Our Content is a Product We Refuse to Sell

in #hive8 months ago

The other day I was browsing through our merchandise here on Hive, looking for something to buy.

I was in a main aisle, high traffic area, we call it the trending page, I was expecting to find something I like, and I did, but I didn't buy it.

It caught my eye, I picked it up, starting reading the product.  It was a development post.  At the end was a question: "What have you built for Hive today?"

I thought about leaving my answer but instead put the product down, went back to browsing the merchandise.

NoNamesLeftToUse  Sale.png

My Answer

"What have I built for Hive today?"

As a seasoned veteran content creator on Hive — someone who has been with this through thick and thin since close to the start — you'd probably expect me to say: "Nothing.  I haven't built anything."

My answer though was simple.  A fan base.  I've spent years attempting to build a following/fan base.

That's something we all have in common.

Everyone here wants someone to take an interest in their product.

I offer arts, entertainment, stories both from life and fictional, commentary, thoughts, opinions.  In my mind, nothing is worthless.  I'll do short form, long form, middle form, I'll invent a form, and whatever else I feel like doing.  A little something for everyone; hopefully.

All of it is intentionally designed to get attention.  That's what we do in this business.  That's why these products exist.

I'm one product on one shelf, sitting next to other products.  Hive is much like a massive department store.  I suppose if I was actually utilizing one of these communities, the community would be the department my product could be found in.

In theory, the customer walks through that front door and eventually finds their way to me, picks me up, looks at me, if I'm what they want, they vote.  Done deal.  Transaction complete.  Share a few words.  See you next time.  Have a nice day.

That consumer has room for more products so they go fill their baskets.

Everything can be found in this store, plus more on the way, since so many are working towards making onboarding easier while others are attempting to attract more products/content creators, daily.

This department store has a lot of departments.  A lot of shelves.  Plenty of products.  More on the way.

Our aisles are empty.

Products are collecting dust.

More and more people working on getting more and more products on these shelves.  Working feverishly, day in, day out.  Filling those shelves.

That costs a lot of money to fill a department store.  Each and every one of us content creators is potential money out the door; but I held on to my earnings and then some.

The aisles are empty.  That means no new consumer money is coming in the door.  We're great at creating products and filling the shelves but refusing to sell it is the fastest way to bankruptcy.

Content is a product we refuse to sell.

Severe lack of dedicated paying consumers.

For nearly four years I've watched people talking about onboarding.  They never bring up the role of the consumer/curator.  Always focusing on attracting more creators.

Talking about retention.  "How do we keep these people around?"

Like most products, many seem to expire.  Why?  Nobody around to buy their product in time.  Not enough consumers.  Empty aisles.

I'm around still today because I spent years and years building.  I like to respond to everyone as promptly as possible.  There was a time, back in the day, I simply could not keep up with the inflow of comments reaching my blog.  These days the blog is quieter than usual but the numbers are still much higher than average.

Majority of my following came here to produce content and hopefully earn.  Pick fifty random names from the list, you'll probably find a blog of sorts.  Many of these content producers leave for various reasons; rarely sticking around to simply consume.  I think majority of the new folks who've decided to follow my blog since the Steem/Hive split are also hoping to find success here as a content creator.  I wish them luck.

If our followers are struggling content creators on their way out the door, that just leads to more struggling content creators since the fan base is dwindling down.  Everyone here has followers who've gone silent.  Not good for business.

Many new creators come along, produce their content, scratch their heads, wonder where everyone is.  Many seem to want that big juicy whale vote or my watered down but still tastes good orca vote.

What is more valuable?

a) One $10.00 vote
b) 1000 votes worth a penny

Even though the value on the surface is equal, the 1000 customers is far more valuable than one customer.

There are a few big whale votes out there but certainly not enough to go around, especially if there was a sudden influx of new creators.  Many folks give up when success can't be found, plus in general this content creation gig is no easy feat and takes years to get off the ground.

At this point there are only about 300 orcas.  That's only 300 customers, and even fewer whales.  New users will want to find success.  Thousands of us already established want to continue as well and be successful.

Our content is a product we refuse to sell.  Attracting creators but refusing to market the platform and content to paying consumers is much like hiring a performer but forgetting to put butts in the seats that surround the stage.  Staking HIVE tokens then voting is how the consumer buys our product.

