This week at #SteemFest has been amazing and oh so busy! I have really been trying to enjoy the experience and just be here... which has meant I haven’t been actively posting.. but I plan to soon!
Some of you know that I did a presentation on curation while here and while there is a video... we had some technical issues and it didn’t quite turn out the way I wanted... but hey, it was a good experience.. lots of firsts accomplished for me and I’ve had wonderful feedback.
I got to thinking though, that I should share it here.. my actually presentation that I wrote for the event. Not only to share it with all of you, but to add it to my blockchain story.. where it will live on forever😜
So.. here is my presentation in whole including snaps of the slides from the PowerPoint. Hope you enjoy!
Curation - Why It’s Important
Curie is a non profit group, made up of fellow Steem users who are committed to community building, adding value to the platform by uplifting exceptional content and future development of tools that help the platform as a whole. From its inception Curie was designed to improve Steem, and continues with that goal today. We are told many times at Curie that nothing we do is about Curie, it’s all about Steem and that shows in everything we do. Curie’s main curation focuses on under rewarded authors who are engaged and consistently producing content that adds value to steem, but it doesn’t stop there. Curie is committed to focusing on community growth through support as well as the development of tools such as steemlookup.com..
Curie is currently a top 20 community witness. It’s one of the only witnesses that has a large representation of minnows involved in the daily decision making for the future of its witness. As one of those minnows, I find that pretty amazing.
Now, before you start thinking this is some sales pitch and stop listening, it’s not. You see we know curation is bigger than Curie and today we want to talk about curation as a whole and how it affects us all.
From the beginning the message, “Your voice is worth something” has been expressed platform wide. Steem is essentially an economic society after all, made up of both a monetary system and a community. The community adds value in many different ways, one of which is through its content. The idea from the beginning was to find and reward quality content. But what happens if that exceptional content is not seen?
I have always viewed the Steemit Social Media Platform as the storefront to Steem; the selling point, the showcase of merchandise, the way we get users and investors in the door. You see, we have an amazing opportunity here. Steemit is essentially a bridge for normal, mainstream individuals to discover Steem crypto currency and make it a part of their daily lives. It is a place for them to land, while knowing absolutely nothing at all about crypto, and end up falling in love with it along the way.
I should know, I am one of those non crypto folks who fell in love with Steem completely by accident. I stumbled across this platform one day.. and I am still here because of what I discovered through that bridge. The ability to make Steem and crypto in general appeal to the masses through the amazing content we have here is really quite ground breaking. It’s what gets them in the door, so they can discover what Steem really has to offer.
But are we putting our best merchandise on display to show the value within? To get those users and investors in the door? Are we doing a great job at showing off our best merchandise? A quick look at the trending page can answer that question pretty quickly. So what gives? Why is Curation of that exceptional content not on everyone’s to do list?
Curation is something I am passionate about, and have been since I first joined this platform. It didn’t take me long to realize that Steemit is only as good as the content it contains. While I do believe it contains an amazing amount of high quality posts, unfortunately most are just not being seen. Especially by those looking at Steemit for the first time; the users and investors that our future success depends on, just taking a glance at this website they stumbled upon. What are they seeing, from the outside looking in?
One of Steem’s primary functions should be that it is good for content discovery (it’s not the only one: it also has great promise as a reward mechanism for software development, humanitarian efforts, etc, but it is certainly one of the original design goals as a social media platform).
So what happened?
This problem developed not long after the creation of Steemit and the influx of new users that came shortly after. Early on curation initiatives like Curie stepped in to try to level the playing field and distribute rewards to those users adding value through their content. While it was designed as a temporary fix for this problem, as we all know it’s still something that is very much an issue today.
Why is that? I get it…
Not many large steem holders see the incentive in curation. After all there is a higher return on investment by delegating to bid bots for a share of the profits right? But from a business stand point, is that really the best way to grow the platform as a whole?
I’m not naive enough to think that everyone is here to save the world, I don’t expect any one to be here for free or to just give their money away. I get we are all here to make money, we are here to do big things. But, from a long term standpoint, doesn’t it make more sense to invest in the things that improve the platform as a whole? This would create long term value, rather than focusing on the short term gain.
I mean sure lets think of it this way; I can buy a rundown house for cheap and flip it to some unsuspecting dope and pocket a $5k return, not doing anything at all. Or I could take that same rundown house and invest in it, fix it up, make it shine, make the people walk past it say wow... then sell it and make a profit of $50k or more. Sure it took more work, more time, maybe not that instant gratification, but in the end... My return on investment is so much higher.
Investing in our best merchandise makes for better long term gains as well as improving our value from the outside looking in. I mean don’t we want to show the world our best merchandise? Don’t we want to wow them and get them in the door?
There are many ways to do that, and curation just happens to be at the core of many of those ways. Did you know that curation was a great way to get some amazing free advertisement as well?
I hear all the time how we need to advertise Steem more and appeal to the masses.. that investors here want to see the platform grow and therefore improve their return on investment. Who can blame them? I want to see the same. Most individuals know that advertising is an extremely important aspect to any business or organization. Now while I agree with this completely, I feel that we are missing a HUGE opportunity right under our noses...
These are just a few of the individuals that curators have come across while out digging for the good stuff. These 5 individuals are not only posting original content here on steemit, but they have a pretty decent following on other platforms and are actively promoting steem to their followers. Another thing they have in common is they would be going completely unnoticed if it wasn’t for curation initiatives like Curie, C-squared, and OCD among others.
