Open letter to Steem stakeholders: What adds value to Steem?

in steemvalue •  5 months ago

Cryptocurrency markets are largely driven by speculation. Speculators typically buy tokens with the hope/expectation that someone will buy them later at a higher price.

Steem offers something that many blockchains don't however, which is the opportunity to become a stakeholder. Stakeholders have the ability to take an active role in the project, and by doing so, potentially make the value of their tokens go up.

There are several ways that Steem stakeholders can take an active role in the project:

  • Voting on the witnesses that they feel are doing the best job.
  • Voting on the contributions from the community, to reward whatever activities they feel are adding the most value.
  • Make contributions of their own.
  • Downvoting contributions that are being excessively rewarded.
  • Delegate Steem Power to projects that they feel are adding value.

We are on-boarding thousands of new users every week, and with the projected launch of Communities and SMTs (hopefully later this year) those numbers have the potential to explode exponentially.

With little-to-no guidance from stakeholders though, these new members essentially resort to throwing stuff at the wall, and seeing what sticks. This results in a very high amount of SPAM, and a low amount of quality contributions that are actually adding value to the community.

There is a really important question that I think we have a responsibility to define for these new users: What can users do to add value?

By helping to define this, we can encourage more of what we want, and hopefully get less of what we don't want.


I encourage all stakeholders (large and small) to create a post within the next month answering the question: What adds value to Steem?

I will leave it fairly open-ended, because I want to hear from you, but a few suggestions of things to include are:

  • What types of contributions do you consider adding value?
  • What types of things will you upvote/reward?
  • What types of things will you downvote?
  • What types of projects will you consider delegating SP to?

Please use the tag #steemvalue in the post.

[Edit] Leaving a reply in the comments here is an option too.

At the end of the month, I will collect all of the data from the #steemvalue posts (and the comments below) to created an aggregated report.

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I think that stake holders who code and make applications and software on mobile devices should start working towards implementing steem as a payment option in applications and games. This would promote the community in more ways than we can imagine. Since steem is a cryptocurrency, payments would be way easier and faster to make. It would also be the first crypto that allows this and would pave way into a brighter future for this crypto. I would love if you would take this into consideration and I would also love to help in implementing this.


This id a great suggestion as a focus moving forwards. @steemmonsters may be an interesting test case for this.

The thought of 'in app purchases' with steem.... huge growth potential indeed!


I totally agree, steemmonsters will be the most suitable front to launch this idea. And when the game begins to trend, more people will get involved in the steem blockchain and a rise in value and popularity is inevitable. I'm glad you like it.

Here's mine.. The Steem Power Ambulance is en route.. (SPAMBULANCE, for short). :)


Having just carefully read the blue paper (and invested another grand - link) I finally 'get' the argument by steeminc that the future of steem lies in the applications which will be built on the blockchain, but possibly hosted 'off blockchain' - things like @steemonsters and the hunt (future SMT hopeful) initiative for example.

So the key thing I think which is going to add value is all of those people beavering away innovating new projects which will integrate with steem.

IF the success of these future applications depends on steemit being a reliable and credible source of information, and if mass adoption of said applications depends on people joining steemit and investing in steem, then we should all be doing our bit to make sure that the best content is rewarded... all of what you say above! And that the worst kind of self-promoters and extractors are being policed.

Because as it stands at the moment - it's a very unappealing place for newcomers to be!

Having said that, I guess it's possible that we don't even need steemit to be successful for future apps to be successful... I mean in 10 years time I could just collect my rewards via steemhunt, play steemmonsters and basically ignore everything going on on 'steemit', so maybe we just don't need to worry about the fact that so many people on here do nothing to contribute besides whoring out their SP to anyone with an ego big enough to buy votes.

Anyway, this is an interesting question, I might bash out a post on it myself, but that'd take about a month to write if I were to do a half decent job of it.


from what I understand from @ned, it's not the applications alone but also the community aspect around it.


Oh yes I know, but their actions suggest they're building a platform to support a 'society of individuals' so to speak rather than an actual 'society'.

Possibly it l's never going to be any other way with 'social' media.

I may write a post on this at some point, but for now I’ll just give my initial thoughts here.

