So you wanted to join the Steem network after hearing about it perhaps from Justin Sun's announcement or you somehow stumbled upon it and created an account?
Firstly, WELCOME ABOARD! There's plenty of fun to be had with activities, contests and like minded individuals to engage with but you can be forgiven for being a bit lost when you first start... or maybe even after nearly 2 years like me 😃
The learning curve is steep as this is a totally new way of using social media and blogging. In fact, it's a totally new way of using the internet to what we're used to with platforms like Facebook and Twitter so being patient is key and things will make sense the more you get involved.
If you just use SteemPeak to post and comment and familiarise yourself to begin then you can slowly start to explore things and build up a picture of how things work around here.
Bluffer's Guide to Steem
What I have always aimed to do with the "Bluffer's Guide to Steem" is keep things SIMPLE and not using any technical language to help explain how things work around here, whilst throwing in some mildly entertaining memes and gifs as well. Not easy! 😆
"What's a Bluffer's Guide?" I hear you ask.
Well, it stemmed from a meeting I had in a previous job where I wanted to have an introduction to a fairly complex instrument. The person who was going to teach me all about it sent me a meeting invite with the title "Bluffer's intro to hydraulics and some other bo__ocks" which I found hilarious and thought I'd adopt and adapt that to a blog series about complex things. Minus the bo__ocks part 😂
Today, I wanted to share 3 Steem specific Bluffer's Guide posts that I've made previously with a summary of each that can be bookmarked to help you grasp the main mechanics of the platform and I'll be adding more guides in the future as things develop around here.
First though, our favourite part of any crypto blog, yes, it's time for, the disclaimer!
Before I begin, I want to emphasise that this is a highly simplified version of what I have learnt from my own research and I'm sharing my learning with you. If you do know this topic inside out, be nice to those who are still learning about this (myself included) and we can grow together.
Furthermore, this is not financial advice and I am not a financial advisor. I am a crypto/STEEM enthusiast and wanted to create a guide to help total beginners understand what this is all about. Please seek financial advice from a qualified professional if you have any doubt about how to spend your money.
So with that said, brace yourselves, you might learn something! Shall we begin?
The Rewards Pool, Post Payouts, Upvotes & Downvotes
A fundamental part of the way content is rewarded on this platform is via something called the "Rewards Pool".
Every day, a set amount of STEEM or SBD (the rewards tokens on Steem) are created and distributed across the network for content that is published. Everyone has 7 days from the point of making a post to when the rewards are distributed.
"How Do The Rewards Get Distributed?"
Aha! This is where your reward distribution tools come in to play - the "upvote" and "downvote" buttons! Every Steem account has these buttons and they are your way of saying where you think rewards should go:
Upvote - "More STEEM here please"
Downvote - "Less STEEM here please"
Now of course, humans are emotional beings and so there is an element of that around but remember the two definitions above and bear that in mind.
For the full, comprehensive blog about rewards pool, post payouts, upvotes and downvotes, click the image below. There's some advice about the "dos" and "don'ts", the different scenarios that play out around here with giving and receiving upvotes, downvotes and doing both with comments. There's memes and gifs to boot!
STEEM, SP, STU, VP, SBD... WTF?
Tokens, glorious tokens!
I mentioned above about STEEM and SBD being the reward tokens given out to posts after 7 days but the next level of this are the other acronyms (minus the WTF, unless there actually is a "WTF" token I don't know about yet 😃).
STEEM Power (SP)
The first thing after post rewards that you might notice in your wallet is something called "Steem Power". This is when you're voluntarily locking in Steem to your account to have more influence on rewards, voting witnesses and project proposals that have been put forward.
You might also keep it powered up for security purposes as it takes 13 weeks for the full powered up amount to be given back as liquid STEEM so if you notice anything suspicious, you can act on it and save your funds.
STEEM Token Units (STU)
As far as this Bluffer knows, STU are the "pending" STEEM payouts in the 7 day window which are "live". When you upvote or downvote content, you are signalling where you want the rewards to go via STU, which then convert to the post payout on 7 days. So STU is like the "limbo" phase where rewards aren't guaranteed until after the 7 day period has expired.
Voting Power (VP)
When you vote things, you have an "energy bar" associated with your voting activity. The more you vote, the more you drain this energy bar and thus, making your votes less powerful.
