Our Plan for Onboarding the Masses

in #steem2 years ago

onboarding the masses.jpg

In today’s post we will explore our plan to onboard the masses, how it informs the product decisions we have made in the past, and the decisions we continue to make. As many have observed, the Steem user base is not growing as fast as it used to grow, and traffic to steemit.com has been decreasing in lock-step. If our goal is to onboard the masses, that’s not a good sign.

The Root Problems

We want to solve this problem and, as the team that released the base protocol and maintains the most used Steem-powered interface, we have the most to gain by doing so. When looking at these problems it can be tempting to look at the problems that appear on the surface. But we are always trying to look deeper. Steem and steemit.com grew rapidly because we offered people an experience that they couldn’t get anywhere else. Is there more we can do to make the process of getting an account and understanding the platform easier? Absolutely.

But the people who joined steemit.com early on were doing so in spite of the difficulty because we were giving them the opportunity to take ownership over their content. The real question is; what else can we offer users that will encourage them to take that leap once again and join an experimental platform?

Communities

The beta release of steemit.com proved that the proposition of leveraging blockchain technology to guarantee ownership over your content was extremely compelling. The question we asked ourselves was how we could take that value proposition to the next level. “Communities” are our answer to that question.

Communities will leverage Steem to deliver, for the first time in history, the ability for Community leaders to own the communities that they build.

If we want to onboard “the masses” we first have to appreciate that they are not a single, monolithic abstraction and instead acknowledge “the masses” as being made up of individual people with diverse interests, personalities, and group identities. Once we do that, it becomes obvious that if we want to onboard these diverse people onto Steem, then they need to be able to leverage this blockchain to discover information, and people, that match their interests.

As always, we want to do this in a decentralized way, by releasing open source software that expands people’s ability to own and control their online activities. When we talk about “Communities” what we really mean is “the software that solves those problems." The development of this software, while progressing rapidly is still ongoing and we’d love your input or suggestions.

To learn more about Communities check out our recent post in which we announced our high-level design document. We’d love to hear your feedback.

Smart Media Tokens

While Communities will make history when they launch by giving people total ownership over the online communities that they build, we still believe that there is more we can do to set up Community leaders for success.

Thanks to our experience with STEEM, we can also give community leaders (whether they are app developers, businesses, or non-technical users) the financial tools they need to ensure that they, their community managers, and their community members are all incentivized to grow a community and build its value. That’s why we are working on Smart Media Tokens (a/k/a Steem Meta Tokens) in parallel with Communities. These two pieces of software are our top priorities, which is why they are being developed in parallel by separate teams, one led by @roadscape (Communities/Hivemind) and the other by @vandeberg (along with @gerbino).

We believe that these improvements will usher in an entirely new era of growth by transitioning Steem from onboarding individuals one at a time, to onboarding entire communities. This will lead to another explosion in growth, at which point we plan to shift focus to the sign up bottleneck. Though that will be a decision made at the time based on all relevant factors.

Light Accounts

While we are thinking a lot about how we can dramatically improve the sign up process, 3rd party Steem developers have informed us of one feature that they believe could dramatically improve their ability to onboard new users to Steem, while dramatically decreasing the cost of doing so. That solution is “light accounts” and it is our hope that the community, and the Witnesses they elect, will consider this feature for inclusion in the SMT hardfork.

Light accounts would essentially be the types of accounts that are typically created on blockchains. These accounts would be simple wallet addresses (not usernames) that would not have any of the valuable rights that the current Steem accounts have and which contribute so much to their cost. Light accounts could enable developers to onboard their users to Steem for free, give them access to their Steem app, unify their backend databases, and then selectively “upgrade” the users who add the most value to their app to full Steem accounts. This would effectively transform the Steem accounts we all now have to “premium” accounts.

Feedback

But what do you think? Do you think this is the right approach? We realize that a lot of people have lost faith in our ability to ship code, but the reality is that we have never stopped shipping code. The “crypto winter” has certainly forced us to shift focus at times, but even the software that was shipped in response to our financial circumstances were critical to ensuring that the impact of Communities and SMTs is maximized.

Hivemind & MIRA

Our first major cost-cutting measure was Hivemind which not only dramatically reduced the cost of running Steem nodes, but is also the very software that will be powering Communities! Our next major cost-cutting measure was MIRA which moved the blockchain from RAM to commodity hardware thereby dramatically improving the scalability and sustainability of the Steem blockchain. In addition, when developing these solutions, our estimated ship dates were largely on target.

We know that a lot of people have been waiting patiently for Communities and SMTs. We agree with those people that these are the most important pieces of the puzzle and we wish they were already out. That being said, we are still confident that we are far ahead of our competitors. We are already making a lot of progress on these projects and are now confident that we will deliver them.

We will be delivering Communities features gradually over time, so you should start seeing improvements to Steem front ends before the release of SMTs which will require a hardfork. If you want to help influence the direction that these projects take, please leave your feedback in the comment section below.

Steem on!

The Steemit Team

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Your plan to onboard the masses is ignoring a few crucial factors.

There is so much that needs to happen beyond what this post expresses. It's a good bit of PR writing though 👍

Here's what I'd do if I had steem's stake:

  • You can offer new users the chance to not join and become disappointed within a month of joining that quality of content isn't any indication of how they will be rewarded. Believe me, the only reason why any quality content creators I've seen on steem don't leave within the first three months was because of @curie, I worked for curie for a while and I'm sure of this as fact!

How can this be achieved?

