What is the point of powering up? To gain more influence in the site, correct?
How much SP do you need in order to actually make a difference though? 10M vests? 100 MV? For a user to influence the payout of a post more than a few cents, they need to have tens of thousands of dollars worth of SP. The average user is not going to make that type of investment, no matter how awesome they think the site is!
To a user like me, the next best thing is to try and climb the ladder. Lots of users are interested in climbing the ladder, but it is a very steep hill to climb! Powering up $10 SBD here, and $20 SBD there - barely makes a dent!
If I have $500 SBD, what would I be better off doing? Cashing out the $500 and buying myself something nice, or Powering Up, and maybe adding 1 cent to my influence on Steemit? This is bad math for a potential investor to be looking at! Most users are going to take the $500 cash!
To add one more thing to the mix, what happens if the price of Steem reaches that of Bitcoin, or even passes it? With millions of Steem coins in circulation, do you really think that an average user is going to invest any money to buy .5 Steem, to gain only .001 MV worth of influence? (This problem only gets worse as the price of Steem gets higher!)
If we look at the potential investor pool for Steem/it, where do you think the biggest potential for investment comes from? Landing 10-20 huge investors who are going to buy up 100k BTC worth of Steem, or millions of excited users powering up $200-$300 SBD worth of Steem?
I think the millions of excited users has way more potential!
The problem that we have to solve is that powering up small amounts of Steem needs to become more attractive. There needs to be more incentive than just a tiny step in a climb up an insurmountable mountain. Investing a "little bit more" should have a big enough effect to make it "worth it"!
I do want to be clear, that I am not proposing we change the reward/influence structure for Steem. The formula for rewards/curation was defined in the white paper, and changing it would not only be unfair to the original investors - it would completely disrupt the very foundation of Steem/it. We should not be considering changes like this.
What we do need to do is think of more ways to make powering up and acquiring small amounts of Steem Power more attractive. Ideally these could be structured in such a way that climbing the $10 -> $5000 range of SP investing becomes more fun!
Here are some ideas of ways to add value to powering up small amounts of SP:
- An icon similar to the reputation number next to the user, that shows how much SP they have vested
- Entry tokens into a daily lottery based on amount of SP (suggestion from @bendjmiller222)
- Unlock new features in the editor such as surveys/polls (idea from this post by @intelliguy)
- Avatars once you reach a certain amount of SP (idea from this post by @demotruk)
- Highlighted posts once you reach a certain amount of SP (idea from this post by @demotruk)
- Allowed in to chat rooms that let you promote posts once you reach a certain amount of SP
- Allowed to use certain tags once you reach a certain amount of SP
- A tab that shows active posts shorted by the amount of vests the user has
Can we think of more? What are additional ways to make powering up small amounts of Steem a more attractive investment?