Media DAC

in media •  last month

What follows is an idea I had yesterday which I want to share with a wide range of media producers who follow or participate in the cryptocurrency and blockchain space. I don't have the time to build out every idea that pops into my head, but a DAC structure could mean anyone who is passionate about this could come together and make it happen.

Here's how you can help:

Do you know media personalities in the cryptocurrency/blockchain space who may be interested in this idea? If so, please share this with them and include their feedback in the comments.

So here's the idea:


Media DAC

Target Audience

Individuals and groups within the cryptocurrency and blockchain space who create all forms of valuable media including print, news, blogs, podcasts, art, and videos.

Problem:

The world needs more independent sources of trusted, informative, valuable, educational media content. The mainstream media outlets become more irrelevant every day, but the replacement is comparatively unorganized, stuck in silos, and hard to find. Many independent journalists are starting from scratch to build their own brands which turn into walled gardens. There's little cooperation between these independent producers struggling for viewership, brand awareness, and revenue generating opportunities. The entire point of independent media is to stay independent and decentralized which makes any collective action to gain the emergent benefits of collaboration seem like a step in the wrong direction.

Solution:

Build a fully decentralized, community-owned Media DAC. A DAC is a Decentralized Autonomous Community. By Decentralized, we mean no single point of failure. By Autonomous, we mean smart contracts running on a blockchain giving consistent output based on known input. By Community we mean all those interested and engaged in supporting the shared goals of the DAC. The basic components of a DAC include smart contracts, API interfaces to those contracts, and an easy-to-user front end interface. The main contracts handle things like token creation, membership, custodian elections and voting, multi-signature transaction management, treasury management, worker proposals, an authority account, and an escrow account.

Why A DAC?

A DAC provides a balance between independent media producers acting as custodians working somewhat competitively to gain votes as they provide value to the community. At the same time, the transparent DAC structure allows them to work together to accomplish shared goals which the community values. Instead of each creator of content being an island, they can work together as a dynamically changing group based on stake-weighted token vote of the community. Those who provide the most value will be rewarded custodian positions and receive custodian pay in tokens which they can then distribute to their fans in various ways including giveaways, promotions, referral programs, and fund-raising.

Unlike existing systems which independent media producers turn to for financial support (like Patreon or the BAT token), there is no loss aversion where supporters have to give up their money or tokens to support the content creators. Instead, they can keep their tokens (or even obtain more) to vote for the media personalities they enjoy most within the DAC structure. If the token ends up acting as a store of value of any kind, the custodians who are rewarded with custodian pay will have another method of supporting themselves with the tokens they earn.

Projects to build tools, systems, promotions, and the like which create tangible, shared benefits to all media producers involved can be proposed as worker proposals by anyone in the community and voted on by the elected custodians. What might be done now as ad hoc, pro-bono, or unpaid open source work, can at least be rewarded with a Media DAC token so those who contribute value have the most say in who is elected as a custodian to lead the DAC.

Why "Media DAC"?

Ultimately, the elected custodians will determine the branding for the DAC going forward. By starting with a bland, generic name, we don't create many expectations.

Okay, Sounds Interesting. How Would We Start?

We already have an example of a working DAC running on the EOS blockchain via eosDAC: https://eosdac.io/ You can view their member client here: https://members.eosdac.io/ The code exists right now to launch our own DAC by customizing this open source software developed by eosDAC: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dtFZjJ1409M.

The path forward to make this idea become a reality might include contacting media personalities working in the blockchain and cryptocurrency space and seeing what they think. A genesis custodian board could be created of those who believe in the potential for the project and an initial token distribution plan could be drafted up based on the value of the contributions these media producers have brought to the community so far. The initial focus would be on media personalities involved directly or indirectly with the cryptocurrency and blockchain space because they will already have a working understanding of the technology used to run the DAC. Future expansion, if the initial approach is successful, could include many different forms of media across multiple topics.

Influencers gain tokens representing their contribution. Those tokens are then used to vote in custodians of the DAC who help bring direction and leadership to the community relating to projects and opportunities which benefit the community. Funds could be raised to help the whole group and get distributed based on worker proposals approved by the elected custodians. This form of collective action could bring far more significant results than just the sum of the individual participants currently fighting an uphill battle to build their brand, be recognized, and create enough value to be sustainable. At the same time, with independent custodians, each individual brand would still be maintained and respected. Shared goals can be achieved by working together without giving up individual sovereignty. The DAC structure would help the largest and the smallest media groups by giving them the power of a token they can distribute to their community without having to do it all themselves or deal with the small network effect their own tribe could bring compared to the whole group.

