Back To Bragging, If You Can Really Call It That
Today, I surpass 7,000 SP. At the same time, I pass 2,500 earned SP (meaning the other 4,500-plus comes from investing).
I have my monthly stats report coming up on Saturday, but I decided I would separate these data points out, and maybe expand on their significance (to me, if no one else) in the process.
I've posted before how I've been on a mission here to prove to myself (and anyone else who might care about it) that the social media platform on STEEM can be used some measure of success without much more than posting and commenting something of value, and then upvoting others valuable content. The success is not spectacular. It's not life changing. Yet, definite, measurable progress.
My progress has not been like this image. But it has been consistently improving.
I believe I have been achieving this. I've done it without self-upvoting, using bidbots, circle voting (I have a few autovotes, but that's purely up to them). I still manually upvote and while those who upvote me will probably end up with an upvote of some kind from me at some point, be it on a post or a comment, I'd be very surprised to find that it's one for one across the board. Sometimes it will be more, sometimes it will be less.
I've also done this without taking my articles to discord, or spending a lot of time there making friends. Well over 99% of my correspondence with people has been on chain. I've not been involved in any major STEEM organizations. I have been involved in contests, the longest and more rewarding of which has been the Curation and Engagement Leagues. I've earned STEEM there, and just as importantly, I've met and engaged with many more people than I would have otherwise.
The bulk of my earned SP, however, has come from posting, commenting and curating. Then, repeating. Over and over.
I reach this level of SP in a little over 17 months. Likewise with the earned SP.
I know I'm not the only one who has been doing things the way I have. I know there are quite a few who have made more than I have in that span, just as I know there are plenty who have made far less.
I'm sure experience varies on STEEM, but I think I can contribute my growth to a few factors.
Lower STEEM Prices
No, I don't like lower STEEM prices, just like everyone else. However, there has been the silver lining of higher STEEM earnings because of the way the reward pool and payout systems work. The increase of earned SP per month I experienced since the last quarter of last year coincides with STEEM falling to well under $1 USD, and staying there. I've noted in previous posts that Musing was the means by which a lot of my SP was earned from the latter end of October through about mid-January, which is true, but the lower STEEM prices drove those earnings.
Aside from the rewards/payout calculations, an increased visibility for all posters as some users stopped or reduced their own activity, possibly contributed to this, but I really have no way of pinpointing to what extent.
While I'd invested prior to this I made two major buys in September and November (major for me) that more than doubled my STEEM. If not for the lower prices, I would not have bought more, but I was happy for an opportunity to buy in at lower prices, since I had been chiding myself for not getting into STEEM sooner, back in July of 2016 when I first heard about it and the prices were lower.
While I didn't end up buying the biggest dips, those last two purchases dropped my per STEEM cost significantly, far better than the the $6 and $5-plus amounts I purchased in much smaller increments to start with.
Without these two things, lower prices and a greater investment, I would not be making this post. I would not be at 7,000 SP. Not now, anyway.
In the first 8 months of 2018 I amassed a little over 570 earned SP. While the value of STEEM had fallen, it was not yet well below $1 USD and lingering at that point. Some of what happened in that eight month period of time can also be largely contributed to discouragement. I know I didn't accomplish nearly as much as I should have because I was pretty down on everything. It didn't help that life things kept getting in the way, particularly in July and August.
It was the lower STEEM value and the investment that helped me to double down and lift myself out of my "what's the point" mood.
Over the last nine months since, the amount of earned SP will be 1,900-plus, a substantial jump. I've had triple digit SP growth in each of those nine months except for February. In the first eight months, I had none.
This Is Why I Say
STEEM is not a social media platform. If it were, it would payout differently. STEEM is much more an investment platform than anything else right now, and without users investing more than just time and effort on the platform (for whatever reasons—no money, lack of faith, wanting to do it all based on earnings), it's not taking off as an investment platform. Instead, we've had all kinds of selling off going on instead.
I know people believe there are more factors involved. A lack of a cohesive vision, governance, marketing, etc., certainly isn't helping. The world at large doesn't know about STEEM, and those in the cryptospace who do seem to be underwhelmed by it. It's not because of what's under the hood. Which to me means, things can be improved.
This is why I've said messing around the edges with the reward and payout system isn't going to lift the value of STEEM. It's why I've been saying we need commerce. Our attention needs to start turning away from earning from the reward pool, to accessing all of STEEM.
We need current users who can to start building. We need non-users with money but without a viable platform to come check out STEEM. And, we should seriously take a look at some kind of vetting process, too. I don't know how, but surely there's a way to set some sort of standard so that we don't keep running into the cycle of unfunded apps showing up, then taking off after they've made some money or established themselves, while being left with apps that continually stay in beta, hardly update or improve, and seem lackluster to those coming from the mainstream that are used to a certain level of versatility, flexibility and functionality.
I know there are plenty of people here who depend on higher STEEM values to help supplement or pay bills. I get that. Unfortunately, the reward pool and payout system are designed for sustainability in fiat when the value of STEEM is low. It is, however, designed to collect more STEEM. So, while I'll be relieved and happy when STEEM finally goes back up, I'm going to try to collect as much of it as I can while it's still low.