Tell me if this is ever happened to you:
You are researching a particular subject, going along and reading a website. The information is helpful and you are making progress. Suddenly, you click on a link and get the pitch. To access this information, it is going to cost you $49.99 to get the special report.
This is a common tactic in the world of information selling. Use the free teaser to get someone baited in before hitting them with the page where they are to pull out the ole credit card. Even the mainstream information services do this such as newspapers. They offer the subscription model which allows access to "member content".
Obviously, the goal here is for these entities to make money. The challenge with this is that it limits access to only those who can afford it. While it might only be a couple dollars a month, not a big deal in the United States, this is difficult in many third world nations.
This could all change with the upvote economy. We are looking at another step in the demonetizing of information. Making it widely available to everyone is vital.
Steem is a platform that can assist in this effort. Since there is a currency that is tied to every vote on here, anyone can reward a content creator. The amounts differ based upon stake yet this is only at the base level. We are already seeing layer 2 solutions change this landscape.
The upvote economy is a radical departure from what we presently experience. Under the present system, if I want something that you have for sale, to access the information, I must take money out of my wallet and send it to you. Hence, for you to gain, I have to experience a financial credit. Thus, my account goes down while yours goes up. Obviously, I will do this if I feel what I am getting in return, the information, outweighs the amount of money I am sending to you.
However, we are starting to see a better way.
In the upvote economy, I can fund the "payment" via an upvote. Under this scenario, I am not suffering a financial "loss" since my account is not lessened. You, as the content producer, are receiving compensation for the information which will be added to your account.
While this is not an exact swap in financial terms, at this point, as we see things evolving, this could be a model that is followed. We are still in the phase where a cryptocurrency is still price in fiat since that is what we have to remit payments in. Hence, a 1 SP payout is looked at as roughly 40 cents. This will not always be the case. As crypto-economic systems develop. the tie to fiat will be reduced. This brings an attractiveness to operating in tokens as opposed to fiat.
We also have the prospect of providing a lot more information to the world. YouTube was a wonderful platform in that it allowed content creators to post all kinds of videos. The DIY crowd found this to be a gold mine. Want to learn how to change out a faucet on your sink, look it up on YouTube, there will be a video about it. The price of information dropped dramatically.
Technological breakthroughs put deflationary pressure on existing systems. We saw this with the Internet and will see it again with blockchain. The price reduction of many things is already being documented. Over the next 5 years, this will only evolve further.
Information is something that still has a cost to it. As we see AI get simpler and more affordable, the creation of information is going to explode. This will help to drive down the cost of it.
That said, there still needs to be some incentive. Cryptocurrency can prove to be that incentive. Upvoting content shows an appreciation for what was created. This can evolve into a form of "purchase". As we discuss the idea of communities, one's entry into the "member" section could simply be a result of supporting said "tribe".
Perhaps, at the end of the day, there is nothing more valuable than one's attention. And for that, instead of charging people for the information, i.e. them paying to hand over their attention, we are going to see a model where people are paid for it.
This, I believe, is going to be the new world of information. The purveyors of it are going to have to alter their models or get left behind.
We are embarking upon a major paradigm shift that few are aware of.
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