A switch of mindset that could change Steem forever!

in steem •  9 months ago

Let me start this with a short story:

A few months ago I started to follow some pretty unpopular minnows, that took me some time to find, but who had pretty good content in most of the cases, trying to make their way up in Steem, to gain followers, visibility and why not, money. Do you know what happened to them? They quit!

I am not the a person that use to complain, but we must do something!

We have a real problem with the user retention and this is because most of the time we are concerned only about short term and not looking at what is going to happen on the mid to long term. In more concrete words, if Steem is not able to keep people engaged here, maintaining them interested or just a little bit entertained, they will just leave the platform.

So what if the minnows leave?

If they do, then this place will be left with a few whales voting for their own content, voting bots closed as they do not have to who to sell votes in order to be profitable, and the remaining stakeholders having a lot of worthless coins. Because a coin is just as much valuable as its users are willing to pay for it and with the lack of users, sorry to say it, but it is worthless. And let's not forget that the main use-case of Steem is backing a social platform which is just so important right now as it always was.

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You don't want this to happen to Steem, don't you?

Now allow me to tell you what makes users go away, there are just two points in this:

1. Lack of support and interaction

This is because when a user puts effort and really hard work in making a post which follows the rules, he expects that post to have a little success, at least a few people to congratulate him and wish him good luck. Even though he didn't made a lot of money, he wants to feel acknowledged for the work he has done, but when he receives nothing back, when there is nobody to share his opinions with about the subject he has written about, nobody than a bot to vote him, that makes him feel lonely.

And nobody wants to feel lonely, right?

Not to mention that he then goes to the so popular these days, Trending Page, and sees a couple of whales or voting bots boosted authors showing off some lame post with maximum a couple of photos and some text that many times is not even corrected or reviewed by at least the author itself of the same post. In what world a mind healthy user won't quit in the middle of frustration?

Why would anybody want to sign up for a social platform where you feel lonely???

And 2: The struggle to make a good post !

As I've said, there are some rules about what make a post good, and each new user must obey them in order to have the chance to receive any rewards. Let me give you a sample of the song that any reputable whale is singing to the newcomers:

  • Write good content, it is hard right now, but you will get used to it.

  • Be active, you won't make it if you are not active enough. You will need to be persevering, to not get demotivated even when you get low rewards.

  • Comment when your posts do not give you enough audience, and even write good comments so that you will have the chance to be followed back.

  • What is with these short posts, how do you want to get rewards on these?

But you know what they are missing?

This is NOT a blogging platform, where writers come and struggle to make good articles, get followers and become popular and eventually successful!

This is a social media platform, meant to be backed by a cryptocurrency (okay more, and with SMTs, even there will be a lot of Steem like tokens). All of this place is designed to make us feel comfortable here, to encourage us to interact to each other, not a place for successful bloggers only. Don't believe me? Read the whitepaper or the bluepaper.

It is not even needed to trust me or to read those papers if you don't want to. Just hit CTRL + F in the whitepaper and type blog. You will find no entry. Now try this with social or social network or social media. You will start to believe me. I have even written about what Steemit Inc sees as valuable content. There are a lot of chances that eventually we will come to the same conclusion.

What do we have to do, together?

We should allow minnows to write low quality content more often and to encourage them to keep on going, no matter that they are filling the blockchain with posts that nobody will read in future. If you think this is bad, let me tell you that this is the key to success! Why do you think Facebook has over two billion active users this year?

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Could you imagine the price of Steem having at least 500 million users? I can't, sincerely!

From time to time, you could even upvote these new users, let them comments so that they will feel important, keep them interested and engaged, these are the true values that we need to promote!

I am talking about a hard but important change in our mindset and how we perceive good posts that we need to make in order to increase the user-base and the value of Steem. This could lead to the beginning of a real mass adoption of cryptocurrencies, once people get used to the value of Steem for the beginning, who knows?

Since we have exemplary minnows, let's have some exemplary whales too

Let me give you an example of whale that I have seen pretty dedicated for the newcomers, @swissclive

He is a pretty good guy who made almost all the SP that he got by taking cash and Powering Up. There are not a lot of people doing this today... He has made writing competitions trying to bring up some valuable and yet so original content like Writing competition: Write about scammers, a scam you saw, or a scam you suffered. First prize 25 steem!. And yet he payed more money than the first prize, not to mention curating the best posts and giving the authors a lot of visibility. He has made a post about a guide to Steemit, A story under three hundred words as a competition also, he has upvoted 100% for encouraging the minnows and also for countering spam. If he was a witness, he would have had my upvote by now, and this guy does not ask for anything back!

How many whales do that kind of stuff?

image.png

That was it, a long post, why do you complain about it, you like them this way, did you forgot already?

