In the current age of fragmented social media, how can you stay a quality content creator who can make a living without making a bad meal?
This is a dilemma that a large number of content creators are facing.
On the one hand, no one is interested in the thousand words of content written after spending a lot of effort on serious research, while on the other hand, 10-second short videos are viewed by millions of people; while struggling to follow the traffic code with online buzzwords and adding stems, they are questioned about the "death of Text Creation" in the new media context; it is difficult to survive writing what you like, and the content that can bring revenue. It's hard to survive writing what you like, and the content that brings in revenue is often not what you like ......
The reason for these problems boils down to the fact that the current path to cashing in on content is too single. In the environment of free information, the only way of survival left for deep content creators is to play ads and receive soft articles, and traffic seems to be the only measure of good or bad content.
So, is there any way to break this dilemma? In fact, over the past years, many platforms have been exploring ways to diversify the cash flow of quality content, such as trying to offer rewards, paid Q&A, membership subscriptions, etc., but the final results are not as good as they should be.
But now, it seems that there is a new solution to this problem that has been plaguing Web2 for years in Web3. Recently, Silicon Star people found something interesting - many Web3 "veterans" share information from a different source, they no longer always re-post articles from public websites, instead they often share a link with the word "Mirror". Instead, they often share a link with the word "Mirror".
Tapping on these links jumps to an individual article screen. In terms of presentation, these articles are basically similar to public posts and blogs, the only difference being that there are a few lines of links at the bottom of each article and a fundraising logo appears at the top of some articles.
The shape of the article on Mirror, image from Mirror.xyz
These articles are from a platform called Mirror.xyz . And the platform's stated goal for development is to bring a revolution to the content creation economy with the Web3 approach.
First launched in December 2020 by Denis Nazarov, a partner at A16Z, and officially opened to the general public last October, Mirror.xzy is considered the world's first decentralized writing platform.
The so-called decentralized approach to writing simply means that the content you create is stored in a decentralized blockchain network, instead of being stored in various company databases in the past.
In this way, each piece of content you create will be tagged with a unique, exclusive label that will exist forever on a blockchain node once it is published, and when maliciously copied and distributed, those copies will automatically be tagged as "fakes".
So how is decentralized content creation simply made possible on Mirror?
First, to become a creator on Mirror.xyz, you must first have a digital wallet and connect it to Mirror.
Once connected, you're on to your Mirror personal page settings. In this section, in addition to setting basic information such as username, avatar, and profile, you can implement features such as linking to Twitter, adding co-creators, and adding subscription tags, which is more similar to a public profile.
In addition, it has a link to ENS addresses. Simply put, ENS is a domain name provider in the Web3 world that converts complex ethernet addresses into easy-to-remember characters to form ethernet domain names ending in ".eth", which is actually similar to many of our current URL ".com" which is actually similar to the ".com" suffix of many of our current URLs. But unlike Web2 URLs, an ENS address, while being your personal identifier, is also the equivalent of your wallet address.
For example, if Xiaoming has an ENS of xiaoming.eth, others who feel that Xiaoming's articles are well written and want to reward him will directly enter xiaoming.eth to transfer money on the silicon star people can receive it directly.
So, ** for the creator, if a reader is willing to pay for his content on Mirror, that fee goes directly to his wallet and no longer gets siphoned off by some intermediary platform.
In addition to this, every piece of content posted on Mirror has an authorship statement and a verification link. The user will sign the content with a key at the time of posting, and each piece of content will have at least three columns of data at the bottom of its page after it is posted: "Arweave Transaction ID", "Contributor Ether Address", and "Content Summary " three columns of data. Where Arweave is a database that provides distributed permanent storage of data, the Web3 equivalent of AWS. if you turn this post into an NFT, then you also have an NFT address.
All of this information is publicly viewable on the blockchain when clicked, and every content change needs to be made by the creator himself using a signature key before it can be done.
Ownership marker at the end of Mirror article Marker In such a mechanism, the originality and copyright of the work is protected, and the content truly belongs to the creator. Then, a new, ownership-based model of cashing in opens up. **
Now let's get back to the most important question - how Mirror can help authors diversify their content to cash in.
The current usage panel of Mirror is simple, on the right side of your profile, from top to bottom you can see three big action panels, Content, Fundraising and NFT. Of these, Fundraising contains two more options under Creative Content Crowdfunding and Diversion Co-Creation.
