Reflections: Adding "Value" to the Steem Blockchain - Chapter 1

in life •  7 months ago

Words matter. Value is one we don't want to lightly regard, especially "in here." This morning, I am writing about my recent reflections on the title. Specifically, what it takes to add value to our Steem blockchain.

img src

First, what led me to reflect on this question?

Background

Yesterday morning (Sat., 8 July 2018), I had the following “conversation” with “the Sheriff,” @discordiant, on the #minnowsupport-help channel of PAL’s (Peace, Abundance, Liberty) server on Discord.

[Note: The PAL team does tremendous work! And all of it, as far as I am aware, on a volunteer basis. Please do all you can to learn more about and support them. They are there for you (fellow Minnows …)! Doing all they can to help build our Community.

P.S. If you do, you'll find out where "the Sheriff" reference comes from ... 😊 ]

It started out “innocently” enough, with some questions I had for working on my “know what you know” approach (long story …) to much that I do (especially professionally) …

Q: Where would one go to find out the details about the various "levels" in our Steem Community?

”They are fluid depending on who you ask, but the general idea is that it's based on the amount of SP you have. Under 5k SP and you are a minnow, 5k-50k and you are a dolphin, 50k is a small whale with real whales starting at 100k generally.”

Hmmm. Ok, so somewhat subjective "outside" vs. being accounted for "inside" the blockchain ...

Q: LOTS of different input in various places about "responsibly" using our "upvoting power." Starting to make more sense to me, but I have a simple question on that. Appears our reputation "goes up" when we both post and when we comment. So ... IF we comment WITHOUT upvoting at the same time, does our reputation go up still? Perhaps it goes up, BUT not as much as when we upvote?

” Reputation is increased from upvotes. Specifically, you can only gain rep when getting an upvote from someone of a higher or equal reputation score.”

”Rep is harder to use as a metric since the advent of bid-bots which tend to have a decent rep score of their own, as it is possible for a fresh 25 rep account to buy a single large upvote and jump nearly into the 40's in one go.”

Very important that we understand this. While I'm pretty sure I had read that somewhere early on, I am very sure it did not "sink in." Until now and, as a result, a significant motivation behind writing this post ...

Q: I am confused then. I thought I have seen my reputation score go up simply by posting?! Apparently not so, but posting AND having someone of "higher value" give the post an upvote?

If so, is the "weight" of the upvote a factor? That is, I see a LOT of upvotes that are in the 0 - 5% ("lukewarm"?) range vs. say 100% ("enthusiastic") range?

”Yes, the weight of the vote affects how much rep is gained”

Again, important to be clear about. Not only who is supporting (not just anyone matters ...) you, but by how much they elect to do so ...

Q: What you are telling me is that the time I invest (and I do mean INVEST, as I take it seriously ...) in commenting on various people's posts or even other people's comments is a "waste of time," as far as measurable ($$) value? Without an upvote attached ....

”Not a waste, no. It's purpose is to help you be seen, and to build a following of loyal readers (who become loyal upvoters)”

”Steemit.com is less a matter of 'by the numbers' and more a social engineering thing. Understand that it's people who control your income here, their wants, needs, interests, etc.”

”If all it took was just to show up and post something, comment on posts, and upvote others, someone could write a bot to do that. People have tried, and gotten zero return, and in many cases, shunned off the platform as it becomes obvious they are spamming/plagiarizing their content.”

”It has taken me more than a year to reach a point where I can expect $10 or more on a post without the help of a bid-bot, and that is actually higher than the average user can expect after a year”

”… just wanted to make sure you understood the expectations that are good to have for the platform and what you can get from it for the amount of work invested.”

This last part was the "heart of the matter" for me. It resulted in my decision to write this post. @discordiant's response really improved my grasp of "what are you doing in there?" and I will not forget it, going forward ...

So … As I’ve written about before in reflecting on my “journey,” reputation is important “in here,” just like it is in “the real world.” We will all come to our own conclusions, however, about how well the programmatic mechanism (do not lightly pass over these words, dear Steemian …) which determines this “in here” actually works.

Are you a “whale?” Are you a “plankton?” While we may choose (I did initially) to set aside these somewhat whimsical labels, I highly recommend we do not set aside what they represent. Going back over what I have just written, as well as what follows, may help you come to the same conclusion ....

With this background, before moving on into the main point of my post, I’ve gotten something clearer in my mind. Specifically, that “reputation” determines the “who” of adding value to our Steem blockchain. And, to an extent, the “how” …

Let’s now take a closer look at the “how” and start into the “what” … Maybe even, some of the "why" ...

