# Be Careful, Steem!

in steem •  9 months ago
Diversity may be the hardest thing for a society to live with, and perhaps the most dangerous thing for a society to be without. - Williame Sloane Coffin Jr.

Human beings love categorization. It helps us to organize our lives, to differentiate between good and bad, right and wrong, and to position ourselves within the world that surrounds us.

One of the great benefits of free societies is that these categories are usually not subject to economical wealth or status. Whether one's opinion can be heard or not, neither depends on their financial background nor requires a special promotion. In theory we have all the same opportunities.

In a theoretical free society, all individuals act voluntarily, having the freedom to obtain the power and resources to fulfill their own potential.

Now having a closer look at the current structure of the Steem eco-system, I wonder if actually ALL individuals have access to that freedom. Certain statements published on this blockchain during the past weeks make me believe that we're gradually drifting towards a two-tiered society where the degree of freedom you might achieve here clearly depends on the status (education, money, culture) you bring with you when joining this place.

It seems that we're not given the same opportunities at all.

### It's time to talk about the inconvenient truth!

Picture kindly provided by pixabay.com

# Are we true to ourselves?

Considering the current structures of the Steem eco-system I wonder how much of the ideological values we originally defined for this community are still valid.

How much of Dan Larimers vision to 'build free market solutions to secure life, liberty and property' are we still living with Steem?

There is a visible trend to equate financial possibilities with value creation, to differentiate between investors and 'normal users' and to categorize community members into developers (= smart) and non-developers (= simple-minded).

Is that really the picture we want to draw?

## Doesn't sound that like elitism to you?

To be honest, it scares me that these type of statements are apparently condoned by a wide audience.

What about people who haven't had the possibilities to learn how to code, but who know how to use this blockchain in order to create outstanding content? What about people who don't have hundreds of thousands of dollars to invest into cryptocurrencies, but who possess extraordinary skills and talents that enable them to inspire, motivate and support others? What about people who are great community builders just because they have a strong social consciousness?

### Apparently we want to keep these people out of our 'free community' because they're not rich or nerdy enough.

Still we need them to brighten our numbers...

The growth of this network is obvious. With the forecast in mind there will be 1 million Steem accounts in the near future.

How many of them will be actually 'valuable' to us? How many will be 'free'?

# In the Steem eco-system the 0,23% largest stakes hold 91,47% of the total voting power.

In absolute numbers: The 1,719 heaviest stakes hold 345,196 MVESTS.

Cumulative distribution of voting power in the Steem network by @arcange

Number of users according to their voting power

### I wonder how these numbers would look like if we didn't categorize people according to their financial power?

What if we defined users according to their real contribution to the network?

What if we called them investors, developers, content creators, community builders and curators instead?

Half of world's wealth is in hands of 1% of the population. In the Steem eco-system the disequilibrium is even more drastic. Does that make us feel comfortable?

# Money talks.

I invite you take a look at Steemit's marketing claim which has changed a couple of times during the past (almost) two years. In the early beginnings of Steem, people were invited to join the network with these words:

Maybe some people realized that this statement didn't really apply for the majority of users. Now it faded into the background and made room for a new (more aggressive) claim:

### Cheeky question: Does that implicate 'No money, no talking?'

Well considering the distribution of power in this system and assuming that visibility highly depends on financial and educational background, the inverted statement is quite precise.

It really seems that the original vision of Steem has made room for a completely new one.

Do we agree on that direction? Are we fine with a two-tiered community? Do we want a community that is clearly divided into rich and poor? Is that our vision of Steem?

Let's repeat the initial quote now and read it carefully:

Diversity may be the hardest thing for a society to live with, and perhaps the most dangerous thing for a society to be without. - Williame Sloane Coffin Jr.

### How important is diversity in the Steem community? Let's talk about it! The comments section is yours.

Thanks for your interest and time,
Marly -

PS: I leave you with the following statement, being pretty aware of the fact that this article is touching a series of unpopular beliefs. Still I feel safe :-)

This blog was launched at the end of July 2016
aiming to provide stories for open-minded
people who enjoy living on the edge of their lives,
stepping out of comfort zones, going on adventure,
doing extreme sports and embracing the new.
Welcome to the too-much-energy-blog!

### PS: Don't forget that this is a troll-free zone.

Original content. Quotes both found on quotefancy (1) and (2).

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Cheeky question: Does that implicate 'No money, no talking?'

Of course not.

One thing people rarely talk about wrt the Steem ecosystem is that the very nature of the long tail means that most people posting content will not earn much money. It's our job as curators and voters to make sure that that long tail is as fat as possible, but we'll never repeal basic human nature. Catering to the lowest common denominator will always yield the most profit.

It really seems that the original vision of Steem has made room for a completely new one.

Do we agree on that direction? Are we fine with a two-tiered community? Do we want a community that is clearly divided into rich and poor? Is that our vision of Steem?

I think you've totally misunderstood what is going on here. It's not reasonable to conflate stake-weighted voting, which was indeed part of the initial design, with a two-tiered system. No guarantees were ever built into the protocol that anyone would earn money for their content. In terms of payouts, the golden rule still applies - s/he who has the gold makes the rules. This has been codified in the Steem platform since it launched. If anything, the switch to linear rewards to fatten the long tail further advances an egalitarian angle, yet you're spinning a narrative here that the platform has "moved away" from some diverse vision, when in fact steps have been taken explicitly to address the tyranny of the majority.

The best thing about Steem is not the rewards. It's that with little or no stake, you or anyone can post something that will be preserved for all time, available for all who are interested to read. It has fuck-all to do with rewards or money. Don't be distracted by the money, or the tagline, or the payouts. This is a platform that gives everyone a voice.

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That's your recommendation, seriously? 'Don't be distracted by the money.'
Money talks - but don't be distracted by the money
Ehm....

I didn't conflate stake-weighted voting and a two-tiered system, I rather identified a direct correlation between both. Less than 1% of the Steem users decide on more than 90% of the voting power which definitely leads to a two-tiered system deviding the community into those who have influence and those who don't.

Linear rewards have considerably contributed to a better distribution of rewards (end of the value added chain), that's undoubted. Still that didn't address the source of the problem (starting point of the chain): ensuring the equality of opportunity for everybody who joins the platform and is willing to contribute.

What's your take on the sweat equity principle defined in the Steem white paper? Shouldn't we take that too seriously either - like the money?

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Exactly. Some of the gentlemen in this thread are forgetting that Steem obtains value from proof-of-brain. No proof-of-brain, no value. No value, no archiving in the long run. No archiving in the long run, no voice in the long run.

The issue is that to have a visible voice here, you need content and stake, or content and have somebody with stake curate. That would work if the history of the platform was a bit different.

(For those talking about voice, ignoring rewards, etc . . . take note that even the founder, Ned, thinks the trending quality is lacking.)

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Another important adding, thank you @tibra!
I'm glad this statement is at the top of the thread now :)

This it what the Steem white paper says:

All forms of capital are equally valuable. This means that those who contribute their scarce time and attention toward producing and curating content for others are just as valuable as those who contribute their scarce cash. This is the sweat equity principle and is a concept that prior cryptocurrencies have often had trouble providing to more than a few dozen individuals.

We're not seeing much of that in reality. But there are lots of new projects in the pipeline that might bring the needed solutions, just thinking about SMT Oracles for instance.

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I didn't conflate stake-weighted voting and a two-tiered system, I rather identified a direct correlation between both. Less than 1% of the Steem users decide on more than 90% of the voting power which definitely leads to a two-tiered system deviding the community into those who have influence and those who don't.

You're drawing an arbitrary line at 90% to define your "haves" and "have nots" of influence. Turns out that you can make a post and actually exert influence (not rewards - influence) with your ideas with almost no SP at all.

The partition you describe is nonexistent.

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Turns out that you can make a post and actually exert influence (not rewards - influence) with your ideas with almost no SP at all.

Who is 'you' in this case? Me? I have been here for 18 months, have almost 7K followers and rep 72, I don't believe you're comparing my account with the majority?

Influence requires visibility, and the design of Steem absorbes low-rated content like a sponge and makes it disappear. I often have trouble in finding my own content. If you don't remember the title or at least parts of it, it's impossible to find it - unless you wanna scroll down your feed a couple of hours.

What do you think why the user retention is at 12% right now? Do people need to lower their expectations? Is that the whole secret?

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Influence requires visibility, and the design of Steem absorbes low-rated content like a sponge and makes it disappear.

Quite the opposite; the design of Steem makes all posts persist forever, regardless of editing, votes, or flags. It is explicitly designed so that nothing can disappear. This is a blatantly false statement.

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What do you think why the user retention is at 12% right now?

Where did you get that figure? It's not accurate. Spreading misinformation helps no one.

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You're addressing the wrong person. If you scrolled down this thread you'd see that it wasn't me who came up with these numbers.

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hi @sneak - I tend not to spread inaccurate information, and I am not the only one that has reported on retention figures. Lol at times 12% seem generous. Sure from those that registered last feb the retention is only 6%
https://steemit.com/steemit/@paulag/if-you-joined-steemit-in-february-2017-then

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And now... silence...:-)

Thanks for providing the detailed numbers @paulag!

