Hi everyone-

Currently, we only allow members to suggest one niche per day.  The reason for the limitation is that we wanted to prevent spamming and because the reputation engine is not in place yet. 

Our plan though is to refine that model a bit for the beta.

One idea we had was to charge a small non refundable fee each time you make suggestion (approximately $5 in equivalent NRVE). However, if and when the niche is purchased at auction, you would receive 10% of the purchase price. Thus, you would come out ahead even if they paid the minimum, but you might come out way ahead if it sold for a premium. (In this model, the remaining 90% of the purchase price would go into the Network Rewards pool.)

The idea was to require users to have some skin in the game when making a suggestion, to encourage quality and thoughtfulness (and also reduce spam suggestions). In that model, there would be no need for a daily suggestion limit. After all, we want to increase the percentage of suggested niches that are approved and purchased. This model aligns all interests pretty well, in that regard.

The downside, of course, is that you'd have to pay to suggest, which would likely reduce the number of new niches being suggested.

Though I really like the economic incentives associated with this approach, I'm having second thoughts about whether it is worthwhile, especially if it makes niche suggestions less common.  

Side note: once we have the reputation engine in place, we can more easily solve the spamming issue in general.

I'd be curious to hear your opinions on this concept.

Original Post

Hey @Ted

Lots I like about the idea, but the deal breaker to me is that many niches simply won't get bid upon.  And it won't always be because they are not good ideas.  I can't think of any situation in which the suggester should lose $5 just because nobody else wanted to use up one of their 5 slots on a good niche suggestion.

I really like the incentives at play here.  This 'skin in the game' approach makes a lot of sense to me.  In my opinion, and this may no be very popular, if you are going to suggest a Niche, but not bid for it (even if you weren't maxed out on Niches and could), then it shouldn't have been suggested in the first place.  I also see the view that maybe you see a gap in the 'Niche Web' ....and have no desire to be an owner / promoter..but would just like to post content there...I guess that could also happen.

To @Malkazoid's point, that a lot of Niche owner's are already maxed and would like to bid on Niches, but are unable to.  I think perhaps if this goes into effect the max niche limit should be raised to 10.

Lastly, perhaps you allow both models of suggestion: This would allow users to earn some rewards off of their suggestions if they were willing to put in a little up front.  Free suggestions would still be limited to one per day, but paid suggestions would be unlimited.

While I would like to keep the Niche Suggestion-Scape free, I also am starting to see quite the accumulation of Niches without bids.  Perhaps there just needs to be some kind of archival process that happens.  When a Niche with no bids has been around for x days, it is removed and the person that suggested the Niche in the first place takes a reputation hit.  Another possibility is a tiered discount approach, the longer a Niche stays on the market without any bids, it's minimum bid price gets reduced by 10%, 20%,... up to 50%...after that it simply gets removed.  This reduced price would only apply to the initial purchase, and a full niche renewal fee would apply going forward.

Banter posted:

 

While I would like to keep the Niche Suggestion-Scape free, I also am starting to see quite the accumulation of Niches without bids.  Perhaps there just needs to be some kind of archival process that happens.  When a Niche with no bids has been around for x days, it is removed and the person that suggested the Niche in the first place takes a reputation hit.  Another possibility is a tiered discount approach, the longer a Niche stays on the market without any bids, it's minimum bid price gets reduced by 10%, 20%,... up to 50%...after that it simply gets removed.  This reduced price would only apply to the initial purchase, and a full niche renewal fee would apply going forward.

I can see someone suggesting an "out of the way" niche, not bidding on it right away, then picking it up for 50% later.

I'm not sure that I see a reason to worry about a bunch of niches that were suggested but not bid on, but If there is, then once the reputation engine is fully in place I'd think that making a niche that nobody bids on would give your reputation a hit of some sort, and that would all but solve the problem.  Even better, a reputation boost for suggested niches that are subsequently bought by someone else. 

Let the unloved niches decay and drop off over time if needs be. I don't know that paying to make a suggestion needs to happen, although that would be an additional income to the rewards pool.  Never hurts to put more NRVE in the rewards pool, and it never hurts to have a reason to spend NRVE and keep it circulating.  That said, I'd still rather see reputation handle the gating of niche suggestions.

Thanks for the input, @Banter

I think the issue of the number of niche without bids will be solved (or at least improve) a bit once we allow anyone to register. Keep in mind that the number of participants in the alpha is pretty small currently.  Still a valid point you make in that regard, but the fact that we are restricting access to the alpha is also a major factor.

