User Retention: This is Our Community

in #steem3 years ago (edited)

Recently user retention has been a topic of discussion and I've been giving it some thought and also reading some other posts on this topic.

I've been considering what the community can do to help.  This post is about ideas and brain storming, hopefully there will be an active comment section.  The point is to focus on our responsibility as a decentralized community.  


Many feel that 60k daily active accounts is a bad stat for for 1 million created accounts.  Remember SteemIt is the wallet, so many accounts might have stake and be inactive for a reason.  Not everyone wants to blog/write/sing, create content.  There are many reasons including stakeholder wallets, squatters, bots, accidental sign up, scam networks, etc that could cause a person to create an account and not post or vote.  In fact I own one for a little light hearted trolling and haven't used it.

As a Decentralized Community we are ALL responsible to do what we can to fix issues and support the growth we want to see.

If Retention is Low, We Don't Know Why 

Lots of people have stated reasons, but I haven't seen any data or exit interviews.

I would be curious to know how many accounts have signed up and posted 4 or 5 times and then went away.  It would be fun to look through a list of those accounts.  Were they scammers and spammers or legitimate accounts trying to blog, were they flagged?  We don't currently know.    In any case I think social media in general has a high churn rate.  At this point we don't even know what problem we are fixing, regarding active users.

Let's assume we do have a retention issue, for the most part the active community doesn't control the Interface or a huge share of the rewards, but we do play a major role in setting the culture.    We all have limited voting power and rewards are what they are, my thought is the best thing we can do for new users is to give them some visibility, engagement and encouragement.  If they have financial goals and aren't wanting to invest, I am not sure we either want or need to retain those accounts.  (feedback in the comments please, why?)  I am fine with them digging in and becoming successful, but the expectations many of them are coming in with are insane.

There is one thing everyone can do for new users; engage with them.  Make more comments, be welcoming and answer posts that ask for help. 

If one user doesn't know the answer send someone to a favorite chat channel on discord or  Link the FAQ to a struggling new user.  It is fine to let minnows figure out how to earn, but we could at least be kind and helpful.


I like the saying, Promise Less Deliver More.

For End Users:

I think we should stop telling new users to fish for whale votes, most of them aren't getting them and it creates disappointment. Stop telling people they get free money, it takes a lot of work or a financial investment to earn.   As the volume of end-users grows, there will be fewer large stakeholders to go around.    New-Users need to gather together and build a growth networks just like most of us who were not blessed with delegation did.  The vast majority of them will earn  WAY more here than they would anywhere else. If they can't accept that, why should we retain them?   Some highly talented content creators will do great, as it still can be easy to stand out on the platform.  We can give some talented users a resteem or make a post, try to help the best get some visibility.

Stop acting sad that money isn't raining down on us, that is not how life works.  I have a twitter account that everyone ignores also, and they don't even pay.

If we reach $100 STEEM,  perfect money will rain then.  :)  For now we are building a base and end-users who are mature and realistic will expect to have to put either time or money in.  

Internal Expectation Matter Also:

We might never see mainstream, ir fast growth might not happen until HF20, when sign ups improve.  At some point SteemIt, Inc may decide to advertise and surely some of the dApps being built on Steem will do their own marketing and growth plans.  

We are seeing steady growth that rises and falls with price and interest in Cryptocurrency.   So far, I don't see any serious competition although several are in the works.  With the complexity of the site, our current user-base and herding cats, our growth may come slowly and it is possible as a new tech many will sign up and find it too hard or too complicated to stay.  I think we should be okay with that.  This isn't for everyone.  Rough language, conflicting agendas, flags, and money, it takes a pretty mature person who is fairly comfortable in their own skin to be successful here.  That is okay.

Myspace still isn't dead for all the talk of Facebook.   They still have employees and end users.  I am not saying we will be MySpace, but who cares if we are?

On the other hand after HF20 we could hit the jackpot in end-users,  but be prepared that slow growth is sometimes the best growth.

Anyway, I would like to hear your thoughts on how WE can help with retention.

