The Splinterlands Watering Hole
I'll just say it. Splinterlands is a lonely game.
You buy (or rent) your cards alone (probably alone in your basement, if you are like me). You are matched to an opponent anonymously, who you will most likely never meet. You pick your cards quickly and in secret. The game auto-battles for you. Maybe, you might join a guild, where you do the same thing but try to get points with your guildmates - and no one needs to speak to anyone. That's the basic gameplay - kinda depressing when you look at it that way.
But, Splinterlands players actually love this game, love to talk about it, love to strategize, love to compete. So we've found all sorts of other ways to build a community. Let's take a quick look:
Some Popular Options for Community
- Join the Official Splinterlands Discord
- Chat on Telegram
- Use the no-nonsense in-game chat functions for guilds or on the mobile website
- Blog, especially on Hive, with any Hive compatible frontend (like SplinterTalk or PeakD)
- There used to be a Splinterlands Forum but it's been abandoned - presumably because not enough users were visiting. (yes, the link is dead)
Some Pros and Cons
Each of these has various advantages and benefits. It seems that the majority of the community has landed on Discord, and that has become the "unofficial official community". However some users aren't fans of Discord for various reasons, and these players can feel left out of the loop. And conversation in Discord moves really quickly so it's hard to stay focused on a topic for long. As a result, it's not always a useful medium to communicate complicated ideas.
Meanwhile, the Hive blog functions are great in that they allow anyone to get information out there, and it's possible to outline a clear idea. However, there is so much content that discovery becomes the challenging part. If a good post gets enough visibility, then conversations and ideas can be exchanged easily. However, the organizational structure can make it difficult to find relevant content, and in order to effectively share ideas, you need to have visibility, which means spend a lot of time building up your reputation and followers.
Abandoned Forum, you say?
Should we revive the Forum idea? This entire post was prompted by an inquiry in Discord:
Mina199 — Yesterday at 6:17 AM
[...] As I see it, we as community need some kind of solid structure for communications inside community. First, hopefully we can have dedicated and properly moderated places/spaces where people are welcome to give their feedback. Second, another place where people are welcome to share their ideas. The community leaders task would be to make sure what people are heard and welcome to share, and the team is aware and is taking into considerations these ideas/feedback/etc (or at least most pressuring issues). We also should be aware what here on discord we have just a fraction of our community, means it would be much better if we can figure out the structure and tools/platforms where we can integrate all of us(not just discord users). If we don't have better option and continue to use discord for this, at least we should push for announcements on other platforms as well(web, telegram, etc) what if one wants to participate in community discussions, whey are welcome to do it here on dedicated and properly moderated channels, once we figure it out and have all the structure ready for this.
I think we can make it really much faster if we somehow may have some funds dedicated to pay people(rotated?) to do this community management 'jobs' (community structure/communication managers and moderators, leaders (or representatives?), writing ('official' community texts (announcements/proposals/requests etc)), feedback/ideas/proposals collecting/processing, (social)platform managers(to include non-discord folks, if we stay on discord), + maybe some coders for website, etc.... this is very vague and abstract list, just what came to my mind, surely we can talk about what we really need(what kind of 'jobs') if needed at all. But, most of all, IMO we need people who would actually make sure what everyone is welcome to share and to be heard and considered. And if DAO can actually share some of it profits on such task, IMO it's a very good precedent for DAO and company and win-win for all community long-term. And, I really appreciate any feedback! ❤️
In short, there are players that we aren't reaching, and they feel out of the loop. How do we reach them?
Forget about funding (for now). But Community Volunteers...
While Mina199's suggestion has some merit as a community tool, I don't see any chance that the DAO would approve funding to pay any jobs for community management at this time. Most of the largest SPS holders are comfortable in Discord. Plus the DAO is still very new, so there isn't yet any consensus on DAO priorities - I don't think it's likely that someone could swing a supermajority vote for funding paid community moderation positions with DAO funds.
I myself was wondering whether wonder a frontend could be developed on top of Hive posts that could mimic the organization system and strengths of a forum... while still being one set of underlying data (ie like Peakd vs Leo vs splintertalk). Maybe with community curation as a form of moderation or something. If someone felt that a Forum was needed and would be used, maybe there would be volunteer moderators or a way to create that frontend on top of our established Hive system.
What about you?
- Are you happy with Discord?
- How would you improve in-game communications / notifications?
- Would you use a Splinterlands Forum?
- If so, would you volunteer as a moderator?
If this is really important to our community members, I recommend they should form a focused volunteer Community Committee to explore some ideas further.
It's your DAO... what do you think?