Open Letter to all Steemians - Hardfork 21: Culture Change

in #steem3 years ago (edited)

Hello Everyone. As many of you know, hardfork 21 is next week.

What to expect

This hardfork is going to be a big deal. Not just because of all the economic changes that are going into effect, but because there is an opportunity for us to make a major change.

Hardfork 21 = bad?

I know there is a lot of negativity surrounding this hardfork. There are a lot of people who are concerned about how this will affect the "little guy" (average user) and how it opens up more potential avenues for abuse.

I suspect a lot of people will think that because I am voting in support of the hardfork that I am not listening to these concerns, but I assure you - it is quite the opposite. I am very concerned about those things as well. Despite those concerns, I am still strongly in favor of the hardfork.

In my view, hardfork 21 is exactly what we need in order for all Steemians ("little guy" included) to succeed.

Here is my view

Steem in it's current form is broken. It has tremendous potential, but for whatever reason(s), it has not and is not living up to that potential. It is not broken beyond repair, but we cannot keep doing what we have been doing for the past 3+ years and expect different results. Things need to change.

Stakeholders vs. Users

Our community needs to realize that we need both groups in order to be successful.

  • Users need stakeholders to buy STEEM in order for their rewards to have any value.
  • Users also need stakeholders to vote on their content if they want to earn any rewards.
  • Stakeholders need users to be telling all of their friends and family about how great this place is in order to draw more people to the platform.
  • Stakeholders also need users to produce quality content that attracts outside eyeballs to Steem and shows off the potential of our platform.

Users: Start thinking about what you can do to make this place more attractive for stakeholders.

Stakeholders: Start thinking about what you can do to make this place better for users.

Why is Steem broken?

Blame Steemit for the ninja mine. Blame stakeholders for not putting the needs of the community above their own self interests. Blame witnesses for being lazy and not doing more to improve the platform. Blame users for leaching off the system and producing little of value. Blame Steemit for not making enough improvements to the platform over the years. Blame the "alt coin bear market". Blame abusive stakeholders who drove users away. Blame the lack of marketing.. Blame, blame, blame. There is plenty of it to go around.

Diagnosing Steem's issues

There have been lots of discussions on Steem's issues and what to do about them since before I got here (~3 years ago). There is no shortage of ideas on what is wrong and how to fix it.

I have (literally) spent hundreds of hours hashing out ideas with various stakeholders, other witnesses, and employees of Steemit, Inc. trying to figure out how to fix this place.

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but some of the top issues include:

  • It is too hard for new users to get noticed.
  • The platform is too confusing.
  • Signups are too difficult to onboard at scale.
  • There is a lack of funding (outside of Steemit, Inc.) to pay for community development and marketing.
  • Users who contribute a lot of value are not sufficiently rewarded.
  • Users who don't contribute a lot of value find ways to milk the system.
  • There is not enough of an incentive to buy and hold STEEM.

Hardfork 21

Hardfork 21 does not attempt to solve all of our issues, but it does provide us with tools to make a pretty significant dent in many of them.

Here is how HF21 is supposed to work:

  • Curation is now more profitable, so there is more reason to buy STEEM and power up.
  • Members of the community who have good ideas and are willing to put in work to improve the platform will have a mechanism to get paid for it.
  • Stakeholders will have a means to earn higher returns on their investment by doing something that is good for the platform (curating) as opposed to something that is arguably not (funding bid bots).
  • Curators who see content that is not adding value will downvote it, because it is taking rewards away from everybody else.
  • Curation communities and voting trails will form to hunt for undiscovered content and upvote it in order to earn higher curation rewards.
  • Authors who are producing good quality content will have a higher chance of being noticed, because now more people are actually looking for good content.

Here is the 20 billion dollar question:

Can we do it?


I believe we can.

Hardfork 21 alone is not going to get us there, but it at least gives us the tools we will need to achieve it.

What will it take?

The simple answer is we need a culture change. We need users and stakeholders to start working together to build the platform and community that we want.

Every Steemian is going to have lots of choices to make after the hardfork. Where we end up will be a culmination of all those choices.

Change takes time

One thing to keep in mind, is change takes time. I know a lot of people will get frustrated when their utopian view of Steem does not come to fruition in the days, weeks, or even months right after the hardfork. The key is to not loose hope, and to keep working towards our shared goal.

Where do we go from here?

The reason I joined Steem and the reason I still continue to be an active part of the community is because of the huge potential that I see here. I want STEEM to be a top 10 cryptocurrency. I want us to scale to millions+ of users. I want Steem to be as popular (if not more) than Facebook.

Closing thoughts

What I ask of all of you going into the hardfork, and in the days, weeks, and months after is this:

Start to dream about what this place should look like in order to be a top 10 cryptocurrency and attract millions of users. When you are using the platform, align your actions with that vision. Do things that bring us closer to the goal, and fight against things that take us away from it.

With HF21, we will have the tools we need to get us there.

No more excuses. It is up to us.


I feel like this is all a bit backwards. We're basically all trying to figure out what the best way is to give out all the STEEM that's being created rather than trying to figure out why people should want STEEM in the first place.

It seems we all have this assumption that people just want STEEM, which is true, but only because it can be sold for fiat or other cryptos that people want instead. It's just something to be milked and sold for something you actually have a use for. For Steem to succeed there needs to be another reason people want to own STEEM other than to earn more STEEM.

If you look at your list of things HF21 is supposed to do, they're almost all some form of "buying/holding STEEM will allow you to earn more STEEM". If that's the only reason people want STEEM then the price will continue to drop until finally no one cares about earning more STEEM.

I would love to see the focus shift from how the STEEM is distributed to how we can give STEEM value - or rather show the world the value that Steem already provides.

I think that having social influence on a social platform is a major reason that one might have demand for steem. It's partially a reason I'd like more steem tbh. This is a community filled with real people (mostly) who have real opinions and can give real feedback/assistance. Not only can I share my ideas/thoughts/feelings/etc here, I can potentially get paid for doing so. In addition to being able to get paid, I also have the ability to pay. This means I can contribute not only intellectually, from online, but now also financially in a direct way.

That's just one way you can perceive value for steem too. There are countless ways! :)

I stated this in my other comment, but even just looking at steem like an advertising platform, you're paying to promote your product (Which in some cases may be yourself.) and the potential for others to see it is great when you have enough stake to promote your content decently.

Ex: Say Nike buys steem to promote their products to steem users. They buy 1mil stake. Now they upvote themselves every post, to get themselves onto trending/hot/whatever. Their incentive to buy was to get the exposure with their ads. Now, Adidas wants a piece of the action, they want to be higher up than Nike though. They buy 2 mil steem and begin to self-vote their ads. Going much higher than Nike. Now Nike wants to respond to that, they buy another 3 Mil so they are double what Adidas is. The cycle continues.

This is obviously a far-off example (Possibly a fever daydream, who knows. lol), but that is another way to look at this. There are a lot of very real people on steem and anywhere there is a gathering of people, there is potential to market products. This is also an example where steem has been adopted to a level where Nike and Adidas and the likes, are even concerned about having a spot in the community's space.

Even without that being the climate of things, my point is, the demand behind steem is varying and to each person/company/etc it will have different perceived value. The demand that is presumed by most IS there, it's just most people aren't exactly sure as to why other people would want steem.

Why do you want steem?
What's it's perceived value for you?

Personally, I think for me it starts with exactly what I started with. The ability to share my ideas/thoughts/music taste/experiences/etc with other people and to be able to have more people see it. That is incentive for me to buy more. Then there's things like Steem Monsters and such, that are directly aligned with steem, that give it added value (to me). I don't think steem would even be around today, if massive amounts of people didn't see massive value in it. Some may not be able to exactly explain why they see value in it or where that value comes from, but the point is, they are still here, they are still posting, they are still participating.

We don't always have to know exactly why something has value, to know that it does. :)

The value of things is an agreement between humans.
Although neuroscience is now used to deceive and make people believe in the value of things.

But many of us enter steemit because of the global crisis in the world because of monetary survival.

