Steem Voting Subscription Services - Acceptable or Not?

in #newsteem4 months ago (edited)

Recently I've had a few discussions about voting subscription services on Steem. It seems that the voting subscription services don't fit in with #newsteem and I want to share my opinions on why this is the case.

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This is a replica at a museum, I'm not actually addressing the nation.

Also, I'm going to share some of my photos for your viewing pleasure. These are of various random things that are completely unrelated to the topic, so I'll explain those in the captions.

mugunghwa at sunset.jpg
This is the Rose of Sharon at sunset. I like how the colors of the sky and flower match. I promise I just used the 'auto' setting on my Galaxy S8 for these tree photos with nothing but cropping after.

What is a Voting Subscription Service?

A voting subscription service is a service on #Steem where you subscribe to receive votes. Generally, you will have an account with a balance that increases over time. The more you input the faster your balance will increase gaining you more and more votes. You can send Steem directly. You can delegate to the accounts. You can upvote their posts and comments. Or any combination of the three. Unlike direct vote buying, they will randomly vote on your posts and or comments. You do not tell them specifically what to vote on.

rose of sharon.jpg
Here is the same tree. It is the national flower of Korea called Mugunghwa (무궁화). You can read about it on Wikipedia

My Problems with Voting Subscription Services

First of all, these are not universal, they are not decentralized, they are not sharing anything. They are barely even a #communty. They are membership clubs with automation, precise calculations, clear rules, and centralized authority.

The votes are usually small enough for 'stakeholders' that these fly under the radar. I don't think the majority of users are abusers. It's like a pyramid. If anything, they are more likely victims or just subscribers.

However, the main accounts tend to be large and growing larger. It's also unclear what they plan to do with the riches they've accumulated. They certainly didn't make it promoting or producing quality content. They offered a quasi-vote buying, vote trading service. Sometimes they run 'contests' to make you feel good. Sometimes they offer 'refunds' when they get a lot of pressure. Sometimes, they change. We cannot paint them all with a brush either. We have to look at them case-by-case

The main issue with voting subscription services is they have not adapted to #NewSteem. New Steem is basically the change in attitude and consensus after Hard Fork 21 and free downvotes were enabled. I know it isn't a consensus, but there has definitely been some change.

I'm not telling people they must adapt. I'm saying there are gangs and possies going around downvoting everyone who offends them. They will come for you if they believe you are over rewarded or abusing Steem. Voting subscription services have not adapted to New Steem are either abusing the reward pool or borderline abusing the reward pool.

Actually, until now, NewSteem has avoided them, and they just keep springing up. Some actors are just trying to hold on to that old Steem goodness. Eventually, the grey zone will become black as the worst of the abusers are beaten into submission.

It's only natural New Steem enthusiasts will target Voting Subscription Services. So let's take a closer look at what they are and why they may be considered abusive.

rose of sharon flower.jpg
Here is a close up of the flower. This tree was in the Splash Park

Steem Basic Income

There are several vote subscription services on Steem however @steembasicincome also knows as #sbi is the most famous one. They meet all the categories in the subscription service and are the best example. Also, I'm not aware if they adapted for newSteem yet because they just keep on spamming the same boring posts that no one reads but thousands of people seem to upvote to like 50 SBD.

The way #steembasicincome works is if you send one Steem and say an account name, both of you will get 1 share. You can also get 1 share for every 2 Steem you delegate to their account. The more shares you have, the faster your 'vote subscription balance' increases. This is the balance that is used to give you votes. Also, if you upvote their comments and any of their 10 or so accounts, you can increase your balance by more than 100% of your vote.

Don't take my word for it. They post at least once a day in their main account and about once a week in the others. They also write hundreds of comments a day, especially when people use the !sbi status command.

rose of sharon tree.jpg
I kept taking a picture of the exact same tree even though there were others. I was just blown away by the stunning beauty when I walked outside of the supermarket and saw it.

Other Subscription Services

Some of the other vote subscription services I'm aware of are #steem-UA, #tipu, #backscratcher and #smartmarket. I know there are a lot more, some are dead, some are probably offering services in other languages and some are trying to fly under the radar. I'm not so familiar with all of them or what they are up to.

@tipu has adjusted and doesn't vote sell for a positive ROI anymore. If you send them 1 SBD, they will give you an upvote of 1SBD. This means that you will get around 0.5 SBD after curation (if you don't consider the curve) and you are losing 50%. They figure that since you are losing money, it's not going to be used for making income. It's going to be used for promotion. Many people have said this is okay under the new Steem as long as it isn't excessive.

EDIT: Some people who are very close with TIPU have commented below. They want to clarify that TIPU is not a subscription service. I also believe this is the case. They are unique and do not offer vote trading. They are also working on their curation system at the moment to improve it.

EDIT: Steem-UA actually has an interesting rating system to decide how much your vote is worth. It is based on the number of followers you have and the level of engagement surrounding your post. You can only get 'shares' by delegating to them and it is capped at 7 votes on posts per week.

My guess is the people begging for promotion service and defending bots won't be so eager to use it. Prove me wrong.

@smartmarket or @smartsteem is changing. They announced an announcement and then they announced the announcement wiill be on Saturday. I think @therealwolf is Justin Sun or at least thinks he is. In any case, I like them and wonder what they will turn into.

