Unowned niches need to be active

Product: Narrative

This seems to be the most pressing topic right now, so a good first 'Conversation' for the new version of the community forums.

In an effort to see just how many people will come up against the jarring realisation that the tag they want can only be unlocked if someone spends $75, I tested the assertion made by the @Narrative Network Team that most topics are covered by owned niches.

So I took some common areas of interest and searched for niches for them.

 

Politics

There are a few politics niches, but under that topic, here are some very conspicuous holes because either the niche has not been bought, or has not even yet been suggested (non-exhaustive list from a few minutes searching):

- South African politics (not yet suggested, will suggest it now)

- Hillary Rodham Clinton (approved, unpurchased)

- Bernie Sanders (approved, unpurchased)

- Socialism (approved, unpurchased)

- Refugees (approved, unpurchased) 

- The British Royal Family (approved, unpurchased) 

 These are huge topics of conversation...  Bernie Sanders is running for president again in 2020, and Hillary Clinton might.  And there are no tags for them?  Really?  

The British Royal Family, for better or for worse, is a massive topic of conversation.

 

Countries

Yes - entire countries that don't have an active niche yet (non-exhaustive list from a few minutes searching):

- South Africa (approved, unpurchased)

- Nepal (approved, unpurchased)

- Turkey (approved, unpurchased)

- Iran (approved, unpurchased)

- Switzerland (approved, unpurchased)

- New Zealand (approved, unpurchased)

- Hungary (approved, unpurchased)

- Brazil (approved, unpurchased)

- Greece (not suggested)

- Portugal (not suggested)

- Iceland (not suggested)

- Denmark (not suggested)

 

Continents

Yes - entire CONTINENTS that don't have an active niche yet:

- South America (approved, unpurchased)

- Europe (approved, unpurchased)

- Asia (not suggested)

 

Sports

- Swimming (approved, unpurchased)

- Ironman (approved, unpurchased)

- Kung Fu (approved, unpurchased)

- Judo (not suggested)

 

I could go on and on and on - but I think there's enough there to realise A LOT of first time users are going to expect to be able to tag their posts to these niches... and won't be able to.  When they find out why, we'll almost certainly lose them as users.

Original Post

Activity Stream

I agree completely. 

I tried a dozen topics that I would like to write about, and was able to find suitable niches for only three.  

So that's an immediate barrier for new users.  Then, when they see the auction system that requires people to buy niches in order to activate them, I think a lot of people are going to conclude that the site is a scam.

Why not just activate ALL approved niches?  If someone chooses to make an investment by buying a niche, then they will get the niche owner's share...  otherwise Narrative just keeps it.

 

 

Robert Nicholson posted:

 

Why not just activate ALL approved niches?  If someone chooses to make an investment by buying a niche, then they will get the niche owner's share...  otherwise Narrative just keeps it.

This is what I've been saying. Unowned niches could be "owned" by Narrative until someone sees them as good investments and wants the commission for themselves. Niches with active owners will almost definitely outperform unowned niches because owners have a big incentive to drive people to the platform to contribute to or consume the content in their niches. The unowned niches that prove my theory wrong won't be unowned for long, because they'll have proven performance.

The only thing stopping me from buying the Bernie Sanders niche is that it's going to be a NIGHTMARE to moderate, and I don't want to be the one giving guidelines to the mods. I know how much (free) work the (volunteer) mods in the Bernie 2016 subreddit had to put in to deal with the bots and the paid trolls, and I just don't have the emotional capacity for that sort of responsibility. Otherwise, that sucker's going to be a GOLD MINE. But everyone involved is going to have to work hard to earn that NRVE!

Christina Gleason posted:

The only thing stopping me from buying the Bernie Sanders niche is that it's going to be a NIGHTMARE to moderate, and I don't want to be the one giving guidelines to the mods. I know how much (free) work the (volunteer) mods in the Bernie 2016 subreddit had to put in to deal with the bots and the paid trolls, and I just don't have the emotional capacity for that sort of responsibility. Otherwise, that sucker's going to be a GOLD MINE. But everyone involved is going to have to work hard to earn that NRVE!

That's some valuable first-hand information!

I'm so glad people aren't letting this go. Content creators don't sit around and wait for platforms to catch up to their requirements for labeling and classifying their content. Nor do they just post what they do think fits. They leave. Logic doesn't enter into it. This is predictable human behavior that is, in my opinion, foolish to ignore. Foolish is a strong word, but the warning bells on this need to be loud. One solution that comes to mind is to plaster the abandoned/inactive niches with ads saying the niche is available for purchase. 

Christina Gleason posted:
Robert Nicholson posted:

 

Why not just activate ALL approved niches?  If someone chooses to make an investment by buying a niche, then they will get the niche owner's share...  otherwise Narrative just keeps it.

This is what I've been saying. Unowned niches could be "owned" by Narrative until someone sees them as good investments and wants the commission for themselves. Niches with active owners will almost definitely outperform unowned niches because owners have a big incentive to drive people to the platform to contribute to or consume the content in their niches. The unowned niches that prove my theory wrong won't be unowned for long, because they'll have proven performance.

Plus, if an un-owned niche starts to take off, it could foster a bidding war, ultimately making more money for Narrative.

As I briefly said in the old forum topic, I stand behind the idea of unowned niches being active and I do still believe that it'll benefit Narrative financially in the long term.

There are plenty of active niches already. But a few hundred is nothing for the vast variety of content that new users would like to tag. I believe this'll be an important and determining factor in Narratives first year.

I have nothing clever to add to what's been said here and in the old thread but just wanted to add my vote - yes, unowned niches need to be active for all the reasons mentioned above. If they are not, it's a major failing for the platform which will definitely drive traffic away. It actually drives me away a bit, since I can't post here many things I'd like to. 

Most people who use blogging platforms / forums / social media are writers / content creators, not entrepreneurs. Including myself. I haven't purchased any niches, I'm considering two but due to my current situation I have to be mindful what I do with my money and niches are not a top priority. The niches I think about, however, are very much non-controversial (although I know anything can be controversial for trolls) because I neither have emotional bandwidth nor I want to spend hours in front of the computer in my spare time moderating shitstorms. (And by the way, even if it turns out at some point that moderating/owning controversial niches on Narrative brings a full-time income, I still don't want to do it.)

It doesn't mean though that I don't have much to say about controversial topics. I do, for example about Brexit! I would never ever want to own or moderate Brexit niche (btw, chapeau-bas to @MichelleG for buying Trump niche!) but I would happily write about it. 

And now imagine that Narrative goes live and Brits can't tag Brexit (as of now, it's still unpurchased) - or anyone else, but every Brit has an opinion on Brexit, the rest probably cares less.

Sorry, that's just nonsense

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