Witness consensus status to fix the actual steem’s economic flows (ENG)

in #witness-category4 years ago (edited)


Several days ago, an insightful article was posted by @kevinwong in which he proposed several modifications on the Steem protocol that, seen as 'all in once' package, could help improve the current situation where stakeholders seems to have better economic incentives by performing 'vote farming' showing a 'content indifferent behavior' which is not aligned to the original vision of the platform to serve as a descentralice social network where value-adding users contributions are rewarded with cryptocurrency:

Cited from the mentioned post:

We currently have a system where stakeholders are incentivized to engage in content indifferent voting behavior (vote selling/self voting) to maximize returns. This completely defeats the protocol’s ability to foster engaging platforms that revolve around content discovery.
We need to move away from an economic system that makes it too costly to vote on work that stakeholders actually deem valuable if we want this place to survive:

  • Upping curation rewards is an obvious answer, but by itself, it is easily circumvented. Bid bots can just offer to share most of the curation rewards. Self voters can spam hundreds of posts and just upvote the ones that were least voted on by others after 15 minutes to avoid others 'stealing' their rewards.
  • Non linear rewards curve should be seriously considered. Having reward amounts/SP that differ per post depending on its popularity is the core component of moving away from content indifferent voting behavior. Yes it has a cost, but the n^2 we were use to was far too steep. At n^1.3 (or any crude approximation of this), we should get most of the benefits at the lowest cost.
  • Downvotes incentives should also be encouraged. Of course greater downvote incentives has downsides, but in combination with 1 and 2 above it should allow for curation rewards to out compete mindless vote selling/self voting.

Content indifferent behavior is the bane of this system. No social media platform can survive if it's unable to at least sort exposure and rewards by some subjective standard of quality.

Based on this ideas - which are more deeply explained in the post, a set of concrete implementable changes have been proposed and discussed in public and private channels in a rather unordered way.

To facilitate the discussion, involve further community members and prove the viability of the modifications, the majority of top witnesses have all agree to individually show their willingness to support the modifications by first a) Identifying a possible set of changes and b) Individually vote for its approval or disapproval.

Identified changes

This is a the list of change proposals:

n^1 rewards curve

The rewards curve shall be kept lineal as introduced in HF19 (keeping it as it is today)

n^1.3 reward curve.

The rewards curve shall be updated from lineal to a “mid-superlineal” n^1.3

50% Curation reward.

The reward distribution per post should be updated from 75% for authors and 25% for curators to 50% and 50% respectively.

10% free downvotes

Users shall be able to downvote 1 post/day at -100% without actually decreasing the amount of remaining voting power

Separated upvote/downvote pools.

Users shall be able to downvote 10 posts/day at -100% without actually decreasing the amount of remaining voting power but consuming its separated “downvoting power” from its own pool.

5 minutes curation window.

The curation window shall be reduced from 15 minutes to 5.

3 minutes curation window.

The curation window shall be reduced from 15 minutes to 3

Consensus status

Witnesses have been asked to approve, disapprove or just accept the changes to summarize the actual consensus status. Meaning:

APPROVE: Witness is actively for the change
DISAPPROVE: Witness is against the change
ACCEPTABLE: Witness wouldn't vote against (if majority does) but doesn't necessarily approve of it
EMPTY: Witness have not express any opinion yet

These are the first results of the consensus voting:

Explanatory comments by some witnesses:


0/100 Experimenting this change with SMT is best way for now, 50/50 I strongly believe this will improve engagement


I'm still of the believe that a 50/50 change won't serve the average user and will only benefit the largest stakeholders and bots. The curation rewards system itself would benefit more from a complete reinvisioning than just turning the dials. If the majority of witnesses want 50/50, I won't stand in the way, I just don't believe in it.


Downvote should be 50-80% of upvote, also do nothing till SMTs come out


On superlinear (n^1.3):
We already have a small degree of (something like superlinear) at the low end. The dust vote threshold is subtracted from every vote, so for example a vote of twice the dust threshold only has 50% weight relative to SP. This converges to linear as the vote becomes significantly larger than dust. I would be aggreable with this being modestly enhanced. What I don't want to see is superlinear at the high end.
On curation window:
I'm in favor of the shortest proposed window (3m in this case) as I actually think the window should be even shorter, like 30s-1m. I don't think it should be used to force humans and bots into head-to-head compeition. Instead I see the value of the window as a short opportuntiy for bots to bid down the curation rewards on easy sure thing type content (known authors etc) for which curation is low value. These rewards forfeited by bots via this auction rewards are returned to the pool and can be paid out some else where they have more value. Once the short window is over, humans should not ever need to 'time' their votes.


I left comments here


Curation: would be open to a sliding scale adjustable by author


50/50 is still too big of a change, propose a test at 60/40, bad psychological UX for users to lose half post rewards, hinders business models of current major apps utopian, fundition etc, curation will still be centralised around certain circles, who can produce good content to avoid downvotes. Careful incentivising downvotes, could literally lead to a downward social spiral and no longer the "Dinner party" civil mentality ned once called for.


I approve of a very mild superlinear reward curve but only if it can be implemented without a large computational penalty to Steem nodes. A curation penalty window of 10 minutes makes more intuitive sense, but like a 15 minute one, a 5 or 3 minute window doesn't. This is an issue that can help or hinder voting cognitive load. A scale of 10 minutes easily translates to 0-100% curation burn.


I would like even more rewards for the curators if possible


Overall I don't think tweaking the reward curve or curation % is worth focusing our time and efforts on. The vast majority of users don't understand any of this stuff and I don't feel like changing it will change their behavior or encourage more people to invest. I do support the separate downvote pool however.


comment: https://steemit.com/steem/@kevinwong/understanding-steem-s-economic-flaw-its-effects-on-the-network-and-how-to-fix-it#@pharesim/re-kevinwong-understanding-steem-s-economic-flaw-its-effects-on-the-network-and-how-to-fix-it-20181017t034424592z

n^1.3: I'm in favour of testing out the n^1.3, preferably on a testnet which resembles the mainnet | Downvotes: I'm in#terested to see how this turns out, but still mindful about the consequences this would bring to toxicity.

I am in favor of a witness controlled downvoting pool size. So we can roll it out slowly with low free downvotes at first and see how the community responds and then adjust the size depending on the results. If it's hardcoded we won't be flexible enough to react.

The table above might contain errors and need to be seen as a work in progress that, if required, will be adapted as soon as witness express further opinions and/or vote rationals.

As already mentioned, we invite with this post all interested stakeholders and community members to further discuss the topics, express concerns or amend errors.

Yours sincerely

Witness @cervantes


EDITED (26.10.2018): The table has been updated with the latest information and the individual comments by the witness added.

EDITED (27.10.2018): @liondani ’s comment updated due to copy/paste error.


Thanks for this interesting article.

I would prefer a curve which started as n^2 / exponential (thus flat), and then later changed into linear which would work against self-voting as well as excessive rewards.

@clayop had a similar idea.

@yabapmatt: Overall I don't think tweaking the reward curve or curation % is worth focusing our time and efforts on. The vast majority of users don't understand any of this stuff and I don't feel like changing it will change their behavior or encourage more people to invest.

If a reward curve worked against self-voting whales and excessive rewards of single posts that would be already a huge progress, then it wouldn't matter if the majority of users changed its voting behavior or not.

5 minutes curation window.
3 minutes curation window.

I never really understood the sense of that curation window: bots can be programmed to upvote after 30, 15, 5, 3 or 0 minutes after a post was published anyway, so why should a curation window decrease the advantage of automated vote bots?


Your Post looks good now @cervantes, the overview is fantastic.

Alright, let us find out what we agree and disagree on, for the best of Steem.

Just want to say before we begin, I am not a big fan of changing the CORE ECONOMY, especially not until way after SMTs are released and working as expected.

be also aware of the price of STEEM being in a place where you may be in a state of "change everything"-panic and I hope that is not the case.

@fyrstikken / @fyrst-witness
StakeHolder & Gatekeeper

I think you're wrong, and I can speak from experience as a content producer who's been here for over two years.

Providing curators with a larger cut will encourage more to actually curate(vote). That's exactly what actual content producers have been desperate for on this platform for a very long time. With more people willing to vote, content producers could potentially see an increase in overall rewards per post (more votes, more rewards). With more curation rewards being offered to consumers, all the content producer has to do to make up for some of the losses is powerup some of their earnings and curate others.

Even under this model, in recent weeks, I've produced content, provided curators with 'x' amount of SP, and made at or around the same amount of SP in curation rewards. In other words, I'm receiving the full value of my posts simply because I choose to vote and support others.

50/50 will also encourage more to play the role of content consumer. As a content producer, I feel this model of producing something, allowing my fanbase to enjoy it for free, and having them leave with more money in their pocket than they had when they arrive, all while I too can get paid; that's genius.

