@timcliff and @drakos are the two Steem Witnesses who go above and beyond in answering the many questions that get asked in #help on steemit.chat. I know there are other people who also help the folk who frequent that channel. I've also seen @reggaemuffin helping out, as well as @sykochika, and I'm sure there are others that I haven't noticed. The fact is, since I joined Steemit 8 months ago, both @drakos, and @timcliff have been the most consistent helpers in that channel, which is initially what earned my witness vote for each of them.
I've been meaning to write a post about these guys ever since the last time we had this huge issue with the bandwidth issues. I ended up in the #help channel, trying to figure out what was going on, and there was @timcliff fielding questions, and @drakos too. So I know that they have been regulars over there for at least the past 6 months. You may have gathered, Steem doesn't have an official support team. There is no 800# to call if you have problems. You can go ask a friend, or ask some folk over at Minnow Support Project. However, if you've got a technical question, and you can't find the answer, you'll probably end up over in #help on steemit.chat.
It must be a tough position to be a technical support channel for a service that you aren't in control of. There is either an answer such as "follow these steps", or simply "you must wait, I'm not i control of that". I'm not quite sure how these guys do it, I would probably go nuts. Any time I end up there, sometimes just to browse, other times to ask a question, there are a lot of complaints and questions. It seems like a lot of the questions revolve around how long it takes for a new account to get approved by Steemit.
@drakos tends to keep an eye on the channel throughout the day, fielding questions, more or less, as they come. @timcliff is more of the style where, he comes in, and answers 10 questions all in one fell swoop. You never really know when he's going to be there, but you know when he arrives questions will be answered.
The amount of time and dedication these two have put into this really impresses me. To think that they have been doing the same thing every day, for as long as I've been on steem, well.. It's hard to comprehend.
In this post we'll go over a bit of the history of @timcliff, followed up by a short interview, and we'll have another one for @drakos in the next couple days. This is a post that's been on my mind for a while, it's good to finally get around to doing it, and I can cross one more item off of my internal To-Do List.
@timcliff Witness #4
Tim showed up in July of 2016. I've just taken a glance at the titles for his first 20 posts, not one of them seems to be a traditional "IntroduceYourself" post. Instead it seems that he dove right in as a participant and trying to understand how everything works here. I'm into his second month on steem, and almost every single post is about steem. How to improve things, guides, and the like.
Tim's post from August 2016 Comprehensive list of Suggested UI improvements for steemit.com seems to echo one of his more recent posts What do we need to add to the Steem Developer Portal? Seems that his focus has been pretty consistently about helping Steem be great.
By October of the same year, he made his Witness Application:
"Since joining Steemit, I have been trying to find unique ways that I can add value to the community with the skills that I have. While I do have a technical background and could potentially work on some Steem/it based apps, I saw that there were already a ton of amazing people contributing in this space! I decided it would be best to contribute by bringing my project management skills to the table, and leave the techie stuff to the pros :)"
An excellent post from his early days is:
This really gives some insights into all of our experience here, which might be difficult to understand for those of us who aren't developers. It goes into the process of how an idea becomes code, and eventually into our experience out here in the world.
In November of 2016 he began releasing his weekly Reports From the Witnesses. Instead of having to follow them all individually, or get notifications for every post in #witness-category, like I do, you can simply wait for Tim to release his weekly report, where he collects all of the witness updates and drops them into one place making it easier for all of us. He's now been publishing this report for over a year, and doesn't seem likely to stop any time soon.
Another great post he wrote was Climbing from Minnow to Dolphin (My Story) There are some valuable lessons in there for anyone who is new. To me, the moral of the story is "Stick to it, and learn how to add value to the community." I'd encourage you all to read it! Tim started out with nothing, like all of us. He invested a little bit to Power Up, posted for a long time, getting pennies on his posts, and today he is a top 10 witness, and one of our most respected community members! By the time he had been here for 6 months he had submitted his first pull request to the Steemit github, and begun encouraging people to vote on proposals to get us added to new exchanges. He was also advocating for a reverse conversion to potentially remedy our failing SBD peg 8 months ago.
