Ideas On How To Ensure Mainstream Adoption For Steem

in steem •  last year  (edited)

One of the first transactions with a Bitcoin was for a pizza. - Cedric Dahl (Early Investor in BTC)

Sometimes the answer to a complex question is quite obvious.

One of the most exciting challenges for STEEM will be to provide such type of self-evident reasons why - why STEEM.

I'm not talking about ordering pizzas, but about providing sustainable use cases that convert STEEM into an indispensable product for everyone.

Let's find answers to the question:

What does Steem need to become a mass product?


Let em in.

Since at least Hardfork 20 onboarding, account creation and account claiming are in the main focus of interest within the Steem community.

The idea is to create easy and fast access to our blockchain in order to pave the way for a future mass adoption.

Even Steemit, Inc's CEO Ned Scott underlined the importance of user acquisition recently:


@ned on user acquisition

Adoption = product acceptance.

User adoption is a situation in which users adopt a system that works to fill a specific need.

Since time is a currency you're able to only spend once, in the attention economy the step of adoption requires users to effectively spend less time in their older networks.

It's a decision PRO Steem and also AGAINST other social networks.

Now one of the single most interesting questions in that context is:

Does the mainstream we're planning to bring in have enough reasons to definitely adopt - hence accept the Social Blockchain Steem as their new place to be?

In that context I'd like to direct your attention to an article @mattclarke recently published.

Stop your friends from trying Steemit. (...) You try a new flavour of icecream or a new gym. These are things and because the blockchain is a thing, people give it a try, which is entirely the wrong mindset. - Matt Clarke in a recent blog post

Considering that the mainstream actually likes to try new flavours of icecream, are we actually ready to meet their expectations and provide them with a positive user experience?

If not, which are the weakpoints and how can we eliminate them?

In my eyes, when talking about bringing the masses and opening flood gates it's evident to be unconcerned about user retention.


Make em stay.

As @paulag recently uncovered in one of her excellent business reports: Steemit's monthly churn rate has dropped to 35%.

In other words: our flagship is considerably improving on user retention.

That's brilliant!

The one million dollar question is: How are we going to make them stay in the future?

Social networks represent the digital reflection of what humans do: we connect and share. - Jeremiah Owyang

Do we offer enough reasons (incentives) to connect and share on Steem? Do we excel in decentralized social networking? Are we the unrivaled no. 1?

Here's my idea on how to ensure mainstream adoption for Steem:

Entertain, educate, reward.

  • Increase gamification: Make social interaction, community engagement and building become entertaining in a way users constantly increase their time invest. Find ways to gamify social contribution at any time.
  • Ensure stable learning curves: Make education become a top priority in order to ensure an allover positive user experience. KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid)!
  • Incentivate loyalty: Reward those who stay and constantly contribute to the ecosystem in a way they will all become ambassadors for your product. Build multiplier networks with your strongest influencers, they'll move the masses for you.


Steem basically needs to fulfill the needs of three main target groups:

  • Investors - need: generate (preferably passive) income
  • Creators - need: share and monetize content
  • Networkers - need: connect with likeminded people

All target groups require: easy and fast access as well as easy and intuitive (!) handling.

Remember the ice cream.

I personally believe that the best product idea will be the one that is able to address all of these three groups.

Here's an example:

Offer tools to networkers that enable them to find and hang with like-minded people while you reward them for their interaction [hivemind], provide creators with access to these sub-communities and encourage them to participate and share their high quality content [SMTs] while you invite investors to buy themselves in and leverage these communities in order to advertize their brands and products to an audience with a high affinity in a specific market [product TBD].

The more incentives we offer for these groups to engage with the blockchain, the higher their retention and the higher the probability of real mainstream adoption.

Ultimately every Steem user should want to become both an ambassador for Steem and a future investor.


Let's make sure we have a product which excels itself in the market, creating enough reasons for people to actually adopt this network and providing killer opportunities for investors to constantly increase their stake.

Then.... only then we'll be ready for those masses.

Let me know what you think, the comment section is yours!

Happy weekend,
Marly -

This blog was created in July 2016, aiming to provide thought-provoking content for open-minded people who go on adventure, step out of comfort zones and embrace the new.
Thanks for being part of the journey!


