Steemit's Got Issues! Community Discussion - Whales Cannot Decide Everything - Take 1

in #steemit7 years ago

Steemit's Got Issues!
Whales Cannot Decide Everything
Take 1

Steemits Got Issues Community Discussion.jpg

This will be the start of a series designed to open up discussion about common Steemit issues. I would like this discussion to include minnows as well as whales. Thus the title of our first discussion.

There are many issues to discuss...

I will warn you that if you are offended by cursing you will have to just get over it or find another post. Personally, I will curse if I feel strongly about something as I feel it conveys the weight of the issue. There are issues that others will feel strongly about as well and I've no issue with you cursing to convey a point. On that note, I strongly advise that this is a discussion, and is not intended as a place to pick fights or throw insults at those with differing opinions than your own. Users fighting senselessly on these posts will be flagged.

There are no clear rules on this site. There is a site ediquette that is left entirely up to us to either follow or not. That being said, there are many here on the site that try to enforce this etiquette even though they are not clear rules and are not in any way mandatory to follow.

My intention with this is to get the community (as many of us as possible) to actually voice their opinions about many of the issues that the site faces.

First, let me describe how I will be organizing this series.

Post Titles

  1. The first part of each title will be "Steemit's Got Issues! Community Discussion".
  2. The second part of the title will be what issue we are discussing in this post. For instance, today's topic is "Whales Cannot Decide Everything".
  3. The third part of the title will show how far into that topic we have gotten. Meaning that most of these topics will require many more than one post to get to any type of resolution or potential consensus. So, As one post gets old I will re open that topic, with notes from the previous post on that topic in a fresh, new post. These notes will be similar to that of previous meeting minutes to get us started from a new place each time so we do not just keep saying the same things over and over. This will also help the issues not just get lost in feed forever.

Keeping the topics fresh, organized and preventing them from being lost in feed.

Most of these topics have been discussed and those discussions have been lost in feed and unless you specifically look for them you will not find them. In order to look for them you first have to know about the issue anyway, so that leaves many newbies and minnows out of the discussions from day one. Meaning that very few people were even able to add their two cents or see what was even being discussed. I will do my best to be sure that all sizes of fish in our community can find these posts and this is how:

  1. As a post gets old (as mentioned above) I will be starting a new post with the highlights from the old one as a starting point for further discussion of the same topic.
  2. By separating topics in different posts we can keep things topic specific and on track. Making each unique topic's discussion much more focused.
  3. I will be using bots (future topic lol) to boost these posts as much as I can afford to in the beginning so that they will show up in hot and trending at least for their categories. This will make them as visible as i can make them so we can get as many fish to join, or at least read, these discussions.
  4. I will ask all of you to please resteem any of these posts that touch on topics that you find important.
  5. I will ask that everyone that wishes to be part of these discussions vote with what you can spare to make these posts more visible to the masses that make up our community.
  6. I will provide links to previous posts on topic inside each new post for that topic.

Talk is cheap, this is how I intend to use the conclusions we, as a community, get to.

Ok, since there are no clear rules to govern most of these topics, what it has created is a lot of fighting back and forth about how to handle them. What I propose is that we, as a community, start coming together and create rules that can be agreed upon by the vast majority of users from minnow to whale. This can prevent the fighting and self dictated censorship that is happening on this site from some that have the power to do so and believe that their way is right, whether it is or not. We see many things here that seem to enforce "rules" that are really just self entitled policing. As a new user you are made to feel like that is something real when it was actually never decided on by the community. Rather a single person or small group has actually taken it upon themselves to dictate what is considered abuse and all other forms of policing you see here on steemit. My intention is to open these discussions to the many instead of allowing the few to dictate without our say.

