Steem wasn't built in a day: Is being MySpace so bad

in future •  6 months ago

I don't know. I was never a user of MySpace but, I just dropped by and there seemed to be a lot going on there. Should I join? Nah. But, it goes to show that a site doesn't need to be Facebook to keep people's attention.

I found a comment by @edicted on @greer184's post interesting. Both accounts are worth checking out. The comment was:

Now, people who invested into MySpace at the peak are unlikely to ever get their money back but, this is the risk of investing. However, investing into Facebook, MySpace or any other centralized platform similar is always going to carry a large amount of risk for a few reasons.

Firstly, virtuallyeveryone is at the mercy of the decisions made by the controlling authority no matter how much they have invested into the platform. This means that there is additional risk because control is at a very narrow point that doesn't necessarily have the best interest of all investors in mind.

Secondly, what one is investing in is a commodity and that commodity is the attention of the people as that is the value that is sold. Lose the attention of the people and there is going to be severe consequences and share price is going to plummet.

Thirdly, there is a scalability problem because as it increases in size, so do the costs and if attention is lost, per unit cost goes up dramatically.

But, what if they were decentralized and open source...?

Despite all the problems of decentralized communities, they are communities. The investors, accounts, SP holders, users and everyone here operate in a vastly different way to the way Facebook or MySpace does.

The centralized and authority driven platforms are like employers. They incentivize users to work for them but the role of the user is severely restricted by the system and, the user has very little say over what happens on the platform or for that matter, the content they create as their viewers are shuffled to them by algorithms. Lose the platform support and the best earners can be demonetized quickly.

On Steem however, there is absolutely nothing stopping a user here from growing the platform as they choose. This doesn't guarantee earning or success, it just means that a user is not directed or encased by the authority. There is nothing stopping anyone from building here. Try forking Facebook.

What this means is that rather than just monetizing attention as a commodity and trading in that, Steem (and similar) are creating fully-functioning economies that businesses can be built on and developed (almost) completely independently from the core foundation itself. This means that in time, Steem Inc might be out of a job completely as the jungle overgrows the founding seed. Of course, they are still likely to provide the underlying infrastructure, the blockchain, that the jungle roots into but, that is just a reservoir of opportunity, like water.

The centralized platforms are dependent on investors and the markets in order to monetize and although that seems similar here, it is not quite the same because, we are the entire market in some respects. We are user, investor, creator, consumer, developer and authority. As long as we see value in what we do, there is likely going to be value in what we do. We are not dependent on revenue from advertisers, we are not dependent on revenue from investment funds but, these may come in and choose to invest. The revenue isn't cash in hand though, it is Steem.

When someone invests into the platform here, they really are investing into the platform, not just the commodity of attention alone. Yes, they can sell and push prices up and own just like the markets but, for engaged users who are here for the platform itself, this doesn't change too much, just like it hasn't for MySpace users. MySpace users don't care about the value of MySpace as long as they have their space to do what they want. The problem on MySpace is that it is not open source which means, an authority dictates if it lasts or not, not the users. Steem is different as users themselves can create the infrastructure needed to keep it going.

Does this mean Steem is going to the moon?

Who knows but it does mean that the survival of the platform doesn't depend on Steem price, it depends on the community's willingness to keep it alive. It seems that MySpace had a strong enough community of engaged users to keep it alive despite it being seen as a failure for investors. You know what would be interesting for MySpace?? Adding an SMT so that their community can not only interact but, reward their community. With a community like that, they are much more ready to truly and democratically monetize their content than Facebook. Would their share price rally on the news? Could they make a comeback?

Economics like this are not my area but people tend to keep comparing Steem to the centralized platforms when in reality, they are quite different animals that just happen to appear the similar on the surface. This is not just the mechanics of it either but, the difference in behavior of the community itself as the relationships between platform and user are much, much more versatile and varied than that of the centralized platforms. This means that there are not only many paths to play a role but, none of us are employees of the platform (well, maybe @ned, @andrarchy and co are), we are all potential developers of some kind and the consumer.

The other platforms generally have a clear separation between investor and consumer and even though one might be i both positions, very little one does in either is going to effect the other. Here, a user can have a whole range of effects on the platform in various ways and are no one is ever tied to a static position.

Perhaps because of this, decentralized platforms are very messy places as incentives are hard to align and everyone has a different view of the platform but, they may be much, much more robust and perhaps even antifragile as even if the core collapses, it can still operate effectively. I have mentioned before that Steem is like a city and this is what I mean.

They say Rome wasn't built in a day and this is true. It is still in the building phase. It has changed markedly since its, founding in 753 BC though hasn't it. It has seen empires come and go and survived attack, famine, war, government and all manner of social and cultural change over the last 3000 odd years but, it still stands. Not in its original form, not completely intact, and its population size varies each day as people move in and out, are born and die within its walls. Yet, there it is , Rome.

Essentially all cities are antifragile even though the countries they are part of come and go often enough, as do all people who live within them as time washes life away. Perhaps this is what Steem can become as we grow and fracture into the Dapps and SMTs and even though each will rise, fall or die due to the attention they get, the system itself can keep adapting with the changing needs of a changing population.

In some way, all of the centralized platforms are like empires waiting to be attacked or crumble under the pressures of changing ideals and community values, while the decentralized are designed to evolve, grow and support those same changes. At the end of the day, price may go up or down but the force behind the community is always going to be the people and it is up to us how we decide to build, not a bank, a CEO or a government.

Perhaps, we will never be Facebook but, perhaps we could be many MySpaces with individual communities actively supporting each other and the the platform except, non-reliant on authority. I would predict that the value created by doing this would be better spent by users than the same value going to capital investors only.

