A question about content and unpurchased niches

With the massive and ever growing parking lot of approved, but still not purchased niches, I am wondering what happens when people still want to tag their content with these approved topics. The simple answer of course is that you still can use any tag you want, and just nobody receives the 10% reward associated with ownership. But if I let my mind trip along down the line I start to see some weird bumps as a result.

1. An unowned niche, that still has content, has no moderator. Maybe is should still have to have one.

2. Without an owner to promote and hire a moderator to a topic that may have content writers but no official stakeholder, then how will it grow a self-governing community to monitor Narratives policies, such as age restrictions, or quality?

3. If we don't allow content writers to create, even if their topic of interest does not have ownership, will we in effect be creating an echo chambers, or rather directional chambers, guiding peoples interest only along the investing communities 5 niche allotments.

4. What happens if an unclaimed niche starts to accumulate money with no owner? If someone eventually purchases it, it seems only fair that the rewards of the content associated and unclaimed, should be paid to the new owner. This action could very well stimulate new purchases and bidding up during the auction process.

Previously I have been an advocate for people being able to purchase more than 5 niches. Mainly because I wanted to purchase more topics that are dear to me. I have since chilled on this notion for the moment because I want to see where narrative goes before i invest more money and because the current prices of niches is rather steep as an unproven investment IMO. 

But these issues seem to need addressing. There are topics I am interested in writing for that are approved but unclaimed.

Thoughts?

Original Post
Ted posted:

Hi Emily-

Unclaimed niches are not active and thus cannot have content posted to them, so that is a non issue.

A niche only becomes active and available for use once someone pays for it (owns it). 

There are still issues by default @Ted. In your own words, Narrative is essentially censoring content for rewards,  through ownership, or specifically lack of ownership.

For example, If i am an expert in adult care services with thoughtful knowledge about dementia, and therefore I want to write an article for  this niche which has been approved but has no owner, are you suggesting I cannot?

Also, point three is still an issue and left unaddressed by your response.

This is a big hole left open. Currently if you want to be rewarded on Narrative at  you better be ready to contribute on only 621 topics, many of which are cryptocentric...how is this a good position to create mass adoption? Not everyone wants to be an owner. That is really obvious, since opening the beta up to the public.

 

 

I found this very interesting Emily.

Ted's answer was not surprising as niches are indeed inactive until purchased.

But your questioning opened up the gates to some new thoughts, and I found intriguing the benefits that you saw to people still being able to post to niches prior to them being owned...  Namely that it would be the best advertising for those niches to find an owner.  Nice to have some metrics on a niche that is already turning over to some degree before you choose to buy it...

I find that elegant enough that it motivates me to think further about how we could solve the problems you mention, relating to allowing posting to niches before they are purchased...

Perhaps one solution would be to warn people who post to, or browse content on said unpurchased niches, that, basically, 'Here there be monsters'...  That the niche is unpurchased, and so is unmoderated and so might be a bit rough around the edges, compared to the rest of Narrative?  In the same breath, some metrics for the niche could be displayed, making this one of the entry points for someone to decide to purchase it.  

That seems powerful to me: everyone posting to or consuming content from an unpurchased niche becomes a potential buyer of the niche.

On a human psychology level though, the one caveat I'm seeing with that is there is the potential for the niche buyer to be less motivated than if they had deliberately suggested their own niche in view of purchasing it, or had come to the point of wanting to purchase a niche unprompted... 

Then again, perhaps less wanted niches have to settle for slightly less motivated owners...

Food for thought.

 

Perhaps one solution would be to warn people who post to, or browse content on said unpurchased niches, that, basically, 'Here there be monsters'...  That the niche is unpurchased, and so is unmoderated and so might be a bit rough around the edges, compared to the rest of Narrative? 

Again, you cannot post content to niches that are not active.

In your own words, Narrative is essentially censoring content for rewards,  through ownership, or specifically lack of ownership.

For example, If i am an expert in adult care services with thoughtful knowledge about dementia, and therefore I want to write an article for  this niche which has been approved but has no owner, are you suggesting I cannot?

Censoring content??? I never said that ANYWHERE.

You cannot write content for a niche that is not active. That is not censorship. The niche simple does not exist until it has an owner.  The approval process does not activate a niche, it just authorizes it for purchase.  

If you do not have an owner and moderator, it's not a niche (and it's also the wild west).  Also keep in mind that IMO we already have most of the really high level subject areas populated with niches (e.g., sports, politics, business, fashion, etc.).  We will hopefully see hundreds of thousands of niches over time, but even initially there will be plenty of niches for just about piece of content to find a home. 