  • You can stop ignoring the massive abuse of power that early adopters continue to take for granted. Use your stake to downvote the obvious massive reward pool rapists and mega trolls that make this platform a shity thing to look at, and for some, be involved with. Censorship by consensus only works with a group of reasonable, intelligent people with power to find consensus. Not by a massive minority of ego maniacs with a kim jong il complex, this isn't north Korea... I hope! These peopke provide one simple message to anyone looking at steem and considering joining; that it is just a 'who stakes the most' wins platform. The overwhelming discrepancy in stake (the wealth gap) on steem negates any reasonable consensus of censorship, as the massively stake wealthy have far too much power to manipulate through either fear or incentive.
  • You can leverage your ninja mined stake (steemit.inc) to make sure that vote sellers are not endorsed as legitimate members of the community. It's time to shit or get off the pot steemit.inc. Do you care about the success of steem as it was originally envisioned? Vote bidbot owners out of consensus witness positions with stinc's stake, while providing some incentive to other large stake holders to support the position of continued downvote control on bidbot owners, and users, which would curb the influence of such detrimental mechanisms and help realise steem's original value proposition.
  • You can stop trying to fool the community by joining in with the smoke and mirror politics that the value steem has been bled by content creators only. The top 10% (sp wealthy) are some of the worst leechers of value, particularly bidbot owners, hold them to account; you have the stake to do it. The depreciation of steem's value is not all down to comment spammers and plagiarism scammers with small accounts. That is a political narrative that had been perpetuated by some of the wealthiest (stakeholders) on steem. An equal (or larger) amount of price depreciation has come from the highest SP holders and vote sellers taking value out of the system by promoting content that provides no value for anyone, but profits them. If I had more SQL knowledge I might be able to query the blockchain for stats on this, but one thing I'm certain of is that at least 6-7 of the top 20 witnesses run vote selling services according to my research. Apparently HF21 and the EIP is meant to mitigate against vote selling and encourage manual curation? I'm going to say outright that a group of consensus witnesses with even one bidbot owner in the group isn't impartial. Witnesses have private telegram groups.
  • You can stop pandering to witnesses. Realise that this platform as a glorified excuse for various business interests to incentivise advertising holds less than a fraction of the value proposition of people being rewarded for quality content based on talent, interest and creativity. The masses will on-board with the chance at realising a dream of rewards for expressing their passions a million times quicker than they do with the offer of 'the same, old same old' product hunt, or write for my agenda incentives. It baffles me how anyone can't see that we had the winning formula. If someone/s with stake had the guts to step up and regulate those who want exploit this USP then even the selfish people who want to only take, might see their investment appreciate through the coin price above and beyond how much they can leech out over 2-3 years.
  • You can continue to market steem as the real paradigme shifting and unique idea it started off as; a content creation platform, while ensuring that it remains so. This can be achieved, not by giving the power of your stake into a centralised authority (the committee of three people you recently announced do not represent a community of 10000 people, they represent the business interests of 3 people), but by using your stake to negate the massive reward pool rape perpetuated by whales who hypocritically state people should live up to values they never stick to themselves. Anyone with an ounce of intelligence who joins the steem blockchain can see that it's one rule for the proles on steem, and another for the whales, vote selling barons and witnesses. Apparently, we're all in it together... I know many people on steem who've never powered down (including myself)... but they're not making tens of thousands of dollars/year by making this platform look like a lie and a Ponzi scheme to anyone who joins up.

Finally, you use 'the root problem' as one of your titles. I read thorough the whole post, and I agree that communities and SMT's may allow the onboarding of large community groups with varied interests (especially as it will be decentralised at the blockchain level). But if we've learnt one thing from Scot and tribes, it's that creating a community and a token does not equal value. A community's value is only as strong as the people 'hodling' the token, and the leaders moderating the content. Steem needs a strong foundation value on the token, we have a strong community, but without fixing the 'root problems' I've stated above steem as a blockchain is just going to perpetuate the same corruption and avarice across a thousand SMT communities. That's the nature of the beast, and human behaviour. The root problem that you've brushed over is that the corruption at the core of the governance of steem needs to be addressed, or steem will founder and die.

I really don't want to see that happen. Cheers.

Exactly.

I recently visited a friend and crypto investor in Switzerland. He always likes to listen to my opinions but concerning STEEM I couldn't convince him to invest a single cent. He said that the original idea was really great, but as long as @x, @y, @z and others are able to do on this platform what they are actually doing (chasing other users because of different opinions or just for fun, upvoting their own ultra short posts and comments several times per day, operating bid bots), there was no way to convince him to invest (as soon as I decide to insert the real user names instead of @x, @y and @z, that will be probably the end of my STEEM authorship, so - for now - I still won't do it). :-)

Thanks for this feedback. One of the goals of Communities and SMTs is to resolve exactly these issues.

A politic answer if ever I've heard one. I understand that you are trying to give the impression of answering a question, while really addressing nothing that was put across in my original comment. I've worked in PR @andrarchy, I know the game. Good move actually not responding to my comment but rather someone else's on the thread. That's a degree of separation, but I'd still hope/ask for a response to what I've raised in the original comment.

So, are you going to answer to anything I've said? Why exactly should anyone have confidence in a platform where the largest stakeholders, and architects (steemit.inc) are working with the people who pretty much everyone agrees are ruining said platform? That is what you are doing by your continued acceptance of bidbot owners in consensus witness positions. You can try to brush over it as much as you like, but while you have a little cabal of vote sellers in the committee of people who make the decisions on what gets changed at code level, there will never be any meaningful change. It's almost like that's what you guys want? Please just give me, and anyone else who's read this comment, and voted it up to the top, a straight answer on why steemit.inc remains complicit through it's impartiality? Use your stake to get these people out of consensus position and then use your stake to stop these mechanisms in perpetuity. Or explain why you won't?

I'm not sure how communities and SMT's will address the issue of your endorsement of these detrimental mechanisms (bidbots) through inaction.

If the plan is to remove all reward mechanism from the steem token so that it's similar to Etherium as a base token people have to purchase to build communities with their own POB functionality, then I can see the potential that this might allow regulation against vote selling, but that would entirely depend on the people running each community.

I do appreciate you responding to my comment, but I think it's something of a nothing answer to the concerns I've raised.

Imagine a steem where steemit.inc lead by example to keep the platform functioning as it was envisioned in the whitepaper. I would like to see that version of steem given a chance! It has been around 2 years since the hard fork that allowed bidbots to become so prevalent. 2 years of you sitting on stake that could have been used to positive effect to stop this massive leech of value and dumbing down of the outward face of the content discovery pages. I would argue that it's the destruction of the trending/hot pages that destroyed the forward momentum steem had, thus sending the price on a nose dive. Yes, steem price would have depreciated with the bear market, but not half as much without our front facing content pages pretty much a joke.

Do something about all this... with your stake! It is not too late to salvage a nugget of gold out of this shit pile. Saying that a new development of communities and SMT's will save the show, while doing nothing to stop the original development (steem) from being further damaged is counterintuitive. All of these new developments are just things to hope for; hypotheticals' for tomorrow.

Sorting out how the steem ecosystem works right now is not a hypothetical, it's something that can be done to improve things now, and for the future.

If the plan is to remove all reward mechanism from the steem token so that it's similar to Etherium as a base token people have to purchase to build communities with their own POB functionality

There is no 'plan' to do that as far as I know but it is something that various people have suggested and discussed as a possible destination once all of the pieces are in place.

My own personal view (which means little in and of itself) is that this is something we should seriously consider if EIP doesn't either work reasonably well or at least show significant promise that a few additional tweaks could make it work well.

You would be much happier over on Punlish0x ? https://www.publish0x.com/?a=BDbDqjxdl2

I'm not sure how communities and SMT's will address the issue of your endorsement of these detrimental mechanisms (bidbots) through inaction.

this is what steemitinc needs to address in specifics

. 2 years of you sitting on stake that could have been used to positive effect to stop this massive leech of value and dumbing down of the outward face of the content discovery pages.

for 2 years, I opposed the interference of steemitinc in the vote game; time has proven me wrong.

my argument has always been
SP holders get to use that power however they wanted

But I never extended that argument to
That includes the SP of steemitinc, which can be used to decentralize the power of abusive whales

Great post and response to the concerns. I lost faith thanks to bots, vote selling and lack of understanding+communication from the leaders at STEEM.
I also believe there is a huge market for a platform like Steemit and i use to promote it to everyone but as you say its been 2 years and nothing has changed. And the one-liner response from @andrarchy makes me more confident i did the right thing believing in the project.
The points you bring up are major major issues and @andrarchy saying its one of the things they work with is just laughable.
What ideas have been discussed in 2 years? What are the alternative solutions your considering?
Seriously you dont think people are so dumb to just trust your without any factual information.

