What is a delegate?
Delegates process transaction and secure the network, similar to miners with Bitcoin. Delegates are elected by shareholders (shareholders is a term which makes sense here but does not imply any legal rights). Voting power of shareholders is proportional to their stake (thus delegated proof of stake). Delegates do not only secure the network but can also use their delegate pay to grow the BitShares ecosystem and set the agenda for the respective DAC (e.g. BitSharesX). For more info on DPOS please read http://wiki.bitshares.org/index.php/DPOSHow do I become a delegate?
First you have to register a delegate with your wallet. Then you already have a delegate, your delegate is just not active yet. Only active delegates are paid and all active delegates are paid the same. To be an active delegate you have to be among the top 101 delegates with the most approval by shareholders.
You are free to convince shareholders to give you their approval by any argument you can come up with.
Here is a selection of arguments which are used frequently:
(1) Given the responsibility of delegates to produce blocks a stable delegate server and close to 100% up-time are good arguments.
(2) Reputation as a forum member, a public person or a company (e.g. an exchange).
(3) Burning some of your delegate pay which effectively is paying interest to shareholders as the money supply shrinks.
(4) Using the delegate pay to grow the BitShares ecosystem or grow the DAC the delegate is "working" for through doing or funding marketing or development work.
(5) Donate funds to various charities.
(6) Use funds to create bounties for development.
(7) Be creative
For a technical description and details on becoming a delegate see http://wiki.bitshares.org/index.php/Bitshares-x-delegate-how-to http://wiki.bitshares.org/index.php/BuildInstructionsBitSharesX