Just completed my proposal for press.algo, which will soon be called pressdot. Would be open to any and all feedback that y’all have. Thanks, Dugan.
Please copy the details of your proposal here, so people can read them without having to visit github.
you are pretty vague when it comes to what kind of content you think will be a good fit for the platform, how exactly it will be monetized, why people would use this platform over others (what are your competitors?) and then you ask for 500k ALGOs… Can you be way more specific pls?
You are asking for 500k and I don’t understand what you are proposing to build… and how it benefits Algorand
I have techincal questions as to how this would work. Are users logging in to a hot wallet that then pays as they read or look at articles on your website? Are they signign each txn before reading? How is the content secured? Is the content on a private server? If so, how can I be certain that it has been delivered after paying for it? If it’s on chain or on a dist. system like IPFS how can I avoid it being fetched without paying?
I like micropayment market places but I’m not seeing a description of how you’d address the techincal challenges building this platform would have.
All content/interactions will be monetized on a pay-per-view or pay-per-use basis. That means uploading content, viewing content, and comments will all cost a small fee. The difference from other platforms like Patreon or Substack is that you now have the opportunity to earn as a creator, and as a viewer. For example, a comment costs 1000 PDAT. Current, 100% of the PDAT goes directly to the creator. In this new platform, you would earn 10% of the PDAT that comes from responses to your comment. Because comments can earn you something, you are encouraged to post your best work, and because you are literally paying someone to respond to their comment, you are encouraged to disregard the meaningless crap.
The kind of content that would be a good fit for the platform is a totally new type of post. pressdot is focusing on the niche of writers. So think of content that you’d find on Substack. This means posts or “dots” will be mostly text, with a video or a podcast at the top similar to traditional news media sites.
We are proposing to build a completely new system. A new system that acts to encourage behavior through money. Current social media platforms where the majority of people interact on the internet are all free. You can get add-ons for a subscription, but for the most part have to deal with ads. This new system would enable a completely pay-as-you-go content marketplace free from ads or subscriptions. It’s never been seen before. The Algorand community needs applications that will bring crypto non-natives to Algorand. pressdot is attempting to do that. By creating a platform that is familiar to people. pressdot is using a mix of Web2 and Web3 infrastructure to do this. We are relying on Algorand only for transactions at this point. This allows for the peer-to-peer nature of pressdot. We are trying to bring non-natives to ALGO, essentially.
The content is secured on a private database. We can check the blockchain for transactions that match certain parameters and release the content. Our beta platform at pressdotalgo.com still works, and you can see a barebones version of what the site does. Most of the technical challenges are not that difficult when we used a centralized system, similar to all Web2 websites. In any case, Scott and I will be working on the blueprints of the site over the next few months. We aren’t planning on publicly releasing a ton of information, just because we want to ensure the security of the business. But, Scott and I will be constantly engaging with the community throughout this process.
title: The First WebMarket - A Micropayment Content Exchange
author: Dugan Messman (@dsmessman)
There currently is no widely used application that uses blockchain technology. The average person still does not use blockchain to make transactions. They are stuck in the financial past. In the future, everyone will use Algorand like digital cash – paying one another with peer-to-peer payments. pressdot is one of the first steps to achieving that future: a micropayment monetization system for internet content is vital infrastructure for onboarding every human on the planet to Algorand. With this grant, pressdot will develop a platform to onboard the next million crypto non-natives to Algorand, all the while developing never seen before use of the technology.
Dugan Messman - Founder, CEO of pressdot
Scott Bolasevich - Lead Full-stack Developer
Dugan has been a member of the Algorand community since August 2022. He developed the idea for pressdot in September 2022. Since then, he has worked to make his idea a reality. His accolades include 3rd place at the AlgoHouse NYC pitch competition, 1st place at the AXL Ventures virtual pitch competition, and 2nd place at the Build-A-Bull hackathon.
Scott is a full-stack developer with 20+ years of experience. He has worked on over 30 projects in the Algorand ecosystem, including Shufl, Taco Coin, Peperium, Outsyde, PRDAO, and many more. He developed the beta platform for pressdot in less than a week, which went on to win 2nd place at the Build-A-Bull hackathon.
pressdot is looking to use the 500,000 ALGO to develop a new platform. After receiving second place at the Build-A-Bull hackathon, pressdot has lacked the runway to develop a strong website. The beta platform that currently exists is the result of a few days of work. With funding, pressdot would be able to create a new platform that is user-friendly, efficient, and full of potential.
To accomplish this, Dugan and Scott are preparing wire frames, workflows, and concepts to produce plans for the pressdot platform. They will do preparation work until funds are available for Scott to begin his development work. Scott will be working for 750 ALGO/hour for a total of 500 hours. This should be ample time to implement the plans that Dugan and Scott are preparing.
