Is Steemit About to Be Overrun?

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Having spent a considerable amount of time creating content online, I've tried a lot of different things just to see if they'd work. Most didn't, some did, and some never will. One of the many things that I've tried in a variety of formats is revenue sharing. I've never found a revenue-sharing model that works.

For instance, Yahoo! once had a thing called Voices. Content creators could write about whatever they wanted and earn revenue based on how many reads, clicks, etc. each of their articles received. The most I ever received for an article was something like $3 and some change. They're now defunct.

When I first heard of Steemit, I thought it an interesting concept, but I was skeptical. The platform didn't bill itself as a revenue-sharing website, and it still doesn't. The reason is quite simple. It's not. Although, users are able to earn from their content through author and curation rewards. The difference is that content creators don't "share" in any revenue because Steemit doesn't sell anything to generate revenue to be shared. Rather, content creators generate content, which generates "currency," which in turn is then distributed among the various parties that play a part in that content creation and curation. Clever idea if there ever was one.

As it turns out, Steemit is more than just a clever idea. It's one of the most popular blockchains in existence. In fact, last month, according to U.today, Steemit had more traffic than Binance and Ripple (although I'm a little curious as to why Bitcoin and Ethereum aren't mentioned).

Steemit
Source: U.today

You know what else is interesting? In third place, right behind Binance, is LBRY.io. I'd never even heard of that one until I read about it yesterday.

A Tale of Two Social Media Sites


The interesting thing about Steemit having more traffic than Binance in the month of October is that last month is the month that Steem Monsters officially started hosting tournaments. Within the first 15 days of tournament play, game players fought in over 200,000 matches. Of course, I can't help but wonder how many new Steemians have joined the platform just to play the game.

That aside notwithstanding, let's move on to a weightier topic. There's something to be said for first to market. We can all celebrate Steemit's head start on the competition. Nevertheless, we should be aware that there is competition (and more is on the way). Those readers who are old enough will remember a little site called MySpace, which preceded Facebook, but where is it now? No one talks about it any more, and for good reason. Just look at it:

MySpace 2018

What are they trying to be? Who is the audience?

It wouldn't surprise me to wake up one day to a news headline informing us that MySpace is being taken off line. It's got to be Rupert Murdoch's biggest mistake.

So what happened to MySpace? In a word, they were bested by some upstart called Facebook. Ironically, 11 months after Murdoch purchased MySpace, it became the most trafficked website on the Web, even beating Google. But two years later, Facebook overtook it. MySpace has been in steady decline since.

We can talk about all the factors that led to MySpace's sudden and inevitable death, and debate who killed it, but the fact is, the site lost to the competition. One of the major reasons why is the competition was just better (despite Facebook's many drawbacks, it's still far superior to MySpace).

If You Can't Start a Trybe, Join One


Getting back to Steemit, there is some growing competition. Trybe (affiliate link) has already gone live and users are generating content by the hour, including yours truly.

I like Trybe. It's much more attractive than Steemit. Its blogging interface is much more user friendly, and the website's marketing message is much clearer. Immediately upon landing there, I know precisely what they're trying to be. And for whom.

This, from Trybe's home page, should not lead to any confusion:

Trybe is creating a new standard for worldwide journalism – allowing people who are passionate and knowledgeable about their field to create high quality articles and get instantly rewarded!

A peer review system makes sure any articles are verified by at least one other expert before they’re published – and then the community has the chance to comment, review, and collaborate too.

New users begin with 100 Trybe tokens (unless you buy into their token sale with some EOS). It costs 50 tokens to submit an article for approval. An actual human editor reads the article and approves it. Quality control. I like that. Then, once approved, it can be read, voted upon, and commented on by the Trybe community, which earns the author additional Trybe. With only a handful of articles (5, to be exact), I've managed to turn 100 Trybe tokens into over 2,500. That's not too shabby.

Below is Trybe's post generation interface:

Trybe

Fairly WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get), if you ask me.

