A case for autovoters

in steem •  11 days ago

Autovoting gets a very bad rap on Steem by some people and in the past, me included. However, this is generally based on some forms of autovoting patterns rather than the possibility of setting autovoters to create a healthier environment. Some think that there is no space for automated voting at all but, I disagree with this view.

Most of the negative views for automated voting comes from the circlejerk abuse where content isn't considered at all and the autovote is more of an arrangement, perhaps even a paid one or, a reciprocal one where votes are traded to keep self-voting numbers down but essentially, self-voting. Yeah, these are likely negatives.

However, there are positives to autovoting too.

Imagine being convinced to give to a charity to help some children get access to basic education in a poor country. For whatever personal reasons, you have decided that it is a good cause and worthy of donating to monthly. Do you need to be convinced every month? Do you need to have the concept resold to you and, if it was resold every month, would you become desensitized? Most likely, you might still want to give though so the charity spiel is not necessary at all. Automate your charitable vote instead and make it a monthly automated deduction.

I see it the same on Steem when it comes to value adding producers. Rather than needing to be convinced each and every article as to the value, if one observes for some period, builds up a track record view and decides, that is an account worth supporting, automate support. Of course, these days it doesn't have to be like the old days where there was no limit on the autovote as autovoting tools can be set to vote, once a day or, twice a day etc.

The thing is that the space is growing and it is very hard for those with active SP to continually keep finding new potentials to support if they have to read every piece of the people they already trust. Of course, setting an autovote doesn't mean one can't read and engage with it, nor check up from time to time either, it just means that if one is busy, away, has other things going on, the accounts that are seen as adding value to the blockchain in some way are able to keep doing what they do.

There is another thing that the autovote can support an that is the desensitization to certain content types that add value but, aren't necessarily value adding to everyone at the same time. For example, a potential autovoter might find my content interesting and useful but might grow out of it however, it might still be helpful to a whole range of other people dailyy, just not the one with larger SP. My content that aims to get smaller accounts up to speed in some areas isn't going to be of interest to seasoned users but, it does have value to those seasoned users in the way it could help develop the community position for a more valuable future.

A large account doesn't need to get direct value out of everything I post, they just need to be able to trust that I am adding value often enough to the community to be worthy of their support. Some people think that this shouldn't happen and each article should be taken on a case by case example but, it is kind of like in the work place on a retainer or, as I see it, having patrons.

In the past, patrons would allow artists and scientists to work independently by providing some kind of steady support so the artist didn't have to continually chase for a meal but instead, could continually create. This patronage was earned however, it wasn't offered blindly nor was it certain. If an artist or scientist started to get lazy and not deliver value adding content often enough, support was withdrawn.

In my opinion, there should be some more patrons on Steem but, that takes a lot of trust, which is in surprisingly short supply on this platform considering, it is a community that is meant to be built on coded trust. There are some people however here who are consistently creating and adding masses of value to the system or community but have to fight for each cent with each article. Considering this is the immutable blockchain, it is like track record means nothing.

As I wrote the other day, the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior and this means that the track record matters. Not the little ups and downs and dalliances here and there but, the line of best fit over time. There are some accounts that if one could see the affect they have on the community, there would be a high average of added value and for others, a much lower return on their content. Some who get supported very highly could add almost zero value to the community too and there are several such stand out accounts.

Look at how fast an account can be affected by price and you will see who continually pushes for adding value and who doesn't. Look at how fast some who were high earners producing quality drop away their content quality once their earnings fall. Consistency matters and if you can't maintain behavioral consistency through thick and thin, why would an autovoter support through thick and thin? In my opinion, healthy autovoting is like a healthy marriage, you don't need to be in sight of the other person to be trusted.

Again, this is like the charity case. If you do your duty of care, get convinced that it is a good organisation and a good cause, the automation of giving means that not only do you not have to think too much about it often and can get on with other things but, they don't have to worry about maintaining you for loyalty to them, they can use their resources more effectively and maximize what they do to help others.

