Imagine you develop your own Python library and create great animations about mathematics and IT. The production of your videos take a few weeks and after you have uploaded your video to youtube the comments just stream in in masses.
You are praised how great the animations are. That people finally understand the subject. They wish their own professor would explain things like this. Feelings of happiness flow through your body. You just feel good. Your ad payouts increase every month. More than 4000 people support you through regular donations as well.
Now you're discovering steemit. You do some research and see how much hype there is around this platform. You get money for upvotes! You can also upload your videos to dlive or dtube or simply post the script on your blog. Great. But in the end, you decide against it.
Why? I would like to answer this question in this post.
The goal of steemit, so it is claimed, is to get people on board who deliver high quality content. For this purpose, I will use 3blue1brown as a benchmark. He is the youtuber I described above. If you don't know him. Here are 2 example videos.
His channel, his patreon, his website
I think it is out of the question that every social media platform is competing for such content creators.
In the following I will present 5 reasons why someone like 3blue1brown has no reason to come to steemit. Except maybe for a quick cash grab.
If you want to earn money on steemit you should be part of a community. Whether it's steemstem or the D-A-CH community or something. Being part of such a community helps to promote your own content. Something you can hardly do otherwise, unless you have masses of SP or some SBD.
The problem is that in such communities less attention is paid to the quality of the content and more to who delivered the content. This means that those who deliver high-value content but are not in the community receive less from the reward pool. Therefor high quality content is punished. Quality is exchanged for sympathy.
Another aspect apart from quality is privacy and anonymity. If you are so dependent on communities, then you inevitably have to reveal private things and get out of your anonymity. Because communities exchange quality for sympathy as already said. The contradiction behind this is that decentralized social media platforms advertise that users have more control over their data. However, if the user has to reveal his data in order to earn a few STUs, the point of data protection is null and void.
Perhaps some of you might ask what´s the problem? You have to be part of a community who cares? Those who have to keep active in communities have less time to create content. This means that the quality of the content suffers or is delayed because the content creator is busy making friends.
I don't blame anyone for voting up friends before strangers. I'm doing it, too. However, it is still a fact that with every friendly vote there is one less vote determined by high quality content.
Imagine you are 3blue1brown and see the trending page. You understand that you have to spend about $700 in SBD to get up there. And then any ape can simply drive you away by pumping more SBD into his posts. You'd be stupid to think that makes sense.
Personally, I have no problem with the fact that you can promote your contributions through bots. I even think it makes some sense, because it disturbs the power of communities. However, the problem with bots is that they try to be as profitable as possible for the bidder.
If instead bots had the mentality that they are pure advertising (marketing costs a lot of money) then only people would use bots who also think their contribution has earned it.
At the moment bots do generate losses often, but the loss is much too small. You have to force the bidder to weigh it. If he wants to promote his post with 100$ he should need to pay 200$ and therefor expect at least original votes worth of 100$ to break even. Of course, this can only happen if you write high-quality articles.
With the current state it is impossible, because nobody would use such an offer.
Your post (whether on your blog or somewhere as a comment) will be paid out after 7 days and afterwards there is no more money for you. The only way to earn more is to repost the article.
That's where drama is pre-programmed. Nobody wants to see the same content in their feed all the time. The more content you produce, the more chaotic your blog would be if you regularly repost everything. Cheetah and others would also go nuts.
It's not something you can just change. Whoever produces content that is still relevant after one week will be punished by steemit. This applies to all areas of education and science. All tutorials, all historical essays etc. In other words, all niches that offer potentially high-quality content.
Content such as gaming news, streams, short vlogs, make up stuff and similar low quality shit on the other hand is more likely to be rewarded. When I upload gaming news to youtube, hardly anyone looks at it after a week anyway. Therefor the potential loss would be manageable.
However, if I explain what a black hole is I get nothing after 7 days. Despite generations of pupils, students and laymen have to / want to deal with the topic. This is also an incentive for the creators of such content to not put as much effort into their content as they might have intended at the beginning.
