The Creator Economy Paradigm Shift in Web3: NFTs, Accountability, DAOs, Memetics

1. What is the creator economy

Bill Gates wrote in “Content is King” published in January 1996: “One of the exciting things about the Internet is that anyone with a PC and a modem can publish whatever they create. Content.” This article laid the foundation for the subsequent wave of Internet self-expression. Over the past two decades, the vigorous development of the Internet has allowed us to witness the explosive growth of the creator economy, and users’ initial self-expression hobby has turned into professional content creation.

So what is the creator economy? Simply put, whether you are a writer, painter, photographer, chef, developer, or anyone else with a skill, you have the opportunity to generate income by creating content, and this economic production model is called the creator economy.

The rise of the creator economy depends on the development of various platforms. In China, we have witnessed the prosperity of the official account, Douyin, Xiaohongshu, and Bilibili. There are also social media such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok abroad. In full bloom. Content creators are no longer at the mercy of production and marketing companies, and creators can access potential audiences in a low-cost way across major platforms. At the same time, creators are also looking for more and better ways to monetize their content. Common ones include rewards, advertising traffic sharing, membership, business cooperation, etc., as well as online celebrity agencies and fan reward subscription platforms. Companies such as Patreon, GoFundMe, OnlyFans, and Substack have also emerged to meet the monetization needs of creators.

To a certain extent, the creator economy is based on the development of the platform economy. After creators have worked hard to produce content, the platform enjoys complete rights to data ownership, user relationships, and traffic distribution. . The platform controls the core monetization mechanism, and tens of millions of creators around the world are the driving force of this mechanism. There is no doubt that the platform is the biggest beneficiary in this creator economic market, not the creators of the content itself.

2. The dilemma of creators in Web2

The creators and the platform have a double interest, but the platform, as a powerful party in the distribution of traffic and revenue, makes most creators face an embarrassing situation.

Dilemma 1: Creators do not have actual control over their works

In the Web2 creator economic structure, when the creator completes the publication of the work, the file storage, user access data, and monetization process are all integrated by the platform in a centralized form, and the platform is the actual controller of the ownership and distribution rights of these works. Not only that, some platforms may also use their own advantages to force users to sign some unfair agreements, such as exclusive rights, only allowing works to be published on the platform; or being asked to give up the right to adapt their works in the future.

In addition, because the ownership of the content is incompletely attributed to the creator, the content copyright cannot be traced back to the source. Some Web2 “bringers” realize their own traffic realization through the transfer and plagiarism of different accounts on different platforms.

Dilemma 2: The distribution of interests of the creators is not fair enough

The platform masters all user information preferences, dominates traffic distribution rules, and content popularity and monetization largely depend on algorithms, triggering a vicious circle of unfair benefit acquisition.

Take YouTube as an example, 10% of the top bloggers get 90% of the benefits, and the remaining 10% of the benefits are divided among more than 4,000 bloggers, which shows the unfair distribution of benefits. The top anchors benefited from the early growth of dividends, attracting a group of stable content consumers, and after the run, they attracted the attention of high-quality creators. Although the content creation of some top bloggers has room for substitutability and optimization, considering the base of user attention, advertiser resources and the traffic algorithm of centralized platforms are more inclined to those creators who have already gained attention, the result will lead to Only a few creators can climb to the top and make a living. At the same time, except for a very few top creators, most creators do not have enough negotiating rights when facing the platform, and it is difficult to obtain reasonable remuneration for their works.

Dilemma 3: Centralized Intervention Review

Centralized platforms have specific manual review systems that can directly intervene in monetization through content management or comprehensive review. This approach is variable and lacks transparency, as moderators are likely to decide what content to view or promote based on their own will or moral judgment. Over time, it will be found that both algorithms and human intervention will produce unfair treatment.

Disguised censorship and gatekeeping has been criticized in the public domain. It is not uncommon for some bloggers to have their content deleted or their accounts deleted, and the data associated with creators has disappeared. This opaque operation has affected the enthusiasm of creators to a certain extent.

Dilemma 4: Platforms and creators compete

User preference and behavior data brought by creators is the platform’s most valuable asset, and they hope to lock users into their own ecological network to accumulate the largest proprietary database. Therefore, when some top creators succeeded on the platform and were followed by a large number of loyal users, the platform began to compete with the creators. For example, the popular singer terminated the contract with the record company, and the top video blogger was attacked due to the exclusive agreement. Events such as platform shutdowns also occur from time to time.

As the number of content creators on the platform increases and the ability to monetize sustainably is gradually exhausted, the level playing field for creators to participate in the platform and share economic benefits through monetization is gradually disappearing.

Dilemma 5: Lack of accountability mechanisms

The web is anonymous compared to interactions in the real world. Apathy, disjointness, rudeness, etc. on social media are also eroding the platform. Some malicious “keyboard warrior” behaviors have even caused many content creators to suffer huge negative impacts.

Maybe it’s not just anonymity and a lack of online regulation, but more of a lack of accountability. Accountability stems from our full trust in centralized platforms, believing that platforms can introduce measures to punish malicious behavior and protect creators and users from harm, but the facts go against it.


