We've talked on a number of occasions about the detrimental effects of EIP on the number of comments.
Why? Because usually comments only receive one upvote from the author, if he or she upvotes them. Otherwise most comments don't receive any upvote.
There are certainly exceptional comments which are highly upvoted, as well as comments of well-known steemians, which usually attract good upvotes for their engagement.
If a comment receives one or more tiny upvotes from red fish, even at 100%, they don't count for the payout. I know it's harsh, but with the $0.025 dust level, any pending payout below is ignored (that is valid for posts too!).
With a convergent linear curve and the 50/50 split, it's unlikely anyone by him/herself to upvote a comment (or a post) above the dust level, if he or she is not at least a dolphin, and possibly not even small dolphins either.
So... we had a problem. And everyone understood there was a problem, even if not so many spoke about it.
But luckily, where there is a problem, there is at least one solution!
And these solutions started to arise.
About one of the them I talked over a week ago, and it was announced by Holger, as a new option for tribes, to include a separate comment reward pool. I haven't seen or heard of any tribes making use of this option yet. Maybe they will:
Another solution I've seen listed today in @pennsif's Steem News and that's apparently a new token called Comment Coin to reward proof-of-comment on Steem. It works by including the "CC" tag on your post. Here are the details, but more should come:
It's obvious something needs to be done to improve engagement on posts. And I like that there are solutions already. I particularly like the solution with a comment reward pool, although I'm sure there will be discussions on tribes that implement it, because that means another distribution of rewards, with less rewards for authors and curators (or for miners, or both), which will go to the comment reward pool. Although, if someone comes to comment, he or she most often will vote too, right? But the comment coin solution has its advantages: it's the decision of the author whether to reward commenters with this coin or not.
Notice however all these solutions come from the Steem-Engine tokens and tribes. Nothing yet at the Steem level. Do we need SMTs for that?