  1. If we, as a community happen to come to some type of agreement or consensus on a topic, my thought is to raise that topic to the proper channel. So if it is site functionality related I may bring what we have discussed up to @ned and his team personally. I'm sure his team is hit with so much that is single voice after single voice. After a certain point I think anyone would want to just start ignoring much of that. If we were able to appeal to them from a unified voice I believe it would speak louder and have much better chance of getting worthwhile response.
  2. If the consensus is on a topic outside of the realm of what @ned and his team do, we could then decide together how to implement a strategy to see it through. Again, I don't want to dictate or be dictated to. It is imperative that our world community decide topics so that if they happen to be enforced there is something irrefutable behind that enforcement.
  3. If we find that things that are being enforced currently are really not in line with how the community feels we can band together to be sure that is changed to something more fitting. No one can argue with a couple hundred thousand voices. :)

Ok, i'm sure I've left plenty out but that is of course the nature of discussion.
Onto the topic for today,
Whales Cannot Decide Everything

First, let me say that how to handle said consensuses we come up with can also be it's own topic and will likely need to be. Feel free to leave comments about that for further discussion on this post.

Ok, so most of what is considered etiquette here, that is also being enforced as rules, was decided upon by whales without the bulk of the community involved in the decision.

Now, while sp does determine voting power, it should in no way give a user (or small group of users) the right to dictate rules to us that have never actually been set as rules in the first place. That is just hierarchy rearing it's ugly head.

There are many things that of course need to be decided for our community to flourish, however they need to be decided from the ground up so that it is actually fair to all here.

No matter how much sp you have, you have a voice. That individual voice should be part of what is being decided on this platform.

The purpose of the topic today and this series in general is to give us all that voice and be sure it is heard.

I'm not diving into this one very deeply because it is pretty self explanatory.

If we do not decide how steemit is governed, on our own as a community, then we will be putting that power into the hands of the few. Currently that is the whales that have these discussions without us. Honestly, I feel that most of them are stand up people and would appreciate the input from the community as a whole anyway.

So, with all of that said...

Let's Get This Discussion Started!

Please leave your thoughts below.

Also, to avoid clutter and make it easier for us to get somewhere with this, if your opinion is directly in line with one that has already been stated in a comment below please simply upvote that persons comment rather than making a comment saying the same thing. This will make it so much easier to see how many of us think what about what.

Please use your best judgement in commenting as I intend for these discussions to be meaningful and be used to create much needed change throughout the platform.

I have a large list of issues to discuss already but if you feel the need to leave one in comment for future discussion please do.

Thank you, each and every one of you, for taking part in this discussion. I truly believe that you are all the beginning of a beautiful and inspiring change that is bound to sweep the platform and alter it for the better. :)


There needs to be a better formular for distributing posting rewards. The current linear reward curve is clearly discouraging quality content. N^2 at least encouraged more effort on posts. But maybe a new reward curve needs to be developed for better distribution, encouraging more quality content

Right, the way it works now, if you have large sp, you will gravitate only toward posts you think will get you higher curation rewards. Absolutely no incentive to vote on good content. Someone has to want to make less to no curation to want to vote on you. This is also another topic on my list that I will be making another post about as well.

Exactly. And also with the high SBD price,it is tempting to just use voting power on yourself. Whereas with n^2 or a non-linear reward curve this wouldn’t be the case.
On a related note, the change for a limit of 4 posts per day to unlimited In my opinion has magnified this problem.

I see. Well, if someone posts more than ten times and votes each one they will in effect drain their vote power and not be able to recover if it is daily.

I'm a little confused about a non linear reward curve but it seems useful.

Honestly, I am not much caring about curation. For me, upvotes are a tool to promote discussions, help friends and reward good work.

I set most of my auto votes to first minute to decline curation myself and the cost of it is minimal.

Like this post had multiple big bots on it, but I still voted, effectively forfeiting my curation.

A N log(N) curve with selectable amount of curation rewards would be great. That could fix many issues.

That’s right, there should be more experimentation with different reward curves to find what works best. Anything but linear would be better in my opinion.

Well, I officially do not know what a N log(N) curv is lol. I'd love to know more!

When I vote a post I really never even think of the curation. It really only helps you if you have a lot of sp.

I am thankful for those with considerable sp that are not driven by the curation reward incentive. It's a shame that they are not more common. :)

I'm definitely interested in knowing what the n log(N) fix you speak of is.

As this discussion grows I believe I will be able to not use bots to get it noticed :)

There is

N log N
N * N (or N^2)
Basically a middle ground.

