Notice of witness suspension and additional changes

in utopian-io •  2 months ago  (edited)

As previously announced Utopian is going through a full renovation, aimed at preserving our resources and to focus on building our product and our community.


Utopian witness suspension

Utopian is currently ranked #6. In these recent days, we have had several technical issues on our main witness server, forcing us to switch to our backup server. Unfortunately, our backup has started having issues as well while we were working on upgrading the main one, with the result of hundreds of missed blocks. The witness is currently disabled. This is one of the unfortunate events we really didn't need at the moment, as we currently lack the resources to effectively manage the witness servers. We believe, for our own peace of mind, and to avoid giving unstable services to our beloved Steem blockchain, our best choice is to suspend the witness.

I would personally like to thank all the Steem stakeholders who have voted for our witness and helped us achieve such high rank. We will keep working on what our witness was always meant to achieve, to create the biggest community of ideators and creators around this blockchain.

It is my intention, once our product is released and running, to re-evaluate this decision and bring the Utopian witness back, with the proper resources, time and budget to provide a working service.

I would also like to use this opportunity to nominate witnesses which I believe should have a higher rank:

  • @davinci.witness: This group of enthusiastic Steemians has been working very hard to build new communities around open source, art, science and more. @Davinci.witness successfully collaborates with Utopian in providing localization services to relevant open source initiatives and has translated so far over 2M words. I believe their current rank is not the appropriate one. Please consider moving your vote from the Utopian witness to @davinci.witness.

  • @stem.witness: Steem is all about great contents and the SteemSTEM community works tirelessly to provide awesome science-related contents, which are not only good for the blockchain but for the society as a whole. I believe their current rank is not right. Please consider moving your vote from the Utopian witness to @stem.witness.

  • @actifit: Aimed at rewarding fitness activities and owned by one of the first Utopian Community Managers, @mcfarhat, this application is in constant growth and development. Please consider making their rank higher.

  • @coingecko: just recently joined the Steem community and has been very active in supporting communities. @Coingecko has helped Utopian spreading the word about our Indiegogo campaign, offering free listing on their website and newsletter. Please consider voting for the @coingecko witness.

  • @steempeak: One of the best, if not the best, frontend for Steem, that should definitely have a higher rank.

Suspension of the delegation incentives

If you are currently delegating to Utopian and haven't opted out from the delegation rewards, you may have noticed that the incentives are delivered less and less frequently. Utopian is one of the first initiatives returning incentives to delegators, as when our PoC was live, the beneficiaries rewards were covering the expense fully. Since when the PoC was disabled, it became harder and harder for us to sustain the costs of these incentives. A few days ago, we have lost 1M delegation from @freedom, with the result that our curation rewards are way smaller. @Freedom has, however, donated the liquid budget we were looking for, to complete our platform and move forward.

With the suspension of the witness and due to the lower curation rewards, Utopian will stop returning delegation incentives, until further notice.

We hope, however, that our delegators will consider keeping their stake delegated to us, as we use it to reward many of the open source dapps built on the Steem blockchain, which provides a less direct benefit to your stake, but definitely a longer-term one.

We want you!

Since when Utopian turned from a sole-man mission to an organization, the expenses have grown exponentially to support the work of our team. After the market has crashed, It was not sustainable for us to keep the same expenses on-going. I am proud to say that most of our team has stayed, despite the different expectations. However, that has produced less reliability and availability, that is totally understandable but not appropriate for the growth of our startup or any startup in general.

Utopian wants to grow our team back and focus on the right skills we need at this time. We are looking for the best professionals to join our company and receive a portion of it based on the value they can really provide. If you see yourself fitting in any of the descriptions below and you want to be part of a startup adventure, knowing that your efforts won't be rewarded in the short term but may give you great long-term ones, then feel free to contact us at [email protected]

  • Full-stack developer: If you are passionate about developing innovative technologies and you want to be part of an organization that aims to disrupt the open source ecosystem; if you have at least 5 years of experience in building front-end and back-end solutions, using React.js, Vue.js, Node.js, MongoDB or similar solutions; if you have time to dedicate to the great efforts a startup as Utopian requires, then you are the professional we are looking for. Contact us at [email protected] and provide your CV and tell us why you are the best fit for this position.

  • Marketing and sales: If you have a unique blend of strategic, operational and sales skills; if you love numbers and are obsessed by the implementation, test, delivery, and optimization of marketing campaigns, online and offline; if you are a ninja with Adform, Adwords, Google Analytics, Tag Manager and Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin ads; if you know what open source is and the benefits and complexities of the ecosystem; if you want to be part of a startup with a great vision, then you are the best candidate for driving the growth of Utopian. Contact us at [email protected] and provide your CV and tell us why you are the best fit for this position.

Shifting our focus

As you may have realized by reading this update, we are moving our focus, lowering the efforts required for activities that are not critical for our mission at this moment and cutting the expenses at the minimum, so we can use our budget for what it is going to be most beneficial in the long-term.

We don't aim to build only the codebase of our platform but to build and grow our community, which is the foundation of our mission.

Our budget will be used for the following activities:

  • Complete the development of our product.