If you want to tell me what SteemIt, Inc can do that is fine, but I don't have any sway with them and frankly I think it is in our capable hands.

Let's talk about in the comment section

What can the community do to help newusers?  What should we consider a reasonable rate of churn, if we worry about it at all?



when i was new i i also too depressed because i couldnt find any improvement to me . but i got patience and had some improve and now some to little . in future it could be more .
i find some steemit friend like you and you all support me by such kind of post. thanks for share

Thank goodness....

I think people mainly leave because they make little to no money. In addition I think they have low expectations for Steem. I think eventually these two problems will somewhat sort themselves out but we might always have low retention.

They may have low expectations for STEEM, but I would bet that was not the case when they first arrived here!

Yeah so far this platform has been a lot about patience. lol
You might want to sign up for @dustsweeper. FYI

why don't we launch a survey and find out. let us ask people why they came on, why they are staying and why on earth they would consider quitting. then we can drum up things to do to retain users.

I have five accounts but three of them post, so I'm not sure if I'm part of the solution or part of the problem. (The fourth will post eventually, the fifth was created in error because of the SteemConnect bug.)

When it comes to retention, the question for me is who are we retaining? A lot of those new accounts are just spammers, plagiarists, and phishers. A big chunk of the rest are people who either have nothing of interest to post about or want to treat it like Twitter or Instagram.

So to me, we need to be hunting down the new accounts who are interesting and/or community-builders, and making sure we get most of them enough support of one sort or another to inspire them to stick around and grow their accounts. We're not yet very good at this but I think we're a lot better than we were even a month ago as more of the minnow/dolphin community has picked up on this.

We're never going to be able to guarantee that everyone good gets found, but as long as we're bringing along new classes continually, and can convince those people to do some of the same work, the growth can be exponential.

Mass adoption anytime soon scares me, though. We don't have enough of a support network to lift up more than a few dozen good new posters a month at this point. If we have tens of thousands of 15 SP legitimate users at a time, I don't know how that ends well. I guess the people who can make friends with dolphins will do ok and everyone else will leave.

Well, the fact that new users come and goes doesn't change the fact that there aren't some good content creators. I think we should try as much as possible to create schools / classes for minnows, educate them about all the huge expectations they carried along to steemit and make them more focus knowing well that patience's and consistency pays off.
And again I think when bringing new users to steemit we should stop this lies of "COME TO STEEMIT, POST AND MAKE MONEY". It doesn't work that way, I personally was told that lie and it made me had this huge expectation of seeing Steemit as a quick making money scheme. It hasn't been easy for me and other babies on the platform so far but with the help of @whatsup and others I feel not been only.

So lets always try to encourage the new ones coming, educate them and lets see how it goes.

Thanks at all

I belive what might really help is if Steemit adopts a "categories" UI. That way bloggers can blog and Meme'ers can Meme, jokes can be shared,and photographers can post their art... all in their unique little corners of Steemit!

Well, what we also see is some start and stop and start and stop. Which I am fine with as long as they don't complain about the time and earnings they missed.

Your post also made me think we should try to find ways to explain the compounding growth of an account. For each steem you earn the next one becomes easier. At some point around 1000 sp that increases really quickly.

Well, what we also see is some start and stop and start and stop. Which I am fine with as long as they don't complain about the time and earnings they missed.

Or even if they complain for a bit and then get down to work again. I'm all for giving people some time for self-indulgence as long as it's temporary.

At some point around 1000 sp that increases really quickly.

I know about compounding growth but since I skipped that range completely by buying Steem I'd be interested in hearing about how that inflection point has worked for people.

It works well as long as the price of STEEM is up! Personally, I become discouraged with posting when the price keeps dropping or remains low.

People coming in with high expectations is the biggest factor for people not staying I believe. They come in enthusiastic having read articles like this, and think that it will be easy to earn $1000s of dollars per post - when in reality the first few weeks/months are pretty dissapointing where most peoples post are lucky to make a few cents.