Ted posted:

Perhaps one solution would be to warn people who post to, or browse content on said unpurchased niches, that, basically, 'Here there be monsters'...  That the niche is unpurchased, and so is unmoderated and so might be a bit rough around the edges, compared to the rest of Narrative? 

Again, you cannot post content to niches that are not active.

Thanks Ted.  I had understood that...

After acknowledging the status quo that you had pointed out, I went on to explore Emily's ideas even though they currently are not reality.  It's part of what we do here in the community!

I think it is pretty important to let content flow the way content makers want it to. After all that is the whole premise behind Narrative, that it is  self governing. But alas, I have uncovered that it isn't truly self-governing, but rather ownership governs which topics can earn you money...and this will definitely persuade people what to share content about.

Narrative is currently only 621 topics deep. That is not nearly as exciting to me, and since I am not allowed to purchase anymore topics that I might want to contribute too, I do feel somewhat governed. 

I see only 3 options to correct this. 

1. Open up the niche limitations number far beyond 5.

2. As I already mentioned, Allow approved niches to accept content.  Accumulating rewards for the future purchaser is a smart functionality. It only serves to strengthen Narrative, and most likely one of that niches community will quickly see the benefits to ownership.

3. Do nothing... keep the unpurchased topics that clearly were important enough to the community to suggest and approve, and don't allow those same folks to publish on the niche until someone coughs up the money to own it. But if this is the winning choice, perhaps it would be best to stop promoting Narrative as self-governing, because it is only self-governing once the niche money has been collected. Not really the same thing.

Given the price of a niche right now, I think the best strategy for the strength of Narrative would be option #2. That is my vote.

#2 Would also be my vote, Emily.  Open to hearing why this is a bad idea, but until then, you've convinced me.

But I think it might be increasingly difficult for the team to engage in these theoretical explorations as the clock ticks towards multiple deadlines to get the platform online.  I'm hoping these important considerations will get their moment, when they are weighed and explored.  It might be up to us to keep track of them, and raise them periodically until their time arrives...

David Dreezer posted:

You are aware that you can post your content to your own profile page, right?  There doesn't have to be a niche to post something that you want to write?

Thus there is no such thing as a 621 topic limit.

Yup - in my mind though, people are going to find a different level of excitement about posting to niches because of their public nature and often higher visibility than one's own journal.

Also keep in mind that IMO we already have most of the really high level subject areas populated with niches (e.g., sports, politics, business, fashion, etc.).  We will hopefully see hundreds of thousands of niches over time, but even initially there will be plenty of niches for just about piece of content to find a home. 
 

That's a good point about the higher level niches...

There may be no niche for Tridacna Gigas, but as long as there is a Clams niche, Tridacna Gigas nerds can post to that.

Ted posted:
Censoring content??? I never said that ANYWHERE.
 

You cannot write content for a niche that is not active. That is not censorship. The niche simple does not exist until it has an owner.  The approval process does not activate a niche, it just authorizes it for purchase.  

It is only a brand new day for Narrative. Not for these topics/niches...they do exist. So do other platforms. Why choose narrative as your platform to invest your time if you cannot post content on the topic you are interested in?

I know that you cannot post to niches that are not approved...but that doesn't mean we shouldn't be able too. I am making a strong case for why I think your rule should change.

There are thousands of platforms that people can publish topics on, unhindered. And some pay out, like Medium and Steemit. But then you come to Narrative and you want to talk about Adult care services, as an example, but somebody hasn't given Narrative money yet for that topic, so you cannot publish your article on it yet. For many people that will feel very restricting. Do you not see that @Ted

When I think about what I want to write about, I am disappointed that the topic hasn't been purchased. I have tried suggesting the topic in hopes that someone will purchase it, since i am at my limit.  And then i wonder how small of a content pool is this if I can only read about what other people feel passionate enough to give Narrative money for. 

I think i made an interesting suggestion that would serve Narrative well. It is worth some consideration, and not immediate dismissal. Seeing real value waiting there for you just as soon as you purchase a niche that has content but yet to be purchased is enticing to those with no skin in the game, yet.

Malkazoid posted:

But I think it might be increasingly difficult for the team to engage in these theoretical explorations as the clock ticks towards multiple deadlines to get the platform online.  I'm hoping these important considerations will get their moment, when they are weighed and explored.  It might be up to us to keep track of them, and raise them periodically until their time arrives...

Absolutely...my timing is off. Certainly, focus on the release is what is important at the moment. But i do hope some serious thought is given to this after release by the whole team.

