Steemit – We have a Problem

in #steemit5 years ago

A lack of development? Or micromanaging into obscurity? Why not both?


I want to talk to our friends at Steemit, Inc. for a moment.

In my previous post about Steemit a few weeks ago, I talked about the identity of the platform and the lack of investment in it. What is Steemit? Where are the influx of new users? Why do people not stick around? Where are the investors and the currency seekers/users? What can we do to make things better?

A little over a week later, we received word of some changes that may be coming to Steemit on the economics side. These ideas were overwhelmingly welcomed by the community. It felt like there was a celebratory atmosphere around here for several days. However, I think too many people may be thinking that the problems with Steemit will now be solved by the next fork.

They won’t.

The problem we’re having with users and investors is not an economic one. Yes, the fundamental economics of Steemit play a large role in investor confidence and eventual buy-ins, but it’s not what will add value to the platform that bootstraps the Steem currency. The value of Steemit – and consequently, Steem – relies on a vibrant social media community that can attract and retain users.

We don’t have that.

Steemit is floundering, not because of inflation rates or market cap. Those are merely effects. So, what is the cause?

We’re trying to solve the wrong problems

A lot of the discussions on this platform have been centered around Steem prices and post rewards.

“How can we raise the price of Steem?”
“How can we keep users happy by spreading the rewards around?”
“Let’s create another curation guild to give rewards to users who aren’t getting votes and comments!”
“Let’s burn Steem Dollars so that we can fix the debt and market cap ratios!”

These aren’t solutions that will fix the problems we’re having. The biggest problem – by far – is the lack of user interest and the inability to retain most of those who join.

So, why aren’t people interested in joining Steemit? Is it because they don’t think they’ll be able to make money? Is it because they joined and weren’t able to consistently make the trending pages? Is it because they don’t like where the price of Steem is currently sitting? Is it because they see the platform rewards as grossly unfair?

It’s possible that many users see these as a huge problem. However, I don’t think that’s the case. Why don’t I believe that? Because I see millions (billions?) of people using other sites where they don’t earn a single penny and they don’t follow the stock prices of the companies running them. So, how can rewards and Steem prices be such a huge barrier to joining or be such an infuriating issue on Steemit?

Honestly, I don’t think they are. The reason that people use a site like Facebook or an app like Instagram is the ease of use. It’s the functionality of the site and apps. It’s the simplicity involved in communication. It’s the features and customization.

Steemit is lacking in all of these areas to varying degrees.

Another curation guild isn’t going to get us profile pages. Tweaking the inflation rate isn’t going to get us an on-platform messaging system. Changing vesting periods isn’t going to get us a virtual store for the Steem currency and for customizing our blogs.


I don’t know what’s happening inside the halls of Steemit, Inc., but the lack of development is concerning at this point. We just recently added a couple of new features – notifications and an actual avatar. Seven months into this project and we can finally add a tiny image to our “profiles.” Well, we can upload the images to a hosting site and then copy and paste the link here on Steemit. I suppose that can be celebrated...if this was 1996.

Prior to these last two features being added, what have been the big feature developments on Steemit? Re-blogging and promoted posts. The “Re-Steem” feature leaves things quite messy and hard to parse when trying to find content from the users that you follow. It needs a little more work. The promoted posts feature has so far left most users quite unimpressed and can’t really be called much of a success.

So, in seven months, we have seen two and a half minor, but useful features added to the platform. During that time, how many thousands upon thousands of dollars of Steem have been powered down and/or sold to allegedly fund this meager development?

Again, I must ask – where is the leadership from Steemit, Inc.? What is your plan for developing this site? Where is the roadmap for development? Do you have one?

Forget about powering down, investors, Steem prices, and all of the economics of the site for a moment. The fact of the matter is this: Steemit is not very user-friendly!

Sometimes the promise of money just isn’t enough.

What do I mean when I say that this site isn’t user-friendly? Well, first of all – the design is boring and it’s not the least bit customizable for users. As cryptocurrency-focused miners and developers, you may not think that this is very important or that it should be a priority for development. If that’s what you believe, then you couldn’t be more wrong. A blogging or social media platform needs to at least have basic profile features and customization options for its users. There’s absolutely no excuse for overlooking this or for not developing even minimal features for seven months.

I get that the design was to be somewhat modeled on the Reddit design – but Reddit isn’t exactly the epitome of social media. Its design doesn’t attract a large number of new users. It has its user base because it has been around for a long time, but still, its numbers are dwarfed by other platforms. If widespread adoption is sought, then a much better design is what’s needed. If you’re not going to improve the design, then at least add the features that many users have been requesting – features that should be the bare minimum for a blogging/social media site. As mentioned already, here are two that we really should have by yesterday.

Profile images and biographical information

Users should be able to customize a profile page or tab on their blogs. It should include an option for at least two or three images. There should be adequate space for several paragraphs of personal information and a place for linking other social media profiles and pages to their Steemit profile page/tab. These should be the minimum features for a user profile.

On-site messaging/chats

Incorporate something like into Steemit’s UI. Messaging your friends and followers is one of the most important aspects to any social media website or app. If you can’t do that without leaving the site, then you have a serious social media problem.

There is no reason why these should not be the priority for developers. If a profile page or tab can’t be functional by next month, then the developers at Steemit, Inc. need to be fired. If users are what we want here, then you need to make this site appealing to average users. Some basic added features will help with that. Get it done. What are you waiting for? You have the money to do it. So do it.

While that’s being done, we need to have some of the functionality cleaned up.

“Re-Steeming” is a nightmare for many users. The Re-Steemed posts really need to be separated from user posts on their blog page. Create a new tab for it and send the Re-Steems there. Again – this is something that shouldn’t take long to code and implement. Why it hasn’t been done already is a complete mystery. This has been mentioned by many users since immediately after the function was implemented.

