From many, whale.
Project @thunderwhale! A decentralized curation pool application
Bryan Gmyrek, Ph.D.
We propose a decentralized voting pool system which automates the process of pooling votes. The votes are cast by an app which all users of the pool install on their device. To receive a vote from the pool, a post must be from a pool member and it must have a quorum of votes by current pool members. Users are not required to share their posting key with a trusted third party.
What if I told you that you could harness the power of a whale, without having to have a million SP?
What if it was totally decentralized?
And you could keep your posting key to yourself?
And you don't have to invest your money in a stranger's account and HOPE they use their SP to vote you up?
This can be done with current technology.
A Brief History of Voting Power
Whales, whales, whales.
Whales are people with a lot of SP. We love whales. They help us out a lot with their big upvotes. A tiny bit of "attention" from them means a huge reward. Because they don't just have a LITTLE more power than you. They have A LOT more power. This means if a whale tends to follow you and upvotes your stuff, you are on the gravy train man. Kudos!
The Big Are Bigger
What do I mean by that? I mean whales are even bigger than you think. More on this below.
But what about the rest of us?
If you're not friends with a whale then it's pretty tough to get noticed. And if you vote alone on your friends things, your votes won't have much effect, even as you gain SP.
SQUARED? Is This Really A Problem?
As you may have heard, votes are not weighted in a linear way.[Ref 1] The power of the votes made on a post is SQUARED to figure out what the reward should be. The creators of steemit had good reasons for this (see the whitepaper, or this post) but many think it is not playing out so well for even large minnows and dolphins on steemit.
Why is this? I think the main reason this is a problem is that some whales have millions of SP while most users only have much much smaller amounts. Still, 1,000 STEEM POWER should mean something, right? Let's see.
Minnow Joe is a minnow. He has 1,000 STEEM POWER.
Whale Wanda is a whale. She has 1,000,000 STEEM POWER.
It looks like Wanda is a thousand times more powerful than Joe, right?
What really matters is what happens when you SQUARE those numbers.
Minnow Joe's SQUARED STEEM POWER is 1,000,000 (A MILLION)
Whale Wanda's SQARED STEEM POWER is 1,000,000,000,000 (A TRILLION)
This means that Whale Wanda has a MILLION times the "effective voting power" as Minnow Joe, even though Whale Wanda has only a thousand times as much STEEM POWER.
To maximize the rewards gained from their SP, Minnow Joe and his friends need to vote on the same post. Why? Because if they do that, then their SP are first combined and then squared. This makes a huge difference as you will see.
Effective voting power when Minnow Joe and 999 of his friends vote on different posts
(1,000)^2 * 1,000 = 1,000,000,000 (Billion)
When they vote independently, they have a collective voting power of about a billion. A billion sounds pretty good, until you compare it to a trillion ;)
Effective voting power when Minnow Joe and friends vote on the same post
(1,000 * 1,000)^2 = (1,000,000)^2 = 1,000,000,000,000 TRILLION
See that sweet trillion? When they are united, they have the power of a whale.
Why Can't We All Just Get Along?
This could in theory be solved without an external system. Minnow Joe and his 999 friends would simply all have to agree on what to vote on and do it during the initial voting period. Unfortunately, this does not happen. A system is needed, at least for now.
How Does Project @thunderwhale! Solve This?
Decentralized Curation Pool
We propose a decentralized curation system which automates the process of choosing what to vote on.
The votes are cast by an app which all users of the pool install on their device(s).
To receive a vote from the pool, a post must meet certain criteria.
It must be from a pool member.
It must have a quorum of voting power by current pool members.
It must not have a certain number of flags by current pool members.
All pool members must be 'in good standing' to be eligible. This means they usually vote on posts chosen by the pool.
Further improvements and optimizations to these rules, including the ability of the user to approve and/or reject the upvote of a post would be desirable.
We ask you to please leave comments with ideas and suggestions on how this might work. For example, we had some great discussions in @officialfuzzy's Beyond Bitcoin audio hangout on Friday. People seemed interested in an app which allowed for customization of the automated or semi-automated voting rules. I think these are good ideas and should be fleshed out during the initial voting perid. The goal here is not to create a monster but rather a tool which legit users of steemit can use to improve their curation by leveraging the community.
