Steem: An attempt to show improved distribution to content authors over the past year

in distribution •  3 months ago  (edited)

A look at reward distribution between authors and the participation in content production over the past year.

tl;dr: Good news, I think!



source


The initial idea of this data grab, based on numerous requests, was to take a look at pre and post hard fork author rewards to see if the EIP had changed the distribution in any way.

Before I get to the data, a reminder of what is stated in the Steem whitepaper:

The actual distribution will depend upon the voting patterns of users, but we suspect that the vast majority of the rewards will be distributed to the most popular content.

... if we order some large collection by size or popularity, the second element in the collection will be about half the measure of the first one, the third one will be about one-third the measure of the first one, and so on.

... if we have a million items, then the most popular 100 will contribute a third of the total value, the next 10,000 another third, and the remaining 989,900 the final third.



The quotes and chart above are all taken from page 13 of the Steem Whitepaper.

My short interpretation of the above is that it is expected that the vast majority of content producers will earn little compared to the few at the top. I've included the above to make clear that this is the game and it's unlikely that however we choose to slice the cake, a short head and long tail is still likely to exist.


Comparing author rewards over the past year

To take a shot at this, I've picked 5 the following data ranges and summed up each authors vesting rewards. The liquid rewards (and curation rewards) are ignored in this post.

01/25/2019 00:00:00 - 01/31/2019 23:59:59 -- last week of January 2019
04/24/2019 00:00:00 - 04/30/2019 23:59:59 -- last week of April 2019
07/25/2019 00:00:00 - 07/31/2019 23:59:59 -- last week of July 2019
10/25/2019 00:00:00 - 10/31/2019 23:59:59 -- last week of October 2019
01/25/2020 00:00:00 - 01/31/2020 23:59:59 -- last week of January 2020

First, a chart that has no right in any publication due to its lack of clarity (you may disagree!) - The vested author rewards for week ending 31st January 2019.

The label on the chart is the total vests for the week above for author 25 - who by my reckoning is somewhere around the end of the head and the start of the tail? The chart for week ending 31st January 2020 shows little difference to the naked eye, and so I've grouped authoring accounts into the buckets below to produce the next display.

Top 10, top 20, top 100, top 500.



Taking the data from Jan 2019 and Jan 2020, the percentage of total vesting rewards has reduced across all the buckets.

The most notable dip in percentage came in the first data range which followed the EIP fork.

The percentage of vests earned by the top 10 and top 20 authors has picked up again in the most recent data set.


Removing @burnpost

The reason the final statement above is true is likely due to the rise in popularity of @burnpost, which was easily the largest receiver of rewards at the end of January 2020.

All rewards received by @burnpost are eventually burned and so although these vests are not available for authors, I thought it was worth (you may think otherwise) running the numbers again without this account included.

w/b - without @burnpost



Excluding @burnpost, the percentage of vests going to the top 10 authors free to powerdown and cash-out vesting rewards has almost halved.

Whether the removal of @burnpost is meaningful or not is open to debate - the Vests are unavailable - would these vests have previously have been (evenly) spread across authors?


Back to the original data (with @burnpost) and the quote from the whitepaper...

... if we have a million items, then the most popular 100 will contribute a third of the total value, the next 10,000 another third, and the remaining 989,900 the final third.

We don't have a million accounts earning vesting rewards (contributing value?) and .0001% (100/1,000,000) of 6326 (accounts) is just over half an account, and so taking that route doesn't really tell much.

Looking at the total number of vests rewarded and the total number of unique authors receiving them does seem to show a wider distribution (more top authors sharing the first 3rd of value).

The top 165 accounts took (or shared) 1/3 of the author vests in the final week of January 2019, 48 accounts more than in the final week of January 2019.

The number of authors sharing the 'middle 3rd' of the VESTS in January 2020 was less than the number in January 2019, however as percentages, which accounts for the total number of unique authors in each data set receiving vests:


Based on the above, distribution to authors has improved a little?

Cheers

Asher

(10% to @burnpost for the name-dropping extravaganza)

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It's good to learn that there is some improvement in distribution. You will still see certain accounts guaranteed to get double digit dollar rewards for anything they post. I think it is largely down to automated votes for maximum curation rewards, but also partly to reward consistently valuable people such as yourself. I make a bit less, but cannot really complain about the regular votes I get. It's just a bit sad that many of those voters will not have seen my posts. I value the interaction.

I am a little embarrassed at times to fall into that double digit dollar category, but it makes me ensure that for the most part, i put effort into most work (this was 5+ hours in the making) and don't post more than once each day.

