Why Steemit is a 'Real' Social Media (Posting about Steemit on Medium!)

in #steemit2 years ago

Eeek - my first foray into writing about Steemit outside the Steemit platform. I published this on Medium a couple of days ago - you can find the original post here and you are more than welcome to share it in your networks. I'm still not feeling FUD, despite recent politics and controversary, choosing to focus on the absolutely freaking awesome things about Steemit.

Let me know what you think!

Why Steemit is a Real Social Media

Imagine earning crypto for every post you write on a social media platform. Imagine being in an online environment where you have the opportunity to meet new people from all over the world every day, as well as interact with people who have become part of an extended family, so much so you genuinely care about them and would invite them over for a cup of tea any day. Imagine an online environment where trolls are not only incredibly rare, they get hen pecked out of the coop and made invisible. Imagine a social media which has something for everyone, whether you’re a photographer, an artist, a homesteader or a philosopher. Imagine a social media that eschews censorship, does not choose friends or content for you based on spurious algorithms, and doesn’t rely on advertising to sustain itself.

This is Steemit, something I consider is a ‘real’ social media, and has caused me to lose interest in all others. I have now been a Steemit addict for nearly 324 days.


I stop short of blogging about my breakfast. Hang on, no I don't - on Steemit, anything goes. Image by Raw Pixel on Unsplash

Founded in 2014, Steemit is a social networking and blogging website that rewards those who post and curate content. If you are ‘upvoted’ by readers (similiar to claps on Medium) you are rewarded with small amounts of a crypto-currency called steem. Whilst earnings are sporadic and can be so tiny they’d make a grown man weep, if you’re noticed by ‘whales’, which are big investors in the platform, you might get an upvote that takes your post up to anywhere between $10 and $30 — at the time of writing. When the cryptocurrency market was up, a whale upvote could earn you up to $100, as I found out on one of my early posts, an Australian gothic horror story which you can read now on Medium too.

Rewards for Posting — Does Financial Incentive Matter?

Since March, I’ve posted nearly every day, as that’s how one builds followers and gets noticed. I’ve loved doing it as it’s fine tuned my writing skills, connected me to people from Colorado to Belize to South Africa, and fed my desire to be creative. I have also loved the logistics of it, as it feels like one giant strategic game. There is always something to learn and new things happening. The creative output of others is also incredible. I’m constantly in awe of my fellow human beings and what they do, and that I have a chance to interact with these wonderful Steemfolk on a daily basis.

Having been such a diligent poster, I now have nearly 4,500 steem power (the more steem power you have, the more ‘vests’ or investment you have, and thus your influence increases) which in today’s market means my account is worth about $1000 US dollars. That’s not alot for daily writing, but as most hardcore Steemians will attest, if the value of steem increases, that will be worth considerably more. Those that have been around a long time and are loyal to the platform are ever hopeful for a bull market, because it will prove lucrative indeed. And yes, it is absolutely spendable. I can easily change steem into any other crypto currency and then into AUD on Coinspot and many other exchanges which allow you to do so. Whilst earning $2 a post might not seem a lot to you, it can mean a meal for someone in other parts of the world, and it’s a lot more than I would get for posting about my life on Facebook!

The apocalyptic drop of bitcoin and other crypto currencies, however, brought a lot of FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) to Steemit. People that were used to earning between $8 — $20 on their posts suddenly were earning a lot less, and simply felt there was no point in all in continuing the effort. The place became a ghost town. We’d post and refresh the screens. No comments, no resteems, no upvotes. Nada, zilch, zip. It was like shouting into the void and we were bereft, lonely and disconsolate. Where was everyone?

Then, the magic really started to happen. Many Steemfolk realised they weren’t in just for the money. Yes, it was a bonus, especially for those who’d given up their day jobs to be part of the steem economy, but they loved the engagement far more. The rallying cry echoed through Steemit: support your community, folks, because that’s what’s going to save us. Reassessing, many of us related to this immensely and deeply. What was of more value to us? Was money as important as the other gains we’d received from being part of this innovative, experimental and alternative social media?

Community Matters

The answer for many of us was ‘no’ — we didn’t want to lose the friendships we’d gained in the communities we’d joined. Many had attached themselves to such communities on Steemit, providing identities that are not unlike real life. There’s a writers group, a makers and builders group, a collective of artists, a bloggers group, environmentalists, travellers, a cannabis collective, vegans and environmentalists, crypto enthusiasts and coin stackers. By being part of these communities, you are more likely to be noticed by others within that interest area, and gain upvotes and comments by using relevant hashtags on your posts.

