Steemit Enterprise Ad Platform: A solution to vote bot abuse
TLDR: I'm launching Steemrush.com an enterprise marketing platform for Steemit. I've love to get some feedback on the project.
Steemit is awesome! ... Steemit is wack?!
As a developer that's new to Steemit (just started in January) I was immediately attracted to the openness and all the technical innovations that is happening. D.tube, D.live, SMT etc.
Of course, it's also obvious that Steemit is experiencing a lot of growing pains. Even as a new user, I was made very aware of the crazy Steemit dramas. Flag wars between whales, self voting rings, vote bot abuse, projects that are targeted to siphon traffic from Steemit etc.
I can definitely see why some new users are turned off as the Steemit front page just seems like a circle jerk for whales.
However, I've had some experiences with startups and these are all normal solvable issues.
A Market driven solution to vote bot abuse
The vote bot market was a crazy one to me. At first, I thought it was undermining the integrity of the curation process as whales just sell their power to the highest bidder. Soon I came to realize that it's an inevitable result of a distributed system like Steemit. It's a legit way to implement an advertising market and it's probably not going anywhere. The issue arise from the supply and demand of the market. Right now Steemit does not have any large ad buy, Steemit does have an enterprise ad sales team like Facebook or Google and so there's a lot of supply of SP and not enough buyers. This leads to extremely cheap marketing costs, sometimes it was even possible to promote a random post and make a return out of it. THAT IS CRAAAZY!!
YOU SHOULD NOT BE ABLE TO MAKE MONEY FROM PROMOTING A RANDOM POST!
In a healthy market, there will be enough ad buyers that the price per vote is way out of reach for spammers. The problem is that there are no corporate ad buyers currently on the Steemit platform. Steemit needs ad buyers that have real budgets, not just your average Joe blogger who doesn't have product or a way to monetize those views besides trying to game their way up in hopes of being a whale.
Benefits to the community
Right now some people might be thinking... promoted posts? That sounds pretty lame... Well, I think Steemit's incentive structure actually is one of the bests at handling promoted posts. It's one of the few platforms that encourages advertisers to actually create real engaging content. Poor content will get down voted and costs to promote those content will sky rocket. Where as great content will see significantly lower marketing costs.
If we can capture real enterprise buyers, the likes of Microsoft, JP Morgan, or Samsung, it will add a lot of legitimacy and I think it will really provide confidence to investors and significantly boost the price of Steem. Not to mention the direct purchases of tens of thousands of dollars of Steem that these brands will have to purchase to run their campaign.
On the flip side, by not engaging with enterprise partners Steemit is leaving millions on the table. As the platform grows and Steemit's own expenditure grows it's more and more important to capture that primary source of income.
At the end of the day, if we can find a way to co-exist and engage with large brands, everyone in the community will benefit.
Attracting Enterprise Partners
To get those corporate ad buyers there needs to be a conscious effort and probably a sales team. Steemit as a platform also needs to do a lot of development to significantly lower the barrier for entry and add management capabilities that enterprise ad buyers are used to. Need a good example of an enterprise ad platform, just look at Facebook's ad program.
Yes, it's a lot of work... but we should give it a try.
Introducing SteemRush.com an enterprise marketing platform for Steemit
It's currently live and ready to sign up customers. I'll be using my network to try to get some sales calls and get in front of some marketing managers in Microsoft and TD bank.
I would also love to hear the feedback from the community and how we want to approach the topic of monetizing Steemit's large and growing audience.
Here are some the design concepts that I'm working on for the ad management app. The goal is to help automate and simplify the bidding and promo process, enable basic management features like post scheduling and conversion rate tracking.
The Dashboard: analytics overview
Post Scheduling: queue up a pipeline of posts
As a developer, these issues are just things waiting to be fixed and I'd love to help out in some way.
First, a bit about me. I'm based in Vancouver.
My past project includes:
- www.visualcv.com - a resume builder with over 2 million users, and the top resume app on Android
- www.meta.re - a news aggregator that uses social media data to rank the most influential articles
- www.pushtable.com - a headless content management system (CMS) for Firebase with AirTable / Excel like user interface