Let me start by saying, I don’t know the answer. I’m pretty good at asking questions and describing problems. But answers are much more elusive to me. Don’t get me wrong, I love solving problems, and, in my field, I’m great at it. If you throw 85 individual, different parts of a random physical object (a display, a machine, piece of furniture you name it) onto the ground, I could begin assembling it like I had done it before. If the problem is defined and if it’s physical, I can solve it, usually on straight intuition.
Hold on, let me back off for a second. This wasn’t supposed to be about me. This was supposed to be about Steemit. And, more specifically, it was supposed to be about Steemit’s curation method. Like I said earlier, I don’t know the answer, I’m just describing a problem (and I’m good at that ;).
For the minnow, the curation system is a weird game. A game of trying to anticipate an article making it to the front page as early as possible yet, not too early, because then you’re in part of the formula that’s trying to weed out bots. Hmmm, how do I accomplish this? I could watch the new page, or I could look at the active page and look for newer things with promise? And the things I actually like, I’ll hold off on voting for, because they don’t fit the parameters of the game, but, instead, I’ll post comments that matter, because I care. WTF?
When digg.com was the web 2.0 site to watch, volume was the key to the front page, just keep submitting things, over and over again and you might get there, then you might get notoriety and blog visits if that’s your thing, or, for a few superusers, a paycheck from digg.com. Later, after digg.com died a quick-sale death, a site called newsvine.com came out (also bought out by a large corporation, still up and running but blahhh) they offered to pay their users an even split of the ad revenue. So, you had to submit things fast, create awesome things, but then go around doing the footwork, reading, upvoting, and commenting on other people’s stuff. Basically, you had to take part in the community, by showing interest in others to insure your things would become popular.
Then there’s Reddit, I’m pretty sure that Redd’it’ provides the “it” in Steemit. You vote for things because you like them, you comment on things, because you have something interesting to add. But, more often than not, you comment on things because you want to show that you are as funny as the other people saying hilarious shit. Whenever I want (or need) to read something funny and creative, I go to the reddit comments of, well, almost anything. And, I let people know that their comments are hilarious by voting for them...liberally. Funny +vote, funny +vote and on and on. That’s how they know they’re funny, or, in the lesser cases, submitted something worthwhile or meaningful.
That’s why Reddit has better content than we currently do at Steemit. Sure, we’re newer, volume is lower, and since we’re new, ¾ of what we do is talk about ourselves. But, having a game of “what might the whale think” or “let’s just vote for chicks” is the wrong result of the system. The successful social media/blogging platform needs to make engagement the highest metric, and it needs to sus out what people like the best, not what they think a powerful person, or a group of powerful people, might like the best.
@JL777 described the time we’re in as the moment right after the Big Bang. He’s probably right. But, with that in our minds, it’s odd enough to think of a blockbuster social media platform that pays it’s content creators AND users, without external revenue (that’s us, steemit.com). Now think of that same system where, it’s not just a mad dash to the funnest thing and behaving in the most social way that you can on social media (ie, saying “fuck yeah, I appreciate you, even if all you did was say, ‘thanks for your story,’ ‘phrasing?’ or ‘I hope things get better’ I appreciate you because you made my day a bit better”) but rather, it is a weird game of “what might the whale think?” What does it mean if the site disincentivizes common social interaction?
After all of my ramblings and assertions that I’m good at describing problems, it comes down to this; it may be the case that opportunity for easy money, cute chicks or the next big thing bring people here, but incentivizing social engagement will keep them here. Right now, as a minnow, or as person aware that my behavior has a direct impact on the STEEM points I receive, I feel that there is a disincentive to genuine social behavior. And, let’s be clear here, I was drawn to Steemit for money, the next big thing, and to look at cute chicks (and fun things in general.) But what I really want, is a genuine, online (fake) social experience even if I must upvote til my voting power approaches 00.00%. So Suckit whales, I just want to interact, and FWIW, fuck needless pictures in articles, I just want to read.