How often do you see a busker in the subway putting money in the hats of passersby? How often do you open a new book, get to page 50, and see money taped to the page with a 'thank you' note?

You call yourself a 'promoter' here because you sell votes. Have you seen the crap you and a few others sell votes to? Of course not. You get paid to look away; and that's the exact opposite of what true content producers need in order to succeed. When the actual content from actual content producers gets buried under those monkey posts you like so much, we end up losing money; that model is forcing many of us to leave because by the looks of it, the things some of you guys "promote" makes you all look like you've been drinking the moonshine. If I can't even compete with that monkey post, there's no reason to stick around.

Those changes won't hurt content producers. The model you're defending hurts content producers, and the proof is all around us.

Have a good day, @fyrstikken.

I also have been creating content and curating here for over two years and when I first read @kevinwong's article mentioned at the beginning of this post I thought that if suddenly authors rewards were reduced to 50% it would tank their moral. But if you curate as well I think you're correct and it would compensate for the reduction in rewards from posting.

It's a known fact and something that's been on my mind from my first day on this platform that the majority of people online are consumers of content, not creators.

In Internet culture, the 1% rule is a rule of thumb pertaining to participation in an internet community, stating that only 1% of the users of a website actively create new content, while the other 99% of the participants only lurk. Variants include the 1–9–90 rule (sometimes 90–9–1 principle or the 89:10:1 ratio), which states that in a collaborative website such as a wiki, 90% of the participants of a community only view content, 9% of the participants edit content, and 1% of the participants actively create new content. source

Of course, striking a balance between rewarding authors and curators who connect with others by commenting and curating and whether changing the rewards to 50%-50% would actually change enough users behavior is a whole other matter.

I see it creating a positive feedback loop in the feeds as well as within posts.

These days I see many publish a post, then leave. Snoop around the wallet region; their SP is delegated away. So they want free votes placed on their posts, then expect others to pay for their votes. Those paid votes then contribute to subpar quality content pushing the content creator/voteseller's work down and out of sight. As they get paid to look away, they're contributing to a negative feedback loop where they earn money to sabotage their own business.

Even if the content producer didn't want to go around curating posts all day, they could reserve SP to curate and respond to comments. The votes they place on curators comments would be worth more to the content producer. Commentators and curators might think they'll be earning less, but once more content creators catch on to the fact they can now earn while responding, more would do it, leading to more comments, and more people getting paid to comment. That scenario could potentially bring back some of the missing social elements. A lot of people publish posts and nobody leaves a comment these days.

As a content creator here, some days I'll spend hours under my posts, responding to and upvoting comments. I don't get paid much for that. Under this 50/50 plan, I would, and so would everyone else.

More people earning attracts more people who want to earn. Some are trying too hard to fit in and produce content so they can make money, they're not good at it (no offense to anyone here, you've all seen those crappy posts) they're wasting time, they make better curators, and should be rewarded for their efforts as well as be offered and incentive to hold and actually use their own SP.

As a content creator, I want satisfied customers. If that means I must earn a smaller percentage per unit with the hopes of earning more in bulk (more incoming votes), so be it. That's actually quite common in business. Nothing unusual about it.

What many don't realize is if this place scaled up to millions of people, a content producer would be able to maintain a blog/vlog and secure profits even at a 10% cut, provided the value of the token was high. 10% today wouldn't work, but it easily could many years down the road.

This all sounds good in theory but would it actually play out that way or will those inclined to game the system find other ways to game it? I can see the potential for bots spamming comments even more than they do now and vote selling wouldn't be discouraged just by changing the reward percentages..

The votes they place on curators comments would be worth more to the content producer.

How would that be worth more to the content producer as opposed to the one leaving the vote?

To me personally, a 50/50 split wouldn't make much of difference as I both post and comment equally. My focus is on building and engaging an online community, but I'm not so sure it would change anything as far as paid votes for sub-par posts. There are those here now who only look for ways to make money with the least amount of effort and they're not going to stop just because of a reward percentage change.

For honest actors who really are engaging with others on the platform, it would be a boost and probably create more engagement, but as far as bringing quality content to the attention of the community I don't see how the change would make any difference at all. Quality and highly engaging posts would still be competing with posts that bought votes and clog the trending pages.

Of course those attempting to game the system will attempt to screw things up. That's just what they do.

Vote selling may continue but who will buy? Spend 20, have 22 placed beside the post. They'd need to earn 9 in organic votes just to break even. Sounds kind of silly to me, but I'm sure a few noobs will fall for it, then feel ripped off, blame the platform, leave, like they do now.

How would that be worth more to the content producer as opposed to the one leaving the vote?

If I leave a vote worth 10 cents on a comment, I'd now get 5 cents. $1.00, I'd get $0.50. It adds up.

I'm not sure how much profit there would be in selling votes. Spend $100, receive $115, lose half = $57.5. A poor quality boosted post would have to earn $42.5 in organic votes just to break even. If the SP is already locked away ready to be sold, who's going to be able to put $42.5 on a shit post organically? Minnows?

The higher they go, the worse it gets. Those votes would have to be sold for less if someone just wanted to buy votes hoping to squeak tiny profits out of low effort work like they do now. Spend $5, have $10 placed beside the post, lose $5. Break even. Is $10 worth of reward worth $5? I can't see them making much money selling votes that way. Those members with their own SP to use could easily just vote for quality work in a timely manner and earn more per vote because the odds are more votes will trickle in after theirs if the post has potential. To me, it sounds like curation would compete with vote selling, and curation rather than selling would come out with more potential profits.

Thanks for the explanation. That makes more sense to me now. I'm all for it because I curate and post equally already so in theory my earning would be about the same. I think so anyway.

I was very interested in your view on this... Because you are a "Content Creator" who wants engagement.

I produce art and creative writing; art needs eyes. I can't get laughs if they don't read. Why would I write humor if I didn't want to hear laughs? I'd never pay someone to look away, because that hurts my business. I want people to look, I hope they stay after the show to talk to me, I hope they support my efforts, and they all get a small token of my appreciation in the form of curation rewards and comment upvotes. That's like offering a free coffee at the art gallery or free beer at the comedy club. Provide incentives, more people show up. Back in the day, you could buy a movie because you want to see it, open it up, and there's a free poster inside. That's how this business works. Without engagement, there's nothing here for me. Sure, I could farm rewards, but just because I grew up on a farm, that doesn't make me a farmer; and there's no point in planting a crop if nobody is going to eat it.

I wanted to answer a few things, but I don't really know you. Nevertheless I would like that if it is possible you answer me only one question: When was the last time that you read an article of someone with reputation of 25 and 15SP and you gave him a good vote because you thought it was good content? Those who have large amounts of SP will benefit in any way because what seems to attract people here according to my experience is the SP not the content or its quality (exceptions are accounting with one hand). I don't have two years on the platform like you but I've spent almost a year and to get to the little I've achieved has cost me sweat. Now imagine a new user with exceptional content that nobody looks at because he doesn't have SP and how little he can do should lose his 50%. I am against monkeys like flames having great rewards but we are not going to detonate the atomic bomb on the city full of civilians just because KingKong is in the city. I think there may be other ways and I will look for them to give my opinion on all this controversy that threatens the stability of the system for new users. It's just my humble opinion and I don't know if I'm the only one here who thinks about newcomers.


He votes for people with low SP. I received his a couple of times - back in the day when my SP was still low - and have seen others receive it too.

It is not that I am in oblivion because I also receive some important votes but this is not about me or the other subject but about a whole community, when I issue an opinion I do not think about myself but about those who have it more difficult, in the platform in general.How good it is that you receive his vote, maybe the man is one of the few who act well on the platform, I have not reviewed his profile to give an opinion, however I think based on the thousands I have seen doing what I say and it is not a question of judging if he acts well or badly but of evaluating if applying a 50% healing reward would really affect the behavior of users or simply continue doing what they always do with the difference that new users will receive 33.33% less than what they currently receive being more difficult for them to upload. Thank you for participating in the conversation.

The part I keep seeing here is everyone's forgetting, is that apps take a cut of the profits. Which means you will be getting in less then you think you will be getting. The Apps will not cut out their fee's it's not going to happen. As more specialized apps start and host images or videos. These costs aren't cheap don't expect apps to cut fee's very much other you can kiss image or video hosting goodbye.

Also, what's stopping anyone from just automating curation as they did before and like they do now. Also, people seem to think this 50%/50% will trip up the bots. The model is likely to switch over to @smartmarket style.

Or they are likely to start self-voting them self with big votes as some do now. Content curator plus biggest vote on your post means more for you. This update has a bigger positive for circle jerks and automation creation services. And the spread will be just as bad as it is now.