If independent media is going to have a chance against the traditional media giants, we are going to have to work together. The new media giants of tomorrow are already here today in the form of Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter. If we don't create our own media that we control via blockchain systems like Steem, DTube, IPFS, EOS, etc then we could wake up tomorrow and find all of our community gone within a walled garden that has the power to shut us down. Our strength is defined by our independence. A DAC community which makes decisions via elected competing custodians who work together for shared goals can celebrate individuality and independence while also growing large enough to be taken seriously by the world to bring about real positive change.

Divided, we are mostly irrelevant. Together, without losing our independent strengths, we are a force. A DAC structure allows for that force and power to grow and still be directed by the intention of the community to avoid the corruption and failures we see all around us in traditional, centralized, opaque hierarchies.

Let's each continue doing what we do best: create media worth consuming that is thought-provoking and valuable. Let's do it in a way that supports each other with systems, tooling, education, support, and more so we don't have to continue going at it alone.

The future is decentralized, but it's also networked, transparent, resilient, and continually changing.

Let's build the future together and show others how the assumed dichotomy of independence and connectedness can actually work.


Are you a media creator who wants to get involved? Leave a comment below or reach out to me on Twitter at @lukestokes. This idea only becomes interesting if some serious people find it useful.

Some potential candidates that come to mind (in alphabetical order) include people I've met or have heard of:

Adam B. Levine and Let's Talk Bitcoin (LTB Network)
Andreas Antonopoulos (aantonop)
Ashe Oro (Ashe Oro)
Ben Swann (Truth in Media Project)
Brock Pierce (Brock Pierce
Cameron (Crypto Daily)
Chris Coney (The Cryptoverse)
Colin (Colin Talks Crypto)
Derrick Broze (The Conscious Resistance)
Heidi Chakos (Crypto Tips)
Jeff Berwick (The Dollar Vigilante)
Joel Comm and Travis Write (The Bad Crypto Podcast)
Larken Rose (Larken Rose)
Laura Shin (Unchained)
Luke Rudkowski (We Are Change)
Max Kieser (The Keiser Report)
Naomi Brockwell (NB TV)
Omar Bham (Crypt0)
Randy Hilarski (Randy Hilarski)
Roger Ver (Bitcoin.com
Sterlin Lujan (Psychologic-Anarchist)
Terry Brock (Terry Brock)
Tone Vays (Tone Vays

I'm sure I've missed many people (sorry!). Who would you add to the list?

If it works out, I'd love to see the idea expanded to include people like Dave Rubin, Joe Rogan, Jordan Peterson, Tom Woods, Stefan Molyneux, Jimmy Door, Abby Martin, Lee Camp, Glen Greenwald, etc. As you may have noticed, I've included people in this list who I disagree with. That would be the point. We could come together as a DAC for shared goals, even if we have different ideas and perspectives.

Okay, there it is. My intention is out in the universe. Let's see what happens next.

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What if encrypted video hosting and re-sharing videos became as easy as signing up for a dpos account, uploading or friending, and re-sharing.. If your friends on the network are cool with what your sharing then you will be rewarded. You will also be generating publicity and income for the original content producer.

Censorship is a big problem because the Internet is to a large degree centralized: ISPs, spying root SSL certificates, domains can be blocked or seized, bandwidth can be inspected throttled or dropped. In this environment copyright can be abused. This means people are not free to seek and create the information they need. We get so conditioned by this we that if we are not careful we forget how we are self-censoring. On the flip side, as Luke is pointing out, there is growing demand for good content that is getting censored. So if you can tackle this problem in ways that make this practice for people to use, there is an opportunity here.

These problems could melt away in private friend-to-friend markets. The same thing happens in free markets where there is a need for something but also there is a need for privacy. Users form groups and circles that best meet their needs and users work carefully to keep those circles from becoming too large. At this point in my opinion, private sharing in friend circles seems to be the foundation for censorship resistance. Each user decides how open or not their friend circles are. The low-handing fruit is to allow friends to manage everything (should be easy to implement and scale). More public sharing can be achieved by jurisdiction and terms of service and reputation. That can be phase II and operate separate from the private network.