The contributions to STEEM that I consider adding the most value tend to be ones to Steemit, simply because it’s the platform I use. Among those posts, I think the most value comes from treating this more like Medium and less like FB/Instagram. Meaning I think long form content and the more meaningful/meaty conversations that can ensue from them offer a special place within social media. I’ve seen other platforms like Minds that go more toward the shallow chit-chat end of things, and while that’s fine, I don’t think that’s the direction I’d like to see Steemit go. I think there’s already more than enough opportunity for that level of interaction out there in social media.

I tend to therefore upvote either longer pieces or short ones that make an important point clearly and concisely. I have people on auto-upvote where I see that they routinely produce only such content, so I don’t want to miss rewarding them even when I can’t be online (given how much I’m in location transition these days).

If you had asked the downvoting question a week ago, I’d have no answer because I’d never down voted anyone, but now I can say that I’ll give a temporary downvote if I think someone is a troll. The negative environment trolls foster can destroy a discussion community, so I take that very seriously. (I say temporary because if they edit their comment to make it meaningful to the conversation, whether agreeing or disagreeing but reflecting having actually read the post, then I’d remove the downvote.) I don’t downvote because I think someone is earning too much, though I understand why some do.

Lastly, the projects I have delegated SP to are curation projects that find content that pretty much meets the standards I listed in #1. Basically I want more serious writers and serious conversations taking place on Steemit and for the growing reputation of the platform for that to attract more and more writers of substance. Many such people will have the money to buy STEEM to increase their effect on the platform and enough enthusiasm for the unique potential of the space to be willing to make that investment.

I think there is a slight barrier that hasn’t been discussed, however. That’s that many of these people don’t already invest in crypto. I think one thing that would really help STEEM would be a way to get STEEM with USD. More education on how to succeed on Steemit is also important. I actually have a $25 course on it that some folks have used toward that end, but there is still a big barrier to them actually buying STEEM because of the complexity of buying altcoins.

One additional point: I think the #1 thing that would help STEEM in terms of the flagship Steemit project doing so, would be for them to get Communities launched. I think it is actually more important than even SMTs, because you don’t want to lose first mover’s advantage when it comes to paid social media platforms, and other platforms having groups already is huge. I don’t think the company quite understands just how important gathering in groups is to people socially. Or how much easier it is to get started with something if you can just join groups right on the platform, not some side platform like Discord. I started on Minds just recently and while there is much I dislike about actual content on that platform, I can’t deny that I knew the ins and out within a few hours simply because I could participate in newbie groups and learn very, very quickly. I could also quickly join groups on topics I care about so find many new followers and posters on exactly those topics. Not pitching Minds, since as I said, overall I don’t really like it, but the group aspect makes it far more attractive to most people due to ease of use trumping all else. Just a thought as to where I think development focus should be to really help STEEM grow in adoption.

I focus a lot of time and attention on this question. I consider it part of my mission here, to #growSteemit.


What does it mean to #growSteemit?

To make every effort to use your skills and interests to add value to the Steemit platform, by either creating original quality content, sharing great content of others (while crediting the original source), inviting new content creators to Steemit, and engaging in sincere conversation with people who clearly put effort into their contributions.

In short: we should aim to contribute quality posts & comments. And in my view "Quality content" is defined as "intentional, effortful, beautiful, sincere & original thoughts or creations".

In broad terms, we add value by offering and engaging in sincere, meaningful dialogue, sharing perspective and discussing others shared perspective.

#Steemvalue #growSteemit

Hi @timcliff ! Here is a post I made 9 days ago with activities that anyone can do to add value to the blockchain!

Regards, @gold84


Although related, it is kind of off topic for this post. If you are wanting to participate, please write a post that directly responds to the call to action in this post.

Good posts and comments
Good posts and comments and sometimes I will help out supporters even if their posts aren't as great. lol
I probably won't delegate but I like voting.

Hi @timcliff,

I know this has now "expired" but you said within 30 days, so I wrote a post in response to yours. You can find it here:

Thanks for opening up this discussion!

A massive value add would be changing the way Trending and Hot works. There should be a higher importance on the number of upvotes (and upvote strength via reputation).

It is exhausting looking at the same content from multiple people all on Trending from bid-bots.

What types of things will you upvote/reward?

