Enter a whale's mindsteemCreated with Sketch.

in #steem4 years ago (edited)

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Those posts below caught my attention





The first post has earned a whopping 19 cents. This artwork to me deserves at least $10 for the time spent doing it and also taking into account the final result which is great.

The second post has earned a whopping 30 cents. This is an original photo with good lightening/contrast and angle view ( looks like the author of this photograph may have put himself in an uncomfy position to take it), I would give this post $5 , I love nature pics.

The third post earned a whopping 47 cents whoohoo! This art is called digital drawing, basically she draws on a computer. I don't know if you tried to draw on paint but if you did you know how difficult it is, the art itself is very creative so for the difficulty and originality I would give this $15.

The last post earned a whopping 4 cents, crazy I know! These macro photographs are great, it takes some work and patience to get the right shot, the post contain many pics and I really like the last ant pics. I'd have given $7.5 to this author which i think is fair.

I like these posts, I think they are undervalued a lot BUT I'm not going to upvote them because I earn way more selling my votes to a bot.

As an example, If I upvote the first post to $10 I would earn about 2 steem but if I sell my vote to a bot I would earn about 6 steem, that's 3 times more.

However if these authors had the tools to allocate higher curation rewards to me I would upvote them without second thought.

If @iansart @metalbrushes @elenasteem @nidin had set their curation reward percentage to 60% they would have earned $4, $2, $6, $3 respectively for their work instead of 19 cts, 30 cts, 47 cts, 4cts. And you can bet I wouldn't be the only one upvoting these..

I want to apologize to these authors for not upvoting them unfortunately I have no incentive to do so since I make 3 times more money NOT upvoting them. Now you know why whales don't upvote your beautiful work...

Moral of the story: I would have to earn at least the same amount that the bot earns to upvote quality content that I actually like. ( which is about 50-60% of the post's value). I also think it's fair to say that changing curation ratio from 50/50 to 25/75 was a bad idea..


This is why Steemit is not what I thought it was.

I thought it would mean curation and votes based on content, not lining pockets.

I have been proven wrong.

Time to re-evaluate why I spend time here.

It is good that I found out about it in the first week on steemit.

Yeah, wish I had known.

Just watch how things develop, don't pour a lot of energy into this platform until they address its obvious shortcomings.

Its sad, but that's just how it is.

I think that this is how the world works or even the Universe. There is a law of resistance. Universe works the way that things happen in the way with less resistance - that is the most efficient way of doing things.

Of course that means that by doing such things you attract the same people. In other words - you post fast content just to get fast rewards and the place becomes what it says - money talks. 😂

Btw, when I found out about it, I was not very happy, too.


The incentives are aligned in such a way that copy-pasting and low-effort posting is the norm.

So, the value of Steem is going to converge on the value of such data - which isn't scarce by any means - which eventually trends towards zero.

That's the future of Steemit, if nothing changes.

But having this knowledge helps you to make a better decisions.

  • I'm not investing too much in STEEM because of this knowledge.
  • I do not have illusions about Seemit future
  • I understand why new Steem project SMT did no fly away
  • I can invest in other projects that are coming in with the same idea
  • Many more things

And all of that because of this information.

Until "they" address its obvious shortcomings.... I do think a few tweaks are needed, but most of the problems here can't be solved by "them." They must be solved by us. I think markets (and Steemit is a market) can solve a problem like the centralized power of whales and the incentives they currently respond to, and it troubles me a little that so many of us minnows cry out for some type of regulation to solve this problem. Markets, though, require freedom for voluntary exchange, they require a sufficient level of complexity, and they require time. I'm not sure that forcing users to use the 50/50 curation percentage qualifies as true market freedom. (I've seen a suggestion for curation sliders – good idea.) But I'm waiting patiently (because markets require time, I can't stress that enough) for the sufficiently complex population of dolphins to become large enough (markets are scale dependent) to have the ability to compete with the whales.

I feel like, if our goals was to ACHIEVE something of real substance, instead of making money, then schools of minnows would bring together intelligence and ideas sufficient to potentially even just use steem as a launching off point for a fair and balanced egalitarian coin, with ultimate human use case scenarious. Alx

I thought it would mean curation and votes based on content, not lining pockets

I have been proven wrong

Please tell me this is not news to you. The trending page features the same authors for over a year..

Thanks for being honest. Most whales will say: We vote for good content.
There are bots flagging self-voters, while nobody flags pay4vote bots, getting paid to vote is in my opinion is the same exact thing.

I really want to invest in steem, everything in me is screaming: Buy! Buy! Buy!

But everyday when I see what is on the trending page I come to the same conclusion: regardless of the technology the value of steem can only go down.

Similar to Bitcoin if only a few dozen miners were allowed to solve blocks and the whales hoarded bitcoins in order to keep the public out.

I can only imagine how many people would love to buy into the technology behind steem or maybe a new fork of steem, but will not due to the current climate.

Similar to Bitcoin if only a few dozen miners were allowed to solve blocks and the whales hoarded bitcoins in order to keep the public out.

That's pretty accurate actually .

Even if steem has some problems ( which are solvable) it still has a way more democratic distribution mechanism than any other crypto out there.
I don't know if you've noticed but more and more people are getting into the business of rewarding users ( 21inc, electroneum,and many other social media app like sine). These guys are just only realizing that this business model is the future and is the only way to get the masses interested in crypto. Steem is at the forefront of that which is why I keep stackin every day.

I did not know that they were rewarding users in a similar fashion as Steemit. Although I keep hearing @ned talk about SMT's potential to reward on any web site similar to Steemit's model.

I am actually very grateful to Steemit, because a year ago I met @cathi-xx on here and I moved to England to be with her, so that is why I might be very critical at times, because I really want Steemit to succeed.

At the moment I am just holding a little bit of steem and hoping that they fix some of the issues. I have also stopped writing stories on here, since they take so long to write and get edited, when there are practically no large SP holders left that are still curating.

Steemit is a good playground and they have all tools to test the best way for this model. Probably that is why https://smt.steem.io was made. Only it was made too fast, because Steemit still does not have a viable product.

