The Psychology of "Group Sustained Growth"(Not Circle Jerking)

Steem has had a few months ago another hardfork for its history as one of my favorite blogging platforms on the planet, ever. A hardfork that was meant to bring peace to the platform, wipe spam away and tame bid bots, and over all to make the platform better and more attractive not only to new users, or future ones, but to existent ones as well.

But How Sir?

I don't know exactly "the math behind the blocks" of the HF22, but I do know that bid bots nowadays upvote what they feel like and not whoever pays them. I have had myself as well quite a few upvotes from such bots and yes there is a difference between the old steem and the #newsteem. Not a huge one, especially in the case of the trending page which was tackled yesterday in an interesting post by @toofasteddie, that I encourage you to read.

What basically his post aims at, and what I resonate with as well, is the idea that somehow circle jerking never died after the hard fork and that bid bots, and whales that used to delegate to bid bots for revenues, are not selling votes anymore, but some boost to the above mentioned page pretty much the same accounts. I don't check it too often, especially since it got filled with potatoes and burning Steem dedicated posts.

I do get this circle jerking, although I wish it wouldn't exist, and I wish for the whales and bots to curate as Eddie suggested, in searching constantly newer and newer posts, from old veterans and new fish as well. I don't want to get in to the extreme in only supporting new users and letting good old bloggers blogging for nothing and no one, but the flow of new posts is pretty consistent everyday and if I were a whale I would check a bit through it and select some new posts every day to share my love with. You definitely have options nowadays and spam is pretty much nonexistent.

image source

Yes, I said I get the circle jerking, but I haven't reasoned my statement. The first "argument" is the ease of use for ones SP. Having lots of SP and having to manually curate and search through posts every day takes time and effort, and not everyone has that much time for doing this job, thus is much more simple to just puts some 10-12 folks on autovote, people that blog constantly and you get the job done, for you and them. They get your appreciation, you "serve the community" and get your curation rewards and everybody is happy... Well not everybody, but you get the point, I am sure.

Then there's the argument of affinity. Lets face it, we don't love everyone, we don't like the faces of everyone and don't want to hang out with everyone. Steem, as I see it, is pretty much like a collection of some virtual communities where members of a certain community upvote each other and "talk to each other", no matter if one from your community "shit posted" today, while someone, that is not a community member, spent an hour to create a blog post, someone that you don't know, don't care and probably don't wish to know or care about. You'll upvote yours and that's it. He's part of the gang.

You, not you reading this post, but some X on Steem, will curate your fellows in your community because they're your gang, your virtual family/friends, and psychologically(I can't believe I spelled psychologically correct from the first try, English not being my native language) it all makes sense. We're part of a species that loves/needs to form groups, hang around in groups, and care about our group members, and Steem makes no difference when comes to such behavior. If you are in "the right community" there are high chances you will get to the trending page or you'll have some nice upvotes on your ass on daily basis...

...if not, then find one, or embrace the lone wolf walk. Steem, as pretty much other social media platforms, functions similar to real life and that's why such things happen. It never was and probably never will be a bloggers heaven where you get your upvotes based on deeds and efforts poured in your posts. There's no authority to reward that way and will never be.

It never was and never will be "a fair place", if we can think of it such way. It is human created, running under human behavior and as long as humans will curate, it will pretty much run at the same pace, and with the same good old habits. You like me, I like you, you vote me and I vote you. Something like: "me Tarzan, you Jane", but on a blockchain.

They're not all the same, and of course that not all posts that are constantly upvoted by whales and bots are bullshit. Lets not generalize the situation. Some really deserve every Steem in their upvotes, as they manage to maintain great blogs for years, and some of the whales or big curating accounts are not circle jerking at all. Although they could... and get their daily rewards without moving a muscle for that. It's healthy to put muscles to work though and I'll give you some examples of such muscular whales/curating accounts.

There is @curangel, @curie, @smartsteem, @helpie, @ocdb, @upmewhale and @appreciator, hope I haven't miss anyone, that seem to, at least from my own perspective, work on casting their upvotes and not just simply auto vote without check the curated posts before. I have posts that got upvoted by them, I've seen random posts from people I follow, and people I don't, that got upvotes from them, and such accounts seem to have stayed away from creating a circle and supporting only the members of that circle. That's their vision for curating content on Steem.

