1/ A centerpiece of humanity's cultural evolution is our ability to preserve important artifacts like paintings and books in museums and libraries/ Our archival techniques, however, haven't kept up with the pace at which we create digital content.
2/ With Web 1.0, companies like Yahoo created content and earned money off it/ With Web 2.0, people create content and companies like Instagram possess and earn off it by creating walled gardens and "charging" for access.
3/ Companies like Youtube and Patreon allow people to create content AND earn off it, but own the underlying systems that facilitate this/ Which means that creators legally "own" their content, but don't actually possess it.
4/ The sheer volume of photos and videos has fundamentally changed what we perceive as being culturally significant/ Creator communities are not "mass culture" but digital connectivity makes them widely accessible/
5/ As creators increasingly rely on their content as primary sources of income, it becomes important for them to guard against being "de-platformed" due to political or policy reasons, even if in error.
6/ Possessing their content rather than being at the mercy of any one platform is thus important/ This is also true for their list of followers.
7/ Web 3.0, powered by decentralized crypto networks, is emerging as an excellent solution for creators to possess their content and own their users and be free of platform tyranny.
8/ Further, much of this content needs to be permanently archived for purposes of historical cultural record, much in the way we store paintings in museums.
9/ Relying on centralized platforms not a good long term solution — the average of a fortune 500 company is 61 years, and their incentives are to shareholders not customers.
10/ Blockchains are great to act as systems of record for actions, identities and other metadata, but are not built to store actual content like files and photos/
11/ Decentralized, blockchain powered storage systems like Filecoin and Arweave allow for storage of content on their systems, but suffer from one major issue — permanence/
12/ If content stored on these networks is not accessed at regular intervals up to a specific time, it gets "aged out" and becomes unavailable — not great for storing data for centuries.
13/ This aging out happens for cost reasons - it is expensive to store data on disk and keep it accessible/ Centralized storage providers solved for this by charging subscription fees.
14/ But expecting this from creators to store their content for hundreds of years is to expect Van Gogh and his descendants be billed yearly for his paintings at the Museo D'Orsay.
15/ Traditional museums acquire and keep paintings not just because they are culturally valuable, but because they are expected to appreciate in value over time/
16/ What if creator content could similarly appreciate and offer incentives to a decentralized museum network to host it?
17/ NFTs of creator content — videos, images, text, et al — by virtue of being tradable, offer economic semantics similar to traditional art.
18/ By being able to offer secondary sale proceeds to not just the author but also to its patrons and possibly to the archive network itself, the NFT'd content can pay for itself over time.
19/ We can imagine a system where the economics are designed to keep content that pays for itself on long term storage, thus aligning everyone's incentives.
20/ For instance, an NFT owner could lend their NFT to a decentralized museum in the same way owners of physical art often lend it to traditional museums.
21/ Decentralized Museums could also charge by impression, and offer a payment to the NFT owner.
22/ Much like traditional museums, these decentralized museum networks must have governance structures that determine how much of their endowment is used for new acquisitions, vote on new streams of incomes, create contracts to lend NFTs out, and so on.
23/ Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs) that allow stakeholders to vote on governance becomes quite relevant here/ As their stakeholder membership can evolve over time, they can potentially exist for hundreds of years.
24/ I imagine a MuseumDAO that issues MuseumTokens to members who are interested in being governing members/ These tokens can be bought on DEXs like Uniswap, and used for votes et al.
25/ MuseumDAO runs a gallery page which charges viewers, either as a one time fee or per impression.
26/ Moreover, MuseumDAO can be integrated into the VR world for immersive virtual experiences as well/ If anyone is working on something like this, would love to chat!