Please tell me this is not news to you.

I never said it was.

And it makes it even worse, because users with power - like yourself - have accepted this sorry state of affairs and its been languishing this long.

So why is Steemit going to succeed? Is it to train a new generation of bots to monetize and comment on each other's posts?

Because that's the only use-case I see with the current system.

Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.

Not news too me at all.....

Omg god... @talltim, I agree with you so much..... :-/ This post make me sad. As you, i 've spent so much time here and I even went to steemfest. I needed to be sure about why I was doing all of that......

But I realised, that even if we all join Steem because of the money, we shouldn't stay for that. Because we will not have it. If we got it it's because of luck.

We don't have to think about money. We have to think about a decentralized place (that's why we should use Busy and not Steemit who is part of steemit inc).

We have to think about sharing content gaining money or not. Steem is a social media based blockchain. It will not change the world tommorrow. But ... you know right, that only fews cents can already change the life of people in Africa/Asia ?

We don't need to be here for the money but for the passion to share, to make friends.

I was already a blogger and I blogged for years without gaining any cents. Why wouldn't do it here too ??? I blog here too because I am read, commented and better found on Google (thanks to Steem SEO).

Stop complain... Choose why you are here. And if it's only for the money, better leave the plateforme. Otherwise you will get too frustrated.

But I agree with you that's not what steem advertised (blog with quality content and get rewarded). That's more about who you know than what you do. It's more about how much you also have and can make your upvoter win (have you heard about circle jerks?).

Anyway, don't be here for the money... It will drive you mad. Be here because of the hope it gives of having a "decentralized place without - for now at least - any advertising every where and who still can change some really poor people's lives" .

If it was just about the money I would've quit a long time ago.

It isn't. Its the principle. Those intangible properties that supposedly separate us from animals in the jungle. Except here, money is tied to power - so you see a system that is teeming with all kinds of opportunistic parasites.

That's what I'm railing about.

It could change, and maybe it will - but until then I'll just scale back. I'm sure there are more newbies in the hopper who haven't realized what I have.

But they will.

Keep feeding the bots, whales. Soon they'll be the only thing you can talk to.


there must be a change done to the code because i spend most of my days creating and posting and it is not going to pay the bills and i might stop all together.

if the currency's value is decided by a code, then why not adjust the code to make the currency value higher? this current model is not sustainable for someone seriously working on the platform full time

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this.

It could be said that rewarding better content increase better content submissions,
better content attract more people (views)
making the value of being viewed higher in the rankings on Steem more valuable increasing the value of SteemPower and Steem in the process.

But I agree, It could sound very far-fetch for the average investor.

A group that I was with before was talking about how hard to get the attention of a whale. Some recommended following the whale, give comments and hope that this would generate some interest and they would be a recepient of an upvote from time to time.

Others said to use certain keywords and tags that the whales like and hope again to receive that elusive upvote.

Others tag the whale in the post hoping the tag would make the whale vote.

There even some who were badmouthing whales and to me that was just too negative and downright rude. How judgemental for them to thing they know how a person things. I left that group because I couldn't stand them.

I understand the whole concept of minnows, dolphins and whales. Why the SP of a whale is highly coveted and generates lots of value for the poster.

I have to thank you for your candidness on the matter. There was no beating around bush and you explained why you are doing it. It makes sense and you use your power to gain what is important to you.

Until now I can still feel that my mouth is open and shocked. I have always believed that content is king and that is why I joined Steemit and write my soul out in trying to come up with qualify posts.

There was a time on my 2nd week that I felt disillusioned because here I was pouring my heart out but no one was voting nor even commenting. I have thought that I wrote good when I posted some but it was to no avail. As you put it I was earning cents and I was not getting exposure.

I was contemplating on using upvote boys and. Resteemed services just to increase my visibility however I decided not to because I wanted to grow on the merit of content and that people would enjoy what I wrote. In hindsight I should use both forms. To take pride in what I wrote but also be seen using the bots.

In all honesty I feel that I have been punched in the gut.I still can't get this wrapped in my head not can think of a solution.

I have to reassess what I am going to do next then.

I don't believe that ALL the whales vote in this fashion all the time (as far as I know). Don't forget about all the "dolphins" out there willing to support your work too!!

I agree and I have seen on other posts that they are using their power to enrich the quality and content of the community.

There have been several dolphins and a lot of minnows that I have genuinely interact with and I see how passionate they are as well in creating content. I love how some people create such beautiful and heart moving content.

In a way this is good because it created an avenue for people to talk about this in the open. I still believe in Steemit even after being disillusioned a bit but that is another superpower I have. Grit on being able to stand up and push through.

Thank you for your kind words @daveks it has brought some positivity back.

@daveks - You're right, I also neglected to recognize in my response the there are plenty of dolphins working ahead on the front lines for the minnows. Good point.

Are they? Where are they then?
With only few whales/dolphins occupying the trending, hot and promoted tabs. While new is full of crap.

Oh my!
I became a poet just because of steemit
Where everything will rhyme as long as there is a dime!

you won't see those huge payouts with "dolphin" votes, think $5-$10 in payout vs $50-$100!

There was a time on my 2nd week that I felt disillusioned because here I was pouring my heart out but no one was voting nor even commenting. I have thought that I wrote good when I posted some but it was to no avail. As you put it I was earning cents and I was not getting exposure.

I was contemplating on using upvote boys and. Resteemed services just to increase my visibility however I decided not to because I wanted to grow on the merit of content and that people would enjoy what I wrote. In hindsight I should use both forms. To take pride in what I wrote but also be seen using the bots.

In all honesty I feel that I have been punched in the gut.I still can't get this wrapped in my head not can think of a solution.

I have to reassess what I am going to do next then.

This is exactly problem am having on steemit, how i wish i could get the right solution to it in time. Steemit.com is getting out of what I have hearing from my mentor, after a long thinking and and many more someone will write, edit and others, still yet getting cents..

Things are getting out of hand for we minnows since contents are not been vote for due to the originality again.

