November Witness Update

in witness-category •  15 days ago

I would like to start out this witness update post by saying a huge thank you to everyone who has supported me personally, my witness, and my projects on Steem over the past year. It is an honor and a privilege to be a top 20 consensus witness on the Steem platform and I can assure you that I will put all of my time and energy into keeping the blockchain running, improving, and increasing in value.

One thing that I know that I need to work on is posting more often about what I'm doing, and weighing in on the current topics, issues, and ideas that will shape the future of the Steem platform. I am going to do my best to start posting more starting right now! Even if I'm not posting, though, I'm almost always available on Discord, so feel free to shoot me a message if you ever want to chat about anything!

The Role of the Witnesses

One thing I had never been clear on in the past is what exactly the witnesses are expected to do. Are they supposed to contribute to the Steem codebase? Are they supposed to do testing? Are they supposed to build projects or run communities? I've seen a lot of other people post about this topic as well, and it seems to me like no one really knows for sure.

After having witnessed HF20, I think I am clear on my opinion of what the role of the witnesses ought to be. I see the witnesses as being the project managers of the Steem blockchain. They don't have to do the coding themselves, but they need to ensure that we have great developers who are. They don't have to do the testing themselves, but they need to make sure thorough testing gets done, and all of the bugs get found and fixed. They don't need to build projects or run communities, but they need to make sure that the Steem platform provides the tools and resources needed for those projects and communities to flourish.

Of course there's nothing wrong with the witnesses doing those things themselves - it's great, in fact - but the point is that whether the witnesses do it themselves, or get other people to do it, they just need to make sure that, one way or another, it gets done and it gets done well.

Learnings from HF20

So putting on my project management hat (and I have been managing software development projects professionally for the past 10 years) I'll take a moment to share my thoughts about the HF20 update and how we can improve the hard fork process going forward. My two key, high-level takeaways to help hard forks go more smoothly in the future are:

  1. Hard fork more frequently
  2. Use a test plan

The first one is pretty simple...the more often you do something, the better you get at it and the smoother it goes. HF20 was the first hard fork in over a year and a half. Many witnesses, including myself, were not even on the platform when HF19 occurred. From that perspective I think it actually went pretty well.

Of course, there are downsides to more frequent hard forks. The main one being that it takes most exchanges a while to update their nodes. With everything taken into account, I think we should shoot for 2 - 3 hard forks per year. Some may just have a few relatively small changes, but, like I said above, it's important to do it somewhat regularly, and it also helps to keep things fresh and show progress.

The second item is the one that's really important for ensuring things go smoothly though. A test plan is simply a list of all of the features or functions of a product and how they are expected to work. When a new release is coming up, you update the test plan with the new changes and go through it, testing each item on the list, to make sure everything works as intended.

For future hard forks I propose that we create a comprehensive test plan for the Steem blockchain, and then, once new code is ready for testing, the top witnesses should put up a bug bounty program for anyone who finds and reports issues. I know for sure that a number of the issues that came up after the release of HF20 would have been caught had such a system been put in place.

As the project managers, the witnesses don't have to necessarily do the testing themselves, but they do need to organize the effort and incentivize the incredible pool of talent in the Steem community to see that it gets done.

A Word on Prices

Even though it's a bit off topic for a witness update, I do want to touch on the crypto market briefly since it's something that obviously affects all of us and potentially the future of the Steem platform.

I think that the time of wild speculation and easy money in the blockchain space is coming to an end, if not already over. The focus going forward will increasingly be on projects that provide real utility and create real value.

The value that STEEM provides is that it allows you to access the Steem community. I think it's really that simple. I've said many times that we could have built Steem Monsters on many other blockchain platforms. There are lots out there now that offer the same technological advantages as Steem does, but there are none that I'm aware of that give access to such a great community, and that has been an instrumental and invaluable part of our success so far.

The community is the asset. The community is the value. You, the one reading this right now, are what makes STEEM valuable. So rather than looking at the latest market prices to see what STEEM is worth, look instead at what owning STEEM actually gets you, and the future looks much brighter.

Final Thoughts

It was amazing to get the chance to meet so many of you in person recently at SteemFest. It really opened my eyes to the tremendous value in the Steem community that I was talking about above. I hope that everyone in the US had a great Thanksgiving, I hope that everyone has a happy and healthy holiday season, and I can't wait to see what the next year on the Steem platform will bring!

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I really love your

Final Thoughts

Steemfest3 by @roelandp (and team) in Krakow, Poland, was a superb event that added to the solidity of the foundations upon which Steem's value is built.

The community is the asset. The community is the value.

I agree 100%. Communities and projects that support them are what adds value to real people on these platforms. It has always been about communities. That's why we call it social media.

I think people sometimes forget about the social part of this experiment, focusing too much on the rewards. I've found the more I focus on helping the community, the better it is for everyone.

I like what you're doing. Wish we could have found more time to talk at Steemfest. Anyway, you have a new follower.

Matt, you're doing great! So happy to have you in the top 20! Thanks for all you do around here and so glad you made it!

Lookin' forward to a killer 2019!

