Help Fix Steem's Economy!

in #steem5 years ago (edited)

Help Me Fix Steem's Economy!

While most people would agree that something is wrong on this platform, many can't quite pinpoint exactly what the problem is. This is known as the Steve Buscemi's face effect.

Me starting off with that joke basically means we're stuck with this as the thumbnail

Lately, I keep hearing a lot of complaints like:

  • People are far too greedy on Steemit
  • We have a problem of bad culture and need to educate people to behave better
  • Keep your hands to yourself you creep or I'll call the police
  • How the fuck can people just get away with self voting 10 times a day?

These are all misdiagnoses of the underlying economic problem which I've written directly below in bold so lazy shits can just read that and go straight to the comments.

Problem: Under our current economy of linear and 25% curation, it is roughly 4x more financially rewarding to participate in content indifferent voting behavior (eg. self voting, vote selling) than content reflective voting behavior (eg. curation). This has lead to a complete failure in our ability to function as a content discovery and rewards platform.

Now because it takes painstaking hard work and extraordinary talent to create high quality content such as this piece you're reading, many large stakeholders have opted to sell their votes to garbage ads or self vote their own rubbish. Supporting actual good content will, on average, cost you 75% of your returns in lost opportunity, and fighting against the rubbish on here will only set you back a mere 100% of returns. Thus, it becomes too expensive for many of us to not take part in the very activity that, collectively, is destroying this platform.

Imagine you had a community that introduced a new law which rewarded a person $1000 every time they take a shit in public. Would it be surprising to discover, after a while, that the streets were flowing in diarrhea? Would you try to rectify this situation by asking people to be less greedy? Or perhaps try to educate people to shift from a culture of shitting on the streets to one of, well, not shitting on the streets? Would there be a point in asking how the fuck do you even manage to shit 10 times a day?

Of course not. You'd change the law that rewarded shitting in public so highly. Similarly, don't be surprised if people engage in the exact activity we've decided to reward the most: vote farming (be it vote selling or self voting). Now, our approach to rectify this should be clear:

Mission: We need to devise and implement a new economic system that rewards the behavior we want with the most competitive returns while sacrificing the least in terms of trade offs.

You get the behavior you reward the most on here. The idea is to close the gap between content indifferent and content reflective rewards by incentivizing the former less and the latter more in terms of returns. @kevinwong and I prefer using a combination of measures (slight superlineararity, higher curation 50% and 10% separate downvotes) modestly, which together, should be strong enough to give good curation a competitive edge over mindless vote selling and self voting. Of course other measures are perhaps available, and they all have their trade offs. Some are really fucking bad ideas, and I might write about them another day.

It is quite frustrating to see the overall lack of clarity and urgency in terms of efforts being directed to fixing this problem that's completely undermining our platform over the past year. Focusing on UI or communities as a solution is like getting diagnosed with testicular cancer and deciding that the best way to treat it is by getting a nose job and your anus bleached.

The good news is that the failure of this system is entirely fixable; it isn't at all something inherent to decentralization or stake based voting, nor is it some moral or cultural problem. We can change the economics here to incentivize the behavior we want instead of swimming through our diarrhea filled streets.

If you believe something should be done to better align rewards with desirable behavior, please let witnesses and Steemit Inc know about it. Do it in person if you're attending Steemfest 3. Kevin will be there and he'll give you a private lap dance if you help us fix the economy.


I've gained 20 pounds over the past few months just being depressed af over this.. so I hope you guys love an emo lap dancer who's a bit on the thicc side.. *wink wink*

I like kevin
kevin thinks my ideas are good

I don't like people who are not kevin
people who are not kevin think my ideas are shit

I also don't think your ideas are shit. :)

Do you think mine is?
I would prefer a curve which started as n^2 / exponential (thus flat), and then later changed into linear which would work against self-voting as well as excessive rewards for single posts.

@clayop had a similar idea.

yes I agree

in the other post by kevin we mention that the superlinear part can have a linear tail, which is exactly what we meant

it doesn't even have to be n^2 at the start. It can be even be as simple as just two linear lines joined together, one with a low gradient at the start and after a certain point it's continued by another linear line with a higher gradient. Honestly even something as simple as that will do

of course you'll still need higher curation and downvote incentives. They all have their downsides but the more you use of one measure, the less you'll need of the other measures.

