My thoughts on HF20, RCs, SMTs, and the future of SteemsteemCreated with Sketch.

in #busy6 years ago (edited)

Prologue

I always have the best conversations on Discord. I read what people are saying, I think about how all the pieces fit together, and then I share my own thoughts. Sometimes people suggest that I should do a post on something. Usually I'm too busy, but with Steemauto down for the last few days I've had a little extra time.

Scale

Steemit, Inc cares about scale, not as much about the existing users. If the platform is built to scale to millions (or billions) of users, it's not as important how many individuals leave along the way. Right now Steem does NOT scale. Sure we talk about the theoretical transaction limits of graphene, but... it takes 12 hours to replay a node? I takes how many GB of RAM to run a witness? What does that go up to when we have 1 million active users (not just 1 million accounts)?

Front-ends

The future Steem direction is a blockchain built for platforms and programs. For front-ends like Utopian-io. For dApps like dTube, Partiko, dSound. We see this with RC's, with Hivemind, with SMTs.

Condensers will have their own front-ends, SMTs, and RC's. You will create a new account with that website as recovery; they track your keys on their end and you have a normal login/password on your end. They may have normal advertising, sponsored content, or maybe even subscription models as independent revenue sources and use that to ensure that their users have a seamless experience.

There will be RC markets where users or accounts not consuming RCs will be able to sell them to other programs. They will use their own tools to squelch spammers/scammers through their platforms. If you use a walled garden, you don't have to worry about RC's at all (since the walled garden will make sure you have enough as long as you follow their TOS).
Maybe they will develop their own reward models (SMT) and publish everything with their account as full beneficiary for the normal STEEM/SBDs. I would hope not, but if their users don't know they're on Steem, then why not...?

Steemit is the Wild West

If you want direct access to the blockchain (to bypass walled gardens, or to see and interact with everyone) you can continue to use Steemit, or even your own condenser. If you stick with the wild west of Steemit, you will need to track things like RC's, private keys, and hundreds or thousands of (mostly worthless) SMTs that will clutter your wallet. But it will give you access to airdrops from all the early SMTs that haven't gone full garden yet, along with priveleged access to every dApp that wants to woo the existing user-base instead of building their own from scratch.

Depending on the restrictions of the walled gardens, you will have limited to no interaction with their members. Maybe you will have to hold their token for your content to appear to their members. Or maybe you will have to use their condenser and beneficiaries. Some people will create rogue accounts and enter walled gardens to preach to their inhabitants about the freedom of the wild west and the STEEM/SBD rewards that come with it that their garden overlords are 'stealing' from them.

A Bold Future

In 5-10 years, it will be like a whole new internet, built on a blockchain, with Steem as the protocol layer that it runs on and RC's the distributed resource that drive the underlying value of STEEM and make running an extremely expensive witness node actually worthwhile.

Will it happen?

Everything depends on Steemit, Inc.'s ability to pull off the bold vision. Right now it feels bleak. Users are dropping off left and right, engagement is down, and to top it off I have to think about whether this post is good enough to be the one post that I post today. For me that's easy... I don't post that often.

But what about contests like PIFC? Freewrite? Open Mic? I see contest managers wondering if it's responsible stewardship to expect their contestants to spend their valuable comments on each others entries. If we don't reach equilibrium quickly, a lot of programs will die. That worries me.

I'm optimistic about the bold future, but I worry a lot about the people and communities that are already here, the individuals that have put heart and soul into building something, only to see their entire user-base disappear from a 'forced' 5-day hiatus.

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You're painting a future in which there is no point to use the main Steem blockchain as the back-end. If a "walled garden" is the only way to scale, what benefit does that garden get for competing with all the other DApps on Steem, compared with its own blockchain? (Heck, that could even be the same code.) Even in the walled garden model, if Steem can't afford the activity level it has today, how will it support these future applications with greater numbers of virtual users, no matter how few on-blockchain accounts they are funnelled through?

I find the argument that the Steem user base is a valuable resource unconvincing, if most of the scaling must take place outside the Steem user base.

Right now I can get a hosted Wordpress site for about $8/month, with introductory prices as low as $1/month. $8/month = $96/year = 109.5 STEEM. So if you can't provide at least a year of good experience for people with about 100 SP, which is where I am now, the platform isn't scaling. Dreamwidth accounts are even cheaper. (We can argue about the difference between rent and equity, but it does take 13 months to fully cash out so it's not exactly a liquid holding either.)

