I have been blogging since February 2014. That’s more than seven years, I now realise. It’s been an interesting journey that began, just focusing on food and recipes. Because of a chance remark on Facebook. It was not without trepidation that I registered on WordPress; it was at least a week, if not more, before my first post. Like with most first attempts, that’s a post best not revisited.
I have learned much, including about writing and taking pictures. That writing, when I’m into it, comes easily. I enjoy it and it can also be cathartic. I always knew the latter, but never felt confident enough to share it. That’s changing….
On the pictures, I’ve
learned some techniques developed a lens. I’ve learned how to neaten and, to some extent, pretty up my photographs. I’ve learned that nothing is not a subject.
Something that, incidentally, applies to writing, too.
The pandemic, and the now ubiquitous existence, for many, of a life largely online, means that the concept of a virtual community is not entirely new. Anymore. I learned, back in 2014 that the blogosphere (as I learned to call it) is a microcosm of the world. It was a shock: I discovered trolls and bullies and which lead me to write my first piece about things other than food and fluff. I naively believed that all bloggers were nice people and had the interests of their peers at heart. That baptism of fire, if you will, and my own real life experience of bullying (about which I may still write), shaped my approach to the virtual world. It still does.
A fork* in the road
About four years ago, I joined a social blockchain and started crypto blogging.
*Yes, for my die hard blockchain readers, that pun was most definitely intended…
A social blockchain? Crypto blogging? What?
I’m so glad you asked!
It took me a while – like about a year – to work out what it is. I joined and fled for a while. Partly because I wasn’t in the “headspace” to make new friends, especially a new and foreign virtual space, let alone learning how to do basic mark down (coding). I was not in writing mode, either. Yes, writer’s block is a thing. Even if there is an endless supply of material.
Firstly, the social blockchain on which I play, is Hive. Secondly, because it’s a blockchain, you never lose your content, so you stake your claim to your intellectual property in perpetuity. It also means one thinks before one posts. Or should.
Thirdly, it has an underlying currency or token that can be bought, sold and, in my case, earned; hold it on the blockchain, cash it out or do a combination of all of these. I don’t even pretend to understand more than the principles, so you’ll find a more authoritative explanation here. For someone who doesn’t have any spare money lying around to invest in what many suggest is a dodgy world, I had nothing to lose, continuing to blog on this type of platform.
Hive, some in this new world space, suggest, is innovative and a disrupter.
Another driver behind my blogging
There’s another reason why I broadened my blogging purveiw. In addition to sharing recipes, and along with discovering that I enjoyed writing, it made sense to “monetise” it and potentially extend my capacity to earn. That is actually a very difficult thing to do. One needs to have both (a) voice(s) and a portfolio; one has to sell one’s self. Hard. Best of all, is finding one’s self in the right place at the right time. That last doesn’t happen often, so given the opportunity to build a portfolio, earn from writing what I like, without too much of the “sell”, and build a little nest egg was a no-brainer.
So how can one earn on a crypto social blockchain?
This is my still lay understanding of how things work.
The first thing to remember is that every action on the blockchain is a transaction that costs. One is allocated a certain number of (resource) credits that one “spends” on activities. Some of these activities, like blogging, commenting and voting, generate rewards. Saving the rewards from those activities builds one’s stash (wallet) and one’s status (power) on the blockchain. This is a summary from an old post (on the first iteration of this blockchain) of how to earn:
Create content (posts) and/or you curate by voting and commenting on posts.
- These transactions come at a cost and with a return:
- one earns and is rewarded in different proportions in three ways.
The first two are liquid and can be traded on and off the blockchain via exchanges:
- Hive token
- Hive Based Dollars (SBD) – these two can be used to buy
- Hive tokens
Hive tokens left in the blockchain, are known as Hive Power which is also generated in the process. To “power Hive (and draw it) down, is in itself a process and subject to delays – rather like a call account. Part of the reasoning behind this is to build the big asset using little people investors like me.
And then there’s more –
The more Hive one has, the greater the value of one’s votes (likes), and to add to
the complication, that, one gets rewarded for voting, sharing (re-blogging) posts on the blockchain, and by commenting on other people’s posts.
Silver Bloggers: “my” virtual community
I mentioned communities. The name, Hive, is apt. The activity on the blockchain and between people is analogous of those most social of insects, bees. Like a beehive, it also includes chambers or (sub)communities.
Communities began emerging, well, it doesn’t really matter when, but for me, I found them a challenge.
