The Importance of Community in Blockchain Projects

in steemit •  7 months ago

Hello Steemians, I'm Steemit's Content Director and today I'd like to talk briefly about the importance of community. I keep meaning to write more on my personal account because I know how eager you all are to gain insights into the minds of Steemit Team members, but it's tough to find the time.

Part of our team ethos is to be "Doers" not "Tawkers" (Nassim Taleb's term for people who say plenty but do nothing) and even though my job is to create the official content of Steemit Inc., writing on my personal account always feels like focusing the spotlight on myself when my job is to be pointing the spotlight on the amazing work Steemit's engineers are doing to make the Steem stack the best blockchain protocol in the world for web developers, or as we like to put it "the blockchain of opportunity."


In order to meet my obligations to the Steemit Team as well as Steem stakeholders (you all), I can't spend an inordinate amount of time on my personal posts and if I'm being honest, it gives me a lot of anxiety to think about what people will think if I write something stupid, boring, or containing mistakes. How would it look if Steemit's Content Director ... made crappy content?

Then I remembered a video I put out wayyyy back in the day when I was just another content creator on In that video I disclosed the strategy I used to achieve success on the platform--what I called "Steemit's Cycle of Success." The key takeaway was the importance of creating authentic content that added value to people's lives and then finding like-minded people to collaborate with. In short, the idea was to create an authentic community. I defined "authentic" as: honest, open, and sincere. You can watch that (now slightly embarrassing) video here:

The thing is, if you spend hours refining your content, you're not really being authentic. With these posts my hope is to get back to creating authentic content in the hopes that those reading will appreciate my intentions and if they'd rather I just shut up and focus on working behind the scenes for the benefit of Steem, they can let me know in the comments! At the end of the day, everyone at Steemit just wants to make Steem better so that it can tokenize the web. To that end we answer to the community.

Back to Community

With that, I'd like to share with you some thoughts I've been having as of late about the importance of community and how, in the end, the only way that things get better is by like-minded people coming together to solve some problem that was impossible to solve on their own. In other words, in order to solve any problem, a community must be formed.

Innovation and Complexity

As many of you may know, explaining Steem to people is complicated. That's the paradox of truly innovative technologies; they require a radical reframing of how you look at a problem. This necessarily makes it difficult for people who are used to thinking about something the old way to comprehend the new path you are trying to set forth.

While there are many parts of the Steem ecosystem that can be simplified, some of the complexity is absolutely necessary. Even things as simple as Steem Power and token inflation are extremely difficult for ordinary people to understand, but completely vital to the sustainability and scalability of the stack.

The Job to be Done

Lately I've been contemplating whether this focus on the technical aspects of the technology is, in some ways, self defeating. In marketing there is a concept called the "job to be done." The idea is not to explain how your product works to your potential customer, but instead focus on why it will enable them to "get their job done."

While Steem can certainly help all kinds of people get all kinds of jobs done, as I stated before, the one thing that all solutions have in common is that they require a community. In other words, the one job everyone needs to get done, is building their community. In truth, this shouldn't be a surprise as my boss, @Ned, has been telling me this since I started! So Steem is really a communities technology. I recently spoke with the @steemmonsters team and they really drove this point home. @yabapmatt pointed out that, technically SteemMonsters could have been built on Bitcoin.

Obviously it would have been far too slow and far too expensive to really be successful, but it was technically possible. While there were numerous technical aspects of Steem which made it especially well suited for SteemMonsters, the conversation kept going back to the amazing community of Steemians they were able to tap into, not just as instant customers, but as storytellers, evangelists, and more. We're still putting the finishing touches on that interview, but it should be out soon.

While there's still a lot we can--and will--do to make Steem even better, it remains years ahead of the competition in its true value proposition: community building technology. You all are the most powerful demonstration of Steem's true unique value proposition and the fact that you are still here posting, commenting, curating, and even criticizing, is proof of that fact.


All of this makes me believe that @roadscape's Hivemind project will be more disruptive than people realize, even if they already thought it was going to be highly disruptive! It's not because it will enable communities on, it's because it will multiply Steem's capabilities as a sustainable, scalable, open source, community-building technology. Even a Smart Media Token will only be as valuable as the community that is leveraging it.

That's about all I have to say about communities, time to get back to work! If you haven't already, be sure to follow @steemitblog to stay up-to-date on everything the Steemit Team is working on.

Steem on!

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Honestly, I'm really excited for hivemind. Communities will be gamechanging.

And regarding SteemMonsters:

I think what makes the combination of aggroed and yabapmatt special, is that aggroed is so incredibly good at creating and leading communities, while yabapmatt is a really good dev.


Thanks @therealwolf! And I really appreciate your help with the migration to dsteem!


Sure thing!


This is absolutely true looking at all angles. I've known aggroed for more than a year now and PAL (Peace Abundance and Liberty) has been a place of growth for me. I remembered I was even sent 3SBD from @aggroed being the most enthusiastic newbie in PAL.

