Far from datamining and selling its users, as is typical of Facebook, Minds pioneered in 2015 the idea of rewarding users for contributing, payment for work on the site. That, especially since Minds began offering a blockchained Ethereum token option as reward, attracted people and bots trying to game the system. To both reward work and combat spam, Minds administrators and coders have altered the rewards program numerous times, trying different strategies. The resultant system is simple to use. The explanation in Wallet is however unclear. Blogged explanations tend to address only one aspect.
On Minds for three years, I'm writing this to cut through the tangle, so you can understand what brings you points and tokens on Minds, why, and how to use this knowledge effectively. In the process, I interviewed Minds COO Jack Ottman (@Jack); @Chesschats caught a key mistake and Jack answered readers' questions. I'm updating both to correct the mistake and to weave Jack's answers to questions from readers into the main text.
MAIN GOAL: TO ACKNOWLEDGE US AND SPUR ACTIVITY
Minds' main goal in giving tokens is to spur interaction. Minds gives you:
1 point for posting something that attracts an upvote,
2 points for attracting a comment,
4 points for getting reminded and 4 for gathering a subscription.
Whoever is the "owner"receives the credit for attracting the response, a salient fact. Minds not only rewards the original poster for upvotes, comments, being reminded and gathering subscriptions. Minds also treats each comment on the main thread as a separate post, rewarding the commenter for any upvotes or comments that the comment sparks in its subthread.
Similarly, Minds treats the remind as a new post. The person doing the reminding is rewarded for responses to the remind: any upvotes, comments and re-reminds. True, as a popular post is repeatedly reminded, the number of upvotes will continue to tick upward on the original post's counter, showing how many people are upvoting it sitewide, but the original poster gets no rewards for upvotes to the reminds, the copies of the original.
Two of the clearest differences between bots, spammers and legitimate users are speed and mindless repetition. Bots and spammers for example indiscriminately subscribe to the first say 500 channels that they encounter, hoping that the channel owners will subscribe back. They upvote say 2000 of the posts of other bots in the space of minutes.
To withhold rewards from bots, Minds has limited the interactions that it will reward. My mistake in my first draft of this was to state that only the first response to you from each person each day counts toward a reward. Actually the first upvote, first comment and first remind that you get from each person each day -- all three, in no particular order -- count toward your rewards that day. That though as noted is a cut-off. After that, responses to you from that person that day do not count toward your rewards (which is no reason to stop a good conversation). It resets each day.
OTHER WAYS TO EARN POINTS
You're rewarded for just being here. Check-ins, responding with an upvote to someone on Minds, are rewarded each hour with 2 points. Your first upvote starts the clock. Jack writes, "I agree that this needs to be expanded to include all actions and not just [upvoting]. Writing a blog does not count towards a check-in as we do not track if users are doing this. We can most likely expand the check-in reward in the future to include all registered activity such as posting a blog, commenting, subscribing, etc." Right now, only an upvote is an hourly check-in.
If you contribute to the Minds code, to development, in useful ways, Minds admins decide the point reward for it on a case by case basis.Each use of Ethereum tokens is rewarded. When you get points you opt to receive either Offchain tokens or Onchain Ethereum tokens. Each use of crypto -- to buy ad space, to make deals, to wire support -- yields 10 points.
HOW POINTS BECOME TOKENS
As you interact with various people, points accumulate. Every 24 hours, the size of the daily "token reward pool" is determined by the total network score of points awarded to everyone on Minds that day. Minds then adds up your daily score, and divides it by the total network score, the pool, to get your percentage of the contributions to Minds in that 24 hour period. You scoop up that percentage of the tokens.
THE FINER POINTS OF POINTS
The rewards program is designed not only to reward user contributions but to combat spammers and bad actors, to keep them from siphoning off rewards.
Because aspects of Minds security policy affect points, some users disagree with aspects of current policy. Minds admins and coders are open to discussing it. Making personal remarks about Minds founders and staffers in order to affect policy though is at best counterproductive. As CEO Bill Ottman (@ottman) wrote way back in 2016, when Minds was in early Beta, "We want to know what you love and what sucks. Be honest. Be kind. Or be a dick, if you feel that's necessary/effective. *Hint: It most likely won't be unless you are a brilliant comedian."
These are the anti-spam aspects of the rewards program, controversial because a side effect of them is that they affect rewards:
1) Downvotes do not subtract points. Some folks on Minds feel that downvotes should subtract points because purportedly they accurately reflect the worth of the post. Others feel that downvotes should be done away with altogether.
The problem is that there's no way to know if a specific downvote reflects disagreement with the topic, the poster's depiction of the topic or something personal about the poster. A few people with burrs under their saddles used to downvote everything posted by a person whom they didn't like or disagreed with politically. Some combined forces to "mass downvote" their victim. Some victims fought back, contributing to downvote wars. Minds put a stop to most of that first by stressing that harassment is reportable, can get the harasser banned, and second by refusing to factor downvotes into rewards. So downvotes are allowed, but don't affect points.
2) To prevent people from gaming the rewards system, Minds gives each of us in the rewards program a "unique identifier" a number which is not attached to your name or pseudonym.While anyone on Minds may respond to your posts and comments (unless you're blocked them), only those with unique identifiers will count toward your getting rewards, and that's only if you too have an identifier.
3) To get an identifier, you have to submit a cell phone number. It is not used to identify you and is not sold, published, or stored. Minds instead encrypts your cellphone number with a function called SHA256 and a salt key, resulting in a new unique number that 1) is not the original cellphone number 2) is not connected to your name, and 3) cannot be reversed in order to get your cell phone or your name. Privacy is huge on Minds so when submitting a cell number was first suggested, the community freaked out -- although as you can see in Minds open source code, once hashed, the cell number is discarded.
FIX: If that still concerns you, submit the number of a throwaway phone. I did.
4) There are caps on the speed of interaction clicks. Because bots are speed-clickers, Minds puts a cap on the number of interactions per person per hour and per day. There is controversy as to how high those caps should be set.
FIX: Don't speed -click like a bot.
LATEST MINDS MYTHS ABOUT REWARDS
Minds has a ranking system, beyond the scope of this post, which affects only your post's placement in the gallery of top channels. A myth has arisen that it also your daily rewards. It doesn't.
Best of luck.
[Illustration: lagirlsweettea blogspot]