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Hackernoon logoHow Webmining Can Make The Internet A Better Place by@wirtzdan

How Webmining Can Make The Internet A Better Place

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@wirtzdanDaniel Wirtz

Photo by Markus Spiske

I remember first hearing about the SETI@Home project back in 2012. It is a great project with a simple idea: Everyone can download a free program that processes radio telescopic data from the universe in the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI). AKA Searching for aliens at home.

What makes it so great, is that downloading a small program and donating part of your computing power for greater good is no hassle at all. But when a lot of people take part it can have a huge impact. Even so that it can solve one of the biggest questions to humankind: Are we alone?

At Inwemo we deal with an equal mystery. A big, big question.

Let’s talk about it.

The Feedback-Loop From Hell

The strong rise of the adblocker is undeniable. Both on mobile and desktop. A whopping 615 million devices are blocking ads according to the Pagefair Adblocker Report.

And the numbers are climbing minute by minute. Users are frustrated by annoying interruptions, long loading times and by being on the open field for viruses and malware.

But while some users turn their back on ads for a better experience, content creators are left in the cold. Taking a look at recent news, the future of website monetization is at great risk. And thus, great content as well.

The reaction to adblocker by advertisers can be summed in one sentence: If there are fewer people seeing ads, we need to grab more attention by those who do.

But if we recall, that is the whole problem.

If ads are well crafted and subtle, that’s fine! Nobody is against ads per se. But when ads go batshit crazy and only care about stealing your attention, then you can’t blame people for joining the adblocker bandwagon.

And when more people opt in to adblocking, then ad formats will get more aggressive for the rest of us.

Welcome to the feedback loop from hell.

Breaking The Loop, With A Simple Idea

Because there is no end in sight to the monetization dilemma, we have to rethink what users and websites really want.

Essentially, users want to receive great content for a minimum investment of money and effort. Need to like a page for reading an article? Goodbye!

Websites want the complete opposite. They want to maximize returns for producing great content. And that could be in the form of either money, time or engagement.

That is contrasting, right? But if that is the case, what would an optimal solution look like?

So in a utopian world, users would get great content for free and in a magical way, banknotes would rain down on websites. Well, this is not possible…

But we have an idea.

Why not build an ecosystem where the transaction of value between webmasters and users is frictionless?

Because the current ecosystem is everything else than frictionless.

Unless there is a paywall or somewhere similar in place, it’s easy for users to receive value from websites. But the other way around? That’s a whole new ball game!

Most of the time, you have to pay a fixed price to get access to video content or great journalism. That means you have to register somewhere. For one website it seems fine, but who consumes content on one site only?

And what If I want to pause a subscription, because I am busy as a beaver. Should I cancel? And then two months later subscribe again? It’s simply not convenient.

There are a lot of things users have to do and think about to support the content on a website. And therefore it‘s not frictionless.

To break the loop, we need a model for website monetization that is frictionless to the highest degree. Fasten your seatbelts.

Turning Website Monetization Upside-Down

Due to new possibilities in technology, browser have better access to the users computing capacity. While it can be used in some bad examples (Looking at you, Coinhive!), it also opens the space for new opportunities.

The second big step forward is that computing capacity of devices gets better and better every year, while the use case stays the same.

That leads to massive amounts of unused computing capacity.

Similar to SETI@Home, we have the idea to open this capacity up to generate value, that can be translated to webmasters effortlessly and without any friction.

We want to establish this ecosystem, by letting visitors help in validating transactions in the Monero blockchain. This process is called Cryptomining. Simply spoken the computer solves math problems. The reward for this task is then handed over to the website owner by us.

Without any tracking. Without any disturbance. But never without your consent.

We think that if we get this right — with the user in the driver’s seat — it can have a big impact. To the extend of being a well-grounded income stream for our most beloved websites.

If you think this is an interesting idea, make sure to learn more at www.inwemo.com. If you liked this piece, feel free to clap those hands at the bottom of the page. Thank you!

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