The apps with delegation wouldn't have to take a cut, because when they vote for content on their app, they'd receive a higher curation reward. Now factor in popularity. If more members were available to curate, instead of being paid to look away, a really good photo or popular video of the day would generate even more revenue for the app in the form of curation rewards once the other votes start rolling in.

Automated curation isn't terrible. If I earned someone's vote, and they want to support my work even when they're sleeping, then come later to view, which is typically the case for me, I don't have an issue with that.

Would you purchase votes if you knew you'd be losing 50%? Spend twenty, get $22 placed beside your post, no views, lose half to curators who were paid to look away. Does that still sound like a 'smart' market?

Did you just self vote yourself three times for no gain, no reason? Just wondering.

Thank you @nonameslefttouse, I have been reading what you have said, including the dialogue with the others and I will think about it. I still think the OP looked like it was made in a hurry and brought more questions than answers. But if you and the majority of CONTENT CREATORS really want to earn less per post, I am not going to stand in your way if you all truly believe this will benefit you all short and long term.

I still think the OP looked like it was made in a hurry and brought more questions than answers

It wasn't made up in a hurry by any means. Maybe the chart itself didn't take that long but these discussions have been going on for literally years (for example I'm quite certain there was a well-followed post in 2016 which discussed putting curation rewards back to the original 50/50 design, but I don't remember the original author and not going to go searching for it).

Good find!

Well, the last edits has made the OP better.

but I don't remember the original author and not going to go searching for it).

The stakeholder map has changed since 2016, so I suggest we start again, please.

50/50 is a big disappointment to the majority bloggers, so imagine how loud SteemSpeak.com is in some parts right now.

Another thing we should think about is competitors. If we create a balance that feels unfair to content creators, and someone else opens up shop that could be a disaster for us in the short and long run.

Have all these pros/cons been really hashed out, or is everyone just being yes-men in order to not stick their heads out and ask for a ten minute break to catch up? ;)

Many pros and cons have been hashed out. Hundreds if not 1000+ comments on the various posts mentioned here, countless side conversations, etc.

ANY idea that has been around since 2016 on steem has certainly been discussed. A lot. Worry yourself not about that.

I am not worried. Just gathering opinions, @smooth. I run http://steemspeak.com discord 17 hours a day, been doing that for 2,5 years with an active user base of between 5000-6000 people (active last 7 days, I prune it often to only keep it with active and not dead users) so naturally I have a lot of people who wonder about things.

I hope to see you over there some day, spend some time, get to know each other better.

We are almost in 2019 now.

Someone visited my blog yesterday. They liked my post. This was said:

I upped your post because I get value from it
but I delegated my SP to grow
so it doesn't make much difference

Too many people are paid to look away.

Content creators are earning less now because much of the SP is delegated away and centralized into the hands of a few. Under this current model, I was not able to earn the 2 cents I could have received had they not had a reason to delegate away their SP. This is a widespread issue for content creators. I've seen many slowly lose support over the past while due to the fact so much SP in the form of votes with value behind them is unavailable and can't be used to support content creators.

If there was more of an incentive for members to curate, they would not delegate their SP away. I'd be earning more if that curator was earning more curation reward. Even if I only received half of that 2 cent vote, after everything is said and done, I'm still earning more. That penny is more than the current model that gave me zilch.

There are hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of valuable votes that can't be used,daily. That gets unlocked the moment curators have more of a reason to curate. Content creators gain access to those hundreds of thousands of dollars, therefore, they can potentially earn more, even though their posts are worth half. I have my doubts seeing a steady stream of votes with value behind them pouring in will somehow lead to content creators earning less.

Since we all get about 10 full power votes to use on any given day, when one member is paid to look away, that's converted into at least 10 less potential page views. Keep in mind, many vote at lower percentages, so one member being paid to look away can easily be converted into 30-40 less potential page views. When 1000 members are paid to look away, that translates into a loss of 10000-40000+ potential page views. That's in one day. There are over 1 million accounts here.

I have trouble believing content creators would earn less having access to that many more potential views.

On the surface, it's easy to look at a number, only see 50%, and convert that into a loss because it's less than the 75% cut content creators take home now. There's more to it than that though.

I could keep going but I'll leave it there.

P.S. I see you edited your comment and removed the 'moonshine' bit. No offense to anyone here, but I thought that line was funny.

Changing from 75/25 to 50/50 does NOT (re)move 50% of author rewards, it is 33%.

A 1 Dollar Post
50 cent to Author
50 cent to Voter

Is that correct, @smooth?

That is the proposal described in the post, yes.

The status quo is 75 to author 25 to voter.

So this represents a shift of

75->50 for author
25->50 for voter.

Good, then that is crystal clear.

OK @smooth, let us say that we hypothetically go for that solution, with all due respect;

How would you/me/we sell that 50/50 change to the bloggers without experience a networkwide Ramascream from our content creators?

Would we not be labelled as greedy soulless capitalists by the bystanders and the little users which are in the people majority?

The sales pitch is

  1. Curation is broken. A too-large and increasing portion of the reward pool is going to self votes and paid votes that bear little to no relation to quality or value brought to Steem
  2. As a dedicated quality contributor this is hurting you.
  3. By making a set of changes, including (but not limited to) changing from a 75/25 to a 50/50 allocation between posters and voters, we are attempting to shift the economic incentives away from this sort of self- and paid-voting and toward curating on the basis of a high quality, high value contributions as determined by a system better turned to measure stakeholder consensus (as opposed to unilaterally-decided self votes and/or paid votes)
  4. As a dedicated quality contributor this would likely benefit you.
  5. Can we promise that the 33% decrease in gross rewards will be made up for by a combinations of a) A larger share of rewards going to your quality contributions; and b) Growing the value of Steem thereby increasing the entire reward pool (including your share)? No! We can not guarantee this but we think it is a very plausible outcome.
  6. We also believe that doing nothing and continuing the failure of its premiere feature (stakeholder/voter-allocated rewards used to promote growth) will likely result in Steem continuing to stagnate, and likely continuing to decline in value. Your rewards will decline with it.
  7. Please support this initiative for the benefit of the entire Steem community, including you.

seems like a draft made up by three drunks on really bad moonshine

Part of the goal of this proposal is to normalize downvotes and get more systemic benefit from them than soley abuse fighting. However, in this case I'm downvoting explicitly for blatant abuse in the form of harassment. Agree or disagree there is no need for hostile name calling.

This post came about after a year or more of discussion by numerous interested stakeholders as well as several widely-discussed posts by @kevinwong (and others). All of which is a serious effort to improve Steem. If you want to disagree, disagree, but kindly do it respectfully of the work of many devoted Steemians.


It is a draft to iniciate talking about the williness to change some economic parameters or not. I think we witness should place all this early discusions in public “places” to allow stakeholders participate or audit the decision making process. Perhaps this is not the right format or the right place but I rather preffer iterating and maturing the potential changes until consensus is found by the stakeholders (and their representing witnesses) and share the status of the consensus in a chart as the proposed above than doing nothing. Some witness have already begun to make deeper explanation post explaining their rationals in detail (i.e https://steemit.com/witness-category/@therealwolf/witness-consensus-therealwolf ) which I think is exactly what we neeed to keep moving forward.

thanks for speaking up for a lot who are a bit reluctant to do so due to exactly the issues you pointed out

I'm an acceptable for 50/50.

That wasn't an option when I first answered.

Sorry for the error @aggroed and thanks for the update. Im editing the chart and updating the post. Additionally im putting your comment as well.

This went out a bit faster than I anticipated. But then again, it's nice to see the discussions and feedbacks that it generates, so thus I am happy to see it shared even though I myself would have preferred going over it a few extra times before announcing any stances on such important questions.

Anyways, I am practically "acceptable" towards any new idea that has a decent argument behind it. Steem is still young and we will have to experiment with alternative solutions than the ones that we've got, not only discuss and speculate on their potential(s).

What's more important to me is the approach we take to test whether or not a proposed change has the desired impact that we want. Witnesses, developers, stakeholders, and active community members can discuss all they want which changes could result in better outcomes for Steem (not that there's a clear agreement among all parties of what an "ideal outcome" looks like, but let's leave that for now). In any case, if changes as big as those suggested in this chart (50/50 split on rewards and a new pool for downvotes in particular) are implemented, they better change behaviors in a direction that is desired and produce results that align reasonably well with initial expectations.

To do so, the desired outcome ought to be clearly defined and some measurable outcome that would constitute a "success" or "failure" should be set. Then the whole community can understand why a new change is being tested and join in scrutinizing its effect.

Does this mean with the new changes Cervantes will stop upvoting itself at 100%, it’s admin at high percentage and instead the authors it says it supports (Who currently get only 4%-7%)? I mean with new changes you would still make money from curation rewards, but you would be using your curation delegations to actually support the Spanish community. Hopefully it does...