Financial Measures – Present Value

My number ONE issue, in continuing to contribute to our Steem Community, is the investment of my time. Always has been ... Hard to see that ever changing ... What is the focus of our time? And our return on the investment of it? I highly recommended that we all thoughtfully reflect on and carefully consider this question and be at peace with a good answer ...

Bluntly stated, purely from a financial perspective, the ROI (return on investment) on the investment of my time "in here" is "lousy." So far, after ~ two months, the ROI is considerably less than what I make in the "real world" in an hour ... Yes, but "over time" that will change, right? The "compounding effect" and all of that, right?

Well, let’s see … Did we read what @discordiant said above about this? Setting “realistic expectations?” If so, from that (and many others …) seasoned voice of experience, what part of it did we not understand?

The more I understand the "cold, hard" realities of what it takes "in here," the more it becomes unmistakably clear to me - you are looking at a marathon "race." If (as is the case for many) you wish to have Steem make a significant contribution to your income, let alone potentially a "living wage" ...

So … The ROI on the investment of my time, from a pure "dollars and cents" point-of-view, makes sense, right? Well, it is simple math to me. No! To deceive myself to believe otherwise, strikes me as being foolish ...

While perhaps not a pleasant thought for some, there are many people who have come to the same conclusion. In fact, smarter than me perhaps, they never deluded themselves to ever think otherwise. They have, however, invested in the Steem blockchain. And have every intention of profiting from the efforts of others (that would be you and that would be me …), i.e. letting their money work for them, while their time is invested elsewhere. Much as one would buy shares in a private enterprise, in “the real world” …

Taking pains to not be misunderstood, I am not saying this is “bad.” And I know, in even bringing up this last point, I am “opening the door” to another whole level of talking about the topic of this post that I have no intention of covering now. Far too much to it ... Another post, another day (Chapter 2. Or 3. Or 4 … Maybe … 😊).

I am simply doing all I can to get “the big picture” covered, i.e. at least ensure it is somewhat in focus, as failure to do so can be (and almost always is …) very expensive.

Great. Is that it then @roleerob? No! There is “more to the story.” Much more …

The “Greater Good” – Future Value

Years ago, in my “old life,” I trained teams of sales people, in a very technical market (the mining industry). Often discussed was the topic of price. The “easy button” solution to “all of our problems” was to drop the price of our “value proposition.” Well, OK, there was one small problem with that proposed “solution.”

That is not what we were paid to do. Nor did we have the authority (at least, for the most part – another post, for another day, perhaps) to make that call. We were paid and very reasonably so, to do the exact opposite really. To the best of our ability.

In time, understanding this, I found it very helpful to “clear this up,” as simply as I could. By stating something along the lines of (a long time ago):

“Anyone can look at two numbers and tell you which one is smaller. What value lies behind those numbers? That is what we are well paid to answer, for our current and prospective customers …”

So, while the word value is comparatively easily linked to a number, e.g. our various “fiat” currencies, is that the end of it? No, I do not think so. Yes, that is unquestionably the “current answer” of the “marketplace.” But what about tomorrow? What will the price / number be then?

I would suggest we all, to one extent or another, intuitively know there is a lot more involved in the determination of what represents value than just the “current number.” We may not know exactly what, but we just know there must be more to it.

I would like to finish my post this morning briefly exploring some things to consider going forward.

img src

Wow! At a glance at this illustration, then, further understanding value gets complicated. Quickly …

So … Are we talking about the "greater good" somehow then? For a “higher calling,” if you (as I do) prefer?

For a simple example of the challenge, how do we measure the "weight" or the "value" of lending a helping hand and / or supplying words of encouragement to our fellow man? Particularly at critical points in time? For them, not us? I do not pretend to be wise enough to answer.

How about contributing to the overall well-being of our fellow man? In whatever way we may feel "led" or be inspired? In whatever form that may take, on any given day and in any given circumstance? Again, same answer. I do not pretend to be wise enough to know.

How about you not make it so complicated @roleerob and just look at all of the wonderful expressions of “beauty is in the eye of the beholder?” From my limited time so far, there appears to be a lot of very artistically talented people contributing continually to our Steem blockchain. How do we determine the “value” of these expressions? Again (ok, I think I see a pattern emerging here @roleerob …), same answer …

Whatever the answer(s), establishing what is truly of value is obviously a much harder determination to make. Given the rich diversity we find in our Steem “ecosystem,” I think we can agree it will mean different things to different people.