The model for getting paid for internet content is changing from a 'for free' system powered by advertising revenue to one where producers are rewarded directly but, this also has some issues if the you are only as good as your last piece attitude reigns. That is the attitude of advertisers who have no loyalty and will destroy a career that no longer helps them, even if it still adds value to others. This process will burn potential rather than support it.

What I think at Steem is that we can be a driving force of pushing a model of content valuation that can spread to all but, those who consistently deliver value will be pinpointed and supported adequately. Not only does it mean they can continue on, it means they become beacons for others to benchmark what it takes and, also bounce their talent upon.

Everyone here wants to have some level of guaranteed support but, how many really deliver consistently enough often enough to warrant it? I would say that many autovoters miss supporting value adding accounts but, some do a very good job of identifying and offering patronage too. It isn't a clear cut case of 'all automation is bad' as there are times where automation helps us all, even if we do not realize it directly.

I do think that more of the autovoters should have a look through their lists and consider shifting support a little to find those who add value time and time again. I also think that some of the autovoters should stop autovoting almost completely and instead engage with the community as far too many autovoters are small accounts looking to grow but, unwilling to interact.

For the little bits of automated support I get I am immensely grateful for however and I hope that it will increase over time so that I don't have to sing for my supper forever. Some people think that I take content too seriously but in my opinion, if I want people to support me in some way, they need to trust me in some way and if I can't remain consistent over time, how can I be trusted?

As said, this is a platform of relationships. Trust is critical and it is built on more than one article.

Taraz
[ a Steem original ]

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As you already know, I have been experimenting with a bit of automated curation myself with an alt account. Specifically, I am working on preventing certain comment votes from coming in under the dust threshold.

In my view, curation is currently best done with specific users in mind rather than content: users we don't want to lose; users who, while their stake may be low, will bring value to the platform through their continued engagement.

Right now the incentive is simply not there to engage for these people, unless they are blissfully ignorant of the dust threshold. Comments usually only receive one vote (from the person on whose post they are made). Once these engaging low-SP users find out that their 100% vote (or that of a majority of their followers) is completely wasted on a comment, I can see them coming to the conclusion: "why even bother?"

I understand that there are those who feel that automated curation is the devil, and I suspect I won't win popularity with those people by doing this, but I do hope that my intentions are well-received.

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In my view, curation is currently best done with specific users in mind rather than content: users we don't want to lose; users who, while their stake may be low, will bring value to the platform through their continued engagement.

This is what I think too. And if it happens at all levels it creates a healthier system all up. It is difficult to find balances and, everyone thinks that they bring value and quality to the table (I get DMs a couple times a day) and that they are under-rewarded. It is impossible for everyone to consistently get support but if the place can't keep the people it wants to keep, there are going to be bigger issues to come.

I understand that there are those who feel that automated curation is the devil, and I suspect I won't win popularity with those people by doing this, but I do hope that my intentions are well-received.

There is just no way to do what you have been doing manually either.

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Honestly, I don't believe in autovoting. I don't use any programs to autovote others, although I have noticed I am on some people's autovotes (I must be, since their votes pop in quite soon after I publish, regardless of hour, type of post etc). And while I'm grateful to them, of course, it does kinda make me sad that people don't really read what you write. I mean, it's awesome to know someone thought you were good enough to say yeah, they' probably put out good stuff in the future too and I'll automatically vote them, but still.
When you put 3 hours into a post, you kinda want someone to read it.

And I don't think it even matters, in regard to what you said about high earners dropping their quality when prices drop. I guess that's true for some, but there are a lot of others on here who don't really add to the value of the community, who post random stuff, knowing they'll get big votes anyway.
And then there are the people for whom the price drop actually makes a difference. I mean sure, if you earn a lot or at least a decent amount on each post, then a slight drop in Bitcoin won't affect you as much. Besides, you have more to lose if you stop posting when times get rough.
But if you're earning meagerly anyway, if Bitcoin drops, turning your payouts to peanuts, why bother?
There's a lot of very understandable frustration on this platform - a lot of people write quality content, yet they get 30 cents. And then they look over at some whale who gets 30 dollars for a pretty picture. How are these people supposed to stay motivated?

I think I've gone a bit off track here, sorry, but it just flowed. Sorry for making you read this huge comment, sir.

