Thinking a little about community

in steem •  12 days ago

It is getting pretty interesting out there in Steem-land at the moment, especially since @ned mentioned letting go 70% of the Steemit Inc staff. I am pretty sure that they are talented enough to move on well but I do hope that Steemit does help the transition. There has been various questions raised on the back of this news and due to price in general concerning community and what not but, this is to be expected.

What people tend to forget is that this is an opt-in community and no one is forced to be here or participate, nor are they forced to act in any specific way. Of course, there are always consequences to actions and this means that despite the freedom to do as we please, there is also the responsibility to handle the results.

People wanted decentralization of the platform yet still looked to Steemit Inc to be an authority and @ned to be a leader. In my opinion, it is going to be more one or the other or at the very least, voluntary participation. I have mentioned for a while that I see Steemit Inc and Ned stepping way from the central authority role slowly but surely and this latest step is definitely a large one. What this means is that the various communities are now free to act to a greater degree.

As said, this is a volunteer community where people are able to behave as they see fit and pay the price of their behavior through various results. Some will be rewarded, some will not, some will help, some will not, some will benefit, some will not.

There are many different types of communities here and a lot of crossover but, if we think about them as investors, developers, contributors and consumers we can differentiate them on basic requirements from the platform. Essentially all want some monetary return considering the nature of the platform but, the way each goes about it can be quite different. For all to benefit across the board though, all need to be catered for in various ways.

Investors are essentially bankrolling the venture by holding Steem and also as a distribution method through their stake but, they might not care too much about how or to who they distribute the inflation pool. This is relatively short sighted if they forget that for the health of the platform and economy, it requires the other three groups to benefit also.

The developers of course are hoping to earn on their developments through investment in, contributions and consumers using their platform for its purpose. They have to create a compelling experience for users but, also be able to monetize and add value to investors. Balance is required to offer something for all.

The contributors of course want to earn on their work but they have to consider what they put forward to the audience and what their expected return would be considering what that content is in relationship to investors, users, consumers, stake and of course, the finite size of the inflation pool. Everyone wants to earn of course but, what is the expectation of value?

The consumers of course just have to consume and they need to be considered by investors, developers and contributors in various ways as they are both important to cater for but, often unstaked also. This means that they could hold several positions on the platform basic groups or, only as a consumer who reads but doesn't add any vote values.

With a lot of the current value on the platform coming in the form of draw from the inflation pool, it is going to be stake that holds the sway at this point but in time, this could shift to a more external investment and profile where apps attract value in and use the Steem blockchain to leverage both at an infrastructure and community level. This would help all user groups as essentially the demand on the blockchain will drive investment returns, encourage development, provide for varied contributors and create a better experience for consumers. But, the focus isn't really there yet.

It doesn't really matter what part of the community you might see yourself residing in however, your fate is tied to the fates of many others, even if you do not know them or are not interested in their perspective of the platform. Again, this is an opt in system where people have the freedom to act as they choose and even if they do not act well, it is going to have an effect on others. As said many times, this is a social experiment on a pretty grand scale and the success or failure of it is going to be on whether the various groups will be able to negotiate a balance where each participant is somewhat satisfied.

But opt-in means that people have some choice about the role they take. It is about responsibility of the individual though and while there might be many smart people, if they don't factor others into their calculations, it is likely going to cost them too.

It is all very interesting though, isn't it?

Taraz
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For a while now it's seemed like the main innovations on STEEM in the form of DApps have been coming from third party developers, anyway. I for one would favor Steemit, Inc. moving more out of the picture, but the same issue of extreme difficulty to reach consensus in a decentralized scheme will remain.

Too much politicking and infighting among the witnesses; no one is assigned any specific role, so progress is amazingly slow or nonexistent. Everyone comes to their own conclusions based on their experiences in the cryptosphere, for me it's been pondering whether decentralization, (beyond being an idealized buzzword) represents a realistic or even ideal way of running any system.

Because of the huge downsides overcentralization brings, I'd say yes, but it needs to be a mix of both. And the problem I've seen on STEEM is that Steemit, Inc. is both simultaneously too controlling (where regards developing new code and pushing it out) and provides too little leadership (in the form of being truly engaged in the community and maintaining the spirit of dynamic innovation.)

Thankfully, I have enough faith in the community to not give up on STEEM just yet. It's a solid blockchain, poor leadership or not. I would love to see Ned step down from CEO, but unfortunately I don't see that happening.

