A lot of unthinkable things have happened since our last announcement! The TravelFeed team is finally peeking out of the rabbit hole to come up with with some exciting news looking forward into the future.
But first, a recap of the last two weeks before we dive into TravelFeed 3.0!
As many of you already know, we had a rough time with two of our team members, when they found themselves without a proper internet connection in a very difficult travel situation due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Fortunately, the entire TravelFeed Team is safe now. Huge thanks to all the community members who came in support and cared for our safety!
Many of our users have been asking us if, or when, we're going to move to Hive. The quick answer: TravelFeed, thanks to the new 3.0 release, is now an independent platform and supports Hive as well.
In order to explain to our users/community more deeply, we need to go back to the prior state of the blockchain and contextualize the driving forces behind the changes. The announcement about Hive and the subsequent split from Steem reached us through the public announcement only two days before the hardfork, just like for most of you. TravelFeed was built fully on Steem, trusting the integrity of governance; for such, we believe that we added value to the Steem apps ecosystem.
The sudden changes and problems with Steem nodes resulted in many outages on our App, resulting in partial shutdown for our users. During the two weeks since the hardfork, our daily number of users dropped by almost 50%. We had to re-evaluate the integrity of DPOS governance and concluded that it can be corrupted easily, just like any centralised financial system, where bank accounts can be frozen by authorities.
It was a wake up call for us, learning the hard way that blockchains are not a home, but a tool. We had to take deep long breaths and look at the situation after some time had passed and re-evaluate where TravelFeed.io is standing.
By building our app so close to Steem, we were dependent on the blockchain, relying on the integrity of witnesses and availability of nodes. With all that’s going on, we currently neither see Hive nor Steem as a reliable platform to build a business, nor there are any incentives for apps to build on either chain. It would be difficult for us to adapt to any future sudden split or any potential threat from both the blockchains.
Moreover, in the last weeks the uncertainty of the @delegationtrust app accelerator program ever coming alive on either chain became more clear. Since the launch of communities, we had to helplessly watch high-quality TravelFeed posts getting low payouts. We have a team of 7 curators and put several hours every day into reviewing each new TravelFeed post manually, but with our low voting power we can’t compete with large curation projects that have now become exclusive to their own communities - we knew that we had to implement changes sooner than later.
We want to build a successful platform and politics are not our main interest, that's why we let our users decide where they want to publish their content.
With the launch of TravelFeed 3.0 we're now a standalone platform fully independent of any third-party blockchain - as opposed to being a “true” dApp as before, when we were fetching all contents from the blockchain and letting users contribute from other frontends, we now operate similar to some other apps on Hive and Steem that (let users) write transactions to the blockchain, but do not read anything from the blockchain. In fact, TravelFeed can now be used without pushing any transactions to any blockchain - our users are in full control of if and where they would like to push their content outside of TravelFeed. Currently, we support pushing votes, comments and posts made on TravelFeed to Hive and Steem, but we are open to including other blockchains and platforms in the near future. We will continue to distribute upvotes to posts both on Hive and Steem, but only if they were published through TravelFeed.io. We would like to invite anyone who is powering down their STEEM and no longer using their voting power to follow our curation trail on Steemauto. With becoming a standalone platform, we will no longer support contributing posts, comments or votes through other frontends, but we have moved all existing content.
Investors and supporters of TravelFeed, please rest assured, we're still planning on releasing our own token and we will continue to honor your delegations, whether they are on Hive or Steem. With not only the security of funds, but also the future and release date of SMTs uncertain on both chains, we are now also considering other blockchains for launching our token.
There are many more changes, ideas and future plans not covered in this announcement post because, well, you would be reading until the early morning hours. Please keep an eye on our future announcements!
TravelFeed Becoming A Standalone Platform
With the release of 3.0, which is our biggest implementation of changes yet since we introduced TravelFeed.io, we're now fully independent. All content is now saved in our own database and is secure and immune to whatever blockchain trouble ahead in the future.