If the lesson of RCs is that blockchain is too expensive (as a content distribution technology) to run at the scale of hundreds of thousands of users, a user layer on top of that will not change the economics.

You cannot compare your investment in SP with something you pay elsewhere. After one year the money you paid for the blog is gone, your SP paid interest in your wallet.

I agree it is not as simple a comparison as I laid out, though I still feel that is a useful rule of thumb for "what do I get for my up-front investment."

We can compare the discounted future value of the SP I have at the end of the year, with the cost of paying for a service instead. Even if I believe STEEM is going to hold its value (the trend line isn't so good), $100 next year is not worth as much as $100 today.

How much SP do I need to buy? More than 100 STEEM in the initial RC rollout (though maybe better in 20.4). 200? 1000? At 1000 we're talking about a nontrivial investment risk, that may well come out worse in NPV terms than just paying $8/month.

(Also, I made an error in my comment; it takes 13 weeks, not months, to power down--- but too RC-poor to edit.)

It maybe useful for you, but only because you compare this platform to something it isn't set out to be.

The point is not that the walled gardens are the only way to scale. Walled gardens are the ultimate benefit of a decentralized SMT block chain. The point is that RC's are essential to reaching the scale that will support the walled gardens.

And you're right, if you don't stand to benefit from running on a decentralized platform, then block chain isn't the right choice. But that is a problem bigger than steem. Decentralized protocols are inherently more expensive than centralised tech stacks. Every project that does not gain more benefit from being decentralized than it spends in extra cost will ultimately, eventually, fail.

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i am a speck. one of the loyal nobodies at PAL and Helpie who spent the last year putting my heart, soul and limited investment cash into steem on the chance that it might pan out somewhere in the future.

im not a dev or a techie, i dont really understand most of the advanced lingo or discussions, nor do i have a super talent like music or art. i just write content and try to keep my community positive and vital.

this is what i came here for. community. connection. integrity. and in the last week that community has been undermined by bork.

i read this at the suggestion of pharesim, who said it spoke of the path forward steemit will be taking. and while i understand about scale, and how content is becoming "meaningless", i havent a clue how the minnows are supposed to move forward. the ones who brought in new users, who worked so hard to regulate content, to keep ethics and honesty in the platform.

i see the concern about the future of steemit. we now have a lot of competition, bitcoin and market prices are unreliable. yet it seems like we have been abandoned by the upper tier without a thought, by the elders that chide us for not being able to keep up.

what i think we need now is guidance - how we, the small fish, can continue to grow, to keep our projects and contributions vital.

it seems the big leaders want to make the bold moves, yet they arent really leading, they are just expecting us to follow. the small community leaders are busting ass trying to prevent mass exodus from communities they have poured blood and sweat into.

it would be nice to see something concrete in laymans terms from the powers that be. visibility, assurance. perhaps im out of line, im just one small voice throwing in my .00002 steem due to depreciation..

I agree that it would be helpful for the top witnesses and Steemit to do more to acknowledge the struggles of small accounts and programs. Even if the future value comes from New dapps, is the existing communities and strong member base that will attract them to build on Steem instead of ethereum, EOS, fill-in-the-blank.

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I agree that initial comments coming out of STINC sounded a lot like chiding, or at least were defensively indignant. But the tone has begun to shift. It shouldn't have taken them so long to realize that minnows and plankton are the heart and soul of steemit, and can't be ignored if it's to be successful, but at last it seems like they have. I hope they will continue to realize that resource allocation scaling directly alongside SP is not the best choice for them. At the very least, larger delegations should come with initial account set-ups, I think.

But the tone has begun to shift. It shouldn't have taken them so long to realize that minnows and plankton are the heart and soul of steemit, and can't be ignored if it's to be successful, but at last it seems like they have.

Is there something specific you're thinking of here? I feel like I must have missed something.

Yes? I don't know where I was seeing things specifically since there were resteems and such, and it's been a few days, so my feed is deep. But I saw lots of self-congratulatory posts and, in response to frustrations, claims that we should be patient because the system would resolve itself and maybe we should buy more steem if we weren't able to do enough yet. I think it took them a while to realize that this was a problem that was affecting even enfranchised users who had invested time, labor, and money to the blockchain, not just Suzy-come-latelys. Perhaps we should all learn a little patience, but I think the correct initial post upon hardfork should have been more conscious of the immediate impact, more cautious, and more conciliatory and reassuring. That's my PR perspective.

