Curation Earnings Analysis (with stats and thoughts on 50 / 50 curation system proposal)

in utopian-io •  2 months ago

SteemAnalyticsCuration.png

Introduction

Would you support a move to a 50 / 50 split for author and curation rewards on Steem? It's an old Steem argument but one that has come to the fore once again in recent weeks.

In this analysis I look at curation earnings from across the Steem blockchain. My aim is to provide some high level statistics that increase understanding of curation earnings and also provide some background information to aid in the current 50 / 50 debate.

From an analysis of a single week at the start of April, I look to answer the following questions:

  • Does everyone earn curation rewards? What proportion of voters earn no curation rewards?
  • How much do users typically earn through curation on the Steem blockchain? How skewed is the distribution of curation earnings?
  • Do most users earn close to the headline 25% curation rate of their vote values?
  • Do the top curation earners already gain over 100% of their vote value - the amount available from self-voting or vote-selling? How scalable is this practice?
  • What about the largest accounts? Are they all clustered around 25%? Or do they actually earn less? Are any of these large accounts already gaining 50% curation?

0. Data

I have based the curation analysis on data from the first week of April 2019 (April 1 - April 7 inclusive). There's nothing special about this choice. It's a typical week chosen at random.

The value of rewards on the blockchain is heavily influenced by the price of Steem. For this analysis the main metrics I have used are:

  • Curation rewards in STU: These will vary considerably as the Steem price changes, although as I am mainly looking at the distribution of the earnings with this metric, the overall pattern between accounts should be similar over time.
  • Curation reward in STU / vote value in STU: This should be more stable as the Steem price changes, although distortions can still arise due to timing effects.

As such it is worth bearing in mind this variability of results over time when drawing any hard conclusions.

All earnings amounts are expressed in STU throughout this analysis. Payouts in Vests, Steem and SBD are converted to STU using factors derived empirically for each hour of the analysis period.

1. Does everyone earn curation rewards? What proportion of voters earn no curation rewards?

Over the first week of April there were 61,467 accounts that voted on the Steem blockchain. Of those, 36,356 accounts, or 59%, earned no curation rewards.

The chart below shows the distribution of curation earnings for all accounts. The actual distribution is a very high peak at zero and a very long tail and is difficult to illustrate with any meaning. So instead I have separated the earnings into useful buckets.

CurationUserCountApril1-7.png

In summary we have:

  • 59% of users earning zero curation rewards
  • 37% of users earning less than $1 STU in total over the week.
  • 3% of users earning up to $1 STU per day, i.e. $7 STU for the week.
  • 0.7% of users earning between $1 STU and $5 STU per day.
  • 0.3% of users (170 accounts) earning more than $5 STU per day.

2. How much do users typically earn through curation on the Steem blockchain? How skewed is the distribution of curation earnings?

The first question is largely answered by the chart in section 1 above. For the second question, the chart below illustrates that most curation rewards are earned by a small number of accounts.

CurationEarningsApril1-7.png

There are 429 users in the $1 STU - $5 STU bucket earning 15% of all curation rewards and 170 accounts in the $5 STU bucket earning 70% of all curation rewards. Looking at the top bucket in more detail, the top 47 accounts earn 50% of all curation rewards.

There is nothing untoward in these figures. They mainly reflect the distribution of "post-delegation" Steem Power. "Pre-delegation" SP is concentrated in the hands of a small percentage of accounts (whales and orcas). The process of delegation further concentrates Steem Power into an even smaller number of accounts (dApps and bid-bots). These latter accounts garner the majority of curation rewards but will (most likely) be passing some back to their delegators.


3. Do most users earn close to the headline 25% curation rate of their vote values?

The metric I am using in the following sections is "Curation reward in STU / vote value in STU".

  • The curation reward in STU is derived from the curation reward in SP and converted to STU using factors derived empirically for each hour of the analysis period.
  • The vote value in STU is derived from the rshares for each vote made and converted to STU using the same process as above.

Note that this approach takes no account of whether accounts are using their full ten votes per day efficiently. A user that only makes one vote per day and receives 90% of that vote value in curation rewards will score 90%, even though they would only score 9% if their full potential vote values were taken into account. I have used this approach as I am more interested in how reward/vote percentages for users compare to the 25% curation level than I am in the efficiency of voting.

To generate the chart below I have taken all posts and comments made in the first week of April and determined for each user (a) the aggregate curation rewards from these posts and (b) the aggregate value of votes made on these posts.

There are other ways to collect such data, e.g. by using all votes made over the week, but using posts and comments ties the vote and curation rewards together neatly (as one post means one vote and one curation reward per voter).

