I'm a little known British Steemian, blogging on the Steem Blockchain since March 2017 and spreading my own unique form of eccentricity through posts and comments. I do not have any specific skill set, so my posts tend to revolve about my (very) amateur photography and the occasional Coffee themed post because that is my business.
My journey through Steem is no doubt similar to many, I struggled at the start to get my posts noticed or even voted on. I was lucky to be brought here by @old-guy-photos ,and he very kindly helped me learn how to create engaging posts using photography and the #colorchallenge tags. Slowly I recognised the importance of promoting yourself by commenting on other people's posts, and building up a community friendship with people. Unfortunately with the fast pace of posts and people, keeping track of accounts became a struggle and I felt there was something else I was missing to keep track of people. Discord kept being mentioned, and through my initial tentative steps I started to engage a few people and join different servers. I was lucky at this time to build a lasting friendship with @nainaztengra , who helped me to appreciate the value of communities and relationships which ultimately led me to @thealliance
In January 2018 I tentatively applied to join @thealliance group, I was more then surprised when they accepted me because I was aware the group is dedicated to exceptional quality content - and as previously mentioned there is nothing exceptional about my posts.....With the guidance of @tattoodjay and @edthecanadian and the many accounts in our small syndicate of @thealliance I learned more about supporting each other as a group. Soon the syndicates merged into one big family, and while joining into a server with 200+ Steem accounts was a bit daunting at first I soon remembered many accounts I had come across many times before throughout my journey. This included @deadgrlsuppastar who does amazing photography, and @topkpop who at the time ran an amazing Friday night Discord show - All Play Fridays. I was welcomed by @katrina-ariel and @hazem91 amongst many, many others. And of course 🦄💨 @saffisara , who became a guiding light for me with her joy and energy.
I had spent some time in @thealliance before I realised who the leader was, it's quite daunting to engage with someone who can bring so many people together and engage them. @enginewitty as a Steem Witness quickly became an inspiration for me, and has always remained friendly and approachable. His enthusiasm for the Steem Blockchain is only matched by his dedication to supporting people and helping them, everything he does on here is specifically driven to growing the community he has built and helping the people within it.
In March 2018 I reached my Steemiversary - I joined on the same day many others had...who had long since gone. But one account shares that same start date that is still active and posting like myself, @battleaxe another great inspiration who I have always admired - popular thoughout every community her focus on giving to people is exemplified through the @teamgood community she built supporting charity and good causes. Active in @youarehope , the charity account supporting the most needy around the world started by @sircork and supported by his group Witness account @noblewitness - the Steem blockchain has right now so many people trying to help people rather then just trying to look after themselves. It is one of the many reasons I still continue to actively post here, the volume of good, kind and caring people around the world is quite amazing.
In May 2018 I realised that the Steem Blockchain had become more then just a casual hobby, I had built many friendships and invested an incredibly large amount of my time into it primarily through comments and the occasional post. I had always admired Witnesses as supporters of the blockchain, keeping our precious blogs and interaction flowing - they were (and still are) to me the accounts to view from afar with the upmost respect. Through @enginewitty I had learned that a Witness would talk and engage with you, and I had researched enough to learn the importance a Witness had in supporting and keeping the blockchain running. When I was approached by @thekitchenfairy about voting for her Witness (which I did without a second thought) she was kind enough to discuss with me what was involved in becoming a Witness. Combining this together I decided to ensure I could in some way contribute to the continued running of the Steem Blockchain which meant so much to me, by setting up my own Witness Server. In my Witness Application Post which took three whole days to put together - and I was still not entirely happy with it then - I tried to explain in some way my intent. I had actually spent four weeks prior to that post reading up everything I could on how to be a Witness and setting up a running Witness Server. I'm old enough to remember growing up with command line, BBC Basic and the DOS being the first computer interactions I used before GUI took over - so running a server was not particularly difficult - finding the right one however was. It would have been considerably quicker to ask someone, but I really did not want to take up anyone's time. Despite all that time, I missed my first block confirmation because of a tiny configuration error. At this point I realised I needed help, and reached out to the Witness @jatinhota , who took an incredible amount of his own time to help and guide me. Thanks to his diligence he found my configuration issue and helped me to progress, today he is no longer running his own Witness server - but I will be forever thankful for his help and still remain hopeful he will be able one day to start up again.