Separately, when I expressed my frustrations on discord, I felt like a witness shut me down, dismissed my concerns, and told me to stop complaining. Which is, like, sure, we're all just people having human reactions and trying to protect our egos, myself included. That being said, I do expect a lot of professionalism from both witnesses and STINC, which includes more explicit acknowledgement that something went wrong and will be fixed. I just really didn't see any explicit reassurance in the hours and days after the event that, if things didn't resolve themselves without intervention, they would intervene: they would do what was necessary to make it so new users could have a good experience on the Steem blockchain.

That's all. It was a little bit about what "they" said, but it was more about what "they" didn't say. ("They" means here, whoever it is that speaks with authority on the subject of HF20, from witnesses to STINC to even just the largest stakeholders.)

Sorry for not being more clear - it wasn't the initial bad attitude I was questioning, it was the idea that it had improved. I agree 100% with what you're saying here. What I'm missing is any attitude change that might have gone along with the new patch.

Oh! Yes. I saw a witness say, explicitly, if problems persist, they will do what is necessary to keep fixing it. Which is not an about-face, but is as least acknowledgement that things needn't be left to resolve themselves.

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I am optimistic, but apprehensive. Everything is in a holding pattern, it seems. I have not heard of any groups throwing in the towel yet, but they are discouraged and questioning where before they were thriving and growing.

The one I am most concerned for, and would be most discouraged if it was lost, is @themesopotamians. Why this group? It is the most innovative community building effort in my opinion due to its tiered approach to account building and "level up" projects that encourage each member to start up their own community initiatives, as, well. My concern is both because I value the project, and because it is relatively new and small - despite a clear roadmap and great early results, I worry it could now be strangled.

Other community projects I've had direct involvement with include @ifc, @pifc, @steemmonsters, and @steembasicincome. All seem to be on hold, or down to minimal activity. I expect they'll be all right but don't know.

Other initiatives or games I wonder about post hf20:
@dustsweeper
@voronoi's Blocktower game
@soundwavesphoton's Inspirobot contest

I want to see the bold vision in the walled garden idea, but I don't. Decentralized pools of delegated RC I can see. Separate protected bubbles that all use Steem for some reason, I cannot. Maybe it's cause I'm American, but can you imagine the outcome of the two world wars if someone had written a patch that forced our Wild West into walled gardens? If we allowed it? We wouldn't have, by the way.

I'm gonna need a different metaphor.

That paragraph at this moment means a lot toward keeping it. Thank you.

We're actually way, way better off in terms of resource credit usage than almost any other project at our level, so we won't be strangled by that, but might be by discouragement at the state of Steem in general. My appetite for continuing to invest is quite low in the last few days.

I can see why you'd be discouraged.
I don't have the technical knowledge to make any comment on the state of the code/dev process. I could comment on PR and user experience but I won't; it's been done. My two points of hope are:

  1. Everything I already thought about Steem before the fork. It hasn't changed its fundamentals (I don't think).
  2. I haven't seen a spam or phishing comment since the fork, but I've been able to resume normal activity.

I'm not sure if I l have confidence yet, but definitely hope.

My appetite has plateaued as well. I was buying up until recently, and feel very nervous about my current investment, all things considered.

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Thanks for stopping by. Actually I run @steembasicincone, and we paused to let VP rebuild and then business as usual. We could actually comment on each member once per week with their current enrollment levels and still be fine RC wise. That's a 'maybe' in my roadmap, btw, not an announcement... ;)

I assume that programs like @dustsweeper and @steem-ua will be fine too.

The other programs you list are more about member engagement, and that's an area where I worry a lot more. If keeping highly engaged in comment threads becomes too expensive, how much will smaller members of these communities still support each other?

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Yeah I knew @steembasicincome was yours, it just needed a mention!

As of today, all activities on Steem seem back to normal, as far as I can tell.

And yeah, I was wondering about @steem-ua, too.

Most @steem-ua upvotes I have seen are high enough that the SP backing the vote would easily generate enough RC to pay for the comments too.

The real concern is whether the minnows that most need those upvotes can afford to continue the delegation to qualify, while still having enough RC to actively engage in the community.

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So Steemit has always been DOA?
Too bad they have to always replay the nodes.
Could they run two nodes at once so one always works and everything isn't down while the replaying happens?

Smart witness are running backups, so that node kicks in while the primary is being replayed for the fix. That's why steem doesn't stop entirely whenever a fix with replay required is released.

But if the fix require replay, it still won't go into effect until the consensus nodes have all replayed.

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WILL there be RC markets? Theoretically, we were promised that RCs would be non-transferable and not a resource that can have a price put on it. But at the same time, if there's a market for a thing, surely someone will find the work-around? Maybe users paying other accounts to post for them?

