Is Gamifying Curation Rewards Necessary?

in #hive-167922last month

Seems like we are on constant debate about the curation(staking) rewards on Hive.

Why do we have this debate in the first place?

The reason is because of the global reward pool and gamified curation rewards. Who will get the most of that shared reward pool.

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Curation rewards on Hive are gamified by the following parameters:

  • Voting window (time of voting)
  • Hive Power that votes after you
  • Number of votes (voting power)
  • Downvotes
  • Overall payouts of the post

We know the 5 minutes rule. When you vote early then 5 minutes, a penalty is implemented, and a share of the CR is lost. Next if a lot other users (HP) vote after you (especially whales😊) you are getting better CR as a reward for “discovering” that popular content first. If no downvotes comes, the CR will be unaffected. The last one, overall payouts, where a post under ~4$ (somewhere around 300k to 400k HP) votes are penalized and earn less.

There is a lot to talk about the current setup of the CR and how its gamified, but that is not the prime focus on the post. I’m just making a short overview of the things involved at the current gamification of CR on Hive and can and should we get rid of them?


In theory gamification is great. It creates competition and more stakeholders fighting for rewards, increasing the demand for the stake in the first place. Games are basically based on this. You play Splinterlands, if you win you get reward, if not you get nothing. Everyone understand this, and nobody is complaining.

But here we are talking about social. Competing for global reward pool with gamified curation can be toxic on some occasions. It puts the stakeholders under moral dilemma as well. If I do this Ill earn more from my stake, but people will shout at me.
I cannot use my stake to maximize my staking rewards!?

No gamification, equal curation rewards for everyone?

Is this possible at all? Is it the right thing to do?

What will happen if we remove all the parameters above?

  • No voting window, or max 7 days as the payout window
  • Doesn’t matter how much HP have voted after you
  • No downvotes
  • Doesn’t matter what is the overall value of the post

Everyone earns the same, they just need to vote. Stake is stake and it earns the same for everyone. No need to fight over high CR and creating toxicity in the process.

Seems quite elegant and pressure free. No need to time curation at all.

What will be the problem then?

Abusing self voting?

Yes, if all the aspects of the gamified curation are removed, even downvotes, self voting will be the most obvious and easy way to increase your staking rewards. After all the author/curation rewards are 50/50 share and when you vote someone else you gave up 50% of your staking rewards.

How to prevent abusive self voting?

In a stake based, KYC free environment, this is a challenge.

From all the parameters above (timing, HP voting after you, downvotes, post payout sum) we might want to leave the downvotes. Also leave some extra time for downvotes, then upvotes, to prevent last minute upvotes.

Making downvotes anonymous can be helpful as well, since no small stakeholder would take it on a fight against a bigger one. But limit the downvotes to only one free downvote per day, instead of the two now, to prevent downvote abuse.

In this way we will have a big part of the gamified curation removed, leaving downvotes only.
But downvotes also generate quite a lot of toxicity. In fact, they are the worst. Nobody is getting as mad because of frontrunners, early voters etc. They get mad when a downvote happens.

Can we remove downvotes from the curation game?

Removing downvotes would be possible only if the upvotes are reduced in a form of voluntary tipping.

What this would mean is that all the rewards go to stakeholders. The author/curation share of 50/50 would be 0/100. A stakeholder would have his rewards accumulated, in form of potential for curating, let’s say for a period od 7 days. If he doesn’t vote/tip someone, all of them will go to his wallet. 100% curation rewards.
If he votes/curates he will be giving out 50% of his rewards voluntarily, no need to downvote that 😊.

This is quite a radical change for the platform. What it would means for the content creators or the platform in general, can’t tell. But it is the only way to remove gamification in the curation/staking rewards, removing downvotes as well, and still remains a KYC free.


Something close to this would be higher curation rewards 😊. Quite the opposite from the @blocktrades recent post. What this means curators gets let’s say 80%.
Then they will have only 20% to give out to authors, basically lowering down the overall payouts sum to authors, and the problematic gamified share of the curation rewards. This should lower down the incentive for abuse. Leave some space for tipping based curation on the top of this might be a good option as well.

Not sure will this work, since even a 1% difference can be a lot for someone, and they would like to take advantage of that as well. But at least the level of abuse should be lower.