Each account thus has a single statistic:
"Aggregated STU curation rewards from those posts / aggregated STU values of votes made on those posts"

The chart below shows the range of these statistics across all voting users:

  • The blue line shows the user count at each percentage value of the statistic.
  • The orange bars show the curation rewards for users at each percentage value of the statistic.
    i.e. It's effectively the same statistics weighted by user count in blue and by reward value in orange.

curationRatiosApril1-7.png

Reward Value (orange bars):
As would be expected, the majority of curation rewards are earned by users with "reward/vote value" statistics close to the headline curation rate of 25%. However the actual peak is at 20%. This is due to:

  • Curation rewards being passed back to the reward pool from voting prior to 15 minutes - so the actual headline curation rate is lower than 25%.
  • The distribution has a long tail, with a fair number of users earning in the 25%-50% range and some users earning much more. With some users capturing much more than 25% curation rewards, the bulk of rewards will be earned at a level less than 25% curation rewards.

User count (blue line):
Looking at user count there is a large collection of users with very low "reward/vote value" stats in the 0% - 5% band, although with almost no actual rewards. I assume that this is either:

  • Newer users who are not worried about / informed about curation rewards and so vote early on posts and pass their curation rewards back to the reward pool.
  • Small users affected by dust value thresholds (i.e. they are only getting one lucky curation reward for every ten posts voted).
  • Bots doing bot things.

As an interesting aside, the continuation of the above chart shows some "waves" out past 100%:

curationRatiosApril1-7Full.png

I'm guessing that these are curation-bot curation trails, i.e. groups of users voting on content determined by high-curation reward seeking bots. However the actual volume of curation rewards out there is small. An investigation for another day.

In conclusion:

  • Although the current curation rewards system is billed as 75% / 25% author-curator, in fact the distribution of users (by curation rewards) centres around the 20% of vote value level. This will be partly from curation rewards being passed back to the reward pool from voting prior to 15 minutes - so the actual headline curation rate is lower than 25% - and partly from those users earning much more than 25% curation rewards.

4. Do the top curation earners already gain over 100% of their vote value - the amount available from self-voting or vote-selling? How scalable is this practice?

Segueing neatly into section four, we can see from the chart above (section 3) that there are users with "reward/vote value" statistics out past 100%, i.e. users that are doing better through curation than is possible through self-voting or vote selling. The chart above suggests that the volume of rewards at these levels are low, so how much is being earned by these high performers?

The chart below looks at the top 100 users ranked by the "rewards/vote values" ratio statistic. I have limited the field to users earning over $1 STU for the week because:
(a) The stats are volatile at low vote levels, partly due to edge cases.
(b) I'm looking for scalability, which requires a certain volume of rewards.

The chart shows the "rewards/vote values" statistic on the x-axis and the curation rewards for the week on the y-axis.

ScatterTopRatiosApril1-7.png

The chart suggests that a 100% "rewards/vote values" statistic is achievable for users looking to maximise curation rewards, with a grouping of users earning around $1-10 STU per week in curation rewards at this level.

On the right hand side of the chart there are a few users (six) earning up over 200% of vote value - but all with comparatively low total curation rewards earned.

At the top of the chart there are two users reaching $50 STU per week in the 100%-120% of vote value range. These users are at the 20k-30k SP holdings level, so mid-size dolphins (partly / largely through delegation).

In conclusion:

  • There are users earning over 100% of vote value. There are in fact thousands of accounts at lower vote levels reaching this level but less than 100 at higher curation reward levels.
  • The practice of achieving 100% of vote value is scalable up to the level of individual mid-size dolphins, but only a couple of users achieve this.
  • Overall the volume of curation rewards earned by users up past 100% of vote value is small. Mathematically only a small volume of rewards will be earned by users past this point in the distribution.

5. What about the largest curation earners? Are they all clustered around 25%? Or do they actually earn less? Are any of these large accounts already gaining 50% curation?

Most of the 75/25 vs 50/50 author/curation debate centres around the behaviour of large SP holders. One of the main lines the argument follows is that orcas and whales can currently earn 90% or 100% of their vote values through delegation to bid-bots, so why would they manually curate authors for a reward of close to 25% of vote value (3-4 times less reward).

Looking at these accounts, the first question is whether large accounts actually earn 25% of vote value, or do they actually earn less?

The chart below shows the ratio v rewards scatter for the top 100 accounts ranked by total curation rewards for the week. As in section 4, the chart shows the "rewards/vote values" statistic on the x-axis and the curation rewards for the week on the y-axis.

