Curation Business as usual: SNAFU
"Still Needed Average Fundamental Understanding"
Manual Curation Digest #3
Marketing and Shilling, Success Stories,
Future, "The Change", Curation rewards...
Two posts I've read recently talk about "STEEM Business": 1st and 2nd. Later is kind of partially response to former. Let's start with asking Right Questions. Because asking such Right Questions allows to find correct answers which in turn leads to getting proper solutions - not some wishful thinking.
1st Question. What is Marketing?
and what each author means by that in relation to STEEM.
As I know, it is about Deal between Sellers and Buyers, an Exchange of Goods (Selling) for Money Payment. Which means there is an Act of actually Buyer giving Payment of Money to Seller, in return receiving Product or Service. here is basic definition:
"the action or business of promoting and selling products or services"
"activities of a company associated with buying and selling a product or service"
Well, it supposes that there is "Market" (or marketplace), some venue where people Buy and Sell things. That is done in MONEY! Which are actually PAID by Buyer / Customer / Consumer - to Seller / Service Provider. These are just a few main things, although whole subject of Marketing is huge. Here on Steemit though - what Market it is? There is no actual Buy-Sell Exchange process between Buyers and Sellers, in fact there are no neither Buyers not Sellers. ALL are paid by System - they do not pay to each other!
Paula though talks about "Success Stories" as the main form of Marketing which STEEM needs right now and which turn the tide. Is that really what with and how we want for new users to get introduced to Steemit? Isn't it more like a Deception? As Taraz also said:
they should be real testimonials, not the false scam that gets bidbot-ed up there by people who are not successful but trying to appear so...
Another point is: where to get such "Success Stories" and why there are not many of them? Perhaps should make up some fake ones due to lack or absence of such? As Taraz put it recently: "Fake it till you make it". So, is that really how we want Steemit to improve and become know / famous for - some fake Stories? Or is that what "STEEM Business" should be - just another Deception of naive masses lured by Manipulative Marketing?
Taraz calls that "Shilling" - I think that's more proper name for that.
Shill: a person who poses as a customer in order to decoy others into participating, as at a gambling house, auction, confidence game, etc.
to advertise or promote (a product) as or in the manner of a huckster;
Hustle: Slang . to earn one's living by illicit or unethical means
Synonyms: lure, fascinate, seduce, ensnare, entice, tempt, mislead, delude, allure, tout, trap, deceive, toll, wile, inveigle, steer, con, shill, mousetrap, ensorcell, enchant;
So, mostly these all words have negative meanings. In my understanding "Marketing is a play on emotions" too and so is "focus on how it is possible" - that's also kind of misleading or deceiving. "Success Stories" aka "Testimonials" are common tool or method to "lure", yes. But at very least must be SOME such real stories (or some "Shills", decoys).
Also must be the Product or Service which is being promoted through such means - as in case of mentioned by her eBay, Amazon etc - that's their Service of providing Platform, Venue, Marketplace and related things (easy user interface, security, payment gateways, certain buyer/seller protection, mediation, HOSTING, promotion on Internet AND the whole huge MARKET itself such platforms present).
Steemit though (not to mention STEEM as just a crypto coin) - what Marketplace it offers? Who are the Buyers and Sellers? What it has to Promote / Shill / Advertise / Entice about, which Success Stories to narrate and about what? About someone being able to make a lot of Moneys on Steemit?
This comes to next question:
2nd Question. What is the Product or Service?
which supposed to be Shilled / Advertised.
So far it looks like not many people are clear about it. Most still think and even are convinced about it - that it is "Content". Although it is quite arguable and questionable, since a lot of talks about "Votes Selling and Buying" - not about "Content Selling and Buying"! :) Thus perhaps it is rather "Votes" which are the actual Product? or kind of "Service" of "Upvoting" aka "Curation". But then, it is pretty much upside-down: supposed Consumers of Content are actually de facto SELLING their "Votes" to those supposed "Creators of Content"! While it should be opposite: Consumers must BUY (= PAY for) Content which is made by and sold to them by Authors.