Banter posted:

Lastly, perhaps you allow both models of suggestion: This would allow users to earn some rewards off of their suggestions if they were willing to put in a little up front.  Free suggestions would still be limited to one per day, but paid suggestions would be unlimited.

This ^^^.  Best of both worlds.  Nice!

 

When a Niche with no bids has been around for x days, it is removed and the person that suggested the Niche in the first place takes a reputation hit.  

I'm not really in favour of anyone ever taking a reputation hit for suggesting a niche.  That just feels like it would inhibit people.

I'd be more in favour of reputation hits for misspelling, or factually incorrect niches suggested.  Even if English is not your first language, it is possible to get someone to help you with a mere one or two sentences of text, before submitting a niche.  People here in the community would be glad to help, no doubt.

Like @David Dreezer, I don't see a problem with niches with no bids.  They remain a resource, and some of them will get picked up down the road.

I do see a big problem with misspelled niches and factually incorrect niches, getting voted in, or rejected, and in both scenarios sometimes causing trouble for the Tribunal and the Community.  An example of which occurred today with the LBGTQ/LGBTQ niche (it does my head in to try to remember the mistaken and correct orders of the letters each time I type this).

Banter posted:

I really like the incentives at play here.  This 'skin in the game' approach makes a lot of sense to me.  In my opinion, and this may no be very popular, if you are going to suggest a Niche, but not bid for it (even if you weren't maxed out on Niches and could), then it shouldn't have been suggested in the first place.  I also see the view that maybe you see a gap in the 'Niche Web' ....and have no desire to be an owner / promoter..but would just like to post content there...I guess that could also happen.

To @Malkazoid's point, that a lot of Niche owner's are already maxed and would like to bid on Niches, but are unable to.  I think perhaps if this goes into effect the max niche limit should be raised to 10.

Lastly, perhaps you allow both models of suggestion: This would allow users to earn some rewards off of their suggestions if they were willing to put in a little up front.  Free suggestions would still be limited to one per day, but paid suggestions would be unlimited.

While I would like to keep the Niche Suggestion-Scape free, I also am starting to see quite the accumulation of Niches without bids.  Perhaps there just needs to be some kind of archival process that happens.  When a Niche with no bids has been around for x days, it is removed and the person that suggested the Niche in the first place takes a reputation hit.  Another possibility is a tiered discount approach, the longer a Niche stays on the market without any bids, it's minimum bid price gets reduced by 10%, 20%,... up to 50%...after that it simply gets removed.  This reduced price would only apply to the initial purchase, and a full niche renewal fee would apply going forward.

I myself am pretty attracted to the "skin in the game" model, as long as the "once a day" free suggestion option remains.  However, there could be a selection of "investment premiums" available, as an added incentive.  For instance, there would be an "entry" level premium at 2$ worth of $NRVE for 3% return, an "intermediary" 5$ worth level for 10% and a "top tier" 10$ worth level for 25%.

I also share the idea that the maximum niche per owner cap should be raised from 5 to 10, this would greatly lower the amount of "orphan" niches, as it would be more probable someone suggesting the niche would also want to pick it up, having more room to maneuver.

I definitely disagree with the idea of Narrators being penalized for suggesting a niche, unless it is through the reputation engine, and even then, I only see it happening in cases of excessively irrelevant or inaccurate niches.  In those cases, I think the community should be allowed to appeal, in the same way it can to have a niche either rejected or approved after the initial submission review period.  Then, the tribunal would determine whether the suggester is liable for sanction, subtracting a pre-determined number of points from their reputation score in the case they are deemed having committed an offense.  That number could increase for repeat offenders.

Yes, whoever suggested  "Pencils" should take a hit..... 

I like the idea of "skin in the game" and I'd like to one up you - I would propose that we could have not only Free Suggestions, and the Paid Suggestions but what about Premium suggestions? Let's say someone really wants a niche bad - and they want to be guaranteed the niche. They could suggest it for say $100 in NRVE and then if it passes they would automatically get it and the normal fees would apply after? If the niche got rejected, then they would of course get the NRVE back. 

Or what about a NRVE lotto for niches - You put in X NRVE for a round, and once 100 participants are in - a random winner would be selected and a random "pig in a  poke" niche would be awarded (one that has been on the auction block for a while). This would allow someone a chance to get a niche dirt cheap and flip it, or give a non-recognized niche a home. The lotto part being you might get "pencils"  

Then obviously the next part would be to allow niche owners to re-auction these. Thus getting them more visibility if they don't want them, and reminding people they are out there. 

chrisabdey posted:

Yes, whoever suggested  "Pencils" should take a hit..... 

