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Interview with Ted O’Neill founder of the Narrative Network
Can you introduce yourself and your role in the Narrative network?
My name is Ted O’Neill and am a Founder for Narrative. I am also CEO of Social Strata, an enterprise SaaS company that creates user engagement platforms. For nearly 20 years, I’ve been in the business of designing, creating, and hosting scalable platforms for user-generated content. My roots go all the way back to early message board days, when I created the most popular discussion forum system in the 1990s.
On which platform will the token be launched?
We originally planned to use Ethereum as our blockchain platform, but switched to NEO in January. We like the consensus model and transaction speeds inherent in NEO. We’ve also really grown to appreciate the NEO community overall; they have been supportive and we feel like we have already been major contributors, as well. We love where NEO is going in general and we’re excited about being a big part of the NEO ecosystem going forward.
What are the main three key differences between current social networks and the Narrative network for content publishers?
I would say that the biggest differences revolve around user autonomy, transparency, and rewards. With Narrative, the community members are truly in charge. They elect their own moderators and their leaders; in fact, we as an organization have no role in user or content management. In addition, all important actions taken in the network are logged and fully transparent to all members. For instance, if a moderator deletes a comment, everyone can see who did it and when. And even though the moderator was elected by the community, the community can also vote that same moderator out if warranted. Thus, there is a lot of accountability through transparency. Finally, 85% of all revenue generated by the network is returned to the community members themselves. Compare this to nearly every other social network/publisher, where the organization takes nearly every dollar earned, even though the users are the ones creating all of the content.
What is the difference between narrative network and other decentralized platforms such as Steemit?
Steemit is a more primitive system compared to Narrative, IMO. You earn money there primarily through “likes”. And the power of those likes is controlled by the amount of Steem capital you own. Conversely, with Narrative uses reputation, based on actual user actions, to determine each member’s influence. It is a profound difference. It does not matter how many Narrative tokens you own (in fact, you can own none). Your influence in Narrative is determined by what you do in the community.
Narrative’s economic model is also very rich. We do no simply compensate content creators. Everyone who positively impacts the network is rewarded. The includes the creators, of course, but also the elected moderators, the leaders, and everyone who positively contributes in some way (comments, likes, votes, etc.). User reputation also helps to minimize the impact of trolls and bots.
Who are the recipients of the 85% distribution rewards the token holders or the platform publishers/users?
The Network Rewards are paid to community members and it has nothing to do with token ownership. You are paid/rewarded strictly based on your contributions to the community. You do not have to own any tokens and in fact your token balance is not considered at all. Aside from content creators, who will obviously benefit the most in our system, we see a huge opportunity for community managers and moderators to be compensated for their efforts.
Content publishers will be paid for their contributions, what is considered as content?
Any original post you make is content. That is any combination of text and/or images.
How will the end user experience on the Narrative Network be different from social networks today?
The biggest difference is the focus on what we call “niches”. Niches are unique subject areas (created and owned by our users) to which any content can be posted. We think this will allow for increased content discovery. And the niche model is also unique because of the ownership angle. Niche owners actually earn rewards based on the popularity of their niches, so they are incentivized to promote and maintain their niches. They must also nominate independent moderators to to curate their content. And those moderators also participate in network rewards.
What is the status of the software that will power the Narrative Network?
It’s in development. We are jump-starting things by licensing a lot of the technology we developed for my other company (Social Strata). That is saving us a lot of time in getting things off the ground. We are releasing our early alpha, codenamed Chaucer, by March 29, 2018. That release will focus ONLY on niche creation, however. We expect the full platform to be available sometime in Q4 2018.
How many developers are working on this project? How will the final development team look like?
Right now, we have about 4 people working on it, from a development standpoint. We are in building out that team. We expect to have 15-20 developers in total. It’s important to note however that we view that as much more than a development effort. We think marketing is going to be critical to the success of the network. In addition, we plan to recruit content creators in advance of our launch so that we have compelling content from Day 1.
What are the sources of revenue for the project?
Niche ownership fees and advertising will be the primary sources. We’ll also be minting new tokens for the first 29 years that are directly deposited in Network Rewards for distribution to network members. That will helps provide rewards in the early days before adverting revenue is a substantial source.
What is the role of the token in the ecosystem?
It is the currency of the platform. It will be used for all transactions- including advertiser payments, niche ownership fees, and network reward payouts. Tipping between users will also be supported.
What are the main token metrics? (hard cap, soft cap, number of coins distributed)
Our Token Sale in ongoing, but we have already exceeded the soft cap, which was 30,000 NEO. The hard cap is 166,667 NEO.
What are the key dates post-ICO?
We have not announced our detailed development schedule yet. Currently, we are hard at work on our early alpha (Chaucer), which is due out this month. From there, the focus is on building out the team and moving rapidly in terms of marketing and software development so we can meet our Q4 2018 launch goal.