Steem looks very different when you start looking at it from a technical P.O.V.
We are all miners, and we are all mining crypto. However, the process is a tad bit different than the more well known.
I keep thinking of this. Not to mention, proof of stake and POB comes up in almost every steem related discussion may it be a regular hangout or a witness's show. These organised shows always blow my brain and once again remind me that knowledge is both endless and free, the world is so much bigger just as close as it is.
Full disclosure; usually when I talk about trains it is always about the random pattern my train of thoughts stimulate with every shooting neuron and how much of both a blessing and a curse it is. This time, however, the train is significantly different. It is very much about me... and steem.
When I first joined the steem blockchain I was immediately mesmerized by the different communities and the technology itself. Coming from a non-tech background I tried to learn as much as I could and I am sure I did well. I understand a lot and every article always is left with more appreciation than I would have given it had I not understood much of the workings of steem blockchain.
I clearly remember setting up GinaBot and having my mind blown. It really was a life saver. I looked at the different options it had and one of the most useless options it had for me was the curation rewards notifier. meh, that's what I thought of curation reward notifications. Useless. Completely useless to me. I was pretty new at that time, I hardly had figured out what was the best way of curation...especially with 100% upvotes.
Soon enough I had built so much trust and likeness towards steem that I decided to make an investment. It was my very first investment in any digital product...okay except facebook ads. I did some online marketing and had a few online projects but those were of very familiar grounds. Those were things I could do on the street if the lights went out. Those were kin to IRL projects and investments. Steem, however was very different to me. It was uncharted waters with nothing but belief and interest - a perfect investment opportunity. So I made the investment and powered up all of it.
But really, did it make any difference? For a long time, it didn't. I still hadn't learnt much about curating well enough. I had powered up and was slowly making enough SP per post to get the slider. But between that and the slider I did more research and learnt of many tools that would further help me "mine" more through just curation.
I asked around and learnt many things. I tried different times, different authors, different ways of upvoting to make my curation game stronger.
I would have to mention that the best tools for anyone trying to improve, experiment or just learn about curation would have to be steemworld.org and steemauto.com. Both these tools are absolutely free and very enlightening. They broaden the spectrum of learning and improving your curation game.
I really liked steemauto and till date is one of my favorites. Judging solely on how easy and wonderful it is. Just go in and do what you gotta do and you are set, my friend. I joined multiple trails and started following multiple people just because I either liked them or because of the curation rewards I could get. It indeed made a massive difference.
I especially liked it because it never left my VP stay at a standstill. Keeping the 80% VP rule in my head I set it up and let it go around giving upvotes wherever and whenever if I wasn't doing it manually. It gave me the "seed" feeling in torrents - helping everyone "mine" a little more. I didn't have to worry about not doing as much as I could with my VP nor did I have to worry about not doing the most to get something in return either.
Things got even better with steemworld. I could monitor every upvote going out from my account and monitor how well I was doing curation-wise. I could make an educated guess at what trails I wanted to stay in and which people would I want to either remove or put more VP into. It was fantastic. Using the "pending curation rewards" option I could make a wild guess on how the previous changes I made to steem auto were performing and which strategy was doing the best.
Eventually, ginabot started popping up more often. It felt good because I do not have a big stake, so I shouldn't be receiving curation rewards that actively. But it was there, the notifications were coming.
Fast forward a few months and things are going well. The Charles Foxtrot hardfork has been announced and I also had to take a hiatus. I decided to delegate much of my SP to make sure I was "mining" even while I was away. I had already read posts about how leasing wasn't going to be as lucrative and curating would be the way to go. I was in too much of a rush to do anything so I delegated and took my break.
Today, I can first hand see and bear witness to how things have shaped up. Of course, having a bigger stake is always going to be the best. It is common sense. But, for someone like me things have also been looking brighter. I started looking at how much I was making daily from leasing. I had delegated over half of my stake. I made a note of how much each lease was giving me in a 24 hour period vs. how much was I making with 1/3rd of my stake curating on a pre-hardfork curation strategy. To my surprise leasing, even if more than half of my stake, was on the losing side.
I went back to steemauto and steemworld and made a quick and rough calculation of how and what is going on. I decided not to change anything on steemauto, leave the curation window as it was and not even remove the inactive trails and authors. I decided to move my delegations to the most profitable leasers and watch. Still, rounding up everything pretty roughly I could notice that curation in full-auto, outdated mode was looking much much more profitable. The train of curation reward notifications do not stop. It is going on and on and I have never seen so many curation reward notifications ever before.
It is, of course, a matter of personal preference on what you want to do with your stake. You could still lease your SP for a quick, liquid return or put in some work and use your sp to give out more votes for a better curation reward. I am still flabbergasted that even with such a tiny amount put into curation how well curation has been doing for me. I wonder how much more efficient and profitable would upvoting be if I were to start updating my auto list, change the curation window time and invest more SP in curation rather than leasing.