Hello my fellow Steemians. After discovering Steemit for over two weeks now, I get more convinced of its great potential. So far I wrote some original content and supported as much as I can with curation. Although I'm still a minnow, I continue to encourage talented and original posts, even when my vote is only worth a few pennies. In time, I believe the Steem platform will be huge, and hopefully my pennies will be worth dollars for everybody.
WHO AM I?
I'm a PhD scientist with a background in Biochemistry and Immunology. I always had a fascination for computers and it's been my hobby since I was a kid. I learned BASIC programming when I was just 10 years old, from the manuals that came with my first pocket computer, the Sharp PC-1500. Don't laugh at its 32kb external memory module and its fax-like screaming when saving/reading programs to a cassette tape recorder! This baby preceded any modern personal computer, and I'm proud of it.
My hobby has grown over the years, and today I consider myself very proficient in Windows/Linux, programming (Delphi/Free Pascal, VB6/.net, PHP), reversing and shell scripting. I'm curious by nature and always looking for new challenges. For example, a couple of years ago I got fed up with Gmail, GMX, Yahoo (and other free email providers) for their disrespect of privacy, so I decided to build my own server from scratch. A few months later, after pouring my energy into long hours of learning about LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP), I got my server fully configured and running from scratch. You name it, firewall, fail2ban, MySQL, spam control, GPG encryption, etc. It's my baby project that I'm very proud of, and I share it with a few close friends.
So given my expertise in computers, I figured I could contribute to the Steem platform by hosting a witness and a seed. I stumbled on some excellent guides here, which gave me a greater confidence and motivation to embark on that project. I'm not a developer per se, but I know enough to manage a server.
My follower base is growing slowly and steadily, and with their support I believe I can become a successful witness, which will allow me to give them back. In fact, I'm a member and delegator of the @minnowsupport project started by @aggroed. This project aims at helping minnows, myself included. When I joined Steemit I was clueless, and I was lucky to have joined the MSP when it was just in its infancy a couple of weeks ago. It happened on Steemit.Chat where @gmuxx was talking about it.
Believe it or not, I've never subscribed to any social media before. Why? Because I realize their danger when it comes to privacy. There's no such thing as a free ride. Anything free must have something behind to make servers run and pay the bills, and this often happens by violating the users privacy and selling their habits to advertizers. I do not abide by such rules and I freely chose to stay away. With Steemit, I found the privacy aspect appealing and it was the main reason why I decided to join and try it. And so far I haven't been disappointed. The community, the encouragement, the solidarity and the rewards are great. That's why I believe Steemit's success will grow big time.
I would like to become a witness because it's an opportunity to be more involved in the Steem community, help it grow and become more solid. The more witnesses, the better. That is my main objective.
On a side note, I find that Steemit doesn't offer the ability to communicate more. A direct messaging system is not implemented. The only way to communicate with people other than commenting on posts is by chatting (Steemit.Chat or Discord). Those are practical but insufficient means; not everyone is aware of them, and when there are hundreds of users chatting in a channel at the same time, it becomes very difficult to follow and respond to all conversations.
Therefore I'm planning on offering an email service exclusive to the Steem community. Those who choose to subscribe will be able to communicate in deeper discussions between themselves. And most importantly, the service will have zero third-party partners (unless they are related directly to Steem), zero ads and total privacy as its main backbone.
I understand that I might not become a witness superstar overnight, so I will create a crowdfunding campaign to gauge the global interest and help kickstart the email project. When my witness server reaches a financial viability, I will be able to further expand the email project and hopefully hire technically skilled people to help me administer and maintain it.
Also, I will continue in helping minnows by curating and resteeming. I find the MSP is a great intiative and I intend to keep supporting it. There are other witnesses in this project, and the work they are doing has been inspirational to me.
And finally, I will pursue my writing about diverse topics in my blog, useful tips, scientific and geeky stuff. I'm a generous person, so sharing my knowledge with the community will give me great satisfaction.
WHAT IS A WITNESS AND A SEED?
A witness is not something spooky, https://steemit.com/faq.html#What_are_Steem_witnesses
The Steem blockchain requires a set of people to create blocks and uses a consensus mechanism called delegated proof of stake, or DPOS. The community elects 'witnesses' to act as the network's block producers and governance body...Witnesses are compensated with STEEM Power for each block they create.
@someguy wrote a post about the importance of witnesses.
Like with any blockchain, Steem is distributed all over the world, mainly in North America and Europe. While witness nodes generate the blocks, seed nodes distribute the blocks to the rest of the network. Increasing the witnesses and seeds improves the network reliability and throughput. As a matter of fact, the network needs more witnesses/seeds to accomodate the rising Steemit subscribers!
You can check the seed nodes status here: https://status.steemnodes.com/
HOW DO YOU VOTE FOR ME?
I invite you to discover my blog @drakos if you don't know me yet, and feel free to read my comments. I'm a respectful, serious, yet joyful person. If you appreciate my posts/resteems and my Witness Proposal, you can vote for me by visiting this page https://steemit.com/~witnesses. Only the top 50 witnesses are shown, so in order to vote for someone with a ranking below 50, like myself, scroll down to the bottom of the page, write my name in the box and VOTE, like this:
Please make sure after you vote, that my name appears below the voting box (if you voted for other witnesses, drakos would be on the list):
You can vote for a maximum of 30 witnesses.
WITNESS REPORT #1
I'm happy to announce that today I set up my secure and firewalled witness server. It's hosted in Germany with the following specifications:
The witness settings are as follows:
- Creation Fee: 0.2 STEEM
- Maximum Block Size:131072
- 0% APR since the SBD value is high
The witness server is up and running and the price feed is being published hourly.
You can find details at https://steemd.com/@drakos. Please scroll down the page and look at the left panel Witness section.
I haven't set up a seed node yet. I would like to evaluate how the witness behaves in the coming days, and if all goes well, I'll invest in setting up a seed for sure.
Your votes matter a lot and I thank you in advance if you decide to vouch for me. Your support is highly appreciated, and I hope your faith won't be misplaced. I'll be looking forward for your comments and feedback, and I'll be happy to answer any of your concerns. Thank you for your time.
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