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Hooray! It's been one year for me here in Steemit Land and it has been an amazing experience to say the least! In this post I will give you my thoughts and opinions about the platform, my time spent here and what I think could be done to help improve a steemians experience.
I found out about steemit through word of mouth on YouTube. I saw a few people here and there talking about it in the comments section and it peaked my curiosity.
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I decided to give it a shot so I jumped in with both feet. Boy, I was like a fish out of water. I was totally lost and didn't have anyone to help show me the proper way to manage or start up a new blog. It was very overwhelming. I saw where people were making lots of money with their posts and I wanted in on the action. I saw what other newbies were doing so I follwed suit. I made an introduction post that may have earned a penny or two, if that. I saw other introduction posts making several hundreds of dollars and I couldn't understand why, I still don't understand that to be honest lol. But I didn't get discouraged and I began creating posts. I got the impression from another newbie that to be successful, you had to pump out dozens of posts per day regardless of the quality of content. Needless to say that this was not the best approach to building a successful account in my opinion. I'm not going to lie, I started getting discouraged and almost gave up at times. But then I started looking at several different posts and comparing them. The "majority" of successful posts were well written and provided interesting content. The unsuccessful posts were the ones that was just a funny meme or something with little to no reader value. Now that doesn't mean that every quality post that you publish will be successful because it won't be, I promise you. I have spent hours on posts before and they never earned much money at all. Why, you ask? Chances are that my article just wasn't seen by the right people and became covered up by all of the other posts that were constantly being published. That's going to happen so just roll with the punches and keep moving forward. It's a great feeling when a whale or two votes on your work because it was a quality post and not just because you're popular or in a certain clique.
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I've met some very influential people here and that is priceless. I've also run across several spammers and frauds, but those people will show up on every platform.
I discovered bots and thought those were the way to gain reputation fast. The opinion on using bots is a very sensitive topic and also one that must be addressed with caution. What I mean by that is I have seen "flag wars" and heated debates over this topic. I'm still a nobody in this huge pond of fish and I don't understand how many things work. I've tried to understand how using bots is bad for the platform but I still don't have a clear prospective about it. Maybe @lindsaybows can give her take on using bots? She's an OG steemian that is very passionate about this platform. I have read articles talking about how voting bots will be the demise of steemit. I can honestly see points on both sides of the spectrum. If you think about it, what good is reputation if anyone can buy it? But on the other hand, if you invest your own money in something, you should be able to do what you want with it. Maybe in steemit 2.0 there will be a limit on bots or something, who knows? This may be something that @ned is working on. I do know that bots are popping up left and right. Some are legit and provide a decent ROI where others are actually not worth messing with and you may even lose money by using them. I'm friends with some respected OG steemians that have been here from the start and they have never bought a vote and are opposed to using them. Again, this is a touchy subject that I'm NOT qualified to debate, I'm merely stating my observations.
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Speaking of votes...If you're new, you will more than likely run across another new account that suggests that you both work together and trade votes. Now, if you're actually friends with someone then that's one thing, but casting a vote for a total stranger that may or may not have decent content is another and probably should be avoided.
Everyone is different with how they cast their votes. I know someone on here that will not vote on my work (no matter what it is) unless I vote on theirs first lol. I had suspicions that this was the case so I actually tested my theory and sure enough, it was like clockwork. This is fine if that's how you want to run your account, who am I to say what is right or wrong. I just think it's interesting how some peoples minds work. As far as how I vote, when it comes to voting on peoples posts, I will visit the most recent posts in my feed or that pops in my head and vote according to what I think the post deserves. I follow several people so it's impossible for me to visit and vote for all of them. There is one person that I always vote as much as I can but it's also warranted. This person has helped me tremendously in so many different ways that I will never be able to repay them. This person also publishes quality content and deserves more votes than what they usually get so it's the least I can do to be as supportive as I possibly can be. I also try to help newbies when it's warranted. I know how it was when I started out, so when someone visits my posts regularly and leaves "genuine" comments, I try to help them out. Now once they get their foundation formed, I will adjust the votes accordingly.
Voting on comments left on my posts... Again, everyone does this different. I tend to base my vote by the actual comment itself and also if the person leaving it is a loyal follower or not. I try to take care of the people that visit my posts regularly and leave quality comments. Some people will think this method is wrong and that's totally okay. I'm not saying the way I do things is right or wrong, it's just the way that I want to do them. Some people don't vote on any comments left on their post and that's also totally fine because it's how they want to run their account. Some people will stick to certain percentage and stop after a certain amount has been given and that's cool too. I'm just giving examples of how different people operate their blogs and how I operate mine. I know that I was extremely confused about this stuff when I started, especially since my vote wasn't worth anything.