I think part of this is the medias fault, but also partly the way people who have been using Steem a while talk about it to potential new users - I know when I tell friends I probably make it soud easier than it is in reality.

On top of that Steem can be complicated and some people cant be bothered to stick that out or dont agree with all the politics (bots, bot abuse etc...). It really takes a good month to 6 weeks to even find your feeton here and by that time ,oads of people have already left

For the most part I think people are setting really bad expectations. It is hard to undo that.

I guess we just have to start being harsh messengers. You will not be rich by next week. :) lol

I guess we just have to start being harsh messengers. You will not be rich by next week.lolz

I so much love this part, its a pity that its the bitter truth.
I have been on steemit for 4 months buy actively for 2 months now and I must confess its not as easy as you are told when convincing you to join.
I have made nice and quality post but ended up with less than a cent. You know how depress that is? Lolz

But I just have to continue knowing at the long run I will be successful.
Since I have planned to be here for a long I have already started investing the little I can afford even though it is not up to what you can spend on a meal.lolz
I know with time I will be noticed for my works.
Thanks at @whatsup

Currently we haven't got Western People to buy in and see the bigger picture. That is why we are seeing many leave. When we see Western People get real buy in then we talk about a massive worldwide adoption. The question then comes how you can influence them faster? Since currently they hang around Facebook. We need to know their deeper desires and wants. And how we can make their life easier.

We have problem with new users engagement because most of them are coming on Steemit with idea of quick bucks, then they get disappointed and leave. I tell everyone to treat Steemit like any other Social network and to have fun here. Huge advantage of Steemit is that for having fun you can be rewarded. When we achieve that people are coming here for fun, active user growth will explode...

Yeah, I tend to agree.

"Huge advantage of Steemit is that for having fun you can be rewarded."


If I can add something - I made a post here Skyrocketing the price of Steem

Something I wish to highlight is the fact that since there's more advantage to Steem in a 3rd world country, it's going to compound.

If I work 1 hour on a post, minimum wage here big 11, and cost of living requiring 3x minimum to live in my city; I have to make 33 hour to just maintain my lower middle class lifestyle with 3 kids. If I made 5 dollars less an hour, I'd qualify for an emergency social welfare check. I would be considered, below the poverty line.

Now my aunt in the Philippines makes $10/day usd, and is living a better actual quality of life than I am. $1usd (.5 sbd) per post is a totally reasonable use of her time. So what happens?

She signs up 100 people and they all do what they do and don't power up and cash out every Friday.

I do what I do, take a mild loss for some intrinsic value, power up so I can give with nothing in return, with no ability to cash out without losing that influence to give.

And anyone I sign up, quickly realizes they can meet their needs on Facebook, Tether, and at work like normal people.


Then when the occasional westerner does stay, they are met at every angle with pressure to do what's best for steem, or not do what's best to maintain their own stake. And as guilty privileged westerners, we comply.

And we wonder WHY the social and content dynamic is what it is, and why the cost of steem is shit? Doesn't seem like rocket science.

updooted this from the bottom. hope to get some feedback

Living in the Philippines, I must add that quality of life there is very subjective. For me to have a better quality of life than I had living in the USA, it takes a little more than $10 per day. For the many who can live well on $10 per day, I commend them... although they do not have much to compare their lives with. I got my nephew on Steemit and after 3 weeks, he realized he was not going to get rich quick and his focus shifted elswhere and went to Manila for a real job.

I like to compare it to YouTube. The top 1 percent make a ton of cash and most accounts get a handful of views. There are a few more options to get you video viral though. YouTube it's about clicks from anyone here you need whale votes.

I got people to join and they all quit. The whole blog for crypto slogan isn't exactly honest. Your blogs can be great, you could be a Pulitzer prize winning writer, you are still going to start out with 2 cent blogs. Everyone goes through that though so I don't have a ton of sympathy. People who complain never seem to have 2000 posts.

