Welcome to the show.
In this article, I decided to share my personal opinion on my first few days experience, here on Steemit. It ain't great, it's awesome.
Lots of learning curves, lots of articles to learn from, lots of love and support, well I do buy me some love and support, from bots no less every now and again and I would like to share my own opinion, on that in a bit.
The first time someone said I'm a "Minnow."
Yeah that's right. See that little fish in the hand of a potential fish eater? I imagine him going like, "To dine or not to dine?" Before losing interest and deciding to give it one more day to.... "grow some meat".
Insignificant, of no importance, an ant, something you might step on just because it's so small you'll be forgiven for not realizing it's there, non valuable I mean look at my upvotes, I come accross really great content, decide to upvote it, but still my upvote's economic value goes from $0.00 to.... well, you get the point. I no longer wonder why they call me a minnow, I mean, I get it and I've come to embrace it.
In Ireland, Minnows are called Pinkeens.
See like I said I like it here, not least because I'm called a minnow, but because there is no limit to your growth, I don't feel stifled, there are no expectations, all I gotta do is show up, power up, read up, write up and most important of all, enjoy the ride.
The great debate on Steemit, to bot or not to bot?
The image above of a clock and money on a scale, if you really look at it, they are equal, not least because the clock is the same weight as the coins on the right. Rather, I choose to see it as an age old metaphor. Time, is equal to money. Time is money. There is nowhere else on the internet where that metaphor rings truer than here on Steemit.
From a newbie's perspective, I'm thinking if my article is only valuable for seven days and after that timeframe the financial rewards of my contributions are no longer payable to me, how do I find my balance? On that note, being where I am has left me feeling humbled which in itself is a good thing.
On a bussiness perspective, I'm thinking, I intend to invest on the platform for the long term because I believe in it. I would also love to have enough SP to delegate to other newbies like myself, that way the value of the platform can increase and I believe that the best way for any community to rise in value is by rising with those at the bottom.
I hope the devs can add a button in the drop down menu that shows a list of all newbies by week, month, and by the number of days that they have been here. That way, I wouldn't be reduced to scouring the whole platform with no guarantee of finding all of them. I think that would really give all newbies an equal chance to be seen and helped if they so need help. I get that as a newbie they say you can still earn some, by upvoting and curating other content creators's work and I think that's great but for me personly it feels as if I'm being told to just sit idle and scour the platform, looking for other creator's work to leech on. Again it just doesn't feel right by me.
The reason why I'm on the platform is to add value to it with my own work. Of course I still come accross great content and I'll upvote it or resteem it as much as I can find it. There is lots of amazing creators on this platform and I appreciate the fact that I can never run out of interesting stuff to consume.
So, to speed up that dream, it wouldn't hurt me to write great original content, and maximize my earnings on each article, and if bots can help me to get my content where its seen by others who might like my work but may have never come accross it had it been sitting at the bottom of thousands of equally great articles, I'll take any help I can get just because I'm not here looking for handouts. If the situation is a certain way and I can't deal, I will have to adapt
What about entering contests, to see if somebody will like my articles and upvote or resteem them? Well that would be great, but the thing is from the contests that I have checked out so far, if you are lucky enough to have your content read and judged, then chosen by them, great.
Thing is, as much as there are many of those contests, mind you im saying many but frankly speaking I think as a newbie they are 1) Hard to find and 2) Even if you do come accross them the criteria of the newbie content that they are looking for in some cases its hard to fit in when you are just starting out. An example is one that I came accross yesterday where in order to be resteemed by them, you need a reputation score of 55.
The problem with that, I think as much as I know they are really trying to lend a hand here is that as a newbie on the platform, not knowing where to go or how to go about it, your reputation score is not going to magicaly skyrocket. Add to that the fact that they also require that the entrees of the contest must have no previous flag aka downvote or an unvote.
Looking from the top down it sounds like a no brainer, but thing is this is the internet and because everybody has access to it. It's very easy to spread hate.
