On Turning 70: Circle Jerks, Communities, Onboarding, Downvoting & Other Random Thoughts

in palnet •  3 months ago 

69 is a fun number, unless it is your steem rep and you are hanging there for EONS waiting for it to tick over to 70. You know I still don't know how rep is calculated? Nup. In fact, being 70 doesn't automatically grant me knowledge of all the mysterious corners of the steemiverse. Just when I think I have explored everything, I turn a corner and there's a new cool thing happening. The sands shift. It is what I LOVE about the place - never a dull moment, unless it's an Actifit post (sorry Actifitters) which I generally baulk at - but then, each to his own. The other cool aspect to Steem is that there's something for everyone. We all have our subjective lens by which we find our interests and organise by tribe.

Forgive me if this post is a little bit of a ramble - I rarely post my thoughts about Steem, but felt that turning 70 might be a good opportunity to reflect. Plus, I include some bird pictures, because birds rock, and I have no stylish pictures of my own to share today.

Pink Robin, Otways, Victoria

On Circle Jerks

I still don't entirely get the phrase nor the hate. It's awfully euphemistic and gag worthy. Definitely a vehement insult. Yet, what is wrong with supporting your friends? Isn't that what tribes are for? It seems to me a kind of jealousy. Saying that, I did get called a circle jerker once and felt mortally wounded, since I work my ass off on a tribe to help people feel supported and gain them upvotes for decent content. Bawling, sobbing emoji. Plus a screw you emoji. Oh, and I spread my vote around. @abh12345 has pie charts to prove it. I feel nothing but relief to see such proof.

On Engagement

Speaking of @abh12345, if you are new here, join the Enagement Leagues. It's a fun way to be accountable for your engagement and you can win steem. Not that steem should be the only motivator.

Honestly, engaging every day is exhausting. I don't know how some keep up the pace they do! After a nearly two years here I am calming down on that front. However, I insist on commenting where I can. Don't scroll past the little guy - people love being SEEN. Don't underestimate how important YOUR comment is. This is a social media, folks. Be social - but dont apologise if you arent, because Life.

Spam is Not Engagement

Spam is the devil's spawn. Nothing like seeing ten notifications on a post you have sweated over to feel deflated because they are all impersonal advertisements or tokens. It's just clutter. Messes with my Libran desire for beauty and harmony. Wallet spam is okay though. It is a bit like sweeping mess under the carpet. I can ignore it there. Do I sound snarky? I probably am, but I hate how the internet has become a place to recruit, market and advertise. I get we need to do that, but let's do it in a more personal way at least, and considerate. Like junk mail in your letterbox, spam just bugs me.

On Tribes & Tokens

Sell the ones you don't care about and power up the Steem. Stake the ones you do and use their front ends to post from when appropriate. Keep the front ends bookmarked so you can easily flip between them. Oh and use KEYCHAIN... it makes life infinitely easier. I just transferred all my bookmarks from Chrome to Brave, installed keychain and Ecosia as my search engine and am feeeling good.

But tribes are fun. It's just another way to make the place entertaining and bring a sense of community love. Tokens might be worth something. But I see real value in the front ends because they can be gateways to Steem. Say you are a herbalist and see a post on Facebook someonehas shared from www.naturalmedicine.io rather than a steemlink. Might this be the entry point for them to this blockchain? Or if you are into crypto or finances and come across Steemleo?

We all need to do our bit to onboard. I just got a heap of business cards printed for this reason. They will be pinned to every noticeboard I find and left on tables in cafes and bars. Oh, and if you're a tribe owner with a front end, consider putting a 'Free Accounts' post in your Updates log side bar. We did this two days ago and we had one person email us for sign up, and they now have an account! In fact, we've onboarded three people in the last two weeks - small fry I know, but it feels like progress. I feel like we're doing something pro-active at least!


The Content Conundrum & Personal Responsibility

I like to think I post decent content. I write with the knowledge that if someone stumbles here from outside, they get a good impression. If there is decent content in the niche tribes, then we might attract other good content curators here too, which we need to create a good impression.

However, I understand that recieving .02 on your content can be deflating, especially when measured against another who may have got far more for what appears to be a blurry picture of a cat and five lines with ten typos and two year old grammar. This can lead to a screw you attitude where you also post crap because what the hell right, they did?

To that I say, in a motherly way, if so and so jumped off a cliff, would you? Or, be the change you wish to see in the world. You are responsible for setting a good example of what this place can be.

