The Non-Definitive Newbie Survival Guide to the STEEM Blockchain

in #steem3 months ago

Lately I have been wading through the ‘New’ section looking for new people. You may be surprised that there are some, and occasionally I find a gem.

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I’m doing this because my feed has been a little inactive. Yes, I could up the weight on my votes to the people I trust to not pile out junk posts, but I think it’s better to give a hand to the newbies and the underappreciated.

The STEEM blockchain should be simple to access, but it’s not. We all know it’s daunting, complicated and newbies can easily be discouraged if they do the wrong things on their first few posts.

I'm writing this as time after time I see new people making the same mistakes over and over. I want people to feel welcome, not leaving with a sour taste. If you are new, then this is for you.

This isn’t a massive complex guide on how to behave, what to avoid, how to get attention as that would be around 30,000 words and cover a complete series.

Should it really have to be like this? It’s probably not anywhere else but when that old evil element of $$$ comes into it, then the rules change.

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Reputation

When you first arrive you will have a reputation of (25). It can increase very quickly up to around (45) and then will start to crawl.

Many will say that Reputation is not a big deal, but when it's less than (25) then it is.


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...'a quick scan of the 'New' section highlights many ruined reputations, don't let it happen to you'...

Take note of the screenshot above, and the tag being used, #dlike. Copying news articles without adding your own slant or opinion to them will likely send your reputation spiralling into the the depths of doom.

So yes reputation can also decrease, and 'everyone' will notice if your reputation is less than (25). If so you are unlikely to be taken seriously and you may find it hard to recover.

How can it decrease?

Posts and Comments can be up-voted or down-voted. Gain enough down votes and you will be sent into purgatory (that’s less than (25)).

How can I avoid down-votes?

Don’t spam, don’t plagiarise, don’t use bid-bots (vote buying services) is the short answer. The biggest problem newbies have is the middle issue. You can’t just go using other people’s images in your posts (unless they are free to use ones).

Why can’t I use other people’s images, what’s the big deal?

The big deal is that you ‘may’ get rewarded for your post. If that image is the work of someone else, then you should not benefit from their handiwork.

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Effort

This is my main gripe when looking for new posts to curate. Have a look at the ‘New’ section then try and pick out something that has taken some effort.

You will find lots of @appics posts, some @actifit ones, some foreign language ones (if it’s not in English then I won’t look as I can’t read it sorry), a bunch of @dlike posts mixed in with @steemhunt and one sentence efforts with a single image.


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...'@appics are bringing some traffic to the STEEM blockchain. They have a place and get rewarded accordingly in most cases'...

If you are new and think these are going to get you some attention, fame or big votes using any of these then you can pretty much forget it.

This is no exhaustive list but certain topics do better than others. Travel is always a favourite followed by photography; artists, musicians and creative people tend to do well.

If you want to write about these topics, and you have some imagination then do so.

’I don’t have any problem with dlike, actifit or appics, but in most cases they take little effort to post.’

Don’t be tempted to post holiday snaps with your belly hanging out while drinking beer at the pool.


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...'just don't, we are really not that interested'...

Even thirty similar looking belly snaps are not going to cut it. This is not Facebook and while this won’t merit down votes, it will merely get bypassed.

Effort means what is says.

If you travel, then expand your photographs with a personal story, if you are a photographer then explain some techniques you use, if you are an image manipulator how about the software and settings?

I always figure 500 words for EVERYTHING I write. This is no standard, just my own standard. Less than that to me is not enough.

If you are new, try 300 words minimum, but heed my words about the number above. It may make a difference between being curated or being ignored.

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What are Bid Bots?

In a nutshell, something for you to avoid.

In days of old Bid Bots ruled the STEEM blockchain and you could buy votes to make your content appear on the Trending page as well as getting a small return in some cases. They still exist but are used much more sporadically now.


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...'trending is almost all organic now, though I wish there were more non-STEEM related articles dominating'...

Use them at you peril. You could find yourself down-voted as #newsteem encourages organic voting.

If you don’t know what the fuck I’m talking about then move to the next topic, and leave these well alone.

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What are the Curation Groups?

Namely, @curie, @ocdb and @curangel as well as some of the old bid-bots from the pre-HF21 era who have now turned to curation. They may visit you occasionally and startle you with a big vote.

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If you take my advice from above then you will have more chance of a visit. They don’t vote posts determined on the stake of the Steemian, more on the quality and depth of your writing.

...’if you get a big vote from a curation group, don’t expect it every post’

What I will say is if @ocdb, @curangel or @curie give you a good vote then you have been noticed and you are likely on someone’s radar.

The curation groups are looking for good content and they want to vote your stuff up.

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How to get noticed?

I hear so much whinging about this topic.

  • I’m unappreciated
  • You need to buy lots of STEEM to gain support
  • Nobody ever looks at my posts
  • Why have I been down-voted.

It doesn’t come overnight and there are no shortcuts to visibility and a large following.

Ask yourself the question, ‘does what I write entertain or teach?

