If I ran Steemit, I would redistribute approximately 10% of the Steemit account holdings to the 1000 most active, vote-generous and engaged Steemit users.
I would do this as a one time bonus gift, just in time for SteemFest, as a gesture of gratitude to those users who are energetic and excited about the Steemit platform. I would recognize that these users are keeping Steemit alive. I would also recognize that without them, Steemit would just be an endless cycle of new users coming and going, much like fast food worker turnover cycles. I’ll go into other reasons I would do this after explaining how it would work.
CONDITIONS FOR THE DISTRIBUTION:
-Only accounts above 40 reputation would be eligible. This would eliminate unhelpful bots from receiving the gift. I have to admit after looking at @itay’s account, I’m not too sure whether that bot is helpful enough. But this decision would be left to the community to decide perhaps.
-Legend accounts would not be eligible.
-Stellabelle would not be eligible (I feel that the person creating a solution should not be benefitting personally)
HOW THE TOP 1000 WOULD BE SELECTED:
-Combine these account characteristics to determine which 1000 accounts would receive the bonus:
-Use steemwhales.com to determine which users have the highest total post count. Of course, exclude the accounts with under 40 reputation. (The number 40 was arrived after I analyzed the top 1000 accounts with the most posting activity. There appeared to be very few accounts with less than 40 in the top most active accounts. If someone has a better number, please add your voice).
-Use a tool to determine which accounts vote the most. If there’s a tool that is able to pull the data on voting behavior, please add it in the comment below. I’m not aware of such a tool.
-Add these two numbers together (total votes cast and total post count) to get the final top most engaged 1000 users.
HOW THE GIFT WOULD BE INDIVIDUALLY DISPERSED
-The amount of the reward would be determined by the total number of post counts. I know people will be discussing whether bots should receive the gift, but I think bots who are well respected and have 40+ reputation, should receive it.
Let’s look at the example of @thecryptofiend who is currently ranked #3 as far as total post counts go. He has 6,053. This number consists of his total comments and posts combined. It is an enormous number. So, as far as the gift distribution goes, he would receive 6,053 Steem from the Steemit account.
There are many stellar, ultra valuable users like @thecryptofiend, but so far they have gone unnoticed to a large degree. @thecryptofiend stands out for a number reasons: he posts a high number of really high quality comments and he votes a lot for others. He’s extremely enthusiastic, supportive and engaged with Steemit. I could name many users who exhibit similar enthusiastic traits like @mindhunter, @acidyo, @merej99, @kyriacos, @brianphobos, @lukestokes, @mammasitta, @anns, @papa-pepper, @dwinblood and actually there are too many others to list here.
The imbalance of power is becoming truly problematic, divisive and quite frankly, ugly. I feel that something needs to be done as soon as possible. I am not alone. I have been thinking about this problem for months and I will tell you why I believe something like this needs to be done right now before SteemFest.
The curation guilds are designed to address this exact problem and they are a decent idea. I approve of their goal but I think their design is wasteful of human energy. They are band-aid approaches.
Their design is flawed because they do not take into account the natural, organic curators who are already doing much of the curation work already. Many people are natural curators and enjoy reading, commenting and supporting others. These people are like gold to a social media site and should be treated as such.
Why impose a new system, which is selected from a centralized authority when you already have a dedicated, decentralized, organic, highly engaged curation team that is already doing the curating work? When you view things from an attention economy and human energy perspective, you will realize that the ones who are already curating on Steemit FOR THE FUN OF IT are the exact curators you want for the Steemit platform. They are your prize and they are already here doing the work you desire. It’s obvious: natural curators and readers are the lifeblood of this site.
I’m not saying that the curation guilds should not be created, but I think there should exist side-by-side many different types of experiments to solve this huge issue of power imbalance. I’m a firm believer in trying as many experiments as possible. You really won’t know what will work unless you try it out.
INSPIRATION FOR THE GIFT
@kyriacos is inflammatory and many people have gotten into arguments with him, including me, but I think some of his latest responses to @rok-sivante’s Why I’m About Ready To Quit Steemit post are worthy of further thought:
“I can't understand why the whales put on trail people that fuck them over and ignore consistent members that offer so much to the community. This makes a lot of us frustrated but I am still allowing them some more room for evaluation.”
“Truth is, you both made massive amounts of money without really deserving it while most of us stood ground and defended this shithole as best as we could for pennies—and we still do because we believe we can make it better.” -@kyriacos
You know what, he’s right.
Consistent members who vote every day and who comment like crazy and who stimulate new ideas, thoughts and conversation are not really valued here. They need to be rewarded and redistributing a part of the Steemit account would be a step in that direction. In essence what it would convey to the entire Steemit community is this:
“We appreciate this vital and engaged community and we want to express our gratitude for your ongoing efforts in making Steemit a revolutionary platform. We also want to shift the power dynamics from a centralized to a decentralized one in the fastest way possible. This distribution represents our commitment to making that shift and giving the platform to the people who are using it and creating its true value. The coins aren’t doing anyone any good just sitting there unused in our Steemit purse. They belong to the wheels that keep Steemit moving and thriving.”
