Weku, Whaleshares, Bearshares and Other Steemit Clones: The "Dilution Challenge"

in #steemit2 years ago

In the course of the last few months — most likely inspired (at least in part) by the slumping crypto markets — we have seen a variety of Steemit "clones" pop up on the social content landscape.

I say "clones," because each pretty much looks like someone took the Steemit source code, made a few tweaks, named some things differently and set up shop doing pretty much what Steemit set out to do.

Winter sunset

It's a Free Country, of Course...

Naturally, taking someone else's idea and copying it is nothing new.

And I'm sure the originators of each of these clones fully believes that they are "taking a completely different approach" in taking on the daunting task of doing "something like Steemit," but free of the problems and mistakes that plague this community.

And nothing wrong with that. The idea that "I can do a better job!" has driven many an entrepreneur to innovate, over the years.

Now, I'm not going to get into a criticism of whether or not being a copyist (or whatever you want to call yourself) is a good, bad or indifferent thing. The record will eventually speak for itself. But there's a specific hurdle that faces all copyists:

Memories of summer

The Dilution Challenge

Even if you have only the best and most idealistic of intents, it's a pretty well established fact that you pretty much have to turn an existing paradigm into something totally new and revolutionary in order to significantly draw people away from the original. The concept of having the "first mover advantage" definitely applies.

Simply copying with a few tweaks might attract some initial attention, but — kind of like it tends to happen with movie sequels — once the initial attention dies down a bit, most people go back to the original and the copy never gets very far out of the "shadow." Some limp along for a few years and slowly go away with a whimper, rather than a bang... some decide it is "more work than we expected" and fold up their tents quite quickly.

On web content platforms, what tends to happen is that a bunch of people — often disgruntled with the actions of the "original" — get together and form a well-intentioned splinter group with the intent of offering "improvements;" they attract a good number of initial joiners/members... and then things stagnate quietly fizzle out.

Sometimes a venue gets itself established pretty well, thanks to a "fortunate accident."

For example, Weku — in its early launch stages — got a huge boost as a result of Steemit's HF.20 debacle, accidentally drawing possible 1000+ fairly prominent Steemians who were fed up with a blank screen and no voting power at Steemit. But that's not the sort of thing you can write into a business plan.

Pink daisies

The Dilution Challenge: Part Two

Of course, the further you get from the original, and the the more copies down the road are already in the marketplace... the harder it gets.

Latecomer Bearshares actually appears to be a derivation of Weku, which is a derivation of Steemit. Problem? After a while — even if you do have a pretty decent concept — you end up where your pool of followers gets to be pretty tiny. After all, how many people are going to be part of 3, 5, 10 or more pretty identical clones of the same social sharing concept?

Eventually you get to a point where you only have a handful of genuine followers and the usual horde of people who'll sign up for absolutely anything that offers the potential to make a few cents, even if they never actually use the site.

So it becomes really important to be quite discerning, in terms of where you put your effort, and your web content. Remember, something might sound like a really cool alternative, but if almost nobody is using it, it's still pretty useless.

Thanks for reading!

How about YOU? Have you checked out any of the growing number of Steemit clones out there? Have you joined any of them (Disclosure: I have accounts on Weku and Whaleshares) or are you just on Steemit? What do you think are the chances a "copy" will become more popular than the original? Leave a comment-- share your experiences-- be part of the conversation!


(As usual, all text and images by the author, unless otherwise credited. This is original content, created expressly for Steemit)
Created at 190104 19:52 PST


Simply copying with a few tweaks might attract some initial attention, but — kind of like it tends to happen with movie sequels — once the initial attention dies down a bit, most people go back to the original and the copy never gets very far out of the "shadow."

That's true, yet it's funny that what might seem like a few tweaks could have huge effects on the network and make it far better place to be. What is also needed, unfortunately, is a professional top tier branding and marketing factor too. Cloners shouldn't kid themselves that the people they want to reach are "normies" and so love to buy into brand, hype and good UX.

I think smoke.io is doing is best so far.

I think a lot of people hear "complaining noises" and start a new venue, thinking that the 100 or so gripey users are actually tens of thousands.

Then the reality sets in: Just because someone is complaining doesn't mean they are quite ready to abandon ship. A great exercise is to look at the "new posts" feed for each of these sites... Whaleshares had 11 new posts in the last 30 minutes; Weku had 14... and here we had hundreds.

Yes, Smoke appears to be doing quite well... and they had the wisdom to make themselves a niche site.

So true and bearshares, by the way, is created by Noganoo. lol... Another point, Who are the leaders, the witnesses etc.

I've looked at all of them and haven't been active on any of them.

Created by Noganoo...? When I click the "Sign Up" button on Bearshares, I am taken to a Google Login page. So, whomever is running Bearshares is either Google, themselves, or partnering with them, apparently. ☹️

That's funny, about bearshares... created by someone shunned from a site where cheating and gaming the system ran rampant till certain people had their accounts locked.

I tend to "make accounts" on most new platforms as a defensive move to prevent someone from trying to leverage 20 years of building a social media identity.

Game on dude, next one that pops up I will grab @denmarkguy !

i.e. do not touch with 10 foot pole.

Honestly my friend for the very reasons you mention I have not an inkling of desire to check out any of the Steemit/Steem clones.

Iam with Steem long term. Notice I said Steem not Steemit :)

As always thank you for the well thought out and well written blog post :)

I'm with Steem long-term, as well. Not sure which front end I'm going to end up favoring... for the past few months I have mostly been using SteemPeak.

I have not check any of them and prefer only put my effort on Steem.

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I tend to put my effort in here, too. This is where I have the most time and effort invested, so this is where I give my best effort.

It’s a sad reality that steemit is taking a dip right now from a certain point of view you can call these clones taking the advantage or exploiting the community by taking a portion of the traffic.

But this also largely due to the fact of mismanagement by the ceo and his team

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Trying to "do better" because there's a dip in the markets and people are unhappy over that... is pretty short sighted. Most coins — whether they have a social site attached, or not — are down 90% in the last 12 months... and there's no "fix" for that, at an individual level.

Yes, we had some mismanagement here... mostly relating to the false belief that the price of everything would just keep going up, and up, and UP.

Yeah i didn’t say whether we should be trying to do better all I pointed out was that people are taking advantage of the fact that Steem is down right now and attracting traffic to their website.

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This post has been included in today's SOS Daily News - a digest of all you need to know about the State of Steem.

Thanks for the support — appreciate it!

Yea, most clone will eventually die and my vote for long term goes to whaleshares. Although the place I have more power is weku, I guess you also know that, @teamnepal.

I think Whaleshares might do OK because they were already a Discord community for a year before they ever got the free-standing site up and running... so there's already a background of support in place.

I just worry whether the early starters and witnesses can keep their enthusiasm going in the long run. I already see a few small examples of "the usual problems" starting to show up there.

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Great post - food for thought.

Thanks; glad you found it useful.

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