The most common complaint that I've heard recently is concerning vote value, that it no longer appears to have value unless you vote a popular author. This perception needs to be addressed, because it is cited as a reason for unfairness that isn't accurate, in two ways:
- Your vote on a per SP basis is worth exactly the same as any other. You cannot focus on just the value before and after the vote.
- From a pure curation perspective, no matter where you vote, if you are the last voter, your curation reward is the same. Votes that are on top have the potential boost your curation reward by a significant margin. Posts that are not yet valuable but should be valuable have significantly more upside. Find those gems and share them, and get that bonus.
The way the system for payout works is that every post and comment has an internal score which is linear/proportional to your SP. You may have heard of the term
rshares being thrown around, and that's exactly it. The amount of rshares you can put on a post is directly proportional to SP.
When it comes to payout, the curve computes a weighting for the post where it favors higher scores more, and rewards go proportional to this weighting.
It has always worked this way. It did so when Steem was just a baby where it favored high scores by a large margin (n^2), got changed to be entirely proportional, and now is back to favoring higher scores a touch (EIP).
So the first point, just from the inner rshare scoring point, is:
- Your vote is worth as much as anyone else's on a per SP basis.
Again, it's not about the individual vote. Votes can be countered on a per SP basis.
Because of the way the weighting works, just imagine that 100 people are voting on a post with the same amount of power. Each person will incrementally add more value to the post than the voter before, but from the author's perspective, each person is equally as valuable to the post, because if you shuffled the order of the votes the result for the author is exactly the same.
- The only thing that matters in terms of how much a post pays is the amount of rshares on the post at payout time (well, also a function of how much other posts got and the size of reward pool).
So don't focus on the value at the time of the vote, you are contributing to getting the author to a higher rshare level.
Your vote alone isn't what should determine a payout. We are a community and it should be driven by as many inputs as possible.
You might say, well it's still not fair. Single large stakeholders can single-handedly push posts to a very high value. But these can and arguably should be countered if it is not justified. Again, we need the input from as many sources as possible. So use the downvotes. If you are scared of retaliation, go with safety in numbers.
So we already covered why it's wrong to assume that voting for small value posts is not meaningful from the incremental value you might have given to the post.
But there's another big benefit for voting on posts that don't have value but you think you should have value.
Chances are, others would think the same, and being first to vote on these gives you much bigger curation rewards. It emphasizes the importance of having a network so that we (the larger Steem community) collectively can find posts and boost them to a suitable value.
Last Voter Property
As mentioned above, there is a little known property for how the voting system is designed. If you are the last voter on a post, your curation reward is the same whether you voted on a low value post or a high value post.
This is an elegant balanced property, because you might be reading my previous thoughts and thinking, well why should I even vote on already big posts from a curator-centric perspective?
Because you get something from it too. The situation reflected is the same. The question is, if you vote on something, what are the odds that it gets voted higher after?
Even on an already popular post, it's possible that it becomes even more popular. Or on a post that you voted early, it's possible it remains undiscovered. Unless of course you know for sure it will get more votes (e.g if you head a curation trail).
Note this also means if the value of the post goes down after your vote via downvotes, it reduces your curation reward as well. More reasons to downvote something that doesn't deserve it, really.
So the TL/DR is at the top, but let's do it again:
- Don't obsess at how much your vote bumped a post by. Focus on where that post has the potential to be and help it get there.
- Vote on what you like and build your network that thinks similarly.
- You have more potential voting on gems that haven't been discovered, if you can get it discovered.
- Hide and downvote.
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