In Web3, platforms succeed by being protocols – which means people succeed by being platforms . There may be no more cringe-worthy combinations of three words, but — God help us — Zach was right:
“I’ve talked a lot about how I think we should design our computing platforms around people rather than applications, and I guess that’s what I’m talking about.
On today’s phones, the most basic element is the app, right? That’s how your phone is organized and how you navigate it.
But I hope that, in the future, the organizing principle will be you, your identity, your stuff, your digital products, your connections, and then you’ll be able to switch seamlessly between different experiences and different devices. —Interview with Ben Thompson
While Mark Zuckerberg may sound out of touch with reality, he’s unfortunately very much in touch with the virtual world of his new brand, which draws our attention to three aspects.
First , Zuckerberg sensed an opportunity from fragmentation to lay online railroad tracks — an “organizing principle” that would apply universally to the internet, and perhaps even to all computers. We can say that the internet still operates in an economy equivalent to agriculture, because where the most precious digital commodity – data – is entrusted to the various platforms: Spotify, YouTube, Twitter, TikTok and, of course, Facebook. Zuckerberg sees the virtual world as a railroad between these local economies, allowing them to exchange data with user permission. Powerful users don’t mean they have a financial advantage. After all, Zuckerberg’s online railroad track construction is also a price.
Second , while Zuckerberg wants to lay the track so that data can be transmitted universally across platforms, he also wants to make data collection, control and communication more decentralized. Zuckerberg hints that the foundation of the new internet is a kind of storage box stuffed with forgotten sweaters and discarded posters of our favorite bands: “Your identity, your stuff, your digital products, your Networking.” Zuckerberg understands that in Web3, fragmentation is inevitable as users start owning and managing their data and Metaverse data management – even in the world of Meta, they don’t do it well Monetization. After all, people still need to manage their own data, not only for the continuous transmission of data from one platform to another, but also to experience a virtual world tailored to individual tastes, skills, and social network tendencies. Zuckerberg suggested that our experience of virtual worlds must be personalized to the individual.
At first glance, these two principles — an Internet of completely common standards and an Internet of completely independent standards — appear to be in conflict. But note Zuckerberg’s key words: The real purpose of both is seamless movement from device to device and world to world. To move seamlessly within our own private virtual world, we need a common catalog of all available experiences, giving us personalized options. In other words, the principles of a universal internet and a fragmented internet are completely interdependent. For Each (which is a type of control flow statement in computer programming languages commonly used to loop through elements in an array or collection) is based on the same premise that when aggregating and passing data, individuals replace platforms, each other, and platforms itself.
In other words, these three things boil down to a much simpler question. When people own their content, including its data and Metaverse data, they also own its distribution, they become the new middleman.
People become the new platform.
Then again, we can say that people are the old platform: after all, the internet was built as a P2P network of individuals, not just to connect with each other, but with each other (hence the early chat rooms) . So why is Web3 returning us to this seemingly outdated model after Web2 hegemonically integrated winner-take-all platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram?
To understand the fundamental difference between Web1 and Web3, look at the Brave Browser example: Advertisers pay users of the browser through Brave’s native token (BAT) to watch ads, and users earn more than twice as much as Brave itself . Users replace traditional advertising platforms, even though they are directly incentivized to share in Brave itself as newly discovered token holders. It’s one thing for users to connect their network to a new platform, just like in Web1 — it’s another when they have the incentive to do so.
So by giving people meaningful ownership of digital content for the first time, Web3 isn’t just transferring ownership from the platform to the user. More importantly, it incentivizes users to also become content distributors, the platform itself.
All this sounds like an exclusive pillage of the internet, as if Web3’s crypto upstarts want to use a dog’s money in their coffers for the greatest power of our time: the ability to unload their bags. This narrative makes it easy to understand why people are the new platform. In Web3, it is our personal voice, the louder and more subjective the better, to market ourselves and our portfolio.