I am only going to address that one for now. I like to upvote blogs that post about small subjects I like. I would like to see Steemit grow from a place where blogs are all about crypto. If you are writing about a small niche subject steemit is particularly difficult. I post my graffiti photos on instagram and they do well but the number of people here with vote power and an interest in street art is pretty small. It is changing a bit though, a year ago posts about cannabis got no votes, now you can at least see the tag cannabis in the lower value tags section.

What types of contributions do you consider adding value?

  • First of all, creative work, because it is a newly generated piece of information that has value.I also consider scientific work valuable, because the scientific method ensures the at the time most accurate work is being published, or the work will be replaced by an even more accurate one. Furthermore, I think content that explains is valuable because people won't get smarter without learning new things and explanations are especially helpful at learning. And I hope all of us agree that smart people are essential for a developed community.

What types of things will you upvote/reward?

  • I will upvote content that, in my opinion adds value as specified above. Additionally I will upvote content that I spontaneously decide to vote for, e.g. funny content.
    Right now I am following the @de-stem curation trail, since I want to support the German scientific community.

What types of things will you downvote?

  • I will downvote (or submit to @steemcleaners) content that harms the platform, so content that is the opposite of point №1. Especially illegal content is not nor will be tolerated by me.
    I will not downvote content that is just contrary to my opinion, rather will I leave a comment debating the topic.

What types of projects will you consider delegating SP to?

  • I certainly have not enough SP to start delegating right now. But as I (hopefully) will get more SP and have paid back my starting degation from @steem, I will consider delegating to project that add value and are trustworthy. I will especially consider charity and scientific projects as I think this kinds of projects are the most beneficial for the world.

I find it amazing how I can shift real value to the right projects without ever having invested into STEEM. Because I spent no money on STEEM I feel the responsibility to distribute my VP as good as I can to benefit the community.

Where we can all add value is in self-policing and identifying bad players on Steemit. I know that several people do this already, but all concerned Steemians should step up and get involved somehow, even if it is just a "See Something, Say Something" proposition. I personally identifed a BAD player yesterday and posted about it, and I am usually not one to complain (not to hijack your post here). And I echo everything @ura-soul posted in his response comment. I'm looking forward to your aggregated report!

Hope i wont forget but if i forget: i would upvote for better mobile app

Hola @timcliff. Lo prometido es deuda. Hice la tarea que nos mandaste. Aquí está el post: con las respuestas a tus preguntas. Espero pueda enriquecer en algo el análisis o estudio que estás realizando para esta campaña pro-steemit.

Saludos desde Maracay, Venezuela.

At the end of the day, the best value of any website are the people. So I support people who are active and contributing valuable content to the community. As for delegation, I put some SP to support minnows.

The key points for investors are probably to find active community leaders who nurture their people dilligently and maybe delegate some SP if they think the community's growth would be beneficial to the whole Steemit. I think communities are the key link that made a minnow to have a chance to stay here and grow into something bigger.

As an artist, I'm quite lucky to get some support from SteemArtists, Slothicorn, ocd, and curie. Though SteemArtists does not have any real Steem power, but the people there are really great and friendly, so I feel mentally supported and encouraged.

Thank you for taking time to post about this very important issue.

I'm in!

As a stakeholder, I know the key to STEEM value is availability. I have been researching this for months. Since you were specific for value to STEEM, I will explain in detail in my blog why availability is the most important key to value of STEEM.

This started as comment, but it got way too long. So it turned into a post - I hope I was able to convey my message.


In order to see much more qualified posts, how about counting the upvotes given to the posts (excluding the given ones by bots) ?


Good idea. A few people have been throwing that idea around recently :) We'll see if it gets any traction.


Me parece genial esa idea. Creo que merecemos mas contenido votado por humanos que por robots. Eso le dará más realismo y objetividad al contenido de Steemit.

