Help Us Encourage More Human Curation by Sending This Post to the Top of Trending! Read to Find Out More!

in #community3 years ago

Welcome to the Minnow Votes Project, One Day, One Post, One Vote! If You're New, Please Read The Post before Upvoting!###

If you came to help get this post to the top of trending, you're in the right place!

If you found this post, we've succeeded in our experiment, to get a post seen without buying votes. It all started with an idea I had about two weeks ago. I wanted to launch a new dolphinschool bootcamp from this blog. I worried the small following would reduce the impact for the students.

For those who don't know, you can look up #dolphinschool bootcamp on steemit to find the awesome project.

I had noticed that the top hot and trending posts each day were mostly put there by votes purchased, rather than earned from followers and readers. So, I wanted to see this go under the power of "organic" votes.

Why does this matter?

After all, we're just here to make money and one great way to do that is to buy/sell votes.

I agree, you are free to do this, but, you might want to consider a few things first.

  1. Throughout both white and blue papers, (the "founding docs" of steemit) content creation, and community consensus through voting, (aka "proof of brain) is described as the strength of steem. Buying votes, does not develop community consensus on the quality of content.
  2. On the Welcome page, several authors expressed a natural feeling of distrust for bot interaction and what it would do to steemit. In fact, Beanz, declared a "War on Bots" in her article "The Unwritten Rules of Steemit"!
  3. The idea behind steem is different from other coins. Partly because of the superior blockchain. But mostly, it's because of the subjective "proof of brain" content creation/community upvote cycle, that puts the best content at the top.
  4. The flipside of being rewarded for good content is risking downvotes on your content. When vote buying/delegation becomes the main mode of profit, that risk is taken out. The quality of the content will always fall to the lowest common denominator, or in webspeak, minimum viable content.

(If payouts can be bought, why shoot for the best content? All you need to do is create enough value to avoid flagging. There is not much incentive to compete for real votes.)

For a fuller explanation of the vote buying/selling issue, check out this video.

The top of trending has not always gone to the high bidder. In fact, ALL of the literature selected as helpful for new users, points this out. Here are some examples.

Quotes taken from the welcome section of Steemit, and both white and blue papers, relating to vote buying.

Steem is the first cryptocurrency that attempts to accurately and transparently reward an unbounded number of individuals who make subjective contributions to
its community.

-Abstract of the Steem White Paper

Don't bribe people for votes, re-steems, follows or ask directly for money

This is fairly easy to understand. It is likely to get you flagged as well as potentially annoying others. Plus once people have followed you there is no guarantee they will keep doing it. So you will just be wasting your money AND ruining your reputation. I have also heard of people asking directly for cash - this may be OK in the case of charitable causes but NOT when the charitable cause is your own wallet. It looks bad and will also damage your reputation.

The Complete Steemit Etiquette Guide Rule 10 @cryptofiend

The first step in rewarding millions of users, is to commit to distributing a fixed amount of currency, regardless of how much work is actually done, or how users vote.
The next step is to reward everyone who does anything even remotely positive with something.
-The Steem White paper

Fortunately, any work that is getting a large concentration of votes is also gaining the most scrutiny. Through the addition of negative voting, it is possible for ..small stakeholders to nullify..collusive groups or large stakeholders
The Steem White paper

It is my belief that by avoiding the "proof of brain" concept altogether, "collusive groups" and whales with bots, are refusing to subject their profit taking activity to the scrutiny of the crowd, as was intended. So, while we attack Haejin and Bernie and Grumpycat for upvoting and downvoting (public actions) they all laugh all the way to the bank on the SBD earned from you buying and selling your votes through them, with no subjective judgment from the crowd.

So, what do I want you to do about it?

First, let me say a couple of things.

  1. I am not declaring war on bots. It's a libertarian platform and this is allowed within the existing framework.
  2. A positive campaign, encouraging others to use their influence themselves, instead of blindly giving it up to bots, delegation rentals, curation guilds, or even autovoted curation trails, is the best solution.
  3. Authors who "succeed" on purchased votes, may find the followers they gain are not truly followers.Most of them come for quick profits and will leave just as quickly.
  4. Authors who manage their "influence" (ie. VOTES) can build community and faithful audience.

Here is what I am pledging. If you want to join me,upvote this post and sign this "petition" with a comment.