ScatterTopRewardsApril1-7.png

The chart shows that the largest accounts typically earn closer to 21% of vote value rather than the 25% headline curation rate. For information, the top ten accounts (those above $600 STU for the week) include six voting bots, three dApps, and a solitary whale.

The reason these accounts earn less than 25% is likely to be that they are front-run by other users who use the predictable voting patterns of the large accounts to gain high curation rewards for themselves.

However these large accounts are not too far from 25%. I would assume that this is because their votes are large enough to form the major volume of reward on many of the posts for which they vote. For example a Utopian post may have $3 STU of votes prior to the Utopian vote, and $30 STU afterwards. The $3 has a small impact on the overall curation level earned by Utopian on the post.

So are any of these large accounts already gaining 50% curation?

On the right hand side of the chart there are a few of the "smaller" top 100 accounts already earning over 50% curation. Two of these are actually voting bots. Another investigation for another day!

Overall, as with the high curation ratio earners in section 4, only a few accounts achieve these levels. The majority of the largest curation earners are clustered around 21% in the 15%-25% band.

In conclusion:

  • Large accounts are typically earning between 15% and 25% of vote value, with the average at 21% rather than the headline 25% curation rate. A doubling of the curation rewards to a 50 / 50 approach would (all other things being equal) increase this to 42%, still well short of 50% and a long way from the 90%-100% that could be obtained by large accounts from vote-selling / delegation.

6. My own personal thoughts on a change to 50/50 author / curation rewards

Reading through the debates, everyone seems to have their own view on what should be done with curation rewards. So here (briefly) is mine:

Whilst I think a change to the current curation mechanism would be beneficial, I do not think a change to 50/50 is the right approach:

  • As the analysis above shows, doubling curation rewards will only bring large accounts to around 42% curation - still a long way short of the rewards available from vote-selling. Although the proposal can be considered a step in the right direction, it is a considerable (and for many, controversial) change that does not look likely to solve the problem.
  • The proposed approach of 50 / 50 curation (like the current 75 / 25 system) is too inflexible. Different Steem users have different priorities and any new system should reflect this, allowing Steem to cater to all needs.

For example on the second point, some accounts may want to provide 100% of their upvote to the author, i.e. with no curation, or at a lower level of curation than the current 25%. Examples could include dApps that are trying to build their community (particularly those with delegation from Steemit, or those with funds from external parties that are dedicated to rewarding users in return for services) or "basic income" style systems.

Clearly some accounts (those currently delegating to bid-bots) would prefer much higher curation even than the proposed 50% but perhaps could be comfortable manually curating at higher curation reward levels, say 80%.

I would propose:

  • Removing the non-linear element of curation - a move to "flat curation". The idea of "content discovery" does not really exist on Steem and the incentives of the current system are misaligned, discouraging voting on content as it accumulates votes.
  • A completely flexible curation slider (0 - 100%) at the discretion of the voter.

As I see it, the goal for the "content creation" side of Steem is to get people to vote on the content they like best, irrespective of the timing of the vote or the existing rewards on the post. This will get the best content onto trending. Hence "flat curation".

As for the rewards, you cannot force unwilling people to give vote rewards to others - there are, and have always been, many ways to avoid this on Steem. You can only encourage them back to manual curation by providing the flexibility to distribute the level of rewards they are comfortable with. Manual, unincentivised, non-gamifiable voting is the best chance for getting the best content into the light and getting the "eyes-on" that Steem needs to support revenues and growth.

Whilst this could mean accounts using 80%, 90% or even 100% curation for their votes, this is better than the current system (or 50/50) under which the same users gain 90% or 100% of vote value through vote selling, the remaining margins flow to bid-bots and vote-buyers, and bad content ends up on trending.

Would the approach encourage current manual voters to distribute less to authors? Probably in some cases but this would be the case for all voters by a change to fixed 50/50. Under the system above there would be flexibility for the large dApps to remain at 25% curation, or even go lower, and there would potentially be more for authors from high SP voters switching from bid-bots delegations back to manual curation - or to a system of voting trails run by "trusted curators" that would mean minimal effort for passive investors.

Anyway, this is a long debate and everyone has their own view! Maybe I will write a fuller proposal at some point. Thanks for reading!


Repository:

https://github.com/steemit/steem

This analysis is of data from the Steem blockchain which is an open source project. In particular the analysis aims to add value to the current debate on whether the Steem blockchain should be hard forked for a change in curation rewards structure.


Tools and scripts:

gears_blockops_green.jpg

I used the block.ops analysis system to produce this study. Block.ops is an open-source analysis tool designed for heavy-duty analyses of the Steem blockchain data.

