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Hi @charismaon,

The issue of self promotion and promotion of Steem is of course a pretty big one which you're right to be concerned about. Steem is a Decentralized Autonomous Company (DAC or DAO). Like any company, it has development, marketing, content creation, business intelligence and many other 'departments', only those departments are themselves decentralized and autonomous. It is of course in the interest of Steem to market itself, get the word out, just like any company with their product. It's important also to improve the product itself via development and to ensure its long term viability, and to create content which keeps users engaged.

Those aren't always connected. Sometimes the marketing is going overboard while development is stagnant. Sometimes marketing is ineffective while development behind the scenes is making great strides. In the short run, people will pursue marketing for its own sake (and there will be pump and dumps), in the long run the product has to be worthwhile for Steem to remain relevant in the marketplace.

If you believe that there needs to be less focus on marketing and more on development (or some other area), then one of the great things about Steem is that if you have the Steem Power, you can direct funds towards that goal yourself, without spending your own money. You get to be part of that executive process.

The topic of 'where the money/value comes from' is a pretty big one which I won't address in this comment, but it is pretty important to get your head around and decide for yourself whether you believe it's sustainable or not.

Great video!

The way I see it the main value on Steemit will be in the comment section. And that value will be transformed into more fast content instead of vlog videos or bigger production videos. Since we humans want to save more time and energy and get the maximum value back in return.

In a way now we are speeding up the value transfer speeds. So we can more faster get people what they exactly want for the moment. And then they are more ready to reward that content since it’s exactly what they wanted for this second. It feels more premium and special. It’s in the comment section highly niched content for the specific moment can get shared.

I think that the main value of this service is the comment section where it becomes less about a specific person but more about individual niche based content that is created in the moment. Since we humans want to save time and energy this is where we are going. You can even insert video embed in comments to make it even more interactive.

I see on trending page just the more stuff only about crypto true. But there is so many other groups on this platform if you start to look deeper. You can find real communities starting to build cool tribes again. I think this will be the death of major hubs of just millions following 1 person in a more passive way. We will start to create online tribes again! With perhaps up to 150 people. This will create more connection and trust and feel more natural!

The best content is the niche content in the comment section! That is the real value on this platform. The value comes from people that is happy to get niche targeted content. And what happens is that we more start to stream money and we build such an awesome trust factor that we know that others in our network can stream money to us if we ever would need it. So value exchange will become super natural. Will be so easy to get value fast that we may even stop talking about money. This effect can mainly happen because we are speeding up the connection between buyers and sellers. And with a world population of soon 9 billion that means there will always be people wanting new stuff!

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Interesting. So if I'm understanding your point, it sounds like the addition of financial incentives within comments will breed higher quality discussion. Higher quality discussion means that the main post or video is more of a gathering point around which a community builds.

That could be very cool and is something that has been a struggle for me on YouTube. We have 1.4M+ subscribers on our Charisma on Command channel but virtually no community. I could definitely do more to engage in the comments, but quite frankly, the YouTube platform doesn't seem built for it.

I wonder what happens when these micro-transactions start to enter "offline" interaction? Where you can reward a funny joke or fascinating point in real time. Crazy to think about!

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Yes that is true. Surely people want to engage but you need a better system for it. Google is good at search but they are lacking behind in the community aspect. I can relate to what you are saying since I have myself 1.1M subscribers on my YouTube channel. But YouTube control when my videos get released to others which cause such a big problem when you try to connect with your audience. Since it then needs to be formatted in a specific way that YouTube wants it. Which currently is at clickbait standard.

You said a very interesting thing about when these enter offline interaction! Since I many times would love to reward people when they are doing something awesome for me in public. And with a digital fast reward system that can truly change stuff. People will have so much more incentive when we start to get more interesting reward systems be built out. Since people feel the same gratitude when they get €0.01 as with €0.5 that is what I feel is many times the magic.

When you get a good system like this built out that actually works great then I think we can see some very interesting exponential growth when humans that want to do interesting stuff instantly will have the funds to do so. And the best part of all is how people even feel amazing when they are giving out rewards to other people! It's only that it has been a bit complicated up to now. But finally we are starting to see extremely interesting developments in value transfers.

