FAQ, FAQ, FAQ!
Before I get to the witness talk, I will teach you the first rule in Drakos' book of knowledge: read the FAQ! It's not as long as the Ferengi 285 Rules of Acquisition, and it won't take you months to learn it. The FAQ is easy to find, click the "hamburger" navigation menu icon ☰ in the top right corner:
And voilà, magic. Can you see the word FAQ? Good.
Everything you need to know about Steem is plainly explained there, but unfortunately not many minnows take the time to read it, at least once. So please, always refer to it when you're in doubt, before asking questions. If you can't find it in the FAQ, then you can go to the help channel on Steemit.Chat for further assistance.
What Is A Witness?
The FAQ has a section that deals with the subject: What are Steem witnesses? Witnesses are elected by the community to "witness" the production of blocks on the Steem network. In other words, they run and maintain nodes (servers) that generate the blocks containing your posts, transactions, upvotes, comments, etc., which are added to the blockchain. Without witness nodes, there is no Steem blockchain.
Who To Vote For?
There are a few hundred witnesses at the moment, and each has a different level of involvement on the Steem platform. They range from developers, programmers, techies, engineers, to regular people, from all over the world. Each contributes to the community in his/her own ways. Witnesses usually post in the #witness-category (https://steemit.com/created/witness-category). They introduce themselves by describing their projects and how they envision their contribution to Steem. Also, they write about their server/witness updates. The contributions are diverse. They can be technical, community-driven, artistic, etc. So whatever sings to your heart, vote for it.
Voting For Witnesses 🗳️
In order to support the deeds of your chosen witnesses, vote for them. But deeds aren't the only important factor. In fact, witnesses are expected to run a stable and reliable server to avoid missing blocks and keep the network healthy.
Here are few clarifications about witness voting:
- The vote is not permanent. You can shuffle your votes by unvoting witnesses if you find them lacking, or if you need to vote for new ones that you would like to encourage.
- Voting for witnesses is different from upvoting posts. It does not cost you anything and does not reduce your voting power.
- You can vote for up to 30 witnesses.
How To Vote For A Witness?
Before you vote, two things:
- First, make sure your witness' server is active and running. For example, if we look at the top 100 witnesses (https://steemd.com/witnesses), we can see that many are crossed-out, i.e. not actively running their server, so it's useless to waste votes on them. @netuoso wrote a good post about it: Beware Inactive Witnesses - Witness Stats Released.
- Second, have your Active Private Key ready, you will be asked for it when you cast witness votes. If you don't have it, refer to my guide: Steem Private and Public Keys Demystified.
Click the navigation menu icon ☰ in the top right corner and select "Vote for Witnesses". This will take you to this page https://steemit.com/~witnesses. The witnesses are ranked according to the total Steem Power of their voters. Only the top 50 are shown on that page. You can vote for them by clicking the chevron up circle. When voted for, the chevron will turn blue, like this:
If your witness is not in the top 50, scroll to the bottom of the page. You will see the VOTE box. Enter your witness name (without the @) and press VOTE once.
Once voted, their name will appear under the VOTE box, with a blue chevron next to it. This means they're voted for. Many users click that blue chevron, but this will UNVOTE them. So don't press it, unless you're shuffling votes as I explained earlier.
NOTE: Sometimes people cast their vote and consecutively unvote! So, after you finish voting, refresh the page (press F5) and make sure your votes are locked in.
Some users prefer not to trouble themselves with witness voting. In that case, you can choose a proxy that will vote for witnesses for you. By doing so, you will RESET your current witness selection and remove all your previous votes.
Voting for witnesses is as important as writing posts. Supporting your witnesses helps motivate them to continue providing their knowledge and contribution to the Steem community. There are many users who haven't voted for witnesses yet, check @lukestokes' How Many Steemians Are NOT Voting for a Witness? I Found the Answer!
Together we make Steem better
Join us on https://discord.gg/GpHEEhV
🗳 Check out my Steem witness application and vote for me. 🗳
Alternatively, you can issue this command in
cli_wallet (after unlocking it)
vote_for_witness "YOURACCOUNT" "drakos" true true