The Attention Economy: Blockweave Flips the Paradigm for Creators
In the information age, the value paradigm flipped from purchasing power to data and attention. If you were Facebook, Google, or another giant advertising firm at the height of web2, you were selling your user’s attention to the highest bidder and profiting off of any business that was doing it the other way around.
The late 2010s carved a history of anti-Google movements, Facebook mass desertions, and resistance to the notion that “the user is the product”. Clearly a change was necessary, and with web3, we’re getting a glimpse into the future – rather than letting large corporations profit from the attention of users, creators can profit from the attention of their fans.
One attempt at this which straddles web2 and web3 is the Brave browser. Brave blocks unwanted ads and rewards users with BAT for engaging with relevant ads. This may solve the issue of ads being pure annoyances, but when users are only engaging with ads because they are paid to do so, it creates a false attention economy.
In the web3 space, Koii leads the way as far as a concrete implementation of the creator-focused attention economy goes. The team describes their vision as “a web where developers can build apps without worrying about optimizing ad revenue or where to put a pay-wall”, and the same goes for creators – Koii-minted NFTs are stored on Arweave and traffic is tracked via Koii nodes running Proof-of-Real-Traffic algorithms. When introducing rewards for creators that rightfully gain attention for their works, being able to prove that the attention is real is most of the battle won.
The network’s initiatives have different layers for different users – Koii helps creators earn KOI tokens when their audience engages with NFTs uploaded to koi.rocks, and provides templates that make building Koii-based dApps easy. Running a dApp on Koii means being able to turn engagement into KOI tokens in exchange for paying a combination of AR + KOI for adding content to the network.
Koii is self-sustaining thanks to similar mechanics that power all cryptocurrencies – a distributed network of nodes to perform tasks and validate requests in exchange for the native token. With incentivized computer power in the network, Koii can work out how to best distribute attention rewards across all participants.
The future implications for Koii’s take on the attention economy are broad. What if news sites could reward their authors automatically and verifiably based on the traffic their articles generate? What if within those articles, the photographers that provide images could be rewarded? Taking it one step further, what if the site itself was built as a Koii dApp that compensated the developers for each transaction, too?
A major reason this model has sticking power is because its foundations are build upon Arweave. Arweave is the first storage model that can promise true permanence, and for creators – publishing important, cherished, and historically significant work – this is absolutely key.
Within two decades, almost everything stored on web2 will have eroded to 404s while Arweave conservatively estimates that every asset uploaded to the blockweave has a lifespan of 200 years (the real figures, factoring in the declining cost of storage, are likely far more optimistic). With NFTs stored on web2 servers and even IPFS going missing due to flaws in the centralized model of storage, Arweave is the only real long-term option – especially in a world where NFTs go under auction for tens of millions of dollars.
For artists, Koii serves as an easy way to permanently mint NFTs and gain attention rewards in KOI tokens. The release of the new network’s new Finnie browser extension takes this a step further.
Koii plans that Finnie will act as a gateway to other platforms on other chains – the extension shows that it will be possible to transfer Koii NFTs to Ethereum, Tezos, Polkadot, Binance, and Avalanche. Among other things, this will allow Koii NFTs to be stored permanently by being minted on Arweave and then listed on popular NFT marketplaces like Opensea, hic et nunc, and Kusama-based dApps. And, while listed for sale as NFTs, they’ll be able to earn attention rewards for views on koi.rocks.
While NFTs are a hot example, talking just about NFTs is an oversimplification of the network’s power.
A web where content is permanent and creators are compensated fairly for their work is almost futuristic, but Koii is making waves, paving the way, and truly paying attention.