You cannot moan about what you hate here without being accountable for your own behaviour on the blockchain. Moaning gets you nowhere. Swallow that shit. Figure out why you feel so miffed. Write an intelligent post about it inviting conversation, then let it go. Better yet, re-assess why you are here.

Build a great looking place, and they'll come. That's good for all of us. And it's down to all of us. Even you.

Why Are You Here, Anyway?

If it is to get rich quick, forget it. But if it's to be part of a grand experiment and meet some super cool people whilst flicking a big middle finger to Facebook, maybe you can forget about the rewards and be grateful you got anything at all for your blurry picture of tacos, because no one paid you anything on Instagram for that. Nada. Zilch. Not a brass razoo.

Here, we can share what we like without censorship and that is amazing. No one is algorithing our asses to decide what content we see and how. Support this vision for a free internet space and don't leave just because the price drops. Be part of the change. Post here once a month if you want, but by being here you support a vision for new economies and new ways of organising information based on the grand idea of decentralisation. That's worth fighting for. I realise Facebook might be where you can advertise your business, but post here too. Don't just feed the big guys.

White Fairy Wren, Otways

On The Upcoming Communities

Communities rock in general, and we all know it, so I'm not going to wax lyrical about how I came for the crypto and stayed for the love.

I have been beta testing the new communities feature on Steem and it's pretty cool. Pretty basic, but pretty cool. I don't think it will be ground breaking, but it's a start. The Natural Medicine community has been formed and all are welcome.

The main feature I see is that you can choose to post to the community members instead of the whole of Steem, so only people in that community can see it. That's going to be great for pulling things off Discord, where lots of cool conversations happen, and onto the Blockchain, where you might get rewarded for these interactions!

What I would like to see (tagging @crimsonclad & @quochuy here in hopes the message might be passed on, though I'm sure they're already onto it - big up the witnesses for all they do) is:

  • tags for community posts so that it's easy to find conversations. For example, if I post in Natural Medicine: 'what are the best herbs for a cold and flu' I could tag it #colds, so that anyone can look up this conversation within the community.
  • a longer post payout for community conversations - say 10 days?
  • more customisable, i.e admins could upload images or advertisements in the side bar particular to their tribe
  • a way to search for tribes by tag
  • a way to vet, block or kick members not towing the community guidelines.

It's all great for Steem though - glad to see some big changes to the front end.

Big Up Steempeak

I've been an utter fan of Steempeak since the beginning - thanks @jarvie, @asgarth, and everyone else working on this gorgeous, intuitive front end. Not only is it pretty, it's functional and I appreciate all the features they keep adding. If you're not on Steempeak, why not? Setting them as part beneficiary to this post in gratitude.

Big Up Curators, Devs, Witnesses - and Everyone

I love the lotus curators for Natural Medicine - I only wish we could pay them more for what they do. Curators for all tribes need more recognition for the love they spread. Thankyou! And thanks to all the amazing folk that are creating, innovating, writing and commenting - this is truly an ecosystem with many, many parts making a wonderful whole and EVERYONE is part of that, from the tiniest redfish to the biggest whale. Awesome to see the whales and the bidbot accounts spreading the love a little more - it's a reason some of us have stuck around.

Kookaburra, Australia

On Downvoting

Okay, it has it's place. Be an asshole and prepare to be downvoted by the masses. But I've come to think it's just an opportunity for people to be assholes. If you dislike what people are doing, say it to their face. Have a conversation about it. You know, like 'please don't use our particular tag for this content that has nothing to do with the tag' or 'hey man, liked your idea, but try using original images or credit the work of others'. And if they keep being an asshole, THEN you can downvote them. But the downvoting system has just created trolls with alt accounts going around bullying each other, and that sucks, especially for new users. And the whole downvoting for SBI? That's just shitty. I don't care about a few downvotes (eek - feeling like I'm inviting hell to rain down on me for that one) but new users might, and that's just really, really detrimental to this platform. I hate steem politics. There's some awful behaviour here, but I do tend to ignore it by scrolling on by and focussing my energy on the good stuff, and it's worked for me so far. So if you ARE affected by this kind of behaviour, just refocus your attention. You can definitely have an amazing steem experience without it.

Am I Gonna Stick Around?

I'm off travelling next year and there's a big part of me that wants to go tech free. But I can't imagine myself without Steem - it's part of the fabric of my life. I genuinely feel deep affection for the place and everyone in it. Maybe I'll only post once a week or once a fortnight, I don't know. It'd be nice to go offline for a bit. But that'll have nothing to do with a lack of faith in Steem. I love this place and ain't going nowhere. The ship ain't sinking folks as long as you stay onboard and keep being awesome.