The homesteading community, for example, is one of the largest on Steemit, the tag #ghsc standing for ‘Global Homesteading Community’. They run a Discord chat room (Discord is an ‘cross-platform voice and text chat app designed specifically for gamers’ and where a lot of the action happens, including radio chat shows and the opportunity to promote your posts.). I myself run a group called ‘Natural Medicine’, designed to promote and celebrate posts about alternative healing. With Facebook notorious for shutting down what it deems as ‘fake news’, Steemit is a great way to connect to alternative healing wisdoms that might not be allowed elsewhere.

Competitions & Challenges

One of the most fun ways to engage on Steemit is via challenges. These can range from creating a DIY project, singing a song, writing fiction to particular prompts to answering philosophical questions such as ‘What would you do if you ruled the world?’. With many people writing on the same topic at once, it’s a chance to interact with others that I haven’t seen on any other social media.

Sometimes the prize on offer is liquid steem, sometimes it’s a delegation for a month (delegation is steem power that is lent out to increase your voting power), sometimes it’s an upvote for a month, which is awesome if it’s a big account. Winning one of these increased my upvote from around $2 to $8 twice a week for a month, which was a real buzz. Again, if you think this is pittance, ask yourself how much you earn on your Wordpress blog (incidentally, Wordpress now even has a plug in called ‘Steempress’ which means you can post to Steem at the same time you post to Wordpress).

The Value of Steemfolk Friendships

Last year, I made firm friendships via these groups that I treasure enormously. Being fairly isolated where I live, and struggling to connect to like minded people, it was refreshing to chat to people that shared my interests. The magical thing was that it wasn’t just connections that helped financial gain, but genuine friendships that were ready to talk when you were suffering, or needed advice. This kind of thing was what I was searching for on social media all along, and what I was missing on Facebook, where hundreds of friends showed little interest in what I was up to unless it was a happy post — an anniversary, or a photo of a sunset.

In turn, I felt good when I could support people on the Steem blogging platform and by association, Steemians on Discord. People that were struggling in their real lives with broken marriages, debt, anxiety or even more day to day dramas like sick chickens or what the best medicines might be for a flu could log on, connect and talk to other human beings, albeit miles away. One of my best friends on Steemit lives in British Columbia, and despite the fact I can’t see her or hug her, I know she’s there for me whenever I might need her.

People might say there’s no substitute for real life friendships and in many ways I agree with this utterly. When the opportunity arises to spend time with real life friends and family, I drop Steemit like a hot cake — it’s a no brainer. But the simple fact remains — for many of us, isolation is the norm. Who do we turn to when real life friends are busy or otherwise preoccupied? Where do the introverts go, the black sheep, the lost and alone? Where, for example, does the woman go who can’t tell her husband she’s paralysed with suicidal thoughts, whose family lives in another country? Where does the woman go who is bound into her farm in the middle of a political crisis in Nicaragua? How do people connect to others on isolated homesteads subsistence farming? It is one of the wonders of the modern age that we have these technologies to connect us to others, and Steemit is by far the best.

Real Life Meet Ups & a Returned Faith in Humanity

Whilst we’ve spent years hearing the warning signs about the dangers of real life meeting people we’ve met online, we’re moving into a different age where the two bleed together happily. Steemfest was held in Krakow last December and I jealously watched as so many Steemians who’d been interacting online got to party together for the weekend and cement the friendships they’d been building for months. For some, it was life changing.

Even today I just finished reading a post by someone I met back in March. Hailing from Brazil, Arthur (or @mrprofessor as he’s known on Steemit) flew to Europe to go to Steemfest and then cycle throughout Europe on his bike, where he ended up in London at a hostel and had his bike stolen, including his tent. With little money to his name, Mr P was understandably devastated and in a complete bind. No work, nowhere to stay, no bicycle and miles from home was no way to be in the middle of a British winter, and I was worried for him. Yet luckily, there was a Steem meet up that weekend, and attending would mean all the difference. A fellow Steemian gave him her unused bike to lend and lined him up a place to stay with a friend of theirs. What kindness total strangers can show!

This is not the only time my faith in humanity has been restored on Steemit. One woman was lent steem to afford a flight to Amsterdam when she found out her best friend’s child had died in a terrible accident. Another was given support when her husband left her with three small children and no means to make an income. Often this support comes unsolicited — people here just want to help.

