A Steem Witness Voting System!

in witness •  last year

Are witness votes the most important we make for Steem? How do we find new witnesses to vote for at https://steemit.com/~witnesses where our vote will help the most? Where can new witnesses openly ask for votes in a way anyone can easily find them? What can we do to set up our votes and forget about this?

Would you read this post for answers because the system here might help a few of us have an easier time making a difference with our witness votes, earning votes as a witness, and adding value to Steem.

Witness Votes = Paid Positions for Steem!

The first month I was on Steem I saw the word witness a few times, viewed the list of witnesses at https://steemit.com/~witnesses and then figured I was not technical enough to participate in being a witness. I also therefore assumed that who was on the witness list did not matter to me much. I was way wrong on both of these first impressions.

Fortunately, I read posts like this one by @timcliff that helped me see differently: https://steemit.com/witness-category/@timcliff/guide-to-being-a-good-witness.

To summarize, anyone that can host and manage an Ubuntu Linux server can be a witness for Steem! Witnesses are effectively paid positions funded by the Steem blockchain in exchange for running an Ubuntu Linux server according to the specifications I list in the guides below.

With no previous Linux experience, I read the guides I link in my posts and asked questions in the witness chat to the point of setting my server up without help from anyone else on the inside. @someguy123 and @drakos were the most helpful for telling me how to get past the challenging parts. I now have my own guides listed below which may be helpful for understanding what a witness is in much more detail and learning how to get started!

Steem Witness Guides!

  1. Steem Witness Basic Training at https://steemit.com/witness-category/@jerrybanfield/steem-witness-basic-training explains the basic of what a witness is and an overview of all the steps needed to participate.
  2. Launch a Steem Witness Today at https://steemit.com/witness-category/@jerrybanfield/launch-a-steem-witness-today shows where I started getting my witness online and provides further reading from others.
  3. 12 Steps to Secure a New Ubuntu Linux Server at https://steemit.com/witness-category/@jerrybanfield/12-steps-to-secure-a-new-ubuntu-linux-server shows a deep look inside the steps to follow to secure a new Ubuntu Linux server.
  4. Steps 13 to 19 to Prepare an Ubuntu Linux Server to be a Witness for Steem at https://steemit.com/witness-category/@jerrybanfield/steps-13-to-19-to-prepare-an-ubuntu-linux-server-to-be-a-witness-for-steem
  5. Get a Steem Witness + Seed Online Today with These Ubuntu Linux Commands at https://steemit.com/witness/@jerrybanfield/get-a-steem-witness-seed-online-today-with-these-ubuntu-linux-commands shows the complete list of commands to get a witness running from zero. This guide is much easier to follow after reading the more in depth security tutorials first.
  6. Our Top 20 Witnesses Earn 250 Steem Power A Day at https://steemit.com/witness/@jerrybanfield/our-top-20-witnesses-earn-250-steem-power-a-day describes the earnings possible for reaching a top 20 witness position.
  7. How to Start Getting Steem Witness Votes at https://steemit.com/witness-category/@jerrybanfield/how-to-start-getting-steem-witness-votes provides tips on getting the first few votes
  8. Steem Secret #7: Appropriate Methods to Ask for Votes gives more tips on getting witness votes at https://steemit.com/steemsecrets/@jerrybanfield/steem-secret-7-appropriate-methods-to-ask-for-votes

How Much Do Witnesses Earn?

Outside of the top 50 ranks at the current Steem price, a witness is lucky to get enough Steem power to cover the server costs. From rank 20 to 50, the earnings range at $1 Steem from $20 to $60 a day. Every top 20 witness gets about $250 worth of Steem every day meaning that these paid positions pay well.

The ranks of witnesses are determined by the amount of Steem power placing votes for those witnesses meaning the weight of a vote is equal to the amount of Steem power in the account. @pumpkin has the single largest active vote on behalf of @freedom including a vote for me which I am very grateful for!

Voting for Witnesses = Electing Paid Positions!

Witness votes are effectively electing twenty full time equivalent positions paid by the Steem blockchain combined with 30 to 50 more part time positions. The people we have in these paid positions can make a huge difference to the return we get as voters out of our investment on Steem because witnesses are generally some of the most trusted and active members of our community.

