What about sharing your Hive experience for scientific research?

in StemSociallast month (edited)

This blog is a bit different from my usual ones. It is still related to science, will be (slightly) personal, but it won’t address particle physics or cosmology. Don’t worry, I will go back to these topics later this week with a post in French, and early next week with a new topic covered in English.

The present blog concerns an announcement of a study conducted by the Toronto Metropolitan University, which caught my attention a few weeks ago. This study is about social media and how privacy-preserving technologies can be leveraged to benefit social media users. I must highlight that I got aware of it through a message from @guiltyparties on the Hive discord server.

[Credits: Original image from geralt (Pixabay)]

On the website related to the study (or the associated Twitter account), we can read that the involved researchers are currently looking for participants that are willing to share their experience with blockchain-based social media like Hive. The goals (among others) are to learn how users interact with blockchain-based social media platforms, why they choose them over traditional web2 platforms, and the related gains/limitations in having a blockchain-based medium.

Whereas I am very interested in the results of such a study to satisfy my curiosity, this is not possible for now as the study is only starting. I therefore decided that it could be cool to participate to the study myself, and get interviewed. This interview then happened yesterday.

I obviously shared my experience with our chain as a science blogger (which is the reason that brought me to Hive in the first place), and also as someone who aims to build a new way for both researchers and STEM enthusiasts to share their passion with the general audience (aka the STEMsocial project and community).

This being said, I also emphasised that Hive is not only about blogging, and that there are actually tons of apps gravitating around it. HIVE is indeed a thriving and diverse ecosystem.

Some more details about my interview

During the interview, we started by assessing my general background with social media platforms. For those who are interested, I started with mIRC in the 1990s, in the early days of the Web, and then moved from platform to platform throughout the course of the years (before ending here in 2016).

We then discussed my current activities on Hive, and which frontend I use (almost 100% condenser, aka hive.blog, as I like its simplicity and clarity). I took the opportunity to share a bit my vision for STEMsocial (I will discuss this deeply at Hivefest 7 for those who will be there), my citizen science project on Hive (which you can still join if you have a few hours per week to deal with state-of-the-art particle physics simulations on your computer), and how I use my blog on Hive for scientific outreach.

As a side note, I mentioned the two STEMsocial meetups we organised in 2018, inside the Large Hadron Collider at CERN (yes, we really went inside, 100 metres underground), and at Virgo Labs in Italy (to chat about gravitational waves a few years after their discovery).

During the rest of the interview, we discussed how I was seeing Hive in the future (in other words, why I was still there and how I expected the growth of the chain), the ecosystem at large and some comparisons with other social media (within the context of my own experience with them).

User retention and audience were also a non-avoidable part of the talk, which is something that is worked out by many communities and project teams on Hive as not fully resolved. As a side note, it is in my opinion much better now than what it was years ago.

Some final words

I won’t enter more into details and I hope that the summary above is sufficient to trigger the interest of many Hive community members in the study.

If you have 30 minutes of free time, please consider joining the study and share your experience with Hive Blog, Peakd, Ecency, 3Speak, LeoFinance or any of your preferred social media applications built on Hive. It would be nice to have the Hive community in its full diversity well represented within this study. Moreover, participation is rewarded with 10 USD in HIVE.

To participate, it is enough to visit the website dedicated to the study, and register. Also, don’t hesitate to put @guiltyparties in the loop who tries to monitor this (if I am not wrong). I am of course also happy to answer any question in the comment section of this blog, if you have any.

It is now time for me to stop writing, and go back to precision calculations relevant for the Large Hadron Collider. See you!


You offer a lot to this platform and to science and we all benefit from your articles a lot, so thank you very much.
How can I join Hivefest7 please? Is it online?
and i guess that the website of participation in the study are not working for the moment! Maybe not allowed in all countries?

Thanks for this nice message. Note that the research I discuss in this blog is not done by me. Here, I am only a participant like anyone from Hive.

How can I join Hivefest7 please? Is it online?

This year, HiveFest7 will be in person. See here for more information.

and i guess that the website of participation in the study are not working for the moment! Maybe not allowed in all countries?

I have just checked and it fully works. You can also contact them by e-mail if needed ([email protected]).

