What's Important to Steemit’s Longevity? - Inspiried by @anyx ‘Tragedy of The Commons’

This post is going to be exploring the importance of there being an attainable stake for every user on Steemit. I have posted about Steem distribution a number of times, however all these posts have been attempting to prove the trajectory of redistribution, rather than the importance of this phenomena in general.


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This post was inspired by @anyx The Steemit Tragedy of The Commons, and many interesting comment’s this post received. There was one area in particular caught my imagination, but for the purposes of making this post readable in it’s own right, I’m going to have to take a step back;

What is the Tragedy of the Commons?

The tragedy of the commons is an economic problem in which every individual tries to reap the greatest benefit from a given resource. As the demand for the resource overwhelms the supply, every individual who consumes an additional unit directly harms others who can no longer enjoy the benefits. Generally, the resource of interest is easily available to all individuals; the tragedy of the commons occurs when individuals neglect the well-being of society in the pursuit of personal gain.

Quote from Investopedia

I think we can all agree that this kind of behaviour can be seen across many constructs of modern day civilisation. Many pursuits of wealth come at the expense of society (one expense to society being the Environment).

@anyx highlighted many area’s where they believed Steemit is descending into ‘The Tragedy of the Commons’, all of which are area’s that need to be monitored for the good of ALL users on the platform.

My particular interest is in sharing how Steemit has changed since I started being a user, and what I believe to be the trigger for this…

In the Beginning…

I joined Steemit around 10 weeks ago after reading an article on CoinDesk about users numbers increasing by 1600% in 1 month. I initially joined to be a passive Steem Power Holder, after reading the White Paper. I thought the concept had potential, but knew that my odd’s of earning my way through Content Creation were slim…

So, I created an account and had a look around. At this time, there was only a few hundred daily active users. Competition between Content Creators was low, and so was (in general) the Quality of content being produced.

I decided to invest 1 Bitcoin and Post a few times to understand what was going on. I am not a Writter or a Blogger, so my expectations were very low (with regards to rewards), this was merely a way of educating myself on my investment. My first 2 posts earned me the princely sum of $0.01. The fact they earn’t anything was a miracle, they were rubbish.

The thing is, I was invested, I owned a ‘piece of the pie’ and I paid for it. In my mind, I brought some shares in a start-up, and any contribution I made (however small) was going to help my investment move forward.

It also felt like everyone was in the same boat. I suppose we were. We all had everything to gain by Steemit taking off, and many of us had something to lose if it didn’t..

So I carried on, and very quickly Steemit began to get some traction. I improved a little (over my 600+ posts), and got a few followers, and benefited from Steemit’s success…

Ownership

In order for Steem(it) to be successful, we need an engaged community. Having 100 very successful bloggers is not going to help us achieve the Ultimate Aim. We need a community in the millions.

This is where distribution comes into play. We need every user to feel valued, feel they have something to gain by staying, and something to lose by leaving. The same feeling I had by investing in Steemit in it's infancy..

Everyone needs a VESTED Interest

This has become a more contentious issue over the past few weeks. There have been complaints left right and centre regarding 'Whale' power, and difficulties for new users to be noticed. In the comment section of @anyx post, @smooth wrote;

If you have a piece of land that nobody owns, the incentives can be for everyone to exploit it in every manner and to a degree that the land is ruined. If someone owns it, the owner won't want the land ruined and will most likely define rules and limits governing its use.

This, I believe sums up nicely why we need every user to feel they have a level of ownership in Steemit. This is something that will solidify Steemit’s future, and the biggest barrier we have to achieving this ideal, is education..

We are only a few months into the Steemit Journey

New users are being sold a white lie. This lie is not from @dan or @ned, or hidden in the White Paper, it’s from user promotion that is far too short term looking. Too many new sign-ups are being sold on Steemit by users promoting their success, without explain how much work they had to put into achieving this success (whether off the platform or on the platform). This is what is causing the discontent in my opinion. When you are told in no uncertain term, "Join Steemit, you WILL make money", it's very easy to get disillusioned when this doesn't happen immediately. Especially when you see many users succeeding where you are failing.

What is everyone forgetting?

Steemit is a SOCIAL Media site. You need to be SOCIAL, build up a following, engage with the community, and then, you’ve got a decent chance. BUT this takes time and effort. Would you expect 1000 friends on Facebook the first week you joined?

New users need to be educated to the fact that, an average user will likely make no significant rewards from their first 15-20 posts (like me), but they need to use these posts to learn what the community wants, build up a following, and over time, persistence might pay off.

It’s important that we get these new users vested in Steemit as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, selling Steemit as a ‘Get Rich Quick Scheme’ will hurt us in the long run. It should be sold as a Social Media Platform where, if you create content which is loved by the community at large, you will be rewarded. If not, you still have a level of free speech which is unprecedented amongst any other social media platform..

Everyone’s Interests are aligned…

The one thing that is on the side of new users is, everyone’s interest are aligned. I have shown in a number of previous posts here and here, that the Steem Economic System is set up to distribute ownership away from the Top 1% over time over time, and that this is already happening.

This is a good thing, but it will take time. New users need to understand that, my first mover advantage 10 weeks ago, is your first mover advantage now. We are all early adopters of Steemit, and with long term success, comes long term rewards for everyone.

