DISCOVOL is a decentralized platform to discover and distribute high quality content. David Wong, a life scientist, a cofounder of Discovol, expressed his thoughts about this novel project.
What inspire you to set up Discovol?
David: At the very beginning of our project, a real need not served inspired us.
As a life scientist, I often explain questions in my area to my friends, colleagues and clients. When I search content informative and helpful to them, I found there are too much spam information and nonsense content overwhelming the internet. In order to get more likes and views, vast number of fake news and false information are desperate to grasp attention by misleading users’ decision. You need to compare and analyze carefully.
Hoping to help more people, I had published some popular science. So disappointing, only a few audiences reached my contents. As a professional you are willing to use your expertise to help others get useful information, but you are not a celebrity, or broke up with a celebrity; you are not someone who leaves offensive or upsetting messages on the internet just in order to get a reaction, then you are not the beauty of those powerful platforms. You can only meet your audience by chance.
To maximize their profit, centralized platforms’ algorithm control what content users can see. Those platforms concern more about how to occupy users’ time online. Since the internet has radically reduced the costs of publishing information, it is difficult for audience to filter meaningful content from all the noise. When you need a useful advice on insomnia, you had to go through the mist of spams, fake ratings, costless reviews. After 2 hours struggling, flooding low quality content made your sleep even harder.
We saw the real need for an efficient, targeted and fair distribution system. We know this need won’t be a mass market, we also know a milli-market will bring millions of users every day. That is worthy to go.
Why build a content distribution system on a decentralized peer to peer network?
David: Another problem of incumbent platforms is manipulation.
Those platforms are centrally managed, are very easy to manipulate. Even you are a celebrity like Donald Trump, he was banned from Facebook and Twitter, lost 200 million followers at a night, what you built can be taken away with no reason.
Over time, blockchain technology and its underlying decentralized network have shown great potential to disruptively rearchitect the upper network of content distribution. Try to imagine, in this platform, professionals discover high quality content with their expertise and earn their reward. Since we all have our forte, we can be an audience and a distributor at the same platform. We connect with each other by sharing knowledge rather than social network. A distributed ledger records every piece of work immutably and transparently. A decentralized network means, no one owns it but everyone owns a piece of it. Each participant follows presetting open protocols to achieve consensus. Professionals don’t need to worry about those powerful intermediaries changing the rules, taking away what they built all years long at a moment. Users don’t need to give up the ownership of their personal data. All these can only be built on a decentralized organization structure.
Why do you think independent distributors are powerful?
David: Distributors have their independent impact on traffics.
We define distributors as those share content on social media, with friends and communities via personal network. Centralized platforms won’t incentivize these distributors, because they don’t bring more Ads revenue and they are potential threat to the control of content distribution.
On psychology, sharing thoughts is a self-emotional expression. Distributors, moreover, have rational motives such as helping others; influencing others with the content opinion; supporting to the creators and their arguments; building up their reputation in some area; or getting direct or indirect economic incentives. To meet their rational motives, it isn’t the content reached easily on centralized platforms; it is the very content that is professional, high quality and not widespread.
Based on the coordination of creators, distributors and audience, a brand-new system of content discovery and distribution is borne. It can get rid of traffics control of centralized platforms.
It helps distributors discover and distribute the content they need in an efficient way. It also helps high quality content creators reach more target audiences.
This is the vision of DISCOVOL.