When we help witnesses with votes that we see making a contribution we feel is valuable, we are helping ensure that witness earns enough money to be able to make Steem a priority and keep working to add value to Steem. With witness votes lasting indefinitely once made, voting for witnesses is one small step we can take to help make a giant leap in favor of the value of Steem.

Who to Vote for?

Unfortunately for everyone involved in the witness system, figuring out who to vote for is extremely challenging. This new witness voting system I am using will hopefully make it easier for everyone by offering a simple way for those that would benefit the most from the votes to connect directly with those of us that want to make sure we are voting for 30 active witnesses every day.

While on https://steemit.com/~witnesses we can find the top 50 witnesses and easily click a white check mark to turn it green after entering in our active key, how do we know which names to choose out of a possible 30 votes? Where do our witness votes help the most and which votes do we make that do little good?

Meet on #Witness-Updates Tag!

To find witnesses to vote for, the https://steemit.com/trending/witness-update page is extremely helpful because often the most active witnesses looking for votes and those already at the top that are consistently communicating with followers post updates. Browsing these witness updates is a great way to see where witness votes will do the most good. Several of the largest increases in votes for my witness have came after posting an update.

Witnesses Making Direct Asks in Updates?

One of the challenges as a witness asking for votes and a voter looking for new witnesses to vote for is figuring out why to vote for one witness specifically. Looking through the witness updates does not exactly make it easy to immediately figure out who to vote for because many are structured more like a diary featuring what the witness has done lately.

What tends to work best to ask for a vote according to behavior research studies and my own experience is a direct and open ask with a reason. I will demonstrate in my ask below which starts with "Would you please" and includes "because" in the explanation of why to vote for me. As a witness voter myself, I will now be looking to keep my votes updated with this same system and hope it is useful for any witness and witness voter seeking to connect!

Asking an Individual Voter in Updates?

While currently it seems most witnesses, including me, have asked for votes privately in steemit.chat or in discord as well as putting generic asks in posts targeted at everyone, how much more effective would it be to focus on a small number of specific voters in updates? With the witness voting power focused among a small group of 20 to 50 people making the majority of the decisions for what rank witnesses are, would it be most logical to just ask a small number of those voters in each update directly? I will demonstrate.


@minority-report would you please add jerrybanfield to your witness votes at https://steemit.com/~witnesses because 100% of my earnings as a witness are funding marketing and advertising campaigns for Steem on Google, Facebook, and YouTube as seen at https://airtable.com/shrXuoYTnODWA0QG1? With 28 open witness voting spots, your vote for my witness would be enough to add 200 Steem every day to the budget which would allow me to show 100,000+ more ads every day on Google and Facebook at $1 Steem price.

@minority-report you may not realize how much you have helped me already just with your comment on my wife @laurabanfield's post at https://steemit.com/introduceyourself/@laurabanfield/hi-steemit-here-s-to-new-beginnings because you have helped me see her the way you do. In six years of dating and almost five years of marriage, I never remember hearing or thinking Laura looked like Anna Camp until you mentioned it. With seeing my wife every day, I can easily forget how grateful I am to be with her and your comment gave me a way mentally to remember how beautiful she is in every situation. Thank you for making what I think was your first comment on Laura's post and for helping me to be a good husband to her each day!

Making Witness Voting Transparent!

When we as witnesses commit to making open, honest, and vulnerable asks for votes right on the Steem blockchain in a post like I just did above for witness votes, we have a chance to help everyone from a new witness wondering how higher ranked witnesses got votes to potential investors in Steem wondering how the process works to active witnesses enjoying more voting consistency over time to top witness voters being courted instead of spammed.

How to Get My Witness Vote?

If you would like me to vote for you as a witness, would you please follow this system here along with using tag jerrybanfield on the post because then I will be able to see it and vote for you when I read through the posts I see at https://steemit.com/trending/jerrybanfield and find your witness update? When you use a style of ask like I did with @minority-report above, you can help me understand what relationship we have already which will help me understand how much it will help to give you a vote.

Which Witness Votes Do The Most Good?

Ultimately I am looking for my witness votes to do the most good by voting for witnesses where my vote inspires adding value to the Steem blockchain. I hope you can help me with that because working together we can do better than individually.

