Ned Scott, CEO of Steemit – a successful online content platform which rewards writers for good content and readers for curatorship contributions – has just made a surprise announcement in relation a white-paper that carries the blueprint for a concept that he refers to as Smart Media Tokens (SMTs).
In an almost understated tone, Scott has invited the community to read through the SMT white-paper and provide feedback on its contents which relate to a proposal for the development of a platform that will allow third-party content providers to migrate to a Steemit-type incentive-model for content creation.
For those that already have some familiarity with the Steemit platform – which figured amongst the first wave of ICOs to appear in 2016 – or who may have Steem currency holdings, the announcement was excitedly heralded as a paradigm shift in online content management and marketing.
Understanding Smart Media Tokens
The white-paper begins by outlining the current issues in the traditional content arena, including a monopoly on rewards by content providers – you may publish interesting material on Facebook, for example, and draw in huge readerships, but it is Facebook which rakes in the monetary rewards. Similar problems exist on platforms such as Youtube and Twitter.
With Smart Media Tokens, however, any organisation that generates significant online content will be able to migrate to the Steem model of content management where writers that generate popular content and readers that engage in content curation will reap the benefits directly.
Whilst the details on the specific implementation are still unclear – the white-paper is a work in progress and development of the product is still in its early stages – in practical terms, it appears that SMTs will allow Steem to position itself as the go-to platform for content syndicates who are tempted by a migration to the Steemit model.
Given the success of the Steemit platform itself, and given the ever-decreasing revenues from traditional advertising, the proposal is likely to have an audience.
In other words, in any field of interest – a sporting activity, a political movement, a hobby etc. – that requires a platform (generally a website) to organise articles, discussions, forums etc., that same platform will now have the ability to adopt a Steemit-type model for incentivising content-generation.
The Steemit site itself seems to serve as the example – having evolved from a simple concept in mid-2016 to a user base that has reached 350,000 at the time of writing along with an ever-rising Alexa rating that demonstrates a historical, exponential growth model.
With an out-of-the box solution potentially being made available to content generators to convert to a token-based model, the scene appears to be set for the Steem blockchain – and its corresponding currency – to challenge for a revolutionary change in internet content in the coming years.
The market reaction – a ten-fold rise in Steem trading volume along with an overnight rise of 40% in the USD quote for Steem – has been indicative of the general reception to Scott’s announcement.
Some commentators have likened the announcement to the content-equivalent of Ether’s ERC-20 compliancy initiative which seeks to streamline ICO token issues. The Steem Blockchain may have just set out its stall as the centre of gravity for content-based ICOs of the future.