There were sprawl issues, so i decided to make a whole new post. I intend to analyze a post, and see if voting really is all about the benjamins.
I selected steem sports because i suspect many people think it is a large beneficiary of bot voting (it is) and users looking for curation rewards (it isnt). Other popular posts i looked at had a similar distribution to SS. Ill do another one in the replies if people think its not representative.
On this post, there were 18 voters with 1 tera-rshares and above. All 18 got top 30 weights for curation rewards. In addition to these 18 voters, there were 12 additional voters who had less than 1 tera-rshare but also got in the top 30 cuation reward weights.
All told, these 30 voters were responsible for approximately 92% of the posts total $161.25 payout (taking steemsports upvote as a given). So good, bad or indifferent, if we want to know whether curation rewards are whats motivating these voters, we should take a look at how much they made.
CUration rewards are 25% of the posts rewards. They're assigned according to the SP of the voter, and how much SP votes before and after him. The chart below lists the top 30 voters, the rshares they gave to the post, and their curation reward weight and curation rewards on the post.
In total, this post earned $40.31 in curation rewards. Of that $40.31, $35.17 was forfieted in the reverse auction and went to the poster. Of the remaining $5.17, $.69 was lost due to rounding down rewards less than 2 cents.
Of the $4.48 actually distributed in curation rewards(2.7% of the posts value btw. This is low, but not crazy low. @furion 's last two posts had 6% and 7% respectively go to curators. The-alien's last post was 5.5%. @jrcornel 's 'i lost 60k' post was 6% to curators. @ats-david 's pga post was 6.25% to curators), @smooth, the post's largest individual supporter, earned 1.6 SP, worth approximately 25 cents at the time. berniesanders, the post's second largest supporter, earned 8.2SP, worth about $1.20. WItness.svk earned about 40SP, worth 60 cents.
|Voter||curation weight||vote weight|
|smooth||127.659 PV||28.838 TRS|
|berniesanders||652.678 PV||22.925 TRS|
|xeldal||106.549 PV||8.753 TRS|
|complexring||47.585 PV||7.937 TRS|
|riverhead||73.376 PV||7.485 TRS|
|witness.svk||316.896 PV||5.972 TRS|
|enki||81.234 PV||5.301 TRS|
|datasecuritynode||41.686 PV||5.025 TRS|
|nextgencrypto||54.825 PV||4.399 TRS|
|silversteem||34.909 PV||3.439 TRS|
|thisvsthis||51.594 PV||1.760 TRS|
|james212||14.541 PV||1.486 TRS|
|silver||25.050 PV||1.474 TRS|
|cryptoctopus||63.214 PV||1.293 TRS|
|cyber||10.649 PV||1.154 TRS|
|steemrollin||58.548 PV||1.126 TRS|
|ihashfury||7.164 PV||1.093 TRS|
|tuck-fheman||7.668 PV||1.045 TRS|
|silver||25.050 PV||1.474 TRS|
|wang||71.090 PV||g92.163 GRS|
|svk||20.502 PV||202.593 GRS|
|joseph||20.324 PV||773.011 GRS|
|joele||19.602 PV||182.438 GRs|
|ioc||19.491 PV||599.755 GRS|
|goldmatters||14.961 PV||114.900 GRS|
|leesunmoo||14.268 PV||415.900 GRS|
|mata||12.143 PV||90.027 GRs|
|arama||11.320 PV||661.884 GRS|
|saramiller||7.728 PV||140.875 GRS|
|teamsteem||34.736 PV||314.771 GRs|
Now, that doesn't seem like a great ROI, but 40 times a day, it might be an OK return. So maybe they really are in it for the money. Except. Nearly every single one of these voters could have earned more in curation rewards by simply picking a random post or comment that was more than 30 minutes old and had not been voted on, and upvoting it at full power (the possible exceptions firstname.lastname@example.org, who did pretty good for curation based on stake, though i think it would have been close-ish and wang)
I don't mean their own comment, i mean just some random comment... Since it would be easy to find a comment or post without any votes and more than 30 minutes old, its accurate to say the individuals who determined 92% of this posts payout were sacrificing some curation rewards by voting on it. Potentially a lot. I think at the time both bernie sanders and smooth had upvotes worth in the 10-20 dollar range, which would mean a guaranteed payout of $2.5 - $5 for voting on an empty post (10-20X the return on the vote for smooth and 2x-4x for bernie).
Now, this is not always the case. There are high paying posts where curators do better than what i described here. However, if you look at the posts where curators do better, theyre generally the kind of posts that @timcliff and @snowflake seem to want (ie, not posts that are auto-upvoted because of bots. Ones where the first whale comes in hours after its posted). An example is @snowflakes own "guradians" post (part ii) (with over 18% of the reward going to curators, it was one of the highest 'top trending' posts I saw).
When a curator does do well on a high paying post, it is almost always the first whale in that does well. It becomes a worse and worse deal for subsequent whales after that (thats why berniesanders did so much better than smooth on the post above, despite giving up 66% to the reverse auction).
I am in 100% agreement with @timcliff and @snowflake that many (whales and non whales alike) are voting the way they do for the wrong reasons. However, those reasons are not curation rewards. They just aren't.