This new platform will be a complete redesign of the existing beta platform. The core concept is the same – allow creators to monetize their work and earn in perpetuity. The idea is simple, but expansive. There are so many ways to monetize clicks on the platform. Viewers will now have the chance to earn simply for using the platform. pressdot’s idea enables a complete re-structuring of what we know about the internet.
pressdot is targeting a non-crypto audience for this platform. This is why Algorand is the only blockchain for the job. No down-time, sub three second block times, and instant finality. The user experience on pressdot must be top class. To get the non-natives to stay, pressdot must act, look, and talk like a Web2 website.
pressdot is designed to be a sustainable business. This grant is meant to be a one time deal. pressdot will utilize the funds to develop a website that is self-sustaining, and will not rely on handouts to stay afloat. Every user on pressdot is a paying, incentivized customer. Using the pressdot monetization system benefits everyone.
The goal of pressdot is to onboard the next 100,000 users to Algorand. In order to do so, there needs to be an uncomplicated place on the internet for people to spend and earn their ALGO, so people can see the technology in action. pressdot will provide this, by improving upon the beta platform and ensuring a seamless user experience. Creators will earn more per view and have a wider audience. Viewers will be incentivized with every click. pressdot is not developing a social media platform, this is something distinctly different. Money will be flowing to exchange ideas, in the first ever WebMarket.
To accomplish this goal, pressdot will be using the funds allotted in the following ways.
Technology Development (75% - 375,000 ALGO):
- 375,000 ALGO for 500 hours of work at 750 ALGO per hour
- Paid in 8 hour increments
- All 375,000 ALGO will go to Scott over the course of two months
- This is for a rate of ~$150/hr
Marketing and User Acquisition (15% - 75,000 ALGO):
- 50,000 ALGO for onboarding creators and viewers
- For funding creator and viewer wallets
- 25,000 ALGO for partnerships
- For sponsoring creators and events
Legal and Compliance (10% - 50,000 ALGO):
- 50,000 ALGO to ensure legal compliance and secure pressdot IP
pressdot will bring new users to the Algorand ecosystem. This application of blockchain technology, micropayment monetization, is vastly underdeveloped. pressdot is looking to be the first company to break through and become a friendly platform for crypto non-natives. This is possible because the “crypto” aspect of pressdot is less pronounced. The only use of Algorand on pressdot is the transactions. There are some new rules for this new system of monetization, but otherwise pressdot is familiar to everyone. You upload content, interact with it, and now, you earn money for engaging with it.
so its just web2 + micropayments? why is that so expensive to build?
so to comment i need to pay? that sounds awful
in general it sounds like you are just slapping crypto branding onto something
It’s expensive to build because Scott (FlippingAlgos) will be spending 2 months on development, at his professional rate of ~$150/hr. He deserves a pay day for everything that he’s done for the Algorand community so far, and given this amount of time and money, he will be developing an enterprise level application. He is doing the work of three people. You’d think it be easy to develop, but nothing is as simple as it sounds.
We are not “slapping crypto branding onto something.” I hope you read the entire proposal, because we are specifically not using crypto branding. We are simply using the technology for what it does best, which is peer-to-peer payments. Using Algorand as payment rails means we can charge incredibly low amounts to interact. You would also be given the chance to earn every time you spend something. It really is a WebMarket, where content and ideas are bought and sold constantly.
If you are still not convinced, please consider our recent 2nd place at the Build-A-Bull hackathon. We beat 35 other projects from around the world. We are committed to this vision.
My concern here is that if PDAT is being used as a method for payments, how is that going to bring in non-crypto natives? It seems like they would have to be familiar with Algo, have an existing wallet with Algo in it, and swap it for PDAT before they can even use the system.
The idea here reminds me of Minds. However it’s the opposite structure that they have. Minds is a social media platform that integrates crypto. But, the way they operate is that users are rewarded with tokens for interacting with the platform (they can also be spent by users to boost posts or subscribe to exclusive content). Here though, it sounds like you require users to spend tokens to post/comment. I’m a little concerned that this is structure that will be a substantial limiting factor in onboarding and keeping users, especially users outside of Algo.
So, this seems like a pretty big ask without showing that the underlying concept has traction/usage. I’m not saying that the ask is out of line for the work contemplated, but that it is a sizable request in general. Before committing to something like that, I would really like to see a track record of continued use/interest. What sort of active user counts has pressdot seen over time?
