I think I found the perfect solution to Narrative's reward payout issues!

Service: Narrative

{I am editing this post to reflect some changes brought up in the comments}

I am so excited! I think I've come up with a real solution to Narrative's reward payout issue that has been driving everyone so crazy and causing hostility on the site...

Here it is:

The Narrative team decides to split the monthly rewards into four payout groups according to word count. (since all posts have pics anyway) *plus another reward payout group audio/visual.

1-25 words  Picture post (20%)

26-300 words poetry/non-poetry  (20%)

301 words-500 words  normal blog post  (20%)

501 words and up  (20%)

Audio/visual  (20%)

*also edited is the suggestion that reward pools according to word length could be automated as default with the selection of instead manually choosing the audio/visual reward pool. I've only made these edits to clarify and don't think they will affect any of the comments below...

The Narrator who creates the post selects which group their post falls into at the time of the post creation. Then any upvotes are directed to the selected groups payout. This way each of the four groups is represented fairly according to post type and it should be fairly easy to implement! Please comment and upvote this suggestion if you think it is a good one!

Original Post

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Colleen Ryer posted:

@J Bandel  what if a post fits more than one category?  And seems that words between 25 and 100 aren't covered ... or I need to read it again 

I'm just giving an example of how it could work and the creator can make the determination  where their own post belongs....

I actually don't mind this idea at all.  I'd probably want the 'Normal Blog Post' to expand to 101 to 500 words, but I definitely like the idea.  

There is potential for members to just add in junk words if they're trying to cash in on less popular payment groups, but it would be up to the community to downvote members that do that.

Narrative definitely suffers from the problem of trying to be everything to everyone, and a solution like this might help satisfy more people.

 

We need something like that. The limits of each category and also the relative share may vary but we need different categories for sure. If one category is overflooded and another almost empty, the more frequented one should get more rewards but not all.

I'm really impressed with the simplicity of this measure @J Bandel.  

I think it would be important to start by supplying equal amounts rewards to each category if the platform wants to encourage a balanced array of content.  

Then, depending on the balance observed after a few payouts, the team could tweak the rewards amounts of each category to improve balance if it has not been achieved yet.  Or not - perhaps that would be against their philosophy.  In which case, sticking with the equal distribution would be fair.

Is there any reason why an automated word count couldn't be used for classifying the posts, rather than relying on self reporting?

I would expand the word counts. There is really little value, in terms of SEO, for any post under 300 words no matter how much literary quality it may hold. Google prefers long content. It's been proven and I can dig up the data to show it. For that reason alone, I'd have the bottom payout at 25-100 words with a photo (we really don't want to encourage non-text photo-only posts). Then up it from there to 100-300 words (because a lot of poetry would fall in here), and then from 300-1,000 words. Average non-fiction article for marketing and SEO purposes is around 500-700 words. Some are longer some are shorter. For the top dog category, 1,000 words+, which is the length that most people would say you're getting into the long-form content category.

4 categories means 250,000 NRVE per category per month. If you categorize your own post correctly, you'll qualify. If you don't, you'll automatically disqualify. I think an automatic detection system followed up with a monthly review to catch false positives would work simply, and simple usually translates into beautiful.

I like the word counts you've come up with @Garden Gnome Publications - and it sounds like you've attempted to base them empirically.

I'm not seeing any downsides to this measure.  And if it were to rely solely on an automated word count, it would be extremely easy to implement.

This solves half of the equation of different content types: the rewards aspect, but it also goes some way towards solving the feed pollution aspect since a better balance of content received on Narrative would alleviate the over-prevalence of one type over all others.

I think if we add to this very simple measure, the ability to define a number of customised feeds for oneself, then we might be home-free, on this front.  

@Malkazoid @Garden Gnome Publications

I love the idea of an automated count, especially if there is some kind of indicator the post creator can see to know where their post falls... I am a bit concerned at the low end and high end though...I'm like, let the word count start out low for pictures...and if the high end  of long publications is too exclusive (only three or four people writing that kind of material) the pay out would be too high for them....just my thoughts on your thoughts....all in all I like your suggestions! I was just going with a very rough idea...

This is a very good outcome from all the recent drama... and I believe that's how we should try to view Community Governance.  It can get messy, but if we harvest the products of messy episodes, the resulting network is improved.

Thank you so much for making this suggestion @J Bandel.

 

Garden Gnome Publications posted:

I would expand the word counts. There is really little value, in terms of SEO, for any post under 300 words no matter how much literary quality it may hold. Google prefers long content. It's been proven and I can dig up the data to show it. For that reason alone, I'd have the bottom payout at 25-100 words with a photo (we really don't want to encourage non-text photo-only posts). Then up it from there to 100-300 words (because a lot of poetry would fall in here), and then from 300-1,000 words. Average non-fiction article for marketing and SEO purposes is around 500-700 words. Some are longer some are shorter. For the top dog category, 1,000 words+, which is the length that most people would say you're getting into the long-form content category.

4 categories means 250,000 NRVE per category per month. If you categorize your own post correctly, you'll qualify. If you don't, you'll automatically disqualify. I think an automatic detection system followed up with a monthly review to catch false positives would work simply, and simple usually translates into beautiful.

I know Joe was kind of spitballing word counts as suggestions, but Allen is closer to what would be the most sensible. The company I started 10 years ago has been writing content for SEO/marketing departments and agencies for businesses that include Fortune 500 companies. 500-700 words is pretty much industry standard, and my life as a blogger (who has attended and spoken at blogging conferences for over a decade) has told me that 300-600 words is about what readers expect when reading blog posts. (Perilous for me as a 1,000+ word rambler.)

Anything under 25 words long has no value as far as Google is concerned, so Narrative will never be able to generate search traffic from content like this. (Even images and videos need text descriptions in order to be found by search, whether it's inbound from a search engine or on-site using the anemic search function we have on the platform.)

I've corrected a lot of typos in these two paragraphs, so I apologize for any I might have missed. The past two convention days and a full day of air travel the day before have my brain scrambled. That's why I'm not going to attempt to elaborate any further even though I have more to add... because I had to delete an entire paragraph that was pretty incoherent despite having been well thought out in my head! PEBCAK.

