The Future of Social Media

TL:DR | How does the future of social media evolve? What are the lines that must be drawn, or the technology needed for a global social change?


9 min read
The Future of Social Media

What if I were to tell you that in ten years, or 20 years, that social media would look completely different? You'd be like yeah of course, that is how companies and organizations evolve. However that idea doesn't take into account how new still social media is to us as a species.

I remember in the Web 2.0 boom, when all those new social medias started up, and it was the infancy of the social platforms. Now we are in the meat of Web 3.0, social is starting to gain massive traction, and we are starting to see the consequences. It is like when you have a toddler, and you know from the actions they take at that age, that they are going to be a difficult teenager.

We are already seeing the signs of current platforms being a problem. Data privacy issues with Facebook and Google, YouTube and Twitch having far too much centralized control over their creators, adpocalypses causing massive damage to the creator ecosystem, and more.

The problem not only originates from the fact that these companies are profit first, creator third, but because they are centralized.

Meaning as a creator you have to flow with the whims of the platform. Many creators for example use Facebook groups to build out their community, and that in turn leads into a healthy cycle of repeat customers. Making it a valuable income for the creator, and resource for subscriber. What if FB decided to tommorow to get rid of the feature? They wouldn't of course, but it is certainly still in the realm of possibility. It would completely disrail many people's groups and endeavors.

This is why the PolyInnovator Construct is on it's own platform.

Another factor is the idea of content distribution. Right now we have looked at social media marketing from an outside perspective. I've much time trying to find the best tool to distribute content out. However this is because every platform is its own centralized space.

This post was based off of my original Micro-PolyCast episode on the topic. Listen to that to get a feel for the ideas. In the episode I talk about hubs of content for each medium, that would then populate on various channels. Images > instagram and pinterest, videos > d.tube and youtube, etc.

Future of Social Media [Fireside Micro-PolyCast] - The Polymath PolyCast with Dustin Miller
Each social media platform acts like an island, but what if they were just nodes in a social ecosystem. Or social block chain? These PolyCasts take the form of informal thought processes, that I wanted to share with all of you in a fireside chat style format. https://polyinnovator.space/

Decentralization:

Before I get into the various mediums and outcomes, the real kicker is blockchain. Many people only think of blockchain in the view of crytocurrency, and that is the main thing that has made waves at the moment.

However the technology's use cases are practically endless, and there is so much more that can be done. Now you must be thinking then, so are there any social media platforms on blockchain? Yes, yes there is. Many of them in fact, and although they aren't all perfect. Neither were Facebook or YouTube when they started out either.

Again going back to those nodes I mentioned above, those could be blockchain based systems, whose apis could let platforms like instagram/or whatever replaces it, to pull in the image feed from the node.

Also the idea of monetization is much more democratic with these new networks. From what I can tell there are often two systems: a crytocurrency for that platform uniquely, and influence (like reddit karma). The more of either one you have, the more power to make a difference you have for that platform.

One could theorectically gain all of it, but it wouldn't be possible logistically or socially, and if it happens like it did with Steemit (which happened because of outside of the app forces) then people will just move. #fork

Almost every major platform you know of right now has a decentralized alternative. That makes me feel much safer honestly as a creator, and I've been trying to (at least thinking about) cross posting to these newer platforms. That way if the old ones were to go away we would be safe.


Video:

This is an ever growing medium, and with the options we have right now we're just limited. Both from a viewer and creator standpoint, and so what is left for us to do? Just stay on the platform that is treating us like an abusive relationship because that is what is happening.

David Dobrik, a famous YouTuber/Viner, his income is something to note here. Before the adpocalypse he was making about $200,000 per video on adsense because of his extremely high subscriber count. After YT screwed up, and the advertisers left, then he made only around $2k per video. Literally about 1% of his original income, and you might say that is still a lot! When you have 15.6 million subscribers it is not.

Platforms like YouTube seem to forget that it is the creators who run the platform really. We create the content, often times bring in people to the platform, and keep them their while watching our videos that we worked hard on making. It should be a tool, but instead YT has acted like a youthful governence that smacks the ban hammer when it gets slightly scared.

In particular YouTube:

A company this big, and honestly not really even the best experience half of the time. Currently I can't sub/unsub/comment etc on videos because I have adblock on, and I don't think that is a coincidence. There is too much power in one place, and they truly haven't thought in the creator's best interest at heart. At least not for a long while.

Honestly it is a bit understandable from a business sense, they want to keep growing, and they don't think creators are as important as advertisers. I don't agree, but I empathize with their thinking.

The problem is that they are going to get disrupted the hardest. There are already a handful of blockchain based social medias out there made for video.

This is a great video to watch to understand as to why the companies we are used to right now may not stay around in the same way.

Alternative Platforms:

YouTube = LBRY (Odysee) and D.tube (Built on Hive)

Twitch = D.live


Audio:

We're approaching what the seventh wave of podcasting? Not to mention platforms like VoiceHub (came first btw!), or Clubhouse, that use live audio sessions to talk to people.

