The curse of advertising revenue

in #steemit4 years ago

There will be an increasing call for advertising revenue at Steemit, something I am dreading but it will most likely arrive. The reason it will arrive is because it will offer money, possibly, lots and lots of money into the system. Why would I dread this? Experience.

There is a very good reason Steemit isn't monetized via add revenue and that is censorship. If you look at Twitter, Facebook, Youtube and associated companies who make a large part of their revenue through advertising, censorship is rife.

It comes in many forms and crosses many boundaries like the political censorship @acidyo wrote about the other day, to the social censoring for societal issues across, the sex, drugs and rock n roll lines. Religious censorship is also an issue as is 'enemy of the state' censoring.

Most censorship though is based either directly or indirectly on add sales and on a centralised platform, anyone that is seen to damage add revenue streams is restricted or, banned outright. Youtube for example has demonetized and banned many accounts that have attracted 'the wrong kind of attention', as has twitter. Instagram blocks accounts for nudity and anything it deems 'too provocative'. This policing of course infringes on concepts of free speech and freedom of expression, something that many Steemians take quite seriously.

The centralised systems like Google will censor content in order to gain access to markets like China. They aren't doing it because they agree with the Chinese government, they are doing it to open up the possibility of access to the mammoth market for their advertisers. More advert revenue.

Now, Steemit is a decentralised service that is largely uncensored (other than flags) but, content is still guided by the rewards. Many people post where the money flows and not what they choose to post. They are looking for whale votes. Some even send memos to the whales asking for votes or gear all of their content towards a big voter like DTube.

Introduce advertising revenue and soon the whale votes are the advertisers themselves and the platform fills with 'high quality' content geared to increase our consumption of product X, Y or Z.

Pretty soon, the only content visible on the platform is one that advertisers approve of and very soon, we have a Facebook-esque view of the world. Sure, people may still be able to post whatever they like for the time being but, unless it polishes the knob of an advertiser, they have close to zero chance of visibility, let alone income.

Even places like Patreon where content providers are rewarded directly censor their users, especially if their views are not mainstream, left-leaning or are somewhat controversial in nature. There is no reason to censor these people unless, they are worried that it will either push advertisers away or, push away the users that will view the adverts.

What I love about Steemit is that I am not bombarded by advertising links and I am not stalked and targeted through every one of my searches. Sure it may happen but, as long as I stay at Steemit like interfaces, I see zero adverts of the manufactured kind saying 'you may be interested in' 3 minutes after accidentally liking a promoted post on Instagram.

There is nothing for free in this world and when we look out at all the things we despise, we will find that a large portion is driven by over-consumption which is in turn driven by the corporations selling the products. These organisations love centralised services as it makes it much simpler to direct them to do their bidding but, it doesn't mean they can't flourish on a decentralised platform for as said, people go where the advertisers tell them to.

Yes, content quality will go up as the advertisers produce manufactured, polished posts designed by a team to engage the audience and sell a product but, where does it leave the average users again? The same place they occupy on other platforms. Cash cow.

This is a bit of a rant and at some point I will look deeper and more officially into the various evils of advertising but, everyone should really think about the costs they are willing to pay to get a few more dollars. Can't help the many by introducing the same techniques that currently help only the very few.

[ a Steemit original ]


I wholeheartedly reject this idea! Not because I'm against seeing advertising or because I think it would be a failure or anything like that, but because it makes absolutely no sense to me.

Compared to the big dogs that can rake in serious advertiser money, Steemit is still a tiny community. This means that if you would run ads, the revenue would by no means be a cash cow.

The money we are making on the steem blockchain per view are really stupendous compared to what advertising could ever hope to make. What some of us earn from just 10 views could be something that regular websites generate with thousands of impressions.

This means advertising here could only ever be a drop in the bucket.

If the company running Steemit was strapped for cash, they could do other things to start making money like posting regularly without declining the rewards. But more importantly, we need to keep in mind that they are huge steem holders which means that the best way to increase their earnings would be to make sure the value of Steem keeps climbing.

Additionally, the moment an interface starts showing ads that are annoying, there would immediately be somebody who would be happy to make a clone without ads. So ads are not really sustainable as you can't have monopoly on neither the content, nor the audience.

So worry not, advertising is not coming to steemit in any meaningful way.

Still, I agree that business could really start using the steem blockchain for advertising their services, but I don't expect it to impact the user experience that negatively. I was planning a post about how I saw that working in the future, but your concerns will not force me to reevaluate everything I am thinking about in that regard. Thank you for that! :)

That is an interesting view, thank you :)

there would immediately be somebody who would be happy to make a clone without ads.

You know, I forget how easy this is to do here :D

I actually have some ideas how advertisers could make very good use of Steemit/steem. Tag me somehow, somewhere whe your post is ready :)

Tag me somehow, somewhere whe your post is ready :)

Will do, but I don't know when I'll do it now when you have make reconsider some angles ;)

The censorship takes too much off the freedom, I know because I was running all sort of the advertising in the span of a few years, the rule list is too long to follow and in many cases a big chunk of the advertising revenue was deducted for no apparent reason.

