Onboarding millions of users

in viewly •  last year

For Viewly to have a chance at scaling to the Vimeo, Twitch, or perhaps even YouTube size, registering an account has to be very cheap and streamlined.

Faucet and Registration Cost

In order to make accounts cheap to create, we propose the following properties.

UIDs over names

All accounts in Viewly are registered as unique IDs, such as u6d24d77ca536504132e0bc92848eec4c. By doing so, we eliminate the name-squatting (spammers and bots registering accounts to claim valuable namespace).

Unfortunately UID's are not very human friendly. Fortunately, every account will be able to set an arbitrary name for display, user experience and search purposes.

Moreover, accounts can acquire temporary usage privileges to premium handles by placing a refundable bond on the name. See (Transient Names).

Shifted bandwidth allocation

Each account starts with adequate bandwidth for normal usage, without the necessity for token give-away or delegation.

Normal usage assumes the ability to publish several videos a day, and perform token transfers.

More active accounts and bots can buy VIEW tokens to increase their bandwidth.

Registration of premium/brand names

To clarify the terms, the brand name, or name for short is a memorable handle that points to the creators channel.

If the name is owned, it cannot be claimed by any other account.
If the name is transient, it can be claimed by anyone, by posting the largest bond for that name.

Owned Names

As mentioned above, each account is registered as an immutable UID. Their channel can be accessed like so:

view.ly/u6d24d77ca536504132e0bc92848eec4c

An account can also set a mutable, human readable profile name, for example Shane Luis:

view.ly/Shane-Luis-3

Perhaps there are 2 other people with the same name that set their name before we did, and thus, 3 is appended as postfix.

Both identifiers are completely FREE, and owned.

Transient Names

In Viewly, it is also possible to acquire temporary usage privileges to premium handles by placing a refundable bond behind the desired name.
Premium handles are typically short names (less than 13 characters), comprised of case-insensitive alphanumeric characters, dots and dashes.

For example, Shane Louis is known for his personal brand rerez.
Thus, its in his interest to acquire an identifier like so:

view.ly/rerez

No account ever truly owns a transient handle, rather, an account with the highest bond has the privilege of using the name. This system makes it prohibitively capital intensive for name-squatters to acquire names, and prevents such bad actors from holding legitimate brands hostage.

Here is an example scenario:

1.) A name squatter claims the rerez handle for 1 VIEW.

Transient NamePoints ToBond
view.ly/rerezview.ly/Squatter-11 VIEW

2.) An impostor tries to pretend he is rerez, and re-claims the name with a 10 VIEW bond.

Transient NamePoints ToBond
view.ly/rerezview.ly/Impostor-110 VIEW
view.ly/rerezview.ly/Squatter-11 VIEW

3.) Real rerez joins Viewly, and re-claims the name with a 100 VIEW bond.

Transient NamePoints ToBond
view.ly/rerezview.ly/Shane-Luis-3100 VIEW
view.ly/rerezview.ly/Impostor-110 VIEW
view.ly/rerezview.ly/Squatter-11 VIEW

4.) Impostor and name squatter withdraw, and get their bond refunded.

Transient NamePoints ToBond
view.ly/rerezview.ly/Shane-Luis-3100 VIEW

Whomever places the largest bond behind a name, gets temporary rights towards that name. The losing bids can withdraw their bond at anytime. The winner can also un-claim the at any time, which releases the bond. Thus, no funds are ever spent/destroyed, they are merely locked up.

To reduce network spam, a small transaction fee is imposed on claiming and withdrawing from a transient name.

The assumption is, that the real brand owner will value the control over their brand more than the impostor/squatter, and thus always win the bidding war.
If the brand owner is a non-profit, the community can post the bond for him/her.

Summary

Viewly protects premium and brand names from name-squatting trough a transient name claiming system. The balance requirement for sufficient bandwidth has been lowered to 0, waiving a necessity for token give-away and/or delegation.

This allows our faucet to register accounts at a cost of 0.001 VIEW per account, enabling us to scale to millions of user registrations without incurring significant costs.

Moreover, by only allocating 0.001 VIEW per account, these accounts become nearly value-less, removing the incentives to drain the faucet.


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More infos from View.ly are always welcome. Please post more often.

