Who wins from selling votes?

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It's not hard to guess.

It used to be like this:

  • User posts.
  • People vote. If you were very lucky a whale might see it and give you a nice vote.
  • User gets 75% of the rewards. Votes share the rest. If a whale voted they get a nice return.

Now it seems to go like this:

  • User posts.
  • User buys votes from whales or other big accounts.
  • Hardly anyone actually reads the post or leaves a decent comment.
  • Some may choose to flag for excessive rewards
  • User may end up with a small profit. Curation split as before, but the vote seller got paid anyway.

So the result is that regular user accounts grow very slowly as they don't make much on a post. Meanwhile the whales get far richer. Sounds a bit like regular life. I realise some of the vote sellers distribute some of what they make to those who delegate to them. I also realise that the system was never perfect. Whales would vote up their friends and I expect deals were done behind the scenes before vote selling became a more open enterprise.

What's not happening there is real, human interaction with the post. If you just want to make money then why even bother with real content? Okay, so you may trend enough to attract some followers, but they are unlikely to be established Steemians with SP to use as most of those will avoid trending.

I had a discussion with a user today who got flagged by the @steemflagrewards crew for plagiarism. I think he understands what he did wrong. It was only a few cents, but if we can catch such cases early on we may be able to put them on a better path. Plagiarised posts give Steemit a bad reputation. It's not about taking cents away from people who are desperate. It's about making Steemit a better place. People are giving up their time and doing this for no real reward although you can earn something for highlighting bad posts. Kudos to @megalosaurus for being active in this area and posting good guidelines on what is bad.

Flag

Those doing the flagging risk retaliation. This is another reason why they may pick on smaller accounts. You have to pick battles you think you can win. The bigger abusers need more firepower. This is a reason to delegate to the accounts that deal with them. They are unlikely to hit back at dozen of delegators, if they even check who they are. That just uses up their voting power that they tend to prefer to use on themselves. There are lots of people taking out many dollars each day through self-voting and voting circles on junk posts. This deprived others who are putting in real work.

Use your vote to help Steemit fulfil its potential. Don't vote up junk in hope of a small curation reward or an unlikely reciprocal vote. It really is up to we users to do the work.

Just felt like putting this out there. I've said similar things before. If you are not buying votes then feel free to use the #NoBidBots tag that some of us will check and support the good posts.

Steem on and on!

I'm Steve, the geeky guitarist.

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Sort Order:  trending

I usually vote someone who can upvote more than 0.00 $. If someone is minnow, should try to increase his voting power. He should invest and buy steem power, or lease Sp.

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I'll vote up plankton to encourage them if they are doing it right. I appreciate its hard when you start off.

I remember when I was a little kid, my older sister and I would play the Bowling video game on the Atari 2600. At my young age, I didn’t understand the scoring system of bowling, and my devious sister would point out how if I got a strike, my score didn’t go up, but if I didn’t knock down all the pins, the score would immediately increase. Of course, this was due to strikes & spares waiting to add further pins from frames to come. I made the seemingly obvious correct choice to rack up those quick early points, and never understood how her score would rapidly climb later to beat me, as she racked up those strikes & spares I’d been taught to avoid.

That’s the anecdote that always comes to mind with vote buying... as the buyers play the role of gullible little brother and the sellers act as devious older sisters!

Play the long game. Go for strikes. Power up. Don’t go for the instant points. That’s my advice to all.

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I'm definitely playing the long game. It's taken 2 years to build up an account that has a little sway. I've had a lot of fun along the way.

I had many happy hours playing bowling on the Wii with the kids.

As you know I have only just started flagging with the recommendations given by the admins of @steemflagrewards, and it is very different than giving out votes.

I do feel like a bit of a bully to be honest doing this, should I feel like that? The accounts I'm flagging are small, but are abusing the system and do need to be educated.

It feels like telling a shoplifter not to do it again and taking the goods back rather than issuing him a few weeks in jail.

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I feel a little that way too, but it's only cents we're taking away. I believe in giving them a chance to redeem themselves, but some choose to carry on regardless. I have little sympathy for those

It's true. Nobody reads each other's posts anymore. You might get supported by a few people that you know but that doesn't mean that they actually like your content.

Chances are good that they only uploved it because they like you or because you guya have a sort of good old boy thing going on. Nepotism. It kind of sucks and I do hope we can change the nature of steemit eventually.

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It's obviously not 'nobody' as you can see here from the comments. Lots of people do read and engage. You just have to seek out the good people.

Those of us with some SP can use it to do some good. If you don't have time to flag or vote then delegate some to those who will. I don't mind losing curation rewards.

In the 4 months I've been on here probably 90% of my votes have come from one curation group (curie). I've never had a large vote from an individual (whale) to my knowledge. I've had many posts on the trending pages for days and they usually doesn't even get an extra vote so it appears the trending pages have been killed by vote buyers. I'm glad to see vote buying doesn't pay off.

Yep in a nutshell I believe the whole bid bot stuff have ruined the platform. Yet, I am still friends with those that use them. It is what it is. I have never used them and would like to support those like me. I will fully take advantage of the nobidbots tag and will try to add some support, not that my vote is worth much anymore but you know what I mean lol.

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I mostly ignore the promoted stuff. There's plenty of good stuff without paid votes and I'll support that. There's people paying $100s for votes to get to the top of trending when they have enough followers to make a good amount anyway. Just seems wrong to me.

Excellent post and well worth the read. I have been taking a complete break from Steemit for weeks now, and have just popped in today for the first time in a long time.

