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The Monetization of Online Presence 2.0--A Glimpse

Updated on March 11, 2019
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Jonathan is a Cryptocurrency researcher and enthusiast and advocate for the decentralization of the internet and disruption of Big Data

Winter Gathering in the Lobby at the Bus Stop Theater by Caitlin McGuire
Winter Gathering in the Lobby at the Bus Stop Theater by Caitlin McGuire | Source

The days of decentralizing online content and its monetization are upon us. Brave browser is already up and running with over five million active users and manual tipping function activated. Verified publishers are already being paid out in Basic Attention Token, with tokens soon to be widely spendable. Auto contribute (essentially an automated tipping/reward system) is running in Beta and Developer versions of the product and, along with Brave Rewards, is expected to be released later this year.

BitTube has just released its AirTime Extension which helps redistribute wealth away from advertisers and toward users. When the extension is enabled, it functions as an ad blocker, and you earn TUBE currency by simply browsing the web. Social media channel and website owners also earn TUBE every time a visitor with the extension installed visits their site; and the ad free BitTube platform--where you also earn TUBE for both content creation and viewing--is due to be upgraded later this year.

Backed by venture capitalist Tim Draper, Datawallet is hard at work on a solution to give users back control of their data and disrupt the business as usual (read, "We own your data, not you the user") model. Users not only will have much greater control of how their data is used, but will also be compensated for it.

Social media platforms and blog sites which tokenize (essentially monetize via the use of a cryptocurrency) your contribution and participation are springing up almost by the month. There's Steemit, Cent, Minds, Publish0x, Yours.org, and my favorite, Uptrennd (please note that Uptrennd is currently crypto-only content with plans to branch out to other content in a few months), just to name a few.

Countless different online cryptocurrency tipping systems--some proprietary to their native platforms--and others with cross platform capability, are also up and running, with dozens more in the works.

These are all working products. Albeit still in their Beta stages, internet users are already able to make use of them and start earning cryptocurrency today. Yes, you. Yes, anyone.

The writing has been on the wall with regard to the centralized monetization of your data and online presence for some time now. Which is why you had industry giants like Brendan Eich of Brave Browser/Basic Attention Token (creator of JavaScript and cofounder of Mozilla Firefox) begin the hard work years ago of taking up arms against monolithic corporations, which had over time created an internet environment much more centralized than what many had envisioned for it decades ago. Consumers are increasingly wary and fed up with their data being used to endlessly enrich already enormously wealthy corporations who don't care about them, sacrificing their privacy all the while.

People are tired of not being able to view their favorite content without constantly having to 'whitelist,' or turn off their ad blocker at every turn, only to have to switch it back on again. And if we have to see that damned "we use cookies" button one more time, amirite?

People are tired of the rampant clickbait-y, sensationalist junk they see online everyday, driven by the desire for ad revenue producing clicks, often with no concern for quality, truth or nuance whatsoever. If your site gets a lot of traffic, and someone is willing to pay you to place an ad there, who cares, right? Money is money. To hell with truth and integrity!

People are ready for an alternative. People are hungry for an alternative. No longer driven solely by revenue generating clicks, but by revenue directly from their visitors, creators will finally be motivated — as well as judged by — the quality of their content. Which is how it should be.

Twitter and YouTube are becoming increasingly notorious for censoring content that doesn't align with their or their partners' motives. Bots summarily suspend accounts which have violated no terms without warning, and then provide you with literally zero customer service, choosing to send you off on a bot driven endless goose chase instead.

The first, entirely ad-based iteration of online content creation, has always unduly benefited the advertisers and platform providers, rarely giving the average YouTube channel owner or blogger a fair chance, a fair cut, or sufficient motivation to continue sharing their knowledge, talent and skill. And we all pay the price for their absence. There are some centralized platforms like Medium and Hubpages which seem to provide a good opportunity for a large swath of people to get their talents seen and services utilized. But all too often, only those who are able to garner a huge following are able to monetize their online presence in any meaningful way, or even just get their message out at all. I see no reason why people who aren’t full time creators shouldn’t be able to be rewarded for their participation in the online economy. We can benefit from their insights and talents just as much as we can from those who are attempting to make a living at it. Should those who put in the most time and energy get more exposure? Sure. But should those who aren’t doing it full time get none? I say no.

Of course, changing the model up a bit will not completely solve all these problems. There will always be content publishers with little regard for truth and integrity who are able to garner a blind following, and thus financial support, no matter the model. I'm no purist. I believe some degree of centralization to filter out the most egregious cases of misinformation, and certainly lawlessness, are both desirable and necessary. The above offerings, especially in their current beta stages, are by no means perfect solutions to these issues. But they are a step in the right direction. Some of the very first steps taken in that direction in fact, by bold people with a vision for a better internet, and a better world.

I personally find it pretty exciting that you can immediately get a taste of this new world and join in the emerging movement away from a model which disproportionately benefits the already ridiculously rich and powerful at the expense of the rest of us. Which fosters an endless echo chamber of outdated outrage and overly centralized news. Which keeps hidden from us--talent, knowledge, and connections we would otherwise be able to experience and explore. And which frankly seems to always be an increasingly cumbersome nuisance to navigate, rather than the pleasant experience it could and should be.

To further explore the new innovations mentioned in the article, and to support my work in bringing about a better internet, visit my website to learn more, or click on the links in the article. And Thanks for reading my first Hubpages blog!

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