We at The Writers’ Block have a big announcement to make. Huge. Earth-shaking, tradition-shattering, and pretty darn exciting!
We’ve talked about our publishing house for a while now. Recently we connected with @instructor2121 and learned about his latest project, which is building customized front-end templates for the Steem blockchain. One has only to look at his flagship site, steemnews.online, to recognize the potential.
Last week several TWB leaders met Rick (instructor2121) in Gatlinburg, TN, to discuss a front-end site of our own. What came out of this meeting is that with the tools provided by a customizable front-end for the blockchain, we can filter out content that doesn’t meet TWB standards of quality and prominently feature content that does. Much of this can be automated by a whitelisting system and the judicious use of metadata. We’ll end up with a site powered by the Steem blockchain that is free of the Steemit trending page, free of shitposts, free of bot wars, and able to thrive as its own ecosystem.
One of the problems TWB has faced for many months is unwanted association with content that doesn’t meet our standards of quality. This has happened through inappropriate use of our tag and being named in posts that have nothing to do with us. Not a new problem for sure, and certainly not unique to our community, but it has driven our editors mad trying to police all of it. The new site will solve that problem in one fell swoop. Oh, the tags and mentions and other associations will still happen on Steemit, but Steemit is its own microcosm. None of that will affect our site, which is what we’ll put forward to a world that has never even heard of Steemit or the blockchain—or maybe has, but fled for safer internet space in the interest of sanity.
Built into the new site is a submissions queue. We’re not sure yet what this actually looks like, but we know it’s there because it’s in use with steemnews.online. This appears to solve our issues with the current queue system that we use in Discord – issues which are many with no simple solutions. The front-end queue will be limited access and open only to vetted users who understand our system and have achieved certain milestones in their own writing and editing journeys.
Our Discord community will be busier than ever. Rather than a queue system, it will function on the basis of Writer Workout and @damianjayclay ‘s Chicago-Style Workshops. We’ll add other activities and exercise environments as we go, including editing and critiquing workshops aimed at improving our feedback skills. This will put a laser focus on improving the craft of our writers and take the focus off post-promotion and free editing services.
It will also enhance the sense of community that has been key in elevating TWB to the status it has achieved on the blockchain. Several of our members have participated in writing groups both online and in person, and without exception they say they’ve never seen anything like the system we have. It works. That’s why we believe we can take things to the next level with an actual publishing house.
Steemhouse Publishing will emerge organically from our existing structure. While it will embrace traditional publishing standards with acquisition and product, Steemhouse will utilize our in-house pool of talent for editing, proofing, marketing, and graphic design. Payment for those working in those areas will come via token, and all FIAT profit from book sales will be converted to cryptocurrency.
With the new front-end site, what we’ll have is a triangle of functionality that will be the first of its kind in the industry. Three points of entry: The Writers’ Block Discord, the new site, and Steemhouse Publishing. Flow is multi-directional. New users can come to us through TWB workshops and progress to the site and publishing house. We expect those to be primarily from Steemit, although anyone is welcome. New users can also come to us from the web through the site. They can then utilize the workshops or work toward or even for Steemhouse Publishing, depending on ambition and skill level.
On rare occasions, we may find authors who are ready to publish, who’ve never heard of the blockchain or The Writers’ Block, whose books are accepted by a Steemhouse imprint long before they open a Steem account. Since we pay in crypto, those authors will have to have a Steem wallet, and we will encourage them to interact with TWB either as participants or editors. Our front-end site will be an invaluable tool for finding new readers, and allowing those readers to interact directly with the authors and with material that Steemhouse doesn’t publish. We believe this accessibility – this sense of community – is what will set our publishing ecosystem apart from all the rest and ensure its success in a very tough market.
We have @SirCork to thank for the triangle analogy. That will most likely be incorporated into our logo and used when explaining the blueprints of our plan to people who have a difficult time understanding it. He will be part of the IT team we’ve formed to provide consistent workflow with Instructor2121. Sircork comes to us with more than thirty years of IT experience that ranges from coding to software development to technical consulting, network administration, and project management. He’s worked in environments like NASA, consulted with White House administration, G.E., and many other household-name entities during his career.
More posts will come as we venture further into this project. This one is by no means exhaustive. We’re just scratching the surface of this opportunity, and we’ll share details as they emerge.