The witnesses hate superlinear of any kind so this is not going to get through for now, but eventually we'll revisit it. Otherwise what's going to stop me from creating hundreds of accounts a month and ninja farming small comments all over the place? You can't downvote what you can't detect in a cost effective way, and any type of superlinear counters this last exploit that I can think of.

I didn't mention it in detail here mostly because I was throwing some jokes around. I should do a more serious write up at some point

... in the other post by kevin we mention that the superlinear part can have a linear tail, which is exactly what we meant ...

That's interesting ... even if I read his post, it seems that I have missed that part (or it was in a further post which I was not aware of).

Anyway, I really appreciate your efforts!

I think it's in there

ctrl f - linear tail, he just mentions it in passing and i remember reading it. We discussed it a lot and a lot of us, apparently you and clayop as well, reach similar conclusions. I'm not too focused about credit etc, there aren't really any rewards for coming up with the most creative or even applicable solutions. Let's just do something reasonable and change this economic system that's a complete failure right now

I don't think anyone thinks your ideas are shit. I think the main issues are just 1. how to achieve consensus on fixes, 2. how to prioritize fixes, 3. when is the appropriate time to shift focus to economic changes (e.g. post-SMT), etc.

"People think focus means saying yes to the thing you've got to focus on. But that's not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully."

Steem was built for content creators. Early ppl from 2016 are now upset since their content is weak. So they think something is broken. Atm most value flows to real solid content creators. These ppl at a few thousand Steem will dominate this place in the future since they only focus on producing content.

They don't have time to complain every single day. They have a solid content strategy. 50% curation would be communism. Curation in many ways is leeching. It will be more automated in the future.

Atm most value flows to real solid content creators

Don't make me laugh.

These ppl at a few thousand Steem will dominate this place in the future since they only focus on producing content.

You can deny it all you want. At the moment video is currently what has the highest value. And they get massive value from dtube support. Text has less value by the market place. The chart you linked to is because of how Steem was shared out in 2016. Which means it will take a long time to balance it out. To people that want more Steem.

And they get massive value from dtube support.

And where is that coming from? Free stake from Steemit inc, if it wasn't for that dtubers would probably make the same amount vimm streamers make without the generous curation of @thejohalfiles and a few others.

That is true, leverage will always probably come from a few specific powerful sources at the moment

Nobody wants Steem. No company is out there waiting to leverage on it.

At the moment video is currently what has the highest value. And they get massive value from dtube support.

Might do you good to know whats actually happening.

"Nobody wants Steem." That is logically incorrect. People are buying and selling Steem every day so that proves you are wrong. "No company is out there waiting to leverage on it." another lie. There are companies at the moment that leverage Steem.

Video still has the highest value. Or do you try to make an argument that video is not the highest value by linking to an article without actually writing your own thoughts. Video is the future. As well as 3D worlds, Virtual Reality Worlds and AR worlds.

I like a lot of what you're saying, and do hope the pendulum is swinging toward quality, but in addition to not being sure that's true, I haven't the faintest idea of what you mean by "50% curation would be communism"

But more to the point, not sure 50% is a fix, since it also wouldn't stop large accounts from upvoting themselves. They'd still get all the rewards, their author rewards, and curation rewards from discovering their own content. And if someone jumped on their content to get more of their rewards, well, they'd get those author rewards, and still part of the curation, too.

Someone correct my math if you think it's wrong.
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Have been on Steemit for about 18 months... what little I know is that Both You & @KevinWong are very smart.

Thank You @Trafalgar 4 writing this straight-forward, simple to understand Post.

Cheers !!

hi, @trafalgar,

We are the Steem witness currently active on Latam, we are maintaining a big community (Comunidad Latina) and a lot of tools such Cotify,

Our community and Latam users in general still is growing and we want to reach the TOP 20 in order to provide a better support to them.

Could be a way to receive your support by voting our witness (@cotina) and help us to achieve that goal?

Proof of Calories.


haha :D


Is there any other kind...????