If you look at everywhere else in the arts/entertainment/information industry, you'll have thousands of consumers to every one content creator.

Look around.  Where are the consumers?  Why are there thousands of posts and barely any comments under majority of them?  This community focuses on attracting more and more creators.  The role of the consumers is almost always overlooked, yet when you have a product, the consumer plays the most important role.

People hit 'like' buttons all day.  They spend hours writing comments under articles and videos.  Thousands of people daily donate to content creators.  They buy subscriptions.  Always spending money.  Hive offers them a better deal.

The consumer no longer has to throw their money away.  The consumer gets consumer rewards; they get paid to consume, provided they paid, much like buying a membership.  The cost of that membership is however much they want to pay.  They can have their money back if the token doesn't tank.  They were going to burn that money anyway so it's no real loss.  Quite similar to charging up a prepaid debit card, then slowly tipping over time; with added perks.

We can continue marketing and attracting creators, filling up the stage with performers, but without people in the seats filling the stadium, this is a waste of time.  Lack of dedicated consumers has been one of main problems we've faced since the earliest days, starting many years ago.  Any other business that operates like this knows you need to bring money in the door.  Again, content is a product we simply refuse to sell.  We just keep making more product.

It's not the end of the world.

We're just getting started here on Hive with a fresh set of legs.

My role, along with many others, is to keep the shelves full.  We're giving the consumer something to purchase.

Like everyone else, I only have two hands.  We can only do so much.

If I'm a product on a shelf, like a bottle of Coke, then yes of course I do my best to attract outside eyes to my product, so they walk through those front doors of this massive department store.  It's also important though for the department store to market their front doors to the consumers.  Products exist everywhere and it's always a battle to attract these people, plus keep them coming back.

Youtube and various sites that offer reading material is like Target or Walmart and right now we're just that mom-and-pop store on the corner.  I really want to see that change.

It takes a lot of time and teamwork.  I hope people are on the same page as me here.  I've been writing about the importance and lack of these consumers for what feels like many years now.

So I insist, when you're out there working on marketing and onboarding, please try to find ways to attract dedicated paying consumers.  Unlike being a content creator, it's nearly impossible to fail as a content consumer, meaning the goal is to attract people who will stick around, which in turn leads to higher chances of success when it comes to producing content, and far less of these quiet days hanging out with the tumbleweeds.

This place pays the consumer far more than anywhere else.  A nickel for leaving a comment is more than all consumers on Youtube earned in ten years.  They love hitting like buttons, too.

Over the years I've seen a lot of folks suggesting reinventing the wheel or moving the goalposts but part of the solution to many problems we face here is written above, and the stage has been set for years.

Not complaining either.  I'm just eager to get the ball rolling here and start seeing some of this potential realized.  Not a fan of stagnation.  Trying my best to build that fan base; helping keep people, attention, interest, and money, here, on Hive.

Have a nice day.

All art and images seen here were produced digitally, by me.
NoNamesLeftToUse Outro.png

"Can't go wrong attracting customers; the customer is always right."

© 2020 @NoNamesLeftToUse.


One thing I as a consumer do not like is when content creators, or investor, or developer, or just some silly assed jealous of someone else's success, want to tell me what I like, how often I am allowed to vote on what I like, and that I need to spread my vote around,

I am not a curator, I am a consumer. My liking a particular style or content is what I am here for. That is why I was glad to see the community system form, and finally begin to take off. I don't need to vote for people/content I don't enjoy. Same as with TV if I don't like CNN and I prefer FOX, (I don't actually watch TV often at all any more), I should not be forced to watch one on one day and the other on the other day.

Any ways, it's late for me, and yes there are people that do like to read, look, and comment, like you I just wish more of the onboarders would understand that.

Yeah I noticed there's some dictating going on. You should be free to like what you like without fear of nonsensical consequences. People also complained about autovotes so the auto vote service changed things up. Now there's far less variety hitting top slots it seems. Development posts and alternative news/conspiracy related stuff mostly now. Oh well.

With more people voting, and enjoying what they want, when they want, you end up with a variety. Start controlling things and often one must deal with that every action has an equal and opposite reaction fact of life.

