Why is Curation on Steemit by Some People Considered a Heroic Deed?

in #steemit4 years ago

How many of you are old enough to remember STEEM Guild?

STEEM Guild - let's just call them SG - was a curation guild on Steemit that was the focus of some controversy back in the good old days.

The controversy stemmed from the fact that the members of SG were given the keys to use ned's full voting power in their operations.

This was back before delegation was a thing. A sort of pre-delegation delegation. The same idea, basically.

SG used ned's voting power not only to curate other people's content, but to "reward" themselves for all the hard work they did. This basically meant upvoting their own posts to the top of trending. Usually a post per day.

Said hard work amounted to.. going through people's content and clicking on the left mouse button. Some extra work probably included operating the voting weight slider.

I opted out of getting votes from SG in my attempts to martyr myself and become the noble hero of Steemit because I disagreed with how they operated.

My main gripe was the arrogance of SG claiming and assuming that their curation work was somehow more valuable than what every other member of the community already did - without ned's voting keys. Without the privilege to upvote their own posts to the top of trending every day.

For whatever reason - even though curating is something everybody here does "for free", sans curation rewards - SG's curation work was just so valuable, so stressful, and such hard work.

No way could anyone survive a job like that. Reading posts and clicking on a mouse.

I mean, sure, I guess some people work at construction sites at a million degrees for much less money, but still.

We are talking about reading posts and clicking on that upvote icon. At the very least, it deserves some sort of hazard pay.

Well, the STEEM Guild is no more, but I still sense a similar culture on Steemit when it comes to some users. Without naming any names, there are people who clearly feel that their manual curation is something that deserves added pats on the back.

Just so happens, these same people are usually ones with big delegations.

To justify their big delegations (not saying they somehow have to) the go-to justification is always that they work so hard curating. They do a lot for the community because they manually curate.

Uhm, okay?

So, basically, is it less hard work for me to manually curate someone than it is for someone with a sizeable delegation? Does the amount of SP used determine the amount of work it requires to read posts and click that upvote button?

Why is it a heroic deed to curate on Steemit, anyway?

Most of us curate on Facebook every day. We curate on YouTube every day. I curate on Twitch every day.

And it doesn't make me a hero. It makes me consumer.

Finding enjoyable content and consuming it is work now? Did I miss a memo at some point? I mean, with my fucked up sleeping patterns, it wouldn't surprise me if I did.

I've manually curated here for two years now. Most of the time every single day.

Where are my ned keys?

Where's my delegation?

I've worked hard, damnit. The number of times I've clicked on that left mouse button during these two years, my goodness.

Well, to me, it would feel kinda silly to ask money for consuming good content online. And not only that, but to hold myself up to some sort of a weird pedestal because I, the hero of Steemit, sometimes read posts.

What a completely weird culture when you think about it.

I guess other people's curation is just more equal than others'. When I curate, I get the curation rewards I earn from it. But when professional curators curate, they get delegation for daily self-votes.

And indeed: the monetary reward for curation has always existed on Steemit. It's called curation rewards.

It's just too damn bad, in my opinion, that when someone like @ocrdu manually reads and upvotes my 5,000-word chapters, he has to settle for his 0.0000001 SP and not a massive delegation.

And speaking of which, I need to get back to writing that chapter. This was just a small break.


I read half of every article because I'm not heroic !

I consider honesty a virtue.

Half heroic isn't all that bad.

No matter the level of SP you possess curation is one of the most thankless jobs here.

Sure, there’s curation rewards but you’re hitting the feeds and arduously filtering through the abundance of trash and plagiarism. Like for fucking endless hours.

If you don’t do that you only end up in a constant circle jerk with your followers in your personal feed.

Work should be paid. That’s why we get curation rewards. And I know it’s all subjective but in the case of high stakes curation the daily self votes are okay in my opinion as to try to avoid these power curators being corrupted by vote buying.

Was it really a “trending page club” as you put it, or just a reflection of the content that power curators thought was best?

We should try to protect trending. Steem won’t prosper without our best foot forward.

No system is perfect but as you’ve stated even in this comment section at least the old way let the little guy have a chance.

Was it really a “trending page club” as you put it...?

Yes. Yes it was. Relevant information and arguments/critiques can be found here.


My point (before reading your link) was that surely their intentions weren’t that horrible.

