Rules are Rules
I'm solving my dilemmas one at a time by referencing my own unwritten rules ... Whilst having this mild light morning spliff to help me along. It is Sunday, after all - wake and bake day, laptop and chill, let's get this one out the system!
Witnesses! A highly controversial topic, and as already 'witnessed' in this previous post, gathered a lot of engagement and opinions. Thus I was inspired to cut through the chaos of a comment thread, and lay clear my own 'unwritten rules'. Nice and simple they are too. Actually, they are more like 'starting blocks'. Hurdles to pass before even being taken seriously as a witness. I'm speaking purely from you the SMOKE.io user standpoint also, however of course i'd be super happy if you do decide to cast your vote or set your proxy to @easyrider.
Why are they unwritten?
My rules are not affiliated to SMOKE.io. Being a witness doesn't mean I get to make any rules. No Sir. I just get to produce some blocks, as a service to you all. Nothing more. So I can't claim any of these 'rules' should be followed. They are my personal guidelines, they are the outspoken, calmly and firmly foot down @easyrider stylee you all know and love. You are free to make up your own, or point out where I'm wrong.
On with the rules. These apply on a case by case basis, as you evaluate the witnesses to vote upon.
Is there a witness announcement?
DO check the threads. Does the witness have one? If not, they are a witness that is unable to operate the cli_wallet function. It's a sneaky check on whether they have the technical chops to run a witness ...
No witness thread? No witness vote from me.
Above: Checking for witness threads
Do they have any posts outlining the witness specs? Do they publish a report perhaps every other month?
Or it's just a witness sitting there with a bunch of votes and a node running. And zero activity ...
Or I know who they are!
Ok, this would be much more difficult for newcomers, and those not hanging around BitShares/Steem/Whaleshares. See Rule #5, to know you are covered until more comfortable.
Is it just a blogger witness? This is a more tricky rule. I'm fine for really solid content producer who is into the network and collaborates with more techy person to run a witness (sometimes you see team like this - one does the tech, one the blogging). You need more finesse in your selection in these cases - are there regular witness reports? Are they generally doing good for the network as a whole, or just out to grab more of the rewards pool?
F* all the hassle, can I just have someone do this for me?
Of course you can. You want to blog, are just bothered enough about the 'politics', you can make one step to just use a proxy instead. For peace of mind, you can enter 'easyrider', to take care of your witness selections with technical diligence, along with sound moral and ethical standards. I'll take feedback also - collectively we will have more influence.
Above: Scroll all the way down to the bottom of witness page, and hit up your choice of proxy
RULES ARE MADE TO BREAK:
There is a shortage of GOOD witnesses. Some players from around Graphene community have stepped up to run BP nodes - I know who they are and keep my votes for them, because I know they are doing the job and we need them now.. These cases are often coming with a pass on Rule #1, and are typically in top 20 witness spots right now. It is awesome if they could report in with a witness update once every while - especially as this will help new members see they are active.
So, I had some difficulty because some witness I know who they are, I know they are running the witness node properly, yet they didn't make 1 single post, or witness report, or even a comment .... for more than 3-4 months.
I ask all top 30 witnesses that didn't make a report for 3 months+, or post a witness thread with cli_wallet if they wouldn't mind doing so ... I only have 30 witness votes.
One final Question - How do I become a witness?
A: Do you LOVE Smoke.IO and you DO have Linux / sysadmin skills and experience? If yes, get going. The SMOKE network needs you!