Hard Fork 21, AKA HF 21 is just around the corner, in just over two days to be exact. If you don't know what a hark fork is, check this Wiki link.
Basically it means Steem economics will change slightly...
Steem Proposal System (SPS)
The main and most awesome thing is that we will be getting a Steem Proposal System (SPS), this will provide an avenue for developers and community ambassadors, marketers etc to put forward proposals to improve on the Steem ecosystem for the benefit of us all, how cool is that! The Dash coin community has had something like that for a long time, now it's our turn.
Economic Improvement Protocol (EIP)
Secondly, we have the Economic Improvement Protocol (EIP), which comes with a few changes, namely a downvote pool ... hmm, I'm a bit dubious on this, not sure how it will play out, but am willing to give it the benefit of the doubt and see what happens, my biggest concern is that people may be bullied, if that happens to you I want to know about it, please comment on this post if you ever run into that sort of issue and I will try my best to raise awareness on what is happening to you, please don't suffer in silence.
Make sure however, it is genuine and not because you are posting plagiarised content or getting too many rewards for one line of text or a single photo copied from elsewhere in the interweb, otherwise I will downvote you myself! :)
Curation Rewards Increase - Building an Altruistic Society
Okay so previously curators were taking a rshares (rewardshares) stakeweighted share of 25% on each post, which means if your vote made up 20% of the rewards of the post and Mary's vote was huge and made up 80%, further assuming no one else votes, then you will get 5% and Mary will get 20%, making up the total 25% allotted curator rewards portion.
So on a post worth $10 you will earn 50 cents, simply for reading it and voting on it, now after HF 21 curators will earn double, meaning you will earn 1 dollar in the same scenario and Mary will earn 4 dollars and you guessed it, the author will earn 5 dollars.
That is because author and curator rewards are perfectly balanced at 50/50, very Zen! In reality, most high ranking posts will have hundreds of voters, which means those hundreds of voters are sharing in the 50% and authors are still receiving 50% all for themselves, no sharing of their 50%, they keep it all.
You can understand now why no-one cared about curating before HF 21, I mean would you bother looking for good content, reading and voting if you were sharing in only 25% with hundreds of other blokes and gals?
So why is Mo' Steem Power Mo' fun? Well here is why, studies have proved that when you do things for reward for yourself, it is fun the first few times but thereafter you just do it mindlessly for the sake of earning and don't appreciate it anymore.
Consider the monkey solving a puzzle to get a treat; the first few times he does it, he is really happy with himself, but come back and visit him after a month, he may be fat with treats but he looks miserable, he trudges to solve the problem and lazily grabs the reward with a lifeless look on his face. True story, I watched or read something about this when I was young but am not sure where to get the reference, if anyone knows please link it here in comment.
So why will earning rewards through curation be different, well by curating you are earning money for yourself but also give money to others who deserve it, win-win. The ultimate winner however is you,
acts of altruism can be a great form of stress relief. Studies have shown that the act of giving can activate the area of the brain associated with positive feelings, lifting your spirits and making you feel better the more you give.
According to this article you will actually have positive psychological effects from being altruistic, have you noticed how many grumpy people are on the Steem blockchain right now? It seems like Steem is a magnet for grumps, but maybe they didn't start off that way, they were simply curious monkies who fell into the trap of soulless self-rewarding rather than embracing the spirit of Ubuntu; HF 21 may actually change the culture of Steem over time.
Ubuntu - "humanity towards others", but is often used in a more philosophical sense to mean "the belief in a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity".
Five Minute Vote Window
Currently, you have to wait for 15 minutes in order to maximise your curation rewards from voting content; if you vote at 1 minute you don't receive much. This is problematic on two folds, firstly users don't really know this, I sometimes forget myself since there is no confirmation window that asks you to confirm if you want to vote earlier and potentially get less benefit, nor is there any visible info anywhere on most Steem user interfaces; so users will vote whenever and not get the right rewards and feel cheated or feel that Steem isn't working well for them and leave.
Secondly, it could lead to deserving authors missing out on votes due to the fact that curators may have all good intentions of coming back at the 15 mins mark to vote but get sidetracked forget to do so, this also encourages blind automated voting.