I do not agree on this division of the prize pool by type of post. The prize to be paid must be decided by the community which, with its votes, establishes the actual satisfaction with the post. This is still a social and not a scientific magazine. As already noted, it could also happen that, for example, 3 posts in the high end share 25% of the prize pool even if they are voted by 2 people without having the satisfaction of the community. It doesn't seem useful or fair to me. Instead, I agree (I repeat) to introduce a word limit for all posts (Min 100/200 words) and a daily limit for their publication based on reputation to limit spam.

Of course you don't agree, @Sardart, a mechanism like this would really affect your rewards in the long run.

But picture the following  (fictional!) context, though:

You are now dead and you find yourself in front of the pearl gates of Heaven. There's a beautiful choir reverberating from the clouds and mother-pearl colored light seems to permeate everything. St. Peter, distracted by his huge leather book is absent mindedly writing something down, but suddenly notices you and smiles his fatherly warm smile. He says to you, “Hi Daniela! Welcome to Heaven! You may enter, but you just have to answer this one question. No beating around the bush, just answer Yes or No, OK?

You answer "OK, sure", I mean this is Heaven and the promise of eternal bliss, of course you'll answer.

He warns you though, "But you really have to answer me truthfully, Daniela, otherwise I can't let you in", then he looks in you in the eyes and asks "During your time in Narrative, were you ever part of a voting circle, my love?"

Since both issues are highly intertwined and you came here to lay down your opinion, could you also answer this question here @Sardart? That will allow me to take your opinion seriously. 

 

 

 

 

@Sardart, I understand your concern.  It is theoretically possible that only a couple of posts might be made in one category, one month, but it is also incredibly unlikely so I don't think we have to worry about your scenario.

Also, if that were to happen, the effect the next month would be that many more posts of that category would be made because people would know that reward pool does not have as much competition as the others.  The effect is to balance the different types of content: there will always be an economic incentive to write the type of content Narrative has the least of.  That is a Good Thing.

Right now, as you know, there is only one incentive at work on the Narrative platform: to post the content type that requires the least effort for the greatest reward.  @J Bandel's solution doesn't change that, but it makes that work for Narrative rather than against it.  If the shortest content is too common, then it will no longer give the greatest reward for the least effort: longer content will.

Honestly, I don't like the idea of a priori distribution of rewards based on content length. Rewards should automatically flow toward good content, independently of its length. If you have to someway to "force" this distribution, then something is wrong with the algorithms.

At the same time, of course, I perfectly get the problem, and I'm convinced that different content types should be treated differently, presented and rewarded according different metrics. Reading time (both displayed and measured) makes sense for text, but of course not for other types of content, for example. Original suggestion here: https://community.narrative.or...different-post-types.

There are plenty of solutions to address the problem but the problem needs to be acknowledged first. I think solutions should be based on the differentiation of the content, quality metrics (not popularity metrics), detection of cheating patterns, and exposure of quality content.

@Vico Biscotti - I think quality, and attracting a broad range of content types,  are two different considerations, and they don't have to conflict with each other.

In practice, I believe @J Bandel's suggestion would do exactly what you want: cause rewards to flow to good content, independently of its length.

The only scenario in which a post might receive more rewards simply because of its length, is if relatively less posts of that length are made that month.  In practice, the balancing effect of the measure would itself minimise any such imbalance.

So you are essentially left with the biggest effect to determine rewards still being the quality metrics (which I agree are flawed, but the amalgamation between popularity and quality is not something that can be completely solved with algorithms).  

This suggestion is compatible with yours since it also suggests post types.

What it adds though, is something that is undoubtably good for Narrative.  The platform benefits from an influence that balances how much content of each type it receives.  We want Narrative to cater to all types of viewers/readers, right?

I think a good analogy is boxing categories.  They exist for a reason.  We don't put feather weights in the ring with heavy weights to compete for the same prize.  We put up like against like.  Categories for the Narrative Rewards Pool does not have to be an indication that anything is broken - on the contrary, I invite everyone to consider that in the context of a Narrative that wants to be a home for all types of content, a single Rewards Pool may be what is broken about the paradigm.

 

 

Naturally, the percentage of payout for each "class" of content can be adjusted. If the metrics show that only 10 percent of published content in the previous quarter (or month), for instance, was long-form, then the payout can be adjusted so that only 10 percent of the rewards go to that class and the remaining 15 percent that was previously allocated to it can be split between the other three classes. 

In that regard, I think @Sardart makes a valid point. But I also think @Malkazoid's point about the mix within each class would change as people figure out what is the most lucrative class to post in. It took Narrators one payout period to figure out that publishing several shorter pieces each day would produce the highest payouts. People adjust based on the rules of the playing field, but the rules should be reasonable and fair. Right now, they are not.

I'd like to know what the music community thinks of this idea. Perhaps @turtle  and @AtomCollectorRecord.com can weigh in.

@Vico Biscotti, I wasn't sure about this proposal either at first. I had to think about it. The one thing it does is address payouts for content types. Photographers make a valid point when they say that it takes hours to develop the perfect shot, get the correct angle, work with photo editing tools, etc. A good photographer can spend just as long making one photo out of a thousand beautiful as a writer who crafts a 2,000-word short story. Uploading that image to Narrative with 25 words of text doesn't take as long, granted, but the work to get to that point is uncompensated, so that is a consideration. However, to assume that every photographer spends that amount of time on each photo is ridiculous. Taking a quick selfie or a snapshot of your meal at lunch is not the same as what @AussieNinja does with his models or what OCRDU does with his nature photos. 

In terms of votes, all content would still be subject to the voting algorithm. Just because 250,000 NRVE may be set aside for each class of content, that doesn't mean that one post in one class that gets two votes is going to get the full 250,000 NRVE. If a class doesn't perform well as a class, the NRVE apportioned to that class can be redistributed to the other classes based on performance of those classes. The NRVE set aside for each class is simply the max that can be earned from all posts within that class for a certain payout period subject to the algorithmic rules already in place. BUT, knowing that apportionment is there is a proper incentive for content creators to produce content within the class they naturally migrate toward, and that's the point of the class system.

 

Garden Gnome Publications posted:

Naturally, the percentage of payout for each "class" of content can be adjusted. If the metrics show that only 10 percent of published content in the previous quarter (or month), for instance, was long-form, then the payout can be adjusted so that only 10 percent of the rewards go to that class and the remaining 15 percent that was previously allocated to it can be split between the other three classes. 

@Garden Gnome Publications - after reading the entirety of your previous comment, I think we agree.  I just want to make an observation about your opening paragraph which could be read as advocating to apply smaller reward pools to content types that are not receiving as many submissions.

