“If You’re Not Paying for It, You’re the Product”. This quote is extremely relevant today, more than most of us would like to admit. Online advertising has made it possible for users to enjoy free access to platforms and content on the internet, most noticeably social media networks. This “free” access, however, comes at a steep cost, one that most users may not be aware of.
The centralized model behind most social media platforms has created an ecosystem where user-generated content and data are monetized with no reward allocated to the user himself, the original provider of the aforementioned resources. This same model has also made hacks, server downtime and censorship unavoidable.
There is, however, a better way. Projects like Steem.it have shown us that it is possible to create a sustainable ecosystem where everything is decentralized and users are rewarded for their contribution, be it through content posting, curation, or mining. So, what if we were to take this concept further?
This is exactly what the Indorse project is attempting to do by creating a platform where users can receive incentives for their participation within the network, while also being able monetize the content created with online ads. Not only are users incentivized to create/curate content and to share information, they are also rewarded for backing up that same information with endorsements and for having their claims verified.The white paper reads:
“This platform can be likened to a combination of a decentralized LinkedIn and Instagram, but with “verified” claims and indorsements. It has mechanisms to reward good actors and penalise bad ones.”
Focusing on the representation of skills and knowledge, Indorse is a somewhat work-oriented platform with a social component. Users can share their qualifications (be it professional or personal) and have them endorsed by other members of the community, for which both of them are rewarded for their respective roles as a “claimant” or “moderator”. If the moderator decides to flag the claim rather than indorse it, then the claimant will be penalized. If one moderator votes against the majority, then the moderator will be penalized
The reward model is based both on Indorse Score (SCR token) and on the Indorse Rewards. Users have to stake their own reputation (SRC token) in order to be rewarded for a claim or indorsement. If their claim/indorsement gets approved, their reputation will increase, otherwise, it will decrease. Users also receive Indorse Rewards which are automatically converted to IND tokens, an Ethereum-based token that can be freely exchanged and is used by advertisers to purchase advertising units on the platform.
Other than relying on Ethereum to process smart contracts within the platform, Indorse will also leverage technologies like the IPFS/Swarm, and Whisper. The Indorse team envisions “a serverless, decentralized architecture, with the content and code on IPFS, and the Ethereum blockchain as the computational engine.”