I love Medium. I thank all the folks that make it great — the Medium Staff and of course the big man, Ev Williams. I think it is the first platform where a writer like me feels comfortable. Writing on Medium does not feel like blogging because most blogs are monologues in the dark. Here people are reading what I am writing because they engage! Love it! But I am convinced Medium will get even better sooner than later as it is about to be disrupted! Let me introduce you to the Voice! Sorry, this is a long write up!
I have been following Daniel Larimer’s work in the blockchain space for a little more than a year. His vision of how blockchain technology can be used as the ultimate store of value is simply — amazing!
Hack, I love his creation — EOSIO blockchain platform — so much that I have a custom license plate with the world EOS in it.
Daniel Larimer has been working hard for years to create thought-provoking experiments and real-world solutions that address his professional life goals:
Creating free-market solutions for securing life, liberty, property.
His creation — EOSIO — the most powerful blockchain system that fuels many blockchains — public and private — is truly an amazing feat. I have no doubt that his contribution to the blockchain technology will be part of computer science history. Daniel Larimer not only invented the fastest blockchain, but he also figured out quickly why blockchains are hard for the public. They are hard to understand for the non-techie, layman because — they’re damn hard!
As many of us with decades of traditional computer engineering skills were still struggling to understand the concepts of blockchain, blockchain governance and the potential impact, Daniel Larimer was moving many many steps ahead of most folks who were already deep in that space.
He figured out quickly that a real-world, successful blockchain would need to be invisible to the public. A truly successful blockchain would have to be like a self-driving electric car that most people will eventually usen but won’t have a clue how it works!
So he saught the killer app for the blockchain technology that makes sense today! instead of focusing on idiotic gaming platforms, time-wasters, and complex corporate and financial technology solutions, he built the next generation content platform on the fastest blockchain platform, EOSIO. This new user-generated content network— the Voice — will change our indie content producers such as authors, bloggers, musicians. vloggers, and even readers and viewers get compensated for their most precious asset — time.
The Voice is a revolutionary content network. Daniel Larimer built this platform to allow us to speak our voice. It is a platform free from fake users. Everyone who participates in the Voice is a real human. How do I know that?
Well, you cannot join Voice unless you go through a rigorous Know Your Customer (KYC) process that identifies you using your passport, driver’s license, address, name, location, etc.
By making sure that only real humans can enter the Voice, it becomes free from bots, fake accounts. Granted the KYC process can be manipulated by nation-states that can produce fake passports, driver’s licenses, and fake information. However, that level of fake accounts can never be stopped as the documents are forged by the issuers.
Everyone else — the regular public — will not be able to create multiple fake accounts and do illegal or immoral activities while hiding behind a keyboard in a dark room.
So the weakest link in the Voice guarantee of a real human to human interaction is the limits of its KYC process. I have a strong feeling that Daniel Larimer will come up with a native KYC process that will not rely on government-issued documents.
I remember him speaking on Telegram about a way to prove a human is truly a real human. I am not 100% sure that I recall his concept in full details but at the highest level, it goes like this:
Take a picture of you with 2–3 friends and post online. Then your friends do the same with their friends and you. This keeps repeating every week amongst you. These pictures can be used to make certain that you and your friends are real. How?
Imagine an A.I powered system that analyzes your picture and your friends and then does the same for your friends. The A.I. can be trained to identify you, your friends, real-world details that will allow it to create a confidence score about the existence of you and your friends in the real-world.
In such a system, we won’t rely on a government document. Instead our everyday life will be the proof of our real existance! Isn’t that brilliant? I think so!
In the absence of such a KYC technology, Daniel Larimer decided to use what is available today and launched the Voice.
Once you enter the Voice, you are part of the world’s first game theory-based content network on the blockchain! Your publishing efforts are recorded in the Voice Chain as transactions. Your content itself is not on the blockchain but you’re guaranteed to be able to prove that you wrote something on a certain date and time.
For example, say you wrote about something that later turns up in a patent filing by a shady corporation. You would be able to prove that you wrote the details of that innovation long before the illegal party ever put it together as a patent application. There are many use cases for producing content that is tracked on a blockchain. However, that is just one part of the excitement.
