Bluffer's Guide To Steem - The Rewards Pool, Post Payouts, Upvotes & Downvotes

Bluffer's Guide to Steem.jpg

Back For One Blog Only...

It's about time we wheeled the Bluffer's Guide out of retirement and blow the dust off the covers! For those of you who don't know, the Bluffer's Guide was something I set up last year to help beginner's understand some of the complexity around cryptocurrencies in a mildly entertaining way without using any technical language.

Everything I have shared in the series has been from my own research, understanding and experience of being in this space since December 2017 and I try to provide some opinion (but mostly neutral) to help encourage your own research around these topics I present.

So, today, let's talk about Steem and it's Rewards Pool structure, along with other factors such as Post Payouts, Upvotes, Downvotes and the psychology associated with it.

Previous readers may know what's about to come next but for those who don't...

Before I begin, I want to emphasise that this is a highly simplified version of what I have learnt from my own research and I'm sharing my learning with you. If you do know this topic inside out, be nice to those who are still learning about this (myself included) and we can grow together.

Furthermore, this is not financial advice and I am not a financial advisor. I am a crypto-enthusiast and wanted to create a guide to help total beginners understand what this is all about. Please seek financial advice from a qualified professional if you have any doubt about how to spend your money.

So with that said, brace yourselves, you might learn something! Shall we begin?

The Rewards Pool

The "Rewards Pool" is simply the amount of STEEM created each day that gets dished out to users on the platform who have produced or curated content. 7 days after you've made a post or a comment, you will get a share of the Rewards Pool depending on how the community perceives the value of what you've posted in the form of upvotes or downvotes.

What Are "Upvotes" & "Downvotes"?

If you've come from social media sites such as Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and others, you'll see hearts, likes, thumbs up and thumbs down "reaction buttons" which are generally used by content consumers who think something is good or bad (trolling and all other human psychological conditions aside). These buttons have no direct monetary value as they aren't backed by anything financially and can be considered as a tally of how many times that particular reaction button has been pressed.

However, with Steem, these reaction buttons come in the form of an upvote and downvote and there is a BIG difference between what we have in the social media sites mentioned above. This is because the upvote and downvote buttons have a monetary value (depending on how much Steem Power you have) meaning you have a say in how much someone will get paid for their contribution of content to the Steem platform.

That's pretty powerful stuff there at the click of these buttons hey?


How Do I Use Upvotes & Downvotes?

This is of course up to you seeing as it's your account and your Steem Power. Remember, we are in Web 3.0 now which means that by virtue of having Steem Power, you have a say in everything that happens here and that INCLUDES post payouts. The upvotes and downvotes are YOUR tools to say "Hey, I think this post is undervalued and needs more rewards" or "Hey, I think this post is overvalued and needs less rewards".

In other words, if we think of these two buttons completely objectively and treat EVERY post we see in the same way with no bias whatsoever, then upvotes and downvotes are tools of equal importance to determine where you think the share of the rewards pool should be allocated for a particular post.

However, in reality, when have humans ever been that objective?

Psychological Effects Of Upvotes & Downvotes

Whether you like it or not, humans have emotions and no one should be surprised when positive emotions follow receipt of an upvote and negative emotions follow receipt of a downvote. This is even more magnified when money is at stake with these tools and can either lead to feelings of euphoria or feelings of rage.

When you join STEEM from the likes of Facebook or Twitter, your mindset towards these reaction buttons definitely needs to be different. An upvote or downvote should be related to the way that users perceive the monetary value of a post. I say should because of what I said before about human emotion - people act on emotion mostly - but it might be useful to talk about different examples of how the upvotes and downvotes are used so that you can perhaps be ready for when you use both of these rewards distribution tools. What do you think?

If You've Been Downvoted...

Without A Comment

It's likely that you're going to feel a bit upset. No-one likes to see a downvote and even if you have 1,000 upvotes, you'll stare at that 1 downvote and it will no doubt play on your mind. "Where's the comment though? Surely I deserve some feedback as to why I've received a downvote?"

Well, some would argue against that. Based on what the upvote and downvote tools are defined as above, the reason for the downvote is already given by default - "Hey, I think this post is overvalued and needs less rewards". That's your answer.

In an ideal world, every one would read through everything they vote on Steem and distribute the rewards accordingly but, again, humans. We're a lazy bunch and will look for short cuts, particularly with the various curation trails available at our disposal.

The best way to combat any negative feelings towards the downvoters in this case would be to take it on the chin and put it down to differences about how you perceive the rewards of the post you created. If you really can't let it go, make a comment under your post and tag the user who downvoted you and ask for feedback but don't expect a response.

With A Comment

This is not as likely but it does happen where someone leaves a comment as to why they have given a downvote. Most of the time it will be reaffirming the definition above of "Hey, I think this post is overvalued and needs less rewards" and that's the end of it.

Or the comment could actually give you feedback on how to perhaps improve your post or content in future, things to bear in mind when posting again or what they'd have like to have seen to make the post more valuable.

By all means, don't expect a comment with a downvote but if you do get one, the best thing you can do is to say thanks for the feedback and if you believe it was really helpful apply it to your future posts and test your content creation skills. Even if it's through gritted teeth...

