Getting to Critical Mass, Marketing and Gamification

Hey guys&gals, I see that so far there as been discussions about devs, builders and farmers. I want to suggest to open up a new idea where either an app or the network itself rewards people in safecoin for getting people to download the MAIDSAFE client.

This is not new, dropbox used this very well by rewarding its new users for sharing the platform on social media and other outlet.

This just a way to create the right incentives to get SAFE to critical mass as fast as possible.

Now here is my basic idea: (and I need your brainpower to get this idea to grow)

  1. Before someone can earn safecoin, he has to pledge a x% of his farming earnings towards a decentralized pool of safecoin.

  2. The promoter is given a unique link to a “sales page” that explains MAIDSAFE technology. That link has an identifier that would allow to track if someone downloaded the client through his link.

  3. Everytime someone successfully join the network, the promoter is given a certain amount of safecoin(depending on the current pool of safecoin) and accumulate 1 share of the pool.

  4. Once the network as reached a critical mass of let’s say 100Million people. The pledge stop and all excess safecoin accumulated in the pool would be distributed proportionally to the amount shares every individuals have.

Here are my questions:

  1. What do you think of the idea?
  2. Would it be better as an app or as a part of the core?

Hmmm, as stated this runs headlong into the proof of unique human problem.

But what if promoter is getting rewarded not just for the joining of other, person but actually for that other person’s contribution to the network. This could be a temporary thing, again, until the network stabilizes.

The thing that would be useful to the network, is if say it turns out that a specific vault size is desirable, and anything above a certain point is less efficient, not just for the person farming but for the network as a whole, then that could incentivize people to partition their drives and rearrange things so that the vaults are being managed in a way thats most efficient for the network.

That is i’m seeing two kinds of people, here. First the people who genuinely want to participate and invite others. They get their reward. But for the second type of person, who wants to create squirrel accounts, we are motivating them to arrange their storage in the ways that the network finds most efficient.

If this is already accomplished by the Safecoin farming rewards, then this still works.

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I like the idea, and I think @kirkion’s tweak makes it workable: rewards based on the contribution brought by each new user, rather than just for sign ups. I guess that would have to be in the core though, unless done as follows…

You only get contributions from users who opt in, and what you get us actually a small percentage of their farming earnings (say c% but with a cap so as to encourage people to stay in the scheme even if they are farming a lot of coin) these figures would ideally be tuned by the app, or chosen by the users with some trade off for them to consider, so as to avoid “magic” numbers and allow for self optimisation as the network changes.

This eliminates the need for a pool, and no need for hard cut-offs either.

Why would they agree to this? In order to join the scheme and earn from users they recruit.

If you are a first adopter (ie no one recruited you) you either get away without having a percentage deduction, or perhaps have all or some of it go to the app developer.

I suggest leaving c% to be decided by the recruiter - each first adopter sets the rate and so there’s a range of competing schemes, each started by a different first adopter, each with a fixed rate chosen when they download the app and configure it for use.

Each first adopter then has to balance setting c% low, to encourage her recruits to join her scheme and pay her commission, against setting it too low for anyone (her included) to feel incentivised enough to encourage them to recruit new users and for those new users to want to join the scheme.

I’m not sure if the current API has a mechanism for this, so if not, a different mechanism would need to be found for deciding how much coin to send back to the person who recruited you. Or we go back to the idea of a pool, but maybe still with the “choose the c%” style scheme to allow the system to self optimise.


Very good point @kirkion ! I didn’t think about the multiple account scheme.

It would have to remain a 1 level affiliate type of program.

@happybeing : Would it be the promoter or the new user who set the c% of the contribution?

The natural tendency I think would be to set the lowest amount if that choice is left to the new user. And also it adds an extra layer of complexity that a beginner shouldnt worry about.(the masses LOVES big green easy buttons)

Question 1: If someone sets a big rig, what is their incentives to give safecoin to the promoters? (Where is the win/win?)

Question 2: What if it is a set space rather than a %?

Thank you everyone!

My thought was the first adopter sets the % and that is carried on for every level - so multi-level not single level - but these are all parameters we can play with in thought experiments.

Some will set it %c too low - their referrals will peter out. Some too high - their referrals will peter out. Some will set it just right - and their referrals will grow. We don’t need everyone to get it right, once a few do, their referrals take off. As the network changes the “right” level will change, and with it new first adopters can come in and their referrals take off while one’s that were doing well start to fade.