As far as I know, the other services stayed the same, died, or just went full curation, so I won't mention them.

ducks eat my toes.jpg
I ran out of mugunghwa pics, so here is something for those of you with a fetish for ducks and feet. I woke up to see the sunrise because of jetlag and these ducks were hungry for my toes. It tickled and I was laughing hysterically at 5am and if anyone heard or saw me they probably thought I was very high.

Why Turn into Pure Curation?

I mentioned that some services are trying various things. However, because of free downvoting after #HF21, people are getting carried away with the enforcement of #newSteem ideals. If bots go pure curation, unless they are upvoting absolute low-quality crap and comments or secret vote-trading, no one will bother them. Curation, Content and Engagement are the safest route because that's what #NewSteem is all about. -feel free to use my jingle

As a new Steem absolutist and an avid downvoter since before it was cool, I'm very excited about the changes. So much so, I just love writing about New Steem and the Demise of Bid Bots and even just plain old fun Downvoting to Encourage Correct Thoughts and Opinions albeit in a tongue in cheek manner.

Most #bidbots have stopped selling bids now. Some are hybrids and some moved to pure curation. Even the most ethical ones under old Steem like @ocdb have switched to pure curation. So what's the holdup @sbi1toinfinity and the others?

incheon bridge.jpg
This is the Incheon Bridge, it's one of two bridges going to the main airport near Seoul and is around 20km long. Long Sea Bridges don't look that exciting when driving across them because the view tends to be monotonous.

The Solution to deal with Subscription Bots

Shouldn't it be obvious: Downvoting, downvoting and more downvoting!

  • We can downvote because we disagree with post or comment rewards.
  • We can downvote because we think it's bid bot abuse or spam
  • We can downvote because we love downvoting

Whatever the reason you feel like downvoting. Leave a comment if you think the person will be confused. Or don't. Downvoting is your right.

Down Vote Revenge

One problems with downvoting to your hearts content is down vote revenge. Personally, I find it is the worst reason to downvote. It's even worse than downvoting because you disagree with someone's opinion.

I downvote people all the time. Don't worry revenge and opinion downvoting is actually not that common (I've never done either, but I've counter revenged for the hell of it).

There are a few whales who have made it clear they will revenge downvote. I'd avoid counter-revenge downvoting them. Then there are the tiny little accounts that are giving out 10% downvotes on an account with 20SP. I'd ignore them. You obviously cannot accommodate them because they don't have a motive.

The best way to avoid being downvoted is to not downvote. Actually, I dislike that cowardly attitude. If you cannot be bothered I get it, but remember without downvoting, the people wanting to abuse Steem will reign supreme. Don't avoid downvoting entirely just because you fear revenge. There are people out to help.

But please don't follow downvotes of whales and orcas, punching far above your weight is a bad idea. Follow #steemflagrewards, and manually downvote, it's more fun and helps to avoid revenge if you use common sense (stay away from the crazies).

incheon bridge view.jpg
Here is the view off the side of the bridge. Actually, the ocean here isn't really deep and most of the 20km length goes over tidal flats so the actual ocean channel is usually much more narrow, especially when the tide is out. Other than the middle section (fixed cable), the bridge is mostly a causeway.

What I think

Personally I think subscription services should keep offering their services. However, they should have a discussion with large players who are downvoting. I'm not going to say who they are because anyone can look into it, or just start doing abusive things and they will come to you.

No matter how you explain subscription services, they tend to vote trade, vote sell & buy, vote on any member's posts regardless of content or quality and even vote on comments. New Steem enthusiasts tend to disapprove.

But who are you to judge? I'm no authority, but I have a voice and a downvote. HF21 had a consensus amongst top witnesses that this was good. It's not too late to fork Steem and get rid of downvotes (good luck).

In my humble opinion, I think voting subscription services should all strongly consider the following to support new Steem:

  • Stop upvoting comments
  • Enable and follow the blacklists EDIT: They already do this to an extent
  • Not allow anyone to vote for their posts more than 1 time a day EDIT: They announced they will get rid of the post voting bonus
  • Adjust the ROI for upvoting their posts to below 100% ROI so it definitely isn't profitable. EDIT: They announced they will get rid of the post voting bonus
  • Set some rewards to beneficiaries like @null, @steem.dao and/or @steempeak (I'm going to do 11%,11%,11% in this post)
  • Consider some curation of random posts with their accounts
  • establish a clear individual limit, and not the biggest practical vote possible EDIT: They announced they commented below that they are considering to do this

In the end, the votes from subscription services are directly related to the service and your balance, so there is no way to consider it organic.

Now that the worst abusers are mostly gone, have stopped or have moved on, it's time for the revolution and crusade to move on.

I love corn pie.jpg
This clown loves corn pie. Do you love corn pie, too?

Disclosures

Earlier I noticed some of the whales who used to vote trade are now maximizing revenue for subscription services. When I see every single SBI account voting 100% for a whale, it tells me there is nothing fair about this service. The name alludes to universal basic income, but it's not even close. Sorry for picking on you. I like you @josephsavage, I just think you need to consider some changes.

I canceled all my delegations earlier in the week and they expire in a couple of days. I won't be delegating to @steembasicincome or @steem-UA anymore. I won't vote for any of their generic posts or comments. I won't buy any more subscriptions (however feel free to buy me some, lol). I'm free. However, that said if they unfairly cancel my subscriptions just because of this blog, I will not be pleased.

