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