So, I finally got over 100 followers and decided to do a steemit review. I figured once I reached a hundred followers I would have a pretty good grasp of the platform and be able to write a fair review. I’ll admit right now, when I first signed up on the platform I was more than a bit skeptical but as time progressed and I used the platform regularly I did end up falling in love with it.
For anyone that may not know what Steemit is, it’s a social network / blogging platform that pays you in cryptocurrency for your posts. Payment is made in the form of STEEM, which is the platforms cryptocurrency, and the amount you recieve is basically determined by the popularity of your posts and the amount of votes each post recieves.
I should state two things right from the start. I was more than a bit skeptical when I first signed up, and I never read the white paper.
My reasoning for not reading the white paper was simple. First off The Dood’s a bit lazy at times and this was one more white paper that I’d have to read. Also, I wanted to look at this as just another social networking platform. Most people don’t read the TOS/EULA of social sites like Pinterest, Facebook, and Google + and I wanted to approach this from an end user point of view. Most people aren’t concerned with the inner workings of their social site, they just want it to work.
With that said, my first impression was that Steemit was a sparse and under-developed platform. I did however keep in mind that the site was still in beta. This is made perfectly clear to all users with the company logo in the upper left hand corner of the site that reads, “Steemit beta”. Fair enough, they’re still working on it, and this was pretty obvious in August when I signed up.
On a side note, I actually signed up earlier with a different account but didn’t take it seriously till STEEM hit $4.00 each on the exchanges and The Dood lost his password to his original account. At that time, people were still waiting to be allowed to cash out. I had earned $50.00 but just didn’t take it seriously.You can bet I kicked myself in the ass when my 50 dollar account was now worth a couple hundred and I lost the password and couldn’t cash out. Derp! First Steemit lesson learned, guard your Steemit password just like any other cryptocurrency wallet credentials. If you lose the password there is no recovery option.
So I’ve been using the site for about 4 months since my initial rocky start. I can honestly say that the site continuosly and consistently improves with new features being added all the time. The once sparse site now allows users to include avatars, profile info in the header, sharing tools, and a way to keep track of followers along with many other improvements made over time. It’s obvious that given enough time, Steemit will not only compare but probably surpass the user experience of just about any other social site available today.
The blogging platform itself reminds me of a cross between Blogger and Reddit. You can post articles and content you create in a blog style format, and your followers can comment and share additional information with you in the comments section like on Reddit. Users have to be Steemit members in order to comment on posts and interact with other users.
The interface is user freindly and comparable to anything you might find on Blogger or WordPress. A first time user can use the built in editor to create a post, and more experienced users can use either markdown or html to format their posts. Either way the interface is fairly straight forward and intuitive allowing most people to create a well formated asthetically pleasing post on thier first attempt.
One of the features I don’t like and that many new users seem to have a problem with is image hosting. Images have to be hosted by a third party. This is easily remedied by using a service like Imgur but it can be a little overwhelming to new users. There are however many tutorials throughout the site that teaches you how to accomplish image hosting, and the friendly users or (Steemians) are extremely helpful to new users. My understanding without reading the white paper is that each post is hosted on the blockchain, and adding images to all that data would be a burden on the blockchain.
This leads me to the people. Steemit users or Steemians are truley wonderful people. Most users are very polite, friendly, and eager to help new users get accustomed to the interface. Help is as simple as asking in a post or even leaving a comment asking for help. Most of the users I’ve interacted with on the site are very pleasant, and conversation and interaction is highly encouraged amongst users.
The community is diverse and you can find just about any topic imaginable to talk about. Topics range from politics, cooking, health and wellness, to crafts, wildlife, cryptocurrency and just about anything else your brain can think of.
As far as cryptocurrency wallets are concerned, the Steemit wallet is really easy to use.If you’re transferring STEEM to another user it’s as simple as entering their username, the amount of STEEM to send and entering your password. If you want to transfer to an exchange like Bittrex or Poloniex you just enter the exchange name and place an account number that you recieve from the exchange in the memo box so they know which wallet to put your STEEM in when it hits the exchange. This is a really easy process for people that know and understand how cryptocurrency works, but people new to cryptocurrency do seem to have a hard time getting set up on an exchange and learning how to move around cryptocurrency. Again the friendly community comes to the rescue and help is as easy as just making a post asking for people to help you. The community on Steemit is really great, friendly and helpful.