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You were pretty right, @sneak! My numbers were not accurate. The retention is even worse: https://steemit.com/utopian-io/@paulag/retention-rates-on-steemit-steemit-business-intelligence

The next time you decide to critize people, better do your homework.

Have you seen the latest EOS performance by the way?

Good luck!

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@sneak I think the bigger problem is that some whales aren't actually using their curation power to fatten this tail.
When you have a voting weight of over 2M SP you'd expect the voting power to be much lower on a regular basis.

But instead, you just see fat votes on some content creators, rather than more votes across the whole cross-section of users. The rich are getting richer.

As far as the long tail goes, we are very long tail as very few posts even have enough quality to reach the Top 10 in Google Search results anyway - https://steemit.com/utopian-io/@just2random/steemit-vs-medium-vs-quora-competitive-analysis

@surfermarly Maybe the remuneration is just a reflection of the quality of writing. And the most used tag on Steemit is photography, so maybe they don't like writing anyway.

Everyone has the freedom to say as they please, but only the community can deem it's worth. And those whale graphs are misleading, not all whales in those graphs are active curators anyway. Maybe I need do some meaningful analysis on this.

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The lacking delegation policies have been criticized already a couple of times, and you perfecly showed the reason why.

Asher @abh12345 has pulished an interesting article about that recently, analyzing the voting behaviour of @curie, @dtube and @utopian-io: https://steemit.com/utopian-io/@abh12345/voting-analysis-is-curie-still-the-best-community-support-account

As long as the voting power is in hands of few we need them to curate more towards that long tail.

A more detailed analysis on that would be definitely appreciated. I'd love to read it!

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Thanks @surfermarly for the mention!

If you can rustle up some high level details (accounts, comparisons, data types), I'd be happy to take a look. :D

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@just2random was the one who proposed providing more data :-)

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There was a case a few days ago, a brand-new user got 4 videos in a row, including the #introduceyourself one, upvoted by Dtube.

But in this case, she is no insta or YT superstar. Just a normal gal. Then, many whales upvoted, not sure if because of the huge possible reward, or some other shady reasons. New to steem, knew already how to format properly and even use some advanced html tools, claimed she was a crypto enthusiast since long, but when asked to show her previous social media work on the subject, she replied, that there is none and that Steem will be her place to share on cryptos.

We need a clear picture on what is going on, looks like whales are bating on crews to bring "new faces" to the platform, look organic on the outside, but are rotten on the inside. I lost a 10% of my upcoming rewards, not due to flags, but to the re-distribution of the reward pool. I guess the new apps having 2M SP are making a difference.

Same as always, rich people gets richer at our expense. At the end blockchain or not, crypto so far is not proving to be any new financial revolution or access for the poorer to wealth. Just take a look at Forbes new crypto billionaires, none of them was poor before.

We still can make a difference, we have people working to make it more equal, truly giving tools to minnows to improve themselves, and much more. There is still hope.

@ned if EOS can have an eternal ICO creating billions out of thin air, what stops us from implementing SMTs and expand the reward pool? Is it not that the main concern for many users?

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Prime example. @dtube hits full votes on the big guns who are migrating over from Youtube, bu the new user posting their first ever video gets sweet FA. Just look at the trending feed...all bigshot 'social media influencers' (yawn) bragging about their followers and getting hundreds of dollars in upvotes from assorted whales. It stinks.

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Just as I said! Money or NONE ....I have a silent Or loud Voice and everything I write about is meant to be for the future generations, for the children of my children’s children......They will know what I feel, think and what music I listened to, what makes me sad or happy and where I ate my favourite food.
Those thoughts kept me going without complaining much.
The rewards in SBD/Steem a wonderful bonus I also enjoy!
Follow4follow people? Not with me because I don’t care!
I am HERE on my “Mammasitta” mission, telling MY Story.......
Making HIStory!

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If the attention was completely irrelevant for you, why would you pay voting bots then to get more of it? Just saw your post on the trending page and then had a quick look at your wallet :-)

For us it was much easier since we joined early. New users have very few chances to ever reach the reputation we have. It's rather about being heard and seen than being paid here.

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She doesn't say it's irrelevant. Her main motive seems to be the fact that her voice and words are stored but there also is the part:

The rewards in SBD/Steem a wonderful bonus I also enjoy!

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You're great at repeating other people's statements, what's your take though?

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You asked why she uses upvote bots if the money is irrelevant to her. I cited where she says it's not irrelevant.

I thought that citation would answer you question why she does use them ;)

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No, it doesn't answer my question, but thanks.

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Marly!
You sound very “snappy”!
It’s a wellknown human reaction to be “judge-mental” without knowing the whole story. At least you could give me the chance, before you jump and scratching eyes!
You do sound like an idealist but I think you are not.
You enjoy the money as much as we all do. It’s an investment for me for my pension if I am lucky.

“Use Steemit as you wish!
I do the same!”
That’s a part of Dan’s vision.

BTW, I am really glad to end up with such huge mistake sending my SBD to a bot.

It opened my eyes!

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I am actually amazed what can happen, when you would like to try out bots, to see how others end up in the trending page, I have never seen anyways.
I planned to send 5 SBD, to see what happens but simply made a huuuuge mistake (while in bed with strepthroat) forwarded my entire funds at once.
I asked @appreciator to return my funds and was told this >>>>

You can go back on my wallet and will see that I rarley boost my posts. My minnow followers are the most loyal ones and I am “proud” of their votes and 15 USD payout otherwise dear @surfermarly
Guess what, I never ever powered down and rarly had one day, without posting.
I started to move SBD to bittrex a little while ago, when it was up at 7-10. Usually I powered up and up and more up.

You just judged me by 1 ! only one article Mar Ly! I don’t think you do know me enough

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I didn't judge, just asked :-) I only want to learn, that's all.

I know that you made a mistake sending your whole amount of SBD, I read the article and comments. I hope they'll send it back to you!!!

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Good!

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Is it complacent to know that new users may not reach your success story? I hope the answer is not, otherwise your whole posts makes no sense to me.

@mammasita read this post on why bid-bots make no sense if you expect to make a profit on them. link

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Pls kindly upvote me @kemkem. Thanks

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Just took a look on your account @sneak. I would be satisfied with your earnings. Since money isn't that important to you, I am sure we can swap accounts? :-)

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Haha! Don't be distracted by the money @brainnipper!!! :-D

There is a visible trend to equate financial possibilities with value creation, to differentiate between investors and 'normal users' ...

Right, and actually also 'normal users' are investors: they are investing their precious time!

Something is getting out of wack because the moment I loose my passion, I hear my instincts warning me. “maybe you are at the wrong place”. I hope the trusting 6th sense will guide me in the right direction but somehow the vision of “STEEM” got damn blurry!

Money talks?! Hell yeah but even if there is NONE, you still got your VOICE!

I liked it so much better when this place was not so much about “business” and who’s rich or poor. It was about idealistic, passionate people who connected through their stories, talent and skills.
#soulconnections!

It really seems that the original vision of Steem has made room for a completely new one.
Do we agree on that direction? Are we fine with a two-tiered community? Do we want a community that is clearly divided into rich and poor? Is that our vision of Steem?

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Money talks?! Hell yeah but even if there is NONE, you still got your VOICE!

Bingo.

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But that can be applied, can't it? I mean you can pretty much post whatever you want, you only can be flagged. - If you don't care about the money anyways, where is the problem?

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Yes! It can be applied! We have our VOICE!
I never said I do not care about “Money” I just would not sell my SOUL for it and my life proves it. That’s another story.

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I think you got me wrong, I feel the same way you do regarding this ;)

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Ich habe Dich gut verstanden.

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Her voice is exactly what she is using with this post.

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It was CLEAR and LOUD!

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I liked it so much better when this place was (...) about idealistic, passionate people who connected through their stories, talent and skills.

We're still here, and we still connect. Now it's time to get some influence back :-)

Big hugs sweetie! :-*

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I never stopped connecting, building a valuable community step by step.

I welcome this conversation and have some points to add.