This will start to open up very interesting discussions about what money really is. Surely we already live in huge abundance but many times scared to realize it fully. But now it seems like people are even becoming bored at hoarding money so they try to give it away and they realize in a way how that opens up for even more abundance. Very interesting times we are in I would say!

It is very exciting to see big names coming from YouTube to DTube but eventually when it becomes a common place "Youtubers x and y have come to DTube, we're going to moon", I think people will calm down a little and start actually look into them and appreciate their content more. It's just very exciting and new when we are witnessing the very early steps of this new platform (Steem and the apps on top of it, especially DTube, as it is a direct replacement for YT, and a very attractive one because of easier monetization), and you are among the first one's of known Youtubers to adopt the platform.

I understand your concern with commenting and I've thought about it myself too that whether commenting will always have the money incentive behind it. I think it will always be there since it's inherently part of the platform. However, I don't think it has to necessarily take away of the authenticity of the comments. Sure, it might in some instances, like with spamming which isn't a very successful strategy which will (hopefully) be learned by most people. But speaking of my own, I don't comment on anything if I don't feel like I have anything to say, and I think it would show if I was to speak without sincerity with my words. So I'd rather pass and instead find something which I might actually have something to add on.

And as to where the value of Steem comes from, it is definitely a good question and I think we are reshaping the very fundamentals of our understanding of money with the question. How I've explained it to myself is that it's like a big consensus of a group of people where we believe in the Steems underlying rules by which people should get value for creating content. And when we sign up for Steem we'll get the privilege of potentially earning with our efforts, but at the same time we agree that everyone else also has the chance of doing so, in various degrees based on upvotes of the public. And of course early investors have brought some value to Steem by buying it with actual dollars, so that probably has a part to play also. But I'm no expert on this; just throwing my thoughts on it.

Anyway, I've seen some of your videos on YT occasionally, so I know you from there. Good to have you here!

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Yeah, I can't argue that the caliber of conversation here isn't higher than YouTube. And even though we all have a financial incentive, well, at least in the case of this video, it seems to work to better conversation.

As for the value thing, that explanation helps understand how and why it's distributed as it is. Basically we agree on the rules by virtue of showing up and interacting.

What is still confusing is where that initial value comes from and how it is continually generated. I get that investors who put in USD are creating some. But without outside investors, where does the new value come from? Why would someone want to accept Steem as opposed to another cryptocurrency?

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Where I think the value comes from is that people are putting in value that they in the past was trying to hoard for example inside a bank account. And that it seems like you get a higher return on investment by investing value into other real humans instead of a stock.

The way I see it is that we have lots of value that is just sitting and we aren't using it. If we can give it away instantly to someone else then the value was always there but now it's being used more optimal to maximize it's objective. Like we are streaming music on Spotify we are now streaming value with micro transfers that are optimized by using the precise range we think is fair.

As I have seen @nanzo-scoop talk about the real currency is more hidden and that is our Time and Attention. If Steemit can attract our Time and Attention with real value creation then other more surface layer currencies like Steem Dollar and Steem will increase in value. But the real value is when people invest that Time and Focused attention.

wutup Charlie! this is Ck, fyi.

I love the questions that you're asking. I too have made many of the observations you shared. In addition to all that, we could go down the rabbit hole about how rewards are distributed, troll flagging, vote bots for exposure, etc, etc. I too am new here, and Steemit is not perfect. It is a giant, and in my opinion, incredible experiment.

This is how I see it at the moment:

This is just the beginning.

Instead of trying to FIND value....Focus on BRINGING value.

In the big picture, the community here is crazy small. As more creators like yourself bring a higher level content, it elevates the platform. forget what everyone else is doing, and the level of production that has become standard. Enhance it. Bring your A+ game. By doing this, you are adding value, standing out and gaining followers, and rewards, and the prophecy is fulfilled.

In my opinion, this experiment proves positive if you are able to be compensated in a way that is equal, or more than, other platforms like Youtube, with more voting power about the future of the platform. It can also just be viewed as supplemental revenue for your brand.

Basically, we have no idea if this is all sustainable. But, again, this is just the beginning. MANY MORE websites like Steemit will be built, and they will tweak and upgrade the model to work even better, and new communities will be built from the ground up. I see this as an opportunity to build your following early on, and in the long run, it will pay off in a sustainable way. At least I am bullish enough to think these types of revenue models, are the future. Help bring it to the masses, and make it even better. cheers mate.

