My name is Yan and I'm the founder and co-owner of JoyDancing.com, a project I initially began to showcase the amazing ability dance has to transform and inspire us in our day-to-day lives.
I stumbled upon Steemit a little while back and now, after recently realizing I was already spending pretty much every free minute I had back here, I decided it was time to take the plunge and say hello.
Although I know introduction posts are generally opportunities for people to talk about themselves and tell their own stories, self-promotion is my least favorite aspect of running a business (and being a human!), so although I will discuss it a little, I'd much prefer to use this opportunity to share my thoughts on the community you've all helped build, as well as outline some ways in which I hope to do my part in helping it grow going forward.
A Few Reflections
- The thing I love most about Steemit, which parallels one of my primary goals with JoyDancing, is that it allows artists to follow their passions while still paying the bills. Regardless if it's as a writer, painter, photographer, dancer or any other artistic profession, those who feel motivated and inspired to express themselves through art often go unrewarded unless they specialize extensively and follow a very specific career path. Having a platform such as Steemit that allows artists to simply focus on creating and doesn't force people into tiny little boxes of creativity is not only amazing to see, but also incredibly inspiring and motivating as an active supporter of the arts.
- The other thing I wanted to offer a perspective on that perhaps some people have not considered is in regards to the issue of whales and, more specifically, the unbalanced power distribution in terms of author rewards. Although I understand the frustration of needing to get a small group of people to notice your work in order to make any significant earnings, the flip side of that is that the number of artists succeeding on Steemit relative to its size is absolutely massive compared to industry standards. In fact, I can guarantee that if any of the artists I work with had an opportunity to present their work to what essentially amounts to a panel of casting directors each and every time they created new content, it would literally be the best day of their lives! So to anyone struggling to “succeed” on Steemit, keep your head up, you're in great company and keep in mind that your likelihood of success here, especially while it remains a relatively small community, DWARFS (with a capital D!) that of the average artist.
- Additionally, another thing that occurred to me is that having this type of curation system in place prevents large entities with significant user-bases (or programmers with bots) from coming in and sucking Steem out of the economy through sheer force alone. Putting faith in the users who have invested the most and have the most to lose (both from a financial and a time-equity perspective) seems like an intelligent way to ensure Steemit grows in a manner that continues to align with its goals.
How I Intend To Do My Part In Helping Steemit Grow
Although JoyDancing is, at its core, a dance competition, our real passion is in helping share stories of struggles and triumphs in the hopes of inspiring new generations of kids and youth to seek out and follow their passions. The way we accomplish this is through our “Spotlight” features, which are short videos featuring professional dancers sharing their thoughts, experiences, hardships, inspirations and, of course, dancing.
In the past we have released these Spotlights through Facebook, but inspired by the community here we have decided that starting immediately we will be releasing all our original content here on Steemit instead. However, much more meaningful than any content we could ever personally contribute...
Having been fortunate enough to get to know so many amazing dancers and choreographers through my work, I can't imagine a better group of people to help grow a community that values unique and creative content; and I'm extremely excited to get to introduce them to Steemit.
We hope to release our first Spotlight on Steemit shortly and introduce an incredibly talented dancer and social media fanatic (70,000 Youtube subscribers and growing with 9 million views) to the community. Our hope is that by recruiting as many professional dancers and choreographers to Steemit as possible, we can send a ripple-effect through the close-knit dance community and reach many other talented artists as well. Besides, what better content is there than a freestyle dance-video from an amazing performer, right?
3. In-house Steemit
As a small online business owner who could never afford to hire “top-tier” talent, I can never express just how frustrating of an experience it has been trying to find reliable and motivated individuals to work with at manageable costs. The talent is there for certain, but the execution has often been slow and unproductive, which has greatly affected our ability to gain some steam (no pun intended!) and really start making a difference like we hope to do.
However, having spent this time exploring Steemit, I know just how talented and diverse the community is here, so I am extremely excited to do my best to move all of JoyDancing's hiring in-house to Steemit. So if you are a developer, designer, graphic artist, video editor, writer, photographer, dancer, marketer or any other creative position and want to help us use art to change the world, I would love to hear from you in the comments below and please keep an eye out for future hiring notices we'll be posting through our Steemit blog.
First of all, thank you so much for taking the time to read this and for helping promote such a revolutionary platform! If I could be so forward as to make a couple of requests from you all this early in my involvement I would humbly ask the following:
1. Join us in pledging a portion of your Steemit earnings to your favorite charitable cause.
On JoyDancing, we aim to use the Spotlight features not only to help dancers raise funds for their own artistic projects, but also to raise money for organizations that are making a significant impact on the lives of vulnerable members of our collective communities. We call this our Dance Forward Initiative (FAQ) and have been extremely fortunate to find an incredible first partner in the British Columbia chapter of the SOS Children's Village, an international non-profit organization dedicated to providing homes to children and youth in over 130 countries around the globe. As part of this initiative, our users are now able to allocate a portion of the contributions directly to supporting SOS BC.
So whether it's through the Dance Forward Initiative (I'll outline how this will work on Steemit in a separate post) or any other cause that is particularly meaningful to you, the important thing is not where your donation goes, only that it helps improve the lives of those in need. Not only is a percentage-of-earnings pledge a wonderful ideal to entrench into the culture on Steemit (both from philosophical and PR standpoints), but as many of you are well aware, the joy found in helping others is absolutely unparalleled! So regardless of which particular cause speaks to your life and unique experiences the most, please join me in pledging to use our art to change the world!
2. Support the artists that we introduce to Steemit. On a completely selfish level, being able to show dancers the success past participants of our Spotlights have had on Steemit will make our job of recruiting dancers and artists to both the JoyDancing & Steemit causes immeasurably easier and help us make a real impact both on our community here and our communities at large. So please show our artists some love; because, based on my own experiences, I can guarantee they will return it back to you ten times over!
3. And finally, above all else, never ever forget to dance!
Thank you for welcoming me/us to your community, I am so grateful that have found you all!
You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one.