I don’t care much for stated intentions. I look at the actual behavior and results.

Just take a look at some of their replies to that post to see how shitty they acted as super-important and naturally “good” people. And then realize that they’ve always acted that way...and likely still do.

I don’t care much for stated intentions. I look at the actual behavior and results.


Hey @personz!
I read one of your comments and the idea of creating a "Bot or not" program/app/... How did that go?

I am very interested in knowing how many/precentage of bots amongst the active users here on steemit...

That was a nice idea, I didn't make the effort to do it though.

I think perhaps it has been done better than I could have imagined by @andybets and his Steem Sincerity project https://steemit.com/steemdev/@steemreports/visualising-spam-scores

Thanks @personz, I am going to look into that, nice talking to you!

You might need this :)

If you upvote somebody, you earn much less than selling your vote. Or upvoting yourself, or upvoting your friends, your community. Manually curating others, you aren't connected with, means loosing money.
(Do you know somebody receiving a 50 or 15 or 8 USD upvote from an unknown orca or whale? I don't think it happens.)

That's a fair point. That's in the current landscape of vote selling and bid bots.

But I'd gladly take the money lost in manually curating if, in return, I get delegation to self-vote all of my posts to triple digits.

If you upvote somebody, you earn much less than selling your vote.

This is almost always true for curators. And we have this problem because the rewards/incentives are too much in favor of authors. We need to change author and curator rewards back to at least 50/50, especially now that the reverse auction window will be reduced to 15 minutes from 30 and that the forfeited rewards for early voting will be sent back into the pool.

More rewards for content consumers may reduce the desire/need to delegate for better ROI. I would certainly keep my own SP for curation if I was receiving double or more of the current returns. But getting a couple of STEEM per day from 44K+ SP isn’t really worth my time.

The incentives here have been screwed up for well over a year now and very few people care or comprehend the issue at all. Invested users are speaking with their wallets and they are saying that the incentive to stay powered up or to actively curate content just plain sucks.

I have even advocated for a 25/75 split in favor of curators. We should cater to consumers more.

i completely disagree. The only way curating can be as good as vote selling or self-voting is at 100% curation rewards. And obviously that makes for a bullshit system. So just making it a bit more profitable will not end self-voting or bidbots.

I dont think there is a consistent solution within the current steem economy because that economy is messed up. But the last thing I want to see is more $ to curators for something that is clearly broken.

Why are you so against curators making money?

I can't help but wonder what would happen if only those who curate for non-financial reasons got the chance to distribute the reward pool.

Whatever the outcome, an experiment where both curation rewards and delegations are forked out would be hilarious to watch.

Surely you're not suggesting we all go back to reading postings, curating manually, and upvoting just because we like something, instead of getting paid for it? That's not at all efficient and the ROI is lousy.

No delegations anymore for proper manual curators. It's just so old-school and un-hip.

No, that's just crazy talk.

Hello @schattenjaegar! From another fellow manual curator:) @bitsy

I don't consider it a mantle, or anything. It's just a user using the site the way it was designed, hah. But hello anyway!

The true heroes are those who shout at bicyclists who are ruining the life of everyone.

To put it simply: Cringe.

What made you cringe?

The idea that people form a coalition based on "curation" and treat it like a full-time job. It's dumb as FUCK.

The same reason why using metal straws is considered a heroic deed.

And some of those who benefited the most from that little episode are also those who hate the current trending page and complain about the bots not being fair. Every time I hear it, I just think... You are sad you can't control trending anymore.

This was the number one reason I was FOR the bidbots although they create another set of problems I no longer have to watch that group dominate trending everyday... Such a relief.

I understand that, and that is a fair argument in support of the bid bots. The STEEM Guild days basically gave birth to the Trending Page Club - and if you weren't in the club, you were never going to be.

That said, a post from a nobody like me could sometimes slip through the cracks every now and again to the top of trending. Of course, never consistently.

These days, though, it's literally impossible.

There are not enough words in my pretentious fucking head to craft a post so perfect that it would make it to the top these days.

But I still get your argument.

Perhaps, but I think this particular cure is worse than the disease, and tends towards the same outcome anyway with some bonus problems thrown in.

It's not quite the same outcome, though, to be fair. To get in trending, one has to invest money in it. For The Trending Page Club, it was free money. For absolutely nothing. No risk, no nothing.