The ‘Whales’ have nothing without a growing user base, and also have the most to lose if we don't achieve this. Decision made by the @ned and @dan to date have been in the interest of new users. Especially;

  1. Changing the Contribution Rewards from 50:50 to 75:25 in favour of Creation over Curation (EDIT: this change was made prior to the first Rewards Payout on the 4th July, @rainman)
  2. Allowing and Promoting ‘Whales’ to reduce their voting power for certain authors, allowing rewards to be spread further and wider, and synthetically putting more voting power in the hands of the masses.

Summary

So, how do we give new users a vested interest in Steemit? It's not simple, and it's not something I have the answer for right now. I personally think it is up to us, the community, to sell Steemit in a slightly more sustainable way. Steemit needs to be sold as a long term commitment, where long term rewards will follow. NOT a Get Quick Rich Scheme, from which you flee the moment the money dries up/or going get tough.

I believe it is on us to create a vested user base!!

Interested to hear your thoughts...

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I'm glad you've opened up this subject. This is a very important issue at this stage.

I think our true value proposition for the majority of our users is something along those lines:

Enjoy the fact that your favorite authors can be highly successful without you paying for it. Now they can entertain you even better, as they are in a highly competitive yet well-paid environment:

  • you can enjoy high-quality posts for free, without being subjected to any advertising
  • your favorite authors are generously rewarded (without you paying for it) so that they focus on just one thing: entertaining you
  • both authors' posts and your comments are not subject to any censorship
  • if you write a witty comment you can get paid yourself, and if you think you have what it takes, you can even try posting yourself
  • your vote is part of the decision how much each post (or comment) is rewarded

So even when we cut the "Get Rich Quick" crap, we still have a very strong value proposition. No other platform can offer this.

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Agree the focus should be away from the "Get Rich Quick crap" and I also like that you make it quite clear that not everyone is going to be a successful blogger, but the system is open for everyone to try. Very nice comment!

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Unfortunately it doesn't offer the masses anything they want. The masses aren't that interested in reading blogs out-of-context. They read blogs in the context of that author being important to them in some content, e.g. as author of the s/w they are using or the music they are listening to. And they don't really care if the author is getting paid, unless they've developed that close contextual relationship. And often that context is already paying the author (which can mean no advertising as well).

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@innuendo Good post. I think that is a very good way to look at Steemit. Quality is increasing at a rapid rate.

Soon I believe quality democracy will make this platform fairer for the creators too..

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Unfortunately the masses don't care about any of that, except maybe the lack of obtrusive advertising, which Medium also currently offers (and is offered on company blogs). Try again.

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Try again.

I really look forward to your announcement about your Steem alternative.

Hey,

this article is spot on.

I think the dilemma about telling people is, that once you make money you want to shout it out the world.
My first post earning me 5000 $ was a big thing for me. i couldn't believe it, i did tell everybody how amazing steemit was. and yes around 30-50 friends joined steemit. Is there someone sucessful on steemit? yes, one is getting OK returns now, the others didn't have too much success.

these days, if i show my posts to others, i explain to them carefully that i am building a network of followers + i am spending most of my time helping others on steemit. (help grows your network faster than just trying to get people to follow you)

so i think the right thing to say is:

Do you know Steemit? Its a new Social Media Site, if you post there and people like your content you will receive votes. Depending on how many votes you receive you will be able to get paid for your work.

I have so far earned X, but i have put in Y of time. I think its the future of Social Media, why dont you have a look.

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You Edited ;)

I agree.

I understand that (promotion of earnings), and I've certainly been guilty of that in the past. I think that once we've 'been around the block' a few times on Steemit, I believe we need to start being a little more realistic with our pitches.

As the user base increases, the odd's of hitting a $5,000 post diminish rapidly. Steemit has merits in it's own rights, but not too many people are talking about them...

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While I don't have hard numbers to back this up, it certainly feels to me like rewards are being spread around more. Top posts now generally get around $2-3k, and there are a great number of posts with payouts in the $100-200 range. Of course that's partly due to the fall in price of Steem, but my impression at least is that it's evening out, which is a good thing.

On topic I think you have the right idea, in that promising high rewards is the wrong approach and only sets people up to be disappointed. The competition is heating up in terms of attracting attention and it will only get harder to catch that big payout, but as you say persistence is key as it is in so many things in life in general. If you're providing good content and not getting noticed, keep plugging at it and your day will come!

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i agree. i although feel that some non-sense rewards are going away. the first makeup tutorial would only make 5000 instead of 25000 these days.

so in the long run, i am sure that it will be spread more equally, but the the best advertisement is people hitting it big.

so like in the real word, there will be people being constantly successful (similar to book authors) and one-hit wonders.

but both are important, as success draws people in. after that Steemit has to lock the people into the platform.

and most people forget: nothing in life is free, if it was, everybody would be rich !

so its just a thing about expectation. i think the normal person will be happy to earn 200$ per year to buy a nice dinner for their loved ones. i think thats the way we need to promote it

The word SOCIAL is the key to success. Take what's out there already and shape it to whats here now on Steemit.