PS: All my blog posts are created and submitted via eSteem Surfer 1.1.12 - my favorite Steem desktop client that was developed by @good-karma's @esteemapp team. Check out their account for more information.

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I'm having a round table discussion on this very subject at Steemfest. Come join us. Join like minded people. It will be fun & we can work on a plan of suggested actions for individuals, businesses, & organizations for Steem. @surfermarley

Posted using Partiko Android

Oh, cool! thanks for considering me. I'll reach out via discord for more info :-)

@steemcafe , i join your table :)

@mynewlife Yes yes yes. I will hold a spot for you. Bring ideas, bring your thoughts, & bring great energy. @coruscate

Posted using Partiko Android

Woohoo! Thanks for tagging me in this @steemcafe! Going to be an awesome roundtable.

@mynewlife - I'll be getting into Krakow several days early and would love to connect! <3

I have no words. This post says it all. I especially love the Increase Gamification part as I thrive on things that are fun which then keep me engaged long-term. Excellent post and I hope that everything you said here happens over the next few years

Posted using Partiko iOS

Thanks a lot for your positive feedback, Ken! :-)
I think there are many who agree on the gamification strategy. Tagging @gtg here as we just talked about the exact same thing during the witness panel on the PAL discord server.

Are you coming to Steemfest? Then we can talk about it more in detail.

No, not coming this year unfortunately

Posted using Partiko iOS

Very solid points, your point about gamifying the experience is spot on. These younger generations coming up are into snap chat, tik tok, 17 live, and LIt app is creeping into that. I think Steem needs to be more fun to attract the masses, not everyone wants to blog. If steemit focuses and a fun user experience and dapps to grab the attention of the younger generation, everything else will fall into place.

I think you're spot on @dmilliz! Besides that, we need to ensure that the algorithm shared among all dApps keeps being as simple as possible. The more complicated the ecosystem gets, the less possibilities to seriously attract the average mainstream internet user.

Thanks for stopping by and happy Monday :-)

hay and thanks for the shout out and link back. retention has improve that is for sure, and we now have a good core to build upon.

You mentioned education in a comment before on I think neds post, and I replied that it was something I could take action on. One of the problems with retention is these scammy get rich quick courses that were promoting steemit, people thinking we can come here and do a 'jerry'.
So I said I would take action and I did.
what I want to do now is make this more interactive and will be doing live voice/text chats to take the learning further. I need to find away to gamifying this somehow. But yes, we so need to gamify a lot more

People thinking we can come here and do a 'jerry'.

lol - has that even become a winged word, I had no idea - haha!

Jokes aside, I love what you're doing for the community! And that action looks brilliant. Yes, of course I remember the conversation about education and also that you immediately raised your hand, promising to contribute.

Wouldn't it be awesome to automatically direct EVERY new user to your tutorial videos?
Putting that on my steemy wish list for Christmas... :-)

Will I meet you in Krákow?

Love your thoughts here Marly! I think part of it also is increasing the sheer amount of cool things people can use their steem for- ie I’m currently buying steem monsters packs with my SBD. Incentivizing content creation not only so people can trade it in for fiat, but having things people can buy that attract people to our marketplaces. “Did you hear about Steem? There’s so much cool stuff/experiences/discounts I can get with it directly!” Onward! 💥

Heya! Thanks for stopping by @mountainjewel, I saw you were also in the audience of today's PAL witness forum :-) I'm totally with you on finding more real use cases in order to make Steem more attractive to the average social media user. Currently - and that was again proven in the just mentioned forum - the focus is on development. That's totally fine, but we don't need a hundred apps more if we can't increase the active user base that uses those apps at the same time.

I think the fact that we're talking about those issues is the very first step towards new solutions :-)

Are you gonna be attending Steemfest, too?

That's totally fine, but we don't need a hundred apps more if we can't increase the active user base that uses those apps at the same time.

totally agree! we need a user base to use anything the developers make - lol- can't have one without the other!

i won't be attending steemfest; i hope to one day!! Have a great time :)

Great article, it got me pumped to start figuring out ways we can retain users and grow steemit!