I’ve seen people fundraise and donate post payouts for people in need, and the Steemit DAPP ‘Fundition’ allows for fundraising across the blockchain in a similiar way to Go Fund Me or other crowdfunding platforms. Charities such as @walkofhope (that bring livelihood training to people in the Phillipines via music and art), @littledisciples (which supports children’s education in Venuzuela) and @adollaraday (which distributes steem funds to those who need it) are all beautiful examples of Steemfolk doing what they can to support those who need it.

This is real social media — a ‘medium’ where people have the means to ask for, and gain support for, real life projects and needs, and be able to help.

Steem OnBoarding & Other Issues

If you’re expecting a neat and easy to use platform, you’d be in for a shock. It took me months to figure out the tricks of the trade. This is indeed a pitfall for many users, and since a change to the platform meant that new users would run out of bandwidth very quickly, coupled with a tricky sign up process that can take weeks to get an account, many leave before they’ve found their feet.

However, it’s not all bad news — I’ve lost count of the Steemians willingly to delegate (that is, lend some of their own steem power) to ‘newbies’ (or plankton as they’re known in the ocean metaphoric hierarchy of the steem ecosytem) so that they are able to use it. If you’re thinking of joining up, write an introduction post and watch people flock to your assistance. We want you to love it as much as we do, and we want you to succeed because every single one of you are worth it. Us Steemfolk KNOW that people are freaking awesome.


Steemfolk are always willing to help. Photo by Guilli Pozzi on Unsplash

There is also the management of Steemit by Steem Inc. Lack of transparency and communication has meant many are angry with how the CEO sees the operating of Steemit and the future of the platform — or not, considering SteemInc is ‘powering down’ much of it’s steem (to power down to convert steempower to steem and then likely onwards out of the blockchain). Whilst this post is not about the politics of Steemit, it is worth noting that it’s difficult to avoid it. And, by the time I got this far writing this article, ads were appearing on Steemit. It’s something most of us agree is necessary to keep it going, but we’re still unsure where the revenue goes, as it’s certainly not advertising and promoting it.

It’s also tricky to figure out what the hell is going on. Multiple platforms for posting can be confusing — I use Steempeak, for example, to write, save and schedule posts as well as distribute funds, but I use Partiko for my mobile comments. They are simply different ways to interact with Steemit and I enjoy the choices they bring, as well as a competitive element as developers work to create the best for their users. This might overwhelm new users. However, there is always someone to help should you need to ask.

Something for Everyone

DApps are also springing up like crazy. These are decentralised apps where back-end code runs on a decentralized peer-to-peer network rather than centralised servers like Youtube. This means less censorship and control, but storage and other problems (such as lack of funding) means they don’t always run as smoothly as possible. However, the future is bright for this kind of technology, breaking away from the totalitarian rule of establishments like Google, Youtube and Instagram and allowing more freedom for their users. Whilst initially hard for users to get their head around (so there’s blogging on Steemit, right, but you can also post to Steepshots or Actifit or Dsound and earn steem that way) they are the reason most of us have confidence that despite what happens with Steem Inc, Steemit and the steem blockchain are here to stay. They invite more ways to interact and are as diverse as the users that engage with them.

This is another reason why I believe Steemit is truly a ‘social’ platform. Imagine a party with guests from all over the world. Some will be writers and will prefer long form articles. Some will be photographers and hate the idea of writing more than a line to explain their work. Some will be poets. Some will be musicians. Whilst photosharing apps (Instagram), blogging platforms (Medium), shorter blog platforms (Twitter, Tumblr) all separate out into different types of users, Steemit brings them all together. You choose what you want to engage with, and what you want to write. Whilst for a long time poeple bemoaned ‘shit posts’ — poorly edited, poorly sourced — many are realising that this kind of diversity is what makes the Steem platform awesome. There’s a great deal of freedom in that. Whilst I used to spend hours making a piece word perfect and beautifully formatted, sometimes I can let that go and simply write a couple of paragraphs about what’s going on in my garden. The wider appeal might not be there, but the people I interact with will comment and question and add value by sharing their own insights about what I’m doing, and in turn, I’ll visit their posts and see what they are up to.

It’s thus not always really about the content. It’s about the people.

The Steemit platform has many failings, and some may argue that they left the platform because of it — plagariasm, bots that upvote poor content, the invisibility of underdogs, low rewards for content that hearts and souls have been poured into, and so on. Yet for me the ability to connect with people in ways I don’t on other platforms make Steemit a more ‘real’ social media, and I’m hoping it’ll be around for a long time to come.

Have you posted about Steemit on other media?




