Arguments For Keeping the Steem Reward Pool Whole

in steem •  2 years ago

Carving the Steem reward pool into use-specific segments, as the comment reward pool does, limits the scope of Steem. Steem is more than Steemit. It's more than a blogging platform. It's more than a Reddit-like platform. Leaving it a blank canvas is in the interest of keeping it simple and goes along with a long-term view of its potential.

A long time ago, it was decided by Dan that Steem was a long-form blogging platform and that more than four posts per day would be monetarily penalized. Because who has time to write more than four long-winded posts about tacos per day, right? The effect this had is unnecessarily reducing the scope of Steem as an open platform. It discouraged many use-cases for users and applications. Dan and the Steemit team realized this error and decided to remove the four-posts-per-day penalty in hard fork 17.

But at the same time, the same error has been repeated in a different form: in carving up the reward pool into two segments. The proposal creates a separate comment pool from 38% of the total reward pool, leaving 62% for top-level posts which are also technically treated as comments by the Steem network software. The 38% number has never been rational or rationalized, it was what Dan liked. The goal is rational: give more incentive potential to comments to increase user participation, engagement, and retention. The implementation of a separate comment pool, however, is short-sighted.


It sets a bad precedent of arbitrary reward pool segmentation. Currently, one pool is allocated according to the votes of stakeholding accounts in Steem. If you make it two, three, four, etc, the stake-holding accounts either have to participate or abstain in those pools. For those who don't want to abstain from participation, it in effect increases workload which will lead to more automation (bot votes on comments). Abstention on account of that increased workload represents disenfranchisement. Neither are good outcomes.


You might say "Let's just give it a try anyway, it's ready to go, just drop all objection to it." I'd like to point out that once a feature is in, it's harder to remove. The four-posts-per-day penalty was first implemented in a hard fork on July 26th, 2016 and it's still in effect today. I want to see it removed as well as many others, but it presently comes bundled with a bigger mistake. In another example of stickiness of a bad feature in the Steemiverse is the concept of flagging. "Flag" as used on every other website is misused on steemit.com to represent a Steem downvote. Despite a lot of discussion and agreement that it's not a good concept to apply to downvotes, steemit.com still displays the downvote action icon as a flag, and calls it a flag. If the mistake of a separate comment pool were implemented, there's no guarantee it would be fixed despite plenty of reasons to do so.


The best way to go forward is to make the minimal necessary modifications to hard fork 17, most importantly not carving up the reward pool into a 38/62 split. I believe that implementation of a less-superlinear reward curve is perfectly in line with the goal of increasing user participation, engagement, and retention. And better, it's a simpler change which does not limit the scope of Steem.

Photo by Andrew K, cropped. Posted via Busy.org

Authors get paid when people like you upvote their post.
If you enjoyed what you read here, create your account today and start earning FREE STEEM!
Sort Order:  

Because who has time to write more than four long-winded posts about tacos per day, right?

Ha ha! It's the problem of mechanistic instead of holistic thinking. That's the core problem. It needs to be holistic....

I believe that implementation of a less-superlinear reward curve is perfectly in line with the goal of increasing user participation, engagement, and retention. And better, it's a simpler change which does not limit the scope of Steem.

Yes the one thing that was most promising about HF17 hands down, as the community has shown with the voting experiment conducted by @clayop Voting Test

I applaud how you concluded with that, it's imperative that we engage and retain users and the experiment ran by @abit and @smooth actually succeed in that aspect, but of course the way it ran caused both confusion and upset a bunch of people and therefore could only do so much for user retention.

Steem is more than Steemit.

These two are really easily mistaken. Even I am aware of their differences, still from time to time I might fail to realize it. Very good points by the way.

·

I posted this via Busy for multiple reasons, one of which includes to illustrate that point. Currently Busy is very Steemit-like in features, but has added additional ones and has potential to find new uses for the Steem platform. Furthermore, like Busy, more apps or websites can be built on to Steem. The more limited Steem is, the more friction there is to building such apps. Can you imagine if Twitter said only four tweets per day could receive any retweets, or something so arbitrary?

