I want to be excited, I really do.

But the Terms of Use before accessing Chaucer were a bucket of cold water.

20% niche renewal fee

That means if your niche makes more than 375 USD in the year, your fee will become 20% of your yearly income for the niche.

Lets call this something more descriptive than a "renewal fee".  It is a tax, and a very significant one at that.  Remember we'll have to pay taxes to our governments on our income for our niches too, AFTER the Narrative has taxed us 20%.  Some folks are in countries with tax brackets that go above 50%!   Those folks would be left with a third of their niche income after both the government tax man, and the network have plundered them.  Even if you're in a more reasonable 30% tax bracket, you'll still be losing very nearly half your revenue.

This seems truly excessive...  If it has always been in the white paper, then my bad for missing it, but it does not change the excessive nature of it.

 

I know of no business in which you're told you own something, but the same person telling you you own it takes 20% of your income issuing from that possession every year, AND forbids you to sell what you 'own'.  If you owe a debt to the mob, perhaps you'd feel in a similar position.  You'd be an owner on paper, but you'd have to pay periodically when the enforcer comes by, or else lose it all...  I don't like making this comparison.

A niche bringing in 20,000 USD per year would have a whopping 4000 USD renewal fee.  Refuse to pay?  You lose your niche.  Can't pay because you've had a momentary reversal of fortunes?  You lose your niche.  The one you 'bought' at auction.

Can we open some dialogue about this?  

Words matter.  We should stop calling "niche ownership" this way, and start calling it "niche leasing".  We should stop calling "$75 minimum niche renewal fees" this way, and start calling it a 20% network tax with a $75 minimum.  To do otherwise is deceptive.  I see no upside to calling important aspects of this venture names that misrepresent what they actually are.  The only thing it can achieve is to deceive, and I'm starting to want to be given some demonstration that deception is not the intention.  If it isn't, lets call things by their name.

Once we're willing to talk more plainly, then perhaps we can deal now, well before general launch, with the real nature of what is being proposed for the Content Economy.  I intend to put a lot of effort into my niches, if I lease any, but an economy in which an "owner" cannot sell their "possession", and pays cumulative network taxes and government income taxes of up to more than 65
%, is not a great target.  We need to be real about this now while things are still relatively conceptual.

Niche deactivation via nebulous appeals process

"While niches are subject to Community approval prior to the start of the auction process for a new niche, approved niches may also be revoked at any time via the appeal process in Narrative. Community members may appeal to the Tribunal (the governing body of the Narrative Network) to deactivate an existing niche. Such reason may include duplication (a similar niche exists), violation of the AUP, or any other reason. The Tribunal will consider all such appeals and may take action that leads to either another Community review or unilateral action to deactivate the niche. "

The appeals process is not described anywhere.  People looking for reassurance that their (potentially very expensive niche) won't get deactivated unfairly, have nowhere to find such reassurance.  Should we fear deactivation because of something someone posts to the niche violates a third party's copyright, for instance?  When approving content, are niche owners going to be responsible for insuring against copyright infringement?  

Seriously, we need some clarity here.  You want folks to bid against each other to buy a space on an as-of-yet non-existent platform, and you don't think it necessary to determine the circumstances under which said niche could be unilaterally taken offline?  Really?  

Would anyone lease a car for thousands of dollars up front, if the contract says the leasing company can ground the car unilaterally for any reason?

It is good to believe in the goodness of people, but people are also capable of corruption, and giving a Tribunal made up of human beings unilateral power, without explicit safeguards, will backfire.

 

Liability limited to 1 month

"COMPANY’S LIABILITY TO YOU FOR ANY CAUSE WHATSOEVER, AND REGARDLESS OF THE FORM OF THE ACTION, WILL AT ALL TIMES BE LIMITED TO THE AMOUNT PAID, IF ANY, BY USER TO COMPANY UNDER THIS AGREEMENT DURING THE ONE (1) MONTH IMMEDIATELY PRECEDING THE DATE ON WHICH SUCH CLAIM AROSE."

I've never seen anyone attempt to impose a one month statute of limitations on a significant capital expense claim.  It probably isn't legal in some countries, to do so.

