Building the Hive Community: The Importance of Overcoming the "It's too complicated!" Argument

Whereas I have never shied away from sharing with "outside" people that one of the things I "do" is keep a regular blog on Hive, I have generally not been all that much of an active promoter of our community, even after 4 1/2 years here.

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My ostensible friends are typically not technical — very rarely developers or gamers — and mostly are just people who are either fellow writers or artists and otherwise come from the areas of psychology, mental health, spirituality and alternative healing... with some "New Age woo-woo" thrown in for good measure.

Yes, I have recommended St€€m Hive to a few people over the years, and pretty much all of them have been stopped like they hit a proverbial wall the moment they discovered that there isn't a "Log in with Facebook" option, or something similarly fundamental.

"This is too complicated! I don't do technical stuff! It's just too much work to learn this!"

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Shortening the Adoption Curve...

At this point, blockchain and cryptocurrencies — while possibly familiar concepts to a fair number of people — are at about the same stage as the Internet was when it had maybe 50-100 million actual active users: People were singing its praises and abuzz about it's potential but the majority perception was still that "the Internet is s toy for academics, gamers, nerds looking for porn and creepy middle-aged pedophiles looking to abduct our daughters!

Except... with what we are doing here in the Cryptosphere, the counter-argument is instead "criminals, drug lords and nerds making invisible money out of thin air. The government will outlaw it and then all the effort will have been for nothing!"

In the early days of the Internet, AOL quickly emerged as the "winner" in the user adoption game, not because they offered any services CompuServe and Prodigy didn't, but because they understood the importance of usability.

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What MATTERS to Potential New Hive Users?

(Hint: It's NOT blockchain and decentralization. And it's BARELY censorship resistance.)

It's easy to come back with what seems like "perfectly reasonable" points about security, wallets, true account ownership, decentralization and such... but the sad truth is that most people just don't give a flip about such things. Whereas they may recognize that it's "an outrage" that Facebook, YouTube, twitter and others can "de-platform" content creators, let us not overlook the very real thing that many people actually perceive those being de-platformed as "fringe dwelling weirdos who probably had it coming, anyway."

Most of us ARE — in effect — still very early adopters and we have a tendency to get trapped by myopia inside our little echo chambers. That's not a bad thing — this industry needs "evangelists" on the front lines. But we have to keep firmly in mind that what appeals to US isn't necessarily what will attract the next generation of users.

One of the fundamentals of successful marketing and sales is that you have to meet people where they are, not where you are.

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"Eeeew... My Mom is on MySpace!"

Remember the "Eeeew... my MOM is on MySpace!" days? We're very close to a parallel situation in the crypto-blockchain world.

Mrs. Denmarkguy is a good example. She's in the counseling, mental health and spirituality field, but she's definitely no Luddite: she has forgotten more about WordPress site building, coding themes and related technical stuff than most people will ever know. Now, she does have a couple of Hive accounts (one personal, one for her non-profit) but even so she says the way things work here are "too cumbersome and too complicated" which is why she rarely uses her accounts.

Occasionally, she'll fling a chunk of text and some photos at me and say "post this on Hive, willya?" because she doesn't really feel familiar enough with the site to create an attractive post quickly. Her main commentary since the beginning (her accounts are ALMOST as old as mine) has been that we desprately need to work on ease-of-use if we hope for this to go "anywhere."

Newsflash: None my my posts are created quickly, either.

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Usability, Usability, USABILITY!

And so we get to one of THE most important parts of our technology driven world: USABILITY!

In short, it doesn't matter how "revolutionary" or "game changing" a technology is, if it requires a high level of technical savvy to use. Sure, our impressions of what "technical savvy" means might be different... but let's just point right back to the "Log in with Facebook" paradigm.

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I realize that TPTB ("The Powers That Be") on Hive would probably cringe at the idea of "log in with Google or Facebook," but it has actually been done before... the LeoFinance Community allows initial account creation via twitter.

That means that someone has already created — and tested — the code needed to make this avenue a possible way to sign up. What would it take for the same on Hive... except using the two largest "secure log-in" portals, Facebook and Google?

At the moment, @peakd is — at least in my book — the usability leader within the Hive ecosystem... so maybe there's a challenge there!

So how about this:

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Introducing "Hive Light" Accounts

Why not have an initial version of Hive accounts that could be created via Facebook, Google and twitter?

