Witness Update from @c0ff33a ☕️ Let's talk about Bid Bot'ssteemCreated with Sketch.

in witness •  last month  (edited)


Rewards from this post are set as 100% Power Up to @steem.dao - that means all rewards this post might receive will be sent in total to @steem.dao - this is the account that funds the Steem Proposal System and everything it receives will be used to fund approved projects from the Steem Proposal System - these projects could enhance the visibility and usability of the Steem Blockchain and possibly increase the value of the Steem Token - something that benefits us all.

The trouble with Bid Bot's

So way back in September 2017 when I was just 4 months into Steem blockchain, it was hard. My posts were lucky to get a few cents, no matter what I did. It helped a lot to visit other people's blogs - comment on their posts - try and get some interest in my own work. But it was still creating posts to get pretty much nothing back. And then slowly these various services started popping up - you could send a wallet payment with a post link and get an upvote on your post. It was a revelation - because suddenly your post had value - and because it had value more people took interest in it and then you got more comments, more interaction and the value grew even more.

And so it grew

For the last few years those few services grew to hundreds, and make no mistake - the bot owners were getting more then you from the deal. It kind of fudged a problem - Steem Stake - or big upvote power you might call it was locked up in few accounts with no time or real incentive to be reading hundreds of posts and deciding to use "proof of brain" to upvote accordingly. So if they delegated to these bot's, they got paid for the Steem Power delegated. The Bot's got paid by you, and they gained the curation reward for upvoting the post. Those earnings paid for the delegated Steem Power, and the left over was profit. How quickly the number of bot services grew should be an obvious indication of how profitable they were.

Now HF21 and HF22 have been applied

Most of us were well aware that when HF21 received consensus post rewards would drop to 50% creator and 50% curator. This reduced the post creator rewards by 25% - and that really upset people. I can understand that, but the big benefit was more people would start looking to upvote posts - instead of just trying to earn from creating them all the time. Many left because they thought they would earn less, since HF21 there is clear evidence our content creators are EARNING MORE even though they are getting less percentage - because more people are curating posts - and finding the best content to upvote to earn more themselves.

But what about the Bid Bot's

I'm glad you asked, because this is where it all goes a bit Pete Tong. After two whole years of the Bid Bot's being an active way post creators could add value to their work, our esteemed block chain leaders took off their shoes and socks, started counting and realised that the problem the Bid Bot's solved caused many new ones - it mainly made the Bot owners a very good income, the passive income Stake Holders delegating to them a reasonable return, the people who used the Bot's got a bit of a return on their investment but also quickly gamed the reputation value. All this was at a loss to the Reward Pool intended to enable all your posts to be able the have an upvote value at all. So Bid Bot's are bad, but once you let something slide into general use it is a bit hard to suddenly stop it. And the Steem Blockchain is decentralised - people can do as they wish with their account - so simply saying to Bid Bot owners - "stop taking Steem to upvote posts" doesn't work - because if you earn money from doing something - you don't stop unless you are forced.

And now we get into downvotes

So HF21 brought in another new feature - a separate downvote pool. This was totally sold (to me at least) as a way for the community to control posts that were plagiarist, liable, just generally poor and of no benefit to the Steem Blockchain. It was pointed out to me by multiple people that will remain anonymous that the separate downvote pool would be abused, it would be used to attack people for no better reason then the downvoter did not like them, disagreed with their post content, worst case massive Steem Power holders would wield it like a ban hammer - wiping out posts at will. And Bid Bot's with massive delegated Steem would downvote the posts of people gaining upvotes from other Bid Bot's.

I don't want to say they told me so

But they did, and I feel more then a little let down all my "Steem Blockchain is better then that" prose turned out to be a lie. But it's just really getting a little out of hand and after loosing so many of our active creators from the the reward change, now the few we have left are upset at being downvoted - and the worst thing is often it is not even because they paid for an upvote at all.

Big Trouble in Bid Bot Land

Basically - if you pay for any upvote - and forget Bid Bot's - any service where you pay Steem to get an upvote - most likely that upvote will be counteracted with a downvote. So you will pay for an upvote, get the upvote - and then it will be removed. You will not get the upvote money back, you will loose it. Post HF21 paying for upvotes costs you Steem anyway - in that the Steem you paid for the upvote would be more then the liquid Steem and Steem Power you received at post payout. But it was at least a paid advertisement for your post - and when your post has value - it get's more attention and increases value. Anyway paying for that extra value will just loose you money. So any service where you send Steem to get an upvote will get you downvoted. Period. And you won't get any Steem back. So just don't do it.