Great article as always! This time I have something valuable to say on the subject. From my point of view, from what i've observed with my friends i "brought" on steemit is that the trending page is disheartening. same names a lot [ i'm sorry, ollie, you are part of the problem :P ] it's like the trending is rented or sold on a few specific spots. you know this will get 1000$ (For the history i commented this at 155$) and trend. It's not OK we know that.

As long sa this is not solved, resentment will be high among users that seen little success with good content. THEY WILL GIVE UP. That's huge problem...The more effort and good content you invest in steemit with little succes the more you'll likely to quit. I like to spend a lot of time in "new" and I see a lot of good stuff: 1 upvotes, 2 3 ..10. How will these people be convinced that in time, they'll get there? These are the exact people we need in greater numbers.

I do not have the answer to this question, but for me, the trending page is too uniform and you can't get there unless 20-25 specific "whales" upvote you. that's 25 ppl vs 60.000 nea ccount...millions, heh.

I hope you realize i am not complaining, my succes has been [ if not of your magnitude ] very satisfactory for me and I'm enjoying my experience here and the freinds i made. But with the exception of some specific friends, i find it hard to convince someone else to join now, i know they'll just feel resentful and give up. It's in the design right now, i'm sorry ot say...

Also, Facebook analogy doesn't hold much water. Most people on Facebook you know from offline, I know in real life maybe 4 people from steemit! Here, you grow by befriending people ONLINE. I truly believe i made a few friends, you included, but... i do worry, form what i see on postpromotion and other channels, that a culture of upvote me to upvote you etc is growing. that's not friends, that business partners.

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Even if 60000 people were voting equally do you think the trending page would stop having the same people on it? I sure don't. In every kind of content you have stars and bestsellers. In fact, 60000 might make it worse, because the swarm can't be reasoned with, and most will never take the time to find something unknown, they will just vote what is already popular. At least whales can be convinced to make a conscious effort to try to develop unknown talent (as some do regularly).

Also, nice post @hisnameisolllie

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that's a great prep talk to become a "star"! :D
But on a more serious note, I do not know...i'd like to believe that talent can share the trending page and also that new "stars" can be born. I also tend to think that people get bored eventually of the same names. And not everyone is a sheep and new blogs appear and get popular every day, even after 20years+ of internet and blogs. Is there really something new to say? And yet there is.
But I do agree, finding and nurturing talent is incredibly important and a noble duty here.

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strongly disagree. I think a "one man one vote" system wouldnt work because of sybils and other security issues but generally, and also because it wouldnt reward investors. Howrver:

What makes content good? Well, joy is in the ears that hear, so they say. Content's appeal and utility to the community as a whole is what makes it good. SO when one says content will be better with whales picking it than with everyone having a voice what one is basically saying is I know better what everyone else wants to see than they do. Stated like this, of course, it seems absurd. But there can really be no other logical conclusion from the starting point that whales can pick better content than the group as a whole.

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Read my comment again. I said nothing about making the content better (Do not appreciate the fictitious quotes either. Someone may read that and think I actually wrote those quoted statements, when I did not.)

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Replying here due to nesting

I absolutely do believe that whales are far more likely to promote a largely variety of content from unknown sources than a swarm of users.

OK, i see what youre saying... that with the swarm voting it would be tougher for an unknown to break into the top of the trending page. I don't necessarily agree with that either, but i do see the distinction.

To me personally, the whole issue is wrapped in quality. I don't think most people's issue with the trending page is that its so hard to break into it. Its that very bad content frequently ends up on the trending page. While very good content ends up lost 84 pages from the top.

For example, I just saw that @dollarvigilante has the most followers on the platform at 2000.

I think TDV is a bad example for a bunch of reasons, but lets use him anyway. My guess is that TDV probably also has the most earnings of any author since they started offering a feed and made the "follow" button do something. Id further guess that if you went down the list of "most followers" you would find an ordered list of the highest earners since the follow button was enabled with some well known whales like berniesanders, you dan and ned who don't post much interspersed.

Of course, youll say that of course theyre the highest earners. They get all that money because they have so many followers. And ill say "No, they get all those followers because whales pin them to the top of the trending page 24/7" Its kind of a chicken and egg debate.

incidentally, i texted an old girlfriend who is a magazine editor with the use of quotation marks above, and asked her what she thought

"The punctuation is correct, but no editor in her right mind would let you use that. You're putting words in someone else's mouth"

so i guess my bad.

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Someone may read that and think I actually wrote those quoted statements, when I did not.)

ive changed the quotes to italics, though i maintain that a quotation mark is the correct punctuation in such a circumstance.

I said nothing about making the content better.

Sorry, but you absolutely did. I'm not sure if your point is that "worse" isnt the opposite of "better" but yeah when you say (direct quote before you punctuation flame me again) "In fact, 60000 might make it worse" yes, that is exactly the same as saying the whales only having a say makes it better (or at least might make it better).

That is to say, that the statement A is worse than B is precisely the same as the statement B is better than A .

pretending otherwise just sounds like doubletalk.

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@sigmajin by "worse" I was referring not to the content itself but to the objection (from comment above, and the earlier portion of my comment) of there being the same people constantly on the Trending page. Perhaps a better a better phrasing would be "might make matters worse" instead of "might make it worse", since "it" is somewhat ambiguous.

