The Number one challenge on Steemit
93.33% of the steem rests in the hands of the 1% of steem owners. That's not even including the STEEMIT INC account. My number one frustration on the platform is the distribution, and I spend a lot of my new commute time trying to figure out what we can do about it.
The good news to many is that the price of steem is going up, but the bad news is that this will hurt distribution. While the actual percentages won’t change with a price increase the amount of fiat required to purchase their share goes up. So, judging by the cost in fiat dollars it gets harder and harder to solve the distribution crisis as Steem mainstreams and price goes up.
It leads to problems on the server. You probably have heard the term circle-jerk in regards to the trending section. It’s the reality that many weak posts by well known authors are able to catch huge rewards. A single image or a single video may catch $500 or more. It’s so frustrating to see as a minnow or dolphin pouring your life into a 2 hour post that gets 8 views and 3 cents.
As my wife put it-
My $0.02 cents are only worth 1 cent.
The reason behind supported shit posts are several. The rewards are high so there's lots of incentive as an author. The consequences are low unless the Uber whales collectively decide to punish people. There are social reasons... "You scratch my shitpost and I'll scratch yours," or "what's the big deal that author's my friend." But the biggest reason is that curation favors it.
If I'm a whale I can make $1k/week upvoting comments. I make more when I upvote successful posts early. The already well known authors with high reps, big followings, and proven success getting big rewards is my highest chance for a fat payday on my upvote. You can't blame them. If I could make $1k a week just by upvoting my buddies who were doing the same to me I'd be hard pressed to do anything different. So, curation starts looking like kids playing soccer where everyone is grouping up around the same ball.
What are some potential solutions?
So, short of a cultural revolution we gotta figure something out to help change the distribution over time. My first suggestion is to alter the reward curve for whale curation so that it’s at least partially dependent on the delta between their own steem power and the steem power of the post they are voting on.
For example; I'd like the future to look more like this- Whales get higher percentage rewards for finding a good minnow post, up voting it, resteeming, and possibly seeing the same circle jerk effect, but at least it's on minnow posts. They can still be rewarded for posting on their friends posts but the percentage or cap is less attractive. That's one approach.
Another alternative is to reduce the voting power used when it's spent on a weaker account. In this case the whale could presumably have more votes that pay somewhat less individually (because there's less of a chance of a pile onto the post) but with the right curve or power that could still be better than just the ganging up on another whales post because they can only vote on fewer of them.
It's possible these comments are moot after HF 19 and linear rewards, but I'm pretty nervous that it'll go on. They'll just have fewer more powerful votes to send their buddies to the moon!
If we can incentivize the whales to look for minnow posts, up vote them, and resteem them we have a better shot of helping minnows and dolphins grow their accounts. I think this will also clean up the trending section so that higher quality posts we can all be proud of end up there.
Now, this might be dangerous because it could incentivize whales to make alts, shitpost and re steem on the alt. This already goes on though to some extent. We may just need the "police" to be diligent about that too. More on that tomorrow...
Anyway, drop your thoughts
These ideas are 1-day old after a some deep thoughts with @trafalgar. I'm still philosoficating about it.
Do you like it?
How could it be implemented mathematically?
Do you think this could help distribution over time?
If you wanted to incentivize whales to vote for minnow content how would you do it?
Circlejerk is so hawt right now
Please vote for me for Witness!
You can find me hanging out on steemspeak, a discord channel that many steemers use to text and talk to each other- https://discord.gg/qjpRj7w
You can find me in Whaleshares- https://discord.gg/GykFB6S
or my new channel PALnet- https://discord.gg/HYj4yvw
I can also be found on steemchat as @aggroed. If you have a post to share give me a good sentence or two of why you think I’ll like it.
To vote for me click the link underneath my profile, scroll under the list of 50 names and type aggroed into the box. If you can see my name you have voted for me (don't click the little blue upvote next to my name as you'll cancel your vote for me).