Upvote Bots #2 – Our hated best friends

in steemit •  last year

It does not matter that you like or not there are bots on Steemit and they are deeply included in the ecosystem. If you meet the word ‘bot’ most probably BidBots come to your mind first although there are many types of them with different purposes and function. If you check the flood of the posts in your Feed or in Trending/Hot you can read more and more about bots mostly in negative aspects and there’s more and more suggestion to change the system. But is it really necessary? Or just the users cannot learn how to use them properly?

grass-lawn-green-wooden-6069.jpg source: pixabay.com CC0 licence

Let’s speak about the ‘Classic Upvote Bots’.

In the first part of this mini-series, I wrote about the purposes of the ‘Upvote Bots’ and for what reasons we can use them.

Just to remind you it was:

  • promote your own posts;
  • support the author of a post you liked;
  • earn money from your bought upvotes; (I do not recommend it!)
Here are the most common arguments against ‘Upvote Bots’:
  • They are profit oriented;
  • Bots are the parasites of the system;
  • Their owners earn too much and they have to much influence on steemit.com;

But is it really true? Partly. They are profit oriented, that's true. Just like all of us here on steemit.com. The majority of bot owners are users just like you. They don’t use their own SP, they rent it and pay for it. They use for instance @minnowbooster's leasing service. They usually invest their incomes to rent more SP. The majority of them do not have any influence on steemit.com or it's negligible. The people who have huge piles of SP are who have influence.

What do you need to be a bot owner?

robot-3256109_1280.pngsource: pixabay.com CC0 licence

Provided your intention is to run a regular bot you need the followings:

  • code – you can find it easily on github;
  • server and maybe a domain – you can buy it online;
  • some IT skill or google skill to install your bot on the server;
  • a new steemit account;
  • steem to start the business – you need to rent as much SP as possible;
  • register your bot at steembottracker by @yabapmatt;
  • reinvest your income immediately for new SP in order to grow bigger;
  • and a lot of patience for dealing with stupid users, who want to earn a pile of money for 10 cents;

It’s not a rocket science, but it’s not that simple as it’s written. You always have to check your income and expiring leases. And of course, the complaints of your customers. Depending on your demands, it will take a lot of time (months) till you will be able to earn some visible money by your bot.

How does a bot operate?

light-bulb-3104355_1280.jpgsource: pixabay.com CC0 licence

  • A bot upvotes in every 2.4 hours, ten times a day (this is one voting period) when its voting power has reached 100%. Not earlier, not later. If you send your bid at the very beginning of the voting period you may have to wait up to 160 minutes.
  • There’s always a minimum bid. If the money you send is less than the minimum, your bid is invalid and the majority of the bots send it back to you.
  • Vote shares will be decided by the percentage of the amount you sent divided by the total amount sent in the actual voting period (2.4 hours). E. g. if you are the only one bidding in the given period, you will have a full upvote (100%), if there is a 0.1 SBD send and you sent 0.4 SBD, then you will receive an 80% upvote, etc.

Remember, these are the rules in general and some bots may deviate from this!

What are the typical mistakes in using BidBots?

robot-3196315_1280.jpgsource: pixabay.com CC0 licence

  • Expecting to earn money with your bid.
  • Failing to configure the steembottracker page.
  • Overbidding.
  • Ignoring the bids that have already been sent to the bot in the current voting circle.
  • Failing to use the vote calculator.

Let’s go into the details:

It’s very hard to make predictions, especially about the future…

robot-3197204_1280.jpgsource: pixabay.com CC0 licence

As I wrote in the first part, it is not impossible to earn money by Upvote Bots but it’s a kind of gambling. And it’s not the primary function of the bots! Maybe it used to be once but not anymore.

What profitable means?

Yeah, that’s a tricky question. On steembottracker it means that you will get back your bid value in SP and SBD. Don’t expect to get your whole bid back in liquid cryptocurrency. (SBD and Steem are liquid, you withdraw and transfer them immediately. Steem Power has the same value as Steem has but you have to power down to convert it to Steem and it takes around 3 months.) And you have to take into consideration the curation. If you’re lucky, very lucky then you can get back one bid from 20 tries.

