The Art of Maintaining Reputation: Plan Your Battles and Don't Milk It!

in #guide7 years ago (edited)

Here I am spending the night in the darkness of my bedroom. Dog's snoring right beside me, his head resting on my chest. Feeling like I'm in some prologue of a cyberpunk story. Anyway, surfing on Steemit mobile is actually quite decent, despite the inadequacy of certain types of tables and media not showing up properly on screen.

Decided to write this after going through some dramatic commentaries on Steemit that happened for the past few days. Mostly about ideological disagreements, and especially, overcompensation of posts. While I consider myself pretty critical, I usually opt out of direct, in-your-face type of confrontations. I prefer to plan and pick my own battles, having learned out of experience.

Because personally, I've never come across any situation that immediately improves itself after insults are thrown around. No one is going to admit wrong right away. Everyone's always right in their own world, and that's particularly true with the presence of an opposing voice. And it doesn't matter how zen one may be. No one's a perfect saint. Everyone has a breaking point.

Yup, I've snapped before, more than enough times to know this little fact of life. Nothing good comes out of throwing a fit (well not as much as can be). Sure, our message, our version of truth should be upheld. But there are better ways of fighting the good fight.. maybe like what I'm trying to do with this post right now. So what am I trying to address here?

Plan your battles - don't join someone else's!

There was a post on Steemit a while ago that labelled me an anarchist. Am I? Maybe I am. Sure, I'm against big, centralised governments. I may even detest the inherent thieving practices of big brother. But I'm still running a music event company - there are legal matters that I still need to run by government offices, purely out of safety and security reasons.

You may argue that it's perverted that I'm using an intrinsically violent agent (namely, The Government and The Police State) to secure the well-being of my business customers. Next I'll ask - can we have a decentralised free market doing music events with all the right securities? That's what my company, Hybrid Entertainment partly aims to do. It's a learning process.

For now, we still need to use the existing structures of Old, Big Government.. while we find ways to transition out of such dependence. Fight too hard and you'll get clamped down, thrown out of the game. You can't do much when you're out of the game, so stay in it! Take the time to plan your battles, dear hot-blooded confrontationists (if that's even a word).

Sure, the world needs you to say things as they are. But hearing the painful truth is almost like violence itself. No one likes that, no matter which side of a dispute. Peace also involves peace of mind. It's a much longer game - it comes with the territory. You're already in someone else's fight once you get into war. Only get into war if you're the big guy. The small guy is always the loser - the unwilling pawn. Think about this in scope of what's happening all around the world, even on Steemit.

Don't be a zealot. There are dangers of being too far left, or too far right. Find the middle way. All you need is another perspective. Some people may be asswipes, but goodness is omnipresent if the conditions are right.

And that's how you plan your battles - take the time to do it right.

In perspective of my generally apolitical position on Steemit, I tend to find better ways to contribute instead of lashing out on another user. Sure, I have my dissatisfaction about some author rewards and posting models from time to time. However, I tried putting effort into building better models and figuring out ways to add substantial value into the ecosystem. Eventually, some of us gravitated towards a loose goal of rewarding diversity by combing contents on Steemit on a daily basis.

There are now epic giant hidden-gem megaposts on Steemit - like this one from Project Curie and Robinhood Whale. Better coverage, better quality, better value - in so many ways. This is the free-market reaction to solo authored hidden-gem posts of early Steemit. No doubt that everything evolves over time.

Knowing that value is subjective, I have always refrained from losing my cool. Even here on Steemit.

I'm the small fish and I have to plan my battles!

Don't freaking milk it!

There are big reasons why most of us don't really like governments. Greed and corruption. Needless to say, the crowd easily picks up on this when insubstantial effort is rewarded handsomely. By all means, that's as subjective as can be. What's not (very) subjective, however, is if one continues to milk it, even despite public disapproval.

This happens all around the world. Don't oversell. You'll lose reputation if you are obviously milking it!

Sure, you may gain new followers.. newly inspired and freshly impressed. But old eyes grow weary. People are watching, and your social value fluctuates all the time. You can't please everyone, but you can try the art of not milking the shit out of the system.

It's a good business practice. It's a good personal conduct. And it works on Steemit.

That's a reason why I'm also posting lesser (other than plainly having a huge writer's block, reserving myself from random shitposting). Now I'm only writing when I really think I have something good to add as a post. As I'm partly dependent on Steemit, I've strategized a lil, refraining from appearing to be milking it, seeking modes of substantial contribution behind the scenes to compensate for the awesome support that has been given to me on this platform.

If you are suddenly rewarded thousands for a post - ask yourself. Is that post worth that much? Heck, I don't know if my top philosophical post is worth 4,000 bucks, but I know I've put long hours in it, enough to avoid milking and recycling the same content. Instead, I try to put more effort in other areas of the ecosystem to balance out the lopsided reward.

The blockchain is transparent. It's easy to find out if you're milking it. To avoid seeming like you're milking it - just be honest and ask yourself the right questions! Then, do the right thing!

Like life, like Steemit - try to give more than you can take. Don't. Freaking. Milk It.

Take time to build, or take time to exploit?

By Steemit's talented artist @lgm-1

Naturally, I'd say take time to build. Once you're caught exploiting the system, in life or on Steemit, you're lose reputation whether or not if its digitally measurable. You can create as many accounts as you want and find a million ways to exploit everything, but ask yourself - what are you building?

