Greymass - Crowdfunding campaign details

in greymass •  last year

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In our introduction post, we announced the first phase of our business experiment, currently underway and scheduled to continue through the end of November. This phase encompasses a few different activities; 1) development of open source web software, 2) a crowdfunding campaign to support that development, and 3) exploration of our business plan concept.

Now that we’ve announced Reprint, our open source framework for creating blockchain-based websites and blogs, we wanted to share some advance details on our crowdfunding campaign. We’ll be sharing more information on our fundraising target and tactics in week 3.

The Strategy

Support for a project, in the form of donations, is the primary focus of any successful crowdfunding campaign. In most cases, these campaigns provide rewards to their contributors, but the organization receiving the funding retains full control of the end product. That’s a lot of risk for a supporter to take on with no upside potential beyond a hat or a shirt, and maybe a discounted price for the product.

We think building a crowdfunding campaign around an open source project allows us to provide a much clearer value proposition; fund this project and anyone, anywhere, at any time, will be able to use it and build on top of it freely. The upside potential for the contributor is supporting innovation, not just directly through the project, but also indirectly through what the community accomplishes with it.

Further, many campaigns end before any actual work is started on the project. As they say, “It’s a long way from seed money to profit.” and most great ideas fall apart in the execution. At least conceptually, this project had been underway for three months before it began in earnest this month. Now we’re committed full-time to pushing it forward until November, concurrent with our campaign, even if we never see one red cent for it.

Anyone who makes the tough decision to give up their hard-earned money or valuable time in support of our vision deserves our respect. This is how we’d want to be treated as crowdfunding campaign contributors, and that is how we’ll treat you. Any funds raised will be used as if they were our own.

The Pitch

We think there’s a lot of potential for innovation in this project, enough for us to grow a profitable business around. We also think there’s incredible value for bloggers, entrepreneurs, professionals, and businesses to supplement their income or promote themselves or their brand to a new audience. The more creators who adopt the software, the more valuable it becomes, and the more innovation it ushers in.

We’re ostensibly crowdfunding for the initial release of our core engine, but we’re also seeking validation that we’re solving a problem the market is eager for, and trying to establish a runway for our business so that we don’t have to get “real” jobs and shift our focus away from the project.

Over the course of the eight week campaign, we’ll be trying our damnedest to convince you that our project is worth supporting, whether you’re motivated by:

  • using the software yourself
  • developing (and potentially selling) themes and plug-ins for it
  • growing the Steem community
  • supporting entrepreneurs adding value to the Steem platform
  • supporting new businesses building on blockchain infrastructure

If you care about any of the above, we think we’re the team to deliver on them, but we can’t do it without your support. If you’re already convinced, read on to learn how you can donate.

If you’re not quite there yet, we hope you’ll follow @greymass at minimum, and @jesta and @paxmagnus if you want to learn more. We’ll keep official communication to the @greymass account and on greymass.com, but we’ve already been sharing supporting content through our personal accounts, and we’ll continue to do so.

The Ask

Please send your donations to the @greymass account via the Transfer option in your Steem wallet page. Feel free to leave us a comment in the Memo field, we’ll be reading all of them and plan to share a feed of donations on our website.

STEEM / STEEM DOLLARS (SBD)

Donations received in the form of STEEM and SBD will be recognized immediately and applied directly to our crowdfunding campaign target. If you believe in the potential of Reprint, this is the best way to directly support the initial release of this open source software, scheduled for December.

STEEM POWER (SP)

While we welcome the incentive to stick around, SP donations won’t have much impact on hitting our campaign target. If you want us to continue developing around the software and nurturing its open source development community, this is the best way to support us long-term.

Let’s illustrate how SP donations will work, with an example. Once we have a sizable SP balance, we’ll be powering down at maximum during the campaign. Let’s imagine a generous donation of 50k SP comes in today and we immediately start powering down.

  • At a per STEEM value of $0.30, that donation is roughly equivalent to $15k.
  • The power down on that investment would pay out a smidge over 480 STEEM a week, roughly equivalent to $145 each payout.
  • The total contribution of that donation to our campaign, after the 6 remaining weeks, would come to a little under 3k STEEM, or the equivalent of approximately $865 at the same market price.

As mentioned before, we want to keep developing for the Steem platform and welcome this incentive. That said, if your goal is to help subsidize our costs for open source development, STEEM or SBD are the more efficient options.

AUTHOR REWARDS

We’ll be supplementing donations with rewards from posts, while we share information and updates on our progress. Following @greymass, @jesta, and @paxmagnus and voting on these blog posts is a great way to contribute if you can’t afford to donate directly.

ALTERNATIVE FUNDING

While we’d be happy to discuss alternative forms of donation on an individual basis, we’d prefer to keep our fundraising efforts entirely within the Steem ecosystem. This allows us to be hyper-transparent with the community regarding the funds we raise and how we use them.

The Community

Between the two of us, we have over 30 years of combined experience in the web and software development industry, in a diverse set of roles. Though we’ve been involved in fundraising in the past, neither of us has led funding efforts personally.