Exactly, with this changes, curators will have the same level of selfsustaintability as authors.

Yes so with your current voting habits you would make more money, but the authors would make less. I’m asking about your specific voting habits and if you intend on changing them since you will be able to make even more money for yourselves?

As a curation group that is community funded and claims it’s intent is to support the Spanish community, I believe your voting habits should reflect that.

Currently your voting habits support yourselves and your admins rather than the Spanish community. Can we expect to see a change in that if these changes are implemented? Or will this just mean more money for you?

We are using more than 50% of our voting stake to support spanish writting authors, 25% to support collaborators and proyects and 25% goes to our SP Witness update. On top of that we are delegating 20K steems to independent spanish comunity proyects (ongoing project where we every month delegate 25% from our earnings as top witness). It is already decided that we stop autovote.

Sorry, we need to go deeper. There's a wrong assumption here on a fundamental level. Curating is not a selfless act of sacrifice for the greater good that should be rewarded. It's an act of exercising cultural power. I vote for @traf because I want to see funny gifs. You vote for @trafalgar because you want to read boring essays. Traditionally, this power cost a lot of money, and it was one of the things that made the grandchildren of self-made men squander their inherited fortune.

So here's my proposal: voting should not be rewarded at all. On the contrary, it should cost money. For example, if the author reward is 100%, the voter reward should be -150%. Nobody would self-vote in this system, not even between different accounts. Voting bots would be unprofitable.

There would be no curation window, no reward pool, and no inflation but deflation instead. Wouldn't that be good for the price? And if you ask me, we can do away with Vests, Savings and SBD too. If we want mass adoption, we need a system that the average person can understand immediately.

Would nobody vote in this system? Well, a vote would become much more meaningful. We can still keep a system where the early voters of the best posts are rewarded in the end.

But we can't just assume that the most popular posts are the best. That would still enable spammers to curate the shit out of one of their posts. We need a new class of witnesses: users who judge the quality of posts by their own voting behavior. These content witnesses will be elected like the block-producing witnesses, with one difference: everybody also gets a number of downvotes in this election. That way, we can keep out users who abuse the system. The content witnesses or quality oracles will have the privilege of voting for free. There could be more than 20 full-timers, maybe 100.

Of course, this comment is inconsistent with my other comment saying we should change only one rule at a time. It's about the arguments, not about the person.

steem is beyond steemit and at this stage votes dont only have use in curation. overall, what is rewarded has been value where content is only a form of value. a developer contribution behind the scenes can be considered value and may be rewarded using the same vote. if you consider the span of these things, you will have another interesting proposal. a vote as well in current circumstance as more cost than is obvious. this is where things like real reputation or responsibility comes in. it is quite broader than is obvious especially when you start to consider steem and the shift and its evolution from where it was, to a blockchain for apps. steemit is now the major centre where all the content from various app still will show and different apps have their own business model and own form of main content. some enterprises even pay with vote too. so vote carries a broader use now than was initially the case. I think adding these factors and you will be able to come up with yet another provisional solution.

Upvoted for interesting original ideas. I don't necessarily support them at this time.

I'm only a low-five-figures investor but I will be cashing out and seeking opportunities elsewhere if 50% curation is the consensus. We don't have enough incentives for posting content now, which is incredibly obvious if you look at the posting quality and quantity after the fork. Further reducing it basically makes Steem a desert, and you can fight over your curation all you want.

I do appreciate the general disapproval for superlinear, though.

Curation plays a key role in rewarding the good content. Otherwise we have a reward pool of X STEEM/day spread out over all kinds of garbage and abuse and the valuable content contributors get 75% of very little.

The goal of these changes is absolutely to get better voting and curation which means more rewards flowing to those who deserve them.

I respect that you may disagree on this but I personally find such strong disagreement a bit peculiar. From 75% to 50% there is a 33% reduction in rewards. I don't know how you can be so confident that better voting and less voting motivated by content-agnostic extraction from the pool won't shift enough back to the good content to make up for this 33%.

Curation plays a key role in rewarding the good content.

No it doesn't. The only way to believe this is if you're completely bamboozled by the white paper. In practice curation doesn't do this at all. All it does is reward predicting what other people will vote on.

I don't know how you can be so confident that better voting and less voting motivated by content-agnostic extraction from the pool won't shift enough back to the good content to make up for this 33%.

The current optimal curation strategy is to cast an extremely broad net of tiny votes in order to catch the occasional "hit" of rewarded content and win a small amount of SP each time through the n^2 curation algorithm. Look at how well @cheneats does as an example. That's the behavior you're encouraging here.

No it doesn't. The only way to believe this is if you're completely bamboozled by the white paper. In practice curation doesn't do this at all. All it does is reward predicting what other people will vote on.

I'm not bamboozled by the white paper. I've explained (for years, often a lone voice on this) how downvoting is essential to anchoring the payout values (and therefore curation) to actual opinions on value of content/contribution. The white paper and the whole notion of downvoting only as an anti-abuse tool is getting this completely wrong (though to be fair with n^2 rewards there is less difference between the two; the original superlinear model with cheaper downvotes surely would have worked better as well).

The current optimal curation strategy is to cast an extremely broad net of tiny votes in order to catch the occasional "hit" of rewarded content and win a small amount of SP each time through the n^2 curation algorithm

That provably isn't the optimal strategy. I can easily improve on this by identifying some posts that won't 'hit' and not spreading to them. But to some extent this is true today because of insufficient downvoting. Literally any garbage can end up being a hit if it gets bidbot votes, and then it generally isn't downvoted enough (i.e. down to zero) because the cost of doing so is too high. Still, I think you can do better.

A large number of tiny votes on decent-to-good content is a useful form of both curation and content discovery in that it separates the possible wheat from the chaff. For example, I often upvote my own comments in large threads by 1% not to earn curation rewards or the few cents of self-voting-reward but to separate them from the huge sea of (often low value) comments.

The second level of curators then has less to look at, and can begin to shift rewards among the identified 'not worthless' candidates. This is good division of labor and value add all around, especially if you consider a scaled up system with much more content added daily.

The second level of curators then has less to look at, and can begin to shift rewards among the identified 'not worthless' candidates. This is good division of labor and value add all around, especially if you consider a scaled up system with much more content added daily.

In order for any of that to work, the large majority of the stake has to be voted naively, so that the people doing the algorithmic discovery have a large pool of content-based votes to be rewarded from. And you get naive voting by reducing the incentive to optimize, not the reverse.

If you have a first-level of curators that does basic discovery, and a larger (stakewise) second-level of curators that does higher-value discovery, you still need an even larger third level of "uncurators" who just want to vote on cool shit and don't care what their rewards are.

That remains the key population for making Steem work.

In order for any of that to work, the large majority of the stake has to be voted naively, so that the people doing the algorithmic discovery have a large pool of content-based votes to be rewarded from. And you get naive voting by reducing the incentive to optimize, not the reverse

It works if overrewarded content is downvoted. Curators can pile on (or perhaps 'reverse pile on' is more accurate since it is anticipatory) because A expects B to curate/vote and B expects C, etc. But if D (along with E and/or F) comes along at the end and declares this to be trash and downvotes it to zero then A, B, and C all wasted their vote power (a costly mistake).

Even without any preference-motivated upvoters (and there will always be some) this can still work. As a curator you have to upvote something or your vote power is wasted. If you spread your votes thin or even vote randomly, this is superior to not voting. Once you do that, then choosing based on what you most expect to not get downvoted is superior to voting blindly. Simple model of course, but not absurdly off.

Somebody has to be the last voter who loses in this scenario. If not a naive voter, who's getting what they want on a personal-social level, then it's a curator who's not doing well enough to be successful. Over time the unsuccessful curators will drop off and somebody else will become the unrewarded top of the pile, until it has recursively reduced the curation-optimizing stake to the level the naive voters can support.

I don't think you have refuted my logic even there are NO naive voters other than downvoters (who count as a form of naive voter in the sense they are unrewarded).

Yes, there will be some equilibrium of curators. That's okay.

I think with 50% curation rewards we are going to see more bots like @nfc and people like me who would power down to lease SP (don't have money to invest), then follow the trail.

It too expensive to produce content but cheaper to get similar rewards from curation. Or at least thats what I am thinking.

I was following the NFC trail with around a 2x vote for a while last week to see how it did. (Steemauto won't actually do that so I kind of faked it.) It was maybe a little more profitable then the cost of leasing, but not a lot, and of course there's the risk of it losing value in an emergent market, since you'd have to commit to the lease for a long term to get a good rate.

