I still remember my dad’s expression when I expressed my interest in being a blogger and a photographer eleven years ago. He didn’t encourage it, I moved on. After a couple of career switches here I am again with writing.
I worked as a consultant in a tech company for few months. I unknowingly inclined towards politics, gossiping, etc. I noticed I am becoming one of them. I was supposed to follow biased thoughts of my boss, I felt caged. The cage was weak for the inner zeal I had, and I broke free. I risked only guaranteed income, which luckily I was able to handle.
I have worked as a freelancer earlier, I earned by undertaking work in web and mobile development projects. I don’t like when programming gets serious, I love coding when it is fun. I wanted to figure out a way to earn through my passion, writing. I wish I knew about blockchain based communities that paid its creators for contributing content. If you are a photographer, checkout WeMark.
I started writing on Medium, few of my posts went popular (It didn’t happen overnight, it happened over a period of few months). Companies approached me for sponsored stories via LinkedIn.
This job is perfect for me since it allows me to work on my own phase. People value my work and are willing to pay more when I give my best. The important thing was my creativity was encouraged and appreciated.
Working independently comes at a cost, you won’t get guaranteed work. Later, I started researching about passive income. I experimented with publishing books. Amazon takes 50% of your book as commission. Publishing on Amazon itself didn’t give me visibility, I had to do marketing myself. It’s really hard to watch Amazon taking a substantial amount as commission, It’s not fair.
Producers in almost every industry are exploited by the middleman. This is a problem blockchain can solve. Innovators around the world are working on projects based on blockchain technology to help producers earn a fair income for their work.
WeMark is one among such innovators based on Ethereum blockchain.
It is a decentralized marketplace where photographers can earn money by licensing their photos. Stock photography is a super-centralized $4B industry, with agencies like Shutterstock and Getty Images controlling much of the market.
Centralised is the approach of traditional companies. They have leverage because they have all the control.
As a seller on Amazon, I have no option but to follow policies made by Amazon. They can change their commission rates as they wish, they can ban me for no reason. (This has happened with a lot of Amazon affiliates.)
In the case of decentralized marketplaces, the power is with the community. This is because decentralized marketplace deploys their program on computers of people around the world. Their program is transparent, anyone can even go through the code. They use smart contracts to guarantee trust. A smart contract is a computerized agreement which enforces itself.
Centralised marketplaces have a system that favours themselves whereas decentralised marketplaces have a system that favours the community.
A photographer can sign a smart contract with WeMark. Each agreement includes a price range for licensing the content, the terms of the agreement, the distribution fee to be paid to the platform, and the percentage of each sale to be paid for referrals.
When a customer buys a creator’s work, money is transferred to the photographer wallet without the consent of WeMark. Because they have already made a self-enforcing agreement on the smart contract.
Decentralised marketplaces are likely to be the future. Because it’s in the best interests of people and they are more trustworthy than centralized marketplaces.
WeMark incentivizes affiliates who do the hard work of selling creator’s photos. Every sale is recorded on the transparent blockchain, nothing happens outside it, you can see the detailed revenue share by exploring the transactions.
Though centralized marketplaces have referrals, they ban people for no reason. It’s difficult to trust such centralized systems.
In a decentralized marketplace, referrals are trusting a computer program which is unchangeable and doesn’t have biased opinions as humans.
In centeralised marketplaces, you don’t get paid immediately when someone purchased your work. It usually ranges from 30-60 days, that’s a huge time spent waiting. Since WeMark uses smart contracts, once the sale is completed money is transferred to the photographer’s wallet.
Ethereum is next to bitcoin, it’s powerful because it is built as a platform where anyone can deploy decentralised applications. Apple’s App Store changed how people consumed content and services. Similarly, Ethereum is likely to have a huge impact on online marketplaces.
WeMark made a great move by adopting Ethereum. It has a great community backing and given enough time Ethereum’s blockchain has a greater possibility to thrive.
1.Photographers keep all the rights to their content The creator owns his work, WeMark only distributes it as on agreed terms.
2.Photographers control the pricing of their photos. The content needs creators approval on the price to license their work.
3.Photographers keep 85% of the revenue. It’s 5x when compared with the industry average, where the creator gets paid 15–20%
4.Photographers benefit from higher transparency. Since WeMark uses a public blockchain there is nothing done in secrecy. You can view the source code of smart contracts, transaction details on how the revenue is distributed,etc on the Blockchain.
5.Photographers will be able to trust the system. As discussed earlier, the creator is not trusting an entity but a system which favours them.
The Internet has helped people to work independently in the last decades, Blockchain is likely to help much more people in the coming decades.
References : WeMark Whitepaper