They're not high numbered, of course, and their voting power is limited thus not everybody can get a piece of their pie, but at least once in a while you find one in front of your blog's door. It should have been great for most of the whales and bid bots to manually curate and to not even have autovotes on Steem, but we're not in that situation. It's human behavior and we'll have to deal with it. That doesn't meant though that I don't find annoying to get on the trending page almost the same users whenever I check it. Even more annoying is to read about burning Steem and some other repetitive actions, that in my opinion are far from being trending worthy. I wonder what new users or potential investors think of when having a look at Steem for the first time and ending at the trending page.

I don't know how much of all of this keeps rich investors, and enthusiast bloggers, away from Steem and how much it is guilty for Steem's low, very low, trading volume, but I truly believe Steem, as a blockchain and cryptocurrency, is highly undervalued. Very few cryptos out there have depreciated seventy times from their ATHs though, but Steem is one of them, and one that has tones of potential, but such a bad marketing. For sure that it requires much more than just killing circle jerking and recreating the trending page to make Steem a top 30 crypto, but I believe it deserves a spot in that range, and I also believe it will be very hard to achieve that.

Anything's possible though...

Thanks for attention,

Comments 18

According to the Bible, What is the proper way of teaching children about the Church?(2 of 2)

Comment what you understand of our Youtube Video to receive our full votes. We have 30,000 #SteemPower. It's our little way to Thank you, our beloved friend.

Check our Discord Chat
Follow my Steemit account on

06.01.2020 18:20

To listen to the audio version of this article click on the play image.

Brought to you by @tts. If you find it useful please consider upvoting this reply.

06.01.2020 18:21

Great post! I agree that since the HF, there are new practices that need to be curbed. People are always going to test the boundaries as things change. It is our job as a community to come together and re-establish and enforce new ones.

06.01.2020 18:55

Some just made their curating even simpler while others are doing what they've always done, nothing new, and in my opinion the HF didn't changed too much about Steem. Thanks for your appreciation and reblog.

06.01.2020 19:01

I think we should get rid of the trending page

Posted using Partiko iOS

06.01.2020 19:01

Not a bad idea. At least when someone new accesses the platform is not welcomed by potatoes and Steem burning posts. It should be representative for the blockchain and platform as a whole and to be more colorful and divers. There could be changes the criteria of how posts get there as well. There are always solutions for every thing.

06.01.2020 19:04

I think a trending page is totally shit

06.01.2020 19:06
1're not the only one on that side.

06.01.2020 19:07

I would support a trending page measured by engagement and not only by projected rewards. Maybe the amount of comments and replies on a particular post should be taken into account. Good post btw and thanks for the mention.

06.01.2020 19:29

Comments and reblogs, yeah why not. It makes sense. Such a post would be trending thanks to community members attention and engagement and not only upvotes. Definitely better than just upvotes based. Some posts on trending don't even have too much engagement and it was pretty simiar when we had paid votes as well.

06.01.2020 19:39

I agree!

06.01.2020 19:06

Nice one man for writing this out, I think all the ones who are still here, we knew that this would happen, well I did.

Ive got no clue now since hive hashtags started up, how to make good use of this new fork reward system as i dont enjoy to sit looking at screens

Posted using Partiko Android

06.01.2020 19:05

I don't know much about hives either. I use #hive-167922 when I post blockchain, social media/internet shit or crypto related posts but I don't know for sure if I'm doing that right. Most of my community consists of a few people that I've been following for a while, they engage with me, I engage with them and so on. Haven't really put any effort for that. It just happened to be in tune with some on this platform. Not many of course. I don't suffer from not adhering to any community, some well established ones. I'm fine, but I understand the frustrations of some of us and I think I get the psychology all of this shit as well.

