I love that the Narrative token is called NRVE. On one hand, it’s just a few letters distilled from our name, on the other, it’s exactly the right way to say what we’re doing. NERVE. If you want to say NERVY, that’s OK too.
It takes some NRVE to expect to disrupt Big Social. What are there, 2 billion users now who have given up their privacy, data, and content to Facebook? And don’t get a penny? How many other platforms run their business on your eyeballs and time?
It takes some nerve to say that YOU:
- Own your data
- Have the say in how your community is run
- Can expect a share of the rewards for your content and hard work to build the content economy
Flipping the Script on Content
When we flip the switch next month on the Narrative beta, we’ll also flip the script on how content works. We never tire of saying that 85% of revenue comes back to the community as rewards. But it’s not just the money. Content creators, Niche Owners, Moderators, who do the work, THEY benefit according to their quality and reputation. It matters that people are who they say they are. Governance is truly “by the people - for the people” and there is no @Jack @Zuck calling the shots on what makes good content. You will call the shots.
But I also think the content will be different too. Some content will thrive at Narrative.
I’ve spent the last 6 months looking at tens of thousands of blog posts (a travelogue for another day!) and am struck by how often good stuff is so little seen. You can tell immediately these blogs are an individual labor-of-love and not a corporate strategy to pump click-throughs. It’s pretty clear these writers have a day job and write because they have something to say. I don’t think they expect to get rich by writing (today at least), but they do want to be taken seriously, recognized and rewarded.
These are the people who will love the new content economy at Narrative.
In other words, their posts are #NRVEWorthy. Here’s what it means.
It’s an easy test. When the title of a story is the best thing, move on. When the first and last paragraphs are salted with tropes, signals, and appeals to amygdala rather than thought, you know it’s exploiting you.
Smart, on the other hand, is when you read and the ideas jump out. If it’s short form, the points are clear. If it’s long-form, the author respects your time. Even the layout tells you. Is it designed to read easily, even on your phone? Or did someone build it just to max out the adverts and clickables?
In a content economy like Narrative, quality and reputation are constantly tracked and the results are there to see. The content that deserves the top rises to the top.
Is there a place for comments in what you read? ARE there comments? Are they timely and rise above Yep and Thumbs Up? Not everything is a discussion, of course, but a sure sign of #NRVEWorthy is that someone has taken the time to like, share and respond to writing. When I see that on even on the least trafficked blogs, I call it NRVEWorthy. Those producers deserve a wider audience and a share of the content economy.
They also deserve to be protected from trolls and timewasters. It’s true, as they say, “On the Internet, no one knows you’re a dog.” In Narrative, everyone will know if you’re a troll. Thank you, Niche Moderators who keep things NRVEWorthy.
I reserve the highest praise for the writer who grabs my attention today but whose writing from a month and even years ago is worth browsing. Some writing is classic and stands the test of time. Others come across like bellbottoms and padded shoulders. Cute in their time but better left in the sands of time. If only electronic storage were compostable.
This last one is a hard call. Will Narrative be the place where classics find their home? Much is meant for today and no more. Writing included. Works that capture a moment are rarer and we don’t always see them coming. Nothing says ephemeral like someone calling a piece an ‘Instant Classic’. The real thing earns its name on its own merit and reputation.
The great experiment
So here we are just weeks from the beta launch of a new content economy. It’s not about the money, it’s about whether content will be better when millions of people write within the Narrative protocol of quality, reputation, and rewards.
We'll be 'calling out' posts soon. Not for the usual outrage and Twitter mobs of the old economy. We'll call out things as #NRVEWorthy. Smart, Engaged and Classic content that will be a credit to the #contentrevolution.
In these first days of the Narrative beta, let’s highlight the kind of content that will love the platform. Every one of you has a dozen favorite bloggers. You’ll know #NRVEWorthy when you see it. Pick out just one classic post and put the link here in the comment. Tag them here. #NRVEworthy - you're it!
Soon the world will be invited. No more waitlists, just the World’s Journal for a thousand writers looking for home and a million more Narrators with a story to tell.