If You've Been Upvoted...

Without A Comment

On the contrary to the above, you're probably going to start feeling pretty good about things! Your post value increases and you will start thinking about a life of lambos... OK, maybe not quite yet. However, there's no comments, so how do you know what was good about the content you posted so that you can post something like it again?

Sure, a lot of upvotes means more money in the steem wallet at the end of 7 days but a lot of votes can happen on auto... is anyone really looking at your content? More upvotes without comments can seem a bit empty and for a community based social-economic platform, there's a bit of an imbalance there.

Best course of action? Find out the accounts that have voted you and interact with their content, leave a comment and even go out to find other posts related to yours to build up a network. It goes without saying, be grateful too :)


With A Comment

It doesn't get any better than this and you've really resonated with those who have read through your content. You've made a pretty awesome impression and not only have you got an upvote but you're starting or continuing to build a relationship with your readers.

This is the dream and is exactly what a community based content platform is all about and if it happens to you, definitely interact with the comment, go check out their blog too and spread those feel good vibes all around the place!


If You're Downvoting...

Without A Comment

You're well within your right to do this of course but it's likely that you're having more of an impact then you think, even if you're just doing it purely based on the definition of the rewards distribution tools above.

A lot of people still don't fully understand what Web 3.0 is and what these rewards distribution tools are about (but hopefully they will know a bit more after reading this blog). It's a novel concept and not seen in many other sites so be wary that you may get some "splash back" or retaliation.

Best approach here? Stick to your guns with your objective approach to the rewards pool and brace for any reactions that may happen - remember... humans.


With A Comment

Although leaving a comment is not 100% necessary, given the current circumstances with the new culture since HF21, it's definitely more favourable if you're wanting to keep relations going well and are honest in your approach to building a "better Steem".

Things to consider when leaving a comment are constructive feedback to the author of the post, being civil and perhaps revisit at a later date to see how they are getting on since you redistributed their rewards.

If You're Upvoting

Without A Comment

You may not feel like the need to comment and let your upvote do the talking for you, assuming you're working on the definition above and you've read through the post - fair enough. Other sources of giving upvotes may be from following a curation trail to help discover content for you, which allows you to reward authors without reading their content or you like a specific author so much that you have them an auto and believe they are creating (subjectively) quality content every time.

Nothing wrong with that fundamentally but you have to really trust that the author will not start lowering their standards and it'll be good practice to actually check what it is you're voting on from time to time. Remember, the rewards pool is a shared resource and blindly following someone may not be a good representation of where you want to be distributing your upvote value so perhaps get that magnifying glass out from time to time...


With A Comment

Probably the most positive of all scenarios is this one. You've given an upvote after you've read the post and you've left a comment on the original author's post, potentially increasing your network and maybe making a new friend in the process. On a platform where interacting and socialising is key to growing your account, doing things like this is probably what you want to be doing.

Best thing to do here? KEEP DOING THIS!


Bluffer's Comments On...

Bidbot Usage

Since HF21, there's been a real drive by the community to stop anyone using bidbots on their post, no matter how large or small the purchase of the vote was. This drive has come in the form of downvoting bid botted posts to redistribute the rewards back in to the rewards pool.

It's understandable when the whole concept of Steem was based around rewarding content that is deemed to be (subjectively) high quality as voted for by the users of the platform - so called "Proof of Brain".

Whether you agree with the methods of some that are trying to stop the use of bidbots or not, the best thing for you to do is either not use them and join communities based around your interest that can help you grow your account organically or, if you insist on using them, set your post payouts to "decline" or set beneficiary to @null. This is my recommendation based on what I've seen.

Downvote Trails

Since the advent of HF21, downvote trails have popped up that operate rather like curation trails, except you're downvoting rather than upvoting whatever content the person you follow decides to downvote. Now, blindly downvoting without commenting (as suggested in the section above) can leave yourself open to revenge downvotes which is wholly unsavoury for the platform but I feel these trails will be necessary as we get used to this new ethos around rewards pool distribution. The argument here is: "If you have curation trails to redistribute rewards towards a post, why not have downvote trails to redistribute rewards away from a post?"

However, with all that's been mentioned in the Bluffer's Notes, if there's this really extreme movement of going down the manual curation route, surely we should just turn all the automatic voting tools off and share our collective responsibility for what we choose to reward with our stake? Ultimate "Proof of Brain" there? Maybe. Although there is a use case for downvote trails and that is in the fight against...

Spam & Plagiarism

Spam can be considered as extremely low effort posts (such as one image or word) that occur at an extremely high frequency (10+ more per day). Plagiarism can be defined as someone who has completely copied and pasted someone else's work and claimed it as their own (with no reference to the original).

It's hard to find an argument against redistributing all rewards from users that fall in to these two categories and there are a group on steem that have been doing great work to combat it all. But even they can get it wrong - no system is without its faults.

If you feel you have been wrongly downvoted for the above then you will need to reach out to the relevant party who's given the downvote and make your case.

