This blog is a discussion on the benefits and pitfalls of forming support groups on Scorum.
This discussion has been conducted previously in the comments of other blogs and in private chat channels, but it is time to revisit this issue and have another open discussion where we can all learn the benefits of forming or joining a group consisting of likeminded individuals and also some of the pitfalls that you might encounter with such groups. These groups are usually formed by utilizing common social media sites like Telegram or Discord that are well designed just for such purposes and are already set up for private invitation only for admittance.
When large groups of people gather together it is only natural for people with similar interests and common backgrounds to start forming smaller circles of discussion. You see it at parties, when attending events at large venues, and when participating in work or school activities. People tend to seek out others that they have something in common with so that they can speak on subjects that they have knowledge of and can understand. It is also true that when hundreds of people are gathered together, an individual person will find it hard to communicate directly with everyone attending. But if those hundreds of people are gathered in small groups the same individual could meet and talk to most of those attending by simply spending an allotted amount of time in each group. And so it is on Scorum, and as we mature and receive greater adoption it will be even more so. Not only will there be more activity than any one person could possible keep up with, but there will be language and cultural differences that will preclude some members from ever having meaningful relationships with every other member. Thus, even without any form of structure or formal arrangements, Scorum members will eventually gravitate into smaller groups that supports each other and have blog discussions with each other on a regular basis.
Knowing that it is inevitable that groups will form on Scorum, let's all think logically about what these groups might look like and discuss the various ways that they might be structured and used so that each member of the group can have a better and more fulfilling experience on Scorum. We also need to talk about how these groups themselves will add value to Scorum and leverage it's potential to the fullest.
Possible types of groups to build upon
- Sport - Groups devoted to a specific sport (These would work best for sports with a smaller following and limited number of leagues, teams, or individual athletes)
- Leagues - This group would write about and discuss all the teams and athletes involved in a certain league.
- Countries, Regions, or States - A group that writes about and discusses the sports played in specific areas of the world.
- Teams - A group devoted to a specific team
- Athlete - A group that follows an individual athlete
- History and Nostalgia - Groups that write about the history of sports and its participants.
- Language - Groups that are centered around a specific language (mostly for more rare languages that are not in general use)
- Religion - Some religious groups may be offended by the words or practices of the general Scorum population and thus they may desire to stay more closely with like minded Scorum members.
- Age - There are differences in the types of things that people born decades apart are interested in, so groups with age requirements or having been born between certain dates might be useful.
- Sex - All Male, All Female, or Other could be a reason for forming a group.
- Scorum Power - This could at some point become a main limiting factor to become a part of certain groups, especially where reciprocal voting is expected or when discussing potential changes to the blockchain that may come up for vote.
- preferred types of bets - There are all kinds of different ways to gamble in sports and forming like minded groups could make betting on sports more fun and competitive.
- Family - Bringing your entire family into Scorum and starting a group specifically for your family is a great idea. In fact I have such a group already, now all I need is enough family members active on Scorum to put it to good use!
I'm sure most of you can come up with at least one other suggestion for a type of group to form.
Ideal Size of a Group
This aspect of forming a group depends completely in what you expect the group to accomplish. If it is simply an upvote group with an "I'll scratch your back if you scratch mine" mentality then it would need to be a small group because an individual has a very limited number of full upvotes each day. But if a group like this is what you are considering be forewarned, such groups are often referred to in uncomplimentary terms and have not been well received on Scorum in the past. Many of Scorum's members abandoned similar blogging sites and joined Scorum because, in part, there were several groups of "Whales" that did nothing to improve their former community but instead selfishly gave each other 100% upvotes every day thus reaping high rewards for themselves with little or no effort or addition of value for the blockchain as a whole.
But of course there are very logical and good reasons for small groups, namely these small groups of like minded individuals can put their heads and resources together and accomplish things that an individual could not, and that a larger group could or would encounter logistical and ideological difficulties trying to accomplish.
Some groups would not require a size limit at all, if the goal is simply to bring like minded members together then the bigger the group the better. But if the idea to to have a closer relationship with specific like minded individuals then the group should remain relatively small so that everyone feels included.
Probably the best option for most groups would be to keep membership at moderate levels, not to big and not too small, then request that group members support each other as much as possible but not to do so exclusively and to not expect upvotes from anyone inside the group just because you are both members. This way members can support other group members without compromising their conscience by having to upvote blogs that they don't agree with or don't like. It also gives group members the opportunity to support friends and family that are not in the group as well as new members that need support from the community in order to get a good start on Scorum.
In any group that is formed the best plan would be one that was not only thinking of the success of the group and the individuals within the group, but also the best interest of Scorum as a whole. The thought being that what is good for Scorum is automatically good for every group and also every individual member.
If there are any actions that a member needs to take, or things that members should never do in order to remain a member of the group in good standing, then these rules need to be spelled out from the start and pinned so that everyone must read them and agree to the terms as the first order of business for full admittance. There should also be a clear power structure, everyone should know who is in charge and how any grievances within the group will be handled. Even a small close knit group can run into disagreements, my wife disagrees with me all of the time and there are just two in our group :)
For a very small group it may be convenient to have one person in charge, the person that formed the group is usually considered the default leader of the group, and that person would thus settle any disputes. But for larger groups there may be a need for moderators and a more structured and clear path for settling disputes. These things need to determined and spelled out long before it is ever needed to be followed.
The one thing that I would caution about in the rules goes back to the idea of small upvote groups. Be careful when making rules regarding upvotes because this can enter dangerous territory and risk hard feelings both within the group and from the outside.
Belonging to a group can improve your overall experience on Scorum, if you have many different likes and pursuits then you might even benefit from belonging to multiple groups. If you currently don't belong to any groups then you might consider starting your own group. A well organized group can supply a new member with much needed initial support and it can keep life interesting and the time spent on Scorum more rewarding. For our longtime members that have already made many friends here, starting a group may be a way of holding onto those friendships even after mass adoption takes place and there are thousands of new members on Scorum all looking for guidance and support from anyone with a pro badge. Groups can increase the ability to collaborate on large projects and contests, and no matter how long you have been a member it is always nice to have a solid level of support that you can always count on. When forming a new group please think not only about how your group will benefit, but also how the group can benefit the entire Scorum community. The most successful groups will be the ones that improve lives and have a positive impact on the growth and prosperity of our community as a whole.
Now we need your input on the thought of forming groups on Scorum. Do you already belong to a group? If so maybe you can share some of the things that your group is doing and how your group is positively affecting its members and the Scorum community. If you have objection to the forming of groups or if you have experienced the pitfalls of membership in such groups, then please speak up and help prevent other Scorum members from falling into the same traps or making the same mistakes.
Thank you all for your friendship and support. Happy Birthday to all of our original ICO members, we are three years old next month!