Steem 0.17 Change Proposal Introduction

7 months ago
69 in steem

Today we would like to present our proposed upgrades to the blockchain protocol for the next hard fork release, 0.17.

KISS, short for Keep It Simple, Stupid, is the guiding principle behind most of the proposals. Simplicity is important for any system looking to gain widespread support and consensus via user adoption. By making the system simpler we minimize the potential for failure, maximize the potential for optimization, build a stronger case for fairness, and can more effectively communicate the system’s value to new participants. With that said, if the system can work without a feature then we propose to remove it.

Encapsulation / Isolation of Key Consensus Components

A second theme in the proposed changes is encapsulation / isolation of functionality by minimizing informational and/or ordering dependencies between different components of the system. In principle all posting and voting is fully independent of the currency with the single exception of the final payout. Also, voting on one post is almost fully independent of voting on every other post. By making some subtle changes to how transactions are processed we can enable major performance optimizations and massive parallel execution in the future. We will not be implementing the high performance / parallel version until necessary, but we want to ensure that the blockchain logic makes upgrading to higher performance code possible without another hardfork.

Separation of Blockchain Logic from Interface Requirements

A major source of complexity on the blockchain is the implementation of consensus features designed specifically for steemit.com. We feel the blockchain should be a neutral protocol that is as independent as possible from a web interface. This will ensure that the blockchain is a fair, equal opportunity platform that can support many different kinds of interfaces.

There are many examples of consensus logic being dictated by an interface concern. These include: comment depth, payout period, and edit limitations. Many of the things we will be rolling back were originally introduced in Hard Fork 0.12 and were never part of the original Steem design.

Simplifications

Removing Over Posting Reward Penalties

During the July rush we experienced a massive influx of people posting as much as they could to get as many rewards as they could. In an effort to curb this “abuse” we implemented a limit on the maximum reward a post could receive if the post made more than 4 posts in the same day. In hindsight this change was reactionary and ultimately unnecessary. It has the psychological impact of discouraging engagement and adds unnecessary complexity to a system. In the spirit of KISS we feel this should be removed.

Single Payout Period

Steem currently supports two payout periods: 24 hour and 30 day. The 24 hour payout period is weighted by the time votes were cast and could be up to 48 or more hours in some cases. The 30 day payout period was designed to catch votes/readers who were not around in the first 24 hours.

Based upon voting statistics, the vast majority of the 30 day payout comes from votes cast in the first week. We also know that there is little difference between weekly active users and monthly active users, especially among those with meaningful voting influence. It is our belief that authors (and curators) will earn more by a single 7 day (fixed) payout period than the combination of 24 (variable) and 30 day (fixed). A single vote on day 3 is worth much more to the author under this system than a dozen votes on day 3 under the old system due to the N^2 weighting algorithm.

The original 24 hour rule was an example of allowing the interface requirement for “fresh/trending” content dictate the blockchain logic. Interfaces, such as steemit.com or busy.org, can use any algorithm they want to select articles to display.

Some may ask why we don’t recommend making the voting period infinite and/or allow multiple payouts. The answer is two fold:

  1. Limited voter/community attention
  2. Scalability considerations

Users will be able to cast votes past 7 days, but those votes will not impact payouts. There are many other technical benefits from this change that enable parallel scalability, but that is a topic for github discussion.

One final benefit of a 7 day payout period is a reduction in variance. Under the current model, those who post the same day as an extremely popular post get much less. By spreading it out over 7 days, the extremely popular posts have less impact on other authors posting the same day.

Comment Payout independent of Discussion

At one point we had considered dividing the top post rewards among the comments. In a past hard fork we modified the payout algorithm to pay all comments at the same time as the parent post. This creates a tight coupling and minimizes the opportunity for a comment to get rewarded, especially if the comment was posted shortly before the post was paid.

Under the proposed changes, all comments and posts would be paid exactly 7 days after they were posted. This means comments have more time to gather votes and late commenters have a better chance. This change also facilitates massively parallel computation by eliminating sequential dependencies among posts and comments.

Removing the Comment Nesting Limit

Many people have requested the ability to reply with unlimited depth. The current comment depth limit was driven by the consensus calculations involving parent posts. With the proposed change to make all comment and post payouts fully independent of each other, we can remove the nesting limit. At the very least, it will be up to interface designers to determine the limit rather than the blockchain.

Allow Editing of any Past Post or Comment

We propose removing the restriction on editing of past posts. It is a user-interface responsibility to show revision history and enable restoration of unintentional changes made by compromised accounts.

Normalize Payout Rates

Under the existing rules, paying one post changes the potential payout of the next post. This introduces an undesirable sequential dependency among posts that prevents parallel execution of payouts. The proposed change would ensure that all posts paid out at the same time will receive the amount of STEEM per vote.

Removing Proof of Work

In our last update we attempted to move to Equihash as our proof of work algorithm, only to be bitten by a bug in the library we adopted. For most of the last month proof of work has not be a factor on the blockchain. Now that STEEM has been launched and distributed, there is no security benefit being provided by miners.

The proof of work difficulty has never been a factor in determining the best blockchain for consensus purposes and has solely been used as a means of distributing the currency in a manner that complies with U.S. regulations . Now that the currency is distributed there is no longer a need to perform this function.

Our long term roadmap includes multi-chain designs that will further render proof of work pointless and unnecessary baggage. Removing it will allow us to focus our development efforts on features that actually do matter.

Remove Bandwidth Rate limiting from Consensus

In an effort to simplify the core consensus algorithm, we will remove all code relating to bandwidth restrictions from the consensus code. Instead, the same algorithms will be implemented as a “soft” consensus by the witnesses. This means that any witness can include any transaction they like and it will no longer be considered invalid by the consensus rate limiting rules.

Witnesses can then adopt a more flexible policy toward rate limiting without requiring hard forks. In particular, we will utilize custom (non consensus) operations to inform witnesses of revocable bandwidth delegation. This will allow large account holders to sponsor smaller accounts without having to fund the smaller accounts with Steem Power.

Bandwidth rate limiting is a short-term consideration and ultimately irrelevant to the long term consensus. All that matters long-term is whether or not a transaction was included and that gets decided by the witnesses. Collectively the witnesses have the power to rate limit accounts to prevent abuse and they will apply the same algorithm they are applying with release 0.16.1.



After the above simplifications have been made, there are a few new features that we feel will help the ecosystem flourish.

Multiple Arbitrary Beneficiaries to Reward Payouts

For any given post there can be a half-dozen different people who have a financial interest in the reward. The include: voters, author, referrers, hosting providers, blogs that embedded blockchain comments, and tool developers. Whatever website or tool that is used to construct a post or comment will have the power to set how rewards from that comment are divided among various parties.

This means that if you post via Busy.org that your post will share some of its rewards with Busy. If you post through the various phone and/or desktop apps then the app developer will be able to claim some of the rewards.

Independent Comment Reward Pool

Comments have a very different level of visibility and therefore get considerably fewer votes. In the past month only 1% of rewards were paid to commenters. Due to the nature of the N^2 reward curve it means comments are not competing against other comments, but against the top bloggers.

We feel that engaging more people in discussion and encouraging higher quality comments will make the platform more desirable. While relatively few people want to blog, many more are interested in commenting.

If all comments only have to compete against other comments, then more users can participate and comments can collectively garner a larger percentage of the reward pool. We are proposing that comments be allocated 38% (golden ratio) of the current reward pool and that comments be rewarded on a N log (N) curve with some to-be-determined modifications. This should work to allocate more rewards to those who contribute to discussions and drive community engagement.

Separate Market and Rewards Balance from Checking and Savings

Currently rewards are paid as micro-payments into the "checking" balances. These micro-payments suffer from rounding errors and add tight dependency on the order of operations between rewards payment, market operations, and transfer operations. In order to support the goal of encapsulation we want to treat rewards and market operations as-if they were independent “side chains”. User rewards would accumulate in a fund which could periodically be claimed.

This change would have the impact of users seeing their rewards every time they choose to claim them while at the same time allowing exchanges to replay the blockchain without validating all of the voting operations. Advanced implementations could process the votes in parallel to transfers and/or market operations.

By separating market balances from checking balances we can accelerate the market evaluations and allow the market to be processed independently from transfers. Like voting, the idea is to view the SBD / STEEM market as a virtual “side-chain” that can be processed in parallel as the system scales.

Summary

We feel that these proposed changes will set the stage for a more flexible, modular, and simplified protocol upon which many different participants can build. Like always, the community will have the final say on what changes are adopted and which ones are rejected. Please provide your feedback below.

Note: this is not the 2017 Roadmap that we have been working on. That document is far broader and more comprehensive than this 0.17 “next step” plan. The full roadmap will include plans for steemit.com and other user-facing features.

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Sort Order:  trending
76
  ·  7 months ago

Removing Over Posting Reward Penalties

It has the psychological impact of discouraging engagement and adds unnecessary complexity to a system.

I disagree, keep it. It's a measure to make sure people don't just try to spam endless posts to try to get rewards. Floods of content to try to maximize potential payout is a good reason to have a limit.

In my experience writing, I would really struggle to get more than 4 posts out in a day. Unlimited posting will promote exploitation for rewards. Maybe increase the limit, but not unlimited.

Honestly though, I see 4 as a good number to post each day. Someone else posted recently about how they even think 4 is too much and already promotes people to post useless things to get rewards. I disagree with them on 4 being too much. It seems a good limit. But increasing it slightly might be good to try.

Single Payout Period

It is our belief that authors (and curators) will earn more by a single 7 day (fixed) payout period than the combination of 24 (variable) and 30 day (fixed).

Yes, this allows for more combined voting to aggregate. But then the reward pool is a total of 7 days. The trending page on steemit would have to still change every 48 hours or something, or else that content would be promoted longer until maximum saturation from the community visibility.

Comment Payout independent of Discussion

Under the proposed changes, all comments and posts would be paid exactly 7 days after they were posted.

As long as it's not rewards for people who just say "thanks", "nice post", or other tactics to just get rewards while not actually adding anything to the post in terms of discussion related to a topic, etc. I don;t know how you prevent this. I would not be in favor of this feature either, since it promotes spammy behavior to get rewards, just like no post limits. Or was this to be based on SP weight to the comment to validate it against bots upvoting comments as well?

Removing the Comment Nesting Limit

With the proposed change to make all comment and post payouts fully independent of each other, we can remove the nesting limit.

Ok. But does that mean it just keep going sideways? Why not nest replies in the same level of the parent after the initial first comment as other comment apps do? If 6 is the issue, then maybe a larger cap is better (like 12?) than unlimited nesting depth?

Allow Editing of any Past Post or Comment

We propose removing the restriction on editing of past posts.

Ok. Maybe a limit after 30days or 60days? Someone could remove a post with an edit, and post it again later to get rewards again... just saying.

I see a lot of complete removal of limits, rather than an increase which serves to keep things within respectable limits. I think larger limits are better than unlimited which can be more problematic. If people could control their behavior more rationally, then sure unlimited everything, but we still need rules and limits on certain things for now as I see it. The editing thing isn't as much of an issue since they could happen to be found out, but it's still something to consider.

Normalize Payout Rates

Under the existing rules, paying one post changes the potential payout of the next post. This introduces an undesirable sequential dependency among posts that prevents parallel execution of payouts. The proposed change would ensure that all posts paid out at the same time will receive the amount of STEEM per vote.

As I understand it, this means the posts that currently get paid out at the same time, don't actually get the payouts at that time, due to each previous one changing the reward pool total and thereby affecting the next post payout. If so, then this would mean they all get rewarded the amount indicated at the same time, and then the reward pool adjustment would propagate to all the other posts afterwards. This sounds good.

Removing Proof of Work

Removing it will allow us to focus our development efforts on features that actually do matter.

I agree. No need. Unless it means other consequences I am not aware of.

Remove Bandwidth Rate limiting from Consensus

Not sure I understand this part properly.

Multiple Arbitrary Beneficiaries to Reward Payouts

Whatever website or tool that is used to construct a post or comment will have the power to set how rewards from that comment are divided among various parties.

This means that if you post via Busy.org that your post will share some of its rewards with Busy. If you post through the various phone and/or desktop apps then the app developer will be able to claim some of the rewards.

That seems fair. So long as the website must disclose this somewhere obvious ;)

Independent Comment Reward Pool

In the past month only 1% of rewards were paid to commenters

comments are not competing against other comments, but against the top bloggers.

encouraging higher quality comments will make the platform more desirable

Yes, more relevant comments on the post in question indeed. That adds value by adding more information to the topic, and people will value it and upvote it since it does add something relevant.

But, I don't agree with the next part.

We are proposing that comments be allocated 38% (golden ratio) of the current reward pool

If the comments are good enough to be adding valuable content to the post as a comment, then why can't they do the same by talking about a topic in their own post? Instead of putting the time and effort for a short comment, they amplify that to make a post of their own?

If someones does write a good comment, then it will be rewarded if people actually engage the content as they should, and not just upvote trails or autovote, etc.

The problem isn't the way the comments compete with main posts, it's the individual behavior and the level of engagement in the platform determined by collective behavior of all individuals. If people read comments like posts, then they can value and upvote comments just as much as posts, if the comment has value to them just as a post has value to them.

Comments add content, just as posts, except someone is choosing to post it as a comment, and not a blog. That is their choice to reduce the visibility and how to get upvotes from people who look at blogs mostly, and those that autovote or follow trails and don't look.

This is an issue of individual behavior on the platform overall. The comments should compete with blogs. If people don't want to reward commenters because they aren't reading, then commenters won't comment, and that is a problem with the individual people not reading and rewarding them, not with the platform and reward pool.

Get people to engage the platform,posts and comments, by opening their eyes to their behavior, so they begin to actually engage the platform to make it more active, rather them relegating their activity to bots or trails alone.

The reason commenters were only rewarded 1% of the total rewards last month, is either because (1) the comments weren't that good, or (2) the comments weren't seen by many people, because most people don;t actually engage in the platform as a consciousness, because they are passing off their responsibility to engage, view, read, judge, comment, upvote, etc. to bots or someone else. That's abdicating responsibility in engagement in the platform. That is what hurts the platform in terms of engagement, not the commenters who post content as comments getting rewarded from the same reward pool as main posting content that has higher visibility.

The visibility of comments comes with attention from consciousness, not bots. People themselves have to start reading comment if the commenters expect to get rewarded. Changing reward pools will solve nothing. Individual behavior is what needs to change in this respect.

For example, this is a relevant comment, which adds value to this post. If people don't read it, then I won't get an upvote for adding content of value to this topic. It's not really an independent topic I can post about myself, so I should really just keep this as a comment and not make my own post. But since many people go with trails or bots, then my chances of getting rewarded by the community on a comment, are less than on a main post where main posts are (1) more visible to the community overall and (2) actually in upvote bots and trails to upvote.

If bots and trails included comments, then the problem of separate reward pools is not so much of an issue since more "attention" via upvotes would be given to them blindly, as is done to regular main posts.

I took over an hour or two to make this comment post (I think), and I did it not to get a reward, but to add value and feedback to the topic that is of interest to me (and others). This is how things work on "attention economy" focused platforms like FB, etc. There is no "monetary" reward to supplant that importance of honest valuations and engagement content for the content itself, not the reward you get from curation, etc.

It will increase rewards to the few commenters who do comment, who will get a large reward for their comments when not many people upvote them by comparison to main posts. This does not solve the engagement issue of individuals to put their consciousness into the platform more. It will insensitive them to get rewards by commenting though, just like people try to get rewards by posting. Incentives to rewards for long term behavioral change are proven to be ineffective and backfire.

Incentivizing rewards tends to reduces intrinsic motivation and doesn't target the real problem, often making it worse because the real problem is never dealt with.

How Rewards Can Backfire and Reduce Motivation
Why Incentives Don't Actually Motivate People To Do Better Work
Why Financial Incentives Don’t Improve Performance
Reward and Incentive Programs are Ineffective -- Even Harmful

Separate Market and Rewards Balance from Checking and Savings

These micro-payments suffer from rounding errors and add tight dependency on the order of operations between rewards payment, market operations, and transfer operations. In order to support the goal of encapsulation we want to treat rewards and market operations as-if they were independent “side chains”.

Sounds good. Although maybe someone can explain it in greater detail to make it more understandable for me. I'm not sure I grasp what the rest of the section fully means.

By separating market balances from checking balances we can accelerate the market evaluations and allow the market to be processed independently from transfers.

Does this mean transactions don't affect the price of the token? And they do now? I'm not too clear on that part. Thanks.


Well that's my review/commentary for the changes. Thank you for your time and attention ;) Peace.

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65
  ·  7 months ago

I read your post first but voted here as the context of the commentary was interesting and added to my viewpoint. Your post has many valid points.
Here are my thoughts

  • Payout cycle. I think the 24 hour cycle reinforces the 4 posts a day process. It forces me to write at least one post per day. I have tested also promoting a post in the last few hours of a cycle - I cannot say it has made a difference. However, I do feel the limited payout cycle makes promotion more compelling
  • Editing posts is gong to introduce a level of complexity ad it goes against the blockchain idea. I could write a post with a compelling argument and collect a good reward. Then come back a few days later and change the argument (or simply just add the other side of the argument) to collect more. One can always make your edits as a comment - I know I need to do a few of those on my orchid posts as I got some technical names wrong. This will be subject to nesting limits, though. Whatever happens, the editing time limit must be the same as the first payout cycle - that reduces the gaming
  • Nesting of comments bothers me sometimes when we get a really good post that provokes debate. One wants to add to the debate and the nesting gets in the way.
  • Comment pool payout: The best ideas come when they build on other peoples ideas. Putting in a big effort into a comment and not getting rewarded is disappointing. Watching a disproportionate reward going to a comment that adds no value is equally disappointing. My guess is we will only find the right balance by tweaking and testing. Instinct tells me that 38% is going to be way too high - it is going to unleash an army of smart AI comment bots delivering spun comments. By the same token, the current system is discouraging people form adding value to a post - rather write a new post. I know I did a great comment yesterday that would have been better as a post. (The comment added more value than the original post)
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67
  ·  7 months ago

That should have been a post on its own 😂

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76
  ·  7 months ago

LOL. It took me the same time and effort I guess, but wasn't really a topic to post on it's own as I mentioned ;) But I recall people have done reviews of changes before... so maybe I should? I now suspect my comment will just get lost in the comments? More people will likely read the issues I bring up if I actually post it... doh. Ah well. Thanks for making me think about it more. ;)

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65
  ·  7 months ago

Interesting but by having your type of comments sets an example that content should be read, and comments are content as well. Commenting is another way to post and share information which is very valuable to build a community. Comment or post, I think the result will come to the same value.

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76
  ·  7 months ago

They both have the same value, it's just that people need to engage in reading the content to ACTUALLY value it and upvote it. Lazy or no real engagement are the problem.

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72
  ·  7 months ago

There is truth to what you say there @krnel. Yes I care about the struggles to actually earn something on here apart from the usual few at the top.... but I actually care about the VIEWS AND THE COMMENTS - like.... a lot.

Views = Value for me and tons of nuggets always in comment sections!

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75
  ·  7 months ago

my thoughts exactly

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68
  ·  7 months ago

Sounds good. Although maybe someone can explain it in greater detail to make it more understandable for me. I'm not sure I grasp what the rest of the section fully means.

It means your wallet would have a "rewards" line and a "Claim" button. You would have to claim your rewards before those funds could be used for other things.

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62
  ·  7 months ago

In my experience if someone is posting more than once per day they're probably posting sub mediocre content.

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67
  ·  7 months ago

I partially agree. Although there are some great photography posts that only require one photo to be great. But then again a collection of photos in one post could also be valuable. I'm unsure about removing the post soft limit myself. It doesn't prevent people posting all day. It only discourages spam.

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65
  ·  7 months ago

disagree.... quality writers can research and produce multiple posts in a day and should be able to receive the reward for doing so. Poor quality writers may manage to post multiple posts but are unlikely to receive a return to justify their time. Personally. I do well to produce a couple of posts unless I'm re-purposing material from another project. And before you jump on the re-purposing, anyone who knows the craft of writing is well aware that is common practice. It's an efficient use of research and knowledge.

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63
  ·  7 months ago

I agree 100%

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64
  ·  7 months ago

If the comments are good enough to be adding valuable content to the post as a comment, then why can't they do the same by talking about a topic in their own post

The point of this change is to have more people participate in the discussion

The reason commenters were only rewarded 1% of the total rewards last month, is either because (1) the comments weren't that good, or (2) the comments weren't seen by many people

I think the reason is curation rewards.

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59
  ·  6 months ago

well you are missing the point , maybe taking things a bit out of context, if posts are getting 150 auto votes and 50 from the "real" people out of who 30 have read the posts and 20 the whole thread 10 commented , do you think that a comment would get more than 30 votes , when not even that much people have read the post , Its normal example that seems to happen ever so often.

such a post would make 200 votes 10-20 SBD and yeah 10-30 comments.

Sure bigger and better posts would increase the exposure for the comments and actually get a conversation going where people can add value and actually exchange information , sometimes the comments are 2-3 times bigger than the main post like for instance in this case :)

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75
  ·  7 months ago

over posting penalties could be manged by web site instead of the blockchain

72
  ·  7 months ago

We propose removing the restriction on editing of past posts. It is a user-interface responsibility to show revision history and enable restoration of unintentional changes made by compromised accounts.

This comes with the risk of vandalizing an account's entire history if the low-security posting authority or key is compromised. A popular service with posting key access getting compromised could do a fair amount of damage. It's true that currently the risk exists, but it only goes back for 30 days. Thinking long term, it's entirely likely that a service compromise could end up with vandalizing the entire posting history of many accounts going back years.

For this reason, I'd like to suggest allowing edits going back to the beginning of an account's history BUT any edit made before 30 days would have to be made after an account "switch" is thrown with the active key. Such a switch could allow edits going back past 30 days (with posting auth), but could then be turned off at any time. Having an automatic expiration of say 24 hours on the switch may also be prudent, because many might leave it on.

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66
  ·  7 months ago

Seems like a reasonable idea. Alternatively, a UI can allow a user to restore all of their old posts&comments.

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69
  ·  7 months ago

I'd like to echo and second this request, if I understand it rightly...

One of the highest perceived values to me personally of posting on Steemit is the promise / hope of blockchain immutability. I view the value of at least some of what I write to be durable and long-term, and I would like to think of Steemit as a place where I will be able to maintain a "legacy of thought" for anyone interested to continue to come and read into the future.

As I was reading this 0.17 change proposal, I had thought to suggest a "lockdown" switch allowing any author to permanently lock any particular post. Reading @pfunk's proposal here, I like it much better - assuming the security of my keys - because it behaves a lot like the current system (i.e. "automatic lock-down" after 30) while still allowing for intentional, key-access editing of earlier posts.

One of my uses for this "long-term" editability of a post is maintaining (on my own, using the current UI) of a Table of Contents that resides on the blockchain itself. My current workaround/hack has been to simply re-issue the TOC at 30 day intervals; with editability, I will be able to simply update the existing TOC.

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68
  ·  7 months ago

To be clear the blockchain immutability is still there regardless of edits. When posts are edited, each old version remains on the blockchain. It is up to the UI to decide what if anything to show about that history, for example an option to revert recent edits.

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69
  ·  7 months ago

Thank you, @smooth, for clarifying that for me. I suspected as much.
So, checking my understanding:

  • Everything ever "Posted" goes on the blockchain.
  • Every subsequent edit goes on the blockchain.
  • The entire history of a post is accessible to an appropriately crafted UI.
  • The "final presented state" of a post depends on the UI interpreting the blockchain history.

Does that sound about right? Thanks for helping me understand. ;)

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69
  ·  7 months ago

I tend to disagree. Technically this will add much complexity and then likely harm system scalability. As mentioned in OP, make it as simple as possible. When active key is required for posting-related stuff, risk of being compromised will increase.

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72
  ·  7 months ago

The active key would be for a switch only. Not for making the edits themselves. On the web, the switch can be on a more secure page where there isn't any user-modifiable content.

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68
  ·  7 months ago

I think reverting recent edits can be done just as well with the posting key. The use case here is a compromised account that is then recovered by the owner (or possibly other use cases such as an author who just messed up editing the post and wants to "Undo"). After recovering the hacked account the posting key would have been changed, and then the reverts can be done using the new posting key.

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67
  ·  7 months ago

It would probably be simpler to just be required to use your active key to edit posts that have passed their payout.

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72
  ·  7 months ago

It would be simpler but the idea of a switch comes from the idea of segregating the active key from any place where user-editable content is located.

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64
  ·  7 months ago

See!? I told you it was just a matter of time. :)

73
  ·  7 months ago

The one change that stands out to me as a potentially bad idea is removing the four post limit/penalty. With auto-voting what it is today - and many of those auto-votes coming from large stakeholders - I think this would be a terrible incentive for anyone receiving auto-votes to post as much as they possibly can. This may sound like a good idea ("Alright! More content!"), but more isn't always better.

It could also reinvigorate the role of sock-puppets on the platform. This is something that hasn't been much of a problem lately, but could quickly and easily be renewed.

Just something to consider.

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67
  ·  7 months ago

Is that whining I hear? Jk ;)

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71
  ·  7 months ago

I have the same concern. We may need to allow more active downvotes on these types of contents.

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73
  ·  7 months ago

Or, we could just avoid the problem as much as possible by not willingly opening things up for abuse. If users want to post more than four times, they can do that. They just won't earn as much. And chances are, if they're posting more than four times per day, the quality of their posts probably won't be that great anyway and probably won't be deserving of large payouts.

The four post limit/penalty doesn't seem to be a big deal in need of a "fix."

It has the psychological impact of discouraging engagement and adds unnecessary complexity to a system.

I don't think it discourages engagement. It discourages abuse - in the form of sock puppets and spamming. This is anecdotal, but I haven't seen many complaints from users who think that this needs to be removed. The limit doesn't mean that a user cannot earn - it only limits how much can be earned after a certain number of posts. With a stake-weighted system that can be and has been abused, I don't believe the limit is an actual problem.

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71
  ·  7 months ago

You're right. We may ask this first; how many articles/posts does a professional writers create per day?

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68
  ·  7 months ago

Not all posts are going to be (nor should be) professional writers. Approaching it from that angle impairs the growth potential of the system to reach a much larger audience from the start. There are many different use cases for this blockchain, professional writers being only one of them.

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66
  ·  7 months ago

The market can adjust though. IMO, the limit is too arbitrary. And some folks are capable of putting out more excellent content.

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69
  ·  7 months ago

When the authors that got votes from bots started abusing the power, the rest of community will likely stand out and start flagging, and it will ruin the author's rep. Given that we'll have 7 days to review, it's easier for the "good people" to react. I don't think a wise author will do so, unless she/he need quick money, or the account is compromised.

By the way, it's up to the bots to implement better voting algorithms. Most bots are voting for money, they have incentives to not vote for contents that will be mass-flagged.

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67
  ·  7 months ago

With the cultural stigma of the downvote this kind of abuse hasn't been discouraged even with efforts from a minority. Your votes and Dans were the only ones that mattered and they were countered by other whales to keep the rewards high despite the abuse. I'm not sure those same whales will turn a new leaf if somebody like @ozchartart went from posting 4 times daily to 10+ times daily.

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68
  ·  7 months ago

That you and others disagree and your point of view doesn't happen to prevail in one instance doesn't mean the system doesn't work. It works when stakeholders actually agree on what constitutes abuse. There is no objective definition.

That said, it also works to an extent even when there is disagreement, in the sense that incentives favor choosing content to upvote that won't be downvoted at all, whether or not the downvoters succeed in driving the post value all the way down to zero.

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73
  ·  7 months ago

Most bots are voting for money, they have incentives to not vote for contents that will be mass-flagged.

I will agree with you there. The risk of wasting voting power wouldn't be worth it when seeking ROI, particularly from curation, which is already not that high for most users.

...it's easier for the "good people" to react.

The question is - what can be done when the abusers are actually the larger stakeholders, as was the case a few months back? The other large stakeholders mostly took no action. So, if there is no reaction and other stakeholders don't have enough power to make a difference, the abuse goes on unabated. I don't know what the solution would be, but having the post reward limits/penalties would at least be able to curb that.

What other back-end options do you think there could be that could address abuse vs. unwillingness/ineffectiveness to mitigate it on the front-end?

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68
  ·  7 months ago

I would say the same stake-holders are still "pod voting" The accounts change, but the behavior doesn't. No changes to the system will stop a few accounts that vote for a handful of accounts each day.

Maybe the builders of the bots can build a feature where they can vote on some of their fav. accounts on odd days, and different accounts on even days.

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68
  ·  7 months ago

The question is - what can be done when the abusers are actually the larger stakeholders

Downvote, and it is still effective in shifting the incentives even if you aren't a larger stakeholder.

Consider a whale who has a choice of where to deploy one of his or her valuable and scarce 40 (full) votes per day. Choice A will get downvoted and Choice B will not. The incentives then favor B.

Unfortunately this isn't an instant gratification solution, but because it takes time for incentives like this to work, but they do work.

72
  ·  7 months ago

Multiple Arbitrary Beneficiaries to Reward Payouts

Am I the only one that almost peed when reading this?

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66
  ·  7 months ago

lol, nope

75
  ·  7 months ago

I think the overall strategy of keeping it as simple as possible is ideal.
I would change the 38% down to something like 5% for comments.
Congrats on the decision to finally remove the 6 nest limit. :)
Here's my two cents about past posts: please allow people to comment on any past posts. For users who find a blogger they really like, then find out that they cannot add their comments to an older post, well, it's really weird and user-unfriendly. All blogging platforms allow this, so it's almost inconceivable that this feature is absent.

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64
  ·  7 months ago

Generally the ratio of posting to commenting to reading on a site is sort of like an iceberg.

I am of the opinion that 50% would be even more appropriate.

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75
  ·  7 months ago

Well, actually, the reality is that Medium has more readers than commenters.
So, far on this platform, reading is still the thing people do the least, despite the fact that this is a blogging site.....
With that, I'm up for any changes that will shake up the user retention issue.

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64
  ·  7 months ago

Yes, that is precisely what I mean. If visitors/readers are 100%, commenters are 10%, and posters are 1%. That's true for all of these types of sites: Medium, Reddit, Disqus, et c.

Regardless of the rewards, we are always going to have vastly more commenters than posters. It's a lot easier to reply to someone else (even with a "hey, you're WRONG!") than it is to type something new and interesting into an empty editor box.

PS: Who told you this is a blogging site? :)

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75
  ·  7 months ago

something new and interesting into an empty editor box.

gulaabee havaee jahaaj
गुलाबी हवाई जहाज

PS: Who told you this is a blogging site? :)

I now understand why your username is sneak.

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65
  ·  7 months ago

This is why ACTUALLY reading the content and commenting is just as valuable as creating posts if not more valuable.

I am a little weary on the removal of the 4 post limit. I think that will open the door for people to start playing the numbers game and put out as much posts as they can and see how many "hits" they get. I don't see this adding value to Steemit but decreasing it.

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68
  ·  7 months ago

Agree with where you are going with that (though I'd prefer if none of these splits were actually predetermined). Likewise curation rewards. Think: posters, commenters, voters, readers.

58
  ·  7 months ago

All in all, thank you for your hard work and most of all, thank you for being transparent and bringing this out to the community as a proposal and open discussion.

I am personally good with most of them and a bit so an so (might need more time to think on) about:
Switch to 7 day payout instead of 24h
The simplest and most logical way to reward everyone imho would be indefinite, with a 24h payout cycle.

Removing the 4 posts limit, comment nesting limits and separation of posts and comments rewards plus multiple beneficiaries etc.
I think this adds a lot of complexity to the operations and might turn out to be very heavy computationally wise especially as we scale. Also opens the door to spamming by overflowing the blockchain with data.

What I didn't see mentioned in the proposal. maybe it will be in the roadmap

  • the faith of SBD (will it stay, will it be removed as it's outdated etc.)
  • more blockchain based operations/more development on blockchain based operations (like surveys.polls for ex.)

Reading through all the items mentioned, i think that a more streamlined (TL'DR-ish), layman description of the suggestions would be welcomed by the less tech savvy.

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71
  ·  7 months ago

Ideally, I would love indefinite payout potential.
Perhaps 7 day initially, then 30 days periods indefinitely ..

I think it would incentivize content creators more to have the possibility for recurring income for those rare gem's of articles years into the future - especially considering future steemians signing up and finding classic posts from long before they joined..

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69
  ·  7 months ago

Hey, @ausbitbank, I have had very similar thoughts, but my thinking has progressed a little...

If the reality of blockchain durability matches the promise, then the mere long-term availability of a creator's content is a strong incentive to blog on Steemit. As good or better than ongoing payouts for old articles would be easier access to those articles by new readers. I think that's more of a UI issue.

In other words, the lasting value of my "old gems" would be to attract new readers to want to keep coming back.

I want readers, not bots. ;) People that actually read and benefit from my content, and I think that a loyal and appreciative following will benefit me as an author even more than residual/royalty income from older articles.

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73
  ·  7 months ago

It is important to not attempt to be all things. Multiple payout periods force all content to be kept "active" in consensus nodes which impacts technical scalability. It also requires all content to be kept active for review purposes.

Each day you are paid in STEEM, your long-term income comes from appreciation of STEEM. Employees don't go back to their employer asking to receive income from the work they did last year, last month, or even last week. Each day you are paid for that days contribution.

When the platform grows then you receive the compounding return on investment that will far outpace any residual revenue you would get from a post.

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67
  ·  7 months ago

Don't all comment_objects need to exist in memory (at least with minimal data of author and permlink) anyway? The blockchain needs to check whether a post operation has a unique author/permlink so that it knows whether it is creating a new post/comment with a payout period, or just doing an edit.

So, we are talking about keeping maybe a couple more fields in comment_objects for validating nodes. And if you compare that to the amount of memory full nodes need to keep (whether the post is archived or not), that additional memory overhead is very small.

Memory access patterns for validating nodes are more of a concern, but I doubt most old posts will continue to remain active. And isn't this one of the advantages the ChainBase upgrade provided? That the database can support a much larger amount of infrequently accessed memory (since they remain on disk rather than in R AM)?

Also, I supposed it doesn't have to be indefinite. But archiving a post/comment after just 1 week is really short. (By the way, does archiving a post/comment mean that no new child comments are allowed? Because otherwise you still have the limited attention problem since new comments with active payouts can exist nested in the discussion thread of a months old post.) So what about up to 52 1-week long payout periods (which are only activated after the first payout if there is a new vote), and then a year after the post/comment was created, no new payout periods can be started?

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73
  ·  7 months ago

You can compress comment objects down to HASH( author + permlink ) and check for existence, potentially using a bloom filter to detect non-existence. Memory access patterns can also be optimized.

The reality is that a single vote normally results in 0 payout and incurs a cost both at the time it is voted and later when it is rejected for insufficient payout.

We know that 99.85% of all votes (by rshares) are cost within 7 days. We also know that 99.5% of all votes (counted equally) are cast within 7 days. Actual usage shows that old posts don't get votes. In fact, we could get 99% of all votes within 3 days based upon actual data since HF 16.

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68
  ·  7 months ago

We know that 99.85% of all votes (by rshares) are cost within 7 days. We also know that 99.5% of all votes (counted equally) are cast within 7 days.

This is a circular argument based on the current rule set (and UI). It can't be used to evaluate a different proposed rule set.

A similar (bogus) argument would be that comments only get 1% of rewards therefore rewarding comments isn't needed.

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67
  ·  7 months ago

If it would be easier to find/filter "old" contend, then they would get MUCH more votes... The same would be true if the system would give more rewards to curators of posts older than 24 hours... So many gems not "mined" yet! Why throwing cement above our rich property ?

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67
  ·  7 months ago

Old posts don't get votes because they don't feature. They are hard to find.

UI needs an advanced search page, by the way :)

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55
  ·  7 months ago

Of course 99% occur in that time window.... who wants to waste today's voting power on something that will get paid out in 27 days at probably .001 SP?

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58
  ·  7 months ago

if the technical stability is greatly affected then balancing the two (stability and a more streamlined reward approach) , 7 days would make more sense then 24h.
Still, some categories of users fall out of the employee range and fit into a more continual reward expectation: writers, musicians etc. and we might need to respond to their needs too.

On the downside, Trending posts algorithms need to be well thought and will bring their own downsides and benefits.

Edited to remove the 30 days reference which is proposed to be removed.

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75
  ·  7 months ago

how will the 7 day payout scheme affect the daily trending page?

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69
  ·  7 months ago

Not sure but I think the 2 would be independent.

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75
  ·  7 months ago

ok thanks, that's what I think Ned said...
btw, get well soon!

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69
  ·  7 months ago

Thank you! I already feel way better now that I slept all day.

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58
  ·  7 months ago

KISS it, straight with indefinite and 24h cycle :):) That way it's simple for everyone and since 24h might be considered universally acceptable nobody considers it a downside as with the other timeframes.

It's true that I sometimes run into articles that are very valuable and were written a few months ago. We have writers around posting their stories. They can't be denied an effort reward after 30 days I think.

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73
  ·  7 months ago

Long term rewards can be done via tips. Any individual vote has almost no ability to pay someone unless it works with many other users. This means that with the exception of a few whales, the long-term payouts would only apply to content that goes viral on steemit after more than a week delay. Possible, but unlikely.

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64
  ·  7 months ago

Long term rewards can be done via tips

We need tipping on steemit!

https://steemit.com/steem/@snowflake/let-s-get-tipping-going-on-steemit

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68
  ·  7 months ago

This is a good approach. I think the calls for long term payouts would greatly subside with an effective tipping system.

A blockchain feature that makes sense for tipping is a change purse (with a user-defined max balance) that can be used to receive and send tips with only the posting key. Or alternately some sort of rate-limited tipping ability from the regular balance with posting key.

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55
  ·  7 months ago

Perhaps with an automated aspect: if the payout is already made, you can assign a certain amount to be tipped by your simple upvote.

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67
  ·  7 months ago

Then after the one week payment, let unlimited 30days payout cycles active...After mass adoption it would be very likely some gem-posts to attract several votes in couple of 30 days periods... Even not many votes would add up the rewards after months, years of the post existent.... After all the posts will be on the blockchain for eternity...

PS I guess it is vulnerable to abuse the reward pool, right?

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67
  ·  7 months ago

Advertising could be a better source of long term revenue. Something for the future though, I don't think we're ready for it yet.

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73
  ·  7 months ago

This post was about blockchain features, not website features.

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58
  ·  7 months ago

true and thank you for pointing it out. I removed the Adds part which was exclusively website related. Other than that I consider all other items blockchain related.

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73
  ·  7 months ago
  • Escrow is fully functional at a blockchain level.
  • SBD can also be heavily managed at the website level by controlling which payout options we expose.
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58
  ·  7 months ago

duly noted.

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67
  ·  7 months ago

I like it how you are making a distinct and clean space between blockchain (database / protocol) possibilities and presentation / UI features. This way you are making it possible for multiple interfaces to coexist over the same blockchain. Or even over the separate / side blockchains....

It shows vision :)

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75
  ·  7 months ago

i think that a more streamlined (TL'DR-ish), layman description of the suggestions would be welcomed by the less tech savvy.

agreed.

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68
  ·  7 months ago

Also opens the door to spamming by overflowing the blockchain with data.

This is a common misconception. The 4 post limit is per account. However, nothing prevents people from creating an arbitrary number of additional accounts (potentially thousands, and there are already people with thousands of accounts) to spam. Spam control is already handled by other mechanisms which are more effective than this one.

Also, even the 4 post limit doesn't prevent spamming with a single account, it just reduces rewards. Someone who wants to be malicious or annoying can still spam.

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58
  ·  7 months ago

Also, even the 4 post limit doesn't prevent spamming with a single account, it just reduces rewards. Someone who wants to be malicious or annoying can still spam.

true

67
  ·  7 months ago

I'm excited about the independent comment reward pool. It will increase engagement tremendously and I believe it will do a lot to help grow the platform.

At the same time, however, we should expect to see many more low-quality and bot comments. The community will need to find a way to combat these spammy replies.

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65
  ·  7 months ago

Downvotes. Downvotes for everyone!

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67
  ·  7 months ago

😂

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61
  ·  7 months ago

Yes! I want to downvote those crappy comments. :-)

72
  ·  7 months ago

Excellent update, thank you. There's a lot here and clearly the team has been working hard. We all really appreciate the updates and the discussion. I like that we're trying things out, testing what works and what doesn't, and we're willing to remove something we previously tried if it doesn't work out as expected or doesn't benefit us all as imagined. Being willing to be "wrong" is such an important aspect of gaining new knowledge on what ends up being "right."

Curious: any talk of changing the voting power? Initially Dan proposed a pretty serious change there and it was ultimately rejected by the community. Is that topic still active or is the future approach going to be voting guilds where many things get voted up automatically not by individuals but more so by bots?

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66
  ·  7 months ago

I also would love to see changing the voting power revisited at some point.

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58
  ·  7 months ago

I'm not sure this will please the main stake holders. It would be like taking their power away which was not in plan when they put their stake in.

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67
  ·  7 months ago

What they are referring to isn't to take power away from large stake holders , but rather bots. Bots can vote all day every day and with a 40 vote soft limit it is impossible for any human with a job and/or life to compete with that. If we were to lower that limit then every human could use their full voting power and have a better chance at reaches the same amount of votes as the bots. I hope Dan and Ned will consider revisiting this idea as nobody is exchanging curation rewards for their authentic attention with the current system and that is a real fail for the attention economy. Those who pay more attention should be making better curation rewards than those (with the same amount of SP) who are offline.

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64
  ·  7 months ago

Don't personify the bots - those are indeed humans with jobs and/or lives who are competing—by operating those bots.

Paying attention isn't what's being rewarded—it's surfacing good content. It doesn't matter if you washed your clothes by hand or used a machine.

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67
  ·  7 months ago

Why should those with lives and families and a bot curator be paid more for surfacing content than people who actually read the content and also have lives and families but choose to be more attentive to the job? There's a reason people pay a dry cleaners instead of using the washing machine. But if we only care about cheap clothes (content) and would rather be lazy about the quality then use the machine.

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71
  ·  7 months ago

Isn't the change @lukestokes is talking about the one where you could if you wanted to, vote 8x more with 1 vote and it would drain your voting power by 8x?

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58
  ·  7 months ago

there was a confusion about that as it doesn't allow you to actually vote 8x stronger. There was a post about it specifically but i can't remember which one.

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71
  ·  7 months ago

Ah, right.

Did andu sell his account btw? :P

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58
  ·  7 months ago

replying here due to comments nesting limit
yup, andu sold me the account. My previous one is @anduweb. Some KISS-ing right here, cutting off a couple letters.

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71
  ·  7 months ago

:D alright thanks for the info! I knew andu from some time ago, was wondering where he went haha.

replying here due to comments nesting limit

what a relevant issue ;D

58
  ·  7 months ago

Why not to make some steem weighted poll about each proposed changes with 3 options to answer: 1) agree, 2) disagree, 3) don't know?

Thanks to @xtar in Golos we have special poll site for that.

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58
  ·  7 months ago

Even though I don't understand a word on that website, I would fully support a blockchain based poll feature.

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58
  ·  7 months ago

Words don't matter). Number before brakets means number of voters, and number inside brakets is a summ of their Golos Power.

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72
  ·  7 months ago

This would be a great thing to implement on Steem using Steemconnect.

72
  ·  7 months ago

Independent Comment Reward Pool

Great idea that's been a long time coming.

We are proposing that comments be allocated 38% (golden ratio) of the current reward pool

That is way too much though. It's true that comments add value (more value than they are rewarded with now) and the very good comments should definitely be rewarded highly. But 38% of the entire pool is unrealistically high. A separate comment pool will increase comment quality but the posts that drive the discussion are worth far more than 62%.

Edit: I forgot. A separate comment pool will behave differently if there's a separate comment vote power per account or not. The comment pool idea works best with a separated comment vote power in my opinion. In this way, people with a lot of stake won't see voting on comments as an opportunity cost.

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67
  ·  7 months ago

Also, there will probably be a lot more comments than posts. So comment rewards will end up much smaller and probably need a high percentage of the reward to be divided between so many comments.

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67
  ·  7 months ago

So 38% is definitely not too much, it is just fine.
For the same reason I think curation rewards should get more than 25%

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67
  ·  7 months ago

I played around with an idea that would increase %of curation rewards for certain authors Personally I think content is King and should be rewarded significantly more than curators. But we could increase incentive for finding the underdogs (new up and coming authors) by giving 50% curation rewards for upvoting someone with 0 followers and scale it to something limited like 1000 followers where the curation rewards are 20%. This would encourage competition between the advantaged (already known authors with a following) and the underdogs (new users who need visibility)

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64
  ·  7 months ago

Agreed, and comments don't benefit as much from bot voting. So when they are upvoted, it is a more accurate representation of their value.

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73
  ·  7 months ago

That is way too much though.

Agreed. I'm not even sure why there needs to be any specific allocation for comments. If you're commenting just for the sake of comment rewards, you're doing it wrong. That's not really "engagement." We already have a bunch of users who comment-spam on the platform. I would expect to see a lot more of that if there was a rewards pool just for commenting.

We also have a bunch of users who comment despite not having a separate pool for it. People who want to engage will engage anyway. I don't see much of a benefit taking away from posting rewards. Could it encourage more post engagement? Possibly. But I would lean towards more of a spam/bot issue and more tension from a lack of overall blog post rewards.

[EDIT] - As we can see on this post, commenting and comment rewards actually do work right now. I think this is evidence enough that we don't need separate pools and voting power for it. If posts are lacking engagement, it likely has to do with visibility and interest, not a lack of dedicated funds for comments. This seems like a "fix" to a non-existent problem.

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64
  ·  7 months ago

Sometimes comments are more valuable then the original post ;)

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73
  ·  7 months ago

True.

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73
  ·  7 months ago

Sure. But those comments are usually rewarded. Why do we need a separate pool?

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59
  ·  7 months ago

A 38 percent comment pool will drastically increase active users. It might Ben too high buyback it's worth starting too high than lowering . Look Arvind reddit all the value is commenters. It will also change the popular posts to be more conducive to comments

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69
  ·  7 months ago

I agree that it's mostly a UI issue.

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71
  ·  7 months ago

I think you drove over someone at 0:20

also what a classic "reply to top comment for visibility" move.

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73
  ·  7 months ago

If the STEEM price hits $100, that's when @ats-david is "peacing out."

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65
  ·  7 months ago

such a outstanding relaxed blogger–style… I have to vote up!

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73
  ·  7 months ago

Agree. That number is way too high.

In the past month only 1% of rewards were paid to commenters

I've always been happy with payouts on comments as it is (at 1% apparently), even at the current price of STEEM. I remember receiving nearly $1,000 on some comments prior to 7/4. Were comments also receiving 1% prior to 7/4 and if so, won't we have that too look forward to as/if the price of STEEM climbs?

Maybe I'm misunderstanding something, which is likely, but I agree with pfunk that 38% is way too high.

Would a change to 38% mean that his current $4.28 earnings (on the comment above) on 9 upvotes be around $163 under the proposed change? That seems exorbitant for an opinion, not that I wouldn't mind those kind of payouts on comments again. ;)

But, what happens when the price of STEEM increases? Will comments be receiving $10,000?

Why would anyone blog?

I would setup a comment factory (some would argue I'm already running one). ;)

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66
  ·  7 months ago

But, what happens when the price of STEEM increases? Will comments be receiving $10,000?

I believe we'll need a solution for scaling reward levels with price increases

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68
  ·  7 months ago

We have one. It attracts more users to compete for those rewards.

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66
  ·  7 months ago

Even with more users competing (I suppose you mean more posts or comments?) we will go back to over the top rewards. The outsized lottery effect going into $10,000 a post is arguably a good or bad thing - I'd personally advocate to not see it again. Consider all the adjustable variables - for instance, target votes per day - that can be adjusted to expand or shrink distribution.

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66
  ·  7 months ago

Would it make sense to cap the rewards and distribute the excess yearly for example? So making good posts consistently in the low tide would be encouraged as well.

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72
  ·  7 months ago

At 38%, even at current rewards, abusive comment spam would increase dramatically. It also creates an avenue of pool rewards abuse. Something like 5 to 10% at the most would be way more reasonable.

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67
  ·  7 months ago

That would be way too low in my opinion. There could be 100x as many comments as posts and even if only 10% of them are worth rewarding that's still 10 times as many comments than posts with a much smaller reward pool.

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72
  ·  7 months ago

Some posts are long enough already. Not everyone will want to read 100s of comments to curate them. Furthermore, unless it gets an upgrade, the Steemit UI isn't very efficient when it comes to posts with a lot of comments. I know my browser locks up if I view some previous @steemitblog posts, because of the many comments.

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67
  ·  7 months ago

That's true. But isn't that a different issue? The site loads incredibly slow anyway and that's not because there's money to be made...

Besides you don't need to read the comments to curate. I would hope there would be no curation reward for upvoting comments.

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75
  ·  7 months ago

5% sounds very reasonable.

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73
  ·  7 months ago

Without a separate pool, there is already spam. Whether we want to call it "abuse" or not, plenty of users already upvote their own comments with trails, and larger stakeholders have often voted themselves - or every comment on a post. This new comment rewards pool would simply create another way for different types of abusers to abuse.

Something like 0% would be reasonable. There's really no reason for a separate pool. As I pointed out already - this very post demonstrates that engagement and comment payouts is just fine. If we want more engagement on regular posts, maybe we should work on attracting and retaining more users? That's the real issue here, not the lack of a comment rewards pool.

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72
  ·  7 months ago

I can't speak for the voters putting comments over $1 but I am upvoting more comments in this post because they are important to reward for expressing their opinions about the future of Steem. I regularly upvote good comments elsewhere but not nearly as much as posts. And I often treat comment voting as a ranking mechanism rather than a reward one.

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73
  ·  7 months ago

Yeah, same here.

What I'm really trying to figure out is why so many people believe that comment rewards are necessary for engagement. Go to every major social media platform and you'll find thousands, or millions of users commenting and upvoting other comments all the time...for no rewards. So, what is it that's creating the engagement on those platforms that we are allegedly "missing" here on Steemit (which I don't even believe is true)?

The answer: Users.

What is the purpose for creating a separate rewards pool for comments?

If the purpose is to increase engagement, it won't work. You need active users to do that. Without active users willing to engage, you're likely just going to be encouraging and rewarding spam, or otherwise meaningless engagement.