You can find the repository for block.ops here:
https://github.com/miniature-tiger/block.ops

The analysis used all the Steem blocks from the week analysed.

The study can be recreated by (once I upload the new analysis to github!):

  • Loading the data for the relevant time period into block.ops.
  • Using the newcuration command from the command line, for example:
    $ node blockOps newcuration "2019-04-01" "2019-04-08"

Thanks for reading!

Authors get paid when people like you upvote their post.
If you enjoyed what you read here, create your account today and start earning FREE STEEM!
Sort Order:  

Hi @miniature-tiger

Thank you for this excellent analysis contribution to @utopian-io - a well deserved staff pick this week :)

This on-going debate always sparks interest, I know trafalgar and kevinwong are keen on 50/50 (with a couple a tweaks to the the curve on top) and so it's good to see some research into what the numbers would look like if the model was changed.

With a portion of the curation % going back to the pool following the last fork, it's interesting to see that we are looking at more like 20% for the curators. Are we heading in the wrong direction here?!

As always, excellent presentation and conclusions, and a summary of thoughts and ideas worth a few posts themselves I think. 'Flat curation' seems like something to put more brain time into, and is perhaps one to explore with an SMT.

I'm also happy to see some excellent discussion in the comments, and good on you for responding with some detailed points there too.

A pleasure to review!

Asher

Your contribution has been evaluated according to Utopian policies and guidelines, as well as a predefined set of questions pertaining to the category.

To view those questions and the relevant answers related to your post, click here.


Need help? Chat with us on Discord.

[utopian-moderator]

·

Thanks Asher!

With a portion of the curation % going back to the pool following the last fork, it's interesting to see that we are looking at more like 20% for the curators. Are we heading in the wrong direction here?!

If implemented without the curation slider, "flat curation" would remove the need for the 15 minute period and there would be no curation sent back to the reward pool. People could vote when they wanted and all voters would move back to the "headline" 25% curation rate (on each vote, and overall as long as they voted efficiently).

However it wouldn't solve the issues with bid-bots and trending and getting the best content recognised, which I think is the more important question to solve.

Thanks for the review!

·

Thank you for your review, @abh12345! Keep up the good work!

Great analysis. I can't tell you how long I have been waiting for such a detailed post of the current situation. Maybe you can do that once a month?

"At the top of the chart there are two users reaching $50 STU per week in the 100%-120% of vote value range."
Can you please disclose who those two guys are, so maybe people can learn a thing or two by analysing their accounts? Thank you for your efforts.

·

Thanks! I may well put this out monthly, as it seems to have a lot of interest.

"At the top of the chart there are two users reaching $50 STU per week in the 100%-120% of vote value range." Can you please disclose who those two guys are, so maybe people can learn a thing or two by analysing their accounts?

The two accounts are gallerani (on the left) and supu (on the right). The latter's curation seems to have dropped off since the first week of April. It looks like they have had to organise new delegations of SP.

Thanks for the research piece @miniature-tiger, it coincides with the equilibrium projected from Steem's current economic incentives/disincentives. To address some of your thoughts and concerns:-

As the analysis above shows, doubling curation rewards will only bring large accounts to around 42% curation - still a long way short of the rewards available from vote-selling. Although the proposal can be considered a step in the right direction, it is a considerable (and for many, controversial) change that does not look likely to solve the problem.

50/50 is indeed almost an impotent change by itself since curation % is always subject to a secondary market and self-voters are both authors/curators so they get it all anyway, which is why some of us have been proposing another 2 items besides the 50/50 as per highlighted in the post here. It's meant to be taken in tandem. Think of the proposal as a chord, it wouldn't work or sound half as well when played alone vs all-together.

The proposed approach of 50 / 50 curation (like the current 75 / 25 system) is too inflexible. Different Steem users have different priorities and any new system should reflect this, allowing Steem to cater to all needs.

Other than maybe (just guessing) computational complexity of the distribution mechanism, I'll copy and paste some responses here, which further address the points we're trying to talk about:-

There is a dirty little secret about curation %, it can be circumvented via a secondary market. So in theory people are free to kick back curation rewards (which some bid bots do) and author rewards and reach their own %.

In practice, with a certain level of free downvotes, the official curation % will likely prevail in that it'll determine economic behavior.

The idea behind all of this is to leave as much behind for the author as possible while using a combination of bribes and deterrence to get the stakeholders to actually vote on what they like rather than take their own vote rewards (either directly or through selling them). Curation, free downvotes and superlinear are just bribes and deterrences that are necessary, but we want as little of it as what's minimally sufficient, as they all have downsides/costs.