I like the idea of "skin in the game" and I'd like to one up you - I would propose that we could have not only Free Suggestions, and the Paid Suggestions but what about Premium suggestions? Let's say someone really wants a niche bad - and they want to be guaranteed the niche. They could suggest it for say $100 in NRVE and then if it passes they would automatically get it and the normal fees would apply after? If the niche got rejected, then they would of course get the NRVE back. 

Or what about a NRVE lotto for niches - You put in X NRVE for a round, and once 100 participants are in - a random winner would be selected and a random "pig in a  poke" niche would be awarded (one that has been on the auction block for a while). This would allow someone a chance to get a niche dirt cheap and flip it, or give a non-recognized niche a home. The lotto part being you might get "pencils"  

Then obviously the next part would be to allow niche owners to re-auction these. Thus getting them more visibility if they don't want them, and reminding people they are out there. 

As much as I love the idea of paying a small increase upfront for any Niche to bypass an auction, I don't think that fits with the spirit of Narrative.  I think the auction system is the most fair, and would certainly make the most money / rewards for Niches in the system going forward, which is what I think we want.

We already have a mechanism to guarantee ownership of a Niche...just bid the highest

I kind of like the neglected Niche Lotto idea...it aligns a bit with my idea of offering Niches at a reduced price.  Perhaps if we follow this model..you could still offer Niches without any bids at a depreciating schedule until you hit 50% and then they go off into this Lotto pool for a 25% fee or something.  Actually, now that I think about it, I think it should be more like a contest with a guaranteed prize - A Niche.  If there were 100 Niches available, then the contest would open at a specified date and time and the first 100 entries would get one of those 100 random Niches.  Entries would be cut off passed 100 so everyone entered would get one.  It would be kind of fun, as you could market and publicize these Contests and the 'winners' on an ongoing interval every couple months.

The ability to re-sell Niche's (via an auction) is already in the works - so we have that aspect covered.

Ted posted:

Thanks for the input, @Banter

I think the issue of the number of niche without bids will be solved (or at least improve) a bit once we allow anyone to register. Keep in mind that the number of participants in the alpha is pretty small currently.  Still a valid point you make in that regard, but the fact that we are restricting access to the alpha is also a major factor.

I agree about concern for when the floodgates open. I try to vote on every proposed Niche and am finding that even with the small number of members, there are a lot of duplicate / sloppy submissions and it takes quite a bit of effort to search the DB for similar ones. I can't even imagine what the current system would result in as the user base expands. 

+1 for a small fee that could be turned into a larger win.

There isn't a lot of direction for choosing a niche name or even voting.  I'm seeing vote downs for redundancy even when it most likely is not redundant such as "travel" and "travel photos" I question whether something will erroneously be seen as redundant and don't vote on some because I don't want to be penalized.  (Please see my niche topic: To Approve or Not to Approve.)

As far as suggesting niche names, I will not pay to suggest, I thought I was helping.  And getting my rep negatively affected because no one buys the niche in a timely fashion?...I have an example that I could see happening to me, I suggested Early Childhood Education, , If no one buys the Early Childhood Education and my rep takes a hit, I would be a bit aggravated.

The reason is because in the future if Narrative does well, the person who realizes there's a lot of ad money there- will buy it...(but that wouldn't happen if it's removed because "no one's interested in it" for a while.)  It takes time for things to catch on. And would my rep be upped if someone did buy it a year down the road and made it huge?

I only suggested that niche because I know it will help Narrative as a whole due to the ad money for that keyword. 

Also,I have two kids who think they might want to get into Early Childhood Education and a friend who started school for it but then pulled out of the program because he was unaware of certain realities of being a teacher in the public school system. 

There is valuable knowledge for an audience and potential revenue there.

__

In regards to spelling mistakes...mistakes happen when there isn't a devoted editor for the task.  Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and the rest have tons of popular content, even in the face of atrocious spelling and grammar.

I agree with @Crystal - there should be no penalty for suggesting a niche that does not get bought.  Only a reward if someone does buy the niche. 

I also agree suggested niches should persist.  Crystal expressed why, perfectly.  

The only problem with niches that have not yet been bought is the stigma we have begun attaching to them.  By calling them the Boneyard, we’re forcing ourselves and others to look at them as valueless.  With only a few thousand active members on the Alpha, we simply don’t have a big enough cross section of humanity for the less obvious niches to all find a home, and that’s ok.  

