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

in #steem2 years ago

I feel like this is all a bit backwards. We're basically all trying to figure out what the best way is to give out all the STEEM that's being created rather than trying to figure out why people should want STEEM in the first place.

It seems we all have this assumption that people just want STEEM, which is true, but only because it can be sold for fiat or other cryptos that people want instead. It's just something to be milked and sold for something you actually have a use for. For Steem to succeed there needs to be another reason people want to own STEEM other than to earn more STEEM.

If you look at your list of things HF21 is supposed to do, they're almost all some form of "buying/holding STEEM will allow you to earn more STEEM". If that's the only reason people want STEEM then the price will continue to drop until finally no one cares about earning more STEEM.

I would love to see the focus shift from how the STEEM is distributed to how we can give STEEM value - or rather show the world the value that Steem already provides.


I think that having social influence on a social platform is a major reason that one might have demand for steem. It's partially a reason I'd like more steem tbh. This is a community filled with real people (mostly) who have real opinions and can give real feedback/assistance. Not only can I share my ideas/thoughts/feelings/etc here, I can potentially get paid for doing so. In addition to being able to get paid, I also have the ability to pay. This means I can contribute not only intellectually, from online, but now also financially in a direct way.

That's just one way you can perceive value for steem too. There are countless ways! :)

I stated this in my other comment, but even just looking at steem like an advertising platform, you're paying to promote your product (Which in some cases may be yourself.) and the potential for others to see it is great when you have enough stake to promote your content decently.

Ex: Say Nike buys steem to promote their products to steem users. They buy 1mil stake. Now they upvote themselves every post, to get themselves onto trending/hot/whatever. Their incentive to buy was to get the exposure with their ads. Now, Adidas wants a piece of the action, they want to be higher up than Nike though. They buy 2 mil steem and begin to self-vote their ads. Going much higher than Nike. Now Nike wants to respond to that, they buy another 3 Mil so they are double what Adidas is. The cycle continues.

This is obviously a far-off example (Possibly a fever daydream, who knows. lol), but that is another way to look at this. There are a lot of very real people on steem and anywhere there is a gathering of people, there is potential to market products. This is also an example where steem has been adopted to a level where Nike and Adidas and the likes, are even concerned about having a spot in the community's space.

Even without that being the climate of things, my point is, the demand behind steem is varying and to each person/company/etc it will have different perceived value. The demand that is presumed by most IS there, it's just most people aren't exactly sure as to why other people would want steem.

Why do you want steem?
What's it's perceived value for you?

Personally, I think for me it starts with exactly what I started with. The ability to share my ideas/thoughts/music taste/experiences/etc with other people and to be able to have more people see it. That is incentive for me to buy more. Then there's things like Steem Monsters and such, that are directly aligned with steem, that give it added value (to me). I don't think steem would even be around today, if massive amounts of people didn't see massive value in it. Some may not be able to exactly explain why they see value in it or where that value comes from, but the point is, they are still here, they are still posting, they are still participating.

We don't always have to know exactly why something has value, to know that it does. :)

The value of things is an agreement between humans.
Although neuroscience is now used to deceive and make people believe in the value of things.

But many of us enter steemit because of the global crisis in the world because of monetary survival.

There was a time when the biggest steemit traffic was in poor countries like Venezuela. I saw it once online

Therein lies another great purpose of steem, then. :) The ability for it to lift up those who don't have the best situations in life. I'm glad that it has been able to help in some way, that is the power behind this!

Also, I am sorry that countries like Venezuela even have to deal with those conditions. Another way steem can be used would be like charities. A way to give back to the people of other countries who need it, but on a more personal and direct level. This could be great for ensuring the people who need help are getting it.

Also, @soy-venezuelien made another great point. There is the ability to transfer value to anywhere in the world. :) From anywhere else. That ability is incredible as well. Currency becoming digital and able to reach places that other currencies can't or can but are taxed insanely/etc... this may not differ from other currencies, but think about how fast you can transfer steem compared to bitcoin. It's insane to even think they can be compared. I've never had bitcoin reach my wallet instantaneously. Well, not for a long ass time now. ;) Also, there are no fees with steem. If I send 1 steem, you get 1 steem. If I sent you a whole bitcoin, you wouldn't get a whole one after fees. The fees for steem are paid out in much better methods, directly to witnesses from the reward pool. (I think? Still new to steem.) As far as a payment processing system goes, nothing can really compete with steem. I can drop cash into a bank account and it'll still take a couple minutes to go through. Turn that into a check and you're looking at at least half a day for most banks, closer to a whole one, maybe two. None of those issues exist within steem.

Also, why is gold worth what it's worth? Limited Supply. Same concept applies here to steem. There is a limited amount. That's how things are. That means only a certain number of people can hold a certain amount and that's it. This provides scarcity and where there is demand and scarcity, there is value increase.

I'm not sure how anyone who understands basic economics could doubt the future of steem. You've seen where it's been when the market was in ideal conditions. Where do you think it will be when conditions become ideal again? Do you think there's potential to go even further? How many more people are part of steem now compared to then? How many of the old users continue to post? To comment? To vote? I think there are many people doubting the future of steem simply because of the low prices currently.

