Decentralised Social Media and what they mean for Public Relations

An alternative to Twitter, Facebook etc..?

Discovering DeSo

Over the past two weeks I've been exploring DeSo, a blockchain platform that stands for Decentralised Social Media. It's not the only one out there, but it caught my attention because it was launched recently.

I've used and tested several applications on this platform and must say that I feel like I did at the beginning of the blogging movement in the early 2000s.

Let me give you a quick overview:

For the last two weeks, I've been using BitClout as my Facebook/Twitter replacement. I write longform on CloutPub and use an app called Flick to manage all this from my phone. I've been looking into Non-Fungible Tokens (NFT) and just put my first "art" up for sale on the bidding platform.

All of this is done in a 100% transparent and decentralised way. All the code and data is completely open and the content is stored directly on- chain.

"DeSo is a new Layer 1 blockchain built from the ground up to scale decentralised social applications for a billion users".

That's quite a start. Nader Al-Naji, the man behind DeSo, and his army of developers built it from scratch. It's not a clone of an existing platform and has a clear focus on social media applications.

The platform aims to solve the problem of centralised online platforms like Facebook and others.

"These problems stem from the fact that the data and content created by users is now privately owned by a handful of companies and not publicly available as an open service. Because only a handful of companies have access to the content, only those companies can curate competitive feeds, only those companies can develop competitive new features and apps, and only those companies can monetise that content - content that's not created by those companies in the first place."

Not only publishing

One of the key differentiators of these types of platforms is that they offer more than just publishing features.

The DeSo blockchain has its own cryptocurrency called $DESO, which can be used to buy social tokens, acquire NFTs, create profiles, make posts, give tips to creators (called diamonds) and much more.

Since the launch of the platform, more than 100 different projects (apps) have been developed. They range from virtual 3D worlds to art galleries and feature-rich publishing platforms.

All run on the $DESO currency, which you can buy with fiat money and use on the platform.

For example, I regularly give tips to people who've published a great article or shared a creative image or NFT. Or I "invest" in developers working on an app that I think is needed and will grow in value over time.

Others on the platform do the same for my content and profile. In my case, investments currently range from $0.50 to $20 and the first NFT I mentioned has a minimum bid of $174 (1.5 $DESO ).

Impact on Public Relations.

Although a fairly new "phenomenon", native features on DeSo can impact reputation, content distribution, relationship building and many other aspects of public relations.

Just replace "creator" with "publisher" (or your brand name) in the following sentences to see what impact this can have.

Creator coins, as we call them, are a new type of asset class tied to a person's reputation rather than a company or commodity. These coins allow platform members to trade "social clout" as an asset.

Those who own a certain amount of a creator's coins get access to special content. Or one has to pay a monthly subscription in the form of the Creator's Coin to get premium content.

Likes can work like purchases of creator's coins. So it costs money to like something, but you get the person's Coin when you do. This is a stronger proof of quality, at least in the eyes of the person who likes the content.

Most creators get a flood of spam in their social media inboxes. With DeSo, they can make sure that only people who own a certain amount of their coin can send them messages, or they can simply rank and prioritise messages from the biggest owners of their coin.

What's next?

I really believe that decentralised and open social media platforms will soon grow and spread.

With DeSo, this will happen through the DeSo Foundation. This is a $50 million fund that will help speed up the growth of the DeSo developer ecosystem. It will draw from the $200 million in venture capital the project has received from Andreessen Horowitz, Coinbase Ventures and others.

I feel privileged to have joined this new and growing platform relatively early. It's refreshing to see it grow and to see people from all over the world finding their voice.

Not all of them are writers; many are artists and developers or represent a non-profit organisation or a company. But all have discovered the open web and are finding new ways to connect, thrive and communicate.

If you want to learn more about decentralised social media or the impact of blockchain on Public Relations, get in touch. If you're up for an adventure, you can connect with me on BitClout. You can find me under my handle @HoratioNelson.

See you at the other end.

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