This deserves some careful consideration.

1) The reason why certain types of content are less and less common here, as we know, is because the ecosystem is not giving them fair consideration in rewards or in visibility.  To then set the rewards pools amounts based on the results of these ecosystem shortcomings would effectively lock in the problem, which defeats the entire purpose of making several rewards pools.

2) To compete with specialised sites, Narrative has to provide an abundance of each content type.  There is no reason to use Narrative if you like long form content, but the rewards pool is so small for it, that it limits the amount getting produced for the platform.  People will just use Medium instead.  The equality of the Reward Pools fosters equal productivity, meaning consumers of all the types will have a variety to choose from.

If the Company adjusts the Pool amounts slightly because that is necessary to achieve a balanced abundance of all the content types - this is consistent with the Amazon of content idea.  And maybe that means 27% for long form rather than 25%, if not enough long form is being produced. 

Amazon would not be Amazon if in reality, only T-shirts were abundant on Amazon, and books were better catered to on a plethora of other sites.  Amazon is Amazon because almost no matter what you seek: Amazon has a very broad offering for you.  Amazon achieved that by making sure that if it offered PC components, it did so in such a way that was competitive with other PC component outlets.  Amazon's initial offering was books...  If they had taken the approach of favouring what was initially on offer, at the expense of other types of items, they would never have grown into what Amazon symbolises today.  They would have remained a book retailer, that perhaps dabbles in other types of items. 

Narrative is currently a second rate image sharing platform which dabbles in other forms of content.  If one wants an example of another decentralised platform that specialises in monetised visual media sharing, one look at https://creaproject.io/creary/ (also in Beta), shows us just how far behind the ball we are. 

 

Since the system is now broken I really think that the simplicity of this type of modification is a real consideration. Think of the county fair and how different categories are judged like baking, the crafts, art and livestock. None of the categories can be judged by the same criteria. The simpler the better IMHO.

@Malkazoid, I hear you. I wouldn't start with our current content mix. If we did, you're right, we'd be right back where we are now next month. We have to start fresh to give long-form content producers a chance to prove they can create content that is worthy of attention. I've read some of the long-form producers on the platform, and I don't think they have anything to worry about. Right now, they're leaving the platform, and the reason they're leaving is precisely because their content cannot compete with selfies, walking dogs, and tofu spaghetti under the current rules.

Going back to the SEO data, here's an article by a guest author on successful SEO and metrics guru Neil Patel's blog. He's a top dog in the industry. Pay careful attention to the section on SEO and social media engagement. Here's the summary:

  • Posts over 2,000 words rank better in search results than shorter posts
  • Long-form content results in page visitors spending 40% more time on the average page and view 25% more pages
  • Long analysis pieces perform better on social media than 700-word posts

 

Here's another article on the same subject. Summary:

  • Longer content (3,000 words+) gets more shares
  • Long content perform better in search results
  • Long content increases conversion rates (think of each piece on Narrative as a sales pitch for Narrative itself, with the potential to get new users to sign on)

 

Here's one from The Next Web. Summary:

  • Better SEO results (each of the three articles use the same data source -- serpIQ, a reputable source)
  • Gets more shares (according to Moz, a leader in SEO and content marketing)
  • Better rankings in search engines (Based on data from BuzzFeed and backed up by The Guardian)
  • Creates more reader value
  • Boosts conversion (based on data from CrazyEgg, another industry leader)

 

Bottom line, long posts are more likely to get social media traction, see more shares, and attract more visitors/page views, and convert more visitors to users. Long-form content is more likely to grow the site than average-length content and smartphone photos of pets. 

Of course, long content alone won't do it. It has to be quality content. But the data shows that quality long-form content performs better than short content of the same quality. That's why it makes sense to encourage more of it.

@Malkazoid  @Garden Gnome Publications In following your recent conversation something struck me that I would like to ask about. In the long term does Narrative need to rely on SEO and Google for people to find the content? If that is truly the case, then the use of ads and such will depend on longer posts? By doing nothing are we creating an environment of short form content that can not be used for income generation? My question might not even be making sense...What I'm asking is if Narrative wants to generate income from outside sources does it need to ensure that it has all types of content? Hope I'm making sense...

That's a great question @J Bandel. Bottom line for advertisers is eyeballs. They want a well-trafficked site that is responsive to their advertising. I think our current environment indicates just the opposite. We have a lot of drop-and-run content producers that just post and leave. They do not interact with others in the comments. The recent change to the canonical link policy should rectify that, but it remains to be seen whether drop-and-run smartphone photo posters are much better. Read the comments on their posts. Very seldom do you see more than a one liner, and quite often all you see is "great post." That's not true engagement. Long-form content, on the other, tends to draw more engagement. 

What does that say about advertising? Advertisers want engagement. That's why they're advertising. 

If the goal is to attract advertisers, the content has to be effective in doing. I think the data shows that long-form content has the best potential to draw that kind of attention. The first order of business is to attract visitors to the site--eyeballs. I think a good mix of content types will show that Narrative will be more popular if it can appeal to different types of content consumers. Photos are not likely to bring visitors from search engines. Nor will embedded videos. The type of content that is most likely to attract readers from search results is well-optimized well-written text-based content, and long-form content, as the data I posted above shows, is better poised to make that happen.

@Garden Gnome Publications thanks for the call out, i actually think this is a good idea , it makes sense to reward harder worked posts more than spam pics and such , as long as hard work is proper recognized, ie , a full production of music, with or without lyrics , takes a lot of time and work to create , will this be recognized , i mean, i could write the lyrics out , as i usually do anyway to bump up the word count, but should that be necessary to prove the worth of the post, which is the song it's self, as i said, i do usually attach lyrics as i believe it helps to understand the song on a first listen if they are there to read, but if it were instrumental music , would it be considered low quality through lack of text , but having said all of that i do think it will help to stop the spam getting an equal share of the the pie that others are working hard for , so as i said , good idea, hope it happens 

turtle posted:

@Garden Gnome Publications thanks for the call out, i actually think this is a good idea , it makes sense to reward harder worked posts more than spam pics and such , as long as hard work is proper recognized, ie , a full production of music, with or without lyrics , takes a lot of time and work to create , will this be recognized , i mean, i could write the lyrics out , as i usually do anyway to bump up the word count, but should that be necessary to prove the worth of the post, which is the song it's self, as i said, i do usually attach lyrics as i believe it helps to understand the song on a first listen if they are there to read, but if it were instrumental music , would it be considered low quality through lack of text , but having said all of that i do think it will help to stop the spam getting an equal share of the the pie that others are working hard for , so as i said , good idea, hope it happens 