I think the discussion should be attempted. You don't have to discuss before downvoting, but you should be willing to discuss if you downvote and they want to discuss. If no one is willing to budge or discuss improvements, they aren't being reasonable. That works both ways.

Do you think this post: https://steemit.com/upvotes/@steembasicincome/outgoing-votes-report-16-october-2019
deserves over 1500 upvotes and 30SBD rewards? Actually, the comments are a great place to look for scams and schemes.

I think SBI a scheme not a scam. Under old Steem it used to be great. I hope it improves.

EDIT: SBI has left a great comment below. They also re-steemed this post. They even made an announcement and I've tried to incorporate the changes or leave comments above. It's great to see that they are already preparing for changes. Hopefully others offering similar services consider changing, too. Here is their post link: https://steemit.com/services/@steembasicincome/let-s-talk-about-upvoting-bonuses

Power House Creatives Logos FINAL_float.png

This is powerhousecreatives, I'm a member and need to disclose and discuss some things.

PowerHouseCreatives and other Groups

I am a proud member of powerhouse creatives. Actually, some discussion there encouraged me to get this post out sooner (I've been thinking about it for a while).

Some fellow members are worried that they will eventually be targeted, so I want to address that.

#Powerhousecreatives requires its members to vote for 5 member accounts a day. One is the main account, one is a specific post and the other 3 are any posts by any member (you also have to do one other thing for those 3 like comment, resteem or repost on a different social media site).

I consider these engagement clubs. Actually, you don't even need to vote with a specific amount of voting % or have a certain amount of SP. Sure you get selected as the daily upvoted account every so often (less than once a month), also you do get other members voting for you.

However, #PHC is not vote-buying or trading. Nothing is calculated other than Y or N. There is no %, there is no promise of ROI. The more you participate, the more you will get back, but there are no guarantees. Also, if you upset the leader or devoted members, either by being nasty, lazy or whatever, there are repercussions. Members get booted all the time.

Also, it is endorsed and supported by several whales and orcas leading the new Steem change. I doubt it will be targeted by anyone trying to make Steem better any time soon.

That being said. If anyone has a problem with how Power House Creatives operates, I would like to know so we can consider reaching a reasonable compromise.

Also, if you see non-members using our tags or images (unless they are writing about us), I consider that abuse.

If things like @steemitbloggers go under, I think Steem will go under. It's more like a community or tribe. The aim is to improve engagement, quality, and socialization, etc. I don't see communities being taken out. However, that said, the members are reasonable and have the best interests of the blockchain and large community in mind. Please apply if interest, it's free to anyone who is willing to put in the effort and be devoted (it's not that difficult if you are familiar with Steem and Discord).

Vote Subscription services are not a community for the most part and their main purpose is to vote and increase votes for Steem and votes. See the difference here? Well what is the difference between a voting subscription service (like SBI) and a vote-buying service (like bid-bot) and a vote-trading service (like backscratcher)...well SBI is all 3...that's the difference.

Become a community, become a promotion service or become a curation service. Make a new Steem effort and you will be rewarded. =)

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I have to say I am starting to have a problem with how "NewSteem" is becoming a bit evangelical, and this is an example of it. I have a vested interest (I have a fair number of SBIs) but that isn't really the point (I don't really earn a whole lot from it). As you know I am a small time curator (ie I make no income from it, but I do it because it's right). I don't have a problem with this being the main model for Steem. But I am having a problem with people trying to impose their vision and shut down things they don't agree with.

"NewSteem" feels to me like it is becoming a little fascistic (NewSteem = New Order?) I loathe the term and I worry about the direction we are headed in.

I definitely see your point that some of the actions are becoming excessive.

I think curation has become much better. I used to make like 5 to 7 Steem a week curating. Now I make 3X this much and I'm not even trying.

I don't think there is anything wrong with sharing opinions and ideas. Some people may see this as imposing one's vision, but following my ideas is 100% optional. I pretty much follow the consensus. It was well known that free downvotes would destroy vote-buying. Nowadays, it's rare to see people with decent accounts buying votes because of the risks involved.
I haven't seen SBI make changes yet to optimize their platform for working with the changes since HF21. I think now it's been long enough that they should make changes. If they don't they risk becoming a target.
The biggest problem is a lot of whales that were just trading votes with eachother have now maximized their take in all of the things like sbi (another one I noticed now is steemyoda). This wasn't an issue before the hardfork.

Whether you like new Steem or not, I think a better way of looking at it is just call it what it is v.22 (there was a 22nd hardfork) or Steem October 2019. Blockchains in general are evolving so quickly and as a blockchain focused on a social network service (sns), I see Steem evolving a little differently. Community opinion and consensus is important. I think this is what new steem can also mean. It's the prevailing consensus or attitude. If you want to continue doing well, you have to consider it whether you like it or not. The new Steem evangelicals if you will are just trying to steer it into a direction they are more comfortable with. There is nothing wrong with trying to do the same to make it become anything you like.

I want to see SBI survive, if you look at the comment they wrote on my post it seems they have considered this and are actually planning to do something within the next few weeks which is great.

