Venn: The intersection of traditional CMSs & the Steem Blockchain
By Shawn S. Porter
Welcome to my first TSP: RELATABLE segment promo post!
This is a promotional post of sorts for a weekly show, The Steeming Pile, that airs LIVE every week on the Steem blockchain via Vimm.tv. Check out the show's account @thesteemingpile
There’s a new segment in town!
Articles that I can relate to blockchain in general or even Steem specifically are everywhere.
Now, I’m here to break it down with my peers at TSP to explore what that connection might be!
You’ll be able to see us break it down TONIGHT at 6:30 PM Pacific Standard Time.
We simulcast to several channels, but you can find my stream at vimm.tv/@shawnsporter.
This weeks article is In the Shadow of the CMS. The story was published on thenation.com on 1/14/2019 and is written by Kyle Chayka.
Questions to ponder while reading:
Does this article show the need for front-ends to allow for customization of ones feed?
- If there was a new Steem front end out tomorrow where you could customize your feed like Wordpress, would you at least go check it out if not adopt it wholeheartedly?
Does this article suggest that content creators’ private CMSs will, in the future, implement blockchain tech into their platforms?
- Could they use it to monetize their own platform or, AT LEAST, create a coin that would incentivize readership and/or engagement?
When you go online to your favorite place to absorb media...do you ever think about the programs used to put all the content into place for your viewing pleasure?
That’s the essential work of a Content Management Systems (CMS)
As of late, much of publishing has been hijacked by tech giants or social media platforms who take away monetization, engagement and overall autonomy of these publishers.
In fact, according to the Kyle Chayka article,
“Google and Facebook together control 58% of digital advertising, putting them in direct competition with editorial outfits.”
Thus, the birth of the “Content Wars”, and the need for publishers to find their own ways of publication and monetization.
First, let's take a look at some of the more popular CMSs throughout the years...
- Blogger - Founded ‘99 - My first blog was here …..Real Men Love Science
- Drupal - Founded in ‘00 - Still serves as the backbone for more than a million websites according to the Chayka article.
- Wordpress - Founded ‘03 - Powering nearly 60% of websites
- Buzzfeed - Google it…. If you dare
- Many news podcasts and even the Funny or Die video production company use the CMS Chorus
- Jeff Bezos’ ARC…. licensed to The Boston Globe and Le Parisien
- New York Magazine’s CLAY…. open-source project that anyone can adapt, was used by Slate behind the scenes of its recent redesign
- New York Times’ proprietary…. Scoop, which it doesn’t share.
Okay, so we’re beginning to see what a CMS is, and some popular ones throughout the years.
Is the Steem blockchain and/or the front ends that run on it CMSs?
To begin the comparison, Kyle Chayka of the Nation wrote,
“(CMSs) ... use adaptive algorithms to recommend certain stories to certain audiences, put up paywalls at particular points in articles, help control the flow of traffic, measure reader engagement through specific metrics, and regulate which ad networks the publications profit from most. When a title outsources its publishing technology to another media company, it gives up some control over how its stories are distributed—for better or worse.”
It is first of note that, in terms of blockchain knowledge, I’m a novice at best.
However, I don’t see the above quote from Chayka’s article to be very relatable to the blockchain or the front ends that run on it. Am I missing something there? We’ll discuss on tonight's Pile!
Another point by Chayka run more parallel to what blockchain and its front-ends might be able to provide. At least, in the future.
“CMSs are like digital printing presses: They determine how journalism gets published online. But unlike the printing press, CMSs also increasingly influence not just how stories look but how they are produced, discovered, read, and monetized. To attempt another comparison: If an article is like a bag of chips for the consumer, then a CMS is like the vending machine.”
What kind of vending machine is Steem and/or it’s most popular front-ends?
While the current front-ends running on steem don’t allow for much, if any, customization, this realm of what CMSs do does intersect with blockchain tech through things like discovery and most importantly, monetization.
Another part of the article relevant to blockchain comes from this quote from Chayka,
“...Community- or journalist-driven alternative CMSs are emerging that enable niche publications to build their businesses without paying huge licensing fees.... These CMSs allow a tighter connection between a publication’s editors and writers and its readers…”
Front-ends built on the Steem blockchain, or perhaps the blockchain as a whole, are very tight communities I say...will that scale to the point it might better solve the problem/solution addressed in the above quote?
Finally, Chayka gets into crypto by writing about Civil.
Civil is a blockchain publishing system using Ethereum. Civil is an attempt at a subscription-based platform where readers theoretically spend cryptocurrency to vote on disputes over factual accuracy and other editorial issues.
However, in October of 2018 Civils initial sale of their currency failed to meet its $8 million tipping point. Seemingly as a result, it hasn’t yet been of primary use on Civil’s network of sites.
So, one test case down...but that hardly means the idea as a whole should be thrown away.
There will be several cases of trial and error before even the best idea gets dialed in and becomes a winning formula.
Besides, just because it didn’t work on Ethereum….there are always other blockchains.
See ya on The Pile!