You make fair criticisms. And I agree, it is similar to Minds, but not the same. pressdot is a hybrid, a unique way for creators to earn for their content per view, in perpetuity. Users are not rewarded by the site, but paid directly by other users. And as for PDAT, I can assure you it will be easy to use. To onboard users to Algorand on our platform, we must have an easy way to transfer from fiat to crypto. This means providing an option for users to use Venmo/PayPal or credit/debit cards in exchange for ALGO or PDAT. This process involves a few steps:
- Creating a pressdot account
- Sending payment to pressdot’s Venmo/Bank
- Receiving ALGO/PDAT/USDC to pressdot account
- Which would be withdrawable to an external ALGO wallet like Defly or Pera
- Using ALGO/PDAT/USDC on pressdot
Of course, it sounds simple, but there is a lot of technical work that must go into this process. That’s also why we are using part of the funding for the onboarding process.
As for traction, we have 35 creators on the site for our beta platform. This is a small number, but with limited reach, and a very limited product, I would say it’s solid. Scott and I have proven that at a small level, we can do a lot. Every pitch competition that I’ve entered I’ve at least placed, and the only hackathon Scott and I competed in we placed 2nd. We’ve had eyes on the project from all over the ecosystem and beyond. The only thing we need is a boost. And this could be our boost. We just need the xGov community to see the potential in us. We believe we can create a winning product. We have a provably winning idea. Now is the time to capitalize and make it.
This idea is very exciting but sadly i think it might cost more than $80,000. It sounds very hard but something that we haven’t seen yet. Good luck!
Thank you! For the initial release, 500,000 ALGO should be plenty. We purposely asked for a sizable amount because we want the product to be good. The good news is, 75% of the ALGO will be going directly to Scott over the course of two months. He deserves a pay day for everything that he’s done for the Algorand ecosystem, and this is his opportunity to focus his effort into one project over the course of two months. With this funding, we will be able to create a revenue generating platform that should set us up for future funding. This grant would act like a launch board for the business, which in turn would benefit the greater Algorand ecosystem as a whole. We are aiming to onboard the next 100,000 crypto non-natives to Algorand, and we believe we can do it.
We had a not entirely different platform called Niftgen on Algorand that folded in November, although their model was more targeted to the monetisation of video content:
Can the team give any insight to how they will overcome similar challenges as Niftgen?
The team concluded that… “The business model of having users pay to access exclusive content on a different hub doesn’t work.”
User content is monetized on almost all web2 platforms via Adsense, brand deals, patreons, live tipping (youtube, twitch, tiktok) or direct subscriptions (X). What makes pressdot more streamlined than these existing platforms and financial models… and how do you see yourself able to attract users from those platforms on to pressdot instead - especially as you’d be left with an extremely limited marketing budget?
Unless I’m reading it wrong and you’re targeting a completely different demographic… which could be the case!
Yes, I know of Niftgen and actually had the chance to chat with their founder Christian. Niftgen was trying to do monetization a little different than us, and they focused mostly on video content. We are going to be focusing on written content, with the inclusion of videos or podcasts to enhance the written content.
What differentiates pressdot is one, the use of blockchain, and two, the use of a pay-as-you go monetization method.
Using blockchain solves a lot of problems that these other platforms have. Algorand allows for peer-to-peer, near instantaneous, final payments. If pressdot can provide the infrastructure for creators to upload their content behind a micropayment paywall, they can be sure they are being paid for every view of their work, directly by the viewer of the content. This person-to-person connection wasn’t possible on the internet before, but blockchain can connect us more directly. pressdot is looking to create a vital information sharing space for the internet. If people could be paid for what they make on pressdot, Algorand can be exchanged for real value.
Second, pressdot is completely pay-as-you-go. You only pay for what you use. This is not common to other monetization sites. It’s typically ad-supported or subscription-based, which is a limitation of the current financial system. With low cost payments on Algorand, pressdot can monetize almost anything. We don’t have to charge costly monthly payments in order to make money for our service. If people are using our service, they are making money, and so are we.
To attract users from these other sites, we have to build the correct system. One that incentivizes quality responses and content. In theory, attaching money to all interactions should be a good start to achieving this goal. With free content, the only thing that matters is your interaction. With pressdot, you literally pay someone to respond to their comment or post. With that in mind, it makes less sense to respond to comments that are meaningless or rage inducing. You are literally paying them to respond. Of course, these amounts are very small, but nonetheless meaningful.
I hope that helps, let me know if you have any more questions!
My concern is about the proposal getting passed. This proposal is asking 25% of total pool. That means around 25% of total votes have to be in favor of this proposal for it getting passed. I suggest you to create a proof of concept and show some adoption before asking for such a huge chunk of the pool.
The proof of concept exists at pressdotalgo.com. Our reach so far has been limited, but we are working with a very limited product. The need is out there, it just has to be met. This proposal is asking for a larger share of the pool, but I believe it will be well worth it for the Algorand community and beyond. I think it’s easy to understate the potential value that a platform like this would have. In it’s most successful form, pressdot will bring in thousands of crypto non-natives to our ecosystem. I will be making a video in the coming weeks to help explain my position better. I hope some of these replies can help elucidate the value, reasoning, and benefits of this proposal.