Social Currency

I would like to have a social currency on the SAFE network. The value of the currency would be user interactions. User attention is worth a lot, and is becoming proportionally more valuable compared to ordinary goods and services through the price/performance progress due to exponential technological progress.

Things like Facebook likes, YouTube views, retweets etc have a lot of indirect value. I’m thinking that it would be possible to capture that value in the form of a social digital currency. I haven’t yet any detailed ideas about how to implement it though. :blush:


Nice idea, I can finally cash in on my sociability and popularity…

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Well, I meant that the content producers, apps and services will earn the social currency. When you click ‘like’ for example you pay with your attention. The value you provide is your attention. And the service you use earns the social currency you generate. You generate the social currency for free. In return for your attention you can get content and use services for free. In this way it’s win-win for both the users and the providers of content, services, products and so on.

A user should be unable to game the system by clicking more likes or any fake attention like that. And things like botnets must be prevented from faking user attention.

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Also, the social currency should be fair so that each user’s attention is worth the same whoever you are. From the social currency’s perspective, my attention is worth the same as the U.S. President’s or the Pope’s attention.

The social status will instead be for the services who earn the social currency. For example an app that has earned a lot of social coins will have a high social ranking.

EDIT: Individual people can also get social status ranking, not by paying with their attention but by producing content that earns social coins. Someone producing videos, writing blog posts or provides other content will be able to earn social coins.

EDIT2: One radical idea is that the social coins will be non-fungible, meaning that they will remain only a social status value belonging to the original owners. So, someone with lots of ordinary money, like a big company, cannot buy social coins directly to artificially increase their social status.

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Hi @Anders, we were talking about a similar concept in this [thread][1]. Basically it’s a proposal to allow a developer to share his reward with multiple Safecoin addresses.

With this, we could create a social network where whenever you like / comment or share a post you would send a part of the dev reward to the author of the post, thus creating a kind of micro economy where every user interaction can be rewarded. So not exactly the same concept but pretty close I think.
[1]: SAFE Pod SF - SafeCoin - The SAFE Ecosystem - #43 by bcndanos


Nice! That could be an even better idea than social coins. The authors of the content would be given safecoins directly by the system depending on user likes. Similar to how app developers will be rewarded. And that’s fair, because many people, groups of people, companies and organizations can be producing content without having software developing skills. If only software developers are rewarded by the SAFE network then that’s unfair to those who produce content.

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If you get rid of the ads and sponsor mechanisms. One is theft and the other is censorship and together they create a self reinforcing toll gateway with privacy mining as a catalyst. That model needs to be destroyed the faster the better.

I do like your willingness to voucher-ize or put limits on the currency. Limits on money is one of the most important concepts out there. Money is not speech, on the contrary it is coercion or coercive speech, like blood money at the very least.

Do you mean ads are theft? I think non-intrusive ads are great. One big problem as I see it is that richer media in the form of audio and video seems to get more and more intrusive ads. Just check the video “monopoly” YouTube with their increasingly intrusive ads forced onto the viewers.

With social money, ads can still be used in addition to the user attention, but there will be less need for the intrusive kinds of ads hopefully.

I think all ads are bad as they represent a fundamental conflict of interest. Media and medium should only take money and influence from the legitimate end users. Otherwise we end up with censorship effects. Ad free and sponsor free search can get rid of the need for any kind of ad and create a level playing field as it better aligns the interests of buyers and sellers allowing for improved relationships and trust and improved product quality and value. Its also a way to have money free elections.

Sponsorship especially sponsored media is always going to lead to tyranny because its essentially paid censorship. If allowed we end up with sponsored legislatures, judiciary, agencies and regulatory bodies and inevitable rule by inherited money. Rule by money isn’t any better than monarchy, its a tax and enslave the poor majority system.

But for example Google Search would be expensive to use without ads. And ads, when non-intrusive and relevant, can be useful even for the users. It would be good to have both ad-based services and ad-free services compete with each other, giving users better services and more choices.

Despite the example that Google has set I don’t think ad based service would be competitive. I hear what you are saying about expense but I think its a myth. You don’t hear hit much but IBM developed (at least it was the early claim) Watson tech to all more efficient front end query to reduce the size and power/hardware requirements of the back end data base for search. It was their likely quite accurate opinion that search need not take up all that much resource or expense. I think Google goes out of its way to talk about solar panels and have huge data centers etc. Former HBR editor Nick Carr has also suggested this ad free sponsor free search as a potential Google killer.

