War On Curation
There's been a lot of talk about doubling down on curation and changing the distribution to 50/50 from 75/25. I just wanted to reiterate my view on the matter.
In this post I spell it out pretty clearly. In theory, curation pays upvoters for making content more visible. However, the entity actually responsible for disseminating the content out to consumers is the corresponding front-end being used.
For example, if one is using Steemit.com, 100% of the curation being done occurs in the 'hot' and 'trending' tabs. The hot and trending tab are 100% controlled by Steemit Incorporated. They can change the rules for how posts are ordered in any way they see fit.
When Steem was created they wrongfully assumed that the highest paid content would be the best content available on the platform. Curation was embedded into the consensus layer when it should have been an optional feature of Steemit.com.
In fact, when you check the documentation of Steem full nodes, curation is an optional feature, but this choice has been disabled by some such Hard Fork (no idea which one).
As time goes on and more frontends for Steem are made available, this broken mechanic will become even more obviously nonsensical. Frontends that curate content in more innovative ways will make it painfully obvious that the system in place now is already an outdated relic.
How to avoid curation
Imagine a frontend that orders posts, not by how much they've been upvoted, but by how much they've been tipped in liquid Steem. Imagine such a frontend encourages users to upvote themselves or to sell their vote to create the liquid Steem. That liquid Steem is then placed in a virtual tip jar. The money from that tip jar is what would change post order on this particular platform.
The point I'm trying to make here is that we can already get around curation within the bounds of the current ruleset. All you have to do is upvote an account under your control that hasn't been upvoted yet and you'll scoop 100% of the inflation created.
Curation is like a lottery whose outcome is already known. No one trying to make a profit from curation rewards would ever upvote a post that was paying out even $10 or more. In fact, I curated a post that got bid-botted up to a $1000 payout and my curation rewards were only marginally higher than if I had just upvoted myself. Curation is an impossible-to-win gamble from a purely monetary perspective.
The entire tipping model of Steem is based around the idea that some people are going to give money away to decentralize and bring value to the platform. If curation went away, curators could just as easily continue upvoting at 75% strength and self-upvoting with the remaining 25%. The outcome is the same.
Solution (avoid force)
When a cryptocurrency forces the community to distribute inflation in a certain way there needs to be a damn good reason. The main reason to force allocation of inflation elsewhere is to make sure the platform is secure. Bitcoin does this with miners; Steem does it with witnesses. From this perspective, it is perfectly acceptable for 10% of all inflation to go to the witnesses.
Curation is another matter entirely. It can't be justified.
All curation should be optional. If I want to get the attention of big stake holders I should have the option of increasing curation rewards for my individual post to 100% if I want to. This would mean that I wouldn't get any reward. It would all go to the accounts that upvoted me; a tactic used to gain the ultimate exposure to the platform.
On the same note, if I already have a healthy follower base that's going to upvote me no matter what, I should get to choose to disable curation entirely if I want to, just like is shown in the
This creates a superior opt-in system where everyone is happy. Curators will be able to scan the blockchain looking for content creators willing to share their rewards. The content pool for curation will filter itself, making it easier for curators to find quality content in the first place.
Content creators should be given more ownership over their property. It doesn't make sense that comments are curated the same way as original posts. It doesn't make sense that there is no curation mechanic for resteems when resteems are literally the definition of curation. It doesn't make sense to force a specific curation percentage for everyone on the platform when that money isn't even necessarily doing the job that it's supposed to be.
Imagine if resteems could have curation attached to them optionally. Take this post for example. I could give it a 50% curation rate to anyone who resteems. When someone clicks the post through a resteem a referral code is added to the resteemer's account. Now if the post gets upvoted through the referral code they'll make 50% of the profit. This is much more effective curation than what we have, and it's totally optional, to be determined by the content creators.
The War Begins
I'm honestly looking forward to 50/50 curation if it actually comes around.
It will be so easy to exploit.
- Get big stake holders to upvote your post.
- Buy votes for less than they are worth.
- Scoop the majority of curation from the votes you bought.
- Share the profits with the big stake holders.
People are already doing this now, but if 50/50 curation comes around it will make it so easy.
The first step is to create an open source free market where anyone can buy and sell votes. Said service would then be used to capitalize on impatience and buy votes that pay out in a week in exchange for immediate liquid Steem. (Much like it already exists now if you were in control of a vote selling service.)
Curation kind of made sense before bid-bots existed and when Steemit was the only frontend. The cat is out of the bag, the toothpaste is out of the tube, and it's not going back in.
If I can't convince this platform that forced curation is a bad idea with my words,
then I will do it with my actions.