How to improve your curation quality

in steemit •  2 years ago

On SteemIt, curators are at least as important as content creators, if not more important. As curator you have the power and responsibility to distribute rewards. Curators as a collective have the power to make or break the platform. This article describes some ways to improve your curation system and integrity to increase the overall value of the SteemIt platform and therefore the likelihood it will reach it's maximum potential.

Understand curation rewards

This is possibly the most important factor to increase the overall efficiency of your curation (and the value of the platform). Make sure you have read and completely understood my article curation rewards explained in great detail before you continue!

Reward popular content creators less

There are 3 main reasons why you might want to reduce the amount of rewards you assign to popular content creators:

  • Popular content creators are already sufficiently motivated
  • When you assign rewards to popular content creators, you are partially responsible for potentially demotivating other quality content creators who would increase the value of the platform when you would reward them sufficiently
  • You usually make less money yourself by rewarding popular content creators (as described in my article about curation rewards)

Only focus on rewarding quality content

As a curator you are essentially a moderator of the content on the network. These are some guidelines to follow to keep the value of the SteemIt platform high:

  • Make sure your voting power is always at least at 80% (unless you will be away for longer than 24 hours)
  • Maintain a high standard of quality
  • Never vote without reading at least part of the content
  • Decide if you think the content is undervalued, sufficiently valued or overvalued and act accordingly
  • Estimate how much motivation the author has based on previous rewards


The question you need to ask yourself is: are you contributing enough to the network to justify this behavior? If you believe the answer is yes, then this isn't a big deal (even if you never curate others) as long as you keep compensating for it in another way.

In case you are no content creator and you don't develop software for the SteemIt platform, then it's likely best to only vote on others. Keep in mind that most people in the world are consumers and only a small minority are content creators, so it's likely that self-voting is not justified in your case.

Don't follow too many people

The best way to curate properly is to have a manageable list of people you follow. Your following list ideally exclusively consists of the very best authors and curators that resteem quality content. If you follow more than a couple of 100 users, you're likely only hurting yourself and everyone you follow, because you cannot efficiently curate every single piece of content that the people you follow publish or resteem. More details can be found in my article why following too many people will only hurt them (and you).

Specifically look for undervalued content

You should at least once in a while invest some of your time to look for (way) undervalued content. Trust me, you'll feel great when you finally found some amazing content and helped the content creator with an upvote, follow and/or resteem! You can't put a price on helping each other. Imagine the feeling you have when one of your posts starts doing really well, that's the feeling you can give to others!


Since there currently is no autonomous system in the SteemIt protocol on the blockchain level that incentivizes you to be a high quality curator and no system that penalizes bad curation behavior, the only way to improve the way the rewards are distributed on the network is to start with yourself! If everyone starts to follow the guidelines described above, the overall value of the network will increase significantly!

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Your article let me think more about my responsibility in contribution to the community. I believe that there will be balance in steem upvotes and that quality content will prevail. None the less its good that your article makes people aware about the effects of unresponsible upvotes.


This post received a 1.2% upvote from @randowhale thanks to @freyrtruthseeker! For more information, click here!

Hey calamus, this is the perfect post for where I'm at in my first week on Steemit.

As a n00b in my first week, I want to get my content in front of a wider audience. I know my niche and I know I can add value to their stream if they can just find my content.

I've therefore been trying to work out whether I should be engaging with content that is new but I think has potential, or already established and trending.

Your advice is that I should persist with upvoting and engaging on content that I perceive to be undervalued while still new?


It depends if you're a content creator, a curator or an investor. All have different goals.

When your STEEM POWER is under 100 it doesn't really matter how your spend it. In general just do what you think is right.


Well I guess I'm thinking in terms of how I can grow on the site myself and get my content in front of more people, rather than how to improve my curation quality as such.

Although I'm sure these two go hand in hand?


Remember when you were a noob? Now youre in the 60s! Now im the noob! Wooooo


See, it can be done 😎.

Hey thanks for the good advice, I believe this post is already severely undervalued ^_^ you've got my upvote 👍 Keep up the great work @calamu056

I like being both a writer and curator. There is a small overlap, but on the whole they have different strategies. For a newbie, I'd suggest doing both but keep a log of what is earning most - in my very first week my comments earnt more than the posts. But then learn that as your power grows you may need to rethink the balance of strategies. We also all need to sleep!


I think most users are both.

Indeed when you start you should focus on curation and commenting more.

All good points. As you explained in your other article, there is only so much total rewards per day to go around (the STEEM Reward Pool), and the curators are responsible for determining how it is split up. If you feel the content is of high quality, by all means vote (even if it is your own), but remember that the long term success of Steemit and the Steem platform and quality content depends on quality curation!

I am gradually starting to understand how to make use of this platform to gain full potential of the reward system and also will drop the idea of following too many user which I would not be able to support. Definitely you have wrote this article with great experience. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge.

Thanks for the good article. I think it would be extremely bad for minnows if the system started to penalize bad curation, because what else would be bad curation than always upvoting stuff that isn't popular? Well, of course if you always up vote copypasted stuff and don't read the text. I think the problem is that judging what bad curation is, is very subjective in nature. I might be wrong, but that is how I see it. But I think the system could favor up voting good content that is by lower level contributors. It kind of does, if you are a whale and upvote a minnows post, the chances are that more people will notice it and you'll get a lot of curration points for it, but usually it doesn't go that way.

Personally I'm always looking for undervalued stuff, but it really doesn't do me much. I can't affect anything even if I vote on a perfect post, which no one else has up voted. Maybe there could be some better indications as to what level the up votes are. Well I'm just pouring my ideas here, again, doesn't really affect anything :)


Yeah so many flaws in the system.