Being a Witness on the Steem Blockchain has two essential requirements, firstly you have to be able to pay for, configure and run continuously a Server capable of processing all the transactions that occur. To offset the time and monetary costs you receive "Producer Rewards" for every block transaction your Server signs, Steem uses the DPOS system (Delegated Proof of Stake) which makes it an amazing cryptocurrency the community votes for Witnesses and the producer rewards are distributed based on Steem Power Holding of those voters. Every account can vote for upto 30 Witnesses, and we can change those votes based on who we feel is doing the most for us, the Blockchain and ultimately ensuring our own stake will grow. Our top Witnesses, who receive the most producer rewards run the Nodes that are the backbone of the Blockchain and distribute all the transactions that occur to the Witnesses to sign. I would love to run a Node, but the specification has to be incrediblely high, 256gb Ram high speed SSD servers with 1tb plus dedicated bandwidth to cope with the constant demand - the Nodes ensure everything we do at any time occurs smoothly. I still do not yet cover my Witness Server costs, but I would be more then happy to cover the costs of a Node if the Steem Blockchain needed it - we are fortunate enough to have sufficient dedicated individuals as Witnesses to have at present enough Nodes to cope. It is worth mentioning you can not just start a Node and broadcast it - Nodes have to be approved by the Top 20 Witnesses before being added to list of active available Nodes to ensure they are capable of providing an constant uninterrupted service.
I was, and still am truly humbled about the level of support the community has given me as a Steem Witness. So many people very quickly without question gave me a Witness vote without a second thought. As I progressed through the ranks, my friend and incredible photographer @derangedvisions set up his own Witness and quickly gained many votes - a popular Steemian admired for his dedication to the Blockchain, supporting people especially through his regular Photography Competitions which reward all skill levels and provide big prize payouts. I was excited to see him as a new Witness, and happy to provide my Witness vote - he climbed past myself quickly thanks to the incredible amount of community work he does throughout Steem. But being a Witness is demanding, and @derangedvisions was already doing so much that the added admin work of a Witness Server became untenable. We had worked together closely, both focused on our dedication to both Steem and the people that make it a real community spirit - so when he closed his own Witness Server we agreed to join together as a Witness Team - hopefully his voters would support me now and in return we would share equally the Witness Producer Rewards each week to support our own efforts to grow the Steem Blockchain.
Today, 23rd October 2018 the joint Witness Team of @c0ff33a and @derangedvisions is a Top 100 Steem Witness, Full Rank 98 and Active Rank 93. That is thanks to all of you, the 458 Voters who believe in what we are working hard at on the Steem Blockchain to support people, communities and the growth of Steem to benefit us all. If I could thank you all in person I would, it's an incredible place to be for me - I never dreamed this could happen. What I can do, along with my Witness Partner @derangedvisions is to support everyone we can in the Steem community, through upvotes, comments, competitions, promoting Steem and the Blockchain wherever we can - every free minute we dedicate to Steem because we believe in it - and you all the friends, from around the world we have made through it.
I live and Work in West Yorkshire, United Kingdom. !steemitworldmap 53.766547 lat -1.801500 long Bradford, West Yorkshire, United Kingdom. d3scr
The simplest way to contact me is through a comment on any of my posts, I am active in many Discords or you can Direct Message me at c0ff33a / Deranged [Witness]#7845 on Discord.
You can vote for the Witness team c0ff33a and @derangedvisions if you like what we are doing for people and communities throughout the Steem blockchain - click below to vote easily
If you are uncertain about Witnesses and who to vote for you can set c0ff33a as your Witness Proxy and you will vote for the same Witnesses as I do.
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