Hackernoon logoDen of Equality | The Social Media Crypt by@Limarc

Den of Equality | The Social Media Crypt

This week (May 2nd to May 8th) Joe, Blake and I will be answering your questions about https://den.social. We currently have 67 community Lairs and every month we add 5-10 more through a community Lair creation process. Content creators can boost their own or other Denizens posts to push the post higher in the Lair feed. The post is evaluated as any other post would be. If it is well received it will be elevated. If not then it will drop from view. We recommend all writers create an account themselves, start posting full original content.
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@LimarcLimarc Ambalina

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Hacker Noon's VP of Growth by day, VR Gamer and Anime Binger by night

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The Den.social platform rewards quality content. Denizens vote, reply, and post content to individual communities called Lairs. The content and evaluation are based on the culture within the Lair. The goal is to elevate quality content quickly to have it seen by as many Denizens as possible. 

This Slogging thread by BitBuyTheCoin, Anthony Watson, Limarc Ambalina, Sidra, Blake Branim, Akasha Rose, Justin Roberti and j0j0r0 occurred in slogging's official #amas channel, and has been edited for readability.

BitBuyTheCoinMay 2, 2021, 2:07 PM
Hi all! Thank you for inviting us to slog! What a great concept! My name is Amanda but people call me BitBuy. This week (May 2nd to May 8th) Joe, Blake and I will be answering your questions about https://den.social

We currently have 67 community Lairs and every month we add 5-10 more through a community Lair creation process. Denizens who bid on winning Lairs receive NFT based LOT which comes with passive income and governance rights to the Lair. 

We don’t have traditional ads. Instead content creators can boost their own or other Denizens posts to push the post higher in the Lair feed. The post is evaluated as any other post would be. If it is well received it will be elevated. If not then it will drop from view. 

There are a few moving parts to Den so we are here to help everyone figure it all out. We are super excited to participate. Thank you for inviting us!
anthony watsonMay 2, 2021, 2:35 PM
I am curious to understand what this phrase in your tagline means to "Den" ? Liberty matters. It is in your tag line, so it means something to your organization. If you put it there then it matters. I am very interested because it means different things to different entities, so an explication will be revealing. What does it mean to your organization?
BitBuyTheCoinMay 2, 2021, 2:47 PM
Ah. Yes. Liberty does mean different things to different people. I’ve actually written those exact words in a blog in the LBTY Lair.
I would say for Den (and Dragonchain as well.) It’s about having the freedom to operate/build/create as you see fit. We are not into conformity.

In Den, that means people can post what they want. Other people have the freedom to evaluate that content as they want. Each Lair has its own freedom to craft a culture that has nothing to do with another Lair community. Den provides the platform for others to build the community.
j0j0r0May 6, 2021, 4:37 PM
Hi, this is Joe, founder of Dragonchain. In reference to Den, the Liberty Matters tagline is dual meaning, being as it is a social and community forum powered by Dragonchain, Liberty itself and freedom of speech are important and core to the vision of the platform. Second, MTR (pronounced Matter) is the primary reward token on the system. Thus, we have alternate taglines of Community Matters, Ownership Matters, etc. That was a built-in marketing component based on the driver of the system rewards.

BTW, Matter is the primary content reward mechanism on Den.social, and MTR tokens produce NRG (pronounced Energy) for use on the system to post content as well as to participate in the prediction market that is the evaluation system.
Limarc AmbalinaMay 3, 2021, 2:15 AM
Thanks for being here Den team! Can you briefly explain the benefits Hacker Noon writers get by posting on Den? How can our writers best use the platform to get more views of their work?
Blake BranimMay 3, 2021, 4:10 PM
Hello, all!

Happy to be here, and thank you for the question, Limarc.

The Den platform was envisioned and built from the ground up for content creators and content consumers. As a writer in Den, you are directly rewarded proportionally based on the consensus and evaluation of your content by the community.

On Den, quality content matters and is rewarded.

With Den’s revolutionary new advertising model, writers can even boost their own content in order to increase visibility inside Den and outside of Den. This system incentivizes community members to share your content on other social platforms, exponentially increasing views of your work.

