[UPDATE DEC 2019: It seems this website and community-run project is to close. It’s a great shame, considering the features it had planned (outlined below) for its members, and as a potential blockchain-based challenger to the likes of Medium. So many factors are involved for a successful social media platform, and you’d think Narrative had many of these. However, possible reasons for its demise can be found with further research online, but I will keep this post as it is below, for future reference.]
There has been a lot of interest in new, emerging social network platforms with integrated cryptocurrencies that are attempting interesting things.
These involve either leveraging this ‘monetization power’ to remove ads, integrate a community-run voting or governance aspect (incl. censorship) or generally promote or reward engagement with the platform and interaction with other users.
I’ve been keeping an eye on Narrative.org and recently been playing around with it and trying to get a grip on it. It’s more a rival to Steemit than Facebook, but anything is possible now blockchain has ‘arrived’ and Facebook scrambles to disrupt itself.
Under the Hood
It’s quite amusing to see how Narrative right now is sort of ‘hiding’ its crypto and blockchain, maybe because they feel this should be more ‘under the hood’, as it could be off-putting to new users. They shouldn’t: it still means that users own and control all the data and content they provide to the platform. But it also means that traditional currency including Paypal has been well integrated into Narrative, which might be a wise move at this stage of the crypto game.
It has a big focus around the concept of ‘niches’ where users can suggest or buy these ‘mini-forums’ on any subject, and get rewarded for managing, moderating and contributing content to them
As examples, during the alpha phase I suggested 2 niches just to see what would happen, and they’re still ‘out there’ although no-one has yet bought them or is running them. Therefore, they are up for ‘auction’.
You can also pay to certify your account (more info) in order to become more involved in the platform, gain more rewards and redeem your NRVE.
The overall look and feel of the site are in the right place for reading and interfacing with the content.
Profile pages are easy to create and manage, with familiar aspects to any social network.
The Discover section is where to find trending posts, updates from the HQ, plus ‘niche’ information, including those you may have chosen to Follow.
You can earn rewards if you contribute to a ‘niche’, but not if you post just things to your own profile.
As yet I don’t see any integrated wallet for my NRVE, but that’s maybe because I don’t have any yet! NRVE is the platform token that has a number of important functions (more on this below).
I seem to have a Reputation score (beside every profile pic) based on several metrics relating to engagement and conduct.
Overall, it looks very promising.
The idea of creating or owning my own ‘niche’ or ‘publication’ (a more business-focussed option) is interesting and already brings value to the NRVE token (which is required if you want to do this). I can see it would replace the hassle of having to create an entire blogsite around your subject or subjects of interest from scratch. You could onboard users and moderators and test user-interest beforehand. Also, you now have in-built incentive for these subject areas to grow for all those involved.
You can check out/connect with Ade’s Press public profile on Narrative: Adespresso
Social networks maturing? Content as a niche
I remember when Myspace ruled with its cluttered, customizable profile pages. They became filled with trashy, animated gifs and music that played at you before the page had even loaded. A completely white and blue Facebook stormed onto the scene like a breath of fresh air with neat profile pages, miniature text, tons of friend interactions, updates and a clean, simple, uncluttered design. It had a unifying ‘Wall’ newsfeed concept.
These days Facebook is like a cluttered, unwieldy directory for peering into other people’s lives from a distance, although at the same time it’s the availability of everyone that keeps everyone on board.
Narrative is the breath of fresh air, but there are others like Bittubers.com [my profile: but read my other post] in the space too. The competition is luring users away with the promise of data control, monetary rewards, community but also… how they integrate with Facebook etc? This could be important. There is also Somee.social.
What is Blockchain again? Blockchain keeps data away from central servers and on many different computers or ‘nodes’. Due to the radical difference between the blockchain-based model and the very centralised Facebook one, it’s interesting to see how Facebook will cope when it comes to content, because it’s content that rivals seem to be targeting. If Facebook is a personal sort of directory, then migration could well occur (#deletefacebook) when it comes to more detailed content or contributions of more than just personal value. (Yes, it’s true there are Facebook groups that are very effective but we still have the issue of a cluttered platform diverting visitors into their newsfeeds.)
What might be a great move for Narrative is how it has attempted to remove the individual from ‘social network’ and put the emphasis on content and subjects.
I like this. It’s a really interesting idea for getting together a community of like-minded people on day one (without even any content) and then moving it forward with content and contributors.
There is still room for the personal content but it’s far less likely to get rewarded by a community. Steemit makes no separation, but instead there is incentive to find or discover it.
I’ve also done a related post on Peepeth platform, on Ethereum.
NRVE and how to earn it at Narrative.org
Basically, you can store and accumulate NRVE on the website itself, where it’s designed to be used. But it also happens (at time of writing) to be a NEP-5 token on the NEO blockchain, so it can be stored in any NEO-compatible wallet such as NEON, and therefore can be traded globally on various exchanges.
Each month we will pay out 85% of the NRVE rewards pool. We have reserved 60% for content creators, 10% for Niche Owners, 6% for Niche Moderators, 8% for general activities, and 1% for the Tribunal members. The company only keeps 15% to support the infrastructure and marketing. Go post content, vote on Niches and moderators, act as a Niche moderator, or own a niche. Basically, If you are actively doing something on the platform to contribute, you are eligible to earn NRVE.
So, why not try out the platform, suggest a Niche, and start writing its narrative, as this platform is still in its very early stages, and could reward its NRVE early birds handsomely down the line.
Resources for getting to grips
Follow Ade’s Press on Narrative