The Internet will never be the same if Steem CEO Ned Scott is right. Smart Media Tokens are going to break Google and the rest of Internet 2.0.
I don’t know about you but I’m about fed up with Twitter. In fact, all of Internet 2.0 social media is nothing more than an elaborate control system designed by the same people who have sucked the life out of nearly every creative industry on the planet… the guys who control ‘the wire.’
Now that we’ve reached the point of no return with platform owners using terms of service as a means of social control it was only a matter of time before that pressure would spark the next innovation.
I just read through a Whitepaper published by Steem CEO Ned Scott about something called SMTs. And to say that I’m impressed is simply an understatement.
But before I introduce you to SMTs, I probably have to introduce you to Steemit.
Don’t Tweet It, Steemit
Steemit is a social media platform built entirely on the blockchain. Content that is produced and published to the Steem blockchain can be voted on by readers to delegate the writer’s share of the next reward pool of Steem tokens.
The amount of reward you earn is based on the Steem Power of the person voting up your content. It sounds like printing money and a Ponzi Scheme, but it actually isn’t.
There are a ton of controls (including the downvote) put in place to avoid (but not eliminate) fraud and the like. (You can read the whitepaper if you like here.) I’ve been on Steemit for over 4 months now and can see both the pluses and the minuses.
But, the pluses are far more numerous. As a content creator I have a blogging platform which incentivizes me to find and build a core audience (check out the #informationwar channel). Since all posts are valuable, including comments, comments are valuable as well.
All content can be upvoted and curated. In my 30+ years of trolling the internet (yes, since before there was such a thing as http://) I can tell you that Steemit is the most consistently constructive place I’ve spent time on.
Almost zero trolls and a brilliant incubator of ideas without any of the vitriol present on normal message boards. When you don’t have a stake in the community, when there is no downside to saying something vile, you don’t hold back.
When you have the opportunity to persuade people and can add to the conversation and get tipped for it, well, then that automatically changes the behavior spectrum.
The STEEM token is openly traded on various crypto-exchanges and its worth fluctuates between $1.00 and $1.25 right now.
All that is fine, so what about these SMTs and why will they change the game?
SMT – Smart Media Tokens
SMTs are Smart Media Tokens which can be issued by a content creator on the Steem blockchain.
Think of SMTs as personalized tokens for your business. But, their value is tied, depending on how you structure the ICO to the value of STEEM.
The whitepaper details the depth to which a new website or application can setup its ICO to share the growth with the founding members and users. So, could there be a GoldGoatsnGunsCoin?
Absolutely. But, more likely I would just use the commenting and tipping plug-in some enterprising entrepreneur built to replace Disqus or Facebook comments. And, you better believe that I’d be an investor in that ICO.
This is exactly the kind of 2nd-order evolution of Steem that is needed by the social media industry to combat the hostility to alternative voices practiced by the current industry leaders — Facebook, Google, Apple and Twitter.
If free speech and freedom of ideas are going to survive the current slide into Orwelian Newspeak, then technology needs to exist that allows us to make the end-runs around them.
How else can we build new platforms that cannot be simply taken away in a heartbeat by Google?
Everything from news websites to blogs to curation sites like Reddit can now build a platform that incentivizes its users to invest their time there and generate something of value.
This multiplies the brilliance Steemit to new interfaces.
It can and will allow for any face to be placed on top of the blockchain and help content creators get direct feedback from their audience.
SMT’s are designed by the content creator to build and reinforce his community through the same incentive structure implemented on Steemit.
They have full control to set the terms of that incentive structure.
Now, as opposed to navigating Steemit’s interface, content creators can interact with their fans and community in their favorite environment — the blog, website, social media platform etc.
SMTs – So Many Truths
The crackdown in Social Media by the media and technology giants is deciding who can and who cannot make a living in the world they control.
I feel that every day as I try to build an audience as a writer and shaper-of-thoughts.
Countless people like me are being squelched by Google, Periscope, Twitter and Facebook and forced into ghettos on new platforms that lack the activation energy needed to overcome the massive obstacles to building wider audiences.
That these are put in front of us simply because we engage in wrongthink is the height of evil itself.
Steem began this revolution and SMTs simply take it to the next level. Platforms like Gab and Minds both need better incentive structures to rapidly grow their user-bases. I know Gab is working on an ERC-20 ICO, but honestly, SMTs may be the better choice.
In short, new, alternative news blogs and opinion sites need SMT’s to:
- Get some startup capital through an ICO which we can offer to our existing core audience.
- Build and retain that core audience that now has a stake in you as well. This will reinforce the value of the site
- Provide content producers with invaluable, immediate feedback as to what works and what doesn’t.
- Increase stickiness to the site which makes it more of a community and less of a drive-by destination.
All any of us ask is the opportunity to succeed.
Getting Control of “The Wire”
The barriers to entry in the early stages of Internet 2.0 were low. But as time has gone on, it is now a miasma of trollish behavior mixed with authoritarian thought police. It’s this way because all of the value created by our “socializing” is being sucked up to the people who control ‘the wire.’
For all of our advances in technology, we’re still allowing the newspaper editors to control the content. Advertisers still have disproportionate power and Google is reaching the limit of how much they can extract rent from all of us.
Tokenization of content and your time, which is all money truly represents anyway, is the next step in the evolution of social media.
And SMTs are the next step in the creation of Internet 3.0, the one that shrinks the profits to the wire-owners to where it belongs, next to nothing. We are social creatures.
We want to interact with each other in a way that is peaceful and constructive. As writers, photographers, painters and film-makers we want our audience to share in our success.
Now we can do that and so much more. I didn’t think this day would ever come
I was wrong.
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