Check out the scuttlebutt protocol. This allows accounts to be replicated across many nodes in a group private way. There are platforms like storj coming to maturity that and allowing for large content like videos to be managed in a private way (or public if the key is shared). Like in scuttlebutt, a pub server can be private for its owner and their friends. The DAC may also enable pub server providers to re-sell space and bandwidth on the market for other users that don't have access to a server. In the later, the shared Pub servers would not have viability into the private layer of the network, however the network will self-regulate in other ways through payments and reputation. Most people are honest: most people will want non-violent content and popular people will have more friend connections and generate more revenue. Those users will be rewarded and be surly noticed by the content producers because they are generating income as a result of their network.

Users may pay for their own resources by staking or paying fees. A user may gift accounts and allow friends to use their unused bandwidth for a term so important information can get into the hands of people that need it the most.

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Thanks so much for chiming in. Which, if any, Scuttlebutt apps are you using or have used? Are there working examples of this in the wild what's the level of adoption?

My DAC proposal is more of a structural idea for how the humans themselves who are involved in building media and who need tools and education and such to do so will organize themselves. I didn't get into the actual tools for how the media will be distributed, but I could see something like that as being a great example for the Media DAC to explore, potentially as a worker proposal. Than, if something was developed on, say, Scuttlebutt, for the whole community to benefit from, that would create a mechanism for a useful network effect among the various media creators and their audiences to get a wider adoption of the technology. By building something out like that via a DAC structure, the whole community involved could help create something that benefits everyone instead of each media personality creating their own thing and then trying to get their audience to adopt it. I think most audiences just use what they are used to (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc), but a large enough DAC might enable individual producers to come together and create network effect for something new like Scuttlebutt.

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Patchwork is the easiest way to get an overview. They still have a manual invite method that gets you into a pub server but it is pretty easy and well documented. I think it would be more reliable long term to have a EOS token you could stake instead to incentivize pub servers to keep encrypted user data for them under predictable terms. I could see user's electing their favorite pub server providers.

Because you have an incentive system then it should be reasonable to scale it to handle larger storage and network bandwidth. There is a need to have sharable semi-private high-value media like: videos, scientific documents, books, and of course chat, etc..

The protocol would need to be changed or augmented to be light-client friendly. I think this can be done by adding a on-going state that summarizes the log where each session updates the state and removes the need to parse prior log entries. Much like EOS does except state is on disk not ram and would not have as much of a size constraint.

Anyway, it really is very simple in its present form and it is a good starting point. In any event, I found it a good learning experience. It is an example we can look that naturally gives each user their own chain ("log") so they don't all have to be on the same chain and will be easier to run it off-line after sign-up or in rural areas. This helps circumvent the ISP problem ..

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Excellent! Thank you. I've added myself. I guess this is my identifier? @E8oJpF70u9NQ284sue1Tkkja7Vfeskt/89xTBfYy+ME=.ed25519 ?

How do I go about following you, as an example? I joined a pub as well. Seems I'm one of the few who actually set up an avatar.

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Yes, that is your public key. I followed you. My identity is @1cxInyuaavgkoyz2DyO3Gfq+8lX1uYKsKvC1/Ma/F8A=.ed25519.

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This is Scuttlebutt in a nutshell: Scuttlebutt Protocol Guide

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Sorry, not related to his topic, but not sure how else to reach you.

Thank you so much for putting delegation back into tribesteemup. Your delegation made a huge difference in not only my life but my overall mentality. I am trying to promote pay-what-you-want as a concept in order to make it a sustainable method of sharing art and other work.

Obviously it's an uphill battle, but you've made it so much easier for me to maintain an abundance mindset, and the break in between was good to to help me not rely too much on any one source of support. I'm back to working a job now (hadn't for 3 years) but I am still working hard on my art and everything I believe in. I hope to do for others what you've done for us!

I just want to thank you formally here! :-D
@jamesc

Certainly there's a great need for alternative platforms with increasing censorship on social media of dissident voices. At the same time media is more and more centralized with the illusion of choice and diversity. Look at Facebook, which owns - Whatsapp + Instagram and Disney just purchased 21 Century Fox the other day.

