The Niche system is cool, but it's not perfect. This is a new content economy. The model is new. It has flaws. The longer that flaws (even if they are flaws of understanding and not execution) persist, the taller the building becomes with unstable bits in its foundation. 

As a Founder, and a very interested and vest member of this community, I am trying to provoke/test some of the weaknesses of the system to make it better... not tear it down. 

It is troubling that my reputation (the more I've thought about it) is going to get dinged for authentic participation...assuming that my votes that don't align with Tribunal/Community votes count as a negative mark. 

Ted posted:

Descriptions are very important because a title alone can be ambiguous and by itself may even have more than meaning (many words do).

I'm really not following your logic here, @Bryan.  A definition is the perfect way to clarify the meaning of niche.  What else is there?

A community may certainly develop around a niche, in that it has its own unique set of followers, but the niche itself is just a subject. That is the distinction.  And the content posted to that niche is the important part.  The niche itself also does not have a personality. It is simply intended to be a unique subject. 

Correct me if I am wrong, but what I understand from @Bryan's posting on this matter is that merely defining the word(s) of a niche name can actually be confusing.

'Celebration' is a good example of that.  The description takes the dictionary approach.  Ok great.  Except, everyone already knows what a celebration is.  What we really want to know is what type of content belongs there - we might not be inclined to do the thinking on this ourselves, or perhaps not with sufficient confidence.  People appreciate guidance: it takes away that powerful social inhibitor: the suspicion that our contribution will be deemed inadequate.

Personally, I would wonder: are they expecting stories of epic celebrations?  Are they expecting us to describe the preparations for an upcoming celebration?  Is it ok for me to write about celebrating something very personal, that did not involve a gathering, or other people?  

We want a quality network, and part of delivering that quality will entail niches overcoming such hurdles of confusion - that's where I agree with what I think @Bryan is saying.

Bryan posted:

It is troubling that my reputation (the more I've thought about it) is going to get dinged for authentic participation...assuming that my votes that don't align with Tribunal/Community votes count as a negative mark. 

I agree with this, and I think the solution is for the Team to fairly rapidly start homing in on more specific guidelines for what a good niche name and description is.  Or rather, to enforce them and make not following them cause for rejection.  Molly wrote a great Medium blog post with such guidelines, but they are not enforced.

That's where the problem arises. 

On the one hand we're rewarding people for suggesting niches that get approved even if they don't follow the quality guidelines.

On the other hand, we're penalising voters who reject niches because those guidelines aren't followed, when the Tribunal then approves the niche.

So we're rewarding sub-par niche suggesting, penalising those in the community who are trying to correct them, and ending up with subpar quality niches.

This is a problem and I've tried to state it as simply as I can.  That's all I've got.

It is troubling that my reputation (the more I've thought about it) is going to get dinged for authentic participation...assuming that my votes that don't align with Tribunal/Community votes count as a negative mark. 


We have not disclosed the reputation formula, so I would not make too many assumptions about the importance of one thing versus another.

 The longer that flaws (even if they are flaws of understanding and not execution) persist, the taller the building becomes with unstable bits in its foundation. 

I think this is a bit much.  Are niche descriptions really an unstable flaw?  

I think we are beating a dead horse at this point, but I want to make sure you understand that your opinions and feedback are welcome. That does not mean that we are always going to be in agreement, of course, but different perspectives are always welcome.

Ted posted:

Descriptions are very important because a title alone can be ambiguous and by itself may even have more than meaning (many words do).

I'm really not following your logic here, @Bryan.  A definition is the perfect way to clarify the meaning of niche.  What else is there?

A community may certainly develop around a niche, in that it has its own unique set of followers, but the niche itself is just a subject. That is the distinction.  And the content posted to that niche is the important part.  The niche itself also does not have a personality. It is simply intended to be a unique subject. 

I agree descriptions are important. I believe a description goes beyond a definition. One taps the aesthetic perspective, the other taps a clinical one.

Define your spouse. 
Describe your spouse.
These should be very different responses.

So, to answer your question, the "logic" I am using may not be logical by definition, but there is a method to my madness. I am design-focused, rooted in delivering aesthetic experiences. I believe people are more likely to be inspired, moved by, aesthetics than they are clinical executions — unless, of course, they are sick  

This is called Narrative after all.