Could you explain how Communities and SMTs will mitigate bidbots and whale abuse?

Because those are the two sore points that get referred to in every steemitblog post.

I like the idea of Communities and SMTs, but for them to become effective, they need the large userbase. so catch-22...no reason for new creators or users to stay when their rewards are less than possible due to the two issues noted -> no large userbase to take advantage of the poternital of Communities and SMTs

Why not just follow the plan laid out simply in front of you and your team? Steemit isn't worth visiting anymore, in fact, it never has been. How about you TRY fixing it after 2 years of abuse?

Just give it a try... after all that's what your community wants!

I just happened to do my monthly checking on Steemit, not worth spending more time here anymore, seeing this answer, you guys still seem to lack the balls to do what everyone wants you to do. Please wake up...

They did fix it, they got rid of me! duh! lol

Hi @andrarchy, I don't know how to find a way to contact SteemitTeam, but I try mentioning you here, maybe you would read this:
I asked my friends to join steemit, they did it and I have to say for new users it is a bad experience that they lose RCs so fast and they can't keep posting, for example one of them didn't even posted much only 3 posts in 3 days, and when he wanted to post a video on Dtube, error shows up and wrote this:

fas.jpg

I think there could be better ways to make people happy using this platform, for example look at instagram, it won't show a message to you telling you: pay!! you can't post anymore!! pay and buy our tokens or you can't post!!
so I think you guys can fix this issue, because you can see too much steem powers saved on some users which they never use it, some delegated to accounts which they also don't using it. I think there can be a way to give some delegate to new users to let them use this platform. help me to help Steemit platform and make people stay here!

There will not be any change for the better. It is intentional to have the issue you are speaking about. Steemit Inc is NOT operating in the best financial interest of Steem blockchain. They are trying to break the other blog platforms on the Steem blockchain... What else could it be?

Yup, (unreasonable) fear of flags is a real thing for sure. Bullies and trolling on steem is made so much worse due to the way the stake system works, but I guess that's the nature of the beast I honestly thought I'd get shat all over for this comment 🤣

I've experienced the same situation with a potential large investor. I discussed pitching an idea I had to connect great fiction writers on steem with traditional publishing with an old uni friend who now works high up in a major London publishing house. She wouldn't pitch the idea. She cited the same reasons your friend did. She's one of the most intelligent people I know and she said 'there was nothing wrong with my idea and business model, just the platform.' Her words.

My comment response might seem somewhat harsh toward steemit.inc, but I was pulling my punches and holding back. I want to see this place succeed but it seems that a lot of what's happening is half arsed when there are simple solutions. They're not pretty, but they are simple to implement.

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Imagine how funny this fear will be after hf21 with free downvotes..
:/

I had Bit coin connect wallet last year.how do I transfer my funds to a different coin?. I'm a sports card collector / blogger I like talking about sports cards

This is spam, and it's the reason you were downvoted.

U must be retarded dude! Get the fuck out of here bitch before I slap u!

Whats most funny about this is its all basucally a clone of what whaelshares is doing only without the ninjamine. Yet somehow...even though i was the first talking about these concepts...they promote them like they came up with them.

Dont ignore though...the fact that most people dont care. Steem will do ok because noone in crypto really wants to change the world. They just want to live on the moon as entitled bullies.

Congrats on the theft of innovation. Pat yourselves on the back...ur getting paid and the guy who came up with the ideas u took as ur own is off your platform.

Even renamed voting power to mana....ironically right after whaleshares announced it.

....true visionaries.

Fuzzy created all teh things! Give him his credit, bro!

Help! I'm being attacked!

Well said @raj808

Indeed. Premium content cannot be rewarded, and users cannot get valuable content that they are interested in.The core of the community is social and link, and none of this happens, very regrettable.
The first goal of many people here is to make money, but where does the money come from, especially in the current market environment.
However, we still have hope for the community and make it as good as possible.

where does the money come from, especially in the current market environment.

A legitimate issue for sure. But, steem would not be in the position it's now in if so much value hadn't have been allowed to leave this platform without contributing through the creation of decent content.

I think that many underestimate the power of a virtuous cycle! Without bought votes, and with a trending with even half the content good content, that virtuous cycle could have happened. All the boom that happened in 2017 was off the back of BTC bull market. If steem had have stuck to it's value proposition, I think millions would have flocked to steem off the back of seeing decent content genuinely rewarded. I'm a professional writer and I saw a mini version of that virtuous cycle when I first started here as curie upvoted a lot of my content. This incentivised me hugely to keep creative high quality content while staking my SP. I actually even bought steem with my SBD and staked that, to this day I've out more steem in than I've ever removed. So you can imagine how pissed I am to see steem's degeneration.

Incentivise peoples passions and tallents and you're on to a winner. With millions of mainstream people coming to steem we would have seen huge price increase through speculation. I'm not sure what the results would have been long term, but it wouldn't have looked like it does now!

Yes, this is a problem that we need to work together to solve. How to make good content pass to the right people, how to make the traffic gathered by the community truly bring value to the community, let the cycle happen , we work hard!

@steemitblog, Steemit Inc., If you actually care at all or want to appear that you have any idea, please listen to this valuable feedback you've been given over and over and over again. What is the overall value proposition for the bidbots on the platform? How could it possibly be worth destroying the ingenious content discovery/rewarding mechanism that every one here signed up for?

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One person / one vote?

They fucked up any chance of that by allowing anyone to make as many accounts as they want.

I was hinting at Voice.com :)

Both approaches can have their place

I think stake should give votes more weight, but, perhaps the downvoting could be more "democratic."

They don't care buddy, they are just pretending to - Government status.. If they cared they would have been listening and implementing a while ago.

Cheers Richard.

My original comment comes from nearly 2 years of frustrations and dissatisfaction spilling out in one go. Thoughts and observations I've kept to myself out of the fear of having my rep destroyed.

Check out the recent response from andrachy in this thread and maybe consider weighing in if you have any thoughts. I really do think it's this complicity to work with and allow vote sellers into the highest positions of governance on steem which has kept things in a downward spiral.