Thanks for answering, i will try with e-mail; i appreciate your help
have a nice day :)

You too ^^

Hey! Very interesting research. I will have a look.

BTW, I've a few of questions!

Do you think that posts like this could somehow affect the participants views and responses, you know, like in potentially jeopardizing the study validity?

Did they ask you to make this post?

Are they offering an incentive to participate. Have you heard something?


Do you think that posts like this could somehow affect the participants views and responses, you know, like in potentially jeopardizing the study validity?

It could, which is why I decided to stay quite brief. My only goal was to shed more light on the study, in order to get more Hivers taking part to it.

At the end, the information I shared in this blog is quite personal (in the sense that it applies on my personal story on Hive). I do not think this should influence in any big way how others would answer.

Did they ask you to make this post?

No they didn't. It was from my own initiative (and I then shared the link with them).

Are they offering an incentive to participate. Have you heard something?

They will give 10 USD in Hive. This is not what I could call a real incentive, but this is nice from them to at least give something for our time.

Does all of this answer your interrogations?

It could, which is why I decided to stay quite brief.

I guess it is inevitable anyway (it's a social media) and they probably thought about that!

They will give 10 USD in Hive. This is not what I could call a real incentive, but this is nice from them to at least give something for our time.

I noticed when I visited the site after your post. I also came across other hivers posts taking about this.

Does all of this answer your interrogations?

It does, thanks.

That seems like a really interesting project to follow although as yet, I haven't yet followed the links but in the case of Hive, won't data be skewed due to the 'reward' aspect of Hive?

I don't think so. The idea of their research is to understand why people use blockchain-based social media and how they do it. Therefore "rewards" are part of it (and I guess this is also true for the other platforms on which they focus).

Thinking about it, it is quite interesting because during my interview, I didn't even mention that word at all (I may have said 'crypto' only once). I really focused on what I was trying to build, and all social aspects (plus the comparison with common web2 platforms).

Oh thank you for the insight. I think I will sign up to participate tomorrow.

Have a lovely weekend :-)

Thanks (my week-ends are usually offline, which is why I only answer now). I hope you had a nice week-end too!

I am sure you will not believe it but. :)
I was thinking just a few days ago about the content shared on decentralized social media (and mostly hive) and how interesting it would be if there were studies about differences in content shared between the platforms, the users, the communities that are more active, perhaps the correlation (if any) between activity/interaction and rewards etc. The possibilities are endless!
I will surely take a look at your shared link and thank you @guiltyparties for bringing this to our attention!

I agree that possibilities are endless, and all the examples you raised are good ones (among many others). However, this really requires to have a fair number of participants, that is statistically meaningful. Please let me know whether you end up being interviewed.


Fascinating, @lemouth. Tempting. I don't know though about participating. Something I have to think about. I've never 'zoomed'.

Wonderful that you bring yet another innovative project to our platform.

Wonderful that you bring yet another innovative project to our platform.

Actually this time I didn't. It was brought by someone else ;)

Have a nice week-end!

Hello friend @lemouth, I find interesting research, with the diversity of data that can be collected will surely have very valuable results.

Thanks for sharing your experience, I see that for some time now you are immersed in this virtual world. I’ll try to participate, have a great week.

I am glad to read it. Please let us know when your interview will be scheduled :)

It is science for sure! If they are biologist studying animal behaviour, why not studying human behaviour ?

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Sure it is. The "somewhat" was there because the blog includes some of my personal experience. It meant in fact that it was not only about science. I will remove that word to make it clearer. I agree with you it is (somewhat) inappropriate!

This research is interesting, I think I am going to dedicate some time to register. It will be good to see the conclusions reached by the study.
Thank you for sharing your experience and above all for sharing this information with us.
Have a nice day! 🤗

I totally agree! I am looking forward to read their conclusions (and I will share them on chain, of course). Maybe there will be interesting items to learn from this.


I just booked my interview!
Not so many slots available :) The first date available was the 20th of July!!!

Wow it seems that they are a bit put under pressure. Note that you can forget my other message in which I was asking for the date of your interview :)

I think that there will be a substantial number of hive users eager to be interviewed :)) I guess they will be overwhelmed! haha

Would you like us to discuss any ways that we could perform our own research?