I'm particularly invested in the change to a 5 minute window because I proposed it a few times and in the end gathered enough support, threw a few toys around, made a scene and eventually got this change pushed through, whew! I'm really passionate about this, I know it will enhance my User Experience (UX) and hope it will do the same for you.
Convergent Linear Rewards and Curation - Mo' Steem Power Mo' Fun!
So in order to be the best and most altruistic version of your monkey self, you need to have Steem Power to make a difference and even more so because of the Convergent Linear Rewards curve, say what now? For those of you who are not maths boffins, it simply means that while the rewards on a particular post are under a certain value, the your vote has less effect, the idea behind this is to stop micro-siphoning of rewards in secret, I remember the days of vote trails voting comments in secret where no one can see and getting rewards in a high-frequency fashion from meaningless comments that never came up on anyone's radar.
This sort of thing hurts the bottom line of authors and curators who post legitimate stuff and should be frowned upon, we have the downvote pool for that now after HF 21 but it is still hard to detect, which is why the new rewards curve is supposed to make it less rewarding to do that and make it more obvious. Like a cat with a big tail sticking out of a bag.
I leased 20k Steem for about the same price for 3 months. We'll see if that turns out to be profitable. Even if it's not, I have more fun on Steem when I feel like I have more influence, so it's money well spent in my book regardless. I spend a lot of time on Steem, and it's one of my main forms of entertainment. I'm okay with spending some money so I can have more fun. But yea, truth be told, between posting and curating, I expect to make that back and then some, we'll see.
This warmed my heart, because although many of you may not know it, I am kind of the Godfather of Steem Power delegation, I'm saying this in a humble way simply because I am proud of it and not because I want to toot my own horn.
One of the reasons I wrote a post nearly 3 years ago, entitled Steem Whales Stockpile SP: Government Spending Analogy and the Solution Revealed, was to introduce the concept, which I then called Voting Power Delegation, VPD for short. I had discussed this concept with James Calfee, a developer at Steemit Inc at the time; then a couple of months later there was a hard fork with this concept implemented as Steem Power delegation.
Thereafter, I decided to test out how popular delegation would be in the community and held a competition, with a grand prize of 50,000 SP delegated for a month. Once the proof of market demand concept was established; I, together with @reggaemuffin and @cryptomancer of buildteam.io, founded the Minnowbooster.net project (which is transitioning to dlease.io) the first of its kind, delegation leasing market in crypto, conceived within the Steem community.
The spirit of Ubuntu led me to conceptualise the concept of Steem Power delegation and later creating a market for it, because it simply helps all disenfranchised Minnows, hence why it was called MinnowBooster initially. I realsied there is no way an average author could purchase that much STEEM POWER to match whales who mined STEEM early, or even authors who had been on the platform much longer than themselves.
The only way to catch up and level the playing field was by leasing Steem Power at a fraction of the cost of owning it, this still creates a sink for spending STEEM and incentivises stakeholders to hodl rather than power down all their stake, instead delegating their SP for circa 20% at current market rates on dlease.io and virtually increasing their lockup period by the duration of the lease. In addition dlease.io is now available as a professional-grade leasing platform as a feather in the cap of the Steem network; we are busy working on the backend to split it from MinnowBooster, after which time we intend to approach loanscan.io to list it as a representation of investment potential on the Steem blockchain.
Steem Power leasing is going to come to the fore again after HF 21, if you have been reading the above, you can easily tell why having Steem Power will help you get over the new rewards curve hurdle into the efficient zone and increase your powers of altruism to become a hero of your niche community!
Overall, Hard Fork 21 may actually land up being a soft fork, metaphorically speaking, because it will likely soften hard hearts and change the ethos of the community to one of togetherness and inter-reliance ahead of selfish inward gazing self voting, to a degree anway.
Yours in Steem,
Steem Consensus Witness
Traditionally, a crowd member declares "Amandla!" meaning "power" and the crowd responds "Ngawethu!" adding that the power "is ours."
STEEM POWER TO THE PEOPLE, AMANDLA!
Or use the quick SteemConnect link: https://app.steemconnect.com/sign/account-witness-vote?witness=thecryptodrive&approve=1