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Oliver Sauter
Oliver Sauter

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Memex.Social β€” Grant Report #3, February 2021

Project Update

We expect that within the next 2 weeks we are able to ship the promised base deliverables for the grant.
Until the grant deadline we focus on delivering the feature to view followed annotations while browsing, planning the co-editing features for collection and onboarding our 1400 beta testers on the wait list.

Original Objectives & Progress

1) The ability to share & discuss lists of pages & annotations

Status: Launched in Beta

Changes: No changes
As a beta user you can now share collections with pages and annotations, and viewers can respond to those annotations. Here you can view and interact with a live collection:

2) The ability to follow curators profiles with their lists and a basic feed

Status: About to launch in Beta

Changes: We re-scoped this deliverable slightly because we underestimated the complexity of building the follow-collections & annotation system.
a) You can for now only follow individual collection updates, not a user and all of their updates.
b) We made the update feed more central and allow for direct interaction (like responding to annotations) instead of needing to go to a collection

a) The view on a followed collection, sidebar with all followed collections.
Alt Text
b) The collaboration feed. Allows you to respond to threads via the feed instead of the need to go to the collection itself:

3) The ability to pay curators with the Web Monetisation standard

Status: About to launch in Beta
Changes: No changes
Just like when hovering over a Twitter username you'll see a profile preview and tip them right there. This way you can easily tip anyone that provides good annotations, replies or collections.

4) A research document outlining the next roadmap and further integration potential with the Web Monetisation Standard

Wrote a post in the community forum about different ways we see to use Monetization strategies on platforms. It'll be the foundation for this deliverable: A future roadmap for our project to use the WebMonetization standard.

Key activities

Our key activities are as planned doing user research and product development for Memex.Social. In the past 4 months we had about 50 one-on-one user interviews to go through the mockups and detailed requirements for the sharing/following features.

In the process we also improved our product management workflows. For example, we removed our 2 week sprint cadence in favour of defining smaller, agile deliverables. We got very inspired by Sahil Lavingia's posts about their work at Gumroad.

Communications and marketing

Our marketing activity so far is to engage with thought leaders in the personal knowledge management space, interview them for product needs and then onboard them when the time is right.
This approach resulted in us gaining back the users we lost after cutting the full-text history search. Influencer growth and peer-introduction growth is also how virtually every PKM tool in the last 20 years gained initial traction. We're planning to continue on that path.

We have also allocated a piece of our budget to go through our yearly facilitated process of clarifying our core vision and mission. This time we'll also work through how to design the Steward Ownership profit contracts for investors and teams.

What’s next?

Enabling users to see and respond to annotations of followed collections in the in-page sidebar

For now, followed annotations are only viewable via the collection view, not when browsing. But obviously this needs to change!

Screenshot 2021-02-03 at 11.22.44

Co-editing collections

Our user interviews made clear that following collections is a great first step, but does not allow for some of the most powerful use cases of collaborative curation and annotation (e.g. academic teams, peer review, journalistic teams, think tanks, students)
This task may not be finished before the grant period, but was also not strictly within the deliverables. Adding this as a next step was a result from user research and the natural continuation of the work we started with this grant.

What community support would benefit your project?

We are still struggling with clarity around how we can trigger WebMonetization payments via UI elements - if it's not possible (yet) we can for now only enable paying for entire collections, not single users.

Top comments (3)

patrickrahy profile image
Patrick Rahy

Hi Oliver! Nice work development with your report. It’s interesting to see how you are improving the user flow and UI elements on your platform to present a more friendly and intuitive Web Monetization experience for the user.

We have similar insights for our project Kult (, focused on culture & entertainment content instead, but we take a very similar approach. We have been following up with your reports for a while, also as a reference to understand how the technology can be integrated into a platform.

If you are interested, take a look at our user flow suggestions ( It would be nice to have a discussion about the possibilities and constraints of WM. Thanks and best regards!

blackforestboi profile image
Oliver Sauter

Thanks Patrick for the encouragement!

I've had a look at your video and like how clean the process is to pay.
This week I also posted this article here on the forum, which may be useful to you too!
In particular if you're looking at some more community dynamics, I think that the "Staking based access" model could be interesting.

On constraints:
I think one constraint that I see is that you can't have multi-recipient payments yet. Imagine some of your users creating a shared collection and want to distribute the payment between the people who contributed to that collection the most, or you wanna charge a little fee of 10% to go to your platform for enabling the payments by users. I haven't been diving into this yet. Do you know if that is possible?

patrickrahy profile image
Patrick Rahy

Hey Oliver! I read this article you did, it is great! Very helpful. The "staking based access" seems very interesting indeed. I love the idea of "non-oppressive social incentive to pay", it is something that we can use to guarantee openness on Kult.

We also had this same constraint regarding multi-recipient payments. We intend to allow co-curated galleries on Kult within the Grant period, but we don't know yet whether these galleries would be monetized, mainly because of this issue to distribute the revenue between the curators of a collaborative gallery.

As soon as we make progress on this matter, we will let you know :)