Just when you thought it could not get any worse

It did, because now nobody is paying the Bid Bot's for upvotes - they have full upvote power and nothing to do with it. So what does a Bid Bot do with. $20 vote that nobody wants to buy any more - they use if for curation instead! Genius so now the Bid Bot's want to find the best posts and upvote them for free!

But there is always a BUT - you see trails also became a thing in 2017 - you could either follow the vote of someone finding the best curation reward posts and enjoy the rewards of their work. Or you could follow a community trail - and when the community leader voted so did you - and you earned on the curation of their choice.

In 2019 Downvote bot's have become a thing, so now you can follow a trail to downvote. This is a really terrible idea - not only because you would effectively agree to downvote a post you had never seen - no idea if it had value or not (ok smart ass, upvote trails are just the same - but at least if you like the people in the trail you upvote the chances are good the post of theirs you upvote you will also like. ) but also because these downvote bot's can target Bid Bot's. Now this is the point the whole thing gives me a massive headache -

  • Bid bot has delegated Steem Power from an inactive account that has gone awol - the Stake is massive but they can not take payment for upvotes to use it. They can not remove the delegation becuase only the Stake Holder can.

  • Bid bot decides to manually curate to earn curation rewards on the vote it can not sell, it finds an average poster that has produced a post it really likes and gives it a tasty upvote reward.

  • Average poster is super happy, they have a big reward on their work.

  • While average poster is asleep, downvote bot trolls the block log and finds a Bid Bot upvoted average posters post - as it know's no better it assumes average poster paid for the upvote and counteracts with a downvote.

  • Average poster wakes up to find his dream upvote was just that, as it has been downvoted away. After making furtive mutterings about giving to receive - Average poster leaves never to post again.

You might laugh, but someone tell me please this isn't true!

So how can I get votes on my post

The good news is all these changes are POSITIVE - Steem Blockchain uses the Delegated Proof of Stake system to work out post rewards, use your Proof of Brain and find posts you like, upvote and comment on them. When you support like minded people they will support you back, organically you can grow you upvotes and rewards through mutual post voting.

Find communities and become active in them, groups like @thealliance, @heyhaveyamet, @helpie bring posters together to interact - share content and posts and support and grow each other.

Look for tags and engage with them, I run the #sublimesunday tag and support every week people posting using it with an upvote and resteem. My Witness partner @derangedvisions runs @derangedcontests for photography - share your photos get upvotes that include a big stake in @creativecoin and @photosteem

And we still have really engaged Whales sharing their massive vote to the community, @theycallmedan is an incredible stake holder that really believes in all of YOU - through curation upvotes and competitions to spread the Steem Blockchain word he is an inspiration to us all - and he's not been so well lately so be sure to look out one of his recent posts and say I hope you feel better - I will be right after posting this.

Communication is key, how can it be better

The lesson I have learnt from all of this is that communication has to be clearly and widely made, it is obvious to me that the good intentions in removing paid for votes lacked clear and open explanation to the community and that is why it has upset so many.

Right now we have 135 active Witnesses, they will each have some reach in their own particular communities or groups. I propose that every one of our Witnesses - when something changes on the Steem Blockchain that is important - relevant and should be conveyed to everyone who utilises it - should be required to issue a Witness update as part of their duty of being a Steem Blockchain Witness. The post should either decline rewards, or set the rewards to @null and burn Steem, @steem.dao to be used for Steem Proposal System - or a combination of the two.

Issuing a post from one or two accounts, however visible they are can not reach our entire user base. But utilising our entire Witness base to spread a message far and wide ensures everyone know's what is happening - and is prepared.

This entire post is just my own thoughts, it might well be wrong/ factually incorrect / completely pointless. But from reading through the past few weeks posts on this platform and talking with the friends I have made on here - it is what I have found to be happening.

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Yes @c0ff33a

”You might laugh, but someone tell me please this isn't true!”

… this is definitely true.