The Promoted Posts feature needs a reworking if it’s to be kept on the site. Having a separate tab for it doesn’t seem to be appealing to users and the way that one competes with other promoters quickly prices a large majority of users out of the market. This may be the intent of the function – I’m not really sure. If it is, then it’s just not a feature for the average user and it really means nothing as far as development goes. If it isn’t the intent, then it’s broken and needs to be restructured. (Right now, it actually appears to literally be broken. It’s not working.)

The notification feature should include when someone gains or loses a follower – and it should tell you who began following or stopped following. It’s an easy way to connect with each other and to recognize new users, or to simply know who you have gained or lost without searching through several pages of followers. This is something minor in the grand scheme of things, but it adds something that users would appreciate, as well as something that most other social media sites and apps currently have.

There are plenty of other features that can be added or improved. These are just some of the things that we should have at minimum. If these things can’t happen in a relatively short time, then the platform will continue to lose “steam.” Pun intended.

What happened to gamification?

Not only do we have a problem with a lack of development, but we also have a problem with a lack of gamification for user features. There’s no reason why we can’t make some new features part of the gamifying aspect of Steemit.

Do you want your own profile page or tab? Then you need to earn 1 M-vest.

Do you want to be able to Re-Steem more than five posts per day? Then you need to have a reputation over 50.

Do you want a custom avatar from the SteemStore? Then you need to develop the SteemStore and the custom avatars – because they don’t even exist.

If you want a few ideas about what can be done to help with both gamification and currency use, see this post.

Seriously Steemit, Inc. – you’re dropping the ball here. I’m looking at a @steemit account that’s sitting on over 100,000 Steem Dollars and almost eight million Steem. Another account – @steemit1 – is sitting on another 135,000 Steem Dollars. And you have all of your various personal accounts on top of that. That currency will be no good if it’s worthless because the website was never properly developed!

What’s the problem that Steemit has? A lack of user interest. Why aren’t people interested? Because the site isn’t attractive to social media users. Why isn’t it attractive? Because of a lack of development.


Use that money to add value to the platform instead of throwing it away on billboards or by flying around the world for relatively small meet-and-greets. You want enthusiasm from the community? Then you need a community! We can all meet up and celebrate when the development has given us a site that at least has a somewhat sustainable user base.

Don’t get the wrong impression.

I’m not saying these things to be a jerk. It’s just frustrating for many users to see basic UI features consistently not being developed and implemented. That is the reason for nearly all of the problems with Steemit. We wouldn’t need to worry about curating guilds, interest rates, or placating everyone who’s threatening to leave if Steemit was attractive enough to bring in new users and keep them here. The only way that happens is if this site is a real, easy to adopt and use, and a somewhat aesthetically pleasing social media platform.

Users can learn about the currency and how to spend or withdraw it. Users can learn about curating groups and why some people like them. Users can learn about interest rates, arbitrage, curation trails, category tags, and anything else that they might not know about when they join. But if they don’t like how the platform looks and functions from the average social media user perspective, then none of the other stuff matters. They’ll go back to Facebook. They’ll go back to Snapchatting. They’ll go back to Medium.

That’s the truth. That’s how Steemit moves forward. Either we start making this place more attractive for Aunt Sally and her attention span-deprived millennial step-son, or we watch Steemit wither away as we try to micromanage votes and payouts. I would rather see Aunt Sally here posting cat memes than watch the entire platform crumble. Now that doesn’t mean we have to throw all of our money at Aunt Sally just because she’s posting. But having her and her step-son here, their friends, and the friends of their friends is the point of all of this, isn’t it? They are the ones who will be voting for our posts and spending their Steem – and ensuring that the site has value as a social media platform.

That’s what we need. That’s how Steemit lives on. Make it happen.

I truly hope others share my sentiments. Agree or disagree, or have ideas of your own? Let us know in the comments.

This is a 100% SP post.

Follow me: @ats-david


When considering things you think they should be doing that other sites are doing it is important to remember that the idea of steem is to be decentralized with simply being one view into that chain. If someone took down the data on the blockchain would still be there and someone else could bring it back up on another IP, another domain name, etc. It could not be killed.

This is cool but it also creates some interesting development considerations. When you speak of chat. You speak of it being easy. It IS easy if you are centralizing all of your data. You simply put your chat on the centralized server. Steem is decentralized. So where are you going to put that chat data? Do you think it should be spammed onto the blockchain?

It might be possible using what they refer to as side chains, yet one thing to keep in mind is that some things that are simple when we are speaking about centralized website design can be very complex when we are speaking about decentralized. So it is likely doable, but comparing the work required to do something on a centralized social media site to work required to do the same thing in a decentralized fashion is likely not accurate. So you, AND I often look and say X Y Z could do this easy, what's the hold up?

X Y Z were centralized. It is indeed easy to do centralized. That could be completely not the case when doing decentralized.

This is what I was considering as I was thinking about your chat system idea., slack, etc all of those are centralized. Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit are all centralized.

Steemit is centralized at its domain only as the window into the block chain.

So for chat to work it would need to either be centralized on and have nothing to do with the blockchain which means it COULD be taken down forcefully, it could be censored, and it would not be accessible to others making alternative views. OR it would require creating a decentralized chat and deciding how to store that data on the blockchain which NONE of the social media sites you compare steemit to had to deal with.

Advantage of decentralized... can't be killed... and other people can create sites that access the same data an present it in new ways.

Disadvantage of decentralized is that things that seem simple on centralized platforms are likely significantly more complex to implement.

I don't really think a messaging system needs to be "decentralized." The blockchain is what's important here for the currency and for censorship of information. Chatting - in my opinion - would be more like a luxury in this regard, but a necessary one for the social aspects of the platform. I don't care if it's on a blockchain or not. It just needs to be incorporated somehow into the website.

