I had actually planned to discuss the so-called "network effect" and removed it from the draft. I did allude to it here:
(by forks) healthy competition is leveraged in the crypto space which allows dissenting parties to demonstrate the relative usefulness of their protocols with more than empty words — all will by shown in actions, by code and the movement of individuals and their tribes.
Critical mass is one of those nebulous concepts which is anything but nebulous in practice, and explicable only by foresight.
STEEM/Steemit currently has approximately 12,000 active users. Whatever its critical mass, it cannot be much lower than that. The same could be said for 98% of cryptocurrencies ... and any potential spin-off of STEEM.
Something potentially interesting to explore related to critical mass might be looking at that small core of dedicated users that make up the "nucleus" of a user base, those inordinately stubborn ones that continue when others quit.
Also, it's worth considering things that have reached critical mass, had their heyday, then "faded" — but remain in the collective unconscious, influencing later developments. One example in the domain of social media might be http://xanga.com/, which was popular before even Myspace existed. !engage 35