Facebook and Twitter earn billions from your participation. But did you know there are sites where you can earn cryptocurrency by blogging and creating content? You’ve likely heard of Steem, but for those who haven’t, let’s talk about that first.
Steem is a decentralized blockchain project built on the same technology as EOS. SteemIt is the official front-end for the Steem blockchain, but there are others. Steem enables the creation of uncensorable content, although any platform which displays Steem content can censor aspects of it. Steem users earn money when their content gets upvoted or shared via “resteeming.” Some people earn thousands or more per month in just this way.
Participation in the network generally earns money, and there are various additional ways of obtaining money and influence on the system, such as “Steem Power” and Steem Dollars. Some alternative versions of Steemit exist, like Busy.org, which has a more modernized interface. Then there are projects devoted to hosting more than just text, like D.tube, which is a decentralized version of YouTube built on the Steem blockchain.
Steem built a blockchain from the ground up to pursue its idea of a monetized social network, and so far it’s probably one of the most successful blockchain-enabled social networking platforms. Unlike Minds.com, it’s more about creating content and getting rewarded with fungible money. Minds.com is about creating popular content but the Minds token is not as liquid, nor intended as a financial incentive in the same way. Rather, Minds tokens entitle one to guaranteed views on the growing network.
After leaving Reddit, blockchain developer Ryan X. Charles spent some time finding his way. With the advent of Bitcoin Cash, he created Yours.org. While not a Facebook alternative in the sense that Minds.com is, Yours allows people to earn money by creating quality content.
Forever on the side of bigger blocks, when the Bitcoin Cash/Bitcoin SV split took place, Charles sided with Bitcoin SV and converted Yours.org to that cryptocurrency.
In response to Yours.org switching to Bitcoin SV, a new Bitcoin Cash version of the same idea emerged in the form of Honest.cash. Honest.cash functions in much the same way as Yours.org: when you (pay to) upvote a post, you earn when someone else does so after you. With each successive upvote, the creator splits his earnings with those who upvote the content. The idea is that curating content is almost as valuable as creating it. Honest.cash also allows you to “make your content uncensorable” by embedding it into the Bitcoin Cash blockchain.
In the Ethereum ecosystem, the most promising version of this idea of monetized content is Cent.co. Still in beta, Cent has a growing userbase. Cent has income supplementation as one of its goals. They write in their manifesto:
Cent is built to help ease our transition into this less-employed future. It’s designed to become a core layer of the future creative economy — one that directly monetizes the creative- and perspective- based value that single individuals provide.
Content curation is rewarded on Cent in a slightly different way from Honest.cash or Yours.org: you “seed” a post and earn as it becomes more popular.
Similar to most types of decentralized applications, EOS also has social networks. A total of three are quickly found when doing any research, although I haven’t used any of them. One is called Karma, a social network which encourages people to perform good deeds. Another is called Ono, which launched last year.
Perhaps the most similar to Steem and Yours.org is Murmur, which has a tradeable token that is used to tip and reward users for contributing good content.
The idea behind all of these sites is simple enough: the past era of social media enabled centralized networks like Facebook and Twitter to earn billions of dollars from user-generated content.
Why not use the power of the blockchain to share this value among the users themselves?
At what point do Facebook and Twitter’s influence in our institutions and the grand absurdity of their success make an alternative more attractive?
Cent believes that point is when people need another source of income due to automation, while Honest.cash, Steem, and Yours.org merely think content creators deserve to earn something for their efforts. The attention economy is still nascent, but the monetary value of people’s attention has long existed in the form of marketing.