Mainstream Media Influence in Steemit
This is an important message regarding the future of Steemit and its power to influence.
The growth potential of Steemit is unprecedented. Unlike before, where journalistic endeavors needed to make their profit from advertising, Steemit provides a way for news outlets to free themselves from that source of income. However, it can also provide a path to content suppression.
In the most positive of outcomes, Steemit has opened a door for journalistic integrity to return to mainstream media, providing a means to eliminate things like native advertising and corporate influence. On this site, mainstream media receives most of their profits from public opinion. The public is often against certain qualities of posts, like advertising or propaganda, so the media's revenue is dependent on not having those qualities. Steemit naturally provides a court a public opinion regarding what media is valued, keeping big media in check.
In the negative outlook, Steemit creates a monopoly where a few accounts decide what media gets exposure, providing autonomy to the lucky few with the Steem Power. The public, driven by the prospect of an easy buck, latches onto the posts approved by these sources, increasing popularity and profit without them taking a genuine interest in the content. The power and influence grows and all the sudden big money has complete control over the media. Few content providers rejecting the agenda of the whales are heard.
The state of Steemit will fall somewhere between these two extremes. What's great is that the public will decide the path. This community, right now, has the power to return journalistic integrity to the press, or crush it altogether.
Soon contracts will be drawn up between whales and minnows. It's inevitable, and here's how it might work. A content provider company like the Wall Street Journal or Buzzfeed, will be able to "powerup" with outside funds. They may have enough capital to immediately establish themselves as a whale. Once the initial investment is made, they will contract content creators. The agreement will establish that the company will upvote the creator's content for a kickback. That can be a percentage of Steem Dollars created by the post's revenue or the creator pays an upfront cost for the vote, it doesn't matter. Steemit gives whales the opportunity to sell exposure.
The path to the positive outcome will be influenced by the masses. People need to upvote quality content, liberally. Not just what the whales find so you can swim beside them. We should regularly be seeing content with 100+ upvotes and less than $100. And that type of outcome needs to be okay to a content creator; because creators need to focus their goals toward expression over profit. This will set the framework for establishing a healthy distribution Steem Power. That distribution will allow for the public to decide what content is valued on this site. When the mainstream media arrives it is important to have these values, all of us.
If the mainstream media arrives and we as a community still value the dollar signs over the upvotes and the prospect of getting rich quick over the outlet for expression, that is going to play right into big media's hand. Time and CNN will post what they want you to read then raise the dollar value of the post. We will follow, in the hope of making chump change on a comment or an upvote. They then control what you see on this site.
We have something very special here. This can change the world. And when it does, the limited accounts active right now will be dolphins at minimum. We have a responsibility to influence this community in a positive way, so that the entire world can benefit from this site. Please, please don't ever forget that.