pic stolen from @adetorrent !
Welcome to another episode of crypto and cardio, it has been a while.
Whole food for thought
So Wednesday night I went to a Steem meetup at Whole Food in High Street Kensington organised by @redrica.
Sometimes it's nice to reconnect with the 'Steem hardcore' as I like to call them (or more accurately 'us').
I only planned to stay for a couple of hours but ended up staying for 5 or 6 hours as is the way it goes once you get started chatting all things Steem and crypto.
It is good to see that there is still so much enthusiasm around the Steem blockchain. I haven't really had an opportunity to engage fully with Steem over the last month, so it was nice to hear about the developments that have been happening on the chain.
I think it is really great when different classes of applications are built on the blockchain. Like Steem Monsters and now I understand there is an app called Drug Wars that's doing quite well.
It feels like the platform is organically developing in ways that were not originally envisaged, which is great.
However I think there could also be better collaboration for applications that are the same in class. For example, we have a least half-a-dozen social media frontend to Steem. We have Steemit, Busy, Esteem, Partiko, SteemPeaks.
On the surface, it is good to have so many options.
For one, it demonstrates how robust the blockchain is. Should one interface go down there are plenty of other options for users to choose from.
It also shows how decentralised the blockchain is. Anybody can access the database, create a frontend, introduce some ‘value add’ and ultimately come up with a business model that will enable them to monetise their efforts.
However I don't think it is necessarily great for the growth of Steem as a whole.
For a start, it isn't the most efficient use of the talents that get attracted to the blockchain.
There is a dilution of the talent (minds pointing in different directions and often duplication of effort.
The goal for a nascent platform like Steem should be to pool together any talent it has. That way any products produced can be greater than the sum of the parts.
The bigger picture
Ultimately the aim for Steem right now should be to gain a critical mass of users. I'm very mindful of the fact that Steem apps have around 10k daily active users.
This figure is absolutely dwarfed by the 1 billion or so daily users of the biggest social media site, Facebook. So there is a lot of work needs to be done for Steem to gain real traction and make inroads into the social media market.
Users vs Superusers
It’s important to realise that anyone who is a regular user of Steem today is, in fact, a ‘Superusers’.
Steem, like crypto in general, is a complicated web to navigate. I think this fact can be lost on us (me and pretty much anyone who is reading this). We get used to the complexity and even embrace the nuances. For the average users where looking to attract however all this crypto stuff sounds too much like hard work!
The aim should be to simplify the user journey wherever possible in order to ease the friction.
This a more intuitive user experience should outweigh the desire for multiple interfaces. Multiple, same in class interfaces only serve to muddy already murky waters further for the average user.
The problem is not just unique to Steem. I think it is a challenge for decentralised applications in general. Yes we should strive to be Decentralised and Autonomous. However what’s missing is the level of Organisation that delivers real efficiency and maximises resources.
I speak more on this topic in a video version of this post. It is available exclusively to my Patreon subscribers.
You can head over there and sign up for access to exclusive content.
I also incentive my Patreons to comment, engage and post good content on Steem through stronger weighted upvotes. I see this as a win-win for everyone so certainly worth checking it out.