I absolutely do believe that whales are far more likely to promote a largely variety of content from unknown sources than a swarm of users. That is not a statement of value or taste. Indeed, perhaps the popular somewhat-uniform content is exactly what people want. For example, I just saw that @dollarvigilante has the most followers on the platform at 2000. That's not whales, and probably not a sybil attack either, since the followers leaderboard is not widely-followed (yet).

In the future when the structure of the system is different with better mechanisms for discovery and many independent channels for promotion, that might no longer be true.

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@sigmajin

I think TDV is a bad example for a bunch of reasons, but lets use him anyway.

That's probably the crux of our disagreement. I think he's a great example because he one of the people who are always on treading, and if you look at the others they are much they same. Remove all the whale votes entirely and they would still be there. By contrast, the quirky stuff that I find and push to page 5 of trending and sometimes makes it from there to page 1 on its own would not be there.

Anyway, I'm going to bow out of this discussion in part as a boycott of fighting with the atrocious nesting limit. Nice chat.

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currently all favors only few people to get post rewards:

  • Curation rewards encourage to vote for same persons
  • This leads to make to post trending, which leads to more votes / payouts
  • the exponential payout algorithm increases this problem exponential
  • minons don't have any significant voting power and most wont get one

What could we do to evolve?

  • Limit curation reward per user per time period lets say 30 days
  • display active posts as default and or choose the posts in an lottery like style - more voting power behind the post greater change to be chosen
  • Use linear post payouts - Self voting is not that big problem as expected, at worst its like paying to yourself and on top of that you have much too loose / get flaged or shadow voted
  • give out some universal income in Steem power to fully verified Minions. Verification could be done through for example two randomly chosen video chat verifications.

Thats all, happy steeming.

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Curation rewards encourage to vote for same persons

Not really. Curation rewards favor voting on the same things that other people are going to vote on. Later voters do not get significant curation rewards by piling on, though some do continue to do so anyway in the mistaken believe that they will.

If I vote on @dollarvigilante again after voting for him the first time and it turns out he doesn't get votes any more because others have lost interest, then my vote does not do well. Simply voting for the same people again and again does not generate good curation rewards unless those people remain popular and continue to get votes from others.

If later voters are voting for stuff they don't like, they are the ones screwing it up and responsible for not getting the content they want, not the whales or bots who vote early. The latter are responding to the incentives set by the former.

In short, unless you are a power curator (whale/bot), just vote for what you like. The power curators and profit motive will respond by giving you what you want.

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This system is very similar to the record industry. What is consistently promoted, and marketed, will do well. There are a lot of users that can produce content that is comparable to what makes it to the trending page, but they aren't on the approved list of who should be upvoted automatically. Some articles, not all, are on the trending page for reasons beyond the quality of the article itself.

True, a swarm, that is ignorant of how the system rewards them, will vote for the popular stuff, but they are doing it because they think that is what will make them easy money, when in most cases it doesn't. Educate them they are doing it wrong or nothing will change. For the user that is getting a 5k payout, he doesn't care at all that a user pumping up his post is doing so against his own best interest. They are incentivized to keep the real way things work a secret or at least confusing.

I'm sure most people didn't listen to the full debate between dollarvigilante and the "hater", so why did so many vote on it? It's not because they upvoted it organically. They are misguided in thinking it will line their pockets.

As mentioned elsewhere in these comments, and I'm sure you agree, we need to get to a point where people are voting for what they actually like or what is actually worth being given a reward rather than some game to make a few bucks. Right now Steemit feels too often like a game to make money and less like a place to spend your time enjoying yourself reading something interesting.

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But befriending people Online is really cool! I can only tell you from my own experience, but I was able to stay in UK going from nown to town, and crashing for a night at different people's sofas and the like for a whole month! And it was back i 2001, way before the rise of Couchsurfing and other travel clubs.

How was that possible? I befriended some of those people Online, and had some good reputation in their Online Community. If you are interested that community was DiscworldMUD. But it took me a couple of years to get there. Steem is now what? Four from the start, and month and a bit since the Public beta? I am sure that I'd be able Incredible things a couple of years from now, even if my income stays the way it is.
Steem is much more potentionally valuable as an Online Community, than an icome revenue source. And most online communities can't be used as such a source from the get go. Or if they can, the barrier of entry and participation is much higher, with costs of having a domain name, server and the like not feasible to some of the people. That is why they prefer Facebook. It is hassle free, its popular, and so the Steem will be if we allow it to grow.

I am guessing a lot of this worry comes from the fact that the STEEM userbase is a bit smarter and invested in the platform, so they keep thinking about its future. The ammount of posts like this one means we are on the right track as a community. And it doesn't matter if it is selfish selfinterest people are acting or some sort of altruism.

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I think you make some great point @razvanelulmarin, and I certainly consider you one of a few friends on this platform too. Ever since you mistook me for @wingz on chat ;) I think the main problem is the Curation Bot's...(some humans) at the moment. But luckily, they are getting squeezed, and curation rewards are dropping rapidly.