Superlinear makes it more difficult to place an exact value on a vote per SP as it's value is dependent on the future popularity of a post. This makes it more difficult to just vote on something that's shit, as you'll likely get more from curation if you vote on something that'll become more popular. More importantly, it also forces all profitable behavior into the light. You can't spam 5c micro votes across thousands of accounts using a bot and avoid detection. Well you can, but due to superlinear, you're doing it at a loss, because 50% of something popular is more profitable than 100%% (as here you're both curator and author) of something thats garbage.

And think of a hypothetical Steem economy with 100% author rewards and 0% curation rewards, 100/0. Voters will most likely just upvote themselves all the time. Broadly speaking, 100/0 is in effect, the economic equivalent of 0% author rewards and 100% curation rewards, 0/100, as voters just end up getting all the rewards voting anywhere. Nothing left for authors either way for any decent content. Looking at this symmetry, it stands to reason that 25/75 today is in effect like 75/25, and 40/60 is like 60/40. So 50/50 is in effect, just the same at 50/50. In fact I'd expect anything besides a close approximation of the 50/50 effect would end up collapsing into somewhere near the 0/100 or 100/0 region, after a long period of time. Again, just broadly speaking though. Not really debating 60/40 or 40/60 is better than 50/50, as long as it achieves the 50/50 effect in the end for every vote given out to something decent.

In short there'll be a secondary market at 50/50, or even the voting slider. While I think it's alright as well, seems like SMTs is a better fit for such things imo, as with other kinds of purposes or use-cases for Steem. Plus wouldn't a slider just cause most voters to go for anything 100% curation? And finally to address your other point below:-

The idea of "content discovery" does not really exist on Steem and the incentives of the current system are misaligned, discouraging voting on content as it accumulates votes.

Yup our proposal is solely focused on making Steem work as a content discovery and rewards platform. Everything else can be SMTs. It's currently misaligned and we wanna align it. Imo, I think it's a mistake conflating blockchain activities and incentives.

·

Thanks for the comment Kevin. Hopefully a few useful clarifications!

Other than maybe (just guessing) computational complexity of the distribution mechanism

Taking a simplified example of how I think it would work, if my vote is worth 100m rshares, then if I set my curation slider to 50%, I get (the vests value of) 50m rshares and the author gets 50m rshares. If I set my curation slider to 0%, the author receives the full value of the 100m rshares and I get no curation. There is no interaction between the votes of different voters on a post, so the calculations should be much simpler than they are now. This should decrease computational overheads for the blockchain.

In short there'll be a secondary market at 50/50, or even the voting slider.

I think that if the voter sets the curation slider then there should be no need for a secondary market, since all voters can extract the desired value of their vote from the "primary market" and cannot achieve more in a secondary market than through the primary. Users who currently delegate to bid-bots could instead set their curation slider to their desired fixed percentage and trail "Trusted Curators" for the community / tags that interest them. This would direct visibility (and most likely some reward value) to the best content.

Plus wouldn't a slider just cause most voters to go for anything 100% curation?

Perhaps. Although currently any user who wants 100% of the value of their vote can simply sell their delegation / vote on an alt / join a circle-vote etc. Pretty much all of these damage Steem, particularly bid-bots, as the end result is the promotion of poor quality content on trending. I expect (hope?) that the users who currently do not follow these approaches would retain a level of author reward distribution, perhaps 50/50, perhaps the current 75/25, but decided at their own discretion. And flexible.

Then hopefully bringing the passive investors (bid-bot delegators) back into manual curation or a "Trusted Curator" system would also bring back some author rewards (even if only the margins that currently go to bid-bots and vote buyers).

In the end I think that people are ingenious and will always circumvent whatever constraints are implemented to extract the full value of their votes if they really want to. The proposal tries to work with that, allowing all people to participate in good Steem behaviour (i.e. voting on the best content) whilst allowing each user to take a level of rewards they deem acceptable. And at the same time allowing complete flexibility so that different Steem users, dApps and businesses can distribute their rewards in line with their own specific needs.

·

There are some of issues I noticed with the current curation model and the response provided. Currently curators are incentivized to vote on posts that will "become popular" but these posts are not better quality content they simply have the predictability of receiving larger votes in the future due to big wallets or consistent bid bot purchases. Many of these top earning posts have a narrow window of larger curation earnings due to the undesirability of authors burning their large or paid for vote power during the initial 15 minutes. Most of the 100%+ curation earners are automatically voting with small amounts in less than 15 minutes on posts that will receive predictably larger votes in the future which has nothing to do with curating content and creates a mob mentality momentum for posts that will predictably land on trending/hot lists. I am curious to know how many actual accounts' (or better yet unique individuals) posts and votes have earned what percentage of curation. I think the number is very small and is mostly auto-bot voting on a small group of consistently overpaid authors within the initial 15 minutes.