The thing is that reward pools based on word count would be so easy to implement...and it could happen very quickly. But I also see how special categories such as musical compositions, podcasts and video links might also have their own special reward pools. For example, the default would be to automatically categorize a post by word count unless the creator of that post chose the reward pool of music, podcasts or video...That would require more reward pools, but make things much more fair within each type of  post where like competes against like...Perhaps all three could be lumped together under their own individual reward pool? Five reward pools at 20% each>

J Bandel posted:
turtle posted:

@Garden Gnome Publications thanks for the call out, i actually think this is a good idea , it makes sense to reward harder worked posts more than spam pics and such , as long as hard work is proper recognized, ie , a full production of music, with or without lyrics , takes a lot of time and work to create , will this be recognized , i mean, i could write the lyrics out , as i usually do anyway to bump up the word count, but should that be necessary to prove the worth of the post, which is the song it's self, as i said, i do usually attach lyrics as i believe it helps to understand the song on a first listen if they are there to read, but if it were instrumental music , would it be considered low quality through lack of text , but having said all of that i do think it will help to stop the spam getting an equal share of the the pie that others are working hard for , so as i said , good idea, hope it happens 

The thing is that reward pools based on word count would be so easy to implement...and it could happen very quickly. But I also see how special categories such as musical compositions, podcasts and video links might also have their own special reward pools. For example, the default would be to automatically categorize a post by word count unless the creator of that post chose the reward pool of music, podcasts or video...That would require more reward pools, but make things much more fair within each type of  post where like competes against like...Perhaps all three could be lumped together under their own individual reward pool? Five reward pools at 20% each> 

All of this makes sense.

The Team is going to have to brainstorm about how they want to shape the content balance of their platform so that it becomes a receptive environment for all the sorts of content they aspire to being a home to.

And as you guys have underlined - they have to start asking themselves what content will be the most valuable to Narrative financially.  This definitely needs to be a consideration in the Rewards Pools make up.  If one category of content does more for Narrative's SEO and advertising revenue, then it makes a lot of sense to incentivise it a little more than other kinds of content.  You can still have a broad spectrum of content types, while slightly emphasising the area that has the most benefits for the platform and its economy.

 

turtle posted:

@Garden Gnome Publications thanks for the call out, i actually think this is a good idea , it makes sense to reward harder worked posts more than spam pics and such , as long as hard work is proper recognized, ie , a full production of music, with or without lyrics , takes a lot of time and work to create , will this be recognized , i mean, i could write the lyrics out , as i usually do anyway to bump up the word count, but should that be necessary to prove the worth of the post, which is the song it's self, as i said, i do usually attach lyrics as i believe it helps to understand the song on a first listen if they are there to read, but if it were instrumental music , would it be considered low quality through lack of text , but having said all of that i do think it will help to stop the spam getting an equal share of the the pie that others are working hard for , so as i said , good idea, hope it happens 

I think video's and podcasts should add lyrics as you mentioned and transcripts, which will make them easily fit into the categories proposed. 

If I were to post original music, I'd also explain the process I went through for each, what motivated the specific lyrics and explain what those lyrics mean to me. This would certainly earn music videos long-form status and make them more beneficial to the platform. Just dropping video from other platforms do not. Currently, your video's will require a canonical link anyway, which will be demonetized shortly. Adding text will make it original, not requiring a CL.

Since it seems that even though Music is in the top ten niches, it's the second least upvoted category, crypto being the least.

Adding text to them so they fit in longer-form categories would allow them to earn more than currently. 

Does that sound fair?

@J Bandel, great idea and if Narrative.org jumps on this I and many others(many that have left) will start posting, posting better quality and those that have left will probably return.

If they don't, they've lost me before I even start, many more will leave and those that have left will probably be lost forever.

Also, if we can choose more than one category, as mentioned above, this shouldn't be an issue.

It'll work just like the split with niches, where linking one niche gives it the full 16%(owner/moderator combined), but only a 1/3 each if all 3 niches allowed are linked to it.

I'd allow only two categories, though.

MOLLY O posted:

@J Bandel.  On behalf of the team, wanted you to know we saw the suggestion.  We will debate it like others on this site.  

What does that mean? Isn't this right here the place to add your 2 cents on the topic?

 

Paladin posted:
MOLLY O posted:

@J Bandel.  On behalf of the team, wanted you to know we saw the suggestion.  We will debate it like others on this site.  

What does that mean? Isn't this right here the place to add your 2 cents on the topic?

 

Hey Paladin, I agree it would be ideal to get feedback here, but understandably they might want to take some time to consider all the ramifications of this suggestion, as a Team, once their schedule has permitted it.

I get it: we've lived with so many good ideas receiving no response after weeks, and often many months.  But this suggestion is about 48 hours old, so even if the Team is resolving to be more responsive from now on (and @MOLLY O's comment here may be a positive sign in that direction), I think we still have to expect a reasonable delay before the Team shares their findings?

I think this is a very viable and fair solution and I sincerely hope the team does indeed give it a fair consideration.  It's encouraging [email protected] O acknowledged the suggestion and after some discussion, we would hope to see some of their thoughts on this suggestion.  The platform has many issues that need to be improved or solved but I think you really need to give priority to solving this one.   The platform cannot continue to exist if it doesn't have quality content creators on board.  And the way things are now, creators are giving up and leaving the platform.  I want to see Narrative succeed, not so I can line my pocket with quick Instagram-like pictures, but so that I can create and read quality content while helping to self-govern a truly unique concept in the world of content creators.

Malkazoid posted:
Paladin posted:
MOLLY O posted:

@J Bandel.  On behalf of the team, wanted you to know we saw the suggestion.  We will debate it like others on this site.  

What does that mean? Isn't this right here the place to add your 2 cents on the topic?

 

Hey Paladin, I agree it would be ideal to get feedback here, but understandably they might want to take some time to consider all the ramifications of this suggestion, as a Team, once their schedule has permitted it.

I get it: we've lived with so many good ideas receiving no response after weeks, and often many months.  But this suggestion is about 48 hours old, so even if the Team is resolving to be more responsive from now on (and @MOLLY O's comment here may be a positive sign in that direction), I think we still have to expect a reasonable delay before the Team shares their findings?

