SteemFest²: Bridging the Gap Between Perception and RealitysteemCreated with Sketch.

in #steemfest4 years ago (edited)

What we perceive is only a glimpse of reality. Our strongly-held position can change in a moment with more information and a new perspective (if we let it). Other than connecting with so many amazing friends I've made here since July of 2016, my main goal in attending SteemFest was to better understand the Steemit team, their vision, and their communication style.

I was not disappointed.

The first day of the hackathon I got a chance to sit down with @sneak to better understand what was going on with the site issues I blogged about here and here. Many of the team were sitting there as well and at one point, @justinw turned to me and said, "Do you like how the site's been working the last couple of days?" I replied with, "Yeah, it's been much better!" Justin continued passionately with, "That was 180 hours of my last two weeks!" Later I'd learn he was once called back early from a vacation. The team had been working hard on performance improvements for months and were almost ready to deploy them right as the DDoS attack hit. The continued growth in signups and usage was also stressing the system and what started as a few front-end servers was up over a 100 to handle the load.

It was the perfect storm, and we all got caught in it. On top of that, during the panel discussion with the Steemit development team, we learned about 3 different bugs which could have caused the STEEM blockchain itself to freeze. Things like this we never heard about were prioritized and fixed while other less important issues, like site notifications, were left for a later date. The more I spent time with the development team, the more I started to realize there was a large gap in perception between what we as users of think they are doing and what they are actually doing.

(Photo credit: @andrarchy)

I hung out with my friend @andrarchy for hours on that first day talking about all kinds of things from company culture, to vision, to prioritization. I got a better understanding of how the team thinks about communication and how important it is for them to get things right. I now better appreciate the position @andrarchy is in. As one of Steemit's first non-developer hires, he feels the burden and need to communicate more about what's going on, but can't publish technical information before clearing it past the team who has been working endlessly on mission-critical code changes and often doesn't have the time to break away to explain the details.

When a social media site has site notifications that sometimes work and sometimes don't, and there's no public word from the team about the issue or what's being done to fix it, it's easy to think the team just doesn't understand what's important to us. When posting or voting fails and requires multiple tries, it's easy to think they just aren't doing much.

That's simply not reality. They've been very busy as you can see from their github repo for condenser, steem, and the many other projects they created such as jussi, hivemind, yo, and overseer not to mention the framework for Smart Media Tokens. They've been working to build the most active blockchain on the planet. That's the reality.

This team is doing phenomenal work, even if we can't see that in a way we can all understand.

The more I hung out with them, connected with them individually, and heard their in-the-trenches stories that only other SaaS veterans can appreciate, the more impressed I was with not only what they are doing but the quality of these individuals as well. I happened to sit down for dinner with @roadscape one night at a table which then filled up with much of the team. I had a fantastic time learning more about what they've been up to. During an evening event, @justinw apologized for being so passionate the previous day about the work he had been putting in to get the site functioning again. I was thankful to tell him, "No! Don't apologize at all. That was exactly what I came to see!" I'm so encouraged to know the Steemit developers are not only as passionate about the site and blockchain as we all are, but far more so, and they are proving that with the work they are putting in every day.

As the gap between my perception and reality closed, I even began to think developer burnout could be a future issue, with how hard everyone has been working.

Meeting @Ned

I eventually got a chance to interact with Ned, which was interesting. I was hoping to get to know him a little better, but I think he was thinking of me more as a journalist who should just ask questions. @andrarchy at one point described me as a journalist which surprised me, but I think it's accurate. I want to understand and reveal the truth, as best I can. I'm working to improve how I interact with people to ask better questions instead of just talking in the hope they will jump in and contribute something valuable. So I asked Ned about the company's vision which he quickly replied was to "tokenize the web," something he also mentioned during the fireside chat event. I also asked about developer burnout, to which he ensured me the health of the team is of the utmost importance. He then said something I've been considering which has to do with the best way to communicate with Steemit. I had incorrectly assumed the blockchain was the best way as we're all here and everyone is interested in the conversation.

I've come to realize Steemit prefers more direct, private conversations either via email or slack. During @sneak's talk, he put up his personal email address which is connected through iMessage to his phone. On some level, this bothers me. I prefer open, public dialogue. The more I thought about it, the more I realized my preference may not make the most sense for a company whose words can directly impact the price of the STEEM token, significantly changing the perceived wealth of thousands of people immediately. If someone holds a lot of STEEM, the price going up or down just one penny is a really big deal.

Ned also mentioned the importance of witnesses. We need more solid C coders and blockchain developers in the top 20. If Steemit was to go away tomorrow, we need enough people being paid by the blockchain who can quickly pick up where they left off and continue moving forward. This got me really encouraged to dig into the github more and better understand the codebase and the changes that are coming.

So though I may not prefer the way @ned or @sneak communicate, I can appreciate what they've accomplished. is the only social platform on the internet which runs on the blockchain and pays users with actual cryptocurrency. It is on the path to disrupt so much more than just social media.

The Big Takeaway

For me, the biggest takeaway was realizing is more like an example of what Smart Media Tokens can do. We might even consider it a reference implementation and the first example of tokening the web. SMTs are the future of the STEEM blockchain, and I think we'd all have a better understanding of where things are going to realize that and reset our expectations about as we do.

Yes, I love this site, and I want to see it topple Facebook, Reddit, Medium, and Twitter. I also have to step back and realize Steemit is playing a long-term game here which is much bigger than just social media. From now on, if I get frustrated with the way something is working or how I perceive something should be communicated or prioritized, I'm going to try to look at the big picture. I'm going to ask Steemit direct questions via their preferred communication channels. I'm going to do my best to evaluate the situation based on what's actually being done and less on perceptions of what's being done.

I don't know what the future price of STEEM will be, what economic challenges vote-buying or spammy, noise-creating self-voting will bring. I do know what has already been accomplished is amazing, and I'm excited about the future.

I still don't feel I know @ned or @sneak very well, but I hope that will change over time. I do think I've got a better understanding of their development team, and that's what I'm most impressed with. These guys are passionate about this blockchain they've built and the site which we all enjoy every day. One of my goals as a witness is to continue to bridge the gap between what we perceive and what is reality when it comes to the hard, dedicated work of the Steemit development team. I'll work to support them by highlighting and explaining their contributions which benefit us all as best I can.

This platform really is changing the lives of people around the world.

That's what really matters.

That's why I'm so excited to be here.

Big thanks to @andrarchy for reviewing a draft of this post. He asked me to make it clear he's available to you directly if you have questions or concerns about Steemit. You can reach him via email at [email protected] or as @andrarchy on You can also connect with me directly as your witness, and I'll be happy to discuss your concerns with the Steemit team as well.

If you think it's important to have an active top 20 witness working to explain technical things in simple terms, please consider giving me your vote. I'm currently in position 22 as @lukestokes.mhth and would love to be in the top 20 again soon.

If you aren't already, follow @steemitblog and @steemitdev for the latest news and development updates from the Steemit team.

Luke Stokes is a father, husband, business owner, programmer, STEEM witness, and voluntaryist who wants to help create a world we all want to live in. Visit

I'm a Witness! Please vote for @lukestokes.mhth


Thanks for your interesting report!

If someone holds a lot of STEEM, the price going up or down just one penny is a really big deal.

I know what you mean, but on the other side everybody who invests, be it into shares or crypto currencies, simply has to accept that there always will be fluctuations in both directions. The Steem price is changing every day for more than a penny. Either you are ready to accept that (especially if you consider Steem as a long term investment) or you better put your money elsewhere.

Being a little bit careful with spreading information is of course OK, but I see no reason to be overcautious.