These "light" accounts would allow people to get started; post, comment, upvote and so forth. They'd even allow people to earn rewards for posting, commenting and curation... and build a balance. But all these accounts could do would be to build stake.

In order to get stake/liquid rewards out, you would have to continue to creating a "full" Hive account and attendant wallet.

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What Does This Accomplish?

Aside from simplicity and ease of use in the account creation process, it would allow people to "test drive" Hive in an easier way. Short version, they could experience what we have to offer without having to learn all the technical bits.

What's more, if they get "hooked," then their growing — but untouchable — stake would offer a strong incentive to become "full" community members.

And those who didn't? How about making it so that "Light" accounts simply "dissolve" if they have not been used for 12 months... and any attendant rewards burned?

Community building takes more than just getting people in the door; those people have to find something appealing and easy to use in order to want to stay.

Thanks for reading, and have a great weekend!

How about YOU? What do you think? Is "ease of use" one of the things we need to work on, in order to appeal to a broader range of new users? Have you recommended Hive to someone only to be told that it's "too complicated" to use? What can we do to address this issue? Leave a comment — share your experiences — be part of the conversation!

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Greetings bloggers and social content creators! This article was created via PeakD, a blogging application that's part of the Hive Social Content Experience. If you're a blogger, writer, poet, artist, vlogger, musician or other creative content wizard, come join us! Hive is a little "different" because it's not run by a "company;" it operates via the consensus of its users and your content can't be banned, censored, taken down or demonetized. And that COUNTS for something, in these uncertain times! So if you're ready for the next generation of social content where YOU retain ownership and control, come by and learn about Hive and make an account!

Proud member of the Proof of Brain Community on Hive! POB Logo

(As usual, all text and images by the author, unless otherwise credited. This is original content, created expressly and uniquely for this platform — NOT cross posted anywhere else!)
Created at 20210716 21:45 PDT

0299/1542



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Need to work on creating a consumer class and a culture that's fine with browsing and okay with earning little bits just for talking like this and voting, instead of going for glory, finding it difficult, then leaving completely.

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Well, yes. Precisely that. This would be largely targeted at the content consumers who occasionally like to interact. They can have a while to do so easily and then those who decide the gig is cool enough to warrant hanging out in the long run would "convert."

A LOT of people leave because the learning curve — in a word — sucks.


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...the LeoFinance Community allows initial account creation via twitter.

ICK.

LOL

Seriously, usability is a major factor in how fast anything is adopted. By 2013 Bitcoin was still something that made people scratch their heads, and that's when Dogecoin entered the cryptosphere. Despite the bad rap Dogecoin gets-- to this day!-- for many reasons, there is absolutely no doubt that Dogecoin made cryptocurrency accessible and available to the broader mass of people. Just as AOL brought people onto the Web and Internet, Dogecoin brought more people to cryptocurrency than Bitcoin ever could.

As for "Hive Light" accounts, I see merit in that idea. It would take a new Hiver some time to earn enough to be able to withdraw it, anyway, so during the early days the earnings may as well be staked. Once the big money (well, bigger money) starts coming in regularly, then it becomes possible to to things like buy Layer 2 tokens, delegate for earnings, play blockchain games, and other things which depend on having money to begin with. That's when the Hive Light account gets upgraded to full status.


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The thing about usability is that it's easy for those who have used something for a really long time to develop a sort of cognitive myopia in which they sincerely believe that what they are creating is "easy to use" because they are familiar with it from using it 24/7/365.

And I totally agree about DOGE. It may be a shitcoin of the highest order, but it gave a "not scary" face to the entire idea of cryptocurrency... while BTC pretty much remains a "black box" to may people: It produces a result of some kind, but nobody really understands it.

The "Hive Light" is just an idea... we'll see if anyone is listening.


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The thing about usability is that it's easy for those who have used something for a really long time to develop a sort of cognitive myopia in which they sincerely believe that what they are creating is "easy to use" because they are familiar with it from using it 24/7/365.

The best example of this is how users of Macintosh computers tell non-users that using a Mac is "intuitive" and easy. That's not exactly true.

When I was learning how to use Macintosh computers when they were still monochrome computers I was trying to figure out how to eject the disk from te computer. On DOS and Windows system there was a command to do that or a menu item available to eject the disk from the computer.

I was wracking my brain for a few minutes until someone saw what I was trying to do. Then that person told me that to eject the disk from the computer, it was just a matter of dragging the icon representing that disk to Trash. How the hell was I supposed to come up with that answer based of the experience I had with other systems?

