STEEM - Why This Very Un-Capitalistic Anarchist is Still Here After '49 Moons'

in #q4k8 months ago (edited)

It's been a long time since I really posted about Hive. Like, the blockchain itself, the currency(-ies), why I use this platform almost exclusively for my content, and why Hive is one of the only currencies I HODL.

20200212 18_17_10kennyskitchen _ Steem.png
Screenshot taken from Hiveblocks

Back when I was newer, the blockchain was newer, and $1+/STEEM was pretty standard, I was quite actively promoting the blockchain. Like, a LOT. Over my first, let's say, 18 months on the platform, I gave half a dozen talks/Q&As out in the real world, promoted the platform with lots of content I posted elsewhere, and walked quite a few people through the often-overwhelming complexity that is HIVE (especially for those who don't have any experience in the cryptocurrency space).

Over the last couple years, I have definitely slowed down on that end of my relationship with Hive. After personally on-boarding well over a hundred people, spending lots of time commenting and up-voting, promoting them with posts & contests, creating @Abundance.Tribe (formerly @tribesteemup) and watching only a tiny percent of them stick around for any length of time, I sort of lost steam.

I put my focus (in content/online terms) purely into creating my content, telling my story, sharing my thoughts, opinions, and questions. That, and helping to support those who do stick with the Hive block-chain, and who help make it great. It has been such a blessing to be able to support hundreds of great content creators, be supported likewise, and to watch the amazing ways that this place has evolved. We've got games (With an S!!) now, communities & tribes, all sorts of tokens (including one backed by actual silver), and so much more.

Anyway, I mostly shared all of that because it catches you up with where I'm at a bit, in case you haven't spent hundreds of hours reading my content.


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Questions for Kenny #Q4K

So, In order to practice being more interactive with folks here on STEEM, and to talk about what people want me to talk about, I'm going to do a once-a-week Questions for Kenny. My inspiration being @corbettreport's Questions for Corbett segments he's been doing on his site for years and years. His are videos, and he does a #Q4C session with multiple questions; I'll be doing mine mostly written, and likely just 1 question at a time, but who knows. Expect anything!

If you've got a question you'd like me to answer, something you'd like me to explain, or whatever else, just leave a comment here or on one of my others posts, with the tag #q4k. I won't get to everything necessarily, and some I may address with simply a comment, but it will be fun however it goes.

I will be setting each of these posts to have a bit of different payout breakdown than I usually do, thanks to @SteemPeak's beneficiary tool. Each #Q4K post will be paid out as such:

  • 50% to @null (referred to as "burning", this is a way to counter inflation)
  • 25% to the person who asked the question
  • 25% to me

This post brought to you by @ReviseSociology:

I'd be interested on hearing your perspective on how Steem fits into your value system and what you think about some of the recent and proposed HF changes, if you think about this at all of course!

So, let's dive into the big 4 reasons that STEEM aligns with my values. I won't list out my values here; I want to let folks make their own interpretations based on what I say about the blockchain itself.


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A Win-Win Economy

The economics of STEEM are quite complicated, right from the start: Inflation, curation, linear/super-linear, STEEM vs SBD vs Vests vs SP... Add to the foundational stuff the fact that there are the tip-bots, the vote-selling bots, the delegations, the curation trails, and on and on and on. I'll be honest, I'm not going to dive deeply into all that stuff right now, partly because I have covered it a variety of times before, and partly because... Well I just don't feel like it.

Anyway, my point is that STEEM is an economy that is truly win-win. When I go and give someone's post an up-vote, they get rewards, I get rewards, and it doesn't "cost" me anything (besides my voting power, which is regenerating every minute anyway). The difference between this model and one based on tips, subscriptions, and purchases is probably one of the single most important aspects to me.

As a content creator, I love that I can put all my content out there for free, accessible to everyone (even if they don't have an account), and yet still get paid for said content.

Systematic Decentralization

Going a little deeper into the economic model of STEEM, it becomes clear (eventually), that the system is designed to decentralize itself over time.

With some cryptos (like Bitcoin), your relative share of the market is always going down, unless you own a miner (meaning a good bit of money to start & spend on electricity). With others (like SmartCash), your relative share is always decreasing, unless you own a "node" and/or are holding enough coins to get Smart Rewards. In both of these (and most other) cases, those with the most $ can easily maintain their market share, simply through passive systems.

