Downvote me if you can't

in #steem5 years ago

I joined steem in July after reading the article on, and I have never bothered to do a presentation post, which was the trend at the time. Maybe I should have, because people still don't seem to understand the kind of person I am.

Unlike many users here, I am not new to cryptocurrency. I have owned and used Bitcoins for a long time now. For what it's worth, I have a masters degree in Mathematics and I am a successful www entrepreneur. I have been living 90% of my entire adult life without a master (or real-job as slaves would call it), and I don't plan on giving up on this way of life. I have a lot of hatred in me, especially for hypocrits and dishonest people. I am usually brutally honest and I like people to do the same to me. My friends circle is not too large, but at least I know I can count on them when the time comes.

This is going to be a long post, as it will most likely be my last one. So here goes a nice song to listen to while reading the article.

I will input my full Steem experience and my analysis of what is good and wrong with it. I am definately not writing this post for the rewards, and whatever this post makes will get cashouted in the next 13 weeks to Poloniex and will contribute to the fall.

Why I got interested in Steem

When I first joined Steem the first thing that struck me as a great idea was the fact that a large percentage of the daily created coins were not given to bots, but to human writers. We are all aware of the ASICs and mining-farms problem in bitcoin or other cryptos with similar distribution systems. On steem, there is theorically no way a bot can make money from writing contents, as it is still pretty hard to algorithmically write a lot of contents. Writing is something computers can't beat humans at (by far).

Another surprising fact to me when I joined was the fact that the tech was already functional. The SteemIt website worked well, even though it was a clear copy of reddit, at least it was decentralized and I could add my voice to the steem blockchain in 4 seconds, without anyone being able to censor me. I guess a lot of people realized that at the same time than me, considering the huge peak in the steem value following my arrival.

At this point in time, I was hyped. I told my friends about steem, I think about a dozen of them created accounts. I wanted to play the game, try to get some of that juicy steem power. Creating was pretty obvious to me, as previously stated, I am mostly interested in the distribution of the coins, and the website was slow as hell and didn't give precise information. To this day, SteemWhales keeps on increasing traffic and I regularly see it mentioned or screenshoted in various posts, so I guess it is serving it's purpose.

How it went downhill for me

I originally joined to ask technical questions to @svk who created the open source tool that SteemWhales uses to connect to the blockchain easily. My conversation list quickly grew. On any decent article I would post, I would receive at least 2 or 3 messages like 'Your post deserves more, I am forwarding it to some whales right now'. Needless to say these people were right. Whenever I got one of these messages my post would double or triple up in value in the next minutes.

SteemWhales also proved that the distribution was definatly unfair, if you look at the pie chart on the top right of the homepage, top 1% controls 90% of the wealth. Top 10% controls 99% of the wealth. Oh, did I mention this pie chart ignores the @steemit account? So it is actually far worse than what is showed here, but if I didnt ignore this account, the pie chart would look like flat blue.

It's hard to compare the distribution of coins on steemit to the real world, because of the huge divergence in the statistical results, but probably the top 1% controls about half (50%) of the total wealth, which fits the pareto principle and must be about right.

Another thing that annoyed me was the attitude of the developers behind the project. For people who are unaware, the Steem blockchain is copyrighted. You can clone the source code, but you are not allowed to modify it to generate a new chain as per the licence file. On the other side, they had absolutly no problem open sourcing the website's code when there was a shitload of posts about the fact that the UI looks like from the 90s.

On a side note, I've helped on the french translations of the steemit website. A group of 7 people contributed to make this possible, even though most of the code making translation possible was written by one of the engineers of, a fork of Steem which received SteemIt Corp approval (for money or shares probably). Very quickly, our repository was fake merged into the official one, but any mention of the actual translators were deleted and all the credit was taken by this 'valvaz' dude.

