Selling both ad space and ad time using STEEM/SMTs (Non-technical Explanation)

in #communitieslast year

Native Ads Text (1).png

In this update, I share an overview of the design aspects for Native Ads that allow a Steem community to sell both ad space and ad time, if it opts in to using Native Ads.

Since the project is still in pre-alpha, some minor changes may occur when I start writing the code to push this project to a beta release.

So, here's what I have:

By using a combination of properties that allow users to set how long they want their ad to run for and an optional start date and time, we create a dynamic market for a community's attention that's time-based.

It will be possible to see in real-time the current "price" per unit time of a community's ad space. It will also be possible for people who are buying this ad space to verify that the ads are running. They can simply visit these communities' sites at the time their ads are supposed to be running and see it for themselves. Other verification methods can be implemented and it's something that I am thinking about.

An ad system like this offers more transparency and is easier to verify. Coupled with the aligned incentives of all participants (block producers, community admins and website operators), motivation to misbehave and opportunity to do so is reduced.

Taking a time-based approach to Native Ads enables two classes of ads to be placed.

Unscheduled ads

These will consist of ads purchased without a specific start time. Only the amount of time that the ad is to run for is provided.

The exact time allocation received will depend on these factors:

  • its bid in relation to other bids for the same community, on the same day
  • what time a successful and valid payment is made

How it works

A person submits an ad and it's stored on the blockchain. They make bids (also stored on the blockchain) to get their ad to the top of the review list, competing against other people who also want to place ads that day.

Once an ad is approved, he/she has to pay no less than the amount of tokens they bid for. Once a successful payment is made, the ad is allocated the nearest time slot that covers the amount of time they specified.

Scheduled ads

These will be ads that are placed with a specific date and time at which they should start showing. Bidding will be done in the same manner as the other ads and the highest bid at any time gets reviewed first and possibly approved by moderators.

Once approved, payment can be made to secure the placement. These payments need to be made before the start time of the ad. After a valid payment is made, the ad placement is secured. The ad will run at the set time, for the set duration.

Scheduled ads are useful for campaigns that are time-sensitive and pre-planned. For example, announcing limited time offers.

I believe that the features I mention in this post will help create a free market for a community's attention and more sustainable token economies on the Steem blockchain.

In my next development update, I will share more technical details of how ad space and ad time will work.

If you have any questions or feedback, feel free to comment.




Native Ads is a proposed future update to hivemind. For an overview of how it will work, read this doc.

If you would like to take a look at the code, visit the GitHub repo.

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