First of all I am not a developer, so that makes me simple minded. In addation I have no $$to invest. I have also NOT powered up everything all of the time, in fact I have sold some steem and sbd. A recent analysis that I carried out shows that success on steemit is NOT dependent on SP owned and there is a greater correlation between Reputation and account growth than SP and account growth. ( even though I am simple minded I understand that correlation is not = causation) I have put serious effort and time into Steemit and feel I have been rewarded and my expectations have been more than filled. I believe that steemit does offer the FREEDOM you have mentioned above and part of the problem is not Steemit, but the people using it. Distribution is a problem, and the initial distribution is what caused it, but two tiers are being created and here is why I think it is happening. A new person joins steemit, thinking they can make money posting content rather quickly. their expectations are not met and they leave steemit. Retention is only about 12%. If only 12% of people stick with it, and allow themselves the time to grow their reputation and their account, then there will always be an uneven spread because 88% of accounts will never grow. What would be interesting as an analysis is to exclude the 88% of users that dont bother putting in the effort from data and then look at the distribution. Simple an all as I am, I don't think its hard to understand that if only 12 % of registered users are actively using steemit and trying hard, the the wealth will remain within this 12% Therefore I would say that Steemit need to address retention, not distribution. The bigger issue for me is corporate governance and controlling power being in the hands of a centralized organisation (Steemit Inc). I am actually looking at misterdelegation today, but when the CEO of Steemit Inc, abuses his own power and use Misterdelegation to upvote his own comments then there is a serious corporate governance issue. Steemit Inc is a private centralized company. Here lies our problem. Lack of corporate governance, leadership , accountability and a show of continuous 'self supply' and insider trading. Where else would this be accepted???????????? Thanks for reading the opinion of a simple minded but successful steemain......Power to the People - Steem on · Hey @paulag! Thanks for jumping in! :-) You know I'm a fan of your work, so it's great that you add some of your knowledge here. A recent analysis that I carried out shows that success on steemit is NOT dependent on SP owned and there is a greater correlation between Reputation and account growth than SP and account growth. That's great. Still in order to grow repuation what you need is visibility. What do you think is the best way of providing new accounts with more attention? Do we have to improve curation towards smaller accounts? 12% is really heavy! How could we close the gap between expectations and reality? Is it an educational problem we might address already during the onboarding process, e.g. providing more tutorials? Therefore I would say that Steemit need to address retention, not distribution. Wouldn't a better distribution help to improve retention after all? Or is it just an expectation management issue? With regards to Steemit Inc I actually don't have a really deep insight into how much influence they effectively have e.g. when it comes to decide over new hardforks. We would have to ask the witnesses. @lukestokes mentioned this being a possible issue during his interview with David Pakman. So I guess there are some valid points. They may not have any intentions to abuse their status, but the fact that they could might scare some people here. By the way Ned removed his self-vote, so I think it was a mistake using the company's account in that situation, but he corrected it then. Power to the people, haha! Yeah :-) · · why are people replying on Steemit to grow their visibility? On steemit we have the opportunity to share our posts on other social media platforms and generate our own traffic and our own following, but steemit is not being used that way. If you make a post on Wordpress, do you expect wordpress to market it for you? yes you can get followers via wordpress and you will get a ping or notification when someone you follow makes a post. Why should steemit provide new accounts with more visibility? Having worked online now for over 10 years I have had to grow my own following using social media marketing. If you open a shop, you will advertise it right? its not steemits responsibility to provide marketing or traffic to YOUR content. Authors need to take responsibility for their visibility. The organic steemit markets is what? 65K active accounts? that's not very many people to market to.... "wouldn't a better distribution help to improve retention after all?" Interesting question. If more peoples were making$$ retention would be better as this seems to be the expectation gap. A wider distribution would accommodate that, however bad content will still not succeed

@ned only removed his vote because he was shamed into it. Good corporate governance within Steemit Inc would prevent this happening in the first place. How many steemit inc staff accounts are part of a voting circle and what I would call - self supply. No one can answer that question because steemit inc is not transparent - we do not have a list of staff accounts. Compare this to a public company where vesting interest must be declared.

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On steemit we have the opportunity to share our posts on other social media platforms and generate our own traffic and our own following, but steemit is not being used that way.

I share all my posts in my other social media networks and bring traffic to steemit like that since 1.5 years and I know that a lot of others are doing the same. Why do you believe that doesn't happen here?

Why should steemit provide new accounts with more visibility? (...) its not steemits responsibility to provide marketing or traffic to YOUR content.

Who are you talking about when you say steemit? @steemit or Steemit Inc or the community?
In general we're all responsible for our own doings, no doubt about that. Still if a company advertises with claims such as Money talks or Your voice is worth something then this roots certain expectations. I've been working in marketing and sales for 12 years now, and the number one rule I've learned in all the companies I've been working for is:

Don't ever lie to your customers.

Are we true to ourselves if we advertise steemit using the word money? There's a huge gap between message and reality, and that's why we have only 12% user retention. That's my personal theory.

How many steemit inc staff accounts are part of a voting circle and what I would call - self supply?

I have absolutely no idea. Why don't you ask them? :-)

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you share you post and I share mine, but ask all the new people and I can assure you that most of them don't.

You make a very very solid point, don't ever lie to your customers

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Did you recently shared a blog post where the 12% vs. 88% are backed by numbers/stats? Sneak doesn't believe these numbers are true (see comment above). Would be nice to show some evidence :-)

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thanks for pinging me @surfermarly - I have replied to @sneak above

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perfect analysis - address the retention is a key challenge. Would be interesting to see how many great creators of value we loose amongst the 88% quitters - retention of the best would be great - assume 60% of the 88% are spammers or scammers anyway.

I see the evolution of the steemit ecosystem mirroring the development of every free market economy. Rich & Poor. You may notice the bellowings of revolution from below in the form of "unionization" among the minnows about now and the elite taking very little notice. All and all it is a great study in capatalism. It will have its bumps and bruises but those willing to work hard have an opportunity just like in any other economy. Unfortunately, the early adopters and some of the lucky investors have an advantage. But they also have a responsibility to encourage those who need it. Members like you @surfermarly are exactly what this ecosystem needs.

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Sweet! First of all thanks for the great compliment. With power comes responsibility - agreed!

Now that you mention the unionization of the minnows: it sometimes reminds me of the Late Middle Ages where the folk started to rebel against the king. The only difference is that we have several kings here :-)

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That's exactly what I think of @surfermarly . It will be interesting to see if the kings take not of this and do what it takes to avoid some of the pains from the past. Unfortunately we have signs like this all over our economies and nobody takes those steps. You can always count on Human Greed to ruin things. But again, members like you are trying to change that so the effort is appreciated.

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You as the user are better off when organized, yes, at the moment. Not only that, but what the site also needs is scale. A small system like this one, in terms of numbers of curators, doesn't behave the same when it's larger. Networks are very sensitive to scale, in their intermediate internal states and behavior.

@surfermarly wrote a great post. I agree 100% with it. Problem exist to be solved, as John Wheeler said. Therefore problems ought be posed to be solved.

I suggest, it's not quite capitalism per se. It's more path dependence; — the site is a consensus economy, but it has very few large curators. Why — because it only recently became popular. That and the low number of miners besides the devs at the very beginning. The issue becomes, then, that only 10% of any group ever participate much — for instance, curate for quality. Which is exactly what we see with the large stake holders. 4—5 actively curate or delegate to those who do bother.

It's unionization but also it's not. The search cost on a large content site is very high. Search is stake weighted, visibility is convoluted by ordered stake patterns, creating a feedback.

Few users have the time to perform an above threshold search, and the probability that they are also the same users who have the stake to upvote much is . . . The result is status quo is maintained.

Therefore organizing is quite beneficial to all. There's not a bargaining conflict, I would say. The newer users don't have a market position; groups of users posting in organized fashion make it much, much easier to find their content.

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The search cost on a large content site is very high. Search is stake weighted, visibility is convoluted by ordered stake patterns, creating a feedback.

Excellent point! Thank you @tibra.

I only understand half of what you wrote Ned in that comment, will read it a couple of times more though :-)

What the site also needs is scale. A small system like this one, I mean in terms of numbers of curators, doesn't behave the same when it's larger.

The more people, the longer the tail and the bigger the gap between influencers and non-influencers. That's my prediction under the current system. But with SMTs a lot will change, so by now we actually can't forecast what's gonna happen.

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The key, I suspect, is the stake weighting. More people with high net worth need to appear on the platform and curate. To have a voice here, you need content and stake, or content and have somebody with stake curate.

That means the platform might do well to help some existing communities transition onto Steemit. The ones with both extensive activity and curation and sufficiently wealthy users.

Tenured and/or chaired academics are easily wealthier than most users here. Mathematicians generally possess a very strong sense of aesthetics and principle. I suggested to Ned they would do well to curate. The issue is that most of the people joining have literally nothing and cannot curate, even if they wanted. Therefore the gap between influencers and ordinary content producers grows.

One user with high net worth also cannot curate. No time, too few full upvotes. Increasing the number of full upvotes would lead to more abuse by some current large users: " :) " 300. " :-) " 300. " :-() " 300.

As you said, with >90% of all steem in the hands of <1%, and only 10% of that, 4-5, curating for quality, the gap between influencers and ordinary content producers would increase as more and more people join; but it will decrease if a threshold number of the new people are both very principled AND can easily obtain stake.

The issue now is that with all the spam and flag wars and weird upvotes, the problem itself, precisely the people who can help the platform — because they are principled and wealthy — for the same reason — because they are principled and their time is valuable — will not join — and the problem grows ever more serious.

(I should disclose that I'm a mathematician; I venture that I could get quite a few people here from there, especially if Dan is going to upvote, the minute MathJax is on Steemit. Then just sit back and watch angry mathematicians upvote the content producers, especially ones clearly trying, and flag to negative infinity all the abuse and spam and flag wars. An opposite feedback, a good one, just might establish.)

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The key, I suspect, is the stake weighting. More people with high net worth need to appear on the platform and curate.