While in reality - NOBODY sells anything to anyone! Because neither of them Pay to or getting Paid by / from another - but actually ALL of them are getting paid by System! and for WHAT? for which Product or Service or something?
For "Interacting with Blockchain"! So, actually not Upvotes are Product, nor Content, not even STEEM coins, which are being used as a currency and partially as sort of "Stake" or "Share" in Investment into System (in its converted form of "Steem Power"). But actually the LINKS which are generated by the all those ACTIONS of "Interacting with Blockchain".
It is explained in Whitepaper :
Content without curation is of limited value... It is the links between information that give it significant value.
Value is in the Links
The Internet would lose the vast majority of its value if all links among content were removed...
Links can take many forms and have adapted over time. Every time a user votes on content in a social network they add a connection between themselves and the content. This in turn links the consumer to the producer through the content. The more connections a network has the more valuable the information becomes. It is the relative and intentional connectedness of information that gives it value.
A social network can maximize the value extracted from a set of content by maximizing the quantity and quality of connections...
So, it is actually not very clear: what exactly each person who talks about Business, Consuming, Investing, Advertising and Change for STEEM (or for Steemit?) mean by word "Product". Apparently different people mean different things. In practice it appears that Steemit Inc. Company considers the most valuable thing as Links generated by users when interacting with different pieces of "Content". Which doesn't even have to be GOOD Quality Content (thus "content indifference"), just whatever it is posted, as long as it produces that "Connectedness" and makes more Links. In other words, it's not the "Content" real "Product", but more like those "Links"! Which are Created in form of "Authorship" (be it own posts or comments to others' posts) and then "Curation" in form of "Upvoting" (merely clicking on Upvote button suffices! LOL).
It is rather more like the actual Product is: those Corporate High Yield Bonds, in form of "Shares" of Steem Power, Staked for expectation of Profit (ROI) during certain fixed periods of time (min 13 weeks), to ensure that Long-term Capital Commitment. So, that's basically what Steemit Promotes / Propagates / Advertises / "Shills" as the thing which plays the role of a Product or Service. Although not the Steemit Inc. Company itself does that - because it doesn't need to: Steemit Community members do that by themselves, individually and as whole, because it is in their own interests. (that's also explained in Whitepaper). Can see a lot of people talking about necessity to bring in new users who would buy more STEEM and "Power Up" it (= Lend into System) and ask questions about how to accomplish that, attract those new people (as Paula practically does); or encourage those users already registered on Steemit to Invest.
Paula also says:
We want to create a demand for STEEM, a demand for the use of the Apps being created on the block...
I wonder: HOW? I mean, I'm curious: does Paula herself ever Trades STEEM crypto coin on one of the Exchanges? Otherwise, what other "Demand" can it be? perhaps for using it on Steemit as an Investment or as a payment method / currency on some of websites? (I've heard only about Steemmonsters so far, although not sure - whether or not STEEM is used there for payments) WHAT ELSE uses STEEM coin for ACTUAL Trade / Commerce of real Goods or Services? "Demand for Apps", seriously? WHY would anyone have a DEMAND for them at all? especially if they are not even charge anyone for usage - not in STEEM nor in any other crypto. Besides, there are SO MANY other Crypto coins / blockchains and so many Apps built on them - why would one prefer those made on / using STEEM? May be Paula asking reasonable questions - but somewhat a bit naively or not knowing what actually she is talking about. More like emotionally, out of concern for "STEEM Business". :)
However I do not somehow see much talks and discussions about need to Trade more STEEM on Exchanges or HODL it, nor about how to Shill STEEM coin itself or create some "Success Stories" about those who has Done Very Well by Trading and HODLing STEEM. I mean: main emphasis is on attracting more new members to Steemit Platform. Because frankly, whatever all those dApps - ALL of them exist mostly thanks to Steemit anyway. Besides, who would want to use them if they are NOT providing FREE service? :D Which means all those dApps can't really use STEEM coin as a payment method or currency - and without that how can they actually influence the Value or price of STEEM coin?