[ a Steem original ]

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every once in a while i read a post that opens me up to a whole new line of thinking.

that just happened - great post - many thanks!

you do some good shit you know!

Well said. We will never need to be Facebook to thrive. With the way things are currently handled, we will probably do better without the comparison

If it's the users that keep Steem going then it shows yo that youdon't have to have millions of users as Steem basically operates on 60 000 or so. When and not if that number escalates then the value will boom.


This is how I see it. there are variables but the decentalization and ability to create independently means it has the potential to grow like a virus. A community could be small but highly profitable while a very large one has a dilution of resources. More games to play :)


So you think smaller is better for us then for now anyway . That makes sense as I understand it won't be so profitable when there are millions of users as the reward pool will be diluted.


I think that once SMTs arrive, a real project will start up, attract VC money and go boom. It changes everything.

Now I Am feeling quite good to be here on steemit. It has so much pros for us.
Steemit is a decentralized platform right??

The centralized platforms are dependent on investors and the markets in order to monetize and although that seems similar here, it is not quite the same because, we are the entire market in some respects. We are user, investor, creator, consumer, developer and authority. As long as we see value in what we do, there is likely going to be value in what we do. We are not dependent on revenue from advertisers, we are not dependent on revenue from investment funds but, these may come in and choose to invest. The revenue isn't cash in hand though, it is Steem.

I have to disagree with this view. Steem is a digital content monetization platform. Much more than digital content must be spent money on in life. Ultimately, the revenue will have to be changeable for cash for a high price. Otherwise we're dealing with worthless play money. Steem the blockchain will have to become the infrastructure for businesses selling products worth currencies used in the real world. The users' attention is the main thing those services will most likely sell. Advertising has no place on Steem now because the revenue would be pitiful and reflect badly on Steem given the current high price of STEEM. Yes, the price of STEEM is totally speculative and utterly disconnected from what tiny revenue streams exist. At least 99% of it is made of up future expectation of revenue from yet unknown business opportunities. But it is clear that the merchandise will be the users' attention or paid content.


You are only looking at one aspect of it though, the monetary value. That is part of the system, not the entire system. This is why MySpace is a good example as even though most are likely there to earn something, it is the community that has supported its survival, not the investors that jumped ship.

The financial side of Steem is intertwined and although some see it like money, others see it like karma points of Reddit. For me having never used any of it, it is more Karma point with a potential future value.

As for advertising, that will be increasingly introduced through SMTs, not directly on Steem.

Steem is a digital content monetization platform.


You are only looking at the content as posts. There is the development side to as well as the gaming and all other. All of it supports content but few people are tied to any one form. Content isn't the same here as it is on the other platforms imo.

Unlike other platforms, The attention here isn't just on content though, it is the entire ecosystem. There are games to play everywhere in so many different ways. The ecosystem can work independently of the coin if it so chooses and people can still find value in it. It might not be as many people but, it can survive in many forms.


So good to stat the day feeling old---Myspace and Tom as a friend :-)

I like the perspective here, or how we all are responsible for the growth of the Steemit block chain and how anyone of us have the ability to not only imagine what is possible here but can create a new branch of steemit with out permission and for the good of the community as a whole and not simply pandering to the investors.

What I do not understand, and maybe a programmer or someone with more knowledge of how block-chains work can explain this. IF steemit continues to grow and explain form where it is now (Myspace) to where it has the potential (Facebook) how will that affect the block-chain? Can Steemit reach the a size so large that trading the coin will slow to the pace of Bitcoin?

I understand how all of these micro transactions are recorded but how many line can be written before more and more computing power is needed to keep up the pace?


Can Steemit reach the a size so large that trading the coin will slow to the pace of Bitcoin?

At the moment it is massively underutilized and with the changes to HF20 and the like, it will become ever more scalable. The top three are EOS, BTS, Steem are all running similar methods. all done by the same people. Number 4 ethereum, is constantly at near capacity and its record of transactions in 24 hours is Steem's daily average. Currently Steem is at 0.11% utilisation, eth at 100% with half as many transaction.

I admit to STEEM's imperfections, but people are blatantly overwriting this platform, the comparisons with other places is appalling

Indeed Steemit and other platforms are being shaped and it is ongoing and ever changing. In a way that is the beauty of it. Fresh and always new. I only invest my time here. So I only am out my time should it go south. But time perhaps is more precious that those tokens of time we call money. Thanks for sharing my friend @tarazkp

*** Perhaps, we will never be Facebook***

We will never be. And that is a good thing.

FYI last I read, engagement on FB has stopped growing three consecutive quarters. It will begin to drop soon if it hadn’t already.

Posted using Partiko iOS


It is narrow and can't continually reinvent itself as the trends change. On a decentralised system, trends can be created without 'permission'. Pretty cool.

Ha, looks like I got here a bit late. I can't upvote you but I can spend these 13 BILLION RCs to leave this comment, lol.

I would say the entire point of being decentralized is to NOT be Facebook. We don't want every person in the world on Steem. We are going to have scaling issues along with everyone else.

Steem will eventually be a place where only the elite can transact. This is becoming very obvious with the new RC system; when Steem becomes very expensive plankton won't even have the RCs to post or comment much, if at all. Seriously, we have 60,000 users. What if we had 60 million? We have to go x1000 just to hit MySpace numbers.

I'm firmly against trickle-down economics in a centralized environment, but in a decentralized one it seems to work out perfectly. Ethereum is at max capacity so that opens the door for EOS and friends. Steem hits full capacity and that will open the door for other social media blockchains.

The comparisons made from blockchain to corporation are clearly in error. We simply don't understand decentralization so we project what we do know onto it.