Its not about every participant winning, but optimisation of the whole by the crowd. A sort of evolution where individuals are not so important as the whole. ANT tech :slight_smile:

“rig”? if you mean %c - that’s the point. Some get it wrong and their scheme fails. The win-win appears for those getting the figure right (if I get your question correctly!)

I’m not sure if this could be done and don’t see the point. Safecoin seems perfect for this, so maybe you mean if there’s no way to transfer a percent of farming earnings? Yes, I guess you could do that, but if there’s no way to do it automatically for Safecoin I’m not sure how it could be done for space. Worth keeping in mind.

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Ok this might be a stupid question but what if you just want to opt-out of the whole scheme, ie just stop being a promoter? Does you just uninstall the app? Also if the API doesn’t accomodate such concepts as @happybeing mentioned why not just upgrade the API? And finally I’m thinking after this promotion scheme is perfected it could be applied not only to maidsafe but to other forms of marketing as well, which would be good for anyone trying to promote anything using the SAFE network, which in itself is good marketing for the SAFE network.

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Now that is a brilliant point. If we incorporate that kind of decentralized network marketing in the basic architecture of the SAFE network, then it should easily be adapted to other kinds of networking marketing. To the extent that network marketing companies are centralized (which many of them are), its because they have to concentrate resources to maintain the websites, particularly for payment security.

This kind of set up would allow people to participate in network marketing on a genuinely equal footing, dealing with the central production company as an independent contractor deals with a supplier, instead of being effectively controlled through the centralized features of the website.

This could allow us to move away from thinking about network marketing as a marketing strategy and perhaps even begin to think about it as a productions strategy, with decentralized production taking place throughout the network.

I know this is a little off-topic, but I’m just thinking here.

What’s the difference between a marketing strategy and a production strategy?

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A marketing strategy asks how do I efficiently distribute goods (or theoretically services). But it accepts the goods as an accomplished fact, and doesn’t participate in production in any meaningful way. Its solely focused on servicing the demand side.

Thats why a lot of these network marketing companies are companies. They have a headquarters with a CEO etc, and that centralized side runs the production. What network marketing companies don’t have is a centralized marketing/sales department. That they outsource to these individual people, who market their brand.

But the individual marketers are in no way independent of the centralized company. They are totally dependent on the centralized production mechanism. When there is a problem with production, they, even if they is thousands of people have no more ability to affect that problem than the VP of Marketing sitting in a board meeting. All they can do is complain, but they have no power.

Its one of the reasons that I’ve always been leery of network marketing companies. I liked the decentralization aspect, but the centralized company retains effectively total power over the decentralized element. This kind of thing could change that.


This app/core function could be used for any products/services available on the network?

Wow that would be cool! If the app builder not only have a build-in mechanism to earn safecoin by having users but also have a marketing system build-in by “redistributing” a % of his app-builder earning back to his affiliate!

Wow my head is spinning.

@happybeing : What I think will happen through a bid system is that the lowest % will win because people will jump “ship” if they see someone else advertising a lower fee. Eventually bringing it down.

Also, I don’t think it is a good message to have something like this to be the marketing message: “Join MAIDSAFE only at 0.5% fee”.

If it is a set amount, the message will be more focus are education as a marketing tool in my opinion.

To some extent this kind of thinking is already being discussed by the devs.

This “granularity” allows things to be set up so that different stakeholders benefit from the use of apps and data. We are just applying this same kind of thinking to farming.

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I don’t see it working like that.

It isn’t just a c% fee.

It is a c% fee and a c% earning opportunity if you spread the word.

If you’re not interested in spreading the word, you don’t earn c% and you don’t pay either - the commission only applies if you decide to stay in the affiliate scheme.

So the person setting up the scheme sets c% and tries to get a balance between the incentive needed to go and recruit, and the amount paid in commission for being part of the scheme (and don’t forget I also suggested it be capped).

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Sorry if this doesn’t come off as properly humble. I mean that, but trying to turn ProjectSAFE into a sponsorship medium? Give SAFE MLM type features. Fork it and we can have something without that bullshit built in. Why isn’t the conflict of interest absolutely obvious?! It seems we have people here trying to argue for the corruption of basics of concept. What, MaidSAFE as Discover card?

Its ridiculous, this focus on people acting in their very limited role as content creators as opposed to the bigger issue and their needs as human beings? That supply side BS needs to be canned. ‘Content creators’ are a euphemism for more of the same, a repetition of the same dis-empowering mistakes that are killing the world and blocking the path to a worthwhile future.

