The goal of this post is to offer some feedback as a participant in App Mining about how specifics of the program could be improved. (Not sure if I should’ve created a pull request on Github, it’s confusing having the forum, github, slack etc but hope this gets the point across)
Suggestions about the Democracy Earth Platform and Token Holders Voting on Apps
Props to the folks at DE for all their work done. Here’s some suggestions about how that experience can be even better:
1. Better tools for apps to showcase themselves to voters
Right now, every app’s DE page looks very dreary – there’s a sole app icon, mostly text in the about sections and only one link that a voter can base their decision on. This is frustrating to app mining participants because voters are lazy/ busy and their attention needs to be captured in the sea of app icons. App miners also put in lots of effort into their apps and could probably use a canvas to persuade the voter a bit about the app and why it deserves their vote.
(1) Allow uploading of custom images, videos and links. Perhaps allow apps miners to select an image or video to be showcased along with the app logo when the app’s card has not been selected and the voter is still scrolling on the home screen.
(2) Have a group chat/ Place where App miners can chat with voters.
We can MVP this in 1 week by using a channel in the Blockstack Slack, or using groups in Afari, since everyone already has a BlockstackID . This allows us app miners a direct channel to the voters and allows back and forth discussion. @jackv talked about this in his forum post as well
(3) Resetting content about the app every voting period.
Right now, content posted just piles up in a timeline, so perhaps this can be replaced with a standard description of the app, along with a “what’s new” section, where app miners can list recent improvements since last month. This is what both Apple and Google app stores do and it seems to be a good system.
2. Encourage more rational, transparent voting
Two suggestions here:
(1) Don’t let voter N +1 know how the other N voters voted. Having a closed view, rather than a global view of the system. This reduces group think and might bring more variability in votes because you don’t know how anyone else in the herd voted. Perhaps only app miners can see results of their apps votes while the vote is still in session.
(2) Make a Reason For Vote mandatory when allocating votes
Force voters to write a 1 line explanation of why they are allocating votes to a specific app. Forcing an articulation in the voters own words allows others to judge how informed of a voter they are. Right now DE voting feels like a black box for app miners, as we have no idea why apps are getting the votes they are getting and are left to speculation. I suspect this might also feel good for voters as they feel more involved in the system (yay for inclusion). This is standard practice in University Debating and helps participants keep judges somewhat more accountable.
3. Notifications for when activity is happening related to your app on DE
Voters leave comments on apps and app miners don’t know that activity has took place unless their on the DE website 24/7 - while this might be a ploy for stellar engagement, I suspect that app miners are busy improving their apps or running their businesses or working their day jobs, too busy to make that viable.
Suggestion: Have a email notifications sent to app miners whenever a voter votes on their app, leaves and reason for vote, comments on their app, or for any other activity on their app. This would mean that voters getter better response times on questions and feel more engaged, while app miners get a just in time opportunity to try persuade voters for a vote. Of course, app miners can turn these notifications off and on as they please.
While on the topic of notifications, perhaps the Blockstack app mining team could send out monthly start of app mining emails with suggestions for app miners to take/ remember to do. @Gina @hank @patrick
I certainly hope this catches the attention of the lovely humans at Democracy Earth, as I suspect that these suggestions shouldn’t take 2 of their competent web platform engineers too long to implement and can hopefully be done in time for next round of app mining!