"I am so excited! I have been in the platform for X days and I have made X amount of money. Look at my stats. I am no.X on steemwhales with X amount of followers. You can do it too!"
If you have been on Steemit for a while then you must have stumbled upon this daily dose of digital herpes. These posts might have seem great for people back in the early 2000's but they don't really work today. Sensible individuals with an I.Q ranging above room temperature don't buy it.
The author making this kind of posts purposefully milks a superficial enthusiasm for easy cash. Since both the newcomers and the whales will upvote on what seems a "positive" post, nobody really finds anything wrong about the act. The matter of fact though is that it will take the average user about a week to realize that Steemit is not a unicorn farting rainbow cash. Irreversible platform abandonment will follow. You can bet your ass these users will also share the experience with their friends. In the meantime, the pool rewards along with Steemit's fragile reputation gets lost in the black hole of shilling that we have created and actively promote as a community.
Exuberant advertising posts usually come from privileged users that never really had to do walk the bumpy road towards the top to begin with. Much like in any other industry in the real world, these are usually early adopters that managed to do the right connections at the right time. Everything else rolled out pretty much by itself. Best case scenario, these posts look similar to photoshopped products advertised by companies like McDonalds. They will superficially attract tons of people for easy revenue but not those who can see beyond the kool-aid.
McDonalds doesn't mind this because all mouths chew much the same. Steemit though is not McDonalds. We don't sell mass produced cheap burgers. We have the monumental task to try and compete with other social websites that already have good content and credibility. One marketing tactic does not fit all. This senseless shilling mentality should not be so hastily pushed from those who control the reward pool because they actually end up hurting their own investment in what seems good promoting content.
Outrageous claims about making easy money is a guaranteed recipe for failure since they raise all the warning flags about a scam. The situation much resembles a car salesman trying to push an overhyped delivery car to a skeptical buyer. The seller gives you the car for free as long as you drive it in order to deliver his goods for a small percentage of the profits. All you have to do is just drive around. The skeptical buyer might entertain the idea at the beginning to get the car but after a week driving they will return it. Not only they will realize that the car does not deliver as promised but he will notice that a handful of other drivers seem to be taking advantage of his route, collecting more for themselves.
Wouldn't it be better to let the customer decide what the car is all about? Isn't what the free-market — we so proud ourselves — stands for? Recycled cheap marketing tricks that we read in self-help books might have worked a decade ago but people are starting to wake up. They have worked so well that everybody is using the same tricks. They are as old and expired as door-to-door sales.
At the end of the day the people who will fall for this level of marketing will be the ones whom we don't really want to attract in a young platform to begin with — not at least before wide adaptation. A content creation platform that rewards good content needs actual good content creators first and then the rest of the crowd can follow. This is how the masses will actually acknowledge the rewards in the trending page. They quality bar will be higher, functioning as a quality meter for those who want to improve their game.
Half the comments we see on Steemit posts are either straight up sucking up to the author or batshit crazy. Worthy content creators that are "sharp" in identifying superficial content fillers will stay away once they witness this level of authorship in our platform. Meanwhile, gullible and naive believers that know the basics or kissing ass will flock for a quick buck and disappear even faster when the price drops. This is exactly the environment that they need to help them flourish. And guess what. We went through this phase once so far.
A respected author that wants to migrate from medium to Steemit will get immediately disappointed if they see self shilling posts earning thousands. The best advertising for Steemit is good content from every possible tag — not 70% content from the crypto world. Let's face it folks. We had a year to attract the crypto crowd. Those who were interested joined already and those who left ain't coming back unless they are going to make a cheap quick buck. Promoting more and more crypto-related posts will just make the platform look alien to good authors who are just getting their feet wet with the whole blockchain thing.
This is really a no brainer. A few people in here really have the power to change completely the flow of content but only a few are doing it properly. Part of the reason is the massive dead weight of crypto-related baggage that the platform has to carry from the past. Who would have thought. Some of the innovators and early adopters have become the new version of conservatives.
In competing place like Reddit, Quora and Medium good content shines through — by itself. The stakeholders of those companies don't push their own agenda so that the trending page will be filled with their own interests. These places have a real free-market economy were users give rise to the content that relates to themselves — not a whale plutocracy with vested interests.
An average user earning thousands every month on self-shilling content (when under normal circumstances would probably earn him the dick in his hand anywhere else on the internet) will make any respected author run away. No surprise that after a year of promoting and inviting top tier authors not a single one has sticked around. This excludes of-course other the anarcho-bullshiters who powered down and vanished once the price dropped. Talk about walking the talk huh?
2017 arrived with the Chinese market boom and we repeat the same exact mistakes, actually believing we are doing something "right" because new empty accounts and bullshit comments sky-rocket. A simple market crash bitch-slaps us back to reality quite fast whether or not the platform holds real value or whether we are pawns in the larger market scheme. Are we really that blind? Why continue this stubbornness and keeping the platform so inclusive to specific crowds? It makes one wonder. Are we purposely rewarding specific content to boycott ourselves from the outsiders in order to satisfy a small circle of insiders? Do some people actually hurt the community in order to keep the profit themselves?
Kind reminder that self-critiquing posts from Steemians that have been around since the very beginning demonstrate actual credibility to newcomers. It shows how the community is willing to improve by tackling its own mistakes. Self-shilling posts only sweep the dirt under the rug, hoping it will go away.