I disagree, they each have a voice and she should've added hers while she was here. 

The Tribunal debates to come to a consensus, which is what they should be doing here as well, so we can see that everything was fairly considered and why they agree or disagree on each point.

That's the basics of transparency...

Dangling a carrot is not the best approach.

Paladin posted:
Malkazoid posted:
Paladin posted:
MOLLY O posted:

@J Bandel.  On behalf of the team, wanted you to know we saw the suggestion.  We will debate it like others on this site.  

What does that mean? Isn't this right here the place to add your 2 cents on the topic?

 

Hey Paladin, I agree it would be ideal to get feedback here, but understandably they might want to take some time to consider all the ramifications of this suggestion, as a Team, once their schedule has permitted it.

I get it: we've lived with so many good ideas receiving no response after weeks, and often many months.  But this suggestion is about 48 hours old, so even if the Team is resolving to be more responsive from now on (and @MOLLY O's comment here may be a positive sign in that direction), I think we still have to expect a reasonable delay before the Team shares their findings?

I disagree, they each have a voice and she should've added hers while she was here. 

The Tribunal debates to come to a consensus, which is what they should be doing here as well, so we can see that everything was fairly considered and why they agree or disagree on each point.

That's the basics of transparency...

Dangling a carrot is not the best approach.

That’s certainly a valid point of view, but at the end of the day, if they want to consult with each other and seek cohesion before making a public-facing statement, I think that’s perfectly understandable.  To my understanding, most companies function that way.  

The suggestion has good merits. It will

1- Solve the issue long content writers face where their work is not rewarded

2- More importantly, it will encourage variety of content on the platform, which is something Narrative really needs.

There is the theoretical possibility few articles go into long content posts and earn too much. But the opposite is already happening where a lot of low effort short posts are taking huge revenue, discouraging any thoroughly researched and worked on long topics. And once people realize there is reward for longer content, those interested will jump on the opportunity. 

Ideally, I'd rather NOT have segments. But seeing the outcome of the current situation, this is not a bad idea.

Before someone jumps to accuse me of being biased, just know that I'm a photographer as well, and many of my posts would fit into the shorter content segment.

Just to jump in here quickly and follow up on Molly's comment...

This is a great example of a creative idea (thank you @J Bandel), and the following great comments, ideas, debate, etc., that often happens in this community. From a development perspective, we're literally putting the finishing touches on Publications, so our headspace at this moment isn't on content types, but I wanted to overtly say we're reading this and will follow up on it when we can. The fear sometimes on our team is that we'll overpromise or underpromise if we just jump into one of these and make a random remark, and we don't want to do that.

At the 100-mile view, we do want to accommodate all types of content and give equal reward opportunity to all if it's deemed "quality" by the community. That said, there could definitely be UI/presentation or other creative ways to make it easier to focus in on the type of content you're interested in or filter out content you're not interested in.

Lots of times, there have been lengthy conversations in here that end up being great fodder for our roadmap meetings (and you've seen periodic updates that reflect that, I think). This is a good conversation, thanks! 

@MOLLY O   @Rosemary  Thank you for commenting and letting us know that the team will be considering it. I understand that a suggestion like this requires some deep thinking and that productions is on everyone's mind right now. In return please understand that many of us are frustrated at how low effort posts out compete anything that takes time, thought and skill. Good people are leaving the platform...

Thanks everyone for sharing your thoughts and enthusiasm! Outside-the-box ideas like these from the community are great to see, so keep 'em coming 

Our vision is to welcome all forms of content on Narrative, so I like that you've incorporated different "types" into your suggestion. We've discussed the ideas shared here at length internally, so thank you for kick starting the conversation.

One potential problem with segmenting content is that it could artificially "prop" up content that is less popular. As you probably know, the reward system is designed to reward content based on its popularity/engagement/reach. Market factors may come into play to equalize the balance across these different "types" of posts, but I think it's probably too soon to draw any conclusions about what that balance should be and whether the system needs to shift incentives.

Given that the platform is still being developed and the full suite of community governance tools aren't in place yet (Moderators, Tribunal, AUP Review Queue, etc.), it might be too soon to adopt a fundamental shift in the rewards system, but it's definitely something that we'll keep on our radar as the platform continues to mature.

One thing that I think will help mitigate some of the challenges here is the upcoming set of Reputation changes. We have some fairly expansive improvements to the reputation engine that should help improve the accuracy of reputation while better detecting and penalizing bad actors and abusers. Additionally, we are throwing around some ideas of how to mitigate patterns of abuse (so-called "voting circles") that we may incorporate into the reputation changes.

For more details on what's coming, check out our roadmap (with Publications soon to be released).

@Brian Lenz - thanks for sharing your thoughts: very helpful.

There is a danger of artificially propping up some of the content types.  Lets keep in mind though that the de facto situation now is that short content is being artificially propped up, because everyone knows producing lots of short form will earn them more than producing fewer, longer posts.  All the Narrators I've spoken with about this, who normally tend toward long form, have spoken of acting on the pressure to post short form just so they can earn in the current incentives environment you have created.  That's artificial: they are not behaving as they would in a vacuum.

When speaking of artificialness, there is no real distinction to be made between the current paradigm, and dividing up the reward pools among content types.  The only real difference I see, is that if you divide the reward types, you at least enter into a paradigm in which you can exert influence to correct against any imbalances.

I completely understand the feeling that it might be too early to decide to implement a measure such as this one.  I also know that since Narrative is a public beta, its culture is being defined right now, and once entrenched, it may not be possible to change it.  Narrative is an experiment in many ways, since you have boldly tried a new combination of approaches.  Experiments that set out to become successful businesses within the context of a competitive industry have the difficult task of needing to decide when to shift gears, out of experiment mode where you gather data and feel a curiosity to see what happens next without intervention, and into choosing what is going to actually work, and pursuing it with the decisiveness that will bring success.

With the limited resources at your disposal, this moment needs to come sooner than later so you start focusing on delivering value for the types of content that will allow Narrative to succeed long term.  Businesses usually start out deciding what market they will pursue initially, before anything is built...

Sadly, I don't think the type of content that has naturally proliferated here will end up being what you want Narrative to be known for, and isn't the type of content that is optimal for SEO. 