How are you feeling about Steem right now? What thoughts do you have about this crazy social media of ours?

@naturalmedicine II Discord Invite II #naturalmedicine

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I came here for the jerking, but I stayed for the birds. Especially the robin and wren looked adorable.

I did read what you wrote, but birds are more important than anything you wrote.

Kind of answered to one of the points though, I came for one reason, stayed for another. On this post and on Steem.
Most people do that. They might join for the money, but stick around if they find something else. Usually. Some get the money too, but most end up disappointed.

I didn't read all of it, totally agree on birds :)

Ha, too many words --- I wouldn't read my post either. Thanks @gerber and @apsu for the comments though, nice to get something NOT spam, haha. xx Thanks for your honesty - 'your post isn't as good as the birds, and I didn't read it all' - lmao.

I did read what you wrote, but birds are more important than anything you wrote.

Ouch. But birds are awesome - much more awesome than me, I know. Their rep should be 70,000,000.

Here's another bird for ya.

And if it's little birds you are after, this is my favourite Aussie bird - we have them at our place and they are as tiny, if not more tiny, than an English wren. Neither of them are my images. Both on the internet.


Based on the different watermarks in some photos, I'm assuming these aren't photos taken by you ;D

I had to find the name of the aussie bird and it seems it's "Spotted pardalote". It turns out that it actually IS really tiny.

It's so tiny it's half the size of the smallest owl in Finland.

That Aussie bird is *cuuuuute! What a sweet little looker ❤

Isn't it a honey?? They are the teeniest cutest things!

I think circlejerking as a derogatory term only apply to closed circle circle jerking . I’m a big fan of all inclusive circle jerking.

Where are you going!?!

Posted using Partiko iOS

Dang, where can I earn some brass razoos?? Sounds like an awesome reward. 😉 I'm here for the peeps, plain and simple. My approach ebbs and flows with my mood, and time, but as long as there are rad folks here to hang out with I'll stick around to at least pop my head in here and there. Happy to be a small part of your Steem tribe! Also I was all excited to send you my purple broccoli photo on Discord and now it's down!! So perhaps I'm really here for the vegetables. 😂

You can have ALL my brass razoos!! Oh yes I saw the broccoli but got distracted and forgot to reply so I'll reply here! That was some head of broccoli!!!! I thought of you when I was picking tiny leaves of self seeded beetroot and silverbeet for a salad today!! Haaha, I think I might be partly here for the vegetables too, and I mean no offence by that :P xx

See bird photo. I click.

Actually I agree with your philosophy on best usage for steem.

My personal expectations on steem usage runs a bit parallel to my behavior in business and with friends. Never instigate drama. Keep my blog feed free of negativity, and promote positive inspiration and encouragement. In curation, avoid rewarding revenge posts and hateful comments.

In this way I can keep my conscience clear, and have a good track record to prove I have no ill intentions.

Aw thanks. Yeah, I like that. Be the change is such a cliche, but it's a good philosophy to live by. WYSIWYG - what you see is what you get. Love and good intentions, always. Always love that about your blog too!

Thanks for sharing your experience with us!

You have been curated by @freedompoint on behalf of Inner Blocks: a community encouraging first hand content, with each individual living their best life, and being responsible for their own well being. #innerblocks Check it out at @innerblocks for the latest information and community updates, or to show your support via delegation.

Thanks @freedompoint x

Great post @riverflows Congrats on reaching 70 (for whatever ytbd it means 😂) i have to give huge shoutouts to Actifit!! Without that app, i'd have zero Steem mojo. I am so happy for you that you are going traveling! Awesome for you! And, i highly recommend tech free a huge portion of the time. So inspiring!! I am "staying off FB" for a few months. It's tough! The addiction and draw is real! Much Love! Steem on 4 Life ❤❤❤

Ha, I wondered who would bite on the Actifit! No offence to anyone and whatever keeps you here is great really - can't imagine Steem without your happy smiley comments! 😘😘😘

Looking forward to a bit more tech free.. and finding a reliable team to run NM when I am offline! Thats the tricky ask! 💜💜💜

Happy birthday!!!!!

Aw shucks! Much love!

I actually did read the entirety of your post. I am a bit new to all this still so I didn't fully comprehend the parts about frontend and tribes. I wish I had, as this would probably enhance my steemit experience.

