We need to talk...
I wanted to go over some thoughts on what we are looking at, and what you might expect from it.
I will quote this again and again, as I think it explains the situation well:
We don't want people to chat to get rewards, we want to reward people who really chat.
What will get me 'nerfed'?
Now, we know that this is going to be super subjective. Let me explain some of why that is, and what gives us reason for being that way.
See, for most of us, we have been doing this Moderator thing for around 2 years. We have seen all the various types and phases of chat. From the frenetic pace that the first 6 months of the server, when Steemit was peaking and activity was at an all time high. When we had 1500 people and 200 would be active at any given time. From that, all the way to the super quiet days of a crypto-winter that was sad and depressing for everyone.
The current activity level has been somewhere in between, but not all of the chat has been with the honest intention of enjoying each other's company, but with earning free PAL instead.
We know how to identify the styles of chat, and the intentions behind them after all this practice. Most anyone in the chat paying attention for any period of time can identify this.
So yes, what we are going to be looking at is the intention of the messages. Obvious or not, if we think you might be coming into the server and finding an excuse to send a message, just to send a message, we are going to make sure it doesn't earn you anything. If you don't give the community value in your discussion (I will come back to what this value is later) then we won't be giving you a reward for it.
If we see you enter the general chat room and start tagging the usual suspects to that you can trade short sentences that just fill time, we are going to nerf you. If you want to have a 1 on 1 discussion like that, take it to Direct Messages. If you want to start a real topic of discussion, have a question for the room, or generally want to really engage with everyone, then do that in the general room. Remember that we have specific rooms for certain topics, and chatting in them will still get you the same rewards for activity.
Also, we look at length of message as part of the measure of activity. I won't give details to prevent abuse of the system, but I can safely say that lines with only an emoji are ignored. Doesn't mean you can't use them, even on their own message, but just showing up and dropping emoji everywhere won't result in anything.
We are taking into account difficulty in the primary language of PAL, which is English. Attempting to participate in a language you aren't familiar with can be rough, and we will attempt to make the distinction between short messages because you don't know what to say or how due to language, and those that are just putting in the effort of sending any English words they can.
Example being, if someone says something to someone else, and we only ever see someone put in a tag of that person and a single affirmative to step into the conversation, we aren't going to reward that. If they continue on and offer their thoughts in detail, or add something to the discussion, we know the intent was to participate for the sake of the discussion.
Just keep this in mind when you come to discuss things in chat. Am I here to meet people, talk to them, get to know them, ask good questions? Or am I here because I want PAL token and know that if I try and participate I will get a little of them?
We will know which one it is, and prevent the people looking just for rewards from getting them.
What does value-added discussion look like?
I figure this should be clear, but I will offer a few thoughts anyways.
If you are sparking discussion with others, keeping discussion going naturally, and generally not thinking about if you are active enough to earn, you are adding value. Length of message, sentiment (agree or argue), none of that matters. Just provide the rest of everyone with something valuable.
Does this mean everything has to be serious and deeply thought out? Definitely not, nobody wants a constantly running TED-Talk in chat. The Moderators themselves are some of the silliest people in chat (though we don't really earn much if anything from PoI). We want entertainment for everyone, value for everyone, and generally to have more people want to come and participate.
How can I fix it?
Simple, when you find out that you have been nerfed, we will also answer questions about why, etc. That will give you an idea of what caused it and what you can change to reverse it.
In short though, 7 days of demonstrated value in discussion. Silly or deep and thought provoking, it doesn't matter. If we can tell you no longer care if you get rewarded for it or not, we will review turning it back on.
I suspect the people who forget they are earning and just there to be there are going to earn the most.
Will there be more updates?
Definitely! I will be looking at resuming a scheduled post with updates. Still haven't decided if we will maintain a public list of the people currently nerfed as I am not sure that needs to be public. Our current blacklist, which will remain in effect, does serve a purpose of allowing other STEEM based groups to identify low quality, plagiarism, etc.
We will do our best to notify people of changes in chat, and you can watch my account for at least some of the updates. I always recommend you follow all of the moderators if you want to get everything as quick as possible.