"Eliminating curation rewards would be saying that curators should perform unpaid labor for the authors and the steem power holders." - @remlaps
There are a lot of reasons not to eliminate curation rewards:
- Curation rewards are currently one of the only reasons to power up / remain powered up.
- There are a huge amount of users that are actively involved in the platform through curation activities (developing bots, curation trails, guilds, manual curation, etc.).
- Curation rewards provides a financial incentive for users to spend a very significant amount of their time discovering good content.
- The goal of the platform is to reward users for their contributions for the platform, and curating is a form of contributing.
- Lots of users find earning curation rewards fun.
To a large extent, we are going to get what we curate. If the stakeholders are allocating a significant amount of rewards to photography, we will attract more photographers. As more photographers are attracted to the rewards, competition will drive higher quality photography. (That's the idea..)
Unfortunately the curation reward system that we have today has been shown to incentivize the wrong type of behavior:
- A large portion of voting is taking place without users even reading or evaluating the content. While bots could be used to perform a lot of automated evaluations of content that would not be easy for humans to do on a large scale, that is not what they are doing today. Most of them are designed to maximize earnings from the curation rewards game.
- Many voters calculate whether they will receive a good curation reward, over whether they 'like' the content.
- Lots of quality engaging content does not receive significant rewards, because it is not expected to receive a lot of votes.
- Established authors who are producing sub-par content still get lots of upvotes, because they are on auto-vote lists and are expected to receive lots of upvotes.
- Very few people vote on comments, because there is no expected curation reward.
Curation rewards are also not very appealing for new users:
- Voting before the first 30 minutes is bad. (Well, sometimes. It depends.) This adds confusion to what would otherwise be a natural/organic process.
- In order to maximize curation rewards, you have to vote on 40 posts per day. Every day. 365 days a year. If you don't, you will be losing a percentage of your stake to the users with auto-upvote bots. (That sounds like a job!)
- The amount that you see in the "Potential Payout" is not the amount that the author gets. It is split 75/25 between the author and curator. Although the author can get more if the curators vote within the first 30 minutes. (You lost me at The amount that you see in the "Potential Payout" is not the amount that the author gets.)
- To earn anything significant from curation rewards, you have to first have a lot of SP. (Wait, I have to give you money in order for me to make money..?)
- Voting on your favorite content is likely not in your best financial interest.
The benefits to removing curation rewards would be:
- It would remove a confusing aspect of the platform that is unappealing to typical new users.
- The decision to upvote would simply be based on what content you liked and wanted to reward.
- The upvotes would primarily be from users who were actively engaged in the platform.
- The motivation to have bots for purposes other than evaluating good content would be greatly diminished.
- Less voting stake would be used, making upvotes from users who do still vote more powerful.
- Regular users' perception of the platform would improve.
But wait, shouldn't curators get paid for their work?
If they do their job well - they will.
The value of SP will come if we can build a platform that attracts and retains billions of users, in a way that keeps them actively engaged in the site. With a large and engaged audience, that gives us the ability to build a revenue model (such as advertisements) on top of those users. That revenue can be turned into passive earnings for all SP holders.
It is up to all of us on Steemit to direct the rewards in a way that is beneficial to the platform, to give us all the best potential for return on our investment.
When you curate, you are participating in the community's decision on how to best allocate our limited rewards pool. By directing the resources towards the things that bring the most value to the platform, we are collectively deciding on what we feel is the most likely to give us the best return on our investment.
It is entirely up to each user how they want to use their votes, but paying them to do so is not necessarily going to incentivize better behavior.
Image CC0 public domain from pixabay.com.