So I wrote a few posts here on Steemit, and due to various bots that automatically vote for you, as well, as a friend of mine who has lots of pull here on Steemit, I managed to get a moderate amount of reward for it. Sure, it's only 10 bucks. But that's really not bad for just a quick few minutes of writing.
Although I am participating here, I still do feel like the whole thing is just an enormously complex Ponzi scheme. But, my 'investment' here is really just time and some effort, and if it all goes down to zero I suppose I can just chalk it up as an interesting experiment.
Here's some of my thinking on my strategic choices. Happy to discuss them with anyone if they seem wrong-headed.
Since there have been some drops in the various cryptocurrency prices right now, I thought it might make sense to transform my SBD's into STEEM. The SBD's will convert into 'more STEEM' when the $/steem is low, so I figured, why not. So I did that, the dumb-and-easy-and-slow way, not by using the internal marketplace. Perhaps that was a mistake, but I'm trying to twiddle as few variables as possible here, and a fully open-ended marketplace seemed a little scary to start with. So I'm starting with the 3.5 day SBD->STEEM conversion, instead.
For my first #introduceyourself post, I left the "Rewards" drop-down at the default - which is, I believe, 50% STEEM POWER, and 50% SBD's. I didn't know what I thought about anything, there, so that seemed to make sense.
For my next follow-up one, where I talked a little about some of the payouts earned for Witnessing - I decided to go to 100% STEEM POWER. My logic here is that STEEM POWER can be converted - albeit quite slowly (over 13 weeks is it?) - back into STEEM if you need, but it also means that my curation and other post 'power' is amplified. It makes sense to me to build up power with posts over time, and then start taking rewards once you've built up some readership and a voice. I'll probably do the same thing on this post, too. (And apparently when you do that you get a little icon next to your post name, neat!)
The whole thing still feels awfully strange. I feel like there are so many complex interacting systems going on. At first I started suspecting that the various blog posts and whatnot weren't actually being stored in the blockchain - but after some investigation, it looks like they really are. I am confused by there effectively being 3 different currencies of a sort - STEEM, which seems to be the sorta 'base currency', SBD's which are dollar-tokens, and effectively are 'shorts' against STEEM, and STEEM POWER which is convertible to STEEM, but also can amplify your posting results. So now instead of looking at 1 currency and seeing how it behaves against a dollar, I'm looking at 2 or 3 - depending on how you measure. The other weird thing is that, since post rewards are written in SBD's, that effectively makes a Steemit blogger want to secretly hope that the STEEM/$ drops like crazy. The lower that goes, the higher the STEEM you can get from the post.
A lot of this feels like complex systems design for little advantage. Rewarding people in SBD makes sense in that they now can see a dollar-sign instead of some funky currency with a lot of decimal points. But I would think I would've done that, instead, via showing the 'current market value' and just rewarding in STEEM. Of course, if I want to make the assumption that the Steemit designers are sneaky nefarious fraudsters, then having the currency having a built-in hedge against it might be genius. It means, while the SBD rewards you get from a post remain somewhat constant, as long as the Steem-per-dollar rate climbs (which it's not doing right now, but it definitely has been doing that pretty consistently in the past), then the effective STEEM-payout on each post drops over time.
I'm not sure. Some of this system seems complex for complexity's sake, and some seems unnecessarily clever, and it looks to me like it's either because the developers are geniuses who are fleecing everyone, or they just built something they like and think is cool and just built it the way they thought was best. The more I look at it, the less convinced I am that either is true.
Anyways, onward and upward into my Steemit adventures!