I'll take your word for it... lol

middle ground makes sense :)

Check this:

Maybe that makes more sense :)

Ok, so it is basically a curve that will somewhat limit reward pool payout while keeping an acceptably stable growth curve compared to what is now just kinda paying out like crazy and depleting the pool quicker? While also keeping the payout desirable, if I'm seeing this right.

Let me know how close I'm getting. lol

Actually, I guess I should have asked which one we are using now so I knew what I was looking at here.

I really have no idea about what N^2 or Nlogn systems mean.. it will be interesting to understand better..

I didn't either, @reggaemuffin just did a great job of explaining it above :)

I think that steemit is working out its growing pains. I would like to see steemit marketed out in the real world. We have the talent and the financial resources to make it happen. STEEM is one of the few or only cryptos with an actual working use case. It is processing transactions fast and cost effectively with out issues. Why is it ranked 34 in a crypto market ruled by hype. I think Steemit could benifit from some hype. Especially when its based in reality. Plus look at all the good work that steemit is doing out in the world. Seems its cryptos best kept secret

I have just messaged our Indian exchange to please include Steem. Hope I hear from them soon. Should I also contact steemit about this? Not sure whom to message though.

Sounds pretty cool!

@reggaemuffin, you have an answer for this one? Would this be someone on @ned's team or somewhere else?

Not sure, they never answered my questions and I am thinking I am not alone in that...

haha, of course not lol


How did you get 72 votes on a comment?

I must have had a balance in my minnowbooster account. I took me awhile to figure out how this was happening. I thought i was just lucky.Ironic on s post like this huh?

haha, i wondered the same cause it was nearly instant... bots? I've seen a service you can pay to get like 80 from various accounts for like $2.

Can I know the service??

no idea man, it was some wallet spam I got forever ago

Nicely put. I think you are right. I also think that something that would help with that would be more ways /places to spend steem/sbd directly. This would also add to the hype you speak of.

I think the potential for steem and steemit is huge but it does need some changes i think this initiative is a great idea

Thanks man, its a work in progress but I've been mulling this one over for some time. thus the lack of posts lately lol.

Let's pull the community together and get some things moving :)

Yes thats what should

This type of discussion is what steemit needs more than anything. Resteemed hard.

I think there needs to be a better way to bridge the gap between the platform developers and decision makers, and us little people. IIRC, the last time I complained about some bug, I was basically told to go fix it myself in the condenser git. I can't code. In fact, most people on the platform can't. How do we fix this? How do we make the techs listen to authors, artists and curators?

There is unofficial support in the help channel of Steemit chat. If you run into issues, just report them there and I (or one of the other support volunteers) will do our best to help.

Okay, who would one need to beg to get some RTL alignment up in here, for us Hebrew and Arabic authors? Yes, I will keep asking for it till I get it!!! :)

P.S. Good to know there's a help channel, but what can you actually do to solve bugs or improve features to better cater to the needs of the community?

Okay, who would one need to beg to get some RTL alignment up in here, for us Hebrew and Arabic authors? Yes, I will keep asking for it till I get it!!! :)

I'll discuss it with the dev team.

Good to know there's a help channel, but what can you actually do to solve bugs or improve features to better cater to the needs of the community?

We can help with getting bugs solved.

Feature requests need to go through the 'standard process' of drumming up support through posts and word of mouth first. If you can get something to the trending page, that's usually enough for it to get some serious consideration.

I'll discuss it with the dev team.

Please do! I would offer bribe if I had any.

Hello . I wonder if you can help me with a new account. I submit all the necessary information for a new account and Steemit send me the confirmation email , but when I clicked on the link , it took me to a new page where the message was - Thankyou for your time we will review the information that you send us , we will check it and give you an answer later - Its been 2 months since that happened . Is there a way to know if im going to have a validated account ? Regards.

You already have an account. The terms of use are one account per user. You are welcome to signup for additional accounts, but you need to pay the account creation fee for them. There is info on this in the faq. (AnonSteem, SteemConnect, SteemCreate, etc.) @blocktrades also posted today about a service they are offering too.

Thanks for the information . Good day.