Interaction is important for sure, and @misterengagement with his !ENGAGE 25 tokens is trying to do his bit :)

You do deserve decent rewards for the work you put in, but others can make as much for a picture and a few words. That is not including those who really milk the system.

Thanks for the tokens. Have a !BEER.


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In January 2019, I am assuming that the top 10-20 were mostly all bidbots, whereas I am guessing none are now? So not only has the share decreased, what is up at the pointy end is mostly organic?

  ·  3 months ago (edited)

I wonder where the top 10 from Jan 2019 now sit in 2020

Not in the top 20 :)

Only steemcleaners exist in each of the 5 week endings I used.

For sure. I didn't want to confuse myself further with bots (took a section out) but yeah, there are far more 'free' vests available now.

Jan 2019

Jan 2020

Dunno about that guy in 7th :)

  ·  3 months ago (edited)

Thanks!

Am I blind or is there no overlap at all? Besides SC

I think they are the only account to appear. April July October below.

Can definitely see the hardfork difference

And now, to the moon :)

Looking good today at least

Do you see any "new blood"?

  ·  3 months ago (edited)

Ok. I am one of those people who asked for this data. So first of all, thank you, Asher. I think this puts to bed the controversy if burnpost is actually useful or not. The only thing that remains in the optics of trending, which we can work on constantly with everyone's help and support.

Several days back @smooth @pharesim and I (I was mostly an observer :)) had this discussion whether burnpost is good or bad for the economy. I actually have to organize that discussion as a post (I am slacking). Below was smooth's starting hypothesis :

There are basically three classes of usage rewards/inflation can be allocated to:

  1. Positive (spending $1 results in >$1 contributed back to the value of the system)
  2. Neutral (spending $1 results in exactly $1 contributed value)
  3. Negative (spending $1 results in <$1 contributed value)

By logic burnpost is basically #2 and on $1+ SBD scenario it is #1. If that is the case, the obvious question is there must be a positive impact of burnpost on :

  1. price of steem
  2. reward distribution along the food chain

I think #1 here is difficult to prove in short term (should be positive by math in the long term), but Asher has proven that #2 is definitely the case on the "head" of the reward distribution, which is what we want.

Thanks for the feedback @azircon. I must admit there are parts of that thread which are beyond me, but I wanted to see if I could find anything that could point to a wider distribution of votes, post the EIP fork.

I'm glad to hear that this goes a little way to showing this :)

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(forgot again!)



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Hehe, the name dropping extravaganza!!

That is good news seemingly. Heck, if you say it is, I'm gonna believe it!

Numbers eh, can rework them to your agenda all you like :P

Seems to make sense though, but when you are head down in something for hours on end then maybe the obvious is missed!

Hehe, nah. It looks good. I see no wild manipulation!!

Grand :D

Time for lunch then!

Liquid lunch alert!!! :0)

I am tempted for a few this evening, especially seeing as it is your birthday. This means going outside though, something i have managed to avoid today! :P

It's a good excuse for it!!!

But aye, outside is mingin. I had to take the kids out as they were going stir crazy and it was horrible!!

It is, and i could well make it yet.

The kids should each have been given a poo-stick - round em up!

:D

Seems like a double win for HF - better distribution and chbartist as gone, powered down, good riddance.

There are a few who I'm glad to see out. The other good news is that those eager were able to collect their STEEM at a rather low looking price :)

Well distribution might have increased/improve a bit

It's better than it was if my numerical take on it has any value :)

It has improved a great deal as hidden under those numbers are the changes in the accounts that are getting the Steem.

Lol Some rewards go to burn post and most of the rewards go to turd posts

Turd n Burn!

Lol I can't wait for it to converge in a flaming pile like we used to do on my neighbour's doorstep

I'll make sure to avoid trying to stamp it out

Are there really so few people actively using steem in an author capacity? 12,000 Jan 2019 down to 6,300 in Jan 2020?

Yup, surprising isn't it?

6300 different accounts were rewarded author rewards in vested SP over the final week of January 2020.

Well hopefully with the slow steady rise we will see more activity in the coming months.

I am engaging more with comments, does that make me an author? or is it only my posts that count?

Still trying to figure out these stats.

For this analysis, I looked at the rewards for 'top level' comments or 'posts', as they are more widely known.

What do you mean by ‘top level’ and ‘widely known’ is this the number of followers?

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Seems pretty close to what was happening two years ago.
@statsmonkey says the top ten votes take ~25% of the pool and @bitgeek says the inflation is diluting the whales.
https://steemit.com/steemit/@bitgeek/payout-stats-report-for-2nd-november-2017--part-i

The top 10 as of week ending 31st Jan 2020 took something like 5% of the pool. Based on that, things are a lot better.

