Introducing Posting & Seeding
A little over a year ago, we launched Cent’s beta and published our original vision. In the last year, we’ve grown to become an important part of the social crypto ecosystem and are on the front page of every major dApp store. We’re now ready to announce our most significant update yet — one that will fundamentally usher in Cent’s next era.
How We Got Here
The original vision published in December 2017 talked about how we wanted to replace the necessity of “having a job” with a decentralized and incentivized constellation of incentive mechanisms that exchanged creative and financial value among a user base. We wanted it to feel something like a social network that functioned as a sustainable income source, all in an effort to free humanity from the slavery of traditional employment.
The vision talked about how work as we know it — 9-to-5’s in single geographical locations — is being gradually replaced by a gig economy and code that can perform repetitive tasks far more efficiently than humans ever could (and without any suffering). It talked about how this trend will continue, with the end result being no jobs remaining that do not rely on something uniquely human.
It also talked about how social networks efficiently capture uniquely-human value in the form of content and opinions, and ultimately receive an inconceivable amount of financial value by hosting the majority of humanity’s content on their networks. They do all this, yet they fail to distribute that value fairly to the creators and curators who make enjoying that content possible. We wanted to invent a new way, a way designed to incentivize everyone involved in the network — those creating, those browsing, those commenting, and those curating — to be fairly and effectively compensated.
As we’ve evolved, we’ve double-downed on this mission and racked our creative brains to invent this digital socioeconomic substructure of the future creative economy. In the past year, we’ve introduced a constant stream of updates and continued to grow an active community.
Cent began with one mechanism: the ability to make a post that financially-incentivized good responses. Users typically used it to ask questions or make requests, which the userbase would then compete to provide the best answer for.
As we’ve perfected bountying, we’ve learned a lot along the way. We learned that people could use incentivized posting in all sorts of ways, from commissioning art to asking for follows to outsourcing research. But we’ve also learned that people want to use Cent in ways that simple incentivized posting doesn’t allow for. What many have asked for was for some way to post anything — not just a request, but a blog post, a song, a poem, a photo, or any combination, and somehow receive ETH in accordance with how valuable the network determined it to be. People want the capability to be able to post without having to put money up as an incentive. They want to be able to post and receive money, rather than just post and give money.
So today, we’re enabling that capability. You can now post anything original on Cent, and anyone who believes in it can seed it with money. When someone seeds content with money, a portion of the money goes directly to the creator of the content, and a portion is distributed amongst the users who seeded that content before them. This means that supporters of content are essentially speculating on their sense of the future popularity of that piece of content, while funding the creator and rewarding its earlier supporters.
In the same way a biological seed grows into a flowering tree, we see the seed functionality allowing posts to grow into flowering income. As opposed to tipping or other purely-altruistic notions, seeding introduces the concept of “incentivized giving” that effectively aligns everyone involved. When creators are starting out, they need money and they need fans. Seeding gives creators both, while giving the fans a financial incentive to spread the word about the creator (because the more seed money a post gets, the more those supporters will make).
What About Bounties?
Bountying is still a core functionality of Cent, and nothing about its functionality has been removed. The only real change is at the UI level. Instead of the bounty amount being in the top right corner of a post, all the bounty information (How much ETH? How much time? How many recipients?) is now in a simple block under the post. The number in the top right is now the seeded amount.
Given this change, we are re-orienting Cent around the concept of everything being a post, and posts optionally having bounties. This allows anyone to post without having to pay, while not removing any functionality our users have come to love.
Join The List
If you’d like to be one of the first to try out seeding, join the list here. We’re rolling it out this week to our first batch of creators, and will be letting everyone post in not too long. Also, I posted the first post here. It’s a song. Check it out and seed it if you like it.