@yabapmatt - I call him not only a Dev but a good dev. Community Builder + Good developer = Fantastic results.



I agree with this wholeheartedly. I've been preaching for lack of a better term that the reason why Steem cannot be put aside, is due to the community that it has.

Granted, there are hundreds of issues, conflicts, disagreements, you name it. But in all, there are thousands of us who have grown attached to the possibilities of this blockchain and have learn to recognize the value in each other, if even for a second.

The network effect we keep on talking about, is built upon the organic growth of communities, it's built by people, not just algorithms and code. However, code can be a crucial aid to the process facilitating and reinforcing the communitary social tendencies.

The cold hard truth, at least the moment is that yes content is important but....

People + Communities > Content

We could have the best content creators, we could have the funniest videos, the best philosophical, political rants and it would not mean a damn thing without an audience to share it with.

I for one can't wait for Hiveminds to come out. I think the inevitable petri dishes that will sprout are going to be crucial to the social structures to arise in the future.

All this to say... I'm pumped!

"Steemit's Content Director", huh? Does it mean you're responsible for the abhorrently low quality of the aforementioned content? No? What kind of director are you then?
And regarding hivemind, communities and SMTs... where are they!? So much talking about it and NO real results whatsoever. This place looks shittier by the day and I already consider my investment here to be one of the worst mistakes I ever made. It never stops to disappoint, really. The site is pathetic and the dev team is, too.

what people will think if I write something stupid, boring, or containing mistakes. How would it look if Steemit's Content Director ... made crappy content?

Don't worry about that man, your content is solid and if you make a mistake so what...we are all human. I like to read the content of the people involved in the blockchain that changed my life. Even if it's just a photo with some lines of text.

Can't wait to see how disruptive Hivemind will be.

Thanks for all the work you and the team are doing.

Yup. Authenticity is a simple ingredient that will lead to the elusive network effect.

I am hoping that Hivemind fosters lots and lots of innovation. Yeah, there might be some “Balkanization” and “gated communities”, but I’m guessing that the good will outweigh the bad.

I look forward to SMT’s but am in no rush. Much better to have them rolled out rock solid than rushed and flawed. Done right, they could be a game changer with massive potential.

I believe that blockchain will have a fundamental impact on the individual and on how a collection of individuals can rapidly become part of a community with a whole different take on the way the world operates. You can see it happening now in the way people join ICOs, sharing the experience and hooking into that community with a real commercial stake.

Posted using Partiko Android

Yes! Check out the community I'm building through haikus.

Will you also give us a smile? We're trying to get as many smiles as we can -- here's the relevant post:

Lately I've been contemplating whether this focus on the technical aspects of the technology is, in some ways, self defeating. In marketing there is a concept called the "job to be done." The idea is not to explain how your product works to your potential customer, but instead focus on why it will enable them to "get their job done."

As well - given we're blazing ahead in completely new territory - just as equally-critical may be not just explaining why it'll work to get jobs done that are already defined, but painting picture for what possibilities could be created that might not even be on people's radars yet...

@andrarchy have you seen my email sent to you the 29 of june?



There is no such thing as SMT, man. Probably won't ever be.


Why do you think so?

Yes!!! I miss your whiteboard content from the old days !! :)

This was all very interesting! I’m a new community member, and I think Steemit stands poised to grow by leaps and bounds.

To listen to the audio version of this article click on the play image.

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Well, like you, I see communities - and not only the technological advance - as a key to success for steem(it). So when will start to delegate SP to community building projects like it is delegating to dapps?

I could not agree more about communities. I have gone so far as to consider SMTs, Oracles, and Communities one integral thing, which I now refer to as SOC. Concatenation of multiple affects can produce entirely novel effects, and both Steem and SOC do this.


nice explanation and great points : 0

I very worried about this hivemind idea. We are already very unwelcoming to noobs. Once everyone scurries off into their hives, who will be looking at posts we get from from fresh minnows? No one. This is one on the things that killed tsu. One day we had people out in the lobby, then communities came and the place died in a week. The majority of my friends went to photo groups and my weight loss work stopped getting views.

tsu had millions of active members we have less than 10K. If we get 50 communities going, they will average 200 members. Do this is not enough upvotes to sustain them either. I would love to know your thoughts on this aspect of the idea.

for communities are the missing link and I for one can not wait for hivemind. Well done on all the work by the steemit team. So what if it is slow, rather slow and right than fast and wrong.

Steem/Steemit is a great combination of technology and community. When I went to the London Crypto Show where lots of companies were showing off their technology, but only Steemit could bring 50 real users together there to support them. It is important to users to understand the basics of this platform so that they do not risk the security of their accounts and so they make the most of it, but it has massive potential to change lives and build communities around content. I think we are just at the start of this and I hope to see it become massive in a year or two.

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