  1. I will not upvote content I have not read, or at least read enough of the author/group's work, to believe in its value to the platform.
  2. I will encourage personal curation/upvoting by as many users as possible instead of fighting against vote buying/selling. Positive change is for the best.
  3. When I find users abusing the system, I will encourage them to a better way; introduce them to groups and guilds, help them learn to produce better content, and promote without skipping the community vote process.
  4. I will personally manage my SP to ensure I am supporting only content I believe in.
  5. I will consider the good of the platform and my own profile, long term, over short term profits in my voting, curating, content production and other activity.

I have always believed that a high tide raises all ships, and the best for all steemians is a higher price for steem and sbd. This is how we will increase the prize pool and ensure the opportunity for more users to come.

I further believe the current method and frequency of vote buying is not building the wide base for steem, designed to be the main foundation of this platform, but is undermining it and creating huge profits, without subjecting the work to the scrutiny of the crowd, as is called for.

If you agree, in principle, please upvote this post with me and leave a comment. Thanks!

The Proceeds from this post will be used in the following way:

  1. Half of the SBD rewards will be shared with one upvoter, based on a post they write. I'll explain more in my next post tomorrow.
  2. Half of the SBD will be used to help support dolphinschool, by buying more SP for this account to help support more plankton and minnows!

These fine steemians have already pledged their support, so go say hi, follow, read and support their content! We've got to stick together if we hope to make a change!



What if we didn’t focus on profits and just curated content that genuinely interests us and post on things that add value?

I’ve developed lots of businesses over time, not one of them succeeded in just counting money without adding some good quality genuine value

That's what I'm suggesting. I think that's what was intended when the platform was built, but it isn't what seems to be happening.

Excellent and the proof is in your post right here. Look at the REAL discussions going on. No bots just genuine replies. It dosen't matter whether people agree or disagree, problems are always resolved through real discussions.

I agree, now, if we could just invite some larger value accounts into our discussion.....

Will you come join the discord server? We could use business minds to help us get this started. Imagine, finding a way to reach the 50k new users coming in every single day.

DS, how do we join?

First off all. I am fully supporting this project. 💣💣WAR ON BOTS 💣💣
I have read all of the comments and must say. Most off you do make a point. And also the post is really hitting the nail. I think we all can say bots are ruining Steemit. Even I have used them and not felt good about it. But you do your best to get seen. Many of us are not so skilled or even like writing. So Steemit gets out the best of us. But the best is just a small amount in a sea full of best bots and whales not caring. Upvoting and resteeming and and sharing the idea is not enough. I wish for more growth. New steemians (minnows) have a hard time getting trough all the information. We need an update on the interface double up.

Well, if the playing field is level, and I'm still getting crickets, then I guess the best content is winning. But, I think I'd do better if people used their own votes. And I think we all would.

Yes that is true. But it is frustrating to see less good content get all the credits due to reputation and wealth. People getting tons for just posting 1 picture. And that is not just the bots doing. It is a unfair playfield to begin with. Only those who have any good content must be persistant to get recodniced and noticed. The trending sections of all categories shows mostly what whales share. People are just voting for the money not just bots.

The distribution issue is a major factor that prevented many people from ever being interested in steem or steemit from its inception. I suspect that many more would be willing to participate in a social media platform that ran off of a blockchain if the initial production and allocation of the coin was more equitable.

I would agree with that. Allow buy ins at intervals, instead of allowing any holder to increase stake as much as they could afford to, and find to buy. The rich would still get richer, but at least the beginners would have a shot at building something.

Well, that's always been the case, but if it was at least so that the wide majority of people were conducting their own voting, I think things would change. There will still be those that think that curation rewards are going to make them rich, but that's never going to happen.

I think these coming few months we are gonna see a big growth on the crypto platforms. Steemit should get ready for a big upcoming. And they way this is now indeed it would not be possible. I do believe the curation system is not changeble preferbly...but if we had bigger audience...Steemit as the main social mediaspot, bots erased to the point were they do not purpose for upvoting but as keeping the platform fair from spam and such. So we can trully recodnice talent. Luckily I do see the majority is willing and forthcoming to sponsoring promotion. Maby we also need a more centralized management withing the steemit platform to make sure we get more order and clarity.

Well, I think centralization is the problem now, IMO. We all see the same trending, no matter what our interests. So, naturally, that is the only thing getting much attention beyond those we directly engage and build relationships with. I hope you're right about growth here. This $2 steem is killing me.

