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Let's talk about social media for a second. What will social media look like 5 years from now. In the advent of digital transformation, disruptive technologies and blockchain, I strongly believe that social media, the way we see it now, will definitely change dramatically.
We are all familiar with the issues that are flogging Facebook, the biggest and most popular social media platform on the internet. Since 2018, Facebook has been facing multitudes of issues that is causing this now battered platform to lose the trust of its stakeholders, investors, and customers. In fact over the past couple of months, the issues of the popular social network has caused its stocks to drop by as much as 27% from its all-time high in 2018. And the struggle to keep the trust of its long time investors and customers have become real.
The disillusioned customers from Facebook started looking for alternatives to the platform which gave birth to the rise of social networks that are built on the blockchain. @Steemit is one of these networks and is built on the Steem blockchain. What is amazing with this platform is that it not only stores cryptocurrency assets but can also store contents. This means that your uploaded videos, photos, and posts when loaded on the blockchain cannot be removed by any central authority, like how it is for Facebook, YouTube, Instagram or Twitter. The contents that are uploaded are regulated and moderated by the users to prevent plagiarism, illicit contents, and other unnecessary, unwanted or even useless posts. That, I think, is giving back the control and influence to content to the people who are also creating these contents. This is what the platform is calling as 'Proof of Brain' where content creators and curators are incentivized or rewarded. Contributors are rewarded for creating and uploading amazing contents which they feel will add value to the network, while the curators job is to vote these contents based on how good they think it is. Steemit has devised a clever algorithm to determine the incentives for curators to encourage them to support and vote quality contents.
So now you might ask, how does Steemit make money? Where will Steemit get the value that it will use to reward its curators and content creators. Steemit makes money when its users invest into Steem Power or SP. When a user powers up, liquid Steem is converted to SP or Steem Power which is locked for 13 weeks. This means that the Steem you've earned or invested on Steemit cannot be withdrawn immediately, and therefore can be used as an investment in the platform, which can give larger returns for hodlers.
Steemit also allows its users to promote posts so as to reach a much bigger audience. There is a built-in way to do this. In fact I have used this a lot for some of my posts using @Esteemapp which is a decentralized application that can be accessed on mobile devices. I use Esteem to easily upload and promote my content on the Steemit network, and use the ESTM points to boost or promote my contents. Anyone who has a Steemit account and have downloaded Esteem on their phones can purchase ESTM in the app, and price starts at $1 or 54 PHP for 500 ESTM points. I am inclined to think that anyone who is really serious on promoting their contents but do not have the Steem Power to back their contents up may need to consider boosting or promoting their posts on Steemit.
In short the business model of Steemit is anchored on authors and curators marketing contents, and because the platform does not really have explicit advertisements on its feed, it relies heavily on the authors initiative to sort of 'sell their contents' by essentially purchasing more Steem and converting these Steems to Steem Power to increase influence on the blockchain. In principle, the exchange can work as initial investments for those who have purchased SPs because if people like the posts that the user uploaded, whatever investment that he or she has initially gave can return to the user in the form of votes. Unfortunately, if you're contents aren't well liked then you won't really get your money back.
But hey, for most people, it isn't all about the money, just being part of a decentralized platform that will ensure freedom of expression which is respectful of meritocracy and democracy is enough a reason to support the network and the many projects that are also built on it.
So how does one earn on Steemit:
First, you have to make an initial investment, and I am talking about investing your time on creating fantastic contents. And like what I have explained, you may want to consider getting your content boosted or promoted on the network too so that it'll reach more audience, and that will require some Steem and Steem Power.
Second, you need to create quality content and need to be consistent in making these quality contents. Just like any products, your contents are your products, and you'll need to make sure that you market it right by using the right strategies. You'll need to get yourself in the right audience. Use the tags and make the tags work for you.
Third, engage your audience. Just like your favorite products, you need to have a brand that is engaging and consistent. Understanding what your audience want is paramount to being successful. I am still learning all of this at the moment, and I believe I should be able to understand the analytics behind Steemit. Hopefully, once I understand these numbers, then I can also make these numbers work for me.
Finally, Steemit is an amazing platform. It is still new, and that means it is still learning, but with the things that are happening online, and globally, Steemit can only move forward in the blockchain and cryptocurrency space. It might be a bit scary for most investors to consider investing on this platform, and the cryptocurrency space can really be scary. In fact, it is not even for the feign of heart. The good news is that Steemit is not just a crypto investment, in fact on its core, it isn't even a currency. It is a social media platform, and just like social media, Steemit has built itself and invested on growing its community, and continues to grow through partnership and collaboration with its developers and users. This has helped the network become extremely resilient over time.
With the advent of what is now called #NewSteem, Steemit has also provided a viable and sustainable solution to the criticisms it has received last year and early this year. In fact, the proliferation of bots, cliques and social circles have started to get disbanded, if not lost its power from down votes.
Still that are a lot of areas that Steemit needs to work on, such as making it more accessible to more people, especially those who have no real or sound understanding of how a blockchain works. In my first few days here, someone mentioned that the learning curve can be quite steep, and I have experienced this - just understanding the difference between Steem, Steem Power (SP) and Steem Backed Dollar (SBD) can be daunting for many, and just keeping four passwords can be scary. I tried explaining the platform to one of my not-so-tech-savvy friends, and half way through the explanation, I realized that it can be difficult to explain what a blockchain is to a layman. And so this, I think is where the challenge is. I believe, we as a community need to think of ways to make Steemit friendlier to new users. Which brings me to the importance of the following - marketing and branding, and yes Onboarding. Steemit should not scare new users. Right?
The bottom line is that Steemit has remained strong in spite of the challenges it has faced over the past couple of years. Its biggest strength is its community, and therefore, its future is nothing but bright and amazing. Steemit will definitely grow astronomically in the coming years.
Well, what do you think?
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