So I just received my first Niche suggestion rejection. It was a great learning experience. There's just one problem: I can't suggest any more Niches for 7 days.
I'm not angry. I'm not upset. I'm a little disappointed. But I'm mostly befuzzled.
This is Alpha stage, the stage where you want to prove yourself to potential users. Like a first date. You put on your lipstick and eye shadow, squirt a little sweet-smelling sneeze spray on the left and right sides of your neck, just under the cheek where you hope your date will nuzzle you with his nose later, slip on your red high heels and fishnets, practice your smile in the mirror, then head out to make a good first impression. Little did you know, your date doesn't like the smell of jasmine and has an allergic reaction to the color red. So he sneezes, and instead of saying "Bless you, may I get you a handkerchief?," you tell him he can't have another date with you for seven days. Nice going.
I've been a full-time content strategist since 2006 and active on the Internet since the mid-1990s. Never have I seen a social media website right out of the gate institute punitive measures on the very people it wants to use its platform (those usually come later).
I understand there needs to be a reputation system. Narrative's seems a little convoluted, but I'm open-minded. I'll give it a try, see what happens. I have been actively promoting Narrative on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Steemit and have managed to work myself up to rank #60 in the referral rankings. Not impressive, but not too shabby considering I've really only been active for a couple of weeks. I have pored myself over your Specs to ensure I understand the platform, its inner workings, the culture, the technology, and to help myself understand the best way to approach the platform and become a good Narrative citizen. As an award-winning journalist, I pride myself on my level of detail and ability to perform deep research. I go way beyond what the average user is going to do when they join, and this happened to me.
My only sin? Suggesting a niche that wasn't quite as well thought out as it should have been but much more thought out than many that are getting approved. It was unique. It was bold. It was well-intentioned (and met all the criteria for Niche suggestions in the Spec). "The Tribunal," a simple idea. Two-way communication between members of The Tribunal and the rest of the Narrative community. I thought it was clever. It clearly wasn't. The community downvoted it. And I can bear that with a smile. I'd even happily take a hit to my reputation score on account of it. After all, it just didn't fit in with community standards.
But jail? Solitary confinement? On a first offense? Just because you want to make a point?
I understand that you want people to do their homework and suggest good niches. But I also understand you'd like them to come back. Other than suggest Niches, bid on Niches, comment, and vote on suggestions, the only thing left to do is create content in my personal journal and wait until Narrative decides to launch in beta to see it goes live. I'm a patient, tenacious, persistent, stubborn, and strong-willed individual who is quick to learn a lesson. In other words, a minority. How many new users do you think are going to wait around seven days to suggest another niche when their first one is rejected and they go to Narrative jail because they didn't get a handle on the guidelines first? I took all the right steps and still ended up going to my room without dinner. Very few people are going to return after being told they can't do one of the only few things they can do for a full week. They'll likely forget about the platform and continue posting cat memes on Facebook.
My first impressions of Narrative have been positive. There is a lot that I like, but punishing new users for doing what you've asked them to do and not doing it perfectly is ridiculous. You have new users joining left and right and making niche suggestions. Poor suggestions. They should read your Specs first and do their homework. Clearly. But you're going to drive them away because they didn't? Maybe you should change the name of Narrative to Groucho.
By the way, I'm not going anywhere. But many people would not stick around. And some haven't.