·
·

I completely agree with this and I am now firmly in the anti-reward-pool-splitting camp. Also, I think that a solution that would work would be if steemit took a more hands-off approach to the development of the steemit.com interface and focused its resources on improving the code. There is a lot of room for improvement in the way that steemd is implemented, and I am pretty sure per cost for development the website is more expensive. I might even say 'hire busy to do it'.

·
·
·

I'm now in complete agreement with pfunk. I have been on both sides but always felt more inclination not to support reward splitting. Thank you for the post pfunk.

·
·
·
·

thank you maybe weigh the best cases for each or the worst cases if you can keep it short :D

·

Exactly.
Steem is the main engine.
Steemit is just one of many possible chassis that fits onto the engine.

I agree. Comment rewards probably don't need to be designed into the blockchain. Most likely commenting can be encouraged by the front end design & purpose of a website. A Quora style frontend for Steem will naturally encourage commenting, but the platform can still be effective using the same reward pool. Also 38% seems way too high. Building a comment pool with such a high reward pool will probably turn Steemit into more of a Quora or Reddit instead of a Medium-style blogging platform immediately. It would be an interesting experiment, but again it's better to leave everything up to the frontend.

You might say "Let's just give it a try anyway, it's ready to go, just drop all objection to it." I'd like to point out that once a feature is in, it's harder to remove.

and

The goal is rational: give more incentive potential to comments to increase user participation, engagement, and retention.

I'm not sure if separating out a comment pool will indeed support intended goal. However, my opinion is, we shall test and see the results.

I understand the fact when some feature is implemented in the code, it may not be that easy to get it disabled again. But I still think we should give it a try and give x weeks, or y months to determine the effectes and results. Would it not be possible to agree with Steemit Inc a clear "what to do" plan with clear criteria? When the real purpose of this feature is not resulting in the wanted effects, Steemit Inc commits to remove the separation of the comment pool from the reward pool again in z days/weeks/months?

I would also add the ability for a configurable split, ie the 38/63 split can be adjusted by just a configurable parameter to eg 20/80, 30/70. With such ability, a series of test can be executed in sequence trying different settings/percentages of split. This may give all of us a much better view how to progress, then just based on theories define our way forward.

In the end, we need to get the basics right before Steemit is ready to grow, and with that Steem. It will benefit all of us. To be able to create a great solid foundation to Steemit and Steem, we really have to test a lot of different ideas. IMHO, the split of the reward pool is one of them.

·

Great ! As we discussed already !

·

Thank you for commenting @edje. There are several major changes in the present release that I would consider experimental: a fixed 7-day payout schedule with no provision for meaningful abuse mitigation, delegated STEEM Power with the ability to create accounts with delegated SP, and a separated comment reward pool. Trying to see the results of three experiments at the same time is not ideal. You won't know what had the effect, and what didn't.

In regards to a configurable split, I would not count on it. People, such as those who might want to make an app for Steem, will base their decision to participate or build upon Steem on knowing the rules. If basic, intuitive rules like the reward pool being whole are always subject to change, it will make that decision a more difficult one.

In the end, we need to get the basics right before Steemit is ready to grow, and with that Steem. It will benefit all of us.

Agreed fully. I think the basics include an undivided reward pool. It's simple, and comments are likely to get more rewards with a flatter reward curve.

To be able to create a great solid foundation to Steemit and Steem, we really have to test a lot of different ideas. IMHO, the split of the reward pool is one of them.

I don't necessarily agree with treating Steem like a rat maze science experiment. It's true that there is more flexibility at a smaller size, but if growth is not being achieved it's not necessarily because of the blockchain rules. I believe in the goal of increasing comment reward potential. I think it will help with growth and retention. But the more straightforward experiment (fix, in my eyes) to try to make that happen is a flatter reward curve.

