How do we make Hive Great Again?

There are conversations going on about our seemingly languishing digital home as Bitcoin spikes again.

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The greatest growth period for Hive/Steem as a blogging platform came during the last few days of 2017 and early 2018 and ended catastrophically with the crypto ad ban. I wasn't around then but we've included an entire section in our legal claim statement against Facebook and Google about the advertising campaigns which @jerrybanfield crowd funded on Steem. I hope we'll publish the full section we used for the court case soon.

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As people flooded in, the price of Steem rose. There isn't any other way to sugar coat it however, looking back at the rewards people received for posts in that era, it doesn't look like the platform was creating anything sustainable.

Since then we've seen Medium and Substack both rise and the problems with cancel culture and censorship accelerate. As an example of things Hive could have built look at Substack.
[Unfortunately some front ends don't play nice with embeded tweets so this is probably better on PeakD than Leofinance right now].

That is Casey Newton, former Verge journalist who covers Tech and especially social media tech. He left the Verge who allowed him to take with him the email list he'd built whilst working there. Good for him.

Substack is the simplests possible blogging / email / payment app imaginable. Import a mailing list, send out emails collect monthly payment from some or all of your subscribers for some or all of your content. I almost think I could build such a thing in Hive if I had just a little more Skilz. And if it was on Hive, this kind of thing wouldn't happen:

Why is Casey Newton afraid? He's a hard core anti-Trump semi-woke lefty and far, far, far away from being the usual target of being cancelled, but even he knows that you can never quite be sure who'll slip up and be cancelled next.


Substack cannot be used to publish content or fund initiatives that call for violence, exclusion, or segregation based on protected classes. Offending behavior includes serious attacks on people based on their race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability or medical condition.

Right now Substack's terms and conditions are lighter than others on hate speech (unserious attacks on people are ok?) but we all know what will happen if a high profile censored target were to join Substack or achieve notoriety and support on it. Boom, account and livelihood deleted.

Hive could be a significant competitor to Substack. There'd need to be a few things:

  • a great interface for sending emails and storing ones own list (hey I've written a Python script that takes a formatted PeakD post and sends it as an email, we used it the last time we updated our @JPBLiberty class members);
  • an interface to a well known payment gateway like Stripe or PayPal so normal people, who aren't interested in Crypto, can participate;
  • the guys at @fullalt are also well on the way to useful parts of this kind of value for value reward stack;

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I have another idea I'd love people to look at, the Podcasting 2.0 and the PodcastIndex project is working on new tags and updating the way podcasts are delivered and presented. This is being done by @adamcurry who co-invented podcasting. Payment and value for value is a part of what they're doing: I don't know exactly how a decentralised back end could help, but I feel sure it can.

I'm not in a position to build all this, I'd like to work on these projects so if this interests anyway, tell me!

But my bigger point is that Hive is still a canvas on which the next app that gains traction can be built. The Hive and blockchain part can be almost completely hidden. That's what Splinterlands is doing, and @threespeak and even @leofinance to a lesser degree.

Individual apps should be doing their own marketing however there is a lot to be said for backup and support from the funds already on Hive and sloshing around in the fund. The following appears in our legal documents:

Facebook and Google advertising works - it creates substantial economic benefit for advertisers that exceeds its cost. The Respondents would not have trillion-dollar businesses (almost entirely dependent on advertising revenue) if it did not. Preventing the entire Cryptocurrency Industry from advertising removed that substantial economic benefit and thus necessarily caused damage in many different ways.

One day, maybe sooner than you think, we might be able to force an end to the bans on crypto related advertising.

However I want to point out one more thing: if you've watched "The Social Network" on Netflix, you may start to understand the kinds of insidious addiction tricks which have been used by Facebook, Google and Twitter (and the newer networks like Tik-Tok). You'll also understand how far away any decentralised social platform is and will always be from these centralised systems. This has to be realised before anyone gets grandiose ideas of one day competing with a Facebook or YouTube at scale and in the advertising worlds in which they live.

What we can and should be, however, is a free speech and censorship resistant back end which creates the environment developers and entrepreneurs want to build apps on and, if possible, help those who come and build great things here.

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