Since I've been here, I've seen the SteemIt Corp devs attempting many money grabs. They added a button to buy steem on the homepage (through blocktrades which has huge fees), they added promoted posts, and the feature to disable rewards or get full steem power rewards. Needless to say these attempts were fails. Proof is they got removed at one point.

SteemIt is a very valuable website, which drives a lot of traffic and gets a lot of incoming links. Any normal monetisation program would start by including ads. To this day I still have no idea why this wasn't implemented. It seems the people behind steemit might be good at getting things done but they have no idea about marketing and monetization.

They might be good at getting stuff done, but any actual features they added were all bad ideas or broke more important parts of the system. I'm not even going to talk about the resteem feature for obvious reasons...

The follow feature was a big change, especially when we consider that they made it the default homepage for logged in users! It changed a lot of users habits, and gave a 'twitter' feeling to the website. Personally I hate it, I wish the trending could be my homepage again.

The reputation system in itself wasn't a bad feature as it solved the commenting bots problem, but it reinforced the networking aspect of the game. Because of the fact that everything is public in the blockchain, it is easy to know who is downvoting you, and if you downvote someone higher reputation than you, it won't do anything, and if the guy is a mad little kid like 99% of internet users, you better be ready to get downvoted by him for the rest of your life. I can give 2 clear cut examples of this:


I am French and try to curate the french articles to help the community grow. Both of these articles are by high reputation users. Both times, I downvoted and explained my reasons in the comments. Both times, I got assaulted by an army of carebears with high reputation that basically called me a horrible person for even trying to downvote something. Oh and of course both my comments got downvoted and are now hidden from plain sight.

I believe the downvote mechanic to be a very healthy way to curate, unfortunatly the reputation system rendered this mechanic totally useless. The downvote ratio on Steem is almost 0, compared to Reddit where downvotes are commonly in the 20-30% range from what I can remember (reddit removed the ability to see that a few months back).

I know Steem is still a beta, how could I not when it's written underneath the logo? It's normal for the developers to try to implement new things and revert them if it is not working as intended. Except it's NOT REALLY a beta. There won't be a reset of the chain when it truly releases (if it ever 'releases'). People are getting real coins that they can convert to real money. The beta word underneath the logo is just a reminder for all the monkeys on this website that they should accept things that they wouldn't accept under normal circumstances.

Why do people use social networks in the first place? For socializing. Today, SteemIt is full of greedy users whose goals are to increase their rewards as fast as possible, not socializing. They play the cooperation game instead of caring about their contents, sadly succesfully. They put some signatures with things like "This post is 100% steem power, please upvote" at the bottom of every single of their articles. They will spam the unmoderated rooms 20 times a day. They will make retarded abuses like the 'SP distribution games' that we see on the front page everyday. When I arrived on this website, the quality of the content was far from other social networks, but I hoped it would improve as more users came in. Unfortunatly, the opposite is true. I don't find myself coming in here much, Reddit or even Facebook is a better source of information for me, because I have no time for all the bullshit I mentioned.

How I would try to solve it

I have read about the upcoming economic changes, and I don't think this is gonna change much. The fact the devs promised they won't cashout for the first quarter from their personal accounts is a huge PR mistake. By saying that, most people would understand that they are gonna dump everything from other accounts, and from the personal accounts in the next quarter...

I know everyone believes in decentralization (at least in here), but at this point it's quite obvious that this won't work out. If SteemIt corp really wants this website to become mainstream, they need to make use of their power.

  1. Add a new action on the blockchain that allows the @steemit account to ban and freeze coins of any user. This will allow to ban all the obvious bot accounts very quickly, as well as put a threat on all users who are trying to break the rules, eventually making them change their mind and play the game normally instead. Frozen coins would also virtually decrease the total supply and increase the value of the coin, so nothing is really lost.

  2. Exploits, vote-baits like @steemsports, or high-reputation accounts used to publish somebody's else articles should be forbidden, and banned if they don't comply. This will reduce the amount of useless spam and increase the overall quality of the contents.