To ask me for a witness vote while I already am voting for 30 witnesses, you will need to recommend a witness for me to remove. I would like to see this directly in the ask because you can do more research than me and if you expect me to remove the vote, you should be comfortable sharing why for anyone to see. You can recommend I remove a vote for any reason with the better the reasons, the more likely I will make the change. For example, when I am voting for a witness in the top 10, that vote is not helping that witness earn any greater reward. On a rank 200 witness, it would boost up to the top 100 and guarantee 1 or 2 blocks every day which would make a big difference. The top reason to ask me to remove a vote would be if one of the witnesses I am voting for disables.

I am grateful to those of us setting jerrybanfield as a proxy at https://steemdb.com/@jerrybanfield/proxied which has made my witness vote a big responsibility worth almost a million Steem power. To manage that, I would appreciate your help in guiding my choices as to who to vote for.

Sticking to 1 Specific Ask per Post!

This strategy could get ugly if used on five or ten voters generically in every post which is why I am limiting to one specific ask per update and only for voters I have some existing relationship with even if it is just me making tutorials for their website and/or giving/receiving upvotes. Active witnesses hustling for votes are likely to do one update a week which means 4 or 5 specific asks a month. Over time these should result in votes both from those asked AND from those just reading the post who appreciate the attempt. Picking the best person to ask in an update should work 10 times better than randomly picking users with a lot of Steem power. I picked @minority-report because I have been thinking about @minority-report a lot since my wife's initial post and this is the only way I know of to try and make a connection.

The Simple Solution for Voters!

Does all of this sound way too difficult? It absolutely is for most of us on Steem which is why the option is available to set a proxy to handle all votes. A proxy is another account that makes votes on our behalf automatically. Set a proxy once and forget it. A proxy can be removed or changed at any time.

The ideal solution for most of us on Steem is to choose a user we trust that participates fully in witness voting to make all our votes for us because then we do not have to think about it again and we are fully contributing depending on the proxy we choose. In communities this is ideal as the entire community can simply trust one user to make the votes and then discuss the votes periodically with that user.

The Korean community on Steem already does amazing with this where @clayop makes the votes on behalf of over 3 million dollars worth of Steem power investments. I am honored hundreds of us have set jerrybanfield as a proxy at the bottom of https://steemit.com/~witnesses and made this system to help better explain to you exactly how I am making my witness votes going forward.

Set jerrybanfield as a Proxy?

If you would like me to handle all witness voting for you, would you please type in jerrybanfield as a proxy at https://steemit.com/~witnesses and then click set proxy because then you can feel good about participating fully in the witness voting process while eliminating the need to do anything else? Any any time you have full accountability for how I am picking my witness votes with the system I have explained here and are free to remove me as a proxy in favor of someone else or doing the votes yourself!

Thank you very much for reading this post which I hope has been helpful for making witness voting easier!

Jerry Banfield

a steem witness voting system.png

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This man is a genius!

A true asset to the Steemit platform & community.

With witness votes lasting indefinitely once made, voting for witnesses is one small step we can take to help make a giant leap in favor of the value of Steem.

NO, witness votes can be revoked, shuffled or proxied, they are not indefinite.

#witness-update tag is not the sole tag to look for updates, you should be looking at the main tag #witness-category too.

While being a witness does generate rewards, it's not the only factor in being a witness, like you still preach. Anyone can setup a witness, that doesn't mean anyone should. Would you have setup a witness one year ago when STEEM was worth 6 cents? Of course you wouldn't. Yet the early witnesses kept their engines running at a loss for months, it's a testament that money isn't the only thing that defines a good witness.


When one bails out on Dash too early (and sells their node), missing out on $100ks in profits, then you gotta make money somehow! Human nature ;)

This post is missing a mention of the most promising witness on the Steem blockchain, the only community driven witness and the fastest growing witness as well: utopian-io! Just 24 hours online and already position 40!



They're yet to prove themselves a reliable witness. Fame doesn't guarantee reliability and stability. Too fast, too soon.


Yes, you are absolutely right. But don't say "they". It is YOUR witness and you have a voice in what it is doing. :)

Hello community

It’s a good subject.

I’ve been a Witness for a while already. The votes that I have are not nearly enough to process even my very first block. So my servers are basically running idle waiting to be helpful to the community until more people take an active position and vote. I’m trying to be as good Witness as I can.