The problem as I see it is why should SBI change? People bought into it (whether you personally agree with it or not) on the understanding that one steem bought you a bit of an upvote for life. If they change the way they operate what happens to all the steem that people have invested? I do agree with many of the HF21 changes. I agree with curation (I delegate much of my SP so I haven't seen a huge increase in my income), but I don't agree with the way bits of steem that people don't agree with are being targeted one after another. It is like the poem First They Came... (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_they_came_...). Initially, most people welcomed the tackling of the trending page abusers. But then they go for the next thing and the next, without any consultation just with the "belief" it is "NewSteem" it is good for steem (without any evidence. The value of steem isn't effected by the use of bidbots perse but by the selling of steem. And that is just - if not more - likely to be done by people who are curated - or curators, which is frankly a full time job if it is to be done properly).

Thanks for responding. I have left a number of comments (as have other dissenters) on other posts and they get ignored (effectively shutting down any debate). So it is difficult to judge what is the "consensous" if the people who have the power (and lets face it the big boys are still making a lot of money from singing the "newsteem" song) don't allow a debate, but just post constantly that "this is good for steem, this is bad". If they don't get involved in the comments section then where is the community? Where is the consensus? It is just the same powerful whales playing the same game but just changing the rules.

I agree with you regarding SBI ... any equating them with bid bots is a stretch

It is starting to look more and more like people searching for targets and less like supporting the platform.

The problem as I see it is why should SBI change?

I think they should change because Steem is changing. The question for me is how should they change? You read my post. Also, they just published a post and I wrote my comment there. They want to eliminate rewarding people with more of a balance for upvoting all their posts. They said they will drop it by 10% a week until it's zero. Actually, I think that is excessive. I think they should reward 50% on their main account's daily post only to avoid people upvoting with all their VP.

I also think some people are getting out of hand targeting others. It's making Steem an uncomfortable place for some. However, for the most part if you don't downvote people or buy votes, you are left alone.

I'm familar with that poem. I do think it is an appropriate analogy in some cases, however it is a slippery slope argument in others. I think the worst thing that one can conclude is something like "Since there is a chance of escalation let's do nothing." Hopefully, we both can agree sometimes change and experimentation is worth the risk. Maybe you want this movement to stop a little earlier than I do. I want to see vote-buying and direct vote-trading/swapping end. I have no problem with indirect communities like PHC and would be sad if someone did (however anyone who has a problem, I would like to hear more about their opinion.

The value of steem isn't effected by the use of bidbots perse but by the selling of steem.

Definitely, this is true. I want to see the experiment run a little long. I look at the recent changes as trying to fix Steem while it is on life support. Steem fell in value because BTC crashed. It dropped in rank because many new projects joined.

However, SMTs were delayed and bidbots wrecked the trending page. One is being fixed now and the other is being tested. Let's hope Steem's value raises in the next few months. If not, we can always bring back the bidbots.

I do like the idea of being able to buy promotions and tipu's solution of only giving an equal vote seems fair for now (you are going to lose money to promote, but TIPU still makes a ton of Steem doing this). New Steem has only been going on for about 6 weeks and people have only had informed opinions and observations for around half that time (first few weeks were just too early to judge IMO). I want to see how it lasts.

I always like responding to people who put effort into comments even if I disagree with some of their opinions. I do tend to wait a little longer to respond until I'm prepared to give them the kind of answer they deserve. I think you should check out SBI's post that I commented on and linked above. I actually don't mind where the discussion takes place, but I prefer a lot of it is on Steem and not discord where all Steem users can see it.

Fair enough. You argue well, and have good points. Like you I would like to see more of this debate out in the open.

Posted using Partiko Android

there always is a way, and there always be folks who will find a way to game the system -- right? if they started using SBI to play the game, figurally saying, why we should shut down SBI, just to erase these folks.... should we?

I don't want to see SBI shut down. If I did, I would keep quiet or just join in on the abuse. I offer suggestions which will discourage abuse such as limiting what can be voted on to receive a voting bonus.

I want to see SBI survive and thrive, but the sharks are circling.

You have me convinced to stop auto upvoting SBI.

Posted using Partiko Android

I think manual votes in general are better. However, only voting 1 time per day on their main account is reasonable. The problem is there are quite a few people on Steem who use their entire voting power only upvoting like 10~20 different accounts which is a little sad. I don't expect everyone to be as robust in their voting habits as me, but here is my most recent voting CSI: 2.6 ( 0.13 % self, 568 upvotes, 341 accounts, last 7d )
That self vote was an accident 10% follow on a curation project that got me. My curation rewards are a little below average, but I think the self-sacrifice is worth it. Some people look at this score and won't upvote people who are too selfish or narrow in their voting behaviors.

If everyone did this, I believe the benefits of posting would go up and so would the effort put into posts.

You have covered quite a bit here @abitcoinskeptic each individual approaches life with different attitudes, discussion is good to resolve issues.

Staying within mind frame I avoid following people who basically do not get the concept of social media, steem platforms may make a little money however following people with nasty intentions is not my idea of being social.

Not having used bid bots, only ever delegating where I feel people are assisting others, or supporting a witness with a vote is done when proof is given or written that these are upstanding members in the steem community.

