I don't know about you guys, but it's getting kind of annoying to try and explain downvotes to each and every person who feels they are used unfairly. One thing I've attempted to do on Steem ever since the day I joined was to focus on my account and persona I have here. I didn't care to start building my account on Youtube, Twitter, Facebook or any other decentralized alternatives at the time, the latter mostly cause they were all a joke and died off faster than some steem-engine tokens have. I could try and tell you that I wasn't just try-harding to get rich quick, let you know that I mostly focused on commenting and raising interaction while curating with a trail before delegations existed without trying to grow my stake, but I'd me lying if it didn't have anything with the earning aspect to do. Most of us here are because of that and only a fraction are here for the other advantages this blockchain provides.
I could have easily pumped out 1-2 "quality" posts per day and the community was rather small at the time (yes even smaller than now) and receiving votes on good posts was not as hard if you knew who to talk to or where to go, many users knew while many others never figured it out. I'm not saying I occasionally didn't ask for votes, I think we were all there at one point where we were either fascinated with Steem or the way it worked and over-excited until reality hit that curation was not that great and most content got ignored which lead you to look into other ways to get the attention or votes you believed you deserved. It just didn't feel right and after some time I went back to the "long term" mindset of thinking "I'll get there eventually" or "my efforts will be rewarded at some point" and continued raising interaction while curating.
I kinda started to like the long term mindset, come 2017 and delegations arrived and a lot of investors and older users who had been following my trail decided to reward my efforts with delegation and I saw my account grow fast. The all time high came quick and even though in hindsight it would have not just been good for myself to sell most of my stake but also for the platform cause I would be curating with a lot more now, but I decided not to because I got comfortable with the way things were and how they were growing. I'm probably not the only one who didn't expect the bear market to hit this hard, especially a project like Steem which seemed different in so many ways compared to the rest of vaporware and old and rusty tech out there. It did though, but I'm not one to be filled with regret and let it eat me up. Throughout my journey in the cryptoworld it has happened more times than I can count and you just get jaded to it at some point. I am still way more thankful at what Steem has allowed me to do and work on the past 3.5 years than the way the markets have burned me and it is something that is keeping me going to this day.
Most of the things that have happened on Steem, are happening today and will happen in the near future are in my eyes as small as when you look at the chart of bitcoin pre 2017 and compare it to where its at today. Steem will be recycled in users so many times either through distribution of stake through voting or through the markets that 90% of the authors we remember as active participants today may not be in the next couple years, similar to how 90% of the active users that were active two years ago have disappeared as well. Now why am I saying this.
At a certain point you also get jaded to all the people trying to justify their use of profitable bid bots, their arguments why they are special and should not be receiving downvotes for it. Their understanding that we won't remove the downvotes and them switching to the offensive. It's a cycle you've seen happen way too many times, either by downvoting profitable bid bot votes with @ocdb or just downvoting cause you disagree with the rewards with your personal accounts. At this point I honestly don't care anymore what people think or don't think that we do or our intentions behind it. If they think we get off on downvoting posts and being all "dictators" then I guess the wisdom of the crowd has to judge it and so far they are still in the minority. At certain times it feels like it's something I really don't want to deal with, especially since there is so much to do on Steem and left to be done. So much still my own project has yet to get going, so many new things showing an opportunity to be worked on and all this complaining and nagging and retaliating, etc is nothing more than a waste of time on my end. So much so that some days I even consider not using the downvotes at all and just focus on my own things, so I kind of understand those curation projects and users that never dug into this.
At the same time though I feel that if we don't use our downvotes to either discourage users from using profitable bid bot votes to instead get curation or downvote certain high earning users I disagree with which brings back rewards to the pool - I'd be doing Steem a disservice. Especially the long term Steem I still have somewhere in my head of what I would like it to look like in the future when our current userbase is just a vague memory of what it was like and who they were. I feel like this is just some of that dirty work that needs to get done but most users don't want to do.
Does anyone care that their toilet is working properly because a plumber did a good job with laying pipes, is it something they think about each time they take a dump? No of course not. In comparison to the plumber these posts could be considered as the plumber calling you up once a week and reminding you of the good work he did and you should be thankful of it. So while I am getting as sick of these posts talking about downvotes as you are and at the same time as I am about discussing each and every downvote, I think it's time to end these discussions, explanations and endless conversations and either ignore or come to terms that this is just something that exists on Steem now. Some users will downvote you because of your rewards, some will downvote you because of your religion - at the same time some others may reward you because of your now downvoted rewards or because they share the same religion as you or just don't believe downvotes should occur due to that. You can't call something centralized when the new rules are there for everybody, it's still decentralized and there for anyone to play according to those rules. Calling voting trails for centralized is also kind of dumb, it's like saying "oh man, Christianity is centralizing religion in the U.S", didn't mean to make so many religious references in such a short time span but maybe you get what I'm saying. Trailing is something people do if they agree or don't agree with the way that project uses it's upvotes and downvotes but it has nothing to do with decentralization. There are bitcoin mining pools close to 50% of hashpower so in comparison an account would need to have 160 million SP in stake or be in control of for it to even be considered centralized.
All in all, I'm done ranting about downvotes and expect me to ignore most of the complaints about our downvotes with ocdb the same way I'm ignoring people downvoting me based on them. Equally I'm also going to continue not voicing my opinion on downvotes cast on my own account or others I feel are receiving them unfairly but will do my best to counter them with my own account when I see them in moderation. Instead I'm going to put most of my focus on what I believe does the most for Steem in the long term, same way I believe I've been attempting throughout my past history on here to build and grow the userbase and make them see what I see of the potential of this place and the freedom it can give users with the rewards being the bonus on top of it all.
Damn, feels like I could be writing about this endlessly but I realize there are not many reading posts nowadays as much so if some of you made it all the way down here I really appreciate you still taking the time. Maybe more another time, for now let's get back to building.