I would like to see a decentralized chat. The problem is that it hasn't really been done before.
Maybe someone will come up with a wonderful solution to the problems of routing user to user. Or maybe someone will come up with an entire new internet that is peer to peer from the ground up.

Otherwise putting in a widget inside will be really easy, or really hard. There is either already a widget for that, or there isn't, and they have it locked down to their interface.

One thing I like about is that it doesn't have all those sidebars. Reading the blogs is distraction free. All of the suggestions above start cluttering things up. I do not have a good balance to recommend.

As it is right now is really only enjoyable to read if your resolution is not too high. It doesn't scale very well to other resolutions.

Thanks for the explanation. Is it possible to have chat as a sort of widget that remains centralized, but attached to Steemit? Well, everything within reason is possible. Is the challenge worthwhile?

I'm sure they could do a centralized chat on or any other site. Then if were taken down so would the chat. It only becomes more interesting and challenging if they are creating a decentralized chat that would theoretically span any site viewing the blockchain.

@dwinblood, Thank you for taking the time to thoroughly explain the differences between centralized and decentralized websites and the challenges that go into developing some of the suggestions in this post. Your comments have been very helpful for me.

I was kind of stream of consciousness working through it as I wrote it myself. I tend to focus on other kinds of development than web development and I found myself realizing that if I were making a decentralized feature that might be more challenging than a centralized one. The fact of the matter is most of the features that @ats-david is talking about don't need to be decentralized so it is a bit of a mystery as to what the hold up is with them.

Great post. On top of this, I would like to add feedback from my community. Many people are disappointed by bot curation (voting bots), although the influence on payout is quite small, but because they are impressed that Steemit is bot's realm not human's.

Why are bots so active? Because they easily can earn more curation rewards than average users given 40 times max vote per day and up to 25% of curation reward.

IMHO, just my coarse opinion, gamification of curation reward should be reconsidered. People are willingly spend their money for whom create awesome contents and give them pleasure. An exemplar is AfreecaTV, a Korean broadcasting platform like Youtube live. People pay for contents providers from their pocket (related article), and the amount is tens of thousand dollars per day.

Most people desire to be influential, and Steem Power is a good and cheap way to do it, even though it is diluted about 7% a year (still it's more cheaper than use their pocket money). It should be debatable topic, but I think it should be considerable. Economically and financially this sounds stupid, but psychologically and humanistically it is still valuable.

Many people are disappointed by bot curation...

Yes. I've written about this problem in the past - I think I mentioned it in my last post about this. The automated voting becomes more of a problem for manual curators as the automated trails grow longer. I'm seeing posts a few minutes old getting a quick 40-50 votes from a single trail. A few minutes later, the post can easily be over 150-200 votes, all from two or three voting trails. This is not only "lazy" curation, in my opinion, but it also skews what people are seeing as quality. As an added negative consequence, it causes manual curators to lose voting shares because of the sheer volume of automated votes coming in before them. It's discouraging for such curators, to say the least.

Just in the last couple of weeks, the bot trails have started doing this. Just prior to that, I was able to acquire better curation rewards by finding good content, even with a lower number of vests - prices of Steem being in the same general area as they are now. Currently, I have twice as much SP, but I'm struggling to get the same number of rewards. My votes are crowded out, so my choice is to either vote early before I read the posts - and lose shares of the curation as well because I'm voting before the 30-minute mark - or I come in behind the large bot trails and take the hit anyway.

I don't know what the solution is, but I don't think automated voting is the best way to go for a majority of users. Things like Streemian can be useful to an extent, but I think it has a net negative impact at a certain point. Steemvoter is another one that people like to use, but I don't think automatically upvoting someone's content without seeing it is how curating ought to be done.

There's a trade-off when you automate voting that's supposed to be based on subjective assessments of quality. I would like to see no automated voting, but I also know that this would severely cut down on voting overall. It seems to me that there are a lot of users that like being entirely absent from the platform for long periods of time, but still want to benefit from it. There isn't anything necessarily wrong with that from the standpoint of an investor, but it does have an effect on other users who remain on the site and regularly engage. Finding the right balance is no easy task.

I cannot agree more. Currently Steemit is dominated by two entities: whales and bots. The former (whales, including me) mostly decide payouts, and the latter (bots) has influences on voting counts (and some portion of payouts by like @wang). As a result, average users have no room to show their influences, until they become whales or bots. Many users already turned to be bots, at least partially. As majority of accounts became bot-driven, and the bots are more likely to follow whales (since it gives them more curation rewards with higher possibilities), the problem is getting worse now.

I am not totally against automated bots, by the way. It sometimes makes users life easier, especially when they want to be in favor of certain other people (e.g. within community vote, a huge fan-ship for celebrities). However, it shouldn't significantly influence payouts, which is a measurement of "perceived value from the community". Bots have no perception at the moment (I don't think AI tech hasn't reached to recognize contents' value from the perspective of a community), so bot-dominated system is not desirable now.

My position is to remove curation rewards. While it makes the system less gamific, people (not bots) still have motivations to be influential in the community and to be favorable towards others who give satisfaction for them.

A upvote system that considers the amout of followers (subscribers) to a pertiular blog, and not just to a pertiular post, should be considered. I think this will crate a far more stable, equitable and consistent reward distribution.

Just use your votes for people youactually like and don't stress the content thing. It's more about solidarity than financial rewards at this point anyways.

Bravo! You had the courage to say exactly what thousands of people have been demanding for months but that the "crypto" sphere does not seem to understand. It looks in another direction: blockchain, steem and promotion of certain ideology not shared by the majority. (with Steem) is a business, not a religion. Steemit is a product and will be adopted if it is attractive, convivial, a true community of exchange and a better balance in the award of rewards
I hope your post will be well rewarded, better than three photos without text for $ 71!