Overall, I think that is a “good” thing, perhaps even a “great” thing. It is ultimately the determination “in the marketplace of ideas,” by countless free will decisions, with no outside “coercion” involved, what is of value.

Closing

OK, so after all that, any conclusions then @roleerob? Honestly, no, I am stilling “working on it” … The reader will note the reference to “Chapter 1” in the title. Right now, I anticipate this being a soul-searching work-in-progress for some time, so there will likely be future updates in the weeks and months to come.

Perhaps overly philosophical for some of my readers? Perfectly understandable to me. I am simply writing "from the heart" and giving you an idea of where I am, at this point in time. As much as anything, this post is to capture some key concepts for my own reference in the future, as I look back … Perhaps it will have some value for your reference as well fellow Steemians. Lot’s to think about!

Thanks for bearing with me ... On into the future we go, laboring together in “common cause” to add value to our Steem blockchain …

As always, upvotes and resteems are certainly welcome, but I would especially like to hear back from you and let me know what you think / how you feel. About this post and / or about our future. "From the heart," in whatever way you deem best ...

Respectfully, fellow Steemian @roleerob

Posted using MSPSteem and immutably “enshrined in the blockchain” on Sunday, 8 July 2018!

divider 123.png

steemdivider.png

If you enjoyed this post, perhaps you would also find these posts of interest / value:
Authors get paid when people like you upvote their post.
If you enjoyed what you read here, create your account today and start earning FREE STEEM!
Sort Order:  

You've clearly put a lot of time into writing this @roleerob. As you say, lot's to think about. A lot to understand about how Steem works. Thanks for writing it!

I will be adding it to my list of saved posts on Busy. Looking forward to Chapter 2.

Keep posting!

·

Thank you @anlurob. Not sure when Chapter 2 will be written, but already working on additional details to follow up on later ...

For now, I definitely intend to keep posting!

Steemin’ along and on the move ... Posted using Partiko Android

After some time here quietly observing it is clear there is much more to Steemit than meets the eye. At first glance you see posts going up and the exchange of finances. That surface image can be very deceptive on many levels.
The more you observe the more you see other things at play. Like subtle undercurrents moving things along beneath the surface.
Money appears to be made when often this isn't really the case. Beneath that benefits are being earned that are rarely mentioned.

Some challenges of my own led me to begin research for a future post.
Though I was familiar with the concepts I wanted to add quotes and sources for the sake of credibility. The reading that began in response to questioning my own actions led to a new perspective about the platform as a whole.
People are here for many reasons. You yourself have stated the ROI in terms of financial reward is questionable at best. However from a psychological perspective the ROI can be very high indeed. There is much research indicating therapeutic value in writing. There are studies that literally document a change in cell structure for sick people who write.
Added to that are psychological benefits. Many people suffer from some form of anxiety or depression (diagnosed or not) The power of a complement, vote, validation, or encouragement. can not be measured in dollars. Many people are going through great ordeals in their personal life. Steemit offers escape, stress relief, sometimes even a laugh in a world where that is all to rare.
I follow a lady who is living in a walled compound because her coUntry is war torn. It is literally not safe to go outside the walls. She hopes through Steemit to get her story and situation some exposure. I would never presume to guess what she gains from her time here. From following I gain a great appreciation for the insignificance of my own troubles.
I myself came here because my income is decreased a bit in February of each year. The hope was that in a years time I could supplement my slow period a bit through Steeming. That I quickly became aware is not the case. Yet I continue on here. I watch this scenario play out many times as others come in search of one thing only to discover something of far greater value.

·

Thank you @headchange, for adding value to my post with your comments. Very much appreciated.

"However from a psychological perspective the ROI can be very high indeed. There is much research indicating therapeutic value in writing."

Yes, you've done a nice job here of providing more depth and detail to what I was saying in the post you inspired me to write:

"The benefit of all that “can be,” while certainly encouraging from a dollars and cents point-of-view (and maybe that is what gets you “in the flow,” for starters), has value well beyond financial measurements."

To me, your input, in and of itself, is an example of what working together "in here" can be, as altogether this post is of greater value than its individual parts.

While I am not consciously aware of (doesn't mean it isn't, just that like in other areas, I just "don't get it" ... 😊) a therapeutic value in my writing, I have certainly surprised myself about how much I am enjoying it.

So ... For now, I will keep at it and look forward to future exchanges.

