This post was written for the newbie and anyone who is skeptical of Steemit. I explain my experiences so far, including some uncomfortable topics and guides plus definitions for people who don't know what 'blockchain' means.
I’ve spent the last 4 days in a post-Matrix state of hyper learning and mind melting on a new social media site called Steemit.
In these 4 days I’ve probably had maybe 12 hours of sleep. And even when I’m sleeping, my mind is still actively processing the revolutionary and mind-blowing information about Steemit.com and blockchain technology.
Don’t worry about the overly techie complex term, blockchain, for now. I will explain that in some depth later on. What I want to focus on is providing you with the essential information about Steemit which can be easily understood by anyone, no matter what your technical level is.
STEEMIT BASICS FOR THE NEWBIE
1. Steemit.com is free to join.
It’s currently in its beta stage. It’s 2 months old.
2. Steemit.com was created in order to reward quality content creators with monetary and other rewards.
3. Steemit embodies the decentralization of power.
What does this mean? Here’s the most simple explanation: right now our entire society is based on an extractive corporate structure. All the social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Medium, Reddit, Instagram, etc. are profiting from your creative and social activity. Facebook is an advertisers dream come true. Right now you might be thinking, “So, what. Facebook allows me to connect with people all over the world.” Facebook has done a good job of connecting people together, but ultimately, individuals are not benefitting from Facebook. The people at the top of the Facebook empire are the ones who are economically being rewarded. This is not good for people, especially in the long-term.
4. Steemit pays when your blog post/photos/etc content is upvoted by others who are vested in Steemit.
You’re probably thinking to yourself, “Yeah right.” That’s what I thought 4 days ago when I stumbled by accident into Steemit.com. Now, after approximately 40 hours of both research and active involvement on the site, I’m no longer a skeptic.
I’m not sure how much money I’ve made, but I can tell you this: it’s way more than I’ve made thus far from Amazon, YouTube and every other site combined.
Wait til July 4 because that’s the first payout date. At that point, I will report back about exactly how much money I’ve made. But anyone who knows me well, knows that at heart, I’m a dedicated creator. I’ve been struggling to meet basic financial needs because my primary motivation in life is the spreading of useful knowledge and the maintenance of independent creativity.
I’m a firm believer in the commons, not only on the internet, but in real life too. I live in an intentional community out in the woods where neighbors trust each other and share responsibilities. I also live in an extended family, which means elders take care of young children so that parents are freed up to earn money and advance humanity.
Steemit uses blockchain technology which is way more secure than anything currently being used on the internet. The next internet revolution is about to happen and it’s called blockchain. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, look up the word ethereum. It will blow your mind.
Depending on your level of knowledge so far, you might have checked out. It’s pretty futuristic, but I believe this sort of decentralized power structure is inevitable.
The reason I think Ethereum and Steemit will take over: it’s way more secure than our existing internet.
In order to understand why, you’ll need to read up on blockchain technology. There’s a lot to learn, but let’s get back to Steemit. You can join Steemit and learn about blockchain technology, just by using it.
Steemit uses blockchain technology. I didn’t know a lick about blockchain before joining Steemit. I have been learning as I interact with it. I was initially turned off by the word, blockchain, because I thought it would require me to sit down with a giant book the size of Gravity’s Rainbow.
There’s a shortcut to knowing everything about a new technology: USE IT.
Steemit allows good, quality information to rise to the top, much like Reddit.
Steemit allows you to have a stake in the Steemit site, if you become an active, valuable to the community, member.
DEFINITIONS AND SPECIFICS ABOUT HOW THE MONEY WORKS
If you are like me, you’re asking the question, “that’s all fine and dandy, but how does the money work without advertising?” I’m a very new Steemit user, so my knowledge is not yet too deep. However, I did some research to find out how Steemit is able to pay its users.
First, I’ll cover the money investment into Steemit.
Ned Scott and Dan Larimer founded Steemit. Ned has a background in private equity and Dan is a cryptocurrency expert, having founded BitShares. Steemit received a quarter million dollars in Angel funding. According to Ned, they are going to be seeking another seed round fairly soon. Read up on this from New York Business Journal:
“Entrepreneurs Ned Scott and Dan Larimer are looking to change that. The duo co-founded Steemit, a bitcoin-inspired social network that rewards those who sign up with cryptocurrency. By continuously posting pictures, authoring articles, or “upvoting” other people’s content, Steemit users can gain “Steem Power” and earn cash.”
So, the July 4 payout will reveal a lot and I am guessing people will be flocking here in droves. For me personally, I’ve pretty much abandoned Facebook, as I personally gain nothing from it. As someone who is in debt, and on the edge of poverty, I truly need to find a solution that works both monetarily and creatively. I’ve been trying different strategies to figure this paralyzing problem for last five years, but haven’t found a solution to my issues, until now.
A simple definition of blockchain from Wikipedia:
“The blockchain consists of blocks that hold timestamped batches of valid transactions. Each block includes the hash of the prior block, linking the blocks together. The linked blocks form a chain, with each additional block reinforcing those before it, thus giving the database type its name.”
Now, for the personal stuff from a female perspective:
WHY WOMEN AND MINORITIES NEED TO GET ON STEEMIT RIGHT NOW
As you can probably imagine, as a female, I’m in a sea of men on Steemit. It was intimidating initially because I’m very aware of the misogynistic world of 4chan and Gamergate. I know the horror stories of women who have received death and rape threats for no other reason than they are women. The gang rape mentality is pretty alive and well on a number of websites.