0 Value Downvotes/"Mosquito Bites"

We're seeing more of these 0 value downvotes from seemingly random accounts that pop up with a single post on their blog and very low Steem Power (less than 100SP) - in some instances, 10 of these mosquito bites (0.000 value downvotes) have landed on posts. There's no financial loss associated with these downvotes but again, the psychology of seeing them can impact new people to steem in a bad way and we definitely don't want it to leave a sour taste. The good news is...


These are the "camillesteemer" group of accounts and, from what information I've received about them, they are just bot accounts from someone who got caught plagiarising by the community earlier in 2019. Then went on a "V for Vendetta" style rampage to downvote anyone that caught her or is supporting those that caught her.

Best course of action? Laugh it off and move on.


Upvote Rings/"Circle Jerks"

This is a little bit of a grey area but you can consider upvote rings as a group of accounts that seemingly only vote each other and don't look elsewhere to curate content. The affectionate name of "Circle Jerks" is something that I'll only use twice in this blog.

I'm not completely convinced and, after having many discussions elsewhere on various posts, I will adopt a neutral approach on this one as there are many steem groups doing their own things on this platform who I'm sure favour certain authors over others because they are friends, family or it's part of some other guidelines of the community they are in. However, it's up to you to find out more if you really want to go looking and decide to use your reward distribution tools as you see fit.

Cat Image Source

Concluding Thoughts

It's been an interesting period on STEEM since HF21 brought us the ability to redistribute rewards via the downvote button without adversely affecting our upvoting capability. What it's brought to light is a glaring issue in the misunderstanding of what the rewards pool is, how big the gulf in understanding the true equal importance of the upvote and downvote buttons and what it all means in the grand scheme of things for the STEEM social-economic model.

I hope this blog proves to be a useful guide for anyone that reads it, new or seasoned veterans of Steem, and helps address some of the concerns raised in the many discussions I've been involved with over the last 6 weeks. Consider this post the last time I'll be getting involved in the discussion (comments and feedback welcome of course).

And for the record, I don't work for Steem, I am not in with "the cool kids", I'm just a guy who makes Drum & Bass music and writes travel blogs from time to time, trying to make STEEM as prosperous as it can be for every one so we can all win.

Now, back to the music studio ;)



All memes made by me at, gifs credited where appropriate

For those what wanted to see the body of work behind the Bluffer's Guide, these are most of the posts I did (some of the platforms I reviewed in Chapter 7 have since collapsed, under delivered or lost their way). Enjoy :)


  1. Welcome

  2. The history and technology of Bitcoin
    2.1 How and why did Bitcoin come in to existence?
    2.2 How does Bitcoin & blockchain actually work (Part 1)?
    2.3 How does Bitcoin & Blockchain actually work (Part 2)?

  3. Buying Bitcoin
    3.1 Being secure with cryptocurrency & wallets
    3.2 How to Buy Bitcoin & How Exchanges Work

  4. Definitions of common phrases

  5. Portfolio Management

  6. Cryptocurrency News Outlets & Fluctuations in Price

  7. Blockchain Platforms for Musicians & Music Fans

  8. Concluding Thoughts (never got here)

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This was a great post

Haha, great gif! Thanks a lot @minerthreat! Maybe there will be more, seems this one resonated with a lot of people so may have to come back and do another one 😀

Posted using Partiko Android

I like your style of writing lol. Will be forwarding this post to anyone asking why they've been receiving upvotes...


Hehe thanks man! Have to inject some humour in to a deep topic such as this one and keep it "light".

Yes please, forward away to whoever! I'm not sure anyone's asking why they get upvotes but at least they have some reasons for it here 😁

Posted using Partiko Android

Should be required reading on acquiring a Steem account.

I should do a multiple choice quiz to go with this post based on what reactions should you have when you get downvoted without a comment etc 😁

Posted using Partiko Android

Downvoted can definitely make it feel personal. I hope many people can see your post and understand that it's a useful tool for the blockchain and not for starting wars.

Bid bots are always a touchy subject and one that I don't like to touch because of the various thoughts on them. I have seen how it helps people grow other people's accounts and I have seen the massive abuse from it as well.

So with that, my question is to everyone that sees my message, is it wrong to be downvoted because of someone using a bit to upvote another ones post and is it seen/wrong to downvote a post that gets rewards using things like Actifit, Partiko and creativecoin and palnet even? Or is it ok?

Thanks for the thoughtful comment @foxyspirit

Definitely agree on the personal feeling with downvotes which is why I wanted to focus on why they are actually here and shouldn't be considered like the reaction buttons like Facebook and Twitter etc.

I have upvoted your comment/question to the top so that those who have more understanding and in depth knowledge/thoughts on the topic of bidbots can answer your question and help 🙂

Posted using Partiko Android

Thank you.

It will be interesting to see what people say.

Hi @foxyspirit

From what I've seen from some of the high SP #newsteem people's perspective, it's basically all out downvote campaign against bought votes.

I know someone who got downvoted for using a bid system on an actifit post and they weren't very happy. I'm not sure how I feel about this as I know the person is a good, long term commited steemian. On the flip side, if we really want the hf22 economic proposal system to work, and proof of brain to work as it should, then realistically all vote buying needs to be stopped. If it isn't then some people will always find ways to exploit it.

