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.
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!"
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.
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.
"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.
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.
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:
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.
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!
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!
(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