Great to know!

Super solid points!

I know what you mean. The learning curve is really steep here! One of the big reasons it's hard to get people here or to stay once they are here.

We definitely cannot all be coders lol.

I don't even know what the condenser git is.

Deeper even still is most of us would ask "who are the techs? who would we even point a glitch out to?".

The condenser git is the place the source code of is developed.

There's a steemcleaners initiative. Why doesn't Steemit Inc create one for tech support, onboarding and bridging that gap to connect with the non-technical userbase in making the platform better?

I guess steemit Inc is more interested in developing their SMT.
Tech support for the condenser is very expensive, if done right, and wouldn't return anything for them in the short term.

They are sitting on tons of SP in their accounts. Making this a rewarded community effort won't cost them a penny, but instead distribute their power among trustworthy steemians. This can be run like steemcleaners and curie, who community projects that are doing what I consider holy work.

Steemoverflow as in stackoverflow would be a nice idea for someone with time(not me) to set up. And see how it goes. Blockchain based technical questions. The answer with most Upvotes is mostly right. I thought about that. Maybe one could at least please it at utopian-io?

I support this wholeheartedly.

I think you are right. There are definitely things that could have been developed or enhanced before working on SMT.

Tech support is expensive everywhere but also a necessary and normally beginning part of a website.

I see...

This is definitely something needed lol.

Without us, Steemit wouldn't continue to exist.

wow, so many responses that I'm not even sure who you responded to lol. But, I totally agree!

thanks for the idea. Please have a look at my post . Though a user tried to explain the missing dollars, I still have not understood.

I can explain your "missing money" post.

This was very hard for me to get also.

First, as your post grows in age it can change value as the reward pool changes. There is only a certain amount that is rewarded each day and we all split that. So as more upvotes, flags or whatever come in, your value will sway up and down... normally down.

When it's time for payout, that is kind of like your striking price. That is when your price will finally solidify and become your actual reward.

Once this happens the reward begins to split. There is the curation that will take 25% of your post. That goes directly to the curators (people that have upvoted you). In this case that is the first 2.07 you see leaving your post.

The 75% that is left over (7.11 in your case) is then split 50/50 between sbd and steem power.

This is where it looks like its a glitch when in fact it is just hard to understand lol.

Ok, SBD is considered to be $1 worth of Steem (regardless the real value of sbd). The payout is measured as sbd. So the half that goes to sbd will actually be half of the total payout. In your case this will be 3.555 sbd. The reason it looks like the steem power is lower is that at the moment of payout steem was not $1. So, if we assume that sbd is $1 worth of steem and steem is valued at $2 usd today then that 3.555 (when reflected in steem power) will show as half... 1.7775. The system only sees sbd as $1 worth of steem so it is true to the payout amount. If steem was $1 then you would get an equal amount of sbd and steem power. if steem was $3 you would only get 1/3 of what the sbd would be.

Also bare in mind that those numbers do not seem to match your numbers exactly because you were collecting from that post and it seems there were also a few curation rewards there as well.

Make sense?

ah yes, thanks a lot for taking the trouble to answer this. So kind of you.

Your're welcome :)

I think steem has huge potential! It is a great gateway into crypto. Also it so much fun I think it will catch on. The ui needs work and we shouldn't have to use things like discord to communicate privately with each other.

Definitely a topic on my list! Along with the other site functionality issues lol.

This is a big one.

But... whales don’t decide a thing. DPOS doesn’t care for whales as such. Unless, of course, you mean how powerful an upvote/downvote by a whale is and how a whale benefits lack of separation of powers.

Witnesses decide on Steem and most (top 20) witnesses are generally very approachable and responsive. Sometimes it may require some digging to find where which witness hangs out most, but generally it isn’t that hard to find them and even to get a reply from them.

But this will be/is a valuable series of discussions and I look forward to the next installment. :)

Witnesses decide on steem yes. Whales decide more than you may know here on steemit. As this discussion unfolds I believe it will become more obvious.

I don’t deny they have an influence, a very large influence even, and also a very powerful sceptre they can swing. Especially when we think about a democratic principle such as separation of powers. I wrote a long post about it during the most recent downvote teacup windfalls.

