Bid Bots have been discussed to death and back more than a few times here. But there's one aspect to them that I don't think has gotten much, if any, attention at all.
The loss of the lottery aspect of Steemit.
I believe the "lottery effect" was even mentioned in the original Whitepaper. I'll try to explain what I mean by this.
Back in the old days, even posts by a small fish like me when I was just starting out had the off chance of getting picked up by a whale. It wasn't often, it wasn't common - but it could always happen if you did the right things at the right time. As a speedrun person, I'll put it in another way: while you could never ensure a 100% chance of it happening, there was a fair amount of "RNG manipulation" that one could perform in order to increase the odds.
RNG stands for Random Number Generator.
It was possible to treat it as a game, sort of. Catchy headline, interesting thumbnail, the right subject matter... and of course some witty and entertaining and/or informative actual material.
No, content has never been the driving factor on Steemit, and I think it's understandable as to why. But it was possible for it to matter back in those days. It wasn't consistent, but it was there, nonetheless.
The lottery aspect was the fact that any post could potentially be the one.
That motivated me to work on all of my posts, trying to make them as good as possible. I usually aimed for a good joke every few paragraphs so even skimmers could potentially catch a funny line that would direct them to the upvote button.
Even if the last post didn't make it, the next one could be the one.
And so on and so forth.
This made and kept Steemit fun and exciting. Sadly, this has been lost along the way, almost entirely. The bid bots are the big voters around, they dictate which posts make it - and they have zero randomness, and can not be manipulated by content quality. The result of this is that the same stuff happens every day. I can post about Mega Man; I can post about Steemit; I can post my fiction; I can pretty much do and say whatever, and the end result is always the same - and pre-determined.
I remember even ned saying back in the day that the lottery aspect was an addictive game that would keep people coming back.
The same people view and vote and engage with my content, no matter what.
There's no excitement, there's very little motivation to try and do the best possible job I can. Even the most hard-working employee starts to lose motivation if his boss flat out tells him he's never getting a raise, he's never going to get promoted, he's never going to go anywhere in his career.
I understand that some people feel this is the better way - and that's fair, it's a matter of taste as long as we don't have conclusive evidence as to what does and doesn't affect the STEEM price.
Some people feel that it's good that the Trending Page is now in everybody's hands, so to speak. Buy a vote and you're there. Like magic.
Like I said, I completely understand that viewpoint.
But the general decline in quality of my postings is a direct result of the lack of Steemit lottery. Why put in the extra effort when I know very well in advance that the post isn't going anywhere anyway?
In case someone was wondering.