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Cheers for trying @raj808 we all know it's true. A lot of us have been been pointing it out for a long time. Yeah, @andrarchy gave his political answer. Nothing from @ned. @dan left over this same nonsense. It has only gotten worse since then. I thought because of all the votes you got and their recent posturing, we might actually get a real response. I just feel silly for getting my hopes again. This place is controlled by greed. No one has ever answered my question. I don't know how to pose it any more clearly. The answer is that there is no real overall value proposition for having bid bots/ vote selling on the platform. It extracts value and ruins the content discovery and rewarding mechanism and makes quick profits for people who are either short sighted, or just don't care. I don't think it makes sense to expect anything different from them. I think there is an awesome community here and we just need to do it ourselves with a new chain and leave Stinc's dumb asses out of it. I now see that as the most likely thing to make any real change. I reckon someone is already getting it ready. When somebody does it right, it will leave Steem in it's dust. It's good to see all the frustration. It's only a matter of time until someone brings the solution. It's abundantly clear that Stinc won't. No point in trying to argue with short sighted, greedy people, just build something better. It's just a matter of time.

It has gotten to the point where reading "updates" from st-ink that they force to the top of your feed is just a complete an utter waste of time, filled with false "hope" for things that aren't even essential for positive advancement of the platform or community anyway (and most people do not really care about). The biggest REAL problem for the value as Steem as a currency is obviously bc st-ink is cashing out 500,000 Steem a day, which even at $0.25 is still $100,000 USD per day! How much Steem do they need to cash out before they will let the value recover somewhat?! There are many people (including myself) that would love to be able to cash out some of their earnings at a decent value that we originally powered up bc of our faith in the platform, or maybe even pre-order some Steem silver rounds with Steem if it was even worth $1.... the same round project in which Ned was delivered an original one from 2017 and did not even take the time to post a photo (let alone a short article) about it on Steem to help promote the Steem silver round project (like there would have been anyone with more influence to help).

Ned just needs to stop cashing out copious amounts of Steem every day and stay the F out of Steem community affairs and development from now on. SMT's are a dead initiative bro, no offense - but let's be real (and communities, lol, we have our own, very well established communities thank you). I cant think of anyone who actually wanted SMTs to exist here in the first place anyway (aside from those that spent a ridiculous amount of time and money creating projects designed for SMTs only to loose their investments due to them not ever being released, let alone in the scheduled time frame - all those peeps are dead in the water with those SMT deals atm - but hey, who's fault is that?)

Aside from the collapsed price of Steem, and the obvious ecosystem detriments like the abuse of bidbots and the uneven distribution of wealth, putting most of the power in the hands of the few, who for the most part do not care about quality anything (why does this sound so familiar...) - STEEM as a community is THRIVING! Steempeak is kickin' SteemMosters has taken off like wildfire, Hashkings is about to release a VR version of the platform, the WeedCash network is just fucking awesome for many reasons, Steem Engine is providing custom forms of everything SMTs failed on which is bonkers, and even Dtube has made drastic improvements with some super ingenious server saving developments and developed a token and blockchain of its own... while all St-ink ever seems to be concerned with is how can we run things more cheaply while still cashing out as much as we can and ignoring user's amazing suggestions that can actually help things.. Its almost as if they want to keep the price down and the community subjugated.

All I can say is, give the people their platform, your screwing it up like a government screws up its country. We do not need your centralized regulation and power structure any longer, you made a TON of money off this, its time to give the people what they deserve, and back the F off! Be a little better than our world governments and have some compassion for people other that your inner circle. Seriously... oh and the "light-accounts" idea is just absurd due to info mentioned here and more - @STEEMITBLOG AND IT'S UPPER ESCALON ACCOUNTS SHOULD BE LITE ACCOUNTS... then we'd be good.

(turning this into a post later for more exposure - although that will be limited since I don't use bidbots lol)

The answer is that there is no real overall value proposition for having bid bots/ vote selling on the platform.

My guess is they're scared if they eliminate bidbots and delegation as a method of passive "investment" then a lot of stakeholders will have no reason to hold SP anymore? Of course it's impossible to keep that faucet hooked up to the "Content" pool while also trying to make it systematically better to manually curate, which renders the EIP ridiculous. But who knows?

Yeah I got my whole account censored and all this trouble started from me making one joke post about flagging the bidbots! lol sick and you went right along with them @coffeebuds! There is a point to argue and not to be quiet, it is our right! Don't shush people, encourage them!

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6-7 of the top 20 witnesses run vote selling services

please name names

I think they're pretty open about it... Yaba, Aggroed are two of them.

Steemmonster's upvote bot serves a specific purpose, pairing dec with usd value. It should be looked up to as an actual useful bot.

I'm interested in knowing what the other witnesses are.

Cheers. That comment is over a year of frustrations and dissatisfaction coming out in one go. Thoughts and observations I've kept to myself out of the fear of having my rep destroyed.

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Thanks for spilling it out. We agree with you.

Cheers for the moral support vantocan 👍

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Cheers cryptogee. That comment is over a year of frustrations and dissatisfaction coming out in one go.

I look at the narrative that some are trying to push about 'where does the token value come from?' I look at my feed now and it's 90% incentivised (insert boring/uninspired) content or generic steem-centric posts.

I'd say 'take a look at where the value is really going'... and further to that, how to define value? If it's the value of the steem token, well ok the sell pressure from content creators is a legitimate depreciating factor. But I'd argue that mechanisms like bidbots take a huge amount of value out, while giving nothing back. Big drain of value to one person (owner) cashing out a sht tone (especially during the bull run), while the bidbot users are generally boosting crappy content. This is just a hypothetical, but I think that without such an unattractive looking system in play, decent content creators would be much more likely to stake a larger portion of their earnings as they'd have more confidence in the integrity of the platform. I've been saying all this for a while now here and there in discord shows, comments etc, and it's been falling on deaf ears. I'm not 100% why tbh.

I've been saying all this for a while now here and there in discord shows, comments etc, and it's been falling on deaf ears. I'm not 100% why tbh.

Welcome to ATS-David’s world. Going on three years for me.

It doesn’t get any better, by the way.

It doesn’t get any better, by the way.

It really doesn't. I have so much to add to this conversation—but I'd just be repeating myself, again.

I can pull up articles I wrote, from years ago, that predicted the outcome we see today, because it was so fucking obvious, to everyone, except for the people who bought the sales pitch, got burned, and now they're seemingly too goddamn proud to admit they made a mistake.

Pointing out these flaws early on was intended to be helpful. Just like many others here, I didn't want to see the place fall apart. That was my agenda. And I'm not going to apologize for anything I said in the past about the issues I saw then and the issues I saw coming. I'm also so tired and done talking about it because it has been such a waste of my life.

Thanks for the moral support. I've seen you voicing similar concerns on steemit.blog posts many times @ats-david

Check out the recent response from andrachy in this thread and maybe consider weighing in if you have any thoughts. I really do think it's this complicity to work with, and allow, vote sellers into the highest positions of governance on steem which has kept things in a downward spiral.

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Bid bots are just a symptom of a broken system.

Look...STINC and our top witnesses made a huge mistake with HFs 18 and 19. Nobody will admit that delegation is a massive misstep and it took two years to get a (very underwhelming) fix for linearity.

