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The World Wide Web Was Made for Creators

Web3 promises to make the Web decentralized again

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Why the Web Was Made for Creators

Since the birth of the Web in 1990, the Internet has grown into a massive collection of content assets created by creators all over the world. More than 30 years later, isn’t it time to ask what kind of Web we want for the next generation? Do we want one controlled by large data-collecting corporations that sell to whomever wants that data, leaving us wishing we had better recourse on how that data is used and where it is distributed? Or would we prefer a Web where the people who create the content have the right to monetize it, control their own data and identities, and use the common resources available to us all with equal access?

These are the questions Web3 developers and advocates are asking, and they want you to ask them too.

In my book Web3 Social: How Creators Are Changing the World Wide Web (And You Can Too!), I ask readers ask themselves what kind of experience they want on the Web. I also ask them if they think it’s fair that Facebook users create the lion’s share of content on the platform and receive none of the revenue. Another question I ask is if readers would like to see more control over their digital identities and digital assets.

With Web3 tools, creators can bypass the middleman and go direct to their fans while monetizing their content in ways never before possible. Some of the Web3 platforms this is taking place on include:

  • Hive - A fork of the Steem blockchain, Hive is a decentralized social blogging platform where creators can earn from their content, curators can earn by finding great content to share with others, and readers can earn by interacting with content others create.

  • Mirror - Mirror is a Medium alternative that allows creators to turn their blog posts into NFTs while readers can collect those NFTs. Creators can also embed NFTs within their blog posts. By turning articles and other types of content into collectibles, Mirror facilitates a different way of monetizing content for creators. One creative use I’ve seen with Mirror is a writer I know gives collectors exclusive access to a Discord server when they collect his writings.

  • Paragraph - Paragraph picks up where Substack leaves off. Creators can build communities around their newsletter content. Just as with Substack, readers can subscribe to newsletters by email, or they can subscribe using a crypto wallet. Creators can token-gate some of their content and embed NFTs within their newsletters. Paragraph is just getting started and I expect it to improve a lot in the next few years.

There are more than 100 different Web3 social media platforms and protocols that give creators a variety of methods of monetizing their content and protecting their intellectual property. But these platforms are building upon the creator economy that grew up from the soil of Web2.

We can look at the problems associated with platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok, but those platforms are responsible for creating the creator economy. This economy is made up of thousands of creators all around the world who have learned to monetize their creations using the promotion tools offered by the platforms. That’s something to celebrated, but it doesn’t mean we must get stuck in that Web2 ecosystem no more than we should revert back to the Web of 1990.

From the beginning, the World Wide Web was a decentralized asset no one owned and on one controlled. Anyone could log on and create a web page. All they had to do is learn how—educate themselves on HTML and web design best practices. Over time, website design grew more sophisticated, but it all started with one primitive tool.

The World Wide Web is a powerful ecosystem of creator tools, made by creators and for creators. Blockchain technology enhances it and makes it better.

I don’t about you, but I look forward to the day when the Web is one decentralized social graph where anyone can build, create, monetize, and publish without relying on a third-party walled garden such as Facebook or TikTok. How about you? Do you think the Web was created for creators?

Cryptocracy is a decentralized newsletter published several times a week. I curate the latest news and crypto analysis from some of the brightest minds in crypto, and sometimes offer a little insightful and snarky commentary. Always fresh, always interesting, and always crypto. Original articles on Fridays.

First published at Cryptocracy. Not to be construed as financial advice. Do your own research.

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