Needless to say another #powerhousecreatives member it takes a lot of dedication to keep everyone working together, another is #qurator who quietly go along supporting many, now I am speaking of established communities where I feel bloggers are able to move and grow.

I will have to return to read reactions once this post has been up for awhile.

I think genuine engagement is easy to notice when that is what you are here for. A lot of people passed by because it can be hard to notice, especially given some of the weird stuff trending.

I need to look into qurator some more. I know they are the other big one asides from phc. I follow and vote for their posts, but I'm not a member (if they ask say Im confused).

I also look forward to the reactions on this post. It's a discussion that needs to happen.

In reading comments, revealing insight comes into play, at the end of the day most are looking for fair play and honesty in content, "Content Is King/Queen", good content deserves good reward.

Those wishing to trade in crypto, navigate across to Steem-Engine or Exchanges.

Adding value to your content using bit-bots is much the same as trading, you paying into a kitty to hopefully obtain a good payout, it is trading/betting/gaming. Want to do gaming there is SteemMonsters.

Steem platform has developed quickly to offer many niche ideas, it is finding the right one. In reading many articles on down-voting perhaps one day I will use the button and leave a comment as to why, sadly too many arrive to make_ "money"_, not reading or possibly not understanding what is expected.

I think Steem's biggest potential is exchanging information, opinions, values and ideas on the blockchain. The second biggest potential is communities. Steem-Engine is just a sample of what SMTs are going to be. Perhaps even more interesting is what will happen if any particular token or SMT becomes extremely popular. The amount of people it could onboard (who may eventually walk towards other niches) will be very good for everyone.
A plurality of ideas and things to do is great. The key is to stay on top of things and make changes when they are needed. Being preemptive is best.

The other way that Tipu has changed is to get a bunch of people to do curation for them to ensure they still get curation rewards for their delegators. The downside of this is that there's a lot of abuse with curators self voting using other people's SP so the curation rewards for Tipu and their delagators aren't efficient. The upside is that, curators can use other people's SP to reward genuine quality content in a much powerful way compared to their own upvote.... as you have seen already

Yes, I noticed that change as well. =) interesting to hear about the downsides. I guess they have a few kinks to work out still.

A lot of the old services have moved into curating. It makes the most sence, but a multiangled approach is good and allows innovation.

Their new promotion service is unique. I hope to see people genuinely interested in promotion taking advantage and I hope the flaggers recognize what is going on and give it a pass if it isn't being abused (ie. Circles or absolute junk and controversial promotions)

The problem is that Tipu doesn't verify any of the curators, anyone who requested got on, so there's a mixed bag of curators. Then any curator can call the bot, for their own post, or their alts, or for any shit post, again Tipu doesn't check. Who cares that Tipu doesn't get the best curation rewards, as long as the curator get a good payout courtesy of Tipu .....

Ohh I had no idea it was that random.
This decision seems like it is going to backfire. A follow vote is not an wxcuse to do whatever. I guess it's new but they need accountability sooner or later.

Nope - every curation can be reviewed. The process of removing bad curators has already started :)

Great news. I do encourage the curators to comment and engage more. It's like adding ic8ng to the cake =)

@cardboard it great to hear that that you're starting to remove bad curators, hopefully you can get behind the scene an deal with the inter main/alt voting.

~ Thanks!
Forgot to mention this aspect, but tipu has already been very responsive to newSteem

Oh this is very disturbing to me. Not knowing what a bidbot even is, I asked a few people if sbi is one and was assured sbi is acceptable by newsteem standards. Most of the shares I've accumulated in sbi were bought FOR me by accounts that appreciated my posts, so the origins of the upvotes are tied to value in posts, at least in my case. I just started buying them for others for the same reason, and am happiest doing this for the smaller accounts - it seems a much better reward for quality than my upvote, which is worth next to nothing now on posts with small payouts. Maybe some whales are abusing sbi, but for the tiny accounts, sbi upvotes are sometimes the only upvotes of any value that the tiny accounts get, no matter how good the posts are. So many of the changes have made it even more difficult for new users who have not invested in steem to make any currency at all.

SBI is a way to help venezuelan proyects to grow, is a point of view i was meditating all these days and now that i read this looks like is a problem, but i think that everything carried by the concious of the one would be good, keep things descentralized and by manual curation looks like the best, at least for me, as a content creator think that, blockchain well developed is a pithagoras teorem resolution so, let's keep growing and understanding the best path for all.

SBI helping charities is another good point about their services. I think they should do more.

It's helping the whales too much, that's the problem.

yes, whales need to find balance, has to be a way to valuate always good content

Most whales have found a balance, but a few have lost a lot of money and are trying to make it back in an agressive manner. It's pretty much up to the other whales or a large pod of orcas to keep them in check.

My thoughts are much in line with yours @owasco! There's so many contests that have a hard time giving out STEEM as rewards, but do SBI shares to help all the awesome people who join get something and also grow both accounts. I'm sure like any system, there are opportunities for abuse. But by and large the people I see using it are quality creators who really do support a lot of communities and other endeavors that make Steem a great place. I can see a possible need to adjust the system as @abitcoinskeptic points out, but I hope they do it in a way that doesn't alienate the many people who have put their faith in the program. (and invested hard-earned STEEM, as well)

I'm glad people are pointing out the positives. I hope these endure.
Community contests are great and it is a neat way to reward people.
However, I want to see more done to eliminate negative use.

