Advertising Steem: My Vision for Steem

in #newsteemlast year

We've recently had plenty of discussions in relation to how we should advertise Steem to people outside of this community.

@justineh for example pointed out in her recent post on how little outsiders actually know what is going on here: click me
And these people are actually from the cryptocurrency and blockchain space.

To get started, I think, we have to separate this already in three sub topics.

  • Advertising Steem to "Users"
  • Advertising Steem to "Builders"
  • Advertising Steem to Speculators

Where the Users are potential end users of Steemit, Steempeak, Splinterlands, etc... and the Builders woul be potential businesses or Startups developping these applications on this platform.

Advertising Steem to "Users"

I think the main problem of Steemit and also the other blogging applications surroing it is the adherent complexity from the blockchain technology.

If we tell people that Steem is a blockchain with a bunch of cryptocurrencies where you got a set of keys and there are different wallets, and frontends for the blockchain and witnesses and proposals and block explorers and hard forks people think you're crazy and definitely don't want to have anything to do with this platform.

The first rule of blockchain application advertising: Don't talk about the blockchain

Not only are blockchains and cryptocurrencies often branded as scams but of the few people who don't have an opinion about it, the complexity of this topic is too big than what they want to face in their free time.

Let's face it people want to be entertained and people want to blog about things they are interested in and get some attention and engagement for it.

Facebook, Twitter and Instagram offer all that in an easy to digest way, why should people come to Steem?

It's not about the money

If you ask most people on this chain, especially during the bull market, they'd tell you that here is the perfect place to get paid for your content.

But let's face it, this is exactly what got us into all this mess. If the Steem price is very high we can pay a decent quantity of people a decent amount of money, but, and here is the big but, this does not scale.

We can't reward millions of users fairly, not even in a bull market, and we can't reward thousands of users fairly in a bear market.
It's just not a sustainable concept to have. Our reward pool is of a fixed size and the bigger it gets the higher is the inflation which then affects the price and in the end who suffers are then not only the users, but also the investors.

We want to look at what is different on Steem besides from the backend:

  • No single central company controlling and manipulating the network
  • Alternative front ends

Which basically results in three main benefits:

  • Censorship Resistance (If one frontend blocks it, there are still others)
  • No Manipulation (No echo chambers, everything is open)
  • Freedom of Choice (You can communicate with your friends using different frontends)

If you asked me to describe Steem in a short way to someone outside of the technological sector I would do it like this:

Steem is an exciting new blogging platform without a central company manipulating and censoring content and enriching itself by selling user data (unlike Facebook, Instagram or Twitter).
The blogging platform can be accessed through a number of different websites, which allows a very personalized user experience.
Besides that, everything on Steem is 100% transparent, avoiding this way the creation of echo chambers.

If then people want to hear more about it, they still don't have to hear about blockchain, we can tell them:

  • You can do a one time payment to support your favorite authors
  • The top authors get a share of the income of the platform
  • With this one time payment you can also boost your comments or other peoples comments under posts

And this is really all users have to know. After people are then here, they'll slowly discover that there is a blockchain, and cryptocurrencies. But ideally, most frontends should hide this complexity from the normal users eyes.

Why does the user have to know how much sbd and steem he has?

Future suggestions:

Ideally we would have a simple wallet view and a complex wallet view.
The simple wallet view should only display how much money in his own currency he can currently pay himself out and offer him easy ways like paypal, amazon or steam cards of 25,50,100 dollars.

The same way, there should also be just an easy way to load currency on your wallet (stored in SBD) and the user then can choose if he wants to use it to spend on the various applications on the platform or if he wants to buy influence tokens for it (I vouch for renaming steem power to influence tokens).

The complexity of the blockchain and currencies should be hidden from the users eyes and only advanced users should require access to these settings.

Advertising Steem to “Builders”

Now, to business owners we have to do this different, obviously.

Again, we don't want to start talking about cryptocurrencies because if its not bitcoin they might think its a scam.