As of now, a snippet of each Hackernoon article is posted inside the Hackernoon Lair. However, we recommend all writers create an account themself, start posting full original content, and get rewarded for their hard work!
Limarc AmbalinaMay 4, 2021, 2:07 AM
Thanks, Blake Branim "However, we recommend all writers create an account themselves, start posting full original content, and get rewarded for your hard work" So if writers post a short write-up of their HN article and link to it, they could get more views within Den and outside if other Den members share it. But do the writers also earn MTR for posting on Den?
Blake BranimMay 5, 2021, 2:04 PM
Yes, that is correct. A Hackernoon writer can post a short writeup about their article, what was their inspiration, any behind the scenes details, and point to the article. This will in turn generate traffic to their article, AND, yes, earn MTR inside of Den.
SidraMay 3, 2021, 6:54 AM
Hi team Den, welcome to Hackernoon's slogging community :)

I have explored Den.social today, and I must say it is another case study of blockchain technology that genuinely works for the greater good. It will help generate and promote quality content and is also an excellent platform for building strong writer communities. Also, it is a fun place to be (I enjoyed exploring the Lairs).

I have a couple of questions. Firstly I was curious how and when was Den ideated? There must be a nice story about how it all started :D

Secondly and (sadly), I am from the part of the world where the government has still banned cryptocurrency. However, I believe writer communities can always bring change, spread awareness, and bust the myths (and fear) around adopting new tech. Don't you think Den can be an excellent platform to spread awareness?
BitBuyTheCoinMay 3, 2021, 7:02 PM
Hi, Sidra Thank you for asking. I wasn’t around for the very beginning, but from what I understand like all things, Den was born out of a need. Joe and the community had grown frustrated with negative attacks and impersonations on other socials. In fact, they had several issues with people impersonating Joe asking for money.

Over the course of conversation in a Telegram chat, Joe and the community thought wouldn’t it be great to create a crypto aware platform where we could implement some of the security features and behavior incentives that we use within the Dragonchain platform into a social platform. And it grew from there.

Den is a perfect platform for spreading awareness. I mentioned earlier LBTY Lair. The Lair tries to shine a light on issues around the world where Liberty is under attack.

Den is great for education and busting myths as you said. The great part is it can be with tech, music, and food recipes and everything in between!

Metrics wise there are ways for Denizens to earn MTR for sharing posts to help spread engagement which would be very helpful in spreading one's message.
j0j0r0May 6, 2021, 6:51 PM
Sidra I'll add a tiny bit to the BitBuyTheCoin answer ...

I have a couple of questions. Firstly I was curious how and when was Den ideated? There must be a nice story about how it all started 😄It was definitely driven by many of the inexplicably missing features on other platforms (e.g. identity, signing, data integrity, etc.)...

We had so many issues on Slack, Twitter, Telegram with impersonation, that I had suggested in one of our Telegram groups that the world needed a "crypto-aware" platform that could integrate our DDSS (now TIME) score as a reputation system to filter trolls and other nefarious users...

Secondly and (sadly), I am from the part of the world where the government has still banned cryptocurrency. However, I believe writer communities can always bring change, spread awareness, and bust the myths (and fear) around adopting new tech. Don't you think Den can be an excellent platform to spread awareness? (edited)As to spreading awareness, without going into too much detail, we believe that blockchain and cryptocurrency are particularly valuable for this purpose. At Dragonchain, we've done a lot of research and work using blockchain to incentivize and otherwise affect human behavior. This is a primary goal for Den.social, to affect behavior in content production and evaluation/curation.
Limarc AmbalinaMay 4, 2021, 3:07 AM
With your current userbase, what is it about Den that attracts your users to your platform rather than Reddit or other forum-based sites?
Blake BranimMay 5, 2021, 2:04 PM
What is it about Den that attracts new users? Rewards and transparency. Users appreciate being rewarded for their quality content or quality evaluation of the content. On other platforms, the platform itself sucks up all the value. In Den, all value goes directly to the users. The transparency of the algorithms, incentives, and mechanics are a huge bonus. A user can rest assured that, for example, the trending page is actually what is trending right now. Not some skewed and handpicked list chosen by Den.
BitBuyTheCoinMay 5, 2021, 2:04 AM
I think everyone has a different reason for joining Den. Some people are here for the anti-censorship qualities. Others are focused on quality content. Of course, the tokenomics, NFT based passive income, and community ownership are big drivers. It sounds like a catch-all but I really do think everyone has their own reasons. Personally, when I first joined Den it was the first crypto site that was welcoming and didn’t make me feel clueless (even though I was 😆).
Limarc AmbalinaMay 6, 2021, 3:01 AM
"Some people are here for the anti-censorship qualities"