Anyways, yes, until and unless the RC costs drop significantly even from this somewhat better price, there won't be much interaction in the communities that I'm here for, like @freewritehouse. I can now comment as much as I'd like, but accounts with only their 15 starting SP certainly cannot. They can only write, like 4 comments a day.

But, presumably, the folks in charge will take notice and will change that. We are judged by how we treat the most vulnerable among us.

Right now they're not transferable, except through SP delegations. Maybe there won't be an RC market, but only an SP delegation market (many exist already).

dapps are already using custom threads and tags. I suppose there is no good reason a walled garden couldn't just manage SP delegations to their users and withdraw them if they escape the walled garden, even if no RC market is developed.

I still don't know how I feel about Ned commenting agreement on the issue of scale, but without disputing some of the more dystopian aspects to my post.

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I'm going to talk about @needleworkmonday, a community that has been running on here since early in 2018 and maybe a little before (I wasn't aware of it in the early days).

It's an interesting community because, for a long time, it remained very informal, but with a significant amount of interaction between posters. It has been supported, unfailingly, by @crosheille, helped by @crystalize and posters regularly, maybe once a month or so, win @curie votes for exceptional content.

I did a small piece of research about growth across 22 accounts posting under the #needleworkmonday tag as part of #minnowuprising, partly because of the high number of very high quality posts that are made each week and the very low levels of rewards many of them receive, and partly because I was interested in the inequalities between men and women on steemit (generally, women are fewer and poorer).

A month or two ago, the community gained its own account; I have delegated 250 SP to help it get going, along with sponsoring 31 sbi shares. Other members of the community @crosheille, @muscara, @neumannsalva and @girlbeforemirror have also delegated SP, sponsored sbi shares or donated steem prizes.

Will it keep going after this hiatus? I believe so. Members have been in touch with each other through comments and votes, checking what's happening, and anyway, the relationships that have been built and the interest in the theme extend beyond the limitations of software upgrades. Fortunately, the timing of the hardfork means that things should have settled by next Monday in time for the weekly posts :)

It's early days for the account, but any additional support that you are able to give would be a fantastic boost and a lovely recognition of the work of the community-builders and the posters.

I hope my mana will summon some of the other participants 😎 to leave comments (and forgiveness from anyone I have failed to mention).

Hello here is one more needleworker originally from Japan and now living in Germany :) It's one of my favorite communities on Steemit.

I looked back my posts and found the first post I made with the tag. It was last year around this time.
https://steemit.com/needleworkmonday/@akipponn/leafy-baby-blanket

I started Steemit more than two years ago but I couldn't find community fits to me back then and had more than one year of absence on the platform. Last year I started finding Japanese and other than community based on language, I was happy to find people with same interest: needlework! It's not too broad like food but still not too niche.

By being part of the community for a year, I get to know who is who and who does what. I also like the encouraging and supportive community.

Thank you for sharing a little more about your community! I have seen posts with the tag and featured some in @thedailysneak, but otherwise do not know much about it. I think these niche interests forming communities to support each other are the lifeblood of Steem.

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Yes that's right ... I checked today on the original 22 accounts I surveyed in the summer. Twelve of them are below 80SP which seems to be a threshold for having enough RCs to interact. We'll keep an eye on these accounts and see whether they need extra support.

I see, newbies with less SP/RCs have struggle (after HF20?). I've never done delegation and don't know how to do it but I'm happy to help the community. Please let me know something I can do. Regularly I upvote most of the posts with #needleworkmonday tag ... it's a small 0.01-0.02 upvote though ;)

I'm one of @shanibeer's needleworkers. Interestingly my first post 100 days ago was a #needleworkmonday post :) I came to Steemit and, like probably most of us, tried the tags in my fields of interest. Finding several posts about knitting and crochet etc. made me take a closer look and when I saw that they were not lonely messages in an ocean of posts but connected to each other - I was hooked. So I made my first post and in a way it tells more about me than my #introduceyourself post :)

With that experience I tell new Steemians to find their niche and communicate with the people there. A single light house is better than none but a system of light houses multiply their impact and make life easier ;)

My thoughts on the new RC-system: I appreciate it curtailing comment spam. But on the other hand it's hard for newbies. An account with 3 or 5 SP is dead in the water. Users can't post and comment to get known in their field of interest and without that their growth potential is low. Perhaps we should transfer the idea of microcredits to Steemit. If we see a promising new Steemian we could delegate a small amount of SP. If I have 100 SP I can delegate 5 SP to a newbie without loosing much of my voting power, but to the other having 5 or 10 SP is a big difference.