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It is sustainable at worse we may see the rewards be decreased a bit but the core system will keep on going. Once we have hit this level of innovation nobody wants to go back to the older more slower boring system. That would drive us crazy! That would be like invent a car and then go back to horse. People never wanted to do that so in a few years everyone jumped ship over to the car.

Right now I would say you at least get 10X more in return on Steemit than on YouTube. Especially if you highly invest. And now I'm not even taking of the fact that Steemit may go up in value especially when it comes to the Steem currency. The Smart Media Tokens will be so super exciting to see other websites starting to use Steem tokens and how that will probably open up for more mainstream attention. Should at least 3-5x increase the awareness and bring attention to these new platforms. Amazing for early adopters.

Not like we can stop this evolution. Technology keeps on moving forward. It clearly now has started to have a life of it's own. If we consider the amount of Facebook users that exist above 2.2 billion active monthly then we can see the reach these new blockchain technologies may have in a few years. Will especially be nice to see more competitors on the market. It's amazing how we don't have at least 5 already. They are truly lagging behind Steemit! Eventually they will come. And as you said it will still be awesome for the users since competition is better than monopoly!

Just as you said bring value and your A game will be all! Whoever that brings the most value wins this game. But now when it comes to winning it will be about spreading that wealth back by sharing it with other hungry value givers. So we create a super effective positive feedback loop. Clearly we are building something but what we don't know yet. All we know is that it will be super powerful.

As you can see, there are already comments that aren't too valuable here :D I'm going to try my best to answer all of these questions that you asked.

Concerning the comments, you only get something if you or others upvote them. Of course, there will always be people who are just commenting for the mere fact of getting upvotes, but if you don't have a lot of Steem Power, you will only be giving them cents. However, if you comment on people who are orcas or whales (50000SP and 500000SP), they can give you quite a bit. This is the reason why you see loooooooooooong comments on orca's posts or whales posts or even dolphins (5000 SP). So, yes, you are right that some people are just commenting for the sake of getting an upvote, but there are others who are not. I can only say that I've never experienced such an amazing and awesome community like this because everything is so new and everyone is growing with each other. Back to the topic, though, there will always be these kind of people who are just commenting for the sake of money. But, on the other hand, if you think about it, it's also kind of a good incentive for them to be engaging :D

Concerning promoting yourself and spammers...there's actually a website called "steemcleaners" where you would report these kind of people and get rewarded with SP. You do this anonymously as well, so that is awesome, in my opinion :)

You are right about the trending videos, that most of them are related to crypto and dtube and steemit and it's because of, like you have already said, promotional purposes, which then brings up the question if everything is based on MLM. It smells like it and looks like it as well. If you actually look at all of the cryptocurrencies, there are actually all kind of questionable because nothing is really regulated and their value is solely based on the supply and demand, but yet they are legal. It's like in a grey hat zone if you take a closer look, but I guess the time has come to this where you can value something that doesn't really exist and make money with it. It's just a matter of how we perceive it. How much value are we giving to it. So, back to the question if all of this is MLM scheme. Yes and no. Yes, because the more people come in, the more value rises with it and no because it's not really an obligation to invite people in to make money. You will still get the same amount of money, but only the value of STEEM would rise if more people come in. So, let's say you get $100 on dtube, then right before the payout it would drop to $75 because 25% goes to dtube because they take that to improve the site and IFPS, etc. then if you have set the payment to (50%/50%) (which is the best one) then you would receive 37,5 Steem Dollars and 7,5 Steem Power if STEEM was $5 worth and you would be getting less STEEM if it was worth more. Sorry, that I just explained you the payout method, but I think it's good to know :D and so yeah...you are still earning even if you are not inviting anyone in it, however, that doesn't answer the question if it's an MLM scheme? In my honest opinon, all cryptos are kind of MLM scheme if you think about it because it's just getting value by us. I do realize what MLM scheme is and you might be thinking to yourself that what I'm saying doesn't really make sense, but if you reeeeeeeeally think about it...bitcoin, for example, has it's value because yes, obviously, people invested in it, BUT! if they weren't intrigued by it, if they didn't see the value in it then they wouldn't have invested in it and so therefore they kind of gotted invited indirectly to it.