What about making upvotes on smaller accounts more attractive from a financial point of view? e.g. through a weighting: the larger the difference between the curator's (high) and the author's (small) reputation, the better the weighting.

Example: My rep is 71. Now if I upvoted a piece of content of an author that had rep 30 it would be proportionately more beneficial to me than voting a rep 50 user.

Does that even make sense?

The issue is that most of the people joining have literally nothing and cannot curate, even if they wanted. Therefore the gap between influencers and ordinary content producers grows.

Correct. That's one point which could be addressed by STMs like the @communitycoin. I really believe that by introducing SMTs the inequality could at least be partly solved.

The issue now is that with all the spam and flag wars and weird upvotes, the problem itself, precisely the people who can help the platform — because they are principled and wealthy — for the same reason — because they are principled and their time is valuable — will not join — and the problem grows ever more serious.

I have never understood why the majority just sits and watches while the platform's store sign is covered with hatred. The trending page is the entrance hall of Steem for everybody who's still not signed up to this place - which is the majority of internet users. There's not only one day without drama, which makes this place look like a kindergarden.

I should disclose that I'm a mathematician

Well I presumed that to be honest, since you were talking so much about them :-)) Great. I'm a Computer Scientist, and math was my favourite subject at the university. Now I confess that I haven't been much into it lately since I was working in marketing and sales all my life.

But maybe that common denominator and passion for science in general is still one of the reasons why I enjoy talking to you very much... who knows :-)

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Let's all honestly consider the following question:

If I had $5 Million in Steem what would I be doing with it. Let's be honest with ourselves. · · I think I would do a lot of things, but I would probably have more than just a passing interest in protecting my investment if I had the power to do so. I don't know every other investment works, but here through Steemit, you do have say, especially with higher SP/VP. So if I had at least 500,000 of that STEEM in SP, I'd be a full blown whale with all the voting power that comes with it. And I would probably do what I could to help reward original (and what I deemed to be) high quality content for as many people as I could. Even so, my issues would still be the same, unless a large voting power increase magically allows you to view differently than what you can as a lower minnow—visibility here is tough, and there's a lot of sifting that needs to take place just to get through posts. If/when Communities finally arrives, maybe some of that sifting will be more concentrated and it won't feel so scattershot. · · First I would pay off my wife's student loan, which isn't much by comparison, then buy a new laptop and a fancy dinner... and then do my best to improve Steemit so it can last longer, because the way it's going now, if nothing at all changes, it's going to sputter and die within four or five years. · In the event that you have enough cash and power you can just upvote your own particular posts/remarks like a few people do. Or on the other hand even do nothing, sit on your energy and hold up when our money will cost 5-10-20 dollars. Does it convey an incentive to the group? Does it help us and our cash to develop? Cash must work within the group, not inside the one wallet. In the event that you are a substance maker and don't have much influence or cash to purchase votes you can depend on Minnowsupport just and perhaps on several your companions in getting rewards. On the off chance that you compose not about the Steemit and crypto would you say you are a lower class individual? What number of individuals with high notoriety or Steem power will vote in favor of minnows and make a manual curation out of their companions circle? How might I demonstrate difference on prizes to a$100-200 self voter with my few-penny worth downvote? Or on the other hand to counterfeiter who purchased the offer bot votes in favor of his duplicate stuck picture?

You are appropriate about "cash talks". Enormous cash talks louder. Much the same as in our genuine.i like you @surfermarly are exactly what this ecosystem needs.

Hey, awesome!

So much to get stuck into here!

The content doesn't bring the value to the entire system, it's the investors and speculators.

HUH? Naaa! No content no Steemit.

Cheeky question: Does that implicate 'No money, no talking?'

That is cheeky! What about: No stake, no money for talking? :p

The Proof of Stake ecosystem is going to make it tough to bring balance, ever. The more you have the more you will have in future.

There are and will always be some standout content creators who may be able to bridge the gap, but otherwise 'we' need amazing acts of kindness similar to what @fulltimegeek is doing.

For many dolphins and whales, it's business. You have to respect them for that, but we are certainly drifting away from

Awesome! I hope you get lots of comments to keep you busy all evening and all week!

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Great comment, thank you Ash!

Of course it's business. I don't want to challenge that at all.
It'd be fine if this was a closed room for investors and developers only. But under the current circumstances it's hard to label it with 'free market'.

Less than 0,5% deciding on more than 90% of the rewards pool is heavy. Do you remember how it was during 'the experiment' when @abit and @smooth provided us with supernatural voting power? It felt amazingly good that our voices were worth something and had a real impact on someone's life!

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I only remember to get flagged like crazy and loosing my Rep. I am still wondering if that experiment actually made sense with results at the end?

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Oh... But the flags must have been allocated for a different reason then, because during the experiment only whales who continued upvoting were downvoted to balance out rewards.

It made sense since the rewards were re-distributed to smaller accounts. I remember that my upvotes were ten times heavier than before.

That was no sustainable solution, but it showed possibilities.

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Not true! I am not a whale, not even a Dolphin at that time and I got flagged by @smooth because some whale voted for me. I never complained and just moved on.

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Then they balanced out the whale votes, that makes sense.

I never understood why they always included dead fish to the stats. It's like counting dead people in every election in the category of those who didn't bother to vote.

As for this issue you speak of, I always assumed your voting power should not be used for making "you" profit. No matter how much SP you have, it should only be allowed to reward other peoples' posts.

And in order to minimize the issue of alt-account voting, there should be an extra rule added to the system where you can't vote more times than you comment every day. Meaning, your total votes can never exceed your post number, thus forcing you to be more active than blindly voting without saying a word.

Even if someone spams the same words just to get over this limitation, it will still make it easier to spot spammers via activity history. Also, witnessess should be confirming large rewards before the actual payout. You know, so they can cancel (not downvote) obvious abuses such as spam, self vote, worthless content, and so on.

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Also, witnessess should be confirming large rewards before the actual payout. You know, so they can cancel (not downvote) obvious abuses such as spam, self vote, worthless content, and so on.

So you want a centralised authority that can decide what is worthless and what is not? Doesn't seem to align with the goals of a decentralised blockchain too well.

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better than letting it go abused and ruin the platform altogether

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Hm than we are just not on the same side here. I think we already have enough systems where a central organisation gets to decide things rather that the community.

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Dead fish! That's a bit extreme, huh?
We're all pretty alive and talkative. The fact that nobody listens doesn't mean that we're not saying a word :-) Let's give these fishes more room and convert them into real influencers in this network!

And in order to minimize the issue of alt-account voting, there should be an extra rule added to the system where you can't vote more times than you comment every day. Meaning, your total votes can never exceed your post number, thus forcing you to be more active than blindly voting without saying a word.

That's an interesting point! Had to upvote your comment with 100% though...:-)
Thanks!!