I got a few big votes from people who bought a ton of steem and never wrote a blog or comment, those people exist. Not sure if inactive status still applied to accounts cashing in big curation rewards

Agreed. Some are thinking steem will rain down on them for typing. Shrugs, it has even worked for some, but I think those days are ending.

Ya we know everyone is going to pass through the less than 2cent reward for their post when they first start. I have passed through that and am still passing through it.lolz
But I think what we are trying to address is how we can help by encouraging them(the good ones who loves to stay) and giving them tips from your experience for been here for a long time.

Personally I don't blame people who get discourage along the way.
For instance, am from a country where my economy is bad "I spend roughly $12-15 for data subscription in a month and ever since I have been on steemit for over 4 months I have never made half of that. So imagine how can I cope?
It's not as easy for everyone
. What we should be looking out are possible ways to keep people like us with quality contents and desire to promote steemit.

Thanks for understanding

I see no problem with low retention rates. The get-rich-quick crowd burns out. The spammers get flagged into oblivion. The bots fade. Meanwhile, the core of content creators who stick with it are the ones who will build Steemit into something serious. Keep the wheat and let the chaff blow away on its own.

Our real struggle is finding the minnows who will become new content creators.

I think we just really need to find them.
The biggest problems now is the tending page.
Thousands of minnows with good content but no visibility.

My suggestion is if there is a way we can organize a platform for each niche to get the attention of the minnows with quality post maybe through contest etc.
Or what do you think?

We need to find a way to end the bid bot distortion of curation, or at least encourage people to read more minniw posts.

The best solution I have found is to encourage minnows to make substantive comments. I meet new users to support when they write comments on my own posts.

Resteeming can also be a powerful tool when used judiciously. Someone who has a reputation as a content creator in theirbown right who occasionally resteems something interesting by another user gets more attention from me than all the "resteeming services" combined.

Retention and attrition are more depended upon the individuals this means, it's about the individual emotional actions, first of all many people join this platform with different reason and there is no assurance if they will achieve that desires or not but here upvote is not everything, if at least we can give the experience to them about how Steemit works and it's all about connections and engagements, without that it's very less chance that you will get support because, Steemit is just not an content oriented platform it's business social media platform and we have to become visible here and to become visible we have to use the organic and healthy connection strategy and this way slowly people will showcase support and this way people will stay, so retention can developed through proper guidance and newbies need proper guidance and it's just not about one, anyone finds an newbie maybe who is doing something wrong we can guide them so that they will walk on the right path, i know this because i also got the guidance when i was spamming my comments, but through guidance and through self motivation I've walked 7 months of roller-coaster journey while improving my work time to time. Thanks for sharing this post with us and wishing you an great day. Stay blessed. 🙂

As for me I would have quit my self when I was not getting anything from STEEMIT when I joined but there was a group that really pushed each other for continuing and I am glad that I heard what they said and thanks to @blocktrade one of the upvote made me believe that this community really works and from that day I started to give my time and by small steps I am here though I have a long way to go but I have belief in the community and in myself now.

Well yes we have to make the new users realize how this community works and how we should show them how to get going in here.The task is real hard but not impossible.

I think to attract more people, steemit has to work on it's external design, build some interesting and interactive features, may be delegate more sp in the beginning for new users. Majority of people will not write top quality and creative content, they will just share some personal stories with their friends, may be it will look like facebook to some extent

Which, I happen to think is fine! Let them do that and give each other pennies. To be honest, that I think would be our best, most loyal users, if we could set their expectations. Let them exchange stories with friends for pennies and the occasional dollars.

I try when talking to people who are discouraged to emphasise the fun part of it. If you are here just to chase dollar signs you are inevitable going to be disappointed. For those that sign up, rage then leave, I'm not too fussed :0)

I kind of agree.

Make games, so that if a user doesn't make money with shitposts at least they can have fun.

I think a big part of the problem is visibility. And before i move to that, new users need to understand that good content is key. Writing another post about crypto market update is not great of its only links to articles that i have to read. Its not ok to share photo of your garden and write some BS about it. Even if someone is sharing third party content, sharing an opinion on it will be better.

