The Curation Component

in curation •  5 months ago

Part of me thinks all the advantages of curation on Steemit are dead. Even the big voting trails are not packing the wallop they once did. Purchased votes dominate trending, and visibility for the average user is a near impossibility.

However, I’m co-admin of the largest writing-centric Discord in the Steemit universe, @thewritersblock. I’m also a witness alongside Sircork. (To vote for me, type “Sircork” (without the quote marks) at this link. The Writers' Block is my witness project, or more specifically, ensuring a home for quality written content on Steemit overall is my witness project. And I am one very hardheaded and persistent individual. I simply do not accept that it’s game over just because the most prominent face of Steemit is a train wreck.

I don’t believe that the answer is to either beat ‘em or join ‘em. You won’t see me tossing grenades at bidbot users. You also won’t see me paying to play. If one of my posts gets a boost, rest assured someone else rolled the dice on my behalf. And that’s fine. I’ll cash it out and feed some doggos in the rescue with it. But personally? I’m not much of a gambler. I want to earn my stake. And I shouldn’t be made to feel like a second-class citizen because I can’t – or won’t – invest.

I do believe that quality evergreen content belongs on the blockchain. So what if payout period is only a seven day window? Most of us writers make more in that seven days than we’ve ever made writing in our lives. Once the payout period is over, we have a plethora of means available to us to keep the content in view. Granted, those means require self-promotion on other sites or social media. But most of us at The Writers’ Block are primed to do that anyway, with the advent of Steemhouse Publishing and our own private forays into the mainstream industry.

For the life of me, I don’t see how our push for added visibility to Steemit as a publishing option could add zero value to the platform as so many investors claim. Are eyes-on really irrelevant? If so, that tells me much more is afoot than a bunch of developers creating a social blogging platform. It would mean Steemit is about something else entirely, and I’m not sure I want to know.

So here are my thoughts on how to adjust the balance in favor of high quality content creators. People exist on the platform those who “invest” a great deal of time and thought into their writing. Many of them come to The Writers’ Block for peer review and editing. Some stay and volunteer their services to help others. The result of this has been a consistent stream of publishable-quality, evergreen content that is highly curatable and adds infinite value to the platform for the sheer reason that people will continue to read it on the blockchain years from now, not just because it’s within the payout window.

The problem with existing curation projects, however, is that most of them are focused on new user retention, rewarding only users under a certain rep or below a certain payout. The focus is not primarily on quality of the writing or literary value. This is wonderful and a much-needed incentive, but what about the rest of us, those who’ve been here a while and occasionally have a decent payout? I believe our best work deserves curation as well.

We see tremendous talent flowing through The Writers’ Block. But a recent consensus among members is to withhold posting high quality work on Steemit because it gets no exposure. Again—how could this possibly be good for the platform? A certain subset of users may prefer shitposts and memes. Fine. But I refuse to believe there is no room here for literature like fiction, prose, and poetry. I also refuse to believe that with as many members of The Writers’ Block as we have, that we can’t generate external readership.

So here’s my call to action: if you are the owner of a larger account with high voting power, please consider committing several sizable upvotes a week to a manual curation project for high quality written content. This would require direct communication with our editors, who would message you with links to posts that we feel are timeless and relevant, posts that are likely to become links on third-party websites and generate traffic that might otherwise never view a Steemit page. If you know someone with a larger account who might be interested in a grass-roots movement to retain our highest quality content creators, please send that person a link to this post. If several larger accounts would agree to upvote several times a week, Steemit’s best authors could compete for visibility in the current paradigm.

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It will soon be a year that I have been a member of the Steemit community. Proud to say that my only bot is Gina. She of course doesn’t vote, but is informative. It has taken a long time to reach this level, having hit trending once in a year.
Which is fine by me, because most of trending has turned into trash.
Agree with you completely regarding good content, and have turned into a shitposter, mainly for the reasons you have sited. Occasionally, I will throw something decent up, just to float the idea that there might be someone out there paying attention.
I enjoy reading good content, not a novel mind you,as I rarely have time to sit down and devote the time required to invest in a long term read. However, there are very good content producers that I read on a regular basis. Even though I may read and comment it does not seem to be a 2 way street. Some have been here so long, and are so self involved in their own material they rarely upvote back. Choosing instead to stay within their known associates for commentary.
One of my favorite things to do is take a lazy day and really run through and select posters I have never read before and find out what works for them.
Bots may be easier, and as I watch new people fly past my reputation score to higher scores it really irritates me because most have purchased their scores while I prefer the organic method of reading and getting to know good Steemers. I hope your idea takes on a life of its own, with even a few participants a lot more visibility for other writers could go a long way.

Your thoughts and words are greatly appreciated, and I am grateful someone out there is paying attention. 🐓🐓

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I hit this with as much of an upvote as I have, to move it higher in the comment stack. You've hit several points that I'd like for people to consider, one of them being: "Bots may be easier, and as I watch new people fly past my reputation score to higher scores it really irritates me because most have purchased their scores while I prefer the organic method of reading and getting to know good Steemers." This is an excellent articulation of your perspective, and I hope some of the larger accounts are listening. If folks want to use bots, fine. But there really IS still a contingent here that is here for the people, and the community. We need a voice, too.