Aren't most lap dancers some variation of the emo variety? Thicc is a bonus, though. 😁

@kevinwong .. I can't wait to watch that private lapdance on stage when they air the SF on youtube hahah

Thanks! I’ll chime in later if I have recovered from feeling sick talking about it..

I can recommend the potato diet !

I just became depressed af to find this 6 months later so I can't resteem it anymore. But it's good to go back to your profile and finding this linked to your latest article @kevinwong. Come to Vancouver. I'll hook you up with some curvy friend of mine, she'll make your depression evaporate quick af.

No we dont. The proposal you guys are making is a really bad idea. Its bad from so many points of view that its hard to even start to point out the least bad effect this would cause.
There is only 1 fix to this. And that fix includes banning certain behavior. That will never happen.

I dont know if youre making this proposal with good intentions in mind but everything points to you guys using your position as whales to increase your ROI.
Youre using your position you gained by throwing around a few $ through curating to push a profit maximization change for yourself. I mean just look at the positive comments from the people that would be most screwed by this.
This is a tragically bad idea that would change absolutely nothing for the better except increase the current curators profit.
You dont want to adjust to the system. You want the system to adjust to you.
Its even more tragically bad since in principle its just "trickle down" in disguise....
You had dtube move towards 50% curation few months ago and it changed almost nothing in curator behavior. You still had dtube and Kpine supporting most of the quality content creators.

What youre essentially doing is cutting everyone else earning potential, wrecking bots, alienating passive investors that couldnt care less about curating (that by the way will always be passive), assuming large accounts have some kind of glorified talent in recognizing quality content, trying to grab more power for yourself (your right of course)...

You assume STEEM is just a content monetization platform when in reality its a token distribution platform.
The change to content placement STEEM could actually benefit from, which ofc doesnt require a such a radical change, is a STEEMIT UI design change, a bot upvote filter.

You disguise your proposal as a "lets fix trending", "lets make quality content win"..... and you know who will make good content win?
We will!

Me and Kevin! So give us more money.

If you want to do something for the platform, focus on marketing. I just hope this never passes or STEEM will literally go down the toilet.

You're the guy who once tried to tell me you were earning a 10% profit by spending 15 STEEM and getting 15.023 STEEM in return. I thought I'd start there.

You're claiming these folks have an ulterior motive, so I'd like to point to that link again. I have reason to believe, based on the things you said there, you have an ulterior motive. You're here to defend your approach where you purchase votes and hope to squeak out tiny profits. That comes first to you, and your content doesn't matter, it's just there.

By the sounds of what you're saying here, you don't want curators to come along and vote for your work. By the sounds of what you're saying here, you'd rather earn your .023 STEEM by pulling 14 meaningless dollars out of the reward pool with purchased votes, instead of pressing the vote button ONCE to earn MORE than .023 STEEM by utilizing your own SP as a tool to earn curation rewards.

A bot upvote filter would be like sweeping your kind under the rug at this point. If you're removing $14 out of the reward pool just so you can make .023 STEEM, you're wasting resources. That action of wasting resources should be downvoted and that $14 returned to the reward pool.

I have reason to believe you'd prefer things stay the same so you can continue exploiting the reward pool, so you can scrape pennies off the floor. The platform you want sounds like this to me:

I have a two dollar coin. If you would like to earn the two dollar coin, you must first give me a 10 dollar bill, then scrub my toilet. Then you can have your two dollar coin.

You contradict yourself quite often. Your actions speak louder than your words. You don't want to see people with SP earning more, yet you pay people with SP 15 STEEM so you can earn .023 STEEM. I think your head is screwed on backwards. You wrote a post, pressed many buttons and paid people 15 STEEM so you could earn .023 STEEM. Why not powerup that STEEM in your wallet, press the vote button once, help someone, and earn more than .023 STEEM?

@steemmatt applauds you:

You have some major balls, but this is the type of voice that opens eyes instead of kisses asses.

But to me you sound more like an ass kissing yes man here to apply spin and defend a few vote dealers and their goddamn Monkey Posts.

Have a good day. Was good to see you again.

Yep, that whole comment loses all integrity with the booster vote.