@David Dreezer I am aware of the personal journal, but it isn't the same thing...we all know that. If people want to facebook they will most likely just continue doing that on facebook. Hoping people find your content on personal journals in Narrative is not what we came to the platform for. The nichetags and rewards pool is why people are coming to Narrative.

After reading the back and forth, I think I'm in agreement with @Emily Barnett and @Malkazoid.  Although, I would add one caveat.  I think if a niche doesn't have an owner, a moderator is still required before people can post to it.  Since moderators follow an election process anyhow, I don't see the problem with removing the owner from the equation.  This way, when there is a topic that the community feels is worthy (an approved niche with a moderator), people can create content for it....and since the Niche will have a moderator, quality will still be enforced.  The tagging aspect of Niches is really important from a visibility / organizational stand point.  I also like @Malkazoid's proposal of having the Niche stats / potential rewards highly visible to entice ownership.  I think this is a much smarter approach from a business perspective.  I might like to write about clams, but I'm not sure if anyone else will....If I see good discussion and content appearing in /clams then I would be much more inclined to buy it if I was on the fence and unsure.  In the end, this approach serves as a way to market those Niche's without ownership, which is important.  At the same time it will attract content that people may have chosen to post on other platforms because those platforms were willing to organize / promote it for free.

I agree with @Emily Barnett's response to @David Dreezer.  The personal journal is not a good substitute for Niches that aren't accepting content.  Organization and the ability to discover the content you are looking for (Niche Map) is really important.

I also understand from an economic perspective that having to payout rewards to moderators / content creators of Niches with no ownership fees coming in might affect things slightly.  However, I don't really think the ownership fees are high enough to really impact the economic model too much.  This would certainly become a non-issue once advertising is in place on the Niches.

Anyhow, I don't think this functionality needs to happen immediately, but it should certainly be a high priority.  I'm not sure what would need to change from a workflow / coding aspect to allow for this / how much effort would be involved.  I do believe the effort will ultimately be worth it.

Banter posted:

 

Anyhow, I don't think this functionality needs to happen immediately, but it should certainly be a high priority.  I'm not sure what would need to change from a workflow / coding aspect to allow for this / how much effort would be involved.  I do believe the effort will ultimately be worth it.

I'm 100% in agreement with @Banter's post above.

It makes sense for these ownerless, but approved niches to require moderation as long as an efficient mechanism for sourcing moderators for them can be arrived at.

We can imagine a niche that has not found a buyer, may also struggle to find a moderator applying to moderate it.  

It might be necessary to devise a new class of moderators who could be called upon to moderate content from a number of such ownerless niches...  Since their traffic should be lower than the more popular, owned niches, one moderator should have the bandwidth to attend to several of them. 

So the concept could be a General Moderator Pool - where folks can sign up for moderation duties on unowned niches, and the system allots posts to them.  It could become a kind of entry level moderation stage, where people interested in moderation can gain experience.  I would certainly be more inclined to vote for a moderator on an important niche if their displayed track record of moderation shows successful mod duties in the General Moderator Pool for a good stretch of time...

 

I like @Malkazoid's General Moderator Pool idea.  Another option is to simply have all posts to unowned Niches go into a General Queue...so moderators from this general pool would simply pull off the top of the queue and do some basic screening to make sure it meets standard requirements.  I think this might be more sustainable, as I don't foresee any unowned Niche getting lots of content, and if it does, I would think it would obtain ownership pretty quickly, or maybe just a full time mod if needed.

Banter posted:

I like @Malkazoid's General Moderator Pool idea.  Another option is to simply have all posts to unowned Niches go into a General Queue...so moderators from this general pool would simply pull off the top of the queue and do some basic screening to make sure it meets standard requirements.  I think this might be more sustainable, as I don't foresee any unowned Niche getting lots of content, and if it does, I would think it would obtain ownership pretty quickly, or maybe just a full time mod if needed.

The General Queue is what I was trying to describe, but I see now that I worded it strangely at the outset: I only meant to say that one mod would stretch further with the slower, unowned niches, than they would with the popular, owned ones - letting General Mods choose which unowned niches they serve on could be impractical!  That said though, now that I think of it, it could be nice to let the General Mods express unowned niches they are interested in modding, and for the system to take that into account and try to serve them more posts from those niches.

Anyway, we're in full agreement with this General Mod Pool and General Queue, I think.

The system could simply distribute posts from the queue to moderators in the General Mod Pool, pari-passu, or based on a setting each General Mod tweaks that indicates how many posts she wants to deal with per day.

The benefits to Narrative of all this seem compelling.

