The Real Currency Here Is Relationship
I, like many here, joined Steemit full of curiosity and a healthy dose of skepticism. My first entry to the Steemit blockchain was a Facebook thought with 21 likes and 9 shares about Independance Day. I tried it out here and made a little over $1. Cool! I finished reading the Steem white paper and got a lot more excited. My second post was on non-violent communication and Dan gave me an upvote. $34? WHAT? That's awesome!
Next I was on to my introduceyourself post, and it did rather well (who can complain about $144?!?) but it also wasn't the huge money maker I saw elsewhere at the time. I kept posting with comparatively little success. I didn't quite get how all this works. I was asking questions in Slack and answering as many as I could as well. I kept posting and tried to highlight helpful stuff like using github gists for long draft posts, building product pages on Steemit, or a functioning banlist to help someone who was being abused here. I also worked on some PHP scripts for understanding the economics of Steem Power (which I incorrectly called "interest" but is actually share dillution). Things were starting to take off a bit. Some of my posts were being noticed, others not so much. I didn't really get what was working and what wasn't or why.
And then, it started to click.
It's All About Relationships
I've been constantly connecting with people in the Steemit Slack and on Steemit, replying to almost every comment, adding relevant comments to posts I like, and, in a very real sense, building relationships. I connected with other PHP developers, anarchists, technologists, and philosphers. I was promoting undervalued posts I'd find in the Slack postpromotion channel. One time I even promoted a post on crocheting just because they replied to a comment of mine, and their art was pretty cool (I know nothing about crochet). I want to see more diverse content on Steem, and aparently I'm not alone because that post eventually started trending.
As you can see from my posts activity, I've been really active commenting and adding value to other people's discussions as best I can (to the detriment of my sleep and business). This stuff is addictive, yo.
This Really Is a SOCIAL NETWORK
It's all about connecting with others and creating value through conversation. Just last night I was explaining Steemit at a Liberty on the Rocks meetup here in Nashville, TN. I followed my usual script. Start by explaining how money is a ledger and "blockchain" just means a decentralized, distributed ledger making it the best form of money ever invented. Then explain tokens of value and tell the story of a pizza which sold for 10,000 bitcoin that would now be worth well over $6 million. Position Steemit as the first killer app for blockchain technology mass adoption. After all that, I described the quality of the conversations here. An analogy that came to mind is how when you're playing poker with fake money, it's not a very good game of poker. When you're playing with real money, things get real. The same thing happens on Steemit. People put real time and effort into conversations and relationship building because they represent real actual value.
In a world of anonymous trolls, Steemit is about reputation.
The real currency of value on Steemit is relationship. I realized this even more as my wife @corinnestokes started posting and not seeing much in response. We were both confused. Why had it come so easy to me?
But It Hasn't Been Easy
I've been commenting, reading, curating, talking in Slack. I've been building relationships.
According to Steem Whales (thank you @heimindanger!), some of the names you recognize have been working HARD to not just publish great original posts, but also actively comment and connect with others. Example:
I've still got a ways to go on the post rewards list (currently at #324):
But as far as post count, I'm at #50 and actively building connections:
It's not about quantity, but quality, and I feel my quality is rapidly improving.
I didn't realize it at the time, but I was also highlighted in a post by @pfunk over a week ago. Maybe that's why people were finding my posts? @pfunk was thinking in terms of relationship, connection, and networking. I started to see more connections of people consistently voting up my more recent content. It clicked. I was working at building relationship and my wife, so far, was just trying to put out good content.
Side note, go ahead and comment on something of hers to say hello. She's kind of an introvert! :)
Ultimately, if you want to build something here, think in terms of relationship. Add value to those around you. Don't forget, this is a:
Be social. Connect. Comment. Promote others. Get involved with the real currency of Steemit.