Sunset from the peak of Grouse Mountain, Vancouver. Photo by me.
In my post here the other day, I expressed my opinions about the upcoming hardfork. I would like to bring attention to the second section of my post, about witness politics. Here is the important bit:
As a relatively new witness, I am not a whale. I did not get my witness spot until just before the hardfork that cut witness pay to a fraction of the amount. Not being a whale in the witness list means that I do not have the ability to do a "tit for tat" to keep my witness spot -- we regularly see whale witnesses voting for each other in a game theory way (if they vote for me, I vote for them), but this ability does not extend to those of us in the witness list that are not big whales. Due to this, I consider my witness spot more of an elected position, and I have a responsibility to listen to the people who do vote for me as a witness. Although this normally would be a good thing, at the present moment this is actually also concerning to me.
- If I do support HF17: I may be voted out of the witness list by members of the community who are not supporting it (e.g. abit).
- If I do not support HF17: I may be voted out of the witness list by the employees of Steemit, Inc. whom vote for me (e.g. ned, val, roadscape).
Yesterday and today, in discussion with the other witnesses, there was was a large amount of concern about changing of the reward pool to be split between posts and comments. Many of the current witnesses voiced concerns about the split, citing arguments not only made by other witnesses, but also community members. During this discussion, I suggested the change should be delayed until we understand the current socio-political landscape a bit better. Here was my final thought:
It's clear that without whales voting, social dynamics are changing. The many dolphins are finding they can reward people with small amounts. We might see dolphin authors rewarding the commenters on their post.
I suggest we hold of on the comment change until we understand the social dynamics a bit better.
Today I am no longer a top witness, as Steemit does not support me.
I was voted out of the witness list by @ned, the CEO, as well as the other members of Steemit, Inc. They have decided to only support witnesses that accept the hardfork. This is a strong statement towards me, as you can imagine, and has left me quite disheartened and upset. This statement means more to me than just the hardfork. My concern was simply a concern, I did not suggest we should reject the entire hardfork. If the majority consensus was that we should, for example, try the new system, I would have happily upgraded and seen what the outcome would be. Perhaps it is even a great decision, and I just haven't caught on yet. However, I believe that although the devs can suggest improvements, it should ultimately be the community who ratifies them.
Myself as a witness moving forward.
As I mentioned previously, the difficulty for me to stay in the witness list is exacerbated by the fact that I am not a whale and cannot 'trade witness votes'. I also do not have the support of @dan + @dantheman. Although Dan has said he would no longer vote on steem, he continues to vote for witnesses, including witnesses that have not participated since HF13 (e.g. @bitcube).
I also said I view my position as a community elected one. The sentiment of myself as a witness tells me how much the community supports my initiatives: @steemcleaners, @cheetah, and @seraph. I have my voiced concerns recently about the community no longer deciding to support my initiatives (see here).
I do not like ultimatums, and I do not like threats. I will continue to be a backup witness, a block producer for the network, and I will still try my best to support Steem and Steemit moving forward. However, in the coming weeks, I will be considering shutting down all three projects ( @steemcleaners, @cheetah, and @seraph), as I currently no longer view the community's view on these projects as positive/supportive, and I will not have the funding to pay for them. I simply do not have the time and energy to apply the amount of effort that I currently am, if the community does not want them.
Perhaps I am overreacting, perhaps I am just upset. This political climate is not fun for everyone right now, and I did not think it would escalate this way. I need to sit down and think about it some more. Thank you for anyone who has read all this, and thank you to everyone who has supported me so far.