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Auto-voter system... This is another topic that I'm a lil wishy-washy on. It's a nice gesture when someone adds you to their list of automatic votes BUT, it's also got a generic feel to it sometimes. What I mean by that is that if I post a simple meme, I will get a small vote from @joeblow4u that has me on his auto-voter list. And if I spend 4 hours writing an article on the very deep thoughts of the Bandit, I will get the exact same small vote from @joeblow4u and he probably won't even read it. So if all of my followers had me on an auto-voter and rarely read my work, what's the point in putting forth the effort? I'm not saying that I'm not grateful or not appreciative of auto-votes, but sometimes it would be nice if the vote matched the content. I personally don't use an auto-vote system for the very reason I stated. If I read your post and like it, then I will probably give you a 100% vote. I like having the discretion and use of my slider. Again, that's just me and how I operate, I'm not saying it's right or wrong.
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Self-voting! Boy, this has been a helluva topic in the past! I've seen some heated debates over this topic and again, I have mixed emotions about it. If you're wondering why I'm on the fence about some of these things, it's because I don't know everything about the topic and I've seen good points from both sides. I'm not afraid to admit that I don't know everything and besides, I'm still just whale sperm in the scheme of things. But anyway, I feel like if I have produced a quality post, then I should be able to vote on it without the fear of being judged. But as far as my comments goes, I won't vote on my own comments because of personal reasons. Once again, I'm not saying this is right or wrong, it's just my opinion. I know people that will vote .02 on someones comment and then vote their own reply to that persons comment at .25. Is that right or wrong? I don't know but it's their business and who am I to judge?
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I think it's really important to find a group that you like or have common interests with. Joining a group will get you more exposure and is also a fun way to socialize. I was fortunate enough to find a group when I started. Ironically, the group #steemsilvergold was just starting up when I joined. I've been in this group since I was a wee tadpole and I'm thankful that I joined. There's a lot of good people in there that share a common interest in stacking metals.
#thealliance is another great group of people that I'm proud to be a part of!
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What would I change about steemit if I could? I would take a look at what is currently a threat to the platform or what is chipping away at the appeal to joining for new users. I have tried to spread the word to people in hopes to recruit new members and either the person has never heard of it before and is scared of crypto due to the negative media and volatility, or they think steemit is a ponzi scheme because of lack of knowledge and false rumors. With that being said, I would maybe look at forming a group or committee in charge of public relations and/or advertising for the platform. I think this would be valuable for recruiting new members. I would then look at what may be hurting the prize pool and address it accordingly. I would also look at what might be tarnishing the reputation of steemit and try to fix it. I would attempt to police the spamming and people trying to take advantage of the prize pool more aggressively. How I would do this, I don't know. I know being decentralized is a great thing but it also comes at a price. I've seen some extremely fishy stuff on here that appears to be unethical practices, like fleecing the prize pool, but what can you do? When you're a nobody like me, it feels like there's nothing you can do but mind your own business lol.
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What's one of the things I dislike about this place? Nothing really against the platform, but I hate to see some people lower their standards just for a little bit of money. I can't stand to see ass kissers! It's very common to see people gravitate towards users with a high reputation and/or a fat wallet. Then you will probably witness a lot of smooching going on. I've seen people that I thought I knew change real quick when they got on here. Money changes people something awful. Don't get me wrong, I like money too but I value "true" friendship and pride more. Peoples priorities are just different I guess. I use to let it bother me, but now not so much. The strong friendships that I have acquired outweigh the ones that have faded.
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What do I love about this place? Socializing with cool people and getting paid for it of course! I've met people on here that have changed my life for the better. I have made a friend that is willing to drive across the country just to see me. How frickin cool is that?
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Do I have any advice for anyone that's interested in joining or just starting out? Why hell yeah I do! If you're just starting out, try not to get discouraged if things are going slow for you. Post quality content consistently and it will eventually pay off. Don't get discouraged when you're regulars don't visit your blog every single time. If your followers are anything like me, they are following a bunch of people and it's impossible to visit each ones post, so yours just may not have hit their radar at the right time. And there's also this thing called life that gets in the way also :)
Try not to get star struck and forget about your friends. Your buddies vote may not be worth as much as the persons that you're chasing but which is worth more to you, friendship and loyalty or a few decent upvotes?
I really hope that there was at least one thing in this post that was a value to someone. I know that the price of steem is a bummer right now, but don't let that discourage you from building your account and becoming established in the land of steemit. I have faith in steemit and the sbd so I'm not worried at all! It will just make the day when steem shoots to the moon that much sweeter!
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Have a great day, guys! I hope to see every one of you in year 2!
Non Ducor, Duco