Combined with the "ninja-mine," early lack of distribution, terrible onboarding practices, a small user base, an awful collection of interfaces, a horrid culture, and pretty much zero marketing, not much is going to go right.

Now they're talking about a form of "light" censorship to add into the mix, along with a delegation program with extreme conflicts of interest.

I have said for a few years now that there is some serious incompetence within the halls of STINC. But I may have to agree with others who have been saying that this has to be intentional. That there's no way they can be this clueless and continue down a destructive path without doing it purposely, especially given the fact that plenty of people have been offering up many great ideas - and code - for three years...and they make very little progress, even on the things they actually own.

Since they have not only not lived up to their promises and are actually squandering STEEM that they said would be used for a specific purpose - hence the reason for the massive ninja-mine - I would support a Steem fork that moved forward without their company accounts. But that's unpopular because everyone shouts "slippery-slope!" and other nonsense.

They can keep their stake and the current chain. I would just support a fork without the toxic culture they've created and without their continued path of destruction.

Fork dis' bitch... thats the whole point of this open source environment and should seriously be considered. What do you propose should be some key changes in the fork (remove delegations, 50/50 rewards, etc.)?


You're upping the drama to new levels! Have a DRAMA.

To view or trade DRAMA go to steem-engine.com.

Yeh...says the guy who voted up pictures of him going to the zoo and caused problems with the real innovators because it paid.

Aww...poor Justin. You’re such a victim, bro!

I guess all that grassroots community building and blockchain forensics didn’t amount to much, did it?

...voted up pictures of him going to the zoo...

Was that all of the “mountains of dirt” on me that you promised? Lulz.

Go eat some more dick. Nobody fucking cares about you or your Shitshares. Turns out, you’re a bigger joke than everyone thought even before Steem.

Toodles!

This made me giggle. David you are so naughty.

I must be honest and say all this is small fries and keeps us from looking at the real problem accounts on steem.

I have an idea fuzzy ...how about you write a post about the good stuff David does.

Oh btw...while u bitch about David ...perhaps u should ALL be looking into the Real shit on steemit.

Naw. Screw it. Attack David. Its mentally far easier than actually fucking helping.

Yeah, seriously.

Help! I'm being attacked!

You should create your own illegal shittoken to enrich yourself pass out to the community bro, so you'll feel better.

Exactly, I've seen this advice given time and time again to no avail.

Cheers Kevin.

My original comment comes from nearly 2 years of frustrations and dissatisfaction spilling out in one go. Thoughts and observations I've kept to myself out of the fear of having my rep destroyed.

Check out the recent response from andrachy in this thread and maybe consider weighing in if you have any thoughts. I really do think it's this complicity to work with and allow vote sellers into the highest positions of governance on steem which has kept things spinning down the plughole.

Amen, brother. Amen.

To listen to the audio version of this article click on the play image.

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@raj808 Holy crap open the floodgates, lol! Nice post and very robust though, lots of insight and potential ideas.

There are many factors as to why we are in the current state of system exploits and why this standard post/blog model fails on its own (without a ton of intervention which is being talked about here), but a number of them boil down to the incentive structures for OPs 'original posters/authors'. While the core of the incentive is valid (post/create "quality" content and be rewarded) there are a slew of exploit incentives which form around it due to such emphasis being placed on the original content.

As an alternate path to some of those network based proposals, I am developing a Steem app now which aims to mitigate some of these issues (sure as hell not all) by reframing the model in which post and curation is derived. The premise I have is simple and straightforward, and hope to release and test it out in action here soon (6 weeks or so). The basic idea is to not put so much emphasis on the OP in terms of robustness, but to incentivize the curation/contributions from other users therein.

I will definitely be talking about it more as the project develops as I want to get as many eyes on this thing as I can. And as an organic OP that is one is the hardest things to achieve without a 'historic following' or paying for upvotes and/or resteems (which while I do not like bidbots they do offer an unfortunate utility.. promote yourself).

If only Steemit Inc would actually listen to this...

For the little or nothing it may count, we are 1000% with you @raj808. And long life to @curie for being the reason for quality content producers to remain writing on this platform.

I had Bit coin connect wallet last year.how do I transfer my funds to a different coin?. I'm a sports card collector / blogger I like talking about sports cards

This is a spam comment. That is why I downvoted it. If you want to convert coins, you will need an account on an exchange such as Bittrex, and place a trade order.

Nail on the head. Tight concise read and vision. Very impressed with the communication and vision from Steemit INC. The light accounts are a godsend for 3Speak and all of Steem.

This looks like your plan for completing the work that has been ongoing and promised for eons now. This post could have been written a year ago; I don't see that it includes any plans for onboarding anyone.

"we could make it easier for people to sign up," but that makes sense. So instead, we will do nothing, and hope that somehow the software advances will fix the problem (they won't).

This post also includes no timelines for deliverables. Just more empty talk that Steemit INC has been providing for over two years.

Hey I know, why don't we ask Aggroed how to onboard people @steemit? Nothing attracts the masses like people who think the world is flat!

Wait...

I thought Steem Engine was the driving force behind Steem now, with all of those amazing "tribes" and their tokens and centralized "exchange." Are you telling me that this has not been bringing in the masses? But I thought having a different interface for every community and "tokenizing the internet" was the key to Steem super-stardom and riches?

Have I been duped by people who are only interested in lining their own pockets while delivering nothing actually useful or wanted by "the masses?"

Nothing attracts the masses like people who think the world is flat!

This kinda evolved quickly from your comment in the last steemitblog post of him being a conspiracy nut into a flat-earther, hmm. :D

Don't pick a moron to hold a position with some authority.

Don't pick a moron
To hold a position with
Some authority.

                 - justtryme90


I'm a bot. I detect haiku.

To be fair, there's a niche to be built around flat-earthers, climate emergency deniers, 9/11 truthers and other tinfoil lunatics. Said niche is likely orders of magnitude larger than Steem's current active user base.

Then I look forward to dumping on them.

🤣🤣🤣 seriously, this comment made me chuckle.

Are you volunteering to on-board Marc Morano and all the tub thumping lunatics on the 'climate change battle royal' Facebook group? At least my feed might have something on it with entertainment value 😅

Then we need to get this fella on DTube:

and it would be a ruck!

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Besides ausbitbank none of those tinfoilers ever buy steem

Would really like to know if they are aiming for inclusion in this Hard Fork. If not then timeline is likely next year. Which makes it too little too late for us and other apps.

More like onboarding the molasses...

Haha, molasses with a heart shaped cherry on top. Tsk Tsk

HeartPulse.jpg

One thing about the adoption curve is getting people to understand it. That part is out of anyones control in the main but the masses themselves. Thats not to say that Steemit could not focus on making it as easy to use and understand as possible though.