So imagine you pay $20,000 USD in NRVE for a shiny niche.  By the time the platform launches 6 months from now, if the company destroys your ability to earn from that niche, there will be no legal recourse, because your 1 month will have expired long ago.

Imagine the platform grows in popularity, and 5 years from now, you buy a niche for 100,000 USD.  Same deal - no liability after the first month of owning the niche?  The company decides to shut down the service arbitrarily, or commits gross negligence in its operation, resulting in its demise and you're left holding the bag?  This appears abusive to me and further cements that niche ownership is anything but.  The fact is, what we pay for a niche cannot be refunded under any realistic scenario, no matter who slips up nor how badly, and it only rents the niche for a year, and can be subject to deactivation for any reason.  Help? 

++++++++++++++++++

I am still holding out the hope that the Team's intentions are honest, but that still leaves the huge concern about what I'm seeing here?

Please Narrative, or other members - can you elucidate some of the thinking behind this?  

Its a long road to release.  Lets use it to take a hard look at what is shaping up, if we want it to shape up better than what is already out there.

If I have misread things, or if some sort of genuine explanation is given that rectifies the trend I'm seeing, I would invite the team to subsequently remove this thread.  We're still in an intimate setting here, and if there is a Narrative worth participating in, I don't want it to be hurt by an early instance of miscommunication.

Regretfully, and looking forward to happier Narrative days,

Malcolm

 

 

Original Post

For comparison of the 20% niche network tax -  consider Uber.

Uber also charged 20% (I believe it might now be 25%).

But Uber drivers don't have to bid against each other to lease a license to drive for Uber.  And that tax/fee is substracted from each fare, so the driver will never reach the end of the year facing a big bill to the company that could end his activity if he comes up short.

I think a good test of fairness here is for someone, anyone, whether team member or Founder or general member, to come up with a business model like the one being proposed and describe it here.

Bryan offered the example of NY hot dog stands, which are leased every year - and this comparison could seem appropriate on the surface.  But the guy who leases a stand doesn't have to build a clientele.  Foot traffic in NYC guarantees hordes of people will buy his hot dogs.  Narrative literally needs to be built from the ground up, before foot traffic remotely comparable will float the boats of niches.  Not to mention that, though it is perfectly honourable as a profession, I doubt people who invested as Founders in Narrative pictured their involvement as comparable to operating a hot dog stand.  We're building a new social networking platform and The Content Economy, right?  Not leasing street corners to sell hot dogs.

I propose that those who participated in the token sale be exempt of the 20% renewal fee, because these are literally the people who have funded this venture, and who will be working hard to make it profitable alongside the team.  The renewal fee for them could be instead a sliding scale with a minimum, and a reasonable maximum.  And failure to pay should not automatically result in losing the niche.  The fee should come out of future revenue if necessary, in the case where the niche leasee wishes to keep the lease but has a temporary cash flow issue.  

I think the 20% fee is excessive even for subsequent niche holders, but it is even more so for us investors in the platform who have to bid to pay 'market price' for niches we are told we will be 'owners' of.

This consideration would not address the remaining issue of leasing, vs true ownership, but it would be a beginning.  

Harj posted:

Malka you must take this all into consideration when you bid on a niche dont pay more than you can potentialy make bro :I

Its for more complex than that Harj!

Nobody knows what can potentially be made.  Nobody.

There are several interconnected problems here, and your comment only addresses the shot in the dark that is the initial punt, by urging conservatism.  

What about niche leasees who rock their niches, but one year come up against financial hardship, and can't pay the fee in time to keep the niche?

 

Hey @Malkazoid I appreciate your thinking on this. It definitely feels a little cart-before-the-horse to be discussing Niche management/ownership with no place (yet) to manage it.

It's also a little eerie to be getting glimpses of a project at such an early, might we say pre-natal, stage. There's still a lot of formation that still needs to happen. And, this thing will evolve over time.

Regarding the 20% fees, I look at that as the cost of doing business. If you make $1000, you pay $200 for the privilege and collect $800. This seems as reasonable as leasing office space, buying computer equipment, etc.