If Niches are just tags (which was a question I asked many moons ago), then why own them? Let tags be tags. No need to reinvent the wheel.  Then Niches can become curated corners of Narrative where owners, moderators, and content creators craft quality content for community consumption. 

Sorry, what else can you do with a dead horse but beat it!?

"Flaw" may be the wrong word... but, I believe it can be improved. Already it (the voting process) has been improved quite a bit from the first attempt. I'm just saying I don't think we've arrived yet. 

I appreciate that you're taking some time to discuss. It's difficult to raise objections in a text-only medium where my genuine concern for the success of the project carried by the "tone" of my voice gets reduced to glyphs on a screen. 

Maybe more emojis: 

Malkazoid posted:
Bryan posted:

It is troubling that my reputation (the more I've thought about it) is going to get dinged for authentic participation...assuming that my votes that don't align with Tribunal/Community votes count as a negative mark. 

I agree with this, and I think the solution is for the Team to fairly rapidly start homing on in more specific guidelines for what a good niche name and description is.  Or rather, to enforce them and make not following them cause for rejection.  Molly wrote a great Medium blog post with such guidelines, but they are not enforced.

That's where the problem arises. 

On the one hand we're rewarding people for suggesting niches that get approved even if they don't follow the quality guidelines.

On the other hand, we're penalising voters who reject niches because those guidelines aren't followed, when the Tribunal then approves the niche.

So we're rewarding sub-par niche suggesting, penalising those in the community who are trying to correct them, and ending up with subpar quality niches.

This is a problem and I've tried to state it as simply as I can.  That's all I've got.

I completely agree, based on my interactions with the platform.

It should be up to the developers to first accept that they have a problem with their voting mechanism, and that it would be a mess (to say the least), if this project were to scale to even double the size, with Niches being populated. (10K users)

Nobody on this platform should be voting on Niches if their reputation is negatively effected. That's not a practice that will scale. This is quite obvious.

These things can be fixed, for sure, but it represents a much, much larger problem if those leading this project are in disagreement with the community about something so obvious.

 TLDR: Accept there's a problem, fix it, move on.

Bryan posted:

Good catch Bryan.

The suggester of the niche made a good defence in the comments, but I'm afraid for me this niche does remain redundant.  I don't see the notion of passion for travel, or the aspiration for the niche to be a 'club' as distinctive enough from the existing Travel niche because the name 'Travelogue' does not embody those distinctions.  Call it "The Passionate Traveller: People who live for travel and experiencing new places and cultures.  We are not your average holiday-makers or business trippers.  For us, travel is a way of life." - and there would be a better case for it.  

Or, if the niche name were to focus specifically on cultural experiences, for instance, this would set it aside enough from generic travel.  Something like "Experiences of Other Cultures".

I think we need to judge the distinction of the name from other names because this is what will help the experience of Narrative be intuitive.  People will get confused if two niches exist with names that do not convey enough of why they are different.

 

No, I don't use Telegram.

I'm a big fan of keeping my community involvement out in the open, along with any interactions.

The ICO industry has matured away from the 'telegram phase' and more into a business where development needs to be transparent and open for all to see. After all, an ICO is a community-owned business venture.

If a community or team has issues to address, it needs to be seen by everyone. Anyone is free to reach out to me on this platform.

Michael posted:

No, I don't use Telegram.

I'm a big fan of keeping my community involvement out in the open, along with any interactions.

The ICO industry has matured away from the 'telegram phase' and more into a business where development needs to be transparent and open for all to see. After all, an ICO is a community-owned business venture.

If a community or team has issues to address, it needs to be seen by everyone. Anyone is free to reach out to me on this platform.

No worries Michael.  I understand your preference, although I don't think it can be generalised to a rule for ICOs in general... and I don't even see us as part of the ICO industry.  Instead I see us as a community, and I think there will always be a use-case and a need for private communication in any human community: not sure why this one would be an exception.  

Ted posted

As I said in the white paper:

a Niche is a subject area into which any Narrator may publish content. All Niches should be unique. You should not find one Niche called “New England Patriots” and another called “NE Patriots”. The goal is to create unified content streams around singular subjects.