I think either delegating to NFC directly or building your own curation bot are better options right now. @night-heron's doing reasonably well putting tiny votes on your comments. :)

Here is another @nfc experimental post. I will obviously think of coding a bot myself if @nfc doesn't work.

BTW I saw @night-heron was voting my comments and got good curation. You'd be better off with 50/50 system. ;)

I don't doubt that The Mespotamians would have a substantially larger return under 50%. But the cost is it making our mission far, far more difficult.

You're looking at it too statically. What if 50% curation more than doubled the upvotes you got?

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What if witches flew down and gave me a winning Powerball ticket?

Why wouldn't large accounts spread more of their voting power to other's posts if curation was 50% and not 25%?

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Because people who are interested in passive income are interested in passive income. No one's going to magically become a participant because you change the number around.

Also you're the ones trying to ruin user acquisition, the burden of proof is on you.

There will still be passive income. Instead of delegating to a content-agnostic voting service you delegate to a decent curator and share the rewards.

Just as easy access to vote bots change the dynamics of how people act, easy access to highly profitable curation programs will also change how people act. Investors will go where the money is. Currently the incentives in place encourage voting with bots, regardless of the content quality. Incentivizing curation incentivizes valuing content that others will also value (i.e. "good" content).

No, it also incentivizes voting with bots, just @nfc type bots. Even the curation increase with HF20 has done that. I've been playing around with some of my own. It's not about content quality, it's just about vote-racing, mostly in front of who Steemit is voting by proxy through the @misterdelegation recipients. Which makes sense, since curation has never effectively promoted content discovery.

Also, it's pretty clear that the peak of "quality content" on Steem is content that is perceived to promote the Steem price. If you reduce the diversity of content by concentrating votes you're just hastening the Bitconnect-ization of Steem.

It's not about content quality

The only thing in this system that has ever been about content quality is downvoting. That's why reducing the cost of downvoting is essential to getting the rewards where they do the most good.

This is a package of changes and looking at them piecemeal is misleading or in some cases deliberate spin:

  1. Increasing curation shifts the 'go where the money is' incentives toward curation rather than self-voting. This would produce more curation but would not work to produce good curation without #2.
  2. Cheaper downvoting means more upvoted garbarge will get downvoted, and therefore curation (see above) needs to focus on non-garbage to get a good return. This would not work to produce good curation without #1 (actually I personally think it would work, at least better than the status quo, but it works better along with #1).

Looking at the pieces separately doesn't show the whole picture.

since curation has never effectively promoted content discovery.

And this is the problem we're trying to fix by incentivizing more curation so that it can effectively promote content discovery.

If we assume more people move to curation bots, would the quality go up, got down, or stay the same? Curation may not be perfect, but I do think it's better than what we have now.

"Quality content" is certainly skewed towards those with the most voting power and it makes sense they want to increase the value of their holdings. One important way to do that is to show the Steem blockchain via Steemit, Busy, Steempeak, Steemmonsters, etc working effectively. That includes demonstrating an effective curation system bringing good content to the surface. By that, I mean it's not just "Hurray STEEM!" articles that will, in the long run, have a positive impact on token price. It's also important (for those who understand and consider long-term value) to promote and demonstrate the effectiveness of the stated (and valuable to investor) goals of the Steem blockchain.

It's not just any number. Besides it's part of a set of proposed changes. Secondly, all I'm trying is to get to the bottom of this by talking to people having different opinions on this.

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It doesn't need to double. Reduction from 75% to 50% is only a 33% reduction.

Yeah... 50% won't get vote sellers the desire to stop selling their votes, it will just give them more money for not curating themselves and keep selling their votes to make money. 50/50 is not solution at all, it only incentivizes more vote selling anyways as I see it.

Vote selling pays about 100%. 75/25 or 50/50 doesn't change it or increase incentives at all, nor does it pay any more to vote sellers (about 100% either way). It increases the relative incentive to not sell. Not enough on its own but it narrows the gap significantly.

As I stated in the comments under @Trafalgar's post, I have a solution to the bid bot issue that steps on no-one's toes and cannot really be circumvented. I wrote about it here. By giving every steem user the ability to mute the EFFECT of votes by allowing them to mute VOTERS - we allow everyone to block out the effects of bots while also empowering users to see more of what they want/need to see. This would also enhance the effectiveness of good curators too since their work would be more visible to those who care and they can then both benefit from their work by reading posts they discover and also then upvote them. This facilitates proof of brain in a pure way that does not involve overpowering anyone and that actually empowers people more than they have been. Empowerment is what is needed here.

I also commented that I see an issue with free downvoting in that the imbalance among user's Steem Power holdings means that malicious whales could literally shut down a large amount of the reward activity for the entire network, which would in turn boost their own earnings. Ultimately, power imbalance that can limit exposure is a problem when exposure is the proposed way to gain power and rectify the balance. This is a fundamental flaw in capitalism too, in the sense that new users (or new born babies) have to join in an old game where monopoly is already established. It's fine to say 'work hard and you can be big too', but in reality that's not how things play out due to the nature of the weighting involved and the ability of the biggest to crush the smallest with little incentive financially for them not to do so. The idea that the big whales who act selfishly to the point of destroying the network would change before they actually do destroy the network, presupposes a level of intelligence and perceptiveness/care on their part about such things - which is already possibly evidenced to be in short supply by the fact that they would have taken things to that point.

Every point in all of this is unique and we need to dive deeply into every point to fully understand it and reach the best outcome. Soundbytes jut can't cut it here. However, I will say that options that empower without overpowering anyone are always helpful.

Imho, protocol changes shouldn't be decided just by witnesses. There aren't enough witnesses for that not to be a really flawed way of doing it. It makes sense for nodes to be the main voters in bitcoin/ethereum, but doesn't make sense for Steem, since the purpose of Steem is the Dapps built on top of it, which are meant to be inclusive social communities, fostering interaction. To just change back and forth based on what witnesses (who, might I add, have completely different incentives potentially than other people) vote for isn't the right way to do it.

A witness have 1/20th of the responsibility to decide which changes he want to apply on the protocol, and he should do it defending the interests and opinions of the stakeholders, who are voting for him as witness. Thats the way DPOS works.

lol I know how it works. I'm saying my opinion is it shouldn't work that way, because opinion/interest is often divided among stakeholders, and a witness will have to vote one way or the other... so one portion of their voters won't be represented. At the end of the day, as well, they vote with their best interest in mind, which may or may not be the majority interest of their followers, ESPECIALLY if they would still retain witness status despite losing many followers. Additionally, someone may disagree with all 20, in which case they may not want to vote, so their voice isn't heard.

Overall I'm very pleased to discover that most of the witnesses recognize that we have a clear an urgent problem in terms of our underlying economics: we're just rewarding the wrong behavior the most (vote farming)

Moving the curation up so it becomes more competitive is definitely the right move. 50% is hopefully enough, as we want to leave as much to incentivize authors as possible

100% separate downvotes however, is far too much. Remember, with 50% curation, even assuming vote farming provides 90%ish of returns, we only need to make up the other 40% here. That is to say, you don't need to take every vote 'abuser' to 0, taking it down 40%+ means they're likely better off just using their money to curate. Therefore, a much more modest number here should be considered

Honestly though, I don't think there's too much we can do to make the current economics worse unless we're actively trying. I hope to see some changes come in before SMTs, even if I don't personally agree with them all. The platform can't continue to go on like this

Remember, with 50% curation, even assuming vote farming provides 90%ish of returns, we only need to make up the other 40% here. That is to say, you don't need to take every vote 'abuser' to 0, taking it down 40%+ means they're likely better off just using their money to curate.

I don't think these numbers are right. In the absence of downvoting, vote farming is nearly 100% efficient and takes far less effort than curation, which is inherently competitive. To even be an average curator takes significant effort. To achieve balance here probably means 50-60% or possibly more. Does it need to be 100%? Probably not but it is close enough to not over-complicate things and try to create a distinction where there really isn't one.

I see a system where one N SP stakeholder can prevent another N SP stakeholder from making an ill-advised payout as healthy. It shouldn't require a multiple. There should be plenty of content where there is a clear majority of stakeholders expressing an opinion who are in favor of a payout. If there isn't then maybe we need to stop paying all this inflation for things that we don't agree are valuable.

That said, some other numbers could work, with other tradeoffs. If we bumped curation to 90% then far less downvotes would be need to balance between farming and curating (perhaps 10-20%). There is still an imbalance in terms of effort, and downvotes are still important to anchor curation to real value. Incentives favoring curation over farming is necessary but not sufficient.

Honestly though, I don't think there's too much we can do to make the current economics worse unless we're actively trying

Mostly agree. I'm not strongly opposed to even the idea of 10% free downvotes as I see it as a step in the right direction, albeit a weak one.