Mobile apps are almost ideal for this. They are usually turned on, and can be easily activated and deactivated by users. Therefore, it is possible for the mobile app itself to make a decision and upvote the post. However, it is not clear that such an app would be approved by the centralized mobile app stores. For this reason, the first version may be a desktop application (this is the subject of further research).
Please leave feedback in the comments on which you prefer (mobile vs desktop).
The application will be open sourced under the GNU GPL v2.
Please note that depending on the tools used to build the application, there may be components which are not open source - these would only be third party libraries. All code written to build Project @thunderwhale! will be open sourced.
Members In Good Standing
In order to be considered a member in good standing, a member must meet a certain minimum threshold of participation, and possibly curation activity.
The goal is to make it as easy as 1, 2, 3.
Download and install the Project @thunderwhale! app on your computer.
Enter your steemit username and posting key.
Post "I just joined Project @thunderwhale!" to your steemit.com account with the #thunderwhale tag.
By taking step 3, you confirm that you are a part of Project @thunderwhale!.
Posting of this message may be automated by the application (initial versions may require you to post it by hand).
This verifies your intention to participate in the pool. The post should also contain information about Project @thunderwhale!
This has the added benefit of causing your friends to learn about Project @thunderwhale!
We think we can build this but it won't be easy. We need your help in the form of funding. Here's how we propose the fundraising will work:
All STEEM DOLLARS earned from this post will be transferred to the @thunderwhale account.
You can donate STEEM DOLLARS and/or STEEM to the @thunderwhale account.
The fundraising period will continue through Sunday, October 30th, 2016 at 12:00 PM PST.
All STEEM and STEEM DOLLAR amounts sent to the @thunderwhale account during this fundraising period may go towards research, design, evangelism, development, logic, software, and any other activities.
Fundraising Terms Disclaimer
Please note that any amounts paid in are strictly considered donations.
We want to see this project happen more than anyone.
However, this is a highly speculative endeavour.
We make no promises to deliver any specific software at any specific time, or any software at all.
If funds are lost or stolen they will not be recoverable.
We've added this disclaimer as part of v0.1.4 of the document (no donations have been made to Project @thunderwhale! yet) after talking with various community members. We do of course want this to succeed, but do not want to end up in a situation where people think they are buying something with their donation or that they might want to take legal action. This is a donation, period.
One thing is certain, without sufficient support, the app won't become a reality.
If you are not OK with any of this, that's OK. Just don't donate to Project @thunderwhale! Your upvotes and resteems are still very valuable.
Nothing like this has been attempted before. We want to raise a combined twenty five thousand STEEM DOLLARS by October 30th.
What's in it for me?
By upvoting and contributing STEEM DOLLARS and/or STEEM, you are making this project possible. Without support, it will not happen and it will not be possible to take advantage of such a system. Furthermore, donors will receive priority access to alpha and beta versions of the software.
If you make any donation, you will be acknowledged by the official Project @thunderwhale! account in a future post.
If you make donations of a certain size, you will receive more recognition in terms of future "Official Announcements" on the @thunderwhale account. (Please note that this does not of course include comments made by that account, or any posts that need to be kept short - for example if many clients will be parsing the posts for example.)
If you donate over 100 STEEM DOLLARS, your username will be included in the footer of every post made by the official Project @thunderwhale!
Your sponsorship will be recognized in the following levels:
100 SD+ = Bronze Level Donor
500 SD+ = Silver Level Donor
1000 SD+ = Gold Level Donor
5000 SD+ = Platinum Level Donor
10000 SD+ = Diamond Level Donor
What's in it for steemit?
This gives minnows a chance to have the impact, and reap the rewards, which they desire. People will be more likely to join steemit and purchase SP when they learn that they can be a part of something like Project @thunderwhale! We believe this is a good thing for the future of steemit.
In conclusion, Project @thunderwhale! offers a user-driven, decentralized solution to some of the issues facing steemit today. It gives minnows a voice and levels the playing field.
Appendix A: Show Me The Math
OK, you asked for it. Here's a little spreadsheet I threw together to prove the concept (click to view the Google Sheet).
Appendix B: Really? Project @thunderwhale!?
This project was inspired by my observations as a steemit.com user for over two months, my reading of the Steem Whitepaper, and by a service called thunderclap.com This is a traditional social media service which allows people to pool their social power by all voting on a given item. The "!" just looks awesome, and was inspired by Yahoo! (RIP).