1 - Unowned niches come to life

2 - Unowned niches would generate traffic, and metrics from the start, allowing the system to intelligently decide how to deal with them on a number of fronts

3 - Unowned niches would become vastly more likely to be purchased: this proposed system is free, perfectly targeted advertising for them

4 - Narrative could even determine a period of time after which slow metrics on an unowned niche could trigger a slightly lowered minimum purchase price.  The thinking here is a sale is better than no sale in this scenario, and the niche stands to increase activity with an owner, benefitting everyone.

5 - The General Mod Pool would provide a training ground for Narrative moderators, so the more valuable niches benefit from mods with a track record internal to Narrative and well documented by the system.

This latest conversation makes a lot of sense to me. But raises the question, once again, what is the point of owners? If the niche could essentially function without them, and they are allowed to operate without the proof of perceived viability an owner offers, then once again I wonder what value, if any, owners actually add. I know the canned response by heart. Please don't post that in response.

MichelleG posted:

This latest conversation makes a lot of sense to me. But raises the question, once again, what is the point of owners? If the niche could essentially function without them, and they are allowed to operate without the proof of perceived viability an owner offers, then once again I wonder what value, if any, owners actually add. I know the canned response by heart. Please don't post that in response.

Hey Michelle - I know a reply from the team is probably what you are aiming for, and mine might not be so interesting to you.

But here is my two cents.

I'd be interested to know what it is that is not convincing about the 'canned response'.

From where I sit - having a person with a chief financial interest in growing the niche is an important part of the economic theory of niches.  If that's the canned response you are referring to, it certainly makes sense to me.

We enter less clear territory once we start looking at the other roles most of the community members seem to support, because it is not clear yet to what degree the Narrative team agrees with these roles.  Namely laying out the vision and initial rules and standards for the niche, curating the niche and featuring its content optimally.  All of these important facets of excellence require a decision maker.

Without this leadership, ownerless niches will be closer to the content soup we're all strongly opposed to seeing the whole of Nichedom being.  And they won't have anyone actively courting premium content creators on their behalf.  The point is, that's probably better than them being entirely inactive, for all the reasons explored above...

I don't know if this is helpful because I'm not clear on what it is about the 'canned response' that does not satisfy you?  But hopefully all this makes sense and goes some way to providing a solid reason why owners are important.  A great owner can transform the equivalent of a random Facebook group, into a preferred hub for the influencers, trendsetters and mythical figures of a topic.  And it only takes that sort of success for a few niches, for the tide to start rising to lift all boats on Narrative.  The chances of that happening to niches on its own, with nobody hustling for it, aren't very high...

Hello,

I’m new here and I’ve been looking around the forums... and found this conversation extremely interesting. I’m 100% behind @Emily Barnett on that – IMO unpurchased niches should be open to receive content for the reasons Emily outlined. I agree it will be much easier to attract people to write on Narrative if the availability of topics is not limited by ownership. I imagine, when the platform opens to everyone, there will be far more people interested in simply adding content and taking part in discussions than those wishing to own or moderate niches.

With all honesty, I think that not activating unpurchased niches is a loss for the whole ecosystem – as @Malkazoid said, a niche populated with content and already proving its popularity may be more attractive to potential owners. I disagree though that “less wanted niches may have to settle for slightly less motivated owners” – I have a more optimistic view: when Narrative opens up, there will be new people coming who will discover already existing niches which fit the bill as far as their interests and expertise are concerned. At the moment the pool of people participating is limited to eager early adopters and crypto-fans… and some strays like me who haven’t even yet taken part in an auction, despite eyeing some niches, because of getting stuck on the NRVE hurdle .

As I said, I agree with @Emily Barnett but I’m not sure, whether the option of allowing a new owner to collect the money accumulated within the niche prior to the purchase is right. Maybe it is, I’m not against it on principle – but I’d be happy to see it going back to the common purse – for some other types of rewards perhaps. A person interested in such a niche wouldn’t get the capital but a kind of “social capital”: content, committed narrators, an interest in this niche + stats showing how much the niche already earned for the community which would be an indication of potential future earnings.

