This is fine!
Many steemians keep asking the same questions. Will Steem be more successful in the future? Will the userbase of Steem grow? Why, even though the count of steemians grows day-to-day, many people still haven't migrated from other platforms? What is holding down Steem?!
These people are passionate about our beloved platform. They prefer to concentrate on its advantages (100K TPS! Strong community! Decentralization!), not drawbacks. I was one of them. I believed that Steem's issues will be eventually addressed by developers or will be solved by community in a natural way. Some of the problems indeed are non-existent now: take spam posts, for example. Thanks to the HF20, spammers are now having a hard time continuing to produce their rubbish posts. Or Steemit website stability: I would say that it has vastly improved compared to the situation one year ago.
But one issue remains unresolved. This issue is often overlooked by steemians; to them, it does not exist. It was stealthy enough to hide from me for most of my wonderful journey on Steem; not anymore.
Back to basics
The goal of every social platform is to get content delivered from the creator to the consumer. Steem only seems to meet this criteria. Let me explain.
Joe is an average Steemian (average Joe, heh). Because he is new at Steemit, he does not have a massive follower base nor has he any funds to promote his post. He creates a high quality post. He posts it.
What does he get in exchange?
- His post is the first in the general 'new' section for about... 10 seconds;
- His post is the first in categories' 'new' section for some minutes (hours?). Still, more time =/= more upvotes here, because the categories where posts are rarely posted usually do not have a large amount of visitors;
- His post is displayed to his subscribers; unfortunately, if the subscriber has a large amount of subscriptions, chances are that he will never see Joe's post;
- If he is lucky enough, his post will get to trending, but let's be honest - it has an extremely (as in <5%) chance to do it.
Long story short, Joe's awesome high quality post will never get the appreciation it deserves.
But wait, there's more!
Steemit consists of thousands of such Joes, producing high-quality but severely underappreciated content. If every Joe managed to get his content to his potential readers, Steemit would be full of quality content.
But Joes struggle to do this.
Instead, Steemit is full of promoted posts. They are steling Joes' reader base. They are not giving Joes any chance.
Yes, it is true that promoted posts can sometimes be really good (or really bad). But it's not the point.
The point is that Steemit's system of content discovery is flawed, which is the first part of the problem.
Simple answer to a big question
We keep asking the same question: why are people not migrating to Steem?
The answer is simple: Steemit is not good enough. Head to Youtube (which, of course, is far from ideal due to the censorship). What do you see? Content consumers consuming content. Content creators getting views for their content.
Head to Medium. What do you see? Quality articles on relevant topics getting views.
Steemit is flooded with articles about its own ecosystem; it is sometimes hard to find original & relevant content using the tags. Talented authors initially not wishing to invest in Steemit's ecosystem (Joes) end up giving up and leaving Steemit. Their place is then being taken by (mostly) not-so-talented authors wishing to invest some money. In the end, Steemit's content quality level is lower than that of competing platforms, which makes me sad.
This is the second part of the problem: the amount of good and relevant content on Steemit is limited.
Note: by Steemit I also mean all of its interfaces, such as Partiko, Busy etc.
Note #2: you have the right to disagree, it is normal for human being to have its own point of view. Just try to be objective and think rationally before arguing.