·
·

Most of the 100%+ curation earners are automatically voting with small amounts in less than 15 minutes on posts that will receive predictably larger votes in the future

Yes, I think that this is the main approach used by the 100+ club. Those predictable votes can come from bid-bots, from dApps with high SP such as DTube / Utopian / Oracle-D, or just from users that consistently receive high upvotes.

I think that there is a second system which involves making a huge number of utterly tiny upvotes on comments that are statistically likely to receive upvotes, but I need to do more research on this.

which has nothing to do with curating content

It is possible to follow the first approach described above using a list of authors that consistently produce good content. But I would agree that this has nothing to do with the "content discovery" idea of curation.

I think that overall the current curation system is broken. This is why I suggest a "flat curation" system - one without incentives so people are free to upvote whatever content they like and are not influenced by gamification.

I like this idea. I am looking to see if any more rebuttals or anyone that can poke holes in it. I knew 50/50 wasn't the best answer, but I also knew what we currently have certainly can't be the best route we can take. I just wanted to bring light and hopefully someone smarter then me could convince me of a better solution. I believe, at least so far you have convinced me that a completely flexible curation slider (0 - 100%) at the discretion of the voter may be the right path forward.

·

Thanks Dan!

I just think that any solution at the Steem distribution base layer needs to be flexible - that's my biggest concern with 50/50.

I suspect the biggest challenges will come from people asking whether this proposal is really "Steem" since it's a fairly substantial change from the current environment (on the surface at least). But any change to counter the bid-bot economy and bring people back to manual curation will be significant - and I believe something does need to change.

Thanks for the read. miniature- tiger, i went through the whole bot voting thingo, still do a little bit. I prefer manual curation and it's usually hours after a post is written. Flat might be the go for me. EDIT: Content discovery - i'm working on tipping resteemer's if they leave a comment, where are you @abh12345

·

Thanks!

I like "flat". The current non-linear curation:
(a) Discourages manual curators from voting on the best quality posts and the best authors because the curation rewards are low by the time they get around to reading them.
(b) Encourages people to vote on poor quality posts because they know a large bid-bot vote is coming.
(c) Encourages automated curation-bots that reduce the curation rewards for actual readers.

For the slider, I'm talking about a curation slider for the voter (Ok, so maybe two sliders is too confusing, but it could be introduced at minnow level, i.e. once people have been involved with the blockchain a little while.)
So for a 100% vote (under existing slider) you could choose to give all the vote rewards to the author, or 75% to the author (as currently - and retain 25% yourself) or 50%/50% or 10% (retaining 90%) or even nothing - except the visibility of adding to the post reward.
And for a 50% vote (under the existing slider) you could choose to give all the vote rewards to the author, or 75% to the author, retaining 25% (i.e. 37.5% / 12.5% of a full vote) etc.

I've seen the proposal for a curation slider for the author of the post. But I think it just leads to a race to the bottom. Some (large) voters will let it be known they will only upvote posts with high curation for themselves. Which forces authors to compete by offering higher and higher curation until they all reach the maximum curation possible. Which means voters who want to give 100% of their vote to the author, or 75% will not be able to.

Also with a curation slider for the author, posts with high curation offered will do well, perhaps very well, even if they are poor quality. The incentives are misaligned.

I really think that there should be no incentive to vote on particular posts, which means people are free just to choose and promote the best content, which is best for Steem.

·
·

Thanks, i had deleted the vote slider part after reading some other comments. oops:)

·

I've not commented yet as it's likely I'll be reviewing the post for utopian-io. Where I will be leaving a long comment if that is the case 😁

A completely flexible curation slider (0 - 100%) at the discretion of the voter.

Setting curation rewards per voter would be a pretty major change to how rewards are calculated. How would you imagine this being done technically?

·

If combined with "flat" curation I think that the calculations become simple.

For example, if my vote is worth 100m rshares, then if I set my curation slider to 50%, I get (the vests value of) 50m rshares and the author gets 50m rshares. If I set my curation slider to 0%, the author receives the full value of the 100m rshares and I get no curation. There is no interaction between the votes of different voters on a post, so the calculations should be much simpler than they are now.

At the extreme, if I set my curation slider to 100% I get the value of all the 100m rshares back and the author does not get any reward from me. So maybe there is an argument for a maximum level on the slider. On the other hand there would still be visibility value from receiving upvotes with no author rewards, so personally I think a maximum level is not required, particularly as any maximum level just brings us back to vote-selling being the most lucrative option.

