Yesterday Ryan Jerome, a writer for The Chia Plot, wrote a rant about his feelings about the r/chia subreddit and it sparked a bit of firestorm. It also sparked an almost immediate response from Chia Network that I believe misses the main point being made.
The main points, and the one I think is the most important and being lost, is that the main entryway for new visitors to Chia is a drab message board filled with negativity and boring analysis. Its a crab bucket, where everyone is pulling everyone else down to their level. And until yesterday Chia Network had more than 50% of the mod spots. It wasn’t a problem that they were mods, it was a problem that they had all the power to change the mood there and didn’t.
J Eckert, VP of Ecosystems at Chia Network, has announced that he spoke to the 4 Chia employee Reddit Mods and that they felt that they had been in an awkward place between community and company, and that had affected their ability to participate in the forum. Remember, they were all mods prior to being hired (apparently) and are all valuable members of the Chia community in their own right. That’s one reason they were hired at Chia Network, I imagine.
I think the argument has been misinterpreted to mean that because they worked for Chia Network they shouldn’t be mods and that Chia Network should be arms length from the community. This could not be farther from the opinion that I think a lot of people hold. The fact is that because of the nature of the relationship, r/chia is seen as a public relations portal for Chia Network the company. So do some Public Relations there!
From what I can tell Chia Network only uses this valuable resource for damage control or to repeat announcements. But what they should be doing is community building and marketing. The r/chia subreddit is almost certainly one of the top results for any Chia related search and when I got into Chia was a bustling hub of community activity. No one could call it that with a straight face anymore, but it should be. To a casual observer who does a couple of searches for Chia it looks like a dead or dying coin, despite some of the incredible work being done by the Chia Network team.
More fun, like memes, is probably an important change but the biggest thing is to give people a reason to go there. Let’s have some contests. Maybe those predictions that other subs do. I don’t think this should be completely on Chia Network. It really should be a community thing. But I think the community could use a little shove and they are the group of people with the most to lose by people seeing their product as a dead end with no activity. A little astroturfing never hurt anyone.
Ryan’s post was not a plea to push Chia Network off the subreddit, it was a plea to the community to make Chia Fun AgainTM and Chia Network company and employees are members of that community. And in a good position to give the community a little shove. I don’t know how much money a company of Chia’s size and position should be spending on marketing, but I do know that right now its way too little. I am told that before transaction launch Chia held plotting contests and farming contests and the community was fun. What happened?
Willphule has been running the sub fantastically, according to rules that he thought were good. And that’s fine, this isn’t about memes alone. But he cannot be responsible single-handedly for making this place fun again. Its not his job, his job is to keep the zoo doors closed. No one needs mod powers to create fun and if you have a good idea, do it. If you need resources for it, reach out to me. If you want to get more eyeballs on it I’m happy to host it, and without speaking for him, Will also likes good ideas and would likely help make some a reality. And Chia Network should be the first among equals with those good ideas.