Steemit Update

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in steem

Dear Steemians,

Steemit, Inc. is currently undergoing a structural reorganization which I believe is important to share with the community. Steemit Inc., is a private company that runs the open-source steemit.com, a decentralized app on the Steem blockchain. Steemit Inc., also uses some of its resources and engineers to contribute code updates to the Steem blockchain. In addition, we provide APIs to third party developers at our own expense to help grow the developer ecosystem.

Given the weakness of the cryptocurrency market, the fiat returns on our automated selling of STEEM diminishing, and the growing costs of running full Steem nodes, we have been forced to layoff close to 70% of the team. The remainder of the team is staying on to focus primarily on reducing the costs of the infrastructure running steemit.com and our public APIs, and ensuring that the community can remain informed of developments.

We have conducted our first all-hands meeting and are prioritizing all the cost reduction solutions we can accomplish in the near term, including replacing steemd plugins with hivemind, pitchforking Steem to prune the chain state size from 160gb to 0gb, AWS usage projections, DevOps solutions, reduction of Staging and Testing nodes, and eliminating redundancies.

We still believe that Steem can be by far the best, and lowest cost, blockchain protocol for applications and that the improvements that will result from this new direction will make it far better for application sustainability. However, in order to ensure that we can continue to improve Steem, we need to first get costs under control to remain economically sustainable. There’s nothing that I want more now than to survive, to keep steemit.com operating, and keep the mission alive, to make great communities.

There are two reasons I’m in cryptocurrency: first, I came in because I believed in the potential of cryptocurrency to give us greater freedom through unrestricted value transfer, value store and all the financial tools that come along with that, which can empower us like few technological innovations have. The second reason I stay in cryptocurrency, is because it has the potential to spawn the next killer application that can rival the Instagrams and Reddits of the world, and that fuels the mission to make great communities, which need unrestricted access to financial tools.

Over the last many months, along with a hyper-talented team, I have gone back to the drawing board and figured out the remaining challenges that are acting as barriers in the way of that killer application and making great communities. In that time we have created many assets that will help us accomplish this mission. Over the next several weeks, despite our course for bringing these products to the world being changed, I hope to share the assets we have created with you, including showing you how their success would be a benefit to Steem and cryptocurrency in general.

I would like to thank all of our employees and contractors for their months and years of dedication and hard work. It is incredibly difficult to part with these great people who I have gotten to know well and respect. I am deeply grateful to the many contributions to our mission. In order to minimize the impact on these people, we are doing as much as we can to smooth their employment transitions. Everyone who has assisted us are outstanding individuals that any organization would be lucky to have.

Best regards,

Ned Scott
Founder and CEO of Steemit, Inc

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Hello!

@ned, failure on some level was expected after the past months. Communication, planning and delivering was almost non existent, at least this was felt outside. The presentation at SteemFest was disappointing. The felt message was that you don't ant to deal with Steem anymore and the focus would be on destiny.

Laying off people is mostly a bad idea, especially the key players like a business development manager. Maybe a step back from CEO level and being a member of the board would be an option. CEO does not need to have the most stake in it.

I will not go into the bad management aspect on costs and constant failures as this have been addressed and are futile at the moment. Even if I think that with the funds present there would be so many solutions to get out of the mess.

There are two major problems at Steem Inc, one is planning and the other is the delivery. I'm not a huge fan of your ex partner, but he had something that is missing now on Steem and this is sticking to deadlines and constant delivering.

Also another issue is that Steem Inc does not accept criticism, even if the criticism comes from people who care the most. It is constructive. Stop surrounding yourself with yes sayers, they will not bring you far away or in the right direction.

Ok, now that shit hit the fan we need solutions, which mostly I don't see in your post or in 99% of the comments. I will boost this comment as I try to bring solutions from my side.

1 Relocation.
Why? Well because is expensive and seem that funds run out fast and that the US is very restrictive in terms of crypto. Wonder how SMTs will be handled on US soil.

Where? Eastern Europe but in the EU states. Examples: Romania (no income tax for devs, high internet speed, a lot of government funding available for start-ups), Estonia (very easy paper work for IT firms, high internet speed, a lot of government funding available for start-ups), Lithuania and Latvia. This are 4 countries with low cost of living, high education on IT and relative well set infrastructure.
Second tier I would Poland as it is more expensive but still a very good choice. I would definitely try to help you on this if you need it.

Third tier I would choose Zug, Switzerland for the HQ where the contacts have to be made.

Downside is that people are very direct in a good way, but some would get offended.

2 Nodes.
Baremetal nodes are needed. it is less expensive and can be upgraded on a much lower cost on the long run.
Solution: I can host a full node where I host one of my witness servers (@ro-witness), free of charge of course, as long it is helping the network.
Steem has to provide the server and we host it free of charge. Of course we sign a commitment on both sides.

3 PR
We need a different image from Steem INC, a more responsible and on the ground one. There will be no sane investor to act on the message Steem INC delivers, and it is a pity because the chain is tremendous and has so many to offer.

Solution. Speak to @steemcafe for example. That guy had so much energy in his presentation at SF3. He will give another image to Steem.

4 Planning
Sometimes I feel that Steem INC is running like a headless chicken without a plan and direction. A serious business plan needs to be present with strict deadlines. Here I can help you with that as I run an account which is higher on a yearly basis than the total market value of Steem.

So if you need help on this points and find them constructive please let me know. Also in a comment. We need solutions and actions not positive talk, lamentations or accusations at this stage.

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Here’s my respond to your response:

Two words: tough love.

Now is the time for radical change, not weeping.

After reading this article and then the response from @alexvan , one thing is glaringly clear: it’s time for you to find a very capable CEO replacement, and then take on an advisory role. Very few people in the world can manage business, people and be a competent leader for a large organization. I commend your desire to take on such a huge challenge. This bear market is actually a blessing in disguise. It’s revealing weaknesses in a way that can no longer be avoided.

In order for you to do the right thing and step down as CEO, the following steps will be necessary:

I want to say that I don’t mean anything malicious or hurtful in this guide. That’s not my intent. I, along with many others have simply put too much time and energy into this project for it to go up in smoke. It’s time to put the guitar down and finally listen to critical thinkers, people who have skin in the game but who are a bit older and have experienced some major failures in life. Failure is the best teacher, not success. If you don’t pay attention to failure, it will come back to bite you in the exact same place on your ass over and over again. Failure shows us the way.

Step one: Face yourself and your shortcomings as CEO. Cry if you have to, but please don’t record this on video.

Step two: Order an Ego Lessening pill from the online store Don’t Let Egos Destroy The Village.

Step three: Spend some time feeling the pain as you open your ears to those who are actually telling you the truth. There are a lot of us now. Stop surrounding yourself with Yes Men and Women. This will not help you long-term in business or in life.

Step four: Do an exhaustive search within the Steem community to find an intelligent, compassionate, business-savvy, passionate about Steem, ultra communicative and very senior CEO replacement (find someone with a good track record of successfully turning around a company, maybe a 40 year-old + person).

The fact is that the Steem blockchain has fundamental strengths, but leadership from Steemit Inc is not a strength currently. The good news is that there are capable people willing to turn everything around and the Steem community will come together in ways unimaginable. To be completely honest, here’s what I would do if I were in your shoes: I would let the Steem community decide who should be the next CEO of Steemit. Get the developers involved in this process, get the community leaders involved, hell, get every damn person involved who cares about the future of this platform. If people had the feeling of having a voice in deciding who the executive team of Steemit Inc. is, can you imagine how much of a change that would make? It would be radical change that we need the most right now.

And now is the best time for a complete restart. It is possible with the right people. The only thing standing in the way of moving in the right direction is your ego and immaturity (I know you’re going to reject these words, but I have your best intentions in mind, otherwise, I would just be ignoring you instead of giving any energy).

Swallow the pill. Do what’s right for everyone.

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Right on. It's time to think beyond the current limitations and paradigms and do something no one is expecting. This is a wonderful idea, Leah!

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It doesn't work like that. It is a private company without a board. You can't fire a man for a company he owns.

The community needs to help themselves, or hire a new development team. Sheesh.

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that´s correct @whatsup but keep in mind that its possible for him to step down and hand over to a person who is likely more appropriate to do the Job.
The communtity can´t solve internal problems of the Corp. from Ned & Co., the community is only able to support but never could solve that issue for the founder himself.

It´s up to him and a experienced crew who brings the ship into the deep water again on behalf of him.
This would help him as well as the community, so it´s positive for both sides and also for our wallets.
Zwischenlinie-2 für Steem-Post 940x120.png
with sunny greetings from Andalusia

Don Thomas

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Maybe we can join forces to buy Steemit.inc. It is just a crazy idea.

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I think your ideas are terrific. My question is with location. How would one relocate to those countries unless you had a close contact? Would it not be a trust issue?

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Estonia- very easy paper work for IT firms, high internet speed, a lot of government funding available for start-ups

@alexvan I'm glad you mentioned Estonia. I was also thinking perhaps @ned could move the Steem HQ there via e-Residency. In addition, it's low cost and minimal bureaucracy. That's coming from experience. #estoniamafia

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it's good news that immediately we have more capable people talking about full nodes and other solutions to keep steem and the community going (afterall i'm sure it's why we love decentralization in the first place). what's acting as the 'biggest barrier' for that 'killer app' is ned himself, but he's blaming everything else and still thinks he should be the one who's in charge of building it (when it's proven that he doesn't have the dev/sales/management/or other skills that are necessary).

communities and dapps shouldn't even be his concern. he should've focused down on providing the api and let someone else figure it out. he's always been talking about 'wisdom of the crowd' but never cared to listen. (listening to himself in an echo chamber doesn't count)

there's been many signs. to me, when he talked about whitelisting/blacklisting individuals based on his criteria of what a 'good person' is (the very fact that he used those words), i realized he was a ticking timebomb. i applaud his insight in jumping into crypto space early and creating this platform, but now it's time for him to step back.

the fact that he's the biggest stakeholder (millions and millions of steem) but chooses to sacrifice his employees instead of himself proves that he has desires to remain in control and hold on to power. it's not going to be an easy transition even if this community includes many individuals/companies that can address some of the immediate concerns.

on one hand i see steemit inc's downsizing as good news. if steemit inc, steemit.com, api.steemit.com all goes under because they can't manage the costs, it'll be an opportunity (a test rather..) for steem to move closer to decentralization. ned is the biggest barrier. he's gonna do everything in his power (except giving up his stake) to prevent someone else from leading.

if this bear market continues he might be forced to give up (might as well be the best case scenario). if the market turns around quickly, we're gonna be back to square one where he continues to be the unqualified point force, a bottleneck. another possibility is where he grows humility and realizes no single individual (including himself) is capable of creating a perfect solution. but from what we've seen so far, that's very unlikely.

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What about Malta or Luxembourg (I could possibly help if it was the latter) ?

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Excellent choices, (and in Luxembourg they have a bar where you can pay with STEEM, or so I heard 😀 )...

/FF

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Good update, great ideas with regard to restructuring and lowering costs. I love this place and hopefully Steemmonsters will open a lot of eyes with what the Steem blockchain can do!

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focus would be on destiny.

What destiny? Another project by ned?

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The guy plays his guitar on YT live stream while everything is falling apart. First step would be that he step off CEO position. Obviously he is not suitable for the job. Probably he cached out and stashed some money and he doesn't care anymore.

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Prioritization is a must. An analysis, even if painful needs to be conducted. Not to put a blame on, just to find out where it bleeds and what actions are needed to stop bleeding.

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Exactly right

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Why not engage community with STEEM rewards for contribution? Something like gitcoin. That would be good motivation at least while STEEM still has some value.
Now seams that SMT will not see the light of day too.

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He had the chance to do this for ages.
In fact, until I saw the recording of the second livestream I didn't know he was that young and naive.

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A livestream that should have either been on VIMM, or recorded, edited and put on DTube, you know the platforms that support Steem...

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Yeah, that was disappointing, when I saw that he posted at YT. :(

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He's not that naive. I bet he stashed some money when market cap was half a billion.

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And has turned off comments on his YouTube video. Edited: looks like they are on now.

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I can agree with most of the things you say here.
I see a big lack of listening or making research on ppl who are stuck with this project and wants it goods.
It sounds stupid, but there are not a lot of ppl outside this ecosystem who are intrested in blockchain, blogging, business management/planning(which my company is doing, but OK :P)
I offer my help, my knowledge and i think within that there would be a quite impact, also with steemschool, but I cant force ppl to take my help.
So it is a bit sad, that ppl dont take help or try everything to safe this project.

Good words! :)

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I would like to thank you for your beautiful well thought out & impeccable delivery of your thoughts today. I am honored that you heard my message & felt my energy. Thank you. For you to think of me as a person who could advance Steem is amazing. Thank you again my friend. Happy Holidays & have a Joyous New Year. @alexvan. Warmest Regards, I.J.

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We spoke that afternoon on Steemfest. I loved the ideas of energizing the crowd with a song and balloons. I'm pretty sure that a least for a PR role you would be a blast. You are everywhere, on events, conferences, you promote yourself well. This is what I miss from Steem Inc. The technology and chain behind is gorgeous. Genius I would say. It is a pity that it is not sold as it is. This image leverage is missing.

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You’re hired.

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I agree with @alexvan: the energy you bring is something that needs to be harboured, somehow @steemcafe.

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Great reply, considerable suggestions! Let's move to eastern Europe. Perhaps steemit even can survive without steemit.inc based on the huge amount of stunning developers in our awesome community.

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Screenshot_2018-11-21 Second Livestream on The Bridge Test - YouTube(1).png
This might be Ned's favorite chord for Steem users.

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OMG 😮

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what you up to?

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Gibraltar could also be location to move to. It's not exactly the cheapest place but it is very crypto and blockchain friendly. Plus with Brexit it follows the UK and leaves the EU.

The EU government and ECB is not exactly crypto friendly, they can and have flexed their muscles on crypto and blockchain issues, never favourably.

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yeah I am with you Gibraltar is a good idea the crypto family over there is really huge, like here at the left side of my doorsteps in Marbella there is also a heavy community dealing with anything what looks like Crypto or Blockchain technologies there is a large pool of professionals, and I believe most of them is more appropriate like this CEO.
I guess he should ask for help and also should organize a fundraising campain, or add a financing structure like a holding so that he is safe to held his part of the shares but gets enough money to solve the upcoming challenges.
Zwischenlinie-2 für Steem-Post 940x120.png
with sunny greetings from Andalusia

Don Thomas

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I read this criticism while nodding @alexvan. There is something missing in the Steem, that's correct. I just hope soon returned.

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You got a 47.70% upvote from @brupvoter courtesy of @alexvan!

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You got a 100.00% upvote from @oceanwhale courtesy of @alexvan! Earn 100% earning payout by delegating SP to @oceanwhale. Visit www.OceanWhaleBot.com for details!

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On PR my 2cents - PR should be cornerstone of marketing and PR is aired ground work - much more as having a guy that is enthusiastic about a brand - that required much more - I offered Steemit help, I tried to get in touch with @ned on LinkedIn - I was ignored so I feel they were and are not ready for this. PR would be required globally and based on a war chest of hard news, case studies, fact, benefits and a true comms plan that needs to meet deadlines at least - hence I see not much potential on this dedicated area.

Just saying as I work in PR since 20 years and I even led a global blockchain campaign of a player most know. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and agree with all other points @alexvan

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This post has received a 61.83 % upvote from @boomerang.

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AWS usage projections, DevOps solutions, reduction of Staging and Testing nodes, and eliminating redundancies.

Have you guys thought much about leveraging a more decentralized back-end? I recently launched a full node, and have been talking a lot about the decentralization of APIs with people. Notably, my node is quite underutilized -- I'd be happy to help by drawing some traffic.

On a bigger scale, I feel like if we convince witnesses to offer more API support, we could extend this to a fully decentralized scale. I'm sure many other witnesses would be on board providing Devops and infrastructure. We'd need to improve things like jussi, and get some better lines of communication with whomever is currently doing devops for Steemit, but I know in the long run we can do a lot better than AWS.

Changing the culture towards this seems logical to me: decentralized the source of the data, and decentralize the costs.

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I'm in favour of Witnesses taking more responsibilities regarding APIs.

However, just a side note: Steemit Inc.'s API & infrastructure costs are in the millions of dollars per year. A "normal" API node costs max 1000€ per month, so roughly 12,000€ per year. If we really take this approach seriously, this will require a lot of funds, which might be difficult to come by in this bear market.

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12,000€ (CAN$18,000) per year is more than @anyx paid to buy a 512 Gb full node server with an Xeon Gold CPU!!

Why would you pay more per year than the total capital cost of the item?!

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Not to mention my server was absolute overkill.
However, it does have a monthly cost for collocation hosting, but this is a fixed cost of only a couple hundred/mo, but that also buys things like redundant power, cooling, etc. But indeed, in the long run, purchased assets are the way to go.

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  • redundant power supply
  • redundant internet
  • 24x7 monitoring
  • cooling
  • DDOS hardware
  • real estate cost
  • legal costs
  • salary
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The last 5 items are only necessary because of huge centralized data centers. They are not needed when running less than 10 machines as part of a decentralized system. Redundant internet is easy and cheap to add and redundant power supply is only necessary in places with regular power outages. Once in ten years is typical for central Tel Aviv where I live. 24 hour monitoring is automatic if server is in your home and you also work from there.

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Well, I have around 120 desktop (in my office), software routers instead of hardware routers etc. All of them custom made - so I tend to agree to what you say. But with these expensive hardware and network speeds (read QoS, BGP poisoning avoidance, DDoS protection) etc, its not quite possible to handle them the servers in our home. For example @anyx I am sure can handle most of the hard ware/CPU/memory related aspects. I can't. But I can handle lot of the network aspects - which others may not be able to. The witnesses are a mix of sysadmins, researchers, programmers and marketers - so we can't expect them to run the 17 + 2 + 2 servers in their home office. Even if everything including BGP is taken care of, I don't think DDoS is something we can monitor and retaliate that easily (unless we have a OpenBSD box and we are very handy with firewall rules).

Being said all this, I don't think we need to really host all the witness nodes in our backyard to save costs. Proper AWS cost optimizations can save a lot of costs. Personally I don't see any reason why the full nodes are on AWS where every disk access is billed. Once the development is done, those instances can be moved to data centers. AWS and cloud as we know is for elastic needs (CAPEX) and in the case of steem full nodes that kind of "elastic scaling" is not possible. (due the architecture.) May be sharding like NEAR protocol ( https://nearprotocol.com) is the way to reach there - but its not in the near term.

To conclude, its very much possible to run the infrastructure in traditional data centers at much lower costs than AWS. Steemit.com's workload is not something that needs cloud computing.

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If Steem Monsters was able to run a successful crowdfunding campaign, both on Kickstarter and Fundition, why wouldn't that be possible for Steemit? They can easily give out delegations as rewards, which wouldn't have too big of an impact of the Steem price.

Also, won't Steem receive around 20 million USD in funding from Global Blockchain Technologies? Source

Look, I obviously haven't spent that much time thinking about this, it just seems that budget problems are somewhat easy to solve in this day and age.

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Yeah.... A small part of me wants to believe that firing 70% of the team was done because they realized they hired the wrong people and the low market cap was just a good excuse.

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Steemit Inc.'s API & infrastructure costs are in the millions of dollars per year.

This is insane and I guarantee you it's due to massive inefficiency. No website with this level of interaction costs that much. Yes -- we need to improve second layer (and primary layer) solutions to take the load off actual steem machines, but it's really not that hard.

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The problem is the high cost of a single node, and the fact you need lots for scalability and redundancy, then you need a few that do nothing but create state files for the active ones and you need backups and staging ones. It adds up quickly.

It would be far Simpler if it was just a typical database.

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Not even. The problem is poor first and second layer solutions on top of a full node.
Yeah, full nodes also suck. A lot. But the whole stack is worse.

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No Arguments here. I hope this crypto drought encourages some good innovation that handles this. Sometimes loss is required to kickstart innovation.

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Agreed - though maybe it depends on where the line is drawn around what is and isn't classed as infrastructure.. Or maybe someone is misleading ned.

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However, just a side note: Steemit Inc.'s API & infrastructure costs are in the millions of dollars per year. A "normal" API node costs max 1000€ per month, so roughly 12,000€ per year.

Few mis configured EBS volumes with crazy IOPS values, Cloudfront, heavy usage of Docker based builds etc can be the reason for the high costs. AWS is not the right solution for something like steemit.com which has no per-visitor or per-user revenue model or challenges with capacity.

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i'm in favor too. and eventually maybe more than APIs.

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What do you have in mind?

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nothing specific lol i'm just a gamedeveloper.

as for the cost of running a node i have no idea i'm sorry. but maybe that cost should've been steemit inc's only priority instead of trying to do everything on their own.

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I very much agree with you @anyx that there needs to be more decentralisation of the back end and I congratulate you for launching a full node.
I also think that witnesses need to be owning their own hardware for witness nodes rather than renting it on the centralised "cloud". While @anyx's Xeon server with 512 Gb cost you CAN$16,000, its is possible to create a 128Gb witness & API server using HEDT motherboard and sub $500 CPU for around US$2000.
Screen Shot 20181128 at 12.30.56.png

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Owning your own witness server is somewhat problematic.
Other than bandwidth issues, (unless you have fiber based internet).
A power outage, internet issues (which I'm sure are common not only in Israel) and even a piece of hardware that stops working can make you miss far too many blocks, and cause small malfunctions all across the blockchain, not so small if you're in the top 20.
Maybe it would be best if different witnesses would host their server on different server providers, but it seems there are many providers to begin with.
Those are my 2 cents on the issue.

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All these things can happen at a centralised hosted solution which is fundamentally more vulnerable because of its centralisation.
The whole point of decentralisation and having 20 witnesses and 100+ backups is that there is a quick failover to the next witness.
Also, for each witness having HEDT servers each with a once off capital cost of $2000 rather than an annual cost of $2000 forever means you can have more backup nodes and more redundancy.

It simply does not make sense to be renting when you can buy for around 1 year's rent.

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A server provider usually operates in several countries, so unless someone is cutting an underwater internet cable, a witness can reactivate their server within 24 hours (much less if he/she is more experienced).
While a server in their home/office can easily be shut down for 3+ days, if their ISP is shitty in their area.
If there was an infrustrcture to allow witnesses to share their servers with each other (if that's even possible), to could allow more decentralisation without the drawbacks I meantioned. But I don't know how feasible such a project is.

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I’m not suggesting no redundancy. A witness should obviously have their backup server node in another location with another internet provider. Also it’s easy to have have a backup internet provider at your home or office. Everything an outsourced provider can do can be done for much less cost yourself when you are talking about single digit number of servers, which is what decentralized solutions involve.

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That's unless we have someone as huge as YouTube's Linus Tech Tips on @dtube who runs servers themselves...

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ned would have to give up most of his steem for any real whale to come in and start dealing with the costs ;)

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While you're right, you can have redundancies like a UPS(duh), a generator for back-up power and do the same thing for internet connections.

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Witnesses typically scale up over time. If you're a backup, you can front a fixed cost of less than $1000 and run it on your home internet. This is reasonably stable enough nowadays. When you get higher in the witness ranks you can deploy more nodes and improve redundancy and performance.
Missed blocks from one entity on the network won't impact things significantly anyways, we have built in redundancy at the system layer (the blockchain itself) so it really isn't a practical concern.

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HEDT are a great way to go for limited API support (you can't fit all the api's, but you can serve a large amount of requests locally and route the ones you can't serve appropriately).

Notably, you can also build a consensus machine (e.g. 'witness node') for less than 1000$. My purchase price for a full api was overkill -- we can bring the costs down by optimizing for tasks rather than "do it all super fast on the same giant machine".

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It's great if you can use different API endpoints; basically this is what a decentralized infrastructure should offer, anyway. However, when it comes to running API endpoints and other services reliably and at scale - so that other (professional) services can depend on them - it's not a simple operational task and it certainly isn't cheap.

I suppose it's important that we start stressing actual business models on top of Steem. If anybody is running an actual business that doesn't take its revenues from the reward pool, that person or organization would have an intrinsic motivation to have its own infrastructure under control, therefore could run it and potentially offer to outsiders, as well. Is anybody out there?

The next question then is: would anybody be willing to pay for API services to access and interact with the Steem blockchain? Would that make a business model of its own?

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I suppose it's important that we start stressing actual business models on top of Steem. If anybody is running an actual business that doesn't take its revenues from the reward pool, that person or organization would have an intrinsic motivation to have its own infrastructure under control, therefore could run it and potentially offer to outsiders, as well. Is anybody out there?

Hi @grintsch! We're building @dstors and I can tell you that our revenue model is not based on taking out of the reward pool. On the contrary, the objective is to distribute the existing reward pool to those on the blockchain who perform any and all economic activities related to their sales through their own @dstors. You can peruse the executive summary of the whitepaper that was released a few days ago on our blog. Yes, we're out there! Focused exclusively on giving back to the users as much as possible while introducing new models of interaction with the blockchain beyond what steemit.com initially offered through blogging.

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Right, thanks for pointing that out. Great to see that, and I'll definitely check out your site and material.

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Would witnesses really want to subsidize operations of Steemit.com? Steemit.com remains the central pillar for Steem, drawing in the vast majority of actual users and usage, so there's some argument to be made for it. However, Steemit.com itself has proven to be unsustainable. I remain skeptical that a large scale social network will ever be sustainable on a blockchain without centralized layers. This entire post and all of Ned's comments below are firm evidence.

PS: Before someone says it - no, speculation is not a sustainable financial model.

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just because steemit inc/steemit.com is unsustainable it doesn't mean steem is. ned is the biggest whale here but one man's opinions has got nothing to do with a social network being sustainable or not.

if a central body is absolutely necessary for social, we should ditch steem and stick to facebook. but i thought people (especially crypto lovers and steemians) were so sick of it?

this is more like an opportunity for witnesses to actually step up and start making changes for more decentralization. it could be one of many solutions to come that shows steem's potential is not restricted to steemit.com or steemit inc or ned.

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Never said anything about "central body being absolutely necessary for social". Furthermore, it's counterproductive to cite extreme and irrelevant examples such as Facebook.

The world doesn't work in extreme blacks and whites. The reality is more nuanced. To make Steem sustainable, we need centralized layers like Hivemind. This will retain the decentralized nature of the Steem blockchain, whilst streamlining computing resources required and thus greatly reducing costs. It's not just Steem, top blockchains like Bitcoin and Ethereum are also working on centralized layers of some kind for scalability and sustainability. It is clear this is the future of public blockchains, and does not mean "central body is absolutely necessary".

PS: I'm not interested in arguing semantics of "centralized layer", so don't bother.

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if that's not what you meant then i stand corrected. facebook is not extreme and irrelevant because if this community remains dependent on one individual who owns a private company, it's just as extreme.

to say that we need centralized layers like hivemind is probably more black and white than anything i said. it could be one of many possible solutions. i'm guessing when you say the reality is nuanced we shouldn't look at hivemind as the only choice for sustainability. but sustanable for who?

ps. i think i understand what you mean by a 'centralized layer'. the only thing i wanna point out is that it doesn't have to come from steemit inc. and one company being unsustainable doesn't prove its necessity either.

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Sure, there can be other solutions, but Hivemind is our best option that can be implemented in the near term for significantly improving sustainability. For whom? For everyone that runs an app or service on Steem, and requires Steem API nodes. Thus, eventually, for the end user. We want Steem to survive and thrive, and for that, improved scalability is essential. I understand you don't like centralized bodies, but almost all of Steem exists today, as it is, because of Steemit Inc. It has been two and a half years, and precious little has been contributed to Steem outside of Steemit Inc. Sure, it doesn't have to be that way, but that's the base reality. Till the time that other organisations and individuals start contributing significantly to Steem, Steemit Inc's survival is important to Steem.

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yes steemit inc was the creator. but it doesn't mean they should hang on to control or should have any more weight in deciding where to go from here. it's a sad reality that after 2 and a half years this supposed 'decentralized' and 'censorship-resistant' platform still requires a central body/layer/whatever to stay running. if ned never used those words then everything i said would be irrelevant.

i have to disagree with you because steemit inc's survival is no longer important. even if steemit.com and api.steemit.com suddenly disappeared we'd still have other full nodes run by witnesses (or anybody who thinks the cost is worth it?). a lot of people will be confused and there'll be chaos. and i guess prices would drop too. (believe me i wouldn't like it. dan gave me a 100% downvote for saying most people would be locked out if steemit.com disappeared)

but the blockchain will stay and devs would simply switch servers. if steem breaks down due to one company/one man, then it doesn't deserve to stay. but i almost know that wouldn't be the case. or hope.. :)

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I don't see it as being specifically for Steemit Inc., I see it as a path towards providing a decentralized data backbone for all of steem, which any app can use. Steemit is just one app on the steem platform.

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Sure, but realistically, it's not "just one app". It's the vast majority of Steem - that was my concern. Ned says it costs $2 million per year to sustain Steemit Inc's infrastructure. Whilst some of it is the frontend, it's implied much of it is running Steem API nodes - their primary focus now is to reduce costs on them. I don't have numbers, but judging by activity, witnesses will have to take up an order of magnitude or more greater load. At the current prices, all top witnesses combined well have witness revenues of under $750k. How will we support a $2 million infrastructure? Yes, witnesses can go for cheaper infrastructure than AWS, streamline things considerably etc., but the sustainability seems very questionable. Not to mention, Steem is tiny now. We'll need to scale 100x to be relevant to the mainstream, and 1000x to compete with Reddit.

It's not adding up.

Yes, the price may increase, and it likely will, but history has showed us that price does not scale with activity - it is its own speculative bubble, and not a sustainable revenue model.

To be clear - I'm all for witnesses co-operating for the betterment of Steem, but I'm concerned about the harsh realities of the situation. Is it even feasible?

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Ned says it costs $2 million per year to sustain Steemit Inc's infrastructure.

This screams inefficiency. Very few database providers require costs in this range. It's time we take a serious look at providing infrastructure instead of just "buying more AWS instances" because they have cash to blow.

I've been digging into the API flow of steem recently and quite frankly I'm shocked at how poorly maintained things are. My rough estimates are at least one order of magnitude improvement with relatively minimal changes. This isn't theoretical, I have actionable plans for improvements.

So is it feasible? Yes, absolutely. Sure, we have to encourage development and deprecate old API formats, but it will be worth it in the long run.

Lets take our heads out of the bull-market induced sands. They call the period after a market bubble the "plateau of productivity"... lets embrace that, and buckle down and work.

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@anyx us investors also have skills and connections, I and probably other stakeholders would be willing to use our many skills and connections to help @ned with getting the liabilities down and the assets up etc etc.

@ned has earned reputation and goodwill from Fyrstikken Inc. So all we need to do is to get together virtually and talk and do things like a scheduled team/external board members & advisors.

I normally charge a lot for this important service, but because of Goodwill, I will give @Steemit Inc. or @ned personal an ONE-year agreement for ONE DOLLAR for ONE dedicated hour per week over 52 weeks.

May I suggest Sundays since that is the day most leaders sit alone in their home offices and plan for the battles of the week a day before the non-leaders arrive on Mondays, so Sundays it is a good day to meet with very little distractions, 100% focused & 100% dedicated like stakeholders/co-owners of the STEEM blockchain.

You game?

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Thanks for the insight, much appreciated. Like I mentioned, I had figured things could be streamlined significantly, but didn't expect 10x overspending from Steemit Inc. It doesn't sound possible, but then again, laying off 70% of your workforce months after going on a hiring spree seems far fetched too.

All the best, I hope both Steemit Inc. and fellow top witnesses pay attention to your plan and implement them.

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Logic isn't everything. You need a good heart, too. The question is: Where can you buy one?

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Fully agree with this

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This is along the lines of what I was thinking.

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This, 1000%. Steem blockchain is really not decentralized at all in actual practice if everything grinds to a halt when there are issues with the steemit api nodes. Many top witnesses already run full nodes and most if not all are barely utilized at all.

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Holy Sh@t ! As soon as I get down about Steem and these layoffs it's people like @nathanmars that make me realize that I am here for the long term and ain't going nowhere.Matter of fact Iam investing more today and powering up .

And Iam right with you brother @nathanmars. Iam no whale but Iam a dolphin who takes pride in creating high quality Content.

@ned....damn, take @nathanmars up on his offer. PLEASE !! We need more like him. This guy's the real deal !!

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I agree, if theres anyone who can make a massive impact it’s @nathanmars

Posted using Partiko iOS

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I truly appreciate your kind words brother and I really mean it !!!

Posted using Partiko iOS

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Steem is incredibly powerful. I 100% agree that DTube is the killer app. More development and better user experiences/education will ensure that in in the coming months.

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DTube is the killer app

Quite ironic people use youtube on this page...

P.S. Quick question - are older videos deleted from dtube and just thumb / image left?
Just tried to re-watch some videos uploaded ~6 months ago. They do not start. Is it a time limit or something for videos to play?

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Thanks for a wonderful question and feedback.

What makes a killer app ? The community and people then the how innovative the platform itself.

Dtube is nowhere near YouTube. We’re constantly working on improving the platform by bringing new developers, designers and investors. And also by collaborating with other projects and DApps.

If you see the potential of dtube becoming the killer app then please contribute what you can.

As we’re building the decentralised video sharing platform we want to creators to own their data and content. And you can purchase a unlimited storage from

https://uploader.oneloved.tube/

So that you can watch your older videos forever.

We’re working on giving creators the option to upload the videos that stored permanently and even if that option is paid option.

Thanks for feedback and if you’ve any other questions then please let’s talk.

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Thanks for a feedback.
Well, there is no such thing as a free dinner ;)

    • it would be worth to add on affected dtube pages that video was deleted due to age/storage costs.
  1. it is not stated what you get for $10 subscription - 10MB, 10GB upload space?

  2. Are $ USD or SBD?

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Thanks for your encouraging comment.
If most people who involved with STEEM feel powerful then we can take STEEM to the next level!

Also I do want to lie and say Dtube is killer app at the moment in time and we’ve so many aspects that we need to improve. As we continue to focus on making Dtube Revolution, my focus to build the strong community and create the strong foundation to build the innovative features and make Dtube a innovative platform.

Ps. I talked with Jon yesterday and I’m excited what OneloveDtube going to come up with :)

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I appreciate your valuable comment and your time to writing this comment.

Glad to hear that you’re powering up. This is a great time to invest more of your time and energy to show your quality of work and contribution to our community.

Posted using Partiko iOS

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@nathanmars, thank you for sharing this video with us! I've read almost all of the comments and have been thinking about the current situation... Your comments are great. You are a nice and positive person.
Have a gread and productive day, bro!

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Thanks your lovely words brother !!

I'm super super excited about the current situation and it's huge huge opportunity for people who think long term.

Warren Buffett thinks in investing time frames of at least 5 years. But his holding period is preferably much longer… “Only buy something that you'd be perfectly happy to hold if the market shut down for 10 years.”

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I am very happy that you are thinking like this, I believe that the basis of steemit is in us and we should help in a positive way

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Thanks for your encouragement!!

If people do something rather than just forming opinions then steem will move forward faster.

Let’s do something and contribute what we can to make this place better for others.

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If I am a friend from Venezuela I do not stop working to keep people on the platform and I believe in steem, I am willing to help in the area of ​​neuromarketing for the promotion

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if anyone is feeling fear right now, when this is the reaction from people who are big inside our community, you are not opening your eyes!

:)

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Exactly. And I'm just going to leave this here:

Musk: Tesla was near death during Model 3 ramp-up

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Nathanmars : 77.7% chance I'll go to Mars