Many users work in ‘write only mode’. I mean they don’t read. You can avoid a lot of shit and disappointment if you read the information on steembottracker.com. It’s useful.

It’s up to you how to configure the site here I will share my preferences. Actually, it’s two clicks: Display currency: SBD and include 25% curation: on. The first helps me to do the math because we are dealing here with cryptocurrency. The second switch deducts the 25% curation from the upvote value. That way you can see the maximum suggested bid correctly if your post is older than 30 minutes.

It’s a financial transaction, pay attention!

The voting power of a bot is limited. If you send more money than its voting value, that’s your fault. You’ll get a shit upvote and your money is gone. The bot owner will not reimburse your loss because your overbid influenced the whole voting circle including all other bids sent to the bot.
The situation is the same if you failed to pay attention to the total bids of the current voting period. You can find a chart that indicates all the bids that have already been sent to the bot.

The voting calculator of the page can help you to assess what you can expect for your money. It’s accurate only at the moment when you check it.

The biggest issue with the bots that everybody waits for the last five or even the last two minutes of the voting period and send their bids within this last time frame. That’s the biggest gambling factor. More users can send bids at the very same moment.

robot-707219_1280.jpgsource: pixabay.com CC0 licence

Let’s see an example: you followed my advice, configured the webpage, checked the current bids, used the calculator. Based on these pieces of information you see that 0.2 SBD bid will be profitable and you can get a 0.45 SBD worth upvote. You transfer the money. But other four guys/girls came to the same conclusion.
All your bids arrive at the bot and the algorithm does its job. Your lucrative and profitable dream will fade away together with your desired upvote value and your money. If you are lucky you’ll get a 0.2 SBD worth upvote, if not maybe less.

What is the magic ROI?

It’s the abbreviation of ‘Return On Investment. I don’t think we should pay attention for this indicator. If you use the vote calculator you’ll see more exact numbers. Some of the bots have ROI limitation (mostly negative percentage) to prevent exaggerated overbid. It might reduce your loss but it will not prevent it.

Summary

This post reflects my own experiences exclusively. I'm not a bot owner nor I am interested in steembottracker. I don't take any responsibility for your loss by using upvote services. It is your money, your decision. My suggestion is to use Upvote Bots for promoting your post to make it visible to the community or expressing your gratitude for a good post of another author. I also would like to draw your attention that there are communities on steemit.com who reject the Upvote Bots completely and started a crusade against them by flagging posts promoted by bots. You can get in their crosslines easily if you use the services on your posts especially in the last minutes.

Should you have remarks or opinion on the topic, please leave a comment!

In the next part I plan to write about a more elegant way of getting upvoted. Stay tuned! To be continued...


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@gabeboy

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Hi
This is a nice mini series. It explains a complex issue and is very clear that bidding is a gamble and like all gambling you tend to lose more then you win. You very clearly indicated how if to many people make last minute bids your ROI will be reduced and for some bots it’s negative. So it’s risky. Additionally I think it’s important for people to remember you get 75% of the payout and that 75% is further halved into SP and Steem / SBD. So you get about half of 75% of your total payout back as Steem.
Do this math:
You invest 80 SBD
Your ROI is 125% or 1.25
Your reward is 100 STU or Steem Token Units.
Steem Token Units are what Steemit calls your post rewards before they divided into Steem, SBD and Steem Power.
So back to the math.
Your author reward is 75% or 75 STU
You get 1/2 of 75 STU as Steem or 37.5 and 1/2 of 75 STU as SP or 37.5 and that’s only if Steem price is a dollar. If Steem price is 2$ you get 37.5 STU divided by 2 Or 18.75 SP. Plus in my experience a small amount of SBD like 0.5 SBD.
So even with a 125% ROI which is hard to get, your losing money Putting 80 SBD in and getting 37.5 Steem and 37.5 SP. Add to this the ROI cap that some bid-bots have and your no longer at 125% your at 110% , thus its much harder to make money just on the bid-bot.
BUT... I must say this isn’t the whole picture. If your upvotes from the bot get you on the trending page or if you have a large following, this big reward will cause people to upvote your post in an attempt to get part of the curators reward. This is free money to you and certainly if you get enough of these non-bid bot votes your investment can be profitable.
So I think the take home lesson is bid bots by themselves aren’t always profitable, but if the reward is decent size it will entice additional free upvotes to make your investment in a bid-bot profitable. I am new and still figuring this out, but I think that the bid-bots, large rewards enticing addition upvotes with rewards, loyal whale upvotes, self upvotes and something called reciprocal voting where friends upvote their friends posts are all ingredients in the large money posts. Plus I am sure there are factors I haven’t learned yet, but I hope to learn. I hope someone will write in and tell me more!
Lastly, I personally think when we look at this we we shouldn’t get mad or frustrated, we should learn how to earn here, except what the rules are and just Steem On.
8F72A6D6-A642-4B70-9D5E-17C9A6792A7B.jpeg

