Fuel as the energy of our new social media system


8 months ago by phoenix

In our imaginary content management system (that started in previous posts 1,2) one of the ways to solve for the interconnectedness of those elements is to create a new property, let’s call this Fuel for now.

What is Fuel

(baby, don’t burn me, no more)

It is what the word implies, the financial energy that the content has been vested with, which allows it to propagate to new users. Each consumption of the content, causes a consumption of fuel, which goes directly to the new user in the form of a micro/nanopayment.

Once the fuel of a content runs out, it is unable to pay any more users.

Which then begs the Question : Who adds the fuel to get this started, and who starts the fire ?!

Fuel can be added by :

  1. The original content creator (if he wants to) so that their content can reach more people.

  2. Anyone that gets exposure to the content and sees that there’s a chance it might go viral down the line. If they want to assume some of that future risk, they add a piece of fuel into the smart contract and give it new life to reach new audiences.

And right around here is where things start getting interesting

The creator of the smart contract, stipulating the conduct of the content, has a few things decided from the beginning.

  1. What percentage of future fuel added goes to the creator and other stakeholders as “dividends”, whenever new fuel is added.

Some would prefer a slower burn approach (little fuels goes as dividends, and most of it go towards fuel to propagate), or others a more speculative approach (if they believe the content to be viral for instance) more fuel returns as dividends,

  1. What percentage of those “dividends” should go to them (for creating the content in the first place) and what should go to those that come in later. This is an important, albeit multivariate decision.

If the content creator is someone that’s not “known” (with an established user base, we’ll get into these dynamics later) or the content perceivably depends more on emergent virality instead of having value in an on itself, then the creator may decide to keep a small part of incoming revenue for himself and distribute a bigger amount to those that come after him. This could incentivize them to join the race.


Mrs Nobody : Let me have 10% of the incoming fuel and the rest can be distributed by people that add fuel later on

Nicky Minaj : Let me have 50% of the incoming fuel because my content is super special, and it’s guaranteed to go viral.

There’s a fascinating exchange of risk vs reward in both these cases if you give it some thought.