Would there be as many posts pointing out possible negative outcomes, if steem were currently trading at $1? As opposed to $0.18-0.20?

I believe that for steem to have stayed above 15 cents since I have invested into it, is incredible. What this means to me is that there are enough people buying to counter how many people are selling and keep it fairly stable for a while now. Yes, things are low, but if we have the ability to counter the selling off with buying in a market this down... think about the snapback that will have when the markets all recover. Like a rubber band, we are pulling and tugging as the band stretches to lower lows than have been seen in a while. Then, when resistance gives and the markets recover, we snap back. The more we've pulled on this rubber band, the more potential energy we've collected. Maybe I'm fantasizing again, but looking at the charts, I see steem at the very least popping back up to 60-80 cents. That may not be as good for others as it is for me... but I'm sure it would make everyone feel a lot better for it to recover to that level. I just see higher highs, that's all. :)

Sure, I may not have traded steem prior to recently on any markets, but I believe it has the same potential as any other market, to act as those markets have. This means large recoveries for those who are down and massive profits for those who bought in at the low lows. Keep your hope up folks, it'll get much better. I feel it.

I agree, visibility is the value of STEEM. This, in my opinion, is why the demonization of bidbot services and self-voting is a huge mistake. Self promotion is the killer app for Steem. Isn't that really the killer application for all social media? So, maybe its unwise for us to be so anti-self promotion.

"For Steem to succeed there needs to be another reason people want to own STEEM other than to earn more STEEM."

I'm your huckleberry. The rewards on my content are coups, not money. I don't value money highly. However, I do value Steem other than as money, as it is a measure of the regard folks have for me.

That I do value highly.

I concede that this isn't going to change others, however I also reckon many others more highly value other societal matters than money. Steem is so contrived that it adds monetary value to those other metrics, such as factual reporting. Unfortunately, Steem is also so contrived that it enables other folks to degrade more important societal values profitably, such as by voting so as to maximize ROI from curation rewards rather than other benefits of content, such as factual reportage.

In order for this to be sorted and no longer work against itself, the code needs to change. Thus HF21. However HF21, instead of decreasing the financial incentive to cast votes that is contrary to curative purpose, increases it, and further degrades actual curation. Profiteering isn't curation. As a result I expect Steem price, market cap, and user retention to worsen after HF21 is implemented. Many people do not realize they value other things more than money, and are mystified when their financial endeavors do not increase their quality of life. HF21 is going to be an example of that dynamic. Curation is actually what we want. Profiteering, which HF21 will greatly increase incentive to do, is not, and is contrary to capital gains. Capital gains and profiteering are diametrically opposed.

If this is the case, we will have evidence that social media is not all about money for most people, and it will be time to recognize that those other values should be more the focus of financial rewards than profit. This may seem counterintuitive, but it's actually how society works. Money isn't bad, but valuing it more than people is.

We need to put the society first, and the money will come. HF21 is bass ackwards from what we should be doing. If it worsens Steem society as measured in the three metrics I mention, that will reveal what HF22 should do. I have posted mechanisms that will exert the effect I have recommended before, and will not detail them here, but when the time comes, we should discuss them.

Let me know then.

Money isn't bad, but valuing it more than people is.

Fully agreed. Facebook has billions of users because - despite the fact that behind the scenes it is highly exploitative and probably even evil - it does provide the social features people use. Facebook seems to have found ways to value money more than people but still give people the impression that they value people more than money.

If we create a system that values everything appropriately - there is potential to beat facebook.

It is impressions that matter more than actual reality to most people, and the demonstration of this is Steem not being more successful than other social media, despite enabling some monetary reward other social media platforms do not.

HF21 not only doesn't acknowledge this fact, it exacerbates the impact of negative impressions, which is why I expect it to be a disaster.

The situation is much more complicated. Facebook has a huge number of groups, many of which are private. There are viable ways of having privacy and stopping trolls hassling you. Steem doesn't have any of that - so that's a deal breaker immediately for a large percentage of the world.
Beyond that, most people don't produce content that is unusual, so would not have much to gain from being here. The problem is partially Steem, partially the funding here, partially the lack of will of the population in general and partially the massive funding of Facebook et al.
There are, surprisingly to me, actually a fairly high number of people who like censorship and want control to be able to silence people. Communities on Steem will help bridge a big gap here and are absolutely fundamental to Steem's success. They should have been THE top priority all along.

Great comment. We need sinks.

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I agree about what Tim has stated on the post.
I also think that the main focus after SMT should be adding value to STEEM and easy onboarding.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us Tim and Matt.

absolutely agree

I understand where people are coming from, they think making STEEM easy to get will help encourage growth, but imagine building a platform that gives out worthless shitcoins as incentive.

If more useful dapps & games & commerce & overall reasons to actually use the damn STEEM, then that's what we'll become sooner or later.

Let's hope that something in this upcoming HF will slip past us & unknowingly spark a huge demand & use-case for STEEM.

Wishful thinking? ...yeah, I know... 😓

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That's an excellent point. I for one am very concerned.

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