Here are some tips for maintaining reputation on Steemit:-

  • Steemit's a mutual aid society. While posts can be about anything, note there's a limited amount of funds going around each day. It's obvious that your reputation is at stake if you have somehow managed to acquire good support, but not giving back substantially.
  • Tags are like real estate. Choose appropriately. An example is if you're writing your opinions on something rather meta, I think it's prudent to respect the scientific community. For example in my article about consciousness, I've deliberately used the pseudoscience tag, no matter how right I think I could be. I clearly think about such topics often, but I never put myself in research labs knowing about consciousness well enough to indicate that I am the master of that domain.
  • Follow up on your promises. Communicate transparently.
  • Put in more effort, visibly and even behind the scenes when you manage to acquire good payouts.
  • Try to follow others. Curate and also support other members.
  • Plan your battles and don't milk it! And also, celebrity attitudes won't last long here if you're not giving back to the community. @dollarvigilante is doing this right - he's aiding others and even curating frequently on his free time!
  • Again, in general, give more than you can take.

Reputation is everything - for survival, for change in a social landscape.

Note: There is some form of censorship of the mind when it comes to chance of interruption from higher powers. It's the same everywhere. You just have to play your cards right, opting for different methods, different approaches. It's not really a systems-problem. It's a people-problem, as always. Never leave an opening for others to destroy your reputation.

Stock photos courtesy of

Follow me @kevinwong


oh my god.

I stumbled across this while searching for something totally different, yet it spoke so much to a situation I just finished writing. amazing timing. and super powerful reflections in here.

amazing, how words can bounce back like this a year later after they're written, to present themselves so perfectly when they're most potent.


Really glad to have been writing all year. Didd this appear at top of your search results?

oddly, yes. searched for a post on 'the subtle art of not giving a f*ck' by @the-alien, and this one came out in the top 3...

Just this last day, I have been intensively focusing on what seem to be the causal factors involved in how the pie gets cut up. Stuff about composition, common attention grabbers, trending and reward counts, the names of people who win rewards frequently, the idea of a composite mindset of the biggest voters and their bot algos.

I'm not here to milk it, but rather, to find a way to seed extremely valuable projects. They are highly speculative so I guess it makes sense that I focus on seeing these subtle background patterns behind the appearance of the present moment, and jump on what is coming forward before it is seen.

Hey buddy seems like you're into curation on a certain level.. may i suggest @liberosist's awesome article on it -

Discovering this article was quite the pivotal moment for curie's formation :)

Yes, I fully intend to help develop deeper insights into how people vote, and actually, yeah, more or less weaken whale power to win curation rewards, and distribute them a bit differently, by profiling the composite voting tendencies. And refine an understanding for writers to up the grade of article that is written, as a necessary consequence.

Lol i laughed so hard at this!

a great example of milking it is when stabelle started her secret writer program :).. her rewards went down pretty fast, and perhaps have not returned much since then, if she had stuck to doing about 3 great posts about herself per week... hmmmm?

Not too sure if that's milking - the posts were quite interesting.. but yeah it may seem like milking it - and constantly getting into the daily trending without upping the ante may wear down on some voters/users alike!

loved your writing since I first came across it, and it's only gotten better since.

a number of great points synergistically fused together and articulated perfectly in this. feel no need to add anything to the discussion via the comments, as you've summed up and stated well what ought to be said on the topic.

keep 'em coming... :-)

Thanks @rok-sivante! I hope all your lengthy advice in the early days ain't going to waste :D
Are you heading to Amsterdam for the fest? I've just confirmed my itinerary :D

if you meant any advice I gave you, it appears to have gone to excellent use. :-)

I don't think so. tempting. though was already planning for a Thailand honeymoon around that time. if do Amsterdam instead, gotta hit up some other spots in Europe - and for the two of that, it'd really be pushing budget, and would much rather do Europe in the spring/summer. not set in stone and still open to the possibility, though leaning towards the nay-no... :-/

boom!! perfect post it seems we boith think of the same things these days.
way to go

I think synchronicity is a real thing especially on Steemit :D - just saw the title of your latest, wtf? Gonna checkit out soon!

right?! Sincerely pretty amazing :)

but goodness is omnipresent if the conditions are right.

The real essence of life!
I hope everyone reads this excellent post!

Thanks @norbu! And will I be seeing you in Amsterdam?? :D

Those are some excellent points @kevinwong. The trollers and FUDers need to read this as much as anyone milking the system. They need to take a step back and figure out how they are adding value to the eco-system and not just deriving value out of it. It's would do everyone some good if they keep an ear to the ground and work on the platform! :)

I think the next step is to truly figure out the fiat-crypto value streams, it really needs to happen.. maybe within the year!

You bring up a lot of great points, @kevinwong.
In the past two months on steemit I've seen a lot of emotional overreactions quickly spin out if control.

Personally, I'm glad that I wasn't the center of any of them, and I'm glad that I never joined in either.

I think greed us interesting also. People seem to hate it in others, and yet will rant for hours because they aren't making more money themselves.

Hopefully, people will heed your advice.

There has been some interesting articles about greed in older Steemit posts! I think conflicts are maybe necessary and also glad that some sacrificed their reputation for direct confrontation (usually for the good of others), but I just think it can be done differently..

Yes, doing things the best way possible is always best.

Let us learn from the mistakes of others and contemplate our moves before we make them.

There will always be conflict, but we can choose how to deal with it.

Amazing post!

I was having some of the very same thoughts lately! :)

Syncing minds.. Steemit is creepy like that! In a good way lol :D

Haha true! We seem to have them a lot :)

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