This may be a somewhat controversial move - but it's probably best done before the project goes on any longer.
As of this post, I am raising the post beneficiaries amount (the amount shared with the platform) up to 15% of rewards. Previously this value was set at 1% for testing while I discussed the options for growing chainBB with others.
The goal of this post is to explain why and potentially even spark some excitement about it.
Why the increase?
I want chainBB to grow into something big, and in order to effectively grow it, it needs to establish a steady stream of revenue for itself and those who contribute to it.
The site you see on beta.chainbb.com today is incredibly minimal in it's features. I'd estimate about 200-300 hours went into the initial prototype on steemdb and the development that went into chainBB itself. These hours were all put in by me - primarily because I love prototyping out applications and doing things no one's done.
However, to move beyond the prototype state it's going to take a lot more than just my efforts. It will take a couple people, some decent infrastructure, and a lot of time. I am still working on the estimates on what it would take to make chainBB "feature complete" and launch a community platform, but my initial guess is somewhere between 3-6 months with a small team.
What does the new rewards model for chainBB look like?
The current model on the Steem blockchain (and steemit.com) divides the reward pool up like so:
- 75% to the Authors
- 25% to the Curators
This new model, which only applies to posts created using chainBB, will further divide the 75% to Authors, creating the following model:
- 60% to the Authors
- 25% to the Curators
- 15% to the Platform (chainBB)
If I could instead take a cut of curation rewards instead of author rewards, I would. Curation is effectively meaningless on chainBB since voting don't impact visibility and is purely for support.
Why was 15% chosen?
I won't dive too much into detail, as this post is growing large enough, but I sat down and created a list of all the people that should be rewarded for participating within a forum-type ecosystem:
- chainBB team (devs/marketers/designers/etc)
- forum organizers/owners
- forum operators
The "participants" (e.g. people writing posts) are already rewarded for participation through the blockchain - but none of these other crucial roles have any opportunity to be rewarded unless they write posts. 15% is the number deducted from the Author Rewards, but in the end it won't all go to chainBB. A portion of the rewards earned will go to the roles outlined above for their incredibly valuable contributions to the platform.
As a note - the communities protocol (once released) may reward some of these roles to a degree. It will be implemented within chainBB and adjustments may be made at that time as to how this all works.
Why not crowdfund?
This post isn't meant to say that's not in the plans. This isn't replacing crowdfunding, it's designed to supplement it. When/if some sort of crowdfunding campaign begins, being able to point at a functional reward model that has helped sustain chainBB will inspire confidence in how the idea can work.
If I were an investor and had the opportunity to invest in either a business with no income or a business with income, I'd choose the one with income.
Where will these rewards go?
At this very beginning stage, the rewards will be routed to the @chainbb account and used to cover my time, potential contract developers time, server costs, legal fees, advisors and any other expenses that arise. The rewards are also paid out in Steem Power, so powering down 1/13th of this balance every week into Steem will occur.
Will it change from 15% in the future?
It might, I can't say for certain. What I can say is that I currently have no plans to increase it beyond 15%.
To the other projects out there - you should consider the same
There are a lot of great apps being built on the Steem blockchain and I'd like to see those also reach their full potential.
Having a low beneficiaries percentage (or no beneficiaries) might be a great way to attract users vs another platform, but you need to take care of yourself and your product too. We can't keep working for free, and I don't think any magical fairy is going to just drop money on your doorstep because you're doing what you said you would. Demonstrating a viable revenue model for your business is important to any current or future investors, and I don't think "writing posts and earning rewards" would be good enough.
There's also the issue of raising it once you're established. If you've run your app for a year and have grown a userbase who's used to it being free, there's likely to be a little shock (and disillusionment) once you do raise it. The smaller your userbase is when you set your beneficiaries, likely the better. If it turns out to be too much - your users will also be happy if you decrease it.
What do you think?
I'm very interested to know your thoughts on this kind of setup. As a community, we need to develop business models that will help Steem grow into a multi-site ecosystem where users have a choice on what platform they use. The biggest platform (steemit.com) doesn't have this issue because they have a mountain of Steem - but the rest of us wanting to enter this space need to find our groove.