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And while I'm grateful to them, of course, it does kinda make me sad that people don't really read what you write.

See it as them supporting you to continue writing so that those that do read and enjoy you can continue to.

but there are a lot of others on here who don't really add to the value of the community, who post random stuff, knowing they'll get big votes anyway.

This is the unhealthy side of autovoting most focus on. There is other ways to run an autovote.

But if you're earning meagerly anyway, if Bitcoin drops, turning your payouts to peanuts, why bother?

This is the difference between an entrepreneur and a worker perhaps. Entrepreneurs will bother.

I think I've gone a bit off track here, sorry, but it just flowed. Sorry for making you read this huge comment, sir.

Look at the list, this is a short one :D

As someone who does manual curation exclusively, I totally understand those who Auto vote. Manual Curation is extremely time consuming and inefficient. I guess they are both flawed in a way so it is best left to the individual user to decide

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I have cast 38423 votes with 99% manual. The other 1% were trialling options. I know what you mean :)

Incredibly sensible and great metaphor but I don't think its strictly an accurate one.
Sadly, not everyone writes quality articles time after time like yourself and the number 1 issue on this whole site is that very few people read.
There are dozens of initiatives to get people upvotes automatically simply for turning up. This I find completely wrong.
You and many others point out that quality content is of the ultimate and singular importance. I think you're wrong.
People like me who like to read are the customers, and it is we who are the most important. If it weren't for the readers and consumers; The customers - The content providers would be talking to themselves and the autovoting would be much worse, a load of writers just upvoting each other and slapping each other on the back and telling themselves how talented they are.
Steem is sold as a content rich platform, its also sold as a form of social media, as I repeat many times, its a million different things to a million different people so there is no 'catch-all' solution.
However, I want the human element. I want to read and tell someone I like this, I found it interesting and informative. Auto voting and AI will be the death of Steemit. We will have auto respun articles,being autovoted by bots and the owners of said bots counting their vast rewards.
Steemit will not be empowering to the masses, it will empowering to the few. This sounds sadly familiar and links back to what we were talking about earlier.
There is precious little trust in this community. The wealthy technocrats get wealthier, the strugglers devise ever more spammy and devious ways to get the few crumbs dropped for them.
There is no utopian dream being played out here or in Crypto in general, just the same greed but with different protagonists.
On a more positive note, there are some wonderful humans and brilliant writers, but no where near enough.
What to do? Creation and manual curation. 50/50 reward split. Creators able to earn bonuses for the genuine @tarazkp style of answering and engaging to sincere commenters.
..and lets have the number of views metric back on posts. This is the most important metric and strangely disappeared. If I were a conspiracy theorist, and Im not, Id say this was done on purpose to stop people easily creating corellation between views and votes....
Another eminantly sensible and well thought out post again my friend but only valid for you and a handful of others on here I think.

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Sadly, not everyone writes quality articles time after time like yourself and the number 1 issue on this whole site is that very few people read.

This is true but it goes back to what people are here for. Most aren't here to read, they want to earn.

However, I want the human element. I want to read and tell someone I like this, I found it interesting and informative.

Can you reward them so they can keep producing interesting content for you exclusively? This is the problem with decent series being tossed by networks because they 'don't appeal' widely enough.

People like me who like to read are the customers,

On other platforms, the customer offers value because of ad revenue, that is the only way. (patreon is a little different). Here however, the customer can only add value to an author through direct contribution but, how many can? People want quality content to consume but are used to not paying the direct cost of consuming it. This is the current internet model. Free information and a churn and burn mindset for the producers of it.

..and lets have the number of views metric back on posts.

You mean the one that never worked? It was broken and was not indicative of actual views plus, it was gameable and would update on every refresh by the author themselves. I would say that many of the view counters online are BS.

Another eminantly sensible and well thought out post again my friend but only valid for you and a handful of others on here I think.

It is valid for anyone looking to build a career here in my opinion. Anyone who thinks they are an artist deserving of support, anyone who creates anything they think has value. If they can't produce somewhat consistently here, they aren't likely to do so consistently anywhere. Track record.

