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Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter Have a Surprising New Threat: Blockchain
Content creation and distribution on the internet have traditionally been done through big corporations. Companies like Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter are the biggest hubs for people to post and share their works, whether writing, video, picture, or some other form of media.
Other users on these networks then 'like', 'share', or in some other way boost that content for greater attention. The whole process allows users and creators alike to move content into the mainstream.
However, with all this work going on, the main beneficiaries of the system are the hubs--the centralized content managers. Apart from advertising services, most content creators who are seeking to be entrepreneurial in their business model have few ways to monetize their work product, and the value they've inserted into their art is stripped from them by corporations.
That's all about to change.
One potential change is coming through companies seeking to apply blockchain technology to disrupt the way content is delivered and accessed on the internet.
Blockchain is the technology that supports cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. It allows for a distributed ledger (a database that is stored on all network computers at once) which can allow all users access to the same data at the same time, securely.
A Blockchain Solution?
These platforms, like the one designed by Synereo--it's called WildSpark--hope to disrupt the attention economy by changing the way people create, share, and monetize content. Users can upload and access content on distributed ledgers, removing the need for a central corporate hub.
Built on a blockchain platforms, these ecosystems are designed to create a fully decentralized content sharing ecosystem. Legacy models of centralization and profiteering can be replaced with machines. In this way, blockchain technology is outsourcing management to the machines. This change has benefits for users and creators alike.
Creators are given a vehicle to monetize their content. The platform allows creators to upload and advertise content, and, as users watch, read, or access the content, the system allows them to amplify the content by contributing digital tokens to the creators.
Token As Currency
Other companies are also using blockchain in similar ways to create new and better methods of content distribution.
One such company, Decent, has built a decentralized content system, relying on the power of blockchain to remove the third party hubs and place power into the hands of the creators. Other companies like singularDTV are hoping to get into the act as well, as creators of content are seeking better ways to monetize their work.
Regardless of platform, these new companies must create ways to exchange value within their respective systems. Most have chosen cryptocurrencies (digital tokens issued by the company).
The tokens--WildSpark's are called AMPs, which is short for "amplify"; Decent's are called DCTs, which is short for "decent"--are digital tokens in the platform itself. These tokens, like AMPs, currently worth about $0.23 each, are used to reward content creators and can be used to gain access to download or share their content.
These digital tokens can be exchanged for normal fiat currencies like dollars or Euros, but can also be used within the content ecosystem itself. In this way, as content is shared and liked, creators receive real monetary rewards for their work, and the profits of the system go directly to them via tokens. Rather than a centralized hub receiving the profits, creators retain the value they've moved into the marketplace.
Users, called 'curators' in the platforms, are also incentivized to share content on their feeds. As content that is shared is promoted, the sharer is rewarded as well, monetizing the work of finding and maintaining quality content on the web. In this way, those who use the system and find new and interesting content will also be able to find ways to be rewarded for their work.
A New Attention Economy
It should be painfully apparent that the whole advertising world is seeking to gain the attention of consumers. Everything is faster, brighter and louder, as attention becomes the most valuable commodity on the internet. No matter how high the quality of content, if no one is paying attention, its worth nothing.
However, this decentralized attention economy is new in how it disseminates content and captures attention. Users are no longer bound to the rules and regulations of the centralized hub, but are empowered to offer and support content that is worthy of their attention.
This means that both creators and curators can decide where to 'pay attention', and in turn, as their attention brings the attention of others, receive payment for their efforts. Through the decentralization of blockchain technology, both creators and users are interconnected, both in their content creation and content promotion.