5 things I really like about the Narrative platform. But first a confession.

Service: Narrative

Over the last 14.5 months that I have been waiting for Narrative to go live with content publishing capabilities, I have been a genuine advocate for the platform, but at some point after alpha was launched, I and others, seemed to have fallen into a whirlpool of good intentions by trying to make suggestions that would improve the platform. Graciously this community platform was provided to us, to voice whatever we wanted. I think that is terrific, but it did give many people, myself very much included, a false sense that the platform was  malleable, when in fact, I realize, very little was available to be influenced.

Recently, I lost my father very suddenly to cancer, and quite frankly it has made me reboot my perspectives on a lot of things. Including my approach to worrying about how this platform will, or will not be perceived/function/grow after beta launch.

 I feel like I have just now pulled myself out of this existing whirlpool, of trying to  change systems on the Narrative platform. I have decided to remind myself of the things that originally drew me  to Narrative, rather than focusing on things that I think will be problematic. We are so close to the platform being launched, and I just want to take a deep breath and let the platform do what it's going to do. It would be nice if other people could try to do the same thing. Because the pressure to make changes, control quality, and make points crystal clear to people seems  really pervasive right now. This seems to be way more of a priority than community building at the moment.

So at least from me...that's enough picking at the threads of the sweater.

Here are 5 things I like about the Narrative platform.

1. Voting: democracy works pretty well and I dig that. Deciding as a group what gets approved, or not approved, can sometimes be a real bumper car ride, but I much prefer the authenticity and participation factor it. Hands down. even when it doesn't go the way I hoped.

2. A new form of communication: this isn't a newspaper, this isn't Facebook, this isn't Steemit. Narrative is truly unique, we don't know how it will preform. And it will be different from what currently exists. That is exciting.

3. Entrepreneurialism: I love the way the platform incentivizes people to strive for their own higher standards, not by central governance, but by having individual skin in the game, either by purchasing niches, moderating, writing content, or a combination of all three. I thought this was a winning strategy, and I am glad to get back to realizing this. That doesn't mean a person has to match someone else's standards, but I believe the entrepreneurial spirit will drive people to write better, and fix mistakes. I trust that this system will work.

4. Diversity of voices: this is the biggest one for me. when I first heard Rosemary in a 2017 interview, I knew this was going to be a platform that was not single gender dominant, or geography centric. I am so pleased that the platform has attracted so many people from all over the world,  and from different class structures. In my opinion this is the best asset the platform has. I believe this is a platform for people from all walks of life, that can be content makers, moderators if elected, and niche owners, no matter what their skill levels are. The platform has a system in place to put forward the most talented, but doesn't deter people from any area of the platform even if they are new to content creation. As the owner of the Equality niche, this makes me very happy indeed.

5. Quality: Not everything is perfect on the platform. We have some dormant niches that clearly have problems. But I must say, I think the level of thoughtful, articulate people on this platform so far, is very encouraging. There are many terrific, well crafted niches, purchased or ready to be purchased. These well crafted niches, once they fill up with quality content, will certainly be a draw to other content creators.

So that is my confession. In my enthusiasm for the platform to get started, I somehow got way too side tracked on how I would build the platform, and forgot that I actually came here because I really liked that platform. There are things I would prefer to be sort of different. And I still would like to know how the reputation is actually calculated, to be transparent, But none of these things are reasons for me to leave the platform, so I guess now that my head feels clearer, i just needed to let go of needing to "fix, improve, or change it", and get back to community building

What things do you like about the platform? What specifically brought you here? 


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I hear ya @Emily Barnett. I consider myself a spitballer-- here to test and give suggestions. Narrative isn't my project and I'm not going to be precious about it. I consider myself fortunate to be involved to the extent I am in this 'new frontier' of social media and am going to work within the confines of the Narrative platform. Like you said, not everything is prefect at this point; to me, that's just part of the challenge!

thank you for saying so @Gord.  I am excited about the launch and I feel fortunate too to be involved since the genesis. No matter what happens with this platform, fly, float, or fail, I think it has been great to be involved.

A very timely thread indeed.

To answer the questions asked.

1) I like that Narrative aims for decentralisation and quality.  There are some tensions between these two goals, and we'll see how things develop on that front, but the goal is noble.

2) I like the types of people the platform has attracted so far.  By and large, the existing community members are exactly the kind of people who can form the core of a committed community who believe in the democratic and open nature of Narrative.

3) So far, I'd rate the UI execution an 8/10, and functionality/usability execution 6/10.  Overall, I feel positive about the Team's ability to execute on a design.  

What drew me to Narrative was the sense a lot of thought was being put into designing a better way to do social media.  That sense remains, although some of the aspects the Team intended to reach for have yet to materialise in plan or in doing.

Overall, I see our role in the community before launch, as threefold:

- Provide feedback on the alpha

- Preload content, vote and suggest niches on the alpha

- Reach out to others who might appreciate Narrative

Provide feedback on the alpha

This aspect necessarily involves criticism, although I think everyone here understands that the Team will either integrate that criticism, or not.

Preload content, vote and suggest niches on the alpha

This aspect seems to be progressing well, with a bit of a slump after the last functionality release but hopefully we're already getting past that.

Reach out to others who might appreciate Narrative

This has gone really well until recently - I think many of us have become more cautious with approaching people because we know we often only get one chance at a first impression.  The Alpha, and subsequently Beta such as we understand its functionality, will be suitable for some people, but off-putting to others.  My sense is we already have a good membership base - more than enough people to get a sense of what is working and what is not at launch time.  So I personally would prefer to keep my powder dry until some problems are resolved, before I talk to anybody I think can really contribute well here.  I've already brought three such people here (and close to thirty more random people), that I now regret I had not waited longer before introducing them.

It takes a very particular type of person to adopt such an ambitious project in its earliest days, when it still falls so far short of its ideals.

The good news is, with almost 7000 members, we have a very healthy number of early adopters already.  I hope the state of the platform at launch is interesting enough to these existing members, that they engage with it strongly.

My biggest pleasant surprise

I did not expect the UI to be this good, this early on.  The Alpha revamp some months back introduced a UI that is more than Beta worthy.

My biggest disappointment

The abandonment of long tail content despite this being something discussed early on with the team, who asserted it was something they valued.  Until the economics are changed and all approved niches can be posted to, less popular topics will not be able to take their proper place at the table on Narrative.


I think it reminded me of an old content platform I used to be part of before it got sold to a competitor, only Narrative could be better and definitely gives members more leeway in the content they want to create and more of a stake in the platform as a whole. One thing that usually frustrated me about the old platform was that it banned some topics like e-cigarettes and marijuana, and that was frustrating if you had something you really wanted to say about e-cigs or marijuana instead of just shilling those. Narrative doesn't do that; it just gives members incentive to at least create quality content instead of just spamming.

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