d.tube and skynet, sitting in a tree, youtube down? don’t mind me.
i’ve not used medium in a very long time but seeing as sia reached out to me about my tweet regarding the recent youtube downtime and how as a content creator who uses decentralised platforms to host my content (and backups) i decided to blow the dust of this account and set about writing about the why of the tweet and maybe give current creators a bit of a heads up about it.
forgive me also that i’m not a writer, i’ve had a difficult pandemic year like most of us out there and i’m not in the best headspace when it comes to blogging at the moment but i really wanted to push through for sia and put them something together as they asked nicely by DM.
owning your own content experience
i believe we are at a content creator junction when it comes to storing content on the internet, think the end scene of castaway when tom hanks is parked at a crossroads not knowing which way to go, a van passes him with a symbol on the back and he follows it, all he needed was the sign to follow.
the race is on to grab audience and attention to be the native digital vault, for many years google for many was that when they completely disrupted email with gmail and gave everyone so much storage space they would never need to think about it, it was their virtual foot in the door, they had the servers spinning doing search result building, might as well use those server racks to build a big old server farm of storage too in the equation, amazon did it too, selling us the overage (they went big) to us and then building a million little connector pieces that we could hire per minute/hr.
all of these platforms suffer from one main stumbling block in that the majority are so big, so centralised, that actually their success has made them a big attack surface target for both hackers and the sheer logistics of keeping them running.
while they are making money i’m sure they will throw everything at them to keep running but when they go down, for content creators, that’s your income and revenue streams effected, redundancy and resilience is not a common problem for a content creator, like, when does youtube every really go down?
the current landscape
hosting and algorithms have dominated the video landscape for well over a decade now, from tiktok, twitch and youtube if you look closely enough you can see how this ecosystem works, how views and adsense, bits and bytes make an income for the creator if the audience and engagement equal a sizeable chunk good enough for advertisers to promote on top off, it’s the new virtual billboard, it’s a common practice, most consumers understand the model.
most consumers however will probably not know about the actual final share of the financials thou, how difficult it is to get started, how many subscribers you need and how many watched hours of content you need before the algorithms actually starts to monetize the content you stream or upload, even then, it’s a dog eat dog world to start, maintain and eat into existing creators who are already established, like most things in life, if your bigger and better you corner the market.
i truly believe that this effects a number of things but also the staleness (is that a word) of a platform and why people start to get bored and look for new creators elsewhere, like looking for another show when your fav finishes and then cancel the next season.
kinda sucks, discovery is hard, it’s broken and algos have a lot to do with that issue in many ways, i had hoped that with AI we would have more relevant and in time discovery models suggesting VOD and real time content by now but it’s just not happened yet.
this is the (another) way
(how good has mandalorian been right?)
i believe content creators need to be the CTO of their own content moving forward in the era of blockchain enabled technology. We have the ability to not only cross promote, cross host, cross communicate but also get tokens in different audiences economies globally across the world, we get to have a level of control and remixing to our content like we have never had before.
currently, while still using youtube as my storage platform for my videos i am able to automatically sync my videos to odysee (uses the lbry blockchain, earning me lbry credits) and post my videos to d.tube for smaller community feedback while also getting tokens on the avalon blockchain.
There was no barrier to entry, i earned both airdrops and token rewards from both of these platforms which has made me more engaged as a content creator to take ownership of the way my content is both used, promoted, added to immutable blockchains referencing my content — if your digitally savvy enough you can download the open source frontends and build out the frontend look yourself, basically becoming your own youtube.
skynet to the rescue!
when youtube went down briefly this week it was at the exact time i was ready to post a video, it messed up my flow, my creative control, it pulled me out of the moment that i was in control of my time, when actually it was my reliance on the hosting platform that broke everything.
thankfully, i could pull up a siasky.net tab and upload my video there, using the peer-to-peer option of d.tube to take my video upload and still then vote using my VP (voting power) on the video, earning me more DTC coins for my involvement in the platform.
I’m trying my best to hold my DTC for as long as possible, not having to play the algo game like you have to on youtube and other platforms is a massive empowerment to a new content creator starting out and has the potential for a creator to grow into a community instead of feeling outcast because you don’t fit the algorithm grade.
thousands of blockchains, more to come
we currently have around 6–8000 different blockchain powered projects out there in the world, that number is going to multiple in the years to come, many will fail, the ones that don’t are the ones that have a utility, smart contracts that enable the creator in some way and cost less than the next product — imagine 1000 youtube video platforms, all competing for your content, what if all of those gave you tokens for involvement, what if the future of a content creator is you are the token itself and you and your time and creations are part of a global trade market? — the stock market of you.
a simple mans guide to how d.tube works
d.tube has a very interesting approach to the way that a content creator on the platform earns both DTC/DTUBE (their native crypto coin) and charging your VP (think mana bar in an arcade fighting game) — if you hold DTC your voting power (vp) charges up all the time, creators use their vp to not only vote on other peoples content but on their own, a big self vote to promote your best work is the new normal on the platform.
the statement of game theory is thrown around quite a lot on the platform and inside of discords and one to one conversations but in many ways it’s a glimpse into a self regulating machine of creators and leader nodes that are actively both securing the chain and pushing to the fore the content that resonates the most with the current viewing audience.
Game theory is the study of mathematical models of strategic interaction among rational decision-makers. It has applications in all fields of social science, as well as in logic, systems science and computer science
my hosting brings all the shards to the yard
when youtube went down recently (second time in a month, yes yes, pandemic, totally understand) that effected the native way that a dtube user might post a third party link onto the platform because their video would no longer load.
with the additional of the ability to edit and add more video sources to a video we start to see the potential of decentralised frontends and decentralised hosting platforms really show their true goals here — to add a level of reliability and fail over redundancy that content creators have never had.
with the recent pull back also from google about hosting photos and storage space starting to come to the fore with a premium cost overtone it makes sense to assume that the conversation and search terms in 2021 will be about cheaper places to host our day to day video content.
sia is perfectly positioned in this arena and i could not be happier to have them integrated into the platform. the best thing as a content creator that lives online is that if you sync the sia blockchain you can also utilize some of your storage space and earn from that blockchain too.
the possibilities and potential for the content creator to utilize blockchain technology to improve their reach, income and stake in the further development of these products is incredible and when people start to realise what’s going to be possible we will then see mass adoption of these cost effective, distributed and resilience infrastructures.
find me over on d.tube at on twitter, thanks to Sia Tech for the DM and the motivation to put together a post on the ‘why’ — don’t forget you can purchase DTC over on uniswap and load your account easily using metamask from ‘my channel’ on the d.tube website.