He didn't boost the original comment, I did for visibility, @lordbutterfly then asked me if I boosted it, I said yes. That will say he did no effort in pushing it to the top

You've actually done a fine job of demonstrating why actual curation is important. You bought this top slot and disguised it as popular opinion because you and possibly a loud minority agrees. No different than if this post was about Coke and someone wrote in to speak about their bad experience with Coke while Pepsi paid for top positioning. It's shady. It would be hard to take the Coke hater's views seriously.

I downvoted for the simple fact, the top slot only required $4 but I saw $12 next to the comment. Since the point of the purchase was to place it at the top, $8 was a waste of resources, so I returned a portion of that to the pool, giving others an opportunity to earn it. There's no point in wasting $8 and if people want to treat it like it's worthless, it will become worthless.

It's all transparent so there is no secrecy here. It's not shady since it's transparent. Anyone can go look who buys a vote or promotion. I did this because I felt strongly that it should have more visibility. Now since this boost of comment was something that was possible when I went to the promotion page I thought it would be no big deal.

It was done for visibility. Did it work? Yes it got more visibility and feedback. And I appreciate it. And yes I looked at it with some margins. A bigger numbers creates a bigger response. I wouldn't call it a waste since I think conversations on important nuanced topics as governance has value for the whole Blockchain ecosystem.

I also would call it a popular opinion since I would say if someone puts lots of capital behind something that shows a level of care for the platform. Since it shows some form of investment. I would call important conversations more valuable than any other thing. But I understand people have different points of views about governance and how they want things to be. You need a range of various people to create a balanced network.

I didn't comment because there was money beside the post. I've been visiting and reading this blog since it came out. It could have been down at the bottom, I would have said the same damn thing.

Part of what you're calling 'feedback' was you telling another member how to ask questions properly.

You feel strongly about it, you see value in it, but not everyone sees the world as you do. That goes for me as well. I see the world as I do, and I think it's shady. Just because I can see an employee helping themselves to cash out of the register, that doesn't make it okay.

I could spend $1 million dollars to buy a billboard slot and claim my hockey team is the best in the world. So what if their record is 0 wins and 20 losses? Because I spent money to say something, that makes it true? Because I spent money, that means I love my favorite hockey team even more?

Sounds more like the money is clouding your judgement.

Sometimes I think you're another one here with their head screwed on backwards. And I mean that in a nice way. I just don't know what other words to use to best describe what I see. Sometimes it feels like opposite day here and everyone is just acting weird on purpose because those are the rules.

P.S. I don't have time to sit here and talk in circles tonight.

Exactly we are all different and view at things with slight differences (or big differences). But my base view is that I think money has a larger importance in how it shapes reality. I think money creates reality as you can shape people's life with it in any way you like.

And some of us are too different that it is as you say, it would only be talk in circles and never get anywhere. I enjoy reading a lot of your stuff, it's extremely well written and I would even call it poetry sometimes, but I also know that I would not look at stuff the same way sometimes, but I can at the same time 100% agree with you.

Some people are very hard to read. I like to test reality and sometimes even confuse people. I like to play roles sometimes. Experiment around. And if you find someone else that maybe do the same you may get max confusion. Haha. Well we are on something called Earth with unlimited ignorance. So there is lots of stuff you can do here and spend time with!

But circles are the best shape to talk in.

Thank you, folks, be sure to tip your waitress, I'll be here all.... Eternity.

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It's not super transparent, because there are plenty of new users who have no idea what upvote bots are. There was a bot that tried to post about that, but it got killed. This is an odd war.

I'm just watching. I care, but I can't say I know what's right, and also everyone is really emotional about social media, so that's kinda scary.

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@nonameslefttouse - would just like to clarify a bit of a potentially misleading reference. While I do generally appreciate when people speak their minds without fear to try to spark change, it doesn't necessarily mean I'm giving them a standing ovation in agreement with their message.

Fair enough @steemmatt. I read it like, "Yeah! Stick it to the man!" I'll take the blame for that.

This place is getting better though. People are feeling more free to be open. No flag wars, no trolling. Even I'm being given a chance to speak and I know I can be a bit abrasive at times, nobody is shooting me down for being me, so that's cool, because I truly mean no harm, I just can't seem to mince my fucking words well enough some days.