There are certainly elements that need to change for the greater good of Steemit, and I believe this will happen. I do however think that, like centralised competitors of Steemit, having followers is how you get noticed. In time, I think that, the reason users follow other users will change from financial (curation) reward, to content enjoyment.

The user base needs to stop pursuing rewards for this to happen though, and to use Steemit for it's entertaining content...

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totally. Not to kiss your ass now but I do find your writing clear, concise and to the point. It's relaxing to read. What i'm saying is not that the people trending are not delivering good content, is that it kind of presents an united front of "established" people making the most bank.

Clearly, the way we will curate, the way whales will curate in the future will change and evolve.

It's exciting to be here and see it all!

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Well said! (No ass kissing intended here either.)

Quoting myself from elsewhere in these comments.

If later voters are voting for stuff they don't like, they are the ones screwing it up and responsible for not getting the content they want, not the whales or bots who vote early. The latter are responding to the incentives set by the former.

In short, unless you are a power curator (whale/bot), just vote for what you like. The power curators and profit motive will respond by giving you what you want.

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Good points. I don't think it's just creating "good content". The key to making money with content creation here is that the content has to be Noticed and upvoted by people with significant steem power like Whales. If content is noticed and upvoted by a lot of minnows, it doesn't seem to get traction. But if a Whale jumps on a post, it will make money. And the Whale(s) will follow and upvote other posts by the same writers because they make curation money on each successful post. I'm most definitely not complaining. I'm working on some content to publish and enjoy the people I've chatted with so far.

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@razvanelulmarin. Your comment gives me hope. I'd be so much happier if I opened Steemit directly to "new" or really any page but the trending page. Without anybody saying so, it seems to represent the cream of the crop with the implication that when one's own posts are as well-researched, relevant and valuable to a wide audience that they will reach the same level of reward. Since, as you point out, that isn't yet true, the trending page can be a bitter pill. I'd love to open directly to my feed or, better yet, to "new."

@hisnameisolllie You ask what we can give new users a vested intereste? I say what STEEMIT does at sign up is good already, and with the help of Dolphins and Whales up voting minnows that participate in the STEEMIT community by commenting, reply and blogging. We have to spread "the STEEM LOVE" to every minnow possible. For me, if you comment on my article that generally gets a reply with an up vote for the commentator. And I try to up vote those that up vote me as much as possible. As my votes grow, I select maybe the early ones or something, but the point is I give back and if we all did that....then we would have nothing to worry about, I guarantee it.
I think that everyone eventually will find a spot of their choosing in the STEEMIT OCEAN.
full $teem ahead!
@streetstyle

This was my 1st impression of Steemit but i have quickly learned that Networking and hard work is the only way to make a name for yourself here which may lead to $$$. But my initial intention was honestly to join a new growing platform of expression with the "slight chance" of making some pocket change. I just enjoy telling my stories and expressing myself and getting accolades and advice from my peers.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. This post needed to be written.

As a community we MUST do our best to not only manage our expectations but expectations of new users as well. I think the biggest threat to the future growth of Steemit is new users becoming discouraged and quitting after of few of their posts don't gain much traction.

It's why myself and @dudutaulois proposed the idea that on the "blog" page you have the option of turning off the ability to see the amount of Steem your post has made. That way the focus is on the process as opposed to seeing whether or not you post was a winner or not.

[https://steemit.com/steemit/@aboundlessworld/steemit-request-toggle-ability-to-hide-amount-earned-on-posts-with-mockups]

I do have a few suggestions on how we can continue grow this community however.

ONE: Don't just share your success stories. Share the story behind it! There's a reason why it takes 10 years to become an overnight success.

TWO: We must do our best to focus on the PROCESS as opposed to the pure $$$. Of course, it's only natural to want to succeed monetarily on this site and that's perfectly okay. But if we as a community value that goal above all us the content and morale will suffer.

THREE: Focus on engagement! I'll be honest, my heart goes through the roof when a whale happens to like one of my posts. I had two posts make 200 STEEM in one day and it was such a great feeling! That being said, we must also celebrate how many comments our posts get! We must celebrate when someone takes the time out of their busy day to leave a meaningful response. Steemit is the sum of it's part. Part money. Part community. All value.

FOUR: Promote discussion, not just success tips. One of the most valuable aspects of the community IMO is the ability to have lively discussion with people from around the world. Different viewpoints. Different beliefs. Different experiences. I'd like to see the Steemit community promote more discussion around important issues rather than only focus on the money.

FIVE: Focus on the process. In the past week alone, I've written 20k words. I hadn't written more than a 1k in the few months prior. Why? I got inspired to put in the work. Success on this platform is more or less a crapshoot. The one thing that does make a huge difference however is the effort we put in. It's so weird i'm saying this, but Steemit made me fall in love with writing again. I truly beleive if we all focus on the process, building relationships, adding value, and sharing great content we will all win in the long run..

Anyways, just my two cents. Thanks for the discussion.

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Thanks for the reply. You've covered a lot, and for what it's worth, I agree with your 2 cents. Hope to bump into you more on Steemit.