Content Distribution Service - Cross Posting
With this update, you don't need a blockchain account to use TravelFeed.io. That means your content stays on the TravelFeed.io platform and could be easily edited and deleted if that's your wish. If you're interested in maximising your post exposure and possible rewards offered thanks to rewards distributed on different blockchains, we're offering a cross posting service, currently supporting Hive and Steem. Please revise these settings on your dashboard.
In order to secure your content by storing all your articles and media on our servers we need to cover additional costs and decided to implement a 10% beneficiary share of the rewards your posts and comments are generating thanks to our new content distribution service. Please let us know if the percentage is too much but we hope that our new push service will offset these 10%. With just one press of a button your articles are being distributed to currently three (more to come in the future) possible platforms, this should increase your overall rewards. Additionally, it makes your post eligible for a TravelFeed upvote, which should offset the 10% for most posts.
We have been working around the clock to transform the code for our 3.0 update. We started in February to turn TravelFeed into a fully independent platform supporting cross-posting to both Steem and Hive. In order to launch as soon as possible, we have temporarily disabled a few features that require more effort to migrate. While we have tested 3.0 extensively, however, the period for testing was much shorter than what we usually aim for before major releases. If you discover any bugs, we kindly ask you to report them to us, so we can fix them as soon as possible.
Why are there 3 different account types and usernames?
Since the hard fork on March 20th, Steem and Hive are completely separate blockchains. This means, that creating an account on one chain does not create it on the other chain. This causes several problems for applications supporting both chains. To illustrate this, if we were using only one username, the following exploit would be possible:
User Bob creates a new account on Hive and logs into TravelFeed. However, his username is not registered on Steem. Hacker Mallory can now create an account with Bob's username on Steem.
- Mallory logs into TravelFeed with her Steem account - but Mallory gets logged into Bob's account since the username is identical. Since TravelFeed thinks she is Bob, Mallory can post and vote on TravelFeed in Bob's name and even cross-post to Bob's Hive account.
- Alice creates a post on TravelFeed, cross-posts to Hive and Steem and sets Bob as beneficiary. However, on Steem, Mallory received Bob's share of the post reward since she owns the account with the same username.
This is why we are introducing TravelFeed usernames that are separate from Steem and Hive usernames. We have done the following migrations:
- If you registered an account on TravelFeed.io or logged in with your Steem account before March 20th, your account exists on TravelFeed with your Steem username. You can log in with Hivesigner or Steemconnect. If you logged in with EasyLogin or Steemconnect before, cross-posting to both Steem and Hive is enabled already.
- If you registered an account on TravelFeed.io or logged in with your Steem account after March 20th, your account exists on TravelFeed with your Steem username. Your Steem account is connected, but not your Hive account (if you have one). You can log in with Steemconnect (or EasySignUp, if set up) and connect a Hive account in the settings. If you logged in with EasyLogin or Steemconnect previously, cross-posting to Steem is already enabled.
- If you never logged into TravelFeed.io before but posted to TravelFeed from third-party frontends using one of the participating tags or communities, your account exists on TravelFeed with your Steem username. You can log in with Steemconnect (or EasySignUp, if set up) and connect a Hive account in the settings. You have to enable cross-posting manually.
- If you have never used TravelFeed before but own a Steem or Hive account, you do not own a TravelFeed account and your Steem/Hive username can be claimed by anyone. Log in with Hivesigner or Steemconnect today to claim your username!
If you have a profile on TravelFeed but get prompted to choose a username when logging in, you probably tried to sign in with Hivesigner without previously connecting your Hive account to your TravelFeed account. Sign in with Steemconnect and connect your Hive account in the settings.
You can link one Steem/Hive account to your TravelFeed account, the username does not have to match your TravelFeed username. A Steem/Hive account may only be linked to a single TravelFeed account at a time.
New Terms And Conditions
Please be aware that we updated our Terms and Conditions, please login to your to TravelFeed.io account and accept the new terms when prompted to you.
- New database:
- Before, users posted from tf to the Steem blockchain, Hivemind then synced the posts from a Steem node (~10sec+). Now, all posts go directly into the tf database (super fast!)