Something may be easier than something else, but that doesn't mean that in absolute terms it's easy. Even Dogecoin isn't so easy to work with when you're first trying to figure it out.


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Ah yes, that old Mac example is a classic! Intuitive... to whom, exactly? Would have loved to have picked the brain of the person who came up with that particular idea...

Mac were so interesting because they weren't really "easier," but they were being promoted by Mac users who seemed to be part of a "cult of user smugness." Interestingly enough, Apple/Macs didn't actually become a big deal until after that attitude went away...

Things that make you go "hmmmm...."


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Well i'd only recommend hive indirectly to people through bitcoinmyk.com. Which is a hive token. Simply because the interface is like facebook and they don't have the problems of learning curves understanding hive power and hive backed dollars and alot of things they don't think are important or want to learn.

However if it looks and feels like facebook has posts.. Has instant messengers and friend add ons like bitcoinmyk.com has. Then it's a walk in the park as the wallets themselves are super easy and integrated in as well like paypal or something. So yes i'd recommend indirectly like that and they'd have all the features they have now on mainstream social media. I wouldn't recommend hive any other way because i'd think it would just be too time consuming. The average user has about 5 minutes per social media interaction. People just realistically don't have tht kinda time.

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"Instant plug-and-play" has pretty much become the de-facto standard for web interaction. Whether people are "smart" or not, the moment something requires a bunch of information and complex things to learn... it's considered "too complicated."

As you say, the key is to just get people to show up and get started. In time, those who actually care will continue, and those who don't... well, they weren't supposed to be here, in the first place.


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"In time, those who actually care will continue, and those who don't... well, they weren't supposed to be here, in the first place."

Sure but the problem is hive is an inflationary product. So inflation does better with growth. So the thing is something like facebook well everyone must be smart enough to use it because everyone is on it. So if you want a network to grow i say do what works.

Now i've found and no offense to any particular whale. I attack all whales because generally whales in teh end are bad for platforms and systems. They great in the beginning when you need funding and money like the founders of these platforms did.

However. once they product is funded they are like the biggest nuissance and that's why i think my best model in my mind would be community funded and not just this imbalance of whales. So my point is make it easy keep the whales at bay and you can have a fantastic network. If you want a mediocre network a 300 rank coin yea i mean if you raising the bar for people to reach.. Well people aren't that smart and most aren't going to reach it lol.

I've spent alot of time working on wallstreet and in the business world. I've run several successful businesses. The thing is i know what i'm talking about. That's why we dumbed down bitcoin myk. Now its true like a freight train the beginning momemtum is slow. However over time it will steam roll on.

Again it's no right or wrong way for you all to develop this chain but there are outcomes. The outcome you're on now is going to be a small network with a few whales and very little liquidity and money. The trajectory i'm on will lead to a billion dollar network maybe even a trillion dollar network. Ultimately you all have to make the call on the type of network you wanna have. However hive won't attract many people its too expensive to run. By us piggybacking off hive we can do many things they can't.

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On one hand, I like the very slight degree of complication in using this site. It weeds out a lot of the lazy riff-raff. But I also see the benefit of onboarding more users so we grow and get recognition. I think your "light" account is a good way to onboard the skeptics so they can try before they buy. Perhaps using the Hive dev fund to delegate some RCs would let them earn, and if they don't unlock their rewards with a full account, they return to HIve's dev fund, would manage this trial period while keeping earnings in the community somehow? Lots of code layers, and I don't know shit there.

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We are in complete agreement. I share posts promoting the blockchain on LinkedIn whenever possible. I wish there was some way to automatically post cross-platform, the way there is with WordPress, but no matter.

I can't help but wonder how effective it is to use mainstream platforms to tell people to stop using mainstream platforms, but I suppose it's worth getting banned if it actually works.

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I was trying to think up something that addressed both the fact that we sincerely need more people (new faces) around here, while we don't want to just attract a bunch of riff-raff and deadwood. So let people try "the easy way" but don't give them "all the toys" unless they make an actual commitment. Hey... if 1-in-10 end up "converting," it's still an improvement over what we have now!

As for the code? I dunno... not a developer.


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Login with Facebook would do it, it needs someone to do it (not me!).

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It's needed... and it's also not going to be me who builds it! Word is that @peakd is working on some kind of variation of this. Which makes sense, since they have the best usability of any of our existing front ends... and on the occasions where I do point people to Hive, that's where I send them.