But the simple fact remains — for many of us, isolation is the norm. Who do we turn to when real life friends are busy or otherwise preoccupied? Where do the introverts go, the black sheep, the lost and alone? Where, for example, does the woman go who can’t tell her husband she’s paralysed with suicidal thoughts, whose family lives in another country? Where does the woman go who is bound into her farm in the middle of a political crisis in Nicaragua? How do people connect to others on isolated homesteads subsistence farming?

So true. This almost made me tear. Isolation is very real in this postmodern age. I think if all of us going back to close-knit village communities is not a viable option, then at least we have this alternative.

Thank you for writing this <3

p.s. resteemed

Oh I WISH we could restructure our societies so we werent so alone. I'd love to go back to living in a commune of sorts.

Thanks so much for your gorgeous comment.

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Awww we could use a 3-hectares commune🤗🤗

This post summarizes all the awesome things about steem! Very well written, making me excited about the platform over again. I think I wasn't a steemian already, I'd be interested in giving it a try. So happy to resteem!

Thankyou! Yes I felt reenergized writing it, even though I've had to create more distance from Steemit to stay sane. That's a bit of a paradox I guess.

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I have always believed in steemit since the first day I heard about it and I have never given

Yay!! That's awesome and an upvote from me!

Excellent article and I’m happy to see it floating the airwaves outside of the steem o verse! A medium article was originally how I decided to “give steem a try” and I think outside voices do a world of good. Well done amiga!! ❤️💙💚

Thankyou beautiful Xxxx

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That's such a good introduction of Steemit to the outside world giving a holistic view of the platform.
It's the same with me, I hardly have been on other forums since the time I have been on Steemit and most of my time goes here. Since July 2017 there has not been a single day without steemit in my life 😍

Thankyou. It's certainly very much become part of our lives! I do take breaks sometimes for my mental health though!

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Have you posted about Steemit on other media?

On Medium

Hi. Did you read the title and opening paragraph??

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Hi. Did you read the title and opening paragraph??

Yes. And the whole article.

On the Medium road:

We're past the stage of Steemit talking about Steemit on Steemit & off Steemit.
When an exponential technology is at one percent; you are halfway to one hundred percent.

Oh because my title said I wrote about it on Medium AND my opening paragraph said as much. I even provided the link.

When you say 'past the stage' you are right.

You still didn't really read it as you'd know that I published this on Medium. HENCE why I asked you that question.

Read the title again

Read the title again

Read the title again. 😊

  • If you have not already done so, please indulge me & click the coloured text in my comments, beginning with the first comment.
  • I am not as precocious as you to divine, who read what. Do you have a special gift or software?

PS: Have resteemed your post.

great to see you posting off the platform about the platform but it might be good to have your facts right ... the platform is Steem, the company that develops it is Steemit Inc.. there is an interface Steemit.com and the first block was in March of 2016... that doesn't date Steem as being founded in 2014.

Sorry, I really want to encourage you to keep posting about the platform off the platform but please, there are already enough places which keep calling the platform Steemit instead of Steem.

What name do you write under on Medium? I'm ShadowsPub there.

Hi @riverflows!

Your post was upvoted by @steem-ua, new Steem dApp, using UserAuthority for algorithmic post curation!
Your UA account score is currently 4.609 which ranks you at #1731 across all Steem accounts.
Your rank has improved 22 places in the last three days (old rank 1753).

In our last Algorithmic Curation Round, consisting of 214 contributions, your post is ranked at #42.

Evaluation of your UA score:
  • Some people are already following you, keep going!
  • The readers appreciate your great work!
  • Good user engagement!

Feel free to join our @steem-ua Discord server

Hugs! What an awesome write-up @riverflows!! You've so beautifully mentioned so many of the facets the Steem blockchain has. It really is a wonderful place to hangout and call home ❤

Thanks so much beautiful... it is home indeed! Xxx Love your sweet comments when you stop by!!

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I don't even see it as Steemit anymore, as I truly think the dApp Steemit will be greatly surpassed by the many other great dApps that are coming after. Steemit was the prototype, the kick start for great people to unleash their creativity.

We are now part of a big family called Steem Blockchain, where throughout the many dApps (dTube, dSound, Appics, TravelFeed...), we are able to express thoughts and share our creations; be it videos, texts, photos.

With what has happened to me recently and with the many friends I'm making everyday, I can say without hesitations that Steem is the best cryptocurrency out there. It's the only one that rewards us for producing content, but it doesn't only reward, it requires engagement, it requires making friends, it requires being active and participative. What other coins do all that?

