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This article by @critday is part of a creative blockchain investigation series. Learn more about the #dappexplorer project here.


Steepshot – a Viable Tool for Architecture Students?

Introduction

Since 2015 CritDay has curated the work of architecture students to showcase architectural education at its best. CritDay is currently operating across five platforms; CritDay.com, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and of course, Steemit (@critday). The largest success has been on Instagram (where it all began), here the audience has grown to 118k with consistent engagement.

Over this time, Instagram has become saturated with similar accounts, to the point where there must be 100s, if not 1000s of these accounts. By no means was CritDay the first, however, with such an abundance it has encouraged me to question what is the purpose (and relevance) of curation pages and social media on the whole. What do pages such as CritDay offer? Why do architecture students share work on social media?

This questioning has led me to branch out from Instagram to explore other mediums, with the aim of bringing valuable knowledge to the CritDay audience. One of these is Steepshot and the many other DApps which run off the Steem blockchain. This assignment will explore how does Steepshot compare to traditional platforms? Can it be utilised by architecture students? How easy is it to use?

Ease of use

Adoption of any platform is impacted by how simple it is to use. If something is easy to use (or familier) uptake is more likely, compared to something which is hard to use, new or innovative which results in lower uptake. It could be argued the knowledge needed to enter the world of crypto and blockchain is more than registering to and using facebook (for example).

The process of signing up to Steepshot does involve more steps than signing up to Instagram. In a recent post An Architecture Student’s Guide to Steepshot I set out the step-by-step process of setting up a Steepshot account and posting work. The aim of this is to show although it does take longer and have more steps than Instagram, it is not difficult. Hopefully this guide will be seen by some of the CritDay audience and will encourage them to head over to Steepshot and try it out!

When you compare the Instagram and Steepshot apps side by side they are very similar. From a usability point of view if you can use Instagram you can use Steepshot. Both have the basic information to input the image and a description. There are more options on Instagram such as location, tag people and share to other mediums. Unlike Instagram, Steepshot separates the tags from the description.

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Incentives to Post

One clear benefit of Steepshot is the reward for posting. Steemit and apps on the Steem blockchain such as Steepshot all provide an incentive to post through rewarding users with Steem. Comparing this to Instagram where likes are just likes but millions of users will post images, it is hard to imagine why Steepshot wouldn’t be adopted on a mass scale.

Some of the applications on Steem have large amounts of Steem Power which is distributed to users of the dapps, further incentivising using the platform. Users will purposefully use Busy or Dtube as they know they may receive a valuable upvote. When compared to other platforms Steepshot’s upvote is low. This could reduce the incentive to post from the platform, when you could post through Busy and potentially receive a larger upvote.

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Audience Interaction

For a platform such as CritDay audience interaction is vital to maintaining a community and encouraging engagement. Audience interaction can be measured on many levels, with some more in depth than others. A simple measure is a percentage of followers to likes.

Analysing a single post from September 2018 it is clear the audience engagement on Steepshot is significantly higher than Instagram. On Instagram the follower to like percentage is 1.3%, compared to a massive 29% on Steepshot! Likes may not be everything but it is interesting to see such a difference between the two platforms.

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Is it a suitable platform for architecture students?

So, it is easy to register for Steepshot although it takes time, there are incentives to posting beyond just likes, and audience engagement appears to be much higher. With that is mind Steepshot looks like a good platform to use, but is it suitable for architecture students?

Many architecture students share work on Instagram, showcasing their models, visuals and drawings. As part of the Fill in the Blank Friday series I recently asked the CritDay audience the following: “I share my architecture work on social media because ___”. A large amount of responses stated students use social media to document their journey and as a portfolio.

Based on the reasoning behind why architecture students share their work on social media Steepshot could be a useful tool for architecture students, in addition to, or in place of, Instagram. CritDay will continue to encourage the use of the Steem blockchain and the DApps which run off it, to benefit architecture students.


This post was authored by @critday , a member of the sndbox incubator. Learn more, follow @critday or begin a conversation in the comment section below.


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