Automating Steem's Distribution

in #idea4 years ago (edited)

Just wanna explore this train of thought tonight: what if Steem's distribution is automatic? That is, we do not vote to distribute at all. Instead, the protocol distributes Steem according to an evolving set of rules set forth by the community, through on-going discussions. All payouts are made accordingly to this set of rules that can be inspected on the blockchain, so perhaps it's a setup that's much better for user experience and satisfaction? There's nothing to be butthurt about. Just let the algorithms do their job. But these algorithms are not exactly closed rulesets. They're open to be re-wired by the community through discussion.

Even if the algorithm doesn't seem like it's working in favour of a better Proof-of-Brain algorithm, hey the next best thing is to have fun discussing to improve the rules and make the money part more like an invisible background thing for 99% of users. Anyone who wants to evolve the Steem-distribution rules are free to do so through discussion.

Maybe then, this will really boost Steem's adoption as an everyday social tool. Note that our discussions are really just computer programs that are logically-intertwined with the distribution-ruleset. Think of it as voting through discussions. We don't have to tick boxes and all of that, just chit chat like we usually do, albeit in more formalised ways, maybe. This technological stack isn't in existence yet, but hopefully soon!

Anyway, it'd be interesting to find out what Steem users think about Steem's rules for distribution in all kinds of dimensions: from content to account activity. Speed posters are always going to earn more, unless community guidelines are strengthened and somehow limits such a thing in the automated distribution algorithm. But will that be social?

Sub-communities may operate on different rules, which like Steem, can be discussed as well. But fully-automated distribution ruleset in the protocol level may be too much, although honestly I think it has the shape of a good consumer product. We can "like", but they're not tied to any Steem distribution. The distribution happens automatically, and you can trace the line of logic and mathematics involved in producing the numbers for all post payouts.

Obvious problem with this implementation is as always, creative sybils and spammers that just play the numbers game to leech off the system while adding unnecessary bloat to it. So some decentralised judiciary system may be required to blacklist / whitelist. And what happens to Steem Power? What role will it have? Some kind of modifier? What happens to curation rewards? So many questions. But maybe best to make this an automated curation account with open-ended rules where users can delegate, profit, and improve distribution. However, as highlighted in one of my previous posts, distributive behaviours are currently limited by the lure of self-voting / vote-trading profitability.

Just an idea with many holes - maybe reserve this for some SMT lol.

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You changed the whole system of steemit..i don't know how your idea will work but steemit/steem need improvement in wealth distribution. The idea of increasing curation percentage form 25 to 50 is really good for this platform. I want to know.. what is views on bid bots ...are they killing the system??

Bid bots are never a good idea to begin with in my opinion, since it's largely content agnostic..

People should just use their flags more and moderate the content.

Agreed, but now even distributing votes are making users lose out about 6-7x compared to accumulating votes (selling, trading, voting self), the flag's not gonna work out well when incentives are so lopsided.

I think this must have been widely and exhaustively discussed, but what if VP is separate between upvotes and downvotes. would that make less of a lopsided incentive to moderate content better?

Cynically thinking this might trigger an all-out flagging FFA but really isnt it largely already what's happening to the upvotes nowadays?

perhaps more meditation on the subject is needed.

Perhaps i may need to come back to re-read, re-think and then re-phrase what i'll say in a later time..

Maybe we can learn from the mainstream social media in that how does their upvote/like economy works.. When karma isnt worth anything, how is it circulated among the redditors and what will their criteria of giving out upvotes and downvotes be. Conversely, when we look at steem, knowing that our votes have a monetary value tied behind it, how have we performed in terms of setting our criteria to upvote/downvote.

there's no money behind the likes, upvotes and claps on other platforms. So why are they worth so much and why do people flock there? I guess we might agree it's mainly due to the network effect, driven by content people find addictive and worth their time and attention.

It's not that these content creators on other platforms arent in it for the money too? they pretty much have the same mindset as most of the non-whales that are here - to create value (ergo make money).

But is there any other value besides money? It's hard to buy a Network Effect but its something that determines whether an internet platform thrives or dies..

Does Steem have a semblance of the Network Effect? is it a priority on the platform and among it's developers and users?