Thank you @muscara! You bring up some valid points we need to visit.

The idea of delegating small amounts of SP to promising Steemians is a really good one. I have seen a few people do this since HF20 and it definitely makes an immediate short-term impact.

First thank you for this profound post and second for the possibility to tell others a bit about or community. I am another fellow of @shanibeer's #needleworkmonday crafters. They already described many valid points about gender and thematic inclusiveness, about the problems the limited RC brings with it for smaller accounts which are mostly occupied by women (or female described people). I would love steemit to be a place which does not duplicate the same lines of discrimination as the analog world, but right now it is.
The introduction of RC may have reduced the spam, but it also reduced in my eyes the possibility to grow our @needleworkmonday community by inviting newbies to steemit. I have many fiberfriends on Instagram who already write beautiful and helpful post about all kinds of needlework, about upcycling, about a sustainable wardrobe, who make art with fibers or simply love to sew, knit and crochet. Right now, I have no idea how I could ‘lure’ them to steemit? Not alone is the platform much more complicated at the beginning than others (which is ok, when there is an incentive), now there is also a super strict limitation of interaction at the beginning stages. And communication, sharing and interaction are the reasons I would want these friends on steemit. Why should they come?
The introduction of RC seems to shift communication away from steemit to discord. In my view posts on steemit live and prosper through comments. I do not think a platform which only produces (posts) but has no recipients/readers is interesting.
Ok sorry for my not super structured ideas/whining about the new RC system. I simply want the world domination for @needleworkmonday 😄😄😄

These are some very good points. We can try to uplift and build Steem into a better world, but at the end of the day it will always be a mirror of the world we actually live in.

Thanks so much @shanibeer! The @needleworkmonday account wouldn’t be where it’s at today if is wasn’t for you. 😉❤️

Hi @crosheille, do you have an idea of how many accounts have posted under this tag in the last few months? I think we need to look at the very small accounts, and we have a lot of them, that have made quality posts and check what's happening to them. As @muscara is saying above, small delegations might be more useful to them, perhaps organised through the @needleworkmonday account.

Hey @shanibeer I agree! I think that is a great idea and it’s a very good point @muscara brings up. However unfortunately I cannot give a number on how many small accounts there are or those that have posted in the last few months. Unless there is a way to look up all of the needleworkmonday posts from overtime. Once a week is up it clears them out of the search cue. However I have tried to keep up with following all of the needleworkers that have posted at least once with the @needleworkmonday account. We can start there ;)

This is also something we can look at and talk about next week during our meeting.

I directly thought of @wondermaey ... I haven't heard of her for some weeks. She had a personal tragic event in her family, but her account was also very very low in SP. So I am not sure which of both may be the reason she is no longer posting.

Hey @josephsavage! I have yet to fully understand everything about the HF and what all goes on to achieve it (I do know about some of the work the witnesses put it in to make it happen) but I have made the choice to stay and continue on as I have. Sometimes change is needed to make things better so I’ll stick it out either way.

As @shanibeer has mentioned the @needleworkmonday community has built some pretty strong bonds and relationships that even go beyond this plattform. Inspite of the recent break we had to take from Steemit activity and the limitations we experienced we all still look forward to our regular Monday meeting. We are a community of needleworkers that get together every Monday (by using the #needleworkmonday tag) to share our projects, patterns, tips, ideas etc. and to inspire one another. Our goal is to fill up the Steemit blockchain with the needle arts and inspire others to give them a try. Every week we have a featured post showing quality work of several members. Most featured posts include instructions or a step by step picture guide on how their project was achieved. Several needlework posts are also Resteemed on the @needleworkmonday account every week.

Before I created the @needleworkmonday account I was funding all of the challenges and contests with the help of @crystalize. Now others are generously giving and helping build the account so that we can raise those needed funds. All funds go back to the content creators and those that participate in these challenges.

We have been going strong since we started in July of 2017 and have been growing every since. We would be honored and greatly appreciate any amount of delegation that you would be willing to give. It would really help and give us a needed boost. We are constantly inviting new needle workers as we find them or run into their post. We really want to get the word out more that we are here and share what we do. I have hopes that one day the #needleworkmonday tag will become a trending tag!