- As common with most apps, synchronisation is now one-way from tf to the blockchains(s), but not the other way round - posts can no longer be submitted from other platforms
- Significant query performance improvements
- Using tf to its full extend is possible without requiring a blockchain account -> future one-click account creation possible
- All data are now stored in a single database and querying is much easier
- Support for geospatial queries (e.g. finding nearby posts)
- Supporting several external platforms/blockchains is possible since the database no longer syncs from an external source
- Removed all dependencies on unreliable Steem API, except for communities API (moved to Hive for now). External login services (steemconnect/hivesigner) will still be affected by API outages
- Account names were only migrated for existing TravelFeed users
- Crossposting service & Hive support:
- Blockchain account is not mandatory to use tf
- Link blockchain accounts in settings to enable automated cross-posting of posts, comments & votes.
- Can only be done by granting posting authority, client signing is no longer supported
- If nodes of supported blockchains are offline, tf will continue to work and the actions will be broadcasted as soon as the nodes are online again. Same for blockchain restrictions such as low RC, rate limits - the queue system will post as soon as possible
- For this service we are introducing a 10% beneficiary for posts/comments submitted through tf
- New community-based curation system: Any user who moderates a supported community (Currently the Hive API is used to determine the user role) can review posts submitted to this community. They then make it to the lists of posts to be curated that is reviewed by a senior curator from the tf team.
- New comment section:
- Much faster loading
- improved layout
- Removed smile display/ability to smile at comments
- Inbox-section in Dashboard replaces comments/replies/notifications. New features include an unread section to better keep track of comments
- Add announcement blogs to dashboard, show only announcements instead of all tf posts in sidebar
- Access to matomo statistics in Dashboard: monthly post views
- Support for viewing non-English posts
- Emoji support for all browsers using tweemoji
- Render all feeds on the client (prevents caching issues)
- Fix html editor dark mode
- More details in card headers: Community, user role
- Better post recommendations: Now nearby posts are suggested instead of posts from the same country
- Increased login validity time to 90 days - especially great for app users!
Temporarily removed features
We have been coding non-stop for the past week, but in order to push out 3.0 as soon as possible, we have not upgraded all features yet and disabled some temporarily that used to be closely linked to Steem. These features will be back later this month adjusted to our new system.
- Post scheduling
- Map (temporarily showing only a small selection of posts)
- Setting up EasyLogin for existing blockchain accounts
- Payout type & beneficiary picker (steem account !== hive account if created after the fork -> cannot use same beneficiaries for both chains)
- Keychain support
- Payouts overview (payouts can be seen in the Dashboard posts tab for each chain separately)
- Wallet page
- Resteem button
Winners of This Week's Round-up
And with all this exciting news, we don't want to forget to highlight our three favorite TravelFeed.io posts from this week. The rewards will go to the first three places as follows: 1st place - 14 STEEM, 2nd place - 7 STEEM and 3rd place - 3 STEEM.
The thumbnails are directly linked to the original posts. Please, click on the image and enjoy the read!
We’re in Beta and continuously improve TravelFeed, meaning that there are still some bugs. If you notice anything or have feedback for us, please don’t hesitate to contact us on Discord, leave a comment or open a bug report on Github!
Consider Delegating To Us
Once we launch our token, there will be a generous airdrop to delegators. Your delegation does not only supports the growth of this incredible project, but also helps the entire travel community. Our voting power is fully used for curation of the best TravelFeed posts. Feel free to use the following links according to the amount you would like to delegate to @travelfeed, or head to our Support Us page to delegate a custom amount with the click of a button.
Delegate Hive Power100 HP | 250 HP | 500 HP | 1000 HP
2500 HP | 5000 HP | 10000 HP
15000 HP | 25000 HP
Delegate Steem Power100 SP | 250 SP | 500 SP | 1000 SP
2500 SP | 5000 SP | 10000 SP
15000 SP | 25000 SP
We'd like to thank every single delegator who believes and trusts in us.
Vote for Our Witness
You can support TravelFeed by voting for our Hive witness @travelfeed. If you want to vote for our witness but are not sure how to do that, it's easy: Head over to our Support Us page and hit the witness voting button to vote with Hive Keychain, or Hivesigner if you are not a Keychain user. Alternatively, use this Hivesigner link.