Bitcoin Q&A: Steemit, Yours Network, and future social platforms
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Bitcoin Q&A: Steemit, Yours Network, and future social platforms

[AUDIENCE] What is your opinion on Steemit?
[ANDREAS] Of Steve? [Laughter] I was just going through a list of all the Steves
I know them and what I could possibly say. Steemit, I haven’t used the system myself.
I have been asked by dozens of people to use it, usually with a promise that if I do use it, I will
make thousands of dollars very quickly and easily. When I hear that kind of sales pitch,
I [will become] very suspicious. I don’t like that, instead of focusing on the quality of
the content and building community organically, the pitch I hear from people interested in Steemit
revolves around the idea of making a lot of money fast. That is always a red flag for me.
That may be a misunderstanding. Maybe it is a fantastically visionary system;
I have looked at all of these [suggestions]. I think there is a very interesting set of parameters
for combining social media, micropayments, and behavioral incentives towards producing
good content (instead of being a trollish asshole). Those [features] could come together
and make for a very interesting platform. [Imagine] if somebody must put down a
25¢ deposit every time they wanted to… say something nasty about me on Reddit, and the
community could vote on whether they were a troll. If yes, then I would receive the 25 cents.
That would be a get-rich-quick scheme, for me! I am very interested in the social aspects of money,
not just using money as a system of remuneration, but as a system of quality discovery through incentives
backed by a game theoretical model at scale. Wisdom of the crowd, plus micropayments
and behavioral science, equals fewer trolls. That is fascinating to me. I know that Steemit is aiming to do that, among other
things. I should probably mention Yours Network too. There are a bunch of others, I can’t remember all
of them. This is an emergent area [of research]. I think we will see a lot of innovation. Keep in mind,
social media platforms require a very high density… of adoption before they are effective. There is a reason why Facebook didn’t happen in 1995.
It is not because nobody had come up with the idea. You need that critical density with enough people who
already have access to the underlying infrastructure… and are willing to engage in it, to the point where
it becomes useful; even then, very difficult bootstrap. Bootstrapping social media and digital
currencies with a very limited community… that is really just talking [amongst themselves],
will be difficult to do for the next decade. But very promising. Again, it is one of those things
where experiments build momentum and then fail, but one day you will think, ‘Oh, this is almost
as useful as Facebook.’ A week passes. ‘Now it is ten times more useful than Facebook!’
And then [the adoption trend] goes vertical.

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