Look I wouldn't consider myself an expert on blockchain, or the metaverse, etc, but I would say I have done a significant amount of digging. I love exploring websites, the depths of search engines, and finding unique tools/sites.
I made a vast article on the NFT world/Metaverse/Web3, and you can check that out here:
I even create content about content creation and repurposing. In the view of how the world of Web2 has been doing it at least.
However I find myself wanting to prepare for the next phase of content creation. What does content creation look like in the decentralized world?
Web2's Content Cycle
I guess I should start with web1 actually, which was the static html pages. Very little interaction, if at all, and it took a LOT of knowledge for someone to make one. However now with our current web2, there sparked a vast ocean of social networks. The key thing about them is that average people could use an interface to create posts, upload pics/videos, and interact with the site even more.
The problem is that we are going from the bottom up. You build yourself up by posting more and more, and getting through the barriers of moderation. Not to mention the centralized authority that is the company that made the site.
Let's be clear, they are COMPANIES, first and foremost. They want to make a profit, that is really all they care about in the end.
Create, Curate, and Hope for the Best
Besides a few small outliers, the monetization model for most of these platforms is ads. They get their viewers to see or watch ads, and then the money generated from that may be small. However at the scale of users participating, they are able to break even.
Honestly, some platforms like Twitter have barely ever "made" money. Although that is okay because of the venture funds in the background.
Although we are reaching a point now where they are not able to make money, but why does that have anything to do with you?
When you are a user on the social network you start out as nothing, like on Twitter we all start out as "eggs". Once you start creating consistently, then the platform shows you to other users. Eventually you start to grow, and both you and the platform benefit from that larger audience. The more people you make content for, the more people the platform can show ads to.
Top Down Approach from Companies
One of the best examples I've heard on this company centric approach we live in, is that you are at the mercy of the website. Many creators find success through Facebook groups for example, yet if the platform decided tomorrow that it no longer made them enough money; They could turn it off like the flip of a switch, which would lead to the crashing down of many people's incomes.
Now there are alternatives now like Circle.co or even just Discord, but that misses the point. Those sites can still go down. I was really into the site special.tv, and when I got the bandwidth to work on TeleInnovator. I was going to create a subscription service for my paid videos and courses.
However you may be able to guess, that it wasn't going to happen, as the platform failed to gain traction. Then it went up to the farm, ol'yeller style...
Putting Your Eggs all in one Basket
While this is more prudent to the ways of web2 than it is for web3, the lessons learned are something to take away from in general. I have seen this many times with creators on any platform. They put all their effort into growing ONE place, and then they lose that place. Think of Vine, I was on there making videos (not much but still), and some people got their start on there.
Then it died, and surprisingly a LOT of the big names moved over to Instagram and YouTube. They were able to survive, if not thrive, and I would probably say that is thanks to Gary Vee's advice. Who at the time was really helping a lot of Viners out. Point is don't be just in one place.
The Premise behind Web3 Platforms
Alright I'm going to have to simplify this quite a lot, as this isn't a post explaining blockchains and DAO's. However the main thing to understand is the decentralization aspect behind those technologies. It is more like a group of nodes, or even just a large group of people; That are holding up the platform itself.
With that in mind, we can compare that to the current way the platforms are made. One to three guys in a garage starting up an entrepreneurial journey, and making a company that has full power over the platform. Do we want the power in the few, or in the large group?
There are some centralization problems, like with what happened on Steemit, but those are more or less growing pains for the new internet. If you want to learn more, then I wrote a long post on these new topics.
What I find really fascinating is that the chains themselves don't have to be a platform, but rather buckets of content that platforms can pull from. Imagine it like this, future Instagram and future Pinterest, both different experiences but pull from the same source. Meaning you upload the picture once, and it aggregates to any platform built on the source. :D
We are seeing platforms like Hive.blog or Paragraph.xyz pop up, and the potential those sites have is really interesting. Even microblogging ones like Mastodon is now getting a lot of attention, given the whole current situation (as of the time of this writing) with twitter.
One particular thing to mention is the idea of copyright, and the ability to PROVE you wrote a piece thanks to the blockchain. If writes something then stamps it to the chain. They can then prove that they indeed wrote that content first. It is a solid way of safeguarding your work from autoscrappers + reposters.
"WordStamp: Timestamp your WordPress Content on the Blockchain" Is a prime example of that. Another one is Steempress, at least sorta, where it would crosspost your wordpress blogs to Steemit/Hive.blog. I had used the latter for a time while I was still on Wordpress, but Wordstamp is ungodly expensive for what it does.
I wanted to bring them up because I think that written pieces have the potential to be stolen a lot. Not to mention the level of sharability by being on a platform with a lot of people.
If that pool of content is the source, then each third party fork can be the platform you are on.
I haven't seen much in the way of podcasts, live audio rooms, or even just music based platforms on the blockchain. The primary one I can think of is Dsound, which is now sort of dead in the water.
I think that we need a communal source like I mentioned with the written content. Imagine a platform that hosts all of the podcasts out there. Forgo itunes, Google/Amazon Podcasts, or even Spotify. Those are more players than anything. Keep the same distributors we have in web2, and just source the files from the blockchain DAO pool.
It would make all of these scattered podcast platforms a bit more united, and you would still have your choice of listening app. However the amount of content will be increased overall.
Honestly, out of the three big pillar pieces of content, the video content is probably the biggest change.
YouTube has remained top dog, probably for too long, and even other platforms have bowed down in way. Vimeo stopped trying to compete with YT, and instead went for a more Video On Demand or OTT approach.
Even now we see that Twitch is slowly dying, and they keep digging their grave lower as YT gets better live features.
However dtube started out as a fork of Hive.blog/Steemit, and proved that an alternative platform has a lot of potential. Getting rid of that central authority issue I mentioned before. While I think that Dtube is probably not the platform to succeed, there is also Odysee, a new platform on the chain. That I truly think has the most potential at the moment to replace YouTube if done right.
This post was partially inspired by this one:
I've been following this author for a while, and he posts a lot of unique works/topics that other writers never talk about.
I have a theory that ALL platforms right now that we are used to, no matter how big or grandiose they seem, WILL get replaced by a decentralized version of it. While "Sociall" may be dead, it was a really good example of what an alternative to Facebook would be like. Mastodon to Twitter (or Bluesky). Honestly what I am MOST excited to see replaced is YouTube. People think of it as immovable, but I think the bigger they are the harder they fall tbh.
Even if the platform gets replaced by the same creator's own decentralized version.
Make sure you are ready for the next era of the internet!
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