Next thing: I agree that writing on my own profile (in the situation of an unpurchased niche being available for my chosen topic) is far less exciting. I simply wouldn’t do it. I am an active writer on Medium and I don’t see a point in fighting for a new audience elsewhere. I like the community there – but what attracted me to Narrative are precisely niches. Not cryptocurrencies (I’m not into it at all), not profit-sharing (Medium shares profit with some writers – those who live in eligible countries and I happen to live in one of them) but niches – because my first ever experience with social media in the early 2000s in my home country of Poland happened on a platform built on a similar concept. There was no financial incentive and no community approval but the whole platform was built around the so-called “clusters”. Anyone could create a cluster about anything they wanted and the whole trick was to attract other users to your cluster and turn it into a lively discussion place. There were community moderators too. I still have real life friends whom I met on this platform. It was a home-grown Polish initiative – but sadly the Book of Face killed it. So I’m hopeful for Narrative

And the next point – I agree with @Banter that moderators would be necessary even in case of a niche not having an owner. I don’t see a problem with that. Mods are voted in by the community, not the owner, so I don’t even think the “general queue” idea would be necessary. Why not open up unowned niches for the moderators’ elections anyway? I applied to be a mod for 2 niches. Granted, they were already purchased so I wouldn’t be able to become their owner anyway but I wouldn’t want to – I want to be a mod there. They are different roles: owners promote and moderators moderate. In case of these 2 niches I mentioned, I’m very happy to moderate because I’m interested in and experienced in the subjects but I don’t have a clear promotional idea for them. I’m not a part of a suitable outreach environment, so to speak, as far as these topics are concerned. I am, however, in other topics and therefore I keep an eye on a couple of other niches + some I propose myself.

Speaking of which – I have LOADS of ideas for niches and I have a long queue of proposals, which will take a while to trickle down since we can propose only one niche a day. The first ones I suggested were approved with a 100% rate so I’m happy about it. But I don’t want to own or moderate the majority of them. I am obviously interested in these topics but I want to read and/or write there and hope they would get purchased and become lively places. But I think it’s natural we’re interested in more subjects than those we are experts in, no?

Last but not least, I agree there is no risk owners become redundant. I’m with @Malkazoid on that. But I can see the “danger” perhaps from the point of view of the Narrative staff: there is a chance that in the model discussed here some ownerless niches become very successful anyway. Their moderators will be promoting them, alongside the narrators who will populate them. And perhaps no one will feel a need to buy them and they will be living there – successful, popular and unpurchased. So there will be no initial investment coming into the Narrative purse. But I think it’s worth taking the risk. I suspect an owner will come along anyway – someone will want to capitalize on a successful niche. And if the money from an unowned niche goes back to the common purse as I suggested, it’s profitable for Narrative anyway.

So yeah, this idea is WAY WORTH DISCUSSING! Phew, it was a long first post. Thanks for reading!

Gosia!

I'm in awe of your first post!  Narrative is attracting great folks.

So, wait, first things first: tagging people.  Normally if you type the @symbol, then with no spaces, start tying the name of the person, a little drop down menu should appear offering you a choice of people whose names match the characters you have typed.  If you don't see the name in the menu, type another character to keep narrowing it down, until the name shows up...  I hope it works for you.

I have to run, but wanted to say hi, and welcome!  Your post was full of  good insights.  I'll reread it when I have a bit more time.

Feeling lucky you're with us!

Hi @Gosia Rokicka

Thanks for contributing! Cool to hear that a similar "cluster"  kind of platform was already in existence. Very encouraging. 

The one reason I suggested the back dated revenue be added to sweeten the kitty so to speak, is because I think that as soon as an ownerless niche gets successful, and once a first bid happens, there could be a huge bidding war, the back revenue could help the new owner recover costs, but then again it could also fuel the reward too. just thoughts at this point.  :-)

Another point I thought of: I feel like it should be easier for newcomers who want to browse available niches that are up for auction to find that right on the front page of what's now alpha.narrative.org. Because it's not that obvious that you have to click on "hq" to get to the auctions and that's going to confuse newcomers.

Heidi Hecht posted:

Another point I thought of: I feel like it should be easier for newcomers who want to browse available niches that are up for auction to find that right on the front page of what's now alpha.narrative.org. Because it's not that obvious that you have to click on "hq" to get to the auctions and that's going to confuse newcomers.

Good point.

The home page of the alpha is really nicely designed, but it really could do with more prominently linked functionality.  All the good stuff is under HQ, which is a tiny link at the top of the screen at present.

A "Proceed to HQ" button could live with the current, prominent buttons "Watch the Video" and "How to get started".  @Narrative Network Team ?

 

 

This is an interesting topic. I think @Emily Barnett brings up some very interesting points. I do believe that the value of unclaimed niches will rise after beta. Some people may not be interested in buying a niche until they see how the roll out goes. If the product is successful within the first year of launch, you'll likely see a run on some of these niches. Perhaps there could be a better way to put them in front of new users and show they are available to purchase.

I can see all kinds of ways this alone can develop into an ecosystem. As Narrative gets further along, attracts more users, has more content, then niche values should rise. Unclaimed niches could be funded through loans and crowdfunding mechanisms. 