  3. The current registration system is extremely bad for the growth of the network. People cannot register without a facebook/reddit account or else they will need to reveal their phone number. WTF?? This point alone will stop making crypto afficionados from even trying steem. I support a normal registration system, with a normal email, maybe even without email confirmation. Just don't give them coins on registration, if they want it they gotta earn it. If they make multi accounts and collude to increase their rewards, just use the ban-hammer from 1.

  4. There is probably some background to the association between Steem and blocktrades and the button to 'Buy Steem', however I feel like most crypto users dislike that. We can buy any crypto on any exchange we prefer, and promoting an exchange (in a disguised way) will by no mean increase the trust in Steem. Just get rid of it and make a page with a listing of all the most popular exchanges in a random order.

  5. Monetize with ads. It's normal for SteemIt corp to want to get some money, I know renting prices in their area are not cheap. But they shouldn't have to sell their coins and drop the price to achieve it. I would most likely disable by ad-blocker if I knew the funds would help the development of Steem. Also, people on internet are used to ads already, and SteemIt is probably the largest social network who hasn't implemented ads yet. Are we really in 2016 ?

  6. Open Source the chain for REAL. Stop it with the bullshit. If someone copies it and improves upon it, it's fair game. As long as SteemIt Corp keeps on working hard and solidify their position, there is no way a fork will ever have a greater share the 'social crypto' market than Steem.

  7. Make the finances of the SteemIt corp public. Users/Investors want to know what they get into. We want to know how many people work full time for steem, and what do they do. If you dump coins on the markets, we also want to know about it. It might not help on the money-making side of things, but it will increase the trust by a lot and will pay off in the long-term.

  8. Hire more people, especially on the marketing side of things. Spend some money on SEM, contact other popular crypto websites to get some exposure. It is insane to think that most crypto currency users have no idea what Steem is despite the fact that it is already functional, when you compare it to all the shit ICO coins with fake github dev teams with no real product which are somehow more popular.

  9. Create a closed source tool for detecting collusion and upvote networks. Run it at random times and use the ban hammer on any user who passes a threeshold.

I can't wait for all your worthless rhetorical comments, so please go ahead, I know you want to.

P.S: GL to my 2 friends @ekitcho and @fabien on their busy endeavors


Thank you for posting this article. I think it is a microcosm of the challenges Steemit faces at the moment; namely it is easy to identify the issues (basic UI, uneven distribution, undesired behaviours), however not so easy to come up with viable solutions that everyone will agree with (ban accounts/ freeze coins?).

Steemit is now at a stage where pretty much every move can be praised and criticised in equal measure. Even universally acclaimed changes will be met by jeers from some, that they are 'too little and/ or too late' etc.

I take your point about the beta symbol, however Steemit is still in it's early days. Signs are the site will get better. I compare it to similar blockchain project that spend years in proof-of-concept phase. I dread to think of the challenges they will face once they actually release a product that has a modicum of adoption (like Steem/ Steemit has). It will also be interesting to compare the speed at which they are able to address their issues. There is nothing really to compare Steemit/ Steemit Inc to at the moment so its difficult to judge how well its doing (given its relatively limited size and resources).

I do hope you choose to stick around. illustrates you have much to contribute to this platform. But will understand if you choose to go for the reasons you've stated.

We are in the "wild west" of blogging/ content reward technology. Steemit reminds me of that kid with prodigious raw talent. The young teenage Lionel Messi of social media platforms. Yet to be cultivated into a top footballer. It might not make it. People will give up on it. But with patience and the right guidance and investment it stands one hell of a chance of making huge inroads in this space.

the main problem is known; a monopoly run by 19 players is still a monopoly ... as long the 19 people in control are supposed to stop themselves from abusing the system ... the abuse will continue

dan basically created the worst system of corruption ever ...

