The Fundraiser: A Concept for a Dapp/Widget/Feature/Something

in Hive Think Tanklast year


This post has been quite a long while in the making. The idea first came to me when @andrarchy and pals announced OpenSeed and I was trying to wrap my head around what might be a good application for it. Something that could be frontend agnostic, and be ready to be "plugged in" to whoever wants to use it.

Since then I'd thought a lot more about it and since I'm not knowledgeable enough about the technical implementation of something like this, I figured I'd just throw the idea out there and stop concerning myself with whether it would be a layer two smart contract, or a centralized service, etc. Someone else can figure that out.

So what I'm envisioning is either a seperate site, or page on a frontend where you can start a "Fundraiser" and it spits out some code that you can paste into a blog post on whatever frontend and you get this little widget. Something cool I'd thought of was if it's just a widget like this, you can share this code and anyone in the community could share your fundraiser in their post as well. So if you had an idea that a lot of people were excited about then it could "go viral" in as much as something made just for us can go viral.

I think something like this would be a good complement to the SPS because it would allow for more decentralized funding. If ten people REALLY liked your idea, they could fund it themselves and it has nothing to do with Steem Power which is something I think we need to start integrating more on this platform. Steem Power is playing too heavily a role in the experience in my opinion since SP requires a huge(globally speaking) investment. I could afford to give anywhere from $1 to a couple hundred dollars on something I REALLY want and believe in, but neither me, nor the majority of the world can afford to buy enough Steem to be able to upvote that much.

Don't get me wrong, I think it's a great system when done right, but we're trying to use it to do too much. Obviously this is also in line with my fixation on adding tips/donations. It's creating features around people just sending Steem to each other. Making it practical, and easy.

There was nothing stopping people from coming together and funding projects that they cared about, but nobody did it until Kickstarter. Let me say it again, just in case you're new or you aren't reading me saying it in your dreams yet.


So what does the typical flow look like?

  • Go to a site, or page on a frontend and start a fundraiser
  • Input your parameters. I was thinking you could have typical options like whether it has a time limit where if the goal is not met, funds will be returned(obviously needs a middleman in this scenario) or more like a gofundme where the person gets the money regardless.
  • Once you've finished all that, you have a little script that you can past and share for others to paste in Steem Frontends, and a dashboard page where you can check progress or modify settings.
  • Paste it in all your posts and cross your fingers

So, what's the difference between this and Fundition? Easier, more casual, less committal, easier to spread, IMO, a better experience.

Now, don't get me wrong, I know this is a huge feature or application, but as I've said before, that's what Steem Think Tank is about. Give us your crazy ideas. Let's have a space where we can just throw stuff out there and see what sticks. Maybe someone takes 10% of this idea and is able to do something with it. That would be great.

I know you've got ideas. Put em out there. Don't worry about if it's crazy or unrealistic, that's not really the point. If we put enough stuff on the board the chances that it will all be useless is zero.

See you all in the next post.


Speaking on the backend work involved and the infrastructure we already have:

A tipping/donation system (synchronized by Hivemind) can allow some flexibility to cater for what you suggest. Since tips or donations will be associated with a post by an author, we can leverage that post by adding some metadata.

What this implies is that we will have two types of donations:

  • Arbitrary tips/donations: non-commital, spontaneous funding that's mostly a result of people's appreciation. These are made on a normal post.

  • Goal-oriented donations: with funding goals, timeframes, etc. These will be made on posts that include some metadata.

So a post can "mark" itself as a "goal-oriented donation post" by including some JSON metadata, which the front-ends can pick up and then display the progress, supporters, time left, etc (as you've shown in your mockup) based on that metadata.

With the above, it won't matter if it's an entire site dedicated to donations or just a post within a community. The post itself will carry the metadata that defines what it is.

So an entire site can host only "goal-oriented donations" and focus only on that if it wants to. Or a community can just pin a "donation post" and that's it.

As a sidenote, I have been thinking about some possible solutions to the account security vulnerabilities that may be introduced if we predicate the tipping/donations system on the frequent/constant use of people's active keys. I have a couple of ideas and I will share those in that post I said I would make, soon.

