Whitepaper Projections are analyses of cryptocurrencies and platforms still in their development phase. These articles will present the origin of a technology, its targeted industry, plan for disruption, and prospects in the global ecosystem of blockchain.
You can read more on the motivation behind the article series here.
What is Narrative?
Narrative is a new decentralized social-media platform that looks to distribute network rewards amongst its users. It will utilize NRVE, an NEP-5 token built on the NEO blockchain, to reward members of the community in accordance with their intricate and integrated governance program. By building a social-media infrastructure, Narrative looks to sustain a more equitable “Content Economy” for media and content producers.
Niches and Reward System
The most distinguishing factor of the upcoming Narrative is the structure of “Niches” to determine the distribution of community rewards and incentivization. Niches are equivalent to sub-reddits and be centered around a topic, person, company, and so on. They will be open forums where content creators can post related material which will be voted on by other members. Niches will have rewarded moderators and affiliate organizations that will be voted in and also determine if and what sort of advertising is allowed in the specific Niche.
In its current state, Niches are in the process of being proposed and auctioned by early access members who participated in the NRVE initial coin offering. You can see more of the process on their Alpha landing page.
Process of collectively nominating, approving, and bidding on new Niche topics and communities in Chaucer
According to the Narrative protocol, Niches will distribute network rewards at the end of each predetermined period. Niche members with a high enough reputation score will vote on material, contributions, and general activity on an ongoing basis. At the end of the period, those votes are calculated to determine who will receive whatever amount of NRVE for their contributions, including the moderators, owners, and organizations. The following chart lays out how the initial protocol will calculate the distribution.
The Team Behind Narrative
Narrative is spearheaded by a small team that has experience in all aspects of the business. The co-founding couple, Ted and Rosemary O’Neill, also started the social-media site Social Strata and have a few decades of experience in network technologies. Engineer Brian Lenz is an active and experienced developer in the City of Zion, the open-source group that focuses on NEO blockchain applications. Finally, Jack-of-all-trades Michael Farris leads community growth and company communication.
Social-media in general is a big industry target for blockchain technologies. Facebook and Instagram alone are worth over $500 and $100 billion respectively with most profits funneled back into business upkeep and executive pockets. Distributing that ‘value’ according to a blockchain protocol stands to make social-media more equitable, decentralized, and even profitable for users.
Applying blockchain to media is a relatively new endeavor and a number of competitors are developing their unique consensus and content systems. Some are based on direct micro-payments, some on fair distribution of pooled rewards, and some are integrating a democratic advertising system to fund the network and its operations. The ambition is to put the control of information, which we now know to have real market value, back into the owners’ hands.
Beyond just the financials, current centralized systems are problematic also in terms of access and control. Without public consensus mechanisms, companies like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are free to alter their guidelines and practices privately and exert full control over others’ content. Harmful practices including demonetization, censorship, and even deplatforming are becoming common occurrences in systems where individual creators, even influencers with large followings, have little agency.
Competitors and What Makes Narrative Stand Out
A number of active platforms are already tackling the social-media sector in diverse ways. Yours.org has linear content feeds that supports micro-payments to writers, while the Brave platform allows you to distributed their native Basic Attention Token to the websites and creators you would like to support. The most successful precedent and active competitor is Steemit an application built on the Steem blockchain. Steemit distributes daily rewards through a voting model supported by a Delegated Proof of Stake system, which allows crypto holders to help others earn Steem through likes/upvotes. With almost 1 million registered accounts and 10s of thousands of daily active users, Steemit’s first mover advantage has produced a robust ecosystem of content creators and decentralized applications.
The main prospective strength of Narrative over industry competitors is that it very cleanly structures the relationship of “subreddit”-type owners/moderators or corporate/institutional brands and their members or audience. This direct relationship is possible but not explicit in other decentralized interfaces and is completely nonexistent on centralized social-media sites.
Narrative’s approach seems to be a much more targeted one with a polished presentation that purposefully integrates existing/new brands and companies. Their advertising model is well structured and only allows advertisement after being approved by the Niches that host them. The revenue brought in by these companies would then be redistributed as rewards to contributors of those communities. Rather than simply relying on token purchases to boost returns, Narrative has set a more structured business model that allows entities to make use of a social network while contributing productively to it.
Current Status and Prospects
Currently, the Narrative Network is in its Alpha phase, elegantly named “Chaucer,” as those who participated in their ICO bid on topic categories and settle the preliminary communities of the platform. Their public beta is scheduled to be released later this year.
Their Telegram Channel is very active with the main team and platform leaders involved on a daily basis. The team also posts frequent updates of platform development, Niche statuses, team hires, and much more on their Medium page.
We at The Creative Crypto look forward to the public release and testing out their system! We will report on all the functionalities and community growth of the platform upon release.
Project Name: Narrative
Community Forum: https://community.narrative.network/