Does snybody here with unused votes for witnesses see my profile as a good candidate?

If you do, please vote.

EDIT: thank you for all those who upvoted my comment. Although by Voting I meant Voting for my Witness, which is different from clicking on Upvote. I guess some people probably don't even realize it. So upvoting my comment does nothing for the Witness unfortunately (for those who might not have known it).

Otherwise i cannot explain rationally how come this comment gets so many upvotes and not a single person Voting for my Witness. Maybe though I'll see some people Voting for my Witness today :-)

Thank you everyone in advance for your potential support and your Vote.



You had my vote from the start.


Yes thank you. I appreciate it very much.
It means to me more than just a vote.

When I talk about nobody voting I take your vote together with a few more out of that statement because we had a chat and you had a chance to get to know me better and when people can interact things become more personal and they can tell.

What surprises me is that there are so many people who never voted for anybody. Plus a lot of those who have a lot of votes still remaining.

Why don’t they vote? I’m not even talking about myself. There are lots of people who never voted for anybody!

I know there are some people who might like a Witness, upvote a lot of his/her posts. Yet for some reason don’t bother to do what’s so much more valuable for a Witness - to vote for them as a Witness rather than (or in addition to) upvoting some silly content.

That’s what puzzles me.

Also while upvoting my suggestion of voting for me people don’t cast their vote. Then it doesn’t make any sense to me. Why even upvote my pledge for votes? On another hand if they had a reason to upvote it why not vote for a Witness?

See what puzzles me?

Also doesn’t seem like a customary thing here to just vote for a Witness while everybody clicks upvote buttons on the content they like. Again it’s not just about me. It’s a trend.

Anyway thank you for your vote and your confidence once again.

If others follow it too would be wonderful. Gives the incentive and motivation to keep trying.

All the best!


Many aren't interested in participating at that level or taking the time to objectively research the witnesses. It's a pretty sad state of affairs all around and its ourselves with the responsibility to educate the user base. The learning curve to blog and process funds is steep enough as is. Worse than abstaining is blind voting since we've got witnesses now who think they're "mining" on the "steemit blockchain".

I'm pretty low ranking as well. Hard to get up there without supporting some of the flashier projects and being a yes-man. The way I see it is our responsibility is to the blockchain first and foremost. Keep at it.


Yes exactly. I’m with you on all these points.
I also don’t feel good about reducing myself to a sleazy salesman doing sales and marketing, promotion, advertising and buying votes as some others do or tricking others convincing them to vote for me.
On another hand that’s what this place is turning out to be otherwise there seems to be next to zero chance to be an active witness.
Those who are already there statistically very unlikely to vote for you because they all mostly vote for each other and it’s against their financial interests to vote for any “outsider”.
Other regular members just don’t bother until you push them. That’s exactly what I feel so bad about - pushing. It’s not how I do things in life and I hate being forced to do it here.
Then what’s the alternative?
I’ll do some research to see when is the average for others to just shut down their servers.
I also find it quite unusual for blockchain systems when only 20 top “miners” (so to speak in the general block chain terms) participate in keeping the blockchain up and running and distributed.

@jerrybanfield , first i didnt bother voting at all... But how can i do this easily and secure?


Nevermind, figured it out, i voted you for witness!

what happened with the proposals idea? any traction?

Very good news, Jerry!

@jerrybanfield I set Up Jerry as my Proxy Voter a few months ago and I know that he will do best to make sure that we have qualified and competent people as STEEMIT Witnesses......Thank You Jerry.

great post

Thx jerry. learned some new things again. You cannot know all from the start. That didn't stop me for doing it and achive my goals I am open and transparent with. I also changed my last witness report to the category #witness-update. I thought you only get respected if you use #witness-category
I never forget that YOU was the one who made my first blocks.. noone else. This keeps me going and I hope that one day we both be in TOP 20.

Very helpful @jerrybanfield as always 💜💜

Great post Jerry and I see my name in the list. thanks for adding me, I appreciate it. Just upgraded the server: 32GB RAM / 200 x 2 RAID HD / 4C/8T CPU. 20TB Bandwidth.

Interesting post. I invite to visit and see mi blog. Good luck.

Thank you for your support, i know is just a matter of time to get into top 20 witnesses, just dont give up.