When I started with Steemit a year ago, I really believed that working hard and providing good content was what it was all about. Sadly, I discovered that it was more about getting votes from people who didn’t bother to read the content anyway. I decided to try using a bot and lo and behold I got flagged by a certain cat. It was bery disheartening, but others did come to my aid, building my earnings from the post back up. So, there are many decent people on Steemit, and I have made many virtual friends!

As a semi-retired senior trying to have fun making a little extra while working hard to do so, I felt very disheartened for a while, so decided to take a break for the summer. I hope to come back more refreshed soon.

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The freedom we have here means you can try whatever you want, but others are free to flag. Some do that because they really care about making Steemit better. I don't buy votes, but I still get lots. I think it's some voting trail. That's nice, but I'd rather people actually read what I write rather than just voting automatically. If everything was automated here there would be no point in it.

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I agree. I’d rather have the votes because someone really appreciated the content, but it’s nice to have the voting trail votes too. I don’t like to join them, because I like to decide for myself who deserves my votes and at what percentage!!

I’m looking forward to posting again in a couple of weeks! I certainly have a lot to write about!

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Yeah, I have been busting my ass for about a year and all I have earned 5 real followers who would come and read my post...
I don't mind upvotes but I love especially when someone puts a decent comment under my post, even a sarcastic one, it really makes me feel honored.
I admit, I sell votes but to a certain extent. To avoid the loss, when I am away from steemit. I use smartsteem to vote for whitelisted users only...Thereby making sure that my sold vote goes to some one awesome(whitelisted users usually make genuine contents).

And my dream of getting a whale attention remained a dream...Even best of my posts never got the deserving attention...
This situation implies to me, that there is no use of putting your sweet in those long post, as there is no appreciation.
PS
I did an analysis of trending page 3 months ago...
Paid/Bid Bots Ruling The Trending Page: The Message It Sends

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I get some automated vote which I am grateful for, but comments make it worth while. Luckily the spam is still pretty low for now. I get some great comments. You just have to keep engaging like this and find your audience. I've put in a lot of work to get this far.

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Yeah comments make it all worth...please have a look at my 3 months old post...almost 90% payouts on trending page were paid/bid or self vote ones.

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I gave up on Trending. It's useless to me. I do sometimes flag some of them, but I can't make much difference.

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Yeah trending is same as hot and promoted section...nobody cares for it...its been a week since I last looked at trending...because I know, its going to be the same old story.
Anyways thanks for sparing time to read my comments and replying...means a lot to me.

Yeah the best way to get the attention from a walle would be being active in communities and not all this bs.

And worse.... minnows try to earn Steem by upvoting 85 % of our own posts in order to convert to Steem Power to increase our voting power to increase the value of our votes ... only to have every single post down voted by @sadkitten and a host of other bots..... This is depressing. If I Upvote my own posts I get downvotes if I pay for votes I get down voted and waste all my Steem. Minnows can’t win. Ever. We are getting Crushed by whales and bots,

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If most of your votes go on your own posts that's bad for steemit. Support others and they may return the favour. I have self voted, but it would be less than 5% of my votes. I want to see honest engagement, not just automation. You've earned something and so have I.

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If you vote after 30 minutes on your own posts you are sharing 99% of your Upvote with your followers to reward them with Curation Steem.... if @sadkitten takes this away, he is taking away from those curators.

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I don't think many people self vote for the benefit of others. They still get most of the reward

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If they haven’t read the White paper or understand how Curation rewards work,

I've noticed quite some more great people with great content. The inner circle is getting bigger 😀. Just like you I m here for the long run. Never really flagged someone only the ones whith the shitty comments on my own posts.

"If you are not buying votes then feel free to use the #NoBidBots tag that some of us will check and support the good posts."

I used that tag for quite some time and I had some good luck there for sure. The only reason I stoped was because I started getting some votes from delegating to canna-curate (which is not a bid bot but I am still getting votes in exchange for something) and I wasn't sure how the community would feel about that. I still totally believe in that tag though.

"[...] but if we can catch such cases early on we may be able to put them on a better path."

I think that is a good way to go about things. Sometimes all people need is someone to tell them to stop and maybe even how to do things better. It might not work every time but some would listen and start working to make their content better.

The autovotes also take away the engagement..plus those with 100k+ sp can do about anything and are untouchables.

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This is why we should delegate to those who fight it. For me the rewards are nice, but I enjoy the engagement. It would be tedious otherwise and I already have a job for that part of my life.

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Bring back those early times @steevc
Who do you recommend to delegate to?

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I've made some suggestions on previous posts. Look around to see who you might want to support. You can check my current delegations with various tools

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Ta will do☺

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I suspect the same. Probably only 5% of people actually reads or looks at the actual posts.

I've found out that the steem network is the perfect example of:

"Money talks".

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As in life in general, but some of us have built up some influence here that we can use to do good.

Steve can you buy some steem using credit a card with wirex?

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You can buy Bitcoin, Litecoin or Ripple that you could use to buy Steem on the exchanges, but I've not tried this yet

Nice post @steevc!

Steemit is NOT for beginners or Minnows.... Steemit is only for Whales. No one else....

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There are no absolutes...

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Death is absolute as far as we know.

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Okay, there are few absolutes.

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Another Absolute is this: The more Steem Power you have... the greater is your UpVote. In order to succeed on Steemit All efforts should go towards increasing your Steem Power.

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Not at all costs though. Do it through actual work that is appreciated rather than buying it or self-voting. I'd consider 50% self-voting excessive.

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That’s true.... I need to do better.

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Well I mentioned you in my Follow Friday post to give you a chance. You have lots of followers, but maybe not enough are active.

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Only a Sith deals in absolutes.

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And the opposite of a Sith.