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RE: Open Letter to all Steemians - Hardfork 21: Culture Change

in #steem2 years ago

One of the serious problems I see with this platform is the little or no advertising out there. We are a closed circle that waits for people to come, without thinking that we can also go out and look for users. There's a lot of talent here. So I trust that this new stage of STEEM will be for the good of all and not for the fat and few killer whales that exist. Greetings


Most successful social networks and internet platforms generally have relied relatively little on advertising for their growth. It is sometimes used, but only sparingly as a narrowly targeted boost to an existing growth engine. Without being able to organically grow through word of mouth, as well as retain users who do join, advertising can just turn into a huge money pit.

If we are able to crack the growth engine challenge and show that a particular form of advertising has a sustainable positive return, then funding for it can be proposed through the SPS (part of this hardfork).

I wouldn't count on organic growth. Most Steemians are pseudonymous or anonymous and do not want anyone in the walking world to know about their activities on Steem. Why? First of all, I'm betting over 90% of Steemians are not paying income tax on their Steem income. Everyone in their circle of relatives, friends and acquaintances being able to go to Steemworld to look at the entire history of their financial transactions on Steem would be begging for trouble with the IRS or whatever the tax authority is called in their country. Secondly, not many people would necessarily want their spouses or employers to know about earning some extra on the side. So, forget about most people telling people in the walking world about Steem let alone persuading them to join. In most people's opinion, Steem is way good to be true to begin with anyway. Many people think it must be a scam.

I don't think Steem is done for, however, and that there is no chance for growth. I think if Steem is ever going to have millions of users, those users will be completely cut off from the reward pool and be posting through guest accounts or only having a wallet address (a lite account) at their disposal. They will be players of games like Splinterlands and paying for it. Producing content will always be done by a very small number of people. They will be professionals earning big rewards. Those of us who have been lucky enough to have participated in the beta phase of Steem as bloggers earning dollars on blog posts about our cat or something like that will be able to make money by renting out our Resource Credits to apps that have large numbers of paying customers.

Do people prefer getting banned on Facebook than being on Steem?

The vast majority of people are not getting banned anywhere.

Millions and millions of people.

Where are they?

And what proportion would you really want here? Many of them are kooks you wouldn't want to associate with.

I am one of them. Just ask around. I was banned many places. So many people are writing about it. The fake news is lying to you and you are falling for the fake news, good for you.

I know some people are being banned from mainstream platforms, perhaps many in total. But how many are on Steem? I've been trying to get YouTubers who complain about being shadow banned on YouTube and who know people who have been banned to join Steem (DTube) but all I've got is total silence.

I congratulate you on finding Steem.

I don't know that I agree with all of your generalizations. There are many bloggers and others on Steem who are not anonymous. People who are anonymous can still tell their friends about it without doxing themselves (especially if they have multiple accounts). Apps which become popular may get press coverage and similar forms of buzz which drive growth without paying per user. Etc.

I agree that earning rewards can't be the main draw.

Yes, there are some people on here that are not anonymous. And yes, having one social account under one's real name separated from the money and having multiple accounts for various purposes including delegating to projects, curating etc. might actually become a trend.

I'm glad we're on the same page about rewards not being able to be the main draw. The math wouldn't work if the idea were that the rewards would amount to anything too big. But I would love it if Steem apps with real accounts owned by their users put a stop to the power of social media giants and cause the profits to trickled down back to the masses. I'd really love to see that. But the way people I know from IRL have received these ideas has been a massive disappointment to me.

" Producing content will always be done by a very small number of people."

That's not how social media works.

I should've specified that I meant content that earns anything. Sorry about not being clear.

It's still completely wrong. Fakebook, Youtool, and so on and so forth prove that people participating in social media is the most profitable business model in the world today.

What's profitable about them is the stalking, tracking, collecting of data and creation of profiles for the ad customers.
There is no data collected here a user is not giving away willingly by putting it on the chain. And what they put there is freely visible for everyone. No way you could compare the two models.

People posting family pics aren't doing so to make Facebook money. The reasons people use social media are generally unrelated to ROI, and the focus on monetization has been a mistake on Steem, from the standpoint of onboarding masses of people. It has attracted a particular market segment, and not the mass market, which is not seeking mere economic return from using social media, but more valuable aspects of society.

The models are comparable with trivial facility. The market segments served by social media are difficult of compare, because of the complexity of society, not because of the marked differences between social media platforms, whose differences are relatively small.

I was replying to your statement that social media is the most profitable business model.

