Cryptocurrencies

Please, Please, Please, Please, Please – don’t be a Blogger-Beggar!

Introduction

I’m writing this today to address an unfortunately common trend, one which I have encountered often in recent weeks. In particular, I’ve encountered this on the LOOP blogging platform.

The issue I’m speaking about is begging – and I’ll clarify just what I mean by that in a moment.

No doubt this occurs because LOOP is a new platform and is attracting a lot of interest from those new to crypto blogging, keen to find a way to profit from it.

What I want to do in this post is tell people what is happening, why it shouldn’t happen, and what people can do differently in order to maximise the value to be gained from crypto blogging.

What’s happening?

This is what’s happening:

That’s the issue. I have lifted these examples solely from the comments posted on my last three posts. Had I searched further back, or used examples from the posts of others, I could have posted many more.

Before I go on, I want to be clear about something: I’m not angry with (most of ) these people for posting the comments that they did. I don’t think less of them and this does not necessarily make them bad people or people who are working against the ideals of LOOP. I’m also not trying to shame people or call them out – these are merely examples to illustrate my point and the severity of the issue. Please bear that in mind as you read the rest of this post.

Unfortunately, the overall effect of this begging is to create a somewhat unpleasant environment with which to interact. Nobody enjoys being begged – it’s a form of harassment – and I, for one, am not going to tolerate it any further (more on that later).

What’s the problem with begging?

Apart from the nuisance factor, what’s the problem with begging? Is Bit Brain just being grouchy, should he not have some compassion for those who are doing the begging?

The thing about begging is this: the overall effect is nett negative.

In other words: it’s destructive. Instead of helping to build the LOOP protocol, it detracts from it.

When you interact with LOOP, both the users and the protocol itself, the idea should be to ADD VALUE. Value for yourself, value for the LOOP brand, value for the LOOP and LOOPR tokens, and value for other users of the protocol. The more value is added, the more valuable the protocol becomes, and the more valuable it becomes, the more its stakeholders win (for those unfamiliar with the meaning of the term “stakeholders”, it has nothing to do with staking, it means everyone involved with LOOP, including normal users of the blogging platform).

Instead of adding value, begging removes it. It makes the platform less pleasant to use, it fills comment sections with worthless spam comments and – whether they realise it or not – it degrades the very reputations of the beggars themselves.

Why demean yourself? What do you think you stand to gain by doing so?

Let me tell you how I operate

If you leave a comment on my post which adds value, I automatically will visit your profile and see what you’ve written lately. Even if the commenter disagrees with what I’ve written – that’s fine – I despise sycophants and I love honest feedback! If you have good recent articles on your profile which I haven’t seen, then I will read them. If the topic interests me or if I learn something, then I’ll almost certainly comment on them too. And if I read an article, I rate it.

Unfortunately, on LOOP it’s not possible to manually decide how many tokens you can award to each post, instead the voting rewards diminish with each vote you cast. Hopefully this will change in the future, so that people can spread their rewards more evenly. For now, I TRY to order the posts I read and to vote for the best ones first (thereby awarding them the highest reward), but usually that means having 30 or more browser tabs open, and I always miss ranking some of the most deserving posts until late in the process (sorry). LOOP devs if you’re reading this – please guys – we need manual vote power allocation!

When I talk about “best” posts, let me explain what I mean. “Best” does not mean that the language and grammar is perfect. It does not mean that I enjoyed the topic the most or that the author is an old friend of mine. To me the best posts are those into which their authors have put the most effort. The best posts are well formatted, are exclusively original content (though they main contain small excerpts from third-party sources), have been planned and written carefully, have been proof-read/checked before they were posted and – above all – contain valuable opinions ventured by the author him/herself. The post doesn’t even have to be in English or use the Latin alphabet – I’ve pasted many a foreign language post into Google Translate – it’s not perfect, but it works well enough to be readily understandable.

When I find an author who writes consistently high quality posts, I follow them. Obviously by following them, I get to see their posts more often when I check my feed (use the links “News Feed” -> “My Feed”). In addition to reading their posts, I also check their comments sections for anyone else who has really added value. As with on my own posts, I’ll visit the profiles of those commentors to see what they have blogged about.

I know what it’s like

I understand that whales on blogging platforms sometimes buy their way to the top. If you’re rich enough, you can throw money into a platform until you basically just buy yourself whale status and the benefits which come with it.

I didn’t do that. I have been blogging for four years. For the first year or two, I used to try to blog daily (and generally succeeded). I did this while working a very strenuous full time military job (for low pay), staying awake each night to between 2-3 am to write my blog posts and research crypto. Then I was awake again at 0615 to be at my desk by 0730. And I did that at least five days a week, also blogging (and often working too) on weekends. Believe that or not, that’s what I did.

I know what it’s like not to have much money: I grew up at the lower end of the middle class, and due to the way the world works, I’m still there – barely staying ahead of my bills and payments. While I’ve never been part of the really poverty-stricken, I know what it’s like to need money, and I know what it’s like living uncomfortably close to the watershed which separates the bottom of the middle class from poverty. I know what it’s like when everyone around you seems to have a lot more than you do.

