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Stephanie Rieger for Exploring the future of Web Monetization

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Exploring the future of web monetization β€” Final Grant Report

Shapes that represent the three futures in the paper

Project Update

It's been an exciting couple of months for the project. I received great feedback and have had many interesting conversations.

The most recent was an invitation to discuss my paper on Getting Tech Right, a podcast by German tech advisor Peter Bihr and Canadian researcher and curator Patrick Tanguay that explores issues around how technology shapes our society and how to think about these issues better.

The conversation was good fun and touched on many topics including web monetization, tech policy, and capitalism :)

You can listen to it here.

Progress on key activities and objectives

My project set out to "combine research, strategic insight, and ethical speculation to explore the potential long-term impacts of the Web Monetization and Interledger protocols."

The paper I released accomplishes this in two key ways:

  • Using fiction to explore three potential futures, each using a different business model as a lens to explore the paths these technology may take, and how the resulting ecosystem could impact the relationship between providers, publishers, and their users.
  • An exploration of key challenges with today's vision web monetization, and recommendations aimed at creating more positive outcomes for users, and the open web. Themes in this section include privacy, interoperability and transparency, creator and publisher agency, and mitigating harm.

Based on the above, I feel confident that all project objectives have been met. The white paper, published in March 2021, will remain available to read online, and to download as an ebook.

Communications and marketing

I primarily promoted the project through Twitter, which is where most of my network resides. An unexpected perk of posting updates on the platform was that several people volunteered to review early drafts of the paper. Thanks again to everyone who generously shared their time and ideas!

I was also introduced to the FairPay initiative, a framework that seeks to unlock an ecosystem of value, by encouraging fairness and dialogue amongst participants. If you found my paper interesting, I would encourage you to also give FairPay a read.

What’s next?

This will be my final report for the project…at least for the purposes of the grant period, which has now ended.

I plan to take a break for the summer, but hope to continue promoting the paper in the autumn! I will also be attending Coil's upcoming Web Monetization workshop. The lineup looks great and I hope to see some of you there!

It's been a great ride and i'd like to thank Grant for the Web for this unique opportunity to share my ideas, and contribute to the future of a more open web.


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