Hi fellow Steemians, here are my responses to @thecryptofiend's Witness Questionnaire. Hopefully this gives you more insight into me and my work and lets you make an informed discussion about voting for witnesses. I hope I may gain your witness approval vote!
A) Technical Questions
1) In a few sentences or less please explain the role of a witness in the Steemit/Steem ecosystem.
Witnesses are generally trusted members of the community. They are voted and unvoted on, and their rank is adjusted accordingly. They are also responsible for keeping the network going and bringing value to the community.
2) What are the most important qualities for a witness to have?
To keep the network going, they need to be able to manage and run the Steem node software on a reliable server with no interruptions. Most run other public services, too. Witnesses should be active members of the community.
3) How do you fullfil those qualities?
I have many years with software development, server infrastructure, and related skills. My current hardware setup is very reliable and closely monitored. I stay active on both Steemit and Steemit Chat every day and help others out. Please refer to my witness thread for greater detail.
4) Is there anything beyond this that you feel makes you a better witness candidate than the average person?
The current top witnesses do a great job in contributing to the community in their own ways. A lot of them are developers who create useful tools and applications. For my development efforts, I am currently focusing on the Steemit.com web frontend as this is what most users use the most. I have been creating ways to enhance the Steemit experience and will continue on.
5) What kind of hardware setup are you using and is it your own local hardware or rented?
My witness node is on a dedicated server with 4 cores / 8 threads Intel Xeon E5 1620 3.60 GHz and 32 GB ram. My seed node is on a separate server with 4 cores 2.4 GHz CPU and 24 GB ram. These nodes are hosted with a reputable company, highly available and reliable with high bandwidth and protection, at 99.99% SLA. The seed node is also configured as a full web API node, with plugins enabled, available through WebSocket RPC, TLS available as well. Connection details are listed on my domain bitcoiner.me.
6) What if any contingencies do you have in case of an emergency or server failure?
I keep a close eye on my various servers and services. Here is mission control:
In addition, I have backup instances running in case of any problems.
7) Do you think the current compensation for a witness is fair? If not what do you think would be fair compensation?
Yes, I believe the current compensation is fair.
8) What percentage (or fixed amount) of witness earnings should be kept and what percent invested back into the steem platform?
It would be ideal to invest all earnings to the platform. However, it is understandable that witnesses incur great fees from maintaining their infrastructure and need to withdraw every so often. Personally, I have not withdrawn anything from my Steem wallet since I've joined Steemit, only powered up. The only exception I will ever make is if I can no longer sustain my public services out-of-pocket. However, this has not been a problem, and I don't believe it will be for a long time.
9) How do you intend to use your witness earnings?
I will use the earnings to cover any costs such as upgrading my public services or bringing up more backup solutions. If you aren't aware, I have done a couple free SP giveaways before. Now, I will be able to fund them with ever higher totals and give to more Steemians. I will also allocate some funds to things I deem worthy, such as donations to projects or charities.
B) Current Witness Questions
1) What challenges or problems have you faced in your role as witness?
None so far. My various servers have not had any problems and are running as expected. I haven't missed a single block yet.
2) What other types of decisions do you think as a witness you should be involved in voting on?
Important decisions that will affect the users and future of Steem and Steemit, things such as account creation fee, interest rate, price feed, etc.
3) Are there any changes to the witness/mining system or structure that you feel would improve the system? Why?
For mining, there have been talk about the end of CPU mining, which is quite true. The queue has been filled with rabbit and gtx accounts for many weeks now. A bounty has been put out for a GPU solution, but is still going on. For witnesses, there was a recent discussion about employee versus community votes and whether employees have too much power and should not vote. There was also a witness who jumped from not being a witness to top 30 within an hour, before he even announced his intent to be a witness. After posting his intent and a few hours later, he got a spot in the top 19. Some existing witnesses were questioning if this is an abuse of power. Personally, I'm not too decided on how these concerns can be addressed.
C) Community Questions
1) What do you think makes Steemit special and worth supporting?
Steemit is the first community app built on the Steem platform. It is special as ordinary folks are able to be paid for content. In contrast to other social networks and tipping platforms, it doesn't take anything for a user to award others. Best of all, everyone in Steemit is a shareholder (tokenholder) and is vested in the company and its future. It is nice to see the many success stories on Steemit - artists, musicians, poets, bloggers, developers, etc. getting rewarded for their work.
2) How much do you use Steemit on average per week?
A colossal amount. Like a part-time position!
3) What is your favourite type of post?
As a developer, I do like to see the various technical posts. I also like art, life, photography, food, money, story, and many other categories. I keep an open mind.
4) Do you have a specific favourite post you would like to mention or link to? (Feel free to give a shout out to the author)
Hard to pick out a favorite. There's too many to choose!
5) What kind of posts do you dislike?
Generally negative ones, ones that plagarize or harm others.
6) How do you feel about the Steemit governance structure?
Others have said the whales hold too much power, most being Steemit, Inc. employees. While this may be true, over time it will probably get better with redistribution and a growth of a middle class.
7) How would you improve Steemit?
I will be active, help others, curate thoughfully, discuss respectfully, share my experiences, and develop solutions.
D) Personal Questions
1) How did you get into cryptocurrencies?
A friend had told me about it many years ago. Bitcoin price was raising fast and media coverage was spreading. Since then, I have been mining, trading, using, and supporting cryptocurrencies.
2) What hobbies or interests do you have outside of Steemit and cryptocurrencies?
I like to create things. Whether that is building a new Arduino project, coding project, web app, playing music, it feels great to have created something.
3) What is your favourite movie genre?
Action, comedy, sci-fi, police drama / procedural, and others.
4) What is your favourite movie or movies?
Things from the above list.
5) What is your favourite musical genre?
Pop is not too bad. It could be catchy especially when you hear it everywhere.
6) What are you favourite bands/albums?
Hard to pick out specifics. Big Bang is great. The Postal Service has songs that make you feel good for some reason.
7) What is your favourite book (fiction or non-fiction) and do you have a favourite author?
Haven't read many books since school. I remember a good story from then called The Girl Who Owned a City.
8) What is your favourite TV show?
Mr. Robot for the win! Currently watching Person of Interest which is very good.
9) Which is your favourite Star Wars movie from the original trilogy?
One day I will binge-watch them all.
10) Margerine or butter?
11) The Beatles or The Rolling Stones?
Don't know too many songs from them.
12) Have you ever tried Marmite?
What is that?
13) Are there any weird facts that you would like to share with everyone?
I'm a perfectionist? Don't think it's weird, but have to have things look nice. Do you notice the formatting on every one of my posts?
14) Is there anything else that you would like other people to know about you?