Assets, Risk and Social Media


8 months ago by phoenix

An asset is a resource with economic value that an individual, corporation, or country owns or controls with the expectation that it will provide a future benefit.

Let’s consider content (blog posts, vlogs, podcasts, images, videos, even GIFs and memes) as an asset. There are costs to create it, and the creator aims to extract some value out of it, so each content is an investment in resources, that the creator makes, assuming the risk involved in their creation.

Social media provides the following value proposition to a content creator now :

“You invest in your content, upload it to my platform, if your content attains virality, you will be rewarded for your efforts, while I take 30% of your revenues for providing said platform. Content will be free for the users to access, and I’ll sell the users data to advertisers to target ads to their target groups. I reserve the right to not pay you or censor your content if I find I don’t like what you have to say”

Sound about right ? Let’s now slowly start working towards an alternative value proposition. What would the elements of it be :

  1. User data: We want to create a better situation for the average user, so we want to protect their personal data, to the degree they desire it also. This would mean that no personal data seeps from usage or preferences or location, unless the user explicitly desires it.

  2. Advertisers. They need to advertise products. They have a budget for that, and they’re hot on the lookout for target markets. They are taking the risk of investing their budget in search for the most suitable candidates to consume their products and services. Better data for them, costs more than a raw, unfiltered clientele of random participants. They’re willing to pay more to decrease the uncertainty of the recipient.

  3. Content creators should be rewarded for their effort, with as few intermediaries as possible, zero ideally.

  4. Time and data of the consumers is valuable, and is their own property, and they alone decide how to give them away, and always for a valuable reward. Simply put, users SHOULD get paid for getting exposure to content they didn’t create, but they could be a valuable target for. They naturally have choice to view any content available, and share that around, but they won’t get paid unless someone else is paying. More on this on a future post.

  5. Anyone (users, advertisers, content creators) should be able to share in the risk of the above categories and profit from that risk taking.

Now imagine each piece of content, being as granular in ownership and risk/reward ratios as a stock of a company. Unlike a stock of a company though, which is managed by others, you are part of that managing team proportionately to your ownership of the content, you have freedom to promote and work towards that content becoming more valuable(to you too). Each piece of content is a small, self-contained organization so to speak.

Imagine the creator of it, drafting a constitution and clauses and all the legal terms and understanding you’d expect from a complicated asset ownership structure, with all the ties to the real world that are needed, and how the asset ownership and profitability ticks over. Jurisdiction, arbitration, all are described into this legally binding agreement that becomes the first mote of a real smart contract.