For me, it comes down to one simple reality. The posts, like Nicky's here, that are well written, should be getting the big payouts, while shorter posts get less. This extends to different subjects/styles of content, vlogs, photography etc. It just makes sense that rewards should reflect quality and if the community can push this to be the norm then we'll have a functioning POB rewards system. Also, it would be a much healthier environment as new users wouldn't arrive here with unrealistic expectations of earning loads through posting a few pictures with a short paragraph.

To be honest though, to really cement a true proof of brain system, the next thing that needs to be addressed is the many circle jerks of questionable content that still proliferate here... and that will get really ugly for a while.

Imo, we're going in the right direction though 🙂

Posted using Partiko Android

I agree with you, if the quality of a post is great then the rewards should match and won't need to be bought in. But that's in a perfect world.

The way I see it, things like creative coin and palnet (not sure if it's dead or whatever) encourage the quality, encourages the people to do great, even though some don't and abuse the system. And if people are willing to do that, then that's awesome, no? It gives to the people. In a perfect world, the people would use that extra to give back to more people etc.
And there's also the part of receiving encouraging upvotes by @appreciator because I have written quality posts and it helped grow my account which has helped me encourage others. And I've also been encouraged by @curie and @c-squared before as well and all the same has left me smiling from ear to ear and had me write more and more. Is this not the positive side to it all? (I don't know how curie and c-square work btw if it's bot or not).

Now I'm not saying I am encouraging this exactly because I do believe we shouldn't even need this, but things went.... well, the way it went and it became almost needed (I think 🤔) and people also became greedy and shit hit the fan pretty much lol.

Also, please understand that I am not all knowing in all of this and that I do seek to understand more. I do like to look at things in different ways, making me optimistic.

About the circle jerks, ya that definitely needs to go down. Although I don't want to be caught up in it or I will cease to exist lol. But doesn't it just want to make you shake these people to wake them up!!??

This whole platform needs to be treated that way, not just a few people.

This concept of buying votes for each other will quickly turn into people buying votes for themselves using alt accounts and then things get messy all over again.

  ·  last year (edited)

Ha ha, yeah possibly. It's certainly gonna be...

'a never ending battle with no ending or beginning'

Couldn't help myself but drop a quote from The Wu.

I think that is the challenge for those who are committed to trying to keep this place even vaguely honest.

Once the vote sellers have all got on board curating manually, it's time to go after the circle jerks and the alt account self lovers. It's all visible on steem with tools to query the blockchain you can see who is using sock puppet accounts self voting.

Lol, truth is stranger than fiction, and this place certainly proves that proverb 🤣

Posted using Partiko Android

Hi foxy, I think I can answer some of your concerns here. I work/ed as a curator for curie for 18 months now.

I've also been encouraged by @curie and @c-squared before as well and all the same has left me smiling from ear to ear.

No one is against them or ocd which is another curation guild. These groups are vital to steem and were formed to counteract the culture of 'group voting' or circle jerk behaviour that had always been bad on steem, especially among the orca and whales. I can only speak for curie, but basically what you have inside the guild is a bunch of people who've a proven track record for finding and the best content. You have to go through extensive training before being accepted as a curator for curie. I had to train for a month before I was let in and I'd had loads of curie votes on my creative writing which is my speciality. They're very serious on quality control and making sure that curators are seeking that quality from all over steem.

As a curie curator you have to follow strict rules to ensure that the focus is on newer steemians to encourage quality content creators to stay, if you have too many posts that you submit for a curie vote rejected by the reviewers that do not adhere to the guidelines, then you can lose your place as a curator. That's how it works anyway. And curators are paid for their time based on how many accepted posts they get.

Curation guilds like this are far removed from vote selling entities such as bidbots because they're actively promoting the proof of brain system. They have been fighting a losing battle for years trying to make trending full of good content, but now, between them, bidbot accounts that have stopped selling votes who're now curating, and random curating whales, the trending is mainly full of high quality content.

I think the point I'm trying to make is that although some vote buying services may have been used in the past by one friend to encourage another when they wrote a good post, this was a minority of how they were used. The vast majority of their use was for value extraction.

Here's how people bled steem dry of value while giving nothing back: People used a system called vote stacking. They make multiple bids to 5-10 bidbots and because of the way the reward curve works, as their post went up $50 - $80 - $120 etc, they compounded the gains they make from the bidbot votes. So what a lot of dodgy people were doing was using this method to garuntee $10/$20+ on posts that were utter garbage! Some were doing this multiple times a day. This is why imo the best thing for steem is simply to push bidbots out of the system.

The way I see it, things like creative coin and palnet (not sure if it's dead or whatever) encourage the quality, encourages the people to do great, even though some don't and abuse the system. And if people are willing to do that, then that's awesome, no?

Absolutely you're right. There is nothing wrong with pal, creative coin and most other tribes. I don't think anyone is against them 👍 I'm certainly not. I do think that certain tribes are trying to bypass the whole EIP campaign against vote selling by offering to sell steem votes for their tokens and this is where their may be a problem. But neither cc or pal do this to my knowledge and they're the only tribes I use at the moment.