I agree with you. When i hear people talking about creating campaigns to attract new users when we can barely engage the users who have already started an account, it makes me wonder if anyone else sees the elephant in the room. I love the site, but the average person is not going to stick around to possibly one day build enough steem power to earn some money.

They will stick around if it's fun and connects them with people through good features.

Only 1% of internet users create content. The other 99% consume it. Pretending the masses are suddenly going to become content creators for a few bucks is delusional and even if they did, it would have to be easier to do so than it currently is.
Steemit is an interesting experiment I'm happy to be involved in, but it's nowhere near ready for mass adoption in it's current form.

I love the site, but the average person is not going to stick around to possibly one day build enough steem power to earn some money.

They will stick around if it's fun and connects them with people through good features.

It really seems quite clear once you say it yourself, doesn't it? We've all been there before...using a social media site and making no money. We didn't do it for the hopes of becoming a millionaire. People didn't leave MySpace for Facebook because they were earning money. They left because it was just a better experience overall. That's how Steemit needs to be. The money issue will mostly take care of itself.

Wow, @ats-david - what an insightful article, Thank You!

I'm here on Steemit primarily to write, and I would love to become widely read, but the problems you elucidate are really obvious to me. Even a problem as (presumably) simple as separating original writing from the "re-steemed" has been an obstacle for me. This fine article of yours is a perfect example; allow me to explain in a block below!

I only "happened" to arrive here because someone I follow re-steemed your article. One of the first things I do when I read an admirable article is to visit the Profile page of the author. And so, when your article resonated with me, I opened your blog in a separate tab.

Well, one of my personal criteria for Following an author has been the quality of his own writing. After reading such a fine piece as this one, I was somewhat dismayed to find that it appeared that the bulk of your blog was re-steemed articles. :(

Fortunately, I exercised sufficient patience to scroll quite a ways down through your blog and discover that you had, in fact, written quite a lot of other original material. Catching my eye, I opened and read "Divided by Government", and that absolutely "sealed the deal." Unfortunately, comments are closed on that beautifully written article; but know that as a result of reading it, I immediately followed you, and I look forward to reading more of your stuff. ;)

And so, I cite this experience as an example of why I think it essential as a very high priority to provide a tab or a filter that would separate re-steemed articles for each author ASAP!

All this to say, I am "in violent agreement" with the development priorities that you've discussed here. I'd like to think that I'm here for the long run. I also agree with what @dwinblood has added to the conversation and will be checking out his profile for sure. I too am a coder (most of my life) who would have to "do some learning" to contribute directly to this platform in a technical way, so I also probably will not jump in and code at this time.

However, as an author who believes I have some unique content to bring to the table, I am excited about the apparent potential of Steemit and dearly hope that it will be improved and have a long and successful run. I think your suggestions are spot-on, and hope that many of them will be implemented sooner rather than later. Perhaps I'll "chime in" with a few items on my wish-list in a separate comment, but for now, THANKS AGAIN!

Kindest regards from @creatr ...

It's not easy finding good authors sometimes, but when you do find them, you feel like you just won the lottery (not the Powerball, but maybe the pick-three). I can also vouch for @dwinblood. He's a good writer and seems like a good guy as well. So you were able to find two good users in one click. Sounds like you're having a pretty good night!

The economic model has to get fixed before cashing out tons of steem to btc for development, or else the token will crash severly

I don't think they necessarily need to cash everything out in order to pay developers. If they have an account, they can just transfer the funds to their wallet. It doesn't even have to leave the platform unless the developer actually needs the money. So there's no reason for Steemit, Inc. to power down one of their large accounts and sell Steem on the external market just to make a payment to a developer, especially when they have available liquid Steem and Steem Dollars. That kind of defeats the entire purpose of the wallets and transfer functions, doesn't it?

I'm not saying that the Steemit dev team doesn't have a large role to play in developing the main functionality for the site - but one thing that would really help is if we got a big push from all the community developers that have been developing their own stand-alone websites and apps, to start working on pull requests to

Attention: Calling All Developers - Let's Polish The Mothership!

I take a look on github and will clone repositories to understand how steemit works. You are also right Tim, to increase development speed we need more people voluntarily coding!

What concerns me most is indeed the lack of vision and development of this platform but also how the founders handled the language barrier by selling their tech to someone so it can clone the whole thing instead of adding a simple translation functionality on the site. This to me indicates that they don't want steemit to become this social media powerhouse, they just want their patented blockchain to be used by every social media.

What they fail to understand is that this strategy is doomed for failure, social media is all about network effect, the more sites you create the less chances these sites will gain any kind of momentum. My first post on steemit was how to retain user base and get a network effect going by creating a very interactive environment .

Also I totally agree with your post, the gaming and fun aspect of earning money and using this site is completely missing. There is millions of dollar in the steemit account, it would cost them less than 50k to hire a team of UI designers for a couple weeks to add all functionalities and redesign the interface into something modern and catchy. Why they don't do it is the question...
It makes no sense to want to have every feature ( chat, messaging,etc..) decentralized, what matters is that the code is open source and communication end to end encrypted. As long as you have that you can transport all functionnalities on a tor site ( someone already does this) or soon on maidsafe.

I agree completely! Especially with the Steemit chat... It's so annoying leaving the site to respond to stuff, I actually don't really bother anymore. Maybe Steemit could make something that attaches to our emails, Or just a messenger like facebook.

@kaylinart The chat section is the first place I visited when starting here on steemit and I immediately vanished from it! I don't like to hear too many opinions, it drives me nutz! and as for emails, this is what I believe is needed - email notification from whom you choose to be notified by AND P.M. messaging unless they feel nothing should be private....