The name of this release is Simplicity. It was presented as a release to make Steem a more open platform. To put more bells and whistles on it, 3+ at a time, for the sake of experimentation will hardly get us anywhere. Any changes that limit the scope of Steem must be avoided.

Let's not turn Steem into this (note the two bubbles, one for each reward pool! :)

·
·

Love the pic! :)

The name of this release is Simplicity

I agree to this; Simplicity is Key; In anything.

In regards to a configurable split, I would not count on it.

I was just thinking from a coding perspective, once there, no code change is required to adjust. Adjustments only allowed when in test phase and in agreement with community, or at least the witnesses. After test phase, either the feature out of the code, or still by procedure managed by Steemit INC and Community.

Trying to see the results of three experiments at the same time is not ideal.

Agree. Would be super nice if all those 3 changes can actually be implemented in serie, rather than all at the same time. No idea if it is somehow possible to re-build the software once more and allow by configuration each of the 3 changes to be switched to the new functionality and back to how it is now (probably not, but wanted to question it anyway). Again, of course, thinking of code time spend, release time spend, and the need for "getting the basics right" by testing.

·
·

Trying to see the results of three experiments at the same time is not ideal. You won't know what had the effect, and what didn't.

This I agree with. I suppose there may just be a fear of being the only blockchain to reach hard-fork 100 and still not have it right.

I don't see this particular experiment as dangerous. It doesn't make us lab rats! We are a long way off taking off to the moon yet and I for one wouldn't want to get halfway there only to be overtaken by a competitor who recognised that the engagers (commenters) are 1000 times more valuable than the bloggers. Respectfully, please respond to my comment and points made rather than just refer me to re-read yours.

·
·
·

I referred to these replies because they addressed the specific things you were talking about and I didn't want to repeat myself. :) I don't disagree that rewarding comments is important. A flattened, less-than-rshares-squared reward curve should empower people who wish to vote on comments to have a more meaningful impact. But more importantly, implementing that will have a positive impact on the whole system. Let's give it a shot before trying to put Steem in another box.

·

Here's a related bit from @smooth:


i believe that the prospects of success of the blockchain rests heavily on more experiments by the community and different developers in form of different use cases and user interfaces and not just steemit.com and its own set of experiments, however important rapid or comprehensive those experiments may be.

now not all experiments are equal. introducing economic rules which strongly impede and disadvantage these forms of broad experimentation are harmful, arguably an existential threat. it is very possible for steemit do its work and rapidly iterate on combination of some UX and blockchain factors which do not have these harmful side effects and will still produce useful results (positive and negative), may very well lead to improved retention, etc. look at the usage metrics since the whale non-voting (which changed slope significantly before the price rise and continued through it) and consider that it bears a lot in common with linearity and has little (nothing) to do with segmented comment pool for example.

imo this is witnesses doing our job and safeguarding the blockchain as a neutral and promising medium for all users and reasonably-viable usages and not just steemit.com

Above text licensed by smooth under DGAF-0 license

·
·

I understand your and @smooth points!

I am in the camp that does not want to see it done for many of the reasons stated above. However, I have to wonder if steemit.inc has a reason they have basically been pushing this through despite much of the community not supporting it that they are not telling us? Perhaps there is some information they have that we do not that supports why this change needs to be done?

·

If there was one they could share with us I think it would have been done as there were many occasions to do it.

·
·

Agreed. Is it possible there is a reason they aren't able to share? Otherwise I am not sure why this change is being pushed so much...

Nicely put. I agree with both points of view.
Moreover we really need to take a step back and start with the basics. We need to put a stop to cramping a lot of changes into one go. Split them into smaller HFs and implement a proper voting algorithm so the entire community has a direct and official way to point the direction.

·

The proper voting algorithm is voting on witnesses. It is ultimately the block producers that run the software that forms the network. Stake-based popular voting is full of challenges for deciding on making changes to Steem. @chitty asked his witness voters what they wanted to see him do, but didn't get a large turnout.

