Reducing friction for critical mass adoption of steemit

in #steem5 years ago (edited)

Promoting community discussion and a 5K STEEM development incentive

Before a user invests time and energy into a social platform, they have to know they will receive value in return. The conundrum that every social platform faces is that the greatest value is only realized when there is a critical mass of individuals on the platform.

Cost Curve - economics of social media

Cost Curve - economics of social media

The steemit core value proposition for content producers and curators is compelling - get paid, for what you currently do for free.

This provides steemit users with a unique benefit of participation, but with any new social platform that might like to attract existing communities, there is likely to be significant friction to critical mass community adoption.

“I don’t want to be one of the first on the new platform, there won’t
be anyone else there to participate and respond to or upvote my posts, plus I
don't want to have to maintain my posts in two platforms
until everyone else comes”

This is the purpose of this post, to encourage discussion of thoughts and ideas on how to potentially overcome or minimize this challenge - how to quickly achieve that tipping point of a self sustaining majority community participation, putting steemit on the path to critical mass adoption?

Here are my thoughts on a couple of ideas, related to reddit community adoption that I would like to open up for input and discussion.

What if users could estimate the SBD/SP value of their previous posts and curation?

I imagine it’s difficult for anyone to estimate the steemit value of his or her posted content and curation before investing their time to use the platform.

“If I go to all this effort to switch/learn/use this new platform, is
it going to be worth it, am I likely to be rewarded 50c or $50? Is it worth it
to change?”

Until there is a reasonable history of steemit user rewards, this lack of information that contributes to a new users decision to adopt, may be a point of friction.

If we we’re to develop a tool to simulate the expected steemit payouts for reddit’s top users or a set of popular subreddits active users over a particular time period, publishing this information could help mitigate this potential point of friction and will likely help accelerate adoption.

Top reddit karma users from

Top reddit karma users from

For the modeling to work, assumptions would have to made that recognize the reddit's system of curation does not necessarily map to steemit's:

  • Relative SP could be simulated using reddit karma
  • Curation would map to reddit up voting

The results of this modeling could be published and somehow targeted to the subreddit or users to highlight the value of their posts.

Probably not allowed, but a bot that posted in the thread “This post is estimated to have earned earn $1.45 on steemit” – would be a powerful message.

What if, when they visited steemit, the users content was already there?

For an active user in an existing community to adopt a new platform requires a significant leap-of-faith commitment and investment of time - but not if their content and community is already there!

“I don’t want to be the first on this new platform, there won’t be
anyone else there to respond/ upvote my posts”

By enabling a user to opt-in to cross posting, we could remove a lot of the friction and potential objections for adopting steemit:

  • The user only has to post once and it appears on both platforms.
  • They wouldn’t feel that time invested in the new platform will be wasted if they decide not to continue
  • The users potential audience is always stemmit + reddit
  • They get the best of both worlds until steemit reaches critical mass community adoption

This could be achieved using some form of cross-posting bot authorized to post on behalf of the user. Possibly on steemit signup or later as an option to link your existing reddit account.

Thread context could be kept by enabling the bot to cross-post any user content not currently on the steemit / reddit system and could also allow non-yet-steemit reddit users to claim ownership of their steemit account/posts and possibly associated SBDs/SP.

Practically, reddit has extensive API support including a comprehensive python wrapper PRAW which I imagine could be leveraged by tools developed by our own community such as @xeroc’s Piston and python-steemlib.

Although, I’ve specifically discussed ideas around attracting reddit’s userbase, I imagine the general ideas may be applied to other existing community forums.

Adoption Accelerator

If the resulting community input and discussion sees merit in developing any of these ideas or results in new ideas to remove friction and aid rapid adoption of steemit for existing communities, I'd like to help support it.

I will happily donate 5,000 STEEM to help accelerate development of a community driven initiative.

If your interested in using the accelerator to help realise any of the ideas discussed,please post your proposal in the root of this thread along with your credentials and plan to see the idea come to life.

I'll organise some sort of community vote, two weeks from now (Sun 15th May) to decide which idea / proposal should receive the funds.


Let me be the first one to apply.
You probably know the initiative already:

We're still in the team-building and planning phase, and although those who work on it with me so far would be willing to wait a while until they get a reward, I would prefer being able to show them some appreciation as soon as possible.
I don't have any liquid Steem to offer them, and the witness payouts take a while to reach a significant amount.