As you know my excitement for Steemit has diminished. If it was not for @JustinW taking 10 minutes out of his day to explain what is happening I would probably have continued powering down to zero. Thank you Justin for the hard work you are putting in to make sure the site is up and running. It was great spending so much time with you @LukeStokes. ReSteemed

It was more than great, Randy! Hanging with you and @anahilarski was definitely among the highlights of my time at Steemfest. I really enjoyed getting to know you both better and having fun together as Crypto Traders. :)

I think Steemit is a very early stage, speculative play. They are trying to do some really, really big things. It might be one of those "check back in a year or so" situations to really know what the potential is here. Either way, it's one of the most practical examples of blockchain technology actually improving the everyday lives of people around the world with peaceful, voluntary solutions, so I'm all about that from an ideological perspective. People that have very few opportunities to make money can now blog and build their own wallet value. That's exciting.

I'm willing to hold my Steem Power in hopes of being part of that new future helping others, even if I could make better returns on other more volatile, speculative coins.

Great meeting you Luke.

I agree with you assessment of the few days and I agree entirely with your sentiment and the impression you got from the developers.

it's one of the most practical examples of blockchain technology actually improving the everyday lives of people around the world with peaceful, voluntary solutions, so I'm all about that from an ideological perspective.

This statement sums up why I am so enthusiastic about this technology but as you rightly point out, as an investment, its a speculative play but at the same time, in crypto what isnt? I am also willing to hold my Steem Power in the hope of being part of a brighter future. You got another witness vote :)

Thank you for your support. :)

Yes, I cancelled my Powerdown this morning. I am crossing my fingers that this platform rises to be recognized across the web.

That would be quite amazing, especially for you and I as early adopters and promoters. Here's hoping. :)

If you ever get down again, get a hold of me. This one has too big a purpose. Thank you for all you have done and continue to do.

There is a huge wave coming in. Get ready.

Thanks for your kind words @lukestokes, It was great meeting you. See you next year ;)

Maybe I'll convince @corinnestokes we need to go visit you all in Panama some day. :)

That would be nice @lukestokes ;)

i'm curious if you think their vision is too grandiose. Is the Steem dev team and Ned getting "shiny object" syndrome? I'm still powered up >26k SP, but platforms like sure are getting my attention. It's fair to say that the Steem natives are getting restless.

That's a good question. Some think SMTs and tokenizing the web is a run before walking approach. Maybe it is. Or maybe they are smart enough to change the world in significant ways and this is just the beginning. I'm not familiar with, but I do like that Steem is doing stuff, not just talking about the future.

What I really want is to see Ned give presentations like Brendan Blumer from Build fundamentally and incrementally. I was skeptical when Dan left, but I get it now.

I think the excitement could easily come back in if a few things happened. If I was the CEO, I would (or hire someone to) do the following:

  1. Take the UI/UX of the website seriously. Make it look special. Make it look friendly, easy to use and understand. Make it look at least Web 2.0. Make it exciting and sexy. Yeah, blockchain is under-the-hood, but ppl don't see and experience that. There are very few ppl that actually care about the immutable aspect of social media. Who's your target audience...bloggers or tech nerds?

  2. DO SOME MARKETING! I dont know how many times I need to say it. Every metric is starting to plateau and bots are taking over. Get ppl excited to make their first $5 on here.

  3. Create a Steemit store inside the platform. Let ppl buy stuff with thier steem. It's too confusing to cash out for most noobs. Oh yeah, and change the logo back. Nobody is gonna buy a shirt with a tadpole wearing a Roman helmet.

  4. Make the signup process MUCH easier and quicker. I know this is scheduled for Fork 20, but who knows at this point. Heck, the whitepaper is still missing on the website.

  5. Make it easy to see when i've been upvoted (blogs and comments) like how Facebook does it. Why do I have to use SteemNow?

  6. Referral system. The Steemit community is already amazing. Straight up. Why don't we have a referral system that the inflation pays out for? Sure, it could be gamed and the team would need to think through that, but why not incentivize growing the community base? Or will the bots take over?

Whitepaper URL:



We're not ready for marketing yet. There is plenty of other work, building, and strengthening we have to do first. Bringing more people here would be worse for the system until we're ready.

I think the request for marketing, is to help grow the STEEM price so we can get paid better. But we shouldn't put the cart before the horse on this issue.

Marketing should wait. STEEM price can remain cheap. Let's finish building, and THEN market, and then the STEEM price can grow huge at that time.

Well said. It took me a while to realize the value in having patience here. We have an amazing thing already, and it's tempting to want to see it marketed around the world right away.

Great comment, Ash. I can't speak for Steemit, but I'll give my answers based on the information and perspective I currently have.

  1. If is just a reference example for SMTs, is that the best use of their efforts? If their visions is 1,000's of sites using the STEEM blockchain and this is just one example to show what's possible, does it make sense to really polish it? From a certain perspective, having it just a bit off almost begs the "I could build a better site that that..." comment which might be what they are going for. They want people to build their own. They want a lot of people to build their own. In some ways, I think the future of the STEEM blockchain is each of us running our own personal client which connects to the blockchain directly via many full API nodes. Less centralization. More decentralization. That's an exciting future, but it's foreign to almost everyone. They are trailblazing here and not everyone is going to be comfortable with it. Some will be like those who asked Henry Ford for a faster horse.

  2. I hear this one loud and clear, but think of it this way: If they did have a massive marketing push over the last 6 or so months and had a million accounts instead of 400k, would the performance issues we all experienced (and they had been working on for months), have harmed or helped the brand? If 2x or 3x the number of people were upset by the site not working well, could that have sunk them completely? This is something I'm trying to put into perspective. Marketing makes sense once the product is ready to be marketed. They are being patient, and they have the contact info of everyone who signed up. I heard @sneak say this multiple times, they will be using that contact information in the future. Marketing will happen. That's something I was doubtful about in the past, but I have more confidence in now that I know what they are doing with the notification system they are working on.

  3. @ned addressed this in his fireside chat. From his perspective, it's much easier to build a commerce platform with a bootstrapped currency once the market cap of the currency grows large enough to bring stability as a useful store of value and medium of exchange. This answer bums me out a bit because I want alternative market solutions right now, but it may be completely correct. Also, the beauty of the platform is that anyone can build their own marketplace right now and/or wait a bit and fund it with an ICO of an SMT. I've tried to get thousands FoxyCart merchants to use bitcoin since 2013 and the reality is they won't until their customers demand it. Customers won't demand it until the market cap grows and it becomes part of people's daily lives. As for the logo, art is subjective. Love it or hate it, it's way better than having STEEM and with the same logo, IMO.

  4. A different solution as proposed by HF20 is key to enabling the growth we all want. Why do you say the white paper is missing? It's right in the menu:

  5. That's part of the new notification system they are building out. Again, as an investor and user, would you rather they focus on notifications or keeping the blockchain from freezing up? Having talked directly with many of the developers about what they've been working on, I have a better perspective on how they prioritize, and I agree with it. It's easy to point figures from the outside, but in many ways we're doing so from a position of ignorance. From what little I heard about the notification system they are developing, it will be superior to what Facebook offers. We'll see (and yes, they could help with informing us more, but again, they have limited human resources at this point though they are growing the team).

  6. I think this was mentioned also as something that's coming in the future. To me, this relates to number 2. If they grow too quickly and swamp themselves and the blockchain then does this whole party end? I'm okay with slow, steady, measured growth.

The roadmap concern is a good one, but I'd much prefer a team that is flexible with changing realities than rigidly sticking to a plan that no longer meets the long-term goal of "tokenize the web." Maybe we'll hear more about that vision in the future and those who feel it's too large of a vision and just want a blockchain social media site can look elsewhere and turn to competitors.

Great reply, Luke. The whitepaper link is broken...both that i've found (listed below) are broken and it's not on

And these are broken:

---and--- (from their previous post earlier this year using the @steemitblog as the official announcement) -

Both yield the same result.