One way of improving their chances is to ask people at signup time to choose 3 or 4 areas of interest.  This will help us in the future in connecting them with niches to follow and contribute to, but it can also help us suggest niches to them to buy.  We are missing several opportunities by not gathering this basic info at sign up.  @Narrative Network Team can consider this?

A human driven process of classifying proposed - but not yet purchased niches - would be required, as this cannot be reliably automated.  I suggest the team handles the current backlog, and redesigns the niche suggestion process to force the suggester to tag her suggestion with minimum three broad themes.

 

I'm late to the discussion, but I have a few ideas.

1. Once Narrative software is released and used, what used to be an over-supply of niches will probably turn into scarcity. It's very early in the game to call anything a boneyard. I see a lot of value in almost every niche, because for any subject you can imagine, there'll be an audience.

2. Narrative is an incentive network, and it can easily incentivize the cleanup of redundant, confusing, or overlapping niches. I suspect there will eventually be thousands of individuals readily available to supply editing & organizing for a very small reward.

For instance, have a 'Niche Clean-up Bounty' that pays a maximum of 5 cents (for instance) in NRVE for editing-savvy individuals to constantly sweep new niches and compare them to other similar niches. Once 3 bounty-hunters 'clean' the same Niche, the bounty disappears. No matter how small the reward, there will always be people willing to do that type of community work. Once a bounty is reserved, they have 12 hours to complete the task, or risk a reputation hit.

As Narrative matures, fewer and fewer niches will need to be organized, so it can be seen as an investment into the value of the network to do this cleanup. As Narrative becomes larger, it will also take more work to cross-reference, similar to POW, and bounties can be compensated as a fraction of the total number of niches. Niche owners are land owners, moderators are building managers, content creators are workers, bounty-hunters are janitors. Janitors are always needed.

3. Rather than pay NRVE to suggest, perhaps just have a time limit and reputation threshold in place to limit niche creation. This works spectacularly in Reddit, and reduces almost all spam. People don't want to have to wait another 2 or 3 weeks just to spam once. During that time, they can orient themselves to the platform.

Cleanup Bounty

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@Michael - the cleanup bounty is an interesting idea!  Reputation rewards for positive interactions are one thing, but I don't believe the system will function optimally without a financial reward in place as well.  Certainly in the real world, the ratio of community service to paid work would lead us to believe the balance has to put more weight on paid work.

As you pointed out, the rewards don't have to be big.  Some people enjoy this type of work, and for those of us who believe in the platform - there is also the expectation that 1 NRVE will be worth considerably more, the harder we work at making Narrative a quality resource for all.

These sorts of incentive initiatives also open up the space for fun daily, weekly, bi-weekly or monthly awards.  The most active cleanup member can be featured in ways that cause their content and/or niches to become more visible, and for them to receive an NRVE bonus.

A little bit of thought will need to go into quality control of people's findings... perhaps an algorithm can compare the findings of the three 'cleanup artists', and weigh in in some way?  There would need for there to be a way of people taking a rep hit if they claim bounty without really doing the work.  Perhaps the best way is for any niche, against which there is a certain level of findings consensus, to become a kind of appeal to the Tribunal.  This sort of automated appeal might need to be differentiated from appeals triggered directly by a single member.

The Tribunal could look at the findings, make the call on what needs to happen to resolve any conflicts, and decide whether anyone didn't pull their weight during the cleanup?  

In summary, what @Michael seems to be proposing is a way of making the cleanup work transparent and more visibly incentivised.  As things stand, there may well be rewards in reputation for helping these processes along, but because it is all behind the scenes, it will not be very efficient at fostering community participation.

It is ok to want to keep some of the reputation mechanics behind the scenes to prevent gaming of the system - but introducing NRVE rewards allows an above board component that fixes the problem.

Exactly, @Malkazoid.

Quality control of findings could be assigned to subsequent bounty-hunters, as though they were acting as a proof-of-editing for the person before them.

For instance:

The first bounty-hunter does a check for duplicates, and makes a note of them.

The second bounty-hunter checks the 1st, but also finds that a niche was missed, puts it in his findings.

The third bounty-hunter checks both of their work, which takes time in itself, and is rewarded. Heck, the 3rd bounty-hunter could solely just be checking over the first two for mistakes, in which case, they would lose a little bit for a mistake.

If a bounty-hunters get good enough, they could earn badges for it. It's essentially gamification and rewarding of an otherwise tedious network task.

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