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Yep, there's always something to fix/tweak :)
(wanted to give higher vote but @tipU is recovering voting power now).

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Thank you, anyway! :-)

Cool post :) just wanted to let you know that apart from bidding bots, there are also bots with guarantee ROI, like @tipU for example - which I am creator of.

The ROI is always 250% and as for where the profits go - 100% of the profit is distributed to investors. Currently Im also working on sharing the curation rewards. Anyway tipuvote!

I experimented with bots when i started steemit and in my experience they werent profitable my account kept going down. I have pretty much stopped using them and my following and upvotes are slowly increasing, just takes patience! I think newbies just hate posting and seeing posts make 4 cents and using a bot is a moral booster.

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Yes, the expectations of the newcomers are high, they want to be successful immediately with performing little effort. Persistent work pays better... And your right, it's better for the souls of many newbies to see a number instead of zero at the upvote value.
What I forgot to mention in the post that the permanent change of the market value of steem and SBD may influence your payout after using bots.

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Agreed it takes a long time to build trust and friendships and finding and getting to know people who have similar interests to you.

Yeah that took me a while to learn wondered why my account was going down all the time 😑

Jó összefoglaló. Ez még az "egyszerű Mari néni" számára is érthető. Várom a folytatást.

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Congratulations! This post has been upvoted from the communal account, @minnowsupport, by Gabeboy from the Minnow Support Project. It's a witness project run by aggroed, ausbitbank, teamsteem, theprophet0, someguy123, neoxian, followbtcnews, and netuoso. The goal is to help Steemit grow by supporting Minnows. Please find us at the Peace, Abundance, and Liberty Network (PALnet) Discord Channel. It's a completely public and open space to all members of the Steemit community who voluntarily choose to be there.

If you would like to delegate to the Minnow Support Project you can do so by clicking on the following links: 50SP, 100SP, 250SP, 500SP, 1000SP, 5000SP.
Be sure to leave at least 50SP undelegated on your account.

Being on the political side, center, not a fan of bots and what they can politically achieve.

and Quote "The majority of them do not have any influence on steemit.com or it's neglectable". Grammar Nazi = negligible

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Thx! I made the correction. :-)

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I'm new to steemit, and I've just discovered the "Replies" page which may be of use to me...
Grammar Nazi Reply: A little force gets results.

Hey I wanted to know if I allow translate your post to the community Spanish speaking. @gabeboy

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Hi, I have no objection. Please make it clear in your post, that it is a translation, and indicate the source with link (this post) and my name.

Mi piace quello che hai scritto
Bella veramente

Yes. Agreed, educational here for those who may not already know, that bots, like us, are seeking after profits, generally, potentially, theoretically, and it takes time, work, code, investment, skills, like you are saying in this article, and that is capitalism in some ways, and it really is hard work. I get all of this already but I still see people make their arguments against bots and against the big whales with so much voting power. Thanks for sharing, hehe. I'm Oatmeal Joey Arnold. You can call me Joey.

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Thx, Joey!

I still dont like it when bots are replacing human interaction, that should not be part of a social medium. Using bots to influence content visibility against people's wishes is also a negative, altogether many bots make the experience on steemit less enjoyable for many.

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You're right. Although it's very hard to get attention otherway at the begining ...

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