This post hits quite a nerve for me and turns my stomach (nothing personal). I hate that people are put in a position to potentially compromise on their values, as I see your conflict above. It's not your fault. Some people handle it as simply business. As for me, I feel that I have three options:

  1. Build myself up properly and do the exact opposite when I have the power.

  2. Accept that this is how some people on the top of the pyramid think, see how this has significantly hurt the rest of the pyramid, and dial back on my passion for this platform.

  3. Load up whale money to combat this immediately, but haven't and won't, because I decided to experiment with earning Steem with my bare hands... as was intended. My Steemit wallet is small on purpose, not because I couldn't join the upper circle in a matter of hours.

I'm almost enraged at how the design puts people in a position to have to choose between profit and what I feel is doing what is best for aspiring and deserving authors.

I sincerely do appreciate you sharing this insight. It does a good service to the community to open up discussion on the topic and educate.

I don't know what else to say. This has just deflated a lot of hope I had in the system. I've been debating breaking away from my strategy to make a significant investment because my posts earn squabble, and I can't reward others more than a mere $0.05! I mainly want to give, and am frustrated that I can't unless I give in.

Commenting has been the main enjoyment I've had because my thoughts are seen and replied to quickly, giving both the author and I motivation -- worth far more than any (insert #)x return, which I'd honestly not need at a whale level.

In the absolute worst case, I think one can still do both. It's practical to allocate some voting power to a bot that does good, like @minnowbooster, and keep some to manually vote with. If that's not doable, I'd appreciate any constructive feedback as to why not.

Thanks again for sharing this.

HA, I said the same thing just now... It deflated my hope in the system too.

Fortunately, nothing is forever. Times change and minds can rearrange, so stick to your cause and contribute in how you see best fit to be the change you want.

I 100% agree with you. This is sickening. I plan to do the exact opposite of the OP. Once I build up my power, it will be used to award content creators. Not make money from a stupid bot! How selfish! Sick.

Everyone has different goals with the platform, and just because they're different than ours, doesn't mean it's the end of the world. I feel that a limited number of bots do good for those in need and give some hope, but the investor side seeing them as vehicles for maximum ROI > doing good is where the gap begins. No one is at fault individually. It's a system that's eroded in design is imbalanced from what I gather, but it'll hopefully level out in the long run.

because I decided to experiment with earning Steem with my bare hands... as was intended

Upvoted for that attitude. Unlike you I do not have the option to do anything other than earn steemit with my bare hands.

I understand @snowflake's position, and I thank him for letting us know his whale truth.

What good does minnobooster do?

Firstly, I prefer manual curation. To answer your question, I personally feel that Minnowbooster gives people who use it some hope that they can get noticed on the hot pages and a little reward for their curators as a thank you. When people put their heart into their work, and it gets lost on the sea floor, it's a means to feel positive for the reasons above. As you have significant SP, I can understand that it might not be something you've personally experienced.

Minnowbooster is also very transparent service that's a predictable option over others that are either random, or have some form of chance to them. You can confirm via minnowbooster.net.

I'm not huge on bots, but in my limited experience so far, I feel the best about this one if I've elected to use any. On top of that, @reggaemuffin is one of the best Steemians out there behind much of the back end of it, and I know that they care immensely about its vision.

While investors can passively delegate heavily to it for ROI on minnow payments, I believe that the vision behind what it's there for in the first place is true to how I've interpreted it.

I chose to earn my SP from nearly scratch, so I suppose I'm biased from a minnow's view at this time. I could flip a few BTC and change this experience for an easier street, but I want to learn from the ground up to relate to everyone.

Thanks for catching my comment. I'd appreciate any of your personal views or further discussion as I have much to learn, but also much to share.

i find it bit funny when someone talks of value or undervalue of other peoples posts. there is upvote button - simple way to show your love toward someones work.

how will you use it its completely your choice and noone should tell others what to support.

its all about our individual choices and preferences. if you upvote bots, then you are into money, not into photography, music, animals or whatever.

and theres nothing wrong in that.

unless you start caring about future of Steemit, society, world and such =)

You can always poat a thoughful comment and not upvote... at least it's participating

Could we maybe tag all whales, witnesses and Steemit employees to this post?

FUNNY "The first post has earned a whopping 19 cents. This artwork to me deserves at least $10 for the time spent doing it and also taking into account the final result which is great."

Sounds like all the work I have done and posted on steemit. Guess I don't fit the mold for steemit support. It's all about self centered thinking and greed. SOMETHING I DONT HAVE.

In your words.. "I want to apologize to these authors for not upvoting them unfortunately I have no incentive to do so since I make 3 times more money NOT upvoting them. Now you know why whales don't upvote your beautiful work..."

I once thought Steemit could have been a positive for the future. Thank you for bringing clarity. Truth and Transparency won't happen the way it's set up. Just keeps people dumbed down and distracted I guess.

Please be ensured that @snowflake is not representing the average Steemian, probably not even the average high SP-Steemian. It is NOT only about ROI but also about community, helping each other and rewarding good content and motivating our followers and vice versa get rewarded for good content. What he does is just exploiting a once well planned system which turned out to have some gaps. The excessive abundance of bots could really ruin the platform.

I think you're ignoring a couple facts. Steemit isn't in beta anymore. This is the planned form Stinc wants.

It isn't gaps, or poor design.

This is exactly what they want to make, and this is what they made.

It is still in Beta, and if ALL want to change it, then a change could be made. The 42 whales alone can´t run Steemit, if they don´t have a continous stream of people buying new Steem and powering up. If frustration levels get too high, people willl move on to other platforms - this can´t be in the interest of the whales.

Almost 90% of users that joined in 2016 have left, and 80% of all accounts opened are no longer active.

Is that a high enough level of frustration?

Steemit used to say 'beta' in the top left corner. It doesn't say that now, so I am reading that it is no longer in beta.

The "beta" word appears when the screen width is wide enough. This is pretty bad, it should be a requirement to always be there.

In fact I'm going to open up a ticket on GitHub for this.

