It's Time to Bring This Back - How to STEEM: The Advanced Guide
It's officially Sunday, so I wanted to knock my #showcase-sunday post out. I usually do art posts for these, but looking at some of the chatter going on around Steem I thought it was time to bring back this post. Changing a few things here and there to make it more relevant for today.
Steem is not Reddit. It's not Youtube, Instagram, Blogger, Medium, Twitch, or Twitter. It's it's own unique system that has considerations that none of these platforms have. As I've been Steeming now for about a year and a half I've made some observations. Things that I think it would be best if everyone took to heart and considered as they figure out what they want to do on this platform and what they expect to get out of it.
I came up with something, I'm going to coin it the four pillars of Steeming. These are:
- Content Quality
- Community Value
I think that if you feel like you aren't getting what you feel like you should from this platform, consider these pillars. Let's examine each one.
I want to start here because I want to start with how Steem is different from the centralized platforms I listed above. Let's look at Youtube because of all those platforms, Youtube actually pays it's creators.
Why does Youtube pay them?
Content creators on Youtube are paid based on their ability to earn Google ad revenue. Some of the content creators I like create independent news media. They're regularly demonetized and talk often about how they feel like they shouldn't be because they aren't breaking any TOS or producing any hateful content.
They're fundamentally misunderstanding the issue. Google doesn't care about your content, your political ideology, your race, gender, sexual orientation, species, etc. , they care whether or not your content adds any value to their bottom line. They aren't demonetizing people because of their ideological beliefs. They're demonetizing them based on the fact that they aren't creating any value for Google.
We'd like to think we're a lot better than that, but we aren't, and that's okay.
Here on Steem, you are a part of a collective investment in this system, a collective ownership of this system. The reality is, we are also wondering how you're adding to our bottom line. Obviously some more than others, but it's there to some degree. I think one of the beautiful things about Steem is that we can afford to be altruistic to a certain extent. I for one am excited about the potential for the Steem blockchain to be a global force for good and having the power to give aid to those who might need it, but...
In order to have that power, we have to grow. We have to get stronger. We have to become powerful.
So as a member of this community, that should be in the back of your head. How does this help the community. Are you bringing eyeballs here by creating great content and bringing your followers here? Are you making people want to stay, by engaging with them? Are you holding a huge stake? Are you developing applications for Steem? Are you promoting Steem? There are tons of ways to add value, think about what you have to offer.
If you read my little graphic up there you MIGHT have seen that and said "There's no such thing as objectively good!" I disagree. I don't like mayonnaise, beets, country music, horror films, bright colored clothing, etc. These things aren't my taste. The fact that I don't like them doesn't mean they aren't good, they just aren't for me. The opposite also works. There could be something that I like that the vast majority of people don't like. The fact that I like it doesn't make it objectively good, it just means it's my taste. Considering I teach people how to become professional artists as a career, if I couldn't teach them concrete tangible things I wouldn't have a job.
So how is this determined?
Usually by the crowd or an expert. Someone who actually understands a thing, it typically a good judge of what is good and what isn't. Gordon Ramsay is a better judge of what good food is than I am, even if I might like some things that he thinks are shit.
Anyway, this should also be a consideration as a Steemian, if you're writing, singing, drawing, painting, taking photos, vlogging, whatever. Try to do that thing to the best of your ability, don't half ass it, do your best and strive to get better. Also if you curate these things, make it a point to have your curation match your perception of quality to the best of your ability. I think this helps with people feeling like if I am better, I will do better.
This is extra difficult on Steem. There's just not enough people and you're going to have to go out of your way a bit to have strong engagement. I'm finding myself repeating this a lot these days, but Steem is like Reddit without subreddits. It's the whole world dumped into the same feed.(Communities will hopefully help with this! They're getting there, but I think more needs to be done, but that's another post) We're all vastly different with different values, beliefs and cultures. It takes thick skin and a global awareness to have strong engagement on Steem, but there are plenty that are pulling it off. Talk to the people that leave comments on your posts. Look at their content, comment on it, try to cross the barrier from meaningless comment to chatting with a friend.
This is something unique to Steem. It's on all of us to distribute this Steem(or PAL or whatever). If you don't have a stake, or you have one, but don't use it to vote for content, you're missing a big part of what it means to be a part of this community.
Now, with all of those things in mind, on a scale from -100 to 100, where do you think you fall? I think based on this, it will typically make sense how you're doing on the platform.
When I look at some accounts, for example, I won't name names, as there are several and they all do the same thing. The people that have a pretty large following on youtube, and just drop their content off here without any consideration of the other three pillars I mentioned, Steem is a side chick to them, and based on my observations, they don't get rewarded much, nor should they.
The 100% self upvoter has a -100 score in curation.
The starving artist, may have good content, but very little stake, and lots of times little to no engagement.
If you're one of the cool kids you might have really high engagement, but not much on the side of content.
I think it's worth noting that it's fine to be a specialist, to be much stronger in one area than another, but I think you'll do better if you try to maintain some semblance of balance among these categories.
If you're not particularly strong in ANY of these, Steem is not going to be that fun for you.
This post is getting a bit ridiculous in terms of length so I'm going to stop rambling, but I'm curious where you see yourself? on a scale from -100 to 100 what would you score yourself? Let me know in the comments!