Centralized Platform VS Decentralized Platform

3. Paradigm transition brought by Web3

In Web2, attracting users through creators is the platform’s native profit method, in which creators do not trade directly with users, but with blockchain technology, creators can no longer rely on the central platform to push content and monetize. Based on the infrastructure of blockchain technology, creators can monetize content and directly interact with fans under the social media protocol on the currency layer, which can realize the paradigm transition from Web2 to Web3. Let’s take a look at the specific aspects. The Great Leap occurred:

NFTs: Return content ownership and control to creators

Any unique idea content can be represented by NFT. As a creator, you can connect any authoring platform to your wallet address and create an account to start creating. When your creation is complete, your work will be “deposited” into your wallet address as a non-fungible token (NFT), and you have absolute ownership. When you want to commercialize your work, you can connect your wallet to any content distribution platform and let your content be automatically recognized. This form of content distribution can provide irrefutable and transparent timestamping and copyright attribution on the public chain, and can also bring new monetization capabilities to artists and knowledge workers.

The monetization process is automatically realized by smart contracts, NFT attribution is realized through decentralized cross-chain oracles, and point-to-point performance and content access data analysis and feeds between works and individual users, such as cost per impression (CMP), per click (CPC), subscriptions, ad impressions, etc. Tokens from different works, different platforms, and different protocols will form a liquid settlement network, and the tokens of various protocols will flow into the creator’s wallet with the final ecological token where the creator is located.

Therefore, creators have complete ownership of their works and the realization network. The same is true of your user relationships, which will be recorded at the protocol layer. No matter which platform you migrate to, all user interaction data such as your user subscriptions, fan relationships, and social records will always be with you.

Introduce monetary accountability

Civility stems from clear and enforceable accountability measures when norms are broken. The Internet does not need cruel censorship or centralized regulators, it only needs a decentralized accountability currency layer to suppress bad behavior, reward positive contributions, return to quality and responsibility itself, and continue the true creative content experience, so as to avoid click competition, Phishing and other provocative behaviors are convenient, thus leading the Internet civilization positively.

When decentralized currency accountability works on the platform, creators can monetize directly from their fans or other compliant online interactions, avoiding opaque behind-the-scenes operations such as algorithmic traffic skew. This method has positive effects on both sides, positive: creators can directly get sponsorship and rewards from users; negative: fraud, brutality and other dishonest acts will not gain any benefits. That is, more precise and democratic reward distribution mechanisms that reduce crude or provocative content, decentralized services that democratize the network by eliminating single points of failure, and equalization of financial access via a P2P structure.

Decentralized Web also involves the question of how to pursue spammers and malicious slurs in Web3. Web3 social media requires users to hold a minimum collateral token in order to interact with the platform. Collateral can be automatically returned to the user during the interaction cycle, but those who spam and maliciously disinformation will lose their collateral immediately. The price of this behavior is not too high today, and in the future the platform will change the incentives so that it is no longer profitable.


Examples of some groundbreaking Web3 services

DAO: Let creators own their own decentralized platform

With blockchain, one can transform the platform into a decentralized community run by creators. At present, many creators have established decentralized platforms with the help of technologies such as blockchain. DAOs and other collective ownership mechanisms create a way to break the platform’s centralized control of the creator’s environment, enabling creators to collaborate without external intermediaries dictating terms of engagement. In a DAO, the governance system is determined by the members, and there is no pressure from outside shareholders to squeeze profits. In contrast, in a creator DAO, the owners, aka participants, are the people who create content, distribute it, consume it, and value it.

DAOs align incentives with stakeholders and remove the need to capture value, resulting in a democratized, decentralized content landscape. Here, creators have control over their work, how it is distributed, and how it is valued. Fans who are passionate about creators’ works will be willing to pay more for these works, allowing creators to better capture fans’ willingness to pay, and ultimately content creators no longer need to have millions of fan traffic to make a living, but It is possible to survive on the funding of a few passionate people.

‘Memetics’ will spark greater creative drive

Memes are the Chinese translation of memes, and “memetics” are a unique cultural phenomenon in the development of Web3. Based on the rapid copying and dissemination ability of Internet users, many memes are completed on the basis of content created by predecessors, more or less referring to interesting, widely disseminated, and infectious online content, such as A picture with text, or a video, etc. Many of the “ghost animal” videos we see on station B are also in this category. It stands to reason that subsequent creators should also get a certain amount of remuneration for their secondary creations. However, under traditional Internet conditions, it is difficult to trace the adaptation history of the work, so it becomes nonsense to obtain remuneration for the original creation. In the Web3 era, this problem can be solved to some extent. For example, based on Mirror’s revenue sharing function, users can not only clearly restore how many predecessors “memes” are based on the production of a certain work, but also directly give corresponding rewards to the adaptation objects through smart contracts. In this way, the enthusiasm of people to do original work will be mobilized accordingly.

4. Write at the end

The creator ecology of Web3 has begun to take shape, whether it is based on the blockchain, the underlying system of NFT, or the self-built token system in the platform. Creators can use ecological tools to complete the initial content production, and complete the revenue realization process through platforms, trading markets, communities and other channels. Although Web3 cannot immediately help all creators get complete fairness, it can at least help some creators who need help to obtain ownership freedom and a relatively fair and transparent market distribution mechanism.

At the same time, the direct dialogue between creators and users is realized in a constructive way in the community, and a spiral positive feedback loop is brought about by the decentralized currency accountability system, so that the excitement of users will spread like wildfire and pass it on to others , we look forward to Web3 finally bringing us back together.

Posted by:CoinYuppie,Reprinted with attribution to:
Coinyuppie is an open information publishing platform, all information provided is not related to the views and positions of coinyuppie, and does not constitute any investment and financial advice. Users are expected to carefully screen and prevent risks.

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