There was a time when the biggest steemit traffic was in poor countries like Venezuela. I saw it once online

Therein lies another great purpose of steem, then. :) The ability for it to lift up those who don't have the best situations in life. I'm glad that it has been able to help in some way, that is the power behind this!

Also, I am sorry that countries like Venezuela even have to deal with those conditions. Another way steem can be used would be like charities. A way to give back to the people of other countries who need it, but on a more personal and direct level. This could be great for ensuring the people who need help are getting it.

Also, @soy-venezuelien made another great point. There is the ability to transfer value to anywhere in the world. :) From anywhere else. That ability is incredible as well. Currency becoming digital and able to reach places that other currencies can't or can but are taxed insanely/etc... this may not differ from other currencies, but think about how fast you can transfer steem compared to bitcoin. It's insane to even think they can be compared. I've never had bitcoin reach my wallet instantaneously. Well, not for a long ass time now. ;) Also, there are no fees with steem. If I send 1 steem, you get 1 steem. If I sent you a whole bitcoin, you wouldn't get a whole one after fees. The fees for steem are paid out in much better methods, directly to witnesses from the reward pool. (I think? Still new to steem.) As far as a payment processing system goes, nothing can really compete with steem. I can drop cash into a bank account and it'll still take a couple minutes to go through. Turn that into a check and you're looking at at least half a day for most banks, closer to a whole one, maybe two. None of those issues exist within steem.

Also, why is gold worth what it's worth? Limited Supply. Same concept applies here to steem. There is a limited amount. That's how things are. That means only a certain number of people can hold a certain amount and that's it. This provides scarcity and where there is demand and scarcity, there is value increase.

I'm not sure how anyone who understands basic economics could doubt the future of steem. You've seen where it's been when the market was in ideal conditions. Where do you think it will be when conditions become ideal again? Do you think there's potential to go even further? How many more people are part of steem now compared to then? How many of the old users continue to post? To comment? To vote? I think there are many people doubting the future of steem simply because of the low prices currently.

Would there be as many posts pointing out possible negative outcomes, if steem were currently trading at $1? As opposed to $0.18-0.20?

I believe that for steem to have stayed above 15 cents since I have invested into it, is incredible. What this means to me is that there are enough people buying to counter how many people are selling and keep it fairly stable for a while now. Yes, things are low, but if we have the ability to counter the selling off with buying in a market this down... think about the snapback that will have when the markets all recover. Like a rubber band, we are pulling and tugging as the band stretches to lower lows than have been seen in a while. Then, when resistance gives and the markets recover, we snap back. The more we've pulled on this rubber band, the more potential energy we've collected. Maybe I'm fantasizing again, but looking at the charts, I see steem at the very least popping back up to 60-80 cents. That may not be as good for others as it is for me... but I'm sure it would make everyone feel a lot better for it to recover to that level. I just see higher highs, that's all. :)

Sure, I may not have traded steem prior to recently on any markets, but I believe it has the same potential as any other market, to act as those markets have. This means large recoveries for those who are down and massive profits for those who bought in at the low lows. Keep your hope up folks, it'll get much better. I feel it.

I agree, visibility is the value of STEEM. This, in my opinion, is why the demonization of bidbot services and self-voting is a huge mistake. Self promotion is the killer app for Steem. Isn't that really the killer application for all social media? So, maybe its unwise for us to be so anti-self promotion.

"For Steem to succeed there needs to be another reason people want to own STEEM other than to earn more STEEM."

I'm your huckleberry. The rewards on my content are coups, not money. I don't value money highly. However, I do value Steem other than as money, as it is a measure of the regard folks have for me.

That I do value highly.

I concede that this isn't going to change others, however I also reckon many others more highly value other societal matters than money. Steem is so contrived that it adds monetary value to those other metrics, such as factual reporting. Unfortunately, Steem is also so contrived that it enables other folks to degrade more important societal values profitably, such as by voting so as to maximize ROI from curation rewards rather than other benefits of content, such as factual reportage.

In order for this to be sorted and no longer work against itself, the code needs to change. Thus HF21. However HF21, instead of decreasing the financial incentive to cast votes that is contrary to curative purpose, increases it, and further degrades actual curation. Profiteering isn't curation. As a result I expect Steem price, market cap, and user retention to worsen after HF21 is implemented. Many people do not realize they value other things more than money, and are mystified when their financial endeavors do not increase their quality of life. HF21 is going to be an example of that dynamic. Curation is actually what we want. Profiteering, which HF21 will greatly increase incentive to do, is not, and is contrary to capital gains. Capital gains and profiteering are diametrically opposed.

If this is the case, we will have evidence that social media is not all about money for most people, and it will be time to recognize that those other values should be more the focus of financial rewards than profit. This may seem counterintuitive, but it's actually how society works. Money isn't bad, but valuing it more than people is.

We need to put the society first, and the money will come. HF21 is bass ackwards from what we should be doing. If it worsens Steem society as measured in the three metrics I mention, that will reveal what HF22 should do. I have posted mechanisms that will exert the effect I have recommended before, and will not detail them here, but when the time comes, we should discuss them.

Let me know then.

Money isn't bad, but valuing it more than people is.

Fully agreed. Facebook has billions of users because - despite the fact that behind the scenes it is highly exploitative and probably even evil - it does provide the social features people use. Facebook seems to have found ways to value money more than people but still give people the impression that they value people more than money.

If we create a system that values everything appropriately - there is potential to beat facebook.

It is impressions that matter more than actual reality to most people, and the demonstration of this is Steem not being more successful than other social media, despite enabling some monetary reward other social media platforms do not.

HF21 not only doesn't acknowledge this fact, it exacerbates the impact of negative impressions, which is why I expect it to be a disaster.

The situation is much more complicated. Facebook has a huge number of groups, many of which are private. There are viable ways of having privacy and stopping trolls hassling you. Steem doesn't have any of that - so that's a deal breaker immediately for a large percentage of the world.
Beyond that, most people don't produce content that is unusual, so would not have much to gain from being here. The problem is partially Steem, partially the funding here, partially the lack of will of the population in general and partially the massive funding of Facebook et al.
There are, surprisingly to me, actually a fairly high number of people who like censorship and want control to be able to silence people. Communities on Steem will help bridge a big gap here and are absolutely fundamental to Steem's success. They should have been THE top priority all along.

Great comment. We need sinks.

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I agree about what Tim has stated on the post.
I also think that the main focus after SMT should be adding value to STEEM and easy onboarding.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us Tim and Matt.

absolutely agree

I understand where people are coming from, they think making STEEM easy to get will help encourage growth, but imagine building a platform that gives out worthless shitcoins as incentive.

If more useful dapps & games & commerce & overall reasons to actually use the damn STEEM, then that's what we'll become sooner or later.

Let's hope that something in this upcoming HF will slip past us & unknowingly spark a huge demand & use-case for STEEM.

Wishful thinking? ...yeah, I know... 😓

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That's an excellent point. I for one am very concerned.

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Curation is now more profitable, so there is more reason to buy STEEM and power up - @timcliff

Why don't you start buying? You are powering down :-).

I have a large amount of STEEM that I am holding onto in the hopes that we head way up. I am also selling some to pay the bills (which doesn’t go far these days unfortunately). I am very much vested in STEEM going up.

Diversify your portfolio. Invest in many things. Don't keep all your eggs in one basket.


Awesome post, Tim!

I am very much in the same boat with you and I agree with most of your views. I am hoping the use of downvotes will increase but not the use of unfair downvotes. I am hoping people will see the long term potential of Steem like many others of us do and start investing back at these prices (especially smaller users - this is your and our chance at a great distribution even though we are one of the best distributed currencies out there already and it will hopefully only get better with HF21 - get there before the whales pick it all up). I hope there will be some projects that will use other people's downvotes wisely and unbiased and that we get downvote delegation pool possibly on the next HF with SMT's to mitigate blind retaliation and at the same time I hope projects will spawn that will counter such retaliation and that people find value in that and assist it with stake.

