Matching Witness Votes to Strategic Goals: My witness picks.

in witness •  11 months ago

It is challenging to make thirty different witness votes. It's even more difficult to match those thirty votes to an overall vision for the whole platform. In this article, I'm going to outline how I've recently decided to start allocating my witness votes and perhaps this might give you some ideas about how to approach witness voting.

I will go through who I currently vote for and why. I don't want you to agree with my choices - that is not the intent of this article - but thinking about a framework for thinking about votes is much richer if it includes working examples. My information is limited and imperfect, but I still have to make the best decisions that I can.

At present, between my account and the accounts that proxy to it, I represent only ~0.3 GV. That's not much in the grand scheme of things, but sufficient that selecting witnesses does deserve some effort.

The process begins with deciding on my vision for steem, deciding on categories that reflect my vision, apportioning numbers of votes to the categories, and then finding witnesses to fill those spots.

My Vision

I would like to see steem grow to support a massive user base. At present, this means onboarding and retaining new users.

Witnesses must keep the blockchain and surrounding ecosystem running well. To some extent, maintaining a stable node is a minimum criterion for all witnesses. Expecting nothing more than node stability from a witness is a bit like only expecting a chef cook edible food.

My chosen witnesses have a pluralistic vision of Steem's future. Steem is a blockchain where many communities, even those with counter interests, should be able to find a home. The witnesses should support devolving decisions on content quality and types to the different communities.

Witnesses should eat their own dogfood. It is instant mega minus points if the witness is not currently active on steem and not posting their witness updates on steem.

The witness should recognise the role of the 3rd party developer ecosystem in making the tools that humanise steem for the masses. The witness should be friendly towards businesses and investors participating in Steem because a developer can do more for Steem if they can earn an income here.

Categories and Apportioning Votes

To meet my vision, I am going to start by slowly allocating 23 witness votes into the following categories. You'll notice that a couple of larger community projects are categories.

Technical witnesses (7 votes)

A technical witness possesses dev skills and will also have built a tool that I frequently use.
@klye - because my bots use his libraries
@roadscape - steemd is one of my favourite tools for playing blockchain detective
@arcange - steemsql is awesome
(4 spots free)

Minnow support project (4 votes)

The minnow support project does a lot to help onboard new users to steem. MSP helps them find a community and learn about the vagaries of the platform. This initiative helps with retaining new users. My votes go to the MSP witnesses who also hold moderator roles in that community. They also have a programme for recognising witnesses that they'll support and I will use the material they publish to help me evaluate witnesses for myself.
@aggroed, @ausbitbank, @followbtcnews, @swelker101
(1 spot free)

The Writers Block (4 votes)

The Writers Block is an active community of professional writers. If we want quality content on steem then supporting the writing community seems to be a good thing. It was the Writers Block when they used to be a part of the Minnow Support Project that attracted me to MSP. One day, I might hone my wordsmithery enough to write fiction.
@anarcho-andrei, @sircork, (@swelker101)
(2 spots free)

The Alliance (3 votes)

The Alliance is another group that I like to support because they provide a close community for their members. Their more formal organisation might not suit many people, but it does seem to work for their members.
@suggeelson, and a couple of others I'll talk about elsewhere.

You Are Hope (1 vote)

@youarehope is an on-chain charity that gets behind Steemians doing awesome things on the ground. They are new, but already showing excellent results.

Misc. Witnesses (5 votes)

@curie - upvotes quality content made by minnows which encourages both quality content and new user retention.
@patrice - does a lot of work to keep steem clean and tidy.
@reggaemuffin - both a single witness vote for BuildTeam and because I like how he tries to do business ethically with the best interests of the platform in mind.
@rycharde - Leads MAP - another smaller group that supports creatives and original content on the platform. He is also a keen mathematician and keeps an eye on the economy of steem, rewards curves and the like.
@timcliff - I heard him speak once on @msp-waves radio and was convinced. Very community minded and long-term focused. He also carries the respect of people that I respect too.

You'll have noticed that each category carries an allocation of witnesses and some have empty spots. By assigning votes to categories, I guide my search and evaluation of new witnesses.

Witnesses I have evaluated and won't vote for yet

I currently have a list of about 11 witnesses that will not be getting my vote anytime soon. I am not publishing this list because I can't be bothered getting into arguments about it. Though it might be helpful for me to talk about why I won't vote for a particular witness: disconnected from reality/dumbass, a difference of opinion over the vision for steem, anti-business, already deriving significant income from steem, not active enough on steem, and witnesses that don't show results before expecting votes.

