For me, Steem isn't really a "blockchain" technology, it's a "human technology." We use a brand new technology (blockchain) which enables new kinds of features (cryptocurrency, pseudo-anonymity, immutable data storage, crowdsourced stake distribution) to construct a platform that can support the creation of sustainable and scalable communities.
The underlying technology may have drawn me to Steem, but I think what really sucked me in was the fact that for the first time in history I saw a technology that was truly bringing together like-minded people, but in a neutral way. But fostering the formation of a community is only the beginning because maintaining a community is the hard part. It takes hard work and dedication, which is why so few online communities (and online community platforms) have managed to survive. Eventually people get tired of working for free. Steem's solution to this problem is not as much one of incentivization, as much as stake distribution.
Everyone should have the ability to earn a stake in the communities they add value to and in order for that community to be sustainable that stake has to be proportioned to the value they add. Steem certainly isn't perfect, but it certainly is the blockchain community that is doing the most to develop technologies aimed squarely at those problems.
With Stake Comes Responsibility
But with stake comes responsibility, and I believe that it is this responsibility that often confuses and disheartens people. This is an open source platform that anyone, anyone, can acquire a stake in, not just miners. The people who maintain the infrastructure of a blockchain are not a large or representative group. Any blockchain where the people maintaining the infrastructure are the ones capturing the majority of newly created tokens is the definition of centralized.
On Steem, everyone with stake has influence over the direction of the protocol, which means they have a responsibility to try to make it better. But that was never going to be easy, least of all because people are always going to disagree on what constitutes "better." Everyone is going to have different visions of what Steem should be.
That's why my vision for Steem is an ecosystem capable of supporting all kinds of communities, with all kinds of visions for the future. As long as they believe that everyone should have the opportunity to earn stake in the communities they join, we can always work together to make Steem better and better.