If you have been following me, you might have noticed that I recently discovered some other social networks which use blockchain technology. There were several reasons for doing that:
- see the competitors of Steemit
- see if they are true alternatives
- evaluating an idea for an app that involves multiple blockchain social networks
Here is a quick resume of all the networks I tested:
- Minds wants to be a place where there is no censorship, and besides being flooded by Asian users, there are a lot of Americans that express that they got banned or could not express themselves on traditional networks. I tried to go there and behave pretty much like here on Steemit, which did not really work out. Without boosting (and in some cases also even with that), you are getting close to zero attention. I also asked for API access to make my app idea mentioned above a reality, but there was not even a response from them. So I guess they are not as open-minded as they tell in terms of accessing their network from third parties.
- Sola.ai was the network that had the shortest testing phase. Their mobile app did not really work well (at least on my iPhone). The one thing that makes them stand out is the swipe mechanism, which is obviously copied from that popular dating app. They have a points system for rating from 1 - 100, but posting there and discovering full posts was a mess which caused me to vote for posts I did not want. I closed my account there after a week of getting used to it, which I could not achieve.
- Ono is a Chinese network that aims to be a true competitor to Steemit, and partly, it is the only one I discovered so far. There are some issues, for example, onboarding of new users is not that easy (that's why I wrote this tutorial). They are still seeking to rule out issues related to the GDRP, but they are on it. European users need to sign a form to continue using their app. They are very active on their Telegram groups, so you get indeed feedback about user issues. In terms of questions as a developer, there is also the will to help, but finalizing those requests seems not to be a top priority at Ono.
- Trybe is a pretty new competitor. Even though the idea of the network is similar to Steemit, the poor performance of the site is killing any positive aspect of the network. There is some hype around Trybe because they are using EOS tokens to reward users. From a developers point, I was put on hold for around 6 month, when they will switch from WordPress (bloated with tons of Plugins) to their own technology.
- I joined Sphere and CryptoSocial a few days ago. I was not able to evaluate them in the same way I did with those above until now. On a first sight, they seem to share the destiny of Minds and Sola.
Steemit dApp ecosystem
From a developers point of view, Steemit is the one and only network that is open for users and developers as well. Even though this resulted in the bid-bot flood, there are also other dApps that are built on top of the Steem blockchain.
Here are those that I support by using it and giving feedback:
- Busy & bSteem, two alternative user interface for Steemit (follow @busy.org)
- Steepshot, an Instagram like dApp (follow @steepshot)
- Actifit, a new app that tracks your daily activity, workouts and other fitness things and rewards it (SMT planned) (follow @actifit)
- Steemhunt, which I re-discovered again lately. Explore new products, rate them, share them, get rewards. SMT planned as well. (follow @steemhunt)
- Steemworld to get insights into my account (follow @steemchiller)
Over the past three weeks, I was evaluating one of my app ideas, as mentioned in the beginning of this blog post. The biggest project is currently frozen because I need API access also for the other networks, which seems to not happen any time soon. However, I already started to work on the base for two smaller projects, namely by writting a .NET based SteemConnect library that works similar to the official SDK. I hope to be ready for an announcement soon. If you are curios and want to have a look already, the source code is already on Github (alpha stage, use at your own risk!!!). I am currently focused on that part and there might be some breaking changes as I am also refactoring quite a bunch of the code already. Once that part is done, I will submit it to @utopian-io as well. Stay tuned.
There are quite some efforts to build more social networks with blockchain technology. However, as of today, only Steemit has a valuable and worthwhile product. I am on hold for the other networks, keep posting there occasionally, so feel free to join me over there as well. Please note that this post only reflects my personal experience - your mileage may vary.