HOMEWORK TASK 3
INSTITUTION: STEEMIT CRYPTO ACADEMY
COURSE: Comparing and Contrasting Between Centralized and Decentralized applications (Dapps)
CRYPTO PROFESSOR: YOHAN2ON
HOMEWORK TASK: Compare and Contrast between a Centralized and a Decentralized application under any of these categories social media, Browsers, Gaming, Finance, Gambling, file Storage, Trading, Charity, etc.
This is my homework task 3 entry on the above-stated course lectured by the above-stated crypto professor.
For this homework task, I'll be comparing Steemit - a social media Dapp, and Twitter - a traditional centralized social media app
WHY I'M COMPARING STEEMIT & TWITTER
Upon the basis of similar features, I decided to compare Steemit with Twitter in particular. There are lots of similar features found on these two social media platforms. Let me give a summary of them -
On both platforms, accounts can follow and unfollow each other.
- Absence of friend list:
Both platforms don't have a provision for a friends list. This makes both platforms seem like an 'update only' social media platform where users share updates or post and can receive messages from anyone.
Both platforms support the use and scanning of tags to spread and find information respectively.
Both platforms support posting updates including text, pictures, videos, and links.
- Commenting and liking:
Both platforms support commenting on posts and also liking of posts. On Steemit however, different terminology is used for 'liking' which is - 'upvoting'.
Both platforms support reposting. Twitter calls it 'retweet' while Steemit calls it 'resteem'
- Blogging platforms:
Both Steemit and Twitter are blogging platforms. Although Twitter limits the number of characters in each post to 280 making it a microblogging platform. However, the fact that you can only post, follow and be followed, send messages to anyone, and can't have a friend list indicates that they're both basically blogging platforms.
Both platforms have a provision for exploring trends.
Steemit is a decentralized social media blogging platform built on the STEEM blockchain. It rewards its users for sharing and liking/upvoting content by distributing a fraction of the annual inflation on the STEEM blockchain to its content creators and curators.
Steemit is a decentralized social media platform that is censorship-free. It's an ideal platform for honest writing as no one can remove what a user posted.
Unlike traditional social media platforms which make money out of their users, Steemit rather rewards its users. One can get rewarded for every action they take on the site, from voting to commenting to posting to following.
If you have ever tried googling your Steemit username before, you would have discovered how much of an exposure Steemit has given you. Your pictures and your post come out as google search results on the first page. This is priceless for brands or people who want to garner recognition.
Steemit is very secure. Each account is secured with four different passkeys each having different functions. One can have access to another's account, but only restricted access.
- Variety of topics:
On steemit, there are varieties of topics to join in. From everyday living to technical crypto trading concepts. There are lots of topics to be interested in on steemit.
- No selling of users data:
On steemit, no one monitors your activities in order to sell to the highest bidder like most traditional social media platforms. You don't see ads as you do on traditional social media platforms.
- Difficult to use:
Frankly, it's not easy finding your way around all the amazing on steemit. The need for the creation of a newcomer's community and also steemit nursery highlights this truth. Though this has helped to some extent, the difficulty is still there.
To some who are used to the user-friendly nature of traditional centralized social media platforms, steemit may seem a bit odd at first sight. To be frank, again, attractive visual appeal is not one of steemit's strengths. It looks like a site for advanced users.
- Difficult to manage:
Moderating a platform like steemit is almost impossible if not entirely. Only communities on the platform can be moderated but not the entire platform as it is uncensored.
- Affected by cryptocurrency market:
Steemit is based on cryptocurrency so it's directly affected by the cryptocurrency market. People tend to lose interest in the platform when the price is low.
- More of writing than social media:
Steemit is more of a writing/blogging site than a social media site. This is because a lot of algorithms and features are used to make traditional social media platforms have that social appeal. Take, for instance, there is no group or chat feature on the platform. This makes it more of a formal and professional writing platform.
Twitter is a blogging platform just like steemit, although it's 'microblogging' because the number of characters allowable for each tweet is limited to only 280. It's a traditional centralized social media platform having a great deal of social appeal which lives little wondering on why they boast about 300+ active monthly users.
- Easy to use:
Finding your way around Twitter isn't difficult. It's exactly social. Users' data are collected and used to improve both their and other user's experience, new users inclusive. Take, for instance, signing up for Twitter for the first time, Twitter will recommend to you trending topics in your area or region, based on data collected from other users in your region.
- Visual aesthetics:
Just like many other traditional social media platforms, Twitter counts on having a large number of users on their platform as this is their key source of revenue. One important thing they did is to create their platform to be so attractive and easy to use. Once again, users' data are used and here, to design the platform in such a way that it will be attractive to users. Even the fonts are changed from time to time.
- Ease of moderation:
Moderating Twitter doesn't get so difficult as it is centralized. All client nodes are controlled by a central server. Whatever is deemed inappropriate by the moderators could be removed.
- Not affected by any external market force:
Twitter is fully a social media platform. It has no ties to market forces. This implies that irrespective of the reduction/increase in the price of any asset, people will still use Twitter as long as they have access to it.
- Microblogging and social media:
Twitter strikes a fine balance between blogging and social media. Twitter, just like Steemit, has to do with putting up posts, no friend lists or groups. Unlike Steemit, however, Twitter strikes a balance between blogging and social media. This they achieved by limiting the number of characters to 280 and by collecting users' data and using some of it to maximize users' experience.
- Variety of topics:
Twitter also offers a variety of topics to its users. You can find whatever interests you and be a part of it.
- Lack of privacy:
On Twitter, users' data are not private at all. In fact, they are indeed sold to the highest bidder through ads. This is why someone who has performed activities on tweets relating to a particular niche gets to see ads about products in that particular niche. Twitter, in this case, has identified the interest of the user and used it to determine the kind of ad they are shown.
Twitter is censored. If honest expressions are deemed inappropriate by the moderators, they are removed. A user can even be banned as was the case with the immediate past POTUS - Donald Trump. It doesn't offer the freedom of expression.
- No rewards:
Point blank, Twitter does not offer rewards to any of its users for using its platform, no matter how much they use it. Well, the fact that it has an attractive and social appeal makes users want to continue using it but for rewards, they get nothing.
- Single point of failure:
As is the case with every other centralized stuff... Twitter has a single point of failure as all the other client nodes are controlled by a central server. If an attack is successfully carried on that server, it implies that every other node has been attacked. This has happened once in Twitter's history.
As far as social media is concerned, Twitter has the edge over Steemit as the collection of user data to optimize user experience is still a defining feature of social media platforms. This feature is not available on Steemit which prides itself as a decentralized platform. Nevertheless, for a true writer who wants to air their voice and earn from their pieces, Steemit is the best choice.
For social media, now and in the future, Twitter wins it but for blogging, now and in the future, there's no coming close to Steemit.
This is my verdict.
Thanks for reading.