The other day, I posted a question on r/steemit: where do you see Steem in 6 months? 5 of the 6 top level comments were pessimistic. People complained about bid bots and poor content. And Steemit, of course.
Bid bots and poor content are a problem. But if we look at Steem with a longer timeline, it is easier to understand why bid bots will slowly recede. Steem continues to get better content creators and better curators. The key driver behind this factor is the apps that are competing to create a better user experience (UX), which increases user engagement and creates better investment opportunities with one’s Steem Power.
Why Bid Bots are Popular
Delegating to bid bots is the easiest way to earn passive income on Steem. People who are frustrated by this seem to forget that giving investors reasons to buy and hold Steem for long periods of time pushes the price of Steem upward.
Because of this, bid bots are flush with Steem Power and their votes are worth a lot of money. These votes distort the trending/hot pages. Every Steemian knows this and many are frustrated that bid bots exist. But it’s not the full story. The full story is that the current All Tags feed page is unfocused content. We’re so used to having our preferences mined by centralized companies that when it isn’t, we revolt.
Let me say again what’s going on here: your feed on Steem is not created by centralized data miners that are trying to “optimize” your experience. Decentralized feeds, like what we experience on Steem, are still in their infancy, while Twitter, Facebook and Google have all had at least a decade to focus their methodology…and make billions off of our personal data.
Posting for Profits
Everyone wants to make that one perfect post that goes viral and earns them thousands of dollars. But Steem is too big, and too dispersed to make that happen. We live in a world with centralized content providers, but Steem is a decentralized platform with all of us making and curating content…and there are still very few of us interacting with Steem every single day.
And that means that we’re going to have to really hustle to find our tribe here, and bring the unique value that each of us brings to the Steem blockchain, and then work like heck to engage them and earn Steem. But when we find our tribe, we’ll find Steem gets to be a lot more fun.
Because everything is more fun when you’re doing it with your friends.
We are still in the early days of Steem, which is not controlled by one company, but sustained by over 100 witnesses who have an incentive to keep the blockchain running no matter what. And in decades, when Steem is worth tens or hundreds of billions of dollars, and runs thousands of applications and services on top of it, the early adopters who put in the hard work now will be living much better lives.
(At a $1 billion market cap, one Steem is worth $4. At $10 billion, it is worth $40)
As I said above, bid bots are the easiest way to earn Steem right now, but that is changing. Projects are in development that will draw attention and interest away from the bid bots, which are a losing bet for most users. Steemit’s trending and hot sections will be less important once Hivemind is released and communities organize more efficiently than they do currently.
I’m saying all of this because bid bots are a terrible excuse for sucking at Steem. Making money on Steem is not easy, but it is a lot more fun than most of the other historical ways of making money. Steem is global, and the hustle from the third world is real. I love that Steem gives people who live under $5 a day the opportunity to make money that can change their lives today, even at 85 cents each.
Buying Steem Cheap
Do you want to make a fortune on Steem? You can. Right now, in fact, with Steem being 85 cents, it is one of the easiest times to get to 500 SP. Trust me: when you have more Steem Power, Steem is more fun. That’s because you see the value of your votes, and you see the effect you have on other people here, and you really get the Steem experience. For those of you with more time than money, there are projects aimed at supporting “red fish”, which is what Steemians are called who have not yet reached 500 SP.
(500 SP would be worth $20,000 if Steem reaches a $10 billion market cap)
Using bid bots is gambling for all but the most adroit marketers. People see this. Their popularity will wane in the future as more opportunities arise for people to make money on Steem. The best way to discourage their use is to build something great yourself on Steem, and give Steemians a reason to save their SP for your project.
Let me say it more clearly: winning at Steem is about hustling, working our tails off as early adopters of a revolutionary platform. It is not a lottery ticket. The most successful Steemians aren’t the ones staring at the price action (which is mostly due to outside factors that have nothing to do with Steem); they’re the ones making great stuff every day for Steem.
In other words, you can hodl, but you need to be buidling too.
I made a short post using Partiko, a nice smartphone app that is easier to use than Steemit. Within a minute of posting, @partiko had commented on it. I asked a follow up question and they responded. This is hustle. This is the opportunity you have as a developer on Steem, or a user: make connections with people who have a similar interest in making Steem great. You don’t need technical chops to make money in crypto. Not a developer? Be a community manager. Talking, giving time and energy to help others on this platform, will open opportunities and grow your network on Steem.
In this talk between social media legends Seth Godin and Gary Vaynerchuk, Gary points out the importance of thinking in decades.
Steemians are not going to be complaining about bid bots in two decades. They’ll be complaining that they didn’t get more involved when they were younger and there were so few people on here. Whether or not you enjoy Seth and Gary, the two are a great listen when it comes to learning how to use new technology, and the internet in particular. Their plans have spanned decades, not years.
That’s the sort of long term approach a lot more Steemins could learn from.
Interested in optimizing your Steem experience? Do you want to learn more about the Steem blockchain and how Steemit works? Click the logo below for a deep dive on Steem: