I originally wrote this post on January 12 / 2023, but I decided to update it with new information that has come to light. I also eliminated the section on Web2 blogging alternatives since those havn't changed and I want to focus on Web3 tech. I have had a chance to use the newer ones a little more, and added a new alternative to the list which I discovered recently. I honestly believe that the future is multichain/crosschain, and that we will have better integration in the future. So your choices won't be carved in stone. We will be able to focus more on the dapps and chose the best ones for our needs, as long as they run on a solid and reliable platform. Here is a good article from Spatium Stories. I completely agree with his strategy, and couldn't have said it better myself. It applies to NFT's but also content and even tokens. I like what Deso is doing with megaswap.xyz. You can convert coins from different chains without having to go thru a custodial exchange. You can swap directly from your wallet. The same should be true for content as well.
Paragraph.xyz is similar to Mirror, but the UI is better, and it is easier to use. It integrates with the Farcaster web3 social network for social interaction and that is a good feature. It also compares favorably to Substack and Medium. Paragraph supports monetization with subscriptions and gated/premium content. There is also an integration with highlight.xyz for minting and selling NFT's, which can be used in the gating process, or embedded in a post (like below).
It also has good discovery for reading posts, but it could benefit from a text search which is supposed to be coming in a future release. There are also some rumours that some AI features will also be added which could be very useful in writing posts. It will be interesting to see what they come up with.
I was really surprised with this one. It is running on a Bitcoin Sidechain or "Layer" called Stacks.co which supports smart contracts, so that you can finally have Defi, NFT's, social etc. with bitcoin as the settlement layer (instead of Eth in the case of most defi, social etc.) I discovered this when I started testing and researching Nostr, which has a similar approach in the sense that it supports Bitcoin lightning network for payments (but it doesn't run on Stacks in their case). However, the concept is similar.
I was surprised at how fast and easy it was to onboard and use app.sigle.io for blogging. I don't know what the future holds, so I am hedging my bets and keeping an open mind. In my opinion, any reasonable decentralized solution on Web3 is better than the centralized Web2 counterpart, and blogging is no exception. You do need a bitcoin wallet that handles stx tokens. I used something called Xverse, which is a chrome extension, and works similar to Metamask, except that its supports the stacks.co platform instead of EVM. It will be interesting to see how the market reacts to this alternative. I never thought I would say this but, it seems to function quite well. However you will have to upgrade for premium features like newsletters and monetization.
I have also been testing some Bitcoin/NFT platforms and they are in the early stages as well as the social platforms. But they seem to have developers working on them. Try it and see if you agree.
Bulb (Solana protocol)
This is a really nice blogging platform which I just discovered recently, and it is quite new. I have started testing it out, but so far I am suitable impressed. It is well worth evaluating, especially if you are familiar with Solana. It has a unique incentive structure which encourages participation, and quality posts. I was able to enter and save my first blog post, but was not able to publish it until I earn more points. This results in higher quality content, and more commitment from the authors and readers. There is also a way to monetize premium content. I like the reading list feature, which adds bookmarked posts to my list of articles to read later. I believe that that this platform has a lot of potential. But you will need a Solana account to write posts. An account isn't required for reading, so its easy for anyone to browse the articles.
Mirror (Eth/Optimism L2)
Mirror.xyz is a blogging platform that allows users to create and publish their own content. It is designed to be user-friendly and easy to use, with a variety of customization options and templates to choose from. Mirror.xyz also offers features such as social media integration, SEO optimization, and the ability to monetize content through advertising and sponsorships. With a focus on community and collaboration, Mirror.xyz also offers the ability for users to connect with and follow other bloggers, as well as comment and share content. Posts can be “collected” as NFT’s by readers, and they can also subscribe to blogger’s posts. But you will need an ethereum wallet such as Metamask to do monetary transactions. It has a dashboard with document management features.They use an L2 sidechain called Optimism to save on gas fees when publishing posts since eth is usually so expensive. So, you will have to create an account there as well, and transfer a small amount of funds.
This is a dedicated blogging platform on the Deso blockchain which has features similar to other blogging platforms, and is integrated to the other Deso apps. So, all your posts will show up automatically in other app feeds which is good for discovery, and social interaction with the Deso community. You will need a Deso account to onboard. But that will give you access to all the other Deso apps as well. You can also monetize content by receiving rewards, and micropayment tips called "Diamonds", or selling Creator coins, which you will get when you setup an account. Zirkels also has good document management features on the main dashboard. Deso is open to anyone, and doesn’t require an invitation. See my previous article on Web3 social media platforms. The Deso core developers are planning several important new enhancements to the platform like proof of stake, and a number of others.
Blogchain (Near protocol)
Nice web3 blogging tool which has been around for a while, but not not a lot of people know about it. I think that it has a lot of potential, and its simple to use. It also supports paid subscriptions like substack. So you can distribute articles to a list of paid subscribers if you have one. Here is a blog post from their own blog which is a very good summary. If you are already on the Near platform its a good choice.
The Share (Lens/Polygon)
This is a fairly new dedicated blogging platform on Lens social media, which is on the Polygon blockchain. So, you will need an EVM compatable wWb3 wallet such as Metamask to login, and do monetary transactions. It is composable (integrates) with all the other Lens apps, so your posts will automatically show up in other Lens feeds. Any blog post can be collected as an NFT, and you can request a fee for people to view and read your posts. It is still in the early stages, so there isn’t a lot of content yet. I think that lens is still “invite only” so you will have to request access for now to use it. You will have to onboard to Lens, and then you will be able to use Share.
Other “nextgen” social media platforms that support long form content can also be used for blogging. Examples are Diamondapp on Deso, and most of the other advanced social platforms that allow long posts. They combine social features together with the blogging, as opposed to dedicated blogging sites which I discussed above which tend to have more features like the dashboard to manage documents. So, in most cases, its better to use a dedicated platform for blogging like the ones above.
If you want to join the ongoing discussion, you can join us on the Web3 social group on Deso/Miti. If you prefer another platform, we can do it there as well, as long as they have the ability to create groups for discussion. And lets try to avoid Web2 platforms for the reasons we have discussed in previous posts. I have a channel on Discord, but I am avoiding it. I am really trying to encourage Web3 adoption for social interactions.
If you want to contact me, here is my sublayer.