If you can honestly say yes, then post what you have written. Make sure it’s your own work, and if there’s any doubts about your images then place at the bottom of your post, ‘All images are my own work’.

I thought this was a blogging platform, can’t I write what I like?

Yes you can.

For example.. you walk to the dildo store, buy one and then take it home. That’s a plausible blog post though it might be better not to tell us the next part. If so then DO use the #NSFW tag.

A walk with the dog through some fields may seem dull, but if you spot a naked bloke running along with a furious farmer chasing him poised with a 12 bore, screaming, ‘I’ll have you.., ye bastard’ then your story may come to life.


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...'not all walks will yield entertaining stories but feel free to include them if so, they are likely to be well received'...

Many Steemians write daily logs on their running exploits, SteemMonsters wins and walking their dogs through the fields and these are all good and dandy.

I would say don’t expect big votes for this type of content, and if you are visited then I feel you are fortunate.

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This is not get rich quick scheme, I have said it before... working at McDonalds will get you more per hour. Don’t do it for the money and if you came for that reason you will be disappointed.

I wrote a couple of articles 8 months ago similar to this one. They are a little dated and there may be some content crossover but much of it is still relevant. Here are the links if you want to learn more.


Some Newbie Tips for well… Newbies!
Some more Newbie Tips for well… Newbies!

If there’s any further interest then I’ll write some more. This hasn’t even scratched the surface.

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If you found this article so invigorating that you are now a positively googly-eyed, drooling lunatic with dripping saliva or even if you liked it just a bit, then please upvote, comment, resteem, engage me or all of these things.

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It is not an easy thing to find the new struggling real user. I thought I found one, but they have not made another post, vote, or comment since I delegated 25 SP from my alternate account. I will let the SP ride til Jan, they may have lost their keys, or their phone, or could be any number of other reasons for no action since then.

Even trolling and scrolling down through the introduceyourself tag takes a long time to find someone that may be a real user. The one thing I try to tell the new users is to not vote so much on comments, find content first, build you SP then vote on comments if they are good and solid, but that a vote on a post the person made may be more valuable, to them and to the person whose comment they enjoyed. It is a very hard balance to keep and maintain while trying to get established. Especially with vote values not being very good right now.

If you have low SP, voting on comment is pretty much useless anyway, unless other people also vote on the same comment. Anything with a payout under 0.02 STU goes to dust anyway. So if your vote doesn't give at least that much it's just a waste of SP.

And that is what I try to tell the new users. Even right now my vote is below $0.02 so I do not vote on comments unless they already have a small vote and I can put it over the dust level. It is a difficult thing for new users to grasp, especially if they are coming from another social site that values up votes on comments and see it as a means of showing support. A vote on a post is always a better choice to show support for a new user. Leave a comment on the post and vote the post.

I have said it before... working at McDonalds will get you more per hour

Sometime I am really amused at the lengths people go to work the system and schemes just to get a little upvote. I think for all that effort, you really could earn a lot more at the golden arches.

Engagement is another thing that newbies need to work on. I see you touched on it briefly in your previous post, are you planning to talk more about it?

you really could earn a lot more at the golden arches.

It seems to be worth 100x here than 'real work' for some reason. Maybe it's appreciation of your work and that someone is reading it.

Engagement is another thing that newbies need to work on. I see you touched on it briefly in your previous post, are you planning to talk more about it?

There could have been much more in this post, it was taking hours to finish off, add the photographs etc.., but yes.. I may do a follow up if people want to read more.

Tribes have not been touched but that would be a whole major post in itself.

If you do, please tell newbies not to spam and put a tad more effort in their comment by reading the post first. I got one who comments on all my post, often with 1 rarely more than 5 words. He even had the nerve to comment 'Beautiful' on one of my Hong Kong protest post 😡

Ones of the truest things is that $$$ change everything. The other day I saw someone complaining that you can't be social on Steemit without lots of steempower. No one was challenging him until I said, that's nonsense unless you are referring to the RC issue and even that can easily be gotten round via small delegations. Then they admitted that RCS weren't an issue for them. So it seems like it was just an unfounded gripe

Basass, the new tab can be a depressing place indeed but I still have a trawl now and then

Ones of the truest things is that $$$ change everything.

The community is very guarded about the 'pool', I know you are well aware of this.

the new tab can be a depressing place indeed but I still have a trawl now and then

I have been looking more, what I see is mostly grim as you say. Anything good is likely to have been picked up on before I see it.

Talk about scrapping around for the good stuff. Maybe creative writing is something inherited from our ancestors and cant be learned.

@slobberchops, These are definitely some important tips for newbies or others who want to pursue it. Keep up the Community Development work and stay blessed.

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Always good to see someone tutoring the noobs 🙂 I still rely on a post like this which helps with tools and code that improves the format of my articles (don’t have it to hand but if you google “@krnel markdown tutorial” it might come up)
Great post slobber-man!
Found the @krnel post I mentioned!
https://steemit.com/steemit-help/@krnel/how-to-align-images-in-steemit-posts-left-right-and-center

Great post. A must for steemit noobies. I found that making genuine comments on content within your niche works quite well. You make friends, you connect and some might look at your own content...

making genuine comments on content within your niche works

You said it, genuine comments on something that really does interest you works.

trending is almost all organic now, though I wish there were more non-STEEM related articles dominating

I've been complaining about this for years now! Posts that talk about Steem itself always get the most attention. I think people have realized this and post steem related articles on purpose to exploit this point.