I think you make a good case for DACs being a viable solution. I also agree that independent media can become walled off echo chambers except on a very few issues. But like you say, we all don't need to agree on every issue but we surely could agree on cultivating a network (beyond a single platform) that could lend mutual support through connectivity, distribution and the use of a universal media token. Perhaps inter-blockchain operability may also help to solve some of the issues independent media faces and help prevent alternative perspectives from being almost completely drowned out.

A few people on your list standout in particular as being well positioned to help influence a tide change.

Are you familiar with @benswann's blockchain based project Isegoria? While I don't believe it's a DAC it's in the same spirit and I think you'll find a lot of parallels with your vision.

https://isegoria.com/

https://steemit.com/isegoria/@v4vapid/ben-swann-to-launch-blockchain-based-independent-media-network-isegoria

Personally, I've spent the vast majority of my time on Steemit trying to support independent media and news, so I'm very interested to know more about how a DAC system could provide the solutions we're all searching for.

I've contemplated creating a journalism/research based token with Steem Engine but I hesitate as there are so many tokens being created "just because", and not comfortable with flooding the market with more and more tokens for people to keep track of.

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Thanks for the reply. Yeah, I think Ben's project seems really interesting. I heard about it a while back and was reminded about it recently. The challenge I see with many of these projects is they are based around a single media personality. This will be known as "Ben's project" which might turn others off from participating. With a DAC model, if done correctly, it would truly be everyone's project.

I have the same concerns with flooding the market with potentially useless coins, but I also think that may just be our own insecurities. Who are we to judge if a token is valuable or not? That's not really up to us.

This is a great initiative and great to be thinking about it now before it becomes larger and unmanageable. Given the noise around us with centralized media outlets, the opportunity is unique at the right moment! Thanks for sharing!

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@sagescrub have we looked at EOS as a possible home or branch for the Co-op?

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Not yet @nateonsteemit, good suggestion. But we have a new Whaleshares account now!

Of course I am interested! Resteemed

Very interesting. I have been poking around at this general idea for a bit. I like your concept. We (the community) should be talking more about this as we now have the tools to get something accomplished. Its a matter of figuring out how to use the tools and do it.

I definitely like your idea of putting people up that we don't agree with. I find myself more interested in those people lately than the ones I do agree with. It is very important to challenge one's perspective at all times.

Also, @dbroze may find it useful as well.

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Yes! I’ll add him to the list when I get back to my computer (at the pool with family at the moment)

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Fam time first :)

Can't wait til pool time!

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I struggle with a few of the names you've listed, particularly Molyneux... but I agree that all parts of the spectrum should be included. I think DataDash on YouTube would be a great candidate... he's intelligent, bullish on crypto but will point out systems/projects that he think will fail.

A great get would be Philip DeFranco on YouTube... he's been building out his own news network with sponsorship independent to YouTube and Patreon. He's building his own platform, so might be too busy, but I'd love to see him involved. He has a team of producers who work on and check each story.

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Great feedback! Thank you.

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No, thank you for starting this!!

Oh, and @answerswithjoe. He's not too chatty on Steem, but he's good on Twitter.

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Hey @lukestokes... the more I think about this... the more I'd like to get involved from a technical perspective. What would I need to learn in order to work on DAO and DACs? Is it Javascript or something else? How did you learn how to code to interact with blockchains?

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That's a big question. There are many layers and levels, but if you want to help with eosDAC, come join our discord. http://discord.io/eosdac

Love this idea! Thought about this some myself and thinking more about building a DAC. Happy to assist in this idea.

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Fantastic! I was hoping you’d like it, and I know you’ve been exploring different token ideas for quite some time.

@lukestokes, Let's see if this problem will inspire solution finders and will come up with solutions to bring the physical form of solution. Keep up and this piece is appreciable.

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Voted! As one who the mainstream and social media platforms routinely censor, I am interested in this idea. Thanks!
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By Decentralized, we mean no single point of failure. By Autonomous, we mean smart contracts running on a blockchain giving consistent output based on known input. By Community we mean all those interested and engaged in supporting the shared goals of the DAC

Is it in resemblance to what we do in Steemit?

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Partially, yes, but Steem (outside of Steemengine) doesn’t have a mechanism for smart contracts needed to effectively run a DAC.

This post has been included in the latest edition of SoS Daily News - a digest of all the latest news on the Steem blockchain.

Make sure to also talk about @isegoria with Ben Swann, similar to what you are proposing here!