Of course a definition is acceptable for niche title.  A niche is just a unique subject, so the point of the description is to DEFINE/CLARIFY what the title is.  So, yes, I am guilty of using definitions in descriptions because that is the purpose of a description-- to define and bring clarity to what the niche represents.

I also want to be clear about something else.  Niches are not "communities". So a description that says something like, " a place for mom's to hang out," is technically incorrect. I'm not saying you should reject a niche because it describes a niche like that, but I do want to make clear that niches are merely subjects and that a definition of the subject is not only appropriate but ideal, in my opinion.

The goal of the niche description is to define and clarify exactly what the niche represents. Find me a niche I suggested that does not do that.

Actually @Ted A Niche is exactly "a place" by definition and the word does not mean a subject, no matter what you write in your white paper. The word itself, by definition implies community far more than it implies a subject.  Please see the definition of "niche" inserted below. So yes,  a description that says something like, " a place for mom's to hang out," is actually a technically Correct description. And a description of a subject, is technically incorrect, no matter what your white paper states. Words still matter. Especially on a writing platform. 

In my opinion this is why so many people are upset that what they thought they were buying was a Niche-- meaning a digital place for people to congregate and share content surrounding a mutual enjoyed topic, but are disappointed to find out that what you meant by the word "Niche" is that we are actually nothing more than hashtag promoters. Myself included.

I suspect that @Bryan's issue with the description being just a definition is because it is stripping away the personal flair--the subtitles and nuances that a thoughtful description can have, and the direction it can send a niche's content towards. Your response to him stating the the "correct" approach is the more clinical definition, is a tad worrisome to me regarding the future adoption of Narrative.

At this point I would like to caution you to LISTEN to your early adopters//initial investors more (yes I am an investor...I have piled loads of my money and time into Narrative with an expectation to one day see a return). Your misinterpretation of the definition of niche, should be enough to demonstrate that your white paper may have not been as clearly written, as you think.

I leave this post with one more thing to ponder. Just because you had an original vision doesn't mean that your every original detail is the best approach. If Narrative is to become authentically adopted by the masses, I feel you will need to be much more fluid and responsive. How the majority of people want to use Narrative's Niches for their content will determine if it succeeds or not. The "rules" in the white paper, and your definition of Niche as only a subject, where ownership means getting 10% for promoting a hashtag, is greatly disappointing for so many.  I just cannot understand the benefit in the decision to remove the owners involvement in developing their niche with personable flair, as previously discussed in other threads. If you try to control and correct people too much, they simply will lose interest and move along, to post their content on the next platform that suits their needs better. 

That is my two bits. Personally I am on side with Bryan for the most part. I prefer personalized descriptions. But i am not going to vote down dictionary descriptions, just for that reason alone.

Screen Shot 2018-11-10 at 5.34.15 PM 

 

 

The latest niche suffering from Dictionary Definition syndrome:

-----------------------------

https://alpha.narrative.org/hq...al/14124068787930351

Population

Description: The volume of people living within a set area of land.

-----------------------------

As Dylan (the first person to comment on the suggested niche) expressed perfectly: 

"What exactly is this niche going to include posts about?  Population statistics, trends perhaps?  It just seems you've defined a noun.  Apologies for my ignorance."

We're getting multiple examples of niches with this problem, and multiple community members raising this as a problem.  At this point, I think it would be highly beneficial for the @Narrative Network Team to adapt to this situation and give clear guidelines requiring niche descriptions to explain what sort of content the niche is designed to receive.

The clearer and unambiguous niches are, the more appealing Narrative will be.  This much is absolutely certain.

 

I think they should just turn suggestions off at this point. At least until beta launch, preferably until the reputation system is implemented. There are plenty Niches available for sale now, but that pool is being diluted while the few active members are becoming frustrated.

