Over the last few months, Pal, Leo, Neoxag, Sports, Creativecoin and all of the other tokens have been introduced as layers upon the Steem blockchain and have had quite a profound effect on the Steem economy.
With the introduction of the themed and tokenized frontends, more people are not only tailoring their content to suit, they are thinking about the way the token stake works with many separating their token stake away from their Steem stake and this change has also brought with it more people considering the content they vote on and what adds value to their preferred front ends.
Something changes, everything changes
The changes in the token range has raised the people interested in understanding the way the economics on Steem works and I have noticed more people delving deeper into how things operate here. I believe this is going to continue with the introduction of the 2.5 downvotes because what people essentially have access to is another staked token that directs the inflation pool.
While an upvote directs it toward content, a downvote directs it away and since it is all stake-weighted, everyone on the platform will have access to 25% more distributive power relative to the stake they have in SP.
We are all maximizers of some kind in this world as we are all trying to make the best of our experience, even though some people are much better at using their resources than others. What this means is that if we continue along the same vein, to not use the downvotes would essentially be wasting potential value and losing tokens.
In a perfect Steem world of downvotes, everyone would use their quota each day and redirect 25% of the distributed votes away from what doesn't add value onto what does. This is of course subjective but there is likely a fair bit of content that shouldn't be rewarded and a fair bit that should.
If we could as a community direct 25% away from content we as individuals believe shouldn't be rewarded onto content that we believe should, that would essentially split the 100% available for reward between 75% of users. Remember that the downvote directs it away to the pool and not towards, which means the upvotes would have more distributive power and the content that we as a community of individuals think deserve an upvote, will get more distribution added to them.
Those who distribute their upvotes poorly on content the rest of the community thinks doesn't deserve the value, will give up their power to distribute toward content because the rest of the community direct it away again and back into the pool. This means that the votes that are directed toward content that the individuals of the community believe hold value are even more distributive. So, not only will the pool have more in it, those who upvote poorly will essentially give up their vested rights to distribute by wasting it on content where it will be taken away from again.
While it is impossible to accurately predict, I think that if the Steem community did use the downvotes well, some kind of equilibrium would be achieved where content that holds value gets more heavily voted and, slowly the poorer content that was getting voted shifts its focus as people are maximizers.
No matter the code, people will always find new and inventive ways to maximize their experiences, but along that road it would be great if the most valuable thing one could do on Steem was to create for or support creations that add value to the ecosystem - whatever that means. What we do know is that the current situation isn't great and isn't overly attractive to people used to working on centralized platforms.
There are likely going to be a great deal of new options that will arise and I predict that there will be a token issued on SMT or SCOT that will track downvote usage and perhaps even reward the behavior. I also think that there will be quite a few people who will use their DVs via some kind of proxy, as they will not want to downvote directly. But, no matter what happens, I believe that the changes in the way distribution is organized will force many people into a reevaluation of the way they behave and as a result, eyes on the way others behave too.
The downvote pool adds another layer to the Steem experience that brings a lot of game into the mix. It increases randomization of outcome as well as incentivizes better behaviors on Steem without centralizing the policing of the network - it really becomes up to us to create the kinds of experience we would like. This gamification adds in more metrics to look at and evaluate the health of ones account.
Is the healthy account one who only distributes, or one who also redistributes?
What it comes down to perhaps is what the individual considers suitable behavior for themselves. For example, someone could downvote my post because they disagree with what I say and think it doesn't deserve the reward their stake can direct away - and they are entitled to do so. If they think that is suitable behavior for themselves, they will do it without batting an eyelid.
Most people however are unlikely to downvote unless there is actual abuse present, and that can be for the usuals like plagiarism or, disagreement of reward - like those who buy huge votes on crap. Who knows, perhaps some of the largest abusers on the platform will get a few "set-and-forget" auto-redistribution followers.
As I opened with, a lot of people worry about their token voting power for the tribes so split their accounts to better distribute and earn. I am hoping that people will be watching their Steem downvote mana in the same way and recognizing that when it isn't used on the spam, scam and shite - it is costing value to themselves and the people on this platform who are honestly trying to contribute to the community and build a better ecosystem.
And while there is the value to consider in the pool, there is also the much greater value of the entire ecosystem to consider. At the moment, I think we can do better than we are and, no one gets healthy quickly after such a long and crushing illness.
Something changes, everything changes - things are changing.
[ a Steem original ]