Now, I agree with you that it create the "I can build something better" mentality. I guess i'm impatient and with a medium size budget ~$50k, a really slick website could be built. Something to impress people. Sure, if receive 3x the users as it did this year (which was still very impressive) it would have caused more network issues, I get that. For now, I'll be patient, but i sure hope to see an killer update form them early Q1 2018; competition is coming.

UPDATE: I see The Steem Shop is included in the sidebar. Good addition.

Ah, thanks for clarifying! I see there's an issue for that created here: I bought it to their attention as well. Hopefully it's a quick fix.

i'd also add the link:

It is referenced in Google as well as on the official @steemitblog article (as well as a few others). Both links should be fixed.

Yeah, my hunch is it's a related issue and when one is fixed, they both will be. I'll keep an eye on it.

You have hit the nail on the head. is one example of a STEEM website. Instead of investing in; they want to make STEEM better so there can be 1000's of websites built using STEEM.

Chances of success on that path are very very low. At least 95% probability this strategic vision and goal will never be realized.

They are more than "swinging for the fences". They are trying to hit two out of the park home runs in a single at bat.

If they happen to make it, the sky is the limit for price of STEEM.

They are going down HUGE risk and HUGE reward path. Usually doesn't work out. Very infrequently it does.

I agree with you and yet... they currently have the one of the fastest, most used blockchains ever. They also have the only functioning social media website paying people for comments, posts, and upvotes via cryptocurrency. On top of that, new apps like DTube, DLive, DSound, ChainBB, Busy,, and more are being being built and maintained right now. The momentum and progress is quite impressive when we step back and look at it all.

I'm willing to hang on for the ride. Worst case scenario, they make a huge dent in the space and other competitors pick up where they left off. Either way, I think we'll all benefit by more decentralized tools improving the world.

I'll potentially be back after I watch STEEM price bottom in 6 months below $0.50, and see how the SMT vision is progressing.

There will be lots of time and opportunity to re-invest in STEEM in 2018, if any part or all of the SMT vision turns out to be real.

hahaha, a tadpole wearing a helmet, sooo funny. The idea of having a store is awesome but someone needs to build it. I'm on a site called Fine American Art, it also has a social community. The cool part of this site, one can buy cheap prints of photographs of my paintings with frames. Add their art to clothing, mugs, accessories, etc...I would like to see this happen with our art community using SMT .....I'm not rich or a tech to build a Print To Order platform on the blockchain. But I would support anyone who could do this!

I want a wordpress like blog...where I can sell my print to order art with Red Dust Art tokens...

but why? what's the point of Red Dust Art tokens? Why would anyone want or use them? Why not use actual money like Bitcoin Cash or Dash? (can't use BTC b/c of the tx fees).

Gotta have a rly good use-case to create your own token. Otherwise it's gonna be a lot of work and you have a worthless token to manage.

Ash, have you seen this talk? It may change your perspective on why someone may use a random, niche token.

Bitcoin: Money as language & the multi-currency future

watching it now. I realize that tokens are expression and language. I get the incentive structure of having your own coin (especially if you have a following). I get that you can create money and attempt to bring value to it. I completely support all of that, but I also realize that money is the most desired commodity and over time, there's little purpose to have millions of tokens. That's not taking away the idea of "airline miles" or the reasons to purpose "Ashecoin" if i've built my own economy and wanted to reward holders.

ok, the example of paying a token to [email protected] makes a ton of sense. Maybe it's not worth much, but at least it's something that can create a community. Thx for the share :)

It's one of my favorite talks of his. I watch it every once in a while to get a feel for what's possible and what a future version of humanity might look like.

Thanks @lukstokes, I really appreciate your work here. I love collecting data, seeing the patterns and trying to figure out how I can put this to work!

It seems SMT is not for us common folk.

I feel the same and since I heard so much about it at the fest, I really would love to find out more, especially how we can make this work for us so called “common” folks.

That's how I feel but isn't that what SMT is for? Create your own token for products. If I were to build a Red Dust Art Gallery and have a stable of artist under me than my tokens may have more value....I still don't understand how the smart media token system works.

Nobody is gonna buy a shirt with a tadpole wearing a Roman helmet.

Oh my gosh, now I can never unsee this!

You should continue power down on the basis of facts at hand. It sounds like we are 12 months away from any significant turn around or changes. You can always buy back in then. Stay in and powered up if you want - but it will mostly be on the basis of hope and promises. Those don't always pan out.

But whatever they are doing, even if its good for the community, still we could not hide the fact that the platform is all about the whales and their friends of friends. To become friend of the whales or somehow become favorite is now the goal of everybody, if not all. But unfortunately, whales are not here for that anymore, they are here for the monetary benefits that they can inherit from the platform. Its all about growing and increasing their stakes, making them more rich. If a year ago, somebody could earn good rewards for free, now if you're not a friend or favorite of whales, you can't expect a good rewards anymore not unless if you're going to buy upvotes.

You mention at lot of valid concerns here, but I also think you're mentioning an aspect of reality that human beings haven't developed a workaround for yet. It's kind of like saying predators still hunt prey. It's part of nature that those who have want more. We just happened to notice a big difference between those who have $10 and gain $0.10 and those who have $1,000,000 and gain $10,000. The math may be the same, but it feels different. Also, whoever has money can more easily make more money. Again, no way around this unless we enforce systems which will ultimately cause investors to leave and destroy the value in the platform. Generosity can't be demanded. It has to be learned and appreciated through life experience. There are more options than buying up votes, but building relationships with influential people and providing value can't be avoided.

If you have suggestions on how things could be improved, I'm listening. A lot of study of game theory went into this platform and continues to drive its economics. If we ignore that and suggest changes without understanding, we can actually threaten what we have here.

As always sir @lukestokes, you always have a good point. If all these whales have the same heart as yours, lots of people will adore steemit. Anyway, you asked for suggestions. Could it be possible to change the system by giving equal value for all the members irregardless of its stake? I think not because the platform might lose its value because the rich will go away. The HF19 which gives minnows more power was a good idea, but unfortunately, the same thing happens to all the whales, their value had increase tremendously. In effect, it was the same, nothing changes but the fact that SP drains fast.

A year ago, there was this experimentation headed by few huge whales in the platform. An experiment that no whales will be allowed to vote giving minnows it's value. Was that successful? Everyday there is 50,000 rewards that will be distributed. Is it true that if it happens that only 1 person made a vote on that day, that 50k will be value of his vote? If that's the case, what do you think about the idea of giving a day intended only for minnows to vote (no other people can vote but minnows)? There are seven days in a week, if 2 days will be given to all the minnows for us to vote and be voted by the same minnows and share the 50,000 rewards among those who voted, what do you think will happen. For 5 days whales will monopolized the rewards and 2 days will be for the active minnows.

The minnows would most likely self-vote, right? As those minnows become whales, would they act any differently than current whales? By that, I mean it may not be the size of someone's wallet that matters but who they are as a person. We'd probably see the same level of greed and generosity in both minnows and whales. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised to see more generosity in whales because they mostly understand how benefitting others increases your own wealth. Whales, to me, aren't immediately bad by default. If their votes and actions are overly selfish, I can see that's not helpful. But, could it just be a matter of perspective? If I get one person to give me $1 for an exchange of value is that fundamentally different than getting a million people to do it?

A day without whales sounds quite interesting, but I'm not sure it would effectively solve the concerns you have.

This is the best SteemFest post I've read so far, and I'm not just saying that because I'm a solid Stokian. As someone who didn't get the chance to attend the event, I'm looking to get a better understanding of what transpired instead of just seeing posts that highlighted the things I missed.