New users definitely have to be made aware of the right ideas and not be tempted by 100 dollar posts. Then may be there needs to be a section on how to grow on steemit. Key accounts to follow or key articles to read to get an understanding of steemit. If the user is more aware, may be their expectations are right to start with.

Second something needs to be done about bots. May be delegated SP should be limited to a certain % or total SP. May be only have manual curation, delegated SP cannot be used for curating posts. Something along these lines. Right now i think promoted content is making more money than genuine quality posts.

from everything I am reading, promoted content is making way more money than genuine quality posts, this seems to me mostly because it takes a long time to build a reputation on steemit and a new user doesnt quite understand that. My first posts were longer articles with pictures, but I have no audience, so it seems now that it is pointless to me to think about posting actual quality work until I have enough followers to see what I am posting.

Also, I have 172 followers and it seems that all but about 10 are bots. I had to do a little bit of research to figure that out. That threw me off big time.

Yeah, i am only 2 months old .. so i get what you are saying and my experience was no different. I wasnt getting an audience and the moment you post, it gets burried under a number of other new posts and very soon it seems as old as the genesis block of bitcoin.

And yeah, youll get 10 bots everytime you post some new content and that will stop. It stopped for me after about 300 followers. I did manage to get some actual followers but I do have one that does read all my posts. And i we started following each other after i commented on one of his posts.

Comments or interactions is the way for a new user to go and that has also been told to me by many experienced steemians. I guess once your level goes up, you will get genuine followers. But you should post none the less, even if its for 1 user.

Thanks for the helpful comment. I am Okay with starting small, I just want to know how to.

Here is something to start with and i hope it helps you.

Otherwise, please try this post from @dragosroua that i found very helpful. At the end of this post there is another link to a post about how to start when you're new to steemit.

Give it a month, you will find good content, kind people and genuine interactions.

Appreciate the kind words and helpful links. You are the second person who has reached out to help me with beginner stuff. It is truly appreciated.

No problem. I could have used all this help. With time i have been able to find all this. Happy to help anyone new so that their steemit experience is on fast track and enjoyable.

Also, dont upvote replies unless you get curation rewards or expect curation rewards or you are helping some quality post earn some money through your vote. Unfortunately, like you, my vote also has no monetary value, therefore i am not upvoting your comments. I used to initially use it as a proxy for liking a comment or as gesture to appreciate but it just amounts to wasting voting power. Try and build up SP, and then curate good stuff.

that is new information as well. Thanks for that tidbit, I just "powered up" for the first time, which I think I understand a little, my account is now valued at $.60 hahahaha. This is definitely a very new concept to me. Thanks again, I am sure to read a lot of your content, so if for no other reason keep churning that good stuff out!

quick there a time I Should upvote with my minute amount of influence? or should i mostly not do it at all?

Making great comments and asking this type of question is a good way to create followers.

Personally, I don't think it is a terrible thing to buy a vote, this is actually a site based on crypto investment, when all else fails... invest.

Hello and thanks for your insights. I was directed to your account through @schattenjaeger's mention of a discussion with you. You've got a new follower :)

In my opinion user retention is yet another symptom of two root causes / issues this platform has from the day one:

  • skewed power distrubution
  • content (in)visibility

Add these two together and you get new users not seeing any reason to stay.

How do you fix it? Hm... Power redistribution, better / more / niche user interfaces / front ends, ... Many things. None of them are on Steemit Inc.'s list, I am afraid.

So it's up to us to act. Or not. It is a decision and an investment on our part. Not everybody is able and willing to invest. Which is OK. It's what the life is.

Steem platform is a mirror of our society, I am afraid. It's not a utopia :(

Anyways, keep on pushing. Every voice counts, every support is valuable, every welcoming hello is appreciated.

