Where everyone knew your name
Part of the struggle that many people are going to face with Steem growth in the future is going to be the loss of culture. Yeah, you might not think there is much of a culture here but you'd be wrong as whenever groups form, the dynamics between get somewhat habituated into daily practices and soon, unconsciously adhered to. This can be viewed in the way that the first adopters of the platform find that it "has changed" like a lover over time and they no longer feel connected.
This is natural of course and just like a successful long-term relationship, the acceptance of things changing over time is a necessary part of the process. When it comes to a community that had a handful of people that grew into many communities and many handfuls, it is hard to adapt and hold connection as one begins to feel somewhat lost in a new world, and like an elderly person not understanding the lingo of the young, somewhat irrelevant.
As Steem develops and applications break away to onboard and create their own unique flavors of user experience, the types of people who come in are likely going to diversify along application lines rather than come together in the common feed that is Steemit.com and similar. This is also part of why the filters of content are so important for maintaining user experience as one can tailor the feed to be part of the communities they choose, rather than exposed to all communities regardless of interest or even language area.
Of course, there is risk in this too as siloing and echo-chambering becomes more likely but, that is up to the responsibility of the individual themselves to decide where they source and what they choose to eat. This gets difficult when the common practice is to eat what one has already labeled as liked, rather than experimenting with different tastes and textures. While there can be many niches created, it doesn't mean that all niches are going to attract the same kind of interest and some may only attract negative interest due to their content type.
For example, an interface can choose to show any view of the blockchain it wants to show and perhaps there will be a dedicated NSFW interface that gives a home to contributor and consumer alike which could be very successful but, an interface that showcases Spam content isn't likely to draw a large crowd or a lot of staked value, except perhaps in flags.
However, as the ecosystem grows and people disperse to their various new homes in the city and suburbs, Steem will suffer a loss of connection between people who may have previously been tightly bound, either by onboarding time or content type. For those who are unable or unwilling to adapt t the changing environment and find new areas and communities of interest might end up somewhat rudderless and feeling alone and ignored in the city. The ones who were once highly regarded but unchanging can find themselves as strangers to the new wave of users who do not know or care of the past accounts on the platform as they are looking forward.
This is something many people forget when it comes to thinking about all the drama that goes on in Steem and that is, the accounts that will come on in the future will not have the experience of the drama at all. They are likely to get onboarded into an application that provides a clean and clear user experience in an area they are interested in and gives no view of the historical drama that led to that point. The aged early adopters who may have been here for it are just old people that no longer understand how to use the latest instances of the technology.
Of course, remaining relevant on Steem is going to also be tied to stake as stake is part of the voice here at this time. This means that those who are staked will likely be able to remain more relevant to new users as they are the investors of a kind into the new systems and ideas as well as distributors. For future users, distribution could be a core part of their experience too and therefore they will likely be attracted to stake, no different to people are now.
The unstaked older users however will increasingly lose their position as content competition comes into play to draw more and more users away from the early adopters and into the hands of the new trendsetters that are bringing in new and attractive ideas, applications and entertainment. How long can a dinosaur survive without food?
Humans are designed to live in small groups of trust of around 100 people or so and while Steem and crypto can create a trustless environment so that people can trust in large numbers of unknown members, the social aspect of humanity is still geared for those small groups. Having a community that connects one to the ecosystem is like building a house in a small village and even though there are going to be spiderweb interactions throughout, it can be a base to return to, a place where one's name is known.
While some people don't like change, it is an inevitability and while some people don't like to change their habits, to continually be successful in a dynamic environment demands it. The responsibility to be part of a community is on the individual and understanding this will also play a role in helping build a community that others may want to have a part and stake in.
I like the way Steem is changing continually and making me evaluate and reflect in a never ending cycle to discover my own needs and find ways to cater for them in the environment. It is a personal growth experience. Others can see it differently and that is their position as I have said a few times in the past, Steem can be many things to many people and, it can be several things to one.
Discovering what it is to me is my responsibility. I don't need people to remember my name.
[ a Steem original ]