I'm glad you finally got the chance to clear the air about the miscommunication of the past weeks. I had been hoping to read your side regarding this for quite some time now. It's a shame that you didn't get the chance to talk with Ned in more depth, but it's understandable that he was quite busy. It's great that Sneak and the others got the chance to air their side. I just wish it was conveyed better to everyone, instead of needing to be done face-to-face and on SteemFest where the majority of users didn't get a chance to attend.

I do agree that everyone needs to have more compassion for each other. Everyone is going through something, and better understanding is necessary so that we can all avoid miscommunication. That's the thing I like most about the blockchain--the transparency. It's a shame that it has yet to be fully realized though. I do get that they all have a lot on their plate, but just letting people know that they're not being forgotten would really go a long way.

Thanks for this exposition, Luke. I appreciate you clarifying some of Steemit Inc's sentiment. This is what I think witnesses should be doing, among others. It's a shame you got bumped down to 22 :( Did others just get more support or did people withdraw support? Based on what you wrote, I'm planning to reevaluate my witness choices in the coming days. Very interesting scenario you posed about it.

Thanks as always for your support, Jed.

I too would love to see everything transparently on the blockchain, but I'm also working to respect the preferences of others and understand their preferred communication styles and mediums. They often have reasons I'm unaware of. I feel I now have a better understanding and communication can continue in a direct way now that I'm familiar with their preferred mechanisms. It won't have to happen face to face in the future.

As for my witness position, I amazingly got a vote from Berniesanders (amazing given his history of flagging me and cussing at me in chat), but it was short lived. I think it was more about supporting some people to move others down. The bottom five or so slots seem to change quite often as people update their votes or large voting accounts Power down or delegate power. I expect it to be in constant flux. Hopefully I'll get back in there if I can provide enough value to stake holders.

With this newly fortified communication chain with Steemit Inc, I'm sure you will. I do hope people get to read this write-up and reassess how they vote on their witnesses as you outlined. It's a real eye opener, and I hope that people just don't vote non-technical people just because of their popularity.

There is not a doubt in my mind that you'll be firmly planted among the top 20 in the near future. I'm willing it to the universe!

I'm currently in 16th place which is fantastic! Thanks so much for all your support as always, Jed. :)

Yeah, the "vote the popular witness" probably is a problem. It's fundamentally a technical position involving not only managing servers but also evaluating code and economic changes.

BOOM!!!! NICE! I just knew you were going to bounce back! Stronger than ever, too! I hope it holds, then I could finally change my signature solicit to vouch for your inclusion in the Top 10 :D

Very nice experience, and I am very happy you shared this much detail about it. Not all of us could be there and have this experience, so writing it out this way helped a lot. A GREAT deal... thank you.

I'm happily re-steeming this post to my followers too.

I started to realize there was a large gap in perception between what we as users of think they are doing and what they are actually doing.

This is true. You've already taken the first step in narrowing that gap a little.

Put it this way... knowing what you know now. When things get tough, I'll flip over and read your blog to see "how, or if" you are complaining about it... and if you have a much smoother, softer approach to issues in the future, I'll probably be "well, @lukestokes isn't worried, neither am I"

...but we'll have to see.

Thanks again for sharing everything. Not just the good stuff, but your walking away concerns too. You are a good journalist when you include everything the way you did.

...and since you are a witness, if people haven't voted for you, this post is a prime example of why they should. You get involved very much, and have your full attention on what's happening around here.


Thank you! My goal is to help the Steemit team communicate better by being another decentralized voice for them. That doesn't mean I won't air out the dirty laundry if that's what is needed, but it does mean I'm going to work to better understand things before jumping to conclusions. As a witness, I want to represent this community well.

What an incredible event Steemfest 2 was Luke!
So great meeting you and hanging out!
Speaking with Justin on the roof of the HF Music the first night, he shared with me the difficulties of pioneering ahead with a platform of this size while maintaining the integrity of the blockchain ledger; Steemit is quite literally doing something never attempted before...

I'm not speaking from a position of any technological expertise, so if that above statement is incorrect, the fault lies with me, attempting to reinterpret a conversation held over a week ago with somebody who is really smart in a field I'm not. Apologies if I didn't carry forth the correct way to communicate your hard work Justin!

My dear Steemians, the PASSION on that panel was incredible.

Exciting, motivating, and so inspiring!

Ladies and gentleman of Steemit:
We have a bright future indeed!

@scan0017 😘

Well said! The passion of this team came through loud and clear and they deserve our sincere thanks. This is some really, really difficult stuff.

So grateful to @lukestokes for this candid share!! Thank you so much to all of you for going to Steemfest, and especially to the Developers for all your amazing work!!!
#ABetterWorld #ChangeTheWorld #ParadiseOnEarth #Tokens #Crypto #Blockchain #NewInternet

Excellent post Luke. It was great meeting you at steemfest and being part of some of the discussions you had with @andrarchy and others. I'm looking very much forward to being part of this discussion which I know we've not finished at steemfest but rather just begun.

The simple truth to me is that the steemit team are absolutely right in what they think and what they do internally, but that's precicely why we're right in thinking that some very simple communication is so important. When you're right and doing it well, let people know, or they will assume the worst (Especially in a game where FUD exist to the degree that it does and where so many other Blockchain projects are far behind on actual developments).

Grateful for the work that you do, at least I found a new witness to vote for at steemfest.

See you next year.

Thanks so much, @fredrikaa! I really enjoyed hanging out with you as well and the excellent questions you ask. It was an added bonus to catch you in the airport and enjoy a meal together. :)

Yes, it is a bit frustrating to see such a gap between what they are doing and what is perceived, especially when it seems the gap could be easily closed with some focused attention on communication. Now that the perfect storm has passed and @andrarchy is settling into his role, maybe we'll see a lot more communication. I keep reminding myself, they are playing a long game and many of us are here interested in the value brings us on a daily basis. Keeping those expectations aligned is no easy task.

That's a great recap, Luke!

They've been working to build the most active blockchain on the planet. That's the reality.

Yes they do. I think the developers panel made pretty clear that a lot of us had to adjust their view on a couple of things. Also it was a great chance to exchange different points of view and I'm quite sure that while we learned that they're the busiest people on Earth, they understood our need for more communication. The fact that Ned published another blog post right after Steemfest (two days ago), is a good sign in that context :-)

PS: It was a huge pleasure surfing with you and I definitely hope that Steemfest3 will take place close to a surf spot :-) See you around!!

I had a blast getting in the water! Certainly one of my top highlights for the whole event. That big smile is still right there with me. :)

Yeah, more communication is a wonderful thing.

You've got my vote @lukestokes. So awesome to meet you at SteemFest, really looking forward to hanging out again soon. And thanks for this great analysis!

Thanks for your support! It was so great to meet people in real life "meat space." :)

No matter how hard they were working to fix the issues, to not communicate anything was a terrible decision.

People who are invested shouldn't have to go to Spain to find out SteemIt, Inc cares. That will be a bottle neck in investment.

Have doubts about the site, oh don't worry, the next steemfest is only a year away. lol. Just plain silly.

I understand that perspective, and I think it's completely valid. I think, from their perspective, it was more important to get the site functioning (while working crazy long hours to do so) than to spend developer time explaining the details of what they were doing. This post, I think, does a pretty good job of explaining what they did to fix things in real terms. Also, an argument can be made that there's an opportunity here for people to continually comb through github repo and monitor activity and communicate it to the network and be rewarded for doing so. If things can be done in a decentralized way, then that's preferred. In many ways, I think we have an expectation about (because we enjoy it so much!) that may not fit with reality. It may just be a reference implementation for the STEEM blockchain. If that's reality, do our expectations fit it? How much effort should they put into this reference if their focus is the blockchain and SMTs?