I know this discussion is about the best way to distribute the steem tokens among the users but really it got me into thinking will too much change in the blockchain cause good or harm? is the original White Paper written as a base for experimentation for improvement or a codex to be abide by?

and is changing token distribution addressing the root cause, if there is even a root cause..

please dont take this as me pouring water on your train of thought, in fact inspired me to go on another tangent.

Ultimately, what does the Steem Blockchain aim to do to improve the human experience? what will be it's function when it became a part of the mainstream zeitgest? What can people find on the apps of the steem blockchain that people cant find anywhere else.. and im talking about the selfie-ing, console-gaming, wage-earning, dutiful-voting, barely tech-literate majority of the human race.

To be honest some of this stuff really is beyond me. But i think there needs to be a site-wide understanding of what the Steem Blockchain can and will potentially be and not just the "crypto-atm machine" that so many users are sadly taking advantage of currently.

or maybe im just rambling, and i apologise for that.

whitepaper for steem is simply - a public content blockchain. what it is will be up to the users :)

Ever evolving. Got it.. which is why discussions like these paramount. for the first time ever users get to decide the future of a platform and not faceless stakeholders. Man i love Steem

Discussions and consensus are now still not scalable though. Have a read at this:

I think this is something that’ll also greatly help steem when it’s out

I'll give it a read!

Firstly @kevinwong, I would like to thank you for your recent up-vote, it definitely lifts the spirits of the creator when a whale passes by. I've added myself to your following and I think that this idea is really, really good. You make perfect sense with the evolution of a system like this, which can always be modified according to the steering community. In fact, if this would be implemented onto the Steemit platform, more people would accept this as a fair system, and not down to favouritism, etc. Excellent idea and I am watching attentively to see what happens down the road. Great post! Resteemed!

Hey thanks for dropping by. Maybe it doesn't have to be automated (that is, the distribution). It can maintain the way it functions now, but the whole mechanism could be steered through discussion, codified on-the-fly. Right now all discussions / debates are lost in the wind, and we can only depend on devs to code it up for the supporting nodes to run the software. But yeah that tech stack's gonna take some time to come up with. Check out my previous post on it :)

No probs @kevinwong and it might be worth maybe trial running the automated system, just to compare, but I have no idea about the viability of doing something like that, so over to you my tech friend. You're definitely on point with debates and discussions being lost as this whole platform is work in progress and everything is moving along like a fast-train to somewhere. In all honesty I am not on your level of programming and technical understanding, but I understand principally what you mean. So, on that note, I'll educate myself a bit more by seeking out your other posts about this, Thanks @kevinwong and have a great weekend dude.

im all for the no rules atmosphere of steemit, but the culture hasn’t really caught up to the point where we know how to handle this amount of freedom yet. I want to see it work. Will AI work better? That depends on who designs the algorithms and who oversees it. There are many of us who have insight into human behavior but don’t have much of an understanding to inform the algorithms.

This seems like something @danaedwards is interested in.

Oh and I thought of another solution. We have two kind stuff of accounts, KYC style verified and unverified. This will allow us to have some aspects of the site which are 1 person 1 vote, witness should be for sure, and it’d make my curator-being-paid-like-witness idea much more viable. I’d probably stay unverified cause KYC is a pain in the ass and I like being a pineapple most of the time but People could make the choice themselves. Just an idea to chew on.

Let's wait a little bit before SMT will be up and then try different ways of distribution through experimenting with SMT lol.

In a way, it already is.

I'd say most STEEM made here is not from manual curation, but from automated votes. The posts don't matter, they never have. They're a facade. No one even reads what's posted on here. Nothing would change if no one posted and STEEM was distributed daily based on automated votes.

The way you earn STEEM is by being in the right place at the right time which grants you spot on one of those juicy whale autovote lists.

It's already basically what you're suggesting:

Instead, the protocol distributes Steem according to an evolving set of rules set forth by the community

There are pretty clearly-defined things what to do and what not do around here.

Say the right things, and you have a shot. Say one wrong thing, and you're dead.

Agreed mostly, except

The posts don't matter, they never have. They're a facade. No one even reads what's posted on here. Nothing would change if no one posted and STEEM was distributed daily based on automated votes.

