be detailed below.


I would like now to discuss a little bit the total amount of funding that we requested (more than 50,000 HBD in total, although one should keep in mind that 1 HBD was half its today value at the time of submission). While this may seem a lot, we were not expecting to be funded over the entire period (as gathering enough support to be above the threshold takes time). Moreover, we wanted to include some funding for 1.5 years of earlier work on the app, as detailed in the second part of this post.

In order to get the flexibility for the funding management, we created a dedicated account, @stemsocial-dev, aiming at paying the developers for the work effectively done during any given week.

The corresponding salary is to be discussed, but we can imagine something like 15-20 HBD/hour. The idea is not to provide a full salary (that would be much more expensive), but instead a compensation for the work done for the project.

Also, there is for now only one developer working on the app (myself), but I hope to officially get our designer (@glass.wolf) on board, as well as @mobbs (for global design discussions). And the doors of our team are open! There are so many things to do (see the roadmap).

With the above terms, it is quite likely that we won’t use entirety what we may get. This was also planned from the very beginning as this could allow us to get some flexibility for 2021 (we do not plan to submit a new proposal every year). We were considering using the left-over for further developments if needed, or return it to the DHF if not.


Despite not being funded, we continued to work as planned, as can be seen by investigating the post history of this account. The most recent updates are from Apr 20th and May 7th. To sum them up: we have deployed an MVP for a new post editor, started the migration from Steem to Hive (that is basically finished and deployed since yesterday), integrated the STEMsocial community and fixed several bugs.

From the discussions I had with several people during the last month, it would have probably been better to submit a proposal extending until September and covering the period where the plans are super concrete. Similarly, requesting an amount of 70 HBD/day would have been better. We could then have made a more concrete proposal after September for the next part.

A potential way to go through that would be to keep the current proposal and remove it at the end of September, returning the left-over to the DHF if any. This requires of course trusting us, but we hope we won’t have to demonstrate that again, being on the chain for almost four years… We could also consider submitting another proposal (with the reduced properties introduced above), which has the drawback that we will have to go back to our present supporters and ask to re-support.


However, even with one of the two above options, is there any chance to get supported by the DHF at all? Things are still unclear to us and this is the purpose of this post. Feel free to ask questions or raise any criticism. We will be glad to answer (and hopefully convince you to support us).

We are eagerly looking for any feedback!

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I will not be surprised if the proposal does not make it at the end of the day to be honest. Stem hardly gets the necessary supports even in real life.

But just before then, have you considered giving this post (or any other one relating to the proposal) a bit of visibility by using the post promotion feature on PeakD? Its just a thought, I don't know how it works cos I've never used it.

Whatever happens, we will keep out heads high and keep doing what we've been doing to contribute our own quota to hive.

It seems that the purpose of this community is exactly to be seen by the community and allows for constructive feedback. As the community is quite new, we need to give it some extra time (it is not even 12 hours old).

Concerning the advertisement, feel free to cross-post it elsewhere and to promote it. Be sure I do my share behnid the scenes, as usual ;)

I guess the proposal may get more traction if people see that it solves a larger problem. Would the dapp you are creating serve other groups in the ecosystem with similar needs for a dedicated frontend? If money is spent on creating a dapp for one curation group, it seems more effective to make the dapp able to serve many curation groups who have similar use-cases.

I do not see why other front ends would like to borrow things here. However, the code is open source so that everyone is free to have a look and take anything: the way we are filtering tags and displaying posts, the curator platform that we plan to build (this one is more long term), our fresh post editor, etc. People do not have to ask, they can just help yourselves.

I would however like to clarify something important: STEMsocial is by far not only about curation or just building an app. The curation activities are part of our work, but this is only a fraction of it. We are trying to solve a problem: science communication.

In this context, the main goal of the project is to build a full science communication platform on Hive, so that actual scientists can share their work freely in a nice environment (that rewards them). Equivalently, we aim at having discussions about top-notch research by those who do this research. We believe (for more than 4 years) that being successful is valuable for Hive. For this reason, being funded by the DHF makes sense.

We are trying to solve a problem: science communication.

In this context, the main goal of the project is to build a full science communication platform on Hive, so that actual scientists can share their work freely in a nice environment (that rewards them).

I think that you should restate this often and upfront on every post that you make about the effort and in the proposal itself. To me, the proposal seems to describe a curation effort, but in these two statements it seems to be much bigger.

Thanks a lot for this input. Indeed, we moved to a much more ambitious goal already 2 years ago, as explained with the first paragraph of our FAQ. I will emphasise that much more in the next posts.

I am planning to rewrite the proposal following the guidelines presented by blocktrades (here). I do not know whether I will have time tonight, but I will try.

I think that in general proposals should ask for much less in easily digestible milestones (as you said you yourself have pondered about this option). 60k HBD is too much money for a frontend (even though you are trying to solve other problems too)...Human psychology works in a way where it is much more appealing if that amount is divided into many steps (connected to those milestones). Well...but you yourself know that. Its just you have prolly chosen the wrong way - but you can still screw that old proposal and start with those little milestones anyday:).

This is true, but users have also the option to stop supporting the proposal in the meantime if they only partly agree with it. I am however not very confident about scratching it and restarting from 0 as it has been quite hard to get where we are. Maybe this is the way to go, but maybe not.

We are planning instead to rewrite the initial proposal following the template that has been proposed, and also include some other work related to the problems that are specific to what STEMsocial is aiming at. In this way, the funding will not only be for the front-end, but for anything that will help the project to kick off and be independent from external funding.

I also insist that we are planning to be fully transparent on how the funding, if granted, will be spent. This requires trusting us, but I hope everyone is convinced we have already proved to be a legit project...

Users have also the option to stop supporting the proposal in the meantime if they only partly agree with it.

I myself have thought about this concept. In theory this works in my brain too, but I’m afraid that in reality people will ease their decision making and if they see high HBD tag they simply won’t support the proposal. They will prefer an option where they won’t need to re-evaluate their choices as time goes by.

I think that much more plausible option is the exact opposite. I think that users might come back one day and support projects subsequently when time flies by and the HBD tag is seemingly suddenly more appealing. But we will need more time to validate this theory.

Nevertheless if it makes you happy I think that it is a good choice to rewrite the proposal in order for it to fit into that template. I also very much like the “financial roadmap” as I agree with you that you have already proved to be a trustworthy entity on the block many years ago! The last thing that I would add is “the more details regarding (not only) the money the better”:).

In fact, there is not much we can do except guessing at the present time. This is still too early in Hive history :)

I am not sure I will be happy but I think it is important to provide justifications that are clear enough for everyone. From there, there is not much I will be able to do :)

In any case, thanks a lot for your comments! That really helps.

Agreed!
Well I have tried to help as much as i was able to:)

I finally did it yesterday (see here. But not so much of an effect (at least so far) ;)

I’m following your dev account:) will check it out as soon as i have time...and will give you a feedback too when I’ll be at it!

Thanks, I am looking forward to read them!

Thanks for your contribution to the STEMsocial community. Feel free to join us on discord to get to know the rest of us!

Please consider supporting our funding proposal, approving our witness (@stem.witness) or delegating to the @steemstem account (for some ROI).

Please consider using the STEMsocial app app and including @stemsocial as a beneficiary to get a stronger support.