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Minds.com Founder Bill Ottman On Minds Wire

Micropayments between content creators form a new paradigm.

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We missed the hype train surrounding Minds Wire, the new product from Minds.com, which is a very different kind of social network with a native currency called “boost points.

Boost points are essentially a novel way for content creators to get guaranteed views of their works. 1 view = 1 point, and points have traditionally gone for about 1000 to the dollar. The system works by people buying into it, and this is how the company earns money at the present time.

Now, with Minds Wire, they have built a way to directly facilitate payments between users on the site, and we spoke to Minds.com founder Bill Ottman – a man we perceive as holding dear the principles of open source development and transparency in society.

“We started Minds because we believe the top social network needs to be powered by the people, for the people. It needs to be free, open-source, encrypted, decentralized and monetized,” Ottman said of his company. “The human exploitation happening on status-quo apps is out of control and it’s only a matter of time before ethical, transparent alternatives become functionally competitive and accessible for the masses.”

Minds Wire  is a way for content creators and users on Minds.com to transact directly between each other. It has similar properties of offerings like Kim Dotcom’s Bitcache YouTube-tipping play.

From its alpha launch, Minds.com has integrated Bitcoin wallets. Although in a recent upgrade to the codebase, they did not continue the maintenance of the wallet due to underwhelming interest. Minds Wire does allow people to get money into the network via Bitcoin, however. On the subject of neglecting the cryptocurrency aspect of his platform, Ottman told us:

“We have honestly sort of not given it the full attention that it deserves and right now, we are finally giving it the full attention it deserves. Points have just been so successful, internally, and scalable, that we’ve just kind of been building out that system.”

Speaking of the boost points system, Ottman told us that it is “probably an order of magnitude cheaper [than Facebook] to get exposure.” He noted that they don’t have many of the privacy-invasive targeting tactics used by Facebook and the other data companies, which may in fact lower the value of the advertising for the normal ad buyer. We also note that microtransactions are an area in which blockchain technology has a bright future.

Who Is Minds Wire For, Anyway?

Ottman expressed some findings on the Minds.com social network that we find very interesting. Specifically he noted that there are a few subcultures which tend to gravitate to the platform, people who in an earlier part of the decade might have been found on forums dedicated to the Anonymous hacking group, people with social causes, and, of course, cryptocurrency enthusiasts (among others).

He described a positive feedback loop in this regard – ultimately a niche network effect. Examples of what he said are pretty easy to find on the network – the creator with the largest following is “Sargon of Akkad,” who is definitely not putting out the sort of stuff you see in mainstream social media.

In concert with a successful fund-raising effort earlier in the year, which was conducted through WeFunder and allowed for contributions as low as $100 (raising just over $1 million), Minds has drastically increased the efficiency and usability of the site, especially the user interface portion. They have also added a feature which eases the transition from Facebook to Minds.

Minds Wire is available now, allowing for both avid content creators and consumers to transact on the network. It acts as more than just a tipping feature for the Minds network, giving creators the ability to have paid (voluntary) subscriptions, like Timcast is doing, and similar to the Patreon model.

One feature that the business minded among us might note is their generous affiliate program – 25% of revenues generated by even a casual user.

 

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1 Comment
  1. […] provided homes for viewpoints far outside the mainstream, in what CEO Bill Ottman described to Crypto Briefing as  “niche network […]

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