And what if a group of content producers want to own a niche together? Could they pool their resources and enter a partnership, or set up a limited partnership and purchase a niche that way? I do believe this looks like an issue to address early on. Thanks for bringing it up.

@Malkazoid and others, as you might guess, the homepage will look different when we launch the Beta.  We are designing them (logged on vs logged off) now. Remember, you haven't seen content streams yet  or a few other things. The idea is to keep it clean and concise.  We keep reading all your suggestions as we work hard on everything.

Garden Gnome Publications posted:

I can see all kinds of ways this alone can develop into an ecosystem. As Narrative gets further along, attracts more users, has more content, then niche values should rise. Unclaimed niches could be funded through loans and crowdfunding mechanisms. 

And what if a group of content producers want to own a niche together? Could they pool their resources and enter a partnership, or set up a limited partnership and purchase a niche that way? I do believe this looks like an issue to address early on. Thanks for bringing it up.

Welcome to the conversation @Garden Gnome Publications! Very interesting ideas. I like your way of thinking.

I have one more suggestion here...

As far as I understand, if we write a post we can tag it only with niches that are already active (purchased), right?

I will potentially find myself in the following situation with the article I'm drafting. I'd like to tag it with 3 niches - 2 of them are active, 1 is being voted for. Assuming it will be upvoted, I still won't be able to tag it, until it gets purchased, right? As I'm not intending to buy it myself, I don't know when/whether it's going to become active.

So what I can do now, is tag the post with 2 active niches and then from time to time check the status of the third niche and once it becomes active, tag it then. But I won't do this because it's not a good use of my time.

What I would like to suggest is this: (unless it's already how it works and I just didn't understand - in that case, it's cool and I'm sorry).

Allow the creators to tag our posts with any 3 (this is the max number, right?) niches that are in the system (i.e. upvoted, so either Active or Up for auction). The active ones become visible immediately and the content appears in them. The inactive ones stay hidden but are kept in the system so when the niche gets purchased, the previously tagged article appears in it immediately - subject to moderation, of course!

I think that would be good for niche owners as well because there is a chance they would get somehow populated niche straight away.

There are 2 options as well:

1/ Potential buyers can't see how many posts are tagged with the niche they are interested in buying so it's a complete surprise.

2/ Or they can see "pending posts" which would be an indication of how many narrators are already interested in writing for this niche - which could be an incentive, a carrot, a lure?

Food for thought!

Gosia Rokicka posted:

I have one more suggestion here...

As far as I understand, if we write a post we can tag it only with niches that are already active (purchased), right?

I will potentially find myself in the following situation with the article I'm drafting. I'd like to tag it with 3 niches - 2 of them are active, 1 is being voted for. Assuming it will be upvoted, I still won't be able to tag it, until it gets purchased, right? As I'm not intending to buy it myself, I don't know when/whether it's going to become active.

So what I can do now, is tag the post with 2 active niches and then from time to time check the status of the third niche and once it becomes active, tag it then. But I won't do this because it's not a good use of my time.

What I would like to suggest is this: (unless it's already how it works and I just didn't understand - in that case, it's cool and I'm sorry).

Allow the creators to tag our posts with any 3 (this is the max number, right?) niches that are in the system (i.e. upvoted, so either Active or Up for auction). The active ones become visible immediately and the content appears in them. The inactive ones stay hidden but are kept in the system so when the niche gets purchased, the previously tagged article appears in it immediately - subject to moderation, of course!

I think that would be good for niche owners as well because there is a chance they would get somehow populated niche straight away.

There are 2 options as well:

1/ Potential buyers can't see how many posts are tagged with the niche they are interested in buying so it's a complete surprise.

2/ Or they can see "pending posts" which would be an indication of how many narrators are already interested in writing for this niche - which could be an incentive, a carrot, a lure?

Food for thought!

Yes. I have suggested this early on. But currently you cannot even do that. If you go back and read some of my earlier comments you will see the reasons I think that this should be in place.

 

Gosia Rokicka posted:

Allow the creators to tag our posts with any 3 (this is the max number, right?) niches that are in the system (i.e. upvoted, so either Active or Up for auction). The active ones become visible immediately and the content appears in them. The inactive ones stay hidden but are kept in the system so when the niche gets purchased, the previously tagged article appears in it immediately - subject to moderation, of course!

There are 2 options as well:

1/ Potential buyers can't see how many posts are tagged with the niche they are interested in buying so it's a complete surprise.