Like you wrote interaction and engagement are 2 corner stones!
Firstly we need to welcome new users and make them feel at home!
This is were communties should kick in. From crypto pasionates to sewing club. From sports bettors to reading clubs! The more communities the better.
We, the sports betting community (@sbcbot), are trying to give new users a push in the back. This is done via upvotes on ine side and by giving lots of education how the steem blockchain works! Because in the early days, it can be real dark and lonesome in here.
We try to interact with our members here on the blockchain on our discord channel. For sure in a niche as sports betting these actions are important. Cause lots of the post are useless to many of the steem population but can be great to members of a particular community!
What we also try to do is to connect people. If I do see a post from someone I am following, who does have shared interest with another steemian I am following, I will introduce them to each other!

According to me the most people stop because they do see it as a quick rich scheme, which it isn’t! It is about interaction and within the first 6 months we should not focus on the money part, it should be a nice side effect!
The more people who are connected with each other, the smaller the burn rate will become!


I came here for the content. Everything else is a bonus. I'm bored by all the "Do this to get rich" stuff. There is so much interesting content on steemit, but I'm sure most people miss it because they are looking for whales and get rich quick schemes.

What's HF20?
I can't understand why some accounts have a huge balance and never blog, at all. It could be easier to insert things when you are using a mobile.

HF20 is Hardfork 20, possibly to be released 3rd Quarter, 2018 - Next 3 monthish.

Lots of people might be investing in steem and not posting or blogging, many others have more than one account and split up the funds for security, privacy and other reasons. Some may own inactive accounts that are delegating. I could fill up a page with valid reason to hold an account and not post.

Is that right? Thanks for the information, Im still at the basic level.

2 reasons i know for lot of dummy acct are

  1. 3 week signup. People move on in 3 weeks.
  2. Losing private key right after signing in for first time

@whatsup i cant see myself in the picture....

Well, I guess you will not be in the picture. It might add to the conversation to tell us why.

I just keep posting my content. If it's any good I expect it to get noticed eventually. If it doesn't...I'll try elsewhere. There are good people and good groups of people on here that do a great job. I'm still encouraged and still creating content after a couple of months. Enjoy the process is probably the best thing to do.

I don't see retention as much of a problem at the moment. Yes, some good people will be lost maybe never to return however, that will be a small fraction of the eventual total hopefully. The platform isn't ready for average users (those who just want to signup and begin) as there are UI and UX hurdles. It is much too complicated for most users. When this changes, retention won't be much of an issue. Currently, we are using a sieve and wondering why it doesn't hold water. Perhaps these hurdles are a good thing at tbis point as those who stay and invest time and effort might be the types to build the community, not just live off it.

Edit: for example, I wish settings were applied and remembered across devices...

I thought you were going to turn your comment payments back on.

I agree, for the most part, I think it is okay, to only let the strong survive for now.

They are... posted from phone though and settings aren't saved.

The strong and the scammer - a new soap opera.

We should rebrand around that name! :)

Game of Blockchain... House of Blockchains... 😳🤺

Yes I agree,

I have seen very cool examples of e-mail funnels where they design emails based on how a person engage with them. That will say if you can engage with a new user and walk them through the start then that would 10X increase the stay. Clearly this can be optimized to crazy levels. A new user if they will stay will a lot come down to if they feel they are being appreciated and boosted by someone. Even smaller upvotes makes waves there.

I totally agree with what you have said.

Its a matter of being patient on this platform and work hard.

Thanks for sharing:)

Giving new users necessary support like Upvote, comment at least to serve as an encouraging factor for the reward of their work.
Also engaging them with contest will serve as way of inviting and maintain the goal oriented once.

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Brought to you by @tts. If you find it useful please consider upvoting this reply.

I do not have any blood relation with you, but the relation between humanity is to help my brother for humanity

Sir plz my one request
This is not my steem I'd this is my brother I'd his is name is haseebkhan
My brother haseebkhan is so I'll he is in hospital his one kidny is damag 1.70 cm 10 Stones his kidney and very pin full plz help my brother and doctor advised oprishan and pay 5000 US dollars
Plz sir I request you help my brother and save my brother life plz
Check report

Sorry to hear about your brother. Please do not spam this on people's posts.