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.
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.