In Order to GROW a Community, You Must Have a Reason for People to Want to JOIN it!

in WORLD OF XPILARlast month

I realize the discussions of quality and value are old and tired — they've been around since I joined Steemit in January 2017 — but that doesn't keep them from being relevant.

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People talk a lot about what it takes to Build A Community — and this runs the range from a local community of garden enthusiasts to a social content community on the web — and often the very BASIC BONES are overlooked in a storm of suggestions about promotions, marketing and clever features.

Question Number One:

Before anyone gets into all that structural stuff, let's start with the more central issue of what is on offer that would make ANYONE want to join the community?

It's great that an organization might have the capacity to put their message out in front of 50 million sets of eyeballs, but before you worry about that... can you answer the very simple question "Our community is about XXXX and you should join us for YYYY reason, because that's what sets us apart from our colleagues and the rest of the world."

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What's my point here?

Unless you have a Core Purpose and then pitch that core purpose from the angle of Differentiation, you don't really have very much.

At the very least, it's where you get to discover that what you may feel is a brilliant idea doesn't really hold all that much appeal in the greater world.

With THAT Out of the Way...

... let's return to the issue of "quality" and "adding value," as it relates to our Steemit community.

Why would someone want to join a community like Steemit?

If the first thing that comes to your mind is "Make Money" you just earned minus 25 points!

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"Bribing" people with promises of money is- quite likely - the single least sticky way to build loyalty in a community. People lured by money care nothing of building community and their only loyalty is to dollar signs.

If you said "Get rewarded for creating content," I'll at least let you stay at zero points, because you got "creating content" into the picture!

At least there's mention of "creating content," but money is still the primary bait. Very weak strategy.

What Are Real People's CONCERNS?

One of the features we DO offer on Steemit is that there's no strong-arm central "government" that's going to shut down or ban your account for talking about something politically incorrect.

That's a selling point.

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Another feature we offer is that you can build stake and influence in the platform you are using. You don't get that on YouTube or Facebook or twitter. In fact, I remember the very early joke saying around here: "What's in YOUR Facebook wallet?" whenever someone would complain that their rewards seemed very low.

That's a selling point.

Another feature we offer is the immutability of the blockchain. You can't start a flame war, then "make it disappear" and suddenly pretend it never happened. That means a higher level of accountability.

That's a selling point.

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And if we're actually pitching the idea of cryptocurrency, one of the unique things we have here is "sensible" wallet addresses!

Would you rather remember to send a payment for something to @denmarkguy or to something that looks like VbKT64Pz9f44Hjhs72sJbBM45sDwQ92a? Who's going to remember that???

That's a selling point.

I'm not suggesting that we completely overlook our rewards as a selling point, I just think is needs to be kept somewhat in the background so potential new users see their primary objective as creating content in a free environment rather than just "making money."

Not claiming to be an expert on this... but just putting some thoughts out there, as we work towards a refresh/modernization of the user interface... and likely drawing new members here.

Thanks for stopping by, and have a great Mother's Day!

How about you? What do YOU think are Steemit's strong selling points? Do you ever feel like "the rewards" are made excessively important? Leave a comment if you feel so inclined — share your experiences — be part of the conversation!

(All text and images by the author, unless otherwise credited. This is ORIGINAL CONTENT, created expressly for this platform — Not posted elsewhere!)

Created at 2024.05.12 01:00 PDT
x772/2006

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 last month 

Totally agree on this.

On 'Old Steem' we had a vibrant and thriving Homesteaders Community with about 300 active members at the peak.

It worked purely through Slack (later Discord), a regularly updated list of members, and tags.

The community was all about sharing information, knowledge and ideas - votes were very much a side issue.

It worked. People joined it because it was useful.

We did not have the 'Communities function', there were no Booming votes, the Engagement Challenge didn't exist, and the very occasional big whale vote was a cause for joint celebration.

Those were the days...

 last month 

I remember joining (Steemit) mostly because there was a lively and respectful discourse on the topics of Basic Income and alternative financial systems.

I was certainly aware of the fact that we also received rewards in Steem, but this was when the token was 7-8 cents and I had no expectations of ever actually seeing any of that.

TBH, my mind was slightly blown when I was able to pull out some rewards in late 2017 and it could pay for a much needed set of tires for our truck!

I do wish communities would find new life, in the sense that communities who are not receiving Booming support would also be able to attract membership and stay active. For example, the pet communities. People don't post about their pets mainly because "you don't get rewards for that." And yet they are posting cat photos to twitter and Facebook for nothing...

I don't know if you remember Asher's "Curation and Engagement League," which has hundreds of participants every week... there were certainly symbolic prizes but people were mostly in it for bragging rights.

Good times!

Thank you for penning this down.

I strongly urge all steem promoters to read and re-read this post before spreading the word out in the world.

Money is no doubt a strong selling point but it's doing no good to the community as observed and like you already explained.

Another point, there are unlimited number of money-making solutions online which are mostly scam. People don't fall for this pitch anymore.

If we offer something more trustworthy like all the selling points you pointed out - people are more likely to join with different intentions, even if money is in the picture.

 last month 

You're welcome! Glad you found it useful/informative.

And you're right, "make money online" has such scammy connotations, usually associated with Ponzi and get-rich-quick schemes... and whereas Steemit definitely can be a rewarding experience, I think we'd do well to distance ourselves from that kind of sales pitch.

@pennsif spoke to communities, and that's also a valuable thing to have, particularly if they are well focused. After all, many people use the web as gateways to be more involved with hobbies and interests, ranging from coin collecting to homesteading, to needlecraft and beyond.

The plus there is that hobbyists tend to be very loyal to their interest... which makes for long term memberships.

After all, many people use the web as gateways to be more involved with hobbies and interests,

That's exactly our target audience.

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 last month 

This post has been featured in the latest edition of Steem News...

Hello everyone! I believe rewards have always played a crucial role in this network and even instill motivation. I've also been on this social network since 2018, and reward systems have taken on different formats in various contexts. I think some existing communities now impose too many restrictions on content, which doesn't align with the decentralized premise of a network like this. I believe community members should vote for other community members, and that would be the way to leverage the community. More mutual support is essential. Cheers :)

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