Yep. Is the front door painted, and the reception area nice and welcoming? I think there are a few places I’ve seen looking nice enough to be on the end of an advert link, @roomservice has been working on something.

They also have a proposal to advertise via Brave browser, which if I remember correctly, would set the Fund back a pittance...

I would like to see some advertising, geared towards consumers and think the above would be something to start with.

Are there lots of studies/use cases about advertising on Brave already? I would definitely be interested in average time on site.

Sounds like data we’d have to pay a lot of money for :)

There are concerns that the onboarding process is too difficult. Well I’m not sure, we attracted a lot of people when the price was up.

Brave users will likely have a wallet, and some crypto knowledge and I think they’d be a good test.

The onboarding (all those keys) is slightly complicated and made easier when there’s more money to be earned lol. But I’m pretty sure that there’s enough “tech Supreme” in our community to come up with friendlier solutions where the landing page almost becomes a HiveSigner alike platform and which eventually reduces signing up to email/password.

Tbh if I look at how automation sneaked in our community (read: laziness), I worry that for many Brave Rewards are just a quick tap/click & close. I haven’t read the Brave Ads ToS so don’t know if they include a NDA about earnings and stats. If not, I would expect as more test run it more will publish their results.


Looks decent enough?

I close a lot of Brave ads each day, but I read every one...

I would definitely use a campaign focused signup page (and A/B test). The hive.io page is for technically inclined and crypto experienced users. Jane and Joe don’t know what web3.0 is, or what’s the meaning of scalable? Why a wallet? What is DHF and why we need that?

I would definitely have a landing page focused on community, earning, and the different apps. With a signup button in between each layer.

Considering that Brave rewards and Ads can work fully independently from “having crypto knowledge” I’m not convinced Brave is like Cryptotab and I am going to take a stab is mostly used by people who were referred for privacy/ad blocking/speed. But difficult to know since Brave is not truly traceable and thus demographic is difficult to guess unless they come via identifiable links (like Brave Ads).

That's why I think Brave users will be a good test. I've seen an advert specifically mentioning Web 3, and generally the ads are quite teckie - perhaps those advertising have found the user-base to be of this ilk?


I agree a landing page focused on those who have clicked through via a Brave ad would be a good idea.

... a landing page focused on community, earning, and the different apps..

Earning as a consumer would be a priority for me.


I think we can beat the above on % and message.

Ah that’s great to hear/read. I didn’t get those. Damn georetarding 😂

I would definitely be interested in average time on site.

Me too.

I'm seeing improvements, for sure, and I'm happy with them. Also still seeing a lot of confusion out there, which is to be expected I guess, with so many cooks in the kitchen.

A professional ad campaign targeted specifically to consumers would be a solid step in the right direction. Part of the development process then would be to keep these shelves full of interesting products. I won't say what this is specifically though, because if you can convince a human to buy a bottle of water, well, I guess that means they'll see value in anything.

A professional ad campaign targeted specifically to consumers would be a solid step in the right direction.

I’ll make a few calls. There must be some STEEM powering down this week - should we stick it in a pot and see how much advertising we can pay for?

I would chip in for that.

It’s true much of focus is inwards, but in recent months there’s definitely been an increase in promotion of content on Twitter. PoSH definitely had a solid impact on the sharing behavior of the community.

In fact, for a long time it’s been a pet peeve of mine and I’ve often summarized it as following:

  • Blogger: spams all social networks with link of new content. Repeats again some days later for same link.
  • Steemian: spams as many discord groups and DMs after publishing post. Repeats next day with new post.

That sharing is important, provided those folks don't have the same followings as they do here. It works far better when random consumers start doing the random sharing. That's what made something like Youtube a wild success.

I used to use a platform called Stumbleupon. I'd upload one link, get hundreds of outside views daily. That platform died, and we no longer have an accurate view counter. I don't have a large following on twitter so sharing there would be pointless for me. The average consumers sharing randomly is how things go viral. I'd suggest making those share buttons much larger; more pronounced. Even converting them so they double as a vote button would be interesting.

One of the first things which generated true action on YouTube was YT Replies. That allowed creators to tap in to each other’s network.

SU was gold, an evergreen for a lot as well. It’s sorely missed. I’ve had posts which have earned 2-3 million views or more from SU. Much of that spread over months, years even. Sadly enough it doesn’t seem like Mix is gaining any traction whatsoever at all.

