The Goldilocks Zone: How Everipedia Will Dominate the Future of Knowledge
In astronomy, the circumstellar habitable zone is defined as the range of orbits around a star in which a planet has the ability to support liquid water given sufficient atmospheric pressure. This habitable zone of a planet is determined by the distance it is from a star and the amount of radiant energy it receives from said star. The notion states that if a planet is in this zone and can support liquid water, then it has the capacity to support life.
The habitable zone for life is better known to many as the “Goldilocks zone”, a metaphor taken from the classic children’s fairy tale Goldilocks and the Three Bears where a little girl chooses three items (such as soup), ignoring the ones that are extreme (too hot, too cold), and choosing the one in the middle which is “just right.”
And just as there is a Goldilocks zone that brings life on planets, there exists another type of Goldilocks zone that allowed knowledge bases such as Wikipedia and now is allowing Everipedia to grow into information powerhouses.
As mentioned in my article Why Everipedia Exists and Why I Enjoy Contributing to It: A Call to Action, I tell of a battle between two editor camps early in Wikipedia’s history between “inclusionists” and “deletionists” that would determine the direction of the platform today. In short, inclusionists believed that the more pages that populated Wikipedia, the better and that they could always be improved later on. Deletionists argued that there should be limits of what information is allowed on Wikipedia and use notability guidelines in order to avoid the platform being cluttered. By the early 2010s, the deletionists won out in the ideological struggle.
I pointed out in my Call to Action article the problems deletionists created for Wikipedia, but here I want to go into detail of the opportunities it led to the rebirth of a Goldilocks zone that Wikipedia once populated called the Knowledge Goldilocks Zone which can be defined as an area of opportunity where the methods of generating novel information and the content being created from it are being ignored by the present contemporary institutions.
Nearly 20 years ago, the internet was still in its infancy; a new encyclopedia arose that was radically different than anything before it. Wikipedia utilized a community of volunteer editors (method) to build a knowledge base about traditional subjects as well as unusual ones (content). It was a radical idea and many questioned if it was viable or not, but nearly 20 years later, Wikipedia has proved itself and has grown from being the underdog to being the preeminent source of knowledge. Yet, because of its deletionist policies and editor community as of late, Wikipedia is not the same robust platform as it was when it started and has created a new Knowledge Goldilocks Zone for the modern internet landscape.
This area is ripe for disruption and exactly where Everipedia fits in.
Today, there exists a sweet spot between not “notable” enough for Wikipedia but people are still searching for it. These topics include a number of figures including influencers, journalists, musicians, people in the news and more. This is where Everipedia thrives, as the wiki for up-and-coming things in culture. How Everipedia will grow its editor community in the future is by attracting niche communities to the platform and they start authoring content that their community cares about. This will create a snowball effect in a similar manner as Wikipedia did nearly two decades ago.
A huge problem Wikipedia has faced as of late is attracting new editors, which has remained stagnant for nearly a decade. A strong factor for this is their elitist community standards which have been increasingly described in recent years as “toxic”. Being able to attract editors from far and wide is vital for the long-term health of a knowledge base.
Probably the most radical evolution of how Everipedia separates itself from Wikipedia is the tokenization aspect of its platform. In its current form, Everipedia is a decentralized knowledge base that utilizes blockchain technology to host its knowledge base and as such is powered by the IQ Network. The native token of the IQ Network is $IQ, and editors are rewarded for their contributions to the platform through a community consensus process.
How the IQ Network works in its current form is that editors must hold $IQ in order to participate in editing the platform. $IQ is staked for brainpower, meaning that the $IQ is locked for 21 days. With brainpower, editors are allowed to make new pages, submit edits on existing pages, and vote on other edits. If an edit is approved, the editors and voters received newly minted $IQ that is proportionally distributed. If an edit is rejected, then the $IQ of the editors and voters are staked for a longer period of time as a penalty.
The IQ Network has been live since August 2018 and tens of thousands of editors have participated on the platform. That is also thanks to the help of Everipedia’s partners at AIKON with their OREID system which allows people to sign up for Everipedia with their social media accounts. These editors are basically using free brainpower, and although they don’t earn $IQ tokens right now, they will in the future, and ultimately it’s a step towards wider adoption with the masses not even realizing they are using a blockchain product!
What is most exciting about the IQ Network is how it will expand in ways that Wikipedia never could. Ultimately, the $IQ token will be a foundation for a knowledge economy that revolves around a family of dApps. The first of these dApps is a prediction market, PredIQt, the first of its kind on EOS. In the future, an array of dApps can be created including a question and answer dApp, a dictionary dApp, a peer-review dApp, an Oracle dApp, the possibilities are endless!
To review, in both the cases of Wikipedia and Everipedia they both have at one point occupied the Knowledge Goldilocks Zone by disrupting the method of information production and the content that qualified for each platform. For the method, Wikipedia once disrupted Britannica by allowing a crowd-sourced community to write entries on a wide variety of subjects rather than a closed group of editors which led to a unique tone to the content being authored on the platform for both traditional and obscure subjects. Due to deletionist policies that developed over time, that crowd-sourced community is not as vibrant as it once was and is actually deterring rich content from the Wikipedia platform. Everipedia is taking advantage of this by its inclusive editing philosophy and creating content for topics deemed important in today’s internet culture. The decentralization of Everipedia’s knowledge base using blockchain technology has added a layer of incentivization for editors, evolving Wikipedia’s crowd-sourced model.
Just as there were doubts of Wikipedia’s crowdsource model early on, it would be ignorant not to say that people have questions about Everipedia’s incentive model. These questions are healthy and should be asked, and we can speculate on answers all we want but we won’t truly have them answered until we look back in hindsight. If it doesn’t work, fine, then Wikipedia’s crowdsourced method is still there always to fall back on. But if it does prove itself then the implications can affect people and their relationship to the content they produce. A tokenization model for knowledge bases can eventually cross-pollinate itself to other types of online platforms such as social media. Whether it is pictures on Instagram or tweets on Twitter, imagine people being rewarded for the content they create. If there is one thing for sure, the “bot economy” (a personal nickname I have for all the bots that exist on social media) that already exists is sure to ramp up, but I am speculating too much and veering off topic. An article for another day I suppose.
Anyways, the Knowledge Goldilocks Zone is out there, do you see it yet?