I hope all this helps foxy, it's all just my opinion apart from the stuff about curie which is an accurate description on how the guild works 🙂

Posted using Partiko Android

  ·  last year (edited)

Epic reply!! Thank you so much! I appreciate it, that you took the time to elaborate in order for me to understanding.

I didn't know there was so much included with curie and I can say that there is an even higher respect for them than before. (I already had huge respect!)

I'm so happy that things are starting to all fall in place. I hope Steem does climb to the top like l once was.

For those of you that are fighting the war to get it back in place, thank you 🙏🙌🤝

Wishing I had a stronger account to also make an impact. I'll get there. No worries. Spreading posts like this is definitely one way go and using the tools the way we were meant to will also help.

Thank you @raj808 and thank you @nickyhavey!!

Very helpful actually. Thanks.

WOW - this is almost a book you're writing ... and a good one it is!
This should make a lot of things clear for people who have questions about all the topics.

Great work and for sure worth a !BEER :)

Hahaha, well this one was just over 3k words total and could have been longer than my undergraduate thesis but I think this should be enough to get things going 😀

Thanks a lot for the awesome support @pundito and the beer too of course! I'll be digitally drunk by the end of the night at this rate 😜 🍻 💪

Posted using Partiko Android

No more online racing games today ;)

Haha definitely not, I'll be getting the online uber back home from the pub 😁

Posted using Partiko Android

  ·  last year (edited)

That is one hell of a comprehensive post Nicky. I shall be sure to direct anyone I can onboard to it... if I ever manage to onboard anyone 🤣

You've got the psychology of steem spot on m8.

I recently started trailing OCDB downvote trail as they're particularly going after bidbot abuse and I've been criticizing bidbots for nearly two years, so it kinda felt hypocritical not to use my free downvotes to action what I'd been saying. But, yes you've guessed it... I've got myself a revenge flag stalker.

I've followed your ethos with this, shrug and move on. Although the user has not gone after theycallmedan or any of the other larger accounts on that trail (I smell a cowardly custard 😂)... they've gone after little old me and another smaller SP steemian. But, despite their 100% downvote whacking $0.40 off my posts, I'm still happier than I was before, when every man and his dog could get away with devaluing steem by buying shit content up into trending.

It's something that takes a bit of effort to adjust to psychologically, but when you get your head round it, it's ok 🙂

Great post btw, worthy of the reward!


Hey Rowan mate, haha thanks a lot for checking it out. Quite an important topic that needs to be covered and wanted to give it the respect it needed whilst trying to cover many viewpoints. Hopefully you can get more people on board, maybe I'll slowly but surely chip away at more Bluffer's Guides and have a comprehensive Steem Book/Blog Series to help newcomers (and even seasoned veterans) out.

I have had discussions with acidyo and I see what's going on. There really is no discriminating against anyone, it's just a blanket policy of downvoting any bought upvotes but I do think that they should go after the actual sellers of votes, not those who use them and cut it off at source if they want to have their desired effect. New users will likely be horrified when they receive a downvote after doing something that was likely recommended - I lost count the amount of times I have seen buying votes being recommended to grow one's account to minnows and plankton. Hopefully reading this, that will change.

The way I see this whole thing is like an oscillatory graph, right now, we've overshot with downvotes and we might still nor be making our way back to the equilibrium line yet as knowledge about what the rewards pool is is still limited. That was the motivation of this post - to bridge the gap somewhat.

As always, appreciate the in depth response from you, that alone is like a whale upvote in my book and to get the raj808 seal of approval, great honour!

Posted using Partiko Android

  ·  last year (edited)

I do think that they should go after the actual sellers of votes, not those who use them and cut it off at source if they want to have their desired effect.

Yeah, I personally think that they'll never do that due to the fact that those people who set up bidbots have huge stake (SP) of their own. I questioned theycallmedan on this one in a comment on one of his posts and he straight up said he's not playing the blame game. Translate that to mean, 'i won't attack the Bernies, markys and frystkens of this world because they have too much skin in the game.' (all people who run/ran bidbots)

And although I was angry with this attitude of basically letting them get away with what they've done to this place, I see the logic from a purely business perspective. Most of those people have closed down their bidbots or switched them to manual curation. If all of those people sold their steem, it would probably crash the price beyond recovery. So it's a fine line between trying to force them to do what is right, and using methods to remove their market that doesn't threaten their standing on steem lol.

And then there are intelligent people out there who see through these bullshit games of ego, PR and power and understand exactly what has gone on here on steem. So far as I'm concerned I've let it go, but I know who has benefited massively from the bidbots on steem... the owners!

But you have to be positive, newsteem and downvote trails are working slowly to clean things up. What I think the result could be is that we have a much more functioning proof of brain system when the next bull run hits. If that plays out things could be just as impressive price-wise as last time. Unfortunately, we're gonna lose some people in-between then and now.

This is the way I see it anyway. The EIP was always going to be a make it break move. Without it, steem would have died quickly. If Stinc stop their monthly sell off of hundreds of thousands of steem, everything could recover quickly in a parabolic market, and with all the development here steem could surprise the whole crypto world. We shall see 😉

Posted using Partiko Android

Good point about the big accounts, it makes sense really as to why they won't go after the source so the next best thing is go after the customers. Yes, there's only one winner in the bid bot game and that's the owners.

