Why Steem is falling and what we can do about it
This article is in response to a discussion that took place between myself and @cryptokannon a few days ago.
I wanted to give her a proper response and then realized that it would be better if I turned it into a post rather than just a very big response.
I had recently watched a video about the Amazon Empire (The video is almost 2 hours long) and realized there was a lot one could learn from that video.
Then I stumbled upon a post by @cryptokannon that made me feel sad and disappointed, but I wasn't able to say what I wanted to say without going into a long explanation.
What made me feel sad
Before Hive forked off of Steem, @steemchiller was constantly creating new ways to interact with the Steem blockchain through his steemworld.org application. So many people relied on it that after the fork he became our top witness.
I had expected that @steemchiller would continue his work and create the editor he began working on a very long time ago, as well as continue to add new features that would help the average user of the Steem blockchain navigate this mysterious new technology.
I had also hoped that there would be a new ideology with respect to the way Steem operated now that the old witnesses had forked off and there is a new set of witnesses running the show.
I noticed that where we once saw regular updates (in the top right corner of steemworld) about progress made on the steemworld application, there hasn't been an update in months.
Instead, I discovered that there is a group called Team Steem that is handing out Steem Power (SP) to a select few who are aware of these hand-outs and can convince the team that they are worthy of support.
At first glance, one would think, "What's wrong with that? Isn't that a good thing?"
Why I believe handing out SP is not a good thing
In the video about Jeff Bezos and his Amazon Empire, we learn that Amazon ran at a loss for a very long time before bringing in a lot of money for its investors.
The technique that Jeff used is one I have been mentioning that we need to adopt here on Steem for about 2 years or more, but the mindset of those in charge seemed to be at polar opposites of my own.
Steem is the grand-daddy of social media sites that pays their members, so it has the advantage of being first. Yet, Steem's ranking on the cryptocurrency charts has dropped from being near the top to below the top 100.
I think new users become dormant due to the promises they get when they hear about Steemit. When they do not get visited by a Steemcurator account they sulk instead of engaging with the community.
There has never been such a high focus on newbies in the 4 odd years i have been here. I see some do power up there earning's and grow there accounts whereas others just cash out.
We need to promote steemit as a Social network first which can lead to a crypto investment - I think we should all be encouraging 100% power up especially now we have a 4 week power down period.
Steem is supposed to be a social media platform, so why are we still treating it like an investment vehicle? How come Facebook has grown into such a giant, yet they don't pay their contributors anything?
When we try to incentivise people to join Steem for the money, we are attracting the wrong type of people! The people this kind of effort attracts is the type who will try to grab as much as they can, as fast as they can, and exit as soon as they feel they got what they could out of it.
This is not how one builds a community!
So what SHOULD we be doing?
Selecting "worthy" recipients to receive financial support can be tricky. It can create resentment from those deemed "unworthy". It can be seen as favouritism and deemed unfair. Much time and effort must be put into the selection process; time and effort that could be better spent elsewhere.
Instead of wasting valuable SP on trying to get people to join for the money, this SP should be used to fund further development of front-ends to interface with the blockchain so that the average person doesn't have to learn how to write in Markdown; create a seamless user experience with lots of support and information about how to discover new features and functions.
Our NOTIFICATIONS is a joke! Who needs to see a notification that is several days old? Also, having to click to see notifications is not as good as having them pop up as a small message like so many other sites are doing. The header on my profile shows less SP than I have. Hopefully that number isn't used to calculate my VP!
We need to make Steem as slick as Facebook. We need a good search function to find articles. To find an old article of my own, I need to scroll through hundreds of old posts on my profile! That's not user-friendly.
Forget about the money aspect of Steem and focus on creating a platform that non-technical people can enjoy simply because it does what other platforms don't do... Steem doesn't (or shouldn't) censor content based on politics or beliefs.
With Twitter, Facebook and YouTube taking so much heat lately, people should be flocking to this platform! Unfortunately, after 4 years, its still user-unfriendly. This is where the focus needs to be!
Once the User Interface is made friendly and the average person can enjoy their experience on Steem, people will gradually move to the platform on their own. As the popularity of Steem increases and Steem takes a large market share, the price of Steem will rise on its own due to the involvement of those who choose to be here because the platform functions as a social media platform.
That is how a community is created; by people that are here for each other instead of for the money. The money then becomes a very nice BONUS!
Picture a newcommer that regularly posts and interacts with others, votes and gets voted on, but never checks their account balance, instead just allowing it to grow. After a year on the platform, they discover that they earned 50 Steem. At today's price of Steem, its not anything to cheer about.
However, because so many others are joining the platform and wanting to have a say in governance (or just feel they want to increase their VP so they can hand out bigger votes) the value of Steem increases to $4. That 50 Steem would then be worth $200. That's a nice bonus for doing something you would have done for nothing.
We need to attract the kind of people who are not scheming to fill their bank accounts with quick money. We want those who simply wish to be here for the social aspect and are quite happy to allow their SP to increase indefinitely.
Gaining ever-greater market share will allow Steem to grow like Amazon and that will lead to greater wealth in the long run for those who were patient and kept growing their SP.
Jeff Bezos was patient, saw opportunities and filled the voids with products the people wanted. He took advantage of the way the system (the financial and consumer market) was designed and grabbed market share away from his competitors.
Steem has been on the wrong track and still follows that same path. Steem is not using its advantage and is chasing a ghost that it will never catch. Steem needs to change its focus and work from a different angle because this one has been tried and isn't working.
My comments above are just my opinions. I have no special insight into how the world works. Everyone is entitled to form their own opinions based upon thier own experiences and observations.
If you have different ideas and wish to share them or want to convince me I've got it all wrong, I would welcome rational comments and supporting information.