If the purpose is to just have a separate rewards pool, then what functional purpose does that serve? Why is it a necessary change for the blockchain?

What is the actual problem that would be fixed by this hard fork? The post says this:

We feel that engaging more people in discussion and encouraging higher quality comments will make the platform more desirable.

You can't engage more people in discussion if you're lacking the "more people" part of the equation. Step one would be: Get more people interested in Steemit. If, after more people are here and active, the engagement is too low (which, again, I don't believe is true), then try to find ways to increase/improve it.

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68
  ·  7 months ago

Would a change to 38% mean that his current $4.28 earnings (on the comment above) on 9 upvotes be around $163 under the proposed change?

No it doesn't mean that, because voting behavior will change. Most likely there will be a lot more voting on comments and more comments being rewarded so the $163 would be split up a lot more ways. Also probably more comments (both good and bad).

You can not evaluate actions taken under one set of rules as if they would occur unchanged under a different set of rules.

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62
  ·  7 months ago

Very True, I tend to only vote on the comments made to my posts, in hopes to gain readers, if there was no limit or a different limit to voting on comments I would vote on many more comments, being some of them to me add value to the original post.

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59
  ·  7 months ago

I THInk there will be so many comments payouts will drop. On top comments but rise on mediocre comments

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67
  ·  7 months ago

38% is high if only 1-2 comments are made but low if 100 comments are made!
So the solution to this would be its a variable number that get increased (max 38%) when the commenter’s are more, and to avoid spam comments it should be weighted/related more to the HIGH SP commenter’s (so it increases if total SP from accounts that participate are increasing)

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65
  ·  7 months ago

I can't tell whether 38% is too high or not. However, I'm confident that it should not be implemented as a step-change. Phase it in over the course of a couple months. Better yet, develop a dynamic mechanic of some sort that allows the comment reward fraction to vary over time.

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68
  ·  7 months ago

I agree that a dynamic function would be best but I don't agree that a phase in a good idea, in that it will be difficult to tell whether it actually has any effects (good or bad) while the usage of the site and other things are changing over a period of months. Better to try something more visible and it if it causes obvious problems it can be revised.

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65
  ·  7 months ago

I see your point, and I guess a step-change wouldn't be a huge catastrophe. Here's a nice blend of the two: ensure that the hard fork and payout rules affect only comments posted after the hard fork. Then we get a nice 7-day period for the changes to implicitly phase in.

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67
  ·  7 months ago

A separate comment pool will behave differently if there's a separate comment vote power per account or not. The comment pool idea works best with a separated comment vote power in my opinion. In this way, people with a lot of stake won't see voting on comments as an opportunity cost.

Absolutely. This is more critical to supporting comments than a separate reward pool for comments (although I support that too). There can be different parameters for each vote power tracker too (the parameters determine how many votes to cast per day to not waste your full voting potential).

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71
  ·  7 months ago

I also think the number is quite high and I'm worrying about new types of abuse using comments. But this can boost new contents market, e.g. SteemOverflow, where comments/replies are more valuable than posts.

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70
  ·  7 months ago

There's an argument to be made that, in addition to the other benefits of raising the comment reward pool to that level, there is value to be gained from the act of exposing the types of abuse that will emerge at 38%, as well as seeing if it is in fact true that abuse will emerge. It isn't until they see the abuse that they can develop systems to counter it. One simple solution to a torrent of comment abuse would be simply lowering the percentage. But again, this assumes that the abuse will come, which is not 100%. Of course, no matter what percentage is suggested there will be some people who think it is too high and some who think it is too low. I think we will only find out by experimentation. I highly doubt 38% is the magic number, but it might be better than what we have now. It is definitely true that experimenting with the number is better than not.

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68
  ·  7 months ago

Probably a better solution to excessive abuse would not be changing the number, but changing the structure (of something, possibly UI) to address the abuse. That is not to say I think 38% is the "right" number because I don't, but it's a reasonable experiment.

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62
  ·  7 months ago

I agree, the number may be to high, but if the votes on comments no longer took away from my main voting power I would vote on more comments. Making more reason for a considerable payout. I think the lack of comments on some posts like mine is simply due to lack of a possible reward. I have been told I make great points, but to few want to spend time commenting since to some people there is no value to comment unless there are votes on the main post that will make the comments count for something.

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69
  ·  7 months ago

This! Rewards would stimulate discussion. It would change the rhythm of interacting in a good way. Some of my posts were helped a lot by discussions.

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72
  ·  7 months ago

We can cross that bridge when we get there. Steem isn't there yet.

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73
  ·  7 months ago

Flagging for being a repetitive bot. =b

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72
  ·  7 months ago

Does not compute

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68
  ·  7 months ago

This is a similar circular argument to the one I called out Dan about (and you upvoted my comment there). Steem gets to where it isn't now in part by broadening the rule set to be less narrowly focused on a particular type of post-centric content (and long-form post-centric at that). That will open up the incentives for other types of content and engagement to (potentially) flourish. I was personally involved with an effort to try to spark interest in comment-centric engagement which didn't go anywhere for a variety of reasons but lack of rewards and voting power for comments was one of them. I'd prefer to see a mechanism where rewards flow to wherever there is perceived value and engagement, whether that happens to be posts or comments without any specific quota on each but given that isn't happening now this seems like a reasonable experiment.

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72
  ·  7 months ago

I see your point there. I said what I said above because I haven't seen any development towards a comment plugin for Steem yet and haven't perceived much demand for such a thing yet. I think that kind of thing will be viable with much less than 38% of the rewards.

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67
  ·  7 months ago

Separate comment vote power is an interesting idea and is something to ponder.

I think 38% would be too high at the current level of engagement. However, with the separating of the reward pool, it's reasonable to believe that we will see significantly more high-quality comments. Steemit badly needs more readers and commenters, and I think 38% is a good place to start.

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65
  ·  7 months ago

Although I agree with the proposal, the funny thing is I get way more engagement on Steemit than I do on other platforms despite lower views. I get comments on pretty much all my posts, even shitty low effort ones. The median for comments per post is on any given day usually 2 (sometimes 1, sometimes 3), the mean hovers around 5. Source: http://steempunks.com/charts

Occasionally a post is trending and stands out for lack of engagement, but generally there are loads of comments on the top posts as well, given that we have merely 1500 active users per day and that probably includes vote bots.

In comparison the vast majority of my tweets go unresponded to despite having been on the platform for years. When I make a reddit post, I'll be lucky if I get any replies.

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58
  ·  7 months ago

Maybe it's also forward thinking to increase engagement when comments only are added on standard websites/blogs that exist outside of the blockchain. A larger pool would make them more attractive than FB or Disqus comments plugins. just my 2 cents.

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72
  ·  7 months ago

We can cross that bridge when we get there. Steem isn't there yet.

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68
  ·  7 months ago

I fully agree with this! I was actually about to say the same thing.

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64
  ·  7 months ago

I also agree that 38% is way too high. Try 10% first.

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68
  ·  7 months ago

In this way, people with a lot of stake won't see voting on comments as an opportunity cost.

I don't know this is a problem. If there isn't enough voting on comments, then the value of a vote on a comment will be higher than the value of a vote on a post. This should reach an equilibrium even with shared voting power. I haven't thought a lot about the behavior with combined or separate vote powers. There are probably indeed some important differences, but I don't think separating vote power is clearly necessary.

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69
  ·  7 months ago

I agree a separate voting power for comment would make more sense.

Also what about trying the separate pool feature with 2% and not 38%. This would already double what the rearws are right now.

Let's not forgot reddit commenters are super happy with 0 reward and it's in the top 10 websites with crazy engagement.

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73
  ·  7 months ago

Yeah - I see posts on Facebook with 50 or 100+ comments all the time. None of them are receiving comment rewards.

The problem is that we have a very tiny amount of users. Of course we're not going to have much engagement when there are only a few hundred actual people engaging on the platform every day. They're trying to fix a problem with the wrong solution.

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69
  ·  7 months ago

I get your point and I agree.

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58
  ·  7 months ago

Maybe at this point in time the increase is needed, this could be reduced at the proper time?

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73
  ·  7 months ago

I don't believe so. We need more active users, not more rewards schemes for the tiny amount of users that are currently here.

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58
  ·  7 months ago

I'm not so sure about the 38% reward being too high, it would greatly increase the social aspect of the site. Currently we have lot's of autovotes, it's not unusual to see posts with hundreds of votes but under 30 views, rather common actually. Commenters actually read the posts and engage with the user, without any user interaction can we call this a social platform? So in my opinion we should try 38% first.

