It's been an interesting week here on the Web Monetization Community Space. Current and past awardees are making connections, gathering resources, sharing good news and last but not least, grant reports!
Erika Hargreave needs your help and resources...
I am wrangling Web Monetization Educational Resources this week to include (with credits and links back to broader resources) in some asynchronous learning about Web Monetization at MozFest.
Some of the topics being explored in the asynchronous learning about Web Monetization include:
- what Web Monetization is and what it is not,
- the philosophies behind Web Monetization,
- the basics to how Web Monetization works,
- opportunities that Web Monetization presents,
- current challenges of Web Monetization,
- signing up for your Coil account,
- getting your payment pointer(s),
- exploring what you can Web Monetize and how, and
- case studies of how different projects are utilizing Web Monetization.
If you have any resource to share, please leave a comment in Erika’s post.
Ciaran Cummins of project DEMOS reaches out and wants to explore the future of web monetization within the community.
I'm Ciaran Cummins and I'm a researcher at the think-tank Demos. We're really grateful to be a new Grant for the Web grantee and excited to make a start on our project. It seeks to understand through deliberative workshops, what those on low or no pay from online work in the UK think is a fair and desirable future for monetised online work.
Head over to Ciaran’s post and leave a word of advice.
Andrzej Mazur asks a very good question
This is something we were discussing within Enclave Gamesmany times in the past, and now would like to ask YOU and see what your opinion on the topic is: should the Web Monetization / Coil branding be kept strict and original, or adjusted to the visuals of the game?
What are your thoughts? Head to Andrzej's post and leave a comment.
Maria Bustillos of project Brick House Cooperative shares some very good news!
We're so proud that the Internet Archive has taken notice of our advocacy for digital ownership, linking our recent Popula piece in their monthly email newsletter
Libraries can only protect and preserve digital culture if they own their collections outright; books that are not owned are books that can be taken away. This issue has gained new urgency in light of the sudden rash of book bannings and the removal of classics like Maus and Beloved from school curricula.
To read more head over to Maria’s post and share forward.
Over the course of this project we conducted a lot of technical and market research as well as talked to many thought leaders and companies in different industries. What we found is that the payments and financial incentives will not only be a crucial enabler of decentralized and self-sovereign identity, but that (in many cases) they will even be (legally) necessary, such as in the context of applying decentralized identity to AML regulated industries.
In a nutshell, the insights we got from our research show that the proposed project is even more relevant than we initially thought it would be.
Today, we are on track to completing our project by the end of Q1 2022 (as proposed)
Note: We rebandend from “LetsTrust” to “walt.id”.
CommentX shares Coil micropayments with our website’s users for their contributions. Specifically, readers who comment on our articles can have their comment highlighted which then includes their Interledger wallet address in the page source, allowing them to enjoy a share.
This is designed to encourage engagement and lead to new incentive streams in media e.g. by financially supporting researchers whose comments enrich articles.
To do this, we had to make it easy to onboard our users by automatically creating an Interledger wallet so that they could receive micropayments with minimum friction. This involved an Interledger wallet processor’s API and we had a lot of trouble maintaining access to this API due to service outages. We sought alternatives but realised that the ecosystem is small and there is no clear roadmap to resolve this.
This severely affected our ability to test and develop our feature, such that we concluded that it is currently unviable to use Interledger within this kind of innovative, user-onboarding workflow.
Well, as the theme song from Star Trek: Enterprise says, it's been a long road getting from there to here. Certainly, a journey with many twists, turns, and unexpected roadblocks.
All right, please forgive the travel puns. But we certainly have a sense of elation today as we're proud to soft-launch our beta version of Streetmix+, the enhanced version of our open-source, free-to-use street design platform. We were grant-funded in late 2020 to adopt the Web Monetization proposal, as we were already looking for models that allowed our users to become financial supporters while excited by the potential of a standard web protocol that allows our users to pay for our service, while we provide additional features and support for them as well.
Now, in January 2022, after numerous experiments, aborted starts and various product tangents, we've finally reached our main goal of providing a complete, but "minimum viable" user flow of becoming a Streetmix+ member via the Coil browser plugin and getting a handful of bonus features to enhance the Streetmix experience.
There's certainly more we want to work on, even beyond the term of the Grant for the Web funding. But before we get into that, let's dig some more into the journey that brought us here.
Ámbar shares final report for Quartz Open Access project
This is the final report of Quartz Open Access project.
Thanks to the Grant for the Web program, we have developed tools to enable web monetization for the Open Access publishing ecosystem. With them, we aim to support the consolidation of a new route for the economic sustainability of independent open access publishers. Using web monetization and Interledger technologies, we facilitate economic value flows from university libraries and researchers to the Open Access content and journals they value.
In these months, we have also faced some challenges and struggles. After extensive research, we found that it was very difficult to connect our software to Interledger, as the network requires strong regulatory compliance that our token does not have yet (as many other blockchain projects). Additionally, the server-side part of Coil browser extension is not open source, and we could not use it if we wanted to connect the extension to our own token. That is why we decided to code our own extension and server side infrastructure, that provides a functional Minimum Viable Product to our community.
That's all for now, see you next week!