We are very grateful to everyone who contributed help with the internationalization of the interface. We should have a CONTRIBUTORS file that repo that gives credit where it's due.

they added promoted posts

FWIW, promoted posts burns the money used to promote the post, de-inflating the currency and providing the promotion fee to everyone.

Great post - I mostly disagree with it, none more so than the idea that there is better content on fakebook, and using reddit to avoid bullshit is hillarious :) But a lot of interesting ideas here.
Two changes I'd like to see on Steemit are the removal of all flagging, and a separate tab for resteeming so I could use it to bookmark posts I like. I know those things are unlikely to happen so my workaround is to never flag or resteem.

This is nothing against you, your contributions to the community, or your potential to add value - but personally, I am happy that the upcoming hardfork will give you the opportunity to get out.

There are for sure lots of issues that need to be worked out, but they are solvable problems.

I think there are plenty of people in the community that can see the potential through the issues, and will work on bringing the project to it's fruition.

But here's the real question: will you continue to run steemwhales? I use that site every single day.

For sure. If it ever breaks to a point where it's not usable and I don't have the time to fix it, I will just open source it on github probably.

That's an awesome news. is one of the most useful tool out there. I was one of the guy who send it to a whale to have it upvoted. I didn't read your post yet but I will.

@biophil what are you doing there on Just kidding. I'm doing the same as you in regard to curation only thing is I'm trying to close in on you. :P

That's awesome. Thank you for that. It's an amazing tool that I use every day as well.

Any chance for GolosWhales to be there ?

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I am a power user of and I was wondering for a few months why the guy behind it is so quiet. I thought you were involved full time in other Steem related projects, because it is clear you understand both the game mechanics and the technical side very well.

The tone of the article surprised me a bit. I won't comment on the proposals, because half of the are common sense and the rest of them are debatable. I don't want to debate them in this comment, maybe I'll write another one, on a specific proposal.

But the tone is a bit out of sync. I saw this tone hundreds of times, in my community projects.

And with that I think it's time to reveal that I'm on the Internet since 1999 (before Google, if you can imagine that) and I built several successful communities, on various niches, from the ground up to the likes of tens of thousands of users. At the moment of selling, one of them had more than 100k active users, on the automotive niche. I learned a lot from those processes.

The tone in your post seems to come from a person who is at least confused about how a community grows and works. Because this has little to do with technology. Or, to put it in perspective, technology is just the context in which the community can play the game. It does influence it a bit, but the fundamental value doesn't come from it. I know communities which are thriving for hundreds of years, since technology wasn't around (I'm talking about guilds or even religious communities - you may disagree with their values and principles, but they are communities which are working for hundreds of years).

Combining this fact with my own experience, I can safely state that a successful community comes from a sense of contribution and shared values, regardless of the problems. If a significant majority of the people are on this side - and by this side I mean real contribution, like you did with - eventually the community will succeed. If the significant majority of the people are whining or pointing fingers, the spiraling down is just a mater of weeks / months.

That's why the tone seemed surprising. You did great. Correction: you are still doing great. What you create has real value, it's a great tool. Keep working at it - whatever "it" you may choose to contribute now - because that's the path.

As hard as it may be, try to stop judging "the leaders" (quotes are intentional, because they're not really leaders, just context creators, fully aware of the fact that without people using it, even a genius platform is completely useless). You don't know their line of reasoning. It's true that their actions may feel out of sync with your expectations or with "how you see it right", but that's normal.

The value of Steemit comes from people interacting and contributing. And, form my experience, as flawed as it is (many of the problem you pointed are true, as I already said) Steemit is the only worthwhile blockchain-based, rewards-powered social platform that already exists.

It's far more easy to improve on something that is already existing.

as long Dan can't even admit to himself that a monopoly, divided by 19 players is still a monopoly ... steemit will keep on crashing


Upvoted to try to counter the unnecessary flag.

Interesting about the copyright ....... that makes no sense to me...