Once SMTs and Communities are out, you should use big parts of your future ad revenue to pay for influencer marketing on Twitter/ Instagram. Get some big names on here and big parts of their following will also create an account.
They can then easily form their LeBron James community or Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior community here on the steem blockchain...

"pay for influencer marketing on Twitter/ Instagram. Get some big names on here"

It sounds like you're suggesting they pay people to use this platform?

They don't pay only for using it. They pay to market it to their millions of followers as the best thing the world has seen since the internet.
The network/fanbase is usually gonna try anything they suggest, especially if it's free to signup.

They could even go so far to say that if you power up x amount of steem (500 steem e.g.) you will get a big upvote from me, your idol...
Some crazy people would pay thousands of dollars to get recognizes(upvoted on social media) by their idol.

Okay, so bribes, effectively advertising.
But instead of paying new members to consider signing up on STEEM, why not support (pay) the content-creators? Instead, they are taking away a larger cut from the content-creators, to favour the investors (curators). New members won't stay around unless we start properly rewarding good content. When the site is filled with high-quality content, it will grow and prosper. Right now we are chasing away the last of the real content-creators. Almost nothing left here except bots and spam.
Bribing people to send their followers here is only going to work if the followers will want to stay here. Currently, people are flocking away from Steem in droves, so it's not working. We need to fix this ship, not advertise.

"We need to fix this ship, not advertise."
Yeah, that is exactly why they are taking away a large cut from the content-creators. Because in 5 years, nobody on steem will give a fuck about "good content creation".
This platform is evolving from a content platform to the best app platform, the best gaming platform, the new decentralized censorship-free youtube/ instagram/ facebook, the best and fastest scalable payment solution (read new money)
Incentivized communities and SMTs for every internet business is the future.
Everybody will be earning 2000 different coins/smts for their daily activities freeing us from the tyranny of corporations and government.

Both ways can be positive for the community but they are not even close to getting to this stage yet. Influencers is a few kilometers down the road but taking care of content creators is just down the block. I wouldn't get my hopes up though.

Some crazy people would pay thousands of dollars to get recognizes (upvoted on social media) by their idol.

Sheez! I had to read this twice. Because the firs time I read: "(upvoted on social media) by their idiots" LoL

lol

If agreeing more than 100% were possible, I would do it :) Great suggestion!

Actually I have another important idea. One that has been discussed countless times and does not even require a hardfork.

I am talking about Steem Wiki (including hardfork wiki) in english, regularly updated with info about the top dapps and all the recent developments.
Preferably on the front page as well as on steem.com with an annoyingly big link, so nobody can miss it.

Why? Because our official wikipedia entry is absolute trash.

This is the german steem-wiki. Not bad, but certainly not complete info. Just for getting an idea...
https://steemwiki.org/tiki-index.php?page=Steemit-FAQ

Great that you agree! I really hope to see the influencer marketing become reality in the future...

How many BRON tokens you plan on stackin’?

A lot :D

Me to! Forget minnow, dolphin, orca, whale status. I am going to be a BRONana boat! Look out! My block (aka downvote) is going to be rough.

46C6DF19-6B16-4D73-B608-7FAEB2C48770.jpeg

More than bigger names what would really work like a charm would be mid range creators/influences with a strong niche. Pewdiepie involvement didn't do much for Dlive. Instead of one YouTuber with 10 million subscribers, we'll do much better with a small horde of creatos with 50K - 500K subscribers. Think some Anime Youtubers, Horror YouTubers, Educational Channel, Game/Film Theory analysis channel etc. Even if few of them leave, we'll have few more remaining. Also the platform will look more vibrant instead of looking like some Pewdiepie blockchain.

Big names will eventually join when there are enough active users. A fan community of a celerity will become a great incentive for a celebrity to join STEEM.

Yes, of course, start small.
To get some of the big guys of Instagram onboard would also cost more money than steemit makes in a year...

Another awesome idea.

Light Accounts

I can't tell you how important this is. Thank you for bringing this to the fore front and let's get the masses on this beautiful chain!

They didn't really say what a light account would be able to do and not do. Do you have an idea. I guess it makes paper wallets easier like @inertia said but SteemPeak would really like to have a better idea of what a light account will be able to do as we were about to go down a centralized route of our own to solve these issues... but would much rather have a decentralized system.

If I'm interpreting this right, then "light accounts" are essentially just wallet addresses which represent an interface to the blockchain – but the implication is that they won't be able to do significant transactions.

The immediate and obvious problem is that every transaction that is useful and interacts with the blockchain requires the ability to write to the blockchain, and if you can write to the blockchain as a user, you're a full user.

Unless this system of account differentiation is a backdoor way of pushing access restriction algorithms into the blockchain itself, which goes against a lot of the basic premises of the Steem blockchain, I don't see how we can have two classes of users with one having a username and one without. As it stands, the username is just another data field associated with what's effectively a wallet entry, so the idea of "light accounts" in the architecture that's currently implemented is actively nonsensical.

Like so many of the Steemit Inc. press releases, this is ambitious in ideas of those ideas themselves don't make a lot of sense.

Much like this obsession with the idea that Communities and SMTs are somehow interlinked and entwined when they are very distinct conceptual and interface underpinnings, this amount of handwaving in public is the very opposite of reassuring.

Agreed that Communities and SMTs are technically not interlinked, but I do think that Communities provide a comprehensible proof of concept for SMTs. Almost any effective token system will be part of a "community" of some kind. So while, Communities and SMTs are technically distinct, I do believe that Communities will have a very compelling implementation of SMTs that will be broadly comprehensible to a wide variety of people. Thanks for this very thoughtful comment.

AFAIK light accounts would be wallet addresses that can send and receive tokens and nothing more. This is the only implementation I've heard actively discussed with our blockchain devs and they were not at all under the impression that it is nonsensical. An implementation of light accounts is definitely possible, not difficult even, and in high demand by every 3rd party app developer we have discussed this idea with.

Light accounts are not something we believe we need for steemit.com, but Steem is about far more than steemit.com now and we want to make sure that the Steem blockchain is the best protocol for developers. So we are eager to integrate any feedback from them that we can, as long as it has the support of the larger community and Witnesses.

Start with communities first, that's easier to understand for the end user.

"Communities are like a subreddit, but with the difference that the moderator(s) can monetize their efforts curating quality content".

Then bring SMTs, once communities are big enough they could find usage in a token rewarding their users in whatever way they find contributing.

So true! Light accounts are really important!

I bet this would make paper wallets even more simple.

Yes, it would.

Steemit is a platform that pays people to spam. This economic model is not sustainable in the long term.

Perhaps the creator reward inflation should be reduced towards 0, and the rewards themselves be paid from the ad revenue generated by the author's posts?

The assumption here is that the content creators incentives would now be on writing content that people want to see, as well as investing in the discoverability of the posts (sharing, backlinking, etc) - a big shift from current incentives of finding the most efficient way to siphon the reward pool.