I could go on and on about things I hope will start to occur after Tuesday but don't wanna make this comment too long. Let's unite as likeminded people and protect the rewardpool, our fellow users and show the world what we have here and welcome them with open arms. There is still nothing compared to Steem while all the older centralized giants are only getting worse and worse, it is our time to shine.

Maybe it's just me but I can't imagine a single person (outside your circle jerk) who will buy STEEM to vote for you. What do you think?

The concept is that we use inflation to reward social media users, the way companies give out free pizzas.

As more gather others build things for them to do: SteemMonsters, Gambling, Silly Games.. You know the kind people play every day on Facebook.

Where people gather they begin to buy, sell and trade. (The Network effect)

Usually in investing the concept is to raise the value of the thing you bought.

Not drain the value in a huge ponzi scheme.

I get that most "traders" who like to call themselves investors don't really get the concept of investment. Which means... You put money and effort into something that is getting better so you can take more money out later.

By later I don't mean tomorrow. :)

While you can say people buy steem to vote for you that is an over simplified version. I don't blame you for getting stuck on it, because SteemIt Inc has done a terrible job of painting a vision.

It was never supposed to be the endusers who buy tons of Steem. Their presence is essential if you want the next steps to happen.

Anyway, have a great day.

Who are you? Who are we? Could you please explain why you and your friends are draining the value in a huge Ponzi scheme? Most of you didn't buy single STEEM, but that's why you know best what to do to increase the price. Do you think that everyday posting (shit) brings any value to STEEM? Your shit is better than mine. For sure. But what about others. You can't keep (with few votes) here any real author with that concept. You should have understood that by now.

I didn't want to shitpost here. That was my response to bots and "friendly users" which blocked my friends here. You should stick with blockchain neutrality. This is the only thing that distinguishes Steem from other social networks. I'm afraid it's too complicated for you. You crave power, so you have increased the power of down-voting. Mao Zedong would be proud.

"Do you think that everyday posting (shit) brings any value to STEEM?"

Social media has proved to be the best business model in the world today. The FAANGs have proved this by exceeding the market cap of other businesses, and very quickly.

People interact and create society, and an economy is part of society. It is not the most important aspect of society, and extracting rewards isn't why most people use social media.

Extracting rewards by self voting, buying votes, and so forth, reduces the monetary value of the Steem token, because it extracts that social value before it can inure to the underlying investment vehicle.

Profiteering produces ROI, and before Steem it has long been the business model of outfits like Bain Capital, KK&R, and other firms that buy a controlling stake in a company and sell the assets of the company, profiting thereby. This destroys the companies they buy, but they make money, so it's all good from their perspective.

That's what is happening on Steem, but the forges and equipment of Steem are authors, and they can't be sold. HF21 is going to increase the incentive to profiteer on Steem, and further decrease the value of Steem. If we want capital gains, we need to reduce the incentive to extract rewards by self voting, selling votes, and so forth, allowing rewards to encourage creators and produce capital gains.

Mitt Romney would be proud.

People build websites and attract users every single day there are many models for doing it. This isn't rocket science or even anywhere near as hard as we were making it.

I was buying for a while and I also could buy more, I don't because of this... Too many stakeholders who think they can milk profits out without building anything.

Are you against the free market?

I get that most "traders" who like to call themselves investors don't really get the concept of investment.

They just aren't real investors but wannabe short term profiteers.

"Usually in investing the concept is to raise the value of the thing you bought."

"Not drain the value in a huge ponzi scheme."

Capital gains are reduced by profiteering. Warren Buffet and Bernie Madoff both made ROI. The former builds things up, and the latter destroyed them.

"...we are one of the best distributed currencies out there..."

I do not think this is the case. Do you have a source for this?


This is the best post I have read here in a long time.
resteemed to my 4700 Followers.

Well said @timcliff.

What a concise and clear explanation.......thank you.

All the best.



Hi @timcliff I’d like to thank you for a really measured and balanced post about HF21 when many other seem to have been weighted one way or the other.

I’m a small account and have blogged my way to that status with what I hope has been reasonable content. I’ve enjoyed it, and still do, however have the same fears and concerns others do. Your post has gone some way toward allaying those fears and for that I also thank you.

I look forward to the future here, to continued content creation by myself and others and I look forward to HF21 making a positive change. Most of my steem has been earned by content creation and (manual) curation however I’ve added some purchased with hard-hearted fiat so I’m eager and optimistic on the future. I believe we can do this.

Anyway, I just wanted to say this.

Enjoy your weekend.

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Well stated!

Also don't forget to let everyone know this is NewSteem!

It's alive, active, busy and thriving.

#NewSteem It's what we make it.

I think it'll be great. People have essentially said I'm naive at times because I'm new here, but I see far too much potential, even considering the bad, for something this big to fail in any real way. This is one of the greatest concepts of this decade, I don't see it or us going anywhere any time soon. :) The community here is wonderful too. The good far outweighs the bad from what I've experienced so far! Looking forward to the future!

Great article! While I still hold on to my thoughts that the effect of the economic changes will be unpredictable, I agree it's a good change overall

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I really hope you're right! I want to be positive, but it's difficult because I'm well below the cut-off for where the changes will hurt - at least to begin with.

I've been saying for awhile that it's hard to be both a quality content producer and a good curator! Perhaps as the curators materialize, good content will benefit. I've also been saying for awhile that Steem needs a way to pull in content consumers - we can't do both! This is the chance to make it work - I hope it will.

Thanks for your take on this.

One of the serious problems I see with this platform is the little or no advertising out there. We are a closed circle that waits for people to come, without thinking that we can also go out and look for users. There's a lot of talent here. So I trust that this new stage of STEEM will be for the good of all and not for the fat and few killer whales that exist. Greetings

Most successful social networks and internet platforms generally have relied relatively little on advertising for their growth. It is sometimes used, but only sparingly as a narrowly targeted boost to an existing growth engine. Without being able to organically grow through word of mouth, as well as retain users who do join, advertising can just turn into a huge money pit.

If we are able to crack the growth engine challenge and show that a particular form of advertising has a sustainable positive return, then funding for it can be proposed through the SPS (part of this hardfork).

I wouldn't count on organic growth. Most Steemians are pseudonymous or anonymous and do not want anyone in the walking world to know about their activities on Steem. Why? First of all, I'm betting over 90% of Steemians are not paying income tax on their Steem income. Everyone in their circle of relatives, friends and acquaintances being able to go to Steemworld to look at the entire history of their financial transactions on Steem would be begging for trouble with the IRS or whatever the tax authority is called in their country. Secondly, not many people would necessarily want their spouses or employers to know about earning some extra on the side. So, forget about most people telling people in the walking world about Steem let alone persuading them to join. In most people's opinion, Steem is way good to be true to begin with anyway. Many people think it must be a scam.

I don't think Steem is done for, however, and that there is no chance for growth. I think if Steem is ever going to have millions of users, those users will be completely cut off from the reward pool and be posting through guest accounts or only having a wallet address (a lite account) at their disposal. They will be players of games like Splinterlands and paying for it. Producing content will always be done by a very small number of people. They will be professionals earning big rewards. Those of us who have been lucky enough to have participated in the beta phase of Steem as bloggers earning dollars on blog posts about our cat or something like that will be able to make money by renting out our Resource Credits to apps that have large numbers of paying customers.

Do people prefer getting banned on Facebook than being on Steem?

The vast majority of people are not getting banned anywhere.

Millions and millions of people.

Where are they?

And what proportion would you really want here? Many of them are kooks you wouldn't want to associate with.

I am one of them. Just ask around. I was banned many places. So many people are writing about it. The fake news is lying to you and you are falling for the fake news, good for you.

I don't know that I agree with all of your generalizations. There are many bloggers and others on Steem who are not anonymous. People who are anonymous can still tell their friends about it without doxing themselves (especially if they have multiple accounts). Apps which become popular may get press coverage and similar forms of buzz which drive growth without paying per user. Etc.

I agree that earning rewards can't be the main draw.