  • The way to kill a distributed system, in order to protect a
    centralized system (content creator info enclosure
    sponsorship/censorship system) is to subvert it.

Decentralized systems have a history of quickly killing centralized systems. Seems like some real lobbying is going on, i.e., moderate on the basis of thread continuity. Get overly concerned about what a forum to provide info to MaidSAFE says about MaidSAFE by hiding any 'questionable posts in the back room." Stop being concerned about how the actual tech will be used, say its ok for the developer community to do whatever they want- that the intent behind ProjectSAFE is so good that it won’t lead as with Linux (not that the story is over) to a world of locked down tracker cell phones.

Here is your gamification, Forum Wars:


  • Want mass surveillance and enclosure of society to remain hugely
    profitable. Want to subvert the decentralized ideology of any
    decentralized system by making it more centralized and therefore
    easier to defeat by in place centralized systems.

  • Charismatic types always arguing for the elevation of personality and superficial BS as that’s needed to distract people from their core interests and commonalities. Because you like me you won’t oppose me even as I am attempting to undermine you for my own, paycheck, fame and power. I’ll bring up some emotional wedge issue like starving artists. If you look closely at me you may find I am employed in the advertising industry. If I am pointed out I will just fall back to PMing and other forms of influence but I will return.

  • Appeal to people’s selfishness and one way or another suggest that to do otherwise is unreasonable.

What is needed from moderation is not so much thread coherence or PR type ass kissing but non tolerance of personal attacks. And short of censoring, limiting attempts to subvert or dilute the clarity of the vision

Hi @Warren, I understand that you are not warm to the idea. That is fine and you are entitled to your opinion.

This idea came about as I was thinking about what I am good at: marketing.

How do we get this platform to the people and what kind of incentives there would be for people to share the word.

I am not a developper nor an app builder (yet). A farm could be cool but I can’t contribute much that way. But getting the word out is important and that ia he value I can bring.

Every species has a way to reproduce itself and grow.

Now this is a thought experiment and we are free to explore the possibilities. If you dont want any part of it, you can just go to another thread.


And I dont think a multi-level structure is a good idea. But direct-referral is an interesting idea.

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Sorry about the tone, wasn’t aimed at you.

Direct referral can makes sense but how to achieve a genuine word-of-mouth feel to it so it doesn’t defile?

I think this is an interesting question - but agree maybe in another thread as it is I think going to bring in a lot of issues that while relevant to this thread, will dilute it. I see that in @warren’s reply - a lot of relevant side issues, but which can’t be handled in a single thread without diverting it from the OP.

I think @warren, you are reacting to the idea that going multi-level is by definition bad, whereas you accept single referral as ok. You may be right, but I don’t know if that’s the case. Another thread has been discussing what is bad about MLM, and from skimming I think one view was the centralisation of the production. Perhaps MLM is actually a natural phenomenon (genetic evolution within a population?) and not inherently bad, just bad within a centralising framework? Anyway - let’s not go into that here.

If anyone wants to go into a discussion on “Is A Form of MLM Compatible with SAFE?” or something like that - feel free to suggest the title - just reply to this making that clear and I’ll spin off a separate topic so we can keep this thread to the OP (assuming the OP agrees with that @renaudgagne - I’ll take final decision from you as its your thread!)

@warren if you wish to raise issues with how moderation is going, please do so explicitly, and do so under Meta. I don’t think its helpful to make aside comments like “Seems like some real lobbying is going on, i.e., moderate on the basis of thread continuity.” … “Get overly concerned about what a forum to provide info to MaidSAFE says about MaidSAFE by hiding any 'questionable posts in the back room.” and “What is needed from moderation is not so much thread coherence or PR type ass kissing but non tolerance of personal attacks. And short of censoring, limiting attempts to subvert or dilute the clarity of the vision” in a thread that is not about moderation. These are important issues concerning the whole community, and belong under Meta.


@happybeing : Multi-level is mathematically brilliant but I personally think it is better to stay away from it from a branding point of view. There is a lot of stigma around that type of structure and we all know that most people make emotional decision…not rational one.

Also, what happen is that the compensation structure ALWAYS change as the network gets bigger in this model. Direct-Referral is in some way better because it creates a level playing field between people who join at the beginning and people who come later. People are being rewarded as the direct contribution they bring to the network.(not indirectly through multiple level)

Also, I am sure we don’t want to attract the “opportunity market” driven people. They are flaky and mostly there if they can make quick money. I don’t think it’s a good strategy. You are welcome to open the debate in a different tread. I will gladly represent my case in it. :smile:

There is still a multiplier effect in direct-referral but no leverage compensation.