Makes sense to me!

I hope Voice.com will be implementing a model like this, but I'm guessing that initially there will not be any dedicated place for placing ads and contributing content creators directly with advertisement.

Interesting. Though, why would steem even be needed for that kind of model? They could just pay USD.

Its not needed in current model either - hence the token value is going slowly towards 0.

Perhaps Google ads could be replaced by Steemit ads where ad campaigns are paid in STEEM.

It's needed in the sense they needed a currency to pay people for their interactions, which is why the reward pool was born. However, with your ideas, no reward pool, no reason for a coin? Just pay people a portion of the ad revenue generated in USD. I think your model is interesting but I do think with some tweaks steem could be usable as well.

Why does bitcoin, ether, ltc, and just about every other coin have value? There is no fundamental value there either... which is why I don't think your comment about steem going to 0 because it is not needed is accurate.

If you use a SQL database like Twitter/Medium/Reddit etc. there is no need for a blockchain or token or interaction fees. Having a blockchain is not a value add - to the contrary - its an expense, and as such it needs a real use case to be justified.

With USD its not viable to pay the long tail of content creation - you can't really wire someone $3. Its also a hassle to add support for new countries. And with FIAT payments you need to follow certain regulations and KYC requirements.

Ah yes the KYC and AML are a big deal for USD usage, though it sounds like it may not be long before platforms with cryptocurrencies must follow that as well...

That didn't go so well for JSEcoin...

I don't think they're actually interested in any revenue-sharing. Ned didn't care two years ago when I discussed it with him and recent comments like this just get ignored...

https://steemit.com/steemit/@ats-david/pscu45

They ask for suggestions and feedback and then do nothing...for years. If they wanted to improve the user experience and bring the masses in, they would have attempted to improve it. Do we remember when Steemit.com was supposed to be "just good enough?"

Well...it was never "just good enough." It still isn't. Communities, SMTs, and light accounts won't change that.

I fully agree that the stake-weighted reward pool needs to be eliminated. Instead, should consider a brand new system building social systems, advertising and gamification into blockchain protocols.

Yes! The blockchain should be paying people to grow the network. View count, ad clickthrough rate and bounce rate should be the measuring sticks for value. Create the ability for any app on the blockchain to run ads which pay out proportionally to content creators when clicked on. Then give stakeholders the ability to turn off ads or leave them on to get paid for viewing them. This would compete with the Brave Browser model, but I think Steem has a good head-start in terms of user-base. Then run marketing campaigns to the millions running blogs and trying to monetize with Google Adsense, as well as the millions who don't want to see ads and/or wouldn't mind if they got some compensation.

FINALLY other people saying this!!! Very, very important point here’s @furion

I have been really, really wanting to get more people to Steemit and form a community for over two years now. The single reason I have not been able to do so is because the Communities feature hasn't been available. If I bring someone here, they have no reason to stay. Whereas if they could hop on a Community section where there are other people gathered around the same interest, that would give them a reason to participate and keep them coming here. There is no reason for them to be here otherwise.

Communities is the one single most important feature. I think much more important than everything else that was done over the last 2+ years.

You don't need to do marketing. Every single one of your users will be your marketer. They will advertise the platform, form their communities, bring over their friends and existing communities. In fact, they can't wait to do that. But right now they can't do it because there is no point bringing in more people if there is nothing for them to do here.

There are a lot of fundamental mistakes being made in regards to the sequence in which things are developed. New technologies go through an adoption curve, where at the start of the curve you have early adopters. We are still there. This means things like easy onboarding are not a priority at all at this time. Early adopters like products that require more skill to figure out, they like it when the product is not polished, when it is still not ready for the masses. That gives them a chance to adopt it before the masses. But without Communities, there is only one big ocean of people and posts, so the "social media" part cannot really happen. So my suggestion to all entrepreneurs on this blockchain is: read the book The Four Steps to the Epiphany in order to understand more about developing your product from an idea to a massive business.

I could not agree more and can't thank you, and everyone like you, for sticking with us through this time. Communities are the most undervalued feature coming to blockchain and I appreciate you seeing that.

Why does @steem have over 12 thousand unclaimed accounts.

Those are reserved for their faucet farmers.

Good to see that you're still around @borislavzlatanov!

Yeah, I've been around this entire time, but mostly just curating. :) Hopefully it helps a little bit.

Best comment on the post. Thank you for writing this!

I believe you are completely missing the point in your “root problem”.

The root problem are incentives. Yes, creating accounts matters as well, but still that is not the hardest thing to do.

The hardest thing is to do what the original mission of steemit was: incentivize content and content creators.

Today steem has no mission and no leadership, but just a little better marketing.

Without a reason of existence this is not enough. If we do not address how to give value to users, especially new users steem will becomes even more worthless than it has become already.

It is here where the secret is in the masses, to strengthen the communities.

My input would be to get these done yesterday. Communities, SMTs, and light accounts (fixing the sign up bottleneck) should be 'mission critical'. Everything else should come after, specifically EIP and SPS. Put all your resources into delivering those first couple ASAP. They are significantly more important to steem and steemit's survival.

That's basically the situation. Because work on EIP and SPS is complete :)

Good deal. What do you think about changing the witness votes from "30" to "10 or 5"? Right now our Top 20 witnesses are basically all being decided by just a couple of the largest stake holders. That isn't really decentralized in any way... dropping the number down to "10" or even better "5" would significantly help with that.

I think it's definitely worth considering, and one that should be raised with the Witnesses. I would say that we are at least in favor of getting the conversation started about whether this is something that should be implemented in a future hardfork. If someone were to make a great post about this, we'd be happy to Feature it so that the idea could be presented to more people.

At least one post was made about these ideas 9 months ago.

https://steemit.com/steem/@ats-witness/steem-witnesses-vote-number-and-decay

And there were others.

It would be even more decentralizing to use the concept of 1 vest = 1 vote in the witness system. In other words, you can choose to use all your stake voting on 1 witness, or spread it around in any way you want, but it is not your SP x 30! You can delegate your votes out in whatever % of your stake you want, but if a 1 million SP account votes 500k to witness #1 and 250k to witnesses 2 & 3, they’re done... 1 million votes used.

Interesting. I wonder which would be an easier change at the coding level? I personally like 5 votes per account, but your way would work as well.

It took me a second to process what you're asking because I was thinking # of witnesses and not # of witness votes. I think this would be an excellent suggestion though it's going to take the same witnesses who benefit voting to end said benefit.

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Yep, which is part of what is wrong with this system. The foxes are watching the hen house. We need to make these changes and we need to make them as soon as possible. One or two stake holders should not be able to select all 20 top witnesses...

That is a bad idea. In fact the ideal number of witness votes should be unlimited and it only isn't because of an annoying exploit with backups (and it is indeed frustrating and perhaps worth reconsidering that the little 1/21 slot forces us to weaken the voting system and indeed the whole platform).