06.01.2020 19:11

I think you do to, and also i used to get around 70 autovotes but I guess the people all left this blockchain and now I get 20ish 😝

After learning about physchology myself, the feeling of belonging and fitting in is all part of the 'me', something that actually only exsists in thought form, and the ones who know this and dont care not to be(-have) in a hive wont aspire on here. But the way I see it the more time we spend online, the worse its going to get, and we loose touch of humankind even more so 😂

I only still have SP because of the tech and free transactions, any social media site is just ego's, add communitys and you then get collective egos 🤣

06.01.2020 23:58

Great post. I spread love to my niche tribe, but also new users and posts from others as well (like this)... think its coz I like to be the change.. my Libran sense of balance and fairness.

06.01.2020 20:03

Thanks. I appreciate it. Glad to have discovered your blog through your comment by the way. Seems very interesting.

06.01.2020 20:10

if I were a whale I would check a bit through it and select some new posts every day to share my love with

You say this now -- but who knows how your actions might change if you had the ability to effectively "print money" for yourself and your friends. I'm not suggesting that you're a bad actor -- just that opportunity to enrich ones self and circle is hard to say no to.

I'm still pretty certain that stake-based voting is the main problem behind Steem and it's problem with gaining traction. At best, it's sold as "a way to attract investors", but I'm pretty sure that's horse-shit. All the "passive whales" ("investors") that were delegating to bidbots or other projects have demonstrated how useless or self-centered they are.

Everyone on here, or involved with distributed ledger technologies, tries to preach about the glory of decentralized systems -- but nobody really seems to care about how grossly centralized the influence and opportunity on Steem is.

I'm not sure what the answer is. 1-account:1-vote sounds compelling -- but then you get people amassing bot armies. Maybe the answer is a 1A:1V system, coupled with (decentralized) policing / governance to detect and blacklist bot-armies (rather than endless and useless flag wars).

Witnesses maintain a price-feed -- maybe they could manage and maintain a blacklist as well? Lord knows @themarkymark (and others) has put a lot of work into one already.

Regarding the trending page -- I feel like it was an idea rolled into Steem before anyone really knew how Steem would grow / evolve. How are we supposed to have a single "trending" page for an ecosystem of dozens (now) or hundreds (future) of dApps that all focus on different forms of content (photos, blogs, micro-blogs, videos, trading advice, sports, art, Steemit-news, etc...)

As long as there's an attempt to build a single "catch-all" trending page/list -- it's going to continue to be a dumpster fire.

Long-story short:

  • Fuck investors;
  • Fuck a singular trending page;
  • The system should be rejigged to make it more appealing to individuals;
    • It's probably a far better idea to create a system where people have an equivalent amount of (technical / backend / programmed) influence -- and allow their social interactions and relationships to evolve into the more familiar social influence we're accustomed to;
    • We should be striving to attract 5,000,000 users capable of investing $1, rather than 5 users capable of investing $1,000,000.
06.01.2020 20:08

All the "passive whales" ("investors") that were delegating to bidbots or other projects have demonstrated how useless or self-centered they are.

I mentioned some accounts that are not in this category and that's the type of investors I am hoping to see more on Steem. Or why not delegate their SP to such projects in return to curation rewards of course. Everybody wants to earn something. The staked Steem would still be theirs and they would get some nice rewards for delegating while being at peace that they didn't delegated to someone/something that would vote crap or circle jerk.

Regarding the trending page -- I feel like it was an idea rolled into Steem before anyone really knew how Steem would grow / evolve

Definitely true, and from your comment and the one of @toofasteddie I see two possible trending pages that would be way better than the current one. The first one would have posts featured there based on engagement and the second one would have multiple trending pages for different apps/communities. I would vote for any of these as both seem way better than the current situation. I would even be happy with a combination of them. Something like having multiple pages based on engagement.

We should be striving to attract 5,000,000 users capable of investing $1, rather than 5 users capable of investing $1,000,000.

Aiming towards a true decentralization. Those 5 million investing $1 have probably left the platform or will do that because the five big ones don't have the eyes for them. Overall it's damn hard to make everything perfect put putting down ideas like you guys did on this post could lead to shifting Steem towards a better reality.

Thanks for taking the time to write such a detailed and well thought comment.

06.01.2020 20:23