As of 2021, I have run a witness server for Hive (formerly Steem) for four years! A lot has changed since 2017, so it's time for an updated Witness Statement from your local friendly soul, @ura-soul.
In my original witness statement way back in 2017, I introduced my background in tech and why I am well suited to help guide the Hive (Steem back then) blockchain as a witness. This post is an updated witness statement to put my witness campaign into context for Hive in 2021. I'll fill you in on what I'm doing, what I see happening in the future of Hive and why a vote for me as a witness for Hive means that you are demonstrating proof of your own brain! :)
Since my first witness statement I have created a digital marketing agency that specialises in decentralisation and blockchain project promotion (@crucialweb). I've learned a great deal through this process and intend to combine all of my experience working for clients to also support Hive and Hive dApps on into the future.
I regularly blog on Hive, often reaching the top of trending because my content goes deeply into the key life/death topics of the day. It's vital that witnesses actually use the Hive network rather than just think/talk about it and my regular blogging demonstrates my intent to engage and participate with real Hive community members. Check out my recent user manual for Hive if you are a new member or want to see my writing in action :)
Why I Love Hive, The Freedom Powered Network
Following the hostile takeover of the Steem blockchain, Hive was born (forked) and has flourished into the last true bastion of free speech and decentralisation in the world of social media. I have yet to see any of the competitors to Hive truly offer decentralisation and true free speech.
I have specialised in amplifying whistleblowers who are censored in the mainstream media and also sharing empowering healing information for nearly two decades. Early on in my journey I proved that I was being unfairly censored, sandboxed and limited by mainstream social networks and so began looking for alternative options. Aside from my own network, Ureka, Hive continues to be the best I've found.
I put a lot of time creating my own social network (@ureka) from open source code, but it was a huge undertaking to complete on my own - so while the Ureka social network is still online, I have decided to (after many years) plan to totally migrate it to a 100% Hive powered site and mothball the existing site (more on this in the next 6-12 months).
All of the social networks claiming free speech that I have seen are actually centralised and prone to bowing to outside pressures that lead to editorial decisions and censorship on their networks. Hive continues to be the only network that I trust to continue demonstrating free will online and that's a huge part of why I will continue to help Hive on into the future.
Hive is a network of people, powered by freedom - which has always been the true intention for the human family. I love helping to build Hive because in the process we are connecting with other like minded people and also helping expand human perception of what freedom can achieve. Eventually, decentralisation will move into our human, physical lives and totally transform society - it will be Hive community members who, as much as anyone else, played a key part in that massive shift!
Crucial Web Internet Marketing & Hive
Crucial Web, my company, is an ethical digital marketing agency that covers the full spectrum of services that projects need to support their online growth. We take startup ideas or existing business models, analyse them and devise strategies to sustainably grow the project's presence and performance using online tools/systems.
Clearly, this skillset is fundamental to growing Hive and the Decentralised Apps that run on Hive. It is very rare, in my experience, to find someone with professional qualifications in systems engineering, real world experience in marketing, running a social network, professional writing and multimedia creation. In short, I would hire me in a nanosecond if I was running Hive and we had an opening for a relevant, key position ;)
We have already worked with @MSP-Waves to advance their scheduling software and update their website, plus helped out with the beta version of the @dublup app too. Outside of Hive, I recently wrote a whitepaper for a new crypto token - on behalf of a client - that saw the value of the token shoot up 700% within days of publication.
In future, once my schedule is cleared, I plan to offer our marketing services to the Hive community through the Worker Proposal system, so stay tuned.
My Witness Server
Originally, I had a high capacity server (and a backup) to run the witness code for Steem/Hive. Due to increased efficiency of the Hive code and the organised service provided by @privex, I am currently using them to host my Hive witness box.
There have been some periods where the box dropped a few blocks due to Privex not managing the hardware 100% effectively, however, this has now been resolved. In general, the server is reliable and performs well.
The higher I go in the rankings of Hive Witnesses, the more I can invest in hardware - I have no problem running a seed node too if needed, once my votes are high enough to support it.