This may seem counterintuitive, but the idea of the approval voting method is to vote for all witnesses you believe are competent and not malicious. Those evaluated as such by the most stake are chosen. Smaller limits of votes leads to more gaming attempts to manipulate the list, and in doing so very likely makes the system less secure.

Right now our Top 20 witnesses are basically all being decided by just a couple of the largest stake holders

At the same time this is false (for example several of us don't have a vote from freedom yet we are still there), and also ultimately the way it is supposed to work. The people with the most at risk should have the most say, it should require a lot of stake to get any witness into the list, and also you don't want relatively small(er) amounts of stake to ever be able to elect any witness, and certainly not multiple witnesses (see above re. "less secure").

In terms of the biggest stakeholders having huge influence, I think the bigger concern might be people not voting at all, and a lot of stake sitting on exchanges in liquid non-voting form. Because when it comes down to it the biggest stakeholders aren't even that big (freedom owns about 3%!), so their relatively large influence over witnesses is an indication of not that much stake actually voting. I really don't know how to do anything about that.

That is not false at all, it is a general statement that is absolutely accurate. The top 20 witnesses are in fact being decided basically by a couple of the largest stake holders. That is a fact. All are receiving a vote from one of the top couple whales. That means that you have 2-3 whales basically dictating the direction of the entire platform. How do you not see that as a problem?

and also ultimately the way it is supposed to work.

Perhaps if the goal is to just have the richest person dictating things for the entire platform, then yes this is how it is supposed to work. However, many people have touted that having witnesses elected by the people helps decentralize the governing process, which it absolutely does.

As a counter example, if one malicious group were to acquire enough stake they could vote in all of the top 20 witnesses themselves, yes it would require a big stake, but it could be done in theory, they could vote in all 20 of "their" people and guide the entire platform in the direction they want or just crash the chain to watch it burn.

While that may sound extreme, there are people out there that do things just like that, in fact there are even some on this chain already.

Yes, that is unlikely, but it is still possible.

Reducing the number of witness votes per account makes that much harder to do.

I think the bigger concern might be people not voting at all

Yes, and that is because their vote literally makes no difference. If votes were maxed out at 10 or even better 5 it would allow for a much more democratic witnesses structure and it would make more votes 'matter' which in turn would likely incentivize more people to actually vote.

Not only that but it would also continually encourage witnesses to do things in the best interest of their voters, a la more of the community at large, which isn't exactly what we have going on right now. As it stands now, in most cases, you just have to cater to a couple of the largest accounts and you are in.

I very much question your assumptions about how a smaller number of votes would work. The total vote weight would fall dramatically and people with a lot of stake, despite fewer votes, would then still have enormous influence over the now-lower weight totals.

Consider the extreme case of only one vote. I'm reasonably certain that every single top witness in that system would still have at least one very large stakeholder vote supporting them, including some large stakeholders who would split their account in order to have more flexibility in voting. It is even quite possible that some large stakeholders, or possibly all of them, would be able to place one or more witnesses into the top list with their votes alone. That is bad, not good.

It is far from clear to me that more votes favors larger stakeholders in any significant way; everyone simply has the same increased opportunity to express support for more candidates, including smaller stakeholders doing so. For example, with only a few votes, as a smaller stakeholder if your first few choices have no real chance of being voted in, then you have to choose abandoning them to have immediate influence between candidates all of whom you may dislike but are credible current candiates. With more votes you can continue to support your first choices (who may then gain additional support over time) and also have immediate influence on the margin. That is the sort of strategic gaming that approval voting aims to (and largely does) eliminate.

There is no way to avoid someone with a million (or even a thousand) times more stake having enormously more influence, and if you could that would be bad because it would mean that an attacker will less stake would therefore gain more influence.

At a minimum, this proposal would require a far stronger argument than what you are making that it would have the beneficial effects you suggest (like an actual paper, with proofs, which considers among other things, strategies like account splitting).

In the absence of that, the baseline assumption I'm going with is that approval voting with unlimited (or at a minimum least >20 votes) is best here in order to get witnesses that are 'acceptable' to the largest amount of stake (which is both a desirable governance and security property)

BTW, remember, most of the largest stakeholders currently vote for more than 20 candidates (most vote for close to 30 and ideally the limit would be higher). It is then the smaller stakeholders who decide among the candidates who are acceptable to the larger stakeholders (and also vice-versa, because there is no inherent ordering to the votes, but this may be less clear to you without really thinking it through).

Again, yes, the largest have the most influence (and when the disparity in stake is very large, the disparity in influence is as well), but all votes absolutely do count.

As a counter example, if one malicious group were to acquire enough stake they could vote in all of the top 20 witnesses themselves, yes it would require a big stake, but it could be done in theory, they could vote in all 20 of "their" people

Under your proposal this would still be the case, they would just need to split their stake into 4 or 5 accounts. The total vote weights necessary to get in the top 20 would fall dramatically, so the total stake required would correspondingly fall.

Since when has "an actual paper with proof" been needed for anything on here?!

Sheesh.

Even in your argument of one vote per account (Which I am not advocating) you make my entire point. You say that the 20 largest stake holders would be deciding the top 20 in that scenario... Ok fine, well guess what, then we at least have the direction of the platform dictated by 20 people rather 2 like we have now... which is exactly my point.

The whole point is making the witness selections more democratic and decentralized than they are now, which is exactly what this would do, I am not sure why you are so against that to be honest.

dictated by 20 people rather 2 like we have now

No 20 accounts, not people.

The whole point is making the witness selections more democratic and decentralized than they are now, which is exactly what this would do, I am not sure why you are so against that to be honest.

I disagree that's what it would do. I'm not against decentralized nor democratic (though in a stake-weighted system 'democratic' is always somewhat of a misnomer).

The point that should be clear by now is that in terms of voting system, single non-transferable vote is actually quite terrible. (Everyone is forced to vote only for candidates right on the margin or 'waste' their vote, and this is especially harmful to the influence of smaller stakeholders, not larger.) Yet, here you are claiming that it would be better, which should be a clue that your mental model is off.

you don't want relatively small(er) amounts of stake to ever be able to elect any witness, and certainly not multiple witnesses

But why not actually?
People use to describe this situation as an "attack", but for me only the ability to put in "one's own" irreversible transaction deserves this term.
What actuall harm can perform one malicious witness?

Even one malicious witness can significant disrupt the chain and cause consensus delays, as well as losses or malfunctions to services which don't wait for many confirmations/finality (which many don't and this usually works because witnesses are not malicious and accidental consensus disruption due to network delays are usually rare).

A single witness can't put in an irreversible transaction anyway, as other witnesses can always replace the block, either deliberately or by accident (above network delays, etc.)

Also, we do have backups, and they can certainly be malicious. So one malicious top 20 is actually two malicious witnesses (which may be the same actor) in a round when a malicious backup is scheduled. The potential for mischief multiplies...