Building the Bridge to a Better Web
In the blockchain space, it’s the quietest projects that competitors should be most concerned about. Especially now. Less talking means more listening and more building. The quiet, focused projects of today will be the loudest in terms of usability, utility and user base tomorrow. That is the investment we’re making at Po.et.
Po.et is now a 16-person operation and growing, with a community of over 50,000 builders and believers. Together we’re building the protocol for a verifiable web, a place where we can construct the next generation of technologies for a creative world and independent and sustainable publishing, as well as continuing to power a free press. We believe that technology is most powerful when it’s driven and supported by a community of humans, which is why our work is built on a blockchain leveraging both crypto incentives and crypto economics. This is where the world is going and our job is not to keep you out; it’s to let you in. We’re the bridge to a better web.
Though it’s not apples to apples (music and media are very different businesses), I like to think that the media life cycle is in its “Napster” phase. Consumers are engaging many services for information because it’s easier and free — although less reputable and less researched. Time is the ultimate resource and, today, ease of access is valued over reputable sources. That is because there is no system worth paying for yet. Remember, music was free, until a better system worth paying for came along.
We see the media industry pivoting (again) toward subscriptions, but unfortunately that’s not a blanket solution for all. It’s important to identify that many users are “supporting” news, not “subscribing” to it. Subscribing signals value in product platform and long-term support. That’s not the case in media today. Consumers support the news they want to endorse, not the news we all need. That needs to change.
When we talk about journalistic value, we often harp on sociological indicators (fact checking, ownership, sourcing) and not investment indicators. This makes it hard to put a tangible value in journalism. What if there was more transparency behind the cost of creating the work?
Meaning: We emphasize and expose the cost for reporting, fact checking, travel expenses, sourcing costs and other components of content creation. This puts real money behind the integrity of content, satisfying and revealing both tangible (investment) and intangible (sociological) value.
This is where Po.et, the community and the technology, come into play. How can we build the protocol that reveals the information behind the information? Not to determine what’s true or not, real or not and all the other “and nots,” but to show how the story got to where it is to ensure full comprehension. We see this as a necessity today, with the marking of “political ads” for all promoted posts on Facebook and Google search algorithm pain points. Maybe we don’t need to police the web, but rather expose it on a deeper level so that people are more informed.
Transparency measures can begin to pull the good from the bad, “premium publishing” from clickbait publishers and platforms, aligning investment with ethics in a way consumers can value and understand
The reason this is important is that today, we’ve allowed sociological metrics to be the only indicator for value. And it’s become subjective and, in fact, changed the way journalism is done. Chasing referrers, page views, unique visitors and other vanity metrics has pulled business models away from the value of quality media and quality journalism. This is due to an obsession over “recency” and relevancy and not enough emphasis behind reputation.
Building new values that expose the work, ethics and ingredients that go into written thought will not just drive a better consumer experience, but enable journalists to do what they do best without vanity metric distractions. Thus creating a web driven on reputation. A better web.
We constantly straddle the notion of truth vs. perception and many who choose not to seek truth (more so than ever before) opt for the latter. This is why a verifiable web is critical. Those who seek more background and informational transparency should easily be able to find it. The new web will follow the three “Rs” towards both a better creator and consumer economy: recency, relevancy and reputation.
So where are we with this? Po.et is well on its way toward mainnet, expediting development and hitting deadlines moving ever closer to our Q4 goal. Why is that important? Once we’re on mainnet, the construction of the verifiable web begins. This will happen in consensus as we’re inviting a world of creators into our ecosystem to build this future. We will be announcing our publishing and media alpha partners soon who will begin verifying on Po.et and strengthening the ledger. This will pair with the community growth and building that’s already happening today. Together we will create the signals that should be powering the web, focused on IP, creator quality and original work.
Having everyone involved helps us strengthen the network that powers the protocol and builds new standards for reputation to guide a better web. This is truly a network. The platform, once on main, will introduce licensing and discovery, changing the signals and values we identify for success and moving toward an ecosystem that rewards creators based on the work they do. The feature progress in this vein has been substantial, as we’ve been developing the bridges that connect your works with the records on chain. Building these bridges are critical to user experience, and building a consumer and commercial platform built for all.
In an industry where things are purposely overcomplicated, the products that make meaningful change are those that build bridges to the new world. We’re excited to take you on this journey with us.