One of best things with SU was that it was an external audience, which is biggest current problem with PoSH (many created new accounts and many liking/retweeting are hivers too). But it is an important “social signal” for Google.


I think Mix is the one I looked into as a replacement and didn't get far; lost interest. I might go back to it, or continue looking for other options, if they exist. I'm sure by now some of my work would have hundreds of thousands of views if SU was still going, since a few posts were gaining traction like crazy, while others not so much; but that's just how it goes.

That external audience is important. I helped boost confidence as well because early on I'd have a post with 18 cents, but 1000 views and growing daily.... LOL.

I knew that about POSH. It's not quite reaching out far enough, but it does help; I can respect it. I'd feel dirty using the tag though, with no real following on Twitter, so I don't touch it.

Mix is the replacement by the SU team. They bought SU back from eBay but somehow didn’t manage to fully revive it and decide to go for a more modern looking and platform agnostic solution. Then they killed SU. 🤦‍♂️

One of my earliest Steem Posts was me talking about SU. I actually convinced a few to get on there and share their work over. Others looked at me like I was crazy. Back then any other platform was the "enemy".

Thank you for your engagement on this post, you have recieved ENGAGE tokens.

I world like to see some action on that front. On a backward level we seem to have defaulted to the blog and earn rewards schtick of the early days on steemit. Twitter is awash with it. It will just drag in the wrong crowd.

Yes, I noticed. So we already know what the complaints will sound like next year. It's starting to become frustrating. Why make the same mistakes? Everyone can where were falling short, everyone it experiences it directly. Impossible to miss yet, unseen.

I'm going to build a dapp. That will fix everything. ;0)

I just deleted the most sarcastic zinger response I've ever written to tell you that sarcasm I deleted would have got me shot. Better to just laugh at ourselves.

Wahahahaa!! I've been deleting the sarcastic zingy responses I have written since 2017!! :0D

See, my problem is: I haven't.

back in the day

I’ve more than once wondered about the origin of that phrase. Wondered idly, nothing more. For whatever reason, your post led me to get off my (virtual, I’m still sitting) butt to learn more. It’s vaguely fascinating:

I love including these things in my writing. It's cool, with everything I said, that's the part you picked up on. If this was Steem, back in the day, you'd be given shit for leaving an "off topic" comment... LOL! Thanks for sharing that link. This was one idiom I didn't google first to make sure I was saying it right.

People see earnings and want their part of the cake, lately I'm just passing by for some content creators that I like and just place a comment or two. Maybe just vote them after a quick view.

If the target is mass adoption i would recommend this article in which some keys are given: https://peakd.com/@lukestokes/is-the-blockchain-industry-a-joke

People has to operate in the chain almost without knowing it, thats the real path. Is a development issue mostly, we're at the beggining of this industry. And I see also a lot of people frustrated because earnings are the first target.

I simply try to enjoy my time here and if I earn something is welcome but that's not in my first place on the priority list.

I actually just finished reading Luke's post and the article linked within. The rant linked within was spot on.

Those posts talk about lack of products of revenue streams in most of crypto and that's why they fail. Here I've been talking about a product and potential revenue stream, and I've been talking about it for years, here. Blah... done talking. LOL!

I'm also trying to figure out communities. I think for the most part they are a distraction and little more than another tag. Giving it time may make more of them relevant.

Maybe we should get rid of tags altogether. Do reddit have tags?

The tags are a great way to sort content when used properly. Getting rid of them is a terrible idea. I miss having easy access to tags so now I make my own list on PeakD, effectively creating my own communities to explore.

Are tags useful when you have a good way to search for content though? I mean we really have to keep the tags for now because our search bar is not exactly working as intended, but later?


Click this: #splinterlands. Then if you're on PeakD, click that little star at the top to add it to your favorites. Then that content is one click away, provided the content creators were responsible and used the tags properly.

I don't think we should eliminate tags. PeakD allows 10 which is a little excessive. Actifit allows something like 20 which is plain stupid and hive.blog allows 8 which seems about right.

Random initiatives can be tagged in hidden comments the post to award it (ex. pinmapple).

Tags should be used based entirely on the topic and content of the post. For example if you don't mention the word in the post at least once or twice, why is it being tagged?

