Are We Constantly Missing the Point on Steem?

in #blog10 months ago

The last 2-3 days I have spent reading different blog posts about downvotes (Oh, no... Not again that topic...) and different views on the same thing. I will try to keep this post as short as possible, to not bored you to death...

Just to clarify something in the beginning... I'm not old Steemian like some of you, as I see that lots of people here want to show their loyalty behind the numbers... I have joined Steem this year, but that doesn't mean in any case that I care LESS than some older members about it...

And, in this short period of time, I have met some great people here, and learn a lot of things about this network, blockchain, communities, etc... And, I have noticed some patterns that are always repeating...

From the very beginning of my being here (but I heard that it was before also), I see always the same things (problems) that STEEM has, and not so many ideas how can solve them... For example, pool rewards problem, self voting, bots, SMTs, onboarding problem, simplicity of the accounts, mass adoption, STEEM price, etc...

We had a discussion about improvements and we had proposals BEFORE the last hard fork(s). To solve this issue, we changed STEEM and it has now EIP (which is an OK thing), 50-50% rewards split (which I was against before HF, but at the end, it's not so bad) and we have FREE downvotes (Yay.. NOT)...

So, did we solve some of the previously mentioned issues? Some of them, maybe... But the MAIN problems are still here, and I think that the main problem is ONBOARDING... And, it's not that we didn't solve that problem, we have even made it bigger... Onboarding will be joining new members inside OUR COMMUNITY, but we are currently destroying our community... Let me try to explain this...

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The latest trend on Steem is being the Guardian of the Reward Pool... So, if you want to be one of the guardians, you have to go through Steem and catch the bad guys and punish them by downvoting their posts... In certain situations, it is acceptable, if the post is obvious SPAM or it contains plagiarized content (as that was the point of implementing the DOWNVOTE option)...

As @jongolson said in yesterday's webinar, there is a reason why there are NO thumbs down button on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram... Nowhere! Just on Steem... Because we probably know better than others...

But, Steem is not an ordinary Social Network and some people just can't understand that... Steem is a complex network with many different dApps, games, projects inside the project and each of them should be treated separately as they are not the same! You shouldn't downvote someone's post if it has 1 photo and 3 words, as that IS the point of APPICS app... It is a photo app, for God's sake...

SBI project is another example of a "project" build on STEEM... It motivates members to share their wealth with other users... People are collecting SBI share, liquid STEEM gets powered up and upvotes spread between members... They are usually upvotes worth a few pennies, but hey, for someone those upvotes mean food to survive the day... Usually, they got those SBI units as a gift for doing something useful on the chain, for the chain, or for the community... And then, someone comes and took that loaf of bread from their hands...

Let's take a look at the other side of the story... From the side of the Guardian of the Reward Pool... "It is an abuse of the reward pool and we downvote that and keep the pool clean..."

Clean from who? And clean FOR who? I saw a lot of comments from small Steemians that just got on the Steem and get downvoted after just few days... What kind of example do we give to the new members? What image of our network will they show when they leave?

I just have a feeling that we have lost the FOCUS after the HF and too much time has been given to downvoting which creates a negative atmosphere AROUND and ON the Steem network. It looks that nothing else isn't a problem anymore and we just have to keep those precious STEEM coins for us.

Well, I have bad news for you... STEEM without the people isn't a Social network and it has no sense to be presented as it... The price of STEEM will drop even more if we have every day less and fewer people on the network...

PEOPLE WERE the main PRO that this network had... Do not kill our best weapon in the eyes of investors... Soon, you will not have to protect the rewards pool because nobody will care about the worthless coins that no one uses...


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Yes I was old steem, prob about 3 years ago. I left because of this very reason. You could write great content and not even get a vote. Where as some one in a group could just write test and earn $10. Its not realy peoples fault because moderators allow it to happen. Where are the steem police.

I forgot about that problem... VISIBILITY of the posts... That, and "better search options" were also the things that are rolling over and over without doing anything regarding that...

Thank you for your time!

This last week I made a post which went into some detail about how discussion of the Communities implementation on the Steem blockchain along with some of the underlying assumptions that come along with the design we have led to what is effectively a pretty toxic environment for individuals who care about content – and if we want to get a better environment, if we want to attract content creators and people who want to engage with that content, we have to stop obsessing about the token and start really fixing our gaze on the content.