When you land on the page, all you see is a blank white screen. You just start typing. Once you highlight a word or phrase, the WYSIWYG formatting bar pops up. As you see, it's similar to but not identical to the Microsoft Word and the Wordpress formatting bars. It's easy enough to understand without explanation. And the best part is, it works! The user doesn't need to learn HTML or Markup (as easy as Markup is to learn, it's still a hindrance to some people, I'm afraid).

To get the popup on the right side, you just click on the black box on the top right corner of it. Click it again and the box goes away. The user can choose up to four categories, write in some tags (as many as you want), and select a featured photo. Here's what the post wall looks like once you have a few finished posts:

Trybe blog

Trybe is still early stage startup. They just surpassed 10,000 users and got listed on Chaince, the largest EOS exchange by volume. The only way to buy Trybe tokens is with EOS, and they're currently going for $.01 USD per token. Tokens will be staked until July 1, 2019. After that time, users will have access to 10% of their tokens for six months, at which time they can access all of their tokens. Trybe plans to issue one billion tokens of which 50 million will be airdropped to investors who get in on the pre-sale and hold tokens after July 1, 2019. A planned monthly inflation rate of 10% after beta will give rise to the number of tokens in supply up to two billion.

I think Trybe is going to be a contender. You can get in by clicking this affiliate link. When you sign up, I'll get 100 Trybe.

Tell Your Narrative


There's another blockchain-based social media website I'm a little excited about, and which I hope is going to be more than just a passing phase. It's called Narrative (affiliate link). What I like about Narrative is its emphasis on user-controlled content. Currently in alpha, it's difficult to judge just yet where Narrative is headed, but I'm hoping it will be a contender. The website's focus is on three distinct channels.

  1. Personal journals - Each user can post whatever they want to their channel and no one can stop them.
  2. Niches - This is the channel I'm most excited about. Narrative is hosting auctions that allow users to bid on niches. Anyone can suggest a niche and the community votes on whether that niche is acceptable or not. Then, users bid on niches to see who can own them. Once niches are rolled out, owners will receive a portion of the rewards from all content posted in those niches. Niche owners are limited to five niches, which prevents someone from becoming too large and dominating the other players. I am the proud owner of the Speculative Fiction niche, which cost me less than $100.
  3. Publications - Publications are channels that allow brands and publishers an opportunity to present controlled content that earns rewards.
Narrative promises that 85% of all revenue will be distributed to users.

All I've done on Narrative so far is recommend the Speculative Fiction niche, vote on some suggestions from other users, and bid on and purchase the Speculative Fiction niche. None of the channels have been rolled out to users just yet. Here's what the "headquarters" looks like:

Narrative

Of the three blockchain-based social networks that I'm currently the most excited about (Steemit, Trybe, and Narrative), Narrative appears to be the one that is seeking the approval of the average Joe Internet user. The site is attractive if not somewhat populist-looking. Unlike Trybe, which seems to be more on the "professional-techie" level, and Steemit, which is just plain drab or, er, simple (this, by the way, is the main reason Reddit has never appealed me; perhaps I'm just not geekish enough).

Unlike Trybe, Narrative's currency (NRVE) is listed on CoinMarketCap. Its value is currently $0.014993, down from over 7 cents in July.

NRVE

I see great things potentially coming from Narrative. They've got an impressive group of advisors, and the team seems ready to go to work. NRVE is listed at the Bilaxy, Switcheo, LAToken, and BiteBTC exchanges. I'd like to see further expansion, and maybe it's in the works. The big question for me is, will it ever achieve mass adoption like it seems to be aiming for?

 

How Long Will Steemit Stay Top Dog?

I don't mean to sound alarmist or appear not to support Steemit. I'm all in on this platform. If you don't believe me, just read my blog. I have recently made Minnow status and am now delegating Steem Power and sponsoring contests for other writers. But I am realistic. No one stays on top forever.