I don’t like to be boxed and pegged. I don’t relish being told what I may or may not think. I will agree to differ and respect different views. I am happy to be persuaded into a new way of thinking. With my eclectic range of interests and my penchant to warble on, I had difficulty finding a niche. I dabble, dip my toes and generally blunder about. I’ve made virtual friends (real ones) and developed a following (who would have thought?). There was no community in which I really felt “at home”.
It’s only in the last while, and since fellow South African, Lizelle, started a community that I’ve begun to feel more comfortable. Part of this is because of the interesting, international and eclectic bunch of people who subscribe. We are all over 40 (and most with a lot of tax, too), so we’ve been round a block (or five). It seems to be a kinder and more embracing space than some that I have encountered. I think it’s because life has knocked us all around a bit. The rough edges are softer – mostly. I speak for myself.
Embracing change, innovation and the inevitable
The folk in the Silver Bloggers community, like most of the world, are encountering change all the time. Many of us are at the cusp of significant life changes and approaching what some like to refer to as our autumn years. Whether we accept that or not, is neither here nor there, it’s often foisted upon us.
We’re not digital natives.
I like to think that our capacity for embracing crypto blogging on a social blockchain shows that those of us who grew up with actual telephones and lived (and mostly still do) without smart technology, prove that age is merely a number; silver hair is just genetics – or like blonde often is – from a bottle.
Speaking for myself
My future does not include retirement, not being busy and not earning. Besides the fact that not earning, right now, is not a choice, I enjoy what I do. Mostly. How I long, with thirty years’ life experience to “do” the twenty-somethings again. My head and my heart are willing. The rest, including the twenty-somethings, not so much.
The silver (gold and onyx) I embrace, are less about the changing colour of my hair than of the felines that rule our home. Starting with silver: Gandalf the Grey who likes to think he owns me.
Gandalf regularly embraces me and his foot and shoe fetish. Ahem…
The golden ginger: I have yet to physically cuddle Rambo, the ranging and still sort-of-feral tom cat that six months later, is embracing domesticity with aplomb. He’s not ventured on to a lap or a bed. Yet. We suspect it’s a matter of time.
Princess Pearli, the onyx and black pearl arrived in 2014. Her arrival coincides with the beginning of my blogging journey, including an early foray into humorous writing, and brings me to why I’ve warbled on.
A last few words
I admit that I have more than a passing involvement in the Silver Bloggers community: Lizelle invited me to join the leadership team. I accepted and it is a role I am relishing and in which I continue to learn. Every two weeks we announce a topic around which we encourage folk to create content. Anything goes – even tangential. I wanted to make that point and to mention two things –
- I tend to keep Hive business on Hive, but there comes a time that the two connect, like now, so the second thing:
- the crypto blogging social platform is no different from other parts of the blogosphere in terms of how people engage. I tend to think of it as a combination of WordPress (or any other blogging platform) and Facebook on steroids, without ads and a better return.
- Depending on the crypto market, one earns something and/or builds an asset (that’s not financial advice, it’s merely part of my lived experience).
- One gets more eyes – I have nearly a thousand followers on Hive, but fewer than 350 on WordPress – with the connected “other” social media.
- One’s work never disappears into the ether – even if your web host does. I learned that the hard way and which is why my series about Pearli’s Pickles and other posts are no longer here.
As an aside: I am thinking about turning those (that are on the blockchain) into a “proper” series of stories…
- If you think you’re too old to learn coding or markdown: you’re not. I have learned a lot – by osmosis. But now, four years down the line, you don’t have to because there are other interfaces with the blockchain that make it unnecessary.
I am learning that even if others think I’m ancient, I am most definitely not too old to be part of the innovative and constantly developing world of blockchain and crypto.
Until next time, be well
The Sandbag House
McGregor, South Africa
- If this post might seem familiar, it’s because I’m doing two things:
- re-vamping old recipes. As I do this, I plan to add them in a file format that you can download and print. If you download recipes, buy me a coffee. Or better yet, a glass of wine….?
- and “re-capturing” nearly two years’ worth of posts.
- I blog to the Hive blockchain using a number of decentralised appplications. From WordPress, I use the Exxp WordPress plugin. If this rocks your socks, click here or on on the image below to sign up.
- Join Hive using this link and then join us in the Silver Bloggers’ community by clicking on the logo.
- I also share my
occasionalinstagram posts to the crypto blockchain using the new, and really nifty phone app, Dapplr. On your phone, click here or on the icon, and give it a go.