I have been writing down ideas in regards to how to make Steemit more efficient and adoptable. They had accumulated up to seven-ish. I have just dreamt three of them last night and woke up inspired to write (and design) this post. I am not well versed with blockchain technical issues. My suggestions are based on the average user's understanding of the platform and my experience as a user-experience professional.
[- 1 -] How-to-SteemitSteemit is a new concept and most people have an extremely hard time engaging with the platform. There should be a dedicated section, next to the main navigation, guiding new users through with step by step material. The section will be connected directly with a tag "How-to-Steemit". Content will be generated by users.
[- 2 -] Scroll-Lock (dreamt)(2.1). An article cannot be upvoted without opening it first. Upon opening, the user will get scrolled automatically through the end. Only then the vote option will become available. The scroll effect will be a fixed value determined on how fast the average person can read text. That’s about 300-400 words per minute. After the first initial read the scroll lock will be de-activated. During the first read, the user can scroll upwards but not downwards in case they missed something.
(2.2). The upvote button can become available only after the first scroll-lock phase has ended. If the article is upvoted then a comment has to follow. Otherwise the user receives only 40% of the potential reward.
The purpose of this function is to lock the user into an intellectual investment. Having invested time in reading, the user will then have an additional incentive to contribute even more to the platform. It also provides an additional edge compared to other social media platforms
[- 3 -] Comment Engagement (dreamt)(3.1). The length of a comment is relative to the document’s length. If for example the post is 1000 words, the comment has to be no less than 50 words. No comment can be less than 10 words.
(3.2). Depending on the amount of upvotes a comment receives (relative to other comments), rewards will increase from the 40% baseline. For example receiving 100% of the post reward will require two upvotes with a comment that also provides engagement. Comments with less than two upvotes receive only 70% of the post curation reward. Filler comments can be flagged so bot activity will be discouraged. @steemcleaners can incorporate this to their routine.
(3.3). The current upvote slider can also be incorporated in the comment reward function. If one feels an article is good enough and they can also provide a good comment, the percentage stake of the vote can increase.
The purpose of this function is to engage users more with the content and with each other while avoiding incidents of plagiarism and comment-filler posting.
[- 4 -] Cash Out Safe GuardThere is a lot of plagiarised content and scam accounts on Steemit already that drain the platform both financialy and reputation wise. The phenomenon will only increase as the platform grows, making Steemit extremely unreliable. One way to battle this phenomenon and encourage new users to engage long term, is to automatically safeguard the system from itself. Any new user with an initial post payout of 500 or more has to have a payment lock of 4 weeks. Cash out can also be initiated after a user reachers at least level 40 of reputation. This way, scam or abusive accounts can be flagged with the finances locked in the system.
[- 5 -] Pool Allocation of RewardsInitial post payments are made in 48 hours instead of 24. At the end of the 24 hour cycle the rewards get locked. Then a second cycle begins for another 24 hours. After 48 hours have passed the rewards of the first day are divided algorithmically to everybody as of current curation structure. The amount depends on the total pool accumulated on the first 24 hours. The second cycle rewards are distributed after another 24 hour window has passed.
The purpose of this function is to encourage new users to keep writing based on more balanced incentives. It also offers a solution for Steem’s inflation. (The function for the second payout can remain as is.)
[- 6 -] Promotional Sponsorship from WhalesBeing a whale or reaching a whale status will have reward obligations. 10% of the whale’s profits should go through a fund used for the advertisement of Steemit. This will incentivize engagement for new members since the leaders will be giving back to the community.
[- 7 -] Direct Conversion to USDOne of the toughest early adaptation curves for the average social media user is to go through the crypto-sphere in order to get the money out of Steemit. It is highly underestimated how clueless (and fearful) most people are when it comes to Blockchain technologies and/or crypto-currencies.
It is also massively underestimated how easy is to access current social media platforms in comparison to Steemit. There is a distinct learning curve and it is quite steep. For a platform that has a slogan along the lines of 'blogging for financial rewards' the user has to have an easy access to those rewards otherwise it looks like an elaborate scheme (even if it is not). One has to go through a lot of trouble to change Steem Dollars back to FIAT currency or even get into the basic workings of the platform. Getting a merchant license for direct cash exchange might be expensive but it will be the best investment in the project.
As an additional incentive for crypto-currency engagement, a 10% fee can be applied when cashing out in FIAT currencies. This percentage can supply the loan for getting an exchange license.
[- 8 -] Cash Out Fee (dreamt)The more a person cashes out the highest the fee should be. This can also help the long term investment in the platform. Fees will then be spread out among all active daily users (at least 4 posts a week) above the level of 50 and below the level of 60. This will increase the power of the users in the middle ranks, thus employing a more efficient direct referral incentive.
[- 9 -] Milestone GoalsThe higher reputation one reaches, the more one has to engage in the platform. The more one earns, the more they should spread their curation reward power. For example a minnow can vote freely with the current algorithm while a whale is obliged to vote many times with only 5% power (still more powerful than ~85% of the users in the platform). Any remaining non-curated funds will be allocated into the 50-60 reputation pool.
This will allow more people to get distributed rewards and whales retain their title without losing money. More distributed rewards also translates into more incentives and user referrals.
[- 10 -] Navigation ImprovementsThe transfer process from another social media platform has to be smooth (pun intended). Therefore comment notifications, upvotes, search and friend lists should be treated much like the architecture of facebook—the most popular platform. As of current architecture, it is extremely difficult to follow a post discussion in Steemit without clicking back and forth, opening multiple tabs in the process.
Remember folks. It doesn’t matter how much we love the blockchain, the decentralised ecosystem, free markets and voluntary associations. In nature the one who survives is neither the strongest, nor the smartest, but the one who is more efficient and adaptable to change. The internet world works much the same way.