One of the core features of SteemIt is the community's ability to curate quality content through upvoting and downvoting. The platform relies on user concensus to figure out what posts are quality content that deserve attention, and what posts are junk that shouldn't see the light of day.
Image Source: Pixabay.com and my mad MS Paint skills
While this curation model is certainly hindered by spam bots, voting bots, and various other methods of cheating SteemIt's monetization system, overall the community still manages to upvote and reward quality content and use the platform (mostly) as it was designed to be used.
I'm my own biggest fan!
One of the strangest features on SteemIt is the ability to self-curate by upvoting your own content. I hope that everyone thinks that their own content is fairly good - But if that's the case everyone should be upvoting all of their own posts and comments. Fortunately we're (mostly) good people and we tend to distribute our votes fairly to other users of SteemIt as well as to ourselves.
I'm very guilty of being a self-upvoter, with almost a quarter of my recent votes going to myself. This is probably bad behavior in the eyes of some SteemIt users.
Image Source: SteemWorld.com knows my terrible secret; I'm an evil self-voter.
But I should really stop being my own fan.
I used to upvote every post I wrote because I believe that I write quality content. I want my posts to be highly visible, I want them to promote good discussions and I want them to get good rewards. However I've changed my perspective on self-upvoting recently and I'm working to lower that 24% self-vote to a more reasonable number.
What's the point of writing articles if I'm the only one reading them and talking about them? That's not what blogging is about and it's no way to build a good audience.
I want my readers to be my biggest fans.
If my posts aren't gaining traction, it's either because I'm a terrible writer or because I'm not creating incentive for my audience to interact with my posts. The goal of the author should be to interact with their audience and to reward them for creating interesting discussions and quality comments on their posts.
But not all of my readers...
As much as I want to reward my readers, I'm picky. I'm a big fan of flagging/downvoting junk comments on my posts that are copy-pasted spam. Generic spammy comments that have nothing to do with the article they're posted on such as "Plz follow me" are hurting SteemIt - These posts are a big part of the reason why new users tend to run out of posting bandwidth every morning, and why it took me over 6 hours to successfully post this article.
And sometimes it's still OK to self-promote...
Just because I'm trying to reduce my number of self-upvotes doesn't mean that I'm going to do away with them altogether. I'm probably going to stop upvoting my posts, but I'm still reserving a few upvotes for my comments. If I'm commenting on something with a lot of "junk" copy-paste comments, I want my comment to be more visible than that trash. My upvote is only worth $0.01, but that's just enough to make my post rise above the majority of the spam and bot posts which really don't deserve any recognition.
Just remember to keep curation in mind.
SteemIt's curation system was intended to reward quality content. Our main goal with upvotes and downvotes should always keep good curation in mind, valuing good posts and comments regardless of who wrote them. The goal should never be to fill our own wallets - Instead it should be about giving recognition to quality posts and comments, while punishing spammy posts and comments that don't deserve to be seen.
Am I crazy?
I'm going to try to change my voting habits to give a bigger share of my upvotes to others who deserve it. I feel that everyone needs to do their part to help make SteemIt curation work, even if they're small minnow-y users like myself. I hope that others might do the same.
What are your thoughts - Do you self-upvote? Do you downvote spam? Do you think SteemIt's curation is fixable? Let me know in the comments!
Thanks for reading,
If you enjoy my posts, don't