Steem Survey Results and Takeaways

in hive-136578 •  5 months ago 


Well my first user survey in the Steem Think Tank community turned out pretty well with 13 people in total participating, 14 if I include myself. Some of the responses were pretty much what I expected and some were a bit more surprising.

In this post I'll give a bit of a summary and my take on the results.


  • Every participant except one has been on Steem for over a year, with a range of around a year and a half to 3 years. One user has only been on Steem 2-3 weeks.

  • Countries represented: Greece(1), Nigeria(2), Romania(1), Netherlands(1), USA(6), Canada(1), Venezuela(1), Undisclosed(1)

  • SP ranged from plankton to dolphin, orca if you include delegations. Mostly dolphins.

Answer Summaries

What brought you to Steem?

Pretty all over the place. Some via friends, some heard about it in some random place etc. Pretty individual for each participant.

What was your first impression?

First impressions of the site are largely negative with people citing that it seemed confusing and overly complex. Others were intrigued by the earnings and how much people were earning for what they were doing. Reminder, this is a broad summary. I think actually reading the survey answers is truly really interesting.

How do you feel about the current state of Steem?

Very mixed, from pretty pessimistic to extremely optimistic

How often do you use Steem applications/websites/etc?

Almost all participants are daily users, using one steem app or another multiple times per day.

What is your favorite Steem Application and why?

Steempeak is the app that popped up the most with a few others sprinkled in.

What’s your favorite thing about Steem?

Lots of different answers but the most common thread had to do with money and earning.

What’s your least favorite thing about Steem?

Lots of different answers but most common had to do with flag wars and downvotes.

How difficult/easy would you say it is to use Steem?

Hard in the beginning, easy once you get the hang of it, is the general trend.

Would you recommend Steem to family/friends/coworkers? If no why not?

Mostly no, because it's not ready/too complicated/used to and they left/etc. A few yes.

What do you wish you could do with Steem that you can’t currently?

All over the place. You'll have to read the surveys for this one.

What excites you most about Steem?

Very common trend is that the excitement is about future potential, whether technological or financial.

What worries you most about Steem?

Lots of answers, but some repeats were:

  • Infighting and Downvotes running people off
  • Never realizing our true potential
  • Bad UX keeping it out of the hands of the masses

My Thoughts

So the majority of these answers were not surprising to me. It's mostly what I was expecting. I for one am not against the idea that people are here for the rewards. I think that's totally fine. I think as a community we might want to communicate better what actions are actually valuable to Steem. Like for instance, just showing up is not that valuable at this stage of Steem's development. Some things that are valuable in my opinion:

Engagement: Making content that generates activity on Steem and gets people to participate and WANT to be here and come back.

Onboarding: Drawing in new users

Building/Developing: Whether it's apps or communities, or initiatives, these are also tools to engage users. But one thing I want to put out there is that if you're developing apps that nobody uses, that's not valuable. It's the same as making content that nobody is looking at, both of these things are equivalently "low value"

Promotion: Promoting Steem outside of Steem

Creating High Quality Content: This is subjective, but the thing to remember is that in terms of providing value to the system, it's just a tool to create engagement. That's really the definition of whether it's "good or bad" to the system.

I'm also not surprised that #steempeak is the preferred app. It clearly has the best user experience and at the end of the day, that is THE MOST IMPORTANT thing for Steem right now. The reality is that Steem actually has a ton of functionality at this point. It's actually SUPER impressive all that you can do here. With Communities and SMT's on the horizon, this is going to increase exponentially, but without making all this power accessible to regular dumb ass people it will remain behind a wall of "too complex/too hard" and won't be adopted. Post Communities and SMTs, if I were the king of Steem, there would be no new application developments until the major Steem apps had an overhaul on their UX. It is really the main thing holding Steem back, and it wouldn't be fixed by marketing. Marketing Steem in it's current state would be throwing money away.

The type of users we can attract now and as these surveys shows is what in games we'd call a hardcore user. This is someone who likes a challenge, someone who doesn't give up on things that are challenging, someone is willing to put up with a poor experience because they find some other attribute attractive enough to keep them using. That was a thread consistent on everyone who filled out this survey. Even the 3 week old plankton. I can easily recognize the personality type, but before you go patting yourself on the back, know that we are a tiny minority, and if we ever want this thing to take off it needs to be accessible for everyone.

To be clear, the type of "Marketing" that we're doing right now I think is fine, because for the most part it only costs time that Steemians are giving up either freely or very cheaply.

A real marketing campaign, something that costs tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars or more, I would see as a poor investment in our current state.

This was reflected in the survey as well as the majority of the participants WOULD NOT recommend Steem at this point.

To end things on a positive note. Almost everyone is excited about what's to come with Steem, and there is a LOT coming. I think the future is extremely exciting and promising, but the downside is I feel most are here waiting on the future vs being excited about the present. I hope to do what I can to make Steem a fun and engaging place TODAY instead of saying, "Just you wait until we get X feature, THEN this place will be AWESOME!" Let's make it awesome today.

If you're an app owner/developer and you'd like Steem Think Tank to survey your users(you should) feel free to reach out to me midlet#5569 on discord, same name on telegram.

See you all in the next post :)

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Totlly agree with ux overhaul being a thing that needs to be done. I am ever optomistically hoping for an amazing ui and ux overhaul for condenser to prettily and comfortably accommodate communities and smts.

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Unfortunately Steem is a very complex beast and making a one interface suits all could be quite difficult. In seems that Steem inc have decided to really just concentrate on the backend and hope that others take up the baton and create beautiful front ends like Steempeak has done. As I get to know Wordpress a bit better I think lessons can be learned there regarding having some sort of standard with plugins to do different things as the need arises. Maybe that kind of UX could be something to look at where each user gets to choose what they would like to display on their own personalised front end. Just my thoughts.

Just getting around to reading all the surveys thanks for organizing this and we appreciate your analysis as well.

Makes us wish there was a donate/tip button to share since the 7 days reward period is over... or something like that. But all in due time... it will happen eventually.