I'm now two weeks on steem and really put some effort into it.
Steem has a hard learning curve, but I think I mastered it so far!
And my experiences are the following:
I agree, that bots, voting for money aren't going to help.. they make the exact opposite happen.. the opposite of what steem is really aiming for.
Still I do not think, that all bots are hurting the system. Many truly help.
For example resteem bots are an amazing possibility to boost your reach and help you making your qualitative content visible for others.
There are also some bots that resteem for free to help pushing good content of a specific category.
Without them my content would just not be seen.
Also if you forbid buying votes, I don't think it will change anything.
Buying votes just gets more expensive and only people with money can buy them..
I hope you can understand my points and I look forward to an answer! :)
greets from germany

I agree, not all bots are bad. Lots of automation is great. But, when it automates what should be human interaction, it sucks the life out of the platform. Thanks for your comment.

I think that rewards aren't n^2, is a much bigger problem.

Still didn't fully understand this problem.
I know @felixxx is writing a lot about it, but wouldn't that make posts like this even less rewarding and bring people to buy even higher votes?

Right now there is $2.84 on this with 31 users thinking this is content worth their upvote. You could easily buy $10/20 upvotes. With n² wouldnt that mean this would be worth way more (cant figure out the math right now) without anyone approving with the bought post?

Still think self voting is a bigger problem. At least early self votes that draw lots of % from the curation rewards. And people shouldn't be encouraged to instantly selfvote by having a checkbox right next to the post button.

Ja! The checkbox is a serious problem..
Stimme dir auf jeden Fall zu, bin aber gerade echt nicht in der Verfassung n^2 zu erklären.. :s

Yeah, but the problem is, the rewards pool is going into the pockets of people that created nothing, and their behavior is behind closed doors, so the community, which is supposed to police bad behavior, can't even react to it properly. How is it any better for all the biggest rewards to be paid for in advance to someone that doesn't risk anything to earn that money? To me, the problems are equal, but at least with self-voting, we see it, we know who they are and we can flag or comment, or mention them and there will be an awareness of the bad actors.

I have found @steemauto to help me support key steemians that I fallow and wish to support. It could be interpreted as a bot. It uses my steem to upvote both posts and comments. As I have a life outside the website. I am not online all the time and can easily miss the best time to get them on the hot list or the expiration date of the post

That's not what this post is fighting against, though. If you know what the quality of that content is, and you are directing your steem toward it, you are still managing your influence and I applaud that.

Here is a good link to a post about Bots, shows some a new perspective I've not seen before. Maybe you could use some of the points in your debates.

This link is about altering the reward system.

I think both posts might have something to offer in the debate about bot use

Hey, I really appreciate that you came and upvoted this. I know we didn't see eye to eye in the beginning. Thanks. It means a lot. And I think these posts both have something to offer.

I am never against you, on many things we may not see eye to eye, and on a specific thing, I can be as stubborn as any. Maybe we are just drops of opinion in a sea of opinions. Sometimes we calmly ebb back and forth with the tide, at other we clash and create a foam.
With you saying you got close 5th in hot getting there now I think would also give a kudos feeling to all who took part and tried, in getting you this far. I think everyone especially those who encouraged and promoted with you, Deserve that applause.

Well, people with passion are the ones I want on my side, because when they join you, they stick with you for whatever they said they'd do. And when they are ready to part ways, they say so and you know why. I'm good with that.

You got my vote! Upvoted and resteemed to pass the good word!

I started Steemit on a whim, not really sure what to expect. Ive written posts that are from the heart, Ive written recipes to share and places to go to take kids and have a great time, Ive shared a day in the life of me, Ive shared photos that make me feel something, but most of all Ive met some amazing people from all over the world that I would have never had the chance to meet. Steemit is more than a money maker for me. Its a way to express myself and meet like minded people. And thanks to people like yourself, it continues to mean that for me and so many others. You see, I can go to work and make all the money my heart desires but I will never get the satisfaction that I get by posting something that will help someone else, in whatever part of their life... by sharing my experiences. Thank you for what you do, I would love to be included in this initiative! :)

Thanks! I really appreciate all the support this post is getting for how last minute and seat of the pants it was.

