The trend of users directly supporting content creators through platforms such as substack and patreon is on the rise. There is a growing demand for independent media without a heavy corporate agenda monetizing it.
The principles of web3 align very well with this cultural trend: censorship-resistance, financial networks operated by the people, and community driven growth.
We saw a tremendous opportunity to align the interests of content creators with the users who purchase their content by creating a novel NFT royalty mechanism. Our aim is to solve the biggest business problem content creators face: how to effectively grow and monetize their content.
What it does
Desub is a decentralized publishing platform. It enables content consumers to support content creators monetarily while sharing publishing revenue. By granting content consumers a portion of revenue generated by shared content, Desub incentivizes users to share content with their personal network, thereby helping content creators to grow their fanbase and revenue.
The core primitive of the Desub platform is the Desub content token. While the Desub platform can support a variety of content types including text, image, audio, and video, to tighten the scope of the MVP we will initially focus on text (blog) content type Desub content tokens.
When an author wishes to publish a unique blog, they mint a Desub non fungible content token using the authoring tool. The author simply enters the text they wish to publish and presses the mint button.
Once a Desub non fungible content token is minted, it can be shared via web link. When a user opens this web link, they will see the blog associated with the token. At the end of the blog, there is a call to action informing the user that they may purchase an interest in this unique content token.
In this call to action, the user is offered two reasons they may wish to purchase a partial ownership interest in this Desub token:
- Part of the proceeds of this and every sale will support the author
- As a partial owner of this token you are entitled to part of the future revenue generated by this token
Here is how proceeds of each partial ownership sale are distributed:
Author revenue: The majority of the revenue is distributed to the author
Sharing rewards: When you purchase partial ownership you get a unique referral link attached to your wallet address. When someone else purchases a subToken, you are entitled 10% of that sale to reward you for being a referrer.
Stack rewards: All partial owners are added to the stack rewards pool. Every new owner is added to the stack in the order that they purchased their ownership share. The earlier (lower) you are in the stack, the greater your allocation in this pool. This creates a time incentive to be the first to purchase ownership.
Platform fee: A small fee is paid to the Desub platform to finance the cost of hosting content
Sharing rewards provide a strong incentive for influencers to share relevant content to their network. If @APompliano shares a thought piece by @Cobie on the importance of WAGMI to his 1.4 million twitter followers, he stands to make a meaningful amount of revenue from one share action. This aligns the interest of the author to grow their fanbase size (revenue stream) and the sharer’s desire to grow their revenue stream.
Stack rewards give anon a chance to make meaningful revenue by being early to purchase content. A user’s percent allocation of the stack rewards pool is determined by an exponential decay function with allocation on the y-axis and purchase order in stack on the x-axis. The earlier you purchase the more rewards you collect over time. This provides a powerful time incentive for anyone to purchase an ownership share as well as a variable reward mechanism for maximum stickiness. The variable reward mechanism emerges from the fact that each time a user makes a purchase, they are statistically very likely to have a different stack order especially with popular pieces of content.
How we built it
We used solidity to build the smart contracts that power the Desub content token. We used hardhat for a development and testing framework and built out a suite of unit tests to help us validate as we built. Using solidity was an intentional choice to allow us to deploy the contracts on multiple EVM compatible chains.
We have deployed the contract on Ropsten (Ethereum testnet) and Mumbai (Polygon testnet)
The front end is powered by react and web3js, consisting of a page for minting content and a page for sharing content with the link to purchase sub tokens.
The api for serving content centrally is built in ruby with a postgres db.
Challenges we ran into
The decision of whether to use a standard centralized db for serving the content itself vs hosting it decentrally with something like Filecoin was an important team debate. There are strong arguments for a more decentralized solution but in the interest of rapid development we went with a classic centralized approach.
Gas fees are a big concern given the number of operations for NFT method execution and high tx volume this platform would generate. Definitely interested in using novel L1 and L2s to mitigate this issue.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We are proud to present deployed smart contracts along with a fully functional front end and back end that interface together to fulfill the MVP story requirements. This allows us to test our concept and quickly get market feedback.
What we learned
Miami is the best place to live and build cutting edge web3 tech!
What's next for Desub
We will submit an EIP with our novel non fungible token standard. We wish to continue to build, test, get feedback and iterate the Desub content platform!