The platform wallet breaks down into four ways to save your STEEM, you can save it as STEEM, STEEM Power which increases your voting power, and STEEM dollars which are always worth one dollar of STEEM. There is also a savings account you can use to save.
This post is really about the steemit platform, but I’ve read that there are Windows and CLI or Command Line Interface wallets available for STEEM the cryptocurrency. Personally, I don’t think this is an issue unless you start to acquire thousands of dollars worth of STEEM, and some people on the platform do. Then you might want to look at other ways of securing your earnings. Leaving large amounts of cryptocurrency in an exchange is never a good idea either.
So I could go on and on about the platform and the Steemit wallet but this is a review and not meant to be a tutorial. If your really interested in how this all works I suggest you read the white paper, the link can be found at the bottom of the post. For the sake of not turning this review into a dissertation I’ll finish up with some pros and cons.
I’ll start with the cons so I can end on a positive note and because there really isn’t a huge downside to this platform. For some reason the wallet permissions give you 4 public and private key pairs. I don’t understand what these are for and have never had to use anything other than the main password. I’ve heard these are important for future upgrades and services the platform will offer. For now they’re just confusing.
New users to cryptocurrency have a hard time using exchanges and cashing out. Although most people comfortable with using cryptocurrency will find it easy and intuitive, new users get a little nervous cashing out, transferring around their crypto and signing up on a exchange. It would be nice if there was an easier way for new users, this however is a problem that faces all cryptos in general.
Post voting. I’ve experienced nothing but positive voting for the most part. I have heard some people complain about unfair voting practices when posting something controversial or extremely spammy so it’s worthy of mentioning. I’ve had a couple downvotes but never experienced what some people might refer to as “Vote Bullying”, but there are many people that complain about it. If a whale or someone who has accumulated a lot of STEEM Power in their wallet doesn’t like your post they can downvote it. The voting system may not be perfect and may need some improvements over time but for the most part it seems to work. Again the devs are always tweaking things so I’m sure if this is a problem it will be remedied eventually.
My final con and it’s a big one for me from an investors stand point. The payout structure seems fair, but I don’t understand it completely. Again, read the white paper. Now I want it understood that this isn’t sour grapes or “oh I want more STEEM for my posts”. Without naming names, some internet celebrities receive several hundred to over a thousad dollars for a single post. One guy made over $100,000 in a week posting on the platform. These payouts seem a little extreme. Some published authors don’t even make this on their first book deal. These guys are making this with blog posts. For that I say congratulations, but this isn’t my issue with it. My issue with this is that this will amount to millions of dollars of STEEM liquidity that sooner or later will be dumped back into the market. It would seem to me that if just one of these guys decided to dump all their coin, and these things happen from time to time, it would wreak havoc on the market price of STEEM. Maybe there’s something in the white paper that safeguards against this, and I know users aren’t allowed to cash out their STEEM Power all at once, but this just seems like a recipe for disaster and could explain the downward trend of STEEM since it was at $4.00 a coin back in July.
Now for the pros! There’s a lot of them. I started out as a skeptic and ended up a believer. I love the idea of people being rewarded for good original content and Steemit does that well. I love that it introduces many new people to cryptocurrency. I love the usability of the platform and the large audience you are instantly connected with. I love the simple easy to use wallet. I could go on and on with all the things I love but my suggestion would be to just sign up on the platform and see for yourself. It may take some time to build up your following, and may take some time to start earning STEEM, but in the end I think you’ll find the experience fun and rewarding.
On a final note, I would strongly encourage anyone into blogging and social networking to give the platform a try. The community is large and growing all the time, and most of the users are extremely friendly. From an investors stand point I’m real bearish on STEEM the currency. I’m watching the market closely and waiting to see a bottom start to form and consolidate before I even consider hodling as an investment long term. I hold some earnings in my wallet, transfer a small portion each day into STEEM Power, and trade the highs and lows on the exchanges regularly. Hey, a traders got to trade! It has proven to be a fun and volatile market to trade. My personal opinion is that if STEEM can maintain a healthy market, and the dev team continues to improve on the platform at the rate they currently are, Steemit should have a long healthy life in the cryptosphere. Regardless of the end, this will be a history making project that will probably change the face of social networking as we know it. Steem on brothers and sisters! Steem on!
If you want to find out more about Steemit you can use these links. Thanks for reading and hope you decide to follow me on Steemit!