Welp, ya got it! Today, tomorrow and next week! Thank you! :)

I started Steemit because of the ability to write posts and share the thoughts I had but also to share my story of building a homestead. I started Steemit on May 2017, I moved to this platform because the ability it gave me to make some money to help support the efforts of building our homestead and the things we need on our homestead. It gives me the opportunity to maybe help someone start a garden or show them how to grow food on their porch or wherever they have some room. It is about rewarding each other for maybe helping or teaching each other about something they did not know or helping them grow as a person. Being able to support other homestead and veteran channels is a great thing to me.

thanks for the great comment! Your support is what's keeping me going, so keep it up! We've at least gotten a small start. We'll see what happens next!

I really hope this reaches many users, especially new ones so they are informed about what they do and what consequences that has.

Let's have a lively community where people exchange with each other and not where bots answer to bots and the wrong people stuff their pockets but the ones enriching this platform with their unique work.

Lets all get more awareness on what we are doing here.

@Derasmo, I've said it before but thanks for your hardcore support and the time you put in helping me shape this post!

Hi @markrmorrisjr, I thought I had pledged my support on your initial post? Anyway, upvoted and resteemed this post. I joined Steemit to be able to do what I enjoy, to write a bit, interact with people, check out the talent of which there is so much. And to earn some money, our South African economy is in a bit of a mess. I haven't had much time to post, and seem to spend my available time reading other posts, engaging in conversations, resteeming stuff I like a lot. I'm just frustrated that after nearly 3 months I'm still stuck on a rep of 39! Anyway enough whinging, let's make it work!

Sorry, @leighleigh, they were in a couple of places. I'll add your name. Thanks for supporting.

BTW, the ONLY thing that effects your rep, is votes.

YES! I reached 40! Thank heavens I've left 39 behind :)

Congrats, but it's good news/not so good news, each point requires 10x more votes than the one before it. I've been stuck at 70 for like eight months.

Oh jeez you just pee'd on my battery ... I'll have to get my butt into gear and write more, just wish we had better internet here ... can you believe we can only get a 2Mbps line here!!! Sometimes I just watch the little green circle going round and round and round ...

Hi @dolphinschool I joined because its was creation oriented. Rewarding those that create, comment constructively and resteem. I have tried bot to raise the awareness of my post but did not like the idea of buying votes rater than earning. them. I don't promote fallowing my channel would rather the content do that. Thanks for this endeavorer and I am on board with it.

Thanks, well, together we can make a difference, even if it starts small.

Hi, I just stumbled upon your post.
I've been pretty much doing what you mention all along just out of a gut-natural feeling. I've been posting wonderful stories, right now a serialized novel. People reading it leave encouraging remarks, so I know it's quality content. But, I've never gotten more than a few votes for each post. So, I'm with you all the way about organic curation.

Upvoted and re-steemed.

science fiction, fantasy, erotica
check out some posts, no obligation

PS Also following you now.

hey, thanks! you might follow my main profile, I'm a fiction writer @markrmorrisjr

I've upvoted and will resteem later to give this post more visibility to the evening crowd. I'm excited to be part of something that promotes positive growth and encourages plankton and minnows to support and encourage each other.

I think this is central to the plan and design of the steem coin and especially the steemit platform. So, here's to getting back to that original intent that I think will make us more popular, and ultimately, enrich more users!

Your pledge is more or less my modus operendi on steemit. 😎

So glad to hear it, I've been hearing this from a ton of people, some of whom don't want to be mentioned, for fear they will lose bot and whale votes. So, thanks for being a part of this!

I would encourage everyone to resteem this to reach as many as possible.
Will be back to upvote in 30 minutes. ;)


Nice! Thanks for the support!

Upvoted and resteemd. Fingers crossed and hope everyone will see that steemit is so much more then a collection of bots to abuse for upvotes.

Yeah, thanks! Glad you came by. I think they know that, but many of them are just after the money. My thing is, I think even financially it would be better, because the wider the base of the platform, the more widely accepted steem could become, hopefully raising its value.

I fully support even though i am on the other side of the world.

Thanks buddy, I mean it, you and I getting a cold one some day!

Am going to resteem to spread the word on using REAL people to upvote and comment here at Steemit. Go People!!

Thanks for your support! Resteem if you haven't already! I really appreciate your voice!

You got my vote on this i really only use minnow bot and banjo abd when i seen bots on Steemconnect i thought it was really ok and fine to use them. I did think about if using bots would hurt but i guess for some that lease sp or hiwever are bad

Hey, I will help anyone improve the quality of their content, whether they buy votes, or not. I just think it's gotten to the point that it's taking a huge amount of capital from lower accounts and moving it into the back pockets of some whales, without any risk of downvoting, which was put in place to police things like this.

