Traditional platforms for written works have always been based on the goodwill and sheer passion of writers to post their works online. While there is a purity in this, it is currently difficult for writers to make a living doing what they love most. Even the casual writer deserves to be rewarded for mesmerizing readers with their works.
Current web 2 systems that claim to support writers by paying them for their work do so inadequately. Paid subscription models gives readers access to works upon payment. A small amount of this revenue then trickles down to writers, allocated based on the number of views or “claps” each article brings to the platform.
While this is an undeniably positive step toward supporting writers, we believe that a web 3 system is better placed to reward writers accordingly.
Readers can support their favorite works by purchasing collectibles that have been issued on the blockchain in relation to these works. These limited edition collectibles essentially hold the full manuscript of the story and its associated cover art.
In their purest sense, these collectibles represent a token of gratitude and appreciation of the writer’s works. They also embody the ideas and expressions held by the stories.
If these collectibles get sold to other buyers, writers will get royalties from these transactions. As at present construction, writers would get a much larger share from the sale of the collectibles as opposed to the percentage cut of the revenue that their story earns from current web 2 platforms. This is facilitated in large due to the transparency of transactions exposed by web 3 technology. All transactions, writers earnings, platform commissions, collectible resell royalties will be exposed transparently on the blockchain. This empowers writers and readers alike to make informed choices on where they write, what they read, and who they support.
Since the collectibles live on the blockchain, writers can always identify who their biggest fans are. This gives them the freedom and space to, in their own creative way, interact with fans within and outside of Writers Dorm.
With regards to access control, we genuinely believe that the best way to increase readership and get paid while doing so, is to adopt a free for all model. This means that all stories should be free to read and should not be token-gated by those who hold collectibles. Video games have trail-blazed this payment model with success and we strongly believe that written works can follow suit. The community of fans that will pay to support their favorite authors will do so with equal fervor. Done correctly, this will bring in a new era of reading and writing where stories can be read by everyone regardless of the economic means to do so, and at the same time ensure that writers are paid fairly.
While we do have some ideas on how to build on top of this digital collectible base layer, we have to remember not to impose restricting guides on what is possible. Instead, what is more important during this period is to allow the platform to become an incubator for ideas and innovation and allow writers to create freely.
With that being said, we do have a North Star that will help guide our decisions and efforts. Our vision imagines a space that is full of stories and ideas, where great stories are rewarded. This in turn encourages the creator to release more material in this direction, generating more excitement. With sufficient backing from the community, this ultimately culminates in a full production through current mediums, or perhaps even in mediums not yet created. A future full of community led productions is exciting.