Overall, I enjoy your writing and am rather impressed. I came initially to steemit because I fell in love with learning all things crypto, which led me into better understanding blockchain, which led me into trading (as a novice trader I came to the realization that I have a lot more learning to do before I re-enter the trading scene.) This need for learning led me to writing and experimenting. I love all of it.

You may have done a little rambling in this article, but you did make another lasting impression on me. When you asked, "why are you here?," after having written about the frustrations with the reward of inexplicably bad content, I realized that I also want to make the steemit community better and I actually care about it!!

I already tried to make sure to post well written and personal content and as I read and learn more, my content has gotten better. After reading this, I am now more driven to produce better pieces and to hone my skill-sets to make this entire community better as a whole.

As one person, I can only take care of my own posts, but as one person, you, just inspired me. I only hope to produce content that does that very, same thing, for someone else.

Thank you, @riverflows, for giving me a shift in paradigm. Know that you are appreciated. :D

Oh gosh, thanks so much for this beautiful comment! It's comments like this that make steem amazing - connections with thoughtful, lovely human beings! I am so glad to inspire you - and humbled!!! Appreciation is a fine thing - it's such a nice gift to give people and I appreciate YOU for taking the time to do it. Much love!

Front-ends are simply like Steemit - a different way to see the same stuff really. Are you using Steempeak? That's a front end too.

For the tribe front ends, what they generally do is take the code and change it a bit so it operates the same, but with a few small differences, such as www.naturalmedicine.io, weedcash.network and many others. Instead of steem, you'll see the token for that community or tribe. The great thing about this is that people outside Steem might see their niche celebrated and find their way to this blockchain via their particular interests. All a tribe is really is a community, and a community is a tribe. Tribe was adopted because of Steem-engine, who were making the various versions of the Steem front end adaptable for the particular niches that wanted them, like us at Natural Medicine. Tribes made sense. Now of course we have the 'communities' feature that is coming soon (it's in beta mode being tested at the moment) which is another way to organise folk.

Ha, have I exhausted you yet? I love the ins and outs of this crazy place!

OH!! Okay!! Thank you for clarifying, and no! No exhaustion! More excitement! :) I understand this actually. I am not on steampeak, or any of the others. I had used partiko before for my phone and now I understand what it is. Thank you for the education. My excitement comes from the realization that I was lucky enough to stumble myself directly to the core of all this! :) I learn better from the inside out for some reason. I have to understand the basic mechanics of something before I can understand all the moving parts, but once I understand the basics, the moving parts usually become elementary rather quickly! I am very glad that you have connected with me and thank you for giving me the re-steem on "Can You Read Me?" It has gotten me another connection already that I thoroughly enjoy. :)

I have switched to Esteem app now... heaps better! Its such a learning curve but once you get it, you get it, even with new things popping up all the time. Xx

I have just joined esteem :) Just got logged on.

Congratulations on your reputation 70. That is just a number but what l learned from you in the little time I knew you, what you have in steemit is more valuables than your reputation 70. You did a great job here. Thank you for your inspiring thoughts post you made.
You are a good example.

Thanks sooo much. I am a bit of an underdog but try my best! It makes it worth it with beautiful comments like that, thanks sooo much. Xx


Hey @riverflows, here is a little bit of BEER from @olivia08 for you. Enjoy it!

I was on steem back when it was new and disappeared when it seemed to be the place for people that would be blocked on traditional social media.

I returned again with this account and tried to be active last year again. Discovery of new people and finding the type topics that I'm interested in was hard, so I left again.

Now I'm back again and I'm starting to see things improve. Discovery is still very hard, but tribes has made this better and communities are another step in the right direction.

Still the #renewable #climate #engery topics, anything to do with the environment is what I'm looking for and they still have some whales who are deniers making it hard to encourage great content and discussion.

I still think Steem is the future, or a variation of it, and plan on investing in it (time AND #BTC) over 2020.

I didnt know people were downvoting climate stuff? I havent seen it. Try #ecotrain and #naturalmedicine for thatkinda content, lots of folks there care and engage with earth action. Xxx Keep posting regardless.. dont let the assholes let you down!

I can recommend

https://steemreply.com/ by @arcange

to keep up with replies and mentions. This has been a Godsend to me since I have 3 blogs here with a lot of engagement on each.

I can blow through my replies very quickly now. There is a way to set up templates for phrases you use a lot such as "Thank you for your support." No clicking back and forth through many screens to reply!