So, the value of STEEM comes from us. From the people asking for it. It sounds very...MLM...like...yeah, I have to admit that too and they are whales who are upvoting themselves and therefore also giving money to themselves...which is...hmm...not fair, but since STEEM has its value and people are giving the value to it, it does exist.

There will be people abusing this kind of system without a doubt...but there will also be people who will try their best to make qualitative content. Right now, the biggest vote you can get from is dtube themselves and they actually do it manually as well. And yeah...some things are really questionable, but I guess it's just a matter of the individual themselves.

I hope I was able to answer your questions man :)

Winny out...for now ;)

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Thanks Winny! The explanation around the similarities to MLM is super helpful. Like you said, it is MLM in a sense - and so is every currency because it only has value if we agree that it has value and are willing to exchange our work (work which other people value) for the currency.

I suppose I'm curious to see if and when the majority of value creation stops being self referential. Meaning when people start earning more from non-Steem related content. Right now it almost reminds me of our financial markets, where money is creating more money through a really difficult to understand process. But I could be way off cause this still makes my head spin ;-)

It's awesome to see someone with the clout that you have bringing up these relevant points. I've only been active on Steemit for about a couple weeks now, so I can't respond from the point of view of an experienced Steemian, but I can respond from the point of view of a gamer who "min-maxes" a lot.

I think the financial incentive is what drives the thoughtfulness behind comments (I'm doing it right now), but what keeps things in check is that, for the most part, there's a human factor that will curb incentives to abuse. Sure, someone can develop a voting bot that upvotes comments and builds up Steem power, but since the dev team have incentive to maintain the value of the platform, there'll be that perpetual cat and mouse game.

I also question how sustainable Steemit is in the long run, but the way I see it, I can use it as a means to develop skills that I want to develop as long as it lasts. One thing is for sure: I don't want to participate in the "Steemit circle jerk" that is understandably popular here (you've covered the reasons).

The key to making this platform popular to normies is to have successful posts that are in about crypto and Steemit and DTube. It's great to see you contributing to that.

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I totally agree that the long term sustainability of the platform depends on the shift away from Steemit/DTube related posts, to ones that add value to people's lives independent of the financial incentive we all have to grow the Steem community. That's where it shifts from pure MLM, to a value based product, in my mind at least

this is a great post dare. keep it up. upvote and resteemit done

To better understand steem you need to think of it like a company. All steemians are stakeholder in that company, the more SP they have the more influence they have on the direction of the company. Everyone upvotes what they think is best to grow the company so they can increase the value of their own stake.
The real value comes from the userbase ( attention basically), the more users we have here the more advertisers will be interested in this platform. User promoted content is already a big thing here which brings real value to the platform ( people are paying big bucks to bots to have their content seen) but right now most of the value comes from speculation, the prospect that steem is going to be huge in the future. If this happens advertisers are going to pay a lot of steem to be visible on dtube, dlive, etc...which will increase the value of everyone's holdings on the platform.
Another thing that gives steem value is its utility, the fact that it is useful and power a whole ecosystem, it's the transactionnal value. Steem is the blockchain with the most transactions per day check blocktivity.info. If steem is MLM then the US dollar is also MLM. The difference with steem is that it is very transparent and we know exactly where the new issued money is going. Another thing that gives steem value is the technology behind it which is called blockchain, you can send any amount of money instantly for free half way accross the globe, this is very valuable.

I think like you. They are videos like people talk only and earn. But the financial is also important people. As long as people buy Sttem it will have a value.

fabuloussssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Bro, been following you for a very long time. Great to see you, hodgetwins, and furiouspete123 onn steemit!

I'll give you a shout out tomm! :)

I found your youtube channel only very recently while I was browsing for more Jordan Peterson after I saw his interview with Cathy Newman.
It's great to see you over here on steem!

Before asking what gives DTube its value, let's ask what gives Youtube it'ts value. It is obviously not the advertisement. It's the content.
About 14 years ago, I learned how to programm from a Youtube series. Today I work as a programmer and I am more then ready to pay for good content, it pays my salary after all. Also, I am absolutely willing to upvote some shitty video if it promises some good content for the future. Even just because it might motivate you to be productive.

You are the value, bro ;)