One more aspect is the number of votes. We know that now you need to vote 10 times per day at 100% to use your vote power. If you want to vote with less than 100% (if you are a whale) then it becomes much more votes than 10. Autovotes, or a semi-autovotes solve this. But if want more manual curation maybe to make it possible to drain higher voting power with one vote. Like drain your VP for a 10% in one vote instead of 2%? Just an example.


Final thoughts

The option for curation rewards would be the following:

  • Keep the current system and play with the parameters, voting time, curve, post payout etc,
  • Remove all the parameters, keep the downvotes only
  • Make curation voluntary, tipping with the staking rewards

How to weight this? What is the best option?
Is it better to have gamified curation rewards withs some toxicity on the way, or make it voluntary and altruistic action of tipping, where no downvotes are needed?

I think that even if the option for 100% CR with optional voting/tipping is set, it won’t eliminate toxicity 100%. People will say that they are voting and the others not. Start calling everyone to vote.

Maybe some combination of higher CR, 70%, 80%, and downvotes only. No timing, post value, etc.

Some might argue that the token will not spread around enough (decentralization) with 75% CR, but HIVE has more than four years under his belt and stake distribution, that started with 75% share for the authors. A fork that eliminating the largest stakeholder as well. It has reached enough stakeholders. In fact, you don’t need millions to give the token value. Having 100 large buyers will do as well. I know a lot will say we want to reach millions, and I do as well, but we can get there with a higher CR, and a lot of apps, or second layer tokens. If you think you will lose because of lower AR, remember you will also gain with higher CR.

I think this is a logical pattern for a token. You start with higher inflation and giveaway of the token, than slowly lowering down inflation and don’t give it away as much. Bitcoin followed this pattern.

For example, the tribe tokens are all new, and they have 50/50 share as the base token. That is how they started. Its ok for them to go under this inflation few more years. Hive might be mature for higher curation rewards.

Are there other options?

All the best
@dalz

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Way too technical for me...

It's one of the things I've never really grasped in my time here.

I generally follow the 5 minute rule now (15 minutes on the previous chain)...Because how the curve works and all that, is way too complicated.

I understand the need for everything, but at the end of the day, I will support with votes the people I feel are creating content that helps Hive grow.

Everything else to me, is a bonus...If I hit the right time and the post goes to the moon, yay for me and my CR....If it doesn't I still feel like I helped people that are helping Hive.

I think the easier we make it for the every day user to understand WHY they should be curating, the better...Everything else, I leave to the smart people here. LOL

Yes, the curation game on Hive is way to technical :)

Simplifing it with removing all the extras, voting time, curve etc ... will make it more simple. Will leave us basicly with up or down, options... and it will be more fair, for the not so techie people.

I think that's the message that needs to get across...The easiest you make this stuff, the more people will have the confidence to poke around, vote more and even power up.

Agree not everyone here fully understands the inner workings, Infographics a few years ago would explain concept quite quickly.

Curators normally spend time purely curating work. Insight into timing which on many occasions is curated even when you start consuming a fresh post. Who reads or consumes at that speed? Very little insight/value added after claiming curation, good authors targeted for gain. Why did you read the post, what have you gained from the post, short comment of 50 words at least leaves an content creator feeling stimulated to continue.

Many arrive to share knowledge, not curate irrespective of reward system. Exceptionally well detailed content, walking away with with low value, especially new arrivals pouring heart and soul into content.

If value is not fairly balanced out, or concisely explained, why should people stay. Building Hive for a better future one needs witnesses to weigh in on how to overcome hurdles, we have seen what has happened over the past four years.

As the old truism goes: "You can't make ALL the people happy, ALL the time."

The heart of this is — as you said — that we are operating with gamified curation. But there's more to it than that, isn't there? We're working withing an overall framework of "Gamified Social Media."

In a game system — no matter how you present the rules — there will always be people who play the game legitimately, as intended, and people whose lives revolve around gaming the game. Change the rules, and the system abusers (for lack of a better term) will develop a new strategy to exploit a loophole.

Let's just consider abusive self-voting: One answer might be to let people be free to self-vote... but where a vote for someone else takes 2% of your voting power, a vote for yourself takes 10% of your voting power. Looks good, but then people just create "alts" to vote for themselves. Problem → Solution → New problem.

With that out of the way, I'm in favor of "as simple as possible without opening the floodgates of abuse." Sure, I "sort of" understand curation (after 2 1/2 years) but this system to a newcomer (Let's say someone whose normal social media experience is Instagram) is like learning a foreign language. Barring changes, how do we EXPLAIN curation to a new generation of Hive users who are perhaps more social and less technical?

