When I was a kid, we would start every new adventure with the line from the classic Wizard of Oz movie – “Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!”. That line was somehow fitting for our hikes into a forest or a trip to someplace we hadn’t been before. In today’s world, the blockchain, Steem, and crypto is certainly a new adventure, somewhat scary, very exciting, and full of “what’s around the next corner?” questions.

Let’s take a visit to the Steem and Blockchain forest.

Bitcoin and cryptocurrency
Image courtesy of Pixabay

Isn’t the Blockchain Just For Cryptocurrency Trading?

Nope. Sure you can trade Bitcoin and Ethereum and EOS and dabble in Binance and Neo and Tron, but the blockchain is host to so much more than financial apps and transactions. There is an entire army of enthusiastic, talented developers hard at work creating apps and platforms for all of us to use and enjoy. The blockchain is home to social media platforms, marketplace platforms, writing platforms and hosts vibrant communities from every part of the globe. One of those platforms is Steemit.

What Can I Do On Steemit?

An almost better question would be “what can’t you do on Steemit?” Officially, Steemit is a blogging platform, similar to WordPress or Medium. There is even a SteemPress app that allows you to easily publish your WordPress blog articles on Steemit. Here’s the real difference between the WordPress blogging platform and a Steemit blog – you get paid for your posts!

Wait! What? I get paid to post? How does that work?

When your post goes live to the Steemit community, other Steemians, as we affectionately call ourselves, don’t just stop with leaving a comment on your content, they also leave a vote. The more popular your post, the more votes you accumulate. Those votes are “paid” in the Steemian token, called, aptly enough, Steem. You can take your Steem tokens and trade them in at a cryptocurrency exchange for the crypto of your choice – Bitcoin, Etherium, etc. From there, you can cash that cryptocurrency in for fiat money deposited to your bank or Paypal account. Of course, you can also hold on to the cryptocurrency of your choice and become a crypto market watcher.

If you think about it, you can actually be paid twice. You accumulate votes (Steem) for your posts. Then, you trade those tokens for the crypto of your choice, and if that currency rises higher than it was when you traded your Steem for that crypto – you make even more. But, even if the price of the cryptocurrency doesn’t go up, you are still being paid to post, something that is difficult or impossible to achieve on conventional blogging platforms.

As the “Seen on TV” ads are so fond of saying –

But Wait! There’s more!

Writing posts on Steemit is just one part of the Steemian universe. You can take advantage of apps like DLive that allow you to upload videos and stream live events. You can take part in contests for photography, writing, art, music, and challenges like our own What I Can Do With 5 Steam. You can help support initiatives – everything from providing school supplies for underprivileged kids to helping an innovative fitness app get off the ground. You can find food bloggers, travel bloggers, makeup instruction, software instruction – in short, you name it, and Steemit has it.

You can travel and explore the world without leaving your favorite computer chair. You can meet exciting new people and join diverse communities where sharing both experience and experiences rather than sharing drama and trolling is the norm, not the exception.

Freedom and Innovation

Perhaps the best part of the Steem blockchain is the freedom from many of the problems that plague the conventional online universe. Because the blockchain is decentralized, no single entity controls it. No government, no corporation, no Zuckerberg wannabes.

I have also noticed a major difference between conventional internet properties and the Steemian universe – a respect for intellectual property. This is reinforced by plagiarism bots who scour the blockchain to be certain your work hasn’t been reproduced (or heavily “borrowed” from other sources). Plagiarised work can be flagged by these bots, downvoted, and the post dropped to the bottom of any category list or search returns.

Images that are used in a post must be original to the post author or contain a linked source to receive good upvotes.

The attitude of “if it’s on the web it must be free” isn’t operational within the Steem community. It’s been replaced with innovation, fresh ideas, and respect for intellectual property.

Steem is not full of Flying Monkeys and Witches
Flying Monkey Receiving Orders from Wicked Witch – Wizard of Oz

I could go on for many thousands of words extolling the virtues of the Steemian universe, but you really need to join Steem and experience it for yourself. You won’t meet any blood-thirsty flying monkeys or find the Wicked Witch of the West hiding out in a dark forest, but you will find you can Earn, Learn and Share as a part of the global Steem community.