While I'm programming, I often utilize StackOverflow. When I have a programming related question, I type it into google and nine out of ten times the first StackOverflow result will answer my question. What draws my attention is that quite often, the results I get are rather old. Mostly, the results that pop up are from 2015 - 2017. I've even encountered questions submitted and answered in 2012 that were still relevant today. Regardless of its age, if an answer helped me, I give it an upvote, which would reward the author with reputation.
With Steem you only get rewards for upvotes received in the first seven days. If you upvote a post after that time, the blockchain will store it, but it won't cost voting power and therefore won't generate rewards. This means that there's no incentive to write content that would still be relevant after those seven days, and that means that Steem will never be as useful as StackOverflow. Now I get that StackOverflow and Steem are two totally different platforms, but there are other reasons why Steem might want to consider rewarding upvotes on older posts.
What does Steem want to be?
People like to compare Steem against Reddit or Facebook, but by looking at the format of the most popular Steem UIs, it's more like Medium. Looking at Steemit's profile pages, you'll notice a lot of resemblances with a Medium profile page, or for that matter, any personal blog page. On a blog, you write content that will be read, shared, and referenced by many, continuing years after you've published it.
During my study computer science, I've seen lecturers quoting blog posts as valuable resources, years after they have been published. If I consider them to be interesting, I will then share these with other people. The author would be compensated by the advertisement income. If the post was on Steem, there was no way for me to reward that post with money, so for the writers, there's no urge to write such valuable content.
If I follow the looks of the platform, I'd say that Steem is a blogging platform similar to Medium, while if I take a look at its voting system, Facebook or Twitter would be a better comparison. From this, we can conclude that there is a discrepancy between the goal of Steem and its compensation system. To resolve this mismatch, Steem either has to change its format to be more Twitter or Facebook-like, promoting short status updates and chat-like discussions, or they have to allow upvoting older content.
A plausible argument against rewarding old content is that it would drain the reward pool even faster than it does presently. But why would it? We have the concept of voting power and resource credits that prevent that from happening. Also, there are loopholes in Steem that allow platforms like Steem Forever to still give you a payout for posts older than seven days. So what stops us from implementing this natively?
Now, I'm not strongly kenned with the rewards curve, especially not the one that will be introduced by HF21, but in my belief, upvotes on older content should still give a significant reward. This is particularly important for platforms like DTube or DSound because discovering a piece of art years after it has been created is perfectly normal and should still generate rewards. I understand why such behavior will clash with the fight against voting bots because operating them will be significantly easier. I do think, however, that with the current voting system, this change won't affect the behavior of bots all that significantly.
I think I'm missing something here, so please enlighten me on why the seven-day limit exists. If there's no reason why it exists, then maybe for HF22 we could consider changing this behavior.
If this post is older than 7 days, please consider casting your upvote through here. That way you'll still support me.