In the wake of the Tron Buyout Rumors, the YouTube Cryptocurrency content ban and then unban, the rise of interest in “decentralized social media” and the many posts and comments about Steemit, 3Speak and D-Tube being decentralized alternatives to other very successful centralized platforms we must not lose sight of a few inconvenient facts.
First, centralization has its advantages and disadvantages, the centralized platforms like Facebook and YouTube provide services and fill a niche with millions and billions of people choosing to utilize these platforms for the advantages and services they provide. While these private for profit businesses have the right to operate primarily in their own best interest, end users with little or nothing invested in these companies provide content, but do so under voluntary a Terms of Service which clearly spell out your user rights or as some would characterize, your lack there of....
Second, decentralized alternatives to Facebook and YouTube exist, but the number of users is much smaller then their centralized counterparts right now, the challenge of moving large numbers of subscribers from YouTubers with 100,000 or more followers is a daunting but marvelous problem to have and while there are important technical capability differences between YouTube and entities like Steemit, 3Speak or D-tube, the most important thing, I think, going forward to improve these alternative services is participation and skin in the game. Allow me to explain my point.
Steemit is an excellent example of distributed proof of stake and stake based distributed consensus. But it is stake which allows you to have a voice and influence on this platform. Remember that even a decentralized platform such as Steemit starts out relatively centralized with the majority of the stake concentrated in the hands of the early participants, early adopters and others who bought or were awarded significant amounts of Steem early on. The power and influence here has become more decentralized as rewards were distributed, Steem earned, bought and powered up by a larger and larger number of participants. So it is the nature I believe of DPOS to start that way and it is up to the community to participate through earning or purchasing the Steem Token, and then Powering it up to distribute the Steem Token widely. And with this widening distribution the power and influence is more widely distributed also. I feel truly Decentralized platforms are not born or made, they are created by a combination of DPOS infrastructure and Community participation.
In short, the community members must earn, buy and power up Steem to realize the goal or dream of a truly decentralized platform. In order to have power and influence you need to earn and invest, which is commonly called having some skin in the game. Lastly this is a contact sport, like football, downvotes, flag wars and antagonistic commenting occurs, not to mention name calling. When people have invested in the platform, they are passionate about the platform and they want to be heard and to have influence over the distribution of rewards, because with this distribution come Power, influence and a return on their investment. So strong emotions and feelings are not optional, they are part of the package. I think it’s best for individuals of equal power and influence, should they chose to accept this role, to help calm these storms as less powerful individuals can be hurt or destroyed by their involvement. But remember no one is obligated to play martyr, hero or rescuer, it may affect the return on their investment, or jeopardize their businesses they create here. So if they do so they must also be prepared for possible repercussions as there are always bigger fish in the sea.
So I hope all who are hoping for improvement on the platform took the time to Power Up on S.P.U.D. Day, (Steem Power Up Day) to get some more skin in the game, stay informed and participate in this Team Sport.
✍🏼 By written by Shortsegments
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