Let’s keep this story going for a moment. Here, Web3 simply adds financial incentives to the internet’s long-established social network. Online identities are pliable shadows of our clumsy physical selves, and the promise of online identities has always been in our ability to manipulate them for social and financial capital; hyper-financialization in this narrative would only serve as an additional incentive for LLAP, establishing The most successful one can be – if not always – true to oneself.In other words, Web3 inspires us to be prominent voices of thought and empathy, and better yet, prominent clowns.
But here, we need to admit a contrary statement. Not only does Web3 incentivize people to promote narratives by giving them an open marketplace to buy and sell, it also gives them the tools to promote narratives instead of the centralized marketplaces that traditionally act as toll collectors for goods and information found online. Just as important as the incentive for shilling information is that they are born out of a distributed ledger that captures, understands and shares this information in a fully decentralized way.
Take the Dune Analytics dashboard, for example: Anyone can create a dashboard that aggregates chained data to show the relative financial success of different projects. Being analytical is the new way to get promoted. Everyone becomes an advertiser. Or choose The Graph. Users can use GRAPH’s own token as a kind of vote to “curate” their favorite projects — signaling that they want the indexer to index those projects’ data. We are no longer just incentivized to share information, but now with the tools to incentivize others to let us share information, everyone becomes a marketing agency.
So re-financing for ourselves is just the logical conclusion to disintermediate the traditional players who have long determined how we think on the Internet, and how we think about the Internet itself: what information floats Out of the water, we were told what to buy. In Web3, we decide these ourselves.
But putting data in our hands, in terms of how we think about it, manage it, own it, and financialize it — it’s still only the first step in Web3, its opening salvo. The next step is not only to provide users with tools to track information, but to develop the information, create their own protocols for contributing and earning rewards on-chain. Uniswap is an example: anyone can become a liquidity provider, replacing traditional market makers and earning most of the value. For all the “Uber of [random industry]” hype of the past decade, Uniswap is arguably the Uber of Wall Street, giving anyone access to its marketplace, but the difference is that LPs are not the supply side of transactions, but It is the transaction itself, and the user is the market. Uniswap points out that the power of individuals is growing, not only to build platforms like Dune (Dune Analytics) or Graph (GRT), but to become the platforms themselves.
In other words, the next step is not to provide users with a way to aggregate existing types of data, but to fully coordinate and collect new forms of data.
Or more simply, the next step is to give users a way to build their own platform.
In this sense, Web3 marked both the culmination of the last decade of user-generated creation, the dramatic drop in the cost of code, and the beginning of permissionless builds. Together, these two trends kick off the next wave of people becoming their own platforms.
First, the cost of the code is low. While 14-year-old Degen is expected to write multi-billion dollar Defi protocols, Web3 is, in a way, the pinnacle of no-code solutions over the past decade. Since smart contracts are open source, anyone can use or modify them; basic financial functions, like sharing revenue among multiple parties, which required months of development work with Strike, are now available in minutes via sites like Mirror Split contract execution.
In other words, open source protocols accelerate innovation by allowing anyone to build, so that they can quickly replace closed Web2 protocols with the right economic incentives for creators. However, this makes it difficult for the platform to extract value, as the open source environment allows anyone to offload the platform and redeploy the platform with lower commissions to attract consumers: this is what SushiSwp famously did to Uniswap, it changed the protocol to users Offers additional fees, and what Hive users did to Steemit after getting frustrated with Tron’s acquisition. So the real winner is the individual consumer. When others can hard fork them with cheaper, community-run versions, platforms lose their moats and consumers win with lower fees.
But here it gets interesting. Let’s remember that individual consumers are also the ones who can build platforms in a low-code environment – and they are incentivized to do so by holding tokens. The premise of smart contract composability is that one smart contract can invoke the data and functions of another smart contract, much like a DJ might remix another artist’s work, often understood as software Lego: one developer builds on another Personnel Code Capability.
