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Combining Decentralisation With Centralisation FTW: Vision & Roadmap For Steem Integration @ Ureka.org: Earth Heart Community

    ura soul
    by
    Combining Decentralisation With Centralisation FTW: Vision & Roadmap For Steem Integration @ Ureka.org: Earth Heart Community

    As you may be aware, I have been very busy recently writing lots of code and making many improvements to @ureka. The main focus, besides general maintenance, has been to integrate the #steem blockchain into Ureka, to produce a hybrid Steem dApp (Decentralised App) that both supports the benefits of the Steem blockchain and the benefits of a centralised social network. In this post I'll be going over some of these benefits and letting you know where I'm up to and where Ureka is going this year (allegedly, somehow the 2019th year - apparently...) ;).

    What makes a decentralised social network great?

    In the case of Steem, any social network/app that uses it will benefit from:

    • Freedom: Immutable content storage (very hard to censor).
    • Community: A built in audience (Steem has over 1 million accounts created and over 50,000 regular users).
    • Financial Incentives: Directly receive reward payments in cryptocurrency that can be used in the real world to buy things. Ensuring that content creators are paid and not the middle men (so much). Steem turns social networks into socio-economic networks for those who want to use those features and those who don't can just ignore them.
    • Audience Engagement: A generally creative and intelligent audience, looking to improve the world (more-so than other networks).
    • Community Governance: The ability for anyone to gain power in the network just by buying in. This might seem to be a downside on one hand, since it means that the network is always for sale - but on the flip-side, it means that if the world desires the network to be free, then it can be - without needing difficult corporate takeovers or similar.
    • Fully Open Source: If the network becomes corrupted, it can be 'forked' and duplicated - remade in a new image - with no interference possible from the 'bad actors'.

    Clearly, these are features that are rare in the world of social networks and to have them all in one place is very inspiring for anyone who knows their value and our need for them.

    What makes a centralised social network great?

    Ureka.org, like Facebook, Minds and others is a centralised social network. This means that currently, it runs from a private infrastructure that the public cannot participate in running (unlike Steem). This has some benefits over the decentralised model:

    • Privacy: Data can be held privately on behalf of the members of the community.
    • Evolution: Changes and new features can be added (by me) without needing the agreement of third parties - to match the needs of the community.
    • Boundaries: The rules and terms of the community can be defined independently to meet the needs of the community.
    • Resources: Code can be used from a wider range of open source projects since centralised project are more common/prevalent currently.

    The Best of Both Worlds

    Steem has always been intended to be used in a variety of contexts, including niche community networks and the recent addition of Steem-Engine and the soon to be released Smart Media Tokens (SMT) - plus baked-in community features for the Steem Blockchain - mean that community integration of Steem is about to get far more exciting and possible.

    The challenge facing any social network and community site in this situation is how to design a system that best meets the needs of the people involved. We want the great, cutting edge features of Steem, but we don't necessarily want to lose the 'old world' features associated with social networks, such as privacy that allows us to post only for our friends or specific groups, for example.

    The future for Ureka is a design that combines these two realities, allowing both privacy and full exploitation of the public blockchain! Maybe this is a first? I'm not 100% sure on that, let me know in the comments if you've seen this done before!

    New Features at Ureka.org

    In recent weeks I have roughly reached the halfway point in terms of integrating Steem into Ureka. The following features are already live at Ureka and can be used today:

    • Authorise your Steem account using SteemConnect.
    • Create posts in Ureka and crosspost them to Steem (and link on Twitter).
    • Auto update posts on Steem when they are edited on Ureka (and vice versa).
    • Auto sync comments from Steem into posts on Ureka (including posting to Steem from users of Ureka who don't have steem accounts) - merging the audiences.
    • Upvote posts and comments on Steem.
    • View who has voted on posts.
    • Delete comments on Steem.
    • Keep track of your tokens and wallet data via a custom wallet - including ability to power up/down, delegate/cancel, save/withdraw and send tokens.
    • Create a new account for Steem via Steem Ninja.
    • Receive email notifications via Ureka's own email system when comments are made on your Steem content posted via Ureka (if you like).

    Coming Soon

    To complete the initial integration of Steem, I will be adding the following in the coming weeks, as time allows:

    • Support for Steem Keychain.
    • Downvoting button.
    • Estimated value of votes.
    • Speed optimisations - so that pages load faster.
    • A Steem action queue - similar to Steempeak's, to allow Steem actions, such as votes and comment postings, to be processed behind the scenes in a queue.
    • Decryption of encrypted messages in the wallet.
    • Relocating features from Steemocean.com to Ureka.org - this is to make Ureka more useful and to make maintenance easier for me.
    • Add list filters to allow only Steem posts to be viewed if desired.
    • Show related posts from Steem users who are not part of ureka.
    • Integrate the best way to allow private messages to be posted to Steem - allowing groups and friends in Ureka to upvote their own posts, without the rest of the world being able to read them.

    Delegations and Community Building

    So far, the entire development for this has been completed by me at my own expense. The current price of Steem is so low that I am even running my witness at a loss currently - so I cannot keep this up indefinitely. If you like the idea of having a social network hybrid that focuses on healing, balancing and evolving human consciousness - that uses cutting edge Steem technology and is always open to new ideas... Then please do consider delegating Steem Power to ureka.app or @ura-soul. Please also do pass this on to others who might share that vision and wish.

    It would be really great to be able to build enough of a delegation that the best posts from Ureka users can be guaranteed a nice upvote from Ureka and that is definitely in my vision here too. There is no plan, currently, for Ureka to take any beneficiary cuts from posts made here - but all options are being kept open.

    Thanks for reading and if you have any feedback, I'd love to read it in your comments below.

    Wishing you well,

    Ura Soul