Comparison between curation factors on Steem and on tribes

Yesterday, following a question by @ph1102, I realized I needed to think some more about how curation really works on tribes, as opposed to the mainnet Steem. And there are several important differences, as far as I am aware of.

I hope by now you guys are familiar with a few terms and the differences between them (if you do, feel free to skip the quoted section below):

Steem-Engine (S-E or SE)
Hmm, this actually can be as confusing as Steem(it).
So, behind S-E there is a sidechain developed and improved by harpagon. Sometimes when we say Steem-Engine, we refer to this sidechain behind it.

Then, there is the interface, which is as a decentralized exchange (DEX) at core.

Then we often refer to aggroed, harpagon, holger80, yabapmatt and others as the Steem-Engine team.

SE Tokens
The basic tokens available on SE. Some of them can be staked, which is an additional feature. These basic tokens don't have an inflation to distribute.

SCOT (Smart Contract Organizational Token)
SCOT was built on the specs of SMT up to a point, so they are similar, only working on the SE sidechain, instead of being native to the Steem blockchain.

SCOT allows for inflation to exist, which is what is then distributed as proof-of-brain or mining rewards.

A community that forms around a SCOT. Similar to future Communities on Steem and their relation to SMT.

That is a bot (a piece of code), which checks every new post on the Steem blockchain, and if it has the proper tags for certain tribes, it will distribute SCOT rewards based on the stakes of the voters on the post, in the respective tribe(s).

Curation on Steem can be very complex for great results. That's why there are great curators, average curators and terrible ones.

What I can tell you from the start is that I am not a great curator, even if I know the rules better than others do.

And when I talk about rules, I refer to the rules of HF21, as they are already in effect for curation. Assuming, of course, HF21 passes. :)

So let's take each rule that affects curation on Steem, and see if there is a counterpart on tribes, as far as we can understand them.

Reward Split?

On Steem they are 50/50 (author/curators).

On tribes, they vary from tribe to tribe. Most often 50/50, but also 60/40 shows up regularly.


Having a high stake is obviously a great advantage for curation on both Steem and tribes. Having liquid tokens doesn't give you the right to any curation. Only the staked tokens count.

That being said, it is much easier to become an orca or even a whale in a tribe, especially a new one, than it is on Steem. And the stake necessary to reach those statuses can offer you great advantages in curation rewards.

Curation Period?

On Steem it's 7 days.

On tribes, I've seen often 7 days as on Steem, but also 5 days more than once, 3 days too. It's just a value they can set on their SCOT to what they think is best.

These differences can be important for curation. I admit I haven't paid much attention to them, as it would make my curation process more time consuming than it already is.

Let's say a tribe has a curation period of 3 days. If you vote a post 4 days after it was published, being used to the 7 days curation period, then your vote doesn't count and you waste the voting power.

Sure, if you also have SP and the post also has tags of tribes with a 7 days or even 5 days curation period, then those votes will count, if you have stakes in their SCOTs. Sounds pretty complicated, doesn't it? Worth the effort to check?

Curation Delay Interval?

On Steem there is a curation delay interval of 5 minutes, after which full curation reward is given to the curator. At 0 minutes, curator receives no reward, and progressively more if he/she votes within the 5 minutes interval.

On tribes, I don't believe this limitation is included. Although I don't see many accounts voting early on tribes, this should be a setting for each SCOT, if they wanted such a curation delay interval, and I don't see one in the SCOT settings.

Order of Voting?

On Steem, the order of voting is important. Extremely important if you are among the first few voters. Why? Because the stake you vote with is multiplied (as if you had more STEEM Power).

This order of voting creates an incentive for people to vote early, even earlier than the 5 minutes interval, because the loss in curation can be compensated and more by the gain in curation weight.

On tribes, I haven't heard about the order of voting being a factor. Only your stake in the respective SCOT and its relation to other holders.

Dust Threshold?

On Steem, there is a threshold of the pending rewards below which there is no payout. At one time it was around a $0.025 payout ($ is not USD!). I don't know if that will change after HF21, but if it doesn't, many payouts will be below that threshold, most of them on comments.

On tribes, I don't believe there is a dust threshold. I mean, there is a max decimal precision, below which rewards are disregarded, but other than that, I believe we don't have to worry about a dust threshold.

Upvotes Per Day?

I don't think I've seen differences regarding the number of upvotes per day we have on Steem (10) and on various tribes, but I know every tribe has the possibility to tweak this value, to give more or less upvotes per day, if they want to.