·
·

Can you imagine digging through your votes to see how much % each one is actually giving to the author? "Oh man I got a $20 upvote from @famous_whale! Oh, it's 100% curation :-(". Not exactly the experience that would drive users to the site IMO.

The top ROI strategy would be to simply automatically vote with 100% for posts that are approaching payout time. You wouldn't even need to consume RC's making your own comments. From a standard user perspective, you would just feel used to get such votes that don't give you anything.

You can already allocate your voting power to pay yourself if you like. If you're voting for someone else's post, some of the reward should go to them unless people have elected themselves to be paid in exposure.

·
·
·

Can you imagine digging through your votes to see how much % each one is actually giving to the author? "Oh man I got a $20 upvote from @famous_whale! Oh, it's 100% curation :-(". Not exactly the experience that would drive users to the site IMO.

I think that this is partly a User Interface problem to solve. It could be made into quite a positive thing. If @ famous_whale gives me $20 at 100% curation and @ MrGenerous gives me $5 at 50% curation then the interface could show:
Visibility $25 Rewards $2.50
with a breakdown of:
famous_whale Visibility $20 Rewards $0
MrGenerous Visibility $2.50 Rewards $2.50
With visibility determining my position on trending etc. Both visibility and rewards measures could be seen as positive to new users.

Of course it would be a big change to what we have now, so a shock for existing users. But I think that something needs to change fairly drastically on the content side of Steem.

The top ROI strategy would be to simply automatically vote with 100% for posts that are approaching payout time. You wouldn't even need to consume RC's making your own comments.

I don't think that there are any ROI strategies, unless I've missed something. Oh, are you talking time value of money over seven days? Pretty small beer I think?

From a standard user perspective, you would just feel used to get such votes that don't give you anything.

If blocktrades, or another whale, were to upvote my post for $50, but only give me 10% author rewards, or even 0%, then I would be happy with that. As long as it got me $50 of visibility on the post payout then it has value. With more visibility more people would see my post. Some of those readers might give me a percentage of their upvote too. Some might just give me more visibility. Advertising / sponsorship follow and then the big time.

You can already allocate your voting power to pay yourself if you like.

You can. But such practices damage Steem by making trending a nonsense and failing to promote great content. I think that we need solutions to get great content onto trending and get the best Steem content creators out there.

Thanks for the analysis. Interesting stuff,

I disagree with the curator choosing the amount of curation/author rewards to give for their vote. Those who want 100% would thereby give no rewards to an author, and take them all, simply for voting posts. They wouldn't even have to go through the task of creating a post to vote on themselves... @edicted suggested a poster to curry favor with supporters by having them choose to set 0%, 25%, 50%, 100% or any other number for an author/curator split. Curators could vote on posts they like, on posts where the author has curation settings they prefer, or a mix. What do you think of that?

·

Where @edicted says "All curation should be optional" then I agree. But I think that it should be at the option of the voter, not the author.

The problem with curation being at the discretion of the author is that it creates a race to the bottom. Some (large) voters will let it be known that they will only upvote posts with high curation rewards for themselves. Or naturally, posts with higher curation offered will do well. Which forces authors to compete for attention by offering higher and higher curation until they all (or many) are reaching the maximum curation possible. Which means voters who want to give 100% of their vote to the author, or 75% will not be able to.

Also with a curation slider for the author, posts with very high curation offered will do well, perhaps very well, even if they are poor quality. The incentives are misaligned.

I really think that there should be no incentive to vote on particular posts, which means people are free just to choose and promote the best content, which is best for Steem.

I disagree with the curator choosing the amount of curation/author rewards to give for their vote. Those who want 100% would thereby give no rewards to an author, and take them all, simply for voting posts. They wouldn't even have to go through the task of creating a post to vote on themselves

Currently any voter who wants 100% of the value of their vote can simply sell their delegation to a bid-bot. Or vote on an alt. Or join a circle-vote. Or use the vote-swapping services which now exist. Pretty much all of these damage Steem, particularly bid-bots, as the end result is the promotion of poor quality content on trending.

It would be much better to bring those passive investors back into manual curation. Or as an alternative to have them passively trail "trusted curators" who find the best content to promote the blockchain. If they can set their own curation rewards at level they are happy with and rely on someone else to do the actual finding of content then their SP can help to promote the best content on the blockchain whist retaining their desired rewards and passive status.

I would add that if blocktrades, or another whale, were to upvote my post for $50, but only give me 10% author rewards, or even 0%, then I would be happy with that. As long as it got me $50 of visibility on the post payout then it has value. With more visibility more people would see my post. Some of those readers might give me a percentage of their upvote too. Some might just give me more visibility.