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You're right! We have to do something about that.
The biggest problem besides that described by you is the fact that many people come to Steem with the thought of easy, big and immediate earnings. And that's why they have too high expectations and too small achievements.
When you do something because you like it, everything is simpler, this is the key. And it is valid anywhere, not just on Steem.
Changing mentalities is very difficult. With the thought of money, most of us forget that there are more important things than immediate earnings.
On the other hand, the steemit.com and busy.org, sites that many steemians use for interact with Steem, do not make socialization too easier. At least it seems to me. I do not know if something can be done in the short term about this problem.
Until then, I think we need to help the newcomers understand correctly what's happening on Steem and, as you said, let's not forget to interact. After all, without votes and comments, Steem cannot exist.
Congratulations@mejustandrew for the article!
And of course, congratulations @swissclive for what you're doing!

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I have replied to all of the other comments, but skipped this one (on purpose, but don't get me wrong here please). You made a great comment and pointed out something that I have missed in my post and this is:

The false aspiration of the newcomers!

They indeed come here thinking that they will get rich very fast. There are a couple of reasons that I have chose to omit this phenomenon among which:

  • Everybody knows this already, and it is talked about it plenty of times
  • It was not the point that I wanted to make, even though it is still a good point that I have made in other posts
  • This post got already long enough so I can be sure that most of the people here haven't read it entirely
  • The article was more about interaction and activity rather than payout

Even though the fact that you made it a comment is more than perfect, because whoever wants to read more, he can find pretty good discussion here! I think that comments like yours, the one that you just made are perfect for this place. They are not too long so that nobody is trying either to skip them or to reply to the first two sentences, and yet they bring original opinions into discussion.

As you have concluded in your comment, I am sure that we must interact with each other and especially with the newcomers, since most of the whales are already gaining attention that they do not need/want.

That attention would make the difference for a minnow between to stay or to leave the platform!

Thank you so much for the great comment!

Great writing my friend, I'm 100% with you
We should all make effort in order to empower this platform
Keep going =)

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Thank you so much, it means a lot!

Hi @mejustandrew. @ginabot just sent me a message that you had written about me. Thank you very much! I appreciate the comments.

I write blogs for pleasure. I interract in comments for pleasure. I never came to steemit for the money. I have a day-job for money.

I came to steemit because I had some good ideas that I wanted to write about. These were things like “Satoshi the billionaire who never spent a penny” and “The rise of the zombie bitcoins”.

I think my earliest blogs were my best ones. The ideas had been in me for months, so I was really fired up to go when I found steemit, and could start to express myself. Sadly, my first 10 blogs had less than a dozen votes worth under 10 cents in total. Less than 1 cent per blog - which I typically spent two days perfecting.

I was not discouraged by this lack of support. One day I wrote a comedy blog “How to make a fried egg sandwich”. I got my first 5 followers! I also earned $5 for the first time! My friends laughed at me and said “keep your day job!”.

Persistence paid off. Eventually I had one or two whales following me. Blogs started to earn $100s. That’s very nice, but I was still here for the pleasure not the money.

I made alot of friends on steemit, including you, @mejustandrew. It is a great community where we can forget about race, skin colour, religion, country and class.

People like me will stay whether the rewards are in money, or just thumbs up. Still, the money is nice because you can give it away to people who deserve it. For many poor people the money is a tangible thing which gives them extra security.

A small point is that part of the steem I have was bought. I borrowed some money (fiat), and invested in steem. I think it will prove to be a good long term investment. Having more steem was useful because it meant my votes for bloggers were worth more. Every time I bought some steem, I saw a leap in the number of followers. I am happy because my blogs reach a much wider audience and I tend to get 100s of meaningful comments.

For the most part the spammers tend to stay clear of me. Maybe I am on the spammers “avoid list” after I flagged a few.

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Thank you so much for your reply and for all the support! This is an exemplary comment that you just made here, once again, showing us a good way to interact! Sorry because I wasn't able to reply your comment right after you gave it, but it was 2:30 am and I went right to sleep after I published the article.

About your first posts that got unnoticed, I would make some summary post which includes references to all these articles. I know how it feels to come here with great ideas that are worth to be shared and making a whole post about one of them gives you just a very small number of views. And this is what I am talking about, it is more about the views and the comments newcomers receive, rather than the payout.

It feels awful to share really big ideas that get unnoticed and I believe that this is what discourages most of the newcomers. This and the too high expectations, especially watching the trending page and some authors that get rewarded for very unvaluable content. The newcomers believe that they can produce better content and these people are the people that leave the platform first as long as they realize it is not at all like that. After all, as I said in the article we are not all successful bloggers and we are not even supposed to be, as this is just a social media platform. If we had 500 million users, then how much good bloggers must be around them? 50 millions? That is a lot and that is the change that we must make into how we perceive Steem.

I have already reached work so I can not go on with this comment, I hope things will getbetter with Steem and I really appreciate the fact that you see me as a friend. I must say that I am honored for this. You are one of the people who make this community better!

But how do you get people to read your stuff? That's the most difficult point. I can write great stuff, I can write shitty stuff, but if no one reads it then I would not be here. So how do you get people to read your stuff?

When you write something about travel and put #travel tag no one will read it, because there's so much content already, that your article will be on the second page within seconds.

For me, I was lucky to find #cesky community of people that write in Czech language (my mother tongue). That's what kept me at Steemit. There was only a couple of us, but I knew that what I write will be read by most of them.