This is a very interesting point and a challenge for any site with user-generated content. How do you handle moderation then? What's to stop people from posting hate speech or purposeful misinformation?
j0j0r0May 6, 2021, 1:57 PM
Great question. Although we do have levels of site and Lair moderation in place as well as planned, we designed the system to place most of that responsibility on the communities by incentivizing the evaluation of that content. We will soon roll out new tools for that purpose such as incentivized tagging and flagging. These are all inclined to increase the productivity of the community owners and Den admins, and do directly affect Lair/community value.
Akasha RoseMay 4, 2021, 9:14 AM
Hi, I just read that you use Dragonchain. Can you tell us more about why you chose Dragonchain to implement your solution?
BitBuyTheCoinMay 5, 2021, 1:41 AM
Akasha Rose Den was birthed at Dragonchain. Devs can use any coding language to build applications. Every system is independently scaleable with fast transaction speeds. We have really low determinative fees which is key as every vote, post, and reply is on-chain. Den was a way to show people that user-friendly applications could be built on blockchain. It was really important to make sure non-crypto people could use the platform.
j0j0r0May 6, 2021, 6:57 PM
To add further to BitBuy’s answer, I wanted to say that beyond being birthed at Dragonchain, and within the Dragonchain community, Dragonchain was created to make possible the development of such applications as Den.social. That, with any other blockchain platform available, most if not all features that we envisioned would not be possible. They cannot scale to do what we are doing even in these early stages. Every post, reply, vote, and other action is placed on-chain for proof used in the mining system...
anthony watsonMay 4, 2021, 2:08 PM
I am curious about what kind of "authentication" exists to verify an identity since you reference reducing "impersonation" as part of your use case.
BitBuyTheCoinMay 5, 2021, 1:30 AM
Dragonchain has an identity product called Factor. We isolate identity components and release only what is minimally necessary. So if you go to a bar you only prove you are over 21 but not what your birthday is. Factor will be implemented into Den. We are still in open beta so we are still building things out but the plan is to use Factor to prove identity.
anthony watsonMay 4, 2021, 2:17 PM
Where are these places where Liberty is under attack? In the Lair's opinion, where are these places that Liberty is under attack? The Lair tries to shine light on issues around the world where Liberty is under attack. I am curious. 🤔 Is Liberty under attack in China? Is Liberty under attack in Yemen? Is Liberty under attack in Afghanistan? What about in Venezuela? Is Liberty under attack in the US of A?
BitBuyTheCoinMay 5, 2021, 1:23 AM
Liberty is always under attack. Always has been. Always will be. So to answer your question...yes. You should pop into the Lair. Jeffrey (the main owner and visionary of the Lair) is actually looking for content writers. Original long-form content only.
Justin RobertiMay 5, 2021, 1:48 AM
Hi Amanda - I worry about the baggage around a video platform called DEN. Go back to 1999 and google that.
j0j0r0May 6, 2021, 7:14 PM
WRT the naming of Den, I’ve heard that question/comment before from a few sources. I don’t know anything about that history. There have been several similar questions about our original branding “Dragon Den” as well, and the UK TV show. These are unrelated and of no concern.
Justin RobertiMay 5, 2021, 1:48 AM
I've been interviewing a number of alt chain DeFi SM projects -- what none of them have been really able to answer is how they are going to create mass adoption of an incentivized SM ecosystem when to 99% of the world blockchain is a barrier to mass adoption.
j0j0r0May 6, 2021, 7:14 PM
Dragonchain has a history of producing blockchain platforms (starting at Disney) that do not target technophiles, particularly blockchain industry people as users. Our philosophy is generally pointed to providing content and features that “normal” users value, without any knowledge of the implementation on blockchain, and without negative effect to the user interface and experience. We’ve developed a number of patterns to do this, but it is primarily a side effect of using the Dragonchain platform as our blockchain, given that this is one of its main goals in flexibility.
Justin RobertiMay 5, 2021, 1:48 AM
Is DEN going after a mass/crossover audience? How are you going to play in a field where players like FB take successful SM start ups, steal their ideas, and then buy them out or crush them? seems like it is way too uphill for non-blockchain projects let alone throwing in the changes in user behavior required by blockchain...
j0j0r0May 6, 2021, 7:14 PM
Den.social’s goal is to produce and make available the best content in a particular community sooner than anywhere else. Everything in the system is built with this goal in mind. Whether this will attract a mass audience is a side question, but I would imagine that to be the case. We have modelled the system with scarcity to generally bring adoption in an organic and community-controlled way.
 