I think larger dolphins and whales have forgotten how much power they really have to make others happy on steemit. A single upvote can change someone's life, make them happy about their work, or give them a reason to continue their struggle.

Maybe a grassroots initiative like this will give some of them the impetus to act to help others, and in doing so, to help creative writing on this platform.

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I think a lot of early values on the platform are being forgotten. People start saying that it's all about the money, then people start believing that it's all about the money, and finally it really does become all about the money. Sure, we all want to earn. But there's more to earning than buying (or selling) votes.

I do hope that those authors continue to post. I'm reading a couple of fictional works (full novels) at the moment that were posted on the blockchain a couple of years ago and I love them. It's my intention to send a couple of steem tokens the authors way once i've finished for the compensation and recognition that I missed out providing when they were first published. I'm not a writer myself but i'd imagine that sometimes it just takes that one big post for people to start looking at your whole history of work. Keep fighting the good fight, there are people out there interested in quality content

Most of us writers make more in that seven days than we’ve ever made writing in our lives.

This is true. It's also true that rewarding quality content could grow Steemit as a platform AND Steem as an investment in a big way. I appreciate your call to action on this, and hope to see it followed through. As much fun as I'm having here as a writer, I am honestly hesitant to go all in as an investor precisely because of the drama, the shit posts, and the apparent apathy towards growing the quality of the platform.

I am both a content producer and an investor, but before I toss as much money into this currency as I have other crypto, I'd like to see some real push for the integrity of Steemit as a whole. For the life of me I can't see what kind of value anyone hopes to get from shunning a larger audience. If we want the value of Steem to really grow, then making Steemit a viable quality publishing platform seems like a no brainer.

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You said it very, very well here.

Very well put and echoes my thinking about fiction on the platform.

I have never used bidbots either, I have had a few "boosters" but when a bigger account voted forvme content they thought underrated. Same case, grateful if someone tip me but I am reluctant to do it on myself even if aware the game is rigged. Dunno if out of frustration I maybchange mybmind or even leave, so far I try my best.

Woo! GO Rhonda! I don't have much to add, but I wanted to chime in anyway. TWB quickly became my favorite community on Steemit/discord thanks to all the wonderful people and projects going on there. It's one of the most active and engaging communities and has a great chance to succeed despite the current level of negativity around Steemit.

So what are some good ways to help TWB? Witness voting for sure, but what about delegation? Is muzxybot the best bot to back to help TWB?

Cheers!

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I'm not sure backing any bots would help at this time (even though Muxxybot isn't a real bot on Steemit, only on Discord.) We need to find human account holders willing to regularly upvote posts that are curated by pros. Short of that, I think we're tapped out on this platform.

As one of those people who have spent a lot of time on what I feel are quality posts, I agree very much. It seems very difficult to get visibility to any reasonable number of users or without paying for bot resteems/upvotes.

I'm too new to have any answers, but would certainly like to see perhaps higher upvote power, percentage or something for "real" curation by live people. It certainly seems counterproductive to see the popularity of posts misrepresented by bot votes.

Here's hoping for improvements as we keep Steeming along!

Either you or someone who valued your post shared this post on Pimp Your Post Thursday in the Steemit Ramble discord. Looking forward to you visiting us again.

GOOD LUCK with your initiative. Anything that contributes to encouraging quality content is definitely worthwhile!

Great post and wonderful idea.
I'm still relatively new to steemit, which appealed to me because when you write here you are much more likely to be discovered than if you just have a random blog on an own web page, and I already made a small sum that was more than I've ever hoped for. Even though most posts just make a few cents, it is still a great confirmation.

I would love to discover even more amazing content creators and see bigger diversity of topics on steemit.

Curation should be 50%, and there should be no separate payout types for curators and authors, either give them both SP or give them SP/SBD. Curation paying so little is what has caused this mess in the first place. If one thing is grossly more profitable than the other, well, that other option is going to lose out big.

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what claims to be curation on this site is nothing more than a race to vote first, it doesn't move quality content up to the surface like it was supposed to do. All changing the curation rate does is improve the pot the so called curators are racing for and takes away from the people who created the content.

True curation finds and highlights good quality content. This has been an issue right from the start that has gotten worse with the rate of spam increasing as it has.

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Yes, the way in which curation pays out is a joke, it should be time and order-agnostic. I would say the dearth of taste-makers in the face of a very small pool of people the initial distribution went to has a lot to do with why content is not more varied.

The sad part about curation, like you already mentioned, is that profit-driven minds do not see it as a worthwhile approach.

What type of people go for curation these days besides the trails and dedicated curators? They seem to be people avoiding to be flagged.

I mean, what the heck, the curator doesn't even get the full 25% as advertised. It's completely ridiculous!

I wish I had more SP for this very reason. Even in my withdrawn state, overwhelmed with life and so MIA from discord (my apologies for that—I will make a comeback eventually), I am trying to browse steemit from my phone throughout the day and upvoting poetry/haiku and writing posts. I upvote others at least my 10 votes a day and usually more. But my few cents a vote mean little. I wish I had more to reward these awesome posts more.

I hope not all writers give up on posting here and I hope folks with more voting power heed your call to action.