Thanks for letting me know. I have my screen magnified, and that apparently has caused the 'beta' to no longer be visible.

I don't agree with your approach but do not wish to start a fight. I too wish to make money here, but i also wish to foster this community by offering good upvotes for good work.

Good luck snowflake.

I wonder if we all really earn more if skilled people leave steemit because we don't upvote them (thinking to earn more money by not doing that).
Earning more Steem is worthless as long as Steem price doesn't increase ...

@snowflake, you bring up some interesting points here... and on the whole, I agree that changing curation back to 50/50 might be a good thing. It predates my being here, but what I gather from other posts I've read it seems like it might make the site more people driven.

Where I want to raise a question, is when we start looking at long term sustainability. In the broadest sense, communities are built by PEOPLE, not by bots or code. The bots and code merely provide a framework... if that framework doesn't create long term utility for the users, it doesn't matter how clever or revolutionary it is.

So if we look at the original idea that Steemit could be a game changer in the social content arena, that requires some long term thinking. It took Farcebook years and years to "become Farcebook," with its two billion users. Steemit is, what? 16 months old?

Now, I totally honor your desire to maximize your ROI... that's a totally reasonable approach. But my question to you is whether you are really maximizing your ROI? If Steemit becomes a venue of little more than 100s of bots talking to each other... how many people are going to be joining the Steemit "party" six months, a year, five years from now? What's going to make the site look attractive to "the next newcomer?" What is the next prospect going to SEE here to make them think "Wow! I want to be part of that!"

Let's take that a little further... without growth in its "game changing" front end flagship, where do we think the Steem token is likely to go? What will be here to make investors excited enough that the value of your $200,000 goes UP over the next five years, rather than declines 3-5% a month like it recently has been?

All I'm suggesting here, is the possibility that those votes for undervalued posts may actually be an investment in your future value, even if not in your present returns. Let's arbitrarily say you make $2000 a month leasing your SP to bots... how much is that really "worth" if that very action is also contributing to your base investment losing $5000 a month in value?

I'm not saying I'm right... just throwing a possibility out there, somewhat informed by having watched dozens of "content for rewards" sites go down the tubes for 20 years, over very similar issues...

The reason I wrote this post is exactly because if this situation doesn't change I see no future for steemit.
Steemit is based on the premise that incentivizing user actions on a social media site will increase the quality of content. It's been clear now for way too long that the incentives don't work, why do you think the same people are trending every day? Why are new authors being ignored? Why is the retention rate so poor? Because the curation system is broken.
The point of my post was to offer a solution that will re-align incentives so that quality content can finally rise to the top. The solution is to let authors decide how much curation reward they want to allocate to curators.

I reckon that there will be an 'arms race' to generate curation rewards, competing for whales' attention, in short order should your suggestion be undertaken.

Rather than mitigating the most egregious flaws of a system intended to be monetized, I suggest that the focus of the system should be to socialize, and the monetization would be reduced.

Capital is invested in order to generate returns, and investing in Steem should generate capital returns. Sucking rewards intended to generate quality content from the rewards pool directly impacts user retention, and causes the value of Steem to not grow, and not produce capital gains.

Delink SP from VP, and let investors achieve gains from the increase in value from Steem, as the platform gains users, and becomes a social media platform in deeds, as the words described it in the white paper.

Adjusting curation rates does nothing to secure the witnesses from a Sybil attack that takes only money to execute, and offers a golden parachute to those that mined most of the Steem in existence today.

Thanks for your frankness in making this post!

That SP = VP gives users "skin the game".

What you're suggesting is using crypto to back Steemit like regular shares that pay out dividends, and VP based on something else (you didn't say).

But if getting rewards for posts still pays, which is must under the core principle of the system, it's just short step to reinvesting in Steemit unless there is increased regulation and rules around how one can invest. In addition, since rewards are not automatically invested, as they are now at least 50% of the value, the system just pays out, which leaves "serious" investors to prop it up.

It's a complete overhaul that loses some of the original self sustaining features. Do you see this as problematic or have I missed something?

As SP weights VP, there is a mechanism for mining the rewards pool, as well as potentiating a hostile takeover of the blockchain. Only delinking SP from VP will eliminate this particular mechanism for profiteering, and protect the witnesses from just being purchased.

It is a radical overhaul, but, have no fear, it isn't going to happen, because those that currently control the witnesses are those most profiting from it, and from the golden parachute of a hostile takeover.

Rewards can still be delivered through VP from the pool if VP is equal, or weighted via reputation, and Steem can still be the best crypto on the market, without creating vectors for profiteering from vote selling, self voting, or other such mechanisms.

We see that such mechanisms really aren't 'self-sustaining' at all, but rather eventually erode the content creation mechanism by discouraging authors because the rewards mechanism isn't rewarding them for producing good content, but being mined by profiteers.

I do not see that any other means of preventing profiteering mechanisms and securing the witnesses from hostile takeover might succeed. There remain other profiteering mechanisms, such as botnets, that my proposal wouldn't affect, but these can be (and will be, eventually) dealt with in other ways.

There just isn't any other way to stop profiteering from mining the rewards pool and discouraging content creation that I can see.

Adjusting curation rates does nothing to secure the witnesses from a Sybil attack that takes only money to execute, and offers a golden parachute to those that mined most of the Steem in existence today.

My suggestion is not meant to secure the blockchain, it's meant to distribute rewards more widely and support new users.
Large SP holders won't benefit more than they already do, like i demonstrated in OP, whales are already profiting fully. Even if whales would earn more from such feature, it still wouldn't be a problem because distribution will be much fairer. The real problem is whales profiting while preventing minnows to grow which is exactly what is happening currently.

"The real problem is whales profiting while preventing minnows to grow..."

You are exactly correct, but I do not agree that whales are 'profiting fully'.

As I pointed out a couple months ago during the furor when we first talked about this, whales can expect far higher gains from appreciation in the price of Steem than they can from mining the rewards pool.