Hive Vision & Governance
Hive holds so much potential and yet the decentralisation of the network presents unique challenges that we collectively have to respond to effectively in order to realise that potential. While decentralisation solves many problems, we also need to understand how to integrate/allow a degree of centralisation effectively. The right balance ensures that actions are efficient and the network grows in a coherent way, where chaos is harnessed rather than limiting the success of everyone involved.
The top 20 witnesses are key players in Hive's vision and future, since they decide which upgrades/changes to the network get integrated and also tend to hold significant stake too - which means they are able to strongly influence the hive worker proposal budget. Ultimately, we need witnesses who have solid, practical business/economic knowledge, solid technical understanding, vision, imagination and who are somewhat ideologically driven - rather than merely being motivated by personal gain. Without a big picture understanding of the world around us and an appropriate ideology that can lead society towards success and peace, no project will achieve much beyond going round in circles forever.
I have found over the years that while Hive/Steem are decentralised, once witnesses take a top 20 position in the witness rankings, they are hard to overtake. The reality is that a relatively small number of stake holders have a very high amount of stake and so a top 20 position requires support for them. Once a witness has been in the top 20 for any substantial length of time, their rewards enable them to further cement themselves into that position at a far more powerful rate than other witnesses are able to.
This situation is arguably part of what led to the hostile takeover of Steem. The top 20 witnesses were unable to negotiate or channel the recovery of Steem, which led to a split in the community. It was a very challenging situation, but it's reasonable to ask whether things may have turned out differently if the top 20 witness positions were more competitive. Your vote is part of the key to making this possible, so please do vote for witnesses!
While I am trained in the C and C++ code (among numerous other computer languages) that powers the Hive blockchain, my passion is more on the end of human psychology and implementation of social systems in the context of the internet. Which is a fancy way of saying that I prefer to leave the coding to people who are passionate specifically about coding. This frees me up to be able to provide a more strategic and even philosophical angle on the development of the network.
Given enough airtime and support from the Hive Community I would ideally love to hold sway over the future strategy for both marketing and vision of the network as a whole. Specifically, how to increase Hive's market share in terms of both cryptocurrencies and social networks globally. I firmly see that Hive has the potential to match or even exceed the success of Facebook and Twitter, but the window for this is gradually closing as time passes - so we need to organise and move quickly.
After years of research into free speech and the activity of Silicon Valley, I have no doubt that the entities involved will look to mirror and swallow up the kind of technology that Hive represents and makes possible because it is the biggest (yet perhaps least known) threat to their future expansion. For this reason I continue to support the ongoing class action lawsuit against Google and Facebook (run by @jpbliberty). I am also very keen to empower dApp creators with the right tools and support they need to grow rapidly and to demonstrate the power of decentralisation to the world.
As I am formally trained in systems engineering (the kind of system design that could be for anything from a new internet App right through to a nuclear reactor!), I would very much like to see Hive's strategy and development mapped out transparently and formally in ways that the whole community can engage with. This inspires more people to join in and optimises the use of the wide variety of intelligent people that use Hive every day. Plans on napkins are fun and all, but this is a complicated project and organisation goes a long way.
I would certainly love to see Hive make more use of software to harness and organise our collective skills, which would also make governance more engaging and empowering for all. Again, I really need more witness votes to drive funds my way to empower me to make time to do all of this - so your vote for me is very important!
I have always said that whenever I work with others or am asked to help them, my main goal is to remind them that they have the power to do so much without me, they often just need a nudge in that direction. I'm not about leading anyone, I'm about pointing you back to you so that you can 'lead' yourself! When we all unite as empowered individuals, we are unstoppable and can truly create a destiny that is beyond what our current level of imagination can envision!
Hive is a complex combination of systems that need to work together flawlessly, not just as a means of communication and sharing/publishing - but also as a promotion machine and self marketing system too. Expanding hive means rigorously optimising and structuring both Hive itself and it's marketing into a form that creates evangelists and empowered dApps that grow the network exponentially.
Doing this means setting out an effective strategy and organising people to achieve it, day in and day out. This in turn requires clear insight, excellent communication and ongoing education. I am very well placed to support this process and am ready to do so - I just need enough witness votes to generate the resources I need to be able to dedicate more of my time into the process.
A Witness Vote For Me Is a Vote For A Wisely Governed Hive Network & Definitely Proves The Existence Of Your Own Brain :P
Wishing you well,