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61
  ·  7 months ago

That's not too much IMO. Remember that the 62% goes to the very few bloggers while that 38% is split up amongst many many commenters.
Also, think of the value for social networks. Ever been in a Facebook debate? I have seen many rebuttals that deserve to win a Nobel prize compared to the crappy original status update!

68
  ·  7 months ago

Overall....OUTSTANDING direction, simplifications, and some improved frameworks.

Thoughts:

  1. Really like ALL the KISS clean-up and simplification. Old unused features will become caustic over time. They are a liability, so it is good to get rid of them.
  2. I like the 7day, versus 24hr rewards.
  3. BUT... why can't there be a rolling-30 day payout for upvotes after? This would promote quality posts which are relevant over longer periods of time. Exactly what we want! Just because the metrics show most payouts occur in 7 days, does not mean it is strategically optimal for the platform or usages. For example, what if an author wants to write a novel. Each post is a chapter in the story. Why shouldn't a year from now, when a new fan starts reading the book, a payout can be earned from chapter #1 and so on?
  4. I like the independent comment reward pool and the effort to encourage more interaction by members (I think that is the strongest aspect of Steemit, an active community with a LOT of interaction).
  5. But, 38% of the rewards seems WAY high... Until we get more people eased out of being shy, it might promote lower-quality/higher-quantity comments. Perhaps start lower and ramp up from there? Just an idea.
  6. I don't understand the "Separate Market and Rewards Balance from Checking and Savings". Seems like an overly complex system to be added without a clear benefit. Does this basically add another 'account' for users to view/manage and understand? We already have Steem, Steem Power, Steem Dollars, and Steem Savings... This would add a Steem side-account? Whoa there cowboys/cowgirls. Let's refer back to your KISS principles.

And as always, thanks again for your continued work to make the platform better. I appreciate everything you guys/gals are doing and the fact you engage the community on future change proposals!

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73
  ·  7 months ago

why can't there be a rolling-30 day payout for upvotes after?

Because our usage statistics indicate that this would account for 0.85% or less of all rewards. Also see my recent blog post "Building Lon Term Value from your Blog" for the real answer to long-term rewards.

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68
  ·  7 months ago

Yes, but you are conforming to the current metrics and not the desired end-state.
I have a more detailed post on this concept: Advocating for Long Term Steemit Payouts https://steemit.com/steemit/@mrosenquist/advocating-for-long-term-steemit-payouts

70
  ·  7 months ago

The comment reward will bring massive engagement. I believe this along with the arbitrary beneficiaries rewards will be a game changer.

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63
  ·  7 months ago

You're right. But your posts have a lot of engagement already, ha ha.

71
  ·  7 months ago

Nice, I'm stoked about a lot of these changes but mostly the 7 day payout period.

I could see this leading to a far more competitive SBD promotion market, as people have to compete for visibility over a week timeframe instead of ~24hrs .

This is something that I've been thinking about recently - I made a tool to help judge promotion costs .


Todays rates

I'm also really happy to see more rewards going to commenters, and splitting post rewards between multiple parties should lead to some interesting opportunities for collaboration between steemians.

Theres a lot to process here, but first reactions are super positive and I can't wait to see the rest of the roadmap. Thankyou for all your hard work team :)

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71
  ·  7 months ago

Oh cool! I didn't think of the effects this could have on the Promotion tab! Nice catch!

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58
  ·  7 months ago

Hmm, and what about comments promotion? I think, that in posts like this (heavily popular) comments promoting seems like a quite desirable feature to use.

71
  ·  7 months ago

We are proposing that comments be allocated 38% (golden ratio) of the current reward pool and that comments be rewarded on a N log (N) curve with some to-be-determined modifications. This should work to allocate more rewards to those who contribute to discussions and drive community engagement.

Finally. Thanks steemit team! I think this change will be one of the best ones on our road to mainstreem attention!

Great updates/upgrade suggestions!

67
  ·  7 months ago

More rewards for commenters, I've been thinking this for a long time. Not everyone can put together an article, even subjects they know about, and/or some don't want too. Everyone can comment. This will be big.

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56
  ·  7 months ago

Yes, that's exactly how I feel, I am not a good writer, but somehow I think I do make good comments, even though I do think 38% is too high.

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67
  ·  7 months ago

It probably is high..., but with the low Steem price, and trying to get the masses in, I can see how they want it high right now.
I am more of a commenter myself.

65
  ·  7 months ago

In the spirit of KISS, we should consider making author rewards 100% liquid Steem. Those who wish to power up will still do so.

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73
  ·  7 months ago

I think 100% Steem Power and let people power down if they choose.

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68
  ·  7 months ago

Strongly disagree, both from a perception and usability point of view. Trying to lock in new users to an investment when they haven't asked for it (and quite possibly don't want it) shouts scam and Ponzi scheme, and makes it far slower and more complicated for new users to do a first cash out to convince themselves that this system is actually real. With 7 day payouts and then another 7 day delay for first power down this means 14 days (plus exchange delays) for a new users to see their first cent, and that's assuming their early contributions are even rewarded at all. Plus it requires them to learn more about vesting and unvesting.

Social media users and bloggers are not investors and don't want to be (at least not initially; once they grow familiar they may decide they do). They should be paid rewards in easy and accessible liquid tokens, not "shares of stock".

This is not the way to improve the STEEM price. Making the token (and more broadly, system, team, development effort, communications, vision, transparency) more attractive to investors (who want to be investors) is the way.

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65
  ·  7 months ago

I'm going to have to agree with @smooth on this one, This is not doing much for acquisition of new users and retention. We have to remember, a lot still have to learn the "crypto" market too, not just Steemit's market and ecosystem.

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59
  ·  7 months ago

Yes an Yes and Yes(@bitcoinparadise , @smooth) , @danteman I get the fact you want to see people grow the platform , but many will come for their daily bread and will live of the stories of whales.
make change possible , let people earn , not on the basis of trust me , it's good for you to make my platform great. but on the basis of this will spark a real change. YOU matter not your Power , Power grows as you do :) , that way you will have real community and leaders. I'm getting too philosophical for my own good.

Starting a new venture is hard , business is hard too, don't kick people into it , posting is a venture and Steemit has a business element to it, trust me if the people weren't here , no retention would ever come, the crabs that leave the bucket are free to leave because they are on top, the ones below don't have a choice.

Here it works in the reverse fashion, ones that leave are the most fed up , be it because of personal choices or platform issues. And the brave ones that stay at the base , supporting their community , get only to see the frying pan last.

Don't put people in buckets and be careful with the liquid steem , many are hungry and many will get addicted.

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65
  ·  7 months ago

If that were the case every newbie would have to learn more in order to use the platform rather than less.

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67
  ·  7 months ago

Payout tokens are the most complex part of the system. While I see the need for all 3 tokens, being paid out in all three is very confusing. I would love to have the option to be paid in STEEM only as opposed to STEEM and SBD. I'm OK with the 50% power up as my own choice but I think powering up should probably be completely voluntary... If you want blogging platforms like Medium to adopt STEEM as a revenue system, well their users aren't going to understand why their $5 payout is locked away and can't be taken out in parts larger than 1/13. I think curation should still be SP only since you need to have SP to curate, so curators will already understand the purpose of SP. Perhaps comments could be paid in STEEM only while OP authors would have the option to be paid in SBD.

I'm beginning to wonder if we should keep SBD or not if we are to integrate with other platforms like Medium. If their userbase is not on steemit and they get SBD then when will they learn the speculative value of STEEM?

SBD for authors and STEEM for commenters would be easier to understand than 3 tokens for everyone.

But honestly if you want people to hold steem long term you need to create incentives for doing that. Right now curation isn't a good enough incentive because the vast majority of users feel that their vote is pretty powerless. At one point when the steem price was around 30c my account was worth around $2k yet my vote wasn't worth 1c on a new post. For somebody self employed who doesn't make 2k in a month (before expenses) I can't imagine how I can afford to compete by powering up. A person of my income is probably (possibly idk) the average user too so the masses are just not all the investing type.

I don't know if you have future power up incentives up your sleeve but I hope you will revisit the idea of reducing the voting soft limit or come up with some kind of solution for bot voting because that's the main reason I see my vote as powerless even at $2'000.

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72
  ·  7 months ago

If you want blogging platforms like Medium to adopt STEEM as a revenue system, well their users aren't going to understand why their $5 payout is locked away and can't be taken out in parts larger than 1/13.

People seem to learn this but if it's a barrier to adoption it can be solved in the UI by displaying half of a post's total reward payout, minus projected curation rewards.