This is the 18th edition, and you’re reading Media 450. It hints at the future of media.
When Substack was launched four years ago, it was seen as the future of publishing, and in no time, writers flocked to the platform. Substack transformed the relationship between a writer and a reader, following the reader-funded model. And, sorry to break it to you, this is not the edition about Substack.
Well, well, well.
It’s about a platform that takes the publishing to a different level—never like before—where you can crowdfund your essay, where your essay could be minted as an NFT, where you can auction it, where you can split the revenue with the contributor, where your financial backers could also own a part of the essay you just published, where you make money and people associated with you make money, and where the network effects get in full force.
I’m talking about Mirror that leverages blockchain technology, where you enter the platform by first connecting your crypto wallet to it. At first glance, Mirror looks like a regular publishing platform like Medium, WordPress, or maybe Substack, but it’s not. Mirror is a key Web3 concept that hands over the power to the community—founded in 2020 by Danis Nazarov, who was the partner at a16z.
Mirror has a token $WRITE, and owning this token allows you to become a publisher on the platform. And how do you earn this token? Enter Write Race. It’s a contest that you apply to, and once you’re chosen by the existing members through voting, you are then entitled to receive the digital token as you make your way through the contest. And your journey as a writer, creator, publisher, member, contributor at the Mirror begins.
Accepted applicants don’t end up being merely a user, instead they co-own the platform, and that’s where the community comes together to grow together. It shows the model of community-driven media where members have a say, and that it democratizes the media. It gets as good as put by Li Jin talking about the strategy: “Come for the creator, stay for the network.”
Writers have access to multiple ways to earn money through the platform where you transact in cryptocurrency, say ETH. Your audience can tip you as well. Writers don’t have to rely on clicks or subscriptions to make the model sustainable, instead a group of a few people who enjoy reading your content could turn up as your financial backers, and they can receive a token of fractional ownership to have a share in the future earnings.
There must be friction today for adoption, but we are getting nearer to an equitable, rewarding model of publishing. Think from the design and software perspective, think of Amazon’s UI in the 1990s compared to today, you get the picture.
Cover Image from iStock by Getty Images.
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