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Steempress pledge to support Steem's vision, development and minnow support


Like the rest of the Steem community, we’ve followed the recent announcements following Justin Sun’s acquisition of Steemit Inc closely. While we have withheld from making any written statements before hearing publicly from Steemit Inc, we’ve been active in conversations with other witnesses, stakeholders and community members over the past few days to analyze the situation and discuss its possible implications good or bad. @Fredrikaa also shared his initial thoughts and recommendations going forward during the witness forum.

We've now heard some encouraging clarifications from the Steemit Inc team (see @exyle's sitdown with @andrarchy here, as well as individual posts by @vandeberg, @gebrino and @andrarchy) that we believe settles a lot of the most immediate concerns people have had. However, we still understand how the wording of certain Tweets, articles, and video(s) may have inspired some uncertainty. Therefore, we felt that now would be the right time to make a few statements to declare our own commitment to Steem and intention to assist its further development in the direction that our users and voters have come to expect.

Supporting Steem's original vision

SteemPress will always support what we believe are the core aspects and enablers of the vision for Steem that got use excited about the chain in the first place:

To provide an open, immutable, decentralized and transparent social platform backed by a fast, feeless, programmable and future-proof currency in which anybody can be a part and have full and secure ownership of their own assets, social accounts and communities.

We are potentially open to and welcoming of any changes that we believe will help bring us closer to realizing that vision. Likewise, we will do our part to oppose what we believe can harm such progress or significantly deviate the chain from this mission.

We believe it to be our role as a witness to ensure that the expectations of the community are represented and fought for. Our current userbase and stakeholders have stayed with Steem through a long bear market looking forward to the promises that were made to them in the form of communities, SMTs, and the other core values of Steem mentioned above. We thus see it as more crucial than ever that these promises are delivered as stated, and we pledge to stand with this vision for Steem and those who share it.

Supporting Steem Development

Additionally, we will assure that our product, tools and available skills and assistance will stay wherever the Steem community stays. This not only includes the WordPress plugin that we provide, but also assistance on core blockchain development, testing, feedback and other efforts wherever applicable.

For the SteemPress plugin to function and for us to deliver the promises described in our public growth strategy, we require a blockchain with the unique features and qualities that Steem has to offer and which no other blockchains can currently provide. And we will do our part to ensure that our blockchain continues to provide these opportunities for ourselves and others.

While most will know steempress best for WordPress the plugin we provide, we would like to stress some of the other contributions we make as a joint witness:

Technical development and testing:

@howo has carried out extensive testing of previous and proposed hardforks including most recently the SMT hardfork, as well as the previous EIP Hardfork (21/22). From this experience, he is well experienced with Steem fundamentals and both able and eager to participate in community developments to the core Steem blockchain. He has also contributed to Steem documentation through code snippets, hardfork testing guides, and other open-sourced contributions.

Economics and strategic advise:

@fredrikaa is contributing daily to Steemit Inc, as well as other Apps, projects, and stakeholders to advise on innovation and startup strategy, business development, user-centered design, market analysis, among other things. He is also available to the Steem community for feedback and suggestions and participates actively in the regular Witness Forums to provide thought and transparency.

Minnow support pledge

The recent events are also a powerful reminder of the importance of decentralization and stakeholder participation to not only secure the blockchain against potential hostility but also to ensure confidence that no radical changes can happen over-night. While it is our best understanding that the recent concerns expressed by the community were more due to unfortunate communication, it is nevertheless a real problem that we would all be better off without.
We believe the best way to ensure that this level of fear, uncertainty and doubt does not occur again, as well as to prevent actual hostile take-overs as some have expressed concerns about, is to further decentralize stake. First, the more people hold, value and stake our token, the better. Having a more diverse community with people who find value in different aspects of our chain, also contributes positively.

Steem already has a way to place stake in the hands of new users through the rewards pool. We believe that now is a better time than ever to consider that aspect of our chain, and use it well. For that, we will also pledge to continue to support minnow growth on Steem.

Our minnow support pledge

What we are pledging to do to support the Steemit Community:

  • Onboard new users.
  • Improve user retention.
  • Provide opportunities to earn rewards that users find fair, meaningful and aligned with growing their own blog and presence on Steem.
  • Allow Steemians to make contributions to SteemPress be a part of our community, and get paid in STEEM/SBD for their contributions.
  • Help grow users both in terms of their reach, SP and allow them to take full ownership over their own blogs that they can grow with.
  • Support the many curation and community initiatives on Steem through curation trails where we purposefully place our votes late to better support curation projects (since EIP, SteemPress only votes after 12hrs to allow curation projects to earn more).
  • Pay a significant portion of our own rewards back to the community to help it grow and provide opportunities to earn through our "community challenge"-series in which we will give both liquid rewards and delegations to positive contributors.

What we are pledging to do to support the Minnow Community:

Give added curation incentives to minnows powering up. We believe that having a strong grassroots community on Steem, as well as better distribution of Steem Power, benefits everyone through improving proof of brain and the correlation between engagement/reach and rewards when more people have significant voting power. Thus, we are providing additional curation to minnow users of SteemPress who choose to power up as a part of our voting guidelines.

We will also provide minnows with a unique set of opportunities to earn Steem Power through contributing to our community challenges in which we will give away both liquid tokens and delegation to entries who contributes well to growing Steem.

We have already provided assistance before to minnow projects such as the 10k Minnow Project. We look forward to helping similar initiatives also in the future.

What are you pledging to do to support the Minnow Support Project?

We already give additional curation to minnows that use SteemPress, as well as trailing the curation of quality content voted by @msp-curation. We would also be happy to collaborate with the Minnow Support Project further including but not limited to supporting challenges or competitions limited to minnow entries as well as other community initiatives with potential overlaps and synergies.
We would therefore like to apply for the @minnowsupport witness vote, and look forward to any potential collaboration to better achieve the stated pledges.

We look forward to playing our role in both the further development needed to reach Steem’s original promises, and to build a tokenized and empowering web with the new tools that are soon coming to Steem! If you appreciate our contributions as a technical witness, do consider voting for @steempress through the witness page or through steemconnect here

Steem on!

Martin Lees holds a master’s degree in computer science and work experience specialized in blockchain. His experience includes working on embedded systems at Orange, a large telecom company for three years, as well as . Martin has been involved with several blockchain projects and thus has a great understanding of the technology and its use cases, as well as its strengths and weaknesses. He has experimented with various decentralized apps on the Steem blockchain including a wallet creator and a decentralized storage system. Today, his main focus is SteemPress, A platform he co-founded to empower WordPress bloggers using the Steem blockchain.
Fredrik Aarrestad is a business developer and economist with a Masters degree in Economic Analysis from the University of Stavanger and alumni of the International Space University. Fredrik's past experience includes starting up an incubation center and an open innovation program for students at the University of Stavanger, consulting StartUps on pitching and applications for funding, as well as working with technology transfer and innovation knowledge management at the European Space Agency. Fredrik is the co-founder of SteemPress, an application connecting anyone's WordPress blog to the Steem blockchain.

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