I'm curious what everyone makes of this one:

https://alpha.narrative.org/hq...al/13701841665512174

Ulogs

Reproducing here the comment I left on the proposed niche page: 

Not sure what to make of this one.  My first reaction was to think: how is this an improvement over the Personal Journal every Narrative user gets from the platform?  I understand the stipulation that everything must be fresh content: that can be achieved in a Personal Journal also.  I went to ulogs.org - and got the sense that the site exists to try to give visibility to Steemit users who blog: basically an up-voting community.  Narrative isn't supposed to need or encourage this sort of banding together just to upvote each other's content...  So my overall impressions aren't all that favourable.  I would encourage existing uloggers to publish their content to their Personal Journals on Narrative when the platform launches, and to any niche that they might also belong to.  For instance a blog entry that centres around a day hiking in the Himalayas, could also be published to a Himalayas niche.  That, in my view, is the Narrative way: however I'm happy to be convinced otherwise.

Thoughts?  I have not voted yet.

This one was amusing:

https://alpha.narrative.org/hq...al/14546320797512484

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Cryptocurrency market and exchange

Description: "Very unique niche to adop by all crypto lovers!"

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Despite the description's claims, this niche is not unique at all.  It is redundant, as there is already an approved niche: Cryptocurrency exchanges

Downvote if you agree - to avoid this going to the Tribunal.

re: https://alpha.narrative.org/n/inspirational-center@MOLLY O you mentioned in a comment on Inspirational Center that:

When the Niche is purchased, it can be edited. Just remember that Niches are public therefore, people can post to the topic via the Moderator.
 
Can you help me understand the value of evaluating Niche submissions against a set of criteria if we are also supposed maintain the assumption that problematic Niches can be edited post-vote?
There are many who spend a lot of time evaluating Niches, checking for redundancies across the spectrum of abbreviations, alternate wordings, etc.
Am we/they wasting time?
It seems  a drastic shift is taking place in the way the Narrative Team perceives/presents/discusses the role of Niches. They have moved from owner-maintained content channels to a group-managed tagging system.
If Niches are truly emerging as mere "content tags", then why care about a description (sufficing for dictionary definitions over creativity), and why care about redundancy?
I also am unclear how to interpret this statement: 
Just remember that Niches are public therefore, people can post to the topic via the Moderator. 
Is this a reminder to the Niche submitter that anyone (public) will be able to post content to Inspirational Center?
Or, a reminder that any content posted will be filtered by a Moderator... in which case, it's not really "public" and that filter will be managed by someone other than the owner. (Further compounding the problematic description of this Niche as it's written with a first-person focus—the direct object of the proposed Niche may not end up being the one who owns the Niche). 
 
I want to be contributing positivity on here. I want to be encouraging others to join up, become investors, owners. I have invested quite a bit myself, but until I can settle the feeling of things being derailed, I'm not sure where to find the positive spin. 

@Bryan. My point about editing is that folks were saying that description was in all Caps…that is an easy fix if the Niche is purchased.  Of course, all edits will need to go through the tribunal to make sure that the meaning isn't changed.  

Regarding the friendly reminder that anyone can post to this via the moderator. My point there to address part of the description saying that "invite others"- and less about moderators.  Just wanted to remind folks that these are Niches and not personal journals so others should be posting to the niche. 

Hope that helps. 

Question for @MOLLY O on this one:

https://alpha.narrative.org/n/inspirational-center

The description is fatally flawed, but you gave some guidance with your YES vote, and your comment that descriptions can be changed.

My question is: will it be changed?  Do we have a robust and efficient mechanism in place that will make sure that niches approved with broken descriptions will all require description changes?

Unless a capable crew does the changes, we could be in for a lot of back and forthing with people trying to fix their own descriptions, many of whom won't have English as their first language.

Because the community is a little bit in the dark about how these description cleanups will be taken care of, it makes me strongly suspect we should be rejecting niches with bad descriptions.  I still strongly believe we should be enforcing quality control at the source: making it clear to folks that niche descriptions have to be good or else they will be rejected.  Why settle for people submitting unclear, unsuitable, misspelled niche descriptions when we know someone is going to have to clean them up (of course this particular niche does not necessarily sin on all those levels, but I've broadened the scope to talk about improving our overarching workflow, which currently is deferring work until later, and loading it upon unknown shoulders?).  You are giving rep boosts to people who suggest niches that are approved.  Why reward people's rep for niches that will need further work by the community before they are actually viable?  Make them REALLY deserve the rep boost!