Sounds good to me. Would that allow for other people beyond the original poster to share the fundraiser? If I'm understanding what you're saying it doesn't seem like it would restrict that. It would just also be a post with said metadata.

Yes, that's right, and it can be resteemed.

This sounds like a really good starting point for this idea.

Simple, doesn't require much extra development, and is immediately understandable.

I'm excited to hear your ideas regarding the account security issue :^)

On a normal blog (i.e. Wordpress), widgets are easy to add to the sidebar, footbar or even to the post itself. The editors from Steem interfaces filter HTML code to the bone. Javascript is n't an option for a widget code either. There are security reasons for filtering HTML and javascript out drastically. But you lose in flexibility if you want to do something like you proposed.

dClick most likely searched for a way to extend their service to the entire ecosystem. Fundition may have explored it for what you're proposing, an integration of a donation per project widget within blog posts or other interfaces. I would be the first to applaud if or when such a possibility would be open, without having serious security concerns. Maybe can do it, since they split the wallet from the social app?

Creeping through the github I saw something about whitelisting iFrames from certain projects. I wonder if it could be done by allowing the code entries from "trusted sources".

I haven't seen that, I mean other than, for instance, the iframe for Youtube videos, on interfaces where they play inside the post.

Allowing more types of iframes from other trusted sources will be the way to do it, if we want to explore the widgets territory.

It's a good idea, but you have to consider the implications of unfulfilled promises. This is always a issue on fundraising platform.

Another issue would be what will happen with the funds for projects that didn't reach the goal? Stretch goals will be allowed?

But here is my main suggestion:

With all this discussion happening with @sbdpotato stuff, why use steem, and not sbd for the fundraising?

See, there is an inherent problem happening on the ecosystem. All the projects are missing something really basic to make the sbd/steem system work: why accept steem as payment, since sbd was the token that was supposed to fulfill this role?

At the end of the day that's up to the people using the service not the service provider. Obviously there are no guarantees here that the provider can make. Don't fund projects from people you don't know or trust.

I didn't put it here, but I'd imagine you can send Steem or SBD. For the payout preview I'd just keep it in Steem for ease of reading.

To be honest I haven't weighed in much on the sbdpotato situation, all I know is it's been going on for a while and doesn't seem to have a clear impact, but again I haven't looked into it too heavily.

I can't say much about this, because I never really used fundraising platform, only read news about the from time to time. But in essence I do think they are an incredible tool to fund any kind of project.

I called it as an issue because now and then I read about these kind of stuff happening. It's just the accountability must be really clear on these platforms.

About the 🥔, well, it's complicated. It might of might not have any effect on the price (I think it won't, but I might be wrong) but its an opportunity to raise a big issue that happens around here:

Big stake holders don't seem to have any clue about what is needed to increase the blockchain value, and this potato "experiment" is just another example of it.

Anyway, if you are still interested in thus topic I would to hear your opinion here:

I stopped using steemit for like year, and returning to it this year it's saddening to see that the stake holders minds and idea still haven't evolved....

It's a good idea, but you have to consider the implications of unfulfilled promises. This is always a issue on fundraising platform.

That's a good issue to raise.

Donations are closely tied to reputation and trust, which helps to limit scams, to some extent.

We also have escrow as a feature on the Steem blockchain and that could be leveraged. So instead of placing trust in the person receiving the donations, people can trust the escrow agent instead.

And that brings up a market for providing reputable and honest escrow and mediation services, which can earn the provider income based on the fees paid.

I must admit that I haven't yet studied Steem's escrow feature to be in a position to speak on its capabilities or limitations in depth, so I'll leave it at that :)

I love this idea.

Some projects & their developers have begun to feel guilty about using the rewards pool so heavily to sustain project development.

An easy to use donation system like this would be a huge benefit. Imagine if KickStarter had embedded donation widgets in the update posts.

This opens up an entirely new use case ( well, more of a new showcase ) for STEEM & SBD. I'd love to tinker at a system for this... I think I'm going to reach out to some of the SteemPeak team & see if I can help spearhead this thing.

Are you on Discord or Twitter? I'd love to pick your brain about this some more :^)

Cool, glad you like it. You can find me on discord with the same name.

RCash/Example has a sponsorship widget, which can be easily ported to other platforms too. I would imagine something like this!

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