My Feedback/Questions/Experience

#1

Hey everyone, thought I might give some feedback here in case it helps; I assume this is an okay place to do so.

I submitted a basic mockup of a Blockstack app for a previous “Can’t be evil” competition, and went through the process to have a wallet to receive “app mining” rewards. It was a lot to do after working on the app itself, and I haven’t really come back to it since then, essentially because of the typical post-hackathon burnout but now I’m coming back and seeing all this talk about the mining program.

I didn’t really understand what TryMyUI was this whole time (never heard of it before) and finally got around to logging in to see real humans are “reviewing” my app and uploading videos about it. So far some 40 people have uploaded videos of my somewhat broken app which I appreciate but also feel bad wasting 20 minutes of all those peoples time!

Anyways, I thought that was pretty cool, and somewhat inspiring; maybe I would have worked more on the app in the meantime if I realized the amount of human effort going into reviewing my app. Maybe it was my own fault for not fully understanding what I was signing up for when simply following the hackathon steps. Not that it is a bad thing in retrospect, just maybe it would have inspired me to work more on the app if this whole app mining thing wasn’t so misunderstood by myself to begin with.

So, to recap, I did not understand my dormant app was being actively reviewed and assessed all this time, and I probably would have opted to save those people the time and energy if I knew, because I never completed the main functionality (e.g. login works, but users still cannot save anything to their personal Blockstack cloud or whatever). Those would be my initial thoughts on the mining program so far.

Looking more into this (after receiving multiple emails about app mining rewards, trymyui, etc over the past many months that I have mostly ignored for being busy and for lack of understanding until now) it still seems to be a bit of a sprawl of ideas as to the reason TryMyUI people are reviewing my app. I’ll be honest I still don’t entirely get the philosophy, because it seems complex and not really something I feel the need to be passionate about like some of you seem to be, but I did watch the recorded meeting where it was discussed in more depth and people seemed to be voicing a lot of concerns. I’m starting to understand that this app mining program is meant as an impartial way to judge and reward “decentralized” apps against each other, and so I would like to propose an idea that I hope is accurate to the whole purpose of all this (I’ll be honest I have not read this entire thread or the many other long and sometimes confusing discussions about this app mining business). Anyways, all that to say…

The idea I had, and would like to propose assuming I have understood things correctly, is that it would make more sense to have the TryMyUI people comparing two apps against each other, essentially app A vs B, where apps are systematically challenged against each other, so the better app can rise to the top as it continues to win against other apps. It seems to me having a versus system would result in more accurate scoring, although it may be more costly? I’m not sure though because already there are like a ton of reviews on my app that I can see, so if it just took a consensus of let’s say two or three reviewers to give my app a “win” against the next best app, then that process could be repeated with the remaining number of currently redundant reviewers.

Anyways that is my little bit of feedback, and a short idea for how this might work better for what I think I understand to be the intended goal. Regardless, I’ll work on my app some more soon as time allows :slight_smile:. Finally, I see I have 205 “STX” in this Stacks Wallet. I’m not sure how to convert that to USD, or if anyone can actually cash in this digital currency? Maybe like a really basic intro video that goes over all this for someone like me who doesn’t currently want to figure it all out themselves would be nice, and maybe it exists but I haven’t come across it (would have been great an overview like that to show up in my email earlier on when I first completed all the signup steps).

Maybe not the best place to ask but I already kind of touched on this… I’m trying to understand where these STX come from and why… I see one “Received Stacks” in this wallet and the “Sender” viewed in “Explorer” takes me to this page, but I don’t understand if I was awarded these for having made an app? Where do I get an explanation of what is going on with this wallet? If I am receiving payment it is not clear… The date is Nov 08 with memo <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<. Where did the 158 STX come from?

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#2

Found where my app is listed in payout:

https://app.co/mining/october-2019

Using Google to try and find out about App Mining was taking me to so much old stuff, for instance the recording I mentioned watching above was the one on Google Drive, not this newer one on Dropbox:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/2aer7d5vcxuvku7/GMT20190731-160357_July-App-F_1728x1040.mp4?dl=0

I found this through the GitHub repo I didn’t know existed:

https://github.com/blockstack/app-mining/

This forum is what Google searches seemed to take me so maybe pin some of this latest info to the top of this forum? Again most likely my fault for trying to get some answers quickly but that goes back to my point finding out details about App Mining can be a bit of a sprawl when you aren’t doing Blockstack much yet.