  • Improve the activities which have the highest potential to bring more open source enthusiasts around. These include: the FOSSHub and IdeaHub online radio shows and podcasts, which are getting a budget to:

    • A. Improve the format
    • B. Advertise on social media to grow our audience
    • C. Invite relevant guests from the open source ecosystem, to grow awareness, and bring more builders to look at the many amazing opportunities offered by Utopian and Steem.

We believe that growing our community while we build our product is critical to offer our services to the widest audience possible as well as to receive valuable user feedback, so much fundamental to everything we have ever accomplished.

Thank you

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Thank you for giving us a shoutout to our witness.

We feel sorry that bad turns of events forced your hand into making this hard decision. Witness or not, it's undeniable that @utopian-io is giving enormous value to the Steem ecosystem.

It is with great hope that with you and your team's continued effort, may one day forge leave an impact that will be felt by the internet itself at large. We very much are behind the very idea that gave birth to - rewarding open source contribution.

Loosing the @utopian-io community witness is a big blow to the the whole Steem ecosystem. I'm deeply sorry that things have to take this turn for the worse.

However, I would respect your decision to suspend the witness as i understand it is a large commitment of time and resources and we're not exactly in the best crypto times.

Thank you for shouting out to other witnesses and giving them the well deserved attention.

Utopian is doing something wonderful, and it is my hope that this project truly takes off and be THE platform for open source contribution. It's not an easy problem you and the team is trying to solve. Regardless, I have confidence that you and the team have what it takes to pull through.

Posted using Partiko Android

Running a witness is filled with technical challenges. You guys have done a reliable job for quite some time. I am certain you will be able to address the issues fairly quickly and return to functional form in very little time.

I appreciate the plug for @stem.witness, @lemouth and I continue to work to keep it and our brodcast node in working order.

Though recently all we do is lose support :(

He and I are clearly not vocal enough... (hardly at all these days, everything in the shadows, must not inspire confidence).

Thanks again. Best of luck.


I join my voice to this comment!

Hm, if you're currently struggling with funding, then the income from your witness is crucial. I understand that having your servers break down in this already stressful time, is far from optimal, but it happens.

While I appreciate the update on your breakdown and your decisions on how to move on, my witness vote for you stays for the next week because I hope that you'll find the strength to setup new servers!

If you need temporary help to set up the servers, then please let me know.

I am strongly against taking the witness down. The witness is an important asset and a key element in the evolution of the project. If you need some help to set up the witness, I can put you in touch with the right people.

Really sorry to read this and thanks for mentioning the @steempeak witness. I'll keep my vote for your witness active for a while in case you decide to resume it sooner than later.

I fully understand the importance to focus on your main target at the moment, but maybe you can try to find a partnership that allows you to restart the witness delegating part of the maintenance it requires to someone else.

It doesn't really make sense to not get the witness back up and running when you are in desperate need of funding. I'm not sure how much you get per day, but surely what you make from the witness is enough to keep it running and more? Very strange decision imo...

Sorry to hear about this @elear.

I have moved my vote to @actifit.

Definitely thank you for the word about Actifit and the support!

I must say though that it would be unfortunate for utopian to halt altogether the witness activity. I am not sure how available @helo is, but if not, there are many amazing witness gurus who could help quite well with getting the server out of its troubles and back in shape.

  ·  2 months ago (edited)

Thanks for your support and do let me know when you are back online (then I'll vote for you again)

I am sorry to hear about the challenges the project is facing as I feel the team has been instrumental to drive innovation and development throughout the ecosystem. I appreciate the communication and the transparency as you seke to rebuild and focus on your core initiatives. I look forward to seeing how the community comes together and supports as well as it can surely create value!

Posted using Partiko iOS

There are many people in this community who are willing to help you guys, stopping the witness will create further financial problems. You need to get it back working as soon as possible..

I agree with some of the comments, I think this issue happened definitely at the wrong time but the witness could provide some income to utopian so I hope this suspension will just be temporary. Of course, I will keep my witness vote and thank you for mentioning @davinci.witness

If you need someone to run it for you until a suitable admin is found there are many of us who will help. Just look at the comments here. Most people here know how hard you've worked to get Utopian where it is today.

You should reconsider bringing the witness server back up. Taking it down is another big budget cut.

If you need funds, why aren't you accepting rewards on your most recent two posts? I don't know the financial math involved with being a witness, but if the other comments suggesting you keep it up to help with funds are right then I'm with them. My vote will stay for the time being [ although I also gave votes out to some that you recommended, thanks for the suggestions! ].

I hope everything goes well for you. Utopian is awesome & I want it to succeed.

Stay strong, and good luck!

Posted using Partiko Android

I'm very sorry to hear this and as many others, I also don't understand this decision. Afaik, once set up, it gives you profit without taking much of your time.

Of course I still respect your decision. Considering your time, you may get a loss. Anyhow, I sincerely hope your next project will work out well. Thanks.

ps. this important notice should be resteemed to @utopian-io

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To support your work, I also upvoted your post!

Vote for @Steemitboard as a witness to get one more award and increased upvotes!

Uneasy lies the Head that wears the crown. Yet, I would implore you to make a wise decision. I hope utopian gets back on its feet.

Hi @elear, this important notice should be resteemed to @utopian-io or should've been written by that account. Not many people know that you're running Utopian.

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