Appendix C: Request for Comments
In a hat-tip to the classic style of internet RFCs, I consider this initial whitepaper/post a request for comments. Please let us know if this is all wrong, if you think certain items need to be changed, etc.
Appendix D: Versioning on steemit.com
I named the original version of the whitepaper version 0.1. This way as changes are made new posts can be made with a new version number. The new version will supersede the old version.
Changelog / Errata
Version 0.1.2: Thank you @claudiop63 for finding this! Correct typo/mental math error in the "Effective voting power when Minnow Joe and 999 of his friends vote on different posts" (million should be billion there - note that the math was correct in Appendix A and the fundamental idea is still correct but I made the mistake of not referring to the spreadsheet when writing that section).
Version 0.1.3: Change a typo in the abstract - in one place it said vote where it should have said post.
Version 0.1.4: Several changes, mostly to information around funding. I added many disclaimers because where I'm at - I'd rather not even raise funding if it means people will be lined up with pitchforks and torches if this thing takes longer to build or if fails or any reason whatsoever. If you decide to support this thing at all, it's a donation plain and simple and you should expect no specific item in return.
Version 0.1.5: Changed wording in funding disclaimer slightly.
 Steem: An incentivized, blockchain-based social media platform. Daniel Larimer, Ned Scott, Valentine Zavgorodnev, Benjamin Johnson, James Calfee, and Michael Vandeberg. March 2016. https://steem.io/SteemWhitePaper.pdf
 Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System. Satoshi Nakamoto. https://bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf
All whale images are from pixabay.com
About the Author
Bryan Gmyrek is a full time software developer and lives in sunny Arizona with his beautiful wife, three sons and two golden puppies. He holds a Ph.D. in physics from the University of Arizona based on the particle physics research he did at the world famous DZero Experiment at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory. He has been online since 1993, into cryptocurrencies since 2013, won prizes at three Bitcoin hackathons, and has co-organized the highly technical Blockchain Meetup in Phoenix Arizona for over a year. Many of his videos are popular on YouTube, including his recent SteemIt technical talk. He also blogs about nature photography, dogs, national parks and hiking. Pay no attention to that Tardis. Read more in my top 50 introduceyourself post
#thunderwhale #steemit #minnowsunite #beyondbitcoin #lessthankrill
If you like this idea, please show your support by upvoting and resteeming. Thanks!
Follow me @nonlinearone
I like it
This is flippin ( no pun intended ) awesome !
I already follow, I upvoted and retweeted .
What would be mega awesome is if there was a $5 steem dollar upgrade fee!
Upgraded members could have the potential to earn $2.50 from referrals and $2 on the referrals that there referrals bring in ! 50 cents goes to admin.
FREE members are placed in the pool AND can earn half those amounts on referrals that upgrade ;) with the remainder (minus the 50 cents admin fee) paid as a dividend to upgraded members. This will help us all get even more steem power...
Which supports the pool.
Thanks @nonlinearone , awasome idea !
Changes in Version 0.1.2: Thank you @claudiop63 for finding this! Correct typo/mental math error in the "Effective voting power when Minnow Joe and 999 of his friends vote on different posts" (million should be billion there - note that the math was correct in Appendix A and the fundamental idea is still correct but I made the mistake of not referring to the spreadsheet when writing that section).
A very good initiative. I just might work. I reblogged your article and am following both you and @thunderwhale.
So, where's the app? :))))
I will reread the post later and check the whitepaper. The idea about a decentralized app is especially attractive.
Hopefully this will help the minnows. The whales hold too much power
Absolutely fantastic idea, I will certainly be donating some of my hard earned SBD for this project. I assume that we're welcome to donate several times over the month? I would love to reach one of the donation milestones but I'll be unable to do that in one lump sum.
Hey not sure if anyone gives a shit, I made this post last night about getting more SP in the hands of minnows. I didn't really get a huge response on it so just out of curiousity am I out to lunch with this idea? https://steemit.com/steemit/@will-zewe/what-i-feel-can-be-tweaked-to-help-incentivize-no-users-sign-up-new-user-activity-and-most-importantly-new-user-moral
Also don't care about the value of the post itself, I just thought it was a good idea... So if anyone feels like taking a read I really do think this could help.
I agree on this idea. Thinking how to give minnows more weight in relation to whales. I am a thinker but not a coder. Would love to find a way to help users in steemprentice especially new users as well as others.