Going forth into audio is like a freedom to speak to the world. You get to hear the tonality in the voice, complexity with words, and train of thought much more clearly. Over time the audio scene has changed, and I personally think people aren't doing enough still.

This is why for the PolyCast I started doing multiple series, of which each take a different length. Short for quick commute rides, medium for a gym session or commute, and long form interviews for perhaps a walk or workout session.

When you think about it too, radio has been around for a long time, and has evolved to coincide with podcasting. Although there is a lot that both have in common, they each have their own place. Now that Voice assistants have come into our homes, we now have a new audio source. News briefings, smart skills, podcast clips, and more can all come out of your speakers.

This isn't even touching on music! Platforms like Spotify changing the game for music platforms. There needs to an alternative to centralized platforms for audio.

Potential new business venture for those paying attention!

Alternative Platforms:

Soundcloud = d.sound (currently hibernating in a way, but was interesting when it was live)

I'm sure that something like Twitter Spaces or VoiceHub or Clubhouse would get copied as a blockchain version.

More to come? It seems this is an area that blockchain hasn't touched on much yet!


Written:

Since blogging was the first real form of content online it is no surprise that there are a lot of written based platforms. From Wordpress to Ghost, like the one you are on now, there are a ton of content management systems.

As well as, just pure and simple blogging platforms. I played around with many of them, and it seems that they always have had this layer of complexity to them. Ask anyone who has used Wordpress for any amount of time.

However we are seeing more and more with these "headless" CMS's that it doesn't have to be complicated. One of the reasons why I moved to Ghost, was that it was much more minimalist.

The future of written I would say is as big of a difference of how blogging was to newspapers. Official papers scoffed at blogs, and thought they were childish. Then they got completely swept under the rug, just like how Netflix did to Blockbuster.

Blockchain based platforms or decentralized ones, will have the capacity to timestamp your work, and proving that it was you who made it. As well as, incentivizing you, as these platforms use cryptocurrency of their own kind to share across the platforms.

For example when your blog post gets upvoted, or commented on, etc.

Alternative Platforms:

I don't have the time to list out various places, especially since I don't know which ones are prudent to share with you. As some are good, some are meh, and others could completely change in the coming years. I guess that is what you could say about any platform however.

Medium + Reddit = Hive.blog

Hive seems to be the top dog when it comes to blog post platforms. It has the capacity of medium, with a way better monetization system, as well as just overall better content that the other text based blockchain platforms at the moment.


Virtual/Augmented Reality:

Considering we are still in the infancy of VR in general, there is already a lot to say on how it could change the game. Wondering how the future of it, especially in a more decentralized sense is a bit more difficult.

The idea of a VR game for example is actually something of a technical miracle. There are tech endeavors such as eye tracking, to know where you are looking at, and being able to render just what your eyes see. So our actual vision doesn't pick up everything, in fact it is just a small portion, so everything else is blurred out.

When we play games on regular screens we are looking at a crisp block, that everything is rendered on the screen. However with VR eye tracking it can focus on just what YOU are looking at, and only render in real time what you need to see. Everything else scales down to a lower resolution, or doesn't get rendered at all.

For example the game Horizon Zero Dawn, the team spent a ton of time making a special engine, that only rendered what you would see on screen. So that when you are looking one way it rendered it amazingly. Then however behind you it was not rendered anymore, so when you move it only processes what you can see. Dramatically decreasing workload.

Perhaps with blockchain based platforms, we could see a Google Stadia like service, where instead of being powered by the cloud, it is powered by a decentralized network of computers. Everyone playing together as well, quite like ready player one.


Government:

This is something that is extremely fascinating to think about. What if didn't have any centralized government? I'm not saying that is good or bad, just thinking about how it would work. All of our societal problems with the governments of any kind, from the communist to the capitalist, all originate from the fact it is one centralized source.

If a system that is unhackable (to a very far degree at least #quantum), such as blockchain could theorectically run the government organizations. Either on autopilot with a technocratic artificial intelligence, or with decentralized unbiased individuals, perhaps we could lead to a much more prosperous world.

It would be the precursor to how galactic civilizations operate. Decentralization is perfect for everything, but I certainly think it would fit well into the world of governance.


The Changes will Come

Overall these are still hope dreams, as the major populace haven't moved to these platforms. However I think it is only a matter of time. When people get tired of dealing with privacy concerns, or data leaks, selling of our data, and that much more. They will move.

Perhaps we need a Google or Microsoft, but built being decentralized. The whole operating agreement, business plan, and even corporate structure. Maybe I'll be the person to make it, who knows?

This post was inspired by an old Fireside Micro-Polycast. As the ideas of a hubs containing the content, then distributing it out to the channels such as Instagram; Seemed like an interesting idea, and I wanted to take it further.

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