On the other hand, it is certainly a topic that most if not all Steemians are at least somewhat interested in, so that could play a big role in why these posts are so popular.

The main problem with this is when you go to Steemit.com logged out, as a new user you see mostly posts about Steem itself which might be pretty boring to someone contemplating creating an account. I wonder if maybe there should be a different feed that is shown to new people. Hmmm....

If all goes to plan, it's all gonna change again soon, then I'll need to re-write this!

This post is definitely helpful! I have been on here since July and have been enjoying my time posting and checking out other content, but I still have yet to really understand the blockchain and how it all works. I am OK with that and figure I will learn more when I have more time to devote to the platform, especially with helpful posts like these. :)

Hope it helps you.

All great tips SC, and a great example of the effort/informative posts you spoke about! Always a place for the shorter/easier stuff (each their own) but don't expect as much from them than the content that takes more time, energy and creativity. In fact, don't expect much at all, but enjoy the process!

Thanks, it was getting longer and longer and after 1200 words I felt I had had enough of it. The ones I wrote months ago relate to things that are now extinct and I feel this one may be soon when SMT's take over.

At least I have something for the newbies to read now. Some of them show great promise and then leave, it's always been like this and we can only try to stop the bad habits before they start.

I appreciate you posting this. I've been on Steem for a while but have been inactive, just recently getting back after the #newsteem changes. Helped me get up to steam(heh).

Thanks for putting this together i shared with a couple of new arrivals who may find this very helpful

Awesome, please use it. We need new people and I know there's a lot to learn.

Ohh yeah I remember how much I struggled when I first joined so posts like this are great for new arrivals and we need more of them for sure and for them to stay

Nice write up! You made some really good points. It is hard work getting to the point where we have. I think it interesting how so few people know the difference between plagiarism and copyright infringement and how they are both things to avoid.

few people know the difference between plagiarism and copyright infringement

I caught a newbie just yesterday doing it, his post was good but then there were a load of nicked images at the bottom.

Setting him right, he saw the mistake and took my advice. Some retort with a load of abuse, you never know what you are going to get.

I was trolling around the New section the other day hoping I could find some new people to start giving some attention, but all I found was crap :P

Yes I hear you, it's really hard to find anything in there. It always was tbh, but try the new #introduceyourself, you may find something a little easier.

Okay, I will check that out once I have built some VP back up!

He! HOHOHo! Good advice. I will find that Mcjob right away!

And... reshare!

They still insist they are a wonderful employer and prospects are endless re the advertising blub in their restaurants. Who am I to say!

Very good guide. I would suggest a Steemit pin for this one.

I would suggest a Steemit pin for this one.

Thanks @moon32walker :)

I have never though to look at how to do this. I would say this guide only covers a few things. To say to a newbie.. here's the extra thick manual to read before you start would not be great!

I could have put so much more into it, and will add more if there's enough interest.

Hello dear friend @slobberchops.

You say you did this thinking about the newbies, but let's be honest, for us who already have time here, these guides will always be in our hand tools kit.

I really liked how you explained the concepts, that language must be basic enough for beginners to understand.

Partnerships with groups and communities are also a positive and necessary aspect for those who are beginning to live in this ecosystem.

Thanks for sharing.

All best, Piotr.

Hi @slobberchops!

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Hello!

This post has been manually curated, resteemed
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Much love to you from all of us at @helpie!
Keep up the great work!


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This post is Steem Pope Approved!

I second these sentiments for safe STEEM.

This is awesome. I hope that some new people find it and actually read it and take these words to heart. This place should not be a get rich quick scheme or seen as an only source of income. That would just lead to frustration. People need to just use this platform as a place to post what they want and if they get some votes, then that is cool.

As far as this one point you made here:

You need to buy lots of STEEM to gain support

I will say that putting some into the platform that is essentially paying you to be here does show your confidence in this place for those that have invested and have been here for a very long time and will most likely help to get some support. It shows the community that you aren't here to just take as much as you can from the reward pool.

The new people also need to realize that it takes time and a lot of work to get known and get to a somewhat successful point here. Like you said, McDonalds pays more per hour.

You need to buy lots of STEEM to gain support
I will say that putting some into the platform that is essentially paying

Agree with you about the confidence point, I'm under no misguidance that people look at the size of my wallet and yours too and it may make a difference to the vote weight.

However, the curation groups from what I have seen will dish out hefty votes if the author can deliver, though they do need to be seen for this to happen.

The new people also need to realize that it takes time and a lot of work to get known and get to a somewhat successful point here.

They do, it takes many months and I would say a year for things to start happening. There's not an easy way in unless you want to start with 1,000,000 STEEM powered up.