Thanks for this opportunity ~ 😊

I could not have said this better ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

There are two sides to scaling. One is the technical side, and the other is being appealing enough to new users to make them want to be here. Having more users than your technology can handle is a problem, but it's a good problem. Changing the technology so that it's sufficient but repels new users is also a problem, and it's a much, much worse problem.

Exactly the above ... ..

No users = No Steemit.

I agree. I think the biggest problem with hf20 was starting out costs too high, instead of too low. The patches we have seen make a big impact.

I have an alt account with less than 4 SP and it can comment enough to function for my purposes, but not really enough to actively engage with and build its own following. I think maybe costs still need to slide down a little to be right for small users that come in with nothing.

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With the redelgation of steem RC's its now a lot easier to comment than it was yesterday, where it took me around 6 hours to recharge a post or comment and surely a lot longer for others if they had enough SP to even utilize the function.

Right now I'm looking at some D-apps myself that utilize steem on a significant basis to interact with users.

Steemhunt, Fundition, Steemmonsters Dtube, Steem-bounty Steemitboard are just a few examples of Apps that need delegation if RC stays to high.

With the 10x though they might be able to do fine though however I feel they are still worth the mention.

I did see a few days ago that @steemitboard was struggling, but they may be okay now with the new RC levels and cost structure. Maybe @arcange can weigh in if he's not too busy.

The others I hope will be okay, but I about I'm not as familiar with the operating model for steemhunt and steembounty.

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For hunt it is more about users not being able to vote and participate in hunts, though they can still get the airdrop, the problem was more around creating hunt posts and upvoting which is fixed now. For steem-bounty it is an engagement based bounty system and would not have problems post hard-fork.
Only one that might have issues is steemitboard since they aim at all users with notifications that said delegation will resolve that. It's short 17100 SP.
https://steemit.com/witness-category/@steem-bounty/steem-bounty-is-back-up
( We still need at least 17100 SP to be able to operate as before HF20.)
https://steemit.com/steemitboard/@steemitboard/steemitboard-knock-out-by-hardfork

Hey, @josephsavage.

I agree that this is Steemit Inc's vision as it is currently constituted to pull off or not. My hope would be that at some point, it wouldn't be. I would like for it to eventually be less about Steemit Inc and more about the community. I keep hearing about how this blockchain doesn't belong to anyone, which means anyone could suggest changes and have it happen through witness consensus.

At this point and time, it's probably too early to expect something like that to happen on a regular basis, to the point where Steemit Inc just fades away, but we've seen some things begin to happen with community suggested changes and maybe that can continue and increase.

Fully agree with you. I would like it to be less dependent on Steemit. I'm sure they would too, which is why they back good potential projects with massive delegation. Sometimes that goes badly (cough, dlive, cough), but some really good applications have come out of it too.

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I've heard that decentralization doesn't help with this, but I'm just not that impressed with the apps, period. Maybe if appbase or whatever else there is that's supposed to make creating apps and connecting them easier to STEEM actually works, we'll start seeing some higher quality apps with greater innovation. So far, it just seems like they're clones of what exists elsewhere, and they're like the Y2K versions. Okay, maybe not that far back, but they just feel slow, low quality and so forth.

That, I think, needs to change, before we start seeing this widespread adoption of dapps and STEEM, but I'd love to be wrong instead.

I believe that part of the problem has to do with funding/development models. A quality polished application requires a decent amount of funding. It is hard to get VC or angel funding for Steem projects because the potential user base is not perceived as high enough.

It is hard to self-fund because of the community prejudice & outrage against beneficiary rewards. I remember how upset some people were about being surprised by dtube's 25% beneficiary reward. And they all migrated to @dlive who didn't charge any because they were taking advantage of Steemit's sizable delegation to plan their exit strategy.

yeah, and someone, Dan, or somebody else from Steemit has all but said in a older blog post that the model just won't be conducive to developing apps. Which is odd given the fact that Steemit in particular seems to be depending greatly on other apps to carry the load while they work on the blockchain and SMTs. The Steemit app is still the most widely used, but Steempeak has already surpassed Steemit in many functional ways, as far as I'm concerned.

It's not going to be an easy thing, for sure, to develop apps, without some kind of funding going in. Self-funding is a hard way, too, since you have to have a decent product before people will even consider paying to use it, and since that doesn't happen much in social media, it's a different mindset all together. So, you end up limiting the user base to those who are willing to pay, and not by those who might use it if they weren't paying out potentially 50% of earnings between the beneficiaries and curation.

All of that might be solved if the price of STEEM were to go up. It's easier to giveaway all of that if you're making double or triple what you might be able to earn now.

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