Example: This exchange on @steemchiller’s SteemWorld’s SPS Proposal post. Which subsequently carried (“bled”) over into here (see Edit at the end and ensuing comments …) as well.

This happened to one of our Steem blockchain’s most popular champions. Imagine the many, many “little people” posts affected by it and these stories will “never see the light of day” …

Thank you for writing this! Resteemed.

Thanks so much @roleerob for pointing us to the Steemworld post! I read the whole conversation and have to say that I take my hat off to you sir, for pointing out the whole downvote drama there. Steemworld is amazing and @steemchiller deserves nothing but support and useful critique, and certainly doesn't deserve any downvotes at all. You were not wasting your time my friend: it's so reassuring for people like me, who don't invest nearly enough time in the platform, to see comments like yours. Thanks! :-)

Well thank you @zyx066. Coming from you, these words of encouragement mean a lot!

As for this ...

"You were not wasting your time my friend ..."

... I am not so sure. I don't delude myself that my uhhh ... "influence" amounts to much. At all ... 😏

But, my some strong sense of injustice was definitely roused, 🤨 so I did what I could ...

I hope the "brighter lights" prevail in here my friend, as I would sure like to some improvements in the value of our STEEM holdings.

Until next time, all the best to you @zxy066, for a better tomorrow!

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Thank you very much, I have no doubt this is happening more then anyone could have time to see. I think part of the problem is you assume that doing something that could have helped a great deal to reduce the reward pool being pilfered would be used responsibly - that was just way too optimistic it seems. !COFFEEA 15

Fundamentally, the issue from "where I sit" @c0ff33a is too many are unwilling to invest the time and effort needed to make good decisions. Everyone is looking for the "easy button" solution ...

As a result and angry over the injustice it represented in the example cited, I invested way more time than I had available into that uhhh ... "exchange" (referenced above) and, yet, felt I was largely wasting my time ...

Thank you for your response and again, investing your own time into writing this post!

coffeea Lucky you @roleerob here is your COFFEEA, view all your tokens at steem-engine.com Vote for c0ff33a as Witness

While I appreciate your view and respect you and your opinion. I have been on this platform.for nearly 2 years now. I know that I primarily post about precious metals, but have shown off my hard work as well as cooking skills. I have NEVER been visited with an upvote by a whale or curated by one. I work way to many hours to spend the necessary time on the platform in order to curate to make a profit. This decrease in author payout is completely moronic and benefits nothing but the whales who were akready making most of the profit. Now they make just about all of it. While I never intended this to be a money making proposition for me, it really sucks seeing what your payout is versus the time spent writing posts. Just when you think they cant F*** it up anymore, they do just that. My feed used to be pages and pages of content, now its nearly nothing. All of my favorite reads are gone and aren't coming back.

You have absolutely the same sentiment as so many others I have discussed this with, and as you say many have left. It has been shown that post rewards have increased but decreased for accounts - but it’s obviously not happening to the majority. Curation rewards should improve just be voting as you always have - but the biggest gain is voting early on a post that receives a big payout in the end.

I have a absolutely no control on what happens, but it is good that this feedback is presented on the blockchain and I will certainly use this in reference in the future. There is plenty of opportunity for the issues you raise to be resolved, if the people that can influence change choose to. !COFFEEA 15

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I am with you brother just take a look at how my post are dried up. The bid bots may have been an issue however if you truly care about CONTENT which is what witnesses and new steem preach so much then why does the use of a bot completely negate the value you added with good content. People do a crap post then down vote them but they do a great post and it trends due to a bot so what. The freedom for all to use these services as well as now be able to go at crappy content are not mutually exclusive. There can be both but to say all post using a bid bot are bad is bull and to say there is a difference between whales that bought their way to their size and those that use these services to try and grow is also a bunch of poop.

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The Ramble is still actively inviting people to gather to share posts at Pimp Your Post Thursday as it has done EVERY Thursday for two years as of tomorrow.

And still holding the monthly Witness Chat with this month's taking place today, Wednesday October 9th. at 1pm / 5pm UTC


  ·  last month (edited)

Yes, of course - I should have mentioned it but to be fair I had a million things buzzing around my head while I was doing this post and I got a bit confused half way through! There were a few points I wanted to try and make and I think I managed that at least.

