Reading this tweet about steem and Justin Sun by John McAfee, a business guru got me thinking of what a community is at the first instance and also thinking whether it were possible for an individual to buy a community. I know we've made so much big deal about this Tron-Steemit deal, giving it the prominence it doesn't deserve. However, a close study of the related events can inspire a whole lot of life lessons.
In this post, I try to explain my understanding of what a community is. In a way to satisfy my quest, I had to checkout the several meanings of a community. Of all entries I got, this definition by www.artofrelevance.orggot my attention.
A community is a group of people who share something in common. You can define a community by the shared attributes of the people in it and/or by the strength of the connections among them. From the definition above, we see the following keywords:
- shared attributes
- people (note the plurality)
- strength of the connections among the people
The source therefore summarized that where a community exists, there must be a "bunch" of people who are alike in some way, who feel some sense of belonging or interpersonal connection. Having agreed to utilize this definition of a community I then further to explain the above highlighted phrases in the definition.
1. Shared attributes
I see a community in the light of plurality where resources are shared among it's members. This shows that in a community, diversity is expected. However, within the context of their diversities, there are elements of unification which helps the people of a varying background to find a common track or interest to follow.
With regards to stream community, every user can never agree with each other in all matters especially when we all have our unique personality, religion, language, ethnicity and educational and economic backgrounds. However, there should be cords that tie us together which make us together and here, it is "decentralization".
Everyone using the steem block chain and it's dapps must have been fade up with the centralized alternatives and decided to join a team where his voice would be heard and his position as a user esteemed. This shows that amidst all our differences and non-agreement with certain things users (whales, investors, content creators) do, we all need decentralization.
Whatever seeks to destroy our decentralized nature does not respect us as a community.
If therefore turns out to be that steem is a community because we all share the value for decentralization where each of us have a stake in the governance of out blockchain and that singular stake must be respected whether great or small. This being said, if @Justinsunsteemit fails to see that community witnesses are the core of a decentralized platform like steem, then he doesn't deserve to be a part of a "community" as steem.
I as a person would not like it where the Right of any member of a community is freezed, yet, that doesn't guarantee anyone individual to take over a "decentralized" community. This is because, a community cannot be bought. If anyone desires to buy a community, he must be ready to buy each and every of the individual and their diversities and some of such could be toxic to the buyer.
2. People (note the plurality)
People is the plural form of the word "person" and until we have more than one person involved in a purpose, then we cannot call it a team talk less of being termed community.
There is an African proverb that says that "a tree cannot stand alone to become a forest". Today we know the essence of a forest and the capacity it has to preserve life in addition to the multiple resources that can be drawn from it to sustain life. The blockchain technology is here to become a forest for internet users and being a forest requires the preservation of species for sustainability.
I've been a chorister for the past 12 years of my life and I've directed choirs for about 8 years. One lesson I've learnt is the power of the "choir" irrespective of how unskilled they are compared to a technical single soloist. The beauty of the harmony in songs is the contribution of the different notes of the parts and instruments involved.
A single individual should never think of outsmarting a community who have given in so much time and efforts to understand themselves and work together for a considerable period of time.
What make a community a community is the plurality of the people concerned which comes with diversity which can be harmonized into a colourful product or products depending on the combinations. Let's look creatively into the amazing dapps that are built on steem, these shows the diversity that is a part of us because community values are allowed.
We can never compare steem as a social media space to Facebook which is led by one. Every purpose of those working with Mark are collapsed into a centralized all that connects people. Steem is different. We connect and that we do with species of swags.
3. strength of the connections among the people.
Last week Saturday while attending an inaugural service in church, i was caught in sight of this connection cables for musical instrument and the sound system. I took a shot even when I never knew it's use. Now, it's applicable to this write.
What makes a community powerful is the the characteristic of members "connecting". The extent of the connections determines the strength of the community. A true community allows for inter and intra connections which help to loop the diversities within the system.
The cord that hold tight the strands of the community together is very much important as it makes the success of one aspect of the community to affect the other and vice versa. Steem as a community is so interwoven and cannot be easily separated by a singular wish if one individual. While steemit Inc could have spearheaded the idea bothering the development of steem, many other individuals have worked actively or passively to help these dreams come to this fruition state. Think of these:
- What if no user was willing to use steemit.com?
- What if there were no content creator to mine Steen?
- What if there were no investors to have purchased steem to give it value?
- What if we didn't do rugged marketing that has expanded the user base of steem to get people like Justin to see?
We could ask millions of questions with no reply because the level of success attained by steem isn't a thing done by one team or a few devs, over thousands of users have given value to this blockchain over these years.
So far, we've been joined by dapps, curation, contests, exchanges, steem communities and many more. This is the power that has connected us and the cords cannot be easily separated.
Having established the basis of community ties holding us here in steem, it is glaring that we cannot just be bought off in one day by a newbie or a 3-week old investor. Steem is more than than money. Let's be frank. I joined steem when the market capital was $60b and now after two years of earning over $4000, the market capital still remains about that value. Many things have contributed. Else, where all conditions were ideal, steem would be worth more than $500b as of today and what fraction would $20m put in by Justin Sun be?
With the above points, I have been able to convince my audience that a community can never be bought by an individual.