.. is not the only way things work / only way to look at it. As like with most protocol, users usually have opinions and will discuss it. But discussion and consensus now isn't scaled by any blockchains nor will any changes translate into code evolution without programmers tinkering and getting it executed by supporting nodes. Check out @schattenjaeger

The problem is that steemit is immune till now to external adds.
But internal adds are growing promising the solution for Steemit as a nickel machine, that gives the key to the reward pool without the main vision of steemit.
Quality content is not the key to rewards for some part of the people, as it was in the initial days.
But only the community can fix this with collective consensual ways to stop the commercial vision on Steemit.
We don't want the honeypot of steemit to feed the ones that do not contribute with their pollen.
The Western honeybee is normally robbed by the Italian bee.
Let's stop the Mob of Italian Bees that don't bring honey content.

Hey Kevin, back again ;)

I'm not sure how this would play out; but one thing I feel confident about is some of these big players like @haejin posting ten times a day treating himself to profits equal to about $30,000 per MONTH! at these lower steem/sbd prices!

I think it's bad for the community and makes the entire platform look like a scam, especially when you have thousands of others who can barely get 25 cents a post sincerely trying to make it the way the platform was intended.

If what you suggest here is a cure for this kind of abuse. Then I'm all for it. On another note, I really commend you for always testing the social waters of the platform, always thinking about ways to improve it, always considering ways to make it more fair for everyone. So on that note, keep up the great work my friend and have a great day!

From Tampa Florida USA -Dan, Steemit's "World Travel Pro!"

All these suggestions of late and more is what SMTs will experiment on and each tokenizer, on its own, will try to solve this wealth distribution problem how he or she sees fit.

Steemit will just tag along whoever gets it right.

As for the technology stack to distribute them rewards without them Whales determining what goes where, I'm guessing Tau?

And for the judiciary system to choke off spammers,

In all, it is experiment upon experiment till we get it right.

They should roll out more labs already.

Yup.. plenty of experiments. Unicorn hunting for the next 24 months :)

A nice idea, but I can't see it ever working. There are too many groups with very different requirements & [perceived] statuses for any one algorithm to be voted in by a community - even if it was one user, one vote.

The majority of whales would never voluntarily give up the system which sees them lose their power/wealth.

The spammers want a system they can manipulate to get exposure for their agenda, and ultimately make money from (these could be new users, or established).

The silent majority wouldn't bother voting.

The newest members can barely understand the platform as it is. I'm sure that any algorithm would further complicate an already complicated system, so would further alienate them.

What is obvious is that the method for distribution of wealth on Steem needs looking at - something I believe Steem Inc are doing.

But you can't put something like that in the hands of the community. Whether it's blockchain, or offline, the rich will never vote to give their money to the poor. Those with good intentions would be outvoted by the majority with self-interest at heart - it's just human nature.

Yeah, forget about one algo, perhaps a matter of subcommunities / firms?

I really think that will remove too much of the "human" side of the project. I do not know if that is a good thing.

I mean, I get the system will always have some limits, and people will always find a way to game it. But with an automatic distribution, I think it would feel like a "man against machine" activity.

But again, I see some very good points about it. A system like that would reward the social aspect of the platform, more than the quality aspect of it. Since the social activity is much more easy to adequate to numbers and analysis, the distribution would be fair. A distribution based on the notion of quality will always have problems, because quality, in this case, is subjective.

You gave me some very good food for thought. @ned was talking the other day about changing the system already. I think that is a very good sign.

Let's hope for the best.

Human activity plays a vital role as we see today and making the reward allocation automatic might seem to be useful and same time not so much, on one of your previous post you discussed about voting on works.

works might not be great or standard but due to different factors, be it friendship, popularity might add up and make me upvote those content.

With an automatic system in place such reward process will cease to exist, cause it will be programmed now to follow certain rules and if does rule not meant means no reward and when a new user joins the platform it will become nearly impossible to be rewarded, not been familiar with the rules and those already used to it will tend to profit far more from it.

The above been said, the process will also increase the quality content which would be really appealing to the eyes of any coming investor

With an automatic system in place such reward process will cease to exist, cause it will be programmed now to follow certain rules and if does rule not meant means no reward and when a new user joins the platform it will become nearly impossible to be rewarded

Maybe flip it around and instead of having a global distribution algorithm, each account would have their own algo.. although that kinda defeats the purpose of having an "indisputable" global algo. Or don't need to remove voting completely.. oh well just have fun with the idea ;)

Very informative
How i wish steemit is filled With people like you who have vast knowledge about things

Lol yea the idea is crazy but really interesting would be fun to try it out

I kinda forgot in the halfway about steem distribution because of the music. And just turned up the volume lol.