I know the Witness chat is on, just it clashes badly with my work - it actually started a bit later today - but still caught me driving home and delivering parcels of coffee on the way. I'm not great at multitasking I'm afraid.

most people aren't great at multi-tasking, they just don't admit it. You did manage to make many points, some of which were also covered during the Witness Chat. I'll have the recording up in a day or so.

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This is an easy-to-understand post regarding bid bots and increasing engagement. You can't expect to get engagement on your own posts if you don't do the same...simple right? It's good to get this reminder :) I'm now following @thealliance and @heyhaveyamet (note: check your tag). !trdo and !SHADE 5 for you.

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Congratulations @contrabourdon, you are successfuly trended the post that shared by @c0ff33a!
@c0ff33a got 0.21688200 TRDO & @contrabourdon got 0.14458800 TRDO!

"Call TRDO, Your Comment Worth Something!"

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Damn my stupid Britishness, always wanting to put you instead of ya ! Thank you for the correction, you will not find finer communities then them and @thealliance

Fantastic post, thanks for your witness update! Upped 💯 and resteemed!
I am now voting for you as witness! I have a spot left if you have any sugestions!

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Thank you very much, I have to be honest this post was from the heart and composed late at night when I was already exhausted from work. It was built on feedback from other Steemians and my own feelings - write or wrong I wanted to make the points heard that I have myself and from other people I have spoken to one way or another.

The Steem Blockchain is incredible, I have no doubt about it - and I will support it and all the friends I have here to my grave. But it also needs to be fair, and everyone here whatever the stake deserves to know what is happening and why - and not just from a single post that is easily missed. Communication is key and I think it is essential this worked on - because the majority of upset and anger I have seen is because people have not been told what is happening - informing people is not hard, and should not be a second thought.

Thank you so much for the Witness vote, I really appreciate it. Just like I appreciate every single voter I have, it doesn't matter how much stake any voter has to me - the fact you are voting for me shows you appreciate the effort I put into Steem Blockchain.

I looked through your current Witness votes, you have a solid bunch of active Witnesses. Voting is so important and should be personal - it is what you feel the people you are voting for will do for you and to improve your Stake in the Steem Blockchain - add vale to the token so your investment grows. With that said look at who you vote for, how active they are - are they doing anything or just dormant earning Witness rewards without doing anything? Who to vote for, I would suggest good friends and active Steemians I have met over the last few years, @thekitchenfairy is just incredible - and so under valued as a Witness. @enginewitty - an advocate of the Steem Blockchain that has arranged countless real life meet ups, supports multiple communities including his own @thealliance, @guiltyparties who does incredible work keeping the blockchain spam free and is totally under appreciated, and @jackmiller who is always active and supporting of new ideas, a really nice guy when you talk to him - and while his straight talk sometimes upsets people - he tells it as it is. And that to me is important - I would rather here the truth then be fed some sweet talk.

Thank you again for visiting my post, I know you from Steem for a long time and have enjoyed many of your posts - I just can not get to every one I would like to every week - and I try my best to support the smallest accounts trying hard to grow - which is where my limited time goes.

Awesome thanks for your awesome reply! I just added @enginewitty , I thought I was all ready voting him lol! My list is full and keep an eye on it as quite often people are crossed out and no longer active!👍👍👍

coffeea Lucky you @karenmckersie here is your COFFEEA, view all your tokens at steem-engine.com Vote for c0ff33a as Witness

Haha, thanks!! Love Coffee! ☕😂👍👍👍

Totally forget to say !COFFEEA 15


This post has been manually curated, resteemed
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Much love to you from all of us at @helpie!
Keep up the great work!


Manually curated by @solominer.

@helpie is a Community Witness.

Thanks @solominer - you are awesome!

Thanks so much @c0ff33a; I needed this to understand the goings on here on steemit lately :-) Gonna check momentarily if I already vote for your witness (and correct the error if I'm not ;-))

Thank you very much, I think you will find everything will get much more complicated before it starts to get easier - but in a strange way I like the fact the Steem Blockchain is so alive! It's active people are talking, engaging - thinking - every single account on here should feel like they have a say and make it - a social blockchain should be about....talking! !COFFEEA 15

coffeea Lucky you @zyx066 here is your COFFEEA, view all your tokens at steem-engine.com Vote for c0ff33a as Witness

coffeea Lucky you @zyx066 here is your COFFEEA, view all your tokens at steem-engine.com Vote for c0ff33a as Witness