You are very eloquent, and you mirror my thoughts exactly. The thing is, I have a proposition for increasing the site engagement as well as educating them about it. It is about sending whatever rewards happen to be as steem power fully or in part.
You aggregate new and undervalued posts, and send SD to the authors? Send part as SP instead, and advertise that you are doing so and why!
You are running a contest? Give out part of the winnings as STEEM POWER! Explain why you are doing so, and have fun!
You are offering some kind of service? Ask for part of payment as STEEM POWER!

Anyhow, I am using the tag #spreadthepower with that in mind, and my post explaining the idea can be found on it. So far not much exposure for the idea, but I do hope it gains some traction. Since it works on both educating people, as well as increasing their vested interest and vote weight.
So if someone interested in participating, they can write a post with that tag describing their service, or contest, or whatever else.

There is a confusing typo here:

to reduce there voting power

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Edit Done. Apologies. This better?

to reduce their voting power

I have run into trolls on this platform and in the process of discussion others have talked about the lack of groups. These both reflect issues to do with ownership. I, by rights, own the contents of my screen. It is my screen. If steemit.com continues to have on my screen something I have serious objections to, it will make me more and more keen to disappear again, and wait for some place where this has been acknowledged and built in.

Secondly, relating to groups. Groups are a natural way to expand the size of the 'territory' that Steemit encompasses. It is not literal property, but a namespace.

In fact, both features are not in fact blockchain related at all. Both features are interface features and simple database lists.

These features need to be implemented properly, and soon, or the stagnation of uptake and the stagnation of the value of the currency will continue, possibly even move towards a decline.

I am glad someone is bringing up this topic because it badly needs to be addressed to open up the market to this site more. This focus on the big wins that people have made is also very wrong-headed. This is bringing in users whose sole objective is not to contribute, but to curate. @berniesanders is a prime example of this, he has written only two articles, and one of them is just a tirade against people's use of the hashtags. Guess what. Hashtags are the nearest thing to groups that exist presently.

You are doing a great job considering you weren't blogger before. Along with good writing, one of your strongest points is being able to listen and response to your following and caring about them and steemit.

Vesting can't be done in a way that would satisfy everyone. There will always be a disparity between those that do well and those that do not. It's easier for people to be frustrated than to do good for themselves. I can't imagine the world where everyone would be equal and where everyone would have everything since differences and inequalities are what makes the world spin.

​Creating fair world is a utopian idea which we can stream to, but it will stay that way since universe works by different principles. We can show compassion and give love but everyone has to learn and fight to survive. The same things apply to steemit and to its users.

It's just not viable for all users to make a lot, at least in the short term. They can only make something if they create value and that's by writing good posts that people like. Either that or you invest. I put in a few dollars to try this out. Still a minnow for now :)

I quote page 20 of steemit white paper:

The impact of steemit voting and payout distribution is to offer large bounties for good content while still rewarding smaller players for their long-tail contribution. The economic effect of this is similar to a lottery where people over-estimate their probability of getting votes and thus do more work than the expected value of their reward and thereby maximize the total amount of work performed in service of the community.

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People often quote that line like it is a bad thing but somehow no one ever seems to pay much attention to the last phrase

... maximize the total amount of work performed in service of the community

I happen to think that is a good thing. This is not a lottery where the benefits flow to a lottery promoter or operator. The "ticket sales revenue" here takes the form of producing valuable content and participation as public goods. In economics we know well that public goods are often under-produced and finding ways to pay for them effectively can be very challenging.

The psychological effect described in the white paper may or may not play a big role (no one can really prove this either way). If it does I say so much the better.

Don't post articles about fixing up your old boat! They are worth about $5 each :). Cancer, on the other hand, seems very lucrative!

The devs need to unleash the referral program and increase curation rewards so minnows can earn a reasonable income while building a following for their content. Referrals and curation rewards will keep people around while they cross the chasm and get noticed.

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I agree with the referral programme. Especially if the rewards are deferred depending on new users activity.

With regards to the curation rewards. I'm not sure. I think that, Creation redistributes Steem far better than Curation (which is relative to a users voting power). That is, unless they change voting power to something not base on 'wealth'...

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Not sure I agree on the distribution - there are 70k users right now and maybe ~ 5% are making a meaningful amount of money creating content. This is partially due to talent, as not everyone is able to create quality online content, bust mostly because there are way too few whales to distribute meaningful rewards. I think if there were more minnows with meaningful voting power the redistribution of Steem would be much more... distributed. So we either need a lot more people with a lot more steempower, or a lot more steempower per vote. Or the market cap of Steem to hit a hundred billion or so...

It is very hard to get noticed as a noob because posts get buried so fast.

Imagine you are a new user excited about this site. You spend hours writing a really good post. You post it, and it gets featured on the "New" and "Active" tabs.

A few other minnows will upvote you in the first 30-40 minutes, maybe five or six. Perhaps someone will leave a comment, which means you go back into "Active". But if you don't get traction in the next five minutes on your return to "Active", that's you done, you disappear. Because no-one trawls for pages and pages of "New" to find gems, and you can only get back onto "Active" if people leave comments.

Maybe occasionally you might strike it lucky because a whale is reading the "new" section and they give you an upvote - this helps you get featured on "Hot" and earn some other votes.

But most whales never read the "New" or "Active" sections, so unless you can get hundreds of minnow votes in the first half hour, you are dead.

