Questions for Steemit Community RE: Charity

in #charity5 years ago

Greetings Steemit,

Over the past couple of months there have been various charitable efforts come across Steemit. Some we identify with. Some are ongoing. Some are one-offs because of an immediate need. It's all the sort of things we expect to see when compassionate folks get together and want to change the world.

One thing that is puzzling me, though, is how small the payouts seem to be for charitable efforts. It's not that they don't get a lot of votes, because they generally do. But the payouts tend to be small. Here are some examples:

  • @steemitcharity is striving to add to our ability to support great causes. But the payouts are mediocre. They need more followers too, with only 65 right now.
  • The #charity tag has a lot of projects, but most are resulting in pretty mediocre payouts. A few did really well, but if you look closely they weren't really charity so much as encouraging or folks looking for support so they could accomplish something. There's nothing wrong with that, it's just not really a "need".
  • @sethlinson ran this series where his goal was only $500 to help with altruistic efforts. After several weeks, he's managed to bring in less than $30.
  • Going through the charity feeds, one can find countless examples of this.

Part of the challenge, of course, is knowing that the funds are really going to a worthy cause, rather than lining the pockets of the author. Perhaps this is where our reputations count and the transparency we offer in follow-up will encourage future efforts.

Maybe @steemitcharity will help to streamline this effort too. Perhaps the Steemit community needs more confidence in what it's voting for.

OTOH, we all know that there are many popularity votes going out right now. Sometimes articles that are nothing more than copy and pastes from free blogs anyway, are getting several hundred dollars. Not to take anything away from them, but does it point to a deficiency in how folks upvote?

Steemit has an opportunity to make an impact on the world in many ways. Much of this is technological. But what about our charitable efforts? Should they not be at the forefront of our voting and subsequent payout prowess?
In many cases the beneficiaries of the votes have no access to the technologies we take for granted. Some just want to be assured that they'll be able to put food in their baby's belly. Others need medical treatment, shelter, clothing, etc.

What about SP? Personally, letting the author keep it for their efforts seems equitable to me. We pay each other for jokes, sports, helpful tips, etc., why not be grateful that someone has posted an opportunity to make real changes in the world and embrace them getting a little payout for trying to use Steemit to improve the lives of those less fortunate? It's a win/win/win.

So, Steemit, how can we do this better? What can have the largest impact?

I don't expect any payout from this article. Rather, I'm hoping to start a conversation. But I'm sure it'll get a little, so all liquid payout from this article will go to help relieve challenges on La Gonâve, Haiti, in the wake of Hurricane Matthew.

Steemin' on,
Another Joe

Logo courtesy of @oecp85


I've been thinking the same thing. I thought the first charity post I saw would pay out thousands. Unfortunately I was wrong.

Same here. When I made my first charity post I hadn't seen any others on the site and I was so sure that y great idea would go viral. 29 cents later I was proven sorely wrong.

@chitty did one for my friend who was recently in paralyzed in an accident. Only $10

Charity seems tricky at this stage in the site's development. Lack of trust is surely part of it. But the daily reward pool is already small relative to the number of site users, and allocating any significant portion of this reward pool to charity while this remains the case may threaten this site's long-term viability.

It may be that charity framed as social entrepreneurship would do better here than charity framed as giving away money. Perhaps this will change as the site grows and becomes more successful.

I understand what you're saying, @mada, and appreciate the thought. It seems incongruous to me though. Maybe I'm missing something. Here are a couple of examples:

  • I picked the next one totally randomly from hot articles, based mainly on the current payout and topic in comparison to charitable articles. This is a great article and lots of fun. I absolutely do not want to take away from it. But I also want to question the value of it, in the scheme of things. I'll also point out the fact that people are "trusting" this person to do whatever they want with the payout. It's currently at $145.
  • Here's another post from a group that works hard to feed homeless people in the Dallas area, posting often about their endeavors. Rather than take from that work, they've asked for help to get a floor repaired. They can do most of the work themselves, but asked for $300 in upvotes to help them finish it. They have a good reputation on Steemit already. This post paid out $2.53.
  • This one is from @steemitcharity, so the reputation is already decent. It's to help a homeless woman with a skin disease. It paid out $5.97.

If the high payout posts lost a few bucks due to more votes going to these charity posts, it wouldn't hurt anyone. It's not like the pool is miniscule. It's odd to me that these charitable efforts are often paying out pennies though, even when present from authors that normally get a decent payout. It's almost like an aversion to charity.

Maybe you see something I don't. It's just not adding up to me. But it may be because I'm focused on it too, whereas it's just not on others' radar.

Thanks again for your response. It's good to have discussion.

I think at the moment it is too easy to scam the platform so the big players are avoiding contributing to anything charitable. The other point is that this is designed as blogging platform and charitable posts are not what some people would consider good content. There is always the risk that if it is encouraged too much the site will just be flooded by people asking for money. I'm not sure what the solution is though.

Yeah, good thoughts on this. Perhaps @steemitcharity can help vett things for more confidence. The hard part is making sure the funds are going where they should. And it's a decent amount of work to follow up on such things, so asking someone to do it for Steemit voluntarily is a tough call too.
I've had mixed responses. One did really well. Another one running right now for hurricane relief is doing terrible. But I do have another article that's unrelated that's doing pretty decent.
Thanks for your insight.

I suspect some form official verification will probably be the best way to do this. I think maybe you could try doing a post on this subject? Even if the team don't see it could raise consciousness about it if put in the right way. I could take a look at it if you want and help if required. Just message me in the chat.

Also don't take my tone in the other thread to personally. I tend to come across more aggressively than I actual am. I just enjoy a good argument occasionally.

All the best:)

Thanks! I might take you up on that.

It is odd, because like you said, these posts get votes. Most of my posts will get the vote of at least one small whale giving me at few dollars or more, but these whales always pass over the charity posts.

It's as if the community by-and-large cares about charity (hence the high number of votes) but the whales don't. Or perhaps they, for whatever reason, don't think Steemit is the right platform for charity.

I have gotten a couple of good whale votes on charitable posts. I've gotten them ignored by whales too. So I am assuming that they're just not seeing some of the posts. But it may be like you and @thecryptofiend said, that it's a blogging platform and charity isn't really something they want to promote.
Some folks give personally in huge ways too, including goods, finances and massive amounts of time. If so, then perhaps some of them are thinking it would be better if they focused on those things and let Steemit just be for blogging.
OTOH, I don't see how a well done charitable post could not be considered good content. I realize some folks just put up a couple of paragraphs, kinda like I did for this entry. But others make it really clear what they're about and offering amazing insights.
Thanks for entering the discussion. I do hope that something gets going to move some of the Steemit opportunity to helping some of these needy people.

Maybe lack of trust? or lack of information? We need big names to come on board

What do you mean by "big names"?

I mean people who have more voting power and can help to spread the campaigns all over the Steemit world.