However, its impact has redefined business as we know it. After all, when companies can take advantage of each other’s work time, they no longer need to build code from scratch in a silo (the harsh and costly construction environment of silo projects). What’s more, when individuals can build on each other’s work cheaply, companies don’t need to exist anymore.As we saw on Rari Capital (a permissionless lending protocol), a Defi aggregator created by teenagers with over $1 billion in TVL (Total Locked Value), anyone with a computer and a little development experience Anyone – in theory – can create a protocol.
That’s the gist of our second trend: it’s easier than ever to produce content when it’s engaging/responsive to other content and builds on it, whether it’s via Subtweet, TikTok replies, hard forks , or composable smart contracts. In short, the transformation of the creator economy that we’ve seen over the past decade is now playing out in tech. Just as the rise of influencers and the decline of corporate legitimacy allowed individuals to become the primary distributors of brands and eventually their own (Taylor, Rihanna, even George Clooney), a handful of developers It can replace the entire company and build a decentralized financial track.
Just as fans are increasingly becoming creators by copying their work on platforms like TikTok, users of DAOs and protocols are increasingly becoming their workers, helping to build their communities and code , because composability removes the line between consumption and creation.
All of this explains how people become their own platforms, but the deeper question is: questionable coins aside, why do they do it?
Who are we online? Well, so far, we’ve left our footprints on our fragmented platforms: our music preferences on Spotify, our favorite restaurants on OpenTable, our professional selves on LinkedIn. Basically, we’ve been miniature heaps of data in every platform persona we use, expressing ourselves only as much as the platform allows — like bowls of ingredients that never come together into a single dish.
We have to split our identities to fit the context of different platforms, a surreal kind of our inclination (and instinct) to fit our identities in different physical spaces and communities. We may see here the fundamental promise of the internet – that we can explore ourselves online without fear of censorship or judgment. To paraphrase Max, we might be looking for jobs on LinkedIn in the morning, Instagram in the afternoon, criticizing each other on Twitter after dinner, and lustful on Tinder in the evening, instead of letting those identities define us.
In this process of subdividing the self into a series of performance works, however, something is lost – not only the division of ourselves into separate entities, but the way we structure ourselves according to the limited tasks of each platform.
At its simplest level, Web3 allows us to receive better recommendations and find better opportunities by aggregating our online data and sharing the parts we think are relevant, allowing us to do so without fear of censorship or judgment Bring our all to the platform. Web3 enables us to traverse all these spaces and carry that identity in the form of an address with on-chain data, while controlling the sharing of those parts of our choosing.
In Web2’s parlance, you can use data from the videos you watch on YouTube to help determine the music you like on Spotify — and you can also choose to share this data with advertising agreements directly from your tastes and needs Earn money from relevant ads, just like social media platforms have always done on your behalf. (Indeed, the benefits of cross-platform data aggregation help explain the success of Google and Facebook, not for any particular product, but for collating products in our professional and personal lives). Adult entertainment platforms are likely to be among the first to take advantage of Web3 governance, not only because decentralization eases user concerns about corporate surveillance, which prevents them from sharing more data, but also because that data can be used to Provide more targeted results for different users.
But more importantly, Web3 allows us to go beyond the limited language of existing platforms to create higher-level, living, breathing identities on-chain. Our data doesn’t need to be limited to our music choices or our conversations with strangers on dating apps. It can include our contribution to building community in the DAO, to writing articles that others draw upon and cite, to our success in promoting others around us. For better or worse, it will include more and more biometrics — cortisol levels, blood sugar, heartbeats, how we make eye contact, how we smile, how we walk. Ultimately, it will show who we are, not just as consumer taste boxes, but as active creators, contributors, and collaborators—as people.
It turns out that the real promise of owning data is not just that we can store, monetize, and share it ourselves. This is because the motivation to do so will also motivate us to track more advanced and personalized data than ever before. In the short term, this data will allow us to replicate our offline identities on-chain as we showcase our personal skills and achievements. In the long run, as we transform from online participants to online curators, this data will automate our online behaviors, from writing emails to making investments, just to confirm the behaviors we want to self-enforce online.