Can't wait to see what you are preparing for 2019 and how far you and the SM team are going to push our favorite blockchain!

I'm still amazed of what you brought to Steem in a so short amount of time and now you're part of the top 20, that's a nice progression!

I hope you're enjoying your holiday season as well, 2018 was pretty busy but I can tell that 2019 is going to be way more :)

Like you said, the community is where the value is. And you're playing a big part in building that community. For that I want to thank you!

Gratz on getting in the top 20. The Steem community is lucky to have you as a witness!

There is no doubt that you are a workhorse given the many contributions you have done for the ecosystem already so your position is well deserved indeed! It is great how you continue to push the development here beyond what has been previously done and demonstrate the flexibility and capability of the blockchain. That will drive value here in the future and it is why I continue to move forward here as well so thanks!

Posted using Partiko iOS

Project management and development hats...is there anything you can’t do on here? 😉 All joking aside, great points on HF releases multiple times a year, establishing a testing plan and bug discovery...all actions as you stated, doesn’t necessarily have to be undertaken by the witnesses (not all are technical). However, as the PM/middle managers of this platform, every witness should ensure all tasks are completed and implemented correctly.

I am quite excited about the plunging value of the Steem cryptocurrency. Sure it means I lost all my earlier investment when I purchased Steem between $1.70 - 5.00, but here’s my opportunity to invest more in a platform that has great potential. To be honest though, I probably would not invest any further in Steem if not for Steem Monsters. You have built more than a game. There is an awesome community where we all get to earn and enjoy the game simply for the gaming factor. For being a game, Steem Monsters requires less “gameplay” than other communities/activities on the Steem blockchain. I have been a fan from the start and will continue to be one seeing how responsive the Steem Monsters team is to the community. So glad you are in the top 20!!

Hope you enjoyed the Thanksgiving holiday with your family. Stay warm and safe in this wintery chill.

Aaahh.. finally I can read something from you right in time 😊 I'm proud to vote for you as a witness and read about your great support to the community and I'm one of the lucky steemian who accept sp delegation from you which make me enjoy my journey on steemit.

I feel honoured when a member of community upfund me to purchase the starter pack of steemmonsters and took me in his team to learn something new on steemit. You've done great things @yabapmatt 👐 thanks for being there with the community and didn't rank up to far in the steemmonsters's top player😂😂😂 (how come a top 20 witness and a SM founder only has 67 rep😯)

Hey Matt. I’ve been away Steemit for a month. I just heard you broke the top 20 witness list. Congrats! It’s awesome seeing you climb the ranks. No one deserves it more than you; you bring great value to STEEM. Take care and keep up the great work.

Congrats on getting to the top 20! You will make an awesome witness man for sure, the steem blockchain is lucky to have you.

·

You've made the Steemit Minute for today! Congrats!

Check out the Video Here: https://steemit.com/news/@reseller/ajofp3o0

In regards to prices:
I believe there have to be some fundamental changes in the concept of steemit. IMHO the worst thing is the vote delegation.. if this does not change soon steem and steemit will have no big future... I wrote my thoughts about this here:
https://steemit.com/steemit/@solarwarrior/vote-delegation-the-source-of-all-evil

To listen to the audio version of this article click on the play image.

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Thank you for helping to make this platform what it is! The Steemit community drives this platform and it isn't going to run out of gas anytime soon!

Congratulation!!1

Congratulations on getting into top20 :)

I'm glad to cast my vote to you @yabapmatt ;)

Thank you for all the work done !!! Resteem

Hi @yabapmatt!

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Thank you for all the hard work you do to make Steem better!

Suggesting that Steem witnesses need ti be PM's is spot on. Keep up the good work.

a bit offtopic but ''front run the bots'' tool is broken! I loved that tool

Congrats on making it to the Top 20!
Silvershield Paladin (828px, 10fps).gif

already vote you because of your projects like keychain and Steemmonsters.

More guys like you and @aggroed would be nice in the Steem world :)

Hi, @yabapmatt!

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I follow you on steemit.

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Happy Holidays to you @yabapmatt! It was great meeting you in Poland. Thanks for inspiring me to give @steemmonsters a go, I've been hooked this past week!

This is what was so great to see at SF3 - the passionate people behind the platform. Happy to give my witness vote to you and SM behind it!

Thanks for the update Matt.
Good stuff.
If you would consider responding to the new @witnesssurvey it would be greatly appreciated.
One of our @thesteemingpile simulcasters has put a ton of work into creating a survey that we think will helpto better connect steemians and witnesses. It is clear from your posts and action on #steem that you understand the importance of connecting and sharing ideas and opinions for this space. Check it out and if compelled, send a reply. Hope you are well.

https://steemit.com/witnesssurvey/@witnesssurvey/witnesssurveyv1-asqhhy51rj

Killing it brother! ;)

Not sure if it makes sense to schedule 2 hardfork dates for 2019 now and use the same dates each year.
E.g. 3/1/19 and 9/1/19...
Nodes and others can build that into their yearly plan.

Damn, forgot to add you on my witness list.. Did it now!