I disagree with the solutions you propose but I apologise for the silly comment I made before. I was actually looking for the guy who made steemwhales to ask you something, but when I saw how inactive you had been and that negative comment I jumped to a completely radical conclusion. My imagination runs wild sometimes lol.

As I recently reached the "top 1%" as a dolphin I was going to ask you if you could provide us with more of those pie graphs as suddenly the top 1% of shareholders is not as interesting to me as the top 0.1% or 0.01%. But I understand that you feel let down by the platform and developers so I don't expect you to be interested in doing them...

Sorry to read about your experience here. I think it is important to see where people are unhappy with the platform, since the developers have recently been hearing most from the people who are having a more positive experience, which could be self deluding.

Downvoted to be cooperative.

(Also due to author's stated intent to dump all rewards as soon as possible)

Thanks a lot for proving my point. Downvoted you as well. :)

Aw, come on @bacchist - you can remove the flag. We should all be allowed to voice an opinion without worrying about being blasted for it...(even if he asked for it). And yeah, it sucks that he intends to dump his rewards - but he's certainly not the first nor the last, I'm sure. He earned it - he can do what he wants. Just putting that out there.

He literally did ask for it!

Yeah, I know! And I've said, "Kill me now" a hundred times to my kids but I'm kinda glad they didn't, you know? LOL

LOL. I have missed your comments on my blog posts the last few days, that is for sure!

Thank you for your contributions with steemwhales. I definitely agree with you on some of your points.

It's easy for peoples voice to get lost in the steemit world, especially those who aren't necessarily great at advertising them self (like myself). I think I have the shittiest introduction post out of all the people here. I love steemit because it is what introduced me too the crypto world. Just now learning to trade. Before then I was only in the torrenting world.

It's too bad to see users like you go because of your voice not being heard. Not really sure what I could do to help but if there is anything let me know on steemit chat. Best of wishes to you in all your future endeavors!

While I have a somewhat more optimistic view about Steemit than you do, your comments about flagging posts resonated with me. When I was brand new and just did my introduction post, I flagged someone who was obviously plagiarizing and being quite disruptive in general. I immediately got "revenge flagged", and while it didn't hurt me as I had higher reputation, it galls me to this day to see that big fat flag on my very first blog post and the payouts from votes I made on other people's comments were negated as I even got "comment chased". Due to that uncomfortable experience, I have refrained from ever flagging anyone else.

Regarding the upcoming economic changes, I think it will be good in the long run. Yes, it will be possible for The Powers That Be to dump more Steem even faster. Yes, that could crash the price even more. But hey, the sooner this whole process of cashing out and redistributing Steem to the small players who will gobble it up is complete, the better. I don't mind having that process accelerated. When the dust settles, I hope there will be a new and sizable emergent dolphin class, and that will be very healthy for the ecosystem.

I am newer to crypto and so don't understand it all but trying to learn. So for someone like me, your comments in part are designed for newer users and your ideas advocate for people like me, to some extent, so thank you for that.

Writing something like this, cannot always likely be easy to do, knowing you are going to face criticisms, but I guess that is partly why the blockchain exists, so we don't up being censored like everywhere else on Big Data, like the evil PRISM related companies, like Fascistbook, the googles and YT, and the like.

I found this a a good read, very honest, even if many will not appreciate it all.

Interesting. I keep my mouth shut on all this stuff, because as many know in my chats online or comments, I am newer to a lot of this and know my place. I am still learning my way in crypto and this is not just a blogging/social network, it combines so many factors.

So I wanted to say thanks for being open about your feelings, which obviously you are pretty well versed in this space, and thanks for -- as a person learning my way, I use this tool every day, and I have shared it with others to learn, many posts and many many times here and so thanks for that also.

I hope Steem finds a way to fix some issues, that are clearly here and that you are encouraged. I personally can appreciate what a #CryptoElder like you brings to the table and we are likely better off as a community listening to people like you.

