Here is our second interview. Today you'll meet Stoodkev, creator of the famous SteemPlus browser extension, which provides dozens of additional features to Steemit and Busy.
Could you say a few words about you ? Who are you ? Where are you from ? What is your "background" ?
Hi and thank you for taking the time to prepare this interview!
My name is Quentin and I am from France, although I have been living in Taiwan for the past 5 years!
After my Master Degrees in Aerospace Engineering and Business Administration, I decided to found a startup. That was a heck of a ride, but in the end it didn't pay off. I don't regret it at all since it helped me developing my Dev skills. After that, I started working freelance and got very fast addicted to the Steem blockchain.
What do you think about crypto-currencies in general ?
In my opinion, cryptos are a necessity and their rise is unavoidable, and I still think so in the middle of all these red candles. The important is to invest on technologies you believe in, not on the promise of short term gains.
Of course there are lots of shitcoins out there, but STEEM and other quality coins have the potential to change the way we consume.
When did you subscribe to Steem ? What drew you to it ?
I have susbcribed to Steem a bit more than a year ago, while looking for trading advices. Like many others, I was first interested by the financial incentive of posting on Steem, not only because I wanted to make money that way, but because I was curious to see the mechanisms behind it.
When did you decide to become a witness ? What was your original goal ? What are your current objectives as a witness ?
I decided to become a witness when I estimated I had enough knowledge of the Steem blockchain.
I'm still far from having a voice in case of Hard Fork, but I believe anyone who wants to run a witness needs to be capable of understanding the blockchain enough to take informed decisions regarding its future.
My initial goals have not changed since I started my witness 6 months ago:
Providing to the community the tools they need, and always put usefulness over profitability of these tools.
I think I can safely say I respected this promise since we are now having a weekly number of active users oscillating between 3100 and 3500 users.
Can you tell us about your witness node ? (Specs, difficulties encountered setting it up or maintaining it)
I lost several blocks this month dued to unannounced maintenance and another downtime of my provider, both while being away from home.
Because of that, I decided to change to another provider, in which I m running my witness on a 128GB RAM server, with 2 TB HDD and 1 gbit/s network.
What are your past, current and future projects on the Steem Blockchain ?
My main project on the blockchain is of course SteemPlus. As mentionned earlier, over 3000 active users use SteemPlus to add over 30 features to their Steemit and Busy experience.
This Chrome, Opera and Firefox extension is opensource and you can see the list of its features here.
We are now working on establishing partnerships with Steem services : PostPromoter, MinnowBooster and Utopian.io so far, DTube partership under developement and will soon release a token called SteemPlus Points that will reward users that use these third parties, and wich can be traded for upvotes or premium features.
I ve also worked on different Utopian projects, such as 1UP, that I m currently revamping for @flauwy. The goal is to let the community decide which posts are to receive big upvotes from a trail, with everyone having an equal say on the question.
I wrote the series SteemJs for Dummies to help the new Steem developers to avoid the struggle one surely encounters when first starting to use the library to develop DApps.
What are the best aspects of Steem (its comparative advantages over similar blockchains) ?
Steem transaction speed really stands out compared to other blockchains.
But more than that, what gives me a real confidence in the platform is the growing number of Steem Apps being created. When the cryptoworld finally understands that Steem is not only Steemit, it will realize that it s a full ecosystem with new dApps adding value to the blockchain on a regular basis.
What are the worst aspects ? What improvements need to be made ? Please prioritize from most urgent to not that important.
In my opinion the worst aspect of the platform is the quantity of spamming in its two different forms:
- Comment Spamming
- Trending Post Spamming
I have worked with @andybets to implement the SteemSincerity API that shows which users are spammers and display it on Steemit and Busy. Other users created communities to find and flag these spammers, while answering them to make them understand what they do is wrong. I don't think we can kill comment spamming completely but at least there are efforts being done to educate the spammers and hide their comments.
The worst part is what is happening to the Trending page. And it s sad it is still this way since this is mostly a UI problem. It would be technically possible to display a trending page that do not include bots votes. Services like SteemMarket makes it more complicate since it will cast countless votes originating from different users to a post, but it would still doable.
I advocate for a way to separate the Trending and the Promoted posts (it s supposed to be already the case by the way).
First, it is misleading for the new user on the amount one can gain on Steem. Two, these top trending posts add little to no value and hide some arguably more interesting posts.
I am planning to add to SteemPlus a way to promote posts without paying for votes in the future.
How do you see Steem in the future (as far as you are able to foresee) ? You can detail different timeframes. According to your own experience and discussions you may have had, what can be done to draw more people to Steem and, more important, to make them stay ?
As I mentionned earlier, the best thing that could happen and I'm quite confident in this becoming the norm with the many Steem Apps appearing lately, is that users will start their Steem experience on some of the DApps.
Youtubers starting on DTube, devs on Utopian, Hunters on SteemHunt, Musicians on DSound, etc. and then realizing that it is just a part of the ecosystem and that whatever their skills are, there is an App that s right for them!
Steem is much more than Steemit, and this richness will be lead to our success.
Finally, do you have any advice you would give to a wannabe-witness ?
You can start with @someguy123 awesome Steem in a box, but after a while, you d rather learn to use Steemd directly, to better comprehend the blockchain and update your version easily.
And to a classic Steem user ?
Community is everything on the blockchain. I started earning $1 a post thanks to a community, $10 a post thanks to the Taiwanese community, $100 a post thanks to Utopian.
More than money, I met people that I am now glad to call my friends, and learned a lot from a lot of people in here.
I don t think the Steem experience can be complete if you stay isolated.
Thanks a lot for taking the time to answer these questions.
Link to your witness intro : https://steemit.com/witness-category/@stoodkev/stoodkev-witness-update--august-2018
Our site : ivoted-steem.info
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