How to Use beBee Hives to Your Best Advantage?
We approach anything new by comparing it to what we already know. That's normal. It's expected. It's a great strategy. It helped us survive.
It's one of the things that allowed us, a prey animal, to rise to dominance on this big blue rock of ours.
What happens when something only looks familiar? That could cause issues. We see the familiar and stop investigating. We miss potency in favor of familiarity.
beBee Hives are an example of the familiar that masks the incredible. It's not that familiarity has failed us. It's just that we didn't go back far enough.
Many of us are used to LinkedIn Groups. Groups were a virtual meeting place where people with a common interest would congregate. They could be about anything. They were pretty cool until they got “improved.”
Hives can be Groups. When I first got to beBee, I assumed that "Hive" were just a cute name for "Group".
Yes, it is, but Hives are not so crude.
Facebook and LinkedIn both have Company pages. Some people saw Hives as beBee's versions of Company Pages.
Yes, they are, but Hives are not so crude.
Some people, myself included, saw Hives as content dividers. Hives can segregate different types of content matching different sides of a personality.
Yes, they can do that, but Hives are not so crude.
So what are Hives?
Hives are containers. They are just boxes. That may not sound very sexy.
The realization that Hives were just boxes was an AHA-moment for me. The general nature of a Hive is what makes it so powerful.
A Hive can be a Group. It can be a Bulletin Board. It can be a Discussion venue. It can be a content aggregator. It can be a file folder.
It’s a box. It can hold whatever you want.
Hive as Aggregator
If I wanted to create a “Paul’s Writing Posts” Hive, I could put all posts about writing in there. If you wanted to find them, or if you wanted a particular one, it would be easy.
Another Hive, “Paul’s Twitter Posts” could hold all my Twitter growth-hacking posts.
Simplified cooking stuff already goes to Cooking for Men and other Culinary-Challenged People
What about the other way, the flip-side?
What if I see a post but don’t have the time to read it immediately? Why can’t I just share it to my “Paul’s Reading List” Hive to find it later?
I can. Actually, that’s a good idea. I’ll have to create that Hive.
Hives can act as company pages. Why not? Hives are just boxes and boxes don’t particularly care what you put in them.
Paul’s Super-Duper Widgets Ltd can have their own hive. They can put their company blog, product announcements, or whatever in there.
Come to think of it, they can put all that stuff into different Company hives if that suits them better.
Hives are great for FAQ type of posts too. Maja Vujovic created the beBee Cheat Sheet Hive for newcomers. It covers many aspects of getting up and running quickly and smoothly. This post is headed there.
Possible Improvements to Hives
You know I can never leave well enough alone. I pester Federico to no end. I’m surprised he hasn’t blocked me...yet.
The next paragraphs are my ramblings on how we can push Hives to the next level. Some of my suggestions fly against the wind of basic beBee philosophy.
That’s how planes take off.
Hive as Bulletin Board
Simple short posts, with or without images, videos and URLs should be shareable by a bunch of Bees. They aren’t. If you write a simple update there is no beBee sharing option.
If we add a beBee share option to simple status updates, we would instantly give Hives BBS capability.
It would work like a mini-Twitter without the roaring feed and specific content.
Hive as Chat Room
This one is more controversial. One of beBee's core principles is the concept of open access. Still, there are things that we can’t share publicly.
I don’t mean the state-secret type of things. I mean, for example, using a Hive to collaborate on something. Until finished, it should not be open to public view.
Here’s an example. I have been working out a series of hacks for self-publishing and distribution of eBooks. I am only at the concept/planning stage. Testing will start soon. Several bees have expressed interest in discussing this.
I'm okay with that.
I can't open the discussion to 11 million bees. If the hacks prove effective, we will need to keep them fairly quiet.
Public hacks are often ineffective hacks. Sometimes, they become closed hacks.
There needs to be a privacy setting on Hives. There I said it.
I know Javier doesn’t agree. Neither does Fede. I got it off my chest anyway.
Hive as File Folder
It would be nice to use Hives as file folders. You could classify things by topic. You could classify them by whatever suits your whim/need.
You can do that now, but not very well.
beBee limits you to three Hives when you post. That’s a good thing. Imagine some “genius” deciding to post to all 23,107 Hives.
Still, it limits legitimate usage.
It worked out, but it’s an inelegant solution, like opening walnuts with a jackhammer.
We can’t use Hives as file folders until we figure out a workaround.
If I want to share this post to the Cheat Sheet, Paul’s Social Media Tips, and Paul’s Writing Tips, that would be that. Since the last two are just (fictional) folders, I trade distribution for convenience.
Maybe we can keep the 3-hive limit but ignore owned hives? That way, I could “share” to my convenience folders and still get my distribution. Anti-spam would remain intact. It's a win-win.
I would limit the exemption to owned hives. Otherwise, we will see hives with thousands of “administrators.” Another possibility would be to limit the number of administrators a hive can have. TomAYto, TomAHto, same fruit.
I would like to be able to pin a post to first position in a hive. That way, I could describe what the hive is all about and provide links to related hives. Yes, I can do that in the description, but,Hive descriptions are limiting. A pinned post solves the problem.
- A pinned post can also act as an index to the Hive. We would only need to add URLs to particular posts. That would mean we would need to be able to edit existing posts. We could also re-post and re-pin them. That's also inelegant.
- It would also be nice to be able to reorder posts within a hive. Only the Hive Owner or Administrator should be able to do that.
Parent / Child Hives
It would also be nice to divide Hives into sub-Hives. Actual bees do it with satellite hives, why not us? So I could have a hive, with sub-hives for writing about Dialog, Plot, and Honest Politicians. That way all facets of fiction would be covered.