Checklist For Joining Your Next Social Platform

I have been working on a comprehensive platform review for some time, I would like to share with you the tools I’ve used to evaluate social media platforms and what I believe you should be keen on and what you want to stay away from.

In the section below I will share what you should look out for on any platform. A great example of a blockchain platform that meets all the requirements is the Steem blockchain and all its decentralized applications or dapps.

Checklist For Blockchain Platforms:

1. Is It Actually Making Use Of Blockchain Technology?

There are more platforms and sites out there that are claiming they will eventually use blockchain or that they have a “crypto coin” or use some vague term to imply they are using a real cryptocurrency or if they are using the technology somehow for decentralization or it’s built into the infrastructure somehow. An example of a platform that claims to use blockchain technology and is popular, but doesn’t use a blockchain is

2. Is Their Cryptocurrency Really A Cryptocurrency?

This is very similar to the above in that a platform or project may claim to have a cryptocurrency on their platform but really, they only have a point system where you could redeem the points. Hint: if they don’t have a whitepaper and it’s not a utility coin then you shouldn’t find it on exchanges or being traded anywhere, otherwise you’re probably good. If they control the price entirely, then to me, it’s not a “true cryptocurrency”.

3. Does It Have One Or More Forms Of Monetization?

By this, I will refer to Steem and Publish0x where even the people watching and engaging with likes are “curating” content and effectively earning cryptocurrency for simply participating. It goes without saying that creators earn cryptocurrency as well for sharing their content that is engaged with by the community. So, in this way, there are multiple ways to monetize yourself and the actions you do that would otherwise go to the platform or advertisers. Platforms that reward you with a piece of the pie are bound to be more attractive.

4. Can You Stake Your Cryptocurrency In The Platform/Can You Invest In Yourself?

For example, Steem allows you to increase your vote power and allows you to delegate voting power in ways that could earn you more. In Trybe or Uptrennd if you stake or hold more of their token, you can earn more from other people’s votes amongst other benefits. These are great incentives that allow your monetization and efforts to pay off more over time if you reinvest in yourself and the token by staking it.

A few other things that make blockchain platforms better are decentralization, distributed networks, transparency, privacy-focused, censorship-resistant, and that they are more secure. The thing is that these are ideal aspects for any platform to have so I will include them in the next checklist below.

Checklist For Any Social Platform:

(including many that you typically just see on blockchain and alternative platforms)

This will be focused on what any platform should have regardless if it is a blockchain platform or not. A good example of something like this would be

1. Do They Have A Great Feature Set?

You always need a great feature set on your social platform. Depending on the niche you are going for it may make sense to have certain limitations and restrictions like a video hosting application won’t usually have blogs etc. You want to hit the basics like having a profile, following, followers, a feed, the ability to post ideally with any form of media, and ways to filter content. Beyond that, you have bonuses like groups, messenger, live stream, and more. If it makes sense to have it, the more they have the better it is.

2. Is the Platform Easy To Use?

This is self-explanatory. Is the navigation intuitive? Can you easily find what you are looking for? Is it simple or complex? Is there an advanced and basic view? There are more platforms that are unintuitive and challenging to use than there are ones that are easy to use.

3. Does It Have A Mobile Application?

Can you use it on mobile or at the very least access it on a mobile browser? Applications that you can only access via a download on your PC have no chance against browser platforms and the app marketplace.

4. Does It Have A Good Design And Layout?

This is very similar to is the platform easy to use, but it can still be easy to use, but not aesthetically appealing. Design matters. A lot of new platforms look like MySpace and don’t have the polished feel of a Facebook or a Twitter. When you find one that does, it makes all the difference.

5. Is The Platform Transparent With Its Users?

This isn’t immediately obvious. Some platforms will now share their source code, moderation decisions, updates, and more with their audience whilst platforms like Facebook don’t even give you a roadmap of what is to come. Transparency matters to people and they want to know what is going on and why. Platforms that share that information naturally have more trust between the platform and the user.

6. Is The Platform Decentralized?

Many people expect blockchain platforms to be decentralized as the motivations and values of blockchain users tend to favor decentralization. This means are there moderators? Is there a centralized authority? Is it community moderated? The benefits are censorship resistance, unbiased moderation, and keeping the platform in line with the values of the users of the platform. Some cons are that you cannot then rely on a central authority for help in password recovery, support, or moderation though many people do not want to trade their freedom and privacy for this privilege which is what seems to be what is asked from us by legacy platforms. Decentralized platforms put you in control of everything associated with your account and identity, the good and the bad.

7. Is The Platform Censorship-Resistant?

With decentralized platforms, you will also see censorship-resistant platforms. Also, platforms that aggressively protect and uphold free speech laws typically line up with this, but they aren’t beholden to it. Blockchain platforms like Steem have censorship-resistance built-in ensuring you can never fully be removed from public discourse and you can utilize IPFS with DTube for example.

8. Is The Platform Privacy-Focused?

This is a huge concern to a lot of people following the many scandals from major legacy platforms misusing your data and not protecting your privacy. So now, people are very vigilant as to whether a platform is willing to respect their privacy, so privacy policies are much more important than they used to be. We have a need for privacy and any platform willing to respect it, is well ahead of any legacy platform.

9. Is The Platform Distributed?

This is more related to blockchain platforms but doesn’t always rely on them, it’s more focused on peer to peer technology which can utilize, BitChute does as well as several other platforms that don’t technically use the blockchain. The idea being that your data won’t only exist in one location and typically goes hand in hand with censorship-resistance. So then, if your data is taken down at the source from one place, it won’t affect the front end where people are able to view your content.

10. Is There A Good Community On The Platform / Does A Community Exist?

This is important not only because you need a community behind the platform to exist to encourage others to join, but you also need a good community. Twitter is becoming more well known for being a cesspool of arguing and irrational debate. Gab is smeared as alt-right. Gab, however, simply supports free speech, so the media may shift your perception of the community, but you have to experience the platform for yourself to make a rational and fair decision.

11. Does The Platform Load Quickly And Run Smoothly?

Does the platform run well? People won’t use a platform if it can’t run at say half the capacity of a legacy platform because it’s what we have become used to. When I go on some new websites, they are so slow, that there is no way they would be mass adopted because they’re slow which turns people off and they simply would crash.

12. Can You Advertise And Promote Your Content?

Can you promote and boost your content on the platform? This isn’t a requirement, but it’s nice as a creator to have some model for boosting certain pieces of content to your audience that you’d like to feature. With you can use your earn tokens on boosting your content to the network. Again, it’s not a deal-breaker, it’s a bonus feature.

There are a few other questions you can ask yourself and determine over a long period of use such as: does the platform tend to favor advertisers or consumers? Is the platform fully operational? Does it have good troubleshooting methods?

Let me know what you think about this in the comments below and don’t forget to subscribe!

I am a social blockchain enthusiast that blogs and vlogs on what I believe to be the next level of social communication.