My thoughts on HF20, RCs, SMTs, and the future of Steem <contest enclosed>steemCreated with Sketch.

in busy •  24 days ago

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.

Delegation Prize

I'm posting this at 100%. If you have the RC's to spare, I would love to see some great comments. Share your concerns. Talk about programs you use (or manage) that are throwing it in, or continuing strong.

After payout, I'll choose one program that lots of comments mention and delegate 2x the SP payout from this post to that program. That delegation will be in place for at least 30 days (but probably a lot longer, because I don't reprioritize my delegations that often). It will not be one of the programs that I run, because that isn't fair. You can still talk about them if you want.

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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.

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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.

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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.)

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

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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 see I'm not the only one who considers Steem to be the wild west, complete with oil barons and cattle rustlers.

This has been an unfortunate week or two. I even saw some people suggest these problems were intentional, but I can't see any reason why they would be. I work in software and I know how hard it is to get things right. What I work on is nothing like as complex as blockchain.

I hope the community will pull through. I really want to see millions of active users here to see what happens. It may well change the dynamic. I think RCs could reduce the risks of a spam flood. People will actually need to invest money or time to make it work for them.

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Now that you mention it, did you post about Steem being the Wild West six or more months ago? I may have unintentionally borrowed that analogy from you.

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Quite possibly and I really don't mind

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i work in software and I know how hard it is to get things wrong :-)

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You know what I meant :) Shows you were paying attention

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..

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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.

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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.

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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.)

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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).

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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.

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Thank you @akipponn! 😊

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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.

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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 ;)

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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.

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

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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.

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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 😄😄😄

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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 ~ 😊

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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.

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Exactly the above ... ..

No users = No Steemit.

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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.

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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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We are now more 5 days after the hardfork. Steemit Inc said it is the time required for the system to find its equilibrium.

Facts now are that at the current RC cost for comments and upvotes, @steemitboard is only able to work at 1/5th of its needs. And I do not expect significant changes on the RC side in the near future.

Even if we try to optimize the way we interact with users, given the number of active users on the blockchain, we will not be able to fulfill our mission without the support of the community.

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Ouch! That's what I was afraid of. Do you have plans for a campaign to raise delegation?

Do you use any service like @dustsweeper to keep dust upvotes on your comments from vanishing?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

HF20 was really...frustrating. I woke up after it was already active, because I was up really late and couldn't really sleep. Then I tried to do my normal curation after I woke up...and I couldn't vote. I couldn't even vote. That's kinda crazy. It's a pretty major blunder when a patch makes it so you can't even vote.

At the same time, my internet was being utterly crap, and I was trying to get it to work so I could trade. So I was already frustrated.

Then I found out I couldn't vote...and I was kinda like "WTF!"

Then I read Steemit's blog post...and I kinda lost it. Here we were, unable to use Steem, similar situation to when the chain had just gone down a few days before, and they were just acting like it was no big deal, and that we all just had to wait for it to fix itself. It didn't feel like they were trying to fix it, like when the chain went down. It felt like they were saying that it was no big deal, and it only effected a few small accounts, and we just had to wait. It was horrible.

I understand that there can be issues with updates...and we can learn to deal with those. But I don't think we should have to learn to deal with a company leading the blockchain that minimized when there is a major issue. It made me feel like Steemit should not be leading the development on the blockchain. It made me feel like we should all be moving towards decentralizing the development of Steem.

Now it's a lot better though. The issues have been patched to a degree. It's getting better. But I don't feel like I can just forget how I felt when I read that post. I felt like there is no future in Steem if it's run by Steemit, when they have a mentality like that.

I believed in Steem. I'm unsure now. Steem perhaps has a future. But it will require a lot of people all working together towards a future. I don't feel like Steem will be behind the internet of the future. I think perhaps similar cryptos and perhaps forks of Steem might be instrumental in the future of the internet. We might need to figure out ways to vote crosschain in that future. I can see something like Steem being used for news to help pay writers but I really lost a lot of faith in Steem with that post.

As for projects to delegate to, I have no idea. I myself delegate to a few MSP bots, because they not only curate, but they give you a vote when you post. That's pretty cool. I often feel like I don't really get a good reward on a lot of posts...especially when I put a lot of effort into them. The only time I get a good reward is when I'm curied. Perhaps you might choose to delegate to curie. They are the only reason some posts get anywhere near what they are worth. Sadly I think they need to consider working on having members comment on those posts as well though, with real comments. It does occasionally feel a little empty when you get that curie upvote.

