What Hive Really Is And How It Gets Confused
There is a lot of drama that arises periodically. Much if it can be tied to the simple idea that few truly can hone in on what Hive is.
Consider this question: What is Hive?
Think about that carefully. Strip away any of the fluff and what do you come up with?
Some might say it is a community. Is that accurate? While there are people gathering, are they really assembling directly on Hive? There are others that call it a protocol. This is closer although it still isn't quite there.
Misunderstanding what Hive is causes untold conflict. People have ideas about what should take place without, quite frankly, grasping what they are referring to.
In this article we will look at what Hive is to try to clarify matter.
What Is Hive?
If we bore down to its essence, Hive is a decentralized text storage system that allows anyone to write to the database.
That is it.
It is not glamorous or sexy. This is a back end that applications can access to store text data. Whatever is written to the blockchain is stored in blocks which are joined together by hash and can be searched using a block explorer (Hiveblocks in this instant).
Users do not interact with Hive. Instead, we utilize applications that developers build which send data to the blockchain. This can come in the form of base layer functions such as posting or voting. It also can include custom JSONs.
A blockchain nothing more than an alternative to the traditional server based system. With a company like Twitter, it controls both the front end which people use to access the data and the all the servers that house it.
An application on Hive operates in the same way. The data being pulled is a combination of on-chain for services such as account management and a centralized server hosting other information, such as images along with non-chain data.
What separates Hive from networks like Bitcoin and Ethereum is the fact that all text is stored without the use of smart contracts. Blockchains are, in their basic set up, financial ledgers. The database looks more like a bank. Ethereum altered things by introducing smart contracts to the base layer, a discussion outside the scope of this article.
Amazon Web Services
It is only in recent years that Amazon Web Services started marketing to the general public. For much if its existence it targeted developers. It launched in 2002 with the cloud storage going live in 2006.
Here is a question: Can you name the top 5 largest customers of AWS without looking it up?
According to this article it is:
- AOL (Verizon)
Here is an even more important question?
How many of them promote AWS? Were you even aware that these companies housed most of their data on that company's servers? There are likely Comcast or AOL customers reading this who did not realize they engaged with AWS. It is likely few think of AWS when the open up Netflix.
Why do I bring this up? Because Hive is more like AWS than anything else. It is a back end storage system that must be accessed through applications. It is not the database people are interested in and they certainly do not care where it is housed.
Marketing of Hive
This is an issue of great debate over the years. To reveal some personal info, I did spend 30 years working in sales and marketing, often designing plans and strategies for the company.
That said, many say that Hive needs marketing. This brings up the first question: who are you going to market to and what are you promoting? In other words, what is unique in your offering?
Here is the major problem. The calls to market Hive are all doomed to fail because the target market is not identified. Who uses a database? Developers. Who do people want to promote Hive to? The general public.
Let's look at AWS again. Who is interested in cloud storage? IT departments. Who did AWS spend years marketing to? IT departments.
Many will take exception to this but the proof is in the pudding. Putting the Hive name on a racecar does not generate users. Did people suddenly go buy tools because Tony Stewart had Home Depot across this hood of his race car? No. That marketing was not designed to make sales. That was part of the name recognition campaign that major corporations do. It is along the lines of out of sight, out of mind.
Nobody bought a 2x4 or a hammer because the name was on Tony Stewart's car.
Hive has maybe 100 users. That is all. There are a handful of people who are directly access Hive. Everyone else is a user of an application. Even the internal exchange can only be accessed through some type of front end.
What we are dealing with is infrastructure. That is why all efforts to market Hive fall on deaf ears. People do not care.
Of course, this is what needs to be marketed.
For all not technical people, what do you know about these services?
While some of these might be familiar, do non-developers really know what they do? The answer is no. In fact, people only care when something doesn't work. Then calls are placed to the technical people to fix.
I think the point is clear. Anyone trying to promote Hive to the general public is like pushing system integration ads on a cooking show. The target audience is not there.
Marketing 101: know your customer (audience)
Hive failed because it tried to market the infrastructure to the general public. If you want to run a marketing campaign, target the developers. They are the ones who could be interested in what the infrastructure has to offer.
For the general public, it is the applications and games. That is what the users are concerned about. They could care less where the data is hosted. The majority of players on Splinterlands have no clue much of the data is posted as custom JSONs. To them, it is was all on a centralized server system, so be it. They do not care.
No Coin = No Concern
Here is the crux of the matter:
If it was not for the coin, most here would not give a hoot about Hive either. After all, who cares about a database?
The majority of the people involved want the coin to moon. That is their sole concern. They are not focused upon building decentralized databases. That is of no interest. Control over data falls into the same category since people run right back to Twitter and Discord, further enriching those companies. Videos talking about Web 3.0appear on YouTube, the epitome of a Web 2.0 platform all the time.
Community is a great thing but it is not the blockchain. I would say people do not gather around Hive. Instead, they gather around the values of freedom, censorship resistant, total account ownership, and building an alternative financial system. This is accessed through the games and applications that are being built tied to the infrastructure that is provided.
Hive is not sexy. However, when it comes to next generation infrastructure, it is pretty powerful. This is what needs to be promoted. It just needs to target the right people.
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