Thanks man. In hindsight, it was a pretty dumb spot for me to make that comment, especially seeing how the dialogue blew up afterwards.

In the tone of a high school yearbook signature, "Don't ever change".

I like mince in pies and politics. But your words seem fine, even without the deliciousness that mince adds to meat.
God I can't wait for mincemeat pie season.

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Wow, this post had some funny points, but @nonameslefttouse your comment is even better! Seriously so many people simply get not enough returns for their bought bid botds, and they still keep doing it :S They'd easily earn more by getting curated once in a while. And it would be even better if there will be more curators or stronger curators.
For example I like that another platform allows self voting posts, but self voting comments is simply a waste (you get 1/4th the value), would it be so hard to implement that? And after 5 posts per day for the self vote value to drop drastically? You're not banning it this way, but you're making it less desirable :)

Great. I see your points but responding wouldnt really add much to my overall argument. Basically id just repeat what i wrote above and in a few other comments and go in circles of repeating the same thing over again.
You seem a bit too "composed" in your comments for my liking so i think ill have more fun with Nonames. He seems a bit more fun... hehe. :D
At the end of the day, thats what its all about.
But thx for the reply.

You have some major balls, but this is the type of voice that opens eyes instead of kisses asses.

This post has received a 30.69 % upvote from @boomerang.

Oh the irony

The problem is that Kevin and Traf will make more money?

Responding with a 1 line comment to 300 word comment is a bit waste of time. The original comment goes very much in depth in how he looks at things.

His argument has a fundamental flaw: that big investors are not supposed to look out for themselves. That large stakeholders should not have a huge say in a "Staked" economy.

Hence the question. And there is nothing wrong with answering that question.

No he is not saying that.

He lays out his views in a long detailed way. Responding with a 1 line comment to something nuanced is disrespectful as the original commenter invested lots of time to create his thoughts down on paper. If someone writes a deep comment there should be an appropriate detailed response that use quotes from the original comment and explains things with some depth and consideration.

It's easy to try to pick small things from a long comment and try to lead things down to 1 specific path. That is easy to do. Life is more nuanced. So it needs to be handled with some care. And not lead stuff off topic. Since it shows that even if you would get a long depth comment back in return you would probably respond with a short one again. Which shows low care levels in expression. It tries to bring down a conversation to something overly short and too simplistic.

Some person investing a lot of time and energy to develop something proper won't take an overly short response serious as it will be a waste of time.

Oooo. This is what someone was talking about when they said you were trying to control how people comment.

Guilty. Sometimes I only have a few words to respond with. It's sometimes frustrated me that people go on for pages when I have something to say about their premise that would lead the conversation in another direction.

I wonder if we'll ever get past the gap between how we expect to be able to converse and what social media is capable of conveying.

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Why would you say that? I actually claim thats its completely understandable and expected.

trying to grab more power for yourself (your right of course)...

The thing is that when everyone else is paying the price, its important to speak up even if it means that Kevin might decide never to "gift " you again.

Seems it's better we all stay in the ditch than give people an incentive to reignite their curating fuck-o-meter which has a little downside of making whales richer.

I'm trying to see your angle here but all I see is prejudice.

The thing is that when everyone else is paying the price, its important to speak up even if it means that Kevin might decide never to "gift " you again.

Voting for someone's post doesn't mean you are gifting him or her anything.

You are one real prejudiced mf haha

Prejudice? Im not seeing any here. Re-ignite whose curation?
Freedoms? Fyrsts? Cmon.

Im not sure how you arent seeing this, but they want to cut everyones potential payouts by 25%. This means slower growth for smaller accounts and faster growth for large accounts. A gap will widen drastically. Also this essentially kills bots so you cant even empower yourself but are rather dependent even more on a few whales that want to curate.

Hehe. Its not about Kevin and Traf making more money. Its about what will happen just so Kevin and Traf could make more money.

And you believe Kevin and Traf have MORE to lose if their intentions are "not good" and these proposed changes bring forth behaviors that will make Steem more worthless?