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but the same issue of extreme difficulty to reach consensus in a decentralized scheme will remain.

This is the issue with the decentralized structure as it is always going to have the same flaw. Does this mean we choose as a community to centralize some aspects, I don't know.

for me it's been pondering whether decentralization, (beyond being an idealized buzzword) represents a realistic or even ideal way of running any system.

I read a piece at a time :) Ona scale such as this, it was and is always going to have a level of complication that a centralized system does not.

I would love to see Ned step down from CEO, but unfortunately I don't see that happening.

At the moment he is CEO of Steemit Inc only and that is moving in the direction of becoming a development team alone. Who owns, operates the blockchain? Lots of interesting things to consider here.

The problem is that the highly staked are de facto leaders, and Steemit Inc. is highly staked. That doesn't even take into account the precedent of their role as midwife for the project.

As I see it you need to lay less blame at the feet of the users. While it's always true that we each can only do what we can do (a blessing and a curse) and that complaining is at the very least unattractive, Steemit Inc. has tried to have it both ways. Decentralization with shepherding; running off the wealth of the platform, but reliant on outmoded practices; lack of investment in key infrastructure, but putting too much on their plate.

Individual responsibility only gets you so far when you are subject to the tides made by objects several magnitudes larger that you or the little groups we make. I argue for a little more of that perspective in you analysis here.

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The problem is that the highly staked are de facto leaders, and Steemit Inc. is highly staked. That doesn't even take into account the precedent of their role as midwife for the project.

This definitely is an issue with the process of decentralization but at some point needs to be broached.

As I see it you need to lay less blame at the feet of the users.

There is no real blame here but understanding the role we find/choose ourselves to be in goes a long way to working out what steps we have ahead of us.

Individual responsibility only gets you so far when you are subject to the tides made by objects several magnitudes larger that you or the little groups we make.

This is what needs to get worked out doesn't it? Witnesses, invested, developers, contributors, whoever it happens to be have to work out a way to continue the blockchain independent of Steemit Inc. It could be that it requires another version of what was or something new altogether but, that is going to have to be developed and, Steemit Inc isn't likely at this point to take the lead or at least, take it forever.

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You said it. As I said elsewhere, witnesses have had a chronic lake of imagination. There is a cozy cohort of controlling witnesses who need to challenge bad ideas a little better, and those outside that circle need to follow their guts instead of just going on with things because they think they can't make a difference. It's the kind of very silly voting we see in politics where people vote for those they think will win. I find that approach spineless.

Still, this is a stakeholders platform. If Steemit Inc. drop out of development you can be sure they're still going to exert massive pressure in witness votes, them and their remaining employees / alts / allies / sycophants.

As you said, it's a process. Best we can do is to be a part of that. We can't control it, and that's the point.

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Thank you very much mate :)

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Keep up the great work!

I’m a big proponent of “less is more”. I’m working on a piece now about how I tend to create better art when I’m broke AF, mostly because the quality of my work depends on my ability to get hired. When I have $2500/mo in bills hanging over my head, and a family to support, it triggers some kind of chemical reaction in my brain and an urgency to make the best damn art I’m humanly capable of making. You see the same a lot in music, acting, etc. They days when a band or performer is trying to break out and “make it”, is when you see the truest genius and most memorable talent. Sometimes I think the $8 STEEM days are a little too comfortable. I love that I’m seeing so many dApp projects on the STEEM blockchain despite the low price. I feel like those dev teams are creating these projects because of the passionate expression that has been ignited by the communities Steemit has cultivated. @artisteem is perfect example, but just last night, @vermillionfox showed me another incredible Allrecipes/Yelp-esk hybrid for food/culinary enthusiast! Such innovation happening while STEEM is at $0.30! It’s increidble.

Great blog, @tarazkp. I’ve really come to love reading your posts.

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When I have $2500/mo in bills hanging over my head, and a family to support, it triggers some kind of chemical reaction in my brain and an urgency to make the best damn art I’m humanly capable of making.

This sense of urgency is when some people perform at their best, the dig deep points. I can likely pick out of hundreds of pieces of work that my father made where for various reasons, he painted under pressure.

Sometimes I think the $8 STEEM days are a little too comfortable.

You are an artist though, you need to be tortured ;)

I feel like those dev teams are creating these projects because of the passionate expression that has been ignited by the communities Steemit has cultivated.

At Steemfest I got to meet quite a few devs. I went there to see if people were serious and I was glad to see that for many, there was fire in their eyes as they spoke.