We’re already asking a lot of you, but we’ll ask for just a little bit more. If you have any ideas for other interesting approaches to fundraising, or ideas for improving any aspect of our project, we’d love to hear from you. Further, we’re happy to answer any questions you may have, and it just might help us refine our narrative.

Feel free to leave comments below or contact us privately through hello@greymass.com. As we progress along the timeline, we’ll be introducing new ways to get involved and communicate with us. Keep an eye out for our posts and thanks in advance!

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Just sent SBD15 to @greymass, really looking forward to this project. I know it's small, but I'm only here for 10 days and it's kinda hard to take off on a such a short time window.

But that's one of the reasons I'm funding your project: I feel the need of a more flexible way of presenting content and getting rewards directly. I have more than 8 years experience blogging, having posts with 500k shares under the belt. Some of the posts I wrote 5 years ago still get a solid 70-90 visitors each day, and that would make 2-3.000 / month. Under the current Steemit conditions, those users are opaqued, they don't matter. Hope your project will find solutions to that.

Best of luck!

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Thank you @dragosroua! You're the first one and we truly appreciate it.

I am hoping with this model of website it'll help solve some of the issues you've run into the past. There are a few things to keep in mind though when it comes to the steem blockchain, the primary one being that payouts stop after 30 days on a piece of content.

That's not to say it can't change somewhere down the road - there's actually an open github issue right now discussing ways to extend the lifetime payouts of content. But currently anything older than 30 days still won't generate steem based revenue, only traditional forms of revenue.

Beyond that, there's a few other issues with engaging readers into having a steem account and voting, but all things that can be addressed.

Thanks again and as we're moving along we'd love to hear any thoughts you may have!

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I've read that github issue and it looks like something that might be taken into account. I wasn't even aware that posts are hosted in the blockchain. It makes much more sense to host a reference - with a little bit of metadata, like timestamp and revision numbers for different edits - and the actual content to be hosted somewhere else, maybe wrapped in a versioning system like git. I don't even know if this is possible, I'm just throwing out some ideas on the table. And that's for the technical part.

The business modeling part might take into account different levels of value for posts, based on a combination of factors. Time spent reading it (I know it can be done) + date of publication + interactions (voting / commenting / sharing). This system can be tweaked in such a way that older posts can still get some cash, based on the actual attention they get, even if they're written 5 years ago.

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yo yo is reprint still useable or would it take a lot of updating. Seems pretty cool?

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Would take a decent amount of updating I think, it's been a long while since there's been any development for it.

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C'est la vie. Anything youd recommend if someone wanted to try to make their own like network based off steem? Perhaps just build off Steemit/Busy? No integrations with Django or Drupal yet, if ever?

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That's sort of what I'm doing with chainbb.com - building a forum interface/network on top of the Steem blockchain.

Right now it pretty much takes writing everything except the RPC libraries from scratch. There aren't many total integrations at this point with common open source web platforms. I think there's a wordpress plugin, but other than that, everything else still needs to be done.

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You have an excellent point. If you wrote that example up in a separate post to bring attention to the problem, it might cause some changes.

The recent changes are treating 30 day old posts like old tweets, not as an asset that keeps earning. Why leave anything here, especially if you cannot get replies or tips, or have even basic controls like editing and deleting your posts and comments. All these features worked recently and have simply been disabled by the steemit.com website so they can keep your content for SEO. It's just chasing people away.

An example like yours describing the monetary cost of removing these features could get it changed back.

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Awesome! Thanks for writing it up, that explains it very well. I hope it makes an impact.
Resteemed!

I am watching this project and will contribute with up votes at the moment.

I have a question about Search ranking. I have read that there is an issue with Google and other search engines when the same content appears online in different places. Will there be some sort of meta tag in the page head to refer back to the original article here on steemit? Just wondering if this is indeed an issue, and if so, how it would be handled. This applies to the Wordpress plug-ins others are working on, so their articles can be on steemit and their WP blog with just one submission. If one team solves the issue, others can use that solution if the code is open source.

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Thank you @kenny-crane!

Regarding search ranking, there are issues that still need to be solved around this. I don't believe that the original does in fact belong here on steemit, and I think it should be up to the content creator to decide where it actually belongs. A few weeks ago I opened a github issue regarding how to solve this:

https://github.com/steemit/steemit.com/issues/336

It hasn't seen much traction yet, but I hope we as continue to build, these options will become available. The content that @paxmagnus and I write for the @greymass account belongs on the greymass.com website, not steemit.com's SEO. Steemit.com is a single website for the blockchain, and I imagine as time progresses, we are going to need to see a lot more of them.

Sent you a couple of bucks. This is a cool project

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Thanks @steevc, we really appreciate your support and agree that it's a cool project.

Looks like you have a solid backlog of content, can't wait to see it on your own site! :)

Thanks for sharing these ideas about your project, what a great site to promote and fund it too. Namaste :)

Huge fan of this project!

Sounds like a good thing. Tossing a few bucks in and following.

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Thank you much for your donation, @jimitations.

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Nice thanks friend

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