The rewards are not flowing to the ones who are most stimulating. It's more of a case of which whale's ass you're kissing. Many of the old school (and I mean the Steemit users who have been here for 4+ months) have at one point or another disagreed with the whales who control the payouts. These old school users are no longer being upvoted by whales unless they dish out a pro-Steemit post. Or they have chosen to write only about non-controversial subjects that are not geared towards addressing the ongoing problems with the Steemit platform.
Users who push the envelope with stimulating, controversial and challenging posts, with very high engagement are often flagged to death by the powerful whales. The whales who are flagging content because they don’t like the content are responsible for killing off engagement. Whales have a hard time even understanding this reality, but it is happening. From here on out, I’d like to see the whales exercise restraint and only flag content that is spam, abuse or plagiarized. I’d also like to see the whales consult @steemcleaners before they decided to flag anything. Get a neutral second opinion before destroying the integrity of this place. This one act is responsible for killing off a massive amount of users and also creating an atmosphere that no one wants to be part of. REALITY CHECK, DEAL WITH IT.
The chilling effect that descends after a whale has flagged content he dislikes is making newbie users and old school users alike afraid to be honest and speak from the heart.
It’s responsible for creating a sheeple atmosphere that basically sucks on so many levels.
I mean, how many fucking Steemit users have to say the exact same thing before anyone at the top listens and decides to fix the problem? It. Is. Insane. I even considered creating a new account just so I could speak my mind and talk about real issues that are going on without fear of whales lowering my reputation and removing my monetary rewards.
If people are afraid to speak their minds, then what we are left with is a shell of a social media site that will rot from its own lack of challenging ideas and growth. When I came here, I never thought I’d be entering into and contributing to a fascist-like platform, but Steemit is much closer to fascism than anything else right now. The solution is easy: WHALES STOP FLAGGING POSTS BECAUSE YOU DON’T LIKE THE SUBJECT. Remember your own words, “Let the market decide what is valuable.” Just look at the @masteryoda and @ned fallout for the latest evidence. Actually, there are so many cases of this happening, I couldn’t possibly count them all. The end result: disengagement, bad blood, users leaving, value of Steem falling.
Look, I could have flagged tons of shitposts that are poorly written and wouldn’t make the time of day on any other platform.
I am ashamed actually when people from outside of Steemit see the shitposts making bank. It’s embarrassing. I came from Medium where there are tons of talented writers. Some of the best writers on Medium are also the most controversial. If you want to know what real writing is, go ahead and check out a writer who has 19,000+ followers on Medium. Her name is Holly Wood and she chews glass for a living. Read The Evil Banality of “PharmaBitch” for inspiration on how to write in a style that is both informative and cutting. She’s not into scams. She’s a writer. A very critical thinker. She feeds people opinions that the average person is too afraid to even whisper.
But I restrained myself. Over and over again I restrained myself.
I DIDN’T FLAG THE SHITPOSTS. It’s apparent that I have been too polite. But now I’m calling on the whales to restrain themselves and think deeply about the consequences of their flagging actions.
The other source of inspiration came from Synereo making the decision to burn $146 million AMPS in order to commit themselves fully to the decentralized model:
“Relinquishing control to users has been the core proposition presented by most decentralized platforms. From the next-gen social media network Akasha powered by Ethereum to privacy-aware decentralized platform, Diaspora, putting users in control of their data has been their promise.
Though these new set of decentralized platforms are yet to capture the social media market when compared to their already-established centralized counterparts like Facebook and Twitter to ascertain the widespread level of their acceptability based on this key feature, Synereo has joined their list as it essentially eliminated half of all its native Cryptocurrency in existence to give up more control over its platform.”
So with this new knowledge, what is Steemit’s promise? Is it really wanting to be a decentralized platform? I really don’t know the answer to that.
It’s my hope that the investors, whales and the entire Steemit community realize I am attempting to address an issue that I feel is contributing to a downward spiral in Steemit. It’s my firm belief that too much work, time and money has already gone into the making of Steemit for it to end up as a niche platform. It has many of the core structures in place to make it valuable but there are a number of persisting problems that are scaring away users. And once a platform has acquired a certain reputation, it’s hard to shake it.
If the founders don’t listen to their most engaged users and don’t think deeply about how human beings operate, then this experiment could be outpaced by others. Remember, you don’t have to come up with all the ideas yourself. You just need to look around and see what is working on other platforms and refine those ideas. If Steemit makes a firm commitment to decentralization and addresses the frustrations of its most active and engaged users and investors, it will have a chance of becoming more unified. If anything, it will show to its own community that it truly cares about high quality engagement more than shitposts.
It's not too late.
All images from Pixabay.