At the time BTC was ~$3k. I pointed out that if you bought Steem at ~$1, if Steem went to only 1% of BTC price, the gain would be ~3000%, far more than you can generate from selling votes, delegating SP, or any other profiteering mechanism dependent on mining the rewards pool.

Steem is a better crypto than BTC, and Steemit CAN be a social media platform that becomes the Gorilla King in the space - but it won't as long as the rewards are mined by profiteers.

Simply mitigating the profiteering can but delay the inevitable.

If Steemit doesn't just end profiteering and just allow capital gains to reward investors, another platform will, sooner or later.

Profit is an inherent part of steemit. Users are supposed to upvote good content early in order to profit the most. That's what curation is about according to the white paper. I don't know why you want to end profit, that's the only thing that makes this site different.

I get your point about the value of steem, but I'm not sure investors wanting to profit from the site has a negative impact on the price. Users who want to profit have to stay powered up thus contributing to the price increase. For example I have not powered down a single cent in almost a year now.
The fact that the trending page is the same every day and that the retention rate is poor is the real concern to me and my 'proposal' addresses this.
The issue is not people wanting profit but the fact that users have to act against the platform's best interest to make the most money.
Incentives needs to be realigned so that people can profit while upvoting the things they like and contributing positively to the site.

I don't find profiting and profiteering to be the same thing, and I did try to point out that traditional capital gains are the victims of profiteering, as much as are new users.

In the white paper a discussion of financial manipulation points out that mining the rewards pool will harm the platform, and indeed, suggests that flagging/downvoting is the mechanism intended to prevent this.

As it happens, that didn't work as they said it was supposed to.

I hope you do feel that I am not desirous - at all - of insulting you, or anyone that acts to responsibly attend to financial matters. I'm not.

As you say, it is just a matter of properly aligning incentives. I just feel that as long as VP is weighted by SP, there is an incentive to seek to maximize ROI through voting strategies.

Profit from investments does not require stake weighted VP, as capital gains, when Steem's superb qualities as cryptocurrency bear fruit, will reward investors to higher degree than BTC, IMHO.


Better creative control always makes a better community in my experience. That seems to be what it says, just in a shocking way. That also elicits a response in my experience, not always a happy response but a response still beats a dead fish.

Thanks for the response! I believe your suggestion is entirely viable and identifies a good solution... and we're basically in agreement.

THAT SAID... can "the powers that be" be persuaded to change the curation system without first being very clearly shown that they are-- in effect-- "killing the goose that's laying the golden eggs?" If people-- even if they are just a small handful of the total "population"-- are profiting from their short term actions, where is their incentive to change things? We have to present the decision point of "$2000 a week NOW" vs. "your Steem appreciates by 1000% in three years" and you don't get both. And that may be a hard "sell."

Where do we start, functionally speaking? An analysis of the witnesses... who supports what, and votes subsequently being redistributed?

Dear @snowflakes, bless you for your honesty and i just understand that people who are plain like this i prefer to flock with, hypocrites and beautiful liars are the worst.

About the trending page, i have concluded in my mind that this place is a cult, you dont get accepted in then all you get is cents. So if all witnesses and same set of people makes it big daily- What the hell are we all waiting for if not go back to Facebook and Twitter where there is no dirty politics and favorism!

Fakebook and Twatter actively censor their users. Gargle and Youtool do the same. All of them actively work with the CIA and the like to disseminate propaganda to their users.

Steemit is relatively free of censorship and propaganda, so it's a lot cleaner in terms of politics and harming free speech.

Regardless of what happens to Steemit, I'm not going to those platforms. I've no interest in propaganda, nor in being censored.

I came here to get away from it, and if Steemit fails, I'll go somewhere else.


Another reason why vote selling to bots may not be a viable solution for the future of steemit without changes that encourage manual voting..

I love you @snowflake , you suported my posts and it meant a lot!

I wil always remember you even after we get 1 billion new uysers after the exthard fork allows for instant account creaytion for free, I will make sure i dont forget you and you WILL make it to1 MILLION followers

ahhh i cant wait to see who can get 1 million steemitt followers first!

OH and while we sit here and argue about thi srtuff, the smart users are developing new front ends where they can simply organzie their own posts the way they want!
AND theyre getting ready for Smar Media Tokens which wont allow big whales to flag them anymore.. theylll be in their own little islands liek subreddts on reddit!

Oh its gonna solve a lot of problems!

we will see a;ll sorts of amazing new whales pop up too!

The old whales might even become irrelevant! we may see osme users make SO mch money by harnessing the power of 100,000 minnows to create a NEW set of whales using combined minnow power and that whale can then look after their minnows!

Oh and the DEX will come out soon too and that will allow us tohave our OWN echange for Bitcoin and EOS etc its gonna be SOOO lit!

Thanks for the curation recommendations :)

You should join us at @ocd ;)

don't you think this kind of attitude will only work short term since it decentivizes creation and actual content on the website? Advertisers will not care about a website run by bots for bots

Changing the % of curation won't solve the issue because vote buyers will then be able to offer more to buy delegated SP.

Can you elaborate on that? I didn't understand exactly what you meant.

I haven't thought this through much so I could very well be wrong but it seems those who buy delegation can always be more profitable than someone making money solely on curation because they will try to make as much money as possible on self-voting.

Those who buy delegation can then always offer to buy delegation at a higher price than what curation can possibly pay back to its owner if the owner doesn't self-vote as much as what the delegation buyers will.

I'm not sure exactly how clear I was. I hope you got my point.

I think the n^2 reward curve might have solve some of the problem you are underlying with the Steem. Even though it seems totally counter-intuiative.

If I understand this correctly, n^2 curve incentives people to avoid splitting their votes and splitting their stakes (delegation)?

It make the largest accounts more powerful than the others in a none linear way.

Under such rules, stakes control the reward pool in a none linear proportion changing a very fundamental part of the Steem dynamics.

It's pretty hard to try to understand how it effect Steem as a whole but I think I can see why it make sense overall.


