It's no secret, I've been pretty excited lately about the Basic Attention Token and its potential to create a fairer system of compensating content creators on the web. I verified this site with Brave, which makes a snappy web browser that's the hub of the BAT ecosystem, and I've received a small amount of BAT over the last few weeks. Pretty cool stuff.
That said, BAT isn't the only crypto solution trying to free content from the dreaded advertising duopoly of Google and Facebook right now. As often happens when you blog – and thanks to the blockchain industry's continued expansion – I've been hearing from folks working on other content-related tokens ever since I wrote about BAT. In the interest of both fairness and encouraging innovation on multiple fronts, I want to mention some of the others here briefly as well.
One I've now signed up for in addition to BAT is Tippin, which enables one-time tips of bitcoin from consumers to content creators via the Lighning Network and Twitter. I haven't gotten any bitcoin out of it yet, to be honest, but Tippin does already seem to have some strong points, including:
- A dead simple sign-up process.
- Its integration with a major platform like Twitter that carries a built-in user base of hundreds of millions of people.
For the moment, those are both weak points for BAT, quite frankly. But the Brave team is clearly still hard at work on it, so I'm not ready to give up on BAT by any stretch.
The BAT ecosystem also has some unique advantages that Tippin doesn't – for instance, the privacy and performance boosts that the Brave browser gives to end users right out of the box. For creators, BAT and Brave also offer a clearer path to recurring revenue that might ultimately make for a more sustainable business model for creators than one-time tips alone.
For me as the creator of this website, it's just too early to judge between these two products for now. I'm happy to continue to experiment awhile longer with both and just see what happens. And I'm glad they're both out there trying new things, since it's the Death Star-sized companies that are the true enemy. You won't find me engaging in any nerd fights about which is better.
(By the way, you can download the Brave Browser for free via Indizr's custom referral link here, if you want to give it a try. Indizr will get some free BAT if you do so, which helps support the site. Or, if you want to tip us some bitcoin via Tippin, our custom page for that platform is here.)
Finally, I should also give some shout-outs (and provide links) to two other crypto projects in the publishing space that I haven't tried myself yet. There's Civil, which is structured to be a comprehensive newsroom governance and monetization solution, and Agate, which seeks to implement a more flexible system of metered payments for content in lieu of traditional paywall-based subscriptions.
Frankly, I don't believe the market will settle on just one "right" solution for monetizing content anytime soon. I think we'll be in a multi-model world for content for some time to come, with some sites supported by ads, some by event ticket sales, some by subscriptions, and so on. But what I do think is crystal clear is that we need something new to free revenue streams from the near-complete control that tech's Death Stars currently enjoy.
Speaking of Star Wars references, let's have a little fun to close this one out. Here's a video of the Rogue One movie trailer from a few years back. It contains one of my all-time favorite lines from the Star Wars franchise, even though that line didn't make it into the final movie. See if you can spot it (C;
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