Re-imagining how world-changing ideas are shared on the internet
Today, there is no good solution for sharing deep long-form thoughts. You could choose to host your content on your own custom website using something like WordPress, but that involves a lot of setup, and you have to build your audience from scratch. On the flipside, you could post on a platform like Twitter or Medium, which will distribute your ideas to their pre-existing audience. But then you have no control over your content, who sees it, or how it's monetized.
Today, that all changes. The DeSo blockchain is launching support for long-form content, and enabling the frictionless sharing of deep, thoughtful ideas for the first time.
With DeSo, your content, your social graph, and even your likes and tips, are all stored on a decentralized blockchain. As a result, when you make a post on DeSo, it gets replicated across every node on the network, which comes with many advantages:
- Built-in audience & distribution. Your post shows up in every one of the hundreds of apps that are built on DeSo's open firehose of content (including the one you're reading on right now). You can explore many of these apps here, and, because DeSo is an open platform, there are new apps launching all the time, steadily increasing the reach of your content.
- Email your followers (coming soon). Even though DeSo is a decentralized blockchain, it supports basic social primitives like follows, which results in the creation of an open on-chain social graph consisting of everyone who's interested in your content-- but that's not all.
- With DeSo, every follower can opt to automatically share their email with you, encrypted on-chain, making it so that you can get the value of an email subscriber with the ease of a simple follow.
- Additionally, because the emails are encrypted, you have full control over which apps you use to notify your followers, and which, if any, of those emails get notifications.
- Easy setup, but unlimited customization. Using an app like diamondapp.com, which I'm publishing this post on, you can start writing without any setup beyond just creating a profile. However, even though it's easy to start, there's no limit to how much you can customize the viewing experience.
- Self-hosting. If you want, you can host your posts on your own website, and just make a query to any DeSo node to fetch your content. Soon we expect there will be automated services that make this as easy as registering a domain. And note that your blog posts will show up on your website no matter where you publish them from.
- Subscriptions, private content, and monetization (coming soon). Suppose you want to make it so that your content is only visible to people who pay a monthly fee. DeSo also supports encrypted on-chain content, and apps like Diamond and Pearl will fully support this use-case with basic credit card payments built-in.
- The apps keep coming. Because DeSo is an open ecosystem, there is no limit to what developers can build on top of the open firehose of content. As time goes on, we expect new apps to continue launching that give writers and readers more options for how to produce and consume ideas. And you'll get your pick of whichever ones you want, no lock-in.
- Web3 monetization tools. Why stop at a monthly subscription? Because your content is on-chain, you immediately get access to a whole suite of monetization tools that weren't possible on other platforms.
- Micro-tipping. Blockchains enable extremely cheap micro-transactions, and one of DeSo's most popular features is the ability to tip for content (instead of just "liking" it). If you've never been paid for content, it's a pretty magical feeling. Most apps support this functionality with a little "diamond" button at the bottom of your post, but we expect many novel forms of tipping to emerge as developers continue to iterate.
- NFTs. NFTs are a great way to engage with your followers. You can give them away, sell them to raise funds, gate content on them, and much more. With DeSo, even your posts themselves can be minted as NFTs so your followers can "own" one of your ideas!
- Creator Coins (aka "Social Tokens"). Creator Coins are an amazing DeSo feature that allows your followers to invest directly into a coin associated with your profile. They are optional, but many creators have raised significant funds with them. You can learn more about Creator Coins here.
- DAOs. DAOs are similar to Creator Coins in that your followers get a coin in exchange for an investment. However, they are more flexible, and are typically tied to the success of a mission rather than a person's reputation. You can learn more about DAOs, and launch your own, on DAODAO, another popular DeSo app.
- Resistant to censorship. Because DeSo is a decentralized blockchain, your content is resistant to censorship. Individual apps can make decisions about what content to show, but blanket bans at the protocol level are impossible the same way freezing your funds is impossible on Bitcoin. Your keys = your content.
- Constant innovation on the application layer. Today, DeSo has a large ecosystem of hundreds of apps. But it's important to understand that, because DeSo is a completely open platform, anyone can build a new app on top of its content that innovates in ways nobody can predict. Unlike centralized platforms, where companies gain a monopoly on content and then stop innovating, DeSo creates an ecosystem where content is open, and therefore competition and innovation never stop.
Re-Imagining Writing on the Internet
The advantages of publishing content to a decentralized blockchain like DeSo stem from a core shift in the structure of content ownership.
In the past, content was owned and monetized by corporations like Twitter or Medium. Users would post to these platforms, and then rely solely on them to distribute that content to their followers. This resulted in a monopolization of content by the corporations, stifling innovation.
Instead of being able to publish wherever they wanted, writers were forced to publish to Twitter because that's where all their readers were. And similarly, readers were forced to use Twitter's app because that's where all the writers were publishing.
The diagram below shows a visual representation of this.
In contrast, with DeSo, content is not owned by a corporate entity. Rather, it is a utility that any app developer can build on top of. With this model, the curation of content doesn't get monopolized by a single entity because the content is open. Instead, apps must compete to have the best user experience in order to retain readers.
The impact of this shift cannot be understated: DeSo allows us to move from a single-app ecosystem, where Twitter monopolizes all of our data and forces us to use solely their app, to an ecosystem where thousands of apps can all compete on having the best user experience. In terms of impact, this shift will likely be on-par with the shift from a centrally-planned economy to a free market economy. Only for information, rather than for goods and services.
Lastly, it is important to note that increased competition and innovation in the application layer does not just result in "better Twitter reader apps." Rather, it allows for verticalization of apps based on the skills of the developers producing them. For example, apps in other countries like India will likely be managed and curated by people who are actually native to that country, as opposed to everyone there effectively importing curation from Silicon Valley a la Twitter. The same goes for topic-based verticals. There may be a politics-focused app, a sports-focused app, etc... And even within politics, there can be different apps with different curation depending on one's political leanings.
The diagram below doesn't quite do justice to what this shift will look like. But it helps to paint the picture of competition and innovation at the application layer.
Give It a Shot!
The best part about all this is that you can try everything we're talking about for yourself. DeSo has many apps to choose from, but a great one to get started on is diamondapp.com. Create an account, make your first post, and you might be surprised how much you earn in tips just for saying "hello!"