Yes, there are some people on here that are not anonymous. And yes, having one social account under one's real name separated from the money and having multiple accounts for various purposes including delegating to projects, curating etc. might actually become a trend.

I'm glad we're on the same page about rewards not being able to be the main draw. The math wouldn't work if the idea were that the rewards would amount to anything too big. But I would love it if Steem apps with real accounts owned by their users put a stop to the power of social media giants and cause the profits to trickled down back to the masses. I'd really love to see that. But the way people I know from IRL have received these ideas has been a massive disappointment to me.

" Producing content will always be done by a very small number of people."

That's not how social media works.

I should've specified that I meant content that earns anything. Sorry about not being clear.

It's still completely wrong. Fakebook, Youtool, and so on and so forth prove that people participating in social media is the most profitable business model in the world today.

What's profitable about them is the stalking, tracking, collecting of data and creation of profiles for the ad customers.
There is no data collected here a user is not giving away willingly by putting it on the chain. And what they put there is freely visible for everyone. No way you could compare the two models.

People posting family pics aren't doing so to make Facebook money. The reasons people use social media are generally unrelated to ROI, and the focus on monetization has been a mistake on Steem, from the standpoint of onboarding masses of people. It has attracted a particular market segment, and not the mass market, which is not seeking mere economic return from using social media, but more valuable aspects of society.

The models are comparable with trivial facility. The market segments served by social media are difficult of compare, because of the complexity of society, not because of the marked differences between social media platforms, whose differences are relatively small.

What is completely wrong? That I claimed that users love those platforms despite them not paying anything to them? That statement is precisely correct. You don't get paid for using Facebook, YouTube or any of the big mainstream social media platforms. And yes, those platforms are hugely profitable - to their owners. The users use them and do not expect to get paid a single cent. The whole concept is so alien to them that when you talk about earning crypto by blogging on Steem to YouTube users or other mainstream people, their eyes will go completely blank - or they'll assume it's a scam.

" Producing content will always be done by a very small number of people."

This is completely wrong. It remains completely wrong even if you moderate it by adding monetary rewards. Steem was but the first social media platform that potentiated monetary rewards, but it is not the only one anymore. The monetization of content by users has just begun.

I am very reluctant to use the SPS for marketing proposals. When dealing with marketing, everything is in the grey, there are no clear results, and we don’t know what causes new users to sign in.

We might be funding some person for marketing, then notice an increase in user growth and attribute that growth to him. While in reality it was just organic growth with which he has nothing to do.

This will keep us trapped into paying him for a useless job.

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All fair points. No doubt we will have to learn and come to stakeholder consensus over good and bad uses for SPS.

I have made a comment under @exyle’s last post. Is it possible for you to read it? I want to reach influential people on steem because I really think this might be a huge issue.

Edit- It's not the last post anymore, here is the link:

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Some interesting thoughts. I've generally been in favor of a much shorter power down time (whatever is needed to avoid exploits which seems to be something like 5 days), but there isn't consensus for it. If we look at similar but more successful chains like EOS, they have (I think) two day power down and they don't appear to suffer for it any significant way.

Perhaps with continued discussion and comments such as yours more consensus can be built.

Consider this: in the recent bitcoin run up from 3k to 13.7k I’ve had some friends calling, wanting to get in. I advised them not to.

They still wanted though and sent money to their new coinbase account. On this day Bitcoin was at 13.7k. Fortunately, the bank transfer took a while to complete, and when their money was received on coinbase bitcoin was already at 10.8 k. A much better price. The waiting time also allowed them to gain some perspective, and not to buy bitcoin with all the money they sent, since it’s not going straight up anymore. Now the price is even lower. the bank transfer only took two days.

This was great for them, but bad for the bitcoin price and its hodlers. The two day EOS powerdown will similarly protect people who panic at the bottom. And the volume is always the largest by far at the exact bottom and top. So even that short powerdown will help the weak hands, and will be bad for the hodlers of the coin.

However, it’s already wayyy better than a 13 week powerdown, which is also slowly released, allowing dollar cost averaging. With this, we are creating large amounts of selling pressure and for longer times, while the buying pressure will naturally go down as a bear market develops.

Weak hands will sell their holdings for dollar values that are multiple times greater than in the alternative (if they panic sold).

This issue is a must-solve. Since it hit me I can’t ignore it. It also provides benefits in other ways. It won’t discourage investors from buying steem (who see the long time needed to powerdown), and it might enable us to add a small fee of burned steem, a nice sink. However those positives are minor compared to the market mechanics described above.

Steem has been progressively killing it's marketing department. The folks making posts and comments have been demonetized by stake weighted profiteers, and driven off. Adding a 10% tax on top of halving author rewards and the modified rewards curve will but increase that demonetization.

The folks making posts and comments and earning rewards from them (which includes a great many comments, including some one-character comments, posted solely for the purpose of self-upvoting) have not been and are not an effective marketing department with how things have been going.

I prefer to think of this as an attempt at a reboot than as an incremental change of X% here or Y% there. The only way it will make any real difference in Steem's trajectory is if it helps to inspire major changes in the overall platform, community, and economy. If the biggest change is percentages then we'll continue circling the drain anyway.

The biggest issue I see honestly is the 20 STEEM thing. I get the reason for it, but its the threshold level that is just too extreme. Why 20? can I get a solid rationale for this? Because I can get behind setting it at 5 STEEM, but 20 is insane. You have to attract a lot of whales for that.

That was the curve the developers were comfortable proposing at this point. There are some key properties that the reward curve needs to satisfy and you can't easily just pick any shape you want without causing problems somewhere else. It can be updated later, but one thing to keep in mind is that we won't really even know if 20 is the right break even point until after the new system has been in operation for a while. The numbers 16 or 20 come from running the existing votes through the new curve but that is nonsense because people will certainly change voting practices, there will be more (how many more we don't know) downvotes pushing rewards around, etc. So we'll see.

Word of mouth is the most effective marketing. Ask any marketer. However, as profiteering discouraged folks that made the effort to come here, the effect of that marketing was to discourage new users by those discouraged relating their complaints about how things were here. That's very effective, just not at bringing new people here, as we see.

All the changes HF21 brings are percentage changes. How do you achieve qualitative evolution with quantitative changes? All the complaints the one million or so users that were chased off had are being increased. I don't believe anyone expects anything different from what's going to happen as a result of making people less welcome here than they were when one million were chased off.

You don't have to bang your head on a brick wall 21 times to realize it hurts, and how to stop hurting yourself.

All the changes HF21 brings are percentage changes

Free downvotes is brand new and not a percentage change. Some percentage changes can have a qualitatitive effect once thresholds are reached and it tips the system into a new balance point. We'll have to see to what extent that happens or not.

While you are correct to point out that quantitative changes can concatenate to create qualitative changes, free is simply less expensive. TBQH the downvote pool isn't free at all, since it comes at the expense of other benefits that would otherwise be paid from the pool, in exactly the same way that free healthcare, college, or any other welfare proposal isn't free.

However, I do believe it will result in qualitative changes. I foresee the development of a market for downvotes, and this will have an extremely negative impact on Steem society, as have all other automated voting mechanisms.

We will indeed see what comes of it.

TBQH the downvote pool isn't free at all, since it comes at the expense of other benefits that would otherwise be paid from the pool, in exactly the same way that free healthcare, college, or any other welfare proposal isn't free

That is a bad analogy. Free downvotes do not cost or expend any significant resources, unlike healthcare, college, etc.

where else do you write about Steem other than on Steem? Talking about products / platforms is advertising. BTW, I'm seeking people who are also writers on for a Steem related project. People can DM me on Discord for details.

I write on Medium sometimes but prefer Minds.

are you on Discord? can you DM me and we'll talk?

I came here because I searched a topic and a Steemit post came up. I see Steem posts regularly on other platforms that discuss topics of interest.

what other platform? and other than HF21 which was triggered mostly by the press releases that Steemit Inc did .. what topics about Steem are they discussing.

Various blogs and the chans have cited Steem posts, besides Steemers deliberately promoting Steem on social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and so forth. I recall recently seeing a post from @ausbitbank cited on /pol/, for example.