Have a good day! And again, TY for everything you have tried to do, or done. I know it must be frustrating for you.

I was about to argue with you re the "unfair" aspect of your argument, but this

if the guy is a mad little kid like 99% of internet users

made me laugh and give it a little more credence

any reason for the flag on this comment?

After all, all conscious human behavior is egoistical. So point #1 makes no sense. That's the opposite of decentralized. That's youtube. The system banning users would need to be like an etherum smart contract.

I disagree with this -

Because of the fact that everything is public in the blockchain, it is easy to know who is downvoting you, and if you downvote someone higher reputation than you, it won't do anything, and if the guy is a mad little kid like 99% of internet users, you better be ready to get downvoted by him for the rest of your life. I can give 2 clear cut examples of this:

it was you who downvoted pickoum first not the other way around.
I checked your profile out cause I sent you a reply and found this.
We are encouraging more users to write here but with the flagging obviously pickoum hasn't blogged again and writing him here would ruin his profile - In my opinion it is not fair. To prove that pickoum didn't even downvote this post - nor his friends did. The others helped pickoum because you downvoted without asking him to fix his mistakes. I suggest we give others a chance to do that instead of flagging. This way we can thrive here in Steemit. If we don't give others a chance we will be getting rid of each other. I do hope you reconsider. No one is your enemy here @heimindanger so please give everyone a chance first.
I'm sorry you lost me on this one.
I do not agree with flagging - It makes enemies and it discourages authors specially new ones.
I understand that you are upset with what happened last time and I also understand you needed to flag whichever you do not agree with.
I do hope we all avoid flagging each other because - we could also please just use asking a question - or pointing out someone's shortcomings instead of writing against each other.

Hello carebear #1.

It seems you didn't properly understand my article, or didn't bother to read it. I do not flag because I dislike someone or disaprove what he says. I flagged your friend because his content was literally shit. I also put my reasons in his own post (which you can't read because you don't speak french I guess).

If people write shit, I don't want them on steemit, I'd rather see some memes or gifs instead of this kind of trash.

@heimindanger thank you for calling me carebear its a compliment at least now you replied :)
I read why you flagged him and I also wrote it on my reply on that article didn't I
but like I said let's give people a chance first even whales do that
what's shit for us maybe helpful for beginners
You must be an expert in chess
I am a newbie on that game
and you are right I don't read French but my husband does
and he translated for me
so does google translate
I did read your post and like what I wrote you before which maybe didn't reach you - I respect the rest of your opinion and every right you have like we all do so I also want to point it out again, it's a plea - a request not a threat or a demand to not flag and pick on people.
As for now - let's give this rest and hopefully put it aside
I did not write here to attack you, like I said I checked you out cause I havent had the time to a few days ago and this is what i found. The rest of your article makes points but what saddened me is you said that pickoum and his friends would be downvoting you for the rest of their lives which they didn't even do in this post.
We all have our opinions and if we all insist we are all right on something - we will all end up having misunderstandings.

EDIT : I do not encourage downvoting because it causes a ripple effect - others just use it for revenge
there's already so much hate in this world - let's at least not bring it here in Steemit.
maybe I should change my name to @carebear :D
Are you a member of the french-trail tag curators? Cause there is such a thing here already - the french-trail and pickoum's article that you flagged was featured there and every trail food-trail, gardening-trail etc etc have their criteria for choosing which to feature. From how I understood that post you flagged - it was not complete and it was just some sort of introduction. Having posts in French would invite more French users in Steemit but if we just downvote for being misspelled or grammatically wrong - there are so many post that are grammatically wrong in English and we don't flag them either so please don't just flag French posts. You may write what ever you do not agree but please don't flag the posts. Thank you.
If we could have a writing conversation like this in peace - though we don't agree with each other 100% - it is also possible for everyone. I do hope you please reconsider :)
btw if it would help you understand that I just am not in favor of downvoting, I do not know pickoum - the only time i took notice of him was when he joined the challenge i am hosting - cause he won there I must have been on his other articles but I don't remember anymore - and somehow maybe had you not downvote his post I won't get lost here, too. Peace man!

