Web 3.0 (developing)
Although web 2 did favour the creator economy. Making its entry barrier low and allowing more user engagement and interaction. It did have its flaws. There wasn’t a balance of power in the economy. The platforms held all powers and made autocratic decisions while the creators have always remained at the mercy of their platform-centric decisions. These decisions prioritize profit-making over empowering creators.
What exactly is Web 3.0?
It is the developing third wave of the internet where apps and websites would analyze data in a very smart way. Data spanning across most if not all of our daily activities would be processed by machines.
It is the closest to the actualization of the original decentralized plan of the internet by the man who founded the www – Tim Berners Lee. He called it the semantic web.
More interestingly it wouldn’t be ruled by centralized giants as in web 2 but rather by users who can each own a part of these platforms by contributing to the platform’s growth. An example of such a model in action is Mirror. On Mirror the $WRITE token allows writers on the platform to become a part of the Mirror DAO. The DAO then determines the evolution of the platform.
Worthy of note is that data would be stored in a more decentralized way using open-source protocols like crypto native blockchains.
Four Game-Changing features of web 3
- NFTS: NFTs introduce a kind of digital scarcity and uniqueness that aims to give power back to creators. In the past creators have tried to adopt direct monetization in a bid to create scarcity. Using e-books, albums or even subscriptions. The major drawback has been the illegal duplication and distribution of these resources. Here’s where NFTs come in. This technology with its verifiable on-chain records enables creators to maximally utilise the passion of a few 100 true fans rather than millions of fans. These 100 true fans could then be incentivized with digital bragging rights and other forms of exclusive access. While the masses keep enjoying the almost free content. An example of a platform already pushing this model with the music industry is Catalog.
- Social Tokens: social tokens would enable creators to have control of their relationship with their fans encouraging more direct engagement. The fans on the other hand would see supporting the artist, not as an act of help but rather as an investment. These fans would do all they can to assist the creator’s success. As the creator’s success would determine the token’s success leading to profit for the community of fans hodling the token.
- Data ownership and portability: The current web 2 structure puts creators at a loss whenever they attempt to leave a platform or even get de-platformed by the platform itself. Such would mean leaving behind their audience on these platforms. Future-centric platforms like substack have already begun to give creators total ownership of their audience. Substack allows writers to take along email lists of their subscribed audience if they ever decided to leave the platform.
- DAOs – community ownership and decision making : DAOs – decentralized autonomous organizations are a perfect model of community-focused platforms. They are online communities owned and operated by their members. Membership is mostly through a community token. Bringing this into the creator economy would mean decisions on algorithms, monetization and even what features to be developed on these platforms would be jointly made by the community. Decisions that would previously have been made by the profit-oriented platforms alone. As earlier mentioned a perfect example of this model would be Mirror.
The Platforms of the Future
The web 3 revolution isn’t going to be led by a single company but rather by companies who become decentralized in decision making, activate portability of data for creators and activate a medium for tokenization on their platforms. While opponents of the web 3 movement would make claims that web 2 giants currently have users on their side. I’ll say it’s only a matter of time. Either these web 2 giants progressively decentralize and adopt these models. Or get ready to tussle their place with the wave of future-centric platforms coming up. Policy after policy, the battle lines are getting drawn.