As a platform intended to resist censorship, Steem has an outsized impact on the wider web, due to people posting here what is censored elsewhere. Also, other than deliberate promotion of Steem earlier mentioned, none of the posts I refer to were about Steem itself. Many of them were regarding topics prone to censorship, and due to my own focus on politics, tended to be politically motivated.

IMHO, Steem posts about Steem are not the best marketing for Steem. It is posts that would be censored on Twitter, Youtube, and Facebook that best advocate Steem and promote censorship resistance that are.

so what is /pol/?

Posts that are what you called censored on those other sites are often seen as cleaning up a cesspool by some. Thus making their presence here a mixed blessings as it will bring some and turn others off.

a politics tribe .. especially one geared toward those who are unhappy with the other social media would be good to see.

Every post and comment is an advertisement for Steem.

If you learn to curate smart as the little guy. It would way easy to grow compared to making posts and get them seen.

Curation and commenting is way more fun than posting for me.
So I am looking forward to HF21

Change is always hard but so many great Steemians have jumped ship and I just can’t see how much of these new rules will help encourage existing Steemians to stay and get new people joining.
Time will tell I guess. This place used to have a special vibe but flag wars, bid bots and scammers have certainly tarnished this. I can’t see how the changes will address these issues in a positive way.
@timcliff I do certainly respect your opinions and if you think it’ll overall be a good move then let’s roll the dice and see what comes up. Hopefully not crap.


Possibly the most important factor, like you said, is encouraging more curation by giving them 50% rewards. To some extent, potentially, that decentralizes the curation system. It gets more people involved in curating. That helps curators and it more importantly helps content creators.

Centralized Users

A single account may now only get 50% in rewards, in HF21, which is less than 75%, which we had before.

Mathematical Magic

Yet, ironically, mathematically, curation is like a funnel. The single user is a central point. Instead of increase the smaller end of the funnel (posting rewards), theoretically, expanding the other end of the funnel (curation) has the potential towards expansion. I have my fingers crossed for this new hard fork.

Content Creators

Some might argue that content creators, to some extent, might be like employers. Imagine allowing employers 50% profits. I like that. Some might say that's too much. But before HF21, it was at 75%. So, this might be a step in the right direction. And other people argue that it should remain at 75% or more. I understand their concerns. But mathematically, the curators are like the employees. They upvote the content that is provided by content creators (employers). If you give a thousand curators more money, then they might curate more. And 50% of that goes to the employer. More curation means more votes. And more votes means more money for the central users. So, in theory, this will improve the Steem system. Mathematically, it's easy to understand the funnel system. I hope this second pool, the downvoting system, helps as well.

How are content creators emplyers? We are just as much employees as curators. We work hours at a time and put content on the platform. We don't deserve to be taken for granted and hf21 is basically saying Steemit doesn't care about us. It won't reward the little guy just because we make less than 2p Steem per post.

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I argued against the 50/50 change, but in all honesty, 80% curator 20% content producer would possibly even work better than 50/50. I know it sounds bad but it would sort of be turning curator into a true profession. At 20/80 I could genuinely imagine average joes buying $5000 worth of STEEM and setting up shop as a professional content hunter, almost like being a professional editor, but working for yourself rather than at a publisher. This could turn curators into the much needed gatekeepers for the indie publishing revolution.

Indie publishing is awesome, but it does have a weakness, which is that now we have an over-abundance of content. Now it is difficult for you to find quality content. So, Steem could have the potential for "employing" thousands of indie editors/curators that would support the indie content producer revolution with curation.

Think about it another way, what's a more profitable post? A post that gets 75% of $5 or 20% of $50? The percentage that content producers get is not as important as the amount of authors to curators. I would say that right now we have a massive imbalance in author to curator ratio, with there being more authors than curators. That's a problem, because we needs thousands or hundreds of thousands of curators to each author in order for authors to truly benefit on Steem. That's why I don't think it is problematic for curators to get a larger percentage.

Exactly. Thus why I call content creators like employers in the sense that bosses do better with more staff in some cases at least. It's a funnel. It's a sprinkler.

Well said, @timcliff. My commitment to Steemit hasn’t wavered at all. Once @mada first explained to me what the site and blockchain once, I had a very literal “You take the blue pill - the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill - you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes.” moment. I took the red pill. My distain for silo media, and the principle alone that I could earn anything at all for my content, was enough to lock me down till the bitter end.

In many ways, I think Steemit is well positioned right now. I hope HF21 solves a lot of these issues. I’m seeing dozens of my creator/illustrator/artist and model friends leave Instagram in hordes. It’s a mass exodus, and they’ll need somewhere to go.

I’m really excited about the DAO proposal platform. I have some very outside the box ideas and spent last week making wild pitches for projects to @lovejoy and @roadscape. The day that proposal submission form is live, I’m going to be bombarding the community with new ideas!

Thanks for always fighting the good fight, @timcliff!

Is buying steem going to be easier?

Not as a result of the hardfork.


I am a fan of the Steem engine tokens with 50/50 and 60/40 split as I have always done manual curation and as an author, I find people are more likely to vote on my posts as they will be better rewarded. I think this change will improve the Steemit experience. Your post also clearly explains the changes in layman’s terms so is helpful, thanks. I would like to invest but the disparity between the higher bitcoin price and low steemit price is a deterrent. In the uk, you cannot exchange fiat directly for Steem and if this were to change and the interest rate was not extortionate, I would invest. My main motivation these days however are the spin offs, Steem engine (and initially actifit until the recent changes which made it less rewarding for the newer members) 🙏🏽

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SE tokens were not ninjamined. The massive stake differential on Steem is not present on SE tokens.

Thank you Boss for writing a brief, articulate article on the new system in the simplest way possible. After going through many posts related to this there was more Confusion than clarity. Now this post cleared some basic doubts.

Though economy part was not my main aspect while I joined two years back I have to completely agree with the fact that steem had lost its appeal midway. Even I made a post on it. And we need Iittle more proactive approach to make the steem shining again so that everyone will gets benifited at the end.

Thank you, Have a good day

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I usually go by what my conscience says and something tells me that Steem is going to attain new heights. I may be wrong but if I am not, then we can sure see some happy faces of all those who invested heavily in Steem and believe in the power of what it can do.

As for good content and rewards and all, I think that a person writes because he/she wants to write for the sake of it and not just the rewards only. The incentive for curating good content will make people search for good work and make them share it as well. So, good content will certainly get more rewarded as you point out.
All the best and I believe in you guys. We are in good hands, so why worry?

Ninjaminers hoarding more tokens will not grow Steem.

You had a choice: support HF21, or no longer be a witness.

I think you made the wrong choice.

Ninjaminers hoarding more tokens will not grow Steem.

To be technical on wording, there was really only one ninja-miner: Steemit, Inc. Everyone else who mined tokens early were simply early adopters.

We can't keep looking at the way things have been and extrapolate out how they will be in the future under the new changes. Those of us who have been working on this (for literally years now) are hoping that as a result of these changes - six months from now we are looking at a totally new Steem. Whether we can pull it off remains to be seen, but I am hopeful.

You had a choice: support HF21, or no longer be a witness.

That is 100% false. If I was not in support of HF21, I likely could have stopped it. It is a choice between HF21 and the status quo though, and I am strongly in favor of the opportunity that HF21 gives us over the state we are currently in.

I think you made the wrong choice.

Fair enough. It is quite possible I did. The results of this HF are impossible to predict, but I chose to vote for the path that I felt gave us all the best opportunity to see the platform succeed in the long run.

"If I was not in support of HF21, I likely could have stopped it."

I appreciate your measured response to quite inflammatory comment. I don't think you are right that you could have stopped HF21, but I certainly could be wrong. However, your integrity is showing here, in the face of my apparent hostility, so I will refrain from blaming you for what I believe will prove to be disastrous results. Clearly we simply disagree on certain matters, and you are utterly forthright in stating your positions AFAICT.