In the long run, we will be able to create hypermorphic selves online that are no longer our offline selves, but collective creations—perhaps ones that write emails for us based on collective data, or even don’t need it at all E-mail will be able to communicate with each other’s selves. Perhaps, eventually, we will become their creatures as they change our daily behavior based on data from people similar to us so we can better optimize our time.
What about in the end? We might end up seeing different versions of ourselves, all kinds of characters in giant RPGs online: job seeker, complimenter-Fisher, critic, flirt. But these versions of us are not restricted to a specific platform. They will be full-fledged creations that allow us to be newcomers both online and offline. Our online identities will become LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter themselves, rather than assuming LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter are pre-formatted identities. These data aggregators derive identities based on the data of those closest to us, and Help shape their identity.
At this point, we are not far from who we are in real life, we are creators and creators of the social fabric around us. That’s why being our own platform is so powerful, so promising, and perhaps a little disconcerting.
Back in 2016, Joel Mogro proposed the core difference between building a business on the blockchain and building a business on the Internet: On the Internet, platforms like Google and Facebook operate on largely worthless open-source protocols (TCP). /IP), while on a distributed ledger, the protocol itself captures value in a country-like currency, reflecting the GDP-like value of the applications built on it. The problem for Monero is that it is difficult for blockchain applications on top of the protocol to add value on their own – not only because they are open source, interoperable, user-owned, and don’t own their own liquidity, but simply because Users invest in the underlying protocol in order to invest in the upper-layer application. Therefore, the protocol tokens used by the application generate value.
A few years later, each application has its own token, and there are two consequences that seem to threaten Mongro’s (Nobel economist, father of the euro) argument:
First , value *can* be accumulated at the platform level through own currency.
Second , having more tokens of much lower value means that there is a real switching cost of moving from one platform to another as liquidity disappears. They may represent fleeting victories, but both Uniswap and OpenSea are stories of conquering microcap liquidity.
We might say that the FAT protocol paper ends here. Web3’s platforms are starting to look a lot like Web2’s and Web1’s P2P platforms: Pipelines, Airbnbs, and eBay, which win markets by capturing liquidity for rare, irreplaceable items and services, whose strong liquidity moats provide them lucrative commission.
But there is a difference because: To gain users first, platforms must increasingly airdrop their tokens, not only incentivizing users to use the platform, but more importantly, growing its long-term by having their network use it as well value. No self-respecting platform under SEC oversight would say they are user-owned, but the fact that platforms must cede market share of governance to users tells us that what’s revolutionary about Web3 is that users and management don’t Then there is the opposite of the transaction, but it is closely integrated. In a sense, the platform belongs to the people .
What if the user drops the token for a quick transaction or two? A token can earn a user, but it cannot retain them – for this, users must jointly decide that the project and the token are valuable to them both practically, socially, and emotionally. The real value is determined by social consensus, where users come together to support the value of the token enough to motivate others to care about the project as well. Even open markets don’t work that way, with speculators generating usage, not users generating speculation. Value is truly in the hands of the people.
But there is one last untapped opportunity, and that is the opportunity for the next few years. Not only will users have control over their data on the Web3 platform – their tokens, their contributions and their social records – but they will increasingly have ways to leverage this data as a way to join emerging communities and test their predictions and chained credentials to find a job. The platform’s secret opportunity lies in incentivizing users to collect this data for exploitation. It may sound counterintuitive when the platform does not own user data in Web3, but there are two main points behind it.
First, platforms have the opportunity to build an underlying social graph of unique data, and then cannibalize themselves by letting other platforms exploit it: in other words, the real financial opportunity for each platform is to become the protocol on which other platforms build.
Second, at least in theory, if not always in practice, these platforms are not much larger than their users combined.Because it is a user management platform, owns its token, and even uses the platform to trade in the token.
So what we end up seeing is a kind of degradation of the Web2 structure: platforms all become protocols, and people create their own networks on top of these new protocols.
Or, if you like: People become the new platform.
Posted by:CoinYuppie，Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/web3-0-world-platforms-become-protocols-people-create-networks-on-protocols/
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