When the history of blockchain-based social media is written, Steemit will always hold a special mention, like Friendster. But nothing lasts forever. Glory certainly doesn't. I'm looking forward to the roll out of Smart Media Tokens, and bask in the success of Steem Monsters (not to mention being an avid player and collector of cards), but it's important to realize that other blockchains and other developers are working on projects that promise to rival Steemit's success. I don't believe it's a question of either/or. There's nothing wrong with being active on more than one platform, and I think Trybe and Narrative can complement Steemit, for sure. However, this is an important time in social media history. Steemit can enjoy its status as a pioneer, but to maintain a foot in the race, the platform will need to do more than show up for the party. Looking for content for your cryptocurrency or blockchain blog? Want and honest review of your crypto/blockchain project?

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Well done, @blockurator--informative and well-written. I will check out those sites. It's not my way to stay in a niche. The idea of a closed frontier is unsettling to me. However, I do like Steemit a great deal. In the short time I've been here (everyone's been here a short time), the platform as morphed. At first it seemed that if you couldn't get on the 'trending' page you were irrelevant. Then I discovered different groups, such as SteemSTEM, finishthestory and ASAPERS. It was kind of like moving into a new neighborhood. I had to be around a while to discover which bake shop made the best rolls. But, just as Steemit evolves, so do I, and so looking abroad and finding new outlets for my writing, in addition to Steemit, makes sense.
Thanks for the heads up. As always, your energy impresses me.

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Thank you. You're a gem.

Congratulations! This post has been upvoted from the communal account, @minnowsupport, by blockurator from the Minnow Support Project. It's a witness project run by aggroed, ausbitbank, teamsteem, someguy123, neoxian, followbtcnews, and netuoso. The goal is to help Steemit grow by supporting Minnows. Please find us at the Peace, Abundance, and Liberty Network (PALnet) Discord Channel. It's a completely public and open space to all members of the Steemit community who voluntarily choose to be there.

If you would like to delegate to the Minnow Support Project you can do so by clicking on the following links: 50SP, 100SP, 250SP, 500SP, 1000SP, 5000SP.
Be sure to leave at least 50SP undelegated on your account.

@blockurator Good article! I agree with your points and sincerely hope that Steemit will continue progressing and not die in the face of competition from other sites. (:

What do you think of whaleshares?

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I haven't used Whaleshares. I see a lot of people talking about it. Isn't it a knock off? I'm not a real big fan of knockoff sites.

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@blockurator yeahh it's a knockoff. Same as weku

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I thought so. I don't think I've ever seen a knockoff do better than the original. If the original of something sucks, the knockoff is going to suck. If the original is genius, the best a knockoff can achieve is near genius (as a rule, genius can't be replicated). If the original is simply mediocre, the best a knockoff can achieve is mediocre. Knockoffs just don't seem worth the time to me.

I had a look at both Trybe and Narrative and I was contemplating the idea of joining these two platforms. After reading your post, I think I will do it this upcoming week. Thanks!

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Cool. Look me up when you get there. I go by my name on Trybe (Allen Taylor) and @gardengnome on Narrative.

Such a well detailed post. I have also tried quite a few platform listed above. I'm wondering how one can find time to contribute on all the platforms. For now I'm going to stick with just Steem Blockchain and it's dapps.

Just on a personal note. Why don't you try musing.io. I feel you will be able to add good value with your contributions. I'm not sure if you are already familiar about musing. If not just give it a try.

Posted using Partiko Android

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Another Steemit knock off. I can't imagine why there are so many Steem Dapps that attempt to do the same thing that Steemit does. That's what I like about Trybe and Narrative. They're different. They look different. And they act differently.

Currently, I am cross-posting some of my content from Steemit to Trybe. Some of it. Eventually, I'll develop some original Trybe content. You have to pick and choose deliberately where you spend your time. If you spread it too thin, you'll never master anything. If you just stick to one game, you run the risk of losing everything if it folds. Diversification is good. Too much diversification is bad.

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Ha ha ha. Okay. And the reason why we have so many dapps is because steemit is definitely not everything. Its just one user interface that uses the capabilities of Steem Blockchain. That is the reason why we don't see so many upgrades happening to steemit UI in spite of the fact that Steem Blockchain is getting so many new updates. There are so many such wonders Steem Blockchain can do. That's why we see many dapps emerging.

