A future of distribution bots
The longer that @ocdb has been running the more I'm thinking about the impact it could have on Steem in the long run.
As we know, at current voting algorithm the incentive to curate compared to the returns you can do with other bid bots simply isn't there.
Let's think about what a bid bot does. In simple terms, it let's a buyer buy a vote to get onto trending, the more bots there are the more votes that buyer can stack on top to guarantee the trending spot. I haven't looked but unfortunately at times like these when there isn't as much demand, a lot of bid bots will sit idle without bids for some time every 24 hours. Not only that but people use them for profit because of the lack of competition, meaning they may just use them for that without trying to get onto trending - which kind of defeats the purpose of "promotion bot".
If bid bots cost each time you want to use them for promotion, the buyers would lose out on rewards which would go to the bot owners and delegators but at the same time it would benefit all stakeholders as they had to use more Steem than they got back.
After having experimented with @ocdbfund for a while, I got to thinking. Since I've been using that account to grow a fund for a while, what about bid bot owners that would buy votes with alt accounts just to never let the bot go idle. After all they have an incentive to keep their delegators happy with max ROI and it directly also effects their own profit, since they take a cut from each buy + curation rewards in some cases. I am not accusing any current bid bot owners to be doing this, I'm just saying there is a possibility.
Although I do believe that there will always be bid bots that are profitable and there will be some demand, I think that at times like these where activity has dropped with price and demand for them, maybe we should start focusing on distribution more.
Imagine a distribution bot that would constantly grow its whitelist and have more and more unique daily users using it. Everyone with low stake would be growing at a steady pace, balancing distribution over time. Bids can be lower depending on the demand, and grow depending on the increase in delegation. Imagine what that would do for distribution and a more balanced, curated and healthy place this would be with a much higher "middle-class". The best part about it would be that the whole system keeping this distribution together has already been built and isn't requiring delegators to constantly pay them a cut for a job done over a year ago.
I'm happy for my community that @ocdb has been welcomed and a lot of interest has come together around it and it has grown fast and I think more and more people will realize that instead of trying to fight the bad actors/spammers/scammers with blacklists and flags, let's instead just reward the decent members of the community more so they can help keep this place clean and something everyone wants to use.
I've thought a lot about it, and I really can't think of many cons towards this distribution bot if it would grow heavily in the future. Can you think of any? Like, I'm asking cause if there is something that could help it improve in time I would happily rethink the whole model.
The people who've put the bot and the list together, which I want to thank, @jga, @theuxyeti, @pharesim and every single @ocd curator which would make this list way too long. They've been helping a long because they do a lot for the Steem blockchain and community and want to see this place grow into something amazing like many others.
I just wanted to think about these things and how they could improve the future, that's why I wanted to write some words down and ask the community about their thoughts and any possible improvements they could think of that would help all of us, please feel free to share so in the comments, thanks!