Steemit Search and Replace for Beginners: find "whale" / replace with "followers"

in #writing5 years ago (edited)

In its current state, Steemit has a lot of voting power concentrated into the hands of a few people, funnily called “whales”. What does this mean for the average Joe? It means that one whale can move a significant part of the rewards pool. For example, you can get voted by 100 minnows and only get $3 in rewards, whereas a single vote from a whale can get you $30.

This imbalance created a little bit of polarization around whales. They are both feared for holding too much power, and revered for being the potential source of revenue for a writer or a commenter.

That’s how Steemit is rolling these days.

But that doesn’t necessarily mean it will always be like this. As a matter of fact, the only predictable thing in our universe is change. Things are guaranteed to change.

A Bit Of Math

Let’s take the example of a whale with 1.000.000 Steem Power. Let’s assume that such a whale can allocate from the rewards pool around $10 with a full vote on a post (I’m not doing the exact math here, just an oversimplified approximation - if there is a Steemit scholar among the readers of this article, he should feel free to make the exact calculations).

That’s nice. One vote for that guy and here comes ten bucks.

And now let’s take the average minnow, with no more than 1,000 SteemPower in his wallet. To move the same $10 from the rewards pool, you will need 1,000 such minnows voting with full voting power on the same post. Ups. The game has changed. Significantly.

Or is it?

I don’t think so. The game is exactly as it always was in audience driven businesses: big numbers mean big money. The more people you touch, the bigger the benefits. Only the processes by which you get to the money evolved. The actual transactional process, didn’t: if you want to make money with your writing, you need a lot of people to read your stuff. No matter if you’re on Facebook, on Twitter, or on Steemit.

The fact that we have now these whales paints a wrong perspective. In the medium and long term, the distribution of Steem Power will naturally equalize (some whales will sell out, some new dolphins will promote to whales, etc). In the long run, there will be, on average, less Steem Power than in a whale's wallet, but in the wallets of far more people.

We will probably get rid of whales entirely and we will have a dominant population of dolphins, both in terms of number of members and in terms of Steem Power per member It’s from those people that your money, as a writer, will come.

So the main reason for writing here should not be to get the attention of a single whale (or of a group of them) but to write something that will be interesting, entertaining, useful, compelling for at least 1,000 people.

I know, we hardly have 50 people with more than 1,000 followers on Steemit now. The average number of followers per user is 14 (these stats are pulled from But that’s the direction. That’s where things will eventually end up.

When you write, you should write imagining that you do it for 1,000 people and you would produce something so motivating, so inspiring, so useful, that they will hit the upvote button naturally. There will be no effort. No thinking. Oh, I like this post. I really like it. I will give it an up vote. The process should be simpler than the process of giving Likes on Facebook.

Reasons For Being On Steemit

Steemit is a platform that encourages quality and consistent writing, by offering fast and measurable rewards, through a transparent and decentralized mechanism.

People participate in this platform for a variety of reasons:

  • some of them come to be entertained by reading funny, clever or otherwise interesting stories
  • some of them come to be inspired by other people writing or shared experiences
  • some of them come simply by curiosity
  • some of them come to maintain the platform as witnesses by keeping witness and seed nodes
  • some of the come to invest in Steem, the cryptocurrency, and to follow up on their investing (checking out the sentiment in the platform, the number of users, posts, etc)
  • some of them come to curate others content
  • some of them come to interact with other people by means of commenting
  • some of the come to write as an every day exercise
  • and, finally, some of the come to make a living by writing

The last category is the one working the most. It will also be the category that will get most of the rewards in this platform. And I find this perfectly fine. There are writers and there are readers. Writing compelling content is hard. Writing compelling content consistently is an order of magnitude harder. But the result of writing compelling content consistently is that your audience grows and appreciates you. Add on top of this audience the mechanism of instant rewards that Steemit has built and you get to the point where you can make a living from writing here.

But make no mistake, building an audience is always hard, no matter if you do it on your blog, on your podcast, on YouTube, on Facebook, on Twitter or right here, on Steemit. It takes work, dedication, attention, implication. And it takes time.

If you’re here for the long game, there may be huge rewards waiting for you. But the road is also long.

You have been warned.

image source - Pixabay

I'm a serial entrepreneur, blogger and ultrarunner. You can find me mainly on my blog at Dragos Roua where I write about productivity, business, relationships and running. Here on Steemit you may stay updated by following me @dragosroua.

Dragos Roua

You can also vote for me as a Steemit witness here:


Stumbled across this post. Good information.

Posted using Partiko iOS

Just found this post and it is still up to date and 100% right.

Best regards

I very much agree with all your statements dragos, the quality of content is the important factor here and especially for the long run, since that takes time. I love the fact that a block chain can be the basis of a real social reputation and when that becomes tied in to many future service and websites, then social rep becomes the driving force along with the content one produces to have you known online. Block chain based social reputation has the potential to ultimately 'outdo' so many of the mindless trolling and comment spammers in other forums, that is what gets me very excited about the future of steemit and the like. Great post!

