Is There Any Room For Short Content On here?
EDIT: Seems that people have more of an issue with the frequency of the posts rather than the quality. Most do seem to think that there's a place of short content here, and that most of my jokes/memes are fairly good, but it looks quite ugly if they're getting a near full vote from @trafalgar that often. Will be cutting down from 5-8 posts a day to 3 or less, which is more in line with other active users. Vote weight will be lowered noticeably too. Thank you for everyone's input
I have well over 500,000 Steem Power.
A few weeks ago I made another account where I post 5-8 short posts a day and reward myself $30-$50 for each post.
My posts there were recently flagged.
But before you take out a restraining order on behalf of the rewards pool, I'd like to place you in my shoes and see things from my perspective. After hearing me out, I genuinely need advice on where to go from here from all of you.
I see myself as a comedy content creator. When I discovered Steemit, I was very enthusiastic about the idea of a platform that rewards content based on the attention it gains and believed that I could contribute to its body of content. After testing out the platform, I used the bulk of my savings to buy a large amount of Steem with every intention of investing in myself. I believe that having content creators potentially investing in Steem to promote their own works is behavior we ought to be encouraging, rather than deterring, as it greatly adds value to the ecosystem, not just through the purchase of Steem but the addition of content, provided it's of good quality.
Does Short Content Automatically Mean Shit Quality?
The issue must therefore be a question of content quality. The justification behind wanting good quality content rewarded on the platform is simple: higher rewards grants more exposure, and we want good quality content to be the most visible so as to attract more people onto the platform and ultimately more users means a higher Steem price.
I made the conscious switch to shorter content recently for a number of reasons.
- First and foremost, I believe short content has far more potential to be viral just going by today's trends. An overwhelming proportion of content with over 1 million views are very short if Facebook feeds or the front page of Reddit is any indication. I think these types of high quality potentially viral content is worth replicating on Steemit.
Actual footage of me saying goodbye to my Facebook 'like' button after I found Steemit
I feel original memes like this one have the potential to go viral. Gif from Giphy
Short content provides immediate gratification. Most of us would instantly recognize whether or not a one liner or a meme is any good. It's impact is strong and instantaneous, which is definitely something missing on here.
You don't feel like you're setting aside time and taking a risk when you're consuming shorter content. Even if it's garbage, it rarely feels like it's a waste of your attention , you just move on.
Because of the above, the bar for short content with respect to its potential reach, is lower. When a meme is a 6/10, it's enough to make the average person smirk or chuckle. A 7/10 caption on a generic gif is enough to potentially go viral if it's somewhat relate-able. But if your 1000 word article is a 6/10, the reader who's sunk time into reading it will at best feel neutral if not slightly annoyed.
On the flip side, the barrier to entry is seemingly lower . If a newcomer posts a 2000 word essay and gets $0.01, she's likely out of here. But if she posts a joke and only gets 5 views and 0.00, she'd probably give it a few more tries, which gives the rest of us a few more chances to catch someone who's truly talented and reward them fairly.
I myself have more experience creating shorter content as I came from Twitter, where, I'd like to think, I was pretty good at coming up with original one liners. I've adapted more to memes and gifs for this platform as that's the direction the wind is blowing on other social media sites. I created a new account to do this for the sole purpose of not wishing to exploit my existing curation trail here. To partially compensate for this, I vote on my new account (although usually not at 100%) in an effort to fast track a following there and make a push for shorter content overall.
What I want to emphasize is that just because content is short does not mean it's shit, or that it requires no effort or talent to produce. Every time you read a half decent tweet or run into a meme on Facebook, you may think that it's pretty simple and anyone could bash one out. This is certainly not the case. It may feel effortless, but I spend about an hour or two coming up and then reformatting, rewriting and refining every joke I post. Unlike stand up comedy, you only get one chance per joke, and once it's posted, it's posted. I'd like to think I'm quite decent at it and not everyone can do it, but don't take my word for it, I invite you to try. There are a lot of people who are very funny when it comes to banter between friends, or writing replies, but writing a joke from scratch feels different. Stare at a blank page and just write an original setup - punchline. Suppress all the jokes and quips that pop into your head which you've used before or you've heard from elsewhere and search into that empty void of originality for some comedy gold. Writing comedy is a blank, soul sucking process of which 99% of it is writer's block.