Until then, all the best to you!

Some very good food for thought, @roleerob.

” Reputation is increased from upvotes. Specifically, you can only gain rep when getting an upvote from someone of a higher or equal reputation score.”

Very important that we understand this. While I'm pretty sure I had read that somewhere early on, I am very sure it did not "sink in."

Same goes for me. I’m also pretty sure I “knew” this at one point, but somehow I forgot all about this.

When it comes to the time spent here, I’ve been ‘fortunate’ enough to have no job I need to be at, no kids and plenty of time on my hands during daytime - mainly because I’ve been recovering from surgery for the last couple of months. And even before that, SteemIt was a perfect way to escape what was going on in real life.
That’s where a big part of the value of the platform is in for me.

Also, I could never have imagined how strong the sense of community would be on here, and how many amazing people I would meet - and I’m still meeting new ones every day.

And of course there is also the financial value. As an investor, I still believe the price of Steem will go up significantly.

People who don’t realize that there’s a lot more to SteemIt than only the monetary rewards, often don’t last long on this platform.

On the other hand, once I will need to go back to having a daytime job, I’m not sure I will have the time or the energy to be very active here...

One last point

How do we measure the “weight” or the “value” of lending a helping hand and / or supplying a word of encouragement to our fellow man?

I guess we can’t. Only a couple of days ago I was (again) confronted with the fact that we often don’t have a clue of how (small) things that we do or say here can have a huge impact on others. My name was mentioned in a post by a fellow Steemian, in which he thanked me for being such a big help when he just started out. I don’t even remember doing anything special except for using my normal words of encouragement, but apparently those had been of great value for him. To be honest, it was very nice to find out, and gave me a boost to keep going again :0)

·

Good morning @simplymike! Before 🌄, "in here" doing what I can, before heading off to my "day job" ...

Before "hanging it up" last night, I upvoted your comment, but was too tired to do justice to any kind of reasonable response to it, given the investment of time you clearly put into it.

I really appreciate it!!

"... mainly because I’ve been recovering from surgery for the last couple of months ..."

Very sobering reminder of what some people are going through. I know in my life, I get frequent opportunities to say, "I don't write the script, for if I did, I can assure you it wouldn't be playing out like this ..." My hope for you, all things considered, is you are recovering well and, looking back, it will have all been "worth it."

We never know, going forward, why things happen the way that they do. We can only respond to it the best way possible and hope eventually to be able to answer “what that was all about?” as a “learning opportunity” for whatever is coming next …

Your last paragraph is perfect. New to being “online,” I have been blessed a little bit with this myself. A great example was the recent comment to one of my posts from @sniffnscurry. Very few words. Great impact …

There's "resteeming," then there's whatever we would call what @headchange’s post has inspired me to do - write my Reflections: Curation and Pollination post last night.

Resteeming has its place, no doubt. But it lacks, at least for me, the "personal touch" of simply being able to let your followers / supporters know what you found of value in what you are bringing to their attention. No way I can do it all the time, but elected to do it this time, given what this experience has represented for me.

All the best to you, for a bright new day!

[Psalm 118:24]

·
·

Thanks, @roleerob.
As with all things in life, I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to look back on these last 6 months (and those that are yet to come) and be thankful for this awesome learning experience. But that something that only comes afterwards, once you’re out of trouble and can see things in the right perspective again.

I completely agree on the resteeming feature. It would add a lot of value if there would be an Opportunity to add a short personal note to let readers know why you think a post was worth resteeming. Who knows, maybe we’ll get that extra feature somewhere along the way... :0)

I think your conclusion is a good one, the idea of finding value, whatever that may be. I remember joking a few months in here with my husband, wondering what my hourly wage might actually be here haha.

I taught high school English mostly for years, and spent countless hours outside of the classroom working on things, reading, marking, talking to kids, their parents etc. I was good at what I did, and I enjoyed it very much. People used to say how much money I made, because they were dividing my salary by a 5 day work week, and subtracting all those holidays we teachers get. When I did the math, it was a much different story! :)

You've got it right here @roleerob, that I can see! :)

·

Good evening @lynncoyle1! Catching up some and reading through this, I really appreciate getting your perspective. I think our posts get "stronger" with the input of others.

Hats off to you as a teacher. Aside from our parents, when we are children, I do not know that any other person has as much of an influence on our lives as teachers. Sadly, in some cases, even more influence than a parent ...