This is a very valuable discussion and will probably echo on in future exchanges: ultimately, success for Narrative will require aggressively pursuing the strategies and types of content that it is able to be competitive with, and that can't happen until you decide what you want Narrative to be in the short term.  We might be the Amazon of content one day, but for the first few years, we should try to become a major player in at least one content type arena.  At the outset, providing strong value in a focused area always trumps trying to provide average value in all areas.  

I'm not arguing we should reward one content type more than another at this early stage, but I do think allowing mid and long form content to be disadvantaged in our first year could cost us a lot.  Narrative's name, and much of your own NRVEworthy efforts towards Medium writers, targets long form more than it does short form.  So I hope we can at least treat those forms of content in such a way that they can compete with others.  Otherwise our efforts and our natural gravitational pull from our branding will be largely wasted on folks who come here expecting it to be a great place for long form, only to realise the culture is one of frequent short form posts because that's what earns more here.

It is great to know you guys are actively thinking about this! 

I look forward to seeing you shift to action once there is clarity on the best way forward.

 

Malkazoid posted:

@Sardart, I understand your concern.  It is theoretically possible that only a couple of posts might be made in one category, one month, but it is also incredibly unlikely so I don't think we have to worry about your scenario.

Also, if that were to happen, the effect the next month would be that many more posts of that category would be made because people would know that reward pool does not have as much competition as the others.  The effect is to balance the different types of content: there will always be an economic incentive to write the type of content Narrative has the least of.  That is a Good Thing.

Right now, as you know, there is only one incentive at work on the Narrative platform: to post the content type that requires the least effort for the greatest reward.  @J Bandel's solution doesn't change that, but it makes that work for Narrative rather than against it.  If the shortest content is too common, then it will no longer give the greatest reward for the least effort: longer content will.

Yes, @Malkazoid any category that has few posts, won't have few posts for long - @J Bandel 's suggestion is a winner. 

Vico Biscotti posted:

Honestly, I don't like the idea of a priori distribution of rewards based on content length. Rewards should automatically flow toward good content, independently of its length. If you have to someway to "force" this distribution, then something is wrong with the algorithms.

At the same time, of course, I perfectly get the problem, and I'm convinced that different content types should be treated differently, presented and rewarded according different metrics. Reading time (both displayed and measured) makes sense for text, but of course not for other types of content, for example. Original suggestion here: https://community.narrative.or...different-post-types.

There are plenty of solutions to address the problem but the problem needs to be acknowledged first. I think solutions should be based on the differentiation of the content, quality metrics (not popularity metrics), detection of cheating patterns, and exposure of quality content.

@Vico Biscotti for SEO the word count counts - sorting the posts out by word count is just the first step - the community still has to vote on it to sort for quality  -I think

Brian Lenz posted:

Thanks everyone for sharing your thoughts and enthusiasm! Outside-the-box ideas like these from the community are great to see, so keep 'em coming 

Our vision is to welcome all forms of content on Narrative, so I like that you've incorporated different "types" into your suggestion. We've discussed the ideas shared here at length internally, so thank you for kick starting the conversation.

One potential problem with segmenting content is that it could artificially "prop" up content that is less popular. As you probably know, the reward system is designed to reward content based on its popularity/engagement/reach. Market factors may come into play to equalize the balance across these different "types" of posts, but I think it's probably too soon to draw any conclusions about what that balance should be and whether the system needs to shift incentives.

Given that the platform is still being developed and the full suite of community governance tools aren't in place yet (Moderators, Tribunal, AUP Review Queue, etc.), it might be too soon to adopt a fundamental shift in the rewards system, but it's definitely something that we'll keep on our radar as the platform continues to mature.

One thing that I think will help mitigate some of the challenges here is the upcoming set of Reputation changes. We have some fairly expansive improvements to the reputation engine that should help improve the accuracy of reputation while better detecting and penalizing bad actors and abusers. Additionally, we are throwing around some ideas of how to mitigate patterns of abuse (so-called "voting circles") that we may incorporate into the reputation changes.

For more details on what's coming, check out our roadmap (with Publications soon to be released).

@Rosemary  @MOLLY O  @Brian Lenz 

Once more many thanks for commenting and sharing your thoughts with us on this. I would like to respond to your own remark about how segmenting rewards and content might artificially prop up content types that are not popular.

What I have suggested is so flexible that you could give short form photos 50% and only 10% to the others and I'm sure that the others would be very happy with that because right now they don't have anything! Segmenting content would at least give the rest of us a chance at earning some rewards through the recognition process of posting quality content and having it recognized by our peers.

I look forward to publications by the way and will be one of the first in line  for a place to collect my writings on Organic Gnosticism!

That brings up one final point. I'm not really here to earn money but to find readers for my message. To earn money is nice, but it is not my primary drive...mine is much more spiritual focused. I have a message to share....

Thank you for your time and effort on our behalf. You have done an amazing thing in creating Narrative. I've never felt like I belonged anywhere before this and I"m sure many others feel the same way!

 

@Brian Lenz, I'm not a fan of artificial partitioning of rewards or exposure myself. If it can be avoided, the better. And I also agree that it might be too early for this kind of measure.

But let's consider that before this, a few measures about different content types could have general value, independently of the future solutions. There can be intermediate steps.

It's evident that "generic" posts prevent the adoption of specific metrics, filters, and presentation. Knowing the prevalent type of the post before clicking on it is something that most of us want. Knowing the reading time for text, for example, would be great. If I'm in a hurry, I'd skip a 10 min article. And, as @Colleen Ryer mentioned, letting long-form be flushed away by short content could not be the best also from an SEO perspective.

Also, the attention context is an essential factor for quality content. We need the opportunity of both browsing in "discovery mode" and selecting specific content for our online session. When you want to read articles, you need some way to optionally "stay" in reading mode.

Different types open up possibilities, not restrictions. Afterward, it's possible to build on them (using specific and combined quality metrics, specific presentation modes, and so on). In the meanwhile, you would already give authors the opportunity of a better presentation of their content (just knowing the type of the post and the main "length" metric would be great, for starting), to readers the opportunity of better customization of their feed (just basic filters, for starting), and to design/development ground for more sophisticated approaches in the future.

Of course, posts can be a mix of content types. But any quality content has a primary communication mode, and it's optimized for it. Text, or pictures, or video, or audio.  Selecting a primary type (I'm not speaking of genres, of course!) would be largely enough and appropriate, imo, and code could already suggest/check it. But it's possible to go further and let the content be associated with more types. Honestly, I wouldn't dislike seeing on a post "8 min text, 7 pics", even if I would stay with a single primary type.

