How I got here
I arrived on Steemit in July 2017 and stumbled around to make sense of the place. I still don't know how I ended up here, I believe it was someone in an crypto mining community who suggested I check it out.
I was instantly in love with the unique use of crypto with something I loved; social media. I was also discouraged and overwhelmed by the amount of spam and low effort content.
I used to be a Reddit Junkie, and there are still many things I miss about Reddit. Being able to easily share things like posts and videos without having to write full page posts about it. I miss being able to share simple content like like memes and gifs writing a book about it. One of my favorite subreddit is /r/shittyreactiongifs where you post a gif with a statement that is the most absurd use of the gif but really makes it funny. In a way, it's a visual pun or joke, and many you have to think a bit to get it.
When I see a very long twizzler
I never liked blogging, I was never really good at it. I haven't really gotten any better, but I am very persistent and passionate when I set my mind to it. I also have lots of opinions, and I'm not shy in sharing them.
My goal when I first arrived here was to write about something, anything, each day. However, I always hold to one ideal. Never take a reader's time and attention for granted. I always try to provide something of value to anyone taking their valuable time to read my posts.
I wrote about this in a post a few months ago:
You are not entitled to an audience, you need to earn it!
I believe a lot of people don't value their readers' time as much as they should. When you start writing with that in mind, you tend to produce better content.
You should always respect your reader's time as if it was your own. Time and attention is a very limited resource, not to be taken for granted. Always do your best to offer something of value for your reader, and not just for yourself. These are the two tenants I follow when I post.
When I first arrived on STEEMIT, I used to joke that I was posting into a "black hole". Finding and capturing an audience is difficult, if not impossible, in almost all social media networks. I think it is especially difficult here with money being attached to every action.
Anyway, I think I'm getting a little off track, and I don't want to waste your time!
Becoming a witness
In September 2017, I decided to become a Steem witness. I had no fantasies of achieving the top 20, but I knew I was planning on doing some good and making a difference. And for me, the technical aspect was just another day at the office.
I struggled early on, as do many witnesses, and didn't produce my first block for about a month, until I reached the 87th position! From there, I managed to creep up to the low 60's fairly quickly, where I plateaued for a while.
During the @bellyrub and @zeartul debacle, I managed to gain some more support which helped propel me to the top 50. And today, I sit around #39. I am very thankful to all of you who've supported me along the way, and grateful for how far I've come!
As many know I also run @buildawhale, which I started around the same time as my witness. I wanted to offer a bid bot with integrity, which also promoted quality content and good authors.
To do this, I ensured we wouldn't self vote. We wouldn't sell votes privately outside of our bidding windows, and I wouldn't use my account, alts, or anonymous bids via exchanges to use the bidding windows. Although I believe bots should be used for promotion and not as "cash machines", I felt it wasn't fair to use my money to bid on my own bot when it just goes in my pocket on the other end.
A few people have noted many bid bots are run by witnesses as if it was a bad thing, I would rather have someone reputable (hopefully) managing such an influential project than someone just it for money.
I am also working on enabling more ways to stop shit post from being rewarded through my bots as that is something I never intended.
@buildawhale Curation Digest
I also started doing a daily Curation Digest where we go through all the daily bids and find our five favorite posts to feature in a daily Curation post. The idea is to reward good content with more exposure and encourage higher quality content promotion.
Unfortunately, a large portion of the bids submitted are low effort and spammy in nature. I try to report to SteemCleaners and @patrice, but frankly it's just an overwhelming endless endeavor.
@buildawhale community voting
I also recently started a community vote with @buildawhale where I use 5-10% voting power on a community project to support something I feel is awesome. I'm only on day four of this new initative, and it's still a work in progress.
I recently started a Discord server for Vote Bots. All the major vote bot owners have joined and are present and I working on getting the smaller owners on as well. This allows us to have a dialog on larger issues, and work together to stop abuse. It too is in the early stages, but I hope it results in positive changes for the community.
I report spam and abuse on a daily basis to SteemCleaners.org and @patrice as I come across it. When its something I deal with on my own, I will use my stake to do so:
I've also been talking with @patrice about a new global blacklist project that Vote Bots, SteemCleaners, and Curation teams can subscribe to help prevent rewarding spam and abuse.
The goal is to provide a blacklist that uses consensus so no single party can add or remove a user from the blacklist. I also was thinking of having the ability to have categories of abuse so services can know why they were blacklisted. Other signals would also contribute towards a user's "priority score".
Steem Witness Details
I currently have two witness nodes operating in two countries. One is located in the United States, and the other is in Canada. I'll have a third up when the new data center is ready.
Both are running 32GB Ram, Quad Core Xeon Processors, SSD raid, and 1Gbit ethernet to the Internet.
One witness is using zRam as the primary swap device, and the other is using a swap file on 950MB/s SSD drives. I will be enabling zRam on the second witness the next time I do maintance.
Both servers are monitored for up/down, missed blocks, and other technical metrics, and there's an automated kill-switch to change the active node in case a block is missed.
I'm also working on a heartbeat system that will allow for proactive failover prior to missing a block. I have it working now without the heartbeat, but it won't react to Internet loss until I add some form of heartbeat testing.
Steem Full Node
I also manage two full nodes funded by @buildteam. They both have 256GB ram and SSD.
The public node can be accessed as
A lot of great projects use it:
- @yabapmatt's Steem Bot Tracker
- Steem Rocks
The nodes are very fast, results of fetching 100 sequential blocks:
(Some nodes couldn't finish after repeated attempts)
(api.steemit.com completed nearly instantly due to Jussi caching, but I am not ready to put Jussi in front of our nodes due to the fact most people using it for scripts are having problems as is Steemit.com and there is no good documentation).
You can also see historic performance here.
Like my witness nodes, one full node is running zRam and the other is using SSD Swap.
Full nodes now require more RAM than a 256GB server can provide. When I first put the full node up 2 months ago, it required about 132GB RAM. Now, we're around 245GB of RAM usage, and growing around 1GB a day.
Steemd is primarily single threaded and most of the cores are just sitting idle.
Replaying a full node now takes almost 2 days, getting longer with each passing day. Witness node replay times are also growing exponentially.
So why vote for me?
I am passionate for Steem and the Steemit community. I spend a minimum of 8 hours a day on Steem and Steem-related communities. I am not a fly by night or absentee landlord witness. I am here for the long term.
I am very active in many communities on Steemit and offer a lot of help to other witnesses and users.
I try to offer something of value every time I create a post. I also frequently make in-depth tutorials on Steem and technical related topics.
Some examples of posts I am proud of:
- GINABOT - The Secret to your Sanity on Steemit
- How to properly setup SSH Key Authentication - If you are logging into your server with root, you are doing it wrong!
- You are not entitled to an audience, you need to earn it!
- Markdown 101 - How to make kick ass posts on Steemit
- Work ON your business, not in your business! - How to succeed as a small business
- The reality of self-voting and Steemit
- WTF is a hardware wallet, and why should you have one?
- How do people make money on here?
- The truth and lies about 25% curation, why what you know is FAKE NEWS.
- How curation rewards work and how to be a kick ass curator
- The Future of Steemit
I tried to keep this list short, but to be honest I'm proud of most everything I write! I don't post just to throw something up, hoping to get upvotes. I post to offer something of myself to others, and to offer something of value for the time you spend reading it.
I am not afraid to get my hands dirty, or to stand up for what I believe in. I am ethical, transparent, and passionate.