The coming market for flags will be disheartening to you I expect. It was not something that would have been revealed by testing, since those intent on profiting thereby would not have revealed their intentions during testing. Due to financial incentives, I expect shitflags to result from that market, just as shitposts have from bidbots. It's not as if we don't have evidence for shitflags and professional flaggers on Steem already, and enabling the cost of such flags to be offshored to the pool will greatly encourage that business model.

I have proposed mechanisms that will obviate profiteering, and Steem market cap has dropped ~50 places since I did. In the event you eventually realize that profiteering and capital gains are not compatible and are faced with taking action to promote capital gains as necessary to prevent further harm to Steem, please do consider those ideas. It was a while ago, and I know digging is a time sink, so upon inquiry I will be happy to either repost or reiterate them.

What I want to know from the witnesses is where this 20 STEEM number came from. Can I get a detailed explanation why it had to be 20 and not 5... 20 is really huge!

The number was calculated by running the current voting data though the new rewards curve and comparing the results.

The problem with this discussion is that it assumes no changes in behavior among the voters. If there is no change in behavior, then things will be worse for users who are not earning much. The whole point of the hardfork though is to drive a change in behavior.

I hope it does change behavior. I feel like Steem has drawn too many content producers compared to curators. I support the 50/50 change, I would have supported 20/80, I support the 20 STEEM threshold thing, though I wish it was 5, but I get the idea and agree. My main concern is the free downvotes. I get that a lot of people believe in downvotes, but I feel that too many people into the idea of being able to downvote stuff are not paying attention to how strongly it offends the downvoted person.

It literally enrages people, and I believe it creates a toxic environment. I believe in positive encouragement and techniques that favor quality over quantity, but I want a happy environment on Steem, not a battle. I want quality to win not because crap gets downvoted but because people just love the quality content producers. Youtube doesn't prevent you from putting complete garbage on their platform, but it simply won't earn anything because nobody values it. That is what Steem should do.

In my view we just need to encourage quality and not go after the crap. That is why I get the value of the 20 threshold (though I wish it as 5). It makes it extremely difficult for poor quality content to reward itself and rewards viral content. I'm down for that, I get the value there. But I do fear that the free downvotes are going to either lead us down a path of constant flag wars or overly authoritarian whales scaring the shit out of people like Aggroed just did. He threatened bidbot services, it doesn't get more authoritarian than that. I really wish we could utilize positivity rather than negativity. Imagine if Steemcleaners and flagrewards just hunted undervalued content. I think people would feel so much better about their experience on Steem.

too many people into the idea of being able to downvote stuff are not paying attention to how strongly it offends the downvoted person.

Sorry, but users need to get accustom to the fact that there are downvotes. Downvotes are a necessary evil in order for stakeholders to decide BASED ON CONSENSUS what gets rewarded. Rewards are not rewards until all stakeholders have agreed through voting (or lack of voting) and the seven day payout is complete.

I know there are some stakeholders who take it a step too far and cross the line into an area where it becomes abusive. I am not trying to argue in favor of that, but in a decentralized system - we are not going to be able to control that type of thing completely.

If it becomes a big enough problem, then community members can propose solutions and get them funded via the SPS.

Youtube doesn't prevent you from putting complete garbage on their platform, but it simply won't earn anything because nobody values it. That is what Steem should do.

That's basically what downvotes do.


Appreciate your insight into imminent change Tim, let us hope this is the right way to tackle an ongoing problem.

Many invest both time and money into steem, those who arrived to rape the concept hopefully have moved on, with interested investors remaining.

Number of members is not always a criteria, commitment in assisting those who do put in the effort, growing a strong community will attract new arrivals when knowing what is expected.

Keep sharing steem content to other platforms, that in itself is advertising.

I will monitor the situation, but to know that content I share, for which I put weeks of work into, will be getting less, is very disheartening. Less rewards and then even less for earning less that 20 steem per post. I have invested over 2 years, am a delegator, contribute multiple times a week, have grown organicalky. I feel like Steemit is trying to push us away. I just can't see the positive. I want to be proven wrong, but I just can't see how hf21 will help minnows at all.

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Do you want more users who have the ability to add significant rewards to your content to be actively seeking out good content to vote for? One of the goals is to make active curation profitable again, to the point that stakeholders opt for this rather than simply putting their stake towards passive income options like bid bots. Whether we can actually accomplish a culture change remains to be seen - but that is the goal.

Well when you put it that way. I still don't like it, but I also want to be proven wrong. I have never used bots, so I'm not sure how those work, but if the change does make curators find good content and those of us who contribute all the time get more upvotes, then that compensates for the less rewards.

I also have a lot of concerns regarding the flagging downvote change. I worry there will be abuse and bullies.

I am willing to give the change a chance, like at any fork, because if I leave, it impacts the communities I'm a part of (gotta think of the family sometimes too) but if abuse and bullying happens and becomes a new norm, then I'm out. I won't be able go support a platform that encourages that kind of behaviour.

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I share your concerns. Let’s hope it works out for the best :)

Thank you, Tim. As always, you bring a voice of reason and personal responsibility which is the only thing which will move us forward.

I hope you are right. I am a buyer of Steem here.

No other blockchain out there will be able to match steem for the next 3 years. So we have 3 years to make steem great again and later on build a bridge with other social network. Steem will be the glue. Steem on!

This post has been revived by steem-forever and will get extra rewards. This happens when a post is upvoted on after the 7 day post life.

Users can simple upvote via continously, so posts can live and earn rewards forever.
Authors can share their links and get upvoted forever.

We hope this will allow everyone to earn more meaningful rewards over longer timeframes than before.

Not this one I am looking at the next fork! I think that's the major one in STEEM history!


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A nice write up.

The new system should also encourage more flagging of large abusers by smaller accounts...

Given that it will be much less worthwhile to post mediocre content (no one's going to be earning $5 for posting about their daily meal anymore) then they'll be less posting of that sort - so less or no opp for retaliation if they do flag larger accounts.

And of course flagging doesn't effect curation returns.

I think flagging's going to be key to this new system.working.

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How did you make you avatar? Love it.

The 20 Steem threshold frightens me a bit to be honest. Most of my posts don’t obtain that and I’ve been here a year and a half, gone to Steemfest...networked...and gave out over $5000 worth of comic books to strangers at the event, work my ass off here, actively recruit new users in my community, and invested several thousand dollars of my hard earned money to purchase tasty Steem to power up and reward others. For the most part outside of a handful of folks, nobody gives a shit about what I post...and that’s fine.

I’m not entitled to anyone’s support or anything like that, but I’ll tell you this right now...a few people I’ve dragged on that have have been posting and interacting with some regularity are real nervous. These are the people who always fall below that threshold. I’ve been talking this place up and working my tail off to slowly and organically build my community, and pretty much everyone is going to be beaten down a bit more by this aspect. That’s a bit demoralizing and a slap in the face to new users. Just my opinion and I hope I’m wrong about this, but it is just THAT much harder for newer smaller users to build towards success here. That’s a shitty thing as it was already tough to do prior to Tuesday.

I’m hopeful that we as a community can work it all out and in time prosper...but there definitely is a bias towards the larger accounts with this specific move. I don’t see how anyone can honestly say otherwise with a straight face...

Can someone smarter than I am explain to me how this specific number was decided upon and the reasoning behind it?

The problem with this discussion is that it assumes no changes in behavior among the voters. If there is no change in behavior, then things will be worse for users who are not earning much. The whole point of the hardfork though is to drive a change in behavior.

Good point. I guess we will have to wait and see. You guys are a gazillion times more knowledgeable than I am about the inner workings of this place so I’ll side with your background and expertise.

I just know that IF behaviors do not change, we are certainly in trouble. If we struggled to get new users to come and stay before....

But I’m hopeful.

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"Hardfork 20 alone is not going to get us there,"
typo, correct
Also, pass me the crack.

It is too hard for new users to get noticed.
The platform is too confusing.
Signups are too difficult to onboard at scale.
There is a lack of funding (outside of Steemit, Inc.) to pay for community development and marketing.
Users who contribute a lot of value are not sufficiently rewarded.
Users who don't contribute a lot of value find ways to milk the system.
There is not enough of an incentive to buy and hold STEEM.