"You get what you reward" has become a sort of mantra I deploy all the time when I talk about the Steem blockchain because I learned it is a take away from designing games and being involved in online communities from a time before there even was a Web.

I think it's interesting that you have observed the absence of downvoting on other platforms and the negative impact it has on the Steem blockchain. It used to be that integrating downvoting in a public sense was something all designs for social media platforms were aggressive about. They wanted that signaling channel to be very public. YouTube and various music apps (taking into account a subtle difference in the latter which I'll talk about shortly) are probably the last remnant of that design philosophy. Downvotes are a useful signal, in truth. They allow you to communicate to the system that you are not interested in that kind of content or that supplier of content.

Notice how that usefulness is phrased. As a signal between the user and the system, it provides useful feedback for the system to change its behavior in presenting content to the user. Does that signal have any good use for the original content provider? No. From their perspective it doesn't matter if someone dislikes their content, it only matters if someone doesn't like/upvote their content. The signal is not useful to them. Further, the signal is only useful to the system insofar as it changes the behavior of the system as regards to the user. If there is no content presentation filtering, ranking, or other impact – that negative feedback signal is wasted.

Looking at it from a user experience design perspective, the downvote on the Steem blockchain is almost entirely wasted. The platform doesn't change its presentation back to you as a result of that signal, odds are that the signal is really too small to be meaningful in the sense of any reward that you may receive going forward so it's not particularly helpful there, it doesn't help the original content creator it all – it is a signal which is thrown away.

Now, let's consider the one effect that a downvote actually has: it's activates SP to cancel out other activated SP when it comes to the allocation of the reward school. A single vote applies to a single post only as much as the SP can be brought to bear (and for most users that is a tiny, minuscule amount), and the value which is affected goes back into the rewards pool to be allocated to all of the other content in that cycle which received an upvote – which very well may include posts by the same creator.

From a game theoretic perspective, it is always more useful for you to activate your SP and spend it on an upvote, which redirects exactly the same amount of the rewards pool as a downvote, except you directed explicitly and directly to someone whom you believe has provided value to you and gratification. Even in the face of "free downvotes," it is more useful to you to ignore the free downvotes and use your SP/voting power for upvotes on content you would like to see more of. You literally get to choose what that content is and who gets rewarded.

That's a big deal. That's really important.

Now, there is one other of fact that downvotes can have which actually does see a response from the system to that signal and that is "hiding content." But because most of us (and I mean the vast bulk of us) don't have nearly enough SP to make our downvotes useful for hiding spammy content, very little of the actual spam on the platform gets caught in a real sense. That which does has attracted the attention of pools of SP specifically set up for that purpose and largely automated, which is fine. That's what it's there for; individuals can choose to use their resources in that way. For the rest of us? It just doesn't matter.

What does the Steem blockchain desperately need in order to be successful at its primary use, social media networking? Much better discovery tools. Proper community tools. Less obsession with tokens and cryptocultists. More focus on content.

Until those things happen? Nothing else matters. And we've been waiting for any of those things to really happen for several years now. Bit of a shame, I think.

Thank you so much for this valuable comment. I totally agree with all that you said, but I would like to add just one my thought about this:

What does the Steem blockchain desperately need in order to be successful at its primary use, social media networking?

And especially after reading your last paragraph about waiting several years for something to happen... I'm trying to stay positive about the future of STEEM as a social media network, but after reading your comment and Steemit tryouts to "solve" something, moving the focus here and there, I'm not sure that it will happen, ever...

As I have said before, I think that STEEM will go in the background, and stay the cornerstone of other social networks (tribes, communities) that will be build on it... And that's completely fine from my point of view... Actually, I would like to see it ASAP, because these negative actions on STEEM are poisoning the community and the possible investors to take STEEM into consideration...


I agree, I am all in for good content but you can't forget that the success of social media comes from people being able to express themselves in any way they want.

I think that the main Steemit page should be able to have a bar for long posts, one for pictures, one for videos and another for short posts (Twitter kind of post)

After all, if a person is able to communicate something important in less than 200 characters, isn't that good content as well?