But hey, if they all sold their steem and brought the price down, I'm sure there'll be many people waiting in the wings to pick it up... like me! I'd continue buying up until prices started recovering again, which they will because we're still so early on in this game that a lot of things need to be tried out.

I've read on nonameslefttouse's post that this is rather like trying to re-build the damage caused by a massive illness over the last two years. The latest HF has been a vaccine that is giving the ecosystem some of the tools it needs to fight off the germs and then we'll hopefully be cured in time for the next bull run.

I don't downvote because I am afraid of retribution! My account is so small my payouts could be wiped out by a 1% downvote from those I feel like downvoting. It seems to be a tool that only an elite group can use. The gnats (I prefer "gnats" to "mosquitoes") are hard to ignore even though they are harmless.

  ·  last year (edited)

I don't downvote because I am afraid of retribution

Yeah, it's a concern for sure. I don't blame you owasco. I've had some blowback from it the past few weeks I've been downvoting and someone tagged me on their post today calling me a thug.

Tbh I can't even bring myself to enter into the drama of explaining to this person how if I'm a thug for downvoting them, them they're a thief for using a bidbot. It's difficult because a lot of people don't understand the basic fact that the daily reward pool is a limited amount, so by them boosting their payouts using bidbots they're literally stealing from everyone who doesn't use them.

I've been on here for just over 2 years creating only high quality content and spent many depressed days because my 3000 word short story made a dollar or two. All this time my chances of getting honest, fair curation based on quality has been diminished by vote buyers as most of the whale steem power has been locked up delegating to bidbots. This is now changing, and I think it will level things out as time goes by.

This is why I have no regrets about following a downvote trail. If people don't want to learn how the reward mechanism works on steem, and want to continue stealing from everyone else, they deserve what they get. What's ironic is that those who are creating decent content would have a decent chance at higher payouts in the long term if they stopped using bidbots. I think there are only 4 or 5 bidbots left operating. Not sure if I'm right about that though.

These are just my thoughts on it all. I was getting ready to leave steem if the EIP didn't work. From what I can see so far, it's going in the right direction. Time will tell.

I'm not even sure what a bitbot is. I don't know if I'm using one. I know I never paid for upvotes, except sbi which I just started buying as a contest sponsor. Is sbi considered a bidbot?
Thanks for that explanation of the rewards pool and how it is affected by the bidbots.
I still have so much to learn! It doesn't help when big changes come along and pull the rug out from under me.

Haha, if you don't know what a bidbot is and you've never bought a vote you are safe ;-)

P.s. as nicky said in a perfect world the powers that be would go after the bidbot owners... and the people purchasing the votes wouldn't have to worry because their would be nowhere for them to purchase them, but we ain't in a perfect world... mores the pity.

SBI is safe owasco. I wouldn't worry too much about it all. It sounds like you have been doing exactly as I did on steem when I arrived and just acting in a decent way.

Far too many people on this platform have seen the exploits and ways to leach value and thrown the moral compass out of the window in the pursuit of money.

Just like the outside.

Hi @nickyhavey

Thank you for spending time writing this guide.
It is thoughtful and easy to read and explains a lot

You show great writing skills and are good at sharing your thoughts on how the system works.

I'm glad we got in touch and you're not one of those with a different agenda

I read a lot a day on the various posts that have to do with the essence of the case. I am amazed at many who just preach shit and leave comments to people they do not like and when people with big accounts do it and in addition use their power to give downvote it becomes on the wrong ground. Then they do it to harm people as much as possible.

I hope they with another agenda read your post and opened their eyes. If they could only think like you, the problem would be no problem

Thanks again for the post you wrote

Heya @xpilar, thank you for checking it out and leaving great feedback.

I've appreciated our conversations about this whole topic and they have opened my eyes to things I didn't previously consider so thank you too!

Unfortunately there will always be bad actors in any system but if the majority of people have a civil discussion around some of those "grey areas" I mentioned then I'm sure we will be flying.

I don't think I'm on my own when I say we all want steem to succeed but there is still a way to go before the fog after hf21 clears.

Again, I'm really grateful we had the chance to meet on steem, hopefully next time it will be in a more positive situation 🙂

Thanks for the resteem too 😊

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thank you @nickyhavey for your nice feedback

Unfortunately there will always be bad actors in any system but if the majority of people have a civil discussion around some of those "grey areas" I mentioned then I'm sure we will be flying.

Yes that's exactly why I shed light on this, I hope so too 👍

Good to see something like this, I really didn't want to write one!

Thanks for checking it out @slobberchops! It's been a tough 6 weeks being involved at the deep end and flash points with some of these issues and speaking to quite a lot of different groups - it has been very thought provoking and I hope that this blog can help everyone.

No more sleepless nights about it all moving forward I hope 😂

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Smiling whilst reading through. Nice post👍

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@abdex9 thanks so much for the awesome words, made me smile as well and appreciate you stopping by, have a great weekend hey 🍻 💪

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You're welcome. Have a wonderful weekend ✌

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This post is Steem Pope Approved!

