I wanted to quickly address this sentence and give my personal thoughts on the matter.
"You're just promoting Steemit cause you are invested in it"
There is a fine line between shilling and generally wanting others to know about different projects which you personally believe to be of better quality than the prior. When I was a really active redditor, its not like I didn't mention the site and wanted others to use it too. In fact if you ask many of my friends they will tell you how tired they got by me mentioning Reddit over and over again years ago when it wasn't as popular yet.
"Ugh yeah that's old, I already read it"
"Come on, that's been trending reddit months ago"
"Stop using facebook for viral posts already, seriously"
These are all phrases I've used before which has probably made me look like a giant hipster wannabe. The fact is though that they were all true. Reddit was the way to go back then, the incentives of receiving karma points for having contributed with a valued link or discussion and the attention it caught were enough reason for many to become and stay active on the site.
Have I been indirectly shilling for Reddit all these years? You might think that, but it was all supported by my opinion of the platform and that it surpassed others in quality by a landslide. Did I get paid for doing so? No. Do I get paid for my activity on Steemit? Yes, but doesn't mean that I have sold my soul and am blindly promoting the platform because of that. These are my opinions and beliefs in the platform, just like the ones about Reddit years ago.
The platform here reminds me a lot of Reddit in the beginning, my account there is almost 6 years old now, I'm nearing 100k comment karma points (I saw link karma as something you could get just by re-posting old successful content, which you can notice how easy it is if you actively do it. There is a video in my last post where a moderator was demonstrating it). Comment karma was a totally different ballpark cause it incentivized users to be more original and creative with comments and responses. They were also really punctual about grammar so that helped my written english a lot over the years.
This is also a reason I've wanted comments to be rewarded better on the platform, but the issue in my opinion so far is only that of our small user-base. That's why I keep mentioning it on social platforms such as Twitter, Reddit and Facebook, but also in my personal life to friends and relatives.
Even though I now know that these big platforms don't allow links to other competing platforms and is probably a big reason most comments/submissions with Steemit links in them have performed so bad in the past. It won't stop me from genuinely wanting to bring more users and awareness to the platform I enjoy the most nowadays.
On another note, users might disagree with my opinion on not removing curation rewards and not giving commentators their own pool. This might of course seem biased coming from me, since I love curating and have been doing that on reddit, combined with commenting, for years. With an increasing user-base I do think that these changes will only improve the quality and activity over time, but its going to be exciting to experiment with it and see how it turns out.
In the meantime I'll be doing my thing trying to get visibility to a platform I generally believe will be the next big thing and I'm glad a lot of users that join and experience Steemit feel the same way after a while.