If you say about whaleshares and weku I'll completely agree. But musing and steemhunt are a different concept.

Posted using Partiko Android

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What's so great about musing.io? Why should I invest time in it?

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Musing is similar to Quora platform. A Quora look like platform on top of Steem Blockchain.

I don't know if you remember. I once asked you how you manage to select topics to write. You gave me a wonderful suggestion too. Nowadays I pick topics from the questions asked on musing and answer them as a post. Just wanted to share with you.

Trying it or not trying is absolutely your wish.😀 You blog posts are really good so I thought you will add value to the platform. So gave a suggestion. Just for better experience and better rewards. The answers you post in Musing is also going to be visible in steemit. It is just a different user interface designed for a different purpose. That's all.

Posted using Partiko Android

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Okay, gotcha. It's a Q&A site. I missed that. In that case, it should be good. I'll check it out. :-)

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Investing time on both steemit and musing is still the same as everything goes inside the same Blockchain. So time is not a factor here. If you need more information you can contact me in discord bala41288#4486

Posted using Partiko Android

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Cool. I understand. I'm looking at it right now.

have you seen any evidence of bias or censorship on trybe?

Is there a lean towards any particular ideology?

the early steemit was very much ancap (IMO)

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I've only been on for a few days. Not that deep into it yet. So far, they're sticking to just posts on cryptocurrencies. Since its on the EOS blockchain, there is a lot of EOS, but I don't think it's due to any bias. I think it's because early users are fans of EOS. With only 10,000 users, it's difficult to detect a bias. Ask that question when they've hit 100,000 users.

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makes sense...thanks for the reply!

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I'm curious, when you are talking about Steemit... do you mean Steemit the front end, or do you mean Steem the blockchain?

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When I say "Steem," I mean the blockchain. When I say "Steemit," I mean the social media Dapp that sits on the blockchain.

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Okay, thanks for the clarification. In that case, you don't mention the other blogging front ends, like Steempeak or Busy or Partiko? Most of them have much better and more sophisticated tools and user interface! Also, STEEM is meant to have other applications and is not a solely blogging first chain?

Or, do you consider that the problems with Steemit are also ingrained in STEEM and thus a different front end will not fix the problems?

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These are all great questions, but they miss the point of the post.

Hi, @blockurator!

You just got a 0.71% upvote from SteemPlus!
To get higher upvotes, earn more SteemPlus Points (SPP). On your Steemit wallet, check your SPP balance and click on "How to earn SPP?" to find out all the ways to earn.
If you're not using SteemPlus yet, please check our last posts in here to see the many ways in which SteemPlus can improve your Steem experience on Steemit and Busy.

Awesome info.

Gon'na check them out soon.

Thanks.

Namaste, Jaichai

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Nice point of view- "When the history of blockchain-based social media is written, Steemit will always hold a special mention, like Friendster".
Maybe Steemit is losing steam ;-)
But this is the first- as yet only - platform that feels right!

Keep Steemin!

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I like it. I hope they can keep improving the platform. It's simple, but it may be too simple. It could be more attractive. Until Steem Monsters, there wasn't really anything that would draw in non-bloggers. Now there needs to be other Dapps that appeal to other user segments.

I agree Trybe could become a real competitor. I ublished a couple of articles on there, but I still find it diffi ult to find my way around the site

Posted using Partiko Android

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Yeah, they could definitely make some improvements, to be sure. And I think they will.

There are a lot more platforms coming out/are out to compete with Steemit and while they are new, can be big successes. I like knowing there will be variety, meaning I can work on creating quality content with the option of more chance to grow and make it full time so I can work even more on the platforms.

I have Trybe bookmarked but must've misread in my sickness that you start with 100 tokens, or something stopped me getting started but now I will have to create a post there and work on helping it grow!

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Yeah, give it a go. You've got nothing to lose. Look me up when you get there. I'd like to see what you're up to.