BTW, the proposal for n^1.3 has very little support so you need to factor in that it probably won't happen. A significant amount of downvote power will still need to go to block farming (as with mack-bot, etc.). Whatever is needed to fight high dollar reward extraction, general low/no-value payouts, and generally maintain healthy incentives for non-farmers is additive on top of that.

Yes i'm becoming more and more modest with my expectations and learning to compromise big time, lets forget superlinear, it's not an issue until an otherwise functional economic system is introduced. I raised it initially mainly in anticipation of certain exploits that can occur in the future

I see a system where one N SP stakeholder can prevent another N SP stakeholder from making an ill-advised payout as healthy.

This isn't a reason. This is stating the consequences of the change as if it's a reason. Tim does the same thing.

The numbers are not close, they're very far out. There's never been a very strong rebuttal to my observation that:

Downvote strength only need to be sufficient to push abuse posts rewards towards roughly the new curation value in order to deter them rather than all the way down to 0.

We can both come up with some reasons to fudge the numbers a little to either side, but can we agree that this is an important consideration that was likely missed by most witnesses?

Ok, so an actual separate pool is pretty much out of the question due to implementation limitations. Which means features separate and severable downvote delegations from upvotes are gone, and we don't have a good estimate of the actual downvotes that'll be exercised. We're stuck with one pool and we're sure we can implement 100%, but we're uncertain if we can do a multiplier, steemit's help on any of this is out of the question until well pass SMTs, that's where we're at correct?

There's a lot of stuff to speculate on under the new system, 2 of which come to the forefront in my mind:

  1. The proportion of downvotes that'll actually be used
  2. The proportion of SP contributing to abuse and needs to be curtailed

Obviously I believe 1 >>>>> 2, especially over time, but assuming you probably think the opposite, can we just assume that they mostly cancel each other out?

At which point, in light of the stuff in bold above, would you agree to 50%? Of course we don't know if it's possible, but if it were? I'm guessing we don't even agree on to what extent excessive downvotes are harmful etc, but putting that aside, 50% should be sufficient and going more isn't likely to yield greater value, would you support it?

I think 50% is excessive, but I'm still very confident it'll contribute to a much healthier content discovery and rewards system overall.

If it's not possible, gun to my head, sure, it's hard to do worse than what we currently have. With 100%, although I feel is really really bad, will still be better than what it is right now. But I truly think it's such an excessive change (we're really going from downvotes being prohibitively expensive as it costs 100% returns, to a system with as many pontential free downvotes as upvotes) it'll introduce a plethora of new problems, and with a half ass coding job, the timing right before SMTs and without steemit inc's backing, I'm not sure if it's entirely worth it.


Highly commendable approach ! This really a professional effort, congratulations !

However, I'm wondering whether we are not all agonizing over things which, while important, are not the most important nor the most urgent.

Consider the following : we need more great content and great content creators on this platform to attract people - eyeballs, attention, thus investment. But tweaking the economic system will mostly concern those who are already in and understand a very complex mechanic.

The great content creators from outside steem (those blogging on their own blogs, on Medium or somewhere else), that will bring a lot or reputation and attention to this content platform, could not be expected to understand in detail the difference between 25% and 50% curation or linear and n*1.3 rewards at the beginning - this is for geeks like us who know the system!

At first they'll just see that they get some crypto whereas on Medium they probably weren't getting anything.

Shouldn't we rather, collectively, spend more time on marketing this platform outside the crypto world in order to increase the overall size of the community ? Rather than agonizing over tweaks to the economics?

Just consider

P.S. self-upvoted out of commodity - to have less scrolling to do in order to find my comment among the throng of comments

Your comment, @sorin.cristescu reminds me of some flagging I've seen that troubles me.

You talk about posters who are already posting outside of Steem coming here.

As most of the flagging, so it seems to me, is nowadays done by bots, they find the original posts and flag the poster, despite it being mentioned in the post that this is a copy of the original by the same person.

Another system that angers me is that someone plagiarises, they are caught out and flagged. No problem what happens is good....but, some bots do not punish you just for that cheat, they keep on flagging you and warning others that you are on their black list (as an example) - and you can only get released by apologising and humbling yourself with pathetic promises you will not do it again. Whenever I see this, it sickens me and makes me want to #walkaway

Thanks for your comment, Arthur.
Of course it would be best if people post original content here first before going outside. Why would you want to copy to Steemit something that has already been made public on Medium or elsewhere.

I can understand there is natural tendency to suspect that of being an attempt at milking the reward pool.

Why not post original content here BEFORE going to post it someplace else (if at all) ?
If the content is already available elsewhere, what's the point in copying it here?


Hey, @cervantes.

Thank you for doing this. It's hard to get everyone represented in the way they feel they should be represented. Thank you for taking this on.

I'm not a witness, nor am I someone who has been around long enough to even know how things were before, nor do I have a technical background in development or game theory.

I am, however, someone who spends quite a bit of time, all day, six days a week, posting, commenting and curating. I do it all manually. I don't self-upvote, I don't use bidbots, and I spread my upvote around as much as I can based on what I deem merits my upvote of what I do see.

This is how I interact with the STEEM platform. Other than some investing in STEEM, what I have in stake is what I have earned/received from my efforts, which will also include contest winnings.

That's where I come from. I don't know what's best of any of this. I don't know which of you here claiming that this or that will work best even knows what they're talking about, even though you say it with such authority and such absolute certainty.

I am grateful for the discussion, at least. And I think it's worth discussing further. I even think it's worth testing out in as big of a test as possible. I don't think these are the types of changes that just get implemented. I think they need to be tried out to see if they even do any of what all of you are saying they could/will do.

I've read in the comments that testing will take place. I've also read comments that make it sound like this is already a done deal, rather than an introduction of sorts to the greater community. I would hope that would be much more discussion on these issues among the rest of us other than the witnesses, so hopefully there's more to be discussed and more to be learned.

While I would love to see more curation among the higher SP accounts, I also know the higher SP accounts who do curate do so through curation trails and other means of autvoting. Someone else is already doing the actual reading, or they've prescreened authors somehow. I don't know how any of that changes this. I don't see where any of this causes reading of posts to increase among them, or for that matter, the rest of us.

Personally, if quality post discovery were easier to begin with, and not dependent on upvotes by large SP accounts or whatever it is we're going for with this, that would be the first step. I don't think quality content discovery happens through upvotes. We've already seen bidbots at work, and it seems to be quite widely recognized that they are not the ones discovering content of any kind—they are merely a workaround for the issue of visibility, and the creator's means of self-promotion.

I guess in my mind, there's much more to discuss, a lot to fully test, before these changes ever become a reality. They were changed to this from where they were for a reason. At one point, these changes were deemed more fair, or equitable, too. Now, they're being deemed as not so equitable or fair, or at the very least, that conducive to curation. I don't know. Myself and others have been curating since we got here. We haven't needed extra incentives. We haven't even been able to figure out when or optimally how to vote. The reason for that is, we've been more focused on finding stuff we like to read and engage with, rather than how much greater of a percentage we're going to end up with if we upvote on certain posts at certain times.

I don't think the masses are going to want to learn all of this. I think they're just going to want to upvote what they like, and be sure that it gets to the author. I think they'll be happy to get something in return, since that's not been an option anywhere else. I think they'll recognize that what they do in curation takes less time and effort than what a creator takes producing this quality content we keep talking about. Quality that is subjective and in the eye of the beholder anyway.

Well said - thanks on behalf of authors/creators of good posts.

I also feel that if the ratio of reward is changed, then we must inform all posters that the first thing they must do on posting, is vote for themself (even that ability in our preferances was removed, already working against posters, as bots can react faster) so that they still get more than 50%.

People will always look for loopholes so as to make the system work in their favour and we've seen from the way the legal system works in real life, it is like the dog eternally chasing, in circles, its own tail. We need to provide other incentives. For instance, I write stories and a few poems. When a group like the writers block congratulate and thank for for making a well written piece of work available, that is worth more to me than an upvote of $100

How about a board where the best posts are preserved for a time? Such board can include various conditions that have to do with originality of work and so on, but must not try to set out voting rules. Maybe posts shown there will only appear AFTER the 7 days? That means it will be there to be read, not for voting on.

Hey, @arthur.grafo.

Well, I'm not sure what I actually said of worth in re-reading what I wrote, but thanks for the kind words. I'm kind of wary when anyone starts talking definitively about any of this, regardless of which side they're coming from. Obviously, not everyone can be right, and so trying to sort through all of this is virtually impossible. That's why testing it thoroughly seems to be about the only way to come close to knowing how it could turn out.

re: 50/50

I earn a decent amount in curation as it is. It's not nearly as much as someone with higher SP would make, though. But it's constant, and it's what I have the most control over. I can determine who I vote for.