This change wont bring any change of behavior. It will change the way the behavior is exhibited but it will stay the same. As it did always.
This change is incredibly dangerous because its essentially a aggressive move by the curator whales against the community in an attempt to grab more power for themselves which they can do, because "curation" has always been seen as a major strength of the platform and the 5-10$ they drop on your post has a huge impact on an individual. (wow someone gave me 10$ for something i wrote) Therefor you assume these guys can do no wrong.

Problem is that we moved away from the "gift" economy which is a extremely small part of the larger picture.

Not one thing that is written in this post can you hang your hat on and say: Yes this change will lead to improvement in this "area".

Not one thing would change for the better, unless you are a curator large account like Kevins and Trafs, then you would get a higher ROI.
Instead of creating a fairer distribution across the board, creating a middle class, they want to empower themselves to a higher degree.

They are essentially saying that by increasing their returns you will be better off.
That is wrong on so many levels.

  1. Passive investors will remain passive investors since not everyone cares about curation.
  2. The "potential" (and i mean this in the broadest of definitions) for new whale curators popping up from what we have now is close to zero, and the passive whale accounts actually openly admitted they would still look for passive income instead of curating.
  3. And the most important part... There just isnt enough curators to assume they would be able to cover current platform quality creators with upvotes, to justify a cut of 25% from author earnings for everyone on the platform, alienating passive investors and a move to 1.2 superlinear
    Curator behavior would not change and everyone else would take a huge cut.

You would be essentially increasing community dependency greatly on just a few large stake holders that already have a great effect on the gift economy.
This is ludicrous on so many levels.

Problem is that we moved away from the "gift" economy

Steem was never envisioned as a gift economy. It was and is based on directing rewards to those who contribute value.

Gifting can be done using the transfer function. That's not ever been the idea of the reward pool and voting.

Though I will say it wouldn't necessarily be an altogether bad idea to design a system around. But it isn't Steem.

move to 1.2 superlinear

Kevin and Traf like ^1.3 or ^1.2 superlinear (which they call 'mild' but I disagree) but very few others do. It isn't likely to happen, so perhaps consider the rest of the proposal without it as a more realistic take.

I might have expressed myself wrongly there, but STEEM being a "gift economy" is the idea being held by quite a few people which was the point i was trying to make.
The whole problem around all and any discussions that take this direction, i think stems from one single thing..


People have a different view of what value is.
On one side you have people trying to tell you what should and should not be considered value, what should be considered more or less valuable, and on the other hand you have people (and i consider myself in that camp) that say: "What ever you decide."

Well if they contribute good content AND make money, I don't mind. If they're making money at the net expense of Steem, that's bad.


This is a pressing matter, reason why you had to wake up the sleeping dog. This issue has been a general problem that can't be fixed on the platform, the best place to savage the situation is at steemfest since Ned will be present.

You need to get already that steemit is not about content discovery.
It is about competing-for-eyeballs economy.

Under this paradigm steemit is alive and well and made a huge leap with HF20 recently

I can easily get behind the idea of 50/50 curation, that would encourage you to hunt for good content or join the best curation leagues since there's a chance for you to get great rewards with that.

I love the idea behind subsidizing flags, I've seen others proposing something more radical like a second voting mana bar just for flags, what's your take on this?

I would need to do some more reading to understand the impact of going to 1.3 instead of linear since I came to Steem after superlinear was gone and don't have any experience with the previous system.

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I don't know about the flag idea but I do agree with the 50/50 thing. The flag idea I think could encourage flagging for reasons of jealousy/envy rather than legit reasons. How would we prevent flag abuse?

The idealistic answer would be that users would only flag real spam and plagiarism but we all know that won't happen.

The ideal would be that this alternative mana bar for flagging is only a fraction of the size of your real real mana bar so it would run out faster so if you want to do positive flagging or bad flagging, you only have so much flags a day, let's say, 3 full flags a day or something like that, therealwolf released another post regarding this and he explains it a bit better.

I was just about to make a post regarding the flaws I've noticed with this platform. It seems to me that there is a perpetual motion machine of sorts in regards to "acts that get a reward", rather than acts that will benefit the community. Interesting post, and thank you for sharing.

thanks for reading
the problem is that the acts that gain the most rewards and acts that benefit the community the most should align
they don't, but it's fixable

Why doesn't Steemit Inc hire an economist to help with this? Or what about economists or students who post on Steem who can help with this?