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That would be a tremendous boost for the peakd front-end. I hope it happens.

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Peakd are going to build light accounts for this. It's in their latest updates. Just a matter of when.

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I have heard that, but I have not read the specifics... and I don't know what their time schedule is. But I like PeakD because of — precisely — their better usability.


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I agree with Mrs. Denmark, I find most of the stuff on hive totally beyond my comprehension. I can post ok, and like making the posts, when uploading works well (not always the case). But one reason I've never taken anything out of my wallet is it is too hard to do, and I no longer have my techie husband to help. But even he found it VERY difficult to navigate doing that. We spent many many HOURS the first time we tried to do it.

It's too bad it's so hard to join this platform. I know my friends and family read my posts, but they can't respond as they don't have accounts and are as illiterate on web stuff as I am.

I am wondering how a "light" account would work....

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I post some of my more thoughtful/significant posts to my writers, bloggers and various hobby groups in other social media... including my Facebook feed. I know the pieces get read but I can't think of anyone actually having joined Hive, in spite of my assurances that it's a cool community.

And that's really a shame, becuse there are a lot of people who are using mainstream social media who would enjoy being part of the Hive Community.


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I browsed Steemit Hive almost a year before I came through someone else's account. They were brand new and I didn't get it, nor did I want to spend that much time trying to. I finally got to a place where I used a little effort and found my way, but, even now, I falter when it comes to Leo Finance and a few other things.

User friendly is the biggest complaint I hear. People would rather post for free in a place they have no trouble accessing or using. I think having a program to onboard through Facebook/Twitter or the like is brilliant. Not that it hasn't been thought of, but, having a lite account is brilliant. I love the entire concept. I really do. I think that more people would give it a try.

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I found St€€m because someone sent me a link to a piece of content they wanted me to read.

It had nothing to do with the site, nothing to do with crypto, nothing to do with blogging for rewards, nothing to do with blockchain. I made an account because I saw intelligent and respectful discussion (unlike the "yelling and screaming" on Facebook) and wanted to respond to comments. I was actually pretty put off by the convoluted and SLOW (at the time) signup process... but stuck with it, not because of an interest in St€€m but out of consideration for my buddy...


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I am hopeful that someone in the future will simplify a lot of what we see in Hive, because that is the way mass adoption can come and stay, maybe looking at platforms like Medium and their business model is an option as well, there is still a lot of work ahead

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To be honest, I doubt we will ever experience "mass adoption" here... BUT, this community (and its tribes, like POB, LEO and others) definitely has to potential to be home to maybe 5-10 million active users... rather than a few thousand, like we are now.

I see the start of that being in the form of making it easier for people to get started.


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(Edited)

You nailed it! Blockchain and User Friendly do not mix YET! I've only been here a couple of months and I spent about a week figuring out how it all worked, setting up a wallet, hive-signer, learning how to post, AND THEN there is the etiquette of the community you have to learn, and cross-posting, presenting quality content, and on and on and on - whew I'm exhausted just talking about it. At 56 years young, it wasn't what I would call fun, but I knew there was something deeper and more rewarding here than Facebook and Twitter had to offer, so I figured it out. After about an hour of trying to get my wife onboard a few weeks later she looked me dead in the eye and said, "This is WAY too complicated!" and that ended that. So yeah growth for HIVE is slow and painful and until as much effort is put into making the blockchain user-friendly as there is going into making it effective and feature-laden, I'm afraid it will continue as it is for a while longer.

P.S. Love the last photo, I would recognize that anywhere. Sedona Az and taken from The Chapel of the Holy Cross I would bet. One of my favorite places to shoot. I have done some night sky photography at that location.

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(Edited)

I remember around 2000, pre fakebok, when the internet was filled with quality info and no censorship...on the day of 911, it was revealed immediatly, and in full as a psyop. Now the coronhoax is mainly being perpetuated on the internet, rather than exposed.

Making things simple, means more morons, and Fakebook is already cornering that market!


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One of the best things about the early web was the fact that "minority perspectives" and "grassroots movements" pretty much had the freedom to express whatever they wanted, without any oversight. You could choose to read, or not to read.

Now, most of the web works like a modified LARP, where all participants are being "guided" by a trail of "clues" being laid out there by whomever the game masters are... on BOTH sides of every issue.

Thinking for yourself? Not so much...

Maybe simpler means more morons, but how will you reach and convert (some of) the morons to reason if you exclude them?


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that is a conundrum isn't it?

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