Over the past 12 months, I've been wavering about whether the current execution of the platform is of a standard to warrant reaching out to people about Narrative.
After the recent release, I've reached a conclusion - trying to involve other people with the project currently is almost certainly a waste of time, and a waste of that precious first impression.
Denis Wallez became aware of Narrative when I started posting about the project on G+. I've had a number of exchanges with him on G+ about the platform (he never joined this forum because he thought it was lame it required an entirely separate account to the alpha). I invested a lot of energy in helping him understand Narrative, during our discussions on G+.
Denis joined the alpha and has purchased four niches.
He is now convinced Narrative is scamming people, since the certification release, and the revelation of the charges involved for initial submission, and resubmission attempts.
Denis definitely comes across to me as above average in intelligence and temperance. By joining the alpha, buying four niches, and participating in niche suggestions, voting and commenting on the alpha, he has demonstrated he is among the rare individuals who are willing to adopt a project like Narrative early, and to give it a real go. And yet from the discussion I will link to below, you will see his patience with the project is now spent.
I also think it safe to say that virtually every committed Narrative Alpha user experienced a strong loss of motivation after the recent release, and the ensuing efforts to discuss it here, as well as during the fruitless efforts to raise the alarm about unowned niches not being able to receive content.
I hope this can serve as a reality check for the @Narrative Network Team and lead to some adjustments in priorities, implementation, and level of sensitivity to customer expectations and patience levels.
Denis is an early adopter, hands-on, persevering kind of person. When we open up to the public April 2nd, we will realise just how unrepresentative our current group of Alpha testers is of the general public. They will have FAR less patience with their Narrative experience, and we've identified at least one major area in the current release plan that will severely challenge their motivation to stick around (inability to use niches that have been community approved, but nobody has paid $75 for) - an area in addition to the factors that put off Denis and are challenging many of us.
Here is the discussion:
As you'll see, I tried to reason with him regarding his issues, providing indications that our current problems are probably not due to Narrative being a scam, but rather to tone-deafness to how the project is coming across. I had to give up because he has clearly made up his mind, and his experiences have pushed him beyond his temperance.
Denis is just one person - of course. But he's also someone who invested far more than the average Alpha user has, during his time on the platform. We would be collectively and unforgivably foolish to ignore his experience with Narrative - and frankly, our own experiences too.
It is time to be real: the current missteps don't bode well and there is a lack of acknowledgement from the @Narrative Network Team that something in the planning and communications about the project needs to change. It is irrational to repeat the same behaviour over and over again, and expect different results. We've attracted some exceptionally committed early adopters, and we've gone a good way towards alienating them. I and others have started investigating other platforms. The one I'm looking at currently, after being alerted to it by another Narrator, actually reversed its own version of a pay-to-play barrier to adoption, after community feedback. Given our current lack of responsiveness from the team on a similar issue, that detail about the other platform is particularly appealing right now. Narrative needs to know this, although I am disappointed it has come to this point of people feeling this way and having to say so.
Shifting from Denis to myself - what I need to hear from the Narrative team is that allowing posting to unowned niches is going to be included in the roadmap. I've given up on my conviction that releasing public Beta without this is an unwarranted and dangerous gamble that will convince yet more users that crypto platform Narrative is scammy. But at least communicating the intent to remedy the unowned niche lock out, would go some way to reassuring people this is due to needing to revise the model, rather than the unwavering intent to hold tags to ransom, and practice what will be perceived as the first instance of a platform imposing content Darwinism - the survival of the economically viable subject matter, deemed to be viable arbitrarily: not by market forces but by the Narrative Network Company.
Pay to play is becoming WAY too prevalent on Narrative, and people are not going to like it.