The tax burden is a real thing, though... and for that, I'd suggest (if someone plans to make a living off their Niches) to incorporate under a business license and mitigate that 20% as a business expense, and not get taxed on it. 

Disclaimer: I am NOT an accountant or even particularly good at Maths. 

Bryan posted:

Hey @Malkazoid I appreciate your thinking on this. It definitely feels a little cart-before-the-horse to be discussing Niche management/ownership with no place (yet) to manage it.

It's also a little eerie to be getting glimpses of a project at such an early, might we say pre-natal, stage. There's still a lot of formation that still needs to happen. And, this thing will evolve over time.

Regarding the 20% fees, I look at that as the cost of doing business. If you make $1000, you pay $200 for the privilege and collect $800. This seems as reasonable as leasing office space, buying computer equipment, etc.

The tax burden is a real thing, though... and for that, I'd suggest (if someone plans to make a living off their Niches) to incorporate under a business license and mitigate that 20% as a business expense, and not get taxed on it. 

Disclaimer: I am NOT an accountant or even particularly good at Maths. 

You are right - it IS the cost of doing business.  But that can be said of legitimate costs, and excessive costs, and of good business propositions, and very bad ones.

The hot dog stands give you a ready made clientele.  Uber gives you a ready made clientele.  Narrative, for us pioneers, does not.  We're supposed to go out and build our clientele ourselves, and Narrative will benefit from it.  I think the least we can ask in return is more reasonable renewal fees than a full 20% of earnings.  

Like I said - find me any business model out there that matches the proposed model for niches, and calls it ownership, and if that model is considered fair and is well accepted, I'll concede.

Imagine New York city is mostly muddy riverbanks and forests, with some early constructions sites, and someone tries to orchestrate an auction of hot dog stands site LEASES on streets that don't exist yet.  Sound a bit like trying to sell someone a bridge?  Well, that's because we're walking a fine line here, and bridge-selling is clearly in view, to one side of it.

It doesn't work that way.  At a stage where the entire business model of a niche, or any other enterprise, has to be built from the ground up, you get to own, and can sell it later.  Any local taxes are minimal, any unpaid taxes only result in the loss of the land if the failure to pay is recurring and unrepentant.  Income will be docked before confiscation occurs.

Lets not call it ownership if it isn't ownership.  That much, everyone should be able to agree on.  A lot of the jargon of this venture is predicated on half truths at best.  Founders are supposed to be owners at the outset of a venture.  But not here. 

Whoever set out to build a business from the ground up, knowing he's only leasing that business?  The only comparable thing I can think of is a franchise, but a franchise gives you so much from the outset: the only way they are able to sell frachises is because they have built a remarkably successful business ALREADY, so the person buying into the franchise is in fact just operating an existing, proven business.  The differences are fundamental, and stark.

 

I hear you. Business expenses aren't all rosey-cheeked. I think one difference re: the Muddy-River-Bank-Hot-Dog-Stand-For-Streets-Yet-To-Exist-Proposition (and henceforth let it be known by no other name!) still works if one doesn't have to pay a fee if they don't make any money. 20% of nothing is still nothing. 

If one is paying $20,000 USD in NRVE for their Niche, that means they made $100,000. So, they keep $80,000. My efforts will be to minimize how much of that goes to taxes. 

I don't think there is an intention to deceive. Plus, 85% of the collected Niche fees goes back in to the community... so that will help pay content creators, etc...

I am glad you're here, asking these questions. I believe it will help the Narrative team (and community) externalize some of their own thinking and/or assumptions on how things might work on paper vs. what happens in reality. Sometimes they'll go smoothly, and sometimes they might need some adjustments. 

Malkazoid posted:

Lets not call it ownership if it isn't ownership.  That much, everyone should be able to agree on.  A lot of the jargon of this venture is predicated on half truths at best.  Founders are supposed to be owners at the outset of a venture.  But not here. 