Click on "Content" and you can start creating a post by editing on the left side. In terms of editing features and presentation, Mirror is not too different from the authoring tools we are familiar with nowadays. The only difference is that in addition to the usual external links, images and videos, you can also embed modules with Web3 elements such as NFT and crowdfunding in the article.
After writing a piece of content you have two options, one is to publish it directly, and the other is to "NFT it". If you choose to publish directly, the article is basically the same as any other normal Web2 article, except that it exists on the blockchain, and the way to get revenue is from subscriptions, reader bounties, and advertising in the article.
But if you choose to publish it as an NFT, then your article becomes the equivalent of a commodity that can be sold at auction on the open market.
An article that was made into an NFT and its price, image taken from Mirror's official website. Mirror's official website"
An article that was made into an NFT and its price, image taken from Mirror's official websiteDo you still think that there are not enough innovative ways to cash in on this? Don't worry, when you Tokenize articles into a fundraising mechanism, there are more ways to play.
Let's take a scriptwriter, Ming, as an example, and divide the whole "fundraising" process into three stages: before, during, and after creation. **
The creator Ming suddenly got inspired to write a short script one day, but it is expected to take 1-2 months to create the script, which means that Ming won't have any income for 1-2 months, so what should he do? That's when he can use Mirror's content crowdfunding feature.
There are four main steps to using this feature.
- Name your project. Think of a name for your project and add an image.
- Set a crowdfunding target amount. Say 50 Ether (currently Mirror only supports Ether as a crowdfunding target). Then, set a limit on how many individual crowdfunding participants can participate, and leave your ETH collection address (equivalent to giving a receipt).
- Set up a governance token for the work. This can simply be understood as a copyright share that can be split. Fill in the token name, code name, and the share you set aside. For example, if you fill in 10%, the remaining 90% will be distributed to the crowdfunders.
- Describe your project. Ming needs to give a general explanation of the topic and content of the script he wants to write in order to attract readers interested in the topic to participate in crowdfunding.
Once everything is in place, you can click publish. A project that is being crowdfunded probably looks like this, with a crowdfunding progress bar. If the crowdfunding goal is not reached the funds will be returned to the people who participated in the crowdfunding.
Image screened from Mirror's official website to raise the target funds After that, Ming started the second phase: official creation.
After he starts writing, Ming feels that there is a part of the content that seems to be suitable for his friend Zhang to create together. At this point, Ming can use the "Splits" feature to invite Zhang to write that part of the content and share a percentage of his earnings with him. Of course, it can be more than just two people.
After all the content was created, Ming clicked to release his work in the form of NFT. Afterwards, his script was a big hit and was seen by Sony Pictures ready to buy it for a movie. At that point, part of the proceeds from his piece of script made as an NFT deal went to the creators, Xiao Ming and Xiao Zhang, and the other part would be split between those backers who participated in the crowdfunding at the beginning.
If the script is later seen again by Marvel and changes hands again, the crowdfunders will again get their share. And since the piece itself, the crowdfunders' fundraising information, and the distribution percentage are all recorded on the blockchain, there is no concern that Chang will keep the proceeds to himself, but will be able to enjoy the split in perpetuity.
So, in this model, Mirror offers a content cashing A new solution to the problem - readers can either be purely paying money to support their favorite content creators and pay for knowledge. At the same time, they can also act as investors in the content and share the benefits of content realisation.
Moreover, Mirror is currently considered the easiest way to build a centralized autonomous organization (DAO): through an article, the creator articulates an idea for a project; through crowdfunding, the initial members of the community are gathered; and through a community vote (Token Race), resolutions of all kinds are implemented. A small Web3 community was thus run.
However, Mirror currently leaves much to be desired in terms of functionality. For example, there is a lag when editing, no feature to find articles or authors on the homepage, no backend data to show how articles are read and subscribed, etc. It is still far from the various Web2 products from the perspective of information presentation and dissemination.
But the NFTization of content and the split ownership model introduced by Mirror creates an ecology of investment and consumption based on content creation that does offer a new way of thinking for content creators to achieve self-sufficiency.
So, what do you guys think of this creator economy based on NFT ownership? And do you think there's a way this model could be implemented directly through Web2? Feel free to leave comments and discuss.