Self voting is another issue and I don't think services like blocktrades will increase self voting. If people want to self vote they can just buy SP and do it.
The thing I want to solve is curation incentives so that people stop voting for the same authors over and over again and starts supporting new authors. Vote diversification basically.
My suggestion with curation percentage would actually discourage self voting as people could earn very significant rewards by voting other people. The reason people self vote is because curation is not really profitable anymore, currently there is a huge gap between rewards you get from curating and those you get from self voting.

Self voting is another issue and I don't think services like blocktrades will increase self voting

I disagree and made a post about it:


I am with you on the gap between curation and self voting.

I didn't know that @blocktrades's service is only profitable if you upvote yourself, you did a great analysis. I've resteemed your post.
Also I'm pretty sure @blocktrades started this service because like everyone else he thought curating was not worth it any more, he used to curate great content. The change to 25/75 was detrimental imo.

Your idea in regard to curation percentage is a very interesting one.

@abit is making 200 SBDs a week more in curation rewards, than @snowflake made selling his vote to @minnowbooster - this is great news for the platform imo!

"Self voting is another issue and I don't think services like blocktrades will increase self voting. If people want to self vote they can just buy SP and do it."

Lessors will always be able to sell their delegated SP for cheaper than it is for the lessee to buy it outright themselves. Otherwise there would be no reason for anyone to lease out their SP reserves.

They might be able to offer it cheaper but at a certain point it would become more rewarding to curate. Perhaps that point is at 50/50 or higher, that's the hypothesis.

Two thoughts from the article and peoples comments:
1 - the sickening feeling that steemit might have the ring of a pyramid scheme.
2 - the bots, though in the short-term create more $, in the longterm will be the demise of steemit as automatic votes will keep funneling wealth upward and discourage new talent.

I have advocated for a year or more to let authors set their own curation rewards on a per-post basis. I very much doubt if there's any "one size fits all" value that doesn't suffer from some sort of malincentive. But I agree that 50/50 would be preferable to what we see now.

I was intrigued to see, here that Golos now has a bot that provides custom curation reward percentages without a need for change at the block chain level.

Your post made me sad @snowflake...

@snowflake thank you for writing this post. I really appreciate it, because now I believe I'm more understanding of why and how whales operate.

As much bashing as there are for whales like yourself who chooses to NOT UPVOTE due to the incentives, you did what you believe is right that is to explain why you choose to do what you did - Many Steemians might not understand this, but it is by understanding why this phenomenon is occurring that we can improve the system to be better.

Seriously, we must build a system that serves both the users who are here to make money and users who are here genuinely for the platform - we can't survive and grow without each other.

Listen, listen, listen. Everyone is so busy talking about what they think is right that no one is willing to listen to what is really happening around us.

This post is an eye opener. I have been working so hard these last few months trying to gain reputation by producing original content and adding value to the platform by upvoting other posts that I like, but then disheartened when I received little to no comments on my own posts or upvotes. My 3 options were to continue fighting on and hope that one day a magical whale would take pity on me, give up on steemit altogether, or utilize the upvote bots to improve my post visibility and hopefully my reputation by gaining more interest. It seemed pointless to continue doing the same thing as I was getting nowhere. So instead of giving up on steemit (I think this platform has the potential to be an amazing place for creative thinking and really didn't want to give up), I decided to look into using the bots. I invested cash of my own, bought SBD and started using the bots. I didn't really make any money, but it did improve my visibility and it definitely increased the votes I received (although most were worth $0.00), but I am still grateful for them. My followers increased too. The people that follow and upvote my posts are amazing and I have met many creative and like-minded people here, but we all suffer with the same issue, our votes are worth next to nothing. I have stopped investing more cash into steemit because I am really not sure that it is beneficial and can't see the future getting any better with things the way that they are. It is a shame as the whole ethos behind steemit was to be decentralized, however I feel it is certainly centered around the 1%

I just wonder how better and closely to 'the original project's utopia' steemit really would be if CURATION incentives & rewards simply ¡DID NOT EXIST! within the platform at all.

And by that I MEAN: ¿How about if in order to someone (anyone) could be able to earn here a single penny or a flying rat ass "curating", they first MUST READ entirely a post from Top to Bottom before that damn VOTE button even appears available to do so? ¿Huh? ¿Wouldn't that sound like a true Conscious Human Social Network of sorts or what?

¡In any case, at least that way we for sure would know that no bot, AI or automatism could be able to vote! ¿Right? }:)

On other hand, I also wonder very often... ¿How different the world would be if people did not limit themselves to expressing only what they think others want to hear?

I completely agree. I dunno how it can be done, but bots have no place voting on a social media platform. They aren't people. Now that countries are giving them citizenship, which includes rights, what is really happening is that people are becoming no more than bots - chattel.

It needs to stop, before we start getting groups like People for the Ethical Treatment of Inanimate Objects. It's ruining Steemit, too.

I've gotten involved in other people's comments but I'd like to offer my own, a point no one has out right made.

Voting for what is quality, in your own subjective opinion, is the stated goal of the system. While you correctly point out that the curation system needs fixing, if you take the long view it is not helpful to vote purely indiscriminate of quality. Quality, attention and vibrancy are what will make or break this platform. This is one of the reasons I do not support vote selling. Focusing on the immediate rewards does not contribute to the value of your investment long term, or really even medium term.

I suspect that you must realize you have limited impact on the direction of things and so are going with the safe option of doing what works here. But as the whitepaper cautions, whales like you should be incentivized not on the immediate gains but the health of the platform, and your impact is many many times the impact of the average user, orders of magnitude larger. If you're not convinced it is to the health of the platform, are you just making hay? Because the sun is not shining on the price of Steem.

As the top commenter at the time of writing says, @talltim:

This is why Steemit is not what I thought it was. I thought it would mean curation and votes based on content, not lining pockets. [...]

I am of the view that code dictate user behaviour. If people can exploit the system it means there are holes, better fix them before the masses come rushing in.

I suspect that you must realize you have limited impact on the direction of things

That's right. I don't think my vote will really make a difference, sure I may help a few steemians and have good conscience doing so but to make a real change we need everyone to behave in the platform's best interest and this is only possible by creating the right incentives baked in the code.