Just reached dolphin status today and suddenly felt a sense of responsibility because I know my voice is going to reach more users 🙈

Posted using Partiko iOS

Awesome, @waphilip! Glad you felt inspired in such way.
Also congrats on the milestone and on your commitment :-)

Yeah, there's a point when you feel that your voice really means something, and that can be pretty cool and scary at the same time, hehe. Make the best of it :-)

  ·  last year (edited)

Hey this is my role :D

I shared your post in the PAL server - Witness chat going on right now :)

Oh cooool! Thank you so much for the share and also the reminder, jumping over to PAL right now :-))

  ·  last year (edited)

Hi Surfermarly,
Superb post - I believe Steemit has almost filled all criteria to be a serious global success. Our interface now lacks just one thing: an integrated instant messenger. I know we have but users need to log in to that and many do not, so is not a useful method for instant communication.

Facebook (puh!) has Messenger built in - it is a huge reason for the frequent use and success of FB as a community tool.

Could one of our communities gifted coders please make instant chat a reality? With video & voice calling also it was be completely awesome!!

Upvoted and resteemed :D

The messenger is already in the making :-)
Check out the account @kingswisdom for more.

And thanks for your support!

We definitely need to make the Steem platform fun. People use others for no reward, so we have an advantage there. There's are already lots of ways to interact here with the various dapps. Steem doesn't have to be just one thing. It may just be about getting the right publicity as all sorts of things can go viral. This will be a hot topic at Steemfest

Oh yes, I fully agree! I'm hoping that it's gonna be a HOT TOPIC at Steemfest. If not, I'll be doing everything in order to make it become one :-)) Are you gonna be there again, too?

Oh yes, I'm all booked up and looking forward to some fun discussions.

Aaaaawesome, see you there! .-))

I think one of the main contributors to success online, is an aspect or element that is self evident, that draws people to use the platform. "What's in it for me?" is the mindset that many have, and I've noticed that in months of using the platform I've yet to find a real reason to stay on here. I think the majority of the public will face the same challenge. Great ideas for how to make the platform more usable! Cheers.

Thanks for stopping by and for leaving a positive feedback @creatingutopia!

What's in for me? is always the first question, and that's totally legitimate. What I don't like is that we have a development-first-mentality on Steem. I mean it's brilliant that there are hundreds of applications built on the Steem blockchain, but that will only make sense if we're able to create a sustainable userbase that is gonna use all those applications in the future.

What's currently missed is a strategy in order to improve retention and engagement. Social media doesn't work without people interacting. Also those users provide the effective value of the network being their attention what you can effectively sell to advertisers, for instance.

Again, thanks for being part of the discussion! I'm pretty sure we gonna talk a lot more about it at Steemfest³.

Hi Marly! I was talking with my nephew, he is 13... and he was curious about STEEMIT. You know, all these kids are using any kind of app... so he asked me for a STEEMIT-app and an easy way to join.
Long story short... he gave up, cause of the many steps to sign in. The same thing happened with my niece (14 years old)... she was interested, but in her opinion not so easy to join, like the apps they are using. I work at school, and I often ask kids what apps they download, etc., and if you want to catch some users in the future you have to know what these kids are using... they are the future.
There is still a long way to go... especially the registration part.

If you want mass adoption, you need an easy way to join, from kids to grandpas... and mannequins, too, haha.

Just my humble opinion.

Big plastic hug

Steemitri The Mannequin

Great adding @steemitri, thanks a lot for the insight!

Besides an easy access we also need to have an intuitive ecosystem that can be quickly understood by any new user who joins us, independently from age or experience with a blockchain. If Steem wants to bebecome THE gateway to cryptocurrencies, then we need that gateway to be wide open for literally everybody.

I'm looking forward to talk more about all that at Steemfest!
Are you gonna be there?

Thanks for your reply!
2019 will be an important year, for a lot of blockchain projects... so let's wait and see.

Cause of my job (I'm teacher at public school) and my new role as a father (oh yeah) I can't make it to Steemfest, and I'm a little bit upset... I had a lot of funny ideas with Steemitri... so I have to wait another year.
Have fun in Krakow!!!
Lucas & Steemitri

@surfermarly - you need to have a great influence in outside would. I've got some revolutionary ideas which I bring with me to SteemFest :) Long term ideas.... You always need to think long term in this :)

I think steem suppose to be for everyone, I brought many people, creatives etc.... I think the whole system is lacking yet but if that will improve constantly then.... We will see:)

I'm happy to meet you in Krákow and fully agree on the fact that there's a lot of potential! :-)
Long term is key!