It use to be a 50/50 creator to curator ratio and they got rid of it in favor of this. I've been trying to find out why, but so far, no answers to that. My guess is, combined with everything else, it didn't accomplish what they wanted it to. Or it could be that conditions were truly different back then when there were fewer on chain.

Regardless, in my mind, there is a definite psychological barrier to a 50/50 split. I can manually curate dozens of posts in the time that it takes me to research, write, add images and edit a post. So the amount of work differential is an issue.

Also, there's no guarantee that enough high SP is going to change for what amounts to a 33% increase in rewards. Nor that they just won't put it on autovote, through a curation trail or their own. So, no greater amount of eyes on post.

And now some are arguing that instead of de-incentivizing the bidbots, it will just allow them to continue because they will be able to get greater curation rewards, too.

re: self-upvoting

The ability to automatically self-upvote was removed, but so was the reward for it. Since HF 20 went into effect, all curation from self-upvoting at 0 minutes go to the reward pool now, rather than to the creator. So, self-upvoting upon posting would need to be nearer to the 15 minute mark, if I understand correctly.

re: a board

I think your comment about what happens within the writer's block community is probably our best bet, just in a more formal manner. Communities, the change in UI that is supposed to be coming, is probably going to be our best bet for actually truly compensating quality work. And since ned has started a new company to work on such a thing, maybe we'll actually get it.

I tried to avoid showing my bias in too didactorial a form, but on one point I remain adamant. Many posters on Steemit are complaining about how impossible and disheartening it is to get started as a poster here, which is why I said that this may be the wrong time to make changes, for it will be perceived as a move to take away from posters and give to those who already are making the most.

The word perceived is more important than some seem to realise. I also see comments, again and again, that 'content' is not as important as we claim it is.

The reaction by those who do not understand the arguments (like me) is not going to chase away everybody. Probably just those who produce the kind of content that makes this an interesting place.

Just before you posted this comment, I found and read two posts (a new story) by perhaps one of the best known authors in Steemit, @johnjgeddes

I cannot reward him in a meaningful way (moneywise) but I rejoiced at finding something good to read and made a few comments.

It made Steemit feel like a nice place to be.

No curator has made me feel that way.

Ey. Thank you. And hopefully, as someone mentioned above, we are able then to focus the - often fuzzy - discussion - on discrete and widely agree updates on the blockchain`s codebase.


Thanks for putting this together cervantes

Been calling for these changes for around 8 months. There just doesn't seem to be a way to get things done here in an efficient and cost effective way here.

Fast isn't the same as efficient. Large consensus systems with many users have many different interests to consider. Even the so called 'abusers' are users with interests. A diverse ecosystem requires some degree of stability for people to to build on it and not have the rules changed out from under them. Some blockchains such as Bitcoin have a culture of resisting change altogether, arguing that the long-term value of stability outweighs any short term benefits that might come from 'improvements'. So far that seems to be working okay! (Of course it certainly has its detractors, too!) Steem doesn't quite have that culture but it doesn't mean we just change things on a dime either. That wouldn't be 'efficient'.

Yes, speed is not the same as efficiency, example: the HF20. :)

Also, I only hope that among witness seek to defend the interests of more than 1 million users and not be influenced by those who seek to fill much more the pocket. ♥

I wonder why you were not consulted @arts-david . well,i think 50/50 curator is one of the most important thing that i see and would be an encouragement too.it is a good thing @pfunk @kenney-crane @cervantes

I'm sorry, but still being somewhat new here, just a little over one year. The 50/50 split on rewards in my opinion would be the death nail, (final nail), in the steemit coffin lid. Unless one of you can explain to me why I should vote for a person reputation level 40 or less or heck even 40 to 68 rep, when their rewards are only pennies, nickels, dimes, loose change, or not likely to break the Five dollar mark, when just about every post done by someone with a reputation of 70 or more get rewards in the hundred dollar range, (like this post).

So explain how this math is going to help content creation? How it is going to create Quality post? You think it is funny that @berniesanders can make a post with no content and earn hundreds of dollars in rewards, with a 50/50 split he will be in the 10,000 dollar reward range. @haejin will be in the 10,000 dollar reward range. There would be zero reason at all to vote on any name that is not easily recognized because that is the name that will get the votes because people know they rake in extremely large rewards. Who in their right mind looking to make a buck would not vote on their content.

Some serious rethinking needs to be done on this 50/50 reward split. What would you want a chance at a part of a 10,000 dollar prize or a part of a two cent prize.

A separate pool for downvotes is also not a good idea, but I will stay my fingers on that one.

I have read the article in question. I believe that the behavior will change to people just trying to optimize their curation reward, thus going for the traditional high paying posts, thus bods bidding for accounts at the best time to optimize rewards, again not going for good content but for the best return - just another bad behavior.
I believe we should start with getting rid of all bidbots. They are the biggest evil, people buy votes and with it reputation. Reputation is not earned but bought - people with 6 months on steem has reps above 70!! The entire system is messed up by bidbots.
Then there are people with numerous accounts, voting for themselves and withdrawing all money that they make, trying to milk the system. Only one account per person should be allowed. (I can still vote for myself and receive 50% of the curation reward, will this split really help?)
This is my feeling.
The changes in curation window, is ok in my view.
I think the RC system could have worked to curb bidbots, but now they went and multiplied every bodies RC with 10 - mine never goes below 99%.

The reason that making downvotes cheaper is so important is to remove the incentive to simply go for high paying posts, because those posts, if overrewarded, are more likely to get downvoted.

Curation rewards and superlinear are methods that reward concentration. They don't reward merit. To reward merit requires (both directly and indirectly) that the community police when rewards are not deserved, and that requires there be a lot more downvoting going on. It is unfair and not effective that currently what little downvoting there is ends up being done by a few people and even then not that often. Those people then, in addition to giving up valuable vote power with no compensation, face directed hostility and retaliation. The only way to fix this at every level both economic and social is by encouraging wide and more regular use of downvotes.

One criticism of downvotes is that they 'take away rewards' and this will discourage people from posting and chase away good contributors. However, that is not correct. Downvotes only move rewards around. The same rewards are paid out, and when the good people of Steem are downvoting 'the bad stuff' it means 'the good stuff' will be rewarded more, not less.

Bidbots are not really something that can be gotten rid of or curbed directly. They are users taking advantage of the same system rules that are available to everyone and their structure emerges out of the broken upvote and downvote incentives that exist on the platform today. By changing the incentives we hope a result of that will be more useful models of voting, curation, and monetization emerge on the platform.

I can still vote for myself and receive 50% of the curation reward, will this split really help?

Actually if you vote for yourself you receive 100% of the reward. That's precisely the problem. If your content was really valuable then this is okay; you are being rewarded for valuable content. But if it wasn't and the only reason you are getting that 100% is your own vote, then we need the community to police that and say 'Not so fast!'. That means downvotes.

The goal of increasing curation to 50% is 'a carrot' to go along with the stick of downvotes. By curating other people's good contributions instead of voting for your own (maybe, uh, less than good), delegating to a bidbot, etc. you stand to earn 50% instead of the current 25%. We hope this, along with the increased downvoting, will encourage more people to do it.

I really want to see flagging normalized. If those who are upvoting valueless content feared flags, they would think more carefully about promoting content they thought might get flagged.

I don't understand it at a code level, but common sense says, if I have 10 votes a day, and I spend 11 (one flag) that has to come from somewhere. It has to be paid for in terms of stake and resource credits... doesn't it?

Downvotes would still use RC, so in that sense they wouldn't be completely 'free' and do indeed use resources at the code level, but would be far less expensive than the status quo where every downvote costs you an upvote.

To reward merit requires (both directly and indirectly) that the community police when rewards are not deserved, and that requires there be a lot more downvoting going on.

Putting the responsibility for this on uncompensated labor by the community isn't practical either, though. I can see the value of this as a stopgap solution but we really need something better.

Uncompensated labor? The members of the community are not employees, they are stakeholders who have EVERY incentive to participate in the protection of the asset STEEM.

He's right in a sense. It is uncompensated. If we had a good proposal for downvote rewards that would be great. We don't, but this proposal for 'free' downvotes moves the needle in the right direction. Intead of uncompensated downvotes that cost a lot, we have uncompensated downvotes that are free. The latter is far preferable to the former.

yeah, I'm for incentives that get people to flag. I just don't like the employee analogy I guess.

See my reply to @whatsup below

At least people will start giving a fcuk. Stop focusing so much on bidbots.

If it was so profitable why did yallapapi stop using them?

I want to talk to you.

My feeling is that until a carbon life form can be distinguished from a vote bot there will be no trust in Proof of Brain.

One solution was explored in an old blog post of mine, whose link is included below for your reading pleasure.


