Blockchain has enormous potential to improve upon existing publishing and content-sharing mechanisms. I think it’s worth exploring a little how decentralization benefits writing online and publishing. Some decentralized blogging platforms integrate the Ethereum Name Service. They also introduce new features, such as subscriptions, feeds and user-friendly editing interface.
Writing to inform
As a writer, I’m always intrigued to learn more about blockchain-based blogging platforms. When I started writing over four years ago, medium seemed a perfect choice. Interestingly enough, none of my medium posts directly made me money. Many, I’ve just written for fun and to educate myself (and hopefully others). Of course, I also wrote for companies’ publications during my employment with them. But I never tried the earnings option on medium, and I don’t think I will.
Even so, while I’m not directly reliant on generating cash flow through my musings, other creators are. And it’s not just those writers sharing their thoughts about life we should think about; it’s also journalists worldwide.
Current issues for journalists and writers
The digital age is also considered the golden age of journalism. It enabled journalists to cast wider nets of data and collaborate across borders. The advent of advertising has hurt not only news outlets but, arguably, societies more broadly.
Instead of relying on cash flow generated through users buying the newspaper, nowadays, media outlets rely on advertising revenue. Unfortunately, this sparked a race to the bottom because everyone tries to grab as much attention as possible. Without necessarily considering the broader consequences this might have on trust in media as an institution.
Another issue on top of writing to capture the most attention as opposed to actual important news. Journalists all over the world are increasingly concerned about censorship. Many countries will outright shut down publishing houses that share regime-critical coverage. Some go even further, imprisoning journalists. According to a survey conducted by the Committee to Protect Journalists, 293 journalists were imprisoned and 24 were killed in 2021 alone.
Let’s be honest. Monetization can be the most difficult aspect of making it as an independent writer. You risk alienating your audience if you start plastering ads all over your content. Nobody wants to be sold anything. Paywalls can also be difficult because they require people to pay in advance. Any of the web2 ways to monetize come with trade-offs that include having to reach minimum payout amounts for platforms like AdSense. Others involve waiting long for any cash to get your way.