At least we found a way for us to fix 1,2,3,4 and 5 without the need for any forks :)

Fingers crossed!!!

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It will definitely be interesting to see what happens with this hardfork @timcliff, and I think you hit the nail on the head with the statement that we need a culture change in order for this all to work out.

I definitely hope HF.21 takes us in the right direction.

For me (and maybe I am just totally out in left field with this) one of the "elephants in the room" that never gets talked about is a general lack of definition of what "this" actually IS. And — more specifically — the great emphasis often placed on the primary sales pitch to the external world (about Steem and all the communities) of "make money."

Truthfully? Most of us are here to make money, but there's a semantic disconnect in using that particular approach.


To MOST people (and ESPECIALLY those "trolling" for sources of "money for nothing") the idea of "making money" suggest that I DO something, get paid, and then walk away and buy a cup of coffee, or a pizza.

Why is this a problem? Because the implication is that we're all about current income (which drains the system and puts downward pressure on the price of Steem) rather than investing and gaining from longer term appreciation.

Hence, there is a HUGE difference between "create content and get paid" and "create content and become a stakeholder."

THAT, right there, surely must also be part of the cultural change we need to strive for, here...

I do share a lot of your optimism and hope for this community, but something has to give, in terms of how we approach telling others (externally) about what we have here!


Love the write up! That definitely sums up what will be happening in the coming week where HF will take course. Curation is definitely a very important part to incentify users to write more and better contents here on Steemit as well as other alt platform that utilize Steem blockchain. By having that good chain of incentives, it will get more traction whereby Steemit could make things profitable through activities like ad. In overall, sustainable is the key!

I really hope everyone does their part. I also believe in the great potential of this platform, but it has to be more friendly, the UI has to be changed and new apps developed.

Please take a look at this proposal I made some months ago.

I think projects like this are the way to make Steem more actractive to no crypto users.

The SPS that is included in the hardfork will provide a mechanism for people to make proposals and have them funded.

Hey @timcliff, could you explain to me how you see the new 50/50 reward split is going to encourage whales to manually curate?

Dies the increase in curation rewards also benefit bidbots? Why wouldn't one just keep their steem going towards that, a lot easier to make profits no?

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It is going to depend on whether the new economic model results in a culture change.

That sounds... not very promising haha

I don't see how a change in code will result in a change of whale's minds.

Profit is profit, people will seek it above all else, always.

Would love to be proven wrong about this though 🙃

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Yes, the increase in curation rewards will inure to bidbots, and they will simply pass them on to delegators to maintain their profitability.

Whales will just make more Steem, although they'll make less money. The ninjaminers didn't invest to get their stake, and seem to have little grasp of how to encourage capital gains. Profiteering and capital gains are diametrically opposed, and considering the market and marketing department a drain on ROI is why user retention is horrible.

HF21 exacerbates all the things that chase off new users, reduces the price of Steem, and worst of all will be the downvote pool, because substantial stakeholders will use it to flag rewards back to the pool, where they can extract ~90% of it. More actually, after HF21 more than halves author rewards.

So I take it your excited for the 27th eh?

Lol, jk. See, all of what you just said seems, to me at least, be the most likely outcome of this upcoming HF.

That's why it's pretty upsetting to hear people who are on the otherside, promising #newsteem & better mechanics, to simply respond to these criticisms with "Don't worry, it'll be ok because people are going to just magically change."

Like, no. Code can't do that to people. Or, at the very least, this code won't.

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People definitely need to rise up!
!giphy rise+up 👆

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// You can support giphy by using one of your witness votes on untersatz! //

This goes a long way to solving a fundamental problem with Steem, and that is the automated systems that take a little slice of Steem (basically a transaction fee) to provide a service that solves a problem that these systems created in the first place.

Upvote bots are not a long term sustainable business model, and it's obvious that the velocity of Steem has plummeted even as the price drops and the supply inflates. While the bots can be used to fund a project, Steem-engine is even more effective to fund a project in that users will fund a good idea, instead of someone running a bidbot to fund a project that they personally think is great but may flop because it wasn't something users want.

Steem is prepped to take an evolutionary step, and the bidbots are going to shrink in the broader ecosystem where creativity and innovation get the funding instead of a vote-ception market. And vote bots will die anyway and be replaced with communities that collectively vote where the good content is, instead of letting their account be used for paid upvotes that only reinforce a need for paid upvotes to keep the circle jerk going.

End of an era, beginning of a new era. The negativity surrounding these changes is to be expected, but once the growth and potential of a broader system is realized, the developers who are simply in for a quick buck will be forced to compete in a broader software market against other talent for funding, which will increase the price of Steem on the open market and incentivize developers to produce content that users actually want.

HF 21 gives hope.

Such an interestign read and I am waiting to see how the Hard Fork affects the platform, it could be a good thing rat least I hope so it will most likely reduce what I earn on posts but if it does lead to an increase inthe value of Steem and the interest for people to get on board with Steem in the long run it will be a good think

@timcliff, This will be time taking Process but for sure Culture Change is needed, if we will not change then change will change us itself. Stay blessed.

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The huge thing that you and all the other folks proclaiming that this solves problems are missing is:

Steem is a social media site. Most interactions are people interacting with their community. The communities that thrive draw new people in. Not rich investors usually, but friends and family. You're all jumping the gun on this "Steem is broken" line and throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

The new curve is going to incentivize piling on to popular content rather than discovering and welcoming new users. If my vote can give someone I like $0.20 or someone I don't know yet $0.10, I'm going to vote for the former. And will I ever offer an encouraging upvote on comments??? Never. Because the comment isn't going to get other votes.

You will change the behavior of most users. You will change it so that we no longer behave like regular people.

I joined just before we got linear rewards. I was near quitting feeling like my posts would never be worth anything. Then it switched. I didn't know why at the time, but suddenly they were worth more. They were proportionately as valuable as other posts I saw around. Still less, but not exponentially less. It made this thing seem possible.

I wish the people in power had the imagination to understand what Steem is like for minnows and what it will be like in hf21. And not everyone is the same. But for a lot of users who have given a lot to building and bringing their communities to the platform, it will be a gut punch.

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Steem is a social media site. Most interactions are people interacting with their community. The communities that thrive draw new people in. Not rich investors usually, but friends and family.

This is precisely where Steem is failing. Very few people want to expose their Steem wallet to the world while having it tied to their walking world identity. Do you accurately report your Steem income to the IRS? If not, would you want hundreds of people in the walking world to know that @improv is you? Only one person you have pissed off could cause you significant harm by reporting your Steem income to the IRS if you don't accurately report and pay earned income tax on your rewards. And everybody's wallet and their post earnings are displayed by every front end.

If everyone were able to carefully track their Steem earnings and sell enough of the liquid portion of their income to pay their taxes, that would add a great deal of selling pressure on STEEM.

If we want millions of new users, they will have to be entirely cut off from the reward pool. Billions of people happily use social media without ever earning a single cent. Light accounts (mere wallet addresses) are key. Those users will not come here to earn money but to spend it on playing games like Splinterlands. Blogging for crypto will be remain a mere footnote in Steem's history. Those who mined STEEM were the first wave of early adopters. Those who earned it by creating and curating content were the second wave of early adopters. The masses will not earn anything here. They will be the consumers who will spend money here. There is no other way the economy will be able to work in the first place.

Well that's certainly one vision for Steem. It's not an inspiring one, seeing as traditional social media already serves that purpose. Why would anyone switch to Steem in your vision of that future?

Also also, "people won't want money because then they have to pay taxes" seems illogical at best. In the world where Steem incomes are prominent and reliable, a service to take care of your Steem taxes for a fee seems like a profitable business idea. Do people avoid buying stocks and bonds because they have to pay taxes on profits?

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Well that's certainly one vision for Steem. It's not an inspiring one, seeing as traditional social media already serves that purpose. Why would anyone switch to Steem in your vision of that future?