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I want to try vary my posts when I can, first is up and a gaming post about Warframe Fortuna but my username on Trybe is theGoliathhh.

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With three h's?

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Yeah, it's what I use on Twitch to stream games so now I am using it in other places too.

Informative insight into channels I have heard of, but never tested, interesting ideas put forward.

Different platforms will attract different people, Trybe sounds like it will attract bloggers comfortable with writing longer posts, Steemit attract a varied number of people, Narrative I am not sure so will not pass comment.

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Narrative is still in alpha so no one is posting yet. They have a very active forum, however, for the early adopters. I think it will appeal to a broader audience, but we'll have to wait and see. I'm anxious to see them roll into beta so we can get a better feel for their platform. Thanks for reading.

Wow thanks for these! Never heard of them until today.

I am all for blockchain social networks. As a writer and blogger of over 6 years in the traditional, internet marketing world, I believe this is the new direction we should be going.

Naysayers say it's all hype and that it wouldn't work, but if you ask me, what's working in society today is getting meh.

Look at Facebook today. You can't even watch a video without being flooded with ads you can't even skip.

Thanks for the lovely breakdown of upcoming platforms. My interests don't really fall in line with the Trybe platform, but Narrative seems more open to arts and crafts and I have put my name on the waiting list.

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Yeah, I get that sense to. Right now, Trybe is focused on blockchain and cryptocurrency content with plans to expand later. Narrative will likely come out of the gate with a more creative bent.

Personally I have a hard time seeing any of these blockchain based sites being a real break through success until you have one that really focuses on the passive curators. Most people on a platform like this shouldn't expect to or be asked to be a creator, or at least not a serious one. It's not sustainable.

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I'm not sure I agree. There are plenty of content creators on the web at various levels of expertise. Steemit isn't reaching them. I think it has a lot to do with UI. The design isn't appealing to the Facebook crowd. I invited someone to join who is a brilliant writer. But he doesn't know Markup and doesn't have the time to teach himself. So his posts don't look good. He's quit Steemit because he just doesn't have the time to learn how to use Markup to design a beautiful post. The learning curve is too steep. And I think there are a lot of people in that boat.

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Right now the pitch to get people to steemit is come here and get paid for your posts.

That will only pull in people who want to write. Maybe they will want to read once they get here, but that's just a bonus.

The vast majority of people who join Facebook or reddit don't join to write, just to read. Until we pitch to that crowd, steemit's appeal will be limited.

To be clear though, I agree with your UI concerns.

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There's nothing wrong with limiting the appeal. Lots of sites succeed by limiting their audiences. Quora is a Q&A website. You show up and ask a question, somebody else answers. But unlike other Q&A websites, they have a baked in system for quality control. The best answers rise to the top. Their UI is awesome. Their site is attractive. But it's not for everybody.

Quora's global rank is 94. In the U.S., it's 47. Most people who have questions just Google it. Quora is a very specialized website with a very active core group of visitors. That core group keeps it going, not the majority who might show up once in a blue moon to ask a question. The core group of Quorans who use the site answer multiple questions per day, and many of them provide long high quality answers to the questions that are asked.

A few days ago, someone responded to this post with an invitation to join musings.io, Steemit's Q&A alternative. I checked it out. I responded to a comment on a question. The person I responded to responded back. So I went up to respond to that response and the site locked up. I spent 10 minutes crafting an answer only to have the site lock up. So I closed that tab and went back the next day to find that post. More problems. I couldn't find the post. These kinds of issues keep people away.

Most people are busy. I'm busy. I run a business. I have a family. I've active in my community. I have a limited amount of time to play around or try something new. If I try it once and it doesn't work, it frustrates me. If I try it twice and it doesn't work, I'm gone. You lost me. I assume most people have a similar patience level.