We're all happy with having all types of content here. The problem - apart from abuses that you will surely address with reputation and pattern detection - is the undifferentiated approach. It can only lead to a "Facebook effect", in which nobody wants to publish an article, because it's not the right place.

Niches can help only in part. It's already clear that they can't address this need.

Without specific tools and metrics for different types, proper exposure of any content different from visual content (and some brief text) is just an unattainable ideal. I'm with @J Bandel, when he affirms that he needs an audience first. And that's true for all quality content creators because, without an audience, talking about rewards becomes a sterile exercise anyway. And, for getting an audience, you need proper exposure and tools. Then, the potential audience decides.

@Paladin is right, the separate feed idea which has been put forwards a number of times, is a twin consideration to this.

It feels to me the end solution will include both UI specialisation, and measures geared at the rewards specifically.  Though related, the overlap is not complete and I don't think both aspects can be addressed adequately without looking at them separately.

 

 

Vision?

I think the Narrative Company has been agnostic as to what the ideal balance of content types, from very short to very long form, might be, and as a result, we've ended up with a balance that is accidental, and incidental to the early UI and algorithm choices that have been made.

At some point, success will require more precise definition of the balance of content Narrative will be known and appreciated for: we can't be happy-go-lucky about this forever. 

And we can't kid ourselves: there is no such thing as a natural content balance, and fearing to cause an artificial balance is a form of paralysis.  From the moment you offer money for content and apply algorithms and the context of a platform, you will influence what kind of content people present.  The Narrative Company did not set out to dissuade long form content, and did not set out to favour photo content, but the technical and economic implementation choices had an effect, inevitably, and that effect has resulted in the current (im)balance.

 

No rewards for reposted content

Recently, the decision to no longer reward non-original content was made.  I think it is a great decision long term, but in the present, this tips the scales even further against long form content.  Until now, reposted long form content could hope to compete with photo snapshot content, because a repost of a long, detailed article takes very little work, and can rival the energy/rewards ratio snapshot posts enjoy.  Now that long form needs to be composed from scratch for Narrative, we'll see long form content become even more scarce on the platform, inevitably.

This should teach us something.  Everything we do to the platform - even excellent things - can influence the attractiveness of certain types of content here in ways we don't want it to.  These will be indirect influences - side effect influences - non-deliberate influences: uncontrolled influences. 

What we need is a direct, precise way of affecting the balances to counteract the incidental influences of all the other moving parts.  In this case, a change to the sizes of the dedicated reward pools would allow an immediate response to counteract the negative effect demonetising reposted content will have on long form content.

Without a direct, deliberate and controlled means of influencing content balance - and without a notion of what balance to aim for, we're basically flying blind.

 

 

A deliberate vision will have to emerge

There are two ways to reach this deliberate vision.  The Company can build a theoretical ideal balance by observing other platforms, understanding what the different kinds of content do for SEO, sharing, and advertising, and deciding who their primary market is and what those people want.  (Hint: primary market: "everybody"; and what they want: "everything" – are not really acceptable answers.  You can't effectively market if your primary market is "everyone").

The other way is much more risky and we seem to be on that path: the vision seems to be expected to emerge from experimentation alone, without an initial theoretical target.  If that's the way we are going to do things, then we will need an efficient way of iterating precise experiments with the platform's balance.  A means of testing one balance, evaluating how well it is working for us, then rapidly and precisely achieving another balance, and measuring the effects of that new balance... rinse and repeat until Narrative finds its identity.

In terms of direct, precise influence over content balance, I don't think we can beat @J Bandel's proposal of dedicated reward pools.  It is quick to implement and the most direct method proposed to date. 

Are there more elegant programmatic ways of achieving influence?

I'm sure there are, but we shouldn't heed those siren songs.  We're a seedling fighting for our share of sunlight, and thoughts of elegance need to be delayed until we've carved out our niche and reserved the sunlight we need for a long life.  For now we need a purely pragmatic approach to proving Narrative has a viable formula.  

 

Agility - Dedicated reward pools, a hack, or an efficient solution?

One of the rules of startup development is: avoid pouring resources into perfection... get the product to the point where it is competitive as fast as possible, then later, once that proof can attract greater resources, start worrying about technical elegance.

If we do soon decide that we should have a target balance (and I hope we do), then dedicated reward pools will still be the quickest and most precise way to achieve it, and then fine-tune it.

If a year from now, the landscape changes, and we need to pivot towards a new content type balance, those dedicated reward pools will still be the quickest way to achieve that pivot.

Investors along the way will become increasingly sophisticated - and sophisticated investors want to know there is a vision, and efficient means of balancing the ecosystem.  I believe giving ourselves this tool of dedicated reward pools will give great confidence to investors that the Narrative Company is putting everything it can on its side in order to find its ideal stance and posture to succeed in today's landscape, and to adapt to the changes that landscape will undergo.  Being able to articulate this to them will ALWAYS beat saying: we don't know what balance we want.

 

The love of coding

One thing I'd like @Brian Lenz and @Vico Biscotti - who are both software engineers - to weigh as factor going forward, is that a love of coding can influence decisions.

I'm not a software engineer, but I have coded a fair bit professionally, and for stretches, coding has been the main focus of my duties in various roles. 

I've done enough of it to know that the love of the craft is a siren song in the early phases of development: luring us to devote endless energy to the most elegant, clever and satisfying ways to accomplish something, with as much automation as possible.

I also know that a clear deadline (whether it is set by a client, or the reality of finite budgets), is the best way to readjust the focus towards delivering results, that can later be improved upon.  Public Beta, when used right, is also supposed to really help keep coders focused on pragmatism.  Real users giving real feedback should guide the way.  Those real users don't care about how elegantly everything is being achieved - they care about the problems their tools are causing for them, in the accomplishing of tasks that ultimately create the pay checks for both the users and the coders.

Right now, long form content creators don't really care about the elegance of solutions, nor do they care about the personal satisfaction of the engineers: all they know is Narrative's culture is stacked against their preferred content.  So I think we should adopt the quickest solution to creating an outcome that is fair to them, and seek the luxury of changing how that is achieved later if that even ends up being necessary.

Several times, I've laughed at the initial plans I laid out to build a fancy tool, only to find that a much easier approach went on to provide years of great utility.

I agree @Malkazoid, the decision to demonetize shared content is too soon. It will hurt onboarding. We need numbers at this point and bringing in second hand long-form content is beneficial in the beginning.