Goodness, I didn't even realise there was a steem Pope! Haha, Thanks a lot for the approval 😁

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  ·  last year (edited)

There are two, actually. I am the self-appointed Steem Pope, and then someone else created an antipope, @steempope.


they are just bot accounts from someone who got caught plagiarising by the community earlier in 2019.

2018 actually. It's been going on for well over a year. lol

Well, time flies then 😀

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This post deserves !SHADE 5 and $trdo

Well now that's pretty bad ass, I hadn't heard of these tokens until I wrote this post! No idea what they are but I'll figure it out at some point haha! Thanks man 🙏

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@nickyhavey you have received 5 SHADE from contrabourdon!
View and trade the tokens on Steem Engine.

This tip bot is powered by witness untersatz!

Congratulations @contrabourdon, you are successfuly trended the post that shared by @nickyhavey!
@nickyhavey will receive 0.20874600 TRDO & @contrabourdon will get 0.13916400 TRDO curation in 3 Days from Post Created Date!

"Call TRDO, Your Comment Worth Something!"

To view or trade TRDO go to
Join TRDO Discord Channel or Join TRDO Web Site

Sorry @contrabourdon, this post is older than 3 days, therefore, this post can't reward TRDO!

"Call TRDO, Your Comment Worth Something!"

To view or trade TRDO go to
Join TRDO Discord Channel or Join TRDO Web Site

Sorry @contrabourdon, this post is older than 3 days, therefore, this post can't reward TRDO!

"Call TRDO, Your Comment Worth Something!"

To view or trade TRDO go to
Join TRDO Discord Channel or Join TRDO Web Site


I have never seen this command before... What's it mean? 🤔

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Hey @nickyhavey, here is a little bit of BEER for you. Enjoy it!

It's a token reward system.
You see !BEER or !SHADE 2 used on comments, Trendo is for posts (doesn't work on comments).

If I'm not mistaking, you get a (small) upvote too. Can't check, because for some reason steempeak doesn't allow me to open the list of voters on your post.

Great post, by the way. Finally found some time to go through it.

Oh right, so many tokens flying around the place, really have no idea how I'm going to handle SMTs when they eventually hit the scene! Think I might explode lol! Thanks for the info here though :D

And thanks for the comment, I told you it was a monster post haha! It's only my 3rd longest one I've writte though, I had a 5k and a 6k word post before, both were longer than my undergraduate degree thesis haha!

@nickyhavey you have received 2 SHADE from simplymike!
View and trade the tokens on Steem Engine.

This tip bot is powered by witness untersatz!

Congratulations @simplymike, you are successfuly trended the post that shared by @nickyhavey!
@nickyhavey will receive 0.20122200 TRDO & @simplymike will get 0.13414800 TRDO curation in 3 Days from Post Created Date!

"Call TRDO, Your Comment Worth Something!"

To view or trade TRDO go to
Join TRDO Discord Channel or Join TRDO Web Site

This is my comment, there are many like it by this one is mine.

Haha @drakos thanks a lot for making it your comment, no one can take that away from you 😁💪

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I can't believe you stole my comment...

Uh oh, plagiarism alert haha 🚩

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Well written man! 💯

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Thanks a lot @stackin! Hopefully the new steemians will find this useful but like that cat, I'm now collapsed over the desk haha

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Resteemed for ya 😬

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Ah wow thank you man 🙏

Have a great weekend hey 🍻

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Very nicely done. Upvoted without comment.

Thanks a lot man! I believe the response is the "networking" gif in that case, although you technically have commented so, KEEP BEING AWESOME 😁

Hey maybe I should do a multiple choice Bluffer's Guide Quiz with these responses and scenarios haha 😂

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Sometimes it is easy to forget once you been here a while how long it took to take everything in.

Those psychological effects play such a large amount. People love getting likes, hearts, upvotes, thumbs up and so forth.

I'm still taking everything in after 18 months and there's still stuff I don't fully get but it will all sink in, one day!

Generally though, people don't care to look too much into the mechanics of the platform and just need to know the absolute basics to get through so I hope this gives a good foundation for anyone to build up their understanding of this ever evolving world of Steem!

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Hey @nickyhavey, here is a little bit of BEER for you. Enjoy it!

Excellent post my friend. Hope you come back for another blog!

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Thanks for checking it out! Maybe the Bluffer's Guide can be tempted out again but we will see. I stopped doing them because the body of work only netted about $1.50 over the course of 8 chapters but this one seems to have gone supernova.

There'll be a music post coming up next 😉

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First things first, @nickyhavey @tipu curate (I hope it works - I'm still getting the hang of this).

Seriously (as if that wasn't), I am so glad that you went out on a limb and wrote this. I know that you thought long and hard about not doing it - for all the reasons you cite about negative responses to downvoting for lack of understanding, etc. etc.

It does take a while to realise, when joining Steemit, that the vote buttons are exactly that: votes which have value. It took me an age to understand this. Part of the reason, IMHO is because steemit bills itself as a social media site. I think that this is misleading and it causes a lot of damage.
It's still how it's being punted "out there". In layman's terms, had I understood that everything I did on Steem had a concomitant cost, I might have approached things slightly differently.