First off I want to thank you for examining this and for admitting that you were sort of blinded by faith. That takes a large amount of strength and I thank You!
I do however believe that in our open forum there is room for bid bots and down votes just not blanket statements. If bid bots are a tool they are just that. In the hands of a carpenter a hammer is a wonderful thing, but a criminal a tool of death. The key factor is the Content. Good content can use bid bots to find audiences and grow while down votes can hurt poor content. The notion that all of something is bad is juvenile and two dimensional. Just my view but seriously between payout changes and petty things like the down vote war crap we are losing more people than we are gaining. I don't care who you are but a circle jerk of 6 will not keep this block chain going. People come here to be rewarded for good content thats why bots grew and the case still stands. I find it amazing that those shaking their fingers at people are those that have already made their steem fortunes. Reminds me of when Warren Buffet says raise taxes because it only hurts new competition and not him.
Like I said I applaud you but our views are just from different mountains.

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Thank you for your feedback, and your sentiments resound with many others I have spoken to. Unfortunately I can't change anything, just try to inform what is happening. Even running (at my own cost) two Witness servers does not really give me any say in anything - all I can do is raise the points and hope the feedback from people is heard - at least when we place it here on the Steem Blockchain it is logged an visible. Hopefully someone able to influence change will take note. !COFFEEA 15

I just appreciate you not turning a blind eye and examining facts. Thank you

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coffeea Lucky you @dwingsworld here is your COFFEEA, view all your tokens at steem-engine.com Vote for c0ff33a as Witness

Steem has become a place where a person needs to organically grow an audience by posting good content and interacting. It definitely takes time. It can be disheartening (especially when you put up what you think is a good quality post just to see it 'earn' 71 cents), but it takes time. I think it's a nice change.

I have steadfastly been against using bid bots. I know we have not seen eye to eye about this and that is ok. It was/is my contention that much of the payout from the bought votes went directly to the exchanges further driving down the price of steem. I am happy to see many of the regular accounts I visit are actually getting some nice rewards. All in all I think new steem is bringing much needed change. I only hope it is not too late.

For me the thing about Bid Bot's was they were allowed to grow and evolve, and if they were having any sort of negative impact then they would have been stopped dead before they started. The fact they were allowed to grow made it obvious to me that they filled a gap that was needed - large Steem power holders unwilling to manually curate but needing to see a return on their investment. And in reality they helped many people, with a little investment in an upvote they got more rewards and saw more interaction and engagement because of it. But like any tool - with no limitation the Bid Bot's were left for people to self regulate how much they put in - and obviously the temptation for many was too great to send massive values to get their content huge rewards - this really was the main problem. Most people were sending a few Steem just to get visibility, the people who abused it sending 100's of Steem to get $200 posts - why they never capped the upvote is beyond me.

I have also seen another side that I missed, and for that I am truly sorry. That was where quality content got hidden below spam and throw away posts that got above it from Bid Bot use - it was something I never noticed or thought about.

But removing Bid Bot use is only really taking us full circle, Trending is no better now then it was in 2017 - all we are getting now is the posts supported in a circle of massive Steem Power holders, or alt accounts of big investors. So now the playing field is all wonky again, the small accounts have no chance of any visibility, while the biggest accounts keep themselves on top. Hoping for curation groups to find a post worthy of a big upvote is not going to really enthuse our Dolphin or lower users - who unless they have big stake friends will just get nothing until they decide to leave.

Bid Bot's didn't cause the problem, but removing them might just be the nail in the coffin.

Well before Dan left there were no bid bots. I am holding out hope that Dan will have control this time and Voice will be what Steemit could have been. Time will tell.

Steem has become a place where a person needs to organically grow an audience by posting good content and interacting. It definitely takes time. It can be disheartening (especially when you put up what you think is a good quality post just to see it 'earn' 71 cents), but it takes time. I think it's a nice change.

This post was shared on #pypt, which is what brought me to it. Perhaps ironically, this is the type of engagement I refer to; a person needs to actively be engaged and look for what is out there. No one is going to gift anyone with anything just for showing up.

