Understanding the role Witnesses play in the Steem ecosystem is often misunderstood, by the bulk of new Steemians. Without Witnesses, we wouldn't have a working blockchain, and without a blockchain, we wouldn't have Utopian-io, Steemit, Busy, Dtube, Dlive or any of the other popular Steem interfaces.
And although there are plenty of tutorials around showing you how to vote for a Witness we don't appear to keep track of the Witness movements on a weekly basis, to help you to make informed decisions.
Some might not even be aware they have 30 witness votes to cast, regardless of when you started.
So I'm taking on the responsibility to maintain a Weekly Top 100 Witness Chart to keep track of the movers and shakers in the Steem ecosystem.
Who are the Steem Witnesses?
Now there are a number of ways to find the top witnesses in Steem but all are snapshots of moments in time. And unless you have a really good memory there's no way to see if your favorite Witness is moving up or down the ranks.
And if you don't know how they're tracking you won't even realize they need your help to maintain their top 20 witness position.
But what are Steem Witnesses?
On the Steem blockchain, witnesses serve a role of validating signatures and timestamping transactions by including them in blocks. A block is any group of transactions (posts, votes, transfers, etc) which update the state of the database. Each time a witness produces a block, they are paid for their service. If a witness fails to produce a block, then they are not paid, and may even be voted out.
Every round of block production begins with the shuffling of 21 witnesses: the top 20 witnesses (by vote), plus one randomly-selected standby witness. Each is given a turn to produce a single block at a fixed rate of one block every 3 seconds. If a witness does not produce a block in their time slot, then that time slot is skipped, and the next witness produces the next block.
Here are a few places you can find static information on the current Steem Blockchain Witnesses
Steemd.com - https://steemd.com/witnesses
Steemit.com - https://steemit.com/~witnesses
And although my Top 100 List is based on a couple of weekly snapshots too, it provides a weekly insight into the Witness Movers and Shakers over the last week.
But it's also important to recognize these results may have an impact, as smaller STEEM rewards could result in a Witness contributing less to popular community projects. Or perhaps a Winess moving into the Top 20 has more capacity for philanthropy and could be approached to support your new project.
So without further adieu, here is this weeks list:-
Weekly Top 100 Witness - Movers and Shakers
Witnesses Added to the Top 100
Witnesses Shaken from the List
Weekly snapshot data is being collected from https://steemd.com/witnesses and is being collated manually as I currently don't have the skills to produce an automated report from the Steem blockchain.
However, if this weekly chart proves to be useful I'll work on automating it directly from the blockchain or via SteemSQL.com rather than using an Excel spreadsheet to do the bulk of the computational work.
This work is a proof of concept and in future updates, I'll provide further insight into the biggest movers of the week. So you can learn if there have been significant efforts to move up the Witness rankings or if it's simply a result of a power shift.
Before I started collating this data, I assumed the Top 100 Witnesses were fairly static, although we can see from these results, this is not actually the case.
In fact, almost 50% of the Top 100 Witnesses shuffled around during the week, but there were no surprises in the Top 20 as these top earners were fairly stable.
If you find this Top 100 Chart useful please let me know in the comments below and include any suggestions I can use to improve this weekly post.
Posted on Utopian.io - Rewarding Open Source Contributors