Does Steemit Work for You or Do You Work for Steemit?

Steemit presents itself in the Steem White Paper as “An incentivized, blockchain-based social media platform”.

Which it is… kind of…

What is Steem? by @tuck-fheman describes it in greater detail.

I joined steemit 51 days ago.

In that time I have over 400 post (which includes comments).

And I have “earned” over 1,500 in STEEM POWER (estimated value +$1400).

This is great!

I have enjoyed my time here on steemit so far and it has pushed me to create new work and to branch out into different media.

However, over the course of the last few days I have been having a change of heart of sorts.

I think the honeymoon, or high, is over.

History is boring.

I know I studied it in college.

As an upper-middle-class white male in my young 30’s, I have been emerged in the world on online social interactions for the better part of my life.

My earliest recollection of online peer-to-peer networking was in Yahoo Chat (which evidently still exists).

These were basically “rooms” where you could type online to other people around the world.

You know like steemit.chat.

Not much has changed since 1997, huh?

I don’t remember if Yahoo Chat had a private or direct message system…but AOL did.

“ASL?” was the new conversation starter for teens all across America.

What an interesting time to be a teenager.

From there my first real taste of a “social media” platform was with MySpace (which also evidently still exists) and then I heard about Facebook.

But I couldn’t join.

At first you had to have a college .edu email or something like that.

Before I ever made it on to Facebook, I had an alternative.

Some of the more tech savvy kids at my high school started a blogging group platform that was kinda a social media outlet.

I still remember my early days on it and the fun and interesting peak into the thoughts and minds of my friends.

We even could switch some settings to personalize our pages.

Not as fancy as MySpace, but enough.

And it was really more about the blog, but more on this in a minute.

The only reason I joined Facebook in 2009 was to share my Honeymoon Pictures

There was a limit to how big and how many attachments I could email and so I needed a way to share with my friends and family all the pictures I took on my trip to Belize.

And my limited website skills with AngelFire weren’t going to cut it…

Facebook had grown and expanded and no longer required new users to be in college.

Even though I was by that time.

And as they say, the rest is history…

Enter steemit

Steem’s purposeful realignment of economic incentives has the potential to produce fairer
 and more inclusive results for everyone involved than the social media and cryptocurrency
 platforms that have gone before it
.”

When I first heard about steemit, it was from @stellabelle, a friend from the James Altucher “Choose Yourself” group on Facebook.

And I ignored her.

At the time I was taking my final class for my MBA and didn’t have time for something new

Additionally my blogging had tapered off because of school.

When I first started blogging, in high school, it was basically a public journal. Or diary.

Fast-forward to more recent times and I got back into blogging because I was trying to “Choose Myself” and make money online somehow.

And all the advice said to start a blog.

So I did.

There were no instructions…

Well except for all the instructions online on what to do and how to do it.

At first I had no real purpose or aim for my blog. And then came Claudia Azula and her book Become An Idea Machine: Because Ideas Are The Currency Of The 21st Century.

And on January 15, 2015 I started blogging 10 ideas a day.

Well 20 the first day.

During that time I learned more than ever about blogging, posting, linking, picture uploads, etc.

And so I blogged. And blogged.

And blogged…

And self-published a book at the time.

At one point I had done so for over 100 days straight.

Never missing a post or day.

Until April 23, 2015 or as I labeled it “The Day the Idea Machine Died”.

I learned something about myself that day.

I started this journey to make money, but instead I unchained myself from excuses that were preventing me from going after my dreams.

The daily grind taught me how much work blogging for pay really takes.

And I am reminded of that today as I contemplate my time here on #steemit.

Do I want to make money here? Yes.

As I’ve explained, that steemit was “advertised” as a “social media platform where everyone gets paid for creating and curating content.”

Being that I’ve written a book, blogged for a little bit, and have used social media for a long time, I was interested.

Steem is designed around a relatively simple concept: everyone’s meaningful contribution
 to the community should be recognized for the value it adds. When people are recognized
 for their meaningful contributions, they continue contributing and the community grows.

“Meaningful Contribution” is a moving target: Enter whale-pandering…

Without rehashing the day-to-day steemit drama, we all know about sites like http://catchawhale.com/ and other “tools” to help users target the “big fish”, beyond the usual writing an article about steemit or any other specific whale “soup du jour”.

The point being, as a writer and blogger, without a target audience, you don’t get readers.

I have a goal to one day be able to support myself, in part, with writing and break free from financial constraints and the “9–5”.

Don’t put ALL Your Eggs In The Steemit Basket” by @kaylinart woke me up to how much time I was “investing” in steemit and how I really needed to get back to other ideas of diversifying my passive incomes.

Currently I have ZERO passive incomes.

Hopefully, one day steemit will be one. As for now I think in the long term it will be successful and so I have converted all my earning to Steem Power for the time being.

However, that brings me to the point I started this post. I want to have passive incomes and this isn’t doing it for me.

My question was “Does Steemit Work for You or Do You Work for Steemit?”

As it stands now, it’s not really working for me and I am kinda mostly working for it, but with the hope of a better future.

Blogging is work.

I’ve told few people about steemit because onboarding new users is confusing as @calaber24p explains in the article “We As A Community Need To Create A Better New User Experience”.

Also the whole cryptocurrency thing isn’t easy to explain.

And lastly, as I’ve told a few people, this site works well for people who are writers, content creators, and artist (i.e. creative types), and is not so good for the masses of “consumers” who are used to, thanks to Facebook, a social media experience where they DON’T create.

This is an inherent limitation to the growth of steemit.

Especially as the longer I am here I see the call and cry for “original” content and the lack of any real way to increase visibility of post, until recently with the “promoted” feature.

Steemit has a specific flavor of “audience” and to reach them takes work.

My collaborative voluntary business arrangement with @dragonslayer109 to be one of several “featured authors” has apparently been deemed by the steemit upper classes as an unacceptable way to earn more on the platform by leveraging the system.

In fact I appreciate his services provided (at a agreed upon cost i.e. he keeps the Steem Power as payment, I get the Steem Dollars). This is actually more of a risk for @dragonslayer109 because featuring unknown authors may result in in negative response such as with @bacchist. On the other side, me a featured author has little to nothing to risk to get promoted by @dragonslyaer109.
“I agree with @nonlinearone that:
 “People should be able to publish under their own name and be successful through upvotes.”
 But should be able to be successful and are successful are two very different things.”

As such he has taken a lot of down votes and him and his featured authors have seen a huge drop off in earnings.

All is fair, until the unwritten social rules change.

Now instead, I guess I can “pay to play” by boosting post on the featured section…

Again, all this is work.

And ultimately the value might be great, but for now I am working for pennies, like when I joined Amazon Mechanical Turk for about 2 weeks…

@mctiller has pointed out that self-publishing has allowed him to keep earning income beyone the 24 hour steemit payout (and now 30 day extension).

Steemit is limited in its potential here and requires constant maintenance, kinda like working a “9 to 5” job…

Hence, this long winded attempt to say, I’m still gonna be here and post. But probably not as often.

As far as “Passive Income” goes check out my wife and my side project now on Etsy called Reclaimed Glam, because you need to buy a gift for that special someone in your life.

EDIT: I wanted to add that I don’t have any delusions that my work here is necessarily worth more than it has earned. If we must create original content to grow and earn big on steemit and steemit needs this content to grow users, who is working for who?

Written by Michael Paine

Please follow me, @stragerarray, to keep up to date with my other fiction, non-fiction, and other post.

Hey y’all for more great content check out my friends:

(All robot images from steemd.com)


Originally published at steemit.com.

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