Ethfinance, a split sub of Ethtrader, has quickly taken pretty much all the voting and commenting activity in just a few weeks since an abrupt split was announced in August.
To those involved, Ethfinance has “won.” Yet to casuals, or even outsiders, it may look like ethereum’s two main subs are pretty much dead. Just as, in their mind, the price itself.
R/ethereum is sort of a ghost-town, a place mainly for complaining by ordinary ethereans as you can’t discuss price, trading, memes, or much else.
That’s instead a place to share tech stuff, code, but coders now use a forum called Ethresearch. They therefore hardly share much news on r/ethereum despite quite a bit goin on.
So r/ethereum is more of a duplicate, but it is arguably the most impactful as it has the most subscribers at about 450,000.
Ethtrader is the second biggest at 220,000 subscribers, but Ethfinance has taken almost all the active daily users, yet has just 12,000 subscribers.
So if you’re a casual who browses the home page where you get all the news for all the subs subscribed, you might not think there’s anything going on in ethereum because ethtrader is crowded out by the politics subs or gaming subs or other tech subs or whatever else you’re subscribed to and interested in.
It is crowded out because they’re clearly being targeted with downvotes by presumably bots run by presumably ethfinance people.
The ethtrader daily, for example, is 60% upvoted. For ethfinance, it’s 98%. Yet from our observation, ethtrader has a far greater reach, and far greater activity, where visitors are concerned rather than commenters or active users.
The reason for that is obvious. Ethtrader has 20x more subscribers than ethfinace. So if an article gets 100 votes on both subs, then the ethtrader one might attract not 20x, but at least 5x more attention.
Because if you’re a casual, where crypto is just one thing among many rather than an obsession, you probably don’t even know there’s a split, and if you know you probably don’t care.
You see for an ordinary non student, keeping up with everything might be afforded at beast an hour a day. You might browse the homepage for a bit after work, or maybe you have your own multi-redit to avoid the default subs, and then you off to have dinner, when maybe you watch the TV news while catching up with your own family, or you watch some entertainment and leave Newsnight for bed.
Some split between nobodies over some inactive mod who wanted to promote his own paid subscription might be way down on the list of things that can be afforded your time.
If however there’s some news of interest and this makes it to your feed, then that’s catching up. As it stands such news is 20x less likely to make it to your feed if it’s only on ethfinance.
The Power of Inertia
It is fascinating in many ways how quickly almost all of the activity moved to ethfinance, but that’s what happened in 2015 too when almost all moved to r/btc.
For some time r/bitcoin was a ghost-town afterwards, but that didn’t last for long because r/bitcoin had far more subscribers, and thus the ear of far more casuals, who of course only heard the 1MB story.
Here it is quite different. There’s no ideological split. Neither sub has descended into the rage or r/btc. Ethtrader doesn’t have the brand name as r/bitcoin did, but it is easy to underestimate just how much effort it takes to get people to move.
The Slockit DAO, for example, still has 100,000 eth in it waiting to be withdrawn now three years later.
Some people of course quickly withdrew them, or in this case quickly moved to ethfinance, but there’s clearly plenty who don’t bother to claim their own money, let alone change to some new sub.
Those in ethfinance obviously clearly think since there’s more activity, it will attract more attention, but that might be only the attention of those that are or become active.
Others might not quite care at all, if they even paid more than five seconds of attention during that one week of splitting, which they might have not.
Attacking ethtrader therefore with downvote bots is attacking eth because it clearly has far greater reach and if ethtrader does just go away, some 220,000 subscribers would go away with it.
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