I consider things that help the world, the poor, people in need, the environment, good deeds, kindness, teaching, art, to have value. That's kind of broad brush, but generally I am prone to upvoting worthy offline and online projects, whether that's planting trees, feeding the hungry, random acts of kindness, schools for poor kids, blockchain UBIs, Steem programs that help us succeed and be able to provide for ourselves/help others do so/make informed decisions, how tos, awesome art and philosophy, all sorts of "beneficial to the world" things. I will downvote greed, spam, scams, abuse, hate speech. I will upvote simple blogs too, because that's making friends: sharing our lives with each other. Ntm it promotes a greater understanding in a world full of "othering." Not everything has to be A Project. But if I know someone gives a shit and works for good, I upvote them in general. If they're in it for themselves alone, I don't. Steem mooning doesn't help the world if it only benefits the few. Crypto in general has potential to help MANY - I feel that coming in here like a hedge fund manager is subverting the world changing potential and turning it into just another Investment Opportunity for people who already have enough.

Excellent idea! Good questions also.

I'm interested to participate because the act of trying to describe to you what adds value, I have to nail it down for myself.

Hola @timcliff. Pensaré en tus preguntas para realizar un post donde responda a ellas. Por lo pronto te digo,

¿Qué tipos de contribuciones considera que agregan valor?

  • Consejos sobre steem y steemit. Esto es una red y un negocio, por eso es valioso compartir ese tipo de información.

¿Qué tipo de cosas votará / recompensará?

  • Por mi parte votaré la información que coloqué en la pregunta anterior. También votaré a causas sociales y contenido que aporte no solo valor a steemit sino al mundo.

¿Qué tipo de cosas vas a rechazar?

  • Cualquier tipo de spam y contenido negativo que afecte a steemit y a personas, o simplemente que no contengan ningún tipo de valor.

¿A qué tipo de proyectos considerará delegar SP?

  • No tengo clarocómo funciona lo de delegar SP, estoy empezando en steemit.

Excelente propuesta la tuya. Un abrazo desde Maracay, Venezuela.

Done and done

That is what I consider important and key to what adds value to Steem. Thanks for the prompt!

I have my own opinions on your questions. These are important moments. I will write post.

We are on-boarding thousands of new users every week, and with the projected launch of Communities and SMTs (hopefully later this year) those numbers have the potential to explode exponentially.

With little-to-no guidance from stakeholders though, these new members essentially resort to throwing stuff at the wall, and seeing what sticks. This results in a very high amount of SPAM, and a low amount of quality contributions that are actually adding value to the community.

I think you have this backwards. I think we're onboarding dozens, or perhaps hundreds, of new users per week, and at the same time thousands of spammer accounts who are creating them solely for the purpose of spamming. Maybe there are a few users who show up and don't know what to do and eventually end up spamming, but the vast majority of the spam is coming from accounts created for that purpose.

I'll think about the actual question in a bit.

Steem is already great as far as a cryptosurrency is concerned!
RELIABLE so far :-)
As far as adding value I would say that posting anything on the steemit platform that is going to interest people and then posting it on other platforms to gain attention is a must.
The m0re real people posting on here will lead others to the platform!
But.........It really does need to be made far more simple if the masses are ever to adopt 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.

What can users do to add value?

This is something I really try to work on myself. The issue a lot of us 'newer' Steemians have is jumping on board and adding to the blockchain without just sitting back and waiting for the rewards...

So I try to be proactive.

Something I like to do, is when I'm running campaign offchain to bring people to Steem, I encourage engagement. I truly believe that is the key to long term value being added from new users.

So I literally tell everyone I introduce....Get involved, comment and don't worry so much about creating or writing a post....Worry about engagement and you will be rewarded.

And it's not a ton, but I try to upvote and answer every comment people make on my blog. Nothing huge, but I think when people see they are rewarded for being active...They will stick around.

Just a minnow's opinion but a minnow that plans to add value as much as I can every day here!


I agree. Rewards follow action. When people look for rewards immediately, they give up before things really start to bear fruit. Like planting crops or raising children, there is investment up front with faith that growth will take place.

Thank you very much for your contribution to the community @timcliff, we need to be seen to be able to reach the top as it is due. We notice a lot of indifference on the part of many witnesses and whales, hopefully this will change for the good of all.

You are the source of the question. I am a sixty day newbie. I penned out my answer in a post called The 64 $teem Queston .

My observation after 60 days is that SteemIt is that new users do best when they approach SteemIt as a social media platform.

The reason for this view is that the platform is driven by a seven day cycle. People are rewarded for their interactions with others and not for the long term value of their content.

This is a $122 post. But the post will be cold a week from now after payout.