After the population is at a sustainable level, then you clamp down on shared content.

The reason @J Bandel's idea is nice, is because it's tweakable to find the necessary balance.

@Malkazoid, while my profession certainly influences my perspective, my reflections were design-driven in a wide sense, not code-driven. My aim would be to remove (or dismiss) hacking and abuses from the true appreciation of the content. Up to what is possible, of course. In short, to expose and reward quality - in terms of "honest" appreciation -, independently of the length of a post. Types and length are, to me, a mean to have better quality metrics, better presentation features, and better feeds. Consequently, a fair and useful content platform for anybody.

The matters of presentation and rewards are totally related, in my eyes. We all know how exposure matters. Balancing rewards without a fair exposure means little, both for quality authors and for exposing quality content. If one partition has to be made, I'd like more to intervene on exposure, as @Paladin suggests, even if it's not my line.

I'll make an example. If I have quality metrics, reputation can reflect the quality track of an author (up to a point, of course). And it's fair to give that author more exposure for his next post, at least in custom feeds. It's, of course, good and fair to give a low reputation authors some exposure (they also have to boostrap, someway), but giving them the same exposure of quality authors will just fill the platform page with garbage, and we all now that garbage will get votes, and rewards, anyway. Then, rewards should go to content according to quality (true appreciation) metrics.

In short: from exposure (automatically balanced by reputation and custom feeds) to rewards (automatically balanced by quality metrics). There's no independence between presentation and rewards. And there shouldn't be, in my opinion. That's my ideal line.

Also, let's not forget that quality authors need exposure. Rewards without exposure mean nothing, and can only amount to peanuts anyway.

That said, I totally relate to timing as an essential factor. If the above can be done at least in part with a reasonable schedule (and that's why I suggested beginning with the identification of content types, and a few improvements on filters and feeds) it can also meet the timing needs. Else, I'm certainly not contrary to a direct partitioning of exposure (more than rewards). I'm not unaware of the challenges of the venture path.

About the demonetization of reposting, I totally agree with you and @Paladin, and I soon disagreed with that line. Currently, there's no incentive at all for putting hours (or days) in a post. Reposting is currently the only way to bring quality on the platform, and it should be rewarded too. When Narrative will be attractive to quality content, it will be different, of course, even if I see reposting as a reason for reducing rewards, not for eliminating them. I get that the demonetization of reposting helps to address the plagiarism problem, but if it comes at the cost of demotivating the reposting of quality content, it's not worth it (suggestion here: https://community.narrative.or...ould-be-brought-back).

@Vico Biscotti - we do need a better assessment of quality.  And exposure is a very important concern.  It is indeed more valuable than rewards alone, since it has its own value AND leads organically to rewards as well.

Where I think I will always disagree is that I don't think it is possible to achieve a lasting perfect system that delivers a desired content balance that is also fairly rewarded.  There are too many moving parts that all relate to each other in complex ways, AND the market itself will change, with new platforms showing up and becoming strong with certain content types, and so drawing away those content creators from us, and other times weakening with various content types, and so causing some to defect to us.  Conversely, Narrative's changing policies and strategies will also indirectly and imprecisely influence who we attract at various times.  

Trying to adjust our ecosystem to these complex, changing factors, with only the use of indirect controls such as exposure, is always going to be slower and less intuitive both to the Company and to users.  

Imagine a policy causes the content balance to shift away from one we have identified as ideal.  For instance, demonetising reposts - even if we bring back monetisation now, we'll probably demonetise later at the right time and it will again have an effect on content balance.  

For the company, knowing how much more exposure to give the affected content type will be a very difficult task.  Because it is such an indirect influence.  If I increase the visibility by 15%, the long form users might not even notice that this has been done to compensate their handicap!  If they don't notice the change, it will have no effect on their perception of whether they should be continuing to post on the site.  

Also, it sounds like you are thinking about exposure in terms of giving more of it to high rep Narrators once the reputation system is working better.  I agree some boost would then be in order and have written a fair bit about that tactic in the past, but it isn't the same thing as boosting all long form content.  Quality does not always arise from high rep individuals.  We will lose a percentage of great long form content, if we don't have a means of tweaking incentives to all long form content creators, as opposed to just the ones already recognised as usually producing high quality.

I do understand that you want to focus only on surfacing quality, and trying not to worry about content length.  That's certainly a philosophy.  But I don't think it is the best philosophy for a company to achieve success because it abdicates thought and control over an issue that matters.  Venture capital will want to know: what content mix is the platform aiming for?  And the ability to not only answer that question, but to say that we have a rapid response system in place to directly and intuitively affect content type balance to respond to changing circumstances, can only impress.

Lets approach this from an economic perspective, since rewards and incentivising various industry types really are economic issues.  Economies rely on macro level control levers precisely because they have a rapid effect and send very clear signals to the ecosystem, which translate into desired action.  Interest rates come to mind.  Ask any economist whether an economy would be harder to manage without being able to set them, and you'll get a pretty emphatic response.

The question becomes simple: do we want to be able to change how much we pay people for various categories of goods?  Of course we do.  Ask any company if the need arises to change pay packages for its employees?  One year, sysadmins may be in particularly high demand across the industry and in order to keep these super-valuable employees or in order to hire extra ones, they might have to offer them more money than they did the previous year.  Conversely, maybe graphic designers are not as prized as they were the previous year, because another local business has just finished a project, releasing their large team of contractor graphic designers into the job market.  Would it make sense to offer new graphic designers exactly the same pay package as you did the previous year when they were in very high demand?  No company would be in favour of freezing its ability to adapt to internal needs and external market forces - but that's exactly what we are denying ourselves by not having dedicated reward pools.

So I think that although quality and exposing quality are extremely important considerations, I don't think they can replace all of the benefits that dedicated reward pools offer, and I would rather they not be set up as competing considerations.  We should be pursuing both.

We should be pursuing quality regardless of length, but length also matters.  Contents of different length have different characteristics and affect the ecosystem differently.  We have to care about that.  So in a nutshell - if something is high quality, regardless of the length, we should want to be receiving it here and exposing it well.  But we should also have a plan to make the balance of various content lengths work for Narrative optimally.  

Even if the philosophy of the Team is non-interventionist, the dedicated reward pools should still be there for the rare times where even the Team realises they are needed.  For the rest of the time, they can just set the pool percentages and forget them!

 

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