This post has, for me, consolidated a lot about the "new" Steem that I wasn't sure about, but sensed, instinctively. It did, for a while, shortly after HF21/22, feel like a kinder place. Somewhere between then and about two weeks ago, that changed. I am a recipient of those "mosquito" downvotes and although it's taken a while, I've become inured to it. I do hope that they run out of steem - in all senses of the word.

I do hope that what @nonamelefttouse's prediction

This concept of buying votes for each other will quickly turn into people buying votes for themselves using alt accounts and then things get messy all over again.

is not realised. It's something our other friend, @quillfire also suggested would happen some time back.

I have to add that the discussion on this post has been as insightful as the post itself, particularly from @raj808 - along with the associated discussion.

As a total technophobe, I'd like to see this post, and ones similar to it, becoming part of a Dunce's guide to Steemit's mechanics into which folk could dip if they were confused/unsure. This is because, again IMHO, too much of the guff written for and about Steemit is written by techies and it leaves the likes of me swirling like a dervish in the deep blue sea.

Thanks again, Nicky, for explaining the almost unexplainable.


Hey @fionasfavourites the most epic of commenters 😁

Firstly, no idea how tipu works, you may want to have a chinwag with @dswigle for that!

I did want to write something like this to put my own mind at rest more than anything after the mental torment I had been through with all the many discussions I've been involved with from all sides really. But I hope that this approach to educate rather than incriminate serves its purpose.

Technically, it is still a social media site but if we were being honest, it's a social-economical media site. It is social but also provides investment opportunities and this is a concept very foreign to a lot of people (let alone investing money seeing as it's not something we get taught at school)!

Loads of talking points and great things pointed out by everyone who's commented on this. Can't quite believe the response it has got in honesty!

You don't need a Dunce's Guide... You have the Bluffer's Guide 😉 maybe I will have to wheel it out from retirement on a more permanent basis...

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epic of commenters

Now there's an appellation...

@tipu have started a curation initiative with manual curators of which I am one. I am trying to come to grips with it. Probably need to go back to the destructions.

I agree that Steemit is a social site, but it's more than that, so not qualifying things and simply saying that people earn from posting is misleading. As for the investment bit - spot on - what you said. I like the term "social-economical" but it's not sexy, is it? Perhaps "econosocial".... #justthinkingaloud

Dunce's or Bluffer's Guide - doesn't matter, it's still useful and yes, it should be trotted out on a regular basis.

My final point, and which I tried to make this morning while I was on my phone and I was interrupted (by a cat, I suspect) and posted too early, is that this post, and its equally useful comments is getting no less than its just desserts.

Enjoy them.


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Downvotes are weirdly out of all proportion in impact... of course, large material downvotes are pretty rough... but when the gnat bite ones are going around... people seem to get all riled up about it... despite the fact that it is too small to make any appreciable difference in payout!

Haha yea I know, seems it doesn't matter the size of the downvote, as long as there is one, it brings out the emotion!

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Great summary of explanations, little brother :)

Hope this post gets seen by more and more people as it is a great article for each newbie and even people who were on steem for a while but don't understand everything yet

Hey little sister, thanks a lot for the awesome words 😊

I hope it helps everyone out who was unsure about what's going on but if we can encourage newcomers (and longer users) to stay and grow on the platform then we will all win in the end hey 🙂

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This is a very good guide! I'll resteem it for the benefit of my followers who are new to Steem.

Hey @gadrian thanks a lot for stopping by and glad you found it useful! Appreciate the resteem to your followers too and hope it gives them a good starting point to understand this particular aspect of the platform 🙂

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Awsome posst Nicky, it will come handy to show it to friend who is new here:)

Upvoted, resteemed and follow to follow,lol

Heya @georgeboya thanks a lot my man from Greece! Hopefully it will encourage your friends and prepare them for what this awesome platform has to offer!

Have a great weekend man 😀

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Upvoted with a !BEER

Damn, I knew I missed one scenario! Probably the best of the lot - upvote, comment AND beer 😂 thanks a lot for that, definitely need one after writing this 😀

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Excellent down and dirty post, simple and lighthearted. Just the way the like it. I see now why you've got so much STU on this. Better that than an STD, so keep typing!


Thanks a lot man and I'll definitely take STU over STD - that's down and dirty for another reason! 🤣

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This is a bloody GEM @nickyhavey! and you better be back for more.... otherwise..... hahahaha ;)

Haha thanks a lot @jaynie! Another Bluffer's Guide? Maybe I can bring it out of retirement and bring a full Steem dedicated one out to everyone here...

Seems this one went down pretty well...

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Awesome, enjoyed all the comments, great effort collating this all into an effective post helping everyone.

Thanks a lot @joanstewart! Can't believe how well this post has done really. Seems it resonated with a lot of people and I'm glad to have helped shed some light on at least a part of this multi layered platform!

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When platforms become multi layered like Steem has it is a quagmire to make sense of whether old or new arrival with continual changes. Being written in a way that one is able to ponder and see reason is not an easy, you did a wonderful job at achieving an easy to read piece here.

I my opinion you are one of the cool guys and I love this blog.