Following the observation that the medium is the message one can't help but conclude that the rewards are driven by one's networking and social media skills.

Unfortunately, like all social media platforms. There is not any long term value to the posts.

Imagine that you wrote an epic poem that brought in millions of viewers a year from now. Well, from the point of view of the algorithm, that post is no longer producing value. It is just consuming bandwidth.

The structure of the SteemIt algorithm entails that posts people throw onboard will largely be white noise as people engage in social media for fun and profit.

Thanks Tim for the leadership again, I'll check the #steemvalue tag / Peace, have a great weekend.

A great idea to do this, @timcliff. My view is that whatever adds value to Steemit adds value to Steem. I’m still new and looking around, doing a bit of curating and connecting, but intend to soon start posting what I hope is quality content, on a wide variety of subjects, and to do so very frequently. As far as I’m concerned, this is what we should all be concentrating on: adding stuff to the platform that others on and off the platform – the latter may be even more important from the “value” point of view − will find useful and want to seek out.

I upvote posts I personally find interesting, or can see the quality of, but also ones I don’t get anything from, as long as they’re by people whose heart is in the right place. Downvoting is trickier and being new I’ve never done it. I have a concern here because I’m sure I’ve read somewhere along the way that people can be targeted for retaliatory downvoting. So although I might not like the fact that some big player’s crypto TA videos are getting massively rewarded while some good stuff I’ve seen is going ignored, I am as yet wary of translating my disapproval into action. I imagine it would be all too easy to penalize someone without having fully understood the issues, or their intentions, so for the moment will continue to exercise caution.

I don’t as yet have much SP to delegate but if I did it would go to people who, whether or not they share my tastes and interests, have the good of the community and of the platform at heart, and who are very active. I could then be sure my SP would be used as I would use it myself if I had more knowledge and wasn’t so busy generating value in the form of my own content.

It's something I've been thinking of writing about. This will be the opportunity to do it.

Excellent post. I will do a post on this and will use #steemvalue.

What adds value to Steem? The number of active users.

Awesome for spurring up this issue @timcliff! I see you have taken this from the MSP meeting. Two weeks ago I wrote a post about "What is value" ( In here I give my take on it, if you have time left, I would really be interested what you think of my views on value.

I will think about writing another post about this!

Great idea, I will get to work on this right away.

I think a good way to add value is to some extent to forget about the monetary side of things and just try and enjoy the process of posting and communicating with people for what it is. This will then naturally add value as these interactions are more meaningful and more likely to build communities of users with specific and maybe niche interests

This is an free hand to share the views to give some inputs towards the Steem as an whole. And i really liked your point and it's true to most extent and that is, market is driven by the speculations most of the time and most of the coins are hyped and then the majority will run towards that hype. Steem is unique, but it's not much different from the central influence because sometimes it feels that the large stakeholders can easily dominate you, it's not bad but sometime it's not good too, not good means, sometimes people face unreasonable flagging and in my opinion if it's newbie or have very low stake then that becomes tough for that Steemian and sometimes these type of situations can force people to leave the platform, they can feel panic because one heavy flag can throw back all earnings and also their reputation goes really down, and i am just talking regarding the genuine blog post and not any spam post. So, we should have solution for the things when people get unnecessary flags, because unnecessary and non deserving flags can demotivate the potential Steemians.

Thanks for sharing this post with us and wishing you an great day. Stay blessed. 🙂

I will consider expanding on this in a post if I have time; but the short answer is the combined perceived value of all those who value it for a variety of subjective reasons — which are each no more or less valid.

Further, I believe defining that for others would crash the system and devastate stakeholders. Many reasons why I've come to that conclusion. Although I don't have time right now, or perhaps even this week, to explain the processing that brought me to that conclusion.

In summary, if it's mainly for development potential, it will crush those who use it for community building vs. say, Facebook groups. If it's only social, it will be less appealing to developers vs competitive app-blockchains. And so on and so on. Thus, I feel it's best that is remain totally free, agnostic, ambiguous, interpretable, etc- and each person, group, business, find their own place within it and use of it as their imagination permits.

Essentially, what I think gives Steem Value is perhaps that it is somewhat clay-like with many of the qualities that exist in real-world unregulated jungle. What gives planet earth value? What gives nature value? What gives a god its value?

