Comment upvotes and curved downvotes

20 days ago
9 Min Read
1763 Words

I missed something in relation to the upcoming (some time in the unknown) hardfork 25, where while it was talked about, it seems that it has been decided that the convergent curve will be rolled back and linear will run again. This came up in my post last night about maximizing autovoters being targeted in favor of manual curators with the change to the voting window, also to be implemented at the same time.

Divergent convergent

For those who do not know, the convergent curve is a scaling curve where there is a reduction in vote value applied that increases until it is at a full vote value, once enough voters have "agreed" it should be worth more. I think the zero point is around 16 Hive, meaning that at current prices, a post would need to reach around 12 dollars to get its full value from all voters. That is quite high.

The biggest issue has been on comments however, as because of the reduction, it makes voting on comments very expensive in lost curation and value reward for the majority of people, as most votes are not close to 16 Hive value, let alone on comments. As a result, while the curve in combination with changing curation, free downvotes and effectively stopped comment vote farming, it also discouraged comment voting.

Comment voting is a pretty great mechanism on Hive when used well, as it can be used to increase visibility (or decrease with downvotes), but more importantly, reward users who might not actually be interested in posting, but are happy to comment. This means that earning is possible as an active consumer, even without stake and aids in further distributing HIVE to more users. I am hoping that removing the curve will bring the sexy back to comment voting, something that I have never actually stopped myself, because in my opinion, sexy never left. What needs to be remembered is when comment vote farming happens, it should be downvoted, that is one of the reasons they exist.


This aside, the change reminded me of a time way back in the dark ages of March 13th 2017, 6 weeks after I joined a blockchain that potentially pays for content, and pay is what I needed. When I joined, the life of my family wasn't going so well and I was desperate for something, anything to help. My daughter was ill, my wife was ill and we had medical costs that were twice as much as our mortgage monthly. I was living off two hours sleep taking care of my family at night, working during the day as much as possible. Very desperate.

I began to write.

When I was a boy...

My early days were a bit different to now and the platform was a bit different as well. A heavy N2 was in place giving large accounts a massive advantage over the small in terms of weighted value, the token value was at an all time low (this will be relevant later) of about 7 cents and Ned had given his voting keys to a group of people who largely voted themselves to become whales. Times weren't great, but I didn't really know about any of this, because I didn't know much of anything about crypto, blogging, blockchain, community, voting...

So anyway. I posted this post and I will steal a picture from there. There are broken links in it now, but the text survives.


As you can see, there wasn't nearly as much text as I normally write now, but it was a photography post. It got a curie vote and I felt pretty good. I didn't know what "curie" was at the time nor that there was such a thing as trail voting, but, I got a decent amount on it of about 27 dollars if I remember. Then, not long after, it got downvoted, then downvoted again and then the last, was from 19 dollars to 4. I had no idea why. Considering what people were posting, it wasn't that bad.

Personally, I was gutted. I had been so excited and felt for the first time in a long time, that things might just work out. After the large votes came I had happily told my wife who was in bed and too tired and ill to give more than a smile, but after the downvotes I didn't go back to tell her. However...

Now, if you didn't click the post link, I will give you some time to go and read the comments now.


Ok. So, there was a whale experiment ongoing, where a few whales decided to counteract the votes from large accounts to increase the size of the votes of the small by essentially negating the applied N2 curve. Yeah, I didn't know any of what that meant at the time either. However, I do find it interesting at how strongly people react to downvotes, but that is from my own perspective. I think I handled it pretty well, considering what it had meant to get the votes and then have them taken away again.

So, what else could I do, but write another post.


Look at the engagement!!

Funnily, the only person who commented ended up being a scammer who was later editing old posts and recycling their text and images with crops over and over and over. She deserved the downvotes.

The downvotes didn't end there, there were plenty more like these, but you get the idea.

By the way. That first post that went from 27 to 4 was at a time where authors got 75% of the reward and the price was about 7 cents. So, I would have got about 20 dollars split 50/50 = 10 dollars plus 140 HIVE. That same post today would be a 100 dollar post. I guess I have made up for it - but I did say in my response post to the downvotes:

Even if the testing process is not perfect, it means at least that the developers are actively trying to improve the platform. I am in it to build something valuable from both a content and monetary perspective and therefore development is welcome. I am willing to forego some short-term gains for long-term as I see it as an investment in the future. source

I have been called many things in my life - but not a liar.

Develop at all cost

I really am all for the development and despite the "pain" of the downvotes at the time, this lead to one of the biggest changes on the platform, which was a move from the heavy N2 curve to a flat curve, meaning all votes were now relative to the stake they had. It worked well, except in the same hardfork, delegation was added and people started selling their upvotes to the highest bidder and for two years bidbots ruled the inflation pool.

Everything has consequences - intentional and unintended.

And here we are today, 4 years and two weeks after those downvotes rained down on me and still here, still looking to grow, still looking to build something valuable from a content and monetary perspective, still supportive of trial and error experiments, even if they don't always work.

The convergent curve was a good idea and did as it was intended to do, but the cost of the unintentional results is just too high and, of people use their downvotes well, a lot of the concerns that the convergent curve was meant to deal with, won't be an issue. However, most people still don't like downvotes. I get it, it feels like a critique of the work, it feels like someone is stealing your reward - but that isn't necessarily the case.

Regardless of whether people use their downvotes though, I see that there is far more benefit in being able to incentivize comments than counter spam and farming. In fact, perhaps we should "encourage" spam comments by not downvoting them, but definitely not upvoting them. Instead, upvote the comments that are worth it, even a tiny bit to push all the spam to the bottom. If people want to waste their time spamming, that is fine, as the other social medias are filled with it - but it doesn't have to earn on Hive, as with stake, we have a voice to make a difference.

Here we fork again

The next hardfork is going to be interesting for the average Hive end user in terms of the vote window condition changes and the removal of the convergent curve. I am hoping that people will vote on the posts they enjoy and find valuable, and more people will comment all over the platform and I have my fingers crossed that those with stake, will be more willing to upvote comments as there will be no cost in curation return to do so. There will likely be more unintended consequences, but we can deal with them as we always do, with more experiments to come.

Lessons learned

Looking back at those old posts of mine, there were a few things I noticed I will mention. Six weeks after joining I was at rep 63, which I do not know how as I wasn't exactly earning much, but I did have some decent accounts follow me. But, more interesting than that is how little I commented back to the comments I got and how poor my commenting was - it is shameful.

By midyear though, I had realized what an early idiot I had been and was learning how to use the platform properly as a blogger and an investor - the downvotes I received transformed me, brought focus and I became interested in more than what my posts were paying, I started to dive into the blockchain and the community that ride it. As I have always said and I think I have proven - the most valuable thing on this chain is the community and the relationships that make it. There are no shortcuts to being a part of it, it takes work and it isn't always a positive experience.


Whatever you think of things today - times are always changing.

A lot has changed for me in four years. A lot hasn't.

[ Gen1: Hive ]

Thank you @abh12345 for the data dive request fill - you get 5%

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