It's that time again when the leos let out their weekly roar on one or other financial topic. This weeks assignment is super applicable and exciting, asking us to make a case for blockchain and social media. Having ditched most traditional social media sites, I came to steemit looking for something new and something to get me paid boy, hell yeah let's get this digital paper.
I've also checked out sites like Trybe, Cent and Publish0X as well as steem clones like Weku which all have their idea of how blockchain-based social media should be run and that's great. The more alternatives we have, the higher chance of finding the breakthrough as well as allowing different people to find sites that agree with their ideals.
My experience with blockchain social media
Even though I am a techie, I think my experience was a steep learning curve as you not only need to learn about the technology but the economics and how that impacts your use of the platform. I think it is not the most natural process as we've become accustomed to on sites on the web — 2.0 platform which prefers the scaling and freemium approach to user acquisition and use.
Blockchain apps are still very clunky, and I feel like it has yet to break out of the proof of concept phase into a minimal viable product phase. The average user is required to jump through far too many steps and learn far too much,, which is not yet seen as basic knowledge to able to use these applications effectively.
My use of social media
Since switching over to steemit I've changed my social media user behaviour, before this I used Facebook and Instagram, and I was more of a passive user, looking at content, sharing and perhaps providing a few comments. My content creation would be the odd joke of the day, but I didn't actively participate as much.
I did find medium a little more enjoyable, but once I switched over to steem I found it a place where I could freely share my thoughts in a long-form structure, and since then I've let loose on this chain with tons of crazy talk.
I think the issue with growth in this space comes from several reasons. One would be funding; blockchain projects have nowhere near the funding centralised sites have had in the past with literally billions being pumped into these projects and allowing them to get the best infrastructure and developers.
Next, I would say there is the onboarding and learning curve is pretty steep with it not being a natural transition for the normie to move over to a blockchain-based site. They are used to a particular style of spoon-feeding that is hard to break, and you have to meet them somewhere before they start to lead themselves.
The third is a catch 22 without more people you can't get EVEN more people. Social media needs a real flywheel so as one goes, he brings another and so it snowballs, but we haven't had the critical mass to snowball as yet. This either comes from a certain value proposition or tons spent on marketing.
Tokenisation is a reward system is a relatively new concept but not one that people won't be able to grasp quickly, instead of cash or vouchers, they are getting a tradable token. Some may find it strange because owning tokens comes with additional responsibility and learnings to use these tokens, but I don't think in general it causes bad behaviour.
I think all it does is mirror the behaviour already instilled in us; some will want short term rewards others will try to build long term gains. I think a system that allows for both is great because it gives users the freedom to do as they wish to their benefit and detriment and provides a space to learn how to build wealth with the correct mindset and at low risk.
Steem incentive structure
I do think that Steems incentive structure does reduce the effect of social media because views and clout is not the focal point of the system. I believe that the system needs to be tweaked to accommodate both ideals and not focus only on the cash incentive.
If we have a split focus, we can attract people who are into getting clout online and those wanting to get value online and combine them as their interests overlap. By having views, earnings from inflation, earnings from donations, comments and upvotes for engagement, we can provide more value than traditional social media.
Users can see what value they get both monetary and non-monetarily and give them a reason to contribute other than earning, which can change the behaviour of users over time.
Social blockchains soon
I think social blockchains are here to stay as the oligarchs of the current regime continue to sell out their users to advertisers and only to enrich themselves and a few others along the way. I think the current system as systemic problems that decentralisation can help solve and as they alienate more users, they only open up users minds to looking into blockchains as an alternative.
This is my entry for the steemleo weekly writing competition; if you would like to join by submitting your own entry you can find all the details here
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