Maybe an Economist also cannot answer this. Because you won't learn about a system like steem in school. This is a new ecology that did not exist before. Building it well is hard. We need to take responsibility, i believe. Thanks to OOP for doing something about it.

The last time they had a person who understands economics in there, it was @dan, and his views were considered evil, and he was effectively smoked out of the company.

That's probably a reason why.

@dan isn't/wasn't an economist either. I agree he had more understanding than the current people in charge but an actual economist would be someone who focuses only on that problem.

There are economists capable of approaching these sorts of problems but it is a narrow sub-specialty, there aren't many of them, and they don't necessary want to work for Steemit either (although many would probably consult, likely at a pretty high price). I commented with some specifics on this sort of thing a while back when Steemit made a post asking for community input. As far as I can tell they acted on none of it (not just my input, all of it).

Anyway, just hiring smart people/economists with some vaguely related background would be good. Smart people can often come up to speed and figure out a lot. Part of that involves knowing how to navigate the literature and connect with others in the field. There is currently no one with any vaguely related background at Steemit as far as I can tell. Perhaps that is one reason they avoid these problems and work on things like SMTs.

I like both you and @kevinwong, maybe that is just because of my slight affection for Asians. I completely agree that the current model is not working, this place is festering of late and something needs to be done. A 50/50 split might be the best way to accomplish this.

However going off of your post, you have only looked at the economic model and neglected the social aspect of the platform. Your notions would be accurate if this were a purely economic platform, but there is much more to it than just that. It's the same reason billions of people are on Facebook without receiving a penny. The social aspect really should not be overlooked.
The social aspect is very powerful, but when it is smothered by self votes and the "me over everything" attitude, it gets drowned out.

If this was purely about money than I never would have stood up to clowns like bernie sanders knowing full well it would result in the loss of potential steem earnings. The same goes for many of the communities and votes that take place, people want to feel connection and Steem has done this in the past.

There is a lot to untangle with the current economic model but I think its important to understand there is much more than just the economic part to it.

However going off of your post, you have only looked at the economic model and neglected the social aspect of the platform

The economy has to work first. Otherwise to quote @dana-edwards elsewhere in this thread, "The ship sinks".

There are many different ways to work on social aspects, and many different sorts of social aspects that can find a niche. Facebook is very different from Twitter which is very different from Reddit which is very different from Steemit (which indeed may be very different from some future Steemit). These can all work.

Getting the economy to work is the first priority.

The economy needs to work, but it can be viewed in isolation without looking at the intrinsic value the platform creates. Steemit is more than just an economic system, what exactly that is, is up for interpretation. It is the first of its kind and the driving force for people to come to the platform is the idea of the economic incentive, but it is not necessarily the reason they stay, especially when seeing the incentives decrease as substantially as they have in 2018. The economy definitely needs amending, but so do many other aspects of this ecosystem

The economy still needs to work or the ship just sinks, at some point literally people can't afford to run the servers (not cheap), etc. It doesn't really matter what the motivations or intrinsic values are. The numbers need to work. (I'm not claiming we are anywhere near the point where servers would be turned off. We're not. But keeping tho ship afloat at a basic level is still always a consideration that trumps others.)


First of all, long time no chat! I miss your musk.

Second, many people think you are just a clown here to entertain all of us. But I know your secret. You are actually brilliant! For close to a year you have been jumping up and down pointing to the roof that is on fire. You also pointed out exactly why the roof is on fire. But many have said "We don't need no water let the mothertrucker burn. Burn mothertrucker. Burn." (This joke was intended for the very small niche of 1980s House Music enthusiasts).

Now that the pleasantries are out of the way, because I am not Kevin, I think your solution has a flaw.

I completely disagree with the idea that making downvotes easier and cheaper will help in any way. I think that would be disastrous. We have already seen the vast majority of people use their upvotes to maximize personal, immediate profits. What makes anyone believe people will not use downvotes in the same exact way? Do we trust people to use downvotes to help the platform or to help themselves?

Two years of evidence seems to indicate that if people had cheap downvotes at their disposal, they would use them to increase their individual immediate profits. People will not downvote based on post quality, they will downvote based on the immediate impact on their personal rewards.