EDIT:

This might actually be an issue with how Discord Discourse* works? If I open in incognito tab the about post is at the top:

But it seems to be disappeared in my normal browser?

#3

Hey @leoj :wave:I’m on the app mining team at Blockstack. Thanks for the feedback! And reporting the potential bug in Discord… we’ll have to look into that.

I hear you that it might feel like there’s a lot of text to wade through on app.co/mining and in our documentation. We’re looking to streamline how this info is conveyed. If you’re open to helping us improve further, we can either set up a quick call, or you can share any main questions we can clear up by emailing me on [email protected].

The idea I had, and would like to propose assuming I have understood things correctly, is that it would make more sense to have the TryMyUI people comparing two apps against each other, essentially app A vs B, where apps are systematically challenged against each other, so the better app can rise to the top as it continues to win against other apps.

This would be an excellent candidate for an App Mining Improvement proposal in the GitHub repository! :grinning:

For any further changes to your app’s enrollment in the program, feel free to reply to any of the app mining communications we sent or email [email protected] directly and we’ll proceed accordingly.

#4

Hi Gina, thanks, will make an issue per your suggestion!

To correct myself, I meant to say Discourse* not “Discord”, might have caused you to make the same typo :slight_smile:

I think the GitHub repo is really what a app developer (not exactly a “Blockstack” developer) is really looking for when wanting to understand the whole App Mining thing (that is my preferred format for getting info, probably due to familiarity). The website is nice looking but also like I mentioned typically someone like me is wanting to cut to the chase and get at the source of the information for the “program”. Hope that makes sense.

I’m actually thinking you could make a infographic that shows the “flow” and answers a lot of these high level questions in a more visual way (there is a lot of text about basics that I already grok, and not much text on the parts of how it is all supposed to work as a whole).

EDIT:

Just for completeness, here is the issue I made:

https://github.com/blockstack/app-mining/issues/181

#5

@Gina, one last thing, would you mind answering my question about STX? I’m not a crypto person, just an app developer; What am I supposed to be doing with the STX in my wallet? I keep seeing people referencing “$” which to me means USD, but I don’t really get why people are talking about USD (such as “MyPodium has $20,000+ in total app mining reward”) when all the documentation about App Mining seems to talk about this STX thing?

EDIT:

@Gina, are you saying you’re paying out upwards of $15,000 per month to the persons that developed and registered these apps following the same steps I did?

Guess I am having a hard time understanding where all that money comes from, but now I see there have been millions of dollars raised and something about a 2021 burn rate or whatever. I guess that makes more sense now. One could definitely live off that kind of money (actually be considered rich I think), and you still get to own your app at the end of the day, pretty cool.

EDIT 2:

Still don’t understand what I would need to do to turn STX into cash so I could buy a donut for example?

Am I just dense or does it not say anywhere here how to convert STX to USD?

https://docs.blockstack.org/org/faq.html

How do I even know how many USD one STX is (currently) worth?

EDIT 3:

Finally I found an online converter: https://www.coingecko.com/en/coins/blockstack

Using Google was a fail because “stx” brings up something called “Stox” whatever that is.

#6

This seems insanely overcomplicated. What does this have to do with building a good app?

EDIT:

Seems like the only people this is going to attract are people the want to “game” this “Game Theory” system. Barrier to entry for normal people is high.

#7

More info on STX and our official exchange partners listed here: https://stackstoken.com/

App Mining is part of our token economics and outlined fully in our Whitepaper https://blockstack.org/tokenpaper.pdf

Folks who enter the program don’t necessarily need to focus on the algorithm, they just need to focus on building good apps. The game theorists helped provide the framework to fairly and equally convert feedback from independent reviewers to a combined ranking in a decentralized manner, which might be of interest to some community members. Blockstack is an open source project, so we aimed to keep that mentality when rolling out app mining as well.

Thanks again for the feedback. The program is pretty novel and still in the pilot phase. It’s been about a year since we first launched and have made big improvements with community input and suggestions. Thanks for creating those GitHub issues, too. We’re holding our monthly app miner call on 11/27 at 12PM ET if you’d like to join. :slightly_smiling_face:

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#8

Thanks, think I have found answers to all my questions, even though it was a bit of an effort for me to get to this point. I’ll see what I can do about making an on-boarding script for other non-crypto people that want to make a decentralized app, now that I understand what knowledge needs to be distilled. Still have my reservations about the whole game theory white-paper implementation and seeming unnecessary complexity it adds, however that’s just an unimportant implementation detail.