Great article @riverflows

Well said my friend. I hope you didnt mind me using you as an anecdote!

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Wow, great post and a great step to post this on medium! Does it get some replies or comments?

Only one, by a Steemian lol. I just don't have the followers. Maybe you could tweet the link? I was hoping people could share it on their social media outside Steemit. Glad you liked it. It's very much how I feel, despite having moments of FUD! I think I'm far more equanomous now....Definitely my home here.

“Why Steemit is a Real Social Media” by River Flows https://link.medium.com/rftzE6SNCT

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Oh my @riverflows! You have really outdone yourself this time! You have such a way of expressing yourself that all I can say after reading your post is dido!
Thanks for making things so clear for what the real value of the STEEM "social media" is.

Do you mean ditto? Cute. Thanks SO much. I did try to polish this for outside consumption.

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Ah yes! Ditto. Spelling was never my strong point. Just spelled it like I would say it. How was it received on Medium?

I wish my experience talking about Steem on other communities was as good as yours. When Naomi Wu wrote about losing funding, I suggested the dApps of the Steem blockchain. Someone else very quickly replied and told all of her 82,000 followers that Steem is a scam in the same vein as BitConnect.

I had a similar experience in the Turtlecoin community discord. Nevermind the fact that I found out about Turtlecoin from another Steemian, the chat there became flooded with people shouting "SCAM! SCAM! SCAM!" that I couldn't get a word in edgewise with the people who were actually interested.

At least your medium post looks to be doing pretty well. May your outreach attempts be fruitful!

Thankyou! I don't think a lot of people have read it. Medium can be quite left field so crypto probably gets a better reception there? Not a lot of people have read it yet - I've only just started playing on Medium to find out what it's all about.

I totally agree with your experience - it's how anyone I work with or talk to responds to Steemit - it's quite nasty actually and they should listen to themselves. Why do people jump to conclusions with things they know little about?

I was hoping that this kind of piece could be shared as a positive spin - I'll share it with people who ask me about Steemit in the hope they'll see the positive and what I've got out of it.

To listen to the audio version of this article click on the play image.

Brought to you by @tts. If you find it useful please consider upvoting this reply.

Your post it's really cool, I have been here since two years and I feel like steemit it's now part of my life, like Facebook or Instagram but more valuable because here I can improve my skills, in English, writing, photography etc..

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Thanks! I agree. And there's so many like you who feel the same way! So let's hope it doesn't die and keeps going!

Hear, hear!

Having met people like you on here, already makes the whole experience worthwhile. I will keep that offer of a cup of tea ( or perhaps a cold beer ) in mind and am already looking forward to your writeup on Steem of why we should join Medium ;>)


yes big it up my friend, it is all about community and we are proof that there is an awesome community on here with so many different sub communities and projects and dapps that I can't keep up with, you covered it all xx resteemed

Thanks for the resteem! I can barely keep up either.. find out something new every Day!!

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What a fabulous post! Your enthusiasm and belief in Steemit really shines through... and you've also explained some of the workings of it that I've never managed to get my head around! I love it here... I love the community ... the support... the insights... the learning...the freedom to express myself... and I'm staying! 😊

Very nice @riverflows! Your passion and thoughtfulness always comes through in your writing. I think there are a lot of useful tidbits in here for folks that are new to steem. I am saving this article for future reference ;)

Aw thanks gorgeousheart xx

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This post has been included in the latest edition of SoS Daily News - a digest of all you need to know about the State of Steem.


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Yes very true . Steemit is a real social media. Just a shame not everyone knows about it yet. It is by far so much better then the others. SO many good platforms, and good way to show your voice or talents. Let's hope this platform does go way more popular. Thanks for the article. very helpful

Fingers crossed!! Thanks for your lovely comment xx

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I loved how you gave examples of real friendships and projects on Steem. I often just share my Steem posts on other social media and have created some Steem accounts for my friends who are participating in contests here. I just gave your post 50 claps on Medium if this helps to get more visibility. It's just a little sad that a lot of people associate Steemit with Steem whereas so much more exciting DApps are on the Steem blockchain. Maybe the name might have been different from the start?

It becomes an addiction. I just fell in love with the whole system for all its flaws. And to be fair your post gives both the good and bad of the chain.

But the people here right now are worth it. The ones you chat to every day. The posts that teach you more and build up relationships. I would hate to lose what we have right now but hopefully we can get more of the same.

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Mr. P is in London? He must be devastated losing his bike. It's snowing the other day as am told. Flying back in March.