On average, a 100% upvote will drain your current VP by 2% and it does go all the way down to 0% if you're not careful! It does recharge at a rate of 20% per day (if you don't vote anything in that time) so bear that in mind! If you like rewarding great content that you read, use your VP sparingly. A rough rule of thumb is 10 max upvotes per day.
Again, full information and more in depth details about these things with epic memes and gifs can be found by clicking the image below:
Getting Started, Networking and Growing Your Account
It's as easy as 1, 2, 3 right? In theory, yes but everyone has their own goals and so I'd encourage you to think about what you want to get out of your Steem account.
Having said that, I think we can all agree that interaction and growing ones account are things we are striving to do but as I mentioned at the top, it's a a big place and easy to get lost. First things first, you need to understand Resource Credits.
Every account has these and they are your accounts ability to interact with the network by doing things such as posting, commenting, voting, transferring STEEM etc. The more resource credits you have, the more frequently you can interact with the network. Think of it like internet bandwidth - it slows down when everyone is online streaming something and doing stuff at the same time. The more bandwidth you have, the less problems you'll run in to. Recommendation is a minimum of 100SP for most users.
A great way to do this is with a blog using the #introduceyourself tag as the first one - tell us who you are, what your interests are and there'll be a welcome party waiting to greet you! If you have specific interests, there are many groups around that will likely fulfill them and with communities now, you'll meet some like minded people!
Communities To Get You Started
In no particular order, here's a list of groups that I'm aware of so far and have interacted with which you may find useful to reach out to or follow:
- @yourtop3 - A fun monthly contest asking the Steem community their top 3 favourite things about a topic with potential to win STEEM/SBD based prizes.
- @atomcollector - Music and crypto enthusiasts.
- @dsound - STEEM's version of Soundcloud but not sure if they're still developing/active.
- @creativecoin - A community for creatives arts - poetry, photography, painting, music, travel are just some of the things they cover.
- @sonicgroovelive - Live Musicians & music contests.
- @travelfeed - For travel related posts and a pretty snazzy website
- @steemitworldmap - Steemits own travel map!
- @steem.leo - Dedicated investing/cryptocurrency community
- @c-squared / @c-cubed - A curation community manually curating "high effort" posts on a variety of topics
- @curie - The gold standard of curating quality content
- @ocd - Another big curator that manually reviews content and fights against spam, plagiarism and abuse
- @steemflagrewards - Actively fighting spam, plagiarism and abuse by rewarding those that find it
Other Ways To Grow Your Account
Thankfully, there are many ways of doing this if you just wanted to grow your STEEM holdings. Delegating to projects like @curangel, @ocd and @dlease will get you daily payments if you aren't a frequent poster. Curation rewards on curating other posts is another good way to grow but I'd like to highlight a contest that I co-run with @plantstoplanks, @foxyspirit and @cheese4ead which is pretty straight forward to enter and incorporates a lot of the above...
Your Top 3 Contest (@yourtop3)
Each month, we pick a topic and the Steem community has to tell us their top 3 favourite things about it by writing an epic post full of tales about what those 3 things mean to them. Quite a few of the posts get picked up by the big curation guilds above so it pays to make an effort (but it's no guarantee). Then the nominations get put in to a poll and the winners get a share of the monthly, quarterly and yearly prizes!
It's just a bit of fun and a cool way to meet new people too!
The full information about how all of the different ways to get started, network and grow your account can be found by clicking the image below.
Hopefully these blogs will put you in good stead for when you join the Steem network or even if you've been around and fancy freshening things up. There is a lot to take in, no doubt about it but I suggest using SteemPeak for general content and Travelfeed for travel content.
There isn't really a schedule with the Bluffer's Guide, more like an "as and when time allows" approach! However, if there's anything you'd like me to cover in a future blog, let me know and will try to get around to it but the most important thing is to enjoy yourself and of course, earn some STEEM in the process!
Now, back to the music studio 😉
For those what wanted to see the body of work behind the Bluffer's Guide, these are most of the posts I did (some of the platforms I reviewed in Chapter 7 have since collapsed, under delivered or lost their way). Enjoy 😃
The history and technology of Bitcoin
2.1 How and why did Bitcoin come in to existence?
2.2 How does Bitcoin & blockchain actually work (Part 1)?
2.3 How does Bitcoin & Blockchain actually work (Part 2)?
Concluding Thoughts (never getting here)