See you there.

I think retention is Steemit's biggest problem. I've had a few friends make an account, but ever post anything. It's too different from what they are used to.

This is a really well written piece Marly, good job! I feel like you've definitely brought up some great points regarding the key-areas we should be thinking about. Too many discussions about Steem's future revolve around 1-2 points, instead of taking them all into consideration like you've done.

More expansive thinking with how we should develop and innovate in these talks could help push us to the actual answer. The discussions are getting a bit stale, tbh. Thank you for providing a fresher opinion :)

Hey @stuffbyspencer! Thanks a lot for your feedback, and please apologize for not having gotten back to you earlier.

You touched an important point here: often we focus on only 1-2 targets while we lose the overall / big picture. Just look at the current trending page and you'll see what Steem is all about: crypto and development.

That's brilliant from a developer's standpoint, but will never ensure mainstream adoption for this platform. We need more support for mainstreamy communities on Steem (food, health music, sports,...) since those are the ones that will attract the average internet user.

Couldn't agree more. It's as if the current Steem community are just employees of Steem itself. We need curators, creators, comedians, writers... In a funny way, we even need people who make things we don't necessarily enjoy or like, for it to be truly mainstream.

I believe we'll get there. We already have the frameworks and early stages of many of the above stated communities, now they just need to grow. In due time, I'm sure :)

Awesome generalizations to aid mass adoption
Entertain Educate & Reward.

Personally about entertainment, I feel a platform like twitter on the steem blockchain, would greatly attract users. A platform like this will also help interactions and networking basically. About the passive income, hmm even I look forward to it. I agree that it would make steem very attractive.

I hope that the team sees this and finds a way to implement this awesome and feasible Ideas.

Thanks a lot for being part of the discussion @ced000!
I actually don't even think that we need MORE applications built on the blockchain - we only need to improve them a bit according to our users' needs. We're getting better at retention but are still far away from the benchmark. So the primary question should be: How to keep users and how to make them become loyal steemians?

Again, thanks for the support and steem on :-)


Marketing, then Over deliver. We desperately need both here.

I almost agree, haha.
I'd say: create a product that excels your own expectations, then market it and over deliver.

Would you agree? :-)

Bingo, that is it indeed. I have been an entreprenuer since '93 and some of these lessons I learned the hard way. Let's hope the steemit team can figure it out before the competition :-)
...oh, and thanks (again) for all your inspiration! :-)

  ·  last year (edited)

What Steem community needs is celebrities. It's their posts what would make many more people come here on daily basis and interact.

Hi @surfermarly!

Your post was upvoted by @steem-ua, new Steem dApp, using UserAuthority for algorithmic post curation!
Your UA account score is currently 6.568 which ranks you at #144 across all Steem accounts.
Your rank has not changed in the last three days.

In our last Algorithmic Curation Round, consisting of 236 contributions, your post is ranked at #4.

Evaluation of your UA score:
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Great article and you right that we need to create incentive for people to stay much longer.

Posted using Partiko Android

I am blogger and investor here and getting money in was quite hard for an older guy like me. I also miss advertising for steemit, we can do that cheap by making flyers (centrally) and print them locally and leave them in trains and busses etc

Steem basically needs to fulfill the needs of three main target groups:
Investors - need: generate (preferably passive) income
Creators - need: share and monetize content
Networkers - need: connect with likeminded people

It's interesting that you didn't include "voters" or "curators" in the list of stakeholders. All voting on content should be done by bots with SP delegations so investors can get their (preferably passive) income?

I would suggest that a healthy social media platform also needs voters, and even just lurkers. Not everyone wants to produce content of any sort. And creating content is worthless if no one views it. In a healthy content ecosystem, on average, we'd probably need... I don't know... 100? 1000? Viewers per creator. Bringing them here should probably be a top priority, not an afterthought.

If we want to attract authors, there has to be an audience. If we attract the audience, the creators will follow.

Networkers do include curators for me. If you network, you automatically engage with people and content. That's at least how the algo is currently designed on Steem. Networkers engage through votes, comments and resteems, so they act as curators if you prefer to call them like this.

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