Wrap up

That is my process for how I have currently allocated my witness votes. I aim to review one current witness vote and evaluate one potential new witness per fortnight beginning in January 2018. While you won't agree with my specific decisions, the overall approach might inform your own so that your witness votes can become more strategic and match your overall goals.

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Thank you for your very gracious support. I have likewise, sent my gratitude by direct message, and I'm grateful for your ever present, ever supportive mentoring, counsel and friendship. And all of that ^ naturally. See you for a camping trip in the Himalayas with a couple of well heated Yurts and some bottles of whiskey desserts, one day bud, one day,and steem will be the meens.


eturner is a great guy, he explained to me more about steem in two comments then i learned with 30 searches lol

I may adopt a similar methodical approach to select my witnesses in the future. The only match in my short witness list is @klye.

Although I didn't make the list, I love to see actual thought and reason behind actively choosing witnesses and not just not voting, voting because you heard the name, or just voting because they are friends.

I wish more did this!

I hope I am not on the list.... I hope that you want to look to my witness proposal.. Thank you anyhow..


I haven't got around to evaluating your witness yet. Only so many hours in the day!

I'm glad you posted this. I think a lot of people just vote along with what someone told them, or some party lines, but don't put much thought in.

Hopefully this will be a template in which others set-up why they vote for certain witnesses.

Sensible way to operate, and great that you wrote about it here, perhaps you will inspire others. I'm not far off that too, though I'm not as methodical.

I have an idea: maybe we should start a "Review your witness votes!" day once a month? Once a month wouldn't be too tiresome for most people I think and it would be a good opportunity to bring up the kind of concerns you talk about (not necessarily against anyone, but just in general) and promote the active engagement of witness voters. This is as important as having active witnesses.


I think a review your witness day us an awesome idea. Perhaps with a check list of how to review each witness too. I already have a recurring task set to review witnesses, but I'm not yet systematic about it what review means.

Totally impressed with your ambitious ways to take the steemit bull by the horns. Don't think your latest up-votes to my blog have gone unnoticed. They are greatly appreciated, specifically you and a few others are going to have me as the example of steemit zero to steemit hero. For that I couldn't be happier and more appreciative. Thank you for your support in the past, present, and future. Steemit is feeling much less third worldy ;) at least for me. Hope you have been well and keep up the great work. From Quito Ecuador -Dan Gardner Steemit's "World Travel Pro"

My list coincides with yours quite a bit, but I'm using your recommendations to add to it, as I'm only voting for 22 so far. And YES! I look forward to seeing your "wordsmithery" at the Writers' Block soon!

you have been the most helpful guy to me on Steem, i am very happy that your large bet on steem paid off. I saw that Steem was worth $3 when i got home yesterday and I almost fainted. Congratulations!

Great bro i will do as you but i support steemgigs so soory bro.

thanks for your thoughts about who to support as a witness. I have not filled all 30 spots and are always looking for more insight and knowledge about this topic. :)

Thanks. As a newbie. I'm still trying to work out what a witness is and this really helped.

Really good idea to build up more powerful steemit by supporting all type of witnesses. @eturnerx

Hey there! I saw your vote on my post about bidbots and checked out your profile to find this helpful post. Kudos for its depth!

I am currently looking for witness votes and I think I will at least fit into your technical witness category. I run the steem ocean app which will be growing significantly this year and which aims to provide useful features that are missing from (I have a long list of things to add soon).

FYI, I am voted for currently by 6 of the 15 witnesses that you are voting for:
arcange, ausbitbank, guiltyparties, sircork, timcliff and utopian-io.

I'm happy to answer any questions you may have.

Regardless though, I wish you well! :)

Nice Extensions @eturnerx!!

I just need advice and support for my work and my friends my friend. Thanks for the support.

Thanks you for share today I have more information about curie.

Hello, Sorry to do this in an old post but I was wondering if you were in the market to rent out any SP. The @steemiteductaion team is always looking to add SP so we can support more educators and educational content here. I will gladly send you a chat message but wanted to make sure you knew it was really us and not a scammer on chat.

Thank you for your time.


Hello. I do my SP delegation rental via minnowbooster's marketplace.

Thank you so much for your support. I am new to this venue and just love it!! I enjoy writing about baseball and sharing my knowledge. Hope to see you again...yankee-statman.

thank you..
a beautiful post and good luck
when will teach me to play steemit
vote behind friends
by @ adi92