As long as efforts trying to "eliminate" negative use do not make it even harder for the Littles to make a dime. No one talks about the upvote curve, but I feel that is terribly unfair to accounts with low sp, both producers and curators. That's where I would like some attention focused.

I do like the idea of taking a look at someone's average income per post (just add up the posts if they post multiple times a day ... their loss), and giving them a handicap if it doesn't look like they are just out there farming Steem.

There are a few large orcas and whales going around maximizing ROI in schemes like sbi, these people need to chamge and sbi should be less accomodating.
Normal users are fine.
I draw the line at comment voting and maximizing ROI by excessive use of their services.

I definitely see positive aspects in things like sbi and I'm glad you brought that up.
My idea is to make more positive things prevail.

thank you I hope you succeed. sbi is a great way to reward small accounts doing great work, the kind of posts and accounts that will make no one any money so they tend to be overlooked.

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nice reasonable read, good point of view, looking for a good balance and armony.

Great article @abitcoinskeptic - one which needed to be addressed. Perhaps @theycallmedan would appreciate what you have put out here considering his post made yesterday.

Additionally, as the head of PHC I would just like to say thank you for representing us so positively in this post. And yes, you are spot on - we are an amazing collective of individuals - ALL of which have the best interests of Steem at heart and yes, this space would be all the poorer without communities like ours.

Thanks. I think I commented on his post from yesterday.

I felt a need to clear things up.

Saying genuine communities are next is a slippery slope argument. We aren't influence peddling or selling anything.....other than zord's fancy banners.

Make a new Steem effort and you will be rewarded.

Well, changing a huge machine might require some huge time and effort. Or at least a lot of good planning. So I would be patient. But I think your articles help a lot of analysis and suggestions.

We know a lot of those sbi units were given as rewards and people thought long-term of them. In terms of years, if you do the math under the old circumstances.

Meanwhile, the world changed a bit.

Adaptation is only logical. Or the only logical thing? Who knows?

Cheers!

I remember when it first came out, after are 15 to 22 mpmths you'd get ROI, sooner if you bought for an alt. For delegations, it was always better than average and around 25% APR. When they added upvoting ROI it changed. That turned it into a instamt profit thing. You cpuld buy one share, do nothing but upvote their posts and comments and profit immediately.

Some of the other vote subscription services I'm aware of are #steem-UA, #tipu, #backscratcher and #smartmarket.

Sorry, you cant subscribe to receive votes from @tipu ;)

I think I'm going to clarify tipu a little more. Its a hybrid voting service, not a subscription.

I think the main take here is that tipu is changing and adapting and communicating which entails a bright future.

Bookmarked and will have a look tomorrow.
Thank you for this, but we have never delegated anything to them.
Although I think someone has subscribed us.
Blessings!

Nothing wrong with getting a subscription.
It's the people who buy as much as possible and voting too much on their accounts I'm looking at.

Ah! Not guilty here my friend and glad that you know it.
Papillon has never used a bot and what you see is all my very own hard work.
Just goes to show that progress can be made in honesty.
Blessings!

communty > community

Thank you so much for sharing us your point of view

You're welcome.
I tthink it is something that should be thought about and discussed.

A lot to think about, I just wanted to say that all is voluntary and me being part of the powerhousecreatives and a lot off other discords makes the upvoting an easy task because they many other accounts are in multiple discords and I get the support back. And for me newsteem is that we help eachother further on the steemisfere, let’s hope for a great future

I've noticed a few of our members are in multiple communities. I'm really only an active member of PHC. I find too many tags at the bottom of posts is just clutter, but that's a personal thing.

A lot of people like communities and they are great. Some people are concerned that eventually good communities will be targeted. I sympathize with their anxiety since communities make Steem great for a lot of people.

I just don't see things the same way with these vote subscription/exchange/buying communities, people are in it for the votes and ROI, not the community engagement or social aspect.

I just don't see things the same way with these vote subscription/exchange/buying communities, people are in it for the votes and ROI, not the community engagement or social aspect. Me neither but I don’t mean tribes I mean steemterminal and payitforward as groups that create content and chat in discord but who knows what the future will bring

I will have to look into those groups specifically.
I posed my question as black or white, but its a spectrum and not even linear.

I think as soon as you promise someone a vote for something other than content, you are entering selling territory.

As soon as you ask for a vote for any purpose other than the content of you post, you are entering buying territory.

Obviously some actions are fine in these territories, but you are no longer flying under the radar.

That’s what open source information does and I like the transparency

Right in the end, if we say one thing and do another, it's pretty easy for someone else to look into it.

Steem takes the phrase 'talk is cheap' to the next level.

steem-ua is supposed to be a ranking service less prone to being gamed than the baked in system on the platform. If it has morphed into a subscription service I think most people are unaware of that.

As for SBI, one of the main reasons I give SBI away at PYPT is that it provides what amounts to small ongoing votes to those receiving it rather than sending someone a single steem. I also like that people can't just arbitrarily raise their holdings without raising the holdings of others.

SBI votes on comments when the member hasn't posted. I have seen this happen with myself. If I go several days without putting a post up, I start getting SBI votes on comments. They stop the moment I post.