In this regard, it would be interesting to find and see some comparative Stats and analysis on what influences STEEM price more: the actual Trade on Exchanges (well, to get Stats on the OTC private deals perhaps would be hard or impossible) Vs ALL those dApps all together, along with "Steemit Business" (no, not STEEM Business). Curiously, I was not able to find much fresh current information even just about STEEM Trading - neither on Steemit itself (where supposedly is the main place it has to be discussed, first and most of all), nor on Youtube nor even in general (through global Google Search). May be I was not searching properly? :)
Anyway, coming to the next:
3rd Question. What is exactly the "STEEM Business"?
I was curious about those 2 mentioned posts due to their emphasis on the aspect that Steemit IS a Business. Although I guess both of them actually meant "Steemit Business" (as once Taraz has clarified it himself). Perhaps it would have been better if this exact phrase is used instead of "STEEM Business". Because, well, mostly both authors talk about Steemit precisely, its Community, Devs (and even mention CEO, more than once), dApps etc. - everything more related to Steemit in fact as a Business Company, rather than to STEEM, which is just a Cryptocurrency, one of many other such. As a Cryptocurrency - what "Business" STEEM has? I guess mostly Trading it on some Exchanges for Profit. Which is, frankly, not going so well already quite for a while.
Alright, so, then Business is mostly about Steemit Inc. (aka "Ecosystem") and its users (aka "Community"). And what that Business is? I mean: word "business" usually supposes making money, i.e. trade, commerce, exchange of goods / products for services etc. However so far many things remain unclear or perhaps cans say that not many Steemit Community members properly understand them. Such as: What is actually the Product or "commodity"?
Some think it is so called "Content", although many complain about the Quality of what is being posted as such. As well as "content indifference" by many users who does "Curation", which somehow is trivialized down to merely ... clicking that "Upvote" button, without bothering to even actually open that post, READ or at least "View" it, really Evaluate it - as proper Curation supposed to be, by definition.
Thus accordingly, How can be called "Content Consuming" or "Business" of this whole process - when there is neither Product nor the Interest or Desire to Purchase that Product (i.e. actually PAY for it) or at very least just a little bit Focus one's Attention? (concern / interest, as opposite to "Indifference") What kind of Business is it - in which supposed "Sellers" (i.e. Authors / "Content Creators") actually PAY (to bidbots, etc) to get their "Product" (i.e. posts) "Upvoted" for a better Returns; and supposed "Buyers" / "Consumers" (i.e. "Curators") are actually getting PAID for their supposed "Consuming" aka "Curation" - instead of PAYING for that, as normal Buyers/ Consumers do?! No actual Exchange of Goods or Services for Money takes place either: because ALL are in fact getting Paid by ... System (aka "Ecosystem"). Not really Buyer pays to Seller kind of Business / Trade.
Also it is the System itself which determines according to its algorithms - who will be Paid how much, not really up to Seller nor Buyer to decide or bargain about it directly between themselves. As well as System sort of "splits" the Rewards between all the "Curators", according to some formulas which take into account many factors (briefly mentioned in FAQ). That makes it kind of Deal between "Many Consumers combined together" and one Seller (author) - while in normal Business Seller has a Separate Deal with each individual Consumer personally. Although again, Consumers PAYS to actually receive that Product to be able to Consumer it! Not gets Paid instead - for some action of supposed "Consuming", which at least has to be Viewing (i.e. Opening) that Post, what to speak of really Reading it.
Therefore I suppose if we should call it Business - then it is more like kind of Business of Clicking on Upvote button" - ONLY! Well, yeah, in several variations of that action: be it "Manually" or not, in other words through some Bot, which doesn't require one to even stay online at that moment of "Voting", Bot will do it by itself, according to settings: when, whom, how much (% of VP), etc. BTW recently I have seen some discussion regarding the fact that Steemit has removed the "Viewers" Stats under posts - which I remember used to be there, yes! (Here is the related post). Which in fact, IMO, FACILITATES the "Upvoting without Opening and Viewing / Reading" post through CONCEALING the actual number of how many people has Upvoted the post Vs the number of Views! That's a Freaking NICE CURATION BUSINESS indeed! Don't bother to even as much as formally Open / View the post - just Click on the Upvote button - and consider your "Curation" accomplished.
Perhaps can re-define this Business as: