As I have already told you on my page, I have celebrated my real life birthday three days ago and even got myself a really cool gift on the Steem blockchain. What I didn't mention yet - My Steem account also celebrated birthday recently, as he turned two years old yesterday. I have been thinking about making some celebration post or contest for a few days, but thanks to @soyrosa I have found a better way. After reading her recent post where she is reflecting on her being on Steem, I have decided to do something similar for myself. If I am correct, credits also should go to @midlet for this post that also heavily influenced the one by @soyrosa.
Before I am coming to my reflections, I am however gonna share a picture I just created. I think this sums the whole "Steem thing" up pretty well for me:
If you want to have fun on Steem, you will definitely find opportunities to do so. If you want bad emotions and drama, you will definitely find things to criticise and other users to argue with. You decide your path on Steem!
But now lets come to the part where I want to write a little bit about my first and last two years on this blockchain!
When it comes down to authoring, I usually write posts for one or more of the following three reasons:
1. I write about something I love doing.
2. I write about something I want to understand better myself.
3. I write something to help others.
I guess this is also the reason why my posts offer good subjective value, even though the objective value might not often be that great. My posts don't have the best pictures, as I neither have a real camera or some great photoshop skills. My posts don't have the best and most correct explainations (in a technical way), as I don't even fully understand everything I try to explain myself. My posts don't always have the best grammar or writing, as english is not my mother tongue and I usually don't proof-read posts before publishing them.
However, I think that all my posts are authentic for exactly those reasons. When I am writing about a hiking trip to the top of one our beautiful mountains, I am writing I a way you can actually experience the mountain yourself. I am not some guy running around with bags full of camera equipment to create a surreal image of an adventure you will not be able to experience that way in reality. When I am writing about such a hiking adventure, I am combining my personal experience with some smartphone shots I made during the trip. If a reader would do the trip himself, he could do that report himself. And since I am not trying to be a professional blogger who sets up a perfectly shining facade but rather a guy who uses this as a kind of digital diary, I think this is the right way for me to go. Especially, since I enjoy that kind of post myself. If I read a travel review, I want the feeling that I could have the exact same experience myself. It doesn't help me when a famous travel blogger posts a perfectly made up scenery from an empty beach, when in reality thousands of people are there when you go there for yourself. So whatever I write about, being authentic is a standard I set for myself. If a reader likes my style - great. If he doesn't, I don't really care. I will continue to write about what I love anyways!
Besides writing down my own experiences, I of course also want to read an see the experiences of others. And since this aims to be one of the benefits of this platform, I of course upvote posts I enjoy so that the authors get a monetary reward for my entertainment. If I am thinking about voting a post, I mainly ask myself three questions:
1. Does the post entertain me or do I learn something from it?
2. Does the post carry a message I feel worthy of being spread?
3. Does the post add value to my investment?
If one or more of those questions can be answered with yes, chances are pretty high that I will vote on it. One prime example is this post by @melvin7, where he talks about the Slovenian cave castle Predjama. Not only did I enjoy this post. Together with my friend @weitblicker, I actually visited the castle I maybe would not have heard about without the mentioned post.
There are actually very few users that always get votes from me. And in most of those cases, they get the votes for being big accounts who stick to manual curation regardless of the opportunity to just sell their votes. Therefore, I think of those votes as some additional curation rewards for them. Fortunately, those few users tend to write authentic posts as well, so I probably would vote their stuff anyways.
My main are for curation obviously is my mother language German, where I have been one of the top curators for a very long time (at least according to some analysis). But that is not everything. I have manually curated hundreds of #introduceyourself posts with my former project @welcoming in order to give people a smooth start into the Steem universe. And right now, I am a curator for @ocd, a initiative for curating undervalued posts. What many people do not know (especially some that hate on me for having much SP, which is not as true as they think): I have been renting 25.000 SteemPower for over one and a half years now. And almost all of the time, this power, combined with my own stake, is in use for manual curation. I can guarantee you that I never got more curation rewards per week than I payed for the delegation ;)
I don't say I don't "circle jerk" at all or that I only vote based on quality and never based on personal emotions and connections. I do both. But I am 100% sure that the whole curation system would work, if everybody would curate as well as myself or even better.
Due to the fact that I invested some money a while ago, combined with the fact that I am investing some time on almost a daily basis, I am of course a investor in Steem. However, I am not just a monetary investor who invests sum X and looks back after a year and then decides if it was a good or bad investment based on the change of the price. In fact, I don't think this calculation works that easy as an active user.
I don't know how many Steem I actively bought, however I am 99% sure that I didn't buy more than 2,500. Let's just assume I bought 2,500 Steem for 1$ each. Right now, I own more than 10,000 Steem plus @steemmonsters cards worth approximately another 10,000 Steem. So in total, the stuff I own on Steem is worth about 8,000$ now when calculating with 0,4$ per Steem. That is more than three times the amount of $ I invested in this blockchain. Of course I also have invested hundreds of hours lifetime in this blockchain. But I also got a lot of positive emotions, human contacts and knowledge back from it. And I have also already cashed out around 1,000 to 2,000 dollars back in the SBD bull run.
In pure terms of monetary ROI, I would have roughly the same amount of $ worth right now if I just had invested into BTC back then. On the one hand, I would have never had to invest any additional time for that ROI when I had choosen BTC instead. But on the other hand, I also would have missed out on a lot of fun and entertaining stuff.
Now tell me - Has Steem been a good or bad investment for myself?
I think it has definitely been worth it to join this blockchain two years ago! I know that there would have been better options when looking at it simply as an investment. But as an active Steemian, you can't shouldn't just look at the price of a single STEEM. You also should take into consideration how many additional STEEM you get and how much fun you have on the blockchain.
When talking about adding value to the community, I think that I actually do add value by all of the things and actions mentioned in the previous three parts of this post. The biggest value I give comes from the fact that I truly enjoy my activities here and that I share what I enjoy. People love entertainment and fun. If Steem can offer entertainment and fun, people will come and stay here. And if Steem becomes a place for people to have fun at, value is generated and money and investment will automatically follow.
Besides sharing what I enjoy on my profile, I have also tried to get others to enjoy their stay on this blockchain by helping to understand it I have created English videos and tutorials about things I like on this blockchain, such as my rather recent "Stratytorials" for the game Splinterlands (aka @steemmonsters): The Ultimate Stratytorial Part 1 - A comprehensive battle guide for Steem Monsters!. What I personally consider the second most valuable thing that I have done for Steem, is the creation of a German video-tutorials series, that has helped many new German speaking understand this blockchain., together with establishing a German community server on Discord called "DACH", where way over 1,000 users have signed up over the time.
But if I consider this huge tutorial series and community effort to only be my second most valuable contribution, what do I consider to be the most valuable one? Well;
I think that the most valuable thing every Steemian can do, is to find something he enjoys doing on Steem and spreading the word about it. Positivity attracts positivity, negativity attracts negativity. And I am trying to enjoy this blockchain as much as I can, spreading the word about it whenever I see it fit. That is my most valuable contribution in my eyes!
The users I understand the least are the ones always complaining but still staying. If you dislike Steem and have no hope for it, you (and all of us) are better of if you just leave and invest your time and money somewhere else!
Wow, this got waaaay longer than I expected it to be. But hey, a lot of stuff has happened in the two years I have been on here. Let me know what you think about it! And it would be really cool if you would do a similar post for yourself! Be sure to share a link to your version in the comments if you create one!
Thanks for reading and all your support in the last two years,
P.S.: If you think this post is positive, please think about resteeming it so that more people will see it. As I have said: Positive emotions will trigger and attract more positive emotions! :)