Well written @surfermarly, touching on a lot of the thoughts I've had myself since joining this network about two months ago. I've wanted to post something like this myself but don't really think my 150 followers care and I don't want to risk anything before established. I joined with the notion that it was a fair distributing reward system, but it's far from. As a newcomer to steem you have 10 upvotes at 0.01 and unless you can get the attention of a whale or something there is now so many accounts that you have to be more than lucky to get anywhere, even if your content is really good. Upon learning how it really is on steemit I'm a little delusioned about the future on the platform, but for now I keep on trucking forward, hoping some kind of change will happen that will diminish the division somehow. · Thank you @wanderingdanish! I can totally relate. A couple of months ago I set up a new account just to see how it feels being new again. I published content that was pretty much touching the same topics as in my @surfermarly account. While I earned a lot in my established account, I didn't receive any type of attention in the new one. The quality of the content is irrelevant if you don't have an established network. I hope this article helps to underline the importance of curation and also the need of a redistribution of influence. Thanks for stopping by and leaving your thoughts :-) · · I would change The quality of the content is irrelevant if you don't have an established network. to The quality of the content is less relevant if you have an established network. People without a network can still get big upvotes through good content. People without good content can still get big upvotes through their network. There are always two sides you can look at: Did you your second account not receive upvotes due to the lack of having a network or due to a lack of quality? Does your main account receive big upvotes due to you having a network or due to you posting high quality stuff? · · · One can ask these questions, but how do you want to answer them? What about "who decides, what good content is"? The community of corse. When people upvote shit, even this has to be okay. But we need to find a way that building networks where our content fits in, becomes easier. With everybody using five tags and usually the more popular ones, we create a content jungle where neither creating nor curating is much fun anymore with more and more users on Steemit. I think the Interface itself creates many issues. With "Trending" and "Hot" you have two big categories for whales and dolphins mainly. But the majority of people has to struggle in "New". How should I feel that my content has some kind of value with nearly no views on it, because it is far away from being visible for the seven days people could upvote it? · · · · I didn't post those questions in order to get answers. I posted those to show different perspectives. And I am fully with you when it comes down to complaining about the Steemit Frontend. Personally I just don't visit "Trending" and "Hot" a lot anymore. Maybe once in two days for a quick look. But that's a problem of a bad interface, not a problem of inequality in in distribution of power. · · · · · The interface leads to more inequality in distribution of power. Can be a coincidence that it empowers powerful people even more. Improving it could mean enhancing the oppurtunities of many users. · · · · · · 100% agree here ;) Even though I can't think of a far better solution! And it's the same problem with trending on YT as well, isn't it? · · · · · · · It's okay, Trending and Hot exist. I really wish, I could sort content out. Kind like this: Show me all posts including the tags "A","B","C" and excluding the tags "X","Y","Z". Show me only posts, that are not older than 7 days. Sort by: increasing/decreasing: actuality/user reputation/upvotes/views/replies. · · · I'm sure you can give all the answers to all of your questions by yourself, I'm off surfing now! Happy weekend :-) · · · · I just wanted to show perspectives ;) Have fun surfing, stay safe! · · · · · Auch hier - Durchatmen! · · · · · · Ich hab leider ne krass ausgebildete Allergie gegen Oberlehrer... · · · · · · · Ja mei aber ganz ehrlich, ihr alle denkt natürlich ihr habt die Weisheit mit Löffeln gefressen und jeder hat Recht - Du bist auch nicht besser. Oberlehrer meets Oberlehrer. Deswegen diskutiere ich auch nicht mehr über Sachen, die ich nicht ändern kann. Sich gegenseitig mit Klugscheissen voll zu werfen bringt auch nix, ihr regt euch nur alle auf. Am Schluss hab eh ich immer Recht! Wow!!! Your really hit the nail on the head with this one @surfermarly I completely agree with this entire article and believe the entire ecosystem of steemit is in dire need of a major overhaul. It's extremely difficult for minnows to even get noticed on here (unless your an uber nerd of course!) There is also a major lack of support for Minnows to get their content noticed. Sure MSP is great, but it still doesn't solve the problem of posts not getting much attention if you barely have an SP and followers. I do believe it can change for the better...how do we do that? I'm not quite sure! How does the community convince major stake holders to open up a bit and start delegating like champ to the right people and support diversity? It seems like the people with huge hearts and open minds have the hardest struggle when it comes to getting recognized. These are the people who need support the most, because they will give back what they get and create a ripple effect. I know for certain what ill be doing with my steem power in the future and hope others do the same! Thanks for sharing your many thoughts on this...very well thought out post, really enjoyed it =) · Did you try to join a similar minded group of steemians on Facebook or Discord? That's what I do for finding easier same minded content and voting what we like the most. · You touched some great points here! A happy user is a great multiplier. By accepting that we only have a retention of 12% we accept that 88% new users who leave the platform after short time might talk negatively about their experience with Steem then. Considering that Steem might get some serious competition in the near future, that's quite alarming. A lot of disappointed (ex) Steem users could go and find their pleasure somewhere else. Thanks for your support and valuable addings. I enjoyed the read very much as well! :-) Thank you for bringing this up even though it is all over the platform. But this is good. This topic can not get enough perspectives :-) I think it depends on where in time and space you put it. I also see that the power in here is just as dispersed as it does out here, that is to say it is merely a reflection of reality. Nobody knows when and if this will change. I wonder all the time whether Members are calling for someone to change this and who that is. The platform operators? They could do something, but it doesn't seem easy to me. I think it is similar to a state where those who make decisions that have an impact on everyone can never please everyone equally. One cannot, on the one hand, do nothing and leave everything to the market and, on the other hand, not govern from above if one wants to achieve something like common good regulation. We have the same problem in the democracies. There should be a referendum here if a consensus is to be reached. An interesting way of getting a referendum would be to ask all members for the least pain point, rather than what would please them the most. For example, by taking into account the premise of the largest possible voting amount and giving all voters several possible options. Like this one: the highest voting amount should be enclosed: • 50 SBD • 100 SBD • 200 SBD • 300 SBD • 500 SBD • 1000 SBD • 10000 SBD Then each individual should decide for himself what sum appears to be the least painful for him. Someone who uses this method is, for example, Christian Felber, the founder of the common good economy. I recently wrote an article about the distribution problem in German: https://steemit.com/steemit/@erh.germany/das-verteilungs-problem-und-wie-du-es-fuer-dich-loesen-kannst For me, such a vote would mean that I would have to deal with the question of how much a whale should be able to distribute at the maximum with a push of a button of 100 percent. It would be a possible approach. But this is not the way it is thought in my government or anywhere else where the levers of power are pushed. Nevertheless, many smart people develop very interesting approaches that should be mentioned. One of these is the Citizens' Parliament. You can find here (also in German): http://www.timo-rieg.de/2013/09/alternative-burgerparlament/ I highly recommend to read it because it offers an out of the box thinking. However, since Steemit is not a closed system and new members keep coming in, the question of consensus would always arise anew, wouldn't it? · A "maximum-upvote-amount-per-user" will not work. You can just create a new account and delegate it half you power in less than a minute and you would have worked yourself around this. · · True, thank you. That pulls the question of limiting the amount of accounts either. I would like to ask you to remain for a moment at the idea of having conducted a poll. Suppose you've chosen a maximum amount of 500 SBD. Continue to accept that your choice is visible to all system participants (i. e. it is not secret). If you now use the loophole and create multiple accounts to trick or bypass the system, the question arises of how you will react when others will track and challenge your activities. Without a consensus on an upper limit, it is difficult to accept this at all is a questionable act. For me, this would mean that participants who open several accounts below the upper limit would have to be treated differently from those who exceed the upper limit. Similar to our existing legal system, a perpetrator may in principle be punished for a law offence. Now the individual case is always to be considered and I can disapprove of the act, but understand the background. For example, as a judge I sentence a perpetrator to a one dollar fine, because in this particular case I recognize a motive that would not justify a harsher punishment. What do you think? Is this approach worth thinking about and developing? I have put in an idea that I find very interesting and would have liked to see whether there is a willingness to deepen it. So far the Steemit space looks to me as a virtual state where the settling citizens are being asked by themselves to discuss democracy. · · · I don't exactly understand what you are saying but I will try ;) So you mean there should be measurments to punish certain users for doing certain things by making up "laws"? In my eyes making up more laws moves the platform away from what I think are it's core values. And even if such laws where there, I am not sure about how you would find out which accounts belong together, or how you would prove those findings. And punishment by law without prove isn't something I approve of. Everybody can express his disagreement by downvoting/flagging, centralised punishment options are nothing desirable in my eyes. · · · · I agree about not centralizing everything. But also not of decentralizing everything. Something in the middle, I would say. Does that answer your question? As my approach is not finished and I do just some brainstorming here, I thought it might be good for something. A consensus might change the single interactions as well. Do you think it would be of some support to you in being asked about a maximum-upvote-amount-per-user? And would it be of use to you to see the results of others, too? ... This could lead to a habit of law and not to a centralized form of legislation, execution, and justification. I ask myself the question if a poll and the result of it would change my view and habit in flagging/downvoting. · We share the same gusto for out of the box thinking though! :-) Thanks for your valuable thoughts and links shared. I love your article about 'common welfare economy' (Gemeinwohl-Ökonomie). Do you now Dan Larimer's concept for a blockchain-based Mutual Aid Society (MAS). I think both have a lot in common, especially the idea of focussing more on the overall outcome than on individual success. Many months ago @dan-atstarlite published a vlog where he underlined the interdependence between the overall growth of a community and the personal success of their members. It requires a lot of commitment since the stronger need to sacrifice parts of their earnings for the group in order to balance out the weaker. But in the end it's all worth it, because if the platform fails, nobody wins. Again, you made some great points here and I appreciated the read! Too sad your German article was published 11 days ago, I would have loved to upvote it, too :-) · · Thank you a lot, Marly (is that your name?), I am amazed by the variety of different concepts and thoughts being put here as a reaction to your article. since the stronger need to sacrifice parts of their earnings for the group in order to balance out the weaker. But in the end it's all worth it, because if the platform fails, nobody wins I think that pins it down to what I meant. Even though the winners might think, they won (for example the platform dies and the ones who cashed out on a great scale saved their rewards) they could lose on a greater scale - because whenever many losers will be left, it could be defined as a loss for the total. Not necessarily because it would be like this, but because those who were left behind would or could think so. It always depends on what those with the many powers would like to do with this power. When I find myself sacrificing a part of my wealth, it is something different than when I find that I simply give up a part without feeling the loss. Which brings me back to the question of how much I really need personally as part of a large human community. Have a good recovery from this huge amount of responding to your comments :-) P.S. No, I don't know Dan Larimer's concept, but will try to find it. Thank you. · · · Marly is fine :-) I've said to anyone that will listen that the biggest problem with Steem since I've gotten here is the distribution. I used to be really mad at Dan and Ned for letting such a shitty coin start happen that totally screwed the distribution. Then I read more about why they did it and realized it had more to do with ICO laws and designing the release to not be a security. The distribution still sucks, but I'm not as mad about it. Steemit is divesting about 14.4M steem per year. The distribution will change over time. This is also one of the reasons I favor a higher inflation level. We're not going to kill the whales, but we can inflate the platform some and provide higher benefits to active posters. I don't think there's a ton of support for that without better curation under linear rewards, which will take a hardfork and separate downvoting pool. We'll see. · It seems that I have to study 'ICO laws' on the weekend! :-) Good to see you in my blog, I still feel guilty for not being part of the Steem Queens panel. Don't you believe that there's a way of providing an incentive for investments that's not directly related with the rewards distribution? What if we found a way to make curation more attractive than self-voting? What we definitely don't want is to keep away those who're willing to invest. Still why does influence needs to be pegged to financial possibility in a free, decentralized, open-minded network? We celebrate providing countries like Venezuela with a new way of securing their assets, but at the same time we don't recognize the opinion of a Venezuelan in our network as long as he doesn't power up a decent amount of money. That's a bit over the top, but you know what I mean.. Is there even a chance to align those interests? · Could you forget this "money-part" for this time? She is talking more about community. Money is a great connector. But when it's the only one, people begin to work against each other. Community isn't about money. Everybody's wealth is about community. Edit: Sorry I guess I am too aroused at the moment and got you wrong maybe. · · Aligning social integrity and financial interest is definitely one of the greatest challenges in this network, you touched an important and sensitive point here. Using money for good is something we haven't learned so far, but Steem provides a chance to do that now. I don't see anything negative about wanting to earn, as long as we don't sell our own ideology for money :-) · · · :-) According to the concept of "sweat equity" stated in the Steem White Paper both contributions, labor and capital, have equal value for the community. But what we see in reality? If you have enough money and power you can just upvote your own posts/comments like some people do. Or even do nothing, sit on your power and wait when our currency will cost 5-10-20 dollars. Does it bring value to the community? Does it help us and our currency to grow? Money must work inside of the community, not inside the one wallet. If you are a content creator and don't have much power or money to buy votes you can rely on Minnowsupport only and maybe on a couple of your friends in getting rewards. If you write not about the Steemit and crypto are you a lower class person? How many people with high reputation or Steem power will vote for minnows and make a manual curation out of their friends circle? How can I show disagreement on rewards to a100-200 self voter with my few-cent-worth downvote? Or to plagiarist who bought the bid-bot votes for his copy-pasted picture?
You are right about "money talks". Big money talks louder. Just like in our real world...

