Development Direction: ICONalyst

Hello everyone!

I wanted to reach out to the community to discuss a few things related to my development efforts, resources and direction going forward.

As many of you know I developed and launched in the weeks leading up to decentralization. At the time there was little information on the public facing governance tools and interfaces being built on ICON, and nothing that really compiled P-Rep data in a place people could categorize/utilize to help them make decisions about voting. The website also includes voting information for P-Reps and the like, but the vision was and has been to provide a portal for ICONists to get meaningful information on P-Reps, their activities and various performance metrics. Overall it’s not perfect, but it was something I could work on and continue to build up over time. This was supposed to be my core contribution to the ICON network to help us get delegations/funding to work on more projects.

I don’t depend on ICON for my livelihood and work on ICON related stuff part time outside of my “day job” (.net application development) and dealt with a job transition at the start of the year, which was exacerbated with COVID-19 rearing its ugly head. As you can imagine, during this time, I had little time to focus on much else and I stopped doing any ICON related dev for a couple months. This stuff happens and it’s not a huge deal, but the impact on the trajectory and momentum I had was significant and i’m looking for community input on where to go from here.

To be frank, ICONalyst isn’t being used much. Only a handful of P-reps have updated their profiles at all, and only a handful of users have ever interacted with it. There has been little feedback (good or bad) about it. The web analytics suggest it’s barely used too. Further, In the months since decentralization a number of P-Reps and the ICON Foundation have released some amazing tools, websites and apps that have eroded the objective utility of ICONalyst overall. While there still isn’t a tool that compiles P-Rep data together quite like ICONalyst currently is, there also seems to be little interest in such a thing, overall, anyway.

I have been working over the past couple weeks on another round of updates, as I have time, for ICONalyst (ICONex integration, UI updates, bug fixes, new rating system & metrics, etc), but i’m starting to question if my efforts, in that regard, are being wasted. After all, teams with much more funding and available man-hours are doing similar things or requesting funding to do similar things. And if, so, what I could be doing instead as a P-Rep to help actually grow and promote ICON in a meaningful and useful way? At this point I don’t know how to bring value to ICON as a developer if it isn’t through ICONalyst, except to try and launch a business that makes use if the ICON network and i’m confounded.

I’ve also started working on an ICON powered DApp I think will be awesome, but its success depends on many factors and it’s still in early design stages. Looking to release more information and, possibly, request funding for that ASAP, but with my time split currently, it will still be awhile before I can deliver anything concrete for that.

With the recent reductions in I_Rep (which are, objectively, a great thing for ICON!) and IISS 3.0 changes coming down the pipe, it’s going to also get increasingly hard to financially support tools, especially if they aren’t widely valued by the community, and this is overlooking the need to cover a 5% bond in the next few months or my declared obligation of using 25% of our P-Rep rewards on marketing/promotion.

So, I’m looking for community feedback:

Should I continue to try and enhance, support and grow and, if so, what would you like to see from such a tool?

Or… should I stop wasting effort on a tool that, in many ways is superseded by other P-Rep efforts and isn’t that well received anyway and focus on trying to deliver on ICON DApp(s) that may or may not have any success at all?

Or… Something else entirely. Any suggestions on what is needed? Keeping in mind that, at this point, much of my efforts fall well within the realm of “a hobby that pays” currently.

I’d love to hear feedback as I try to make some of these decisions.

Brandon (Foundry Box Media)