It's been made fun of a lot and people don't even care because so many people tag so poorly. I am personally trying to improve, but I still tag the odd irrelevant thing.

Honestly, I just don't want to interfere. Everywhere I look, people are ALWAYS complaining about those who earn and reach top slots. Often I'm one of those people. I worked bloody hard to get anywhere here for a very long time. Read so many complaints and you don't feel welcome. I feel I'd only piss people off if my work was popular within their communities. I didn't come here to make people angry and I don't want to crash their party. That wouldn't be the intention but I'm well aware of what people say around here. Even when I have one sitting high, I won't post again until the previous post is pushed down out of sight. Blah LOL

I don't understand why anyone would complain that you earn well and they don't. It's not like you have some special secret or exploit.

You are just using the platform as it is meant to be used. Rewarding content.

There is meaningful engagement to have on your posts. It's no accident either.

Most communities have very little engagement except for the niche ones and a few larger exceptions. They are

Maybe you can find a niche community.

Most of the complaints are in general, not directed at me, though some have been over the years. My first day on Hive someone was giving me shit. All I did was work. We're not in control of what happens after we hit post. On our first day here none of us knew where we'd be in 3 to 4 years later. A lot of work, no accident.

A community that hired those who they think produce something that could draw a crowd to their community would probably be a success. That's how I look at these things. Like a business. If I had a sizable investment and a large market to tap into, I'd probably try to start up a community, but treat it like a multi-media magazine and try my best to get outside money in. Maybe with an alt-token, ads. Whatever. I think that's a good use case for the future.

I have a few ideas that I'm starting to develop. None of them rely on the reward pool or proposal system. If dependent on public resources and goodwill, or welfare, criticism is just part of the show.

Alt-token ads are a great idea. Some people are skeptical or think too much is being bet on SMT, but it's really the whole point of Hive. We need a diverse ecosystem, not more of the same. Without this, it's just a blogging platform and if the content sucks, it will eventually decline. I don't think the good bloggers need to worry because they can make it on a different platform if this one no longer suits them.

Art and video sites are starting to take off; gaining traction. Things that attract consumers. Plenty of competition out there. Plus the traditional route still exists. Digital artists gigs. Writing gigs. Jobs too LOL!

That's why I called it a department store though. This place even has an arcade that could use a few more games and of course, consumers. Millions of consumers.

It will likely require reimagining how the reward pool and the proposal system work, but I don't see why it can't succeed. The majority of people should only be rewarded with being able to consume quality content.

"filling up the stage with performers, but without people in the seats filling the stadium, this is a waste of time. Lack of dedicated consumers has been one of main problems we've faced since the earliest days, starting many years ago."

I've been watching everybody for a while, real artists have to compete with girls who are breastfeeding. Maybe some of the content producers are only interested in producing content. It is true that we cannot get comments or feedback. actually i saw an account yesterday. and that was sad. I don't know how much it has to do with the subject. but it produces quality content. absolutely quality. and full of stylish comments. he just wants to be seen. but unfortunately; 3 votes cannot go beyond the $ 0.004 figures.

(@ xxxthorxxx - Since the name is simple, this is the example I can think of right now. But there are many people like this.)

On the other side, there are many words and winners. I don't know how relevant it was. I just wanted to touch on some of the points I feel sorry for. sometimes I did not want to be the winning curators and make some quality producers happy.

It's difficult to spend a day creating content then getting around to fill the other role as consumer. It's not just actors who go to movies. The seats at ball park aren't filled with athletes. Far more than just singers attending a music concert. We need those dedicated consumers here.

There are many people who struggle but keep in mind, that's normal. Not every channel on Youtube gets a million daily views. Not every book is a bestseller. Not every song makes the top 40. These things take time but again, if creators outnumber consumers, it only gets harder.

Oh, what else can I say?!? I saw a lot of interactions and a lot of users during the bull-run at the end of 2017 and 2018. I don't know if people were there to consume content, or trying to earn some crypto.
Anyway, I see a lot of potential... and yes, we need consumers... and maybe we need to change something or do some better marketing, who knows.

I'm doing my weird experiments, trying to onboard people in a different way... you can check my last post if you want ;-)

Btw... Can I send you a postcard with a personalized hive-stamp logo?

