The sentiment around Steem over the last few months has been very grimm, with more are more negativity, or people just flatout leaving the platform. I still have ALOT of faith in Steem as a gamechanger, but can see several factors holding back Steem from mainstream adoption
Current crypto market
I thought I would talk about the elephant in the room first - it has been a horrible year for crypto, lets not sugar coat it! When I joined back in February, the price was around $3.50, and now it is hovering near the $0.30 mark! It is the same with pretty much the entire market, and it is easy for the everyday person to look at this and think that these markets are just a bubble and will end up at zero.
Us Steemians who are still here know differently (well most of us, anyway!), and that the markets work in cycles, but we aren't the ones who need convincing. Sadly the market might not reverse anytime soon.
Direction and marketing/education
With the recent video of @ned about laying off 70% of Steem inc staff, it seems that this wont happen anytime soon (atleast not by @ned and co anyway). As far as I have seen Steem has been hovering for a long time with no real direction or lead as to how we will go about mass adoption. I havent seen much/if any real marketing push towards onboarding new users to the blockchain - there are loads of great dapps and use cases now, but not enough push towards converting those users from their centralised alternatives.
In terms of education, I think Steem, and some of the early investors went about it the wrong way (search up Steem on Youtube and you will know what I mean!). There are loads of videos about how easy it is to make $1000 a week (or more!) just by doing what you would be doing on other social media - most of us here know this is just straight up BS!
The direction for marketing they should be focusing on (in my opinion) is that Steem is a decentralised alternative which doesn't track or spy on its users, and also has no advertising. See what I did there - I didnt focus on how it rewards its users for creating content, and they will all become mega rich in weeks. Yes new users should know that money can be made on Steem, but by focusing on this in marketing efforts, this is where new users energy goes (and also why many leave calling it a scam).
This is something I have given alot of thought to and maybe it is time for users to band together and start a SteemMarketing account, raise some delegation and get out there and forge the future themselves, rather than waiting for @ned to fix it all for us - he has made it clear that wont happen anytime soon as Steemit inc is in 'survival mode'.
Steem can be complicated!
Steem really needs to work on making the sign up process more smooth (taking a week or two to get an account is not a good start!). In addition to this, Steem is complicated to begin with - Steem, Steem Power, SBD, bid bots, powering up/powering down, flags, Discord, dapps and much, much more! It is easy to see why those users who aren't fully up with technology (or just want a simple experience) don't last long on Steem.
It is great to see that some dapps are now onboarding users via their dapps, and I think this will lead to an increase in user retention - alot of these users might never venture out of their specific dapp, and only use Steem for their use case, which is excellent!
I would love to see a dapp that is esentially a Steem version of Facebook/Instagram, as I think this could really bring in a lot of users, as it would be something familiar to them, but would be decentralised and have no advertising. I think @dlike are on the right track with their familair content sharing platform, and it will be interesting to see what new developments they come up with.
Although most of the Steemians who are still posting regularly know that Steem is a solid platform, we need to band together and educate the everyday users about the benefits of Steem. As I outlined above I think for Steem to see mass adoption will require changes in the overall market, changes in marketing and direction, and simplifying some of Steems features for the lay person.
What do you think is holding back Steem from mass adoption?