Steemit has a learning curve. It took me almost a month to really figure it out, and I've been posting content online since the mid-1990s. Most end users will assume they're not smart enough to figure it out when, in reality, the developers just haven't figured out how to make it simple enough for the average content producer. Writers aren't coders, and most coders aren't good writers. Steemit has a coder mindset. If they turned Steemit into a place where writers and other creatives like to hang out, like Wattpad or deviantART, I think it would be a different picture.

And, by the way, it could be an awesome place for any type of creator. There are photographers using it in powerful ways. Video creators could use it in powerful ways. I love reading the tutorials some people produce on using photo editing tools. But whatever you do, you have to learn Markup or use a third-party tool with a WYSIWYG interface. That's another hurdle for people who are already reticent to give something new a try. I think before they start looking at ways to expand the audience they should figure out solutions to the UI problem.

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"Most people are busy. I'm busy. I run a business. I have a family. I've active in my community. I have a limited amount of time to play around or try something new. If I try it once and it doesn't work, it frustrates me. If I try it twice and it doesn't work, I'm gone. You lost me. I assume most people have a similar patience level."

Yeah, I totally agree with your UI concerns.

BUT that quote above is also why we can't just cater to creators.

I work a full time job and am raising a kid. I have very limited time to even produce posts, much less read a lot of others'.

If Steemit was a place for people to come by and browse and just read and comment on stuff they are interested in, and maybe post occasionally if they wanted to, that is when we would see big numbers.

To be clear, this is not just a messaging problem. Honestly the PRIMARY thing stopping this is UI difficulties, so I absolutely agree they need addressed.

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Yeah, I think the UI is the biggest issue. People can just be readers and commenters now, but the rewards are small if that's all you do. Plus, I don't know that the average Facebook user would understand how they're earned.

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A lot of prescient points here, Block.

Writers aren't coders, and most coders aren't good writers. Steemit has a coder mindset.

This is a gargantuan problem. 99% of existing/potential users don't give a crap about any of the things that the Coder Crowd cares about. There is a MASSIVE disconnect between those running the show and the audience.

The crypto-coder crowd have to start ceding a lot of the decisions to parties closer to the consumer. They're trapped in their own little bubbles and their priorities simply don't correspond to what the market is demanding. They've gotten away with this for 3 years because there was no viable alternative. That WILL change in the near future.

And ... Reality Bites.

Quill

Very interesting and kinda scary take I'll admit. Great work though.

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This was utterly fascinating.. And it's really gotten me thinking about looking around for things to go alongside Steemit! Narrative looks really interesting, I'm definitely going to give it a look! Thanks for sharing!

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Cool. I hope you find something you can get behind. I also hope you don't give up on Steemit.

@blockurator,

Hey Block. Great article ... well written.

Narrative is the model that intrigues me most.

The mere fact that we (two Steemit users, plus so many others) are having this conversation about Trybe and Narrative, is not a good sign for Steemit.

What it clearly indicates is a deep level of dissatisfaction.

I'm not sure I agree with the assessment that there's room for multiple platforms with common users. Once money is involved, all the dynamics change. Pretty soon, people will realize that what they do to promote one comes at the expense of the other. And hence, you're promoting Narrative is causing the price of your STEEM to go down.

People will end up choosing. They will become self-interested members of one army or the other. I have Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts. Such multi-platform participation costs me nothing because I have nothing to lose from any of their failures. But if I had a substantial stake in one, I wouldn't want to do anything to help the others succeed lest such success diminish my competitive holdings.

It was Steemit's to lose but the BIG GUYS just couldn't stop themselves from cheating. They created bidbots, multiple-account-self-upvoting and every other game-rigging mechanism that augmented their own short-term rewards ... but in the process, they destroyed the "curation of quality content dynamic" upon which the entire endeavor was predicated.

And so, they've thrown open the doors to competitors by creating such palpable disgruntlement that a plethora of Steemians can't wait to jump ship. Narrative will launch in a month. If it actually functions, Steemit's days may be short in number as a significant outflow of users would almost certainly trigger a "bank run" as everyone attempts to liquidate their STEEM before everyone else ... thereby causing a self-reinforcing downward spiral.

As you know, I've been warning about this for months.

Quill