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Thanks for the reply once more.
So you see Steemit (as opposed to the blockchain itself) as a career opportunity? You see it as simply a place to provide content as opposed to a social media platform? Can I ask then what are your thoughts on the various social media imitation style DApps on the chain, such as musing and steepshot, zapple, dlike etc etc ? Personally I love them as my preference is for a social media experience, but Id prefer more control over what appears on my 'wall', so how does this compare to your own personal ideal for Steemits future and your preferred use ?
PS I didnt know the views didnt work properly and could be gamed. Thanks for that, no one has ever mentioned it to me before.

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So you see Steemit (as opposed to the blockchain itself) as a career opportunity?

I see Steemit as a part of the blockchain. For some, it might be a career here, for others it might be somewhere else. With the exapansion of blockchain in general though, the possibility to learn on the ground floor now and turn it into a new career is immense.

The Dapps, that imitate now are essentially targeting low-hanging fruit in many respects but, it makes for easier transitions over to the technology for average consumers. ItLater, there are going to be new Dapps that will become more specif purpose and probably, much less social in many respects. Perhaps they will be industry specific more than catchalls.

PS I didnt know the views didnt work properly and could be gamed. Thanks for that, no one has ever mentioned it to me before.

Not many people did realise. They thought it was a coverup. If you consider Youtube views, how easy would it be for a media advertising company to game the view counter? A bank of computers on repeat, some VPNs, rolling IPs? Gangnam style... :)

From my experience, Steemit is about relationships. One builds trust and nurtures that seed. I do get a few autovotes as well and appreciate them, however I fear they do not nurture the relationship and are a convenience to the person voting. I appreciate the autovotes, but do try to continue to develop those relationships when I can. I see the arguments both ways. I suppose one must find a good blend. Thanks @tarazkp

I agree but that doesn't mean if you autovote you don't read the posts and comment as well. If you have your account lined up on autovote for example I know you appreciate the vote but it would be nice to get a comment every now and again. Not many do that and I have a couple that I don't even know who they are.

There is a case for it one simply does not have the time to do manual curation (like me). I auto-vote several accounts and have no shame in doing it either, otherwise my VP would be rattling 100% too often and I don't want that.

I was auto-voting you for a while too..

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I auto-vote several accounts and have no shame in doing it either, otherwise my VP would be rattling 100% too often and I don't want that.

As I have said a few times. I would rather active VP used in this way on decent accounts rather than going to bidbot pulls.

I was auto-voting you for a while too..

I wish everyone did. Less comments to answer :P

I see positives and negatives but i feel like once you know the material an author produces , it is okay to have them on your autovote but check up on them once in a while. I have only 1 person @nanzo,scoop who autovotes me and I'm beyond thankful for having this sort of trust on my side for consistency and good material

i like this article better! I use steempeak so i'm following your posts either by bookmark or maybe i pushed the star next to your name.

I agree certainly a case for support via autovote but does need checking up on. I think there's room for it.

When I sign up my real life human friends these days with the Steem I earned, I set their accounts to autovote my content. Is that wrong? They only have 3SP lol But i do encourage them to get on the blockchain and interact with others.

I obviously have my own opinion of my own content, but regardless of the opinion, it is 100% original, no fake spam, no repeats, unique content in the form of daily life activities, and the growth of my first year garden farm. Much like your posts, and your brothers well written posts, my posts add their own flavor of content to the blockchain, and consistently at that.

Persistence is still key here for a minnow.

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Some myths:

Voting on rewards is comparable to donating, the same type of fallacious thinking that argues apples are oranges or that the borders to your property are the same as the borders to a country, all of it is the same error of thinking or a false analogy. To strike this like a gong, loud and clear, it's exactly like donating the water condensate from your AC, or the parking spot assigned to you at work, or the bandwidth from your mobile, yeah they are nice "considerations" but none of those cost you anything.

SP is being "wasted". Ultimately curating isn't about using your sp every time it gets to 100%, and all it promotes is a clusterfuck of automation. When you don't have the incessant need to maximize profits, you give others a chance to reward more, so the myth that is wasted clearly stinks. If you don't vote, others have more shares to allocate with their votes. If you incessantly vote without even consuming or least considering the content then you cannot escape the consequences which are in the form of the garbage that is voted and also in turn the diminished shares others have at their disposal.

