How will anyone find you in the metanet?

Jan 25th 2020 by Joshua Williams

How will anyone find you, in the metanet?

Creating an audience on any new platform is difficult. With the metanet, and bitcoin, we’re talking about an entirely new protocol, something very different from our current internet. What may work today, will likely not work tomorrow in the metanet. New strategies are required so that we can connect with one another, as creative people, audiences, and members of social groups.

How will we sort ourselves in this vast space? How will communities develop and thrive?

As the internet grew, there was constant experimentation by creators seeking to reach their audiences. Over the years, we’ve seen successful marketing strategies developed, with some content creators reaping the rewards. And we’ve also seen many creators fail or be entirely dependent upon advertising or donations. Have creators ever been in control of how their work is seen or heard?

Let us remember the fundamental difference between the metanet and the internet: the metanet places value on data. In today's internet, your data and identity is given freely, to be stored in server farms and sold to whichever advertiser or politically-motivated research groups bids the most. In the metanet, we’ll have ownership of our data, and we’ll be able to decide what we share, and how we share. You can see this today: this ownership and control works, now, with bitcoin. Security in the metanet is fundamentally economic, where it becomes cost-prohibitive to steal data. Compare this with today’s internet, where we amass an endless list of passwords and hide behind firewalls that are dangerously close to toppling.

Our creativity on the internet was largely given away for free, and those who sought to bring in an income from their work typically relied upon advertising or donations. In between sections of a blog post, you may find an advertisement for the latest wrinkle cream (or worse). Musicians sell their songs to pharmaceutical companies as background muzak, or settle for miniscule payments from a streaming platform, while the platform itself is dependent upon advertising revenue. Artists fall into obscurity, unable to sustain themselves financially through their work.

Nowadays we do our best to understand SEO optimization, and seek to rise to the top of all-powerful algorithms based on the business models of Google, Twitter, Facebook, or Medium. Those companies can change their processes at any time. As a creator, just when you think you’re finally gaining tractions and finding your audience, the rug can be pulled out from under you as the company rewrites its algorithms.

With the metanet, we don’t yet have a Google to tell us what we’re looking for.

We’ll need to build the tools to sort through the vast swaths of data written upon the metanet. We’ll need tools to find one another and make important connections.

Perhaps we’ll see bespoke solutions, customized to fulfill the needs of small groups or individuals. I expect we’ll see developers compete to purposefully match audiences to their ideal content. Somehow, we’ll have to sort through all this information, perhaps with a mosaic of approaches that are based on niche requirements.

Or, we may see developments in artificial intelligence that help us sort through the metanet, in a customized approach based on our individual whims.

An interesting approach is being taken by Robin Kohze of HIVE (http://hive.kohze.com/). Mr. Kohze, a PhD student of human genomics at Cambridge University, created HIVE as a protocol for organizing communities and discerning valuable content amongst individuals, through incentivized, self-organizing systems. Imagine: clusters being built around valuable content, with connections being made between readers and other valuable works. These networks, as they are developed, will provide context for information and allow for cooperation amongst different users.

I find the HIVE model compelling and inspiring. It leads me to think of other possibilities that will be available in the metanet, as we seek new ways to organize ourselves. And, although there will be many systems built to organize human interactions on the metanet, I appreciate that HIVE is designed to mimic structures found in nature.

I certainly can’t predict what is to come. To me, it’s important to simply be aware of developments, ideas, and technologies, and then to experiment with them, discarding the ones that don’t meet our needs, and embracing those that do.

New technologies open up new possibilities for organizing data. I expect that we’ll see an explosion in interest and innovation from developers who seek to organize the metanet. As a creative human being, will you be ready to pivot and take advantage of change, when the opportunity arises?

Although I may not find any answers, I hope to continue exploring these possibilities. I’d love to hear your opinions and thoughts. Where are we all going, these billions of people who will be connected by this technology?

Thank you for reading.

Please note: I originally posted this article to the blockchain, using the bit.sv application (a review of bit.sv will be coming soon- it's a great tool).

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Joshua Williams

Joshua Williams is the founder of CreateSV. He wants creators to own their work, generate value, and fully understand the Bitcoin environment.

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