On Reddit though, people have their favourite topics, and on there, posts stay on the first page for at least 24 hours, so you can read and discover quite a lot. On Steemit's system, you are made or broken in the first half hour.

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"On Steemit's system, you are made or broken in the first half hour."

This is exactly right. If you don't get the votes right away, you're post is sunk and everyone trying for curation rewards knows it, despite the 30-minute waiting period. They're looking for big payouts, so if the bots don't hit it or it doesn't get immediate attention from dolphins, your only hope is pretty much a whale vote, just to be seen. The time elements for curating are pushing dolphins and minnows to mostly seek what they think has the best chance of trending, not what they actually like.

It's not even the money that bothers me. It's the fact that I put a good amount of time and creative effort into my posts and they barely get a chance to be seen before they're buried - because attention spans seem to be decreasing in order to get enough upvotes in, with the hope of a miniscule reward. Minnows are hardly noticed, so they turn to curating for rewards, but it requires quantity over quality at that level. They're often creating just to be noticed and they're really not rewarding "quality" content. That's a lose-lose proposition for everyone.

But how can this be corrected? We all notice different problems - or similar problems - but how can they be fixed? Or can these issues be fixed at all?

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The system is not organically working. It's contrived how people are voting. They are aware ahead of time how the math works so they vote based on the math and not on how they feel.

While it goes against my principles of how this should site should operate, it almost feels like it would work better if people didn't know how to game the system from the start.

Doesn't it seem very silly that a person has to wait for a period of time before they will vote for something? If you see something you like that is worth rewarding, ideally you should just vote and get on about your business, but instead people will wait 15 minutes or whatever to upvote. This leaves a bad taste in my mouth and I know your average Facebook user that comes here in the future will think all of the bots and gaming the system is rubbish.

I love the idea of the site, but we got work to do, ladies and gentlemen.

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I think that Indexing content could help with these issues, and I'm sure the dev's will be working on this..

Steemit is still in Beta. It just needs some time to develop. I would also say that, Steemit.chat is a great place to promote your posts, and yourself by joining in with community discussion.

Whilst the environment is, how it is, users certainly need to go to more extraordinary lengths to be noticed. But it is more than possible!

A milion+ Steemit users would be nice 250k - + being active

Great article! Thank you for your thoughts and dedication. Namaste :)

can't put a price on FREEDOM!!

Thanks for letting us know about the changes happening in steemit with regards the rewards.. There's changes happening all the time and I just never know where to go to keep up. But I am in total agreement with your post, this needs to be a community of content creators and not considered a get rich quick scheme..

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Thanks for your reply @quickfingersluc. The best way to keep up with updates if follow @dantheman posts. Otherwise, keep an eager eye out for posts on the Platform. Usually someone will post about them..

Thank you for this post!
Blogging in a way giving value to the community is hard work let's do it together :-)

Andreas

I myself have made nothing from my posts but as you say it takes time and I belive all good things come in time.

Well written post! i agree it ought to be sold as a social platform with long term gain ability! upvoted and already followed

A thought experiment. Every whale should create a new account and experience the life of a newbie. Will your articles make the same reward without your existing clout?

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Man i wish that theory could be applied to alot of whales in alot of genres of life

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true. Same issues as society, I guess.

I agree with you because like other new comers in the platform, I'm also having hard times gaining rewards until now but I'm not losing hope, I will continue to engage in different discussion and comments to gain connections.

I'm not writer as well and I need to practice a lot so I can also offer good content to my followers in the future.

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If you look through some of the crap I posted in my early days on Steemit, you will see I did just that.

Great thing is, there is nothing to lose on Steemit except time. DM me on Chat if you want me to look over anything for you.

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Absolutely.

It is impossible for everyone to make a big score because the daily reward is a finite amount. Therefore there will be winners and losers even if every post was equally well written and all of that. So selling this as a place where you can make a living is counter-productive. You will not be able to keep people here if they are expecting to make easy money without having some talent, or a lot of talent and additionally the time put in doing what is necessary to get that money.

Until this site is really firing on all cylinders, it's going to be a mess finding the right balance of hype vs reality.

Very nice and detailed post. I agree that it is up to us, the community.

I believe we need a marleting team, i said it before, but this just goes along with what i am saying. A marketing team on bitcointalk for example and on reddit

Good read. I'll admit the money was what originally attracted me to Steemit, but I try to keep my expectations realistic. As a cryptocurrency investor, when I heard about the rapidly growing user base of Steemit and saw the value of Steem rising, I thought "hmm, this might be something worth learning about". So I read the whitepaper, thought the ideas were solid, and signed up earlier this month. I used 1.5 BTC of profits from one of my investments to purchase some Steem and power up my account. I find that what excites me the most about being here is the sheer potential, and the fact that my chances of being noticed and achieving success are the same as everybody else's. I haven't started blogging yet, still just testing the waters, but will probably make my introduction post this weekend and take it from there. I'm in it for the long haul. I don't care if my first post makes $0.01 or $1.00 or whatever. As you say, it's all about network building and making connections over time. The future is bright and I can't wait to see what it brings!

many many thanks to share with us that's great knowledge I impressed and I will share with my friends to read your post thanks.