I think that if you're here for the greed you ought to go fuck off, it doesn't matter where to, most likely when the price soars you'll get the fuck out and forget about the rest, and as far as those investors engaging with the community, the only thing of value from them in my opinion is complete, total disengagement.

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Voting on rewards is comparable to donating,

I didn't say this. The process of needing to make the decision each time is similar.

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Automate your charitable vote instead and make it a monthly automated deduction.

Automate your charitable parking space schedule sharing, automate your charitable Air Conditioner water condensate distribution, Automate your Charitable mobile bandwidth schedule.

Tell me, is automating a function of Curation not by default invalidate the premise of the function? Tell me, is it healthy to the rest of the users to use your VP simply because it's given and it reloads? Is it OK to share your parking space on a automated schedule, or your mobile bandwidth, or your AC condensate?

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do you understand how paragraphs work? one topic?

Each time you make a decision to choose to donate to one charity of another or any charity at all, you are picking a candidate for your action. I used the word vote in context to the bigger picture to tie things together and as far as Steem goes, why would I use the term deduction?

Tell me, is automating a function of Curation not by default invalidate the premise of the function? Tell me, is it healthy to the rest of the users to use your VP simply because it's given and it reloads? Is it OK to share your parking space on a automated schedule, or your mobile bandwidth, or your AC condensate?

As for this, normally you make some sense but this doesn't, at least to me. Which function of curation are you talking about and which premise?

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That's my fault, it should read

is automating the function of Curation not by default invalidate the premise of the function?

The premise of the function is that you
Consider what you're curating and that you've reached that consideration by actually spending your attention.

To go back to your premise, that you don't need to consider the "charity" each time, that you've been convinced and don't need to be convinced all over again, exactly what "bigger" picture are you talking about? The one where your Voting Power is constantly being "wasted" when it's not in use, or the big picture where if you don't distribute the unused bandwidth from your mobile it's being wasted as opposed to "donated", or the one where if you don't pipe your Air Conditioner water condensate to a bird bath overfilling into the strawberry planter that drains into the tree outside, it's wasted, or when you don't donate your unused parking space to the homeless people? Ermm I got carried away there, but the point remains that there's no such comparable "charity" because each and every piece of content needs to be consumed, and considered in turn, and by not voting you're letting OTHERS reward content, and equating FREE SHIT to self sacrifice is a tale tell sign of a pathological greed, soon enough you will brush this aside as if FORMATING had anything to do with it or that somehow there is a place for automating social interactions.

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Nope, you have missed the point and completely ignored the section about patrons. My parents owned a gallery when I was a kid in a small town, they sponsored a few local artists so they had some space to create without having to worry about working for food and a roof. They didn't check every piece of art, they didn't peek over their shoulder to make sure they were doing 'right', they gave them space.

It is a position based on trust that gets reviewed from time to time. This is what patrons do. In so doing, the work of the artists were able to develop and get a much, much wider consuming audience than would likely have been possible without the support.

You want good content, support good content creators by giving them the space to do what they do. I find some people, I vote on some people. In my year and a half here I have cast over 38,000 votes, manually.

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No what? No to everything I said? You're comparing self sacrificing of a patronage to Voting on Steem where you don't sacrifice anything. I don't know how you can evade the fact that automation has no place in social interactions and Goethe function of Curation isn't invalidated when you automate it, or that you've tried again and again to compare apples to oranges and in doing so you've literally made the impression that you neither understand CHARITY, self sacrifice or CURATION.

When the whale experiment was happening I was the first to commend smooth and Anita efforts as self sacrifice and it takes not one iota of wisdom to recognize it as such, yes there's even a comparable example yet you won't be able to defend your "big picture" by expounding how and why a free resource that gives you more of it as you use it in the way you argue can be comparable to a limited resource that diminishes and doesn't automatically replenish. You have no qualms about brushing aside the fact that by not voting you give others a chance to share more of the rewards, it's petty and selfish.

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You're comparing self sacrificing of a patronage to Voting on Steem where you don't sacrifice anything.

What are you talking about no self-sacrifice? I am yet to use a steem of what I have earned here regardless of my real world position and have distributed a hell of a lot more than many other other people who have earned more in much easier ways then myself. It is fine for those without SP to be on a high horse but when it comes to distribution, it is the people with SP who are doing it.

automation has no place in social interactions

voting isn't a social act, it is a transaction.

You have no qualms about brushing aside the fact that by not voting you give others a chance to share more of the rewards, it's petty and selfish.

Ah, you mean leave the pool completely to the bidbots? Interesting method for helping content producers there.

I think its all about preference and agree that the benefits depend on the engagement and value being created. I personally have manually voted 100% since starting. However, there have been times that I know I missed some votes because of my inability to be available. So I do think that there is a good use case to have the option to do so to support users that are consistent. For example, if I ever decide to go a vacation to disconnect, I would like for my voting power to be used while I am unavailable so that may be an option at that point. However, if I am available I prefer to do so manually and engage. Manual curation also allows me to adjust voting weights to ensure my voting power falls too low. I have been doing this more lately to accommodate more curation and support. So like most things, it really depends on the situation...

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So I do think that there is a good use case to have the option to do so to support users that are consistent. For example, if I ever decide to go a vacation to disconnect, I would like for my voting power to be used while I am unavailable so that may be an option at that point.

Ok, I've read this post from top to bottom including each one of the comments here. And I think that in order to make clear my position on the issue of autovoting trails, guilds, and for that matter, any kind of automatisms with regard to the code of conduct and interaction between human beings in what supposedly is a living community within a true social network...

To not make my answer way too long and difficult to grasp. I will use that excerpt above to finish my intervention with a simple reflection and question.

¿How many people here in steemit would care a flying fuck automatize their votes whether they were to be present, absent, on vacations or disconnected to keep "supporting" anyone if they also wouldn't earn a damn through 'curation rewards' by doing so?

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I know quite a few who don't care about curation rewards for various reasons. I know people who have delegated to curators while they go on holiday. I know people who have donated money indirectly and directly. I know people who go out of their way to help others even if it costs them. I know people who consistently fight for others even though it costs them. I know people who have given their, time energy and staked their own reputations to support others. I know people who would be in much better personal positions if they hadn't helped others and I know people who would do it again, even if they knew the personal costs.

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Yep! I am well aware you know a good bunch of people who don't care about curation rewards. Being you one of them and the one that helps the most disinterestedly, I have not the slightest doubt that you have been able to surround yourself with the best and most of them who are like you. :)

But the truth is that the target of my question was not addressed to you specifically. Since at least toward me you've already given me multiple samples repeatedly in what you affirm.

So, it's aimed at everyone else. Because we can not help but think, not even for a single minute, that the majority here are not like you, nor like me, nor like all those you say you know pretty well. ;)

And by the way, did you notice that throughout your response, in no case any of these forms of support correspond to automatisms of any kind? LoL

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I have not the slightest doubt that you have been able to surround yourself with the best and most of them who are like you.

Some of it is luck, some of it is work, some of it is how I have chosen to approach it but I have met some pretty decent people here who work tirelessly for this place.

So, it's aimed at everyone else. Because we can not help but think, not even for a single minute, that the majority here are not like you, nor like me, nor like all those you say you know pretty well.

There are all sorts much like the real world, the difference here is we see them all more easily.

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That's right. We can see them all more easily here.

And that's why I selected a relative newcomer like @newageinv with his comment to elaborate my reply. I bet 95% of all steemians would never think in join an autovote trail/guild if they did not earn even a cent from curation rewards through those 'blind automatic' practices while they were absent.

In fact, I believe that the vast majority wouldn't move a finger and would not have the motivation or will to waste time in it if it were not to get them some kind of financial benefit in return.

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So I do think that there is a good use case to have the option to do so to support users that are consistent.

I think so too. It is some kind of sponsorship. I don't actually do this, I manually vote but I have people I know I can blindly vote on if in a rush and I will support the content if I read it.

So like most things, it really depends on the situation...

Some people can't read situations well ;)