What most block chains would call "Block Producers" Steem presently refers to as "Witnesses" and https://steempeak.com has a beautiful and wonderfully useful page to help users gain insights to all the Block Producers.
FYI : "Witness" = "Block Producer" in the Steem World
We'll use the two terms interchangeably though I (@jarvie) personally prefer "block producer" because it's a much more intuitive term than witness... though obviously to a new user both terms are still strange. But witness has many English connotations that are more confusing in this application.
SMALL INTRO TO THE PAGE
Witnesses do more than run an online server that verifies/produces/witnesses the blocks in the block chain however it is one of their most visable and important jobs and this page does mostly the job of informing users how they're doing at their job. So we'll break down all the parts of the "witness page" for you... though we'll refer to them mainly as most of the world would as "Block Producers".
ANATOMY OF THE WITNESS PAGE
- A : RANK
The rank of the block producer based on votes of the users. The stake of the user is taken into account... meaning how much of the Steem cryptocurrency they own and have "powered up" in their wallet.
- B : NAME
This is the username of the account connected to the block producer server
- C : LINK
Each block producer is able to share a link where presumably users will see more information about what they're doing which may include specifications like what kind of server they are using and what projects they work on to help Steem and perhaps some of their philosophies and ideas for the blockchain.
- D : VERSION
Each time new software comes out it has a version number. (SideNote: When a version of software that has changes that will make a very important change to the core functions of the blockchain comes out we call that a "HardFork")
- E : ONLINE
Sometimes a block producer is offline, for example to upgrade the software. And in some cases they have decided to shut down their server.
- F : VOTES
This is basically how many votes they have gotten but as stated in A the votes are based on their stake in the ecosystem and in this case it represents MV which is a HUGE number called "Mega Vests"
- G : ACTIVITY
This just shows the last block this server was in charge of verifying/producing/witnessing. Probably the least interesting column in the set.
- H : FAILS
Technically it's called a miss and that's a gentler word but you're hear to understand this page in an easy way... so basically their server for one reason or another was unable to correctly verify/produce/witness a block of information for the Steem Blockchain. FYI... it's not a good thing.
- I : PRICE OF STEEM
One of the jobs of the block producers / witnesses is to make a group decision about some of the key data points for steem... that way there isn't one person or software deciding something important. So in this case they consistently update what they understand the price of Steem in USD to be.
- J : COST OF NEW ACCOUNT
This is also a group decision on how much a new account on the block chain should cost... it's cost is amount of Steem Tokens.
- K : THE VOTING ACTION
You can see who you've voted for. Clicking those buttons is casting a vote... or removing it.
- L : YOU GET 30 VOTES
Though only the top 20 Block Producers make vital decisions about Steem there is a 21st slot where what is often called a "Standby Witness" will also produce blocks.
- M : OTHER PARAMETERS
It's another 5 columns of details that are for the most part very obscure. The only one of interest to most non-technical people is the amount of interest tokens in saving should get. With most block producers presently stating 0%
N : WITNESS DESCRIPTION (NEW)
- Seeing that very few people visited the links on a regular basis and that people refer nice short recaps over long pages and seeing that many of the Block Producers didn't have an up to date page for their link...
- SteemPeak added a field for the Block Producers to add a short description.
- This is new and so far 35% of the top 20 have filled out their description eventually we hope to see them all. So if you're a block producer/witness please go add the short description.
- What most block producers have put there is information as to why a user should be inclined to vote for them... for example what value they have brought to the Steem Blockchain.
HOW TO EDIT WITNESS DESCRIPTION?
You just need to add the field
witness_description to your account metadata. But it's simpler than that... just go to your user profile on https://steempeak.com and hit edit.
If you're a witness then you will have the option to set the new field, and storing it in your profile will allow other witness pages to display this information as well... this is not centralized to SteemPeak.
- We'd like to take the moment to encourage all active Witnesses to add the field.
- Particularly some of the top witnesses @yabapmatt @curie @blocktrades @gtg @someguy123 @good-karma @aggroed @cervantes @ocd-witness @anyx @followbtcnews @smooth.witness @clayop @drakos
- Also any other group running a witness page should consider adding the field... users will be very thankful for having better information to use to educate their votes
STEEMPEAK NAVIGATION FOR WITNESS PAGE
USER MENU : This is one way of getting to the "Witness Page" click here and select "TOOLS"
TOOLS MENU: If you go to "TOOLS" you will see this right hand menu... then go to "Witnesses" to get to this page
Or go straight there https://steempeak.com/witnesses
FILTERS: As per typical SteemPeak fashion our users love the ability to filter content.
- You can filter to see which users you've voted for aka "approved"
- You can see which servers are active/in-active
- You can filter by the version number
- Or use a search to quickly find a name since there are 500 block producers that have thrown their hat into the ring at one point or another though less than half of that are presently enabled and active servers.
STEEMPEAK BLOCK PRODUCER STATUS
- Presently we are #39
- We're proud of never having "missed" a block
- We've been running the server since November 2018
ANOTHER WAY TO VOTE
Did you know that you can go to the profile page of ANY witness and quickly vote... there's a big button
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