I don't disagree that things should be improved, I've been long advancing ideas for improvement. The sad truth is that by vote selling I believe you are contributing negatively to the long term prospects. But if it's get significantly improved it's neither here nor there. Hopefully this discussion gets the ear of the bosses.

@abit is making 200 SBDs a week more in curation rewards, than @snowflake made selling his vote to @minnowbooster - this is great news for the platform imo!

They both have a lot of alts so the real take isn't clear, I wouldn't be confident @abit is making more, but could be

This is a valid point, @abit could be trailing himself and boosting rewards that way. I'll have to find some more data...

Thanks for the info and response :)

The idea is to get rewarded for free and not buy upvotes just because the system is still flawed. Steemit is still focusing on Aesthectics when it should be working on more important features such as getting the quality posts seen. Awww Steemit and whales you are just a bunch of greedy corporations, you make money off poor steemians.

A lot of boss and bosses here, a minnow @princeola is learning.


I fully understand your dilemma - actually, I've just posted an article about a human morale https://steemit.com/philosophy/@lifenbeauty/is-it-good-to-be-a-highly-moral-person but if you read it, it will just confirm that you should do what's best for you, so you won't upvote it, although I believe you will like it. :D

Thanks for information
Good job my friends @snowflake

You used an image protected by copyright (shutterstock - watermark is visible).
I am telling you this because I work with them and what you just did there wasn't legal ;-)

Google gave it to me :-)


As tempting as it is to copy and paste that image on your blog or elsewhere, and perhaps even manipulate it for your purposes, you need to consider copyright law before doing so.

Im new here so trying to figure this all out. Is the problem that there are bots in the first place? Can Steemit do away with that "problem"? If it is the problem?

One of the things that drew me to Steemit was the idea that good content would get up-voted and in so doing cause the Steemit system to flourish by attracting positive attention to the platform because of all the visible "good" content. Seems like what you are saying is that is not really the case? Or at least, some of the best content is not being lifted because of a gimmick in the profit pay out system?

Thanks for the post, and your time.

Is the problem that there are bots in the first place?

No, the problem is scarcity of curation rewards

Imagine 100 homeless people waiting at the shelter when suddently its announced that there will be only 10 meals served. What is going to happen? Everyone starts running, jumping and even beating up eachother to get a meal. These guys have completely lost their integrity ( stellabelle's word :-).

So you end up with a few people who managed somehow to take advantage of this situation and the rest of the people fighting for the crumbs.

Bots are a manifestation of a broken system.

So does seem like the curation fraction is not the real issue. It may seem like the break-even point is where the ROI is equal for the example posts you mentioned. But what if 4 other authors would accept an even lower return for themselves? You could make even more ROI! Simply allowing authors to give higher curation rewards to attract upvotes, is like the 100 homeless people bidding for only a fraction of the 10 meals. The lower amount any person will accept, the more likely they will get that small fraction of a meal. But it won't be enough to sustain them over time.

The code has to incentivize whales to care for the overall health of the Steem blockchain as the way to increase the value of their investment - and right now, that's through the Steemit platform. I like how you said that the bots are a manifestation of a broken system. Some bots are helpful for the overall system health, others aren't. It does seem like there should be enough data since HF19 to assess where code changes would be helpful.

Alternatively, there's always the possibility that some whales and witnesses are just waiting for hype about any of the new apps or SMTs to spike Steem values, so they can bail out.

You display a keen grasp of the issues and your comment reveals an insightful mind.


It is, if there was a way to pin this to the top, out of thread kind of, I would vote to do that. Wouldn't that be a cool feature?

Simply allowing authors to give higher curation rewards to attract upvotes, is like the 100 homeless people bidding for only a fraction of the 10 meals. The lower amount any person will accept, the more likely they will get that small fraction of a meal. But it won't be enough to sustain them over time.

In my analogy the homeless and 10 meals are the curators and curation rewards not the authors and authors rewards.
The portion of the curation ( 10 meals) will increase accross the board which is absolutely necessary for people to diversify their votes and change their voting habit.
Established authors may still use the same curator/author ratio but new authors who set the curation percentage high are going to earn a lot more than they currently do. ( I've given an example with exact numbers in OP)

I like how you said that the bots are a manifestation of a broken system. Some bots are helpful for the overall system health

Generally speaking yes, if bots are required to make the system healthy then something is missing in the code.
For example bots are needed to support minnows, this mean the incentives created by the code are broken.

Isn't it the case that my curation rewards go up as my reputation goes up? If so, isn't it the case that my curation rewards will go up as I like things that others like, meaning its in my best interest to like good things? Am I way off base? Am I being too naive or simple?

As far as i know reputation has no effect on curation rewards only the amount of steem power you have. The more your vote is worth the more you get back for each vote.

In short why 99% of articles get less than $0.10

good information thanks for sharing

This is what I love about steemit. I'm concerned about making the most of my steempower, others are concerned about spreading the most with there steempower. Is there any "right" way to steem. No.

nice post i like that .. regards introduction from @imamalkimas

If this is true the system is broken. It does make clear a problem which is a opportunity for improvement. Identifying a problem is a step in the right direction.

Maybe its a clue as to why I keep seeing what I consider uninteresting, poorly written garbage at the top.

viewed, voted, commented, and re-steemed ...

anyone follows me i'll follow back within a few days

I vote the way that I would buy a painting, buy a book, discuss a photo, read an article. To that end, I don't believe that curation is the sole indicator of what's good. I'll happily upvote things that I think are good, and if they are really good, then I'll tip the author.
One day, I will be a whale, and when I am, I will vote the same way that I do now.

I totally agree with that steemit maybe provide the option let author determine the proportion of payout is better.

wow, you also use cnsteem, nice! Selling votes to a bot can earn so much?

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Thanks, this is why so many people are disappointed and left Steemit.unfortunately unless they chance the rule it will continue to be like this. And it will adversely affect growth of Steemit. Shame!