There's no question that the focus on monetization for the users was a mistake, and I've always said so. It's not the content providing the value on the other platforms, it's just the vehicle to make people give away their profiles. Content here has no value in itself either. It can bring more eyeballs, but that only creates costs for the interface operators, or some revenue if they manage to sell adspace. But it cannot be used as a vehicle like at other platforms.
Even if steem had an interface appealing to the mass market, there'd still be no money to be made from that for the users.

The only thing giving steem (monetary) value is use cases for the token itself. RC and curation rewards are such, if they create enough demand by themselves is not clear yet.

What is completely wrong? That I claimed that users love those platforms despite them not paying anything to them? That statement is precisely correct. You don't get paid for using Facebook, YouTube or any of the big mainstream social media platforms. And yes, those platforms are hugely profitable - to their owners. The users use them and do not expect to get paid a single cent. The whole concept is so alien to them that when you talk about earning crypto by blogging on Steem to YouTube users or other mainstream people, their eyes will go completely blank - or they'll assume it's a scam.

" Producing content will always be done by a very small number of people."

This is completely wrong. It remains completely wrong even if you moderate it by adding monetary rewards. Steem was but the first social media platform that potentiated monetary rewards, but it is not the only one anymore. The monetization of content by users has just begun.

I already specified that I meant content that gets paid to any meaningful extent.

Why do we have to repeat this?

Monetization of content by users is nothing new. It's been going on centralized platforms for a decade and a half. It's just that on Steem users have benefited from being early adopters in a cryptocurrency project. Bring aboard a couple of hundred million users and you can rest assured very few authors will be pocketing any kind of meaningful income. The math simply won't work any other way.

Facebook is worth about $500 billion. It has about two billion users. The uppermost bound to how much the average Facebook account could be worth is about $500. Take away the value of the infrastructure and you'll be left somewhat less. But that's a very top heavy distribution. The value of an account is probably heavily dependent on how connected it is to a network of other well-connected accounts. What that means is that the accounts of celebrities and major corporations can be extremely valuable whereas the ordinary person posting about his/her lunch and cat will be vastly less valuable. Yes, even something like $100 would be something but it wouldn't allow the average person to generate any kind of meaningful income.

I am very reluctant to use the SPS for marketing proposals. When dealing with marketing, everything is in the grey, there are no clear results, and we don’t know what causes new users to sign in.

We might be funding some person for marketing, then notice an increase in user growth and attribute that growth to him. While in reality it was just organic growth with which he has nothing to do.

This will keep us trapped into paying him for a useless job.

Posted using Partiko iOS

All fair points. No doubt we will have to learn and come to stakeholder consensus over good and bad uses for SPS.

I have made a comment under @exyle’s last post. Is it possible for you to read it? I want to reach influential people on steem because I really think this might be a huge issue.

Edit- It's not the last post anymore, here is the link:

Posted using Partiko iOS

Some interesting thoughts. I've generally been in favor of a much shorter power down time (whatever is needed to avoid exploits which seems to be something like 5 days), but there isn't consensus for it. If we look at similar but more successful chains like EOS, they have (I think) two day power down and they don't appear to suffer for it any significant way.

Perhaps with continued discussion and comments such as yours more consensus can be built.

Consider this: in the recent bitcoin run up from 3k to 13.7k I’ve had some friends calling, wanting to get in. I advised them not to.

They still wanted though and sent money to their new coinbase account. On this day Bitcoin was at 13.7k. Fortunately, the bank transfer took a while to complete, and when their money was received on coinbase bitcoin was already at 10.8 k. A much better price. The waiting time also allowed them to gain some perspective, and not to buy bitcoin with all the money they sent, since it’s not going straight up anymore. Now the price is even lower. the bank transfer only took two days.

This was great for them, but bad for the bitcoin price and its hodlers. The two day EOS powerdown will similarly protect people who panic at the bottom. And the volume is always the largest by far at the exact bottom and top. So even that short powerdown will help the weak hands, and will be bad for the hodlers of the coin.

However, it’s already wayyy better than a 13 week powerdown, which is also slowly released, allowing dollar cost averaging. With this, we are creating large amounts of selling pressure and for longer times, while the buying pressure will naturally go down as a bear market develops.

Weak hands will sell their holdings for dollar values that are multiple times greater than in the alternative (if they panic sold).

This issue is a must-solve. Since it hit me I can’t ignore it. It also provides benefits in other ways. It won’t discourage investors from buying steem (who see the long time needed to powerdown), and it might enable us to add a small fee of burned steem, a nice sink. However those positives are minor compared to the market mechanics described above.