There will also be more costs coming at us soon when we start to handle the legal stuff.

The whole project will be a non-profit, and we will start raising funds from the public as soon as we can. You could be the first donator on a long list to follow ;-)

Thanks for taking the time to put your initiative forward, I'll make sure it's in the voting list.

I'm convinced that focusing to achieve critical-mass adoption for one community at a time is the right approach - it does not have to be a large community, but with a quorum of community participants, adoption will be self-sustaining.

Have you thought yet about what strategies you might employ with Scichain to remove friction to achieve that tipping point level of adoption?

We will have to ring a lot of doorbells. Mostly universities, which will be the first choice to get support and funding anyway. Our target audience is there, and we will approach key figures personally. As soon as we have convinced some of them it should be easy to get covered by relevant media outlets.


To Vote for Proposal 1 - Publishing scientific papers on Steem by @pharesim - Up-Vote This Post

Dan said this was a bad idea ... well at least when I did it as an example for someone. I'm sure it's a great idea now that someone else is doing it though. =b

Sheesh ... I didn't even click on the vote button :(. Apparently, I did.

yeah yeah, that's what they all say. ;)

To Vote for Proposal 2 - A Mutual Aid Society Based on Scholarships to Allow for Continuing Education by @complexring - Up-Vote This Post

To Vote for Proposal 3 - Development of the Reddit - Steemit Cross-Post Bot by @xeroc - Up-Vote This Post


Since you will earn more than 5k steem from this post, I think you should offer all rewards earned to the cause.

OK, sure, I'll also donate all the SBD (I'll keep the illiquid SP) that this post earns in rewards to boosting the adoption accelerator initiative. Others who contribute to this thread may like to consider contributing your SBD to further boost the initiative.

An important point in regard to the incentive is that if relevant, any code developed should be published under a suitable open source licence, allowing others in the community to contribute to and build upon any code.


I think having dollar value for each post changes the dynamic of how people react to it. It they where called something like points, people would have different opinion of the what the value of a post is. The points could still represent a 1:! value to dollars, but having dollars signs everywhere makes the whole project look more like a casino store than a social network.

They could be "Steemits" with no monetary value and I wouldn't care. My pleasure sensors just like being stroked often by the mouse buttons of others. The problem is, I tend to just type what I really think/feel instead of appeasing the mouse buttons of others and it hinders my pleasure sensors ability to gratify itself often enough ... and that's why teh internets invented Brazzers. =b

I think all three projects are worth being realized. Can't we just share? :D

We could have a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place prize. 60% 1st. 30% 2nd. 10% 3rd. Or something like that.

Seems like that'll be on the winner to decide.
I declare that 50% would be given to the other projects if I would win. I really want to see that reddit bot happening.

I will also apply with two entries. See links for more details.


These can be seen as separate entries or even a combined one.

I have the domain names and am working on finding web developers to provide a nice front end solution for these.

Thanks to everyone supporting our project, and of course to @au1nethyb1 for making this possible!

Like stated in another reply in this thread, I think that all three projects are very useful for steem, and could use some bootstrapping. Thus, I created a private channel on slack to discuss the handling of the funds with @complexring and @xeroc

Great thought and initiative!

Since you will earn more than 5k steem from this post, I think you should offer all rewards earned to the cause.


I see a few things that would be super handy when using Steem/Steemit:

  1. Better documentation. Basically all I know now is that this is a social media project where you get paid for posting good quality content, if people upvote. I don't see any link on the page to get more info, perhaps even about more advanced topics, i.e. how the whole thing works, where the money is coming from, who is behind the project and so on. I tried googling, didn't find much either.
  2. More basic/userful features. What I mean here is that it would be cool to have some sort of notifications, to be able to watch other users posting content, be notified when someone replies to my post. Dunno if I am not totally overseeing something, but it seems to be that Steemit is lacking many basic features commonly present in other services like Medium.
  3. Better content editor. Much like Medium, which keeps automatically storing drafts. And it's not just that. It is not entirely pleasant to be using this tiny text field for very long posts.

Until this happens I am probably just going to re-post my posts from other services. I think that better UX and more possibilities to connect with other people is all that people need to adopt Steemit more. Or at least it is an important part of the whole story.