FWIW @sneak and the Steemit Inc team have promised to make changes to the process of forking Steem to avoid the present situation of having a feature which a number of witnesses disapprove of.

·
·

It's true that the community channels their decision through the witnesses they support. Having a separate polling would mean double voting, in a way.

The idea that witnesses need a feature to express their choice with every fork change is a great one and I hope to see it implemented soon.

The other thing about getting exposure on your posts. This is something I've been thinking about a lot in the past week. We need some algorithms for our feeds that don't rely solely on the posts of the people we follow (and their resteems), in a descending timeline order. It needs to be something smarter, something more dynamic and personalized. That way, posts that get community attention reach a wider spread to get everyone's attention.

heeey it's not 50 pages long thank you :) Read Time: Stop: 00:02:43.495

I think I mostly agree so I will say I opposed it from the start, the problem is lack of care not lack of incentives, we should have enough, but nobody reads through comments, since there are no rewards we take for granted the fact that rewards are here and we game the system, rather than make the best of it we make it puny and then blame it for our misuse of a pretty much ok platform :D

Community is what drives it and comments are a part of that, I'd say either start using steem to support that and the fact people actually spend their day here, rather than making more bots, to go through all that posts :) my 2 cents, I don't care either way, one day I might start gaming and stop caring :) might, just to emphasize

·

Hey, thanks for timing it :)

I've personally been using my votes on comments more often now with the whale abstention/countervote experiment going on. Based on this, I am optimistic that comments will see more voting engagement with a flatter reward curve, resulting in a wider distribution of the reward pool.

Wasn't the four posts a day thing implemented because some people were spamming and were getting automatic whale-bot votes for each article, which crowded out everyone else from the pot?

·

Not sure I thought it was like that from the start to avoid spam to begin with.

·
·

yeah but people going for rewards don't see it as spam it's a potential turnout :)

I agree on much of thoae points. But I see 1 benefit...forcing users to read the article when they vote on it.

·

When curators indeed read the article, I would be so happy, since this is what is missing here on Steemit. So many votes but so little reads.

·

I don't believe that a separate comment pool will make that happen. In fact, I think that blind bot autovoting on comments would increase with a separate pool a lot. If there are two pools that you either compete in or abstain from, anyone wishing to compete and doesn't want to read comments will automate it for the curation rewards.

I believe comment curation (and their resulting order) is an important thing to keep human focused, moreso than post curation (which results in trending order).

·
·

If curation rewards were included the bot problem would be worse. Hence the reason they left that out to begin with.

·

well I just read all comments and the whole post which is quite well put and not 5 miles long, so Stop: 00:08:13.702 for the comments and 2:43 on the post sooooo yeah ~11 minutes in total, support me read up on my posts, thanks :) everybody can read like a mad man, grow a mane and become a steemit lion :D

·

But I don't want to read them. I have shit to do, I have a life.

·
·

Thats a problem. That means as a non engaged user you're not adding value so therefore why should you be rewarded?

Those who are engaged should be rewarded which is the whole point because the engaged community are the people who will take steem to the moon! Not bloggers!

·
·
·

I'm glad to see you fighting the battle for comment rewards, @beanz. I would however prefer if we skipped it this hardfork, as the ideas being proposed by the developers currently seem half-baked and ill-conceived. Let's try to get it right so that it sticks the first time.

good posting...^^

Glad to see that you're fully against the additional rewards pool now. I like to think that I played a YUGE role in that!

But seriously...it's just a bad idea. It goes against Steemit, Inc's own stated KISS policy that they mentioned in the road map. Users already have a hard time learning and keeping up with everything else that's going on around here. Another rewards pool only makes it more complicated.

I'm hoping Inc. scraps this altogether and goes forward with the curve changes before anything else.

·

At this point I am willing to go with a modified hardfork that removes the comment/post split reward pool and also meaningfully mitigates the potential for late vote abuse with the 7-day payout schedule.

like it

+1 for against arbitrary limiting changes!