I would like to stay on the topic:

1- How can we incentivize people for getting the word out while keeping MaidSafe values intact?
2- Would it be better as an app or built-in mechanism in the core?

@Warren: I understand that you really care about this project and I commend you for that.
Word of mouth will happen even without having people being compensated for getting the word out. MaidSafe is that awesome! I think what we are looking for here is a way to “turbo charge” by creating an extra incentive just like MaidSafe does for developers and farmers.

I like the idea of gamifying the process. People love games and it is a very powerful tool.(don’t get me wrong, I HATE the invites about Candy Crush on Facebook) :smile:

What I understood of the platform is that it is decentralized and anonymous. 2 things that are very dear to me.

So to recap:

Problem #1: We must avoid people earning safecoin by bringing bots accounts into the network

Proposed Solution 1: Getting people to earn safecoin in proportion to the contribution of the new user’s farming.

Proposed Solution 2: The promoter only earn safecoin if the person who join also decided to be a promoter himself by accepting the initial pledge. Making all of this voluntary on the part of the new user. If someone doesn’t want to earn safecoin by promotion, why should he sacrifice his farming earnings?

NOTE: Solution #2 may incentivize people to promote MaidSafe as an affiliate program since it is the only way they would be rewarded without much thoughts about real genuine users.

Do you have a better solution @Warren ?

Problem #2: How do we define the right %?

Proposed Solution 1: Let the first promoter choose an initial pledged % and let it carry out from promoters to promoters down the line. Let the bid system find the right one.

NOTE : Without upward pressure, the bid system will eventually bring it close to 0%. People will jump ship, especially if they are farmers.

Proposed Solution 2: Let every promoter set their own pledge(%). Maybe by setting a minimum space contribution(nominal)

Did I miss a points?

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Or maybe a completly different way to go about it would be as follow:

Forget the whole affiliate program and simply add a function, a step in the initial tutorial that goes like this:

Get additional space or safecoin by sharing MaidSafe. The click would share a link from the MaidSafe fanpage or twitter handle. Now I don’t know how to protect privacy in that case or other issues there would be with this.

That would be a one time only event when people join the network. No affiliate or compensation. Just kind of like a game where people get rewarded for going through the tutorial.

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Some time back there was some documentation for a switch that could be switched in the architecture for ad piping. I asked about it and it seemed like it would go away. Seems like the core has to be bullet proof even on the appearance level. Some inextricable element of self promotion, how ever effective or efficient may be prone to being seen as a conflict of interest. Linux is taking over but its taken a good amount of time and a lot of the forking seems locked down. Can the Linux formula be accelerated and improved upon- is it practical, or advantageous to in anyway differentiate from open systems methods of spreading? Beside the world not being able to wait you seem to think it needs some sort of upward push to stay afloat.

Proposed solutions
I see solution #1. #2 is more problematic because any sort of paid promotion seems to bring in a pro sales force even if in an adhoc manner the “opportunity market” perception comes in. Stigma has a very high cost. Facebook, AOL, Amway, Sprint, Yahoo (to a lesser extent,) etc., these firms generated a lot of money but they weren’t honest, also weak in important ways. Their business models were based on abusing the public. I am hoping the progress of open systems and ProjectSAFE make these business models impractical. How did the management at these firms avoid the clink?

If ProjectSAFE has to be sold or pushed I think its fails, the value should be compelling and it seems we agree that it is, so how much upward push does it need? The push may come from alternatives being corrupt or insecure. Also the notion of being able to set percentages
(commissions) again seems arbitrary and brings in again the flim flam. Those are contract type structures and create a straddling overhead the contribution of which would be uncertain. That sales structure could become the main thing about the system and once again a centralizing force, an accounting driven system. Instead of something can change things it gets reduced to a business that’s about profit or bribery. There would be PR but it would be about money this and money that.

No affiliate or compensation sounds more flexible. Tying it to resource space is interesting, but its got to be calculated to bring in more resources that it consumes and seems to presume a scarcity. Maybe tying it to the coin as you suggest? Maybe just pay the potential end user to try it by granting them some SAFE coin to set up an account, but if that’s up front how to prevent scams to get at the coins? Twitter has exposure but trying it to existing systems seems risky as well.

Maybe I don’t know the coin scape well enough but it seems like the block chain systems will fail, hopefully SAFE coin is revved up enough before that happens so there is a counter example and the whole coin space can’t simply legislated out of existence.