Now people getting greedy and back handing i can see that most definately

you've got my vote! I'm all for more human curation! 😊✌

Thanks, good to know. If we could reduce the automated voting, I think it would be good.

I've been in for this since the beginning, but I seem to have been skipped on the list. Still, I do want to join this pledge and help get this post trending without paying for votes! :)

Fantastic keciah, editing the post right now to add you to the LIST!! Sorry about that, had about three different places people were signing up for this.

I'd really love to see how far this can take us! Best of luck! 😉

Well, we shall see. If you'd like to contribute to the discussion, join the dolphinschool server. We'll be discussing next steps and how we can best leverage this small movement to create bigger change.

Sounds like a really worthwhile project. The pledge touches on a couple of principles I have already taken to heart- only voting on posts I actually read and appreciate and trying to consider the good of the platform. I like the community I have found here and want to do anything I can to increase the value of the platform. As one of your commenters stated, I have a job; I don't expect to get rich from Steemit but instead want to learn some things and hopefully share content that others will find interesting and/or helpful.

Thanks! Glad you were able to take part. Hopefully, we are at least getting some people to consider their bot usage when it comes to voting.

My vote isn't worth much, but I still hope it will help your initiative.

your vote, in our eyes is worth as much as any! Thanks!

All right! So, come join the discord server and help us plan our next project to take this a step further!

Go dolphinschool & Minnow Votes Project!

I'm pleased to see 165 views and 55 organic upvotes as of this moment: all within 21 hours. Also 69 comments! Great interaction.

I think it would be beneficial for everyone to find a topic that is deserving of "trending" status to push up to the top.


I agree, but we had to rally support somehow and this was my idea, which no one else seemed inclined to top. LOL join the discord server and help us figure it out.

I always up vote only that I read and like. I am aware that I am missing a great deal of other amazing posts since I can't be always online.

That's great, if everyone did this, though, steemit would be what it's supposed to be, not what it is.

Amen. I'm following a lot of great people who post awesome stuff, but the posts I want to see seems to always get lost in the mix and I end up seeing mediocre stuff instead.

Yep. That's the nature of the beast. I love that there's so much entrepreneurship, but not sure it's the healthy kind in some cases.

One idea I had some days ago would be building a ranking system based on a more sophisticated ranking algorithm for trending, let's say accounting for how often a voter votes, people who votes less, when they do, it should carry some weight on the importance of the content.
I'll be glad to discuss it in more details if anyone have interest

Yeah, I agree, while the payouts are locked in by the amount of stake each voter has, there could be other ways of promoting content.

I read that the website used to say "money talks", and their appeal was to large investors who wanted to buy influence. SP and steem are literally referred to as influence tokens you can buy. The pay to play aspect was always a major selling point and the coin and platform was intended to be a lure to crypto investors with deep pockets. It kind of worked, but clearly not as much as they had hoped, and sadly not much can be done about a system like this at this point. Only competition will force their hand, so we are left to wait until the threat of extinction instigates real change.

You should come join the discord server, let's build a team and get this thing started right. Give me your insight.

I'll pop in later, discord lags me like hell.

Well, we'll see about that. There are 50k new users on a busy day, so how can we get them on board and help them get started?

Oh, one more thought.
Implementing a capcha in the core of the blockchain would make all bots just go away and crawl under their respective rocks for all time.

Of course, something like that would have be be thought through very, very carefully with a long period of public comment.

Yeah, I thought about that. but some of the bots are not necessarily bad. Even juicing a post with a FEW purchased votes wouldn't be so bad, but when 20% or more of the reward pool goes to purchased votes, no, that's not cool, because those whales should be risking same as us to earn that money. And that money should be going to content selected by the community.

Congratulations! This post has been chosen as one of the daily Whistle Stops for The STEEM Engine!

You can see your post's place along the track here: The Daily Whistle Stops, Issue # 73 (3/14/18)

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I'm new to the platform so am getting use to everything; learning and getting confused on a regular basis! While I know that bots and vote buying/selling etc. exist, and have read many posts complaining that it is harming the platform, like a lot about the steemit platform in general - I don't really understand how it all works (the bots and vote buying/selling). But I'm glad I stumbled upon your post -- I'm in! I pledge to build organically through real interaction with people and posts. Maybe that means I'll only gain a few cents on my posts, but I just feels like the right thing to do. Thank you so much @dolphinschool! ♥️ - Ellen