Collaboration rewards: An underutilized feature of the Steem blockchain

in blog •  13 days ago  (edited)

I can hear it already, you read the title and the first thing you thought was, "There's no such thing as collaboration rewards."

Well, ok, technically that's true enough, but I would like to draw your attention to the bottom of my "Curating the Internet" series of posts. The following snippet is from one of today's posts, and it contains a list of accounts for whom I set beneficiary settings. Pay particular attention to the "Cited author(s)" line.


If you post through @steempeak (, you have an option to set one or more beneficiaries for your post. So, using that feature, you can create your own collaboration rewards, as I did in the "Cited author(s)" line from above. In that post, I included information and a photo from one of @astrophoto.kevin's posts, so I asked the blockchain to send 10% of the author's reward share to that account. When the post pays out, that amount will never even touch my wallet. I have been doing this - including posts from other Steem authors, and setting beneficiary rewards for them - just about every day since April or May.

Along the way, I've seen a number of other authors doing similar things, but I also see a lot of people who don't. (which is certainly understandable, since it's probably not even an option in steemit.)

ok, now I hear you again, "Why would I want to give my rewards away?"

One of the strengths and goals of the Steem blockchain is to enable hive-mind style collaboration, and we see that it is actually pretty good at this when it comes to things like collecting votes for online contests. However, I think we can make it even better if we stop treating Steem like it's just another blogging platform that happens to pay rewards.


Pixabay license: source

If we take full advantage of it, Steem is not just any other blog. It's been a while since I read the white paper, but as I recall, one of the goals that it stated was to reward everyone who adds value to the blockchain. To that end, it has capabilities that are not matched anywhere else. Arguably, the most important capability that a hive-mind platform needs is the ability to account for the value of derived works, and by default Steem doesn't do that, but it can.

So, the first reason that you'd want the blockchain to give those rewards to someone else is to improve the Steem hive-mind by aligning the rewards from derivative works.

Now, imagine that you're a non-Steem blogger and you come across a Steem blog, and you see that the author has directed rewards to another blog. Do you, just maybe, think to yourself, "Wait, no one is sending me a share of their ad revenue when they link to my blog. That's pretty cool. I wish I blogged there."

Thus, the second reason, it could be a good organic recruiting mechanism.

Finally, imagine that all the people in your circle start rewarding collaborators that way. Yes, the blockchain is giving some rewards to Susie and Joe, when those rewards could have been yours, but in return, if (like tipping in the real world) a culture of reward-sharing develops, then you're getting a share of rewards when Susie and Joe build on your work.

So a third reason is that, if you write things that other people can build on, and a culture of reward-sharing with collaborators develops, then the reward stream for a post can last for as long as it continues stimulating ideas for other writers.

Of course all of this depends on creating a culture of collaboration, so it depends on authors to implement, and voters to reinforce desirable behaviors.

So now, I guess you have just one more question: "So what, exactly, are you proposing?"

What I'm saying is this. If I include information from someone else's post in my post, then I can make the blockchain a better place by asking the blockchain to send some rewards to them, and it's easy enough to do if I post through Steempeak. It's just a matter of clicking on the "BENEFICIARIES" button and filling out the form that pops up. Here's what the button looks like (at least in my browser).


So, my suggestion to authors is to start looking for posts that you can elaborate upon, and do it. Then, use the beneficiary setting to "roll your own" collaboration rewards. And my suggestion to voters is to reward the people who use this collaboration mechanism.

Not only will it turn Steem into a healthier and more interdependent ecosystem, but it will further differentiate Steem from every other blogging platform in the world.


Thank you for your time and attention.

As a general rule, I up-vote comments that demonstrate "proof of reading".

Steve Palmer is an IT professional with three decades of professional experience in data communications and information systems. He holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics, a master's degree in computer science, and a master's degree in information systems and technology management. He has been awarded 3 US patents.

Steve is also a co-founder of the Steem's Best Classical Music Facebook page, and the @classical-music steemit curation account.

Follow in RSS: @remlaps, @remlaps-lite

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This is kinda cool. So it doesn’t have to simply be those UI I use, if I have another individual to support, promote, or credit, I can make them a beneficiary? I may have to use that feature sooner rather than later. I have some users - still trying to use truth be told - that I’ll put on this once they’re mature enough. I’ll use this to stash for @gamenight until then..

Right. Beneficiary settings can go to any Steem account that you want to support (or @null to burn Steem/SBD). It's almost like tipping, but you don't need to have any liquid steem and it doesn't have to come "out of pocket". It's also real easy to do in the steempeak interface. It has been very useful for me as I've made increasing use of it during the last few months. Not sure how easy or hard it would be in the other front-ends...

i'd definitely like to see the collaboration part expand for sure for this, like you could really empower a small group of people to build out much bigger projects if you were sharing the pot around. great read. thanks!

I had no idea! Great info @remlaps and I'm excited to try this!

I use beneficiaries quite regularly. I support @steempeak and a portion goes into another account for "savings". Occasionally I set it to @likwid to fund my daily SBI contests.

~Smartsteem Curation Team

Hello @smartsteem sir I think some mistake for me I just send some steem to you account just promotion my post but I don't get your support what I do then get your support sorry don't mind please

You got upvoted from @steemitsupporter courtesy of @thecontractor