100 DAYS OF STEEM : Day 10 - A Steem Mentoring System
Steem can be a difficult place to get started on.
Newcomers to the platform can easily be confused by the technicalities of multiple keys, upvoting and downvoting, powering up and powering down, witnesses and proxies...
These complexities often lead to people giving up and leaving after only one or two posts.
This is clearly not ideal. Increasing Steem’s very low retention rate is a key priority.
Improving the onboarding experience from the technical side is already being worked on.
Alongside this one idea is to introduce some form of Steem Mentoring system.
A Steem Mentoring System
Some games have mentoring systems where new players are paired up with more experienced players who guide them through their first few weeks while they get to ‘know the ropes’.
These schemes usually operate on a voluntary basis but commonly the mentor, and often the mentee as well, get some sort of reward when the new player has reached a certain experience level or completed a certain number of tasks.
Could some scheme like this work on Steem?
Existing communities already play an important role in welcoming, and nurturing, newcomers to the platform. But not every newcomer finds a community in time.
In the short term at least there are unlikely to be the resources to build a system with any formal coded structures. So any scheme will need to be manually constructed, operated, and monitored.
At a very basic level, maybe something like this…
Experienced Steemians, with say over 6 months active on the platform and reputation of at least 55, volunteer to be Mentors. Their account names, languages, and timezone are logged on a weekly updated Mentors page. Each mentor also has their own regularly updated Mentor’s Welcome Page linked to from the main Mentors page.
Newcomers to Steem are given a link to the main Mentors page. If they are interested in having a Mentor to help them get established on Steem they select a mentor from the list that matches their language and timezone. They can then link through to the Mentors personal page.
Having read the Mentor’s page if the newcomer wants to pursue the mentoring then they make contact with the Mentor via their details on the page, or possibly by leaving their contact details in a comment.
At this stage the most likely contact route will be via Discord or perhaps Telegram. The initial introductory contact message to the Newcomer from Steemit will need to have included details of how to get on Discord or Telegram.
After making contact if the Newcomer and Mentor decide to go forward with the mentoring arrangement then they begin to work through a series of guided tasks that might include writing and formatting posts, using tags, making comments, joining communities, powering up, voting for witnesses etc etc.
To enable monitoring and to register for mentoring rewards then both newcomer and mentor would need to make initial ‘Mentoring Announcement Posts’. Then as they progress through the various tasks, they would, at a number of key points, make mutual ‘Mentoring Progress Posts’. Assuming appropriate progress is being made these posts would be rewarded with upvotes from a Steemit mentoring account.
Ideally the mentoring arrangement would last a minimum of 3 months. This is often said to be the ‘establishment period’. If newcomers make it through this period they are likely to stay on Steem. At the end of 3 months the newcomer and mentor would then make their final mutual ‘Mentoring Completion Post’. If it has all worked out and both are still active on Steem then both posts would be rewarded with Steemit upvotes.
Would this work?
Is this sort of system workable? Is it too complex? Is it scalable? Is it scam-proof enough? Does it have any personal safety risks?
Would it help retention?
Has anyone got any better ideas?
Or should we just rely on Discord based communities as before?
This sort of mentoring system is certainly not the perfect answer to the retention issue.
It may not be very scalable - but we are not, in the near future at least, dealing with very large numbers.
It may be too scamable - but with careful monitoring it should have sufficient resilience to prevent fraudulent usage.
Some sort of coded, automated system would certainly be bigger and better but that would have to wait its turn for development resources to become available.
This system could be implemented now.
Is it worth giving it a try?
Would anyone be interested in being a volunteer mentor?
We welcome your thoughts, feedback and suggestions.
The Steemit Team
On Monday at 7pm PST / 11am KST / 2am UTC Green House Radio Online is hosting a Steem Witness Forum on their Discord server.
This is a community organised forum but we hope as many witnesses as possible, and as many of the community as possible, will be able to attend…
Thank you @greenhouseradio for putting on this forum.