I don't think that bid bots are bad!
I think bid bots that are abused and run unchecked are bad. I think bid bots that offer ROI are bad.
Promotion should never be free, or you get the worse of the worse!
I have zero issues with people getting on trending organically, I want great post up there. I am strictly saying if you want to promote on trending you need to pay. If google ad words was free, google would have failed.
Honestly, who is anyone to think they deserve a free spot on trending? Regardless if you think your content is hot shit or not, trending space should never be free, ever. UNLESS proof of brain puts you on trending, it should never be free to ADVERTISERS, content creators that "earn" a spot on trending did not get it free, they got it by making content others wanted to see.
You can't put certain people on pedestals and say it's ok for them to use bid bots for free trending space but not others, that leads to Old Steem quicker than an elevator to hell.
So now we have this issue of people wanting to promote but they don't want to use bots because they run the risk of downvotes and negative reputation.
We have a burn to promote on Steemit called the promotion tab, but it isn't utilized well because people don't click a promote tab, just like they wouldn't watch a TV station that only shows commercials. Commercials are strategically forced upon us. That is how we should do it here on Steem, IMO.
So, what do we do? Well, I saw this:
These two users declined payouts, then used bid bots to reach the top of the trending page.
Which, to me means they wanted this post to be seen and did not want it to be downvoted. These users are promoting a game and blockchain products.
I am assuming they were being paid to promote these and, just using common sense I gather that they were paid more to promote the posts then it cost to bot it on trending. Trending space on a website the size of Steemit isn't anything to smock at in the "real world" of promotion.
And these people stayed on trending, no one downvoted them because why would they? Hell, this is amazing!!! I applaud this behavior! That is 200$ worth of Steem returned to the reward pool in just two post! (That is a nice chunk of Steem, esp at these prices.) This is an interesting pattern forming using the tools we have.
The more valuable our trending space becomes, the more Steem it will cost to get a post up there. How do we make trending space valuable? Charging for it! Duh! The community can dictate the price of trending space using our upvotes and downvotes.
So, you decline the payout and burn enough Steem, you can get and most importantly keep a post on trending for a while. You will be competing with trending, however; if you want to get the top spot you must pay more Steem then the highest voted post. If you really care for eyeballs to see your post, cough up some dough.
Now, I am not saying that you need to decline the payout and bot your post to the top of trending to avoid being downvoted. I do believe, however, if you bot your post to trending without burning ANY Steem, the community will happily downvote you, regardless of content. And that is because, as I said repeatedly, promotion should never be free, it can't be free.
I'd bet big on the fact that if you did a "proof of burn" on your bid botted post, where you burned, let's say 50% of the what the total cost was to promote the post by setting null as a beneficiary, (depending on quality, is it a pure ad, etc. enough to where you feel the community will be happy.) that no one (or few) would downvote your post, and if they did people like me would gladly counter.
Why? Because instead of being viewed as someone freeloading off inflation, you are seen as someone adding value to the ecosystem by making our precious Steem more scare via your promotions that burn Steem.
Hell, I would even buy your damn products just to make advertisers think Steem is the shit and want to promote more here. Of course, nothing really makes your post shine like a decline botted post or setting a high % to go to null, I must admit, that is some G shit, and if you are trying to sell something, looking balla is never a bad touch.
This is the free market at work, you want something from the market, be prepared to give something in return, that's called good business.
There you have it! I think bid bots are wonderful! BUT! Only if those bots are quality controlled and burning/returning lots of Steem! This is just me, but people who I see decline payout/null burn post that is botted to trending, I will support them and never downvote unless it is just blatant scam or illegal content, or if trending gets overrun by people paying to get ads up (good problem to have IMO). But if you “pay” to promote a product on Steem, you are more then whalecum and have my full support!