[UDC Report] How power bloggers became power blogging beggars
[UDC Report]-5 While today almost everyone is on Instagram, blogs dominated between the late 2000s and the early 2010s. In Korea, Naver blogs were most popular. To vitalize its blogs, Naver adopted a “power blogger” system, where those who were exceptional bloggers through frequent updates and quality content were given a digital medal to benefit their profile information. The digital medal was seen as a type of verification to attract users. But around 2010, power bloggers became power blogging beggars after several scandals. It turned out some of the power bloggers called up popular restaurants and threatened the owners that they would write bad reviews on their blog unless they were given free meals. Some bloggers sold products to their followers without disclosing the fact that they were paid by the company to advertise. The public started to criticize power bloggers, and they were labeled as power blogging beggars. Incentives to viewers with information sovereignty as a plus The blockchain industry has been trying to change the paradigm on advertisement and incentives to address the power blogger problem. One of the noticeable changes is the implementation of selective advertisement. Selective advertisement is a system that tries to incentivize the advertisements that previously were excluded in the incentive structure. The Brave web browser and the Basic Attention Token (BAT) by Brave Software is one of the leading projects. When accessing the Brave web browser, all advertisements are blocked. And because there are no advertisements as default, the speed of the browser is faster than other browsers. And there are no concerns about information leakage, as all information is stored in decentralized ledgers rather than on a central database. Brave Software is also distributing its BAT tokens. Brave browser users can donate the BAT to their favorite content creators. Additionally, it has an auto-contribute service, which is similar to paid subscription, which helps increase the income of content creators. A certain amount of tokens are contributed when a user visits a specific site and accesses the content. Brave Software plans to adopt selective advertisement in the long haul as there is a limit in increasing BAT demand only with BAT contribution. The use of the token could be expanded when the BAT is given to the publishers and content creators when the viewers watch the advertisement. The advertisers can participate in Brave’s ecosystem by supplying advertisement. Of course, the setting would be made to allow consumers to watch the advertisement only when they want to. This service is not yet available in Korea, but it is available in several other countries. The service’s practical use in daily life has been proven as Brave browser ranked No.1 in terms of downloads in Japan, which is rare for a blockchain company. Expand the use of incentive tokens If the token is only used in compensating contents creators, there would be a limit to raising the value of the token even if services are expanded. As such, there are projects that are trying to expand the use of the token for other purposes. The projects include Korea’s TTC and Contents Protocol (CPT). Through its own mainnet, TTC has increased the transaction speed and created an independent payment solution, TTC Pay. TTC has launched a social media service, tata, with the establishment of a blockchain platform at the center. “Tata has attracted 17 million users in China,” said Brian Cheong, TTC CEO at UDC2019. “By expanding blockchain-based incentives, we are establishing a more active social media alliance.” CPT gives incentives to content creators on its own Watcha service. Watcha is a service that recommends tailored content based on data. “Watcha is a service that combined content evaluation ratings with blockchain,” said Alex Jihyun Won, COO of CPT. “We plan to expand our businesses to apply CPT to other streaming and e-book areas.” ※UDC 2019 videos and presentations can be found at https://udc.upbit.com/program/detailed_program, also the full report can be found at https://static.upbit.com/reports/udc2019_report_en.pdf. This report was sponsored by Upbit, and the information in it is based on the Upbit Developer Conference held at Grand Hyatt Incheon on Sept. 4 and 5.