With STEEM, things are quite different. I started on STEEM, way back in the early days, with no money (to put in the platform or in general), and slowly built my way up, just by creating content and interacting with the community. Not only is this one of the only crypto-currency ecosystems where it's possible to start with no coins and earn them, the way that this all works means that you also can't just buy a bunch of coin and sit on it, without losing value.

Whenever a new block is made on a blockchain, some new crypto is created (inflation). As I mentioned before, for most chains the folks with the miners get all that new coin (and sometimes fees as well), but that's not the case here. On STEEM, everyone holding vests (represented by SteemPower) is getting some of that new coin to protect against inflation, everyone curating/voting on content is getting some of that new coin, everyone posting/commenting is getting some of that new coin, AND the witnesses (our miners) are getting some of that new coin.

That means that even if someone dropped some big money and bought, say, 5% of all the STEEM there is, the only way they could keep themselves at 5% of the market would be if they are:

  • Posting content
  • Curating Content
  • Keeping their STEEM "powered up"
  • Running a witness

Obviously, there are some screwy ways that people get around this, including the bid-bods, renting out delegations, the fact that there was HUGE disparity at the beginning, and so on, but the system itself is designed to be ever-decentralizing. Every year, minnows & dolphins hold a bit more of the market.

Community-Driven

I don't know of a single blockchain with such an interactive community. When STEEM launched, there was just steemit.com, and Steemit Inc. really hasn't created all that many tools outside of that (not knocking the devs, they do keep working on the chain itself), the community has built it all.

Whether we're looking at front-ends like, @peakd, @threespeak, busy.org, @appics, and others, or the games on STEEM like @splinterlands & @drugwars, whether we're looking at the sites that let us see important back-end information like Steemworld, SteemNow, Steemd, SteemDB... It's all made by the community.

There are hundreds (thousands?) of people constantly making new tools, apps, sites, games, and resources to help make this blockchain better. This is probably one of my favorite facets of Hive.


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Censorship Resistant

Being a decentralized platform, there isn't any one person or group that can just make you/your content disappear (a la every other social media). This doesn't mean that everyone will see your content, or that things can't be hidden by down-voting. It does mean that if someone tries to censor you, it's publicly visible who is doing it, and it can be countered by others.

Over the last few years, I've seen a few different flag wars, I've seen folks who just go around flagging high-quality content simply because they disagree with the ideas (I almost want to name drop here, but that seems dangerous), and I've seen the growth of wonderful projects like @steemcleaners and @steemflagrewards, using the censorship tools that we do have, to keep spam & plagiarism from clogging up the eco-system and eating up rewards.

The big thing, the key here, is that I (or you or anyone else), can post about literally anything we want, and it's going to be on the chain forever. No algorithms to shadow-ban you, no Zuckerbugs to kick you off the platform... Just your followers and their feeds and the immortal block.

In Closing

Basically, Hive feels to me like an example of the best next step away from the standard competitive-capitalistic model. It isn't quite as good as Rainbow, but it's certainly the closest thing that the crypto-sphere has to offer. As far as I know. Always ready to be corrected.

There are obviously issues, challenges, and hurdles to be overcome, but after almost 4 years, and watching the changes here, I've got more faith in HIVE now than I did in STEEM back in 2016.

As to the second part of @revisesociology's question "what you think about some of the recent and proposed HF changes", I'm going to have to revisit that one, because honestly I don't know much about the changes proposed for upcoming HFs, or all that much about the last one.

PS

One thing that I thought was a benefit of Hive was that posts are always visible, even if they've been edited later. Recently I wanted to share an old post from someone, but he had gone through and edited all his posts to just 1 letter/number title and contents. I can see the history of edits on hiveblocks, but can't find any way to access the original post. It must still be on the blockchain right? Am I missing something, or do we need a tool to make this possible?



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This was an enjoyable read, thanks for posting, and so rapidly.

You've got a nice set of 'four reasons why people should sign up and stick with Steem', I'm not sure I've got anything to add!

Distribution does indeed seem to be getting gradually broader, which I think is very healthy and thanks for the shout out to @steemflagrewards, they certainly keep me using my DV power!

I've tried to stop posting so much about Steem as well, but I've come back to it a little recently.