Also, I've learned if we have doubts about the site we're free to contact them directly. They prefer email, etc. Direct communication, not public posts which can impact investors in who knows how many different ways (and bring up more questions which would require more time away from making the site work). The witnesses, I think, should take a more active role in that communication and that's what I'm trying to do as well.

If the witnesses consider how they can help SteemIt, Inc. with communication that will be a win.
I try to give them credit when it is deserved, I think it is wrong to excuse them when the behavior is ridiculous. I realize it is my opinion.

None the less, I appreciate that you came back with a solution based answer. :)

Thanks for that. I can appreciate that the SMTs are the future for the blockchain. I can understand some (not all) of the use cases I've seen. But I'm still having a hard time understanding what that means for me, just an individual posting here on Steemit. I hope you can explain SMTs in your clear, direct way!

With this new major takeaway I have from SteemFest, I plan to spend a lot more time understanding and focusing on SMTs. I will certainly do my best to explain it in simple terms as it develops over time.

This was a very good update. Like you I have seen some things that were, shall we say, rather frustrating. Today I posted a thank you post to the steemdev group. First thing this morning some minor issues/problems, then I noticed a strangeness, things were literally changing before my eyes. Thus the thank you note. It is iffy if they will read it, being as how busy they are, but during a break they may catch wind of it.

I think you should consider yourself a steemit journalist. I know you and timcliff both have a tremendous respect for the users of steemit, and that you do your best to help us, even with our stupid petty minor issues, you two do not care how small the issue is, if either of you can help you do, at least that is what I personally have seen.

So, if the developer team can not get the info out, perhaps between you and @andrarchy you can get little this is what they are doing and working on folks blogs out in layman's terms.

Keep up the good work, and thank you,( @lukestokes ), @andrarchy , and @timcliff

Thank you so much for your encouragement. This is the reason I'm proud to be a witness and work to provide value to this community as best I can.

Nice you had some personal interactions, that you report as at least partially satisfying. But that isn't really the way to run a website. Shouldn't have to travel to pay personal ticket to travel to Lisbon 3 weeks after the site issues, to get an explanation from the developers of what is going on. Sound more like a quaint approach from the 1950's; as opposed to anything approaching how a website should communicate with users in 2017.

I understand the concern, but that certainly wasn't the only reason for traveling to Lisbon. :) I would have preferred a different communication approach for sure, but as I tried to outline in my post, they have different objectives and goals and are thinking long term. That may mean at this stage there's a bit of a misalignment between what we all expect as users of the site and what they are able to focus on given their limited time and resources. Hopefully, with things not so much on fire at the moment, we'll start seeing more regular information from them.

Understood. Per my other analogy, they are trying to hit two out of the park home runs with a single at bat. They are swinging for the fences.

Small chance of success when you bet everything on such a high risk approach.

If it works out, STEEM will end up challenging BTC and ETH for top coin status. Very low chances of that.

But it is the vision they are aiming for. Not absolutely impossible. Just very unlikely.

So anyone that has money in STEEM that they think of as an investment, needs to consider the nature of that investment and consider how probable the strategic success could be that STEEM team is aiming for.

If they are successful, $1 coin could grow to $7K. Just like BTC.

Hi @lukestokes, I think we didn't get to meet in Lisbon, but seeing your picture, I remember seeing you there.

Yes, things are often different than they seem, and we are too quick to judge. I do agree agree that communication could be better / more visible. I just wrote that I didn't even have Ned on my radar for a very long time. To me, Steemit was "Dan", who's not even there anymore. More frequent and more visible communication (video) would help. Also I had no idea about @andrarchy's role in the community. Same thing there.

I think having a direct way to contact key people (in addition to public communication) is fantastic and shows their commitment to the community.

Thank you for this insightful write-up. I just voted for you - you're almost in the top 20 again :)

Thank you for your support!

Glad to know that steemit development team are doing their best for the good future of the platform. Also, you could be right when you said that steemit changed lives but not that much. Yet, there those who were (like those people who always sets on the trending page everyday) change but there are those (the 90% that are out there) who still wish to have their lives changed.

I heard many amazing stories about people whose lives are changed here by the simplest of things. If $4 is a monthly salary for some people, imagine how many posts represent changed lives which we don't even realize. Hearing those stories of communities in poor countries that many are working hard to support made me realize just how many lives truly are being changed.

Hei, glad to see you back! It is good to know that the platform ison the habds of dedicated people which have the passion and the motivation to work so much, even leaving holidays. I hope I will be able to join you at the next Steemfest, that would be great! I am also curious about the SMTs, if you have written any article about them, or if you are going to write, I would be very interested in reading it. It seems for me, at least for now a pretty complicated subject. I don't even know that you will read my commment, because there are so many of them (~82 now) but it would be nice to know. Have a great day and take care!

Thank you! I try to read every comment and reply as I'm able. I will definitely be talking a lot more about SMTs now that I realIe how central they are to Steemit's vision to tokenize the web.

I'm glad to hear you got so much out of the talks and discussions.
It was fun to sit with you at breakfast too.

I'm so very glad to have met you!!! There were a handful of people I connected with which amazed me I hadn't connected with earlier. I so enjoyed your work and having a private reading at the breakfast table like that is something I will remember for a long time. You are so talented! I'm looking forward to enjoying and sharing your work more.

having a private reading at the breakfast table

Some people might think that is a tea leaf or palm reading. I won't correct them ;D

Hahah! Yeah, it does kind of sound like that, huh. :)

Hey, I'd give it a go -'Mystic Fu and her cup of destiny'.

The first time I saw you was in Steemit in Nigeria conference where you said something that resounded to my innermost self. You said that the true currency of the Steem Blockchain is the relationships. Thank you for saying that. I've been meaning to contact you somehow so I just seized the opportunity when I saw your post. Pardon me for drifting off course.

I appreciate that you were trying to connect with the steemit dev team.

Reading this post gave me a boost of enthusiasm and conviction.

Thank you for sharing this.

P. S.

I will be organizing another meet-up /workshop like Steemit in Nigeria (SIN) in another Nigerian University. This time the University of Ibadan and I would like to share your video with the attendees.

One more thing....
You are going to be seeing a lot of videos of people saying what Steemit means to them in YouTube. It has begun...

Thank you...


Fantastic! I'm so glad that video was so well received. I'll be posting it here eventually as well as it highlights three posts I often send to people anyway, so it would be easier to just send them one post with that video instead.

Keep us posted on what's going on in Nigeria. It's fantastic to hear about how is improving lives all over the world.

OK then
I'll be on the lookout for your post

Thank you very much

I feel like if you introduced yourself as a Steem Witness, it would have been in Ned's best interest to engage with you as a consul elder on some level. I not a huge fan of how he communicates and it brings confusion to the community.

Look at how Augur keeps it's community updated.

Oh look! A new update recently! Let's see what the team's up to and how they are making their platform better and stronger.

I would absolutely love to see a weekly development update like this. At the same time, prioritizing that over significant improvements which could be the difference between the blockchain working and it freezing up doesn't make much sense. They have limited Human Resources and they are looking to hire. I'm not as familiar with Augur's current state, but the last I looked at it, it seemed quite unused compared to something like STEEM which is the most used blockchain on the planet right now. If we're going to be fair with our comparisons, we should do so with solid data and a direct understanding of what the team has been up to and how they prioritized their efforts. That's what I attempted to do while at SteemFest.

I also don't prefer Ned's style of communication as I mentioned in the post. Maybe some day I'll better understand it and him, and I'll have a different appreciation for both.

great point "compared to something like STEEM which is the most used blockchain on the planet right now..

You are the man Luke! Back in the days (only last month, haha) when it felt like Steemit was crumbling in functionality I was longing for this very post. Now that you're back from Steemfest2 and the site has a smoothly functioning redesign it seems the ship has righted.