2/ Or they can see "pending posts" which would be an indication of how many narrators are already interested in writing for this niche - which could be an incentive, a carrot, a lure?

Food for thought!

This is an excellent suggestion, and I would recommend posting publicly how many pending posts are available for moderation in that niche. This would immediately increase the value of the niche to potential owners and would raise the minimum bid price. Pure economics.

This is the most important discussion in the forums right now, in my opinion. Wow. I hadn't thought about some(most?) of these things before.

Simply put, writers looking to find outlets for their writing want to be able to label/tag/categorize their material as they see fit. It will simply seem crazy to new content creators coming in that they can't dump content in what they will see as the appropriate place, because that place doesn't exist in virtue of not being purchased.  

This is made even worse because niches are being described as basically like tags. (I actually think they are a quantum leap ahead of tags and should be distinguished as such, but that's a different post I should make sometime soon.)

'What do you mean there are only a limited number of tags and someone has to pay $75 dollars for a tag for it to be active?' This is what they will be thinking. I guarantee you. That's IF they get past the "Wait I can't pick that word/phrase?" issue, which I also guarantee you most will not. 

The ever-expanding pool of niches, unpurchased niches making up a huge percentage of that pool, is a resource that I think we HAVE to use to minimize new-user flight at Beta. 

 

 

 

@Gosia Rokicka.  In terms of the Beta, you will only be able to tag to active (purchased) niches.  You can submit to up to 3 Niches but you can do fewer as well. If you still have Niche slots available post publishing,  you can submit to other Niches later if you see new ones becoming active that are a good fit.   

One key reason for not just allowing the posting to non-owned Niches is to ensure value for current Niche owners.  After all, there are already 750+niches purchased to choose from and we know this list will continue to grow as we open up to more users. I know this is a hot topic on the forums…and we will continue to think about what makes most sense.  

All suggestions are worth thinking about. And, some of the ideas you propose might be good later when we get through our very long list of things to get done over the next 4-6 weeks.  We just want to learn more and  get more data before implementing new features not in the spec yet.  It would be so easy to say "yes" to all these great ideas — but then we wouldn't get the baseline done  .  

MOLLY O posted:

@Gosia Rokicka.  In terms of the Beta, you will only be able to tag to active (purchased) niches.  You can submit to up to 3 Niches but you can do fewer as well. If you still have Niche slots available post publishing,  you can submit to other Niches later if you see new ones becoming active that are a good fit.   

One key reason for not just allowing the posting to non-owned Niches is to ensure value for current Niche owners.  After all, there are already 750+niches purchased to choose from and we know this list will continue to grow as we open up to more users. I know this is a hot topic on the forums…and we will continue to think about what makes most sense.  

All suggestions are worth thinking about. And, some of the ideas you propose might be good later when we get through our very long list of things to get done over the next 4-6 weeks.  We just want to learn more and  get more data before implementing new features not in the spec yet.  It would be so easy to say "yes" to all these great ideas — but then we wouldn't get the baseline done  .  

@MOLLY O - it is good to hear this is squarely on your radar.

If value for existing niche owners is the primary concern, I would offer the following thoughts.

a) niche owners bought a niche without any notion or expectation that their 'value would be ensured' by preventing tagging to unowned niches.  Many of the people who are voicing opposition to this approach are niche owners!  We obviously feel the loss to the platform will be greater than any gain we might personally receive from a content being restricted to our niches.

b) the value boost we are talking about at launch is going to be pennies.  I would much rather give up those pennies in service of our new Narrators not going postal because they don't understand why they can't use the tag that best fits their content, and in service of Narrative receiving a true picture of content posting patterns, and niche value and activity.  We are currently proposing to launch in such a way that fundamentally warps our understanding of the behaviour and wishes of our users, and effectively thwarts those wishes.  That can't be good.

What @Malkazoid said. ^^^

Current niche owners (of which I am one) will profit more in the long run if we ensure a happy member base from launch...which includes not effectively gatekeeping what content can and cannot be published or therefore consumed behind an invisible paywall. My value comes from the content that will be published in my niches...created by people who might not bother to stick around if they can't post what they want to post just because no one's bought the relevant niches yet.

I don't have a lot to add to the subject that hasn't been said already, but I agree with @Malkazoid and @Christina Gleason on the points above. And I think it's not a good idea, as a niche owner, to expect the first year of ownership to payout more in rewards than the initial investment. Better see it as a means to support a good cause, a promising alternative content platform. And if you do manage to reap more than $75 in rewards (or whatever you paid for your niche during early alpha), then consider that an amazing bonus but be careful with your expectations at this time.