Free Downvotes Per Day?

On Steem there will be 2.5 free downvotes per day after HF21. Meaning 2 in one day and 3 in the next or any combination of 5 votes in two days. Or none, if that's what you wish.

On tribes, I've seen many of them offering 1 free downvote per day, but this value is tweakable by the tribe management.

Did I miss anything?

Did I miss any factors influencing curation? And don't say bidbots, because they are a factor just as we human voters are, so they are not in the scope of this post. It's true they dominate Steem and they are not yet present on most tribes.

Comments 13

So, Steemauto voting should now be set to less than 5 minutes?

22.08.2019 14:33

5 minutes or less. But 4 minutes now is equivalent to 12 minutes before. So, if you don't have the possibility to set a precision lower than a minute, these slots will be pretty crowded.

22.08.2019 14:53

Thanks for the explanation. This is going to be interesting to see what happens!

22.08.2019 22:55

Thanks for this really nice explained post about curating. For me, it is good to know how things function, and I will try to curate more and more in the future. It is important to appreciate others' hard work.
Thanks again!

22.08.2019 14:52

This is a very good article. I believe that for many users it's still not clear changes will come with HF21. I'm glad to learn about the 5 min threshold. I've put all my autovotes on 12 to 15 minutes and I will have to adapt that.

I would like to add that the more steem power you have, the more you can split your upvotes. Meaning that you can give 50% upvotes instead of 100% upvotes and like that you have 20 upvotes per day instead of 10.

Best regards,

22.08.2019 15:26

I would like to add that the more steem power you have, the more you can split your upvotes.

Yup, that's true. I remember long time ago being a red fish and having no voting bar in That was the biggest reason I started using at the time, they had a voting bar even for the smallest fish, not that it would make a difference or that it would wise to split your vote when you are so small. But you at least feel in control of your voting power.

22.08.2019 15:31

Thank you so much for participating in the Partiko Delegation Plan Round 1! We really appreciate your support! As part of the delegation benefits, we just gave you a 3.00% upvote! Together, let’s change the world!

22.08.2019 17:30

Hi @gadrian!

Your post was upvoted by @steem-ua, new Steem dApp, using UserAuthority for algorithmic post curation!
Your UA account score is currently 3.448 which ranks you at #7231 across all Steem accounts.
Your rank has not changed in the last three days.

In our last Algorithmic Curation Round, consisting of 143 contributions, your post is ranked at #41.

Evaluation of your UA score:
  • You're on the right track, try to gather more followers.
  • The readers like your work!
  • Great user engagement! You rock!

Feel free to join our @steem-ua Discord server

23.08.2019 07:32

Congratulations! Your post has been selected as a daily Steemit truffle! It is listed on rank 3 of all contributions awarded today. You can find the TOP DAILY TRUFFLE PICKS HERE.

Have a nice day and sincerely yours,

23.08.2019 15:59

I pretty much understand most of what you say. Regarding free downvotes, you mention 5 over 2 days. So I could have 5 free downvotes on Day 1 and zero on Day 2 and then 5 on Day 3 and so on. I am just curious at the exact point when downvotes are removed from the upvote pool. I am also curious regarding the weight of these downvotes. Are the value of 100% downvotes dependent on the mana pool? Does the value of a downvote drop by 2% as with upvotes?

23.08.2019 23:15

So I could have 5 free downvotes on Day 1 and zero on Day 2 and then 5 on Day 3 and so on.

Exactly. As long as they are 5 over a period of 2 days you won't drain your downvote power. Remember, this only goes in effect until AFTER Hardfork 21, unlike payout split.

I am just curious at the exact point when downvotes are removed from the upvote pool.

The downvotes will start to be removed from the upvote pool when the downvote pool is empty (at 0%), as far as I understand this, but we'd better wait to see it in action to see if I'm wrong about it.

Are the value of 100% downvotes dependent on the mana pool? Does the value of a downvote drop by 2% as with upvotes?

Good questions! I believe the downvote pool will work the same way as the upvote pool, except with different parameters (recharges slower so it only gives you 2.5 downvotes per day instead of 10).

24.08.2019 08:20

Honestly, i can not wait for the new hardfork to take place to see the new changes on steem

24.08.2019 07:20

Hmm, I hope at least on the long run we won't be disappointed. I expect some big disappointments immediately after HF21.

24.08.2019 08:23