Would you like us to discuss any ways that we could perform our own research?

In principle I would like to say 'yes'. However (yes there is a catch), I am so overwhelmed at the moment (but still recovering as my body refuses to cooperate) that I am afraid I cannot lead this thing.


I understand and I respect it.
I may contact you in the next weeks to ask for some academic advice, if I may..
Thank you and take care :) sometimes we need to take a break and just enjoy doing nothing!

I may contact you in the next weeks to ask for some academic advice, if I may..

Feel free to contact me anytime. I would be more than happy to help you. Note that I will turn mostly offline around the 22nd (as mentioned in my last blog). I will however check messages once in a while. I may just not be able to quickly answer.


I did the interview this morning... was an interesting conversation with the interviewer for sure.

Glad to read this. It would be interesting to get the full panel of participants from Hive, just to have an idea on how the various communities and skills are represented.


talked to Dreem about this yesterday and we'll be encouraging some more participants. They will be from more diverse areas if they participate.

Thanks! That's great!

At the end of their study, I will probably boldly contact the researchers to ask them about some numbers and how many Hivers were involved. They won't of course be forced to answer, but it does not cost much to ask.

if they are doing a study .. they might be willing to share a link to the results when they publish

Of course they will, but I may be too impatient to wait for the results to be released ;)

This is definitely going to be an interesting one.

I just got booked now. Next week will be my time. Anxiously waiting

I am glad to read that you will contribute!


Woah now that's amazing, I'm looking forward to the results. I will see what free time I have and I will probably participate.

I kinda have a question though before I apply, my knowledge in blockchain technology isn't the best, will that still be helpful to their research based on the questions I might be asked?

Feel free to participate. There is no need to know much about any technicality at all. The study is instead about the social-media part, and not the tech one. I am sure you could help them a lot with the former, by sharing how you experienced our chain.


Interesting, I might head over and do it. I mean 10 usd is three coffees here...🤪

Those are expensive coffee... However, the 10 USD should not be the motivation (although any reward of any kind is always appreciated).

I think you should participate, as you have been on chain for a some time already :)

Yeah 5.50 AUD for a soy latte here....

Damned.... This makes me remembering one of my Australian colleague, who is a full professor in Johannesburg, who told me that his salary, which was extremely good relative to South African standards, was below the salary of a garbage person in Australia. For that reason, it is always important to make ratios. 5.50 AUD can be fine relative to Australian salaries, can't they?

Yes, 5.50 is reasonable, although if you're trying to save money, you don't want to buy one every day! A loaf of bread - sourdough of course - is about 7 to 9 dollars. Two litres of milk around 2.60.

It's all relative, for sure!

Even if it is relative, the absolute prices are crazy. I cannot forbid myself from thinking it :D

I went to schedule the appointment but they are all very late - past 11pm - due to time difference, so I won't do it after all.

Ah yes, indeed. Toronto versus Australia is not the best combination... Maybe you could try to send them an e-mail, to see whether they could allocate a specific timeslot that would work well for you. Who knows?

Haha...indeed. a good insensitive to atleast encourage willing voluntary participants.

I saw it too, definitely interested by the results and maybe to participate ! Thanks for the reminder and for sharing the development of your interview :)

I hope for the authors of the study that my blog will trigger more participation :)

I am happy that I can leave a comment here today, sincerely. I will be doing this tonight. I have always preferred the decentralized social media platform over the centralized social media platform.

It is great to read this. The researchers will certainly be happy to see many Hivers from different horizons joining their study!

Good job, it's an important post. I will discuss it with my son who has a lot more experience than me in Hive, just as you have shared your experience. Thank you for reporting for the good of all. successes.

Thanks for passing by. Please discuss this with your son. The more Hivers participate, the better it is (at least in my opinion).


Thank you dear, my son is already analyzing your publication. Successes from Venezuela


Just to make it clear: I am by no means involved in the research associated to the study of UM Toronto. I am just one participant among others, who contributes to the data they will analyse.


I'll look into the information on website, let's if I get any slot for the interview or help anyway.

That's great to read. Have you found any available slot? It seems that they are getting pretty rare at the moment (from messages of other Hivers).

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