If you're reading this post, the odds are that you have no idea what the logo at the top stands for or why my username is epicdylan. You'll notice that I don't follow very many accounts, and that I have slightly more followers than accounts that I follow. You may even be intrigued that it shows I am from Texas, or that I joined just a month ago back in December.
None of that is as important as what I'm going to say next. I've been following the work of a technologist named Jaron Lanier for many years now, and his books have done an impressive job of not only predicting the future accurately (as some of you will know, I believe that this is one of the tasks philosophical thinking allows us to accomplish), but also a nice job of communicating the values we have and the technical changes that can be made to do a better job of aligning our values with the values we encounter in our time spent with technology.
In his book, Ten Arguments For Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now, Lanier describes what he refers to as "bummer"--a mindgame many social media giants have used quite successfully to add and retain users, sell ads, and make an absurd amount of money.
Bummer is the reason social media makes us feel bad. In a nutshell, Lanier tells us, social media uses algorithms which don't care about our feelings but which are able to use pattern recognition to repeat a given set of inputs. So, if you're more likely to buy something after you see a post that makes you depressed (most of us are) you're going to be shown depressing content and then ads a post or four later in your feed.
Cent is different. Cent is a nascent, blockchain-based social network which uses a cryptocurrency called ethereum to sustain itself and allow users to interact with one another. Instead of 'likes' or reactions as we've come to think of them, users 'seed' one another's posts and write comments. Bounties play a role, as does tipping, and the end result is that the overall quality of interactions is much better than a place like Facebook, where there is little incentive to not simply berate whoever makes you unhappy.
Instead, on Cent, (found at beta.cent.co ) everyone else is someone who could tip or comment or otherwise assist you in whatever mission you choose to take up next. Hence, you have a very strong social incentive to be polite, helpful, and as nice as possible to everyone you meet! It makes a very big difference.
There is another amazing tool borne of the blockchain which I have been enjoying immensely of late: the Brave browser. (download here: https://brave.com/tho788 )
Brave allows you to browse the internet without being tracked from site to site. If you've ever experienced a creepy ad placement, you're most likely giving an absurd amount of free data away to gigantic technology companies without even knowing it. Brave helps to stem this tide of data leakage, and even PAYS YOU to look at the ads they put together.
Take a second to think about that: we've all interacted with modern social media-based advertisements, right? Nobody likes them. We tend to scroll right past.
But if you knew you would be tipped in cryptocurrency that might appreciate substantially in value, you might take the ads more seriously, right? Now factor in the relevancy factor Brave uses to accomplish targeting. All data is stored on your own device, and not in the cloud, so you have ultimate control over what you see. You can delete the app and reinstall it to reset it if you start seeing annoying ads, but you should back up your crypto wallet first if you decide to so that you don't lose your BAT tokens!
This approach is likely to be a big plus in terms of conversion. I've already signed up for a handful of cryptocurrency-related services Brave has shown me, for the simple reason that they were relevant and helpful and actually things I ALREADY WANTED.
The main problem with the ad-stravaganza we're living through in the rest of the online universe is that they aren't relevant to what we care about. That's why they're annoying. I believe many advertisers will eventually see the light and begin to use Brave or similar technology to qualify their audience, restrict the bot traffic, and increase their conversion.
In any case, that's more than enough for one blog post. I will be sure to continue making posts as often as possible, so be sure to register here for an account! If you're interested in Brave, you can signup here: https://brave.com/tho788 and if you want to give Cent a try, you can find me on there at: beta.cent.co/@epicdylan.
Nobody is likely to earn a living from these micro-transactions yet, but technologists such as Lanier have been calling for user-oriented economic models in tech for a long time and it looks like they're starting to get their way. It's a wonderful time to get into crypto. I will probably post a few more crypto-oriented thoughts before too long.