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State of the Art — Where Has the Fiction Gone?

Fiction on the Steem Blockchain Ain’t What It Could Be.

This doesn’t come as a surprise to those of us at TWB. We’ve watched for the past year as the fiction tag became less and less reliable as a source of good reading material. We’ve watched talent hemorrhage from the blockchain, gifted writers fleeing for higher ground to avoid flag wars and political drama. Creative writing itself was even called into question as a legitimate art form. Certain investors made it clear that their opinion of content creators is that we are takers, parasites on the platform whose presence is neither welcomed nor desired.

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The whole while we’ve said little, just letting the Wild West of Steem run its course. Because that’s essentially the dynamic we have here—it’s ridiculous to expect any type of expertise with a technology that’s so new. Cryptohounds know crypto. They don’t necessarily know social markets. The Writers’ Block knows writing. We just happen to have a lot of connections to social markets as well, because writers have been entrenched in them for years.

Once we at The Writers’ Block understood that we’re not dependent on either the current user interfaces or the Steem users alone to succeed as one of the world’s first blockchain-based writing communities, we knew that trying to change the paradigm was not the best way to expend our energy. We need solid blockchain technology, and is doesn’t get more solid than Steem. Aside from that, it’s up to us to build a world that’s hospitable and inviting to writers and readers alike, and that’s exactly what we’ve been working on with Wordrow and Steemhouse Publishing.

Mass Appeal? Heck No. Mass Exodus.

However, nearly every serious or professional writer in TWB has made an independent, personal decision to post no more of their best fiction on the blockchain. This is quite understandable, but troubling. It means the predictions we made early on about Steem losing its best content (and therefore its mass appeal) is happening. Investors say they don’t care. Shitposts earn more. Well, this may be true in a short-term view, but in the long run it will spell the eventual lost of interest in the platform altogether.

So fine—investors don’t care about that, either. They’re looking to buy low, wait for a pump, and bail out at a profit. Who cares if the platform fails as long as they make their coin, right? We understand that this is the prevailing attitude of many, and so be it. But blockchain technology will still exist when the easy come, easy go investors have gone, and that’s why TWB is digging in for the long haul.

Once we have our own front-end interface to promote, free of the detritus caused by bad actors on the Steemit platform, we can start to market the blockchain as a hospitable place for serious writers, where earning may or may not meet their expectations, but readership certainly will. See, there’s a built-in market for fiction all over the Web. The mainstream publishing industry is flourishing. Not to mention the fact that everybody wants to write a novel these days, and thanks to self-publishing, almost everyone *can.* People looking for writing communities and editorial support scour the Internet for peer review groups like ours.

What’s Our Point?

Our point is that fiction on the blockchain has a place. We hate the absence of all the writers who populated the feeds when TWB first formed, even though we saw their mass exodus coming long before it happened. But rest assured—our vision is solid. We’re working hard at TWB to make posting on the blockchain worthwhile for authors of short form fiction, and for novelists looking for audience engagement. There’s still a lot of work ahead, but our future does not depend on Steem politics. It will be controlled by the market, by mainstream readers and the salability of our own brand. Want to get on board? Check out our Discord community by clicking the animated gif below. The future is what we make it, and we’re going to make it amazing.

 



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