Whoever set out to build a business from the ground up, knowing he's only leasing that business?  The only comparable thing I can think of is a franchise, but a franchise gives you so much from the outset: the only way they are able to sell frachises is because they have built a remarkably successful business ALREADY, so the person buying into the franchise is in fact just operating an existing, proven business.  The differences are fundamental, and stark.

 

One more thought: I agree on the nomenclature. "Ownership" is a tough pill to swallow if it has no properties/entitlements of ownership. I've always suggested "Manager". 

Also, we hire rain-makers on commission. They go out in the world, their own wits as their only resource. Everything is percentage-based. They make a sale, they get paid. Only, usually the values are reversed. We take 80% and they keep 20%, with bonuses for incentives, etc. 

The rain-makers don't go out under the guise that they are building up their own business, however. They are working for us. It's the sales game. If they land a huge client, that brings in tons of cash, they get compensated. But, if they leave, and go somewhere else... well, they have to start over. (Contractually there are time limits and all that, non-competes, and the like.) But, they are under no illusion that they are an "owner" of that book of business simply because of their efforts.

I don't know that I'm agreeing, or disagreeing with you. I think maybe I just don't have the hangup on the distribution stuff. Maybe because I (at least for now) don't see how to make Niche ownership a full-time job. I mean... who, besides @David Dreezer is going to read my twice-daily articles on clams?

Bryan posted:

I hear you. Business expenses aren't all rosey-cheeked. I think one difference re: the Muddy-River-Bank-Hot-Dog-Stand-For-Streets-Yet-To-Exist-Proposition (and henceforth let it be known by no other name!) still works if one doesn't have to pay a fee if they don't make any money. 20% of nothing is still nothing. 

If one is paying $20,000 USD in NRVE for their Niche, that means they made $100,000. So, they keep $80,000. My efforts will be to minimize how much of that goes to taxes. 

I don't think there is an intention to deceive. Plus, 85% of the collected Niche fees goes back in to the community... so that will help pay content creators, etc...

I am glad you're here, asking these questions. I believe it will help the Narrative team (and community) externalize some of their own thinking and/or assumptions on how things might work on paper vs. what happens in reality. Sometimes they'll go smoothly, and sometimes they might need some adjustments. 

I'm glad you're here too Bryan.

There are levels of deception - not everything is an outright lie - right?
The term 'niche owner' has continuously sent the wrong signals to my brain, and I think it has fuelled what is probably a deluded sense in me that at some point, the project would align with the words it chose.

I think the level of comfort others might have with this comes from a sad acceptance that real ownership is perhaps becoming a privilege of a shrinking class of people in our day and age, and many console themselves with believing the term even when it is misapplied, in an attempt to romance something that is simply not ownership.   

I dislike it because it is so easy to do things differently.  It is a choice.  We could choose to make those who 'buy' niches at auction actual 'owners'.  Or we could choose to call them what they are: lessees.  Instead, the choice has been made, deliberately, to make them lessees, but call them owners because it sounds better.  Its the kind of marketing many of us frown at several times a day.  We endure it.  But it is a downer to realise it has to be endured in a venture one is funding oneself, and proposing to be an active community member of.  

At the dawn of a new world like Narrative, it is hard not to want to aspire to something better.  

And then there are the economical ramifications of leasing vs ownership.  They carry real consequences for the Content Economy Narrative aims to become.  We've been around this block together.  Owners tend to be better care-takers.  Outside the digital world of Narrative, most of us live in capitalist societies where real ownership and capital gains are not only possible: they are (still) the norm.  Narrative's proposal, when the dust settles, may not be able to compete with other models out there in the real world.  Other options for people to invest their energies.  And indeed, other digital content economies who may choose to heed these facts, and propose real ownership and capital gains in their ecosystem.

Do you have children?  If you build a brilliant niche on Narrative, you will not be able to pass it on to your children.

All of us should be concerned about these things.  Not just the members, but the Team first and foremost.  If we're setting out to build an attractive economy, we should be thinking like economists?

Anyway - Narrative is what it is.  I'd be a fool to try too hard to make it into something it isn't...

