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Collective Quality on Steemit & Taking it Beyond.


last monthSteemit9 min read

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"Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success." – Henry Ford

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Conversation about Change is GOOD!

I don’t know if it is just my experience lately or whether there is a statistical increase, but to my mind it seems that more and more people are starting to raise the conversation of the content which is being created.

Yesterday alone I read three posts about the quality of content here on Steemit. Each with its own set of valid points and perspectives and what excited me most about all of them is the fact that the conversation itself is actually taking place. This is a really positive thing - regardless of whether change/improvement/development is still required in certain areas of things.

I thought I would chime in with my own set of thoughts on this, because the more of us that share our perspectives, the more likely we are to inadvertently come to a positive and workable way forward.

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The Rubbish is Everywhere.

As I have mentioned before on a few occasions, I spend a fair amount of scrolling through the “new” feed looking for content - specifically from creators I have not seen before as well as for stuff which has not been posted into specific communities - not for any other reason than the writer may not know about them or joined them at that point.

During this process, I encounter an enormous amount of utter rubbish, spam, bots etc. etc. and yes, it can be an incredibly tiresome process to endlessly keep scrolling just to find one semi-gem every couple of hours, lol - but the thing is:

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What do They Have?

This is the same no matter where you go. Facebook is filled with crap too - as is X, Tumblr, Reddit, Instagram and any other social media platform you can think of… the only difference between Here and there is the manner in which that “rubbish” is filtered out in order to create more tailored experiences for each user. If I am honest, I would probably say that the FB groups structure is the most effective in that respect.

Facebook has pages which you can follow and groups you can join. X has similar functions with “communities” and “lists - as well as DM groups, but they are not as easily "fine tuned" as FB. Tumblr I am not too sure about as I have not spent any great deal of time exploring that side of things over there.

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What do We Have?

I suppose the parallel here would be “communities” and also tags. Both are incredibly effective filters when used correctly - but in my opinion, that is not always the case.

Tags are often misused and I don’t know if there would be any truly effective manner in which to streamline or control this. From time to time I also use tags to look for content but more often than not, end up a little frustrated really… because what I find has nothing to do with what it says it does. Like someone will go to a restaurant and share a one off photo of their plate of food, but will have used the tag “recipe”.

It does help to eliminate a lot of the noise by using tags - but certainly not all of it… but then again, the same thing can be said for FB community groups. Some of them that are lets say “ART” related… and in there you will find porn. Now, I know art is subjective… but I think that is pushing it, lol.

Back to this side of the fence, I think that “communities” is probably the better way to implement a better form of filtration and to create feeds which are genuinely filled with the relevant topic/s at hand.

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The Weak Spot.

On both counts - communities here and facebook groups etc. - the way I see it, the weak spot is the management and maintenance of those spaces. Obviously, I cannot speak for all of them here - but it does seem like the overall “filtration of content” is fairly limited. Not only that… but when you have communities which are for “this, that and everything in between” then you are pretty much saying yes to most everything and unless someone is going to “police” the quality of that “everything” very tightly - it should not be surprising when it ends up becoming a mess with just slightly less mess than the main feed we have.

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The Road already Traveled.

I engaged with the-gorilla about this briefly the other day, because that is precisely what I created the @steemitbloggers account for back in Feb of 2018. It became my full time baby - and believe me when I say - it was absolutely a full time job, but one which was incredibly rewarding in many respects because there is nothing more wonderful than seeing people flourish in their own right.

Steemit Bloggers was a community of writers which I built from the ground up with a small team of like minded individuals which assisted me. @denmarkguy will know well what I am referring to as he was one of the first people who joined and was there right up to the point when I walked away from writing as well as the community obligation.

Some did not agree with my approach to things - which was this: The community was built outside of Steemit - ie. on Discord and it was a closed community. Writers, bloggers, creatives and content creatives were strictly vetted before being allowed into the discord server and were constantly monitored as they remained members. This caused some to feel somewhat disgruntled - especially those who were not granted access, but for those that were truly serious about what they were doing as well as genuinely seeking out quality content - it became an absolute sweet spot where you did not have to filter out any noise or nonsense.

The only issue, was this was a “separate entity” to a degree and it did not really change the way anything operated on the platform itself - ie. the problem was still very much there. Then “communities” were developed on itself and whilst I was initially very excited about this - it was short lived, because all it meant to me - was an additional full time job on top of the other community management I was already doing to keep the discord server running like a well oiled ship.

Suddenly everybody and their aunty was posting their content to our “community” feed and managing that was a monster all on it’s own. And that - is pretty much where the road stopped, because that problem was never really eradicated… as I still see it present in the communities here today.

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Seeking a Solution

So, now I sit here and toss up the two conundrums we seem to have here: The one being the feed and finding a way to create more “first glance appeal” as well as also making it a more user friendly experience all round - which is in essence what leads to the other issue… that being; broader public appeal and thus, adoption.

The thing is - the desire is there! From more than a handful of people, so whilst I don’t personally have a full circle solution… I won’t say that I am not contemplating walking down that road again in an attempt to build something which offers the user a space in which they get to enjoy the best Steemit has to offer in an environment which cancels out the noise.

The only thing is though… I know that MANY people do NOT like discord - and whilst I may have built and run a community server there for years - I would be lying if I said I was not one of those people too, lol. I walked away from discord many years ago and I honestly don’t know if I am keen to go back, haha!

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What are the options?

Perhaps there are other workarounds - ones which would better suit the majority… but what they are is something I will have to explore a lot more deeply. There are options - I just don’t really know at this stage what would be a good “one size fits all” solution…

Telegram is one option, but again - limited appeal and not everybody uses it. Whatsapp could be another route. I know WIX offers some very interesting options too - with free app builds that offer all sorts of “community” appeal. There is another site called Torum, though I have not really kept up to date with their development and what options are available for community building - and then there is also X which might be a great option in terms of simultaneously growing an external audience - as would the notorious FB, lol.

First prize would obviously be to have something like that right here “ in house” but I suppose that is something which will come in time and in the interim, perhaps we need to improvise. This requirement and the need to make use of another “mainstream” point of gathering could possibly be very beneficial to the latter problem I mentioned of public audience and appeal.

Anyhoo, I will continue to chew on it - I just wanted to share my thoughts on things and would really like to hear what any of you have to say in response to my take on things.

In addition to wanting to hear anything anyone wants to add - I suppose a question I have is where would the majority of people here find it convenient to “gather online” as a group of Steemit enthusiasts and content creators? What platform would best suit you?


Until next time...
Much Love from Country Bumpkinland, South Africa xxx


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