Well it's going to change the system quite totally that is, it may just be becoming a centralized system where power and reward are shared equally, however with some perks and rules added to it.

However I must say, they're are going to be so much affected in the area of voting power and curation reward, but if the system decides to do the rewarding then the multiple posters of like ten to twelve times a day will have to be curtailed and if they're are, then it's a start and a win for me.

A bit cheeky to offer up an algo approach and not a single piece of criteria Kevin! 😁

I can't help but think cynically, if the code is there to be viewed, the scammers and smart-asses will be there to exploit it.

As time progresses, the closer I feel we are to the end of our Steemy experiment, and the more hope I place on SMT and account based voting to increase the value of our Steem Power investments.

I feel something has to give in mindset if things are to improve for the whole here, and when I read the arguments laid out against doing so, the less I feel that is likely to happen.

Steem on til the end!

Steem on til the end!

Steem on forever! 😉

I like your optimism!

Applying algorithm in distribution is a highly intriguing idea worthwhile exploring. However, to be truly equal, Proof-Of-Identity needs to be implemented to ensure that one person can only own one account. Again, I always believe that any new system has to be evaluated for effectiveness over a suitable time period. Perhaps run a beta test of 100,000 users at a certain timeline then optimized accordingly. Optimization will require a lot of time, coordination, patience and resources. Generally, that is the case with any R&D.

Another thought experiment. Hehe.
Well i cant say i understand completely how that system would work.
Would you maybe be using AI to collect data for automated distribution.
When someone says AI and blockchain all my dystopian future red lights start to blink. Haha.

It could definetly work but do we really want to have a hands off system and rely on algorithms to do everything for us?
Not sure really.

The concept and thought is not bad, it will require a bot to make things like that happen. The shortcoming is that bot cannot handle everything professionally. Steemit might lter end up been a dumping site, where a lot of people will just write their post and go, i dea of steemit been a social platform may end up been the reverse.
The only thing i think can be done is what ned say in last video interview, is the implementation of oracle, well the whales on steemit might not really take it serious. Since they are indpendent, among other things that can be done is building a large community with people of like minded individual, giving them guide on how to bring new people. With this step taken into place, we have a strong steemit platfor.

Well unless if the oracle system is somehow decentralised and secure enough, I think oracles can just create free accounts, which may end up being worse. But yeah I don't about the plans enough.

The oracle from what i heard ned speech is not different from the community we have on steemit just like the curie community that tend that seeks for high quality content, boost them up to the trending page. So that those joining the platform can view and be motivated to join and invest in the platform.
Well i don't think it will be centralised but rather decentralised, since the focus will be on quality content, in which there will be rules in place to make sure it is inline with the whole plan.
@kevingwong i love the ideas you always share in your post, i think this must have been not just from thought, but for plans ahead of the future smt.
I will have love to ask, what you have in stock. I think you might want to take it private.

what you think I see is not viable, everyone would have a piece of cake and not many people are hidden with a quality post.

also imagine the algorithm monsterhood that would be with the number of users there?

Just an idea lol. You're right, seems like a computational mess to consider every post, although more scalable than human attention.

Lol, you are very right in that.

Very clever concept. Start kevinwongit and I'll move right on over. This is the type of thought leadership we need far more of on Steemit, as many people fall into the same lethargic profit-hungry 1% mindset once they achieve success here (with an ecosystem that doesn't make it any easier to break the mold).

Your efforts are real content.

Proof of stake isn't much proof of stake sometimes!

This is an interesting idea which I think would quickly be adopted by low(er) quality blog network owners, those who mostly hire via Craigslist in third world/development nations and tend to pay less than USD 1/post.

Unless this would become a capped max. earning/timespan in which every contributor who hits the cap would mostly continue just for sh*t and giggles, and because the community is awesome, this would absolutely serve the speed posters. Although, of course, the beauty with algos is that anything can be capped.