I don't see the utility of removing the 4 post/day limit, honestly. But I just see posting as creating contents, so probably I can't get the problem

·

I understood the reasons for limiting the number of posts, and am not sure of removing the limit will benefit the platform sine this can allow post bots to start spamming the system. But then again, it could also support Steemit to lift the limit. Think of a (digital) newspaper/ezine who like to use Steemit as one of their promotion channels. They may like to send 10 or more posts a day. I rather would have the newspapers/ezines than Steemers who take a URL from the Internet and post this without any comments. I know, lifting the ban may get bots in who will start posting URL's only, but lets try it and when the system gets spammed, a limited can be applied again.

·
·

I agree, but I would just unfollow all that clutter or mute people, I hope we don't get a instagram or twitter here, all that bs and reposting shit with goldfish attention span bugs me

·
·
·

If 3rd party content providers like magazine/ezines are allowed, it is all how you allow them and how they are in the user interface and what type of control you give to the user to either see there posts, or not. Facebook is sh*t, hardly any control. What about giving those content providers and Steemers 1) each content provider there own channel, 2) optin to the user for channel 3) maybe a general post channel, but again channel, like promoted a channel is in Steemit, you don't have to look at it. In this way, post will not be part of New channel, unless you as a user optin for the content channel.

I believe that implementation of a less-superlinear reward curve is perfectly in line with the goal of increasing user participation, engagement, and retention.

Uh-greed.
Seems like many people are coming to this conclusion...but a conclusion isn't a fix until it is implemented. ;)

the hard fork will not happen until everyone agrees to split the reward pool 38/62, those who want it done are patient, and are willing to wait until the nay sayers give in

Hello, how are you today? I hope you are fine ... I knew that late
https://steemit.com/steem/@steemitblog/steem-version-0-12-0-released

While I don't understand the particular issue, I'm with you on keeping it simple. Personally, I'm kind of bummed about the slider deal. Right around the time the slider was first implemented I landed my very first whale vote... only it amounted to very little because the whale used the slider. I'm thinking when I get my own slider I might choose to not use it. We'll see. The part I struggle most with is that it seems to me the parameters for earning rewards are always changing, so you can never study up on them, implement a strategy to maximize earnings and count on the parameters not changing with little notice. I realize a lot of this is growing pains, but I really hope soon the Steemit powers that be can figure out a good model that works for the most part and then stick with it. Then us users can adjust and make it work for us as we see fit.

·

The sliders give more nuance to voting and influencing the Steem reward pool, especially for those with a lot of stake. Though you've reminded me that smaller staked accounts might not want the slider shoved in their face, and I made a Github issue with a feature request to be able to toggle it. Thanks for the prompting :)

·
·

You are welcome. Thank you for the recent up votes on my posts. I really appreciate it :)

I now agree the reward pool shouldn't be split.

I completely agree Steem is more than steemit. I'm getting more and more worried that they're going to be making the same kind of mistake with "Communities" code that they intend to add to the blockchain.

·

As I heard that "communities" code won't be a blockchain (consensus) feature, but a UI feature.

Makes sense, all of it. Where does the pool come from anyway? Can it drain?

·

The pool is the STEEM created by new blocks, added up block-by-block, into what the Steem software calls the reward fund. For whatever reason, the pool name seems more popular. Anyway, posts/comments are paid out from that fund, based on how many vote shares it has upon payout time.

very nice post @pfunk
i like, thanks for sharing

I still can't see the problem. What is 38% of a completely speculatively valued token? Those that are treating this like a pay cut are behaving as though the money comes from the the amount of steem you have access to and not the actual value of that steem. 38% of a rewards pool that would be split between over 1000x more engagers than bloggers was never a high number. The mechanics of using posts vs comments doesn't change! So I don't understand how this "steem isn't just steemit" point is relevant to a split reward pool.