Thank you @hisnameisolllie for your post. Thought provoking, I began posting a reply which turned into a blog. It is here

Steemit needs to be sold as a long term commitment, where long term rewards will follow. NOT a Get Quick Rich Scheme, from which you flee the moment the money dries up/or going get tough.

Nailed it! We're awfully lucky that a certain type of internet marketer hasn't found out about this place...

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Those types have already found this place. They just don't appear on trending or hot feeds.

There is more than enough people who would be happy simply if this forum were to provide an actual forum platform, and not just a market in votes. This would hold users attention by itself, and it would help a lot if the money making side of the site were deprecated, a lot. This focus goes directly against the very foundation of a social network. If this is just a blogging platform, then it will not be able to gain the level of adoption and contribution that it requires to really see it overtake ethereum, bitcoin, and the other cryptocurrencies that still have far more market capitalisation. If the objective is to replace facebook, then it needs to accommodate the social media function as well. If that means that the cost in the size of the database grows rapidly, then this will have to be accounted for.

But, quite frankly, the witness nodes in the centre at the top of the list, they earn enough money to accommodate such a large blockchain. If the growth rate did escalate this much, then it would indeed eat up a little more of the witnesses profits. I don't think anyone would honestly see that as a problem when the alternative is that this system fails to achieve the widespread adoption it seeks.

As a new user (today), I've heard a lot over the past few weeks about steemit and the success that its members seem to be having. This has been from the sidelines. Having heard about it and not really understanding whats going, I've found your article very enlightening.

We (people) are social creatures and the fact that the long term success you are referring to being more about the relationships that are created and nurtured, rather than driven by financial reward is refreshing. It also makes it more achievable, as we can't all necessarily become financially successful in life, but we have a voice and the ability to use it.

I look forward to reading more of your posts and hopefully over time, I might have something interesting to contribute. Thanks

At great great post. I completely agree. It is a klondyke right now. people desperately trying to make a quick buck and people sucking up to big names entering the media. I believe that personal or unique content, will be the foundation in the future. I see small communities evolve and hopefully become a part of the Steemit GUI or system. This is a dore that has opened and we have to lay down the roads and buildings etc by trial and error

Did they just lower curation rewards to 25Percent? I think that is one things lowering the active use percentage. It needs to be higher because everyone can curate. Focusing on blogging is like trying to line up the Uber drivers with no customers . They'll all leave! Higher curation rewards will get more users here. Preferably a steeper time premium perhaps one hour?

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No that change was made just prior to the 4th of July and only took effect after the first big payout on that date.

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Thanks for clarifying that @rainman

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Is the payout 75:25% in favor of creation as opposed to curation in effect now? I could have sworn I read it was still 50-50. Thanks!

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It was originally supposed to be 50:50, but this was amended. Every payout has been 75:25 in favour of creation as you said.

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Ah o.k. thanks ollie.

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Curation rewards don't aid the redistribution of Steem. Because Curation is relative to your Steem Power holdings, it's far better for there to be higher payouts for Content Creation.

This is why, I believe the change was made. However @rainman would be able to give a more definite answer to this...

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Disagree. Many minnows will tire after posting low valued post but if they notice they can get curation rewards by buying a little Steem they will stay active. Presumably they'll buy from a powering down whale, thus redistributing Steem. Eventually after curating awhile they may post on some of the hot topics. We need a reason for people to join and stay active.

That's what makes networks valuable. Attention. Activity. Not Content

Think tv ratings or active user metrics from Internet companies. Activity is value not content. Content is just one way of capturing attention. Voting / curation rewards is another. Let's incentivize what we want! Activity!

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It's actually two-sided, Steem gets value by grabbing attention... in other words many minnows' attention give it value. But Steem gets monetary value by selling that attention. If minnows' somehow get rewarded, they deserve it for giving their attention.

This is all about influencing and being influenced.

If you want to make it sustainable focus on the recurring buyers. Why do people re-up even if they did not get rewarded? That is who is paying for all this in the long term. Otherwise the money will dry up.

(The short answer is, people who prefer "membership fee" style permission to post/vote rather than paying for individual transactions)

A few days ago I have found out about this community . I signed up but haven't done anything yet because I need to understand further what is going on here, exactly. I am glad I read this article because it gave me the initial idea. Thank you!

It seems to me that the most important factor in Steem's longevity is the ability of the community to make it a place that matters for more than an income earning possibility. If we can't get people to engage on the platform simply because the content is valuable, then we will end up with millions of short-term users who drop out quickly and never return. I'd personally like to see this community become a system for supporting charitable causes.

Great comments @hisnameisolllie. I agree with the points you made, in particular your point about "the importance of there being an attainable stake for every user on Steemit." I believe one of the ways to do this is to find ways to recognise the posts of new and undiscovered authors. Otherwise, overtime they will be discouraged and leave. I suggested the introduction of a co-authoring feature on Steemit. I wrote a post on this. Hope you can check it out and let me know what you think. https://steemit.com/steemit/@nextgen622/why-steemit-needs-a-co-authoring-feature-the-solution-to-the-reputation-problem

If not, you still have a level of free speech which is unprecedented amongst any other social media platform..

Awesome point! Ability to publish for free!... this is a gift