Great blog, @tarazkp. I’ve really come to love reading your posts.

Thank you and your support is very much appreciated.

I wish I was in a position to assess the impact of steeminc on steem and thus the impact of their leaving.

But TBH I don't even know who they are, how much they get paid or who does what.

But I just don't have the data.

But even without data, I can safely say yes, the situation is interesting!

Posted using Partiko Android

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Well put.
Transparency?
Where?

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Yep, it is an interesting case isn't it? I can't answer any of those questions, I am unsure if they can :)

I think this whole crash is leading to a good shake-up of the culture. I see a lot of good things happening, and it's all about whether or not free lance developers come to STEEM and trust the blockchain here. There is enough proof here already for them to buy in or not... just my fairly uninformed thoughts, ty

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THe issue comes down to how core dev takes place I guess. As far as apps built on top, that isn't a problem.

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How far has Steemit fallen in the Alexa rankings? Or can that be skewed now too because there are so many options now about accessing STEEM blockchain?

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Or can that be skewed now too because there are so many options now about accessing STEEM blockchain?

For quite a few months now, steemit.com has had less than 50 percent of the posts go through it and people are using a range of other addresses to view the blockchain. The Alexa rankings will only track a site which means to workout what Steem ranks would require adding up the activity across all applications. Alexa in its present form is useless for a decentralized format across many addresses.

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thanks for the facts, i am grokking it!

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Fascinating. What do you consider core development beyond general maintenance of the blockchain, or am I over simplifying?

In theory you might be right. However cutting 70% in one time doesn't give much confidence. A transition should happen gradually. I find this a worrying decision.

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It depends on the structure of the company and what they were hired for. Under normal structure I'd agree that a 70% reduction is not confidence building.

Time will tell. I think a shift towards decentralisation is a good thing. Ultimately the community and whiteness need to run the updates. The real question is will they continue to run their nodes. I think steemit.com as an interface is holding us back also. It would be good for the default experience to shift away from that.

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It would be good for the default experience to shift away from that.

This will happen and be especially true when the appliations become more outward facing. Why would anyone playing @Steemmonsters look at Steemit.com?

I had all of these thoughts too. In addition, I wondered if it is time to create a volunteer group of engaged investors to meet weekly and determine what we can do to contribute to the growth and maintenance of the community.

We could pool resources or create teams to curate, market, and support various projects. We talked about it breifly before, but the timing seems better now.

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It is definitely something that needs to be looked into and considered but again, it requires someone to really organize it, which is notoriously hard here.

I think this all has a bright side as it puts the community front and center to lead the protocol itself now. However, that will need to come from commitment and investment which is where the challenge will be from here forward. I think the announcement will bring further challenges in the short term as more will call it quits in my opinion. Personally, I wil take some time to reflect and see what present itself as I think it will bring opportunities for some to get more involved which is where I would lean towards given the potential that remains.

Posted using Partiko iOS

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However, that will need to come from commitment and investment which is where the challenge will be from here forward.

Logistics is the hardest part for a decentralized community to agree upon. It is like wrangling cats.

Personally, I wil take some time to reflect and see what present itself as I think it will bring opportunities for some to get more involved which is where I would lean towards given the potential that remains.

Those that quit I think are those who are short-sighted as this project is far from dead without Steemit Inc and, they aren't dead yet.

A great post. It saddened me to see the venom in many of the comments in @ned's post. We should ensure, more than ever before, that we are supporting witnesses that are also good coders.

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The venom is largely unjustified I feel and no matter what is said, there are people who will always take the most uncharitable position possible. This is the internet.

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...there are people who will always take the most uncharitable position possible.

Sad but true. 😐

It’s weird times around here for sure!!

I've made a big ranting comment in @markkujantunen's post on this topic, but I will dare to re-iterate the point I made about steemit specifically:
@steemit must either be converted into a portal/landing page for dApps and alternate UI's -- @busy.org, @esteemapp, @musing, @partiko, @steempeak (sorry to anyone I haven't mentioned, there's lots out there) -- or at least become a simple landing page that links to actively developed projects. It's frankly long overdue.

We can't have #steem lugging around DEAD WEIGHT as its head.

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steemit.com will be replaced soon enough.

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Despite the downsizing and moves and also the price, I am still hopeful in the future that steem has. Obviously I do not understand all the technical aspects, but I have faith in the platform and folks behind it. It has so much more to offer than any bitcoin platform out there. Thanks @tarazkp.