I totally agree with you! Not everyone has the same way of expressing him/her self... That's why we have different dApps on Steem... Video, voice, text, images... 100 words or 1000 words doesn't mean too much if the message didn't get through to the receiver...

But, unfortunately there are people here that don't care about the people and community... It's not an easy job create a community... It's easier to destroy it...

I hope that Steemians will not allow that to happen.

Well there are other blockchain social media projects in development. If Steemit doesn't take care of it's community, it will lose it very quickly to new platforms.

Hi @ph1102. Thank you so much for your post. Wonderfully stated.

Thank you for your kind words... I'm glad that you like it.

Thanks for a really great post @ph1102, and I agree with all that you said, people don't want to join when this is what they get into, the most important is the people, the community and that it's attractive and easy to be a part of it, keep up your great work, it's awesome.

This post is AWESOME!

Therefore it has been manually upvoted with 100% and resteemed by @thisisawesome, I manually upvote and resteem 1 post per day for the Awesome Daily Spotlight, and I also promote that post on Twitter, and it will be included as the Awesome Daily Spotlight in the Awesome Daily post of today, and it will also be featured in the Awesome Weekly Spotlight that is posted on Sundays.

The goal of this project is to "highlight Awesome Content, and growing the Steem ecosystem by rewarding it".

I think that Tribes and communities can, and should, take over the Social Network thing from STEEM... So, focus on that!
Thanks for picking up my post as Awesome!

Thanks @ph1102, and yeah I agree with that too, keep up your awesome work.

@ph1102, thank you for sharing your point of view on those issues. It was interesting to read.

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Thank you for your comment! We have to raise the voice, if we want changes...
Have a great day!

Congratulations! Your post has been selected as a daily Steemit truffle! It is listed on rank 6 of all contributions awarded today. You can find the TOP DAILY TRUFFLE PICKS HERE.

I upvoted your contribution because to my mind your post is at least 4 SBD worth and should receive 247 votes. It's now up to the lovely Steemit community to make this come true.

I am TrufflePig, an Artificial Intelligence Bot that helps minnows and content curators using Machine Learning. If you are curious how I select content, you can find an explanation here!

Have a nice day and sincerely yours,

Thanks, TrufflePig! It's always nice to see that other people appreciate the work.

I think that the main problem is ONBOARDING...

We share a different view of what is and what is not a problem. The STEEM blockchain has become much more than the one trick pony which it was when first creating my account here. The social media aspect of STEEM gives it something special and unique to most other blockchain communities. Something that gives a personality to the hash signatures.

Do we want to use it to share among the community or see it as a replacement for FaceBook?

The true value, to me, of STEEM is its fee free, lightning fast transactions
scalable blockchain and its unique form of governance that solved scalability.

Yet that governance uses a form of consensus and consensus is a slow moving machine.

My vision of STEEM's future is it having countless users that do not even realize they are using the STEEM blockchain. We do not have to onramp them... the dApps will be doing that.

Imagine, if you will, that the present version of Condenser was slightly modified to share the banner revenue income stream with active accounts on that particular instance of Condenser weighted by stake. Let's call the example tribe Would you want to onboard more people to share that revenue stream with? Would more people be required to generate that revenue stream in the first place? Well only if they were bringing quality content surely. As always quality over quantity should be our guide.

My vision need not be the only one, but hopefully shows the big tent that open source can bring and how that can cause it to move slowly on the sea of consensus.

[Edit : spelling]

Actually, we have a very similar view... :) As, this...

My vision of STEEM's future is it having countless users that do not even realize they are using the STEEM blockchain. We do not have to onramp them... the dApps will be doing that.

It is exactly what I have replied yesterday exactly here in the comments...

As I have said before, I think that STEEM will go in the background, and stay the cornerstone of other social networks (tribes, communities) that will be built on it... And that's completely fine from my point of view...

And then will dApps be a gate to the world and Steem just a back-end and the skeleton of the network...

Thanks for sharing your view!

Actually, we have a very similar view... :) As, this...

That will teach me for commenting on half read posts. 😎

Glad we are in agreement.

hahaha.. no worries man... we are on the same side... 😉

 10 months ago Reveal Comment