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I've actually never gotten a @curie vote because I post mostly about Steem and they don't vote articles about Steem. They're a great program, though.

All my accounts were locked out until the negative RC were reset. That worried me a little about the sustainability of their RC consumption. Over time I came to realize that the initial RC costs were set way too high, and that was why so many users had negative balances.

I fully agree that Steemit should listen more to the issues next time, before announcing unequivocal success with nobody even able to post a refutation in their comments

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People here are so fast to threaten to jump ship for the next promise rather than work and fix what is here. It is the consumer mindset, the debt cycle, the hungry monster that is never going to be sated no matter how much it is fed because it is designed to only eat.

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I see that a lot in the massive inactivity rate, but there are still thousands of users committed to putting in the effort to build amazing programs and communities on Steem

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Tuesday my account was dead in the water as were most. But by late Wednesday I was able to do a few votes here and there. I’ve now done a few posts and several comments without errors. But I have more SP than a newbie so I suppose that helps.

I am concerned though that noobs may be hitting a lot of brick walls right now.

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I've done some testing at the low end with an alt account and while things work, I'm not convinced that the 5 SP equivalent RC allowance on a discounted account will actually be enough to provide a seamless user experience.

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You have said it very well! You had me until you said it was up to Steemit; that is where I can slightly differ. We see the talent and potential here that has expanded the STEEM blockchain into a internet ecosystem like you very well mention. I think developers have to come to together to build the future code to progress the blockchain and not rely on Steemit. The witnesses will need to govern and be accountable to ensure that they a adequately tested before deploying. While impossible to catch every bug, at least communication can improve to manage expectations much better.

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That's a good point. Right now Steemit has the resources and influence to 'impose' their vision, so long as it's not too philosophically different from what other major stakeholders approve of.

Eventually there will be other privately funded dev teams with the resources to pitch an alternative vision if the can build witness support for it. There will need to be many more full time developers outside of Steemit working on Steem for it not to be up to Steemit.

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I do not understand much of what is happening on the platform. we have been here for a year and a half and we see how much everything has changed. Unfortunately, not all changes were for the better. I know some of the new ones who have lost faith in Steam and left the platform. I would be very sorry if such communities as @needleworkmonday would cease to be active. I remember how we were there a few active users from the beginning. now the number of participants has grown and the material published has become much more diverse. for those who, like me, have little knowledge of crypto science, such communities of common interests are especially important.

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I am absolutely with you. The platform is only as interesting and involving as are the topics. I do not think Instagram or reddit got big by mostly talking about crypto currencies…

my hope is for a bright future. i think all the issues that arise will be worth it in the end.

my concern is simplicity.

sometimes i think people forget how complicated all this stuff is and if we want to see more adoption we must make things easier for new steemians.

allow them to join and take part in the awesome community without having to learn advanced computer science. i hope this new hardfork does just that

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Thanks, @jongolson. I think we still need HiveMind as the next step toward simplification of user experience. That simplicity is big part of the future scalability- the blockchain as protocol means that only the developers at the various web-sites built on Steem need to know all the complexity. For the average user, it will be sign up, post, comment, get tokens that you save for prizes (or whatever the model is on each site).

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yup. for sure. and that makes me very hopeful.

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Been out of here some somedays and things has changed a lot during that time, I have to study the whole hardfork updates first when I get some spare time.

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Scale it or fail it. Glad that’s not lost on some of us.

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Thanks for stopping by! The road-map to scale is a big part of why I got onto Steem in the first place.

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Indeed, I was a bit worried, but I think the 20.4 patch will suit the plankton users too... After all, it should be possible for minor users to grow on the Blockchain without a big investment too!

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How do you think that should work with millions of new users, when they all want to grow without a "big" (we're talking 10-100$ here, which you get back when you quit) investment? Where should that kind of money come from?

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That's the advantage to walled gardens. The investment comes from the dapps, investing RC into their accounts to provide a seems experience, with their payoff being alternate revenue streams or beneficiary rewards from those accounts.

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Indeed, I was a bit worried, but I think the 20.4 patch will suit the plankton users too... After all, it should be possible for minor users to grow on the Blockchain without a big investment too!

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I'd love to see millions on Steem and see how it copes. It's time for the world to come on over. Glory or crash and burn :)