This could be the biggest hurdle for Steem to succeed, such a pain i can do nothing but admitting what you pointed out is true.

Ok, final attempt at getting your attention.

I have nothing against bots and vote selling, I do it myself.

However, looking at your recent minnowbooster rewards for the previous full week of activity, you made 305.

@abit, who has about 5000 more SP than you (without your delegation to this new account), made 501 SBD on curation alone last week.

Speaking purely from a financial perspective, and unless there are any outside payments going on, curation is 40% more profitable in this example.

@abit seems to be an isolated case, most users in this steem power range earn about half what he is earning.
This could be due to multiple factors, he may use other accounts as proxy or simply the fact that he is curating korean content. Maybe the kn community is curating properly which would mean good curators there can earn a lot of money.
The problem with the 'english community' is that it's become too risky to vote for new authors because no one vote for them, everyone is auto pilling on the same authors. The curating game is basically rigged.

Very interesting Theory now that you have explained it this way. I may have to reevaluate my strategy here. Thank you.

Wow. Thanks for sharing. I did not realize selling of up voting was so much more profitable for whales. This makes me mad. (I am now not going to tell you how this makes me feel, or what it makes me think of the future of steemit)

I would like the ability to manually change my curation ratio, like the upvote % slider!

wow i like the way you feature undervalued post but great quality content here @snowflakes, they are deserving to be rewarded. I greatly appreciate those people who spends time and make tons of efforts in posting.

Good reads here @snowflake :)

Mind if I translate your post for Golos ?

go ahead

Found this post, upon searching for information regarding the lack of any CURATION REWARDS for the past months. Regardless of thoughtful comments and correcting timing, it is fruitless.
This is disheartening as a publishing system based on what readers want to see, would seem ideal. But once again, methods have been developed (bots) undermining the purpose. This is not to be taken as blame, had I been in the same position, would have done the same. Shame the option even exist, and this publishing system allows.
I feel my time here will be limited as profitable and useful options are available too me. Really had hopes for this though... :(

I think it's kind of sad you'd rather sell to a bot than reward great content creators. Wow. This is very disappointing and is one thing I absolutely cannot stand about Steemit.

"that's 3 times more."

Really? Our whales lack ambition for settling for "3 times more" rather than helping Steem grow. I wonder what eth whales had in their minds when the price was at few dollars/eth, probably not just "3 times more". That much is sure.

Thanks for your honesty, man.

But long term I think it would be better if you did upvote that content and sacrifice a bit of your own short term earnings. I guess it comes down to how likely you think steemit etc will be around in 5-10 years time.

I would like to give back 80%:). It's a good idea, but no matter how good the rules are, somebody can find a way to play the game.
Before implementing the rule, perhaps somebody can do more research, for example run simulation to test the new rule.
BTW, thank you very much for all your upvotes.

Well, that explains a lot.
But how exactly does one change curation rewards settings, please?

Currently users can't change their curation reward settings which is a shame. I hope to see this feature implemented in the future.

What have you been earning the last few weeks @snowflake?

I'm seeing around $40 a day 2 weeks ago?

Yeah I completely agree there is so much great content out there that's not getting the quality of votes or whatever and all these Bots are just kind of overwhelming everybody. It's not seeming like it's balanced for everyone but making the rich richer. Which is an issue, and there is starting to come up in other post that people are really worried about how steemit is being run I am one included. Though I know it takes work hard work to get things going it's really still something that can inspire you as long as you know that you have value in what you're talking about what you're doing with your Artistry, whatever it is that you may have to give to the community just find the right people and they'll be there for you, as for the money, who knows. It's seems like a game to me all centralized into pots controlled by Bots.

Just Stay positive point out the flaws to improve upon and be well and steem on! @snowflake

@snowflake thanks for the mention, at first I thought I was affecting the curation rewards by self voting but realize it's more to do with the way the platform is set and can't do much about it.
I hope the way the system is designed improves and becomes fairer in future. I suppose human greed leads to these problems in the first place and by raising human conciousness would lead to a better, fairer world where people care about beauty, truth, quality etc.
I think the top whales and below can start with upvoting quality content to set an example to minnows of what becomes successful on this platform. Maybe they will follow. Also what you said about curation. That would be the ideal situation but I realise it is hard to do.

I'm relatively new here in steemit, but I understand a lot of things in this two month here. There is certainly a need for a genuine social dialogue, intended to promote quality and original contents within the steemit community.

That is why I am moving forward with plans to promote quality and original contents betweens minnows. I'm not a whale but a minnow too, but I hope my curation project does it in a small way..


Hello Snowflake,
thanks for the vote. 👍 And I think 50/50 is also fair. But I'm too new to be able to judge everything conclusively.
Best regards

Hola @snowflake. @alxgraham here. Lol, as if that's not just above my comment anyways.

I've gone through a lot of comments here, and being a truly newish super minnow type member of the community, i'm a far as a person could be from fully understanding what makes STEEM better in detail, though the idea of high speed with zero fees does seem like a combination any crypto would aspire to have, if that could be managed.

One thing i do believe defines anything really great, at least in the idea/creation space, is "Is it afraid to facilitate it's own obsolescence/antiquation if ever necessary?"

I have a hard time imagining STEEM lasting too far into the future as a viable crypto system, if it doesn't end up capable of almost revolutionary evolution.

If you could fashion "One Coin to Free Them All", what's most important to you?

Will you ever actually see this comment from months back?


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"If @iansart @metalbrushes @elenasteem @nidin had set their curation reward percentage to 60%"

Your reward settings for this post:
Past Payouts $82.09

  • Author $65.48
  • Curators $16.61

So when you create content, such as this post, the rule you're suggesting doesn't apply to you? You're making short term gains here, but aren't you interested in the value of Steem and the platform in the long run?

If it becomes a sea of bots and all the real creators/curators leave, people will see Steemit as failing, they will not invest in the coin, the value will plummet, and there is no long term benefit to anyone, no? So is it just a 'get more rich while you can' concept then? You see no sustainable future in Steemit as a content platform with fair rewards? Just whales over-fishing?

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