Secret to a long lasting relationship is to know what your partner is thinking before they say it
For example, I tell my girlfriend her ass looks fat in those jeans before she even has to ask
Original jokes like this one can take hours to think up and refine, while they're digested in 5 seconds
Now the question is what is content like this 'worth'? If I had to shamelessly appraise my own abilities as a comedy writer, I'd say maybe low professional level? I feel that perhaps the top 10% of my best content is about as good as the bottom 10% of stuff that goes viral. At least in my head, this does not feel like a lenient assessment of my performance. If that's the case, then to me, yes it's absolutely worth $30-$50 per attempt! Especially considering I invested the money to buy the Steem to give my content that exposure in the first place. Now the right to self vote does not mean the right to not get downvoted if the content quality is poor, but do you truly believe that the average post on here that gets ~$40 is better?
Because this is a rewards based platform, there's an incentive to make your post look like a lot of effort as gone into them to justify the rewards. And what better way is there to do that then to drag out an article. If it's a nicely formatted piece with some sharp pictures, that must be rewards worthy right? Except long form content is generally the antithesis of what makes a strong impression on the reader in the social media world, and this is particularly true. So please don't hesitate to support short content.
The Voting Market vs Content Creation
Maybe you still think I'm just bullshitting because I'm just annoyed that I can't help myself to the rewards pool. Let's run through the numbers.
With my current voting patterns and posting 5-8 times a day on @traf, I'll end up with only marginally more than if I just rented out my voting power. Considering that the difference between putting pretty much my entire free time into content creation and not doing anything at all is about $280 vs $350 (I've roughly tested it), it's probably quite irrational for me to bother doing anything unless I didn't believe I make a material improvement in one important niche here: short form comedy.
Therefore, purely in terms of rewards, it's not really worth my while at all. I understand that it may look a little unfair for a larger stakeholder like me to vote myself up, but remember this is just to claw back some of the amount that I would have obtained had I not forfeited the curation trail of 6500 followers on this account for the sole purpose of taking less rewards. It's just very visible as compared to other ways of passively earning Steem that are usually indiscriminate of the quality of the content they support. And if I voted myself less I wouldn't even be breaking even with renting everything out and doing absolutely nothing , which is what many have chosen to do, including much larger stakeholders than myself. (I don't blame them. A voting market is an inevitable consequence of the economic incentives here, but that's another discussion)
I'm not denying that I want to earn more with my investment and efforts: I absolutely do! I'm not some sort of wealthy crypto guru, Steem is basically my first crypto and represents the bulk of my net worth. I don't even own my own place - I'm basiaclly all in on wanting to do well here as a content creator. But it'd be outright masochistic for me to be sinking 8 hours into this daily for just the extra $70 alone and to be taking some heat for it at the same time.
My Initial Intentions
I wanted to make a push for shorter content because I thought that 1. They're more impractical and digestible and good for Steemit and 2. I'm fairly good at creating said content. I was also hoping that once this sub community gets more traction I would try to hire people from my own earnings to promote the best of our memes, oneliners, gif captions on other platforms to attract people to Steemit . Maybe even form teams where we can not only have original captions, but original or edited gifs and photos etc. Right now our trending page under the relevant tags (funny, meme etc.) are just not ready in terms of quality to really advertise to mainstream content consumers.
Am I Deluded?
Now, what I really need to know is am I deluded when it comes to the quality of my content? I'm not confrontational by nature, so please don't feel reluctant to voice criticism if you fear some sort of retaliation: there will be none. I just would like people to tell me if my shorter content is worth it or not. Please don't sugar coat it; perhaps the reality is my jokes and memes are indistinguishable from those 'Nice post! I've been to Bangkok as well and it's hectic over there!' comments and giving themselves $50. Let me know!
Also, let me know if you think I'm running a fool's errand and if I had any senses I'd just kick back on passive earnings and come back in 3 years and check to see if Steem is $300, although if we get all the potentially good content creators to do that, then it'll very likely never get there.
Bottom line is if the general consensus is that my posts are not worth anything to people on here, then they're certainly not worth the effort of me making them. Be as candid as possible please.
EDIT: Essentially I'm now competing vs how much I would make if I completely lent out my voting power to a bot, which pays maybe 70-80c to the dollar. So while the self voting may look ugly, it's actually barely breaking even against potential passive income. If I lent it out full time, everyone still loses the same amount in terms of the hit to the rewards pool, just means the average vote buyer will get the money.
So basically it's a choice between traf's content or the average vote buyer's. Recent personal circumstances took a turn for the worse (which is why I was away for so long) and I don't have the luxury to be too altruistic for now. =(
One final note I'd like to make is that irrespective of what you think of my content, please support high quality original short form content in general. If something made you chuckle or grin, or you found a one liner to be really inspirational or deep or clever and you're pretty sure its original, then smack that Upvote button. Chances are others will find it impactful too. It likely did more for you than those long boring posts ever did.
Speaking of which, sorry for this long boring ass post, I very rarely do them.