Steem has been progressively killing it's marketing department. The folks making posts and comments have been demonetized by stake weighted profiteers, and driven off. Adding a 10% tax on top of halving author rewards and the modified rewards curve will but increase that demonetization.

The folks making posts and comments and earning rewards from them (which includes a great many comments, including some one-character comments, posted solely for the purpose of self-upvoting) have not been and are not an effective marketing department with how things have been going.

I prefer to think of this as an attempt at a reboot than as an incremental change of X% here or Y% there. The only way it will make any real difference in Steem's trajectory is if it helps to inspire major changes in the overall platform, community, and economy. If the biggest change is percentages then we'll continue circling the drain anyway.

The biggest issue I see honestly is the 20 STEEM thing. I get the reason for it, but its the threshold level that is just too extreme. Why 20? can I get a solid rationale for this? Because I can get behind setting it at 5 STEEM, but 20 is insane. You have to attract a lot of whales for that.

That was the curve the developers were comfortable proposing at this point. There are some key properties that the reward curve needs to satisfy and you can't easily just pick any shape you want without causing problems somewhere else. It can be updated later, but one thing to keep in mind is that we won't really even know if 20 is the right break even point until after the new system has been in operation for a while. The numbers 16 or 20 come from running the existing votes through the new curve but that is nonsense because people will certainly change voting practices, there will be more (how many more we don't know) downvotes pushing rewards around, etc. So we'll see.

Word of mouth is the most effective marketing. Ask any marketer. However, as profiteering discouraged folks that made the effort to come here, the effect of that marketing was to discourage new users by those discouraged relating their complaints about how things were here. That's very effective, just not at bringing new people here, as we see.

All the changes HF21 brings are percentage changes. How do you achieve qualitative evolution with quantitative changes? All the complaints the one million or so users that were chased off had are being increased. I don't believe anyone expects anything different from what's going to happen as a result of making people less welcome here than they were when one million were chased off.

You don't have to bang your head on a brick wall 21 times to realize it hurts, and how to stop hurting yourself.

All the changes HF21 brings are percentage changes

Free downvotes is brand new and not a percentage change. Some percentage changes can have a qualitatitive effect once thresholds are reached and it tips the system into a new balance point. We'll have to see to what extent that happens or not.

While you are correct to point out that quantitative changes can concatenate to create qualitative changes, free is simply less expensive. TBQH the downvote pool isn't free at all, since it comes at the expense of other benefits that would otherwise be paid from the pool, in exactly the same way that free healthcare, college, or any other welfare proposal isn't free.

However, I do believe it will result in qualitative changes. I foresee the development of a market for downvotes, and this will have an extremely negative impact on Steem society, as have all other automated voting mechanisms.

We will indeed see what comes of it.

TBQH the downvote pool isn't free at all, since it comes at the expense of other benefits that would otherwise be paid from the pool, in exactly the same way that free healthcare, college, or any other welfare proposal isn't free

That is a bad analogy. Free downvotes do not cost or expend any significant resources, unlike healthcare, college, etc.

where else do you write about Steem other than on Steem? Talking about products / platforms is advertising. BTW, I'm seeking people who are also writers on for a Steem related project. People can DM me on Discord for details.

I write on Medium sometimes but prefer Minds.

are you on Discord? can you DM me and we'll talk?

I came here because I searched a topic and a Steemit post came up. I see Steem posts regularly on other platforms that discuss topics of interest.

what other platform? and other than HF21 which was triggered mostly by the press releases that Steemit Inc did .. what topics about Steem are they discussing.

Various blogs and the chans have cited Steem posts, besides Steemers deliberately promoting Steem on social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and so forth. I recall recently seeing a post from @ausbitbank cited on /pol/, for example.

As a platform intended to resist censorship, Steem has an outsized impact on the wider web, due to people posting here what is censored elsewhere. Also, other than deliberate promotion of Steem earlier mentioned, none of the posts I refer to were about Steem itself. Many of them were regarding topics prone to censorship, and due to my own focus on politics, tended to be politically motivated.

IMHO, Steem posts about Steem are not the best marketing for Steem. It is posts that would be censored on Twitter, Youtube, and Facebook that best advocate Steem and promote censorship resistance that are.

so what is /pol/?

Posts that are what you called censored on those other sites are often seen as cleaning up a cesspool by some. Thus making their presence here a mixed blessings as it will bring some and turn others off.

a politics tribe .. especially one geared toward those who are unhappy with the other social media would be good to see.

Every post and comment is an advertisement for Steem.