True! I would like that.


Whoaa.... you're on the right track, you just have the wrong timing.

Let's play devil's advocate. Development happens fast. Features come out fast. Everything you think we need gets released fast.

Then because of fast development, the chain crashes and burns, the steemit site crashes and burns.

It took Facebook multiple years to get where it is. Steemit went public July 4, 2016 it has only been alive publically 4 full months.

We're racing ahead of ourselves here. I know, we're losing some, but we're not losing many. The internet is a huge place, like multi-millions huge. This is beta. Let's proceed slowly and cautiously. We do have time to get this right, and getting it right is important.

Good post otherwise, but houston-we-have-a-problem renamed steemit-we-have-a-problem is not fully correct if you consider timing.

This post would read better to me Spring 2017, not now. Just being honest if that's okay..

This post would read better to me Spring 2017, not now.

Well, keep an eye out for it in the spring! There's no indication that we'll have a vastly improved platform. It took seven months to be able to link an avatar image. That's not very promising.

They could have come out with avatars first, and foundation later. They opted for foundation first, and avatars later. :) Keep positive. It's all coming.

Is it still coming? How much longer do we need to stay positive?

Did you read about v19.4 soon to be released, and v20 after that with SMT?

What feature specifically are you looking for? The UI today looks different than it did a year ago

By the way, have you seen lately? Their UI seems to have more rapid development in that department... Perhaps you might rather use that system... have you tried it?

While we're talking. :) In the last month I created intelliwitness which is currently 94 (non-top 50, so its a manual vote)

I'm happy to see you're getting up there. I see you have ats-witness -- I am adding a vote for your witness

One of the things witnesses can do with generated funds as they climb the ladder is set rewards and bounties.

I'm glad you still care as much today as you did a year ago, it is good to see.

I really support everything what you said! But we need to remember that Steemit is still beta and further developments will (hopefully) come in due time.

That's kind of the problem. We keep expecting that things will come "in due time." That really doesn't cut it, considering the amount of money available and the amount of time it takes for relatively minor tweaks to the interface.

As we discuss to improve the platform, @dantheman is focused on another currency
Would it be possible to properly develop a product before going in all directions?

Would it be possible to properly develop a product before going in all directions?

That's a great question. I would love to know when the focus will be on developing the Steemit platform for social media users, rather than experiment with other possible currencies. We have three different versions of Steem on this platform. Let's figure out ways to make them useful - and to make this site more appealing for a wider user base. Then, once widespread adoption takes place, they can tinker with other ideas in their spare time.

Me again from yesterday! You seem to be knocking your head against a brick wall somewhat. I have been doing a few things - experimentally. The auto vote system is synthetic encoragement. The posts I have put up recently have been carefully constructed to test results. I could put up anything a few days ago and it would get a certain number of votes. If you watch the 'new' posts coming out I have seen them appearing with 40 votes after 20 seconds. Please! There are jumbo voters and there are jumbo anti-voters. Posts do get manipulated. The platform is under-resourced and lacks functionality. Everyone who responds to a complaint over this is so passive aggressive it smacks of pent up frustration from them, more than me. I registered for @busy a few days ago. Sounds like the dev bucks are going there - the shiny new version! The brown shirts will be watching me now - Steemit has a very 3rd Reich feel to it, not to mention the post I had to fight the brown shirts over last night!

Great post – I totally agree.

I want to add my personal opinion. I joined steemit, because I always wanted to create a blog and share my knowledge and cool things with other people. After the first posts I’ve made, I’ve faced more and more missing features that made it pretty frustrating to continue. So the point of missing features is a huge problem for user like me! It sometimes feels like steemit wants to be everything at once: Twitter, Facebook, Wordpress, Instragram, .. But can’t provide enough features do one thing well. If this platform want’s to be like Facebook, we don’t need a Code Highlighting in posts, but we need some additional information about the persons here and a way to communicate with our communities. Or if we wan’t the platform to be a place for bloggers, we may make it possible again, to comment on older posts or to edit them. So we do not only need more features, we may also need a clear direction.

At the end I want to say something about the money discussion: The most people that get in touch with crypto currencies and the product landscape around, are pretty intelligent and will have a good payed job. So instead of investing multiple hours in writing posts on steemit, I could just open my notebook and start to work for my job, which would bring me more money than I get from the posts here. What I want to say with that: I think the money is or should be only a bonus to the other benefits steemit can provide.

This is absolutely spot on. I've mentioned this on chat as well as elsewhere in conversations with friends; user retention has less to do with the economics of Steemit and far, far more to do with the functionality and usability of the UI. Granted, there's a lot of push to bootstrap to the blockchain, which is a great thing and should be encouraged, but it shouldn't be at the expense of the application that most, if not all, users are going to be interacting with. I sincerely hope that Steemit, Inc. at least sees this and, if not goes forward with it, at least considers the larger problems outside of the narrow focus that seems to be devoted to the market.

Also, I made a post months ago suggesting they implement a UI-native messenger. I'm glad to see that this topic is being brought up again, because having to switch to (which is an abysmal chat client, at best) in order to communicate in real-time with people is an annoyance, at best, and discourages interaction completely, at worst.

I did a bit of "market research" myself on this and it agrees with what you're saying. None of the people I've told about the site seem interested when they take a look in spite of the fact that they could get paid for what they already do every day. When I asked them why, they simply said it was too complicated. It took me until yesterday to finally go through the ridiculous process of converting Steem to Bitcoin and getting it into my Coinbase wallet, so I kind of get where they're coming from. Social media is supposed to be fun. People don't want to do a ton of work to participate. I'm unusual in that way, so I don't mind so much, but apparently most other people do. In spite of all this, I'm still super excited about the potential of Steemit and Steem.