Would you consider adding 0.1 and 0.01% to the pie chart on your site? I think it would be justified to include @steemit as well.

Thank you for the detailed post, and you are right about the marketing aspect. There is allot of opportunity to fully fund this place, and to expand the Steemit Inc team.

You lost me at the thing about copyright. The names, not the code, unless i misread the licence when I built a witness some months ago.

Also, the distribution pattern, most users did not put in any money. How is this unfair? I am sitting on about 100x growth in my share as part of my reward for writing, starting from i think it was $3. 200x if my bonus for going to Steemfest is counted.

There is a link to the licence file in the article. Modifying the code in any way to fork steem and create a new blockchain is impossible. Just read it I guess.

About the distribution, it's not about what you put in it. The mining and overall distribution systems of any crypto is here for the purpose of getting users in. If you ask users to deposit money to get coins, it's a scam. Satoshi had the idea of mining because he thought anyone would be able to trade computational time for coins, from any personal computer. ASICs destroyed that system. If you want a crypto to be succesful, the distribution needs to be fair, because that's what makes adoption possible.

Also you need to consider the fact that maybe you are part of the successful steem users, not many people had the same luck than you. Also you should count whatever you paid to get to amsterdam. Oh and also you should count all the time you have put into it. But somehow that makes the calculation harder and less positive regarding steem, and that's now how you get upvotes around here, right ?

Why do you want steemit to allow their code to be forked without approval?
The licence is a protection for everyone who invested in steem.

there is no way a fork will ever have a greater share the 'social crypto' market than Steem

Steem is far from perfect. As you mentionned there is some distribution issues, I wrote a lenghty post about this here

If someone can fork steem and solve these issues, then the fork will stand a very high chance of being more succesfull than steem and everyone's investment will become worthless.

I was really surprised by the move made by the founders to support golos and allow them to fork, if you want to shake investors's confidence there is no better way to do it than that. And merely for a language barrier issue, that's the part that got me concerned.

Indeed Steem is far from perfect, but forbidding other devs to use it as a base for future project, just makes the growth slower. Anything a fork implements would easily be implemented on steem too, that's the nature of open source. The goal is not to profit, it's to achieve this 'perfection' status and make your grandma use a decentralized social network instead of facebook.

If another dev team manages to improve it faster than Steem, without the funds SteemIt corp has, without the experience on the code base, and without the active users Steem has, then it means they are really good, or that Steem deserves to fail. Even in this case, I don't think the users/investors would lose too much. They would be aware of these forks because of steem and will likely be in the first people to invest in the new coin.

As mentioned in the comments of your article, the network needs protection against sybil attacks. Let B = S1 + S2 be the SP of 3 accounts. The voting power combined of the 2 small accounts needs to be equal or lower to the voting power of the big one. => VP(B) >= VP(S1) + VP(S2)

It will never happen, because somebody could just clone it and create a version of steem with no ninja mine.

There is some truth in what you say. The way I see it though is that steem is a unique community project and the fact that it is licensed protected means all the brain power from devs all over the world will come to steemit, this to me is powerful. The fact that everyone contribute for the betterment of the same platform. Imagine what bitcoin would be if all the altcoins devs were contributing to bitcoin only..
I have often expressed my disagreement with building hundreds of different app based on the steem blockchain for the same reasons I've just mentionned. If all these people would work on the same project that project would have higher chances of making it big than all the other 100 combined. This is why I was really excited by the busy announcement, because they are going to allow these apps to be integrated within the same site, this is huge for both busy and the apps developers. When people work isolated in their corner their lower their chances of being successfull, why do you think companies create partnership with each other ? This is particularly true for social media sites which are very difficult to bootstrap into mainstream nowadays.
Yes sybil attacks are a real problem. The day we find a way to solve proof of unique individual we are going to solve many many issue, not just in steem. The problems of power concentration/distribution could be solve though, maybe by using outside parameters that are not in the blockchain, such as reputation, points, order to create a voting power score that isn't just based on how much money you have.