Steempower is extremely poorly distributed. There is no middle class on steemit:
This picture shows a distribution known from feudal Europe a few centuries ago. There are sheer masses of poor farmers, some businessmen and craftsmen, then clergy and military and finally the nobility. Not to mention all the dead fishes ;-)
Let's assume you are still quite new to steemit and you created a high-quality article. In order for it to not disappear in the blockchain´s void within a few minutes you need at least one dolphin to give you a big upvote.
For every dolphin, Orca and whale (the big ones) there are about 65 redfishs. If we assume that 10% of these produce high-quality content, then each of the big players would have to upvote 6.5 articles a day. That's not much. But that's not the problem. The problem is that 58.5 posts do NOT need to be voted. You have to work your way through all this waste. In other words, it is left to chance whether a big guy discovers a good redfish eventually. The above are simplified assumptions. It is likely that low quality is posted more often than high quality. So the 58.5 posts that you have to reject are the absolute best case scenario.
If the SP were more distributed there would be more dolphins and orcas (so altogether more big ones). Then more people would go through the shit and good content would be found more easily. Unfortunately I don't have a solution how to distribute SP better. Maybe you can think of something?!
A counterargument to this is that the Redfish's lack of steem power can be replaced by mass. When the amount of users rise we might see articles with 100k upvotes someday.. That brings us to point five.
In my opinion there is a very big misunderstanding as to what the advantage of steemit is actually. Everyone knows that you get monetary upvotes for your blogposts. Everyone knows that one gets monetary upvotes for comments. But I think I am one of the few on steemit who understands that the latter is steemit's real advantage over the competition.
If you make good content you can always earn money somehow. Wherever you are. The fact that your commentators and your fans can earn money is extraordinary however. In my opinion, many people do not seem to understand this. There are a lot of users who don't upvote comments. I unfollow every steemian who acts this way, because they harm the platform in the long run! I don't care how good or funny their content is.
Also comments that aren´t super great should be upvoted. Very few authors do that. Why would you do that? Because a lot of people don't write super duper comments. But money for comments are steemit's decisive competitive advantage. Steemians who do not upvote simple comments harm steemit in the long run. (by simple comments I don't mean spam comments btw)
If steemit is not marketed as what it really is - a way to earn money through comments, then new users will also expectantly write their blog posts to earn money. As expected these will be of poor quality. The blockchain is bombarded with trash and high-quality posts are overlooked. Furthermore people who deliver good content will also expect commentators to earn only a few cents, while they themselves go away with over $100. Thus the actual advantage of steemit is being torpedoed by the authors themselves.
In this scenario, there is literally no reason to come to steemit as a pure consumer. What should I do here? I don't give a damn about a few cents if I have to deal with one million things to even understand how steemit works.
No big votes on comments, no mass adaptation. No mass adaptation, no 100k upvotes on quality content. No 100k upvotes on quality content, no 3blue1brown on steemit.
So we note: communities torpedo quality, bidbots torpedo quality, 7day payout torpedoes quality, feudal distribution of Steempower torpedoes quality, many Steemians torpedo the mass adaptation with their behavior.
All in all, one can say that steemit rather rewards bad to mediocre content. The claim that steemit need high quality content is diametrically opposed to the reality and design of steemit.
In my opinion, steemit will become a long-term portal for dlive and the like. Because many streamers suffer less from the disadvantages of steemit than people like 3blue1brown. People will post recipes and make up shit and then get upvotes through their communities and circlejerks. However, the big content boom will not take place or will come shortly and will quickly flatten out again.
Perhaps steemit will also perish because of the aristocratic distribution of SP. Your content can be as great as it gets. Whether it is properly remunerated is to a large extent a game of chance. If no whale or at least dolphin finds you, you can forget it.
The goal of every social media platform should be to convince content creators to offer their content exclusively for the platform. As I see it, there is no reason to create exclusive content for steemit. That's why I'm getting more and more skeptical. Maybe you have good counterarguments. Maybe you can convince me that 3blue1brown would have advantages to come to steemit except to upload his videos here as a quick cashgrab.
Imagine you are in 3blue1browns shoes and ask yourself this question: Why should you create exclusive content for steemit?
I would like to point out that all my arguments are independent of the STEEM and SBD price. There might be indirect correlations though.
Thanks to PakoBird for the Ana Pixel Spray!
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This article is a translation of this article.