If a business owner asked me about the key benefits of building his application on the steem blockchain I'd go with:

  • Fault tolerance and Order:
    Steem offers you a database without a central point of failure which automatically orders the user requirements.
  • Good Userbase for beta/alpha testing and startups
    Many successful applications launched on Steem and had access to a decent userbase from the start. Some of them later decided moving to their own platform but others remain on Steem until today.
  • Built in Marketing Platform
    To access this userbase Steem already offers applications which allow to establish communication with the community in an easy way.
  • Token Economics
    If you plan on enabling microtransactions in your project Steem already has built in tokens for these kinds of use cases. These tokens can be traded and are already securely ordered and verified.
    (Specially relevant after SMTs)
  • One Time Investment
    Most similar blockchains require to regularly buy tokens to execute transactions, on Steem a one time payment will satisfy your need for resources for a relatively long time until either the network load increases significantly or you need additional resources (Which would increase the cost on any other blockchain too).
    Thus, there is a much lower financial risk for building on Steem.

Advertising Steem to “Speculators”

Let's be honest, especially on the long term, the last thing we want is strong price speculations on this blockchain. For business owners wanting to build on Steem this would highly increase the risk of building an application since with high prices their costs would increase significantly.

What we need are companies which bring in people from the outside which spend their FIAT currencies on the applications of these companies and the companies have to aquire Steem to use the blockchain.

Companies which only leverage the existing Steem community cause sell pressure since they have to sell Steem for FIAT to pay for salaries and don't bring in FIAT from the outside.


  • We need to hide the complexity of the blockchain from new users
  • Try to advertise the benefits of Steem leaving out the monetary part
  • We need companies which bring in users from the outside which bring in FIAT

Also I have to add, is just an advert ridden piece of shit software now, I used to be a fan but since I realised has a way better interface and has thoughtful features like, up to 10 tags to help tribes, post scheduling and ability to set beneficiaries. to me looks like an mvp solely for the purpose of justifying the monthly programmatic spend, no passion or thought into how users will use it. The Steempeak team is a two man band with no funding and they have pulled off a better product than a corporate entity that derives 800K Steem per month for 3 years now, imo focus needs to be on UI and Steempeak is a good candidate to replace, especially due to the passion they show to continually improve it. If they had a small share of that programattic selling and pivotted to use their technology, I think Steem would progress faster from a UI perspective.


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I'm not sure if you mentioned, but Steem is also great for merchants, bitcoin and eth take ages to verify transactions, Steem is 3 seconds and is better than credit cards because there are no chargebacks. We have this setup nicely at, also it is really powerful because you can parse the chain for transactions and get your apps to update statuses etc of services, good luck trying to parse your fiat bank account easily without paying for some expensive service.

I left it out on purpose because I think to have this make sense you need some good FIAT gateways, else you will spend a lot on fees while trying to get the resulting Steem to FIAT back again.

This post has been included in the latest edition of The Steem News - a compilation of the key news stories on the Steem blockchain.

It's nice that you touch the subject of speculators, even as lightly as you did. But in my opinion, the presence of speculators is a true sign that the underlying instument is stable or promising enough to attract outside risk capital.

Sure, we already have people playing the wide spreads, but true liquidity and stability should come from strong trading interest. The caveat is, like you said, sudden volatility may happen, but if the currency is established (ie backed by strong userbase, investors and sound businesscases), the spikes will be small and short-lived.

Not sure I agree, true liquidity of euro and dollar comes from speculators or comes from companies accepting it as payment option and people using it?

Euro and dollar are reserve currencies and there's forces in play that create money flows whatever happens, but it's quite possible that speculators are the reason we can all enjoy so tight bid/ask spread on the EURUSD pair, also ensuring stable moving prices - money flows are calm and predictable.

I'm mainly pointing out that speculators create liquidity and protect the market from massive volatility spikes that are characteristic of new, undeveloped and low liquidity markets. Why would an businesses put their cash in a raw market that can spike or drop on a some large orders?

I'm not very good with words, so I'll drop this link which explains my thoughts:

If we leave major currencies out for a moment, and focus closer, there is a few great example on Steem-Engine's own token market - the splinterlands' DEC, compared to some others, is quite mature and stable market, there's constant buy and sell flows, and a while ago, i was taking advantage of it nicely, knowing that probably price won't move against me suddenly, leaving me caught with my pants down. Buyers catch falling knifes and sell walls forbid the price to run away and create a bubble. On the other side, look, for example at AFITX, driven higher (started trading at 10, dropped to 5, now back at 10) by sudden demand. It wont allow a serious buyer to buy at lower levels, because some thin orders are holding the market inflated, but buying up here makes no sense as one larger seller can clean up the orderbooks in one go.

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