In my opinion, the way that Steemit can accelerate its adoption and prevent it from becoming a misognystic, hostile place for women, is for women creators to flock to it RIGHT NOW.
Writers like Ellie Guzman and elizabeth tobey and Alana Massey and countless other talented writers would add immense value to the community and be rewarded for their content.
Timing is crucial because if Steemit gets infected with horrific men, it could be doomed. Think about it, if misogynists and other hate-filled men flock to the site and make it a horrible place for women, the media catches wind of this situation and inflames it out of control.
Women will easily ingest the media message and stay clear away from the site. WOMEN HAVE A VERY DIFFERENT INTERNET EXPERIENCE THAN MEN.
Personally, I should be more cautious than I currently am. I was cyberstalked for nearly one year by an abusive ex-boyfriend. There was nothing I could do except continually block him because he kept making up fake Facebook profiles, the minute I blocked one. In total, I think he created around 15 different profiles. Remember the scene in the Matrix when the guy keeps replicating himself? Welcome to the world of stalkers and terrifying men from the perspective of a woman. Trust me, it sucks.
If this site becomes infested with porn and criminals, the future of Steemit is doomed. I don’t want to believe that this would happen, BUT IT’S ENTIRELY POSSIBLE.
If this site gets infested by criminals, the corporate funded media that is TOTALLY AGAINST DECENTRALIZATION would have a heydey spreading the news that Steemit was only for hate-filled misogynists and criminals. The truth of Steemit’s original mission would be corrupted in the media, and it would crumble because of one of the most entrenched and damaging forces in our culture: misogyny.
My experiences in Steemit as one of the only women (actually, I cannot tell who is female and who is male for sure because the avatars are unisex, which I really like!) have been for the most part really good and positive. There is of course, the usual shit like a tag for girls that are showing off their bodies and a bit of mansplaining, but I was really impressed by an incident recently that happened within Steemit. Some Steemit users will not be happy with me for bringing up this example, but for the greater good and health of the future of humanity, it’s necessary.
Preface: please don't get mad at me for having my own opinion and voice that may be different from yours.
One user had posted a gif that showed 2 women. One woman wearing a bikini top that showed her jiggly breasts had a sign under with “STEEM” on it. The other woman who was fully clothed and who appeared angry had a sign under her that said “INTERNET”.
This image had been upvoted by other users, thereby generating money for the guy who posted it. Here’s where it gets interesting. Dan, one of founders of Steemit downvoted this post, thereby removing all the accumulated money. You see, certain vested people have more economic power in Steemit. Dan, whose company is in its infancy, I’m guessing didn’t want Steemit to be represented in this exploitative manner, so he downvoted it, thereby removing the monetary reward.
This move so impressed me and solidified my commitment to becoming more involved in the community. Wow, I’m really understanding how integrity and power combined can be super good. I also see the need to attract way more women and minorities. Please flock now. You have been officially invited by me. Also, I will help anyone who has trouble posting or needs any sort of assistance.
This incident is a perfect example of how little acts that are based in exploitation can ruin good things. The user who posted that image used exploitation in 2 distinct ways:
- Exploitation and sexualization of women.
- Exploitation of Steemit's reputation for personal gain, no matter the collateral damage to the adoption, long-term health and development of Steemit.
What do I mean? Well, by creating a sexually exploitative “ad” for Steemit, it immediately offends half of the planet’s population. The message it says: Steemit is a place where women don’t express intellectual thought. Instead, Steemit is a place where women freely expose themselves and are used solely as sexual objects for the enjoyment of men. What it really says is that women are not valued for their intelligence, only their sexual goods. This is the same shit women deal with every fucking day, everywhere.
It’s not revolutionary.
Ok, for all men involved who are reading this who will now dislike me, I have a message for you: I am not against censorship and free expression. Anyone who knows me understands that. I write frequently about sexual topics and I personally fight for free expression. I might be the most open-minded person on the planet. I’m not a prude or into censorship.
I don’t care if you put your shit in a special area that I can choose to avoid. However, when you co-opt an entire movement, a community, for your own selfish, misogynistic means, be prepared for a sustained fight. I work for the good of all people.
All I ask is that you think about how your actions can affect 50% of the population. Women think of how they will affect or offend others on a minute-to-minute basis. I almost didn’t bring up this entire topic, due to the possibility of offending those involved. I overthink my moves and consider how I will be perceived by all parties. I am a woman, afterall. But that sucks. I’m getting fucking sick of manners. It's slowing progress down.
Dan’s bold move to downvote this post is worthy of recognition. I feel an immense amount of respect for him. There will be some serious battles ahead. That’s why I’m sounding the alert to everyone who has a commitment to integrity and intelligence to join me in Steemit.com.
With your help and creative contributions, I believe we can certainly change the way the world works. It’s an exciting new social media platform but it needs your voice. NOW.
This has not been endorsed in any way by Steemit. I’m an independent writer who chooses whatever topic to cover. This is only the beginning. Watch for my updates in the near future.
I didn’t have time to mention every writer who I think is amazing. I’ll do that in another post.
See you on Steemit dears.