Great point about the social reputation. I kinda overlooked this aspect but yes, it's very important. Thanks for the comment and congrats again for AutoSteem.

An interesting idea, that in time your reputation (REP) on the Blockchain will trickle down through out the Inter-Webs.
And actually mean something solid.
"So you want a Mortgage, Hmm, I see you have a very low Blockchain REP. Tell me exactly how you are going to rectify that?"
On the extreme side, I hope we don't go all Japanese and have to commit Blockchain Seppuku if our REP gets Dishonoured;D~

Mwahahaha, Blockchain Seppuku, that was a good one :)

haha, good one franks!

Yeah if people are already using social platforms online quite frequently, it actually makes some sense to have it driving ourselves and communities to go along with it. Being currency-backed really makes a world of difference even if its just a simple addition on top of what we already have for social-media platforms

Nice inspiration for beginners to focus long term goals.

Long games are the best games!! I really do think as you say above that people should create and get involved for the long term. If your outlook is short term you are sure to be disappointed.

I think that counts as the fastest reply to a comment I have ever seen!!! :0)

I have one more. A bit slow on this one.

long road ahead muahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

Superb post. People are expecting too much at a very early stage. Being here now allows you (even as a minnow) to have a massive head start on everyone. Building an audience will eventually matter more than catching the eye of a whale. Further as Steemit evolves and more people are attracted to the platform the value of every minnow vote will increase.

Thanks. As I said, I think the platform will evolve towards a consistent population of dolphins (sort of a "middle class" sort of thing) and minnows will be insignificant.

Great as both a clarifying and motivating post. It's especially tough on Steemit since you're never positive when your rating will go up or how much upvote power you actually have. We shouldn't lose track of the joy and mutual benefit in that process with other Steemians.

This was a nice read. Interesting idea how eventually the steem power will even out amongst more people. I think this would be a good thing for the platform in the long run, as it will be less frustrating to the writers trying to earn a living by sharing their stories.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

Yes, it's just natural and it's already happening. There will be differences in SP, obviously, but my opinion is that they will be less abrupt.

But still, can some whales just follow me and Resteem my stuff and make me rich, pleeease? I promise I will make a nice post about my retirement hahaha

Really good post and very nicely written explaining about the basics! Keep sharing good content!

Excellent guideline for all of us - totally agreed @dragosroua - this platform (or better infrastructure) is a long termed one, people jumping in for fast money are better off on other networks. Persistence and Continuity might pay off here.

While this is true it seems that with the low value of steem even a whale of 500k power wont always mean money or this is perhaps because they have decreased their voting power to a lower number say %75

The voting power counts when somebody casts a vote. So yes, it may be because of that.

Nice read. My thinking is pretty much in line with yours, and I touched on some similar sentiments in my latest post reflecting on my Steemit progress over the past 5 months. One of the greatest changes made to the platform so far is shortening the power down period. I think that will really hasten the distribution of Steem and accelerate the rise of a new dolphin class. The sooner that everyone who wants to cash out can do so, the better off we'll all be in the long run.

Yes, it makes Steem more flexible. Now that you mentioned it, I can see two levels of Power Up, one with power down in 2 years and one with power down in 3 months. With different levels of interest and Rshares power, of course. But maybe this is too complex.

That's an interesting idea, tying interest & voting power to power down lengths. Taken to extremes, I can imagine a sliding power down scale where you could just input a desired duration. Maybe the system would let you alter your choice, say, once a month, and that would change your interest & voting power accordingly (by the way do we still get interest? The only real accumulation I see is from curation rewards).

I think the interest on Steem Power isn't there anymore, that's just inflation, 9.5% per year but I may be wrong.

With the lower interest there really is a chance that the distribution curve will change to a more fair one.
However if this will really happen we still need to see.

As in the "big" world, the rich have it way easier to make more riches. They get the bonuses, the poor get the hurdles.

When you speak about the lower interest rate, I presume you talk about the inflation rate of Steemit. As for rich being rich, that's how it is. But that doesn't mean it will always be like this.

Usefull post. I upvote, follow you ant resteem it.

I love that this post is so encouraging, then it ends with an ominous you have been warned ;) it's true though, in this age of instant gratification people get discouraged too easily. One of my biggest tips for a new user would be to make yourself known by socializing. Don't just vote on a post you like, comment, people like feedback. And comments bring life to posts and often add a whole new dimension. I also agree that you shouldn't write with a single whale in mind but for many people, though I would add that you should write for yourself. Write about the things that interest you because passion for a subject can be infectious :)

The end is a wake up call. And the last paragraph is a much needed explanation of all the various reasons people are consuming social media (not only Steemit). Yes, some of them write and some of them read. It's important to have this in mind when you decide to start an audience driven business. As for writing about things that you like, by all means :)

I understood the wake up call, I was kidding around :) It was a great post, I wasn't disagreeing, just adding my thoughts;)

This is a good contribution. I appreciate their open words and the way they explain the connections here. Thanks a lot for this...

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