If FB were to steal these ideas, to be successful, it would need to happen in a fundamental way (which I would predict to be extremely unlikely), which would be better for the world, and I would still bet that our system would be better tuned over time. As to “user behavior required by blockchain”, we have specifically built the system to have no such required change in user behavior to actually use the system.
Justin RobertiMay 5, 2021, 3:16 PM
BitBuyTheCoin do you need to spend den utility tokens to post?
BitBuyTheCoinMay 5, 2021, 3:34 PM
Yes. But there is no monetary value attached to the token. NRG is an internal token to Den. Everyone receives 24 NRG every day (paid hourly- so 1 NRG an hour)

To get more NRG you have to have MTR. MTR is an ERC-20 token that is earned for posting and evaluating content. You can also purchase MTR at Uniswap but you don’t have to.

As your MTR balance grows you will get more NRG to post and evaluate with. If you have MTR you will earn your 24 NRG PLUS 1/24th of your MTR total every hour.

So If you have 48 MTR you will earn 3 NRG every hour.
(1 NRG + 2 MTR = 3 NRG per hour or 72 NRG over 24 hours.)

Justin RobertiMay 5, 2021, 3:42 PM
Can you off-platform tokens that you gather by monetizing your activity? Is NRG on exchanges?
BitBuyTheCoinMay 5, 2021, 4:12 PM
Justin Roberti NRG is not on exchanges. It stays internal to Den. You can remove and deposit MTR as you wish to a claimed wallet. Wallets accepted are MetaMask or hardware wallet through MetaMask. This is like step two in the learning Den process. Those who have no interest in crypto can just let their MTR sit generating NRG and not be bothered with wallets. When they are finally crypto aware and they have built up a nice bit of MTR it becomes more of a driver to want to learn the ins and out of the space.
Justin RobertiMay 5, 2021, 4:31 PM
BitBuyTheCoin is there any plan to make NRG fungible? is it purely a utility token and not to be traded off platform?
BitBuyTheCoinMay 5, 2021, 6:39 PM
Justin Roberti No. There are no plans to make NRG fungible. 1 NRG is really just 1 point.
j0j0r0May 6, 2021, 7:21 PM
NRG is purposely not transferable. It is modelled this way so that MTR price volatility will not affect adoption and actual activity. In the white paper, we spelled out this goal and purpose, and the future ability for governance to control the reward value of MTR to NRG generation. That is, let’s pretend that MTR is worth $1000. No one will spend $1000 to post, let alone vote on something. NRG provides scarcity on the system without realizing direct loss. In some cases (e.g. MTR boosting of a post), the direct value (MTR) is staked on a post, which can be lost or gained based on content performance.
Justin RobertiMay 5, 2021, 6:41 PM
BitBuyTheCoin but isn't blockchain a disadvantage if this is just an internal point system -- you could keep a rewards system off-chain and not make new users open up a digital wallet (or have to know what one is).
BitBuyTheCoinMay 5, 2021, 6:48 PM
The only part that is internal is the NRG. Using NRG generates MTR which is an ERC-20 and removable from the system.

New Denizens don’t have to open a digital wallet to use Den and enjoy quality content.