Even though the issue of communication doesn't seem totally resolved, we have a great piece of our system to remedy that: dedicated witnesses like you. This post was a great window to see what I needed to see, restoring my hopes in the Steem blockchain. They really are working hard. Steemit is already achieving so much and I cant wait to see what the future holds. It's witnesses like you, actively working to improve the platform, improve communication, that makes Steemit something strong.

I hope to see you in the the top 20 again soon. As I've gotten to know various other witnesses through steem and discord, I've come to see they all contribute in many different ways. I hope @sneak, @justinw, and the rest of the devs know how vital dedicated witnesses like you are to this blockchain; so much more than a node writing blocks.

Thank you so much for your support and encouraging words. I really greatly appreciate them.

Thank you for providing your perspective. Regarding the recent failures of steemit, I've been following your articles, as well as the comments of the many users and Ned's replies. To the extent that they can even be called answers. From your point of view, and also from those who wanted to understand what was behind the difficulties and poor performance, it all makes a lot of sense. Intensive study of the subject requires a high level of understanding of Steemit's technical functioning. The mass of users will probably be no techs, although I can see that there are an incredible number of technically savvy people here. If the product or service of a company hooks on the frontend, then I as a user who does not want to read himself into the backgrounds and technical details and certainly does not know who he can turn to is dependent on transparent communication.

Of course word-of-mouth propaganda is carried out in such a way that you make a good financial cut on steemit, otherwise people would certainly not invest here with their money. The users are basically like unofficially engaged salesmen, who of course work with arguments that the company can distance itself from at any time, because it is not communicated by them at all. All the riches that can be seen here, by browsing the accounts, can be interpreted in such a way that even small fish can make a significant profit at some point. Apart from that, I assume that the management and development team does not suffer from poverty and has plenty of financial resources to hire a company spokesperson who works hand in hand with a technician. With the failures of Steemit, it would have been enough for the normal user to see a window popping up when opening the platform, which indicates that the technical problems are currently being serviced and other relevant information that does not deter an unsophisticated user.

For such beginners, the role of widnesses is completely unclear and some people do not understand it even after months.

Your role here is in my view that of a company spokesman. And why wouldn't I be? It's good that you're doing this, and you have your reasons. But I always find it difficult if a company has not officially given you this assignment and you basically act on your own responsibility. I do not think it is necessary to have a guilty conscience that the people responsible are being approached hard because communication is insufficient.

If my telephone company has problems, I want to know that they are working on these problems and when they are likely to be fixed. That's exactly what I expect from Steemit. The high-tech companies have the advantage that they have diligent users who take over the tasks of the company in many parts. For example, write reviews and evaluate the reputation of sellers. In the gaming industry, there is a phalanx of game testers who do marketing without the company's order. This is zeitgeist and it has many advantages. The disadvantage is that the company loses its grip and responsibility is not clearly defined.

Since the role of the Witnesses is obscure to me and I don't see through them, it would be good in my opinion to officially engage someone like you and make them the company spokesman. The communication with the board would then not have to be done via personal mail communication. You'd be paid for your time and effort. Sure, you get income from your status here and votes on your articles, but I'd like to ask you if you'd rather be equipped with a clear work assignment?

As I see it, you run the risk of being left out in the rain if you say something that the leadership doesn't like and you can never claim that they have asked you to act on behalf of the company. I hope my objections make sense to you.

Great comment, thank you.

I do see your point and it makes a lot of sense, but like you said, a decentralized model can also work as individuals work to gain their own unique understanding and perspectives. Maybe a centralized spokesperson would bring more clarity and accurate information, but they too are limited by what can be said accurately given the availability of the developers to explain things while they are already sleep deprived and working around the clock to implement improvements.

I think @andrarchy is settling into his role as the community liaison and earning the trust of the mostly developer-filled team. With that, I'm hopeful we'll see more communication from him and Steemit in general.

It's natural to compare support and communication expectations across service providers, but I think in this case, things really should be seen as unique. No out there is doing what Steemit is doing. This is really hard stuff. The more we appreciate that, the more patience and the less frustration we will have.

Thank you.
I guess that answered my question. If an assignment is not what you are after, than I know a little more what I can expect from you.

I am not for an "either, or" solution and think, both is possible: you, giving your unique perspective and the steemit board communicating to the ordinary user who would appreciate in my eyes getting some short and simple notes about the company who just has to implement the message: "We see you" in case of a bad performing platform.

If I recall that correctly it was one of the concerns to shy away new users and frustrate those who are not so deeply connected and also might leave. It is still also about growing, right?

In which way this can happen, I really do not care that much, same with the contents of what may be technically or strategically communicated openly.

It just felt like "don't bother us". That is what people cannot stand.

For my part, I have greatly appreciated the fact that you have asked critical questions, also because your arguments have taken up those of many here.

I'm certainly open to being given an assignment by you, the Steemit team, or anyone else. If I see the value in it for myself and the community, I'd do it.

One thing I gained perspective on is how much they are involved in the long game. They are focused on building the foundation to support massive growth. Everyone who created an account and left is still in their contact database and will be marketed to in the future when the site is ready. That's a powerful thing.

never lose too much sight of the present game, I would say:-)

I hear you & I know it is complex and a hell lot of work. We are almost all here working really hard. ... Well, not all, but you get what I mean.

Great insight Luke! I'm glad you were able to meet with everyone! This platform is very complex and has enormous potential! Our frustrations are only because we care to see the platform thrive!

I found it interesting what was said about the top 20 witnesses. I'm also looking forward to getting a clearer vision of what SMTs will be capable of!

Hopefully soon I will feel that it will be profitable for myself to become a witness. I already have the account I'm going to use lined up! @racecar !

Thanks Brian. There are quite a few witnesses already. I think at some point there will be too many backup witnesses so it won't be profitable for everyone who wants to run a witness server to do so (maybe we're already there?). I think every witness should have a clear plan for what unique value they plan to bring to the platform and go from there.

Yeah I agree! From everything I have seen a person would really need to be in the top 50 or so witnesses to be profitable. That is why I have never done it to be honest.

I would have to be in a position with more power and influence before I deploy a witness and start campaigning for votes. I have a unique set of skills I feel would be beneficial.

Edit: On a side note I just thought of something. Kind of like they had the hack-a-thon this year at SteemFest maybe it would be possible to set up part of a day to explain certain things to the Witnesses that they might not realize or best practices to optimize their setups. That could strengthen the network. I recently saw that some of the witnesses were running with too little ram for the volume of transactions we are doing currently. Things of that nature and other issues to watch out for.


A lot of the discussion happens in the steemit chat quite regularly, but yeah, it may not be a bad idea to keep that conversation going or talk about some of the details in person as well.

I haven't heard a lot yet but did anything crazy come out of the Hack-a-thon?
Anything super interesting?

I spoke with the winner who had a system to easily tag posts with a location so travelers could easily see posts spread across a map created about specific places. Pretty cool concept. I got too caught up in conversations to participate much (and I was jet lagged for not having any sleep since the night before).

That location tag system sounds pretty cool!

This is a pretty open ended question but based on what you saw and talking to the Steemit INC and other 3rd party Devs do you see a ton of opportunity in creating profitable 3rd party apps on the STEEM blockchain?

Also are you going to post any pictures or videos of you surfing? Rumor has it you tore it up out there! LOL

Steemit INC

One thing that was clarified for me recently is that the company is Steemit, the website is and the blockchain/token is STEEM. I think they are dropping the "inc" part as it's no longer needed for clarity.

ton of opportunity in creating profitable 3rd party apps

It's hard enough to make anything profitable, let alone profitable in the speculative environment of cryptocurrency. I have no idea, but I think Smart Media Tokens do have the potential to shake things up a bit. Ultimately, if a company is providing value and can do so at higher rates their their expenses, that's where profit comes from.