So we got that going for us.

I've been eating beans and piling in here, so do hope it's going :)

No recovering the two years we lost on walkabout.
Steem on.

Maybe, maybe not. I'm eternally hopefully there's something here worth sticking around for.

Me, too.
But, i think the 20steem tax needs to be halved and the dv pool upped to 35%.
Among other tinkering.

We are doing much better than during the walkabout.

You're looking at 4-5 data points across an entire year? Or does your chart actually show monthly/weekly/daily fluctuations?

Edit: I apologize, you looked at 1 week ranges. That helps a little with the fluctuations of days, but again, cherry picking weeks like this is not a valid form of trending analysis...

You've cherry picked 4-5 dates that may be the same weekday or may not be the same weekday. If you're comparing Monday vs Saturday vs Wednesday, you're going to see somewhat / drastically different results.

You also picked USA's Halloween, which is a terrible choice. Postings on that date historically are lower than other days that fall on the same day of week.

I appreciate the effort, however, you're not providing enough clarity and consistency.. the only valid dates you can actually consider for an analysis like this are Jan 31 and Jan 31, however, as they're likely on different days of the week, you can't rely too heavily on those direct comparisons either ...

Thanks for the feedback.

I wouldn’t call it cherry picking as that suggests I’ve seen the data and chosen the week endings for any other reason than them being 7 days at the end of the month.

If you're comparing Monday vs Saturday vs Wednesday, you're going to see somewhat / drastically different results.

There will be one of each of the 7 days In each dataset. Without data to support your argument I’m going to blindly disagree, and prove you wrong later 😛

How about I expand the results to cover a whole month each time? Would that account for this global Halloween phenomenon you speak of?

Effectively, my comments were intended to clarify that you are performing a trending analysis on data that should not be considered for such a purpose. It would be like polling Trump supporters as to whether or not they like Donald Trump and extrapolating the results from your survey to say it represents the entire population of voters.

I expanded the datasets for January 2019 and Jan 2020 in the following post as there was some merit in you suggesting a week in each month was not enough data. The results look very similar.

I haven't taken a look at that post yet (I apologise) .. I'll take a look

I confess to finding myself cross eyed with those numbers, Asher, but those trendlines are very interesting.

What I do know, from my own experience is that the demise of bid bots had had a positive impact on my rewards. My account is minuscule so curation brings little return. For one of my #spud posts at the end of last year, I did a very unscientific analysis of my rewards and there is a definite uptick post EIP. And I'm posting less. I think I'm commenting and upvoting as much, but am more considered and selective of whom I upvote and where I comment. Some of it is because I am no longer in a community that compels me to use some of my upvotes on posts I'd never other wise consider supporting. Nor do I have to respond to comments that are required by the Ts and Cs and, by and large, superficial and inane.

That's fine, my eyes are sore too :)

... from my own experience is that the demise of bid bots had had a positive impact on my rewards.

I suspect there are plenty of people in this situation. That SP is now more open to voting in the wild, where as before you had to pay for the pleasure.

Nor do I have to respond to comments that are required by the Ts and Cs and, by and large, superficial and inane.

Get ready for an influx of more of these if the price continues in this direction!

Get ready for an influx of more of these if the price continues in this direction!

Well, if Steem moons, and with our currency, last time I checked, at about ZAR 13:1 SBD, I'd deal with it. I am just reflecting on @paulag's question. And I have been thinking: if I powered up liquid steem and left all of that there to "work", and saved SBD.... Just thinking aloud...

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Great data @abh12345. I enjoy looking at this sort of stuff as it keeps me in some sort of loop while I cant do it myself :-)

Cheers Paula!

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Do you know what percentage of the "reward pool" is comprised of "below-minimum-payouts"?

Do you know what percentage of the "reward pool" is comprised of "downvoted payouts"?

0?

I’m not sure any of the reward pool is going to below minimum payouts.

Please set-me-straight if I'm mistaken.

I'm only asking because @tarazkp seems to have delegated their "sense-making" to you.

What is the reward-pool comprised of?

Don't the below-minimum-payouts get dumped into the reward-pool?

Don't the downvoted pending payouts get dumped into the reward-pool?

I'm just wondering if anyone knows exactly how much the downvotes contribute to the top-earners?

I'm just wondering if anyone knows exactly how much the below-minimum-payouts contribute to the top-earners?

Don't the below-minimum-payouts get dumped into the reward-pool?

I Don't know

Don't the downvoted pending payouts get dumped into the reward-pool?

Yes i think so if minus

Ok, thanks for your time and consideration.

@tipu curate


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