Steem's true Value
In my view the highest value that this blockchain has brought its users, has less to do with the specifics of the technology itself, and a lot more to do with the social constructs we, the users, have built on top of it. That is to say, that some of the profits we've acquired could not easily be calculated by the size of a crypto-wallet, pending payouts, or the number of times a content creator made it to trending.
This particular aspect might be directly connected with our understanding of social structures and the emotional needs most of us seem to have. Relevance, purpose, quality relationships and being part of a tribe (sort of speak), are not new human necessities, but the very reason why we have thrived as a species.
With this in mind, armed with this somewhat basic knowledge in sociology, we can conclude that the quality of the Steem experience is connected to communities that participate of this blockchain. The role a user serves within those communities effectively simulate millennia of healthy human interactions.
Communities are here already
They are not dependent on SMT's or the Hive upgrade to exist and operate. Most of us would be familiar with the biggest ones, but I submit to you that we may currently have hundreds. The specifics of their activities, their niches and other details might not be as relevant as the social value they bring to their participants.
Regardless of your level of adeptness to social interactions and your voiced preference when it comes to ingroups. It's very hard to make an argument for the strength of the opposite. People who choose to not participate of communities, to not seek out social relevance, struggle a lot more to find the motivation it takes to accomplish meaningful goals.
In this sense, I believe we are doing an OK job, but maybe not good enough, not currently. This is to say, that tribalism at times gets the best of us, and we do not identify the advantages of collaboration across the communities already in active existence. The failed mentality of othering people tends to take over yet again, even in our "simulated" online social structures.
Increasing the Value of Steem
In my view becomes a challenge of improving the user experience, but not only through changes in the code, and prettier user interfaces. The cultural shift that I believe in needs to take place, and it begins at the top, and unlike the economic lies we have been sold regarding trickle down, this mind shift, and subsequent cultural influence, would probably do the job.
Smart stake holders with a long term vision must be able to recognize their own interests in the idea of supporting leaders of communities that echo these values. I believe, that It would be a difficult task to proof to anyone that with code alone we could effectively create the right culture on to the platform, but I'm not closed to the idea.
The Network Effect
A network effect (also called network externality or demand-side economies of scale) is the positive effect described in economics and business that an additional user of a good or service has on the value of that product to others.
Is without a doubt the sole reason why even the most selfish of investors could not look at a blockchain like Steem and dismiss it lightly. Meaning, that as much as we may or may not have the best of technologies, the best development team, the best ideas or even the best leadership, we have without a doubt, the busiest blockchain in the world and the highest amount of wallets to prove it.
The proof is in the pudin as the say, and a click to visit blocktivity would be all it should take to convince you of this very point.
As a stake holder and as a smart investor, your long term focus, your Utopian vision for the future, should be aligned with the recognition of the power in virtual communities. In the future, our online social interactions will probably dominate our society and become important not only to our economics, but also to the emotional health of humanity regardless of cultural backgrounds and languages of superfluous division. Because, even there, on the language barriers, we are leaning towards a universality of communication.
You want to help Steem grow? You want to help your investment become a source of blessing for you and others? You can start now, you start today being a guiding hand, taking those new users that jump on to the platform and leading them to the communities that will teach them how to grow, how to interact, and how to take part of the right culture and adopt the right mindset.
Then, and only then, we can attempt to calculate social profits, when the conversation and the concept becomes intuitive, simply becomes we are all benefiting from it.
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