Without users creating content, users liking content, users interacting with users, programmers and miners are out of work. My husband said the social interface looks like it was developed by programmers and that's not a compliment. We need people who understand users social needs and easy to use tools to personalize our page and create quality posts.

I'm avoiding bots and guilds right now. I'm focusing on my art and content creation. Long articles don't fit my painting posts. Thanks for giving the thumbs up to shorter articles. I spend at least 8 hours a day working offline on my art and other projects. I only post a small bit of what I create because it's not worth the time, this site is a time sucker regarding publishing anything.

I sell the work I create at festivals and art shows. Steemit is an experiment for me right now.

Right now you look through my stream and my art, gardening, and cooking post are all in a jumble. I'd like to be able to create categories on my profile page that friends can click on.

By the way, I love the idea of Steemit and watching the social evolution unfold between all the actors...soooo fascinating!

Steam, the video game sales platform, offers developers a chance to release PC games before the game is complete. This allows independent publishers the chance to earn money while they code their new games. It's called "Early Access."

I've purchased a few of these games in the past. They require a lot of patience to enjoy. You can wait an entire month for the next update and only receive a few minor changes to the user interface. Wait another 3 weeks, there are now clouds in the sky. Wait another few weeks, there are now new trees and shadows, plus bug fixes from previous releases. You can purchase one of these games and never have a chance to play the completed version for months if not years down the road.

In the Steam forums for an early access game, you see much of the same discussion. People want their finished product long before it's finished and many don't seem to understand you need to take steps to get to the finished product. It can't just happen at the snap of a few fingers.

Since I'm somewhat used to this experience and these discussions, I'm hardly phased by Steemit and it's current form. I have no problem being patient and waiting for things. I'm sure this discussion has occurred a few hundred times already. I doubt the development team is ignoring the issues. I just know they take time to execute.

I'm currently writing a series. One episode at a time. Many other authors are writing books, one chapter at a time. This method could, in a sense, be called "Early Access" as well. I hope nobody comes along demanding the ending before the climax, for that would not make any sense.

Have a great day!

I understand all of that, really. The concern I have is the constant focus on band-aids. The "solutions" to the "problems" here seem to be consistently off. See the comment I just made to @markrmorrisjr for a reply "fully." (Think, Half-Baked)

It's very similar in the gaming industry. Place holders. That island in the distance used to be a strange, ugly blob of pixels. People would complain. Developers would say, "work in progress." People would complain. Developers would finish what is required to make that distant island actually look like an island in the distance... people would find something new to complain about. :)

I should add, I don't disagree. I've simply been exposed to these things in the past and know what to expect. I'm able to let a few things slide, because I know the bells and whistles come last.

I think people use facebook and twitter mostly because everyone else does. They can find friends from the past and keep in touch with distant family. Steemit has to grow organically, and I think it will

I used it because I don't like talking on the phone, I don't like sending letters, and Facebook gave me a way with a single post to make a bunch of different people from my life feel like I was not neglecting them. I didn't have to feel bad that I hadn't called or written people. I could hand grenade style solve them all with a single post.

It was effective at that for awhile. Until I began reading about people losing jobs, getting visits from police, etc for things they said on Facebook. I have relatives I very much disagree with philosophically so it was not unusual for them to draw me into some heated debates. I quickly realized that Facebook was not a safe place to have such discussions, and those relatives would continue to entice me. So I quit facebook and have not looked back. That was years ago.

The funny thing is those relatives are vocal atheists (I am not religious so this is not an issue), but they really are not. They may not worship at a church or listen to priests telling them things that cannot be infallible. They have however replaced this with something else. They worship the state. The government is to whom they pray.

One of them had photos and such on the side of their refrigerator of Obama and his family, and an Obama Chia pet... it kind of reminded me of a religious shrine.

It is better that I don't talk to them on Facebook and end up in jail due to my anarchistic and Libertarian leanings.

Statism is definitely a religion. I sitting went to my nieces Veterans Day concert. It felt more like a sacrament. It's hard explaining to my nieces and nephews why I don't pledge allegiance when they are brainwashed five days a week. They had a returning marine surprise his daughter during the performance. The crowd gave a standing ovation and all I could think was "this guy abandoned his daughter to fight in wars of aggression on another continent and he's supposed to be my shining beacon of morality ? "

I agree with a fair amount of what you said. It seems to me like leadership is more interested in marketing to the (very, very small) crypto world than to people in general, and this is reflected in several ways. (like a poor user experience and the perception of skewed priorities.)

I do not think the site's developers are to blame for this, however. Their input into what can/should be done at what time is quite limited. Rather, I hold the reddit-esque tribalism that seems baked in to the site's most influential user segments responsible.

Personally, I've been putting together a website that runs on the STEEM blockchain to augment @greatdabu and I are funding this out of pocket, but since we both have other jobs and do not have an unlimited budget, it probably won't be ready until the end of the year.

Because fewer than a thousand people/day are currently posting on Steemit and Steemfest is occupying most of the influential users' attention, I plan to wait a few weeks before describing this project in detail here.

The most important thing for Steemit is to have a culture of creative excellence. Steemit is the place where you can find awesome original stuff you find nowhere else on the internet. If we dont have this as the main feature of Steemit, forget the whole thing. If we can develop this culture of creative excellence, all the doors are open.

Can you imagine the day when people dont even care about the price of Steem, or the number of new users, because we are to busy creating awesome original things? When you go in here to have great conversations and learn and share your best stuff and thats all you care about?

That is the day we will have a winner. The day when Steem price and amount of user wont matter anymore. Because what happens on Steemit is so awesome in itself that it makes it worth it.

We need to get to that point.

I agree that the problems you are mentioning are worth addressing. The problem is, no one wants to develop anything here, because the rewards are nil. Why not just take your chances developing an app on the open market, since the only source of financial remuneration here is votes. So, while you say we need this development, that was part of what was supposed to come from the vibrant social community, and be fueled by author rewards. Without the money, no development, and writes like myself have ZERO incentive to leave work here that exists in perpetuity to be read for free, if there is no payoff. It is about the money. The people who would build the infrastructure here were attracted by it and now they are back doing what they do, creating awesome content, in the hope of attracting enough attention to earn a living at it, somewhere else, where the rules change, but not every damn day, where they don't get blamed for everything that's wrong, or accused of greed, when the voting is open and democratic.

Steemit, Inc. allegedly has developers that are paid out of their own coffers that were filled with Steem and Steem Dollars. The value of the liquid currency from just the few main accounts is easily over $1 million. So it's really not a matter of paying developers.

I think that they are distracting themselves with too many concerns about rewards and money being the only motivator for a user base. That's what my comment about micromanaging votes and rewards was all about. Many of the solutions for attracting and retaining users so far have been based on how much people are getting paid or a perception of payouts. That's not the problem here. People aren't adopting Steemit as a social media platform because it isn't a good enough social media platform. It needs work. The more time that's spent on trying to figure out a new curation guild or new ways to placate people who quit their jobs thinking that they'd be millionaires, the less time there is for developing actual solutions to the interface that will attract all of those people who are not concerned about "getting paid to blog."

I understand that development isn't always easy, but what we have seen as far as features and the UI go - specifically from Steemit, Inc. - isn't exactly building confidence. There have been so many recommendations from users about the same requested features and still these features don't exist and we don't have any timeline for their development or implementation. If it's being worked on, then they should throw us a bone and let us know what is being developed and some sort of timeline for its implementation. If we know what's going on and what's actually being developed, then other independent developers can focus on other projects to further the entire process along the roadmap.

If everything is to be decentralized (even though it is not), then communication is important. People need to know that they're not wasting their time and they need to know what changes can be reasonably expected to both the backend and the UI. Other developers have had no problem designing entire apps and dynamic websites for the blockchain. If Steemit, Inc. is short-handed, then they ought to be paying these developers to help them. They should have experienced people working on the UI as well as coders working on the backend.

This is their baby. They need to nurture it. They have the means to do so. They can use the currency that they created. Wouldn't that be something? Actually finding a great use for the currency while also developing the website that depends on it? They can kill two birds with one stone.

Agree with you @ats-david! There are many small features they should tag as critical.

Totally agree, a chatbox, PM system, and app would be great, we need to make the website more attractive.

I agree that we're working on the wrong things. I was doing the wrong with this project.

I'm not sure what you mean. What have you been doing wrong?

try to distribute SP to the community.

Oh, there's nothing wrong with that. It's just not going to solve the problems with development and user interest. This post was about the fundamental issue of attraction and retention of users - why people aren't adopting this platform as their social media home or hub.

We're just treating symptoms rather than finding cures.

Yea well I thought going about that way would be attracting and and retaining users. As far as the whole development side, I agree that there's a lot that were worked on that wasn't needed at the moment.

The distribution of SP is one of the important components of the problem. Even with an excellent interface, there will always be frustrations if SPs are mostly about blockchain and Steemit issues, published by a small group and voted by the same small group. For an outsider or a new user, this gives the perception of a ponzi scheme.

We need to set up a system like Open Bazaar for steem. The solutions are open source and out there, it just takes the right team to put it all together for us. Then we could have a decentralized messaging system, profile pages, and marketplace, this should be the roadmap. How hard would it be to clone up OB and get it to work for steem?

We need to set up a system like Open Bazaar for steem.

If they can simplify the setup and make it easier for the average user to understand and use, I think that could be a great idea. PeerHub already exists as well and accepts Steem. If they can incorporate the PeerHub store into the interface or at least link to it through the wallet function, that would be a great help as well.

Alongside that, they really need to gamify user customization features that others have been mentioning for months - things that can be unlocked as you increase Steem Power and reputation, and virtual items that you can buy in a virtual SteemShop™ or SteemStore™. This can be added directly to our wallets or at least in the drop-down tab at the top right of the browser.

Lots can be done, big and small. So far, we're only seeing the tiny.

Hi @ats-david!
Thank you for taking the time to voice your concerns about Steemit. I 100% agree with the points you made. It's 2016 people! Why can't we have a sexy design and a native chat? Especially since we claim to be a social site?

It's 2016 people!

Not for much longer. How embarrassed will we feel then?

But seriously - a sleek design would go a long way. First impressions are absolutely important, especially when you're the new kid on the block. You'll also need the simple functionality and ease of use, though. That can't be discounted.

By the way...

Can I get a video comment for this post? What are the thoughts of the @steempowertwins?

The video comment was a good idea but like all good ideas ( marketplace, chat.etc...) it needs to be integrated as a feature within the platform.
Before posting you would have the option to record a short video and post it.

Tara is in Amsterdam for SteemFest... i'll ask if she is able to step aside for a bit. I am not sure how feasible it is :)

I agree with a lot of this. Hopefully we can get some response from the founders and developers regarding a lot of these things...

I didn't even have to read your whole blog as it was making me sick inside! Pls ppl, where is the patience! Bitcoin is not even on the map how we all want it to be but soon my friends, soon! We are still in beta and they are working. RELAXXXXXXXXX!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Steem 0n!

i know right, complaining is a feminine way to be, while patience is not

I want to thank what you do for the community my friend @ ats-david, it is an arduous work that you assume. Great post, valuable information congratulations for this wonderful post

this blog post is Alex Jones style, nice

That's nothing to be proud of

If you think of Steemit as of some sort of corporate machine, than yes, it is slow. However, it was supposed to be decentralized platform, wasn't it ?
Bitcoin community somehow got used to the fact, that there's no point to appeal to Satoshi Nakamoto. There might take some time, but eventually Steemit community might stop to appeal to Ned and Dan and start to figure out what else could be done.

However, it was supposed to be decentralized platform, wasn't it ?

Not entirely, no. It was ninja-mined in a manner so as to centralize ownership and stake to raise funding for the business. You can read about that here.

Bitcoin community somehow got used to the fact, that there's no point to appeal to Satoshi Nakamoto

80% of the coin supply in Steem was allocated (both to the company and to founders) via the above described ninja-mine process. That did not happen in Bitcoin. While satoshi apparently mined a large amount, it was more like 5%. The two are completely different animals.

Thank you for the link, I've heard something about, but it's always better to see the original explanation

failing to sacrifice your creation to the prevailing mining gods

I really like his authenticity )
However I'll stick to my point. If SteemIt inc completely withdraw itself from any further development still I see no reason to complain. Also some clear statement about would be nice to have )
The whole approach, you gave me something, now, because of that - you owe me more is unhealthy.

If SteemIt inc completely withdraw itself from any further development still I see no reason to complain.

Complain? No, that's generally pointless. Asking what the hell is going on and if not getting a sufficient answer trying to salvage whatever value one possibly can from one's holdings before moving on to more promising endeavors would be entirely reasonable in that instance however.

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The post and several comments here are called "BETA"? Yes! Steemit is still in beta.

Yes. Steemit is still in beta. Still in beta. In beta. Still.

Creative writing right there. Do you like it?

I like your post and I respect that. And sure, I resteemed your post.

Well said. Upvoted and followed

Great post. Unfortunately you're right

Nice post, up-voted, followed, yet all, being more of a reader that contributor, I find steemit's simplicity and basic features inviting and would want it to remain that way and not become super commercial and feature spoilt (looks and feel) .

Well lookee what my voter research dug up. Did we just become best friends? Thanks for reading my rant today. I could go on and on... and with 30 years of tech background, I already know about how effective that might be. :-/

#SteemitInterfaceNeedsLove #HellSteemitNeedsAnInterfaceOverhaul

Isn't it sad that these criticisms still apply 8 months later?

They're still messing with payouts - and have in fact made things worse - while the site design/function remains horrible. And they even have a lot more money now, thanks to the price increase that was not at all related to anything that they've done.

Troubling indeed. And other problems that are far more likely to kill us than payout tweaks and repairs. Like getting Napster/Limewire/Piratebayed over IP violations by users and the problem with not being able to block a user. A powerful rageflagger for example, has destroyed hundreds of dollars worth of my post value and that of others, because we flagged his 38 content-less stolen pron posts as a group, and then he loaded more funds, made an alt and went on a rampage. He flags every one of my posts now and some of my minnow-ey friends, because we are too new and little to fight back. Costs me a lot. Costs steemit even more, when we all leave and warn people someday.

So... with so many issues, and top staffers all banked, do they care anymore since they got theirs enough already? Or in your old-timer's opinion, did they ever care? Or are they just not very good at this software making stuff?

I spent the last few years as the Director of Technology for a multi-million dollar social networking app before semi-retiring, moving off grid and relaunching my own fairly successful software company. I've seen the risks we face, and we are not mitigating them at ALL.

This, my good Sir, terrifies ME!

Or in your old-timer's opinion, did they ever care?

Well, not long ago, they said that they were only interested in making the interface "just good enough" and had no plans to improve the design/functionality to any kind of social media standard. STINC's intentions are to sit back and let other people design a better social media platform.

And in conjunction with that, they have only managed to constantly change the economics/incentives/rules of the blockchain - often in large bundles of changes - and have no actual marketing plan for either the blockchain or the flagship site, as far as I can tell.

Meanwhile, they sit on millions of dollars. So, whether they care or not appears to be obvious to me. But what do I know? I've only been pointing out the same problems with this place since last fall...and almost none of them are ever acknowledged, let alone adequately addressed.

I did consider this to be maybe just an MVP example, and the whole, leave it to other beaver's aspect, and well, I can't say that's entirely a bad idea. BUT if that is the idea, than they need a marketing site to SELL that idea instead of a half assed example that nobody quite can pin down as a moving target.

And the rest of it? Yeah, I suppose if I already had "my lambo" I would probably be at the beach too.

But they left a lot of holes that can sink this ship behind them.

I always find this scenario peculiar. People reach a point in software app companies where 80% "good enough" has occurred and the principles have gotten a taste of cash, and then shoot themselves in the foot, when they should recognize that a little extra additional 20% more effort would 10-100X that stack and buy them the whole dodgamm Lambo dealership.

But Kermit the Frog sippin' Tea, you know? I'm just a tiny minnow with big dreams.

Seems nothing has changed in the last nine months.

Not a damn thing. Imagine that. 2016,2017 and 2018 roadmaps standing dead still. Funny to see my total noob remarks though.

for real for real. I don't know how to put pictures on my blog!

Go to and upload your images, then copy past the link address on your blog, do not forget to mention the original image source with links at the end of your blog (not the postimage links). SteemUP !

Good looking out

I think your article underestimates how difficult it is to start a business. At seven months you are typically in much worse position than Steemit - go ask any new franchisee month seven how they are feeling. Are they slow for features? Ya - but we are playing on their corporate site - I think its one of those like it or lump it things (but that's just my opinion). Upvoted :)

I have to respectfully disagree about why Steemit is floundering. It's the rewards.

figure out how to reward people for curation!!!

Whoever does this ( in a way that convinces the content creators it's worth their time ) will get a loyal user base.

figure out how to reward people for curation!!!

Good news! This has been solved! Go to your blog home page and click on the "Rewards" tab. You'll see an option for curation rewards and how many rewards you are receiving.

Do I win the loyal user base?