After missing 1 block since July 2017, my Steem witness server experienced a hardware failure taking it completely offline and requiring an entirely new server setup! Fortunately I had just finished setting up my backup server with an automatic switch thanks to @furion's conductor and @someguy123 configuring it correctly after I spent several hours with it before asking for help!
For four months, my witness server worked without missing any blocks because of its fault and one block because I switched the signing keys incorrectly. On November 21, 2017 I awoke to text messages from https://www.wachete.com via a Zapier integration telling me I had missed 3 new blocks at which point my backup server kicked in and processed every block since then until today smoothly. With my hosting through @privex, the support staff did everything quickly to get me a new server setup and @someguy123 even ran the steem-docker installation for me to speed up the process.
Today I finished the setup and got some great help fixing a few errors on the new server from @klye, @prc, and @jamzed within a few minutes of posting in https://steemit.chat/channel/witness. Two blocks ago I switched the main server back online and it looks like it is running smoothly again which is ideal because the backup server is still setup to automatically switch over if anything happens to the primary!
Thank you very much to @furion who motivated me to setup a backup server before I thought I would have needed it after reading https://steemit.com/witness-update/@furion/lessons-learned-from-failing-as-a-witness. The easiest way to lose votes as a witness is to be disabled and fortunately a backup server almost completely eliminates the need to disable for upgrades and single server failures. If I would have had no backup server, I probably would have been disabled for days.
To make sure my backup is ready, I check it every few days to make sure the logs are synced because it would be silly to have an automatic switch to a server that was not running correctly! I hope sharing my experience with this quickly is helpful for witnesses with just one server running to see the value of having a second server!
Witness Earnings to Promoting Steem!
100% of my witness earnings (rewards minus costs) are still going towards marketing and advertising Steem as seen at https://airtable.com/shrXuoYTnODWA0QG1. In the last 14 days, an average of about 60 blocks a day equals about 750 Steem power earned from witness rewards with no new server hosting or management expenses. I have credited 375 Steem power to the budget for delegations and contests along with $350 more dollars to Google and Facebook ad budget.
Help Increase Funding for Promoting Steem?
Would you please vote for me as a witness at https://steemit.com/~witnesses because just a few more votes will push jerrybanfield into the top 20 witnesses and therefore provide an additional 200+ Steem a day for advertising and marketing Steem through the witness earnings?
Every $1 extra in the advertising budget equals about a thousand people seeing ads for Steem which means a top 20 witness spot for me equals hundreds of thousands more ads every day and hundreds more Steem power every day to fund authors and winners of contests creating posts that we can advertise!
While some have said it is too early to advertise Steem and/or I am not the right person to advertise Steem, these points may be valid with a few users. Many people have seen my ads for Steem which motivated them to make an initial reaction to not like Steem because of it which is okay when we understand how advertising works.
When the iPhone first came out, I saw ads for it and was disgusted. Compared to today, the phone was crap and I hated Apple as a company. I told everyone who would listen how much Apple sucked and bought anything but Apple.
In 2014, after many of my family and friends converted to Apple, I bought a new iPhone after seeing how much better it was than my Android. Now I own my second iPhone, a Macbook Pro, iMac, and a Mac Pro with having spent in total about $20,000 with Apple in the last four years.
A critic like me years ago easily could have said that Apple ran the ads too early and then simply made people hate them as a result. The fact is the ads worked for Apple in the long term to get me as a customer and likely to convert more to Apple from my "I Hate Apple" word of mouth marketing.
Whoever advertises Steem and whatever the reactions are to Steem, all attention is good for our growth. More ads equals an increase of value for all of us and I have years of proven experience with effective online advertising to the point where I have millions of followers online mostly from advertising but now growing naturally without needing ads.
We have placed me in the position to bring as many new users to Steem as we will provide funding for. The witness rewards are the best way to make an ongoing advertising fund for Steem because no one can downvote the rewards and as the price increases, the ad budget will increase along with it.
Here is my latest update with what we have done so far with the ads: https://steemit.com/witness-update/@jerrybanfield/18-777-386-ads-shown-for-steem-in-2017
In summary, I have shown over 18 million ads for Steem in six months on Google and Facebook with about $10,000 in advertising budget provided by author rewards and witness earnings. At least half of my followers came from ads which is equal to almost 10,000 or around $1 per follower (likely $0.50 or less for a signup). Advertising and marketing COMBINED with everything else we are doing works.
Here is the latest post and video I am going to makes ads for
While I realize most of us do not have $25 million laying around, I can easily focus the ads in places where the odds of people with $25+ million to invest seeing the ads is high. Even if most come to scoff, 1 investor buying millions of dollars of Steem will make a huge difference.
When we keep making the effort with the ads, we will keep getting new users like @elear who joined Steem and started https://utopian.io after seeing an ad for my video course about Steem on mashable. Getting more users that add amazing value to Steem is as simple as spending more money to advertise. Today.
Vote or Proxy?
Would you please vote for me as a witness at https://steemit.com/~witnesses or set jerrybanfield as a proxy because 100% of my earnings are funding our growth on Steem through marketing and advertising?
Thank you very much to @freedom via @pumpkin, @clayop, @hendrikdegrote, @thejohalfiles, @roadscape, @glitterfart, @fyrstikken, @adsactly, @tamim, @netuoso, @buildteam, @xaero1, @nanzo-scoop, @neoxian, and @teamsteem for the top witness votes because these votes have helped fund thousands of dollars of ads for Steem when combined with the 2200+ more of us voting for jerrybanfield as a witness! It is an honor to serve here with you each day!
PS: I just started a power down for 52,000 Steem to make the payment for the witness servers for the next three months. After the first week, the power down will be canceled.