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To be honest, I had no idea that this is even written in the white paper! Thanks for this valuable adding @erikaflynn.

According to the white paper, those who contribute their scarce time and attention toward producing and curating content for others are just as valuable as those who contribute their scarce cash.

Awesome!
Now we only have to live it :-)

I agree with you. This wealth distribution is the hardest problem on steem and likely to limit its growth.

Well written.

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Thank you, Phil!! :-)
This is the article with most views I've published on the blockchain so far. I hope it was also opened and understood by those who're effectively able to improve the situation.

The graphs by @arcange are great, but they are just a snapshot of one moment in time. If they could show the trend of distribution of stake over time, that would be much more illuminating. What did the stake distribution look like in April '16, and what does it look like now, then attempt to project those trends into the future. Are the largest accounts being proportionally reduced over time due to inflation? Are the smaller accounts gaining? What's the picture like then? Has anyone done this sort of analysis? I've heard that in two years the @steemit account stake will be seriously diminished, proportionally. I'm not all that math savvy or a data analyst of any sort, but this sort of information is needed to have an informed opinion about this platform or make claims as to it's success or failure relative to the redistribution of stake.

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Hey Brandon! So good to see you in my blog :-) Hope everything's fine.
You're completey right, it would be huge to see the distribution over time. I'll try reach out for @arcange and also @paulag, maybe they can provide us with the bigger picture.

Currently @steemit is transferring huge amounts to @misterdelegation, so I guess they're planning to delegate large stakes to new projects. That won't change the situation of the large majority but provide developers with even more influence. But there is no information about their future plans, so we can only guess...:-)

Excellent post - glad to see that my 100% upvote didn't even register me as one of the top few voters!

Also very brave (the first thing I did was check to see who flagged you, none, but then I have to say 'yet!').

Am I comfortable with the fact that 0.1% of accounts control 90% of the power, no.

Am I comfortable with the anonymity that Steemit Inc enjoys, as referred to in many of the comments, no.

I'll probably read through some of the comments at my leisure and chip in over the coming week. Just wanted to say great post, much of this needed to be said!

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Excellent post - glad to see that my 100% upvote didn't even register me as one of the top few voters!

Haha, it's been highly appreciated anyways! :-)

Thanks for your compliment. I know that I don't earn 'popularity points' from most of the whales for posts such as this one here. But guess how much I care about that! :-) It has to be said. Exactly.

Enjoy reading the comments, I'm still with it as you can see :-)

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Thanks for replying - it must take you quite a while to get through them all!

Great post, thanks for sharing. I really think you make some good points and I share your views. Since I started on the platform I really felt there was a big twist in how many users have great voting power. The latest slogan for steemit really fits this. You will need to have money to really matter in this platform. The only thing newcomers can do is to either invest or hope for an upvote from a whale.

I have to admit, at first I read the slogan different, that money gets people to talk. That isn't wrong, but the other way around, money is power, fits the platform even more.

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Hey Nicklas! First of all: nice avatar :-)

You will need to have money to really matter in this platform.

Currently it's like that. Only browsing throught this thread of comments, it seems that there are quite a few people who disagree with this situation. That's a good sign!

Hmmm... feathers ruffled all about? Personally I feel I AM a part of a great community inside of a much larger community that I've yet to explore. I have a list I follow and very much enjoy coming on daily and interacting with "my online friends." When I started I had dreams of course but I never dreamed I'd be where I am now followers, friends, wallet etc. I know there's a whole lot of mixed emotions here on steemit within subjects but one chooses to participate or not. If I woke tomorrow and steemit was gone for some reason well that would suck but somethin' else would come along just as steemit has. I'll look back on my progress in the future and be just as amazed as I am now and have added many more wonderful people to my life. Let the energy flow through and out of you instead of harboring within' and enjoy your steem journey. There are many more behind you who've yet to start theirs. Hell, I not sure if this even relates to the topic but it's what came to mind after reading through the comments. See you guys around, steem on, and get outside for some good ole' sunshine! :)

The platform is absolutely valuable, but it's like a supermarket that gets filled with product. The fruits of Steemit are the people and their content. --

• Sure we could all stand on the side of the road selling apples, but we're gonna sell way more if we are in the grocery store next to all the other fruits :D We see creators as equally as valuable as the investors/developers.

"But it is Together That We Prevail" - Dwight Schrute

We're all needed here.

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The Fruits - yay! My favourite band!! So you finally found your way to steemit, awesome! Followed and big hugs to @drewsmusic :-)

Steemit and the community here for sure struggles with popularity and giving wealth to those already popular. It seriously reminds me of everything we currently live in where money = power and you see this clear as day here. However there are a few good people here and the community has pulled together a number of times, But there is still corruption always will be but I choose to look at all the positive things steem has done and try to flag the ones that promote spam, negativity and downright bad things. It is an important and very big topic for sure and I highly value you shedding some light on it.

I am curious to see a true system where everyone voting power was the same and no self voting was allowed. It would be rough lol

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It seriously reminds me of everything we currently live in where money = power and you see this clear as day here.

That's how it looks like, yes.
I'm not saying that there is nothing positive at this place. You know me a bit, I'm probably one of the most positive people in this network :-) Still we shouldn't close our eyes to the direction this takes.

I am curious to see a true system where everyone voting power was the same and no self voting was allowed.

That's called wonderland :-))

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It seriously reminds me of everything we currently live in where money = power and you see this clear as day here.

If by "here" you mean "everywhere on Earth", then yes, of course. People desire money, people abhor violence. Of course money yields power, and vice versa. Did you think a blockchain or network would change that?

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Wishful thinking!
No Blockchain will change the human urge for power nor the gene of greed!
I still believe that some people can change the world....

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That's what happens when people join a new system of rewards with the mindset of the old. They turn it into one of the same crap, because they are unwilling to change. Remember the Puritanistic societies of pilgrims in early American history?

Well written @surfermarly - just to summarise it, in the past all has been better :-)?

What would be a solution then? I think no matter if centralised or de-centralized power rules anything, Steemit is no different but still offers everyone a voice and opportunity. If you want more influence you need to powerup , if you want more rewards you need to create relations. Not sure how the power or influence should be spread in a different way, by certain rules people will say communism. There is no sole solution I think.

You talk about the original Steem vision, which one is that?

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My grandfather used to say in the past everything was much better. I don't think that this was the whole truth, I mean he even was a prisoner of war once! Anyways...

One solution would be to seperate SP from influence/VP. Not sure if you remember the experiment from @abit and @smooth: that's been a great case study which perfectly showed what could happen if we distributed VP differently. Curating suddenly became fun!

You talk about the original Steem vision, which one is that?

Giving value back to those who create value. Creating a REAL free market where equality of opportunity is given, no matter your financial background / buy-in.

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I loved the experiment they handled - the question only is - HOW to implement this separation of SP from Influence, how to define it, who to decide on it? That would probably create a lot wars within the community then too. A public democratic election where every user has one voice maybe? How are sock puppets handled then - hmmm - difficult.

