I know, this is quite an unpopular opinion among the more serious content creators on this platform.
I’m speaking of those people, who put a lot of time and effort into their articles to entertain, educate or make their readers laugh. This is, simply put, the same thing I’m trying to achieve with my posts as well. But in a certain way I’m a bit different:
I have no problem with buying votes, quite the contrary:
I encourage those who create high quality content to use voting-bots.
There. I said it.
I’ve read articles from respected members of the Steemit community like @trumpan (this one), @tarazkp (this) or @krnel (there) – all stating their dislike of using bots to buy votes. And I admire their ideals, I really do. But I’m a grumpy realist and that’s why I think, they are wrong in not using them.
But let me explain to you, how I came to this conclusion.
When I started using Steemit, I thought of itself as a nice possibility to get some reward for your content and I believed, with hard and consistent work, everybody can build himself a decent audience, which enjoys the contents and rewards you accordingly.
But then I realized something and @yallapapi put it quite nicely here:
It is not a get rich quick scheme. It is not a get rich slow scheme. It is not a get rich at all scheme.
Change your expectations
You will not get rich in using this platform. You can be lucky, if you can get at least something out of it.
Everybody who believes otherwise should think again. For me, that’s alright, I never intended to get rich using this platform, but I like to write, so that’s what I do.
I’ve seen many people complaining about the trending pages filled with useless shit-posts, the ongoing flag wars between well-known members of the community and that quality content is not getting recognized.
Sure, there are projects like @steemstem and @curie, which are doing their best to reward content creators for their effort (my scientific articles usually get a decent reward from them, which is much appreciated), but naturally they can’t push well written content towards the trending pages, because meanwhile it’s way too expensive.
These projects are needed to reward authors for producing quality content, but they are far from enough. The authors need to act.
Another kind of evil
It's an idealistic approach that just because you create good content, readers will magically stumble across your blog. Steemit’s user numbers are increasing, everybody wants their share of the pie and without proper exposure, no one will notice you. You can think, that will change and that some users made it to the top in the past as well, and yes, you are right, but is was also easier for them, because there weren’t so many people around and the paid posts were not as dominant as they are today.
Even the curation teams of @steemstem and @curie, as much as I appreciate their work, can't fight the paid posts. We can be lucky if a SteemSTEM-Distilled makes it to the trending page, but other high-quality science posts are rarely seen there.
Personally, I do think, that's bad. In addition to the support I received from the SteemSTEM community I also used paid upvotes to get more exposure - because I do think, my content is worth it to get more attention (you're free to disagree, of course). With more available SBD, I will continue to promote my own posts and I encourage other bloggers, who are creating amazing content every day, to do so as well. Sometimes, to fight evil you need a different kind of evil.
I think, we need another way of dealing with this:
Fight useless, paid shit-posts with useful, paid content.
When I joined Steemit, SteemSTEM was the project which made me realize, there are indeed hundreds of people working to promote reason and science - but this was mainly, because a SteemSTEM-Distilled was featured on the trending page and I wanted to know more about it. It had exposure, thus attention. We're living in an attention-economy and we should use the available tools to promote a worthy cause.
Attention is an incredibly valuable resource these days and many people think quite simple:
What's popular is good, thus I like.
I'm not a supporter of this idea, but that’s the way, most human brains work. If you want people to read good stuff, you need to expose them to it.
The main problem right now is, that the ones producing quality content are often not willing to pay for votes. Probably because they think it's unethical or whatever. They are as quality driven as they are decent.
Personally, I think it's necessary to pay for votes, because that's the way this platform works now. Sometimes you can't have the "good vs. evil fight" but need to have a different kind of evil to fight another one.
I think, it would be not so hard to dominate the trending pages with quality content, if the responsible people would pay for it (they get it back anyway, so why not?) - and it would be so much more attractive for new users. Imagine a new guy comes to the platform and sees well-written posts about technology, science, art, etc. - instead of useless shit-posts. This can make a serious impression.
Sadly, right now most of the people I know, who produce quality content are not willing to use bots. They think it's bad for the platform in general, while I think we just have to adapt ourselves accordingly.
The bots will not go away, they are here to stay. People will use them, to promote mainly themselves and quality work will fall into oblivion.
I don’t judge people for using a system, they are free to do so and I’m not complaining about it. Instead, I do want to promote reason, science, fun, art, etc. – and I will gladly pay for it.
I think of it as paid advertising – only that it’s cheaper, because I get back most of the money anyway. There are so many people on this platform creating amazing content every day. Content, which is worth to be seen. But if we want this platform to succeed, to attract new users, I think the best way to do it, is to promote quality content. Dominate the trending pages with articles, which are worth reading.
The world will not change, just because you want it to
I can understand the reluctance of using vote bots, I really do. It feels dishonest, like cheating and most of the people who produce quality content are decent human beings as well. But in a free market society, the ones with the most attention usually get the most out of it. This might not be fair, but I don’t see a way of changing this. It’s naïve to think, people will just stop using the services of bots and everything will be alright. They will not stop. Many people are greedy, attention-craving beings – and that’s alright. I have come to terms with it, so I’m trying to find my own way of producing content worth reading and deliver it to the masses.
Sure, I could create meaningless shit-posts as well, but I still have some dignity left.
Feel always free to discuss my ideas and share your own thoughts about the things I’m writing about. Nobody is omniscient and if we all walk away a bit smarter than before, we’ll have achieved a lot.
Thanks for reading and stay smart.
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