I wrote article in Czech language and #cesky community read it, commented on it, voted for it. I wrote the same one in English and no one read it...

Discovery of content is quite a big issue, but I don't know how to improve it...

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First I want to thank you for your comment and welcome you here!

What I have written in this article does not focus on how to get people read your content, but about how we should read the content of others. It is just like that, if you will stay and just post, and if we all are doing just this, then nobody will have their content read by anybody and this platform will have no value. But if we decide to go out there and seek for the good content that probably is undiscovered, then things start to change.

If everybody here will visit 10 other posts for each article published, and comment and upvote them for only 1%, then this place will face a huge transform!

As it is right now, Steemit/Busy/Whatever else, is not socially designed to handle the content of so many users that it has right now, so many of them just get unnoticed and this is unfortunate!

And now, to address directly your question

But how do you get people to read your stuff?

Well, I don't have the answer for that! Because if I did, after the posts I have made, well I would have been famous, but right now there is just a couple of us here, and this is just a happy case.

We need to be more relaxed with Steem and keep in mind that this is just a social network, not a blogging site. We should focus interacting with each other, not just producing the so wrong defined quality content...

@mejustandrew - Agree with you! If Steemit truly is a social platform, then it really should funtion as a balanced ecosytem, no one organism overwhelming and destroying the others.

If so many Whales just feed off the plankton and minnows without returning any value, then eventually the plankton and minnows will move to another platform that offers a little more fairness in rewards distribution.

Thank you!

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It is nice to see people reading this article after long time and even being agree with it. I try to promote this mmindset as much as I can so it is possible for it to make a change :D

you bring up a lot of really great points. I especially like the point of recognition that steem is not about who's the best blogger....it's a social network. That's a pretty key point.

Also - 100% agree about the responsibility and nobility of beig a whale to really help grow...substaantiate their investment by investing in all the smaller fishes.

lot of promise and potential here for sure.

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Thank you so much! It seems that you are one of the few people who really had the curiosity to read the entire article and not just parts of it.

I still feel that everybody is pushing minnows into creating great and long co tent while the whales are able to produce any kind of content they want. This is bad because there are just a few good bloggers and the rest qill leave. And with the lack of interaction, even the good bloggers will leave, and then Steem will lose value. But I am sure that we will be able to prevent this scenario by working together, as a community!

Why so negative about Steem and Steemit? They gave us this place, is our duty to keep it nice and clean.


If you feel that the new people should be helped, check out what this guys from Steem School are doing.
They do not complain, but are getting togheter to build a better community for all of us ;). Their Discord server here https://discord.gg/BV8n2uX

Just have a look and hopefully, you will see the rising of Steem as the true new way to engage in social media. Who knows, you may also get in love with what they are doing and do the same :) ...

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Why so negative about Steem and Steemit?

I am not negative, or I try not to be. The fact is that I have been very enthusiastic about Steem since my first days here and I focused so much on doing and providing better content and visions for this place. It is what I am doing for more than 160 days, every day. I don't think that I have skipped a day of being here. Of course at the beginning I was not the best steemian, but now I tend to offer this place much more!

What gives me the attitude that I have in this article is the behavior of the users that could really do something for this place that are greedy and only see the things for the short term.

Also it is wrong the fact that people believe that articles here should be long, 500 words+. Why is that? For a social platform, this is forcing users to build up content that they are not willing nor able to produce. And this is only to fit the standards, to appear good in the eyes of a few people promoting this menthality. This is what gets wrong here. A social media platform should be okay with posting two lines of text and a photo and nobody getting criticised for it

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Also it is wrong the fact that people believe that articles here should be long, 500 words+

This is the first time I've heard about this. I just treat this place like any other on the internet. Don't really care about how I should proceed in the eyes of others. I do vote and comment only what I feel to. I believe Steemit is really cool and just the beginning of something new. Also, before FB it was Myspace, and before that mirc and so on. Everything changes and improves, is the way it is. Just go with the flow and enjoy the journey 😋.

sometimes it feel very annoying when some steemit user try to troll everyone else in this platform even it did not point to certain people. Even some giving a direct instruction like "I upvote you and please upvote me back or I followed you you must follow me back" and always received this kind of comments. Anyway your contents seem have a motivational value I'm sure more of them will take some initiative out of it. Thanks for the share.

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Thank you for your comment! Indeed in time things will improve here. They have even improved by now, but it is still a lot of room for better!

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You are welcome, and thanks for the reply. I can see some of them had made an action toward the issues.

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Let's hope so :D

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Wow. This post is so great that I can't describe it with the words. Steemit is really for the community and not for few. Minnow support projects and contests are all great. Thanks for all the information. I am glad to read the post like this. It is 150 days since I joined this platform.

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Well, happy 150 days celebration of your account, I am happy you like it! Do you know, I tried to encourage people to interact as much as possible one with each other :)

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Thanks very much. Great job and now, I have more courage to interact with people here and make others to do the same. It is what really matters. Actually, I am happier when I get comments rather than upvotes. Maybe it is a human instinct to make connections.

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