The real excitement in Voice comes from the gamification of the content itself! Every content producer — authors, video producers, musicians, anyone and everyone — is part of this gamification ecosystem.
Every time you write a piece of content — an article, a video, a podcast, whatever — it rewards you with Voice tokens in the life-cycle of the content.
Every user in the Voice receives a small number of Voice tokens just because they participate in the system. So every day you log in and collect a small number of tokens.
You can then use these tokens to promote your own content or someone else’s content. Why would you ever want to promote someone else’s content, right?
That’s one of the most interesting gamification aspects of the Voice. In the Voice platform, every content can become a candidate for bidding by advertisers. These advertisers are looking for the best content to bid on so that their ads can be shown on top of these content. So they participate in a bidding frenzy to get the top position.
Every time an advertiser bids for content and wins, the last bidder and the author gets a good chunk of the additional funds — Voice tokens — that the winning advertiser spent. So for example, let's look at this scenario.
One of my Voice articles shown above resulted in 910 voice tokens to be spent by the winner bidder — Antonio G Russo.
When I wrote the article and decided to bid for it myself, I spent only 1 Voice token to be the winning bidder. Since I was the first bidder and no last bidder was there, I got the full amount back in my wallet. This is a special rule.
Now someone else came in to bid for it. The system automatically requires the next bidder to spent 30% more. So the next bidder had to pay 1.30 Voice tokens to get the winning position. This allowed me (the author) and the last bidder to get my first Voice token back and also make a 30% profit of the extra 30% that the new bidder spent. Since I was also the last bidder, I also got another 30%. The rest of the additional tokens were burned. This process continues to the next bidder.
So you can see that getting up to 910 tokens to win the final bid took a few bidders to bid on my content and made me a good chunk of Voice tokens.
As an author, I got compensated. The losing bidder(s) got their money back and the winning bidder wanted to be listed as the winner on top of my article forever in the blockchain.
Now think Nike doing this and getting their brand stamped on top of the winning bids. They would be forever placed in these content spaces as winners for the bids they win. This is a huge opportunity for brands to place their brand marks and information on top of popular content created by users and authors like us!
This is a paradigm shift in online advertising, folks!
Daniel Larimer has created a system where the user-generated contents is truly the king! We are going to have so much fun this platform that is beyond imagination.
I cannot wait to invite you to this platform. As soon as Daniel Larimer allows us — the beta users — to invite our friends, I want you to be the first.
Write your thoughts, questions in the comment sections and I might just invite you in assuming Daniel Larimer decides that is how he is going to allow us to bring our friends and followers onboard!
Oh, I almost forgot…
You might think this is a click-bate article. I got side-tracked by all the excitements I wanted to share about the Voice and did not say why Voice needs to be considered as a disruptor of Medium. Well, Medium charges a subscription fee and shares part of that subscription with a very select few authors. This is not a scalable formula as most of us won’t see real amount to spend full-time or even part-time on this platform.
You must be a hobbyist writer and willing to give Medium your content for pennies. This is what is true for most of us here on this platform. I actually don’t care about this as much because I love the engagement.
I make good money with my professional skills and tech investments in startups. So I am not here to make a living of Medium. But I hear from so many authors that they would love to make Medium a big part of their lifestyle and earning.
Sadly, Medium has a limited income — subscription. Paying good monies to a huge amount of authors would be extremely challenging for Medium as it has huge expenses in technology, infrastructure, and engineering and operations teams.
Since Medium has no advertisers by design — which I LOVE — but it is also its shortcoming. Ad revenue is still the biggest chunk of digital money. Just ask Google.
I think I do not know — at least in my thinking capacity — how Medium will scale up to pay for a large part of its subscribers with their own monies. I don’t get it. An American author living in California would need to make at least 50K-100K/year to be a part-time writer depending on which part of California they live in.
To generate 100K/year, Medium needs $50/year subscription times 2000 subscribers and that without any overhead. So let us assume the overhead is 1.5x to 2x to be modest. This means for every author, Medium would need 3K-4K subscribers. That’s less than 250 California authors per million subscribers. :)
Advertising is the bread and butter of content producers and doing it in a tasteful way is the key. I think Voice got it!
I will share more if I hear from you. So are you ready to voice your opinion in the comments section below? Go ahead!