Giving value back to those who create value. Creating a REAL free market where equality of opportunity is given, no matter your financial background / buy-in.

Good vision - challenge: can we define value? "Creating a real free market where equality of opportunity is given, no matter your financial background / buy-in." - nice marketing claim - that is capitalism so it is real isn't it :-)?

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“People will be People”, even on the blockchain! The original vision is : “You have a voice and can keep it there for all future generations to come. That’s an amazing reason to stay on steemit beside my 15-40 payout per article.

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I like your approach but are we really sure this blockchain will last for future generations? Get rid of linear rewards, back to HF 14 or 15 and I see hope. We are all waiting so long for promised features such as communities - where are they, why is there no update? Shall I visit github everyday or just start to be witness too, maybe I hear ore then?

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Oh well ...let’s see what EOS can change 🙀
Nobody can predict the future but for now I write because I enjoy telling my little stories and collecting STEEM I either keep or exchange. It’s that simple. I refuse to focus on the “unfairness” of this platform. We deal with IT every day in our lives. Why would it be different on a social media platform? That’s “wishful” thinking! I am learning to find my place where I can help to create harmony as much as possible.

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So ist es richtig! Daher lass ich meine Emotionen meist aussen vor in letzter Zeit :-)

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Ist auch besser so! Wenn ich los lege, wird’s meistens heavy :) but also misunderstood or maybe even misinterpreted. It’s not easy sometimes when you don’t feel nor see the person you talk to.

https://steemit.com/eos/@inertia/til-dan-larimer-left-steem-because-it-was-unfixable#@dan/re-inertia-til-dan-larimer-left-steem-because-it-was-unfixable-20180113t130002600z

Let us all be different and believe in the same thing: we need community. We need communication. Nobody can change the world. We must do it together.

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Before changing the world I need a drink! This thread really got me :-D

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Weekend is coming! A drink should be okay! ;-)

well, I guess that it is not possible (i think) that everyone has an equal share of the money
the blockchain started wrong and gave a bit to much in the beginning but where now we have it worse then the real world with the 1% owning 99% I have a feeling this is slowly changing
For my feeling there are a whole bunch of people slowly growing their accounts and those are going to be the middle class and that is where we will be different then the real world where this middle class is dissapearing

There is a growing class of people that believe in this blockchain that are slowly but surely building up nice accounts, either by blogging or by buying if they get the chance and this middle class will keep this blockchain alive, not the whales

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Interesting thoughts about this Steem middle class. I hope you're right. Currently they still don't have much influence.

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well they (we) might not have alone but we do together...
we just have to keep blogging, voting and posting and powering up. that way our voices get stronger and so do the ones that we vote for

You have no idea how much I agree with you. The distribution of power is skewed to those with higher SP. This system makes it way too easy to have many who can censor for having an opposite opinion. I'd really like to see a change in the punitive downvoting system.

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Nobody has the power to censor you entries on the blockchain. Even if @ned disapproves of your comment he will have problems deleting it. He maybe could hide your comment on the frontend Steemit. But even he can't just delete it from the blockchain.

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Right, it stays on the blockchain, but who care's if you can't see it on the platform?

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Well, the platform still shows it, just more hidden.

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Is it still searchable while hidden?

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Depends on what kind of hidden:

• Hidden because of downvotes - then yes
• Hidden because the company STINC doesn't display it by software settings - not searchable on steemit but on other frontends
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Thank you! I'm glad you found yourself here.

This system makes it way too easy to have many who can censor for having an opposite opinion.

Correct. It's not representative at all.

Your post is spot on in identifying the 'faults' of Steemit.

What about people who haven't had the possibilities to learn how to code, but who know how to use this blockchain in order to create outstanding content? What about people who don't have hundreds of thousands of dollars to invest into cryptocurrencies, but who possess extraordinary skills and talents that enable them to inspire, motivate and support others? What about people who are great community builders just because they have a strong social consciousness?
Apparently we want to keep these people out of our 'free community' because they're not rich or nerdy enough.

Still we need them to brighten our numbers...

I don't even look at the trending page. It seems that the individuals on trending are developers or 'early-adopters' to Steemit. These are the individuals deciding what 'quality' content should be rewarded because they have the power to do so. Yes, we should support every one of the aforementioned if they provide content or 'message' worth supporting. I believe everyone should receive their due respect.

How about the astonishingly high percentage of Steemians out there with beautiful minds that go unrecognized? The ones with beautiful stories, intentions, and are inspirations to others on here? Their value is not any less because they bought in late into the game or do not have the technical skillset to succeed with utopian support. Why are their voices just specks in this blockchain history?

I heard rumors of Dan wanting to build a platform like Steemit on EOS. If the 'faults' of Steemit along with the blatant reward pool abuse are addressed on this new platform (if it gets developed), I would think there will be many undervalued people on here jumping ship.

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I heard rumors of Dan wanting to build a platform like Steemit on EOS. If the 'faults' of Steemit along with the blatant reward pool abuse are addressed on this new platform (if it gets developed), I would think there will be many undervalued people on here jumping ship.

That wouldn't surprise me much.

This post needed to be made and made well it has! Resteeming!

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You make a good point here about those of us that struggle to move up the food chain. Having worked for days at writing some pretty decent articles only to make a under \$10.00 is discouraging. So much so that I rarely bother to put in the effort any more. I have a couple of really good witnesses that look out for me.
I am sure this might change if I was a regular on discord or understood coding and computer chat, guess I prefer the old fashioned way of writing.
I think this was what you were referring to in your original statement.

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Thanks for stopping by!
Well a quick look at the trending pages shows where the money goes. Those who hold large stakes have no interest in supporting smaller accounts since it's not lucrative for them (low curation rewards). Also Steemit Inc primarily delegates large amounts of Steem to developers, but many of those don't use their VP to support smaller accounts eather. If the most powerful don't live a different spirit and act as role models, nothing will ever change.

Wow. Great post. I wish that Steemit would get rid of the numbers, numbers that show power, ex. wallets or your reputation or how much your vote is worth, because power is very popular and most votes go to the popularity even if the content is not that great. And then the good content doesn't get recognized because there is luck of power. Now, there are amazing people and project that help the new people or try to find good content posts, but still the power is running the whole show and I don't think it is really helping this platform.
Can you imagine if we could not see peoples wallets or their power, what this platform would look like. We all would share our hearts and desires and help everyone and the new people would have a chance and would actually stay here in this community which really makes this community grow. We would speak from the heart and everyone would have a voice.

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Hiding numbers completely is a mistake. Anyone should always be able to see them when he goes inside a post and perhaps presses a "show spoiler" box or sosmething.

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Thank you @joalvarez! You're one of my loyal followers, and I always appreciate your thoughts :-)

Now, there are amazing people and project that help the new people or try to find good content posts

Correct! And I believe that there need to be more of them.
Nobody asks for equality of wealth, but what we need is a more balanced influence on the distribution.

You can follow the progress of Steemit Inc's projects on Github but a normal user would never understand what's written there.

Well, I'm a developer and I can't understand what's written in there as well...

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Haha, now that really scares me :-))

Yes, inequality is a problem on Steem. I don't think it was better in the beginning. Minnows didn't have any voting power at all when the reward distribution was exponential.

Luckily, the slogan has been changed back to "Your voice is worth something". At least, that's what I'm seeing now when I'm not logged in.

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That's weird now. I see the new one :-)

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actions always speak louder XD

I am ok with characterization for identity, but i am not ok when some one does it to show superiority over other.

Those who have power on steemit, dictates and put's his terms and conditions on the platform. I have seen many such cases on this platform. Yesterday i came across a case where a big whale downvoted all of his competitors posts to zero. This is clearly not healthy for the platform. Would not like to name anybody because we all have to stay in this small community together.

Before joining steemit what i had learned about this platform was that you are going to get paid to write articles. The more good your article is the better your payment will be. But after joining steemit i realized it is a completely different animal to tame. Along with writing good posts one has to spend his time here forming communities. And Also building strategies is very important for success.

In real world the rich 1% hold's most of the worlds wealth. On steem blockchain it is nothing different. Wealth concentration among just 35 whales is just a confirmation of that. This wealth concentration might actually prove disastrous for steemit. If a whale decides to power down completely then he ends up destroying the price of steem. This would in return create losses to others.

I believe with time things will improve. I believe there will be a proper wealth distribution among all steemians. I believe in return a proper wealth distribution will help in the growth of this platform.

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Wealth concentration among just 35 whales is just a confirmation of that. This wealth concentration might actually prove disastrous for steemit.

I'm actually not concerned about their wealth. They surely worked hard for their money.
It's rather alarming that these few have almost complete control over the influence on the platform. If only a small group is able to decide on what's trending or not, the result is not very representative in the end. Someone who joins the platform and is able to create amazing content may not even be heard if they don't buy themselves in with a decent amount of Steem.

Even if you spend half of your day in chatrooms 'networking', that's still no guarantee to be seen on the site. Besides that from my personal point of view chatrooms are just a waste of time, but that's my personal opinion :-)

If I could address two wishes then these would be:

• redistributing VP towards smaller accounts and
• reorganize the content structure, turning down trending pages sorted by payout and organizing content according to fields of interest instead.