I do find this place to be a great way to connect with non mainstream viewpoints, it's been a great 2.5 years I've had here!

As to the final question, I think the only aspect of Steem that's truly immutable now are the raw transactions - basically the date, the type, what other accounts were involved.

No content is immutable - the owner is free to edit at their own leisure, I THINK. Which does offer a rather obvious means for the unscrupulous to abuse the system in the future.

At least with text I get to choose if I want it to disappear, I've heard nightmare stories of people's picture posts only later being available with terrible quality and dtube videos just vanishing.

Anyway, that's just the way it is, I guess we all have to responsible for storing any content we want saved on our own systems.

Nice read, cheers, I look forward to more in the future.

Thanks for the inspiration :-)

Along the way, I realized that posting so much about STEEM wasn't really me sharing myself, and that if the blockchain were to effective shrivel up and die, all that content would be useless. If I'm sharing my journey/thoughts/questions, then those will all last (and reach) long beyond STEEM. I do think I may need to find some balance the other direction, and keep reminding folks every now and then that we're still here, and it's still free to join us.

No content is immutable - the owner is free to edit at their own leisure, I THINK. Which does offer a rather obvious means for the unscrupulous to abuse the system in the future.

Right, there's been the option to edit forever, though originally just in the first 7 days. On the back-end sites, we can see the number of edits, and what was added with each edit, but apparently the actually original content is disappearing.

I can definitely see some danger if there is no way of accessing the original content, because it allows someone to change their post, thus changing the context, and potentially making someone's comments look hateful/ignorant/etc. Changing the context post-conversation is a bit worrisome. Obviously there are other ways that people could game the system too.

The example I was looking for was the first person to be removed from TSU, as a result of violent & racist posts, and he wrote a huge piece against me and the community, but now all that can be seen are our comments.

At least with text I get to choose if I want it to disappear, I've heard nightmare stories of people's picture posts only later being available with terrible quality and dtube videos just vanishing.

Ya, the dtube thing is an issue that is easily(-ish) resolved, because the videos aren't held on the blockchain, but the IPFS, and therefore need seeders, just like a torrent. If one can't or doesn't want to run their own seed-box, they can use the @onelovedtube service to make sure their videos stick around forever.

Images likewise are not actually saved to the blockchain, simply a link to wherever they are actually hosted. I've had a few images & videos in my posts (especially research papers) get pulled down from elsewhere and had to try to track them down in order to keep my post accessible.

It's a very fair point about changing the context, and making conversations look totally different. I wonder if communities will be able to have an immutability option, or if it's just too bloating for the chain even with just text?

Sounds like you're more familiar with these issues than I am - I'm 99.9% a text person, and any videos I put up can certainly get lost forever and it doesn't bother me as they tend to be just for fun!

I wasn't aware of the onelovedtube service, great name.

At least this is no worse than mainstream social media.

I guess self-hosting your own WP blog and cross posting to Steem would solve all of these problems.

You really have a lot to say about steem.

It can be really rough on boarding people only to see them vanish in a few weeks. Many steemians know this story too well and we know why too. ( let us not get into that )

I would like you to talk about account management for businesses and creatives. This has been on my mind the last couple days as I am the Co-founder of the ReggaeSteem tribe and on boarding artistes and businesses can be trickier than everyday users as creatives need to create and businesses are busy. What are your thoughts on Steem account management as a business model?

Nice, it was a good read. I still have a lot to learn about how things work here, but I'm starting to feel some concepts familiar. I see a lot of good community stuff here but I can't feeling like there's a bit of division between the community-driven and the money-driven. I suppose this diversity is finally necessary for the ecosystem to thrive, though perhaps the best would be that we were all "holistically-driven".

I would like to ask you if you think crypto can actually become our currency without ever going through banks or government. Like we just traded crypto for goods and services without ever "cashing out".

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Nice post about Steem :)

i'm right behind you at 48 moons ;)

I am Here Because of What I saw When Jeff Berwick Started on STEEMIT. I think he had a $15000.00 Payout on his First Post...... @kennyskitchen

Wow! I'm surprised you're still here if that's the reason. About 99% of the people who followed him over left the platform when they realized that just because a "celebrity" in the crypto space made that kind of money didn't mean jack for them. Thanks for sticking around and adding to the value of STEEM!

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