I was blessed to have some great (with definitely a few "not so much" thrown in there ...) teachers at critical times growing up. As an example, I got to visit my 5th grade teacher, who had such a profound influence, on me, in my early 20s. Out of college and into my career, my travels gave me the opportunity.

Surprisingly, retired long before, the school still told me where she lived and said she'd love to see me. I was very doubtful she would even remember me, +15 years earlier, but of course she did! 😊

I imagine you were a similar sort of teacher, in your influence on your students @lynncoyle1.

Have a great evening!

·
·

Oh I love that story of you and your teacher @roleerob! We do remember the good ones 😎

I'm actually in touch with many of my former students on facebook (shhh!), and many are now becoming parents themselves. The years just keep on going!

Thank you for the break down of the complex tree that we have to navigate on steemit. Much appreciated.

·

Thanks for the feedback @white-lie-living! It is a start in understanding the complexity of our Steem Community.

I still have questions of my own and will be writing again, as I feel more certain that I "know what I know."

Until then, keep posting and I'll do the same! 👍

Bluntly stated, purely from a financial perspective, the ROI (return on investment) on the investment of my time "in here" is "lousy." So far, after ~ two months, the ROI is considerably less than what I make in the "real world" in an hour ... Yes, but "over time" that will change, right? The "compounding effect" and all of that, right?

Will it change? I believe it will if you invest in the right community and become friendly with the right people. I see Steemit as turning more into a social media rather than blogging platform with that regards. Not that I am particular to any one side since I am neither a blogger or social media type of gal.

I respectfully understand we have to unite in a community and grow and be supportive to others. I spent the first 4 months of my time on Steemit taking those very actions and helped to support newbies as they come onboard.

The problem is, when it becomes a question on whether the time invested to post, comment, engage on this platform is "justifiable" in sacrificing that time away from the real world. My baby girl just celebrated her birthday, and there are days I ask myself if the time I spent on here was worth it? I spend more on my daily cup of coffee than my posts earning on here!

I am not on as much anymore because it is challenging to find the time. The reality is, you have to be active and continuously engaging to grow on this platform. Many individuals like myself who are working professionals with a family simply don't have the time.

I hope you come to a realization for yourself because it is different for everyone on here. Thank you for your support on headchange's post. :)

·

Good morning @beeyou. Thank you for investing your time in this comment to my post. I really appreciate it!

"Many individuals like myself who are working professionals with a family simply don't have the time."

Yes, that is true for me as well. "Simple math" as I say, I know the time I have put in so far is not sustainable.

"The problem is, when it becomes a question on whether the time invested to post, comment, engage on this platform is "justifiable" in sacrificing that time away from the real world. My baby girl just celebrated her birthday, and there are days I ask myself if the time I spent on here was worth it? I spend more on my daily cup of coffee than my posts earning on here!"

"Ditto # 2" ... 😊

Time and ROI (today) aside, what keeps me going, is the "greater good" point I attempted to make here in my post. And trying to get more clearly established in my mind the value (for "tomorrow" ...) that represents.

Never previously "an online guy," it is fascinating to me, for example, the opportunity to communicate with other people from all over the world. Not a hypothetical exercise, either. I already have!

But, to what end? If I get that figured out (we'll each have our own "answer" ...), what then is that "worth?"

Answers a work-in-progress ...

Have a great day @beeyou!

·
·

Good evening to you roleerob. :)

I know the time I have put in so far is not sustainable.

Time and ROI (today) aside, what keeps me going, is the "greater good" point I attempted to make here in my post. And trying to get more clearly established in my mind the value (for "tomorrow" ...) that represents.

It seems we both reached the same conclusion. We want to show support to the community, would love to engage and connect with others, but time is the enemy. I too find the opportunity to connect with others globally fascinating, to me, it is the shining star of steemit.

We, along with many others, have answers yet to discover that seem to be works-in-progress!

Congratulations! This post has been upvoted from the communal account, @minnowsupport, by roleerob from the Minnow Support Project. It's a witness project run by aggroed, ausbitbank, teamsteem, theprophet0, someguy123, neoxian, followbtcnews, and netuoso. The goal is to help Steemit grow by supporting Minnows. Please find us at the Peace, Abundance, and Liberty Network (PALnet) Discord Channel. It's a completely public and open space to all members of the Steemit community who voluntarily choose to be there.

If you would like to delegate to the Minnow Support Project you can do so by clicking on the following links: 50SP, 100SP, 250SP, 500SP, 1000SP, 5000SP.
Be sure to leave at least 50SP undelegated on your account.