Why not let the community, which is working for Narrative with their voting, enforce the guidelines for descriptions that you wrote such an excellent article on?  The difference between merely writing an article with recommendations, and actually allowing them to be enforced, could well mean the difference between a 15% and a 90% effect of your article on the actual quality and efficiency of Narrative niche generation.  Only the top 15% of users - and that might be generous - are paying enough attention to have even read your article.  (You may even be able to compare how many views your article has received with the number of Alpha users).  With what I am proposing, you would allow those top 15% of committed users to translate your guidelines into an actual positive outcome that would hold the remaining 85% of users to the correct standards.  How can we pass up the opportunity to boost efficiency to that degree, especially considering you've already put in the work to make the solid guidelines?  They are being wasted right now.

So back to the niche in question.  Why not reject the niche, engage the suggester in a community discussion on how the description could pass muster, and link them to your guidelines, and let them submit it again, with increasing penalties each time it gets rejected?

@Malkazoid, you are correct. I reread this Niche and the second part of that first line description is off and not very good. The Niche itself has great promise, but as described - falls short of our mark. I am going to change my vote.  To be frank, most of my response was because I saw some other issues i wanted to point out that I noticed - voting no just for all caps. That said, there are some other issues - as you state. 

Truth is, we have a bit of a learning curve when we have new people joining. Even those Founders and early adopters got better and better…which is why its easier for the more established members to see the issue/flaws. I do encourage you and others to keep true to voting. keep us all honest! I try and go in to just provide comments early (without voting often) to help.  The more others can do to help guide the new members, the better.

I am sorry that I created so much confusion with my niche, but I was not able to correct anything. It was a beginner's mistake. Yes, this niche is designed to be a pool of inspiration to all users and not my personal journal. English is not my native language. I tried to write something personal, so everyone can have the feeling that he part of this story. 

Teddy posted:

I am sorry that I created so much confusion with my niche, but I was not able to correct anything. It was a beginner's mistake. Yes, this niche is designed to be a pool of inspiration to all users and not my personal journal. English is not my native language. I tried to write something personal, so everyone can have the feeling that he part of this story. 

Don't even worry about it @Teddy - all of this is a learning curve for each and every one of us, and it will all lead to a quality network!  The co-created nature of niches is part of what makes them so exciting to me and I'm looking forward to that process becoming more and more communal, so that we end up helping each other to make each niche all that it can be.  Please keep the niche suggestions coming.  It is our mistakes that make possible, and define our successes, right?

 

@Teddy - here is a suggestion for the description of that niche, and this is me trying to stay as true to your vision as possible:

"Have you ever been strongly inspired by a person, thing, event, or perhaps a piece of art or music?  Tell that story here and watch the inspiration spread!"

Teddy posted:

@MALKAZOID 

Can you help me with my niches? I really need your support. 

https://alpha.narrative.org/n/your-story 

I want to change to: Tell your story! 

Here I need an inspiring text, to encourage people to tell their life's story. "Everyone has a story to tell. Your story can make an impact on many lives." 

Something like this!

Sorry, if I am asking  too much from you. 

That one is tougher for me - because I think that niche might be replicating the functionality of Personal Journals.  Every Narrative user gets a Personal Journal where they can post whatever they like (within the T&C of course).  Because the term Personal Journal is strongly suggestive of blogging about one's own life, I expect many people will use it for that.

BUT - if your description emphasises the impact on other people's lives very strongly, then I personally think there is a valid reason for it to be a niche.  After all, if you are looking for someone's story that might apply to your current situations in life, it would be nice to be able to find that content on a niche, rather than have to trawl through Personal Journals until you find something!

The only remaining problem is that the name of the niche doesn't really explain that it is about inspiring others.  In a way, you've done a better job of that with your other niche that we have been discussing ("Inspirational centre").  The two niches have a lot of overlap - perhaps too much...

So yeah - not sure I can help with that one.  My vote would actually be for appealing to the Tribunal to make 'Your Story' redundant, and for you to use 'Inspirational centre' with an improved description.

Teddy posted:

The problem is, I won the auction on "Your story" and I already paid for that niche. It is not my suggested niche, I won the niche at the auction. Now I need to make this niche more attractive.  

 

Ok!  

Go into your profile, then click Your Niches. Then click the name of the niche that you want to edit.  Then on the top right you'll see 3 dots. Click that and you'll see "request an edit".   

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