Being a new Denizen you don’t even have to know the platform runs on blockchain. Blockchain isn’t a disadvantage. The advantage of using blockchain is having a platform where everything is provable on-chain.
j0j0r0May 6, 2021, 7:23 PM
Blockchain is there to provide the proof that the NRG exists and that the actions (e.g. a vote) really happened -- and when (which is itself important to the various rewards/mining algorithms)
Justin RobertiMay 6, 2021, 12:03 PM
BitBuyTheCoin I'm a little hung up on the benefit of everything being provable on the chain. It's true, sure. And it's one of the core benefits of blockchain -- but is transparency among the top 5 things SM users are looking for?
j0j0r0May 6, 2021, 7:52 PM
Don’t be hung up. It’s an inexpensive feature of Dragonchain to do that. We’ve found that there can be enormous advantages to having detailed system state and more information with independent proof of its time window and that it’s unmodified. Some of that is particularly useful in the mining/rewards process, but it’s also useful when the unexpected happens.
 
As to whether it’s among the top 5 things that users are looking for, I don’t think that’s the right question. It directly affects our ability to provide the top things that a user is looking for. The things that competing platforms, both blockchain and traditional cannot provide.
Justin RobertiMay 6, 2021, 12:03 PM
Is this project more transparent than other blockchain projects? It sounds like the platitudinal things that all projects say that doesn't really mean much to normies. Amazon also successfully tracks activity without using blockchain. Sometimes blockchain put their claims in the basic power of blockchain -- it's good technology, but it's not a business case.
j0j0r0May 6, 2021, 7:52 PM
 I have no idea nor way to measure whether other projects are more transparent than Den. But, that is not our primary goal. Being a hybrid blockchain solution, we offer selective transparency and seek to make the system as transparent as possible, especially with regard to those actions that drive rewards in pursuit of our goals. I agree with you that transparency does not matter much to “normies”. Though I’m sure it varies there are few that would place transparency among their top ten reasons that they would use a platform.
 
Our top goals:
1) Bring the best content (targeting a community) to the eyeballs of the reader fastestReward evaluators based upon efficiency in signalling the quality (good and bad) of content in a prediction market. 2) Reward content creators most efficiently based on the quality of content as evaluated in the content evaluation prediction market. 3) Reward community leaders (NFT based Lair owners) for building and managing communities as measured by activity and results in a community Lair
Justin RobertiMay 6, 2021, 12:03 PM
To Limarc Ambalina's point -- look at 8chan as a case study of unfettered free speech. How's that working out?
j0j0r0May 6, 2021, 7:52 PM
That may depend on your point of view, but generally, the culture of Den (or at least its founding members) generally accepts the classical liberal view of the value of open and free discussion of topics. Also, is fettered free speech really free? Yes, we are generally for “unfettered” free speech where it is acceptable within a community. That is, every community will have different cultures, including what words, terms, and attitudes are acceptable. It’s best to let these communities organically develop their own cultures, with notable obvious exceptions which are often legally mandated.
Justin RobertiMay 6, 2021, 2:56 PM
The question that no blockchain SM project has ever answered (and I've asked 20, recently) is how they intend to gain the mass adoption presumably necessary to have a successful project. And how blockchain is a benefit instead of an impediment to adoption for the great majority of potential users.
j0j0r0May 6, 2021, 8:04 PM
Great question!

Maybe Den is fundamentally different from other projects? :shrug: Mass adoption is not our measure of success. Our measure of success is in efficiently providing quality content to vibrant communities. One may anticipate that with these goals and the actual measure of value created that we will see mass adoption. To illustrate, over $180,000 has been applied in the creation of new community Lairs (in only 3 months), and approximately $500,000 worth of MTR has been awarded to creators, evaluators, and community leaders to date (over 470 days of mining).
Justin RobertiMay 6, 2021, 5:12 PM
j0j0r0 but with liberty matters -- who is the intended target of that message?
j0j0r0May 6, 2021, 8:05 PM
Everyone, I guess. At least everyone that cares about liberty and free speech.
Akasha RoseMay 7, 2021, 12:47 AM
Unless there are any more urgent questions, that's a wrap! Thanks to everyone who participated! Join us for the next AMA!
BitBuyTheCoinMay 2, 2021, 2:07 PM
Below are some links everyone may find helpful.

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