People certainly are not switching to Steem now. On the other hand, billions of people have joined traditional social media.

But social media is by no means the only possible use case of Steem. Steem can also store JSON objects (text), which is made use of by many games such as Splinterlands. Blockchains allow for the true ownership of digital assets such as Splinterlands cards. The state of the game is recorded on Steem, which means that even if the creators of the went AWOL and shut down the front end, anyone could develop a replacement and the players could continue the game. That is impossible on a traditional centralized platform.

Also also, "people won't want money because then they have to pay taxes" seems illogical at best. In the world where Steem incomes are prominent and reliable, a service to take care of your Steem taxes for a fee seems like a profitable business idea. Do people avoid buying stocks and bonds because they have to pay taxes on profit?

We are extremely far from Steem incomes being prominent and reliable. Most people here are anonymous or pseudonymous and are most likely not paying taxes on their income, which makes it understandable that they're not "doxxing" themselves en masse out there. There are very few people on here willing to go and get people to join Steem in the walking world, which organic growth is all about.

You do realize that if everyone actually paid tax on their earned Steem income, that would increase the selling pressure tremendously.

Also, it is completely impossible to pay any kind of significant rewards to, say, hundreds of millions of Steemians in any case. It's completely clear that even with the low price of Steem, most of the content here is not worth the fiat value of the rewards. STEEM is a middle-tier altcoin whose valuation is largely speculative at this stage.

No. Most people that come here aren't leaving because of potential tax liabilities. It's a non issue. You equate blogging with mining, ignoring that Steem was actually mined into existence.

Lite accounts are crap. No one wants them. People want to participate in social interactions, and the FAANGs prove that social media is the most profitable business model in existence today.

Unless Steem enables rewards to inure to folks that socially interact here, it's gonna continue to die. You advocate a gaming platform. You aren't on one. This is Steem. The gaming platform you seek is called Steam.

Lrn 2 difference.

No. Most people that come here aren't leaving because of potential tax liabilities.

I've never said people are leaving because of potential tax liabilities. What I've said is that most people are not inviting friends and family to join partly because they don't want people who know their real identities to know they're earning on Steem, some very significant amounts, and that this is partly because most of them are not paying any tax on their Steem income.

It's a non issue.

It most certainly is not a non issue.

You equate blogging with mining, ignoring that Steem was actually mined into existence.

What are you talking about? Income gained by blogging on Steem is earned income. The issue of mining has nothing whatsoever to do with this. And despite some STEEM having been premined, most STEEM that will exist will be generated as content rewards.

Lite accounts are crap. No one wants them. People want to participate in social interactions, and the FAANGs prove that social media is the most profitable business model in existence today.

Using a lite account doesn't mean one cannot participate in social interactions on Steem. That is entirely doable using guest accounts provided and maintained by an app. Logging into the app could be done using one's Facebook account, an email address or whatever. That is the most convenient way for the average person to use any app. The average person doesn't give a flying fuck about decentralization and I suspect will not be bothered with creating an account for themselves using AnonSteem or any such service or even to maintain their own keys.

Unless Steem enables rewards to inure to folks that socially interact here, it's gonna continue to die.

Steem has failed to even begin mass onboarding. I've found the opportunity to earn to be highly suspicious in the minds of a lot of people I've told about Steem. And I'm not the only one having observed that. For me, it's a complete no-brainer to use it to earn. But most people do not care about that at all. In a way, that will make things massively easier for Steem as an ecosystem because it implies that the masses can be onboarded without any need for them to earn anything, just consume and pay for shit. They will eventually give our investment the kind of value we're hoping it to have one day.

You advocate a gaming platform. You aren't on one. This is Steem. The gaming platform you seek is called Steam.

(Steam does not provide players true ownership of their digital assets because it's centralized.)

App developers do not need your permission to develop precisely the kind of apps they see fit. Splinterlands operates completely outside the reward system. It has nothing to do with creating content. It is arguably the healthiest and most thriving application in the entire ecosystem.

Steem isn't decentralized. A couple dozen people own the accounts that possess the vast majority of Steem - all of which was originally mined by the ninjaminers. The rewards being issued are a fraction of that Steem, and most of them inure to the original ninjaminers because they use stake weighting to extract them into the wallets of their thousands of accounts.

The votes for witnesses are stake weighted, and therefore the witnesses serve at the behest of the ninjaminers. Splinterlands is great for folks that want to play games. Folks that want to play games are a fraction of the folks that want to engage on social media. You can restrict your vision of Steem however you want, but your claims and plans basically are in denial of provable facts.

Steem isn't decentralized. A couple dozen people own the accounts that possess the vast majority of Steem - all of which was originally mined by the ninjaminers. The rewards being issued are a fraction of that Steem, and most of them inure to the original ninjaminers because they use stake weighting to extract them into the wallets of their thousands of accounts.

I was originally talking about Steem rewards being taxable as earned income, in which context what you're saying above is completely irrelevant.

Splinterlands is great for folks that want to play games. Folks that want to play games are a fraction of the folks that want to engage on social media. You can restrict your vision of Steem however you want,

Despite paying its users to use it Steem is failing to attract large crowds of users. Steem is still paying its users something rather than nothing unlike every mainstream social media platform in existence.

Why is the Steem user base not growing organically and fast at that if the rewards are such an important attraction? (Surprisingly, they're not. Mainstream people can't be bothered with learning to use Steem and earn some money while blogging. Very few Steemians have been able to get people to join and STAY on Steem for any length of time. Either the rewards are too good to be true and stories of them are met with extreme scepticism or they're measured in pennies and nobody gives a fuck. Not even piss poor Venezuelan students who you'd think be interested in grabbing whatever money coming their way are clamoring to join Steem. These facts really boggle the mind.)

but your claims and plans basically are in denial of provable facts.

You can repeat that to yourself if it makes you feel better.

My point in response to your claim that aversion to taxation was a primary reason people weren't Steemers was that it was irrelevant, and the overwhelming majority of Steem was not available to most users on which to be taxed. You claimed that was not true, and now you claim that despite it being true it is irrelevant. You may not like the facts, but bobbing and weaving around them will not make your statements true.

"Why is the Steem user base not growing organically and fast at that if the rewards are such an important attraction?"

I address this issue in detail elsewhere. To skim: financial rewards are NOT a primary reason people interact socially, and people are extremely sensitive to fairness. Indeed, vertebrates are extremely sensitive to fairness, meaning it isn't just some meme issue. Dogs will fight to the death over tidbits if they are provided intentionally unfairly.

Profiteering is destructive of business endeavors, and the ninjaminers were great coders, not experienced investors that were well informed regarding mechanisms potentiating capital gains, the means used to drive investment since prehistory. ROI is not capital gains.

You can ignore these facts to your heart's content. That won't make them go away, and when you do not acknowledge facts your statements will remain false.


The new curve is not a switch back to the old curve. I don’t know what else I can say other than I have the exact same concerns as you do, and I agree that they are valid concerns. Despite that however, I still feel very strongly that we need these changes.

Can we not make the two other EIP changes without the curve? Are top witnesses prepared to roll back the changes efficiently if what we think will probably happen seems to be happening? In talking to witnesses, it seems like everyone is especially concerned about the curve. That seems valid. Why isn't anybody leading from the front on changing that component? It's not too late.

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The time to decide against particular portions of the package has past. We don’t get to pick and choose parts at this point, we either accept the changes as a package or we don’t.

I mean, I'd say everyone should reject the package as a whole and then implement a package without the curve. You've all been aware of this problem the whole time, but it seems like it's been too late to change anything since it was announced. Someone has to be willing to do the right thing even when there's tremendous pressure to go along with what was decided by others.

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There was a lot of discussion about this prior to the hardfork being developed. There is consensus among the witnesses to proceed forward. You frame it as the “right” vs. “wrong” thing, but it is not that simple. I do not think that what we are doing is wrong, otherwise I would not be voting for it. The hardfork is the best deal we could come up with to try and fix our issues that could be developed in a reasonable amount of time and be accepted by a super majority of witnesses.