Im not sure how one wants to tackle the issue though, the are literally the hands that feed us. Do they lobby? It would be weird if they didn’t benefit an extra ear.

Without whales there is no value whatsoever to both our currencies. Fact.

Whales are important, no one is refuting that. It's merely that there are many large decisions here that affect all of us that are being decided without all of us. Or, not decided at all.

I recall a recent post that was attacking @freedom for delegating to people that appear or are spammers or whatever.... Point being, in that post it was commented blatantly that some whales will get together to decide what to do. I tried to find that post to link it here. I found what I thought was that post but all it was was bernie saying "you are being watched" all creepy stalker like lol.

"Build your own dreams or someone else will hire you do build theirs."

If the majority is outside the loop, they will inevitably be caught in the snare.

I recall that post but to be honest, again, nothing on Steemit is decided by whales.

You need to build a case and present to our Governance body, the witnesses. Only they can change the structure of the chain and whether such acts are possible or not. But most witnesses aren’t too big fans of regulation, which is often also why they are active on blockchains.

As such, the social experiment, has a huge flaw highlighted: society needs structure. Structure should include protection of the those less assertive, and the weakest ones. Which in turn requires regulation because otherwise offenders can not be harmed.

You have a fan because you started this series (check my feed and you will know why you have my interest), but I fear it’s another case of us overblowing things because we see this world as too small, rather than what it actually is... a new, replicated, Internet. Complete with all the good and the bad.

Welcome to Internet 3.0. The Infrastructure Internet. The internet which is totally mimicking what we have currently, but then on the blockchain. Just because we can. And because we have whales.

As for freedom... isn’t he Top delegator to Utopian too? You may have noticed he has withdrawn lots of his active delegations which were misused. We all learn every day and even the whales (eventually) understand that focus [on quality] a necessity is.

But I’m following this series. 👊

Thanks, I appreciate that.

When I say whales are making decisions I do of course understand that the type of decisions you are speaking of is decided by witnesses. However there are decisions affecting us that are made by whales. A good example would be bernie and transistos decisions on who to downvote daily. Also whoever is behind sadkitten bot and bots like this one. Or perhaps a simple yet overlooked decision to circular vote without regard to author value. Some of these are poor examples and some decent.

Again I understand the type of decisions you speak of and that they are not held by whales strictly but by witnesses.

Checking out your stuff now :)

Check out specifically this post. It deals exactly with the matter of downvotes.

Full disclosure: Bernie and Transisto IMHO are fighting a good fight. We have other, more quiet, whales who make people leave because of their downvote wars.

Wonderfully written post!

I think you lay out a great example of how downvoting can be changed to be much more fairly regulated.

I will add to it one thing...

The need for there to be a clear set of rules governing what can and cannot be flagged and what can and cannot be done/posted here on steemit.

With out a clear set of rules then there is no irrefutable way to decide if the poster is right (plagiarism aside as this is irrefutable) or the downvoter is right. With no rules one could easily say that both are wrong or none are.

This is some of the reason that many believe transisto and bernie to be in the wrong. A clear set of rules would either show that they are indeed doing what is right, or indeed doing what is wrong and clean up some of the clearly grey area surrounding what they do.

Great input man! Thanks!

But... whales don’t decide a thing.

Whales decide who the top witnesses are. The top witnesses decide the blockchain parameters, make the decision to hardfork, etc. Are you contending that because whales do not directly decide these things for witnesses that they don't have influence in the decisions?

They also set the distribution for the lions share of the rewards from the reward pool (directly with the voting and indirectly via curation rewards).

Steem is a capitalist society, that further reinforced by the importance of vests for witness voting. But I’m not willing to run with the title as such because if we do we may as well say that we are merely POS rather than DPOS. There is still room for non-purely whale powered witnesses.

There is still room for non-purely whale powered witnesses.

Only if some whales abstain from voting. With the current distribution of vests, the whales will always be able to choose the top witnesses.

I agree, the "D" is important, the whales don't make the decisions directly. Still, your contention that "whales don't decide a thing" is not quite correct enough.