How is it that there are massive number of bots on reddit, twitter, youtube, etc. and still the curation system works far better (not perfect) than it does on Steem? Bots are subject to the same economic incentives as humans (remember, every bot is ultimately run by a human). If humans can make money via stupid or abusive voting then so can bots an vice versa. Indeed I would say that Steem is (or at least should be with the right economic incentives) less susceptible to manipulation by bots because raw vote count has a lesser to negligible role, and mass voting is one way in which bots have clear advantage over humans (try voting with 10k sock puppets without a bot).

Yesterday was my first opportunity to edit a past payout posting. No sooner had it been updated than esteem recognized 10 100% 25 rep account votes from someone's bygone experiment. They must be triggered on post url.

There are plenty of dumb bots that's for sure.

I personally think that a set curation level might be a mistake. Bid bots are currently making a fuckton, even with low curation levels. Imagine what they'll make with 50% curation.

I think curation should be given on a sliding scale based on average rewards. Newbs will give out a larger percentage to curation, maybe something like 50%, in exchange for the larger payout they get when they have a great post discovered and rewarded appropriately. Meanwhile, people that get $100 payouts every day, they might get a bit more with a lower curation percentage, maybe something like 20%, but there's less incentive to vote for them. People trying to go for large curation percentages will be incentivised to find awesome new authors.

Potential issues I see with this is people trying to gamify the system by upvoting random posts by low rewarded authors, or even random accounts they are create themselves. Of course, if it's a random account, then a random minnow gets a huge upvote, which is only bad if it's a really shitty post and poster. To create accounts to upvote occasionally is also kind of a pain in the ass.

We don't need big changes here. We need little incentives for people to actually do what they're supposed to be doing, curating.

We need little incentives for people to actually do what they're supposed to be doing, curating.

I thought we are meant to be making good posts - I did not know that our main responsibility here is to curate...irrespective of the quality.

As should be obvious, I see it the other way around, we must find a way to incentivise authors so as to improve the quality of posts. Seeing a well researched and written article earn a fraction of what another post earns for publishing a photo from pixabay, just because the poster has a high rep and large voting power, is what discourages good posts being created.

You want to improve curating? Then provide curators with a way for them to find good posts. The Feed system does not work, it tends to be just as full of worthless posts as looking at new posts list. Not many have the time or patience to go through hundreds of 'rubbish' posts, just to find something worth curating.

An idea, for instance: You resteemed a post by #sircork, where a condition he places for taking part in his contest is this one:

ALSO Introduce us to your favorite steemian, with a short intro and a link to their latest still active post.

How about a 'place' or tag, where we can promote a post, for free. It must not allow self-promotion. I would say that it needs at least one 'promotion', but not more than five, as after that, it means a bot was paid to provide the votes. As a matter of fact, using a bot for this should be penalised.

This is a blogging platform. Well researched articles should earn well, but it takes a long ass time to write them. We can't expect everyone to just up their posting quality. There will be some amazing articles here, and just some mediocre ones. People doing part of their jobs as members and curating, finding the actually good posts, and rewarding them, and preferably sharing them, is what ensures great posts get rewards.

We shouldn't be curating irrespective of quality...that's not curating...

You want to improve curating? Then provide curators with a way for them to find good posts. The Feed system does not work, it tends to be just as full of worthless posts as looking at new posts list. Not many have the time or patience to go through hundreds of 'rubbish' posts, just to find something worth curating.

And this is what I usually talk about when responding to posts about the issues here, tools to make it easier to curate. But there are many ways to incentivize curation. In this case I was talk

The feed system isn't really made to help us find good posts though. It's made to help us follow people we like, just like on every other social network. We can then reward the people we follow for regularly posting. If you follow groups that curate, maybe you can find enough things to upvote with combination of the individuals you follow...but there are also a few additional tools. There need to be more though and Steemit should be integrating some.

There are some places, like discord groups, where you can put links to different steem posts that you've curated. It would be nice if you could get a list of posts curated by your friends though...

Thanks. How about a post with links and information regarding the systems for helping curators to find good posts.

Why was I not consulted about this?

Witness rank maybe? (Somewhat guessing as I didn't perform the survey, only responded to it.) Anyway, please give your input as well.

Wow, what an interesting table! Thanks for your efforts in compiling the information and for providing us with so much transparency.

So the n^1 rewards curve got basically approved by all witnesses, for instance. Does that mean that it's automatically going to be part of the next hardfork?

That's what we already have.

Ah, then I misunderstood the line This is the list of change proposals.
Then change means keeping what we have in this specific case, got it.

I strongly disapprove of 50/50 curation rewards.

Some reason for doing so?

Curation rewards are clearly not working to incentivize good curation. Author rewards are working pretty well. It makes no sense to me to double our spending on a subsidy that is not working while removing that money from something which is working rather well. Further, from the perspective of a user who makes votes, I am interested in upvoting to give money to the content creators I support. Half of that money going to voters is a very high tax on my influence, I would be hard pressed to ever vote on something that has already had votes under such a regime. I'd probably end up self voting and giving away money directly instead. Finally, curation is a whales game and has very little benefit to the normal users we should be looking to attract.

Guess the other 100 witnesses invite to take part in this was lost in the mail.

Imagine if its hard to initiate a survey where majority of top20 participate, how would it be with 100.

Sorry for late response. Please add my opinions.

n^1 rewards curve

n^1.3 reward curve.

50% Curation reward.

10% free downvotes

Separated upvote/downvote pools.

5 minutes curation window.

3 minutes curation window.

I’ll add asap

I am now the 68th witness.
Where can I tell these stories?
I have not seen these stories at "https://steem.chat/channel/witness"

I think that this discussed possible changes have more sense if we look at them as temporaries adjustments in order to achieve something specific, but should be applied for a long period, from 1 to 2 years, with a well-defined organization chart and action plan., in this way, I believe that 50/50 or maybe 25/75, a curation interval of 3m plus n^1.3 reward curve will do very good for the system, we will have bigger incentives for the curators in that time period, and it will be more likely to obtain external investment to obtain SP, make curation great again.

But then, what we do next? The movement, the change, is necessary to maintain a healthy system, I wonder the following, is it sustainable for the system to boast frequent changes in the code to benefit more curators for a while and more authors in another?

If we look at it superficially, these changes seem to benefit the curators much more than the authors, but I think that the opinion of @nonameslefttouse makes a lot of sense, if we analyze a little more, we can predict a much more active behavior in the curators and therefore more benefits for the authors.

Hi @cervantes!

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Your UA account score is currently 8.171 which ranks you at #25 across all Steem accounts.
Your rank has dropped 3 places in the last three days (old rank 22).

In our last Algorithmic Curation Round, consisting of 236 contributions, your post is ranked at #1. Congratulations!

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I left some comments with my thoughts related to my position here.

Thanks for getting this conversation going.

I'm open to any and all reasonable discussions on these ideas, provided they aren't simply rehashing the same discussions that have been going on and on for over a year in some cases. Voicing our opinion is easy and feels good as we feel heard, but doing the hard work of reading through all the discussions and debates up to this point to form consensus and understanding is much more difficult.

Voicing our opinion is easy and feels good as we feel heard, but doing the hard work of reading through all the discussions and debates up to this point to form consensus and understanding is much more difficult.

Hold my beer.

And yeah, you're welcome.

Now imagine 500+ of these discussions spread over two years. There is no top down consensus on a distributed, decentralIed blockchain.

Cool video though. :)

There is no top down consensus on a distributed, decentralIed blockchain


But it's alright.

Hi, I'm deeply concerned with the idea of a 50/50 reward scheme...

The numbers just don't add up. At least this not where we are supposed to be driving the platform. Please read this post, I would love to have your feedback on the subject.

If the listed things will happen it will be an awesome Steem will be

Could you please implement only one change at a time, so we can see which one actually works? I hear the antilinearists talk about deep thinking, early history, maybe math and game theory, but are any of these proposals based on empirical science?

And has anyone had independent readers rate the Trending page (compared to what?) When I look at it today, I can't say it's worse than my feed. The fact that you need to pay to get on the front page encourages the people who can only afford to do that once to make an effort. And being able to buy attention gives Steem value to outsiders.

There's a lot of nostalgia for the early days of Steem. But you can't say that it worked better because of the original incentives and rules. It was a different situation, with a lower ratio of bloggers to investors. Spammers hadn't discovered how to exploit Steem yet. It must have been a great time if you were a whale or friends with a whale, but we can't turn back the clock.

The original incentives and rules shared a lot of the current flaws (especially with respect to downvotes). That was the first and likely biggest 'wrong turn' that was made on the platform in terms of incentives and having a well-functioning voting system. And indeed it worked differently but not necessarily 'better'.

This post had a mistake in its mentions that has been corrected in less than a day. Thank you for your quick edit !

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