I have a sneaking suspicion that there are a large number of accounts on Steem that are not using their witness votes. Truth be told, individually, small users(in SteemPower) won't make much of a difference anyway. It's also one of those things I think people do when they get really into Steem. I think there's probably a lot of people that just want to use the platform, earn some Steem and are not really all that into how the sausage is made.
For those people I think it might be a good idea to use someone else as a proxy for your witness votes. Basically if there's someone who IS into all the things mentioned above then you can just vote for what they vote for. I had the idea of creating a separate account specifically for this. This account would exclusively serve this purpose and only post about information regarding the witnesses on the list, their achievements, why one has been added or removed.
I was hoping there was some tool to find out how many people are following and what the impact is, but as far as I know none exists right now. That threw a bit of a monkey wrench in my plan because I thought it would be nice to be able to incentivise people with a little upvote or something for following. I'm sure you read that as bribe, but hey, call it what you want.
My thoughts are that we could create something of a manifesto, like these are the things we value and we want prioritized, and the witnesses that we support would need to in general be in line with those views. I think everyone has enough votes to where this wouldn't need to be insanely strict, but there's definitely some people here that while I think they are honest actors that want what's best for Steem, I might strongly disagree with how we achieve that and what the best path forward is, that's fine, I might not know what the hell I'm talking about and maybe they do.
The Users Party (@theusersparty)
I think for Steem to be successful there are three main pillars.
Investors - Developers/Entrepreneurs - Users
All of these are necessary for success for Steem, but if I had to rank them it would be
There's a bit of a chicken and egg situation here but I think users are the most important(right now) because it's the main metric to get more of the other two. Companies operate at a loss for years building and developing their user base. Of course there needs to be some seed funding, but if Steem as a blockchain were a company, I'd say we are already past that stage. There are multiple products in the market and I don't feel we have much to sell to new investors without demonstrating some success in one or several of the products that are out.
The applications that are out are primarily social applications and Steem was primarily designed to power these sorts of applications. I personally believe in this vision and our witness votes will reflect that.
I believe in developing and innovating based on that vision. The best way that I see to do that is to improve the user experience for Steem applications. What does that mean?
- Making the entire Steem experience easier and more intuitive for the end user.
- Developing tools that empower the end user
- Developing services that empower the end user
- Developing features that add value for the end user
Basically it's all about the end user. I believe if we create a place that users want to use, that solves some problem, that fulfills some need, that creates new opportunities for users, we won't need to search for investors or developers, they will flock to us.
The other aspect of this that indirectly affects the user experience here is marketing and user retention. Witnesses that support these efforts(for example, curation groups) will be supported.
So now I want to list the witnesses that I currently plan on voting for and why with @theusersparty I'm currently personally using all thirty votes, but to be honest some are a bit random. For example I think once someone just asked nicely, and I voted for them because I had free votes, but for this I'd take this a bit more seriously so I'd love to hear from you all who you think is worth supporting if your thoughts are in line with what I listed above.
- Creator of Steem Keychain and co-creator of Steem Engine. I think Steem Keychain dramatically improves the User Experience on Steem and it's made in what I feel is one of the best ways to develop something for Steem, in a way that can be used by everyone.
- Creator of Steem Monsters and Steem Engine. So I actually think @aggroed is more focused on the business end of the spectrum, but I think he's by far the most successful in that area, and should be supported.
- Without blocktrades, Steem would have a huge gaping hole in the experience here. It's the easiest way to buy and sell steem, beyond that @blocktrades also actively curates the community, developed the SPS, supports contests etc. which improves the user experience here a ton.
- I wouldn't be here without @curie. When I first started on Steem, after my first few posts I'd began to think it was pointless to post here(keep in mind at this point, I had no idea how anything worked, I didn't know what a curation trail was) then I got my first @curie upvote, and it revitalized my curiosity and kept me going so that I wanted to learn more. I feel that what they do here fills a void that they can't fill alone, but it makes a huge positive difference.
- @blockbrothers are behind the app Steemify which is extremely useful and again fills a void here on Steem. Basically it sends push notifications to your phone, for customizable events that you set to be notified for. At this point it's an absolute must have for using Steem in my opinion.
- @stoodkev is behind the Steemplus chrome extension that makes Steemit usable. They are obviously working to improve the user experience and that's why I support them.
- c-squared is a curation group that curates more frequently than say @curie. So while I think curie is great, they are trying to cover everyone and I get that they need to spread the love. That typically means less frequency for individuals and I think c-squared does a great job filling in the gaps.
- pretty much the same reason as c-squared. Another curation group that helps with the lack of discovery here on Steem.
- Oracle-d created Steem Ninja along with other stuff, but for me the big achievement is Steem Ninja. Steem Ninja allows for quick account creation and for payment with paypal. It's the best solution we have currently for account creation for brand new users that are not potentially already into crypto.
- Partiko is the best mobile experience currently for Steem. Their app takes this whole confusing mess and makes it relatively simple. It's obvious that they have user experience in mind.
- Busy is another frontend for Steem, and depending on your taste, it might be the one for you. It's definitely still a better UX than Steemit and I'd love to see them continue to develop.
- good-karma is behind esteem which has a mobile and desktop version. Again, a great frontend for Steem depending on your preferences. I use it often.
- @roelandp organizes Steemfest as well as created the steemwallet app. I haven't taken part in a SteemFest yet, that's the next level community connection I suppose. Even though I probably won't be going to one anytime soon, this is obviously valuable.
- Like the other curation groups ocd is a huge help to the community by curating and overall improving the user experience.
So for those that don't know, you have 30 witness votes to use. Personally I'm currently using all thirty, but some are a bit arbitrary as I mentioned before. I want to leave the last 15 up for discussion. If you agree with the basic ideas of what @theusersparty stands for(I'll write up something more official later) then consider letting us vote on your behalf.
Later I'll do a post on the @theusersparty account that has detailed instructions on how to let it vote for you as a proxy and the full witness voting list. Right now I want to fill the other 15 slots and I'd love community feedback for that. Also if you're a witness and you feel like these values are in line with yours or you'd like to make your case for why we should vote for you feel free to. I'm not trying to be a Nazi about this, if you feel like you're adding value, just make your case, I think we all would benefit from it.
My goal is to create an incentive for witnesses to want to prioritize users. If you think we should be prioritizing investors, that's cool, this might not be for you. One of the things I think is great about Steem, is we can all pursue what we think is best individually, in groups, in factions, whatever, and if we have the same goals in mind, only one of us needs to be right for us all to win.
If you'd like to help, please resteem this post for visibility, the more input the better.
Let's be proactive and make Steem better together. 😁
(edit) I figured I'd just go ahead and put the instructions in this post just in case