Steemit is the blockchain’s take on what a peer to peer attention economy should be. A person’s up-vote is the mechanism through which new currency is generated, so the bigger your audience the better. But the quality of your audience is also important. Those without any significant Steem Power balances won’t generate very much with their votes.
This is the big hold up at this point in time. I’ve noticed many very high quality information sources coming over to Steemit from places like youtube, but they haven’t gotten a hold of the platforms full functionality yet. Most importantly, their audiences haven’t discovered the full potential of the platform yet, and they have just as much to gain as the authors.
To whet your appetite and get you thinking about what’s now possible, here are the TL/DR notes;
- Steemit is a content creation platform for the Attention Economy
- Posts, videos, etc. collect income for 7 days before distributing to author & audience
- Steem Power determines a persons vote value
- Vote Value can be distributed at 100% value 10x per day (Account with a $0.25/vote distributes a max. of $2.50/day)
- Voters (Audience) earn up to 25% of the posts income as curation rewards, exact ratio depends on timing.
- Software can be used to automatically maximize use of voting power by distributing votes at optimal intervals
- Steemit offers audiences a means to back their favorite authors while keeping their capital investment, which effectively earns interest (via Curation Rewards)
- The steemit platform is the base on which many other tools are being created. Similar to Ethereum or Bitshares being used for other productive businesses
- D.Tube and DLive are video and livestream platforms attached to Steemit. The base layer of Steemit supports written content and images.
- Education for the content creators and audience is the biggest hurdle to successful use of the technology
THE POWER AND PROBLEMS OF STEEMIT
Steemit is an unique Eco-system in the Attention Economy. It is designed to reward the authors who create the content as well as the audiences who add valuable discussion to the authors work. Additional platforms built on top of the Steemit Eco-system include options for video and audio content. These are tools which need to be properly used in order to benefit from them.
For established content creators (youtube channels, blog sites, podcasts, photographers, artists, etc.) the biggest challenge to successfully using the platform is getting their current audience to participate. The content can be top notch, but if it doesn’t have an audience to up-vote and discuss then it will get buried in the Sea of Steemit without earning any substantial rewards. This leads to frustration and eventually abandoning the platform.
AUDIENCE AND AUTHOR EDUCATION IS THE SOLUTION
The Steemit Eco-system is a working solution, but it requires proper use and understanding of both content creators and audiences to profitably function. As a content creator, -you will be responsible for informing your audience of this if you plan on succeeding in the Eco-system.
- Independent Media often rely on donations from their audience to monetize their work. When used properly, Steemit provides ways for the audience to earn income as well as the author without any donations.
- Steemit provides an opportunity for audience members to make a passive investment into an authors channel while retaining and effectively earning interest on their investment
- Authors can provide further incentive by regularly giving their own up-vote to the best or most informative commenters. This is meant to be a two way street where the author is in the drivers seat. They get rewarded for earning the attention of their subscribers, and they should also reward and interact with their audience to return that value. Does your audience have your attention? If so, they should be rewarded for it.
Steemit distributes real value and should be considered an Investment Vehicle which operates in the New Economy. To gain maximum benefit on the platform, both Author and Audience should treat it as such. Steem Power can be thought of as working capital in situations like this. The more working capital your circle of readers and other supportive authors has, the more the articles and comments within those circles will earn.
The first step to successful use of Steemit to generate income is the Author understanding and respecting this. They are meant to be the center of attention, therefore, they should also be the ones distributing the most value. To do this, authors should start by investing some of their own assets into Steem Power. Tutorials and further instructions on how to do this will be forthcoming. It does take some technical knowledge, but if you’re already able to purchase bitcoin you won’t have much difficulty learning how to convert it to Steem Power.
The second step is to educate your audience about how and why they should support your work on Steemit. To do this they will need to create their own Steemit account, and they will also need to fund their own accounts with some amount of Steem Power. While they will be supporting your work, they can maintain full control of their own assets. Instead of providing a one time donation to your channel, they can now actively or passively invest in your channel.
The benefits to this should be immediately understood. By holding and properly using Steem Power you are using your own capital investment to monetize your attention and reward those you give that attention too. Youtube sells audience attention without giving anything of equal value back to them. Youtube also sales advertising based off of the value added by content creators without distributing equal value back to the creators. Steemit does the exact opposite of this.
AUTOMATE THE PROCESS TO ACHIEVE MAXIMUM RETURN ON CAPITAL
As I previously mentioned, an accounts Steem Power is a representation of that persons influence within the Eco-system. The math determining a votes value is fluid and automatically recharges after a vote is given. Currently the platform allows for a 100% vote to be distributed 10x over the course of a 24 hour period. Meaning, if you have a vote value of $1.00 you are able to distribute a maximum of $10/day with your up-votes (attention).
The problem with this is obvious. People don’t schedule their days so every 2.4 hours they are online reading or watching their favorite content. This means that if they only choose to read or watch this content over a 2 hour period after work they are not able to efficiently monetize their voice. A frustrating problem with the Steemit model.
Several different versions of services and software exist which solve this problem;
A website using your posting key to automatically vote for blog and comment authors you white-list and curation trails you subscribe to or create. Options to customize voting power and timing make this a very flexible and powerful tool to maximize your SP use. This software ensures your financial account is not accessed by a 3rd party (Posting Keys don’t access this, Master Key or Active Key is needed to move funds). Setup by the account owner is required, along with some basic knowledge of Steemit.
These are open sourced software a channel can build which allow a user to setup a customized set of filters and accounts which the bot will automatically distribute votes to. Since this is continuously operating software, it will need to be setup on a server you keep online to maximize its use. Programming knowledge and the available equipment are needed to set these up. There are also services which will setup and operate these bots for you in exchange for a % of earnings.
SMARTSteem is the easiest way to put your SP to good use, although you won’t have control over where that vote power is going. This is basically an advertising service which content creators can use to promote their work into the Trending or Hot categories. For those who are more interested in maximizing financial earnings on their SP, this is the easiest way to go. Sign up through their website and get your earnings automatically distributed 2x a week.
Once you, the authors, are familiar with Steemit and these funding strategies it should be mentioned in your work so your audience knows the steps necessary to build and become a successful community on Steemit.
With the middlemen removed from the equation, the Author/Audience relationship is able to build a much closer and mutually profitable community. The flow of value moving purely between those who create that value also helps keep the trolls away, with actual money at stake that is not a profitable undertaking for the bridge dwellers. Peer to Peer value moving through the Attention Economy is a beautiful thing.
I’m more than happy to answer any questions or discuss any of the finer intricacies of Steemit with my readers. Catch me at Broad Perspective’s Steemit Channel or email directly at firstname.lastname@example.org to get in touch.