Then equality of opportunity would be reinstalled.

@surfermarley I've read somewhere about the research conducted by some economists where they proved that even if the global wealth were divided equally among the people, in a span of three or something years, it would have been redistributed again and the rich and the poor would appear. In other words, equality is a kind of eutopia.

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Agreed.

So how do we maintain equality of voice or vote, even when inequality of wealth resurfaces over and over? We should be able to maintain the ability to determine our direction, if not our progress, because the opportunity to do so exists. That guarantees nothing, but if the opportunities disappear for whatever reasons, then we're right back where we started and where we still are outside the Steemit ecosystem.

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So how do we maintain equality of voice or vote, even when inequality of wealth resurfaces over and over?

Great question I had to vote with 100%! :-)
The differentiation between equality of opportunity and equality of wealth is very important here. This is not about judging those who invested, but judging the system that provides them with more influence.

I guess one solution would be to disconnect SP and VP, while payouts are shared 50/50 between creators vs. curators. An investor needs to have a solid reason to invest (besides speculation). If it's not an increasing VP, then rise in curation rewards. Does that make sense?

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I need to ask good questions more often! :)

I guess one solution would be to disconnect SP and VP, while payouts are shared 50/50 between creators vs. curators. An investor needs to have a solid reason to invest (besides speculation). If it's not an increasing VP, then rise in curation rewards.

You ask if this makes sense. If you're saying that steem power needs to be disconnected from voting power so that someone buying in doesn't just power up and become dominant, like we've seen happen over the last few months, then I understood what you said.

Also, if the investor gets an increased amount of reward through curation, I can see where they make more Steem, which could be converted to SP for more curation.

But essentially, an investor can't grow voting power? Or by extension, no one else? What increases VP I guess is what I don't see yet. :)

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What increases VP I guess is what I don't see yet. :)

It hasn't been defined yet :-)
Activity? Contribution? Community building? Social integrity? How can we measure that? I have no idea! But we can start working on it.

I love this thread, so many cool and valuable conversations! I'll need a week to answer all the comments, but that's alright :)

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I reckon that the whole concept of equality doesn't correlate with the human nature because mankind strives for inequality. Until we get to a new stage of evolution, there always be a social gradation. Moreover, the equality is impossible in certain spheres of the society, like the army, the business etc.

In all of human history there has been inequality in terms of the "haves and the have-nots". This had been a sad fact of the human condition since the days when we lived in caves and being "rich" was defined by how much food you could provide.

I came to Steemit pretty late in the game here, I can see that. I do not bemoan this fact. It would be pointless and a waste of my semi-valuable time. And yes, what drew me was the fact that you could make money doing it. I had always wanted to write and, hey why not.
What I found here is an amazing community of people who do want to help and listen to people like me, even if I don't make much. Being on Steemit is worth it just for not having to listen to the partisan political talking-heads that are in my face every day.

I will never be a whale. Yes, I've had one really good post payout and yes, I do have a post that made the top 10 Google search results. Despite this I've made little "money". At this point, I can only ever hope one day MAYBE a dolphin. But is this something I can change? Perhaps, if I'm really lucky, but not likely. In the end I, like so many others who are like me and not even red fish, we can only grind out what small measure of value and reward we can. I'm now putting it all into SP so that maybe, one day, I can say that Steemit was part of the reason I am financially successful. I believe it can happen.
Yes there is a disparity between the high level accounts and low level ones when it comes to earnings and voting potential. This is a natural result of the human condition. In the end, whether my writing was of a caliber to warrant serious attention or just so much crap that should have ended up in the trash, it will be there as long as the blockchain survives.

Has Steemit moved away from it's original goals? I don't know. I wasn't here when those goals were laid down. All I know is, for now, Steemit is the only place I can go where it feels like people are listening to what I'm saying.

Even if I am just taking to myself.
Peace

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Yes there is a disparity between the high level accounts and low level ones when it comes to earnings and voting potential. This is a natural result of the human condition.

Isn't it a bit too easy to say: Yeah well it's always been like that.
I'm actually here because I believed that things would be different.
That's at least what this place is selling: "the new world". But in fact there is no new world.

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Yeah, it really is too easy to say that, but it doesn't change the fact it's true. I'm not saying it's not a problem, but, in any free market conditions, the natural result is that, those who hold the stake, hold the power.
I was having a discussion last night with a friend on Discord who made the statement that "whales control the crypto markets". My only reply to that is that whales control the world. Always have, and, until something truly changes in the way humanity views wealth and possessions, always will.
Is there a simple answer to this? I don't know. It seems to me that there are a lot of groups on Steemit trying to help the little guys who are fighting just to get seen. A change in the way rewards are given out could be the answer, but that has to be weighed against any possible effects on the market.
I'm just a little... (Am I even plankton? Lol), in a big pond. I have high hopes for Steemit but it remains to be seen whether or not the "rewards" system for Steemit will remain viable when Steemit has 1 million users.... Or a billion.

That's valid point. Everywhere the richer and power holders are dominant on the poor ones. The rich are becoming more richer and the poor becoming poorer. Not only in the real world but at every online earning stations like steemit. I'm struggling to increase my SP and reputation, but the one which has money can buy it quite easily. What else we can do...

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What else we can do...

We can write articles about it, spread the word and get things changed :-)

I'm still fairly new to Steem[It] myself, and not entirely sure how the silly thing works. :-) However, I did just get a brain-dump crash course from @lukestokes last week on the whole SteemPower mechanism, the voting, Witnesses, etc.

And I gotta say, for all the blockchain egalitarian anarchy talk it's remarkable how it seems designed to create a win-more scenario, just like meat-space economics.

The more Steem you get, the more Steem Power you're able to get. The more Steem Power, the more you can control the conversation. Most people can't read all posts to see what's valuable to them (obviously), and that will only get worse over time (obviously), so that makes such "high-value moderators" all the more powerful. That creates a feedback loop just as effectively as it does in traditional economics, even if everyone is acting in good faith. The echo chamber is built in.

And with rewards going to those that are popular and noticed, that only serves to encourage the echo chamber even more. The more you have the more you can spend, the more you can spend the more you are able to get. Just by creating friend circles and upvoting things that you agree with (which, again, normal humans will do even when acting in the best of intentions) it creates an echo chamber.

And then, of course, the payout for Witnesses is far beyond what "mere" content creators get. So even there we have a clear stratification. From the charts you have above it's clear it's already happened/happening.

I don't think it's avoidable, really. The win-more intrinsic in almost any social or economic structure unless there are active efforts and structures and rules in place to counter-act it, and those always get opposed by those who would be most restrained by them and by those that would like to think they'll be in a position to be restrained by them later.

We'll see if SteemIt manages to avoid the fate of every other economic structure in history. So far it doesn't look like it, but the night is young...

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I don't think it's avoidable, really. The win-more intrinsic in almost any social or economic structure unless there are active efforts and structures and rules in place to counter-act it, and those always get opposed by those who would be most restrained by them and by those that would like to think they'll be in a position to be restrained by them later.

Maybe you're right.
What I don't like about it is that some people say that it's never been their intention. Like: "We didn't make it, so let's say it's never been our aim."

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I can't speak for the Steem devs, but it may well have not been their intention or aim to create yet another win-more economy. That could be a very honest statement. That doesn't mean they haven't created one anyway, inadvertently, and now we need to figure out what to do with it.

(Just as I'm sure Jack Dorsey didn't intend to create the greatest harassment tool ever envisioned, but he did, and now we need to figure out what to do with it.)

Really Love ❤️the post and your "voice in the wilderness" @surfermarly.

I'm a very small plankton in this ecosystem. Truth I'd rather be here than on FB or Linked (which I am in with a few thousand friends / followers) and not get paid a cent.

Don't get me wrong, I believe they are all created for a certain reason to meet different needs I know.

Steemit is quite monopolized like any national economy. It tells everyone they have fair game but it is naturally not. However, each person still has a chance of influence, a chance for a voice, a chance to be made known. It just takes time.

Call me naive, but I'm enjoying my first month on Steemit it's the most "Encouraging" community on planet earth. Perhaps, that's what it should be rebranded. LOL.

Let our voices be seen, heard.
Keep on sharing. 😊👍🏻👍🏻I'm following you!

in our economy wealth is supposed to trickle down, but this inevitably translates to the majority of the people having to settle for the scraps. As others have said, we do have a voice, but without significant power in the form of Steem, it is hard to be heard. We have a choice to buy Steem and/or to earn it. For those that cannot afford to buy it, we must help each other be heard and our words to be discovered. We have a limited amount of voting power, so I say use upvoting wisely and use some of it to help those starting out, and those with great content and something wise and good to say

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We have a choice to buy Steem and/or to earn it.

It's actually not a choice whether we earn Steem or not - since it's not mainly in our own hands to decide on how much we get from the cake, unless we upvote our own content :-)

Many factors have an influence on the distribution of rewards, such as timing e.g. What's definitely in our hands is the distribution of power that leads to distribution of rewards in the end - so there is our regulating screw!

According to the Steem white p