Good afternoon, Steemit. I’ve been stewing with my thoughts these last few days. This one isn’t going to be about vintage lingerie models. It’s more of a free-write/thought piece of social migrations on the internet, and where I fall in to that personally. Lately, I’ve been realizing there is a tale of two internets. The centralized internet and the decentralized internet, and that admission that I’m increasingly neglecting one for the other. Being that this blog is coming to you via Steemit, I think it’s obvious where I lang amongst the two.
The centralized internet to me, until recently, was just “the internet”. I didn’t know there was an alternative until @mada turned me on to Steemit in the summer of 2016. Just to be fair, I have made hundreds of thousands of dollars over the seven years I’ve been on Instagram and Facebook. It was the primary avenue to reach potential clients and book shoots. As of today, I have 30K followers on Instagram and it still the most effective way to announce travel and book work across the US.
The cost of that convenience is a bargain with the devil. Less for me than for some of my friends that are legitimate brand endorsers and influencers, but still the same, Instagram, like Facebook, have transitioned to the ad revenue model. They gave us the platform to build massive audiences on the merits of our content and hard work, then once we reached the top of the silo to the point that there is NO WAY we’d delete our accounts in protest, they changed their algorithm. Currently, creators like myself reach only a fraction of what we did a few years ago, unless we’re willing to pay.
It’s that kind of blatant dismissal of their users’ value to a platform that made me open my eyes. This was even before my discover to Steemit. Companies have to be profitable, sure, but I saw this […as did millions of others] as predatory and exploitative. Let’s also not forget most of these centralized platforms claim ownership over content posted by their users. It was like being in an abusive relationship, having the awareness that you were unappreciated and repeatedly wronged, but gas lit in to thinking there wasn’t a way out. And much like those relationships, you look back in hindsight wondering why you stayed as long as you did.
Enter 2016. @mada asked me to upvote one of his writings on a new website. I created an account, only to do that. After a week or so, I decided to make my introduction post. My introduction here on Steemit made over $1,600. Really, $16 would have been massively impactful on my psych for all the reasons mentioned above. @mada went on to explain what “decentralized” meant. How my content here is my own, and rewarded by the community. It really sent my head spinning, and I embarked on a continuing journey to understand this new internet.
Recently, friends like @vintagevandalizm and even my own @vermillionfox have been reminding me “…make sure you post something on Instagram!”. I’m still at a point that I need to engage with that audience to stay relevant, but I find it fascinating that I need to be reminded of it. In fact, when I think of it, I spent far more time on @dtube and @dlive than YouTube. I have a project underway with @tarotbyfergus, @treigh-c, @iamredbar and @verillionfox called the @axiomproject, which is going straight to those video platforms.
@ghostfish and I are even working on a horror anthology and after months of meeting, writing, drawing and talking, we’re going with @fundition to fund the project. On one hand, it seems crazy to completely bypass Patreon and Kickstarter, and on the other, not at all! We’re still early days in DAC’s and dApps, even with Steemit’s massive head start. As time goes on, though, how can any centralized company compete? For me at least, it’s beyond a conscious decision. Subconsciously, I find myself leaving the centralized space.
Beyond the obvious benefits of a decentralized internet, there are subtleties that I haven’t found in the corporate centralized structures. Much of that is community and deeper, lasting friendships. The relationships I’ve made through Steemit have become important representations of what makes our alternative to Facebook and Instagram so much more meaningful. Even friends I haven’t had a chance to meet in person [yet] are closer in my mind and heart than Facebook friends I’ve known for 20 years […in many cases].
There is an aspect to this decentralized internet that I feel is a secret club. We are all, for the most part, self-aware of what is happening. How it’s going to disrupt industries, companies and especially social networks like the Facebook and Instagram juggernauts. There is a reckoning coming. Thanks for reading these random thoughts on life, decentralization and where the two intersect. I like getting these posts out of my head occasionally. I post daily. For more commentary, art, photography and illustration, follow me here @kommienezuspadt!