True, but the end result looks eerily similar to all others, those who just plod along with merely posting content. That outcome.

"Paying for votes by curating" is even more ridiculous than paying for votes by actually paying, I'll give you that, but both are, well, a bit off, and both are enabled by delegations in some form or other.

They both go against what I assumed this place was going to be about when I first joined. Now, assuming makes an ass of you and me, so it's probably just on us.

I've never denied that it creates a different set of problems. So, you point is well taken.

Here is where I go with it. If I want to buy a vote I can gain visibility. Prior to the voting bots I was strictly forced to accept what I got. My could be effectively quieted. So, yeah, I acknowledge they create a new set of problems, at least they favor investment on not cronyism. Those who want to use and abuse them have to have some steem. I also think they are good at pulling distribution away from the selected few.

Again, I don't think you are wrong it is just "Which set of problems do you prefer". I prefer the current set.

It all comes back to terrible distribution.

"Which set of problems do you prefer". I prefer the current set.

You say it like there is a choice only between a corrupt-ish Guild and bidbots. Isn't that a false dilemma? I mean, isn't there a third way? If there isn't, then there is something fundamentally wrong. Could be the (initial) distribution, could be delegations breaking the accountability and stake principle, could be cronyism always winning in a DPOS system.

It's all nice and dandy to choose the lesser of two evils as if there were no other options, but fighting both and ending up having neither is better. If that can't be achieved, Steemit will have failed to live up to at least my expectations.

Your point about choosing between the lesser evils is well made and extremely valid.

I don't define either as "evil", but the point holds the same.

I'm going to have to give that consideration to think what that would mean realistically from a call to action point of view.

So, I've thought about this a lot and I guess my opinion is nearly all of our problems are tied to Distribution. There are not enough active stakeholders to curate and create a consensus. So, we either get faulty results via curation guilds or we buy votes.

The bots win the tie of which set of problems because each user can decide whether or not to buy votes, flag, etc. In an unfair world it seems the best solution.

I don't know if we will ever get past the distribution problem without a huge drop in price. Time will tell.

Did you take into account that bidbots and delegating to them skew the distribution even further? It is yet another example of how making money with money trumps making money with content here. Such mechanisms tend to grow the bigger wallets the most and concentrate wealth into the hands of a few.

Also, guildies who upvote themselves beyond their worth can be flagged, but bidbots and their delegators don't leave many hooks that can be used to express disagreement with their actions.

Strangely, we think so too.

I don't see how there is a difference in flagging bots or guilds. Each person has the entire weight of their stake to flag with nothing less, nothing more.

Yes, I do not deny a negative impact to content from the bidbots and how they are pulling rewards away from the rest of the community. However, still each of us controls our own stake... Nothing less, Nothing More. So, they aren't misusing MY stake or YOURs. They are only using their own stake or stake that others have rented to them. Although I don't think it is the best business model or the best way this could have turned out. I can't deny their freedom to do that.

DPOS. I think it is always going to create these situations.

I do agree they skew the rewards and often not in a good way.

The problem, if you see it as a problem, is that guildies upvoting themselves can be flagged more directly; you can express disagreement with their upvoting behaviour by flagging their own posts, but you can't get at those who delegate by flagging; the same goes for bidbots that don't leave a comment. They are beyond accountability more than guildies.

I could probably write that down in a clearer way after another coffee.

People that dont delegate to bots and manually curate lose a shit ton of money. Everyday. This message isnt for them tho. the SG benefactors probably.

This is a good point, and was made earlier, as well. It does prove me wrong, in my opinion.

In general I do not understand the reward for curators. Curators should help us all find the good content. But clearly that system is not working at all on steemit due to the algorithms being exploited by bidbots. Instead of looking at $upvotes it is already much better looking at #upvotes. But #upvotes is not what is payed out in curation rewards.

Also the weird way curation rewards are paid, are excluding 90% of the users from getting any rewards at all. The reward structure introduces technical voting and much more.

Upvoting content works on almost all platforms without any monetary reward for the curators as you mention in the post. I would strongly consider setting curation rewards to 0% and 100% for the author.

Low curation rewards are the reason for the rise of bid bots. You make more money by selling your votes than you do by curating.

The problem is too low curation rewards.

Steemit caters to content creators far too much as it is.

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