It doesn't matter that quality is subjective, the collective should decide what's quality, not 1 person :)

today I just scaled down 200 follows.


Aw shucks - Twitter this is not - nor Facebook, racking up "Likes" - time for an attitude adjustment, my dad would say. And time to unfollow. I just learned we cannot unsteem a Resteem.

I definitely learnt a few things, thank you.

Wow, so glad to see an article like this. Don't get me wrong, I'm a tiny minnow with like no voting power, but it's great to see that people who have a lot of voting power are will to go out and help real, valuable people and not only themselves or their friends...
Thanks for sharing :)

nice post mainly for newbie's .....curation is the best idea in this steemit platform :)


Curation is really the crux of what makes this platform work. We have to help each other grow. No doubt about it

Resteemed - Thank you

let me know if you have ever seen or commented on one of my posts ?


I don't recognize any of them so it's unlikely :)

These are interesting thoughts. Well written post and very thoughtful. Keep it up!

Thanks for the great info :)

Thank you @calamus056. Your post is quite informative!

Great advice. Upvoted for sure. I tend to upvote only a few whales because their content IS good. However the rest is always spread out to those in the Minnow category typically because, as you said, there is GREAT content that just isn't getting the lift it should.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts here. Very thorough and it comes from a good place.

Really nice article. If we follow those rules, we will help the community and ourselves to grow. Resteemed!


I agree -- great article. I've only been on Steemit for a week and a half so this helps tremendously :)


Me also I am on my first week and I am enjoying it. Cheers!


Yeah, it's not to shabby here ;) what's the best tip you've learned so far?


Get as much Steem Power as early as possible before starting to cash out. This will increase your voting/curation power


Oh good, that's my plan too! Need to build up that SP. I guess my best advice so far is to play the long game (especially if views/upvotes on your content is low). Just keep on trucking and build up slowly, I suppose :)

I really like your idea, but it seems hard to be implemented. :)


It's really simple, if everyone just starts to be nice to each other it's all done :)

nice information good work.i support you if you support me on @junaidtarar

great information.thanks a lot.I normally follow people without looking at the quality of their contents.from now henceforth,i will make sure to consider the quality of individuals contents before following and upvoting them

Great insight and there is so much excellent content on Steemit it is hard to reward just a few! I do understand your method and it does make sense to be practical with the upvoting, Steem On!

This post has been ranked within the top 25 most undervalued posts in the first half of Jun 30. We estimate that this post is undervalued by $48.16 as compared to a scenario in which every voter had an equal say.

See the full rankings and details in The Daily Tribune: Jun 30 - Part I. You can also read about some of our methodology, data analysis and technical details in our initial post.

If you are the author and would prefer not to receive these comments, simply reply "Stop" to this comment.

I'd like to respectfully disagree with the argument of this post. I don't think one should ever contend that good content doesn't deserve a reward, or if you do present such argument, what would be the limit on what is popular. For example, are you saying if an article has reach 2,000$ or more do not upvote... it's already earned enough? Would you also then suggest do not buy iphones, they already make enough? I think by creating an 'iphone' out of steemit is everyone's goal and the good content will be found through search engines. When people see the potential payouts, this will be what increases the popularity of this platform. Thus, you will then get more eyes on your posts, which I presume is what you are seeking indirectly as it sounds.

The only thing I can agree with, is a lot of people do not understand how steemit really works and especially with voting power. I think explaining that would teach them to be more cautious with their votes. This post reminds me of the news outlets of today, they under mind the public and think they have to tell us what to think.

I've been trying to do this the last week or so. I've only been here a couple months, but I actually have fun scrolling down the NEW category and looking for something interesting. Possibly resteeming it.

I'm trying to gain a foothold here, and I realize that it takes time. Your point about not upvoting the posts that are already getting huge rewards is very valid. I'm going to start doing that. If I vote on a post that is already earning over 1000 dollars, my vote is pretty minimal.

But a 100 percent vote on a relatively unknown post is much more effective. Great info!

My content is enlightening, timely, and enriching, but undervalued. Love me Love me Love me. ;-)

Thank you very much @calamus056.

Before reading through your posts I must admit that I had questioned the true purpose of 'likes' and 'resteems'.

Now I know - and its very helpful.

I do have a question however. Resteems. What is the optimal way to use them?

Based on what you suggest here it seems that the optimal way might be to use one's likes judiciously and resteem after a certain time elapses.

However, maybe the right 'time' is when that article has dropped off the first page of its respective tag?

Also... is it 'ever' optimal to curate/like a comment?


The perfect time to resteem is when the most people are online i guess. It's probably good to wait till the content is at least 30 minutes old though.

Comments are content too, so yes :)


Brilliant. :c)

That does beg the questions (and I don't expect an answer): In a global community like Steemit, what times are most active? And which communities are more likely to curate content in English?

I am thinking US and Western EU - Maybe Australia.


Yeah USA and western Europe timezones seem to be best.


Coincidence. I was looking through my short list of follows and found an answer to my question.

I trust that linking it here is not considered spamming (since its relevant to our conversation)?

Great tips. I'm not so sure quality is rewarded here. I think in some cases it is and the in other cases I'm not sure how people get the rewards they do. lol I'm not complaining just making an observation. Hard to understand.

Great points.

"Decide if you think the content is undervalued, sufficiently valued or overvalued and act accordingly"

This is a really good thing to keep in mind. As a curator, you aren't there just to reward GOOD content, you are there to correct the application of rewards, particularly by rewarding GOOD, but undervalued content. Your points about not rewarding popular content creators are great food for thought.


I didn't say NOT rewarding popular content creators, i said less ;)


Well, true, you got me there. What I really meant was "over-rewarding".

Excellent guidance, thank you.