In addition, it will bring a level of negativity to the platform that most normal people will seek to avoid.

haha I don't think you need to be brilliant to see that rewarding content indifferent voting behavior (vote selling/farming) 4x more than good curation is a recipe for disaster. It's a surprise we adopted this economic model, and a bigger surprise to be stuck here for over a year.

You're right to be concerned about downvotes. Every one of these measures I've pushed for have trade offs. Ideally we don't want to take more rewards from content creators, we don't want the inequality of any suplinearity, and we don't want the drama, grief and toxicity of downvotes. The idea is to have a minimum combination of these measures that together, is sufficient to close the 4x gap in returns between vote farming and curation.

I'll focus on downvotes. I have a lot of concerns with additional downvote incentives, some of which overlap with yours.

The point you raised about directly using downvotes to benefit oneself is less of a concern if free downvotes are relatively limited. This is because unlike upvotes which can be directed to reward a specific account, downvotes can only be used to deprive an account of potential rewards. So if I have $100 of free daily downvotes, I can't really use them to direct rewards towards me very easily. The most I can do is throw them out indiscriminately on posts I have not voted and thereby indirectly have the posts I have voted to rise ever so slightly in value because I've taken the potential payout of someone else and throw it back into the rewards pool.

Now this doesn't entirely apply if free downvotes have a very high limit. If everyone is given as much free downvotes daily as their daily upvotes (which btw is what most witnesses support but I'm pushing against), then there may be sufficient incentive for larger stakeholders to collude and strategically place their downvotes in a way that significantly pulls rewards platform wide from other posts and pushes them towards posts from which they benefit. Overall this is not an issue with lower limits of free downvotes which I'm espousing.

There are further problems with downvotes. First and foremost, they just suck. Having even minor downvotes thrown at you feels terrible. Not only are they saying they think your content is shit (however right they may be here), they get to remove money that otherwise was directed towards you, making you feel worthless. Of course it gets a lot worse than that, imagine being a relatively small account and having some whale you've randomly ticked off decide to put you in a choke hold for a month. However bad that is, it'll get a lot worse with even with a moderate amount of free downvotes. They greatly contribute to toxicity and escalate negative emotions. I don't think the higher ups really appreciate this as they don't quite use the platform in a way that many of us do, as a social platform.

Compounding this is the fact that unlike upvotes, there are no real checks and balances against free downvotes. Higher curation rewards in upvotes should hopefully become the dominant form of income generation for stakeholders, and thus there's an economic incentive for them to be cast carefully with precision, as your returns are determined by them. There's no similar incentive to keep downvotes precise, proportionate and reasonable. I'm not rewarded more for casting the fairest downvotes on the entire platform. And given the emotional nature of them, they'll be anything but precise, proportionate and reasonable.

For a stakeholder that's using a curation bot or service and making their returns that way, there's little recourse against them if they choose to use downvotes irresponsibly. As they don't post themselves, they're impervious to retaliation and cannot be deterred that way. Remedying an abusive free downvote requires an upvote, which are costly. Free downvotes may serve to keep upvotes in check but the reverse isn't true as there's no such thing as a free upvote.

I honestly have a lot of problems with introducing this change. Nevertheless if it's a moderate amount, I don't see too much direct incentive to use them abusively. There's little to gain directly from abusing them other than if you're a sadist, and I do imagine most of it will be directed with good intentions.

The simple truth is 50% curation just isn't enough to make curation competitive with vote farming so we need downvotes to help, despite all its considerable flaws. Because I strongly believe that however bad they are, the utter failure of a content discovery and rewards platform in which we find ourselves right now is worse. If you have any other ideas with fewer detriments, I'm definitely all ears.

Good to hear from you again my friend


Can you break down the math in 50/50 curation for me?
My problem is, it seems like 50% curation doesn't solve anything.
If someone is just using their stake to upvote themselves, they still will, right? Whereas they used to get their $100 vote as 75% author reward and 25% curation, now they'll get it as $50 author reward and $50 curation, but they'll still get it all. Adding previous voters doesn't really change the math. They'll give more of their curation to those folks, but be getting their upvote value.
So... What am I missing?

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