The reinvention of hatred on the internet is especially rampant on social media platforms and being downvoted or having an article flagged sometimes has nothing to do with content quality.
With that in mind, I imagine the great dev here on Steemit who had the magical idea of giving out free downvotes. I mean.........
I Imagine him or her in a happy space, in a festive mood, dragging from a joint so massive, it needed a tripod to hold. Clicking on a mouse with his middle finger. Smiling and going through an Oprah moment like, " Everybody gets a downvote, every single person gets a downvote, yes, you are all going home with a brand new sparkly downvote. Give them all a downvote, come on people, grab yourselves a downvote, by all means, feel free to try and downvote each other off of the platform." Thank God downvotes aren't nukes. Mad scientist.
How do you solve a Minnow's problem from a shark or a whale's perspective? Well, isn't that another great complexity of trying to solve a problem of the one whose opinion is not really valuable?
After all, governments do it all the time. What about most sharks and whales, weren't they all Minnows at first? Shouldn't they remember what it felt like when they too were starting out? Well, so far from my research and personal experience, Minnows are not created equal.
Some Minnows are fortunate enough in the sense that they joined the site and they had someone who was already on the site who lent them a hand by transfering SP to them here, editing their article there, and resteeming and upvoting their articles all without charge.
Some on the other hand were what I would like to refer to as "the early adopters". In the sense that they joined the platform in it's infancy and luckily for them, the platform grew with them. Thanks to them believing in this platform and sticking with it, we are all here today.
Some minnows like myself however, joined just after HF 21 when most articles I came accross seemed to sympathise with minnows like myself for coming at a time when rewards on the platform were further reduced.
You see, like I said Minnows aren't created equal and because of that I feel it's really important that when the implementations of solutions are designed, we ask ourselves if the generalization of a problem does not equal a generalized solution that may not work, since we are not really dealing with a one size problem.
There is nothing wrong with humanity helping out each other in my own opinion, wherever I can, I do it for others too. In fact I think the most beautiful thing about a person is their generosity be it with their time or anything else as required. As for sitting around on the platform and waiting for somebody to discover my work?
Perhaps it might work for others but certainly not for me. The way things are right now, the most equal opportunities on the platform are being provided for by bots. The well established "humans" on the platform on the other hand. I've come accross lots of genuine people on the platform who are rooting for newbies like myself in order for value of this very platform to rise. I'm humbled and honoured to be supported by these amazing folks.
On the other hand I've also been left questioning the intentions of some, who upon annalyzing their data, what they are preaching may not neccessarily be what they are practising. In the sense that they are preaching against bots but they have hijacked a good cause for selfish reasons.
Their only purpose is to undervalue other artist's work in the guise that they are fighting against the use of bots on the platform, when in reality they are using that as an excuse, to get rid of competition on the platform as well as to bully others.
On that note, I would like to remind the reader that just because someone has used bots for promotion does not mean that their work is substandard, spam or plagiarised. As for paying bots to get my work discovered, I mean its a no brainer, its not like they are charging me an arm and a leg.
As for me, my stance on bots is clear, I use them, on the regular, I love them, and I'm grateful to those devs who sit for hours on end day in and day out trying to find solutions to everyday problems, only for a bunch of ungrateful and self entitled kids like my nephew for example who, having failed an IT subject at school and trying to justify his failure once said to my dad, "Well, who cares about nerd money?"
Thing is, I do. I would like to suggest to the devs of the promo bots to find a way to program the bots to recognise spam, design an algorithm into that software perhaps that can in a way recognise "quality" work. I know the challenge with that would be first of all coming to a consensus about the definition of that word. "Quality".
"Humans" on the other hand are not neccessarily free of bias or prejudice either. Human beings are not immune to greed, selfishness and self entitlement.
Thing is devs in my eyes created the life we live in, right now, while we go about our everyday lives without a care. They are making decisions and finding solutions to problems that we haven't even thought of yet. As a way of paying my respects to those great men and women. Of course I will use their products. Especialy when that product is the only way out for me. I mean how lucky can one get? I'm getting a job done at a small fraction of the cost of say, google adwords.