I don't have any pictures of me surfing there (but I did take the sunset picture I put into this post). The waves weren't that amazing anyway, but I have an older post with some pictures of me surfing in Costa Rica which you can see here.
is the site for the guy who won the hackathon. @martibis
pretty cool kid with a good story.

Very awesome post.

"That was 180 hours of my last two weeks!" @justinw

Phew! That's a crazy amount of work in a short time.

The panel discussion with the Steem Dev was awesome.

Were you watching from the live feed?

No. I had to satisfied myself watching it later that day.

Ah man... I really wish I could have gone to this. Maybe next year -- who knows. Sounds like you had a super interesting time, though! @andrarchy is a boss, to be sure!


Great post Luke - very insightful. Steemfest was an awesome experience and was great meeting you in Person!

You too! Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting. You have an amazing crew you roll with and it was really great to meet you all and get a little behind the scenes understanding of how and why you are able to do the great things you're doing.

Thanks for this great and elaborate post, explaining a lot of important and complex things in layman terms, which majority of the steemit community are clueless about.
I am personally happy to read that @ned is still actively involved on steemit, because rumours were going round that he had passed on the baton to concentrate on some other new project.
The way you have portrayed the developers team, makes anyone reading your post to understand that steemit is a living and active platform and is here to stay. Thank you for this.

Your post has been resteemed to my 2162 followers

Upvote this comment if you like this service

You're welcome! I think you may be confusing Ned with Dan. Dan has moved on to work on EOS.

was great to briefly meet at steemfest and i was like you in many regards and i certainly feel more connected to the people of the steemit blockchain than before and that many things of work behind the scenes really came to the front at the event so that was good to hear all the effort going in. bumps in the road. long play!

It was great to meet you as well! There were so many people I would have loved to spend more time with, but the connections made were fantastic as well. I'm all about the long play.

yep yep, we will have time and when the time is right now we made the ground work the rest should be easier.

Great post @lukestokes! It was so great to meet you.

It was great to meet you as well! So many amazing Steemians out there and so little time to hang out with them all. :)

thank yhu for simplifying things but i want to ask a question. If steemit continue for a long time and a lot of people are earning on it. Wont it get to a point where it will cause inflation?

There are a lot of different ways to think about inflation. It's generally thought of as a decrease in purchasing power caused by an increase in currency which exceeds the demand for it. Almost all cryptocurrencies have some built-in inflation with the creation of new currency to reward various actors of the network. Usually that's just the miners in a blockchain secured by Proof of Work (POW) like Bitcoin. Here, we have Delegated Proof of Stake (DPOS) which is much more efficient and so fewer rewards are given to the block producers (witnesses) as new currency and instead rewards are given to curators and content creators. You can see the breakdown here:

So the question with any cryptocurrency is this: Is the coin creating too much currency based on the demand for the currency? If so, the price will go down as new currency hits the market. STEEM used to have hyperinflation as holders of Steem Power (VESTS under the hood) were rewarded with new currency at a really high rate. Right now that rate is a more reasonable 7.2%. So as far as inflation with STEEM, it depends on how many people want to buy influence. If everyone's earning and selling and no one is buying, the price will go down. Doesn't matter if there are only a thousand tokens or many billions, the same rules apply. Unlike a Central Bankster Federal Reserve system where the amount of currency in supply is constantly controlled and manipulated, cryptocurrencies are regulated by market forces of supply and demand. Value is determined in the moment of transaction.

I try to keep an eye on some of this stuff with a weekly exchange transfer report. It's not perfect, but it does give an idea of how many people are sending money to or from an exchange (though sending to an exchange doesn't automatically mean someone intends to sell).

I hope that helps.

it helps a lot. i have actually been bothering about this. especially Nigerians. Here is a populated country of mony social network users and in no time a lot of us will be here. and when our pocket is full nobody will want to work again. not only Nigerians though. At least this was my thought before you gave the explanation

i did not know that steem was actually controlled, i thought it was unlimited.
thanks for the explanation

Yeah, the rewards pool is set and distributed based on votes of those with Steem Power. Just like bitcoin mining, it's somewhat of a closed pie.

thanks a lot

This is a terrific post. Having chatted with you before SF about your communication concerns, it's really nice to know you got the firsthand look and information you needed to feel confident in the vision and the work they are doing. I think you described it well here in terms of the long term choice they have made to create something which can be much bigger and ultimately reach a lot more people (even if it takes a frustratingly long time to build). And in that way, can be much more, yet it's essentially a proof-of-concept for what is possible all over the Internet.

Thanks so much for chiming in and for the encouragement! It was a good reminder that no matter how rational we think we're being given the data we have, there's almost always more sides to the story and more information we don't yet have which might lead us to a different conclusion. We're still in the early days here and it's possible for quite a few things to go wrong still, but I'm excited about the potential, for sure.

Whats up @lukestokes!! Fellow Huntington Beach dude!!
What a small world.
It was awesome chatting Saturday evening in the hotel!

Steemfest was epic!!
See ya next time :)

HB Represent!!!

I still have a video I took on my phone of you guys being awesome. I'll post it eventually. You all have mad talent. :)

Thanks man! The Acrobatics stuff is definitely my passion.
It will be awesome to see the video in the hotel! haha
Looking forward to seeing it! :)

Sounds like you got some real insight. I'd like to bounce a feeling off you:

I spoke to Ned at his SMT meetup in SF. I asked him his happiest moment since the inception of steemit. He said, "launching the smt. It's going to change the internet."
This comment has deeper meaing...

Let's take a step back. is only a proof of concept. This platform seems to be small potatoes in a bigger ecosystem.

I feel like I don't want to buy in too hard and be married to this one platform. (My wife and I both quit our jobs to GO FOR IT on steemit)
So I'm invested and love it, but I feel like there's some writing on the wall.

If Ned and SMT's are the story,
isn't just a proof of concept for the real platform that will soon arrive and supplant us?

There's going to be startups like Appics coming out of the woodwork to use what Steemit built and make it better.

Totally, not hating. I love Steemit. But your thoughts on being nimble would be appreciated.

I think you're coming to a similar conclusion that I was coming to. This is just the beginning and there may be 1000's of sites that use STEEM via SMT tokens, all doing various things which surround the "tokenize the web" vision. The answer, I think, isn't one site to rule them all but instead one blockchain for them all to thrive.

You and your wife quitting your job to post on a social media site may have been quite a bit premature, IMO.

For sure. That's a good way to put it. One blockchain to let them all thrive. The space will change every day.

haha. your IMO is right on.
We're chasing and overall crypto dream. I invest, advise, and vlog for ICO's. She runs a small business and homesteads, so we're not Steemit lunatics. Hahah.

I have devoted the majority of my personal time and resources to the blockchain space though. But I wouldn't have it any other way. I'm down for the risk. It's life and it's a movement. Proud to be a part of it.

Awesome! Glad to know you're not Steemit lunatics. Heheh. :)

It's definitely a super exciting space to be in. My business partner and I have certainly considered shifting our focus to something blockchain related.

Thank you for giving me some insights in core development! Recently i defended Steemit Inc. but also asked critical questions. I was touched by a direct answer by @andrarchy in one of my posts about the design changes of Steemitboard. That showed me open ears at Steemit Inc. for the community and now i see he takes the challenge to get in direct contact via Email. 👍 That's nothing i take for granted, because there could be a lot of traffic for him now. 😁

From my experience working over a decade with own dev team for software i know how hard it is for developers to met all the needs of customers and inhouse communication of current progress.

