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What's going on

Bill OttmanSep 18, 2016, 1:45:57 AM
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Here's what's going on, Minds.

First, thank you so much for being here and for all the support and patience as we drive through beta. The feedback has been unbelievable, both praise and critique. We want to know what you love and what sucks. Be honest. Be kind. Or be a dick, if you feel that's necessary/effective. *Hint: It most likely won't be unless you are a brilliant comedian.

It's obvious that much of what we are doing, especially with freedom of speech, transparency, privacy, monetization and rewards is resonating with a growing community. We will never lose sight of these core commitments. I personally make it a priority to be on chat and accessible to anyone who has something important to bring up. Seriously, message me @ottman if you aren't getting the response you want from the support group. Other things, especially with UX, need much more clarity and cleaning up. We know. We will get there. We are getting there. Our operation is young and we are competing with, quite literally, the most powerful networks on the planet. Other alternative social networks have died, and only a few are still alive. We are one and we are expanding fast.

This last quarter we've made some solid developments:

1. Autocomplete in search

2. Crossposting to other social nets

3. Hourly reward of 20 points for checking-in

4. Icons to your other social pages on your Minds channel

5. Translations of newsfeed posts into any language (click on the globe icon)

6. Lots and lots of bug fixes

7. Live comments and notifications with sockets.io

8. Of course, the epic open-sourcing of our entire codebase at https://minds.org

9. Referral links so that anyone who signs up through your link credits your wallet 100 points

10. Inline playing of YouTube, Soundcloud, Spotify and Giphy

11. All sorts of stuff in the backend that you don't see but keeps the site nice and fast. (Don't underestimate this)

12. If you want to keep track of regular updates to code, keep an eye on https://github.com/minds/minds

What's coming (no dates lol. Patience is the key to life, but yes, we understand the urgency):

1. The roll-out of hosted social networks. Yes, that means you can launch your own site just like Minds, or totally different, on your own domain. Eventually we hope to add many federation capabilities so that networks can optionally inter-communicate depending on the intentions of admins and users. If you are interested in applying for beta testing of this please let me know. The next major social network will, paradoxically, not be a singular, centralized website like Google and Facebook. It will be a (de)centralized network of networks.

2. A categories framework to make discoverability of great channels much easier

3. More monetization features such as ads for your blogs and videos, subscriptions and crowdfunding

4. Internationalization for payments and translations

5. Streamlining of chat setup (we know the encryption password is confusing to many, but it's necessary so that not even we can read your messages)

6. Total mobile upgrade and unification of functionality of the web app and mobile apps

7. Cryptocurrency integrations and further decentralization architecture

8. More point rewards. Better point rewards.

9. Better email reports

10. Honestly, this list could go on forever. We all know that we ultimately need to have equivalent and better features than top proprietary spy networks. The underlying engine is here and now it's just a matter of adding plugins. Also, original native content like images, gifs, videos, statuses performs the best just by nature of time and access. If you are asking people to click through to somewhere else, it's going to get less engagement. 

The most valuable things you can do to help are:

1. Be active! Check-in and post often and BOOOOOOST.

2. Help find bugs and post in the bug group (WITH DEBUG INFO :))

3. Buy points. We are an independent network and rely on this to fund the business and hire more developers.

4. If you are a programmer, we need you. Setup a local instance and start building the features you want to submit. Star and fork us. We want feedback.

Some recommendations to be successful with engagement and growth:

1. One thing that I'm committed to improving is the onboarding education of how to use and get the most out of Minds right away. The boost/point system is easily one of the most popular features, but I recognize it isn't necessarily the easiest tool to figure out. To some it's intuitive. To others it's a jungle.

2. Save your points and boost each post for more. You will see better results. I don't boost for less than 500, personally.

3. Subscribe to trending channels.

4. Utilize the different types of boosts. Newsfeed, content and channel boosts. Newsfeed boosts are obviously from the boost button on the bottom of each of your posts. They show up every so often in everyone's newsfeed. Content boosts are found at the bottom of image, video and blog pages. These show up in the sidebar of everyone's newsfeed. Channel boosts push a subscribe button to your channel into everyone's newsfeed sidebar. This boost button is found in the upper right corner of your newsfeed, next to the status bar.

5. Engage people in your comments.

6. For the love of Pete, add an avatar, banner and other channel info.

7. Create original native content like images, gifs, videos and statuses performs the best by far just by nature of time, accessibility and personability. If you are asking people to click through to somewhere else in a clear effort to drive your metrics on other sites, it's going to get less engagement. We added

8. Be fearless. You can express yourself here without worrying about what other people think. That's the whole point. Don't hold back. I recommend creating multiple anonymous accounts to give yourself more vents for creativity. Let it out.

9. Write blogs and tag me for a chance to be featured. As we battle on in the modern media war, it's important that Minds is a beacon of quality articles about what the hell is actually happening in the world. We have potential to be both a hub for news as well as a next generation social network.

Now that the code is free and open source, I truly encourage you to take the perspective that this is YOUR SOCIAL NETWORK. It literally is. You have full access to the blueprints, and it's our collective responsibility to build the freest social network on the planet together. We've been hammering on this beast for around 4 years. It's been through many incarnations. So, if you want something done, certainly let us know, but even better is to take control and make it happen. If you program, build it. If you don't, you probably have a friend who does and might want to work with you to contribute to this crucial project for humanity.

I'm sure I missed stuff, but felt this was necessary to write. Have a great weekend. Get. After. It.