I've been active on Steemit discussing what I consider to be some pros to Narrative and doing some recruiting. I'm currently ranked #70 in referral rankings. One of my recruits recently joined and had a negative reaction to the niche approval process. I totally understand why.
When new members join, they are immediately encouraged to suggest a niche. Now, human nature being what it is, this new recruit probably didn't do a lot of research to see what niches had already been suggested. So he suggested one - Micro Fiction. Here's the description he gave: "Very short stories - anything from 140 characters to 250 words."
As a fiction writer, I like the idea. I don't write much micro fiction, but the definition is accurate. Micro fiction is a subcategory of flash fiction, which tends to be stories up to 1,000 words, or 1,500 words, depending on who's defining the term. The problem encountered was several people downvoted the suggestion saying it was too close to a niche already suggested - Flash Fiction. Here's the definition give on that niche by its suggester: "A place for writers to share their work in the format of flash fiction, which is typically 100 words or less, but can be up to 1000."
Again, I've written a lot of fiction and had a lot of fiction published. I've had flash fiction published. I don't know anyone who writes 100 word stories and calls it flash fiction. Typically, flash fiction is at least 500 words. Maybe 300 words, but rarely 100. So my concern is, how does the community judge whether a niche suggested has an accurate description. Downvotes are encouraged if a niche is similar or too close to similar to another niche, but what if that other niche isn't accurately described? I could see this happening in other disciplines - health care, politics, business, etc. A person suggesting a niche can be told that niche isn't good enough because it's too similar to a niche that isn't accurately defined.
On top of this, the Flash Fiction niche, though approved, is currently up for auction. The person who suggested it clearly won the auction and failed to pay. That tells me they're not real serious about owning the niche, and they're not likely to buy it either. So a new person shows up to join the community and play by the rules, but they're shut out because someone else has irresponsibly defined a niche incorrectly, won the auction, and then failed to pay. So we have two niches now in limbo.
I think this is a problem and needs to be headed off quickly. Others have mentioned niche issues before. I don't know if this specific one has been addressed, but I apologize if it has. I just thought I'd report what I witnessed.