Full fledge war on going on the steem blockchain, and thanks for explaining why I saw some upvotes from @therising, the truth is there is no full proof to abuse especially when everyone is given freedom, bidbot help authors who doesn't have whale friends to at least make something out of steem but with the rate things are going I bet we will never see a $1 price of steem as investors and content creators are pulling out, moving over to other blochains where there are lesser dram. Steem is still the best if we can over look on a lot of things!

And I don't think there is another alternative for post promotion because content promotion is also a business model if no one can promote his or her content how do they except one to get the required engagement one needs especially as steem is filled with so many crap post. 🤔

Thank you very much, I agree there is much to be worked on still. But the more natural curation starts evolving I think we will see people increasing rewards naturally. And everything has to be sustainable. !COFFEEA 15

coffeea Lucky you @kayceefresh here is your COFFEEA, view all your tokens at steem-engine.com Vote for c0ff33a as Witness

The good news is all these changes are POSITIVE

I'm not sure how you can possibly say that. What's happening now is crazy. Downvoting good content has now become a sport. My rewards have never been lower. I think things have gone from bad to worse... Is it any wonder the price of steem continues to drop? In fact, I have seen the price do nothing but drop since the day I became active here a couple of years ago.

I agree that there are a great deal of problems that need dealing with, and curation rewards really need a good invested stake to be effective. But there is more curation of good content going on, and people are seeing that their own posts will get a positive reward increase. I just hope our great content creators like yourself hold out and give it chance. !COFFEEA 15

I should have mentioned, I quite enjoyed your post. You did a great job of explaining things, and since I wrote my reply I have received some curation from bots, without paying anything for it. I didn't understand what was happening when I first saw that!

Keith, thank you so much I really appreciate the feedback. As you will know well I run my witness along with @derangedvisions and we are growing his @derangedcontests accounts to support amazing photographers just like you. While many things that are happening right now are frustrating, there is much more amazing potential growing - your quality photography certainly qualifies to use both the #creativecoin tag where you will receive rewards in https://www.creativecoin.xyz you will earn curation rewards in the coin just for voting posts using it. And you can also use #photosteem a tribe started by the lovely @swedishdragon who has done amazing things with @heyhaveyamet and is an amazing Steemian. If you stake the rewards on https://www.photostreem.com you will again grow those tokens - who knows how the value of them might grow - but all you have to do is use the tags and stake the rewards - so it is really worth doing.

Yes, I enter those contests and use those tags all the time!

@photostreem , not #photosteem ?.. the tag is #photo

some curation from bots, without paying anything for it.

i notice this myself, in various posts, bidbots like rocky and appreciator, come and vote for free.
I also read some posts by acidyo, explaining the deal. so i was already in the know - but still surprised !

coffeea Lucky you @keithboone here is your COFFEEA, view all your tokens at steem-engine.com Vote for c0ff33a as Witness

Thank you!

With this post you have convinced me and deserved the first witness vote I make. Resteem! Great work!

Thank you very much, I really appreciate you giving me your Witness vote. !COFFEEA 15

coffeea Lucky you @sifondeseltz here is your COFFEEA, view all your tokens at steem-engine.com Vote for c0ff33a as Witness

But there is always a BUT

I swear to God that's a typo!!

And I bet that what you wanted to write was: But there is always a BOT.

This is a really terrible idea - not only because you would effectively agree to downvote a post you had never seen - no idea if it had value or not

With dark glasses, a cane and a guide dog they present their case to divine justice. What's said in the quote above plus the bullet points deployed in your post has told enuff.

Verdict: Guilties!! 🔊 ««judge hammer slam is heard»» 🔊 ¡Case closed!

Might be a way to keep the rich rich

upped and resteemed, too. intresting reading. i came here just this Spring, and still educating myself.

Great post here C0ff33a. Finally I’ve understood how the bid bots and hard forks now work you have explained everything very well without getting off topic I found this very interesting to read especially after watching the coffee vlog you did a couple days ago where you briefly discussed bid bots etc

Thank you for posting I found this helpful 😃

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Thank you very much, it might not be the best writing in the world but it is from the heart. !COFFEEA 15

coffeea Lucky you @chris-uk here is your COFFEEA, view all your tokens at steem-engine.com Vote for c0ff33a as Witness

coffeea Lucky you @chris-uk here is your COFFEEA, view all your tokens at steem-engine.com Vote for c0ff33a as Witness

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