Bryan posted:
Malkazoid posted:

Lets not call it ownership if it isn't ownership.  That much, everyone should be able to agree on.  A lot of the jargon of this venture is predicated on half truths at best.  Founders are supposed to be owners at the outset of a venture.  But not here. 

Whoever set out to build a business from the ground up, knowing he's only leasing that business?  The only comparable thing I can think of is a franchise, but a franchise gives you so much from the outset: the only way they are able to sell frachises is because they have built a remarkably successful business ALREADY, so the person buying into the franchise is in fact just operating an existing, proven business.  The differences are fundamental, and stark.

 

One more thought: I agree on the nomenclature. "Ownership" is a tough pill to swallow if it has no properties/entitlements of ownership. I've always suggested "Manager". 

Also, we hire rain-makers on commission. They go out in the world, their own wits as their only resource. Everything is percentage-based. They make a sale, they get paid. Only, usually the values are reversed. We take 80% and they keep 20%, with bonuses for incentives, etc. 

The rain-makers don't go out under the guise that they are building up their own business, however. They are working for us. It's the sales game. If they land a huge client, that brings in tons of cash, they get compensated. But, if they leave, and go somewhere else... well, they have to start over. (Contractually there are time limits and all that, non-competes, and the like.) But, they are under no illusion that they are an "owner" of that book of business simply because of their efforts.

I don't know that I'm agreeing, or disagreeing with you. I think maybe I just don't have the hangup on the distribution stuff. Maybe because I (at least for now) don't see how to make Niche ownership a full-time job. I mean... who, besides @David Dreezer is going to read my twice-daily articles on clams?

I will read your clam articles, but I agree that won't pay your bills...

Rainmaker, or manager would be perfect.

Look, I don't necessarily want to rob folks of their rose-colored glasses.  I guess I'm just expressing my lack of them.  In any other circumstance, if someone offered me this sort of paradigm and tried to tell me it is ownership, I'd consider them a scam artist.  But here, because of the romance of a new world that we can 'found' together, and because of the charming 'mom and pop' feel from the Team, even I am confused by the conflicting directions I feel pulled in.  It makes me want to implore them to act like the benevolent figures they seem to be, and ignore the fact that we're replicating so many avoidable flaws already (and we've barely gotten underway).

 

Yeah, there is still room for improvement! And, I've always opposed the term "owner". But, because I haven't ever thought of it as "ownership", I've never thought of selling it, or passing it on to my kids. Which I do have... (ungrateful little— )

Where was I? Oh yes, clams. No, Niches! So, the only thing that troubles me (if I think about it a certain way) is this: 

If I cultivate/manage a Niche into prosperity, I can acclimatize to the Niche fee that I'll have to pay every year. As the Niche grows, so does the fee, so do my earnings, so does my ability to pay the fee. However, when I'm done with it, I elect NOT to renew my fee (thus improving my final year of earnings by 20%) and let it diminish and sail off to the West*.

But now what? A new person, probably/hopefully from within that Niche community, steps up to manage the plate. He/she is starting from zero revenue momentum and has to pay a 20% fee on a Niche that has matured. (Here's where I think my hot dog cart analogy becomes more relevant.) They will have to pony up the NRVE to become the new Niche manager. That's a steep price to pay, which may exclude the minnows. But, with the potential of a 5x return the following year... it might just be worth the investment. It's no longer a muddy river bank. It has streets and foot traffic. It becomes an annual investment.  

Or, before I go, I want to pass it on to one of my kids... there's no reason I couldn't "gift" them the NRVE required to meet the Niche fee... that would put them in a better position to bid on it... maybe the Niche owner gets to assign the right-of-first-refusal to the next in line. The king is dead, long live the king. There are kinks, but they aren't insurmountable. 

*depressing Tolkien elf reference

Wow, very heated and passionate discussion, and I agree: the business model is not good. All these disclaimers and hidden rules, plus the ridiculous fees that one has to pay... I am quite disappointed of the project so far, and everything I read make me feel worse about investing so much in it.

One is already forced to bid for one's own Niche ideas, which is unfair (and could end up being super expensive, IF you get the Niche.) Then you have to build it from the ground up, gain traction, visits, authors, etc. And when you are finally done, you risk to either losing it for lack of money or because somebody on Narrative decided to, for whatever reason, pull the plug?

