After the great reactions on our first interview with @dreemsteem, we decided to push things a little bit and have more conversations with Steemians who have to say something about the Crowd. Today we are talking with @culgin, a blogger who is actively engaged in Steemit community projects, and who has a really interesting experience with the Wisdom of Steemit.
CM: Before we start to talk about our favorite topic, can you tell us more about yourself? You are active on Steemit for almost a year now, and you are involved in the community projects like #teamsingapore? What Steem represents to you?
Yes, I am on Steem for about a year now. I am involved in the #teamsingapore and #steem-oracle communities. I have organized actual face-to-face meetups for the Singapore community and also met up with some folks from the Malaysian community (#teammalaysia). The Malaysian community is pretty active and is a sizable group. As much as possible, I will like to find opportunities to collaborate with them more.
In my opinion, Steem is a powerful platform with a mission to reward content creation. This objective is hard-coded into the platform and cannot be changed. Many people only recognize Steem as a blogging platform. There are even some who still think that it is synonymous with Steemit.com and they cannot be more wrong. Steem as a platform/blockchain is an open datastore with built-in incentivization system for those data. Any data (in most cases content/articles/videos) can be rewarded as long as the crowd wants to reward it. Steem on its own is a huge crowdsourcing platform if you want to view it that way.
CM: So here comes the Crowd. The concept of the Crowd wisdom is not unknown to you. In one of your earlier posts, you mentioned the great book from James Surowiecki „The Wisdom of Crowds“, which inspired you to launch Steem-Oracle project. Can you tell us more about it and its specific results?
The Steem-Oracle project is something I have in mind to leverage crowd wisdom and predict real-world events. The experiment done was during the FIFA World Cup period. I got Steemians to predict the outcome of 35 World Cup matches and promised rewards to those who predicted the outcome correctly. To encourage Steemians to make their best possible predictions, I structured the rewards such that there will be higher payouts if the crowd gets it right and lesser if the crowd was wrong. 372 Steemians participated and 3644 predictions were collected.
Based on the statistics at the end, as a crowd, Steemians were 57.1% accurate. As compared to the average accuracy of individual Steemian of 44.1%, it is quite a clear edge. There were only 7 Steemians with higher accuracy than the crowd with the best predictor being 66.7% accurate. All these prove the wisdom of the crowd is real.
Steem-Oracle is something I wanted to work on but lacks the time and energy to really focus on. It is quite a pity. I do hope that I can work with a team with a similar aim to realize the potential of Wisdom of Steemians.
CM: You also tried to attract some companies to Steemit and help them to crowdsource the user-generated content? What was the final outcome?
The fact is I only managed to test content crowdsourcing on Steem for 1 company. The owner of the company is a friend of a friend and he gave me a chance. The outcome was not satisfactory as the quality of articles were not to the standard as what my client wanted.
I can think of a couple of reasons. First, the content being sourced for was related to cleaning services in Singapore. Steem is a global platform, the articles submitted all ended up unrelated to Singapore. This makes most of them inapplicable to the Singapore context. Second, I think the awareness of the crowdsourcing events was not raised high enough to attract the top writers. Perhaps with higher rewards and better publicity, it would have yield better results.
CM: So when we speak about the crowdsourcing in general, what do you think about the capabilities of the crowd gathered around Steemit and Steem related platforms? Do we need to wait for more users in order to unleash the full crowd potential, or it could be achieved by supporting and educating existing ones?
We have about 50,000 active users on Steem and it is a large enough crowd for most cases. However, everyone has different interests and it may be difficult to reach out to everyone in order to gather a large enough crowd on specific topics. For the case of predicting FIFA World Cup, it was easy as many people were excited about the event and football is a very popular sport. However, if we were to predict the outcome of a tennis match, perhaps it will be much difficult to get the predictions coming in.
In my opinion, we have enough users already for certain popular topics (e.g. crypto prices and popular sports) but lacks users for less popular topics. I think building the reach to users is very important and I think this can be achieved through partnerships with other communities and providing clear incentives to participants.
CM: Do you think the Crowdmind have a future here? How can we trigger the activism and take the participation on another level? For example, while we are curating we see different calls for crowd creation activities – not only contests or fundraising posts. Unfortunately, many of them don’t have any responses. How can we motivate the people to take the action which is not aimed only on getting the rewards? Is it utopian to think about the other ways for satisfaction? Some web 2.0. platforms were able to do this…
I think activities on Steem have difficulty going viral is because fundamentally, most Steemians do not bring their friends onboard Steem. It is perhaps due to the fact that Steem is tightly coupled with cryptocurrencies and many who joined are here trying to make money. The fact that we are in a bear market worsen things because people are not able to make substantial enough money. Since they have nothing to boast about, there is no point of getting friends to join. Things will only go viral when there are real-world connections between each and every Steemian. At the current state, I see that only monetary incentives will work.
However, as time passes, I believe there will be apps build on Steem which do not reward its users. Such apps will merely post on behalf of users and perhaps take the rewards for their own. These apps will likely integrate with mainstream social media like Facebook or Twitter so that people can join easily. The app itself is centralized however, the content is committed to the immutable Steem blockchain. This is a model which I think can work.
Just throwing out some random ideas. For a start, perhaps, Crowdmind can consider building its own interface which is focused on crowdsourcing.
CM: Would you be ready to work on the projects related to the topic we are speaking about? What other Steemians may expect if they approach you with their idea?
I will do my best to support projects that I think are promising. But I have a day job which does not permit me with too much time to work on side projects. Hence, I would say my commitment to the projects is on a case-by-case basis. I like to help Steemians as much as possible, to my best knowledge. So I will share my opinions regardless which Steemian approach me with their idea.
CM: Thank you for the interview – we hope you will find enough time to develop your great ideas. We are also saying a huge Thank You to our dear readers – and if you want to connect with our guest today, please visit his blog.
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