Steem really needs a wiki
New users have a hard time learning what Steem is and how it works. All the relevant information is scattered around in Steem, in chat and in various forums. Every day we are seeing same questions asked again and again. Many of them are left without answers, or get a wrong or misleading answer. This creates a lot of unnecessary frustration.
Some people even claim that Steem is a scam. Many times it's only because they don't understand how Steem works. It's very complicated and if there is no good explanation for the complexity, it's not a surprise that somebody might consider Steem as a scam where fraudulent features are hidden in the complexity.
Potential investors need to know how Steem works. The most important rule of investing is: "don't invest in anything you don't understand". Right now the market cap of Steem is going down because new investors aren't coming in (buying steem and powering up). My guess is that many potential long term Steem investors aren't buying because they don't understand Steem – and it is of course the right thing to do. If Steem community wants to have new long term investors, we need to explain why and how the platform is worth investing.
Right now the only way to really understand Steem is to look at the source code. But even if you are a coder, that will take time. And if you're not, you're screwed.
Seriously, Steem needs a wiki
We need one place where information is available to everyone, easy to find and easy to update. Wiki is an obvious solution to this.
There is at least two wiki projects at the moment.
Unfortunately those haven't get the attention needed to get things really started.
I think this is because incentives to create accurate information in one place are not good in Steem ecosystem. If people want to teach others about Steem, they will write a post or record a video and publish it here. That's the only way to get rewards. But after a while it will get buried under all the new posts and nobody will see it.
Accurate and up-to-date information is a public good. As we have seen, there is no good incentives at the moment to produce it in a good form and to put it in a one place where it can be found easily. I think the best solution is that Steemit should pay for somebody to write articles in a wiki, at least for so long that most of the important stuff is covered. After that it might start to work on it's own – if it has enough users, they will update it themselves.
I'd also encourage Steem devs to take a certain amount of time regularly to check the wiki and update and correct old articles and write new ones.
Steem.io has some good documentation, something that I'd like to see in a wiki, but it hasn't kept up-to-date. Whitepaper is also a good source of information, but it hasn't updated for a long time either.
My suggestions what needs to be done
- Steemit should either pick one of the existing wikis or start their own. We need an official wiki. Make links from Steemit.com and Steem.io to it.
- Steemit should pay for somebody who knows (or is willing to learn) how Steem works to write articles there.
- Steemit should encourage their devs to spend a little bit time every now and then to write articles and update old information. Something like half hour per week shouldn't be too bad?
- Everybody who is interested in this project should contact Steemit and tell what they want to do for it.
I might not be the best person to write articles from scratch, but I'm good at identifying what needs to be documented (I can create list for topics that need a wiki page) and I can tell if the information is explained well enough (it should have a simple introduction for newbies and enough details for those who really need to understand the underlying mechanisms). So I'll try to do my part.