RE: A fundamental change to my witness voting behavior
I greatly respect your position on not supporting vote trading. I've only been approached a handful of times from people who want me to vote for their witness, and I've done my best to always evaluate the witnesses based on the value they bring to the platform from my perspective.
I had many users contact me in the past, as they had me as a proxy, and ask me to give Jerry my witness vote. At the time, he was doing a lot of promotion when no one else was so, eventually, I gave him a shot. I spent significant amounts of time talking with him at Steemfest2 and at the end of the event, I told him honestly I was going to remove my vote. It was a personal decision based on my understanding of how he views the world, his motivational psychology, and more. Again, it was a personal decision. I feel we should be allowed to have opinions about people's actions without everyone else thinking we're being "judgmental" or unfairly attacking them as people.
Immediately after I removed my vote, he removed his from me. That showed me what I already suspected. His vote for me wasn't based on principle in terms of what value he thinks I bring to the blockchain, but on what value I can bring to him personally through reciprocation. I can't find another way to interpret that. When he celebrated a tool for "mutual support" here and I called him out on it, he never replied.
In my view, some of his actions are not good for a secure, healthy, decentralized DPOS system. Witnesses should remain independent, and they should be voted on based on the value they bring to the network. I think running a secure server and backup is a given. If someone doesn't have this expertise, they aren't the right people for the job. If they are working as part of a team of people, I'm fine with that, but not okay with it if that team involves other witnesses. They should be independent to increase decentralization which improves the security of the network and decreases the likelihood of a bad actor taking over control of a majority of block-producing nodes.
As much as I'd like to see more C++ and blockchain developers in the top 20, I also think there's room for some community advocates who also run solid servers. For a long time, I thought it should be strictly sysops people only and that's why I didn't become a witness for over a year, even though many people were asking me to take on the position. I've done devops and managed servers, sure, but my career has been in programming. Eventually, I changed my mind and now think there is some room for social witnesses who also run solid servers and know what they are doing. This is a social blockchain powering social apps, and I think at least some of those who help secure it should be social themselves. Otherwise, it's very easy for them to lose touch with what's most important to the users.
I hope we can get a solid group of witnesses who are not only technically excellent, but also regularly engaged with this social community. That's my ideal witness.
Thanks for putting your views out there, @pharesim.