Bloggers and the "steem vs. hive" dilemma

in #hive9 days ago

There are over 600 million blogs on the internet says Google. Yet very few of them are hosted on blockchain-based platforms like steem and hive.

On the other hand, most users of these blockchains have come here because they were attracted by the cryptocurrency. They had to start a blog, sometimes awkwardly and reluctantly, because this was the main application allowing them access to the underlying cryptocurrency.

Some people, probably quite few, were interested by both blogging and blockchain-based apps (including cryptocurrencies). For these bloggers, among which I count myself, the fork between steem and hive poses an uncomfortable dilemma: we all want our content to get the highest possible exposure and be found and read by as many people as possible.

Steemit remains the better known brand, which offers higher chances that people outside the "crypto bubble" may discover the content. But the Hive community is more vibrant and although there are fewer readers, they will likely be more involved, more interested in stimulating intellectual interactions.

For my part, I chose to publish mostly on Hive for the latter reason. Yet I reckon the potential of attracting more bloggers to blockchain-based platforms is huge and a lot of "pre-blockchain bloggers" stand better chances of having learned about Steemit than about Hive.

I recently discovered Brett Scott, an author writing for CoinDesk and also publishing a subscription-based newsletter on Substack. Brett used to be enthusiastic back in 2016 about the potential of blockchain to support financial inclusion and social development. He has since cooled off seeing how deflationary cryptos such as Bitcoin and Ethereum have been captured by the financial system and turned into tools for financial exploitation.


Brett's current view of blockchain and cryptocurrencies (gathered from reading a number of his recent articles) seems rather narrow, focusing mostly on Bitcoin, appearing to believe that most other cryptos are slightly-altered copycats of either Bitcoin or Ethereum.

I reckon people like Brett would be able to understand the fundamental difference that the steem and hive crypto-economics make.

And such people would bring a lot of value to blockchain-based platforms if they chose to switch from blogging on Medium, Substack or on an ad-fueled personal blog to blogging instead on steem and/or hive.

But changing old habits is very hard and cannot be rushed. In order to foster such a change, one needs to provide a smooth, gradual path which helps the subject navigate the change.

This is why I decided to publish an article challenging Brett's current view not on Hive but on Steemit. To me it was a difficult and suboptimal decision, as I feel closer to the Hive community and would like to share with it a blog which is not zigzagging between the two sister blockchains.

However, I am a strong believer in the power of blockchain technology to improve our societies. For that to happen though, more people like Brett Scott need to come aboard and begin using the technology, so that applications gradually improve to a level where they can compete with Medium, Substack, Quora and other "old world" applications. Having a zigzagging blog is small compromise to make.


we all want our content to get the highest possible exposure and be found and read by as many people as possible.

This a bit utopian. I would rewrite it as "we all want the highest payout, and maybe the exposure or readers".

zigzagging between the two sister blockchains.

Sorry to contradict you, but family links between the two blockchains have been broken for long (and irreversibly for me as they are actively censoring my account!)

Je ne vais pas te contredire pour ce qui est du premier point. Chacun poursuit ce qu'il a envie de poursuivre :-)
Pour le second, même si les liens ont été rompus, la famille reste la famille. Il y a plus de choses qui rapprochent les deux blockchains que des choses qui les séparent, à mon avis

Why not publish on both?

I don't think Steemit has more viewers than Hive anyway.

Where are your sources for this. Unless you are publishing in an Asian language I don't think there are many users or viewers on Steemit anymore.

I thought about it, but feared the "anti plagiarism" tools on one site or the other would "catch" that and flag it as plagiarism (assuming that there's no tool to "link" the account on steem with that on hive as belonging to the same person).

How would you go about it, practically speaking, prepare a draft in one front-end then copy-paste it in a different front-end (to the other blockchain) and click "publish" at about the same time on both ? Wouldn't that be frowned upon ?

About the number of users : I'm not referring statically to today's users (although even there, see below). I'm referring to what I expect to be a gradual increase in awareness about the existence of these platforms. As I used to write, is a "Schelling point" for "blockchain-based blogging".

When the overall buzz about everything "blockchain-based apps" will passively attract new users, new bloggers, chances are they will first think of and come to simply because it sounds familiar - they would have been hearing the name in the background for more than 5 years.

But even now, a pretty decent source is Alexa rankings. In Alexa, ranks 19664. The best ranking hive-based front,, only ranks 28179 with, and further down.

In that respect, I would say that Hive has an even worse marketing problem than Steemit used to have.

In terms of popularity, you may be right. Steemit is the one who is known because it was born years ahead of the hive. Although I don't think the readers on hive are incomparable with steem. I mean no offense here but I'm on steem sometimes and I noticed the engagement there is way different from hive. Also, steem is not that strict in terms of writing. I won't say they're better than hive or hive is better than steem. I'm just talking about now because in the future steem will be gone because of hive.

"Beware what you wish for" - I'm not sure it's a good idea to see steem and hive as antagonists rather than "in the same boat". I agree with you, a quick look around steemit led me to feel "not in tune" with the content there ... but as the French say "il faut de tout pour faire un monde" - you need a bit of everything to make a whole world

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