These individuals are not only bringing their content here, but they are engaging and contributing to communities. They want to join the revolution too.. so why aren’t we supporting them? Curation groups don’t have enough stake to support them fully, and we are missing out on a huge opportunity here.
After bringing this up recently I helped James (gardeningchannel) get set up on dtube where he is posting his content now as well. Luckily since making this change he as found some wonderful support and is someone who will be here for the long run.
When we are ready to open the flood gates and let the masses in, these individuals will play an important role in onboarding those new users.
Now, as great as it is to get them in the door, keeping them here is even more important. Anyone in the business world knows that it is way more cost effective to retain a current customer, or user, rather than onboard a new one right?
That is where communities step in. Communities are a very important part of our ecosystem and are key to user retention and engagement, two of the main issues this platform struggles with. The great thing about the main curation initiates here though is that they saw the value in communities from the beginning and have already been helping to establish and support them.
Curie for one has over thirteen sub community curation groups that not only focus on supporting content creators in that niche community, but also are promoting Steem/Steemit in their regional areas through community outreach. This is making significant improvements in overall user retention and the engagement levels of those users as a whole.
We also focus on community building by sponsoring a wide span of community efforts that are proving to encourage engagement as well as user retention on the platform. Including OpenMic, The Engagement Leagues, Art Explosion, Writers Block, Comedy OpenMic, Steem Poker League, Archdruid Gaming among others.
We have so many amazing communities on this platform that cover many different niches and offer different levels of support through curation as well as many other things. Curie’s goal is to help them grow, this growth will only continue with future development and continued support of these vital curation efforts.
As you can see, curation and communities go hand in hand. The goal of finding great content is not just to reward it, but to get it seen. Therefore, helping those content creators not only get engagement on their posts, but also find those communities that help them stay here, which is very important.
While I have been told a time or two that curation from initiatives like curie are just a one-time vote and have no real influence on user retention or an author finding their community on steem. As someone who spends quite a lot of time in communities and searching for those hidden gems of authors.. that is just not what I see. But let’s see what the stats say...
I asked Asher, the numbers guy, to run some data to look at user retention in those accounts that received a vote from curation initiatives like Curie and compare to those accounts that did not. What we found was pretty interesting…
Looking at the number of accounts created between Jan and September of this year and then pulling from those only the ones who had created at least one top level post we wanted to compare how many were still active and creating top level posts today.
Out of those accounts that received a vote from Curie 40% are still active, while those that did not only show 10% are still active.
While the correlation isn’t always causative, if even just a small portion of this is a direct result, it is a hugely positive one.
You see, when an author receives a vote the goal is to help them be seen while they find their following and community. We at Curie realized that engagement also makes a huge difference in keeping these authors active and because of that started a comment contest to encourage the public to engage on those curated posts. You can see a jump in the activity in the July to august time frame.. now while I haven’t run the specific numbers... that just so happens to be when we kicked that comment contest off. This also gives anyone a way to earn steem engaging on this platform, without writing content, which is huge.
I think this among other things shows that user retention, engagement and curation are very much related.. and important to consider in our future success here.
How do we find these authors?
Currently, one of the issues with curation is the time and effort it takes to search out these exceptional authors. In recent months there have been many tools developed to help us do just that and I think we are seeing the beginning of many that will be added in the near future.
Some of those include
Curie’s @SteemLookup - Which is a free to use and open sourced search engine specifically designed for the blockchain. It has many different search parameters to help every user find exactly what they are looking for, or to discover others with their same interests.
Also, something that I had been hoping to see for a while is the custom feed option that was introduced on @Steempeak front end.
The ability to scroll through the posts voted by curation initiatives like Curie, OCD, C-Squared, Travelfeed, etc.. These groups are known to focus on the best of the best, and I think that this gives many users and investors alike the opportunity to easily find those content creators to support them as well, without having to search them out themselves.
This could significantly improve the look of our trending page, allowing the image of Steem and its platform to truly showcase the value within to outsiders.
I believe the majority of people who are active and hold a stake in this platform do truly care about it, some might just have different ways of showing it. I think they care about the future of this place as well as their investment, because let’s be honest,the two are linked. The future of Steemit has a direct influence on our return on investment, small and large stake holders alike.
So why aren’t we focusing more on our storefront?
It doesn’t take a marketing genius to know that how a company is represented to the public effects the level of interest and investment in that company.
We currently have a group of curators in many curation efforts on this platform who are dedicated to uplifting the content that adds value. They also are developing the tools to help find the content but they can’t do it all by themselves. How do we combine the efforts of our Curation Initiatives, Developers, and Investors to take this platform to the next level? How do we work together to ensure that we all get the highest return on our investment in this platform?
The Future Success Of Steemit Depends On Content Creators and Investors Working Together, To Improve The Platform As A Whole.
Now, after all of that.. you can call me naïve and just go back to upvoting yourselves 10 times a day.
we can come together and help steem reach its full potential. I’ve seen what this community can do when it comes together.. we all have.
We are the stake holders here, large and small.
We are the community, the important part of this ecosystem that makes us so unique from everybody else in the crypto world.
We are the ones doing ground breaking things, every single one of us.
We are the ones who get to decide what becomes of this place. It’s about time we came together to make this place what we know it can be.
Let’s show the world what Steem can do.
Btw.. I’m posting this from a salt mine in Kraków.. 120 meters underground.