Did you just touch upon the communist blockchain model, @kevinwong?

Sounds like a long and tedious process in order to achieve this. Steem blockchain's developer are quite silent this day about what changes are upcoming, SMT and Registration issue needed to be solved before the others.

they have solved the registration ish to some extent. check @steemitblog's latest post.

Just realize, my last contribution to the condenser took a month to approve, so I personally think that the dev team are quiet and not much update from them.

The voiting/Steem distribution system must be (at least) partially broke, if we are looking for ways to fix it. I admit that, at times, it can be frustrating feeling one has to reinvent the wheel with every post--hoping it will get enough views/votes.

It would be nice if, after an account has proven itself, they are raised to the next level (not necessarily speaking influence/money, but that, too) so that their following posts are guaranteed a certain level of viewership and appreciation.

Is this what you meant by gamification? If so, I'm all for it!


If it became automated and equal, what benefit would a user get to hold Steem. Their vote would not matter, viewer/participation for a HODLer would decrease. The holdings would give no benefit above other projects, so there would be a wish as many would transfer to other options.

You're right, maybe SP is some kind of advantage modifier, or maybe voting doesn't have to completely go away.

That's an interesting idea. But I think that there are too many opponents of such a system. There is a bot here that looks for quality content and recommends it to the rest of the community. It's @trufflepig.

Sounds a bit socialistic and egalitaristic to me :). The upcoming changes to voting that Ned talked about sound like they will fix the current issue.

Oracles ensuring 1 account 1 vote.. well good luck with that. I don't think it's scalable to be honest..

Our Lord and Saviour Ned will deliver :)))

Quite a logical suggestion. But will be difficult to implement because there is won't be any tangible basis for relative comparison of individual contributions. I mean, how can my work be assessed when I am just a noob?

@eurogee of @euronation community

You are right I think its time to invest in steem . Steemit is future . We have bright future with steemit. Steemit is social media platform ithas some rouls we should follow all rouls of this blockchain. Steemit is like facebook as social media but they are totally selfish but steemit is not. It give his users to rewards .

Instead, the protocol distributes Steem according to an evolving set of rules set forth by the community, through on-going discussions

This is deep thought I can say . It’s a topic to be discussed thoroughly.

I honestly wish automating steem's distribution would be in operation. It's unfortunate that that is too difficult to happen. But it would create a fair system that each user on the platform will have a reason to be involved in any kind of activity on steemit knowing very well he's guaranteed of some rewards.

Everybody says the blockchain, the innovation supporting digital forms of money, for example, bitcoin, will change everything. Thank you brother, @kevinwong. :)

It sounds interesting. But in my opinion, ownership will not benefit on other projects, so there will be hope because many people will switch to other options. As has been said before, this process will improve quality content that appeals to the eyes of the coming investor. During this time, a lot of quality content is not considered and they are really fighting and working for it.

Just imagine that and happening bots will take over

Nice post..

i think this is a good idea.

Hi @kevinwong
Regard from indonesia

"Just let the algorithms do their job"..yeah that's what will keep people in peace!

I Appreciated and Supported this idea. I think there should be some rules and regulations which are equal for all. THANKS @kevinwong for sharing.

This sounds like an idea that might be better applied to a brand new cryptocurrency project. I think it is too different to how steem works to ever be implemented, though it is an interesting idea. :)

wow very excellent post Thanks for sharing i will done upvote..

@kevinwong Good system is going to be completely changed, it is a central system where power and reward can be shared equally, but some features and additions have been added. If the system decides to reward, the poster will be poster repeatedly repeated in the poster And if they are.

Nice article, but I think to hard to be aplication

Seems hard to acieve, but possible. Google search algorithm comes to mind. But it is coosed so that sites cannot abuse search rankings like it was done in the old days, where to rank high for “books” you just had to repeat the word book endless amout of times. But the algorithm improved and now we can’t abuse it easyly.

Good question though if algorithm is open will people still be able to abuse? Good discussion you bring up here.

I think that this can be definitely tested out with SMTs. Steem On!

I hate have conspiracy theories but I love this one

Hell Yeah

Sounds Way better than the current distribution model.

Everybody says the blockchain, the innovation supporting digital forms of money, for example, bitcoin, will change everything. Thank you brother, @kevinwong. :

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