It's always a double edged sword as you showed also with marketing. You need the right measure. But a basic communication, even if it's just to silence a bit the rumors and reduce FUD could be helpful. As you experienced human perception could be far away from reality. I learned that with bug tracking in software. A user perceives something as fault of the developer but then surprise surprise the fault was the person behind the computer not the software.. and i was the fault. In my personal development i learned to withstand my initial perception and step back before i make a judgement.. but often i fail also now.. but i try and think i'd improved my abilities to judge in favor of developers, the team and company.

You wrote in the introduction:

"I was not disappointed."

what do you think about

"I was delighted!"

Last year i organized a workshop in my company for improving customer communication and to kill the "double negation language".. to express something good or positive, we say two times NO to say YES! 😉 and what surprises me is even the programmer who always strives for the most efficient code uses such cumbersome language instead of simplifying it and make it just positive and motivating for all.

I'm german, no natural english writer or speaker but instantly i felt a bit of negativity with your statement or at least some doubts. My takeaway from your great post is, Steemit, SMT, the community prepares for a paradigm shift in social media which will disrupt exsisting solutions, which will be a wakeup call for users of know platforms AND the established platform developers! I hold my SP and will give my support, my opinions and knowledge whenever i can here. STEEM ON! no doubts, give 100% trust to make that huge!

Thank you for all the efforts!

Great reply, @onetin84, thank you!

I think it's accurate to say I do have some doubts. As I mentioned, I don't quite understand or agree with the communication styles of Ned or Sneak and they represent the leadership of the company. I was certainly delighted about aspects of what I learned (how great the dev team is, for example), but also had some concerns (they will get burned out if kept on this pace for too long). I don't have 100% trust, and I'm not even sure what could ever give me that level of trust. This is pioneering stuff here which requires new approaches, new tools, and new economics. I don't think anyone really knows what will happen, so some skepticism is wise, IMO.

I too would like to see more communication during times of turmoil. Maybe we'll see that more in the future as the team grows and the technology stack settles. Either way, STEEM ON seems like a great approach for now because this is an amazing blockchain, an amazing team, and an incredible community. That definitely delights me with no double negatives involved. :)

I think everything is so young now, the team incrementally improves itself on the journey, it's abilities to communicate and also to set realistic goals while maintaining the enthusiasm for a big impact in the scene. Everything needs time and patience. If i look for the start since 2016 it's amazing what was accomplished so far as you mentioned, a staggering pace to build such user and content base from nothing. If i look at the beginnings of Facebook, to be fair the technology was far behind of now but they needed many years to build what it is now, the look, feel, easy handling for all platforms and the great integration everywhere.

In the end and that's my point of view it's better to build one uniqe and outstanding product than many mediocre fireball like concepts. Because no one pays for mediocrity, just for the best and so Steemit should be one of the key elements in the strategy to show the world how a perfect example, also for SMT can look like, like a beacon in the darkness.

Thank you for the thoughts on that!

Good post, Luke. Regarding the method of communicating with steem(it) representatives, I don't really buy Ned's reasoning. Most other large social companies have public feedback forums or avenues. Facebook is notoriously bad for responding to theirs, but off the top of my head companies like Google, Microsoft and Adobe are pretty good at officially interacting with their support forums. I see no reason why steem(it) can't be the same.

Of the companies you listed, only Facebook is a social media company. From what I understand, in the early days, Facebook had plenty of issues and didn't have any public feedback or support forums. I have high expectations for support and communication as well, but if they are working to keep the site functioning, maybe that's their best place to focus time. The nice thing is, if you want to discuss it with them directly, you can email them. Most of the steemit employees have their email addresses as their steemit user name followed by

I hear you though. I had the very same expectations, but having met the development team directly and gotten a better sense of the amount of work they've been doing lately, I get it now. I have a bit more understanding than I had before.

I personally think that developers are generally hopeless at communication. Perhaps it's the higher prevalence of autistic people in the field. I'm a dev (although not as good as the steem(it) peeps), and a little bit autistic, so I understand why communicating with people is the last thing a dev wants to do when there is coding to do. But this is still no excuse for a company structure to be apparently less than optimal at communication.

Having said all that, and perhaps because I'm a little bit autistic, I just plug along and do my own thing regardless of whether they are communicating or not. It would be better if communication was better, but I'm more interested in coding and looking into random subjects to see if I can find some interesting angles to challenge my brain.

Great to read your perceptions. I picked you out on the live feed while we were all watching it on Steemspeak (Discord).

A lot of what you have described we had speculated on, but it is great to see what you were able to discern up close and personal with these individuals.

That's really cool to think about how many people were involved in Steemfest remotely through the live stream. Very cool indeed. :)

It was a lot of fun and a lot of discussion was going on in voice chat while the presentations were going on. Some jesting as certain people stepped in front of the cameras, unaware they were being streamed live. :-D

Hey Luke! Thank you for the roundup! It is a nice encouraging piece about what the team is doing. I think I will likely take Andrarchy up on that offer and see if he is interested in doing an interview for @newsteem.

One thing that struck me in your post that I need to quote:

We need more solid C coders and blockchain developers in the top 20. If Steemit was to go away tomorrow, we need enough people being paid by the blockchain who can quickly pick up where they left off and continue moving forward.

You have mentioned previously, and it is easily depicted in the Witness Voter Summary, that the biggest accounts control who is in the Top 20 Witnesses. Namely @freedom has more influence on this list than many other users combined.

So the question is, How do we get more coders into the Top 20 until and unless whales in general and freedom in particular buy in to that necessity. In many cases, those whales would be asked to act against their own best self interest since they too run witness nodes.

Thanks again for the round up. I have heard many encouraging things from people who were able to make the trip over, and it is good to hear the stories, both good and bad, about how people felt about what they learned.

Representing my Nashville Predators, I see. :)

That's a great question. The @freedom account (and whales in general) who have a disproportionate amount of Steem Power compared to everyone else is certainly an interesting aspect of the platform at this stage. Will more of an equilibrium be reached over time? Maybe. Ultimately, those whales should hopefully do what's best for their investment. I'm confident, if it came down to it, the largest holders would adjust their votes as needed if the platform was in danger and directly needed developers to continue development outside of just what Steemit is doing.

Thanks lukestokes that was the best read regarding the steemfest to date. Really got a chance to understand what is going on behind the scenes. Both now and during the DDOS attack. As a liaison between devs and posters you are # 1. Thanks again. 🐓🐓

Thanks for your continual encouragement. :)

Thanks for this Luke. Most useful to fill in the blanks between what is actually going on in the inside, and what everyone thinks is going on from the outside.

It sounds like you now have a better channel to the devs to pick up what is happening and Google Translate it out to the waiting masses in steemitland.

Keep it flowing.

I'll certainly do my best. :)

Thank you @lukestokes for getting some information out for us. It is sorely needed! I am still left with a lot of questions about people being able to game the system. I will be looking forward to more information from you and others so I can phrase my questions without seeming ignorant and hostile. Fear of losing this wonderful platform before it can fly can make my questions and assumptions sound harsh. I am looking forward to figuring out how to tokenize my art!

edit...I know how hard the team has worked but didn't know how hard they were working on steemit social platform. This info really helps my anxiety.

I know there are a lot of people who see the amazing potential here and want to see it take over the world right away. The reality is, we're just getting started, and there are a lot of things which are far from fully understood ranging from the economics, to the technical realities of a blockchain-based social platform. I'm confident the team is passionate and committed to doing great things here.

The economic issues are fascinating to me. I see so much of what is happening in the fleshy world happening here on steemit. It would be so cool to figure out an economic system that can't be gamed easily and gives an even playing field for all of us to thrive or fail. Plus I am so excited about the crypto world where banks and hopefully the wealthy can't control us common folks.

It really is one big amazing experiment. I hope we find some secrets which help improve the world.

Exactly, this is why I am staying through thick and thin, I am learning so much about our world through the steemit experiment.