+1 for your 5K-steem-donation initiative to help accelerate mass adoption. However I caution over-emphasizing the $$ rewards for a post. Many reddit users I know of are idealists and they believe in the pure value of their posts' content. Imagine a bot that says “This post is estimated to have earned earn $1.45 on steemit” and these users know what a bot can post and there is a way to manipulate the trending of the post. The outcome may turn out to be opposite of what we intended.

I concur. Payouts should be a bonus not a prime motive.

This is worth discussing as it appears contradictory to the only message on the landing page:

Steemit is a social media platform where everyone gets paid for creating and curating content.

What is the prime motive for anyone to use steemit, if it's not to get rewarded for what they already do for free?

I understand that the quality of the content could be higher that normal because of rewards, but I'd been interested to hear what you see as a prime motive for why would communities would adopt. It may help sharpen the core messaging.

people do have to live though

Agreed in part. Redditors would be less offended if they found out virally, or stumbled across a site that displayed the possible value of their posts based on some modelling analysis. The bot would offend, even if it was allowed.

Maybe this is where this adoption initiative could head - sponsor a scientific analysis of the possible monetory value of social content, using reddit data and steemit's payout mechanism. All 1.7B reddit public comments are available for download reddit archive torrent for this type of data analysis.

"A scientific research/analysis of possible ways to rewards monetarily to reddit content contributors." sounds good. I think this could be a good attempt for Steem. I would like to be part of this effort.

Vote now to decide the winner of the Steemit Community Adoption Accelerator Prize

It's time to vote for which of the 3 proposals should receive the 5,000 STEEM and ~ $5K SBD project funding prize.

Make yourself familiar with each of the projects by reviewing the 3 submitted proposals:

Proposal 1 - Publishing scientific papers on Steem by @pharesim
Proposal 2 - A Mutual Aid Society Based on Scholarships to Allow for Continuing Education by @complexring
Proposal 3 - Development of the Reddit - Steemit Cross-Post Bot by @xeroc

Do consider the quality of the proposal and likelihood of the development team ensuring the project will be completed in a reasonable timeframe along with it's likely impact to help achieve steemit critical-mass adoption for new communities.

No down-votes please, as I'm also donating the thread reward in Steem Dollars to the winner which will provide a secondary round of funding in July when steemit post payouts commence.

The winning proposal will be that which has the highest up-voting SD reward by Friday, 20 May 2016 at 11:55:00 PM UTC.

To vote - please vote for your preferred proposal where is says [To Vote for Proposal X - Up-Vote This Post]

A community adoption initiative by witness au1nethyb1

could the voting be based on the response to the proposals the creators submitted?

I could, but I originally indicated...

I’ll organise some sort of community vote, two weeks from now (Sun 15th May) to decide which idea / proposal should receive the funds.

And I believe it it would be unfair to the proposal submitters - if there wasn't an equal amount of time for steemians to vote on each proposal.

Very happy to hear from the community though what might be the best way to organise a vote on steemit - remember I'm donating all SD earned from the entire thread to the winner as well so I don't think the "up vote this post" reward comes into play if that's a concern. Maybe all steemians should up vote the original proposers thread as well - that way even the runners up will get a reward to help with their prjoject come July.

Hey Folks - reminder of the 5K STEEM + SD incentive up for grabs this Sunday to help with a community driven steemit adoption project - just post your proposal in the thread to be in the running

Great effort. What's the latest? I was just thinking about Reddit and a backlink strategy and posted here. I thought using @xeroc's bot for this would be great, esp if we can point from Reddit to a Steemit post. Is anyone pursuing a Top Reddit karma outreach strategy @au1nethyb1?

@nethyb any status update on this?

I also think, that adaption is changing the benefit, but I guess that we early adapters get the higher benefit. The more people are involved, the more people care about the quality of the posts. Now you can get more upvotes for less constructive things then later. Somewhen everyone will only go only for the outstanding things...

Not sure if this is still available, but I am also donating 15% of a STEEM based crowdfunding campaign to the STEEM dev so they can continue the development of the platform. Here are the details:

Great sum up of the challenges this platform will face.

im glad to be on steemit king of social networks and all things awesome :) #byefacebook #hellosteemit