I think the model we want to move to gets rid of the ads all together because of the conflict they present. We need accountable media and information systems and than can’t happen with the filter ads create. Anywhere there is is sponsor, there is no firewall, the sponsor becomes the customer and the entity ceases to be source of reliable information. I think also that ad free always wins, as Netflix would have dominated if it had been even more aggressive in its shift off of disk it would have taken out the content strike that awaited it and the throttling games of sponsor mongers like Comcast.

Further, under better models any use of our attention should pay us directly without middle men. That would be an ad would going rate for a time in seconds of attention it consumed, a distraction or interruption fee, and all of it paid to the end user no middle man and all of it on a global opt in not opt out basis. Its also basically trash or spam that confuses design and efficiency. Purpose should not be shared or confused with ad peddlers.

Where blinded ad type stuff could work is on an opt in basis for a firm like Amazon for stuff like automatic shopping. This assumes they never sell the customer data or private info. It also assumes a deeper relationship where a customer might answer questions (optional) occasionally to fine tune choices. But I could see staples and novelties simply arriving at a customers door on a renewing debit. If they like it they take it in and keep it. If they don’t like it they leave it on the door step or place it back out for pick up at the time of the next delivery.

A key for search is that high quality product information (not ads) would only ever show up in honest search when the customer specifically sought it out and only in a format that increase the customer finding the best match in the market.

I agree with @Anders and also think that well targeted ads can be useful. I think the problem with the models we see today are that these adverts are served to us without choice, using information taken in payment for the service. With SAFE, I hope we can get to a model where users can decide the sell their information to advertisers, and receive meaningful promotions into the bargain.

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The problem I see with ads is that they allow those with money to abuse power over consumers, workers, voters, you name it.

They create a none free market, they are a powerful market manipulation mechanism.

Ads are a centralisation technology, against the ethos of MaidSafe IMO.

But this is not a problem specific to ads. You could say to same for movies, books, forum posts, public speeches, graffities, etc. From the moment you have a medium that allows someone to connect to others you’ll see people trying to influence others. Advertiser didn’t invent it and getting rid of ads won’t make it disappear.

The thing with ads is that it’s been the simplest way to generate a revenue in the information age. With Safe it will change a bit because paying with Safecoin will be frictionless and we will be able to create very innovative platform to reward content creator but we’ll still see ads network. And that’s fine. If you make a great product you want people to hear about it, ads are a good way to do that.

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Ads are unnecessary, and you agree, one of the many ways that those with money abuse their power. Because there are other ways of abusing people is not a reason to allow this way.

The best form of advertising has always been word of mouth. Even marketers admit this, so why not rely on that? Why so much advertising?

The answer is because they can subvert word of mouth, control what we see, what we hear about, based not on reliable testimony and recommendations from people we know, but on how much money they have to spend.

At the same time they can manipulate the message to falsify the impressions we get about the project etc. The purpose of advertising is to subvert reliable, trustworthy sources, and control the content and distribution of information about conventional offerings for the benefit of business.

The idea that advertising is a service to consumers doesn’t make any sense to me.

I certainly have no need for advertising and avoid it in all forms as much as practicable. With the internet (especially a SAFE internet) at my fingertips, my social networks, this forum (!), resources like Wikipedia, content producers and authors who I select, sources all chosen by me, I have no problem discovering and learning about products and services that interest me. Adverts only interfere with that process, steal my attention against my wishes, and do not help me at all.

Perhaps you value them, but I don’t, and I think they are harmful to the autonomy and well-being of individuals and society. I believe social discovery is more efficient and reliable, add well as healthier.

This TV ad sums up well my view on ads: some are good, some are bad, some are useful, some are wasteful, some are more valuable to different people. I’d rather raise the level of critical thinking so people can more easily see through the bullshit then trying to protect people by banning it all, that’s not helping anyone in the long term.

In general, I value solutions that gives back responsibility to the people instead of treating them like victims. I think you are a good example of that, you don’t like ads and you take the necessary step to avoid them.

That’s a small part of any solution, but as I’m sure you realise, pissing in the wind of corporate power.

I wish you luck with making humanity immune to advertising. One reason I avoid it, is because I don’t believe I, or anyone else, is immune to it.

Thanks, I’ll let you know when I’m done. :slight_smile:

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Interesting argument guys, both make good points. Seems like if it was something you could choose to allow/disallow, or turn on/off at user level would be a good solution. Not sure if feasible, but I don’t think banning is either…interesting, jNick’s right about being given choice in whether to sell info, but the displaying ads is the same argument…interesting…just saying

Whenever I explain my objection to ads people say “you can’t ban it”. Interesting. There’s not a lot you can ban as far as I can see. There’s a ban on murder… not going well really is it? So…