Over the past two and a half years, @MinnowSupport has gone through some exciting changes — more than just a Steem account, the project has grown into a beloved meeting place, a broadcasting network, a welcoming and teaching community for new Steemians, a gathering of experienced Steemers, and so much more! As the times have changed, the Minnow Support Project has evolved too... we've come a long way from our start as an encouragement account giving random upvotes to help grow small accounts, and we want to tell you about what's next. MinnowSupport is phasing out the current tokenized voting system and will be supporting its manual curation initiatives more heavily, as well as introducing developing some more exciting opportunities to connect directly with new and small accounts that need a bit of support to grow!
The Next Step for Manual Curation with MinnowSupport
Some of you may know that we have a dedicated team of hard-working curators who spend their time finding posts in a number of niches each week with the @msp-curation account. We feature brand new Steemians, fine art, music, financial, Spanish language, photography, poetry and writing, maker and diy content, and more! This is a part of the Minnow Support Project we're immensely proud of. The @MinnowSupport account has given a nice follow vote to our curation picks in the past, but we'd like to increase the rewards we're distributing to these hand-chosen posts, and we'll be stopping MinnowSupport's tokenized community account voting partially to be able to do this. If you want to help out, consider joining @msp-curation's trail, or check out the account: it resteems everything it votes and has a really interesting feed full of undiscovered gems.
What does this mean for MinnowSupport's community upvote?
When we started out, @MinnowSupport would give a small, equal vote to any account who wanted one. Our mandate has always been that small accounts need help to grow — and that while a small vote here and there might be part of that, making friends, building a network, discovering content and being discovered is key. We wanted to build a place where someone could come get that little vote, but more importantly become part of a wider community of learning opportunities and friends. As time went on, we discovered that this model also attracted people hoping to take advantage of it. The PALnet team has worked to build tools, root out abuse, create a blacklist, and automate a lot of processes over the years to help focus on real people who want to grow. One thing we noticed was that people felt they needed to post a LOT to get as many of our little votes as possible, and we also wanted to find ways to really encourage and reward those participating in chat for being the backbone of the community. To keep to our original mandate, we can definitely improve.
When we moved to the PAL tokenized system for the community upvote, it solved some problems, and presented some others.
The idea of using PAL tokens in exchange for the @MinnowSupport upvote made a lot of sense: since anyone can earn PAL for free by interacting in the PALnet community, it celebrated engaged members for their efforts. It allowed Steemians to choose to save up for a larger upvote, instead of feeling like they had to post every day to try to collect as many tiny ones as possible. We found that it let authors work more on their content or spend time engaging, and less time worrying about the Steem vote. With this system, we actually ended up creating the first of what would become "tribe bidbots," and despite how well suited it is to our mission, we don't feel that it's the best we can do or that it will keep us moving in the right direction into the future. It turns out not that many people even used it — proving it's more than the vote that keeps people here, and that we can find even more ways to help people grow without it. So, the tokenized upvote system with the @MinnowSupport account will be officially stopping in one week.
TL:DR; no more @MinnowSupport upvote bot, but more manual curation and community initiatives: what else do I need to know?
The @MinnowSupport account will be giving bigger trail votes to the manual curation of the @msp-curation account. The community upvote feature won't go away, but we're moving back towards the team managing it by hand. We're beginning both English and Spanish language live curation initiatives, where some of our team will be hosting drop-in sessions in the PALnet discord that people can bring their posts to for feedback, suggestions, sharing, and upvotes. We'll also be looking at better using our post promotion room and supporting our live show audiences, among other things. As we find more effective ways to help grow small accounts and attract and retain Steemians by helping them find communities and content, we'll branch out what we're doing with @MinnowSupport further.
Delegating to @MinnowSupport is a great way to help out, and a little can go a long way! We support our delegators with small thank-you votes and are looking at other perks. If you haven't checked out the Minnow Support Project or PALnet yet but want to meet more members of the community, join in with our live shows, and become a part of helping us create a steemier Steem and a network of PALs, hop in at minnowpond.org!