Value is relative to a person. What maybe of value to one person not of value to another.

What may move one person to believe and invest time, money and effort may not work with another.

What drives and motivates people are largely different for each one and it is great that you want to put all of this together and try to make sense of it.

In a way trying to discern what is a steemian that adds value to the platform.

Although the analogy you used of trying to make posts and see what sticks is a different way of seeing what niche will work for a person.

I will be thinking more about this.

Gracias @timcliff por orientarnos siempre y estar atento al crecimiento de la comunidad.

Hivemind/Communities may well be good for, but I am guessing that the real game changer will be SMT’s. Will it have the long-term effect of encouraging people to think of themselves more as investors and less as content creators? Delegation might become far more lucrative than it is now.

I'll try to make a focused post on the question since this has been a topic of interest from the very first time I set foot here. Although simply put, time vs. reward has always been the go-to. The more time a project or post takes, the more value it contributes and rewards it warrants.

This is a very nice idea and will make many things clear for old and new Steemians. Hopefully things will be better in the next weeks :)

Oh this is an excellent and very worth while idea. Well done Tim. I shall add my post soon.

One way I like to think about Steem is that it is platform where the stakeholders offer rewards to producers to get some content in return. Looking at it from this view, I think the way value is injected is by stakeholders increasing their expenditure for this content. This means that the better the content is, the more the stakeholders are willing to give for it. This doesn't seem like a very sustainable system because all the content is free for everyone. Where the value might have to come from is advertisers that want to promote their content on Steem. They will have to inject a premium to get their posts to the top and as a result increase the value of the whole system. I'm not sure if I'm thinking about this right though.

I will do everything listed above except downvoting. I consider downvoting as source of negativity and censorship on the platform

I think Steem Monsters will be a lot of value to the Steemit Blockchain in general. Have you opened up any Steem Monsters cards yet? I'm sending you a free pack , will be from Steemmonstergirl You can open them up at Visit us in out Discord -


I totally agree :)
I've been watching it, but I haven't bought any cards yet. I will get into it eventually. It is very much down my alley.

hey @timcliff have seen this post when it is almost paid out but here is what I think

Hello @timcliff, I joined the idea of creating a post answering each of the questions that you ask us here, thank you very much for the opportunity!

Here the post:

Great Post sir
Sir, your Post @upvote and @resteemit done..

Here's mine.. The Steem Power Ambulance is en route.. (SPAMBULANCE, for short). :)

I'm back on steemit. I dropped it and realized I was more informed while on steemit so I am back at it.

Thank you Tim
Good Fortune

do you reckon a 'super linear' reward curve is going to be well received by stakeholders?


There are differing views on this.


what's your view?


I've shared it in quite a few other places. I would rather not have that discussion here, as it distracts from the intent of this post.


sorry I asked.
I'll just run along now.


Hit me up in one of my witness threads. It's a more appropriate place to have discussions about my views on changes to the platform.


it's not like we want to have a discussion on Steemit or anything.
I completely understand.

Your post is really awesome . Great idea. I am new and learning lot of thing .I hope you will learn more helpful post. Thanks a lot .

Waoo que interesante post me gusto , y que buena etiqueta , tambien habla algo muy importante y es sobre el valor del steem , hay que tomarlo en cuenta,saludos.

How can take upvote... need some information..


There is information in the welcome page and faq.

Very objective and clean article. Tank you for the good contribution!

¿Porqué en las publicaciones de @steemitblog salen "pago rehusado"? Como es eso? _Me pueden iluminar por favor!!!


They refuse payment because they are the official account of Steemit, Inc. and they already have a huge amount of STEEM. They want to leave the rewards in the rewards pool for the community.


Muchas gracias compañero... Cada día se aprende algo... _Que bueno es preguntar sin temores ni complejos... Saludos

I think I'll do this.

We need to get STEEM on an major exchange site


It is on quite a few major exchanges.

This is educative, to be sincere this post made know somethings that I haven't hear before on steemit, I like reading this interesting post it worth upvote and resteeme.

Im IN!!!

that's very helpful post!!
thank you.

let me resteem your post @timcliff

Your posts are very interesting especially for me who is
still a beginner and I have to learn more do you want to be a
teacher for me.