That's pretty much what I was getting at. Thanks :)

Well the whales are all different and I have found some who genuinely like curating good content and establish groups that find such talent and upvote it. They are what I think is what Steemit intended to function when they were delegated their SP.

We also have whales that became that because they invested their own money and set up their own nodes so that they effectively mine Steemit. They usually are those that lease out their SP to voting bots and delegation and they have said that they earn more that way than curating in some unknown person's quality post which may or may not get upvotes. In a way they are not gambling their voting power to anyone they think will not earn them more.

And we get to the faction of whales that just upvote each other this they are the only ones increasing their SP and never mind the planktins, redfishes and minnows that join and leave because they usually don't get any votes.

I have been here for about 3 months and honestly I get more in joining contests and getting curation rewards on some people. There has been a point where in I wanted to quit because the things that I like writing about get no love but when I do what most people do then I get some votes. Still not a lot but makes a difference for a plankton like me.

We all agree that the rewards system is broken and you taking the cudgels of trying to find a way to fix it is admirable. I hope that I will still be in this platform when that time comes.

We all experience that Steemit fatigue when we are at our low point and think why am I still posting here when I don't get a lot of interactions. When you think your voice is hardly heard or your opinions matter because end of the day people look at the number next to your name and will always think how they will benefit with an interaction with you.

I wait and will see when Steemit becomes great. It is good now but for something that has been on going for the past two years it could have gotten a whole lot better. Some may disagree that it is still in beta stage or that these are growing pains but need to get better faster as we do not have the luxury of time. There are so many platforms popping out there with similiar promises so what differentiates us from them? Surely not content because lately all I find are selfies and very general posts. We have to get better in terms of content and how to reward that content.

We need to continue growing and stop people from suddenly ghosting and disappearing from Steemit because all the power are consolidated on the few. We need to get better.

I have no idea how but I feel an urgency to it.

Yes, many whales come in many different forms. This is why I think we all need to be in the discussion.

I know just what you mean about steemit fatigue. I've been quite upset at times here for many reasons.

I really like what you said about steemit needs to get better faster. I think that touches on the heart of what I'm getting at here by starting these discussions.

I would like Steem to be marketed more for its blockchain capabilities ie ability to handle transactions and no fees, and less on make money blogging. One of the most impressive pieces is how great the blockchain of Steem is IMHO.

I think this is a wonderful idea. To be quite honest, I really don't know anything about the chain outside of the blogging and I don't think I'm the only one.

Petitions, love the idea! As for whales deciding everything, hell no. I think it all be put to a vote every time. Of course, I don't think some accounts should be able to weigh in, say for instance the rep 28 that only made one post and has been here a month. He obviously has no vested interest in the platform. But, people that are putting the time in and have dedicated themselves to this platform should have an equal seat at the frign table.

Great response! We definitely all need to be more involved in community decisions! When it comes to decisions, amount of sp should not factor in.

My thought about the 28 guy you speak of is that they also have a voice that needs to be heard. If it is that 28 person may very well feel more invited into the platform as a whole and could have something wonderful bubbling under the surface that they finally reveal after feeling that way. Excluding them based on anything really will not bring a feeling of equality and could potentially add to the feelings of exclusion or oppression.

However, if they are really not involved on the site and have actually dropped off like that, they are not likely to join the discussion or weigh in anyway. It's more about the feeling that they could if they wanted.

#thealliance :)

I don't know, if he's posted several times and is trying, then yes sure, but if he's not actually trying to figure out 'the formula' or grow here, than no. I doubt a person/account of that caliber would show up at the table anyway lol

likely not. :)

This is some beautiful discussion. I'm a total noob here and still working on my first post(I want it to be good 😉) but I just wanted to point out that posting frequency need not be the criteria by which one is judged. There needs to be people involved in this platform as consumers of the content that the creators post. Those people are just as important imho. (Which may not be worth much as I am still learning the platform, hah)

I would say that you are right that what you are posting is more important than how often.
Also your demeanor behind posting. If it is clear you are solely after profit with no care of your posts it is one thing. If you are not writing good posts yet you are wanting to be here and learn to grow this is another.

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