Let’s see if we can get you more votes 💪🏼🙌🏼💯


I ran a witness server on AWS and while it was fun I totally agree with your ROI. AWS is cheap, but the it scarcely profitable enough to run.

I started using my witness votes organically as I came across folks doing something really cool with or for the platform.

While I think my proxy would be in excellent hands with you @jerrybanfield, I think I'll continue to find witness as I swim around on my minnow tail.

I really appreciate all the Steem Education 🎓!

You have a lot of awesome posts, but this is by far one of your best ones man. I needed this one today! Thanks.

Amazing post..
thanks for sharing

That style of your post and explanation of the things, Excellent. Thanks for sharing this information and guides. They will help us a lot. Check my latest post @aonraza

I agree with the payout

Very useful broo... thank u

KISS - keep it simple and short - Thanks for sharing!

Excellent selection mode @jerrybanfield!

Wow. I wish I was earning 250SP a day. :) Maybe one day.

Hey @jerrybanfield!
Till now i vote for the following witness: @jerrybanfield, @aggroed, @klye, @curie, @dragosroua, @steemitboard and i still have 24 votes remaining.
If you have some good quality suggestions please let me know!


Me :-)
Sorry couldn't resist...
I am one of those witnesses @jerrybanfield mentions in this post, and jerry's vote for me as a witness catapulted me to the 99 position for a few days (now 101). With the position comes the responsibility, and besides supporting a seed node for the steem network ( seed.windforce.farm), i also upgraded my witness to 64GB ram and 200GB SSD.
I know many flashy new witnesses do a lot of marketing fuss, that's not my type. If i commit to the Steem network and have faith in it's future, i prefer that "time will do the speaking" for me...

Wow thank you Jerry. This post was very informative. I was always wondering what was it about and how they get this position. Keep the good work up!

Hi, I'm new on Steemit but when I saw your account the first time I liked it.
And also this interesting post that give me interesting information!
Great content! Keep going on!
Maybe you can take a look at my account as well...
I'm author for essays, comments reviews (e.g. for films, TV shows, etc.) in german and english language.
And maybe you can also follow me as I followed you, or vote for my comments as well, so that we can create a kind of little network for art or reviews of films and series.
I hope you take a look!
Keep going on with your nice work! I like it!

I have given you the apology. Please give me the feedback https://steemit.com/@monirol-islam

Witnesses!! When I first joined steemit. I found that word had to understand but now am getting it. Thanks

Thank you so much for this! this is the kind of content that help the community! thank you very much!!

Ohhh see I have learned something else today. I have never thought in my life that being a top 20 witness was such a well "paid" job. Thank you so much for that important information.

This post has been ranked within the top 10 most undervalued posts in the second half of Nov 20. We estimate that this post is undervalued by $23.79 as compared to a scenario in which every voter had an equal say.

See the full rankings and details in The Daily Tribune: Nov 20 - Part II. You can also read about some of our methodology, data analysis and technical details in our initial post.

If you are the author and would prefer not to receive these comments, simply reply "Stop" to this comment.

nice post jerry i seen your ad on youtube this ad is 30 min and i am very impressed from you.👍
and i join steemit and follow you.

Congratulations @jerrybanfield, this post is the second most rewarded post (based on pending payouts) in the last 12 hours written by a Superhero or Legend account holder (accounts hold greater than 100 Mega Vests). The total number of posts by Superhero and Legend account holders during this period was 29 and the total pending payments to posts in these categories was $744.84. To see the full list of highest paid posts across all accounts categories, click here.

If you do not wish to receive these messages in future, please reply stop to this comment.

I am the new member on steemit and keep learning through you post thank you so much.

Congratulations @jerrybanfield!
Your post was mentioned in the hit parade in the following category:

  • Upvotes - Ranked 4 with 655 upvotes

Interesting post
Finally I’m understanding more about what is a witness.

I will make some time to read your guides. Looks interesting
I also thought I could never be a witness but you give me hope with this post

Thanks for sharing!

Best post ... This is very important information for beginner steemit ,,,
Thank you @jerrybanfield for sharing the information .... 😉👌

terima kasih @jerrybanfield atas informasinya.

Getting witness votes is tough and a big power curve to break through to get enough. Power people holding it down. Slim chance of a new Witness moving up in the ranks now days, but will see.