Frickin adds drive me crazy and they totally ruin the experience of apps that have chose to go that direction.
If I want to know about a product, guess what, I have a phone and a computer with internet. I don’t need adds crammed down my throat everytime I click on something.
I really hope steemit never goes that direction, I think it will cause the exact problems you mentioned.

Are you crazy! Did you wrote this post with 1 hour interval of your previous post lol...

Ads don't belong here!!

If they come, I hope they won't fill up the trending page..

You couldn't in that time?

If they come, I hope they won't fill up the trending page..

They will fill every page and space of consequence.

I don't think Steem should capitulate and accept add banners just yet. But we have to think about what gives STEEM value other than speculation. Of course, in order to get Steem Power, buying it outright is much quicker than earning it over time but when the Greater Fools stop buying STEEM and the speculation comes to a halt, I'm afraid people buying Steem Power to earn more will not suffice at keeping the platform monetized because it would be a negative sum game.

I believe what will give STEEM the currency value in the long term will have to be promoters of various things out there in the world buying Steem Power to get their message across. The speculative phase is absolutely necessary because it drives the growth of the platform by making it lucrative for the masses to join. Once the masses are in, then is the time for corporations, social movements, religious organizations and every other type of entity willing to pay for reaching an audience to buy up Steem Power to give STEEM value. If that fails to happen, then this platform will be demonetized.

But, through SMTs, steem can be pressured by corporations and advertisers whilst keeping places like Steemit advert free. I think...

Can you clarify that a bit?

I am on my phone now but SMTs can be used to tokenize and monetize essentially any platform while still running in the steem blockchain. So another platform can still have adverts and whatever they want but use steem. Steemit itself need not have adverts to benefit indirectly from advertising...i think...

That's correct. Are SMT's (Smart Media Tokens) just another instance of STEEM the currency under the hood like Steem Backed Dollars?

I am not sure exactly how they work tbh

I read the whitepaper. SMT's are custom tokens somewhat like ERC20 tokens are on the Ethereum network. The creation and use of SMTs use bandwidth on Steem the blockchain. For that, STEEM the currency is needed. Also, SMT ICOs require STEEM to be bought. The organization who holds the ICO may sell the STEEM it gets later but, nevertheless, even in the worst case, some STEEM will always be held at any given time.

Just a quick comment about the photo before I continue reading: it just f**cking rocks! Inspiring stuff!

Agreed, we need to be cautious. We need to make sure quality remains the norm and that it's not just about profits.

I don't think Steemit should make advertising deals.

But this is a decentralized system, there is nothing to prevent corporations from buying influence here. Once they see the value of it they will come. On one hand, Steem being flush with corporate money will undoubtedly benefit the early investors, on the other it's going to make it even harder for the minnows to gain influence.

This is true, I have written an article or two about it in the past also and when they buy in, they can buy deep.

Interesting times ahead. At least on Steem I can say I tried as opposed to Bitcoin when I got annoyed trying to set up a miner in 2012 and gave up because I didn't think it would really go anywhere...

Why do we even need advertising on Steemit? Each person can buy steem, or create content in order to mine the currency?
Advertisement on Steemit would not only be dumb, but waste of time. How would they pay? With fiat currency, which goes against the spirit of the platform, or would it forced to be centralized, which would go against the anarchist viewpoint of Steemit?
Steemit isn't about just raking in green, it's about helping other people. Surely we aren't that greedy.

Surely we aren't that greedy.

It is a growing network and very diverse.

People are advertising everything and everywhere, almost all social media platforms are flooded with adds, and basically they doesn't have real, informative content, everything is just fake and that's why i like steemit. Steemit is one of very few places without tons of adds and i hope it will continue to stay like this because we surely don't want another facebook like website...

thats a great philosophy...
i like your post..
thanks for sharing sir...
If you mind checking out my blog for latest posts and updats,
& upvot me sir..Thank you.

This will make more and more people join Steemit. Awesome article

You're article are always nice with awesome content.i always look forward to it. Am happy seeing your posts almost everyday.keep up the good work

Wow...what a concept..that was awesome.
First to last...i have read your post..

I doubt it very much.

If you mind checking out my blog for latest posts and updats, Thank you.

@black35 If you mind checking out my blog for latest posts and updats, Thank you.

sorry sir...If you dont mind

you summarized very nice thanks:)

really interesting write @tarazkp thanks for shareing

really interesting comment @deybala thanks for shareing

Thats a good information for me personally, thank u!!

This makes sense. Advertising on Steemit would only superficially appear to be increasing quality, but if people are pressured to post as per where the big pay is, the overall quality and integrity of the site will suffer.

Ads won't come to Steemit, and if they do, we have other options for logging into the Blockchain and blogging without ads. Life is good in decentralized land! 😎

Spot-on post. There is also the tug leftward when a site becomes advertising - revenue dependent. Facebook and Youtube are good examples of how social media sites become politicized, and start removing content they find objectionable. It would only be a matter of time before Steemit is just another site being cruised by PC Police, stifling free expression and exchange of ideas.

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