As for the blacklists. Have you talked to @josephsavage to find out if SBI uses them? I know I would never sending an SBI for someone on the blacklists.

Steem-UA is a subscription service in the sense that you delegate to them in promise for votes.
The interesting part about it is how they have the ranking system work so it's not always the same amount of money you earn. It's based on how many followers you have and then the particular level of engagement on your post. It doesn't look like it's been updated for awhile in terms of how the model works. I see two issues with it personally. Althought it does look into engagement, I'm not sure of the degree of intelligence. Does it count people on blacklists commenting? Bot commenting? Is character length important? The other issue is considering the number of followers. Do people with reps below 30 count? What about accounts that haven't posted or commented for months? There are a lot of weird networks of followers that don't actually exist following people. In any case, Steem-UA doesn't increase their vote for you based on how much you give to them, it caps out at a very reasonable 250 delegation (7 votes a week) or 4 for 100 which is actually a good deal. I consider Steem-UA to be pretty harmless and doubt anyone is attacking them because they don't comment vote or give extra credit to people who vote for their posts.

I've just heard back from SBI (they commented here) apparently they do enable a blacklist, so I'm going to update that part. He also mentioned they are discussing making some changes and two of the issues I had with them are going to be considered which is great.

I also like that people can't just arbitrarily raise their holdings without raising the holdings of others.

This is fairly easy to get around. Lot's of people have alts or just trade.

So if I post on discord and get upvoted on that post, is that considered the same thing @abitcoinskeptic? Or only when I use my Steem or SBD's

Posted using Partiko Android

Do you mean just posting a link to your post in hopes someone will vote for it?

I don't think that's abuse at all, I consider that unpaid promotion which is a positive thing.

The problem would be sending someone a link to vote for and either Steem or some other promise (a simple vote exchange) or payment.

In my opinion, it's way too indirect to be a problem.

@abitcoinskeptic

As usual, there is a great deal to think about here. I'm going to come back and have another read and comment. We're about to lose power and I have a few other places I must drop in. Will come back and have another read tomorrow...

Thanks for the wuick comment and I look forward to your opinion. I had to read the part about losing power twice because at first I thought you were talking about voting or steem power and not electricity. Hope it's resolved soon.

Hahaha! I had the same reaction to bits of your post which is why I want to come back to it. We're having scheduled power outages in South Africa. I have 10 minutes till the lights go out :D

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I find myself at the nexus of #oldsteem and #newsteem in that I’ve managed to acquire a large number of SBI units that are doing me not much good because haejin/ranchrelaxo is revenge downvoting all of my posts to zero.

Rock, meet hard place. 😅

Although I do feel bad for you because I really like your blogs and think you are fighting the good fight, I don't think this issue is related to SBI. I also don't think SBI will revenge vote anyone.
I myself am not downvoting the whales because I like to stay out of trouble, but I am doing my fair share of downvotes. I generally just look at steem flag rewards and downvote whatever they recommend. I'd be willing to look at other lists, too.

Great post, I agree that the adjustments for some of these projects haven't taken place yet and need to be coaxed. This post is a step in the right direction.

I don't blame them for wanting a little while after the hard fork, but it has been 6 weeks now and enough data and opinions are available to start making decisions.

That's a reasonable evaluation.

I have delegated to Steem-UA the minimum amount just to get the info it provides and not really for the upvote that comes with it. Lately the info doesn't seem to be that accurate and there seems to not be anymore development.

I think the subscription of delegating 100 SP to them for 4 post votes a week is amazing, especially if you write that much. I agree, I would love to see an update. They consider how many followers you have and that doesn't mean a whole lot when many of them don't even read your posts or use Steem anymore for that matter. Also, spam comments like "you received and upvote from UpVoteBot courtesy of you" are not really engagement.

Steem-UA ... It is based on the number of followers you have and the level of engagement surrounding your post. You can only get 'shares' by delegating to them.

my 5 cents: I have a decent followers number (around 180) and sufficient 'engagement surrounding my posts' (it is all original, and rewarded content, people upvote it cause they like it, I believe)... amount of delegation to this service: zero. number of the posts upvoted by the service: zero. i.e. they curated not a single post of my blog.

due to these details, I assume this service is based mostly on the delegation. prove me I am wrong, hehe.

You can only get 'shares' by delegating to them.

They are not a curation service. They are a subscription service. It seems like you are not subscribed.

The number of followers one has meant very little, if followers never upvote, mention, resteem or comment, their value is unclear.

I would rather have one follower that engages than 100 who don't.

They are not a curation service. They are a subscription service.

exactly that I considered, my example is underlining.

Ahh. Makes sense.

Their stake isn't huge and it's difficult to abuse.

As I have not been as active on our Steem blockchain of late @abitcoinskeptic, I am only now seeing this (due to our recent exchange on your most recent post ...). I have bookmarked it (in SteemPeak, my favorite interface), to come back and read carefully through it, as time permits.

While I have a quick and almost immediate reaction (not typical for me ...), I will refrain until I have properly digested with you have to say, along with the associated comments. Then, I may have more to say later ...

#sbi-skip (<= 😉)

I noticed you write sbi skip on the comments. I post enough that it isn't an issue.
Your comments are better than some people's posts and a vote on some of them wouldn't be embarassing.
I once had sbi vote on a comment that said 'yes'.
My main issue is not with sbi, it is with people that abuse sbi and only vote for sbi. They are the people that stick around here and take take take while complaining that Steem is low. I feel sbi doesn't do enough to prevent this. It wasn't an issue before the hard fork.