As a content creator more followers and more visibility is the starting point and would give me more opportunities for advertising / sponsorship etc. Any author rewards that come with that increased visibility are nice too.

Perhaps this approach brings Steem closer to a combined youtube / patreon structure of rewards. However I would also expect that many Steem users would remain with more balanced levels of curation, so we would have a mix of the three.

·
·

The problem with curation being at the discretion of the author is that it creates a race to the bottom. Some (large) voters will let it be known that they will only upvote posts with high curation rewards for themselves. Or naturally, posts with higher curation offered will do well. Which forces authors to compete for attention by offering higher and higher curation until they all (or many) are reaching the maximum curation possible. Which means voters who want to give 100% of their vote to the author, or 75% will not be able to.

Well said. I stand corrected ;) You make a good case for a much better solution, which 50/50 was a poor one to try which I disagreed with.

great analysis!

imho though, whether 75:25 or 50:50 isn't that import. People will adapt to new systems quickly. A much more important thing is ad-revenue sharing with authors. Otherwise, top-level authors will not come to Steemit. Thanks.

·

Thanks!

I think that ad-revenue for authors will come, for popular authors at least, but it needs the best content (or the most popular content) to be recognised and hitting the trending page (or other platform UI display equivalent) so advertisers get a better impression of Steem. Which in turn needs the voting / rewards / curation system to function.

And there probably needs to be some kind of audience measure too. It's hard to know how many people actually read any post!

·
·

Thanks for your reply. Sure hitting the trending page is also important, but any good system has their own tracking function, so they can actually measure the effectiveness or visibility (I worked at Facebook before in ads.) To be honest, decentralized proof-of-brain is impossible. Think about the situation that there's no utopian voting at all :) Thanks.

This was an enlightening analysis @miniature-tiger. Manually curated FTW.

Great write up. Its the complexity of both publishing, print media and new media and their commercial aspects turned into a single curation system. It will always be one size fits no-one. But like the British NHS or BBC indispensable to those that love it warts and all.

Posted using Partiko Android

Hi @miniature-tiger!

Your post was upvoted by @steem-ua, new Steem dApp, using UserAuthority for algorithmic post curation!
Your post is eligible for our upvote, thanks to our collaboration with @utopian-io!
Feel free to join our @steem-ua Discord server

Excellent analysis, I support the conclusions.

Posted using Partiko Android

@miniature-tiger, Really deep Analysis and without any doubt early adopters or miners have the more influence because they hold the majority share of Steem. And in my opinion 50/50 Author and Curation rewards can prove as effective because it will encourage Curators and Curation Economy and we all know that if our content went untouched then we are missing the point of value. Stay blessed.

Posted using Partiko Android

·

Thanks!

Yes, the proposal aims to encourage people back into (manual) curation and voting for the best content. 50/50 is another approach but I would like to see something more flexible that is suitable for Steem's wide range of users and businesses.

·
·

Welcome and definitely that's sound true. Let's see if we can expect any flexible solution to current script. Stay blessed.

Hey, @miniature-tiger!

Thanks for contributing on Utopian.
Congratulations! Your contribution was Staff Picked to receive a maximum vote for the analysis category on Utopian for being of significant value to the project and the open source community.

We’re already looking forward to your next contribution!

Get higher incentives and support Utopian.io!
Simply set @utopian.pay as a 5% (or higher) payout beneficiary on your contribution post (via SteemPlus or Steeditor).

Want to chat? Join us on Discord https://discord.gg/h52nFrV.

Vote for Utopian Witness!

Stupid to change anything. The users just need to change their behavior or suffer the consequences more. They will learn one day or new users will come in that learn. Read the whitepaper people. Also miniature-tiger you are in the N-Person Prisoner’s Dilemma.

·

Eight months ago, 35% of votes made were purchased from bid-bots. I do not want to think what the level is now. On top of this there are circle votes, self-votes, vote-swapping. It's not much of a prisoner's dilemma if you already know that most people are just going to act in their own best interest.

The proposal I put forward tries to work with that knowledge, potentially allowing all users to contribute positively to Steem using the dPoS voting mechanism to get the best content to the top of trending, whilst taking the proportion of their own SP generated inflation that they believe is appropriate in rewards.

·
·

"It's not much of a prisoner's dilemma if you already know that most people are just going to act in their own best interest." That is exactly what it is. You think others are gonna act a certain way so you act a certain way and we all go down. If people really wanted to act in their own self interest they would educate themselves and follow the Law of Steem. lol Read the whitepaper.