The suggested system is the same that LBRY uses, isn't it? What happens when I do heavy SEO on a link and then I loose the link to someone with more money. That person will be super happy for getting all my hard work SEO links and boosts his channel for doing nothing else as vesting money away for a while. In fact one could argue, that you should wait until a channel reaches a certain size and then you outbid the name and get all the free traffic with it. Do I see that wrong?

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If this is indeed what would happen it would make sense to invest to obtain a profitable name after someone else has made it profitable.

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I hope I am wrong. @furion could you explain this further please?

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You have a good point here. Would a grace period on name owner switch help?

Alternatively, we could use immutable ID's as resource links for google, and only have the premium names as redirects.

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You have a good point here. Would a grace period on name owner switch help?
I don't think that would make much of a difference. SEO is usually a long term strategy.
Alternatively, we could use immutable ID's as resource links for google, and only have the premium names as redirects.

I am no expert in SEO but I assume that would be a better solution. Of course the premium URL will per se have a better SEO because of the name but it would only be a marginal factor I guess when a link is using proper alt-atribution.

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I agree that this is a problem as someone who has spent the last few years building a brand...I've had experiences on youtube with fake channels calling themselves "An American Homestead" uploading my videos and then had to prove I was the real one. We need permanent verification. I'm not worried. In fact, I'm very much encouraged as you have to start somewhere and discussions like this help make it better. Getting it up and operational was the first big step.

Can we yet upload vids larger than 100mb? Recording in 720p allows me only to talk for about 2 minutes before I'm over that limit.

Interesting. The website look really good. Have you guys announced what blockchain would viewly use? I'm curious.

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Hey @teamsteem! This viewly thing is AMAZINg and theres ALSO D tube a decentralized Youtube projct that just got posted by @heimindanger have you seen that?

i resteem this post because i love your posts and i just follow and uppvotes your all post thanks for posting this awesome post

This is the first time I have heard of Viewly. That is probably your first problem :)

I am correct in presuming that other people cannot outbid you for your bonded account name? Nope :)

That is a serious Issue IMO. You think the person with more funds is always the deserving party? Would you not consider bonding the name to the account for a set fee which will be returned on cancellation?

If I get any interesting and generic name. Create some momentum and have people arriving to my account, only to have someone else steal my name?

Please tell me I am interpreting this wrong.

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Would you not consider bonding the name to the account for a set fee which will be returned on cancellation?

Why would an imposter registering @apple want to cancel their cheaply acquired name?

Anyone can have a longer name, for free, permanently. But the short, premium and brand names need to be protected from name squatters.

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If you have such a concern could you not just download a registry of brand names and place them aside should @apple decide to use your product?

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There are more than one 'apple'. If yourselves opt to decide who the impostor is and who the legitimate owner is, it will only open up a giant can of worms and lead to lawsuits. Imagine if the platform gets huge.

Take my own example for a second. We hold the earliest Internet popular iteration of the 'guiltyparties' name dating back to 2002 (to my knowledge). The bands currently sharing that name came afterwards, which is why we own the .com. If we had nothing better to do and if one of those bands took the name, we could technically win in court. There are myriad such conflicts and as the team responsible for the platform, you don't want to get into the business of judging who is who since it'll get real dirty real fast.

What I'd suggest is sticking to the original idea of preventing squatters. Let's say I'm a squatter and I register 'apple', but I sit on the account and do nothing, hoping someone will buy it off me. I'd suggest implementing an activity monitor on all accounts -- inactive for more than 60 days --> loss of name. Granted there may be exigent circumstances, such as hospitalization of owner, that may delay activity, but those would be rare.

The difficult part would be preventing the simulation of activity. In that, the system should first define what a 'desired level of activity' is. Let's say that's 1 video every 30 days and 1 comment every 7 days. Letting it run on pure comments would just generate comment bots, but videos must be created. 'Resteem' type posts should't count as they can be easily botted anywhere.

While I'm throwing ideas out, I'd suggest getting rid of the option to pull videos off Youtube. If you look at my blog that's exactly what I did to try out the Viewly platfrom. I pulled a video I liked, but not my own work. Should Viewly become saturated with others' videos pulled by unrelated parties who are not owners, there will be a massive conflict creating a roadblock to the platform going mainstream. Alternatively, if the content is 100% original, I can see it becoming huge.

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You're right, we don't want to play the 'central' registry and get into people's business. Nor is this really possible on a decentralized system.

There is no way to detect fake activity.

The proposed system allows the real Apple to make the highest deposit, and as such, acquire the name. Smaller apples can either find something else, or register a free, permanent name, like 'Apple-Club' or whatever their business is.

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Understood.

Another question: How would you handle a premium name that has flags/downvotes against it? Would these persist when it switches hands? And if not, what would stop the same person from simply trading it between two accounts?

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What would stop the same person from simply trading it between two accounts?

Capital.

How would you handle a premium name that has flags/downvotes against it?

A name cannot have flags or downvotes.

Interesting thoughts, @furion. I'm glad you are putting this out there for the Steemit community to discuss.

What about having a verified username? Something similar to what Twitter does with their verified accounts of public interest? There are plenty of social media platforms that allow a user to verify an account simply off of an email address which corresponds to the username they want to use.

To be honest, I don't think I'm a fan of the highest bidder bond. Squatters are like spammers, annoying and problematic. However, making a business pay a bond for a username which they should be able to control just doesn't seem right.

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They don't pay, but place a refundable bond.

I was a bit sick of YouTube, nice I have found Viewly, thank you for making such an awesome platform!

Nice, I really like the UID idea, I first played with UID on Firebase, where every user has their own UID.
So, basically to own a short name you either have to:

  • Have more money then the other users to outbid them or
  • The community ( maybe followers of sorts) can help you lend ( some kind of delegation) you the VIEW tokens?
    Did I get it right?

The website looks very promising. Not an easy challenge to overcome, but I applaud the viewly team for facing the giants. Looking forward to getting away from the broken video platforms and onto the blockchain!

Awesome man, I'm just going to hop over to the witness page to give you my vote back, sorry I doubted you dude :-)

Cryptogee

Great job pushing this to the next level. The ability for these decentralized services to work well takes a lot of planning.

As we see with the Bitcoin & Ethereum scaling debates, decisions made early on can be painful to change down the road.

Ahh great new, this is going well. I see you already thought of ways about scaling this without any problems. I do hope we can see Viewly becoming as big as youtube one day in the future, because it has become pretty shitty recently. Much success to Viewly!

Nice, i like it the your post, thanks. Resteem & upvote

Cool!

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Would you like to see my bunghole?

As much as I like the concept, there are flaws in the design as presented by @flauwy in the comments. Also, name-squatting is a thing that has been done in the past and nobody really complained about it. After all, it goes down to money and how much is the buyer willing to pay. If there was a domain name that a company really wanted, they just bought it. If they didn't, seems like they didn't want it that much really.

"To reduce network spam, a small transaction fee is imposed on claiming and withdrawing from a transient name.

The assumption is, that the real brand owner will value the control over their brand more than the impostor/squatter, and thus always win the bidding war."

This is an interesting and potentially elegant system for handling this problem. Does this provide an incentive for squatter to drive up the prices of certain names, holding them hostage? If so, this problem would be magnified the larger the target would be.

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What does the squatter gain? They just paid the fees for nothing, because the real brand owner will just lock up more.

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Could the squatter extort a fee from a large hypothetical user, say "McDonald's", that was lower than the bond necessary to overbid the squatter? (Off-chain or unofficially through back-channels).

Probably not a big problem for entities smaller than corporations, but maybe people like PewDiePie?

My grasp of the relevant economic concepts WRT view.ly may be lacking.

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Could the squatter extort a fee from a large hypothetical user

No.

If the squatter is small, the brand owner can outbid them easily.

If the squatter is large, say Pepsi steals Coca-Cola brand, well, Coca-Cola can take them to court because they own the trademark.

I totally understand all this.

What happens in the case of two legitimate brand owners with an approximately equal amount of capital? For example, we have owned the name "guiltyparties" since 2002 without trademarking it, but there are also several bands with that same name. All parties are legitimate owners of the name and all are moderately financed to the same approximate level. Are we going to see a tug of war with names?

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I think you should be more worried about what would happen when a band with no affiliation and more capital gets involved. This feature will never last IMO because it only panders to the person with largest wallet. No one with a shred of sense would be ok with that.

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Do you have ideas for an improved system?