An excellent post he came out with more recently is
"Any user can take 50% of their earnings and cash them out after 7 days. The other 50% can be left in the platform, or cashed out over a period of 13 weeks. When they cash out their rewards, where does that money come from though? It comes from an investor. Someone on the other side of the exchange (wherever the tokens are being sold) is buying those tokens. They are giving the user "real money" in exchange for the tokens. But why? Because they are expecting them to go up in value. Think about that. They aren't giving users free money out of the goodness of their hearts. They are paying for these tokens at the value they are being sold at, because they think/hope/expect that some day - they will be worth more."
Lotta good food for thought in that post, and another "must read". Ever since @timcliff has joined Steem(it) he has put a ton of energy into thinking about how he could make it a better place. I must say, he's been doing an incredible job of that! Now you have a little glimpse into why Tim is one of our top witnesses. He didn't worry about what kind of rewards he was getting in the short term. He simply believes in this platform, and this community, and puts whatever time he has available, to add value to it.
He makes himself available to answer questions in the #help channel of steemit.chat, and does his best to make himself available to the community. Beyond that he has been working to get Steem on more exchanges, and is involved in almost every major concern for the platform.
All of this on top of a full time job!
All in all I'd say @timcliff is a textbook case of a Steemit Success Story. Gratefully he took a little bit of time out of his day to answer a few questions for all of us.
How long exactly have you been working the #help channel, and what's that like?
I'm not sure actually. It has been a long time now. I like doing it, because I know I am helping the platform and community by being there. It also helps me to stay on top of what all the current issues are.
Does it, or did it, ever make you crazy?
I get a little frustrated at times when people don't read the pinned messages, because we have already taken the time to answer most people's questions there. Other than that, I don't mind :)
I get yelled at quite a bit actually, hehe. I'm OK with that though. I know people are just needing help with whatever their issue is, and sometimes that can be very frustrating.
From around November 2016 through April 2017 the Steem price stayed between 10-20 cents, what was that like? Was it ever tempting to give up?
It was actually a great time to be on the platform. There was a core community of people that I think really cared, and there were a lot of great discussions on what we needed to do in order to make the platform better.
I was still very bullish on STEEM back then. Here is a post that I wrote about the STEEM price when it was pretty close to the bottom: Attention Sharks: There is blood in the water, are you ready to invest?
Did you ever imagine yourself being a top 10 witness?
Never in my wildest dreams. When I joined, the top witnesses was a very elite and exclusive group. I looked up to them a lot, but I was under the impression that it was pretty much impossible to become one unless you were around since the beginning. To be part of that group now is really quit an honor.
It seems like you've just continued to do the same thing you've always done on this platform, try to understand the way things work as best as possible, and try to make it better. Is that accurate?
Pretty much. I am always trying to find new projects to work on. Whatever seems like it will add the most value.
How excited are you for the future, now that all of that hard work is really starting to pay off?
Very excited! The platform has gone a long way so far, but there is still a huge amount of upwards potential. If we can turn the Steem blockchain into the main social media platform on the internet, that would be huge =)
Are you still a project manager for a development team? What's it like going to work every day? Do you ever feel like being "You don't know who I am! I'm a really Big Deal on Steemit!"
I do still work full time as a product delivery manager for a large software company in Minnesota. Everyone at work knows I'm a big deal on Steem, hehe. I've actually recruited a few of my co-workers to sign up :)
As far as going to work each day, every day I go to work I have started to think to myself "I would rather be spending this time on Steem. There is so much more I could be doing if I had an extra 40 hours of Steem time each week." I'm working on trying to save up enough money from my witness pay to be able to afford to do that.
Posts Featuring Tim Cliff (interviews and other recordings)
- @aggroed - Recording of Steem Panel Discussion with: @jesta, @timcliff, @blocktrades, @pharesim, @lukestokes. @elear, @andrarchy
- @davidpakman - Steemit EXCLUSIVE: Witness Tim Cliff Talks SBD & STEEM, Succeeding on Steemit, More!
- @sircork - Interview with @timcliff on MSPWaves
- @terrybrock - Steemit Success Series: Tim Cliff on who to target with your content
- Steemit Development Timeline. Why "Coming Soon" might not seem very soon
- @timcliff - My Steemit Profile Page
- Climbing from Minnow to Dolphin (My Story)
- Don't Sweat the Small Stuff. Why earning low rewards today, Shouldn't Be a Big Deal.
- @timcliff - Whitepaper discussion on Voting Abuse
- chainbb.com/@timcliff - Chainbb is the primary tool I use when researching blog histories. This is a way to easily view someones entire blog, without resteems.