Have a great day!

That was a fun experience. People were also earning more simply consuming though, earning more commenting as well. Increasing the number of paying consumers contributes to increasing the value of the token, so that's always part of the plan.

I'll have a look at your post and link when I have a moment. Thanks. You have a great day as well.

yep, need a shit load more readers willing to part with say $1000

Even far more, for less money. Just like a variety of content is necessary, a variety of consumers is needed. Say $1000 to average Joe, and he'll freak out, but over time he'd spend more than that on entertainment, and never see that money again, or earn enough for more popcorn. What's a vote worth a penny worth these days? How many Hive is that? A million of those people would put some solid buy pressure on the token. As the value goes up, the cost of a vote worth a penny remains the same, or close to it. Those early consumers would have a vote worth more and not even have to stake more. This system is fascinating.

Thank you for this post @nonamelefthouse.

Thank you for stopping in.

What a fantastic analogy. You've got me putting myself in a consumer's shoes now. My husband has an account, but never really found much content he enjoyed. He'll spend hours watching YouTube, with recommendations popping up, so I don't think he even searches for content any more. There's nothing like that here, but I suppose the communities are a step in that direction for content you're interested in.

A lot of potential consumers also want things simpler than figuring out keys and crypto. We've got a few more steps until we can attract more consumers, but hopefully we'll get there.

It does need to be easier but at the same time, they're being paid. The other places make it easy all while spying on your every move.

Finding content is difficult. One must look for the people creating content, follow them. Most consumers find personalities they enjoy. That's why we have favorite bands/performers rather than enjoying all music. Back in the day there how many daytime talk shows. Most watched Oprah. Youtube is the same. Plenty of podcasts, most was Joe Rogan. Tom Green just started up though and I like Tom, so I've been watching. He even lets you call in!

Yes, they're being paid, but boy are we a society of 'won't get out of bed for less thans.' "It doesn't pay enough to be worth the effort." Yes, that's what I live with! I've even set up a voting trail so my family can earn by following my vote and my eldest can't even be bothered to click a few buttons to follow it. "I don't have the time!" while she plays on Animal Crossing...😬

Very true what you say, I keep that 1000 are more important than 1 I am one of those thousand who wants to become something on the platform

And I wish you the best of luck. I hope this platform can offer the measure of success folks desire.

Aw. I though I could buy you :c

You could buy me... a beer!

I am one of those who brings more and more content creators since 2017. Due to the situation in my country, there are no consumers who pay for content, so it is easy for me to bring people who lose money even to eat. me
would love
bring patients but I can't think of something solid that can work. I'll keep reading to see what idea comes up, it really is vital to attract consumers

Certainly can't keep neglecting the consumer's role in all this. Money doesn't grow on trees.

We can't do nothing in this system as a content creater...especially as a new one...There is only one factor to get attention in this system that is luck. And i guess i am unlucky :)

By the way good writing as you wrote above There are alot of content creator but less content comsumers...

Have a nice day...

You can start a Youtube channel today and might have as many views in one year as another creator gets in a day. You can start a Facebook account and probably won't have as many likes on your status as someone who's been around for awhile. Same thing with Twitter. Same thing with here. Takes time. Of course those platforms focused on attracting a consumer base, which increases the odds of getting noticed. There might be some luck involved, sure. Hard work, time, and patience as well. You have six followers. Tiny market. Keep going, if that's what you want.

"Hive is much like a massive department store."

I've never considered it like that. Thanks. I spend my time on Hive writing content that will help the small group I am a part of, and posting my goals.

However, it seems that the memes I make do well over time, because let's face it... people like humor.

Thanks for the post. I need to re-read it. There's a lot to chew on.

People do enjoy humor. I spent a lot of time joking around here. Early on, putting on a show, that made me realize is this the entertainment industry, and people will pay to see this. Far more than just some regular social media status message outlet. Almost everything here has value. People spend the money anyway.

I enjoyed reading your article!

Time to support any initiative trying to marketing that store. But why exactly that proposal, issued by an experienced marketeer is still miles away from funding? It is always hard (in every business) to convince tech-people that marketing not only has „some“ value, but don’t have any is a almost certain way into getting overlooked also with an exceptional product. Hope more people voting for the proposal - it is still time.