I started blogging as hard as I did to try to change my situation. Indeed, that was one of the main motivating forces which got me into crypto in the first place. I recognised crypto as a disruptor – a way to jump ahead if I played my cards right. So far nothing much has changed: I didn’t have the kind of money to put into crypto that most First-World-income crypto investors have, and on top of that, I’ve made many mistakes along the way. Still, I’m happy with my progress: I have grown my crypto holdings substantially, be it through ICOs/IEOs (which also lost me a lot of money!), staking, long-term trading, blogging, farming or whatever else.

I truly believe that I one day will be able to leverage my crypto holdings to my advantage, to free myself from a world which seems determined to make me struggle financially. I will do this by continuing to work hard, by learning from my mistakes, by trying to play smart and by never giving up. I am determined to succeed, failure is not an option.

I sympathise with anyone who needs money, I really do because I know how it feels, and I would love to help them! But I can’t “give a man a fish” just because he begs for one. There are not enough “fish” to go around, and tomorrow that man is back where he started. Socialism is ALWAYS doomed to fail, so I can not support it. It is therefore my policy not to support the beggars directly, but rather to give them what I can – the benefit of my knowledge and experience. I can and will try to set them on the path that I myself now walk – to get them to a point where they can create their own income stream.

Building your brand

Much has already been written about how to blog properly, I need not rewrite it. These outstanding articles, by Pete Stablecoin and Miti respectively, contain exactly the kind of advice that people need in order to build their credibility as bloggers:

Building Your Loop Profile

Here Are Some Tips On How To Succeed On LOOP!

I really don’t have much to add to what they have said in those posts, read them if you’re a new blogger looking to mark your mark in this community.

You can’t expect to walk into a blogging community and instantly be competitive with the most established authors, it just doesn’t work that way. As I said earlier, I’ve been at this for four years already. I post my articles on six different platform, and am still effectively ignored on a couple of them! I’ve written hundreds and hundreds of posts – all original content, very few of them short – and I’ve left thousands of comments on the posts of others. It takes time and it takes effort – most things that are worthwhile do.

I suggest a long-term approach, one generally centred on growing and building your reputation both as an author and as a valuable member of the community. What you want is for people to want to read your content, to want to hear what you have to say. Once you achieve that, you’ll never dream of begging again – there will be no need for it. LOOP already has many great authors who you can use as examples, two of them are mentioned above, but look around – there are far more out there!

Top tip: don’t think that those ranked highest are necessarily the best. Someone ranked “LOOPR” or “LOOPR Dabbler” may write just as well, if not better, than as someone ranked as a “LOOPR HOLDR” or “LOOPR Whale”. The value of what someone has to say is not necessarily linked to how many tokens they hold on a particular platform. If you support the small guys now, they may remember you if/when they make it big. And isn’t that what crypto is all about: little guys helping one another to grow financially, so that we can all beat the fiat world together?!

Conclusion

Success does not come instantly. That only happens in movies or to those born with a silver spoon in their mouths. A lucky minority find themselves the right place, at the right time and know the right people – great when it happens, but don’t gamble on becoming one of them.

My advice is to keep trying to create value for yourself and for the communities you are a part of, and success should gradually find you.

Those of you who are a part of LOOP, you have a golden opportunity right now, whether you realise it or not. You are part of a new project – only a few months old – so new that it’s still in the beta testing phase. That automatically puts you ahead of anyone who joins the finished product later on. USE this opportunity to learn and to grow. Make the most of it and build your reputation as a valuable part of LOOP, someone people want to listen to!

I really would like to see each and every one of you succeed and to help you get there – posts like this are how I do that, not by giving handouts to the beggars.

As of today, I will no longer visit the posts or profiles of those who beg in the comments. I will absolutely continue to visit the posts and profiles of those who are trying to contribute to the LOOP society, and will reward them in the manner that the LOOP protocol allows. But anyone who begs me from now on will simply get a link to this post.

Again, this is not to be nasty to anyone, it’s to build a better community for us all. Again I say that no shame attaches to those who have done this in the past without knowing better – but now you do know.

Well done to those who I’ve spoken to about this previously, who have changed their ways and are now focussed on writing better and producing good content. It warms my heart to see people wanting to improve themselves!

If everyone is focussed on producing quality content, we can make LOOP a high quality platform – which should become very popular! When that happens, we all win, so I would love to see that become the shared goal of us all!

Final point: plagiarism on LOOP continues to be a problem, I encounter it all the time. Guys and girls, you MUST source any information you quote directly from somewhere else, including pictures. This is important because that information is the intellectual property of someone else, and misusing it can result in nasty consequences for LOOP and for you as an author. And as for those who copy and paste entire articles: that is deliberate theft! I see many people commenting positively on stolen articles, don’t do that! Down-vote them (1 star) and report them wherever and however possible! (LOOP, can we please get a reporting system going again?) Let’s get the thieves off our platform and get the rewards into the hands of the real contributors!

Yours in crypto

Bit Brain

“The secret to success: find out where people are going and get there first” 

~ Mark Twain

“Crypto does not require institutional investment to succeed; institutions require crypto investments to remain successful” 

~ Bit Brain

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