Steem vs. Hive - A Quest for New Governance Approaches? (Research Project - Call for Participation)

in steem •  3 years ago  (edited)

Blockchain-based social media platforms emerged as a push for decentralized governance, in response to growing skepticism towards centralized social media corporations.

Steem, a leading blockchain-based social media platform, has recently been taken over in an attempt to centralize control. The disempowered witnesses responded promptly with a hard fork - Hive - in an attempt to re-establish the previous governance model.

We, a group of researchers interested in how social media can be governed, want to find out what is really going on in this quest for new governance approaches. We want to hear both sides, Steemers and Hivers. We want to find out:

• Steemers: What was the motivation for taking over Steem's witness nodes?
• Hivers: What was the motivation for the Hive hard fork?
• Everyone: How exactly was the takeover / the hard fork carried out? Why was this possible to occur in the first place? Could this happen again in the future? How do you think will the situation evolve?
• Witnesses on both sides: What is your vision for the governance of Steem / Hive? How do you intend to achieve this vision?
• Users on both sides: Which platform do you intend to use onwards (Steem, Hive, or both), and why?

The aim of this research is to identify new governance approaches for social media and aggregate them into a comprehensive framework. The results of this research will be published in reports and academic publications and made available to everyone. We hope that this will inspire further research and development on social media governance in general and blockchain-based social media platforms in particular. Examples of our already published research on Steem can be here and here.

You can support this research by sharing your view on "Steem vs Hive" in two ways:

  1. Sign up for a one-hour interview with us. First, select a time slot via this Doodle form: Interview Timeslots. Second, let us know how to contact you via this Google form: Contact Information. All responses will be kept anonymously.
  2. Respond to the above questions in written, either via the comment section below or (anonymously) via this Google form: Written Responses.

We want to seek out a broad sample of different views on this issue, so everyone is welcome to participate in the discussion in the comment section. For the interviews, being more time-consuming, we are especially interested in talking to members who are actively involved in co-shaping the evolution of the governance approach on both sides.

#steem #hive #steemvshive #hiveisalive #governance #research

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I'm just a user without a huge stake, so my influence on governance issues is minimal. Right now most of my posts are done via DTube and Actifit which allow cross-posting to both chains so I do that. My impression during the whole controversy has been that the old witnesses/Hive leadership have been aggressively pushing a political narrative that frames things in the way they want. This tends to trigger my contrarian instincts: if you have the truth and sound arguments on your side do you really need to sell so hard, or is the fact that you're selling so hard an indication that your story isn't as solid as you pretend? Actions by the Hive leadership like coordinated spam campaigns and cutting large parts of the Korean community out of the Hive airdrop have made me even more doubtful about Hive, so personally I'm hoping that Steem emerges from the crisis stronger, and I'm thinking about trying to get a Steem-focused project going since there is a potential vacuum that can be filled here since a lot of previously-dominant voices aren't here anymore.

I would suggest that an interesting frame of analysis for the conflict would be that Steem is a social media blockchain, so it has both business/finance aspects and social aspects. It seems to me that the Hive side of the conflict has heavily leveraged social tools such as gossip, shunning and shaming, who is or isn't invited to secret meetings, etc., to their advantage, while the Justin Sun side has leaned more on the tools of business and finance. If you listen to some of the meetings you can see that they're metaphorically not even speaking the same language, e.g. the Tron representatives are trying to treat it like a normal negotiation or business meeting while the witnesses are acting like they're in an online argument.

Hi @danmaruschak thank you so much for your interesting reflections and apologies for my late reply, things have been a bit busy lately.

Very interesting idea to frame this along the economic and social aspects of a social media blockchain. Would you say that Steem governance focuses more on pursuing economic interests whereas Hive governance focuses more on connecting people?

If you had time for a follow-up chat, I would very much appreciate the opportunity to engage in a discussion about this topic with you.

I don't think I'd necessarily attribute it to a difference in focus, more a difference in style or approach to handling problems. I get a very different feel from the two sides: I get a much more "corporate" vibe from the Steemit side while Hive feels a lot more "high school" to me. I guess I have time for a follow-up chat (I'll post my contact info into your form link above).