Steemit on auto-pilot. Are we still a community?

in community •  3 months ago

With the risk of creating myself an image of a Steemit sucker or enter the category of "false fanatics" I will repeat myself by saying that this blogging/social media platform that we "live" on right now is the best that I ever experienced and the one that hooked me the most. And it's not just about these juicy rewards that most of us are drawling after, although they're welcomed. It's about "that thing" that makes me feel like home among strangers around here.

I have only 4 months as a Steemit user, but I feel like I know some of you for years and we haven't even met in real life. Thus I started to care more about this community, if it's still a community, and also open my eyes more to things and behaviors that don't make me feel too much like it is still a community. Don't know how it was two years ago when there were probably just a few thousands of users, but now that we hit that mill it's starting to feel around here like traveling on a train rather then driving your own car and admiring everything on the way while waving other on the way.

One thing that I noticed as dysfunctional working is that Steem auto or auto voter or how it is called when you upvote automatically someone without reading a single letter of his/hers post and you don't know how good or bad that article is. Although I would like to have some powerful steemians put my posts on that thing I can also see the side effects of it when "forgotten". And these are auto voting low quality posts and promoting them with your votes. And what's even sad is that these low quality posts come from users that are highly ranked, who I have been following for a while and used to create some well documented ones that were a pleasure to read and now turned to more to quantity than quality.

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These users who are "auto voting" not only that miss the chance of offering a hard working steemian a reason to grow by upvoting him/her, but they're also promoting low quality posts and accidentally defining them as a "standard of success" for new users. BUT it's their voting power and if that's how they want to use it be it... Who am I to tell them what to do with it? After all I'm just a piece of plankton...

Then, there is the delegating voting power to bid bots. This situation is also related to the lack of interest and probably time in manually curating posts all over the platform, but I DON'T UNDERSTAND why not delegate it to some REAL USERS who would probably upvote their posts also, but for sure will cast some upvotes for other users that deserve a "good kick" in the butt. They can even rotate the delegation to multiple users so not just one enjoys all that power. At least that's what I would do if I'd had it...

Another thing that I noticed recently, and I don't know if it's just due to the low Steem price or lack of motivation, is the decreasing number in posts from my feed. I used to have at least 5 posts per hour a few weeks ago, but now I have only one or two, depending on the time of the day and that makes me think that something is happening with the engagement also. My feed looks like an abandoned city from the old western movies some times. Where's the engagement and the thrill from two-three months ago when I was filtering posts to read by title after a night?

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The ones that still have a routine of posting, even the veterans, seem to have developed a taste for "short stories" and that seems to be also connected to that auto voter. Once you know you'll gonna get your share of upvotes for the day why bother anymore to make long posts and spend too much time with writing them. I'm not a long posts writer, as mine are usual 3 minutes read, but I was amazed to see a high ranked user that a few months ago wrote about almost anything, now to just "tweet" some ideas a a few times a day. Is the bag of knwoledge already empty for him or the price of Steem doesn't fuel the motivation enough and the auto votes come anyway? Or is it more?

All these things that I mentioned and rant about give me the feeling that the great majority, and unfortunately the high ranked one, have entered on a sort of auto-pilot mode for some time and that makes me ask myself two things: why bother then paying all these bots if you don't feel like engaging anymore and use "organically" that rank you earned with your Steem power and then, are we still a community or just a train of passengers?
I still have hope though that the community is not falling apart and something will change about the way a lot of things are going right now. I like too much this thing called Steemit and I like it alive and in motion...

Thanks for your attention,
Ace

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Steemit just need time. Platform is still young and it has many problems. These problems will be solved down the road so we just have to be patient and use Steemit for fun.

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Time will tell what is going to be solved and what not. Hope is enough though.

Delegating vote power to a bidbot is tempting ... let the capital work for me and get dividends ... but it doesn't feel quite right.

I delegated half of my voting power to @steemstem because they are doing a better job than me at curating and because I simply don't have enough time to read everything I want to read and upvote everything that I find upvoteworthy.

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Better than bid bots. At least you know they're voting quality posts and you also use your voting power as a curator.

Within the last eight weeks or so, I've picked up some autovoters. I didn't have them before, and I don't autovote them back, so I don't know why they're doing it other than they think it's worthwhile and they don't always have the time to try to keep up with it. Better to upvote than not get anything out of it at all.

However, you're right. It does lead to complacency on the part of the curator and the creator who is benefitting from the upvote. I'm putting in as much time on every posts as I've ever did because of those autovtes, though. When they do check in and revise, and the ones upvoting me do, I want them to see something that I at least consider to be worthwhile.

But it is that complacency that has kept me from auto upvoting, that and the fact I still want to read posts, comment if I have something meaningful to say and upvote if I think I should. The way I understand it's supposed to be.

It's also why I'm hesitant to delegate SP to anyone, and why I would have to think about it long and hard at whatever future date I had high enough SP where it might be meaningful.

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Auto vote is a great tool, but, like you pointed also, I would sugest to the ones using it to check their voters from time to time and search for others when standards are not reached anymore. I have two auto voters also...I guess.

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I suppose it means they need to have a standard set to begin with, and depends on what they most aspire to. Some folks are more interested in the amount of their curation reward at the end of the day than they are the content of the post they're autovoting. They do it because the author is consistently posting and whatever and whenever they upvote the post is giving them good returns. Not the way you or I would do it, which hopefully means that if we were to do ever do it, things could change as we help turn the tide. :)

Great article Ace, lots of food fro thought. Some people genuinely want to post great content and interact with cool people. Some just want to game the system. Who's gonna be here in the long run?

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Whoever has the patience and the will to do that. Thanks for the resteem.

There are pros and cons to auto voting for sure. I hugely appreciate that I have few followers here who generally like me, they want to support me, and they don’t want to miss upvoting a post, and so they have me on auto vote. Does it feel better when they read each post, make thoughtful engaging comments on them, and hand click “100%” ⬆️ ? Yes, of course. But I will take auto vote and really appreciate their reliable support. 🙏🏽

Plus if you are a really active player here there are only so many hours in the day. Not enough time eventually to read and manually vote all the folks you want to support being here. But I do get your point that then sloppy content gets auto upvoted forever with deployment of the voting bot. I like to think folks edit and manage their auto votes periodically.

I don’t use auto vote but have considered it so that I don’t miss rewarding posts from my favorites. But I personally like sorting thru, reading my favorite bloggers latest posts, and getting the dopamine hit of clickIng 👍🏽 So no auto for me for now.

(Damn that was a wordy comment 😂)

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(Damn that was a wordy comment 😂)

Sure it was. Auto vote is the perfect tool for supporting your favorites when 24 hours are not that many anymore, but once in a while I would check "my favorites" for auto votes to see if they still care about what they write and are genuine or just feel comfortable with these guaranteed daily votes and post all sort of shitty posts. I'm not against short posts that have a core in it, as you can say in a phrase what others can't put in a thousand words, but I am not a fan though of posting without saying nothing and still collecting rewards. Especially the in the case of high ranked ones which are supposed to be trustworthy...