I lean towards keeping things as they are, and tweaking bits and pieces as we go along. I am not in favor of exclusively tipping, because a large part of the attraction here is precisely that this is NOT a "pay to play" type system.

=^..^=

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Thanks for the thoughtful comment!

Gamified Social Media

Yes indeed. Also true that we cant please everyone and some will stay salty :)
But if we are going for simplicity, removing the time window, the curve (posts value), amount of HP voted after you etc ... is a step in that direction.

I still think regardless of the hate it's still a great way to distribute rewards however, I would change the allocation of the inflation. I've been researching tokenomics for my own site i'd like to setup and here's what I am thinking

25% - Curation
25% - Posting
20% - Mining
30% - Staking
10% - Saving

That way each incentive structure caters to the different users from active to passive and rewards them accordingly. Then add in tipping, buy backs, monthly airdrops and you've got a healthy economy

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Hmm... interesting ... what do you have in mine for mining? Also 10% saving?

So I'm thinking to take the 20% allocation to miners 8% MM and 12$ to standard miners, I am happy with that distribution I just am trying to figure out what would a good supply to circulate and inflation rate for daily minting that would be attractive for users

I think the 10% saving is cool because your stake is not active on chain but you can still earn for holding, which gives even those users an encouragement to not dump. If you can integrate with 3rd party wallets lets say like Atomic wallet or Ledger then those users can store the tokens and still get a return

In my non technical old mind, the simpler a thing is made, the better results it has.
We have to realize that there are millions of people like me and if we want a fair share of those people in hive, then we simply have to lower the barriers.
It could be a good idea for self voting to be banned and for the entire system to be made more user friendly.

We know that anything can be scammed, but the simpler it is, the easier it is to control.
Just my two cents here!

I was thinking to address banning self voting, but then its easy to game this with alt accounts.

No timing and no curve would be a step in simplifying CR.

Yes, you are right and I told you that I am not technical lol.
Even though I was a high-speed technician on cigarette making machines 🤣
Just a joke to get a smile as I know that it had nothing to do with IT lol.

Let's see what kind of replies you get on your suggestions.

Love this. I don't think gamifying necessary either. Posts that recent decent auto-upvotes are less attractive to manual curators as well. So that's not good for posts that are quality. I like making down-votes blind for the exact reasons you mention as well.

Well thought out since blocktrades post about this issue.

Thanks! I think sometimes we are so into solving the problem, we forget why the problem is there in the first place and eliminate the need to solve it in the first place :)

This is a challenge that keeps on following us and yet no formula for it. While we all agree that something needs to happen, there isn't yet one system to satisfy everybody. But certain something needs to be done to simply this for the end user not to have to do computations to know how much his earnings are.

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The simple the better :)

Making downvotes anonymous can be helpful as well

Not sure if its even possible on blockchain - it is kinda contradiction, but more importantly hell no on this one. It would open hive to possibility of thought policing. Imagine scenario where someone makes bot which will downvote anything mentioning green eyes. With anonymous voting it might lead to people just stopping writing about green eyes and here goes censorship proof/resistant chain. With public downvotes, like we have now, someone can still make that bot, but bot creator/user will be well known and probably shunned by community while ppl can help and "heal" downvotes or support attacked author in other ways.

About other parts of post: I would wait with lowering author portion of rewards until hive have way more dapps than now, too early to do something like this. Biggest issue I have with rewards are their complexity, it takes quite a lot of effort to get all information about rewards and understand how it works - I think simpler system would be welcomed especially by new potential investors who are considering buying hive.

Downvotes can be make anonymous I think. Using some shared pool, or something. It can be coded on a blockchain level, dont know the details but I think it can be done.

limit the downvotes to only one free downvote per day, instead of the two now, to prevent downvote abuse

Downvotes abuse can be issue, that is why I propose to lower the free downvotes. Nothing guarantied though.

I agree that eliminating the curation curve will make for a better hive blogging experience. We have 4 years of proof that incentivizing content discovery in this way just doesn't work. The techies just optimize voting to front run larger accounts on already-popular authors.

On the other hand, whichever way you go isn't going to move the price of HIVE. This is one of those rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic issues.

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Having some user growth might help as well :)