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I do indeed. Download the registry and hold all current registered brand names. If you have the fear of people stealing them then just prevent it. It is the little guy who will make viewly popular. If you create a situation where they can lose everything because someone else has more money the little guy will go insane.
I agree you don't want to let people register all the brands names and use them as colateral. You also don't want to stifle growth by slowing down registrations or manually verifying them. So just remove the names of importance and let people vest an amount for the name continuation until they chose not too. You can then make this mandatory for all account names short and long which would increase the value of viewly without making such difficult decisions.
I don't know much about viewly and this is just my personal opinion so take it as you may. It just seems like the little guy will get screwed out of all his hard work with that system.
I do understand the benefits but I also do think it will stifle growth and create a lot of bad press. If I am wrong then just explain to me how.I will gladly learn from you.

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Download the registry and hold all current registered brand names.

I'm interested in ideas applicable to a decentralized system.

In Viewly, there are 2 types of names.
1.) Permanent, free names
2.) Temporary, proxy names (/w deposit)

If you want to own a name forever, go for the permanent option. The second option is there to protect the big/premium brands.

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So far about the best idea I can come up with is your bidding system but using votes for bids. The big brands can easily rally support to their cause and the people who are abusing the name can stricken of it in the same fashion. Something similar to how we vote for witness's on steemit. Instead of it being a battle of the wallet it could be popularity contest.

Would the most deserving entity receive the branded name in this case?

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You have not really explained anything to me and of course you don't have to :)

EDIT: I guess "I'm interested in ideas applicable to a decentralized system." explains it well enough.

It is a tough problem alright.

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I gathered why it wont work from the other comments. I will think on this for fun :)

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Agreed. It sounds like a way to ensure capital is tied up in the platform for the long term but will handicap the platform.

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Exactly. They want to tie the crypto to the platform in a way that makes sense. I could think of at least 5 better alternative ways.

I am kind of worried that they wont even respond to these issues here. If that is the case viewly will never survive. I know nothing about it other than what I have read on this post. Doubt I will need to learn anymore about them.

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I can't seem to locate the whitepaper anywhere. I think there is a lot of promise in the project and even wrote a post about trying out the alpha, but I'd like to see the whitepaper before making any more judgments.

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The whitepaper is not available until you sign up. I gotta say I do not like the way they handle this. Personally would never invest in this project. I can see the value of the idea of course. The way it is being implemented on the other hand, not so much.

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I am signed up. Did you get it?

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Nope but I never signed up. It was just the impression I got from the little bit of research I did when you asked. I would suggest checking their FAQ ..

pretty amazing you got 138 votes in 60 minutes :P damn ?

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They are popular :)

Interesting furion - the idea of getting more and more on to Steemit quickly and cheaply is what we all want. Interested though - names like @apple @google @microsoft - all the real big names all seem to be registered anyway - what you are proposing would have no effect on ownership of these anyway, or would it?

Assuming no effect really, this is all about streamlining the registration process rather then regulating the ownership of large corporate names here on Steemit. Is this right?

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This post is a proposal for Viewly.
Steemit already lost all of the premium names to squatters, and we can learn from their mistake.

I had been facing issues while uploading videos, and have not tried any more. I posted a question on your post as well as posted a question on the forum, but noone answered.

I think, its a great tool, but to make it popular, it must have great support till it matures.

If you can see my posts , comments and can respond, that would be great. You can respond here as well.

https://steemit.com/cryptocurrency/@mindhunter/view-ly---the-new-video-sharing-site-on-the-blockchain-with-no-middlemen--beware-youtube-1501433602-229832#@sanjeevm/re-mindhunter-view-ly---the-new-video-sharing-site-on-the-blockchain-with-no-middlemen--beware-youtube-1501433602-229832-20170731t082714397z

https://steemit.com/viewly/@sanjeevm/can-someone-help-with-viewly

This reminds me a lot of LBRY way of handling names. You might want to look at it : they also have tried to solve the same naming problem in a decentralized system :
https://lbry.io/faq/naming

They also have an auction system for names, but apparently, in their system, you never really pay for names, you just reserve a certain amount for it. Also, users can help you to reserve names if they are happy with the content.

Hey, why is the whitepaper only available on signup? I'm curious enough to sign up, but it seems like an unnecessary barrier to understand how the system is actually supposed to work.

Seems like a really cool project, honestly I didn't think there would be a viable decentralized video network for years, but it seems like viewly is proving me wrong. Excited for future updates.

beautiful work