What a great idea! Maybe we could even become a kraken. Following. upvoted and resteemed. Please consider resteeming my #steemfestdreamers post to help someone win a ticket to SteemFest!
Kraken, I like it. Power to the people ;^)
Let's hope whales will donate this cool project :)
Interesting ideas, upvoted and following @thunderwhale now :)
Exciting. Lemme try.
Looking forward to this project.
I really like this idea, I'm gonna give you a follow. I'll have to read more into it and it's late where I am, so it'll be a tomorrow night thing. But if upon further review I still like it, I'll throw 500 SP into it.
I'd also like to say I think curation rewards should be more geared towards minnows. I'm a dolphin and a small one at that and I still pull in around 50 in curation a week. When I'm super active it's over 100. I see no reason why someone with over 10,000 SP can't donate 10% or 15% all the way up to the whales giving up 30-40% perhaps? Maybe that's too high, but I feel like I would gladly give up 20% so 30-40 wouldn't be to high to ask from the biggest whales.
It wouldn't affect the whales who don't vote, and it would be even across the board percent wise.
I don't know just something I've thought could help minnows grow faster.
I personallu believe this is why witesses exist...to build tools like this.
I would love to give away some of my curation rewards, shit I'd transfer steem power to people I see keeping their power and powering up, or to people actively curating, or to people making quality posts. I'd love to give out some of my earnings, just don't have the ability yet.
I didn't get a lot of response when I made a post about this last night, am I the only one who feels like I could be alright with donating some of my rewards?
Wow thanks @will-zewe. I'll follow you back of course. Really appreciate the kind words and willingness to contribute 500 SP after further review (totally understandable). Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.
I'm all about growing steemit, the only real issue I see is a massive wealth gap, so I figure any ways I can help mitigate that shit, I shall. If you ever want an opinion I'll be happy to give my perspective.
Looking forward to the future on this one.
Thanks Claudio :)
hopefully the app will be multiplatform? A linux version would be handy :P
Indeed :) The goal is to make it multiplatform, probably with http://electron.atom.io/ but that is to be determined. Would love everyone's feedback on the best tools though.
I have a group of friends doing something similar with a mobile phone app called "groupme" They simply post a link to an instagram post and then like and comment previous pposts in the group. There is a heart Icon to show that they have liked the post within the group.
Brilliant idea. I've noticed the exact same problems as well as people feeling discouraged on the whole because posts and good writing takes time and effort and when people don't see that, they might leave or not believe in the platform any longer.
Upvoted and followed.
This sounds amazing! I would totally be interested in it! I'm still trying to understand everything here. But I think I know enough to know that this is awesome! :)
Hello @nonlinearone, this project seems to meet the criteria for a @steemfund campaign, we may help you raise some of the money required. If you want our help please contact me on steemit.chat (either by PM or on #steemfund channel).
Wow, thanks! I will check in with you on steemit.chat when I'm able.
cool, you can also find out more about @steemfund here: https://steemfund.github.io
I'd be willing to donate if you had a minimum viable product.
We could have several decentralized curation systems that function by aggregating the minnows voting power. It would be a nice balance of power on the network.
I'm following, please post regular updates :)
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Love it, upvoted, resteened, sharing until my fingers fall off! @christoph3 @mysonjosh @ballinconscious . I do have a question though, obviously it is possible to just donate a dollar per day until the 30th.. This project should easily be doable and I am excited to be part of this! Namaste~!
Thanks and I love your enthusiasm :) Can you please rephrase your question though because I'm not sure what you were asking. Thanks!
Great idea :D
I'm not sure whether this project will go well when the new "curation guild" feature came, see the last sentence of https://steemit.com/steem/@steemitblog/steem-developer-update-graphene-2-0
Thanks for your comment. If the steemit team bakes this sort of thing into the core code I will be rejoicing. A few questions.
Do you know if there is a writeup on the plan for curation guilds? I'd rather see that than a video discussion which seems very much less formal.
Even if a curation guild system is built into the core - what if you or I or anyone decides we don't like it?
If there were an open source app which is independent of the steem core code, people could make changes if and when they want to.
Finally, what happens if more important matters crop up? Will curation guilds be put on the back burner again?
I think since we have this decentralized system it would be great if we could have decentralized tools.
Sorry I don't know the plan or progress info. Perhaps you can contact @ned directly, or use the "Contact Steemit" link (click right top corner of this page, then a link near the bottom).