The world has a voracious appetite for content. The internet helps feed this appetite with new content that is created by the minute. It’s a simple dynamic, but it’s one that has been muddled for decades by advertising, paywalls, and even breaches of privacy. Content creators seek ways to profit from their service, like Facebook, or simply pay their electric bills, like Wikipedia, but no customer likes running into popups, and companies hate seeing their bounce rates jump through the roof when users run into a paywall.
Gather Network introduces an interesting use case for blockchain technology that could revolutionize the way people access content online, benefiting everyone involved. By marrying the needs of blockchain technology and the recent rise of the sharing economy, a new paradigm for content delivery and consumption is set to sail some smooth seas.
Through Gather, users provide a small amount of computing power while accessing ad-free content, blockchains get the computing power they need to keep running, and content providers get paid without harassing their user base. Everyone wins.
An Internet of Annoyances and Intrusions
It’s getting easier to drive to the library and check out a cookbook than it is to find a good recipe online these days. On just one recipe site, you may have to click through popups, watch a video, and then scroll around the multiple advertisements that clutter the page just looking for how much oil you should put in the pan. User experience has declined tremendously via intrusive and annoying modes of revenue creation, and it’s estimated that people are so jaded by this assault on UX that they leave most websites within 15 seconds.
Beyond matters of ease and the annoyance, privacy has cropped up as a big issue with content sites gathering and selling users’ information as a revenue stream. Richard Serra’s assertion “You are the product” has morphed from describing television advertising into a feedback loop of personal data that is harvested, sold, and regurgitated in advertising content. Most of the world was unaware of this process until the Cambridge Analytica hack revealed just how much information was being bought and sold.
How Gather Can Solve These Problems
Content providers are struggling to find revenue streams that reward their efforts, and users are cursing their screens. At the same time, blockchains are in need of mining power to keep their systems fully operational, secure, and quick. Gather has found a sweet spot where these needs can be multilaterally resolved, and promises to deliver a better future for users, creators, and blockchain technology through a symbiotic approach to generating revenue.
If all you’re doing right now is reading this article, your computer is probably letting most of its computing power go to waste. Imagine how many people in the world have the most up to date technology under their keyboards, but they only use their computer for web browsing or accessing content. Now, imagine harnessing the unused power in your computer as a way to get rid of advertising when you use the internet. Imagine no more paywalls, no more popups, and the end of your data being continuously mined by sites that track your life. Gather makes it possible for users to access free content and for free content to be freely delivered without making people into the product being sold.
Looking Forward to a Content-Rich, Ad-Free Future
Instead of checking a box to allow a website to track your data, you can check a box to allow a blockchain to use your extra processing power, and then you can finally read a newspaper or watch a video again without subscribing for a year or sitting through advertisements for dishwashing soap. Instead of being the person who runs these kinds of advertising schemes in order to prop up your newspaper or streaming channel, you can operate on revenue generated from happy customers who want more of your content.
The internet has delivered massive amounts of accessible content, but much like Rousseau’s maxim that men are born free yet everywhere live in chains, this “free content” has come at a high cost. Users who opt into using Gather-powered websites will see positive changes in their online interactions, and websites will see positive returns as users enjoy accessing their content free of advertising and paywalls.