You say steem is not just steemit yet maybe fail to recognise the inherent flaw in a shared reward pool when comment threads become embedded on other websites. That reward pool would not increase enough with a less super linear reward pool because curators will always gain more curation by staying on steemit.com. But this is to become much bigger than steemit and engagers are or at least will be our most valuable asset.

Here's my defense https://steemit.com/comments/@beanz/justification-for-comment-reward-pool-without-curation-rewards

Without this feature the hard-fork is pointless me.

·

Experience has proven Steem is better left untailored towards any specific application. Tailoring it towards steemit.com or some as-yet unbuilt Disqus type thing adds complication and limits its scope. Leaving its potential open (and making development choices simple and with less doubt about future feature support) could be an important driver of growth through Steem-connected apps that aren't specifically for commenting or blogging.

And as I replied to your other comment: In the separated comment reward fund that Steem 0.17.0 includes, curation rewards are still in effect for comments. https://steemit.com/simplicity/@steemitblog/update-on-simplicity-cutting-complexity-with-steem-0-17-0

Without this feature the hard-fork is pointless me.

A 255-comment nesting limit, no 4-post/day penalty, independent comment payouts, and incentivizing Steem apps by splitting post earnings are pointless?

·
·

A 255-comment nesting limit, no 4-post/day penalty, independent comment payouts

These are backward steps in the right direction. So not pointless, but not the same as progress.

I understand the resistance to limitations for external applications. But Steem will not be applicable to everything. By trying to make it so we limit progress as we stand at crossroads never taking any direction. It was intended to be a social media platform. We can either accept that or come to a consensus on an alternative. Do you think we would ever reach that consensus so far into the game?

Claiming that separating the reward pool limits applications is also no more true than posts being inherently different from comments on the blockchain already does. There is already limitations that any app developer would have to work around, perhaps by disabling comments and using posts only. The reward pool makes absolutely no difference to their ability to build.

To make that claim please provide an example of what you imagine and then let us determine if the separated reward pools would really hinder it.

I also remember you at the forefront against removing that portion of curation rewards, which made the implementation easily gamed.

Once again steem can't be everything, if we try to make it everything it won't ever be anything.

Experience has proven

Experience suggests, it alone rarely proves anything.

·
·
·

By trying to make it so we limit progress as we stand at crossroads never taking any direction.

If Steem is left open, progress can be made on the application level. Please see my and @smooth's [indirect] reply to @edje's comment above.

There is already limitations that any app developer would have to work around

This is true. Specifically rate limiting of comment replies vs. posts. But there isn't any reason to make more hurdles, first of all. Second, arbitrarily changing the basic rules of rewards distribution does not make an inviting platform. I'll point again to the replies to @edje above.

I also remember you at the forefront against removing that portion of curation rewards, which made the implementation easily gamed.

I agree that curation rewards on a separate comment pool are a bad idea. I touch upon it in the fourth paragraph. And further, removing any more curation rewards thus eroding SP earning potential should be avoided as well. It's not mentioned in this post because it's a non-factor. The separate comment pool, as it is in v0.17.0, has curation rewards.

These things considered, both having and not having curation rewards for a divided reward pool aren't good options.

Great work mate
Is Steemit is to survive them it needs a better approach to have more users
Not loose them because they don't make enough rewards

I think the downvotes need to go as they are being abused clearly I see many people complaining and experience it myself. And a flag should be used for TOS violations.

There is a reason FB and IG don't have Downvotes. If people want this to get big follow the big boys that have spent enormous amounts of money researching and testing.

People want a place they can have fun, make money. And we need a block button desperately if not Steemit will eventually get sued for negligence to prevent cyberstalking and harassment. Muting is a joke it just let's people trash you on your own posts and you can't see it.

I agree with the rest of what you said.

Thanks for all the info.
giphy.gif

greetings @pfunk

The 38% number has never been rational or rationalized, it was what Dan liked.

Oh, but it is rational. 62/38 is Golden Section – defined by Leonardo Fibonacci of Pisa at the beginning of 13th Century…

How a amazing pic.