One of the most significant things that I would like to point out about getting help is that paying for a service anywhere in life is the norm. Self entitlement on the other hand ain't the norm. Look at google for example, you can be a great writer with a fantasic blog but it's possible for your great website to only get one visitor a year if you don't pay for the right kind of services.
In fact it's possible for your great work to never see the light of day. Just because you chose not to pay it foward. From that angle, why is it okay to pay an already wealthy cooperation, take google adsense for example, a substantial chunk of your income for marketing services and yet somehow, not okay to pay an individual, his asking price for a great piece of software, that costs next to nothing?
As a newbie, I'm sure there are lots of us joining every week. To be forced to sit on the sidelines, waiting for somebody, whose algorithm for judging whether your content is great or not is incognito and for all intents and purposes may be flawed or God forbid biased, just doesn't feel right by me.
If you choose not to wait for "them" to discover your work on the other hand and they come accross your article, they are automaticaly downvoting your work without reading it simply because you chose to pay for services to get your own work recognised.
On the other hand it feels to me as if the very people complaining about others using promotion services, are not really the ones at the bottom right now. They have established a following, mostly at a time when the competition on the platform wasn't the same as now, as well as the rewards were great for newbies starting out vs now.
There were fewer people using the platform then vs now. So if anything it feels as if in their quest to encourage growth and equal opportunities on the platform, they are stifling it by locking the newbies out the gate by deciding who comes in and who doesn't.
By telling newbies like myself not pay my own money for my own work to be seen. They are judging from the top where the view ain't neccesarily the same as the view from the bottom. From the right angle where the view ain't the same as the view from the left. Ain't that the true definition of injustice?
Telling newbies not to use the only means they have especially now that things are even tougher for newbies on the platform than they ever were in the history of the platform. Now when a newbie, if they are coming to the platform for the fist time, with no money of their own to invest in SP which a lot of people don't neccesarrily have access to, they may work as hard as they can but still not have anything for months to show for their hard work. With no one to delegate SP to them a lot of newbies may never earn enough to justify their staying on the platform.
So excuse me, a minnow while I try to make the best out of the current climate. As far as my eye can see, there are no set parameters in place that ensure that each newbie's content, has equal opportunity to be seen by every other user on the platform, not just the competition runners who out of thousands of articles, can only choose a few, especially now that the reward pool has been further reduced from the bottom 80%. And visibility for newbies feels like a foggy climate.
Access to my pockets.
I chose the image above in order to highlight the irony of being on this great platform. The first time I ever saw someone's wallet contents here on Steemit, I was minding my own business, reading an amazing article when I clicked on what I thought was my wallet.
I was shooketh to say the least because the value of my wallet had jumped from like $10.00 to a thou. I later discovered that the wallet I had just checked out wasn't mine but somebody else's.
The irony in that as I see it now is that since anybody, friend or foe can freely see not only how much you have but where you choose to send your money to as well as where its coming from? I mean the blockchain is designed like that and I get it.
Who is to say, that that system isn't open to abuse in the form of envy, jealous, bullying, and downright hate aka downvotes? I mean take the anti promo bot community for example, had they no way of seeing your every single transaction, how else would they know that you had used bots for promotion aside from you choosing to disclose that info?
You see the irony of my experience here feels like everbody is walking around with the contents of their wallet bare.
You have possibly corrupt Lambo driving Priests on the one hand, preaching against your "ill gotten earthly goods," while quoting a verse about not pointing at another man's ill gotten wealth from a stolen bible, you have the self apointed morality police on the other hand walking around as if they have first class tickets to heaven. Take away their access to your pocket for a minute and suddenly, the Saints ain't got nothing on you. Like I said at the beggining of my article. "Welcome to the show". I love a great show and this one ain't great, it's awesome.
Me, swimming away from them sharks.