Even having “slept on it,” I am still challenged to produce what I would consider a positive, constructive comment to this post @abitcoinskeptic. Just “straight up” from the heart …

If you knew me better, you may well consider me a “contrarian” to the core. Much of which might be attributed to my age and experience in a long life of having “been through the wars” … I am fundamentally unimpressed with most of the “rah, rah, rah” aspects of “New Steem,” when I still see so much blatant abuse of it.

Have the “big boys” truly reformed and made this platform a substantially better place? Or have they simply “changed the rules of the game” and still in the process of madly scrambling to ensure they themselves are in front of the line to take maximum advantage of them? All while “stampeding” the rest to “sing the praises” of “All hail New Steem” with no “off key notes” allowed in the singing. Or else …

For the SBI program to be deemed a worthy “target” for what seems to be a far too zealous (evangelistic?) response to “New Steem” is at least one if not two or three steps too far for this Steemian. When there are far greater issues which need to be addressed. One man’s opinion and it is pointless and a waste of my time to go any further …

While capable of being a considerably larger stakeholder in our Steem blockchain, I have elected not to be, given the much greater negatives I see than most appear to, including apparently yourself. That is fine. We are all uniquely different and cannot possibly be in 100% agreement all the time ...

You do write well @abitcoinskeptic and I am certainly happy to genuinely give you credit for seeming to be considerably more thoughtful in your approach “in here” than most. And, taking pains to not be misunderstood (as much as that depends upon me), I will continue to comment on your posts in the future, as I view that as an essential role we all play in adding value (yes, which is deserving of “rewards” as well …) to the ongoing content creation. Without which the value of the content creation is greatly diminished …


P.S. For what it is worth, I found the most value in reading through all of your post’s comments in those from @felt.buzz and @fionasfavourites. Why? Because they openly question “New Steem” …

#sbi-skip

To be honest I was very reluctant to write this post. Before the changes, SBI was great, although unperfect. Mainly I wish people had to ask for comment votes instead of deny them.

My main reason for writing this post was to alleviate worries of various people I connect with on Steem who are concerned about new Steem going to far. I wanted to assure people it isn't the main target, and to suggest changes SBI can make to survive the purge. Whether the purge has gone to far is a topic hopefully for a dofferent day as that is a discussion that is too early to have.

I haven't changed my downvote habits at all after newSteem. I think I understand what is happening better than most. I still believe it is too early to jump to conclusions on the effects, but I think these measures are worth a try. I definitely think it is too early to see if newSteem has gone to far because as you mentioned, there are larger problems remaining.

Maybe they movement is starting to go astray? That will be worth discussing at some point.

I think my main disagreement with a lot of the people I agree with and respect around here is that it isn't too early to make conclusions, changes weren't necessary, it has already gone to far. I don't think we can answer these. We can debate if it was necessary, but was it detrimental?

I wrote this post to have discussions with people like you and those you mentioned and I am usually sure to pay close attention to people who have differing opinions and write meaningful comments that are worth addressing and replying to.

This is my 3rd or so post on NewSteem that is controversial and not conpletely satire. I want to see everyone stick around. I want to see the changes actually work as intended or close to it (improve value, engagement and userbase). I want to see services like SBI adapt and survive.

I think the most encouraging thing is getting to learn people's insights, and especially the response from Joseph and SBI. He is worried about his project obviously. He knows I'm not the one beating the newSteem drum and trying to attack everyone I disagree with. He agrees a cap on vote bonuses is necessary.

When they suggested how they would make changes, I even wrote I think it is too much and 50% should be considered for the main account posts. I don't think they've been too slow to change, but a few recent events makes me think now is the time to start changing. The closing of smartmarket's selling service and the changes of tipu to allow promotion were two of them.

People like SBI. It is sad to see that some people started abusing it once the bots were under attack. I'm not sure about you, but I feel that something is off when all accounts are voting certain users at 100%. The name basic income evikes something completely different, but I think its time for reasonable limits to prevent abuse.

I've always been in the camp that abusive users are most responsible, then enabling services, and not the normal or legitimate users. I hope that a good solution can be found that increases everyone's peace of mind and Inespecially hope the idea alreadybon the table is enough even though I think it's too much.

This is awesome. I'm curious about SBI shares before HF21 was rolled out. If we gave shares then, we'll continue getting votes. Right? I haven't seen any downvotes as a result of that, but I think I'm still getting SBI votes and I haven't bought shares in a long time. I think I do have some autovotes going that way, but I can cancel that. Things seem to be improving all around.

The shares technically last forever so you will keep getting votes.

I don't think anyone will get downvoted just for having old shares.

Its the people who vote for their accounts too much that need to worry. You get around 1200% a day. If you are voting sbi comments and posts with more than 300% (three full votes a day), its probably excessive. Combine it with sending them a lot of steem to get shares using @ for your alt or buddy who is buyig you shares, and delegating them most of you sp...we end up seeing people who maybe should reconsider their actions.

Okay, gotcha. My upvotes are capped, in percentage and by number of day, so it's relatively small. Thanks! Great insight.