Steemreply is the best tool I have for time management now :)

Thanks! I will look into it! Xx But i like to keep each reply personal so auto replies dont work for me...💜

It's not an auto reply @riverflows, it's a bunch of templates you can set up. I'm in here now and these a couple of them out of about 15 I have now:

Thank you so much for your support, @riverflows. I appreciate your help so much.

  • to send to people vote or resteem, for example

I'm very glad to support, @riverflows. Keep posting your good work :)

  • to send when people thank me for something I did

i can still edit before sending, but having these ready saves me a ton of time. It also saves my arthritic hands :)

I love the way this is written and states your opinion. Concerning actifit, i can understand. I do actually enjoy step counting but also upvoting some actifitters. Walking your dog twice a day is 10k steps and if a person above 60 years of age does that, it just lights me up. Therefore as you have so nicely put, its about engagement. Thanks for sharing that opinion about downvoting. Bad actors can't thrive well in a proof of brain consensus mechanism and prevail for long. I think its also a part of the in boarding issue.

Posted using Partiko iOS

Thats so true. Honestly, I am cool with actifit, I just scroll past as I have never been one forlogging fitness. Xx

Squeeeeeee! Fuzzy bird balls!!

I haven't gotten the courage up to try and navigate the communities. I was glad when you said posting from NM.io will automatically put the post there, because I couldn't remember the hive number. I've been trying to post via the tribe front-ends when the content is pertinent. I just posted on travelfeed for the first time today and that's really different!

The only thing I know about Steem rep is the higher you get the slower it increases. I've been on 67.9.. for what seems like an age and just when I think it must surely tick over, no, just the end number has gone up a bit.

Fuzzy bird balls got me some votes, yo!

Yeah it's soooo slow right? Especially when you are such a dedicated Steemian.

Yeah the hive numbers are hard to remember!!! I was glad to be hooked up to do the instant share thing. There's clever people around making stuff like that happen!

Read and upvoted for your birthday reference. Hi it's me... say no more. Should be a good year ahead for you with travel and steemit in your pocket. Simultaneously.


Congrats on turning 70. And thank you for the cool bird pics.

I have been on a hiatus from Steem for a while, decided to get back on the proverbial horse and started posting again recently. Turns out there are now armies of automated troll accounts downvoting posts without any reason or rhyme.

Almost all of those troll accounts were created end November 2019 and they have all voted for the same 2 witnesses here on Steem. I'm not sure whether this is due to the politics you have alluded to in your post but I reckon it's a sad state of affairs through and through.

This does not bode well for the future. Especially since newcomers to Steem would either become discouraged from all the downvotes or abandon the platform altogether due to all the trolls and what-not.

Sorry to be all doom and gloom on your birthday post. Hope you enjoy your upcoming travels.


Yeah, that's what I was alluding to. It's sad, but I think it's tempered by the bid bots being knocked off the table which means better reward distribution, and the 50/50 split - all our daily rewards have gone up for good content really so a few downvotes won't make much difference. It makes it even more important to grab new users and adopt them - delegate a little, give them encouraging words, upvote them - and let the people who are dealing with the downvoters deal with them in their way. Honestly, I don't see a lot of trolling as I don't get involved with the crap - my experience is positive by and large, because that's all I focus on. If I was hanging out with the people moaning about the trolls, I'd probably feel differently OR if I was downvoted that much it hurt me. Again, gotta encourage people to ignore the f**ckers - they exist all over the tinternet, not just steem. My 70 year old mother in law was trolled on a post the other day and she was in tears. We had to explain how petty and insignificant they are, and how to shrug them off!

The downvotes by the trolls don't really matter rewards-wise since they don't really make that much of a dent. It is the discouragement that comes with the downvotes. Most content creators are sensitive souls and we put so much of ourselves and our hearts out there with every single post. And it hurts when our hardwork is trampled on and disregarded or trolled without so much as a by your leave. I'm all for constructive criticism but automated downvote trolls are just indiscriminate in the hate they dish out.
They do not take into consideration the feelings of the person they are downvoting and I'm sorry that happened to your mother-in-law. But yeah, sometimes, we just need to help explain to the victims that the troll downvotes have as much significance as a random mosquito bite or bird poop.

Exactly- tell them they're valued and we care and those downvotes mean NOTHING coz they're not even THINKING about how the person feels or the work that went into it. xx You've made me think that every time I see a downvoted post on a newbie or a decent bit of writing, I'm gonna personally go in and give some love!