I should read all that properly sometime. I never have bothered to but what i read distinctly said the tokens names were ... trademarked? I figured the code was under some standard open source licence.

Why would someone expect to get something out without putting something in? Have you considerered what is the profit and loss ledger for them after 90% drop in steem value? Have you watched the estimated account value? Mine has been stuck at 350 or so since late september, despite some 200 of liquid payouts during that time.

If you think you are being ripped off stop selling your time to it...

How is this unfair?

There is definetely some distribution issue. It is unfair because as the price of steem increases new users will have to pay a higher price to get the same influence as early adopters. Late adopters will clearly be at a disadvantage.
Even if steem was perfectly evenly distributed today, the problem would still be there because as time goes by and price increase the power will concentrate within a few hands ( the early adopters). There are 2 problems with this, the first is that all users won't be able to start on a level playing field . The second problem is that as the user base grow and power concentrate there will be less and less eye balls to curate content. If you want everyone on the platform to get some visibility by influential curators you need a lot of them. Even bots would be overwelmed, they would not be able to keep up with the amount of content coming in.
Curation guilds could somehow solve these issue but the problem with these guilds is that they don't encourage people to want to buy steem power and gain influence in the system.

It really is not an easy problem to fix but that's where the brain power of the developers should focus, these are issues that will come in the road ahead.

I wrote a post about this recently

Why should those who join in afterwards get as much reward as early adopters? We are beta testers in here. We are risking a lot of our time and some quite a bit of money and we do and have helped refine the system , it could come to nothing.

This is not a "basic income" project. it is business. Crypto people are inspired by mises not marx. To be exact, steem is in fact a framework for ad hoc enterprise integration and communication. an attractor, infrastructure kickstart. an experiment with unconventional smart contracts that model corporate democracy. A censorship resistant journalism platform...

not (just) redistribution. new steem gets distributed quite fairly when you look at it. very fairly compared to fiat or even bitcoin. we even influence development, as well as get paid.

Why should those who join in afterwards get as much reward as early adopters?

Not as much reward, as much chance to work their way up to the top.

well I came in 7/20 and I made it to the top.. everybody can make it..

Everybody can? That's just silly. Hardly anyone can make it to the top. That's what makes it the top.

Steem is like a game, where you need power to gain influence. This is the thing that will attract people to steemit. Imagine you play wow and all the early users have much better life power, wow gold and weapons when they start than you did and its going to be much harder for you to get to where they are. Do you think people would play that game? the vast majority won't bother with a game that discriminate them.
You managed to make it to the top through posting, I was refering to people making to the top by actually buying steem power. It's funny how people who don't invest real money but invest their time seems to think the money is raining from the sky :) My point is you need people buying steem power to sustain the platform and this ain't going to happen if users don't start on a level playing field.

Crypto people are inspired by mises not marx.

I'm not a crypto person, but I wanted to take the opportunity to praise Marx and hate on Mises.

I can't remember whose post I put it on, but I actually had the idea of resetting everyone's score to zero after 24 hours. Earnings could be accumulated through posts, comments and upvotes every day. Active users and participants being rewarded based on "esteem" levels. It gives everyone an even playing field and their potential earnings would coincide with their efforts.

Interesting. I keep my mouth shut on all this stuff, because as you know in my chats w you or comments, I am newer to a lot of this and know my place. I am still learning my way in crypto and this is not just a blogging/social network, it combines so many factors.

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I have been living 90% of my entire adult life without a master (or real-job as slaves would call it)

LOL <3

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