Therefore, Narrative needs a steady adoption rate above anything else. Eventually, the vast majority of users should, and will be writers and commenters, not investors. So compared to other social networks in their first year, Narrative has raised its own bar pretty high.

Recently, Narrators are allowed to own up to 10 niches which may remedy the amount of unowned niches a bit, but might also raise the stakes even more when it's first year nears passing. Nobody, or very few people, can be actively involved in 10 communities at a time so I believe plenty of the currently active niches were bought as passive investments. Those "investors" will be gone in March 2020 if they only made a few pennies with a handful of posts that were randomly tagged to their niches. I suspect plenty of niches will be on lockdown in that month.

Not that I expect this as a nail in the coffin for Narrative or anything along those lines, I just mean to say that everyone should be realistic and open-minded during the first year of (public) Narrative, and to give the platform it's much needed space to slowly grow big instead of relying on short term expectations.

I have mentioned this earlier, but I will just re-iterate, I also had the concern about diluting the Niche owner value.  I think this can be alleviated simply by requiring at least one of the niches linked be 'owned'.  I think this solution should mostly satisfy everyone and keep the economy working as expected.  As for users refusing to post because the Niches they want to post to have no owners, it would be interesting to get some actual stats.  As Molly pointed out, we already have 750+ owned Niches.  I've used my macaroi art example above....Do we really think that someone who created some 'how to make macaroni art' content will get to the 'Niche Assignment Phase' of the posting, and just abandon their content because 'Macaroni Art' isn't available, and they feel 'Crafts' is just too broad?!? Personally that seems like a bit of a stretch to me...Perhaps this is just a trivial example.  That's why I would like to see some stats (% of people abandoning the posting of their content because they couldn't find the 'perfect' Niche to post to).  Anyhow....if we go with my proposed solution above it is the best of both worlds I think.  Owners are still getting rewards from each piece of content, and users would still be able to post to unowned Niches.

Banter posted:

I have mentioned this earlier, but I will just re-iterate, I also had the concern about diluting the Niche owner value.  I think this can be alleviated simply by requiring at least one of the niches linked be 'owned'.  I think this solution should mostly satisfy everyone and keep the economy working as expected.  As for users refusing to post because the Niches they want to post to have no owners, it would be interesting to get some actual stats.  As Molly pointed out, we already have 750+ owned Niches.  I've used my macaroi art example above....Do we really think that someone who created some 'how to make macaroni art' content will get to the 'Niche Assignment Phase' of the posting, and just abandon their content because 'Macaroni Art' isn't available, and they feel 'Crafts' is just too broad?!? Personally that seems like a bit of a stretch to me...Perhaps this is just a trivial example.  That's why I would like to see some stats (% of people abandoning the posting of their content because they couldn't find the 'perfect' Niche to post to).  Anyhow....if we go with my proposed solution above it is the best of both worlds I think.  Owners are still getting rewards from each piece of content, and users would still be able to post to unowned Niches.

Hi Banter,

It isn't just people who create their content, then find the niche they want to post to isn't there.

Personally, I decide what niches to post to before I create the content: an old habit best known by the words 'know your audience'.

And there are several pieces of content I'm not even embarking upon because the niches they belong on are not usable.

So certainly, count me among those affected.

In theory, I like your idea of requiring one niche to be owned because it sounds like a good compromise, but it comes with its own problems.  It is complicated - new users are going to think: wow - just let me use the tags that apply... what is all this about at least one of them needing to be owned???  Tags really just need to be as simple as tags.  Anything else will be met with disbelief...  "They took a great, simple concept, and made it complicated and absurd"...

At the end of the day, trying to force people's content into the bets niche owners have made... just... is... not... right.

Those of us who bought niches, myself included, knew that they would only receive content if users felt they were appropriate tags for their content.  I have real difficulty understanding how anyone could feel niche owners are being cheated out of anything when users simply don't feel the bought niches are appropriate, but that some unbought niches are.  Their choices are the reality that we must honour, not our guesses of what their choices would be.  Please throw away your preconceptions formed by the current plans of the Narrative team, and look at this situation afresh.  It makes literally no sense.

Until this is squarely recognised by the Team, my sense that the project is in danger will increase.

Tags are supposed to help us find content too - it is absurd to force a post about Napoleon into a Europe niche, because a French History niche exists but has not been bought yet.  You are left with content that will be much harder for users to zero in on, when they are specifically looking for French History content.

It truly boggles my mind, the degree to which preconceived notions about how the content economy must develop are allowing us to lose sight of such fundamental functionality as efficient search, proper categorisation, and the ability of users to use tags without their heads imploding.

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