Rethinking how the internet is monetised

Just discovered this great forum after watching the amazing ‘This panda is dancing’ video. I’ve recently wrote a piece which I think is very relevant in promoting a more humane digital future. You can find it here:

I believe incentives will play a big part in creating this envisioned future and would love to hear your thoughts on the future of this. Hopefully, you will gain some insights to the new technologies and ways of thinking that will enable a more robust discussion going forward.

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Hi @kaishinaw, nice article!

I like the fact that you are comparing pro’s and cons of various business models in it. I have some additions and one issue with the article, though.

The additions:

  • The Guardian (while still using trackers) has free, unrestricted access to all their content, no paywall at all. Instead they invite you to make either one-time donations, or take a (rather cheap) subscription. This business model is not about micro-transactions and has been proven to be very successful. As a result The Guardian has grown its reader base and is making money from it.

  • The social network MeWe - a friends-network alternative to FB - is completely free to use, does not track you, or invade your privacy. Their business model is offering additional payed services instead.

And the issue I have are with advising blockchain solutions without mentioning the full picture here. I know you are a blockchain enthusiast, but personally I have my reservations against it, as I explained here and here.

As a result, I stay well-away from solutions like Brave and Steemit. More in general my reasons are:

  • In my life and tech career blockchain is the biggest hype I have ever seen
  • As a result many frauds and scams surrounding the technology have arisen, and it is hard to discern them, so I have moral and ethical reasons to stay away.
  • The technology is still in its infancy and the vast majority of solutions that have blockchain as their enabling technology are just unviable, or unnecessary use cases. You’ll find general consensus on this on Hacker News (the quality social network of Silicon Valley and techies around the world, and looking past the hype)

I know you were advertising more innovative crypto uses, but the ‘market leader’ in crypto-technology is still Bitcoin, with some INSANE, crazy characteristics (apart from it becoming centralized): max. transaction speed of 7 transactions per second (after performance improvement), and each single transaction costing about 993 KWh!!! (source:

On that last point Gartner recently positioned blockchain more realistically in their Hype Cycle as a technology that will reach maturity in 5-10 years:

So, in short, adding at least a line to Cons, like: “Blockchain is still immature and needs to evolve further” would be fair, IMHO :slight_smile:

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Hey @aschrijver, thanks a lot for your very well thought out response. Yeah, I believe it might have came out as a little too pro-blockchain but the future internet will require a whole hybrid of solutions in order to function properly.

I totally agree with your sentiment regarding the hype around blockchains. Having had the opportunity to attend the biggest innovation festival in Singapore recently, a lot of the business leaders have mentioned that the sooner we get rid of the term blockchain and instead focus on the problem at hand, the more we will progress (The industry now is creating problems for the solutions which they are advertising). For those who are interested in some of the points which aschrijver raised, I would recommend the following:

Guardian has definitely managed to gain a good following but are also facing a lot of challenges in becoming profitable ( They do have the advantage of being a legacy brand hence why i think there is still a need for the community to fund brand discovery if not most alternative media will not be able to survive.

Thanks for the introduction to MeWe. After a read through of their site, it looks really promising and I love the direction in which they are going. I do think that they will have to introduce some sort of voting mechanism in order to balance content discovery and engagement in the future (then again it is a fine balance as engagement should not be a prime metric). Value-added services does definitely sound like one of the key characteristics that humane technologies should have in the future but I do think micro-transactions will have a role to play as well (compensating content creators, target matching, etc.)

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