I think I want my NEO back.

Kyle Kidd posted:

Maybe it would better to charge the fee on a monthly or even daily basis.  That would lessen the risk of losing a niche at the end of the year due to a lump sum payment.  I personally see it as more of an operational/support fee than a tax.

Or maybe we should get 8-9% return on our Niches instead of 10%, and not pay any fee/tax at all.

Who is the 20% fee going to? Is it going to fund the running cost of the network or is it going the team behind Narrative?

From what I understand, both.  It is part of the revenue of the site, so gets split up between the team and the network rewards fund.

Consider the following claim of Narrative:

Midleman

That rings true at first when you initially hear 85% of revenue goes back to users.

It does not ring so true when you realise you don't own the niches you 'buy', rather you lease them.  You have to pay the 20% of niche revenue back to the network every year.  That definitely makes the network a middleman, and it changes the revenue claim too.

It is a form of double taxation: the Narrative company takes 15% off the top of all revenue, and pays 10% of all revenue to niche owners, but then taxes 20% of that 10% for niche owners, and helps itself to 15% of that 10%.

The Narrative company is a middleman, and it is practicing a form of double taxation. 

 

Eduardo Hernández posted:
Kyle Kidd posted:

Maybe it would better to charge the fee on a monthly or even daily basis.  That would lessen the risk of losing a niche at the end of the year due to a lump sum payment.  I personally see it as more of an operational/support fee than a tax.

Or maybe we should get 8-9% return on our Niches instead of 10%, and not pay any fee/tax at all.

Exactly.  Like Uber.  So there is never the jeopardy of not being able to afford the renewal during a difficult financial year.  Otherwise every year we'll lose good niche managers (I refuse to call them owners anymore, it is doing my head in), simply because they hit a rough patch.  Owners that will feel ripped off because they potentially paid, at auction, multiples of the one year revenue in order to take up the lease.

Imagine it is year 5 and the network is well atteneded.  Imagine you bid for the Politics niche, and pay $100,000 to take up its lease.  Imagine the yearly revenue hovers around $20,000.  At the end of year one, you'll be asked for $4000 dollars to renew your lease.  Lets say your brother has had cancer and you've had to remortgage your house to help cover his medical bills.  You can't afford the lease renewal fee that very first year after leasing the niche.

RESULT: you've spent $100,000, earned back $20,000, and lost the niche because of a short sighted policy of the network.

Malkazoid posted:

Who is the 20% fee going to? Is it going to fund the running cost of the network or is it going the team behind Narrative?

From what I understand, both.  It is part of the revenue of the site, so gets split up between the team and the network rewards fund.

Consider the following claim of Narrative:

Midleman

That rings true at first when you initially hear 85% of revenue goes back to users.

It does not ring so true when you realise you don't own the niches you 'buy', rather you lease them.  You have to pay the 20% of niche revenue back to the network every year.  That definitely makes the network a middleman, and it changes the revenue claim too.

It is a form of double taxation: the Narrative company takes 15% off the top of all revenue, and pays 10% of all revenue to niche owners, but then taxes 20% of that 10% for niche owners, and helps itself to 15% of that 10%.

The Narrative company is a middleman, and it is practicing a form of double taxation. 

 

@Malkazoid First off I have always appreciated your well thought out and articulated posts  and I hope they will continue! 

I am still processing a lot of what you have said but I did want to try and get some clarity on the claim of double taxation.  My understanding is as follows:

I'm a spreadsheet guy

I don't see an issue with niche owners retaining 80% of the rewards generated by their niche. Niche owners get paid based on the popularity of their niche hence why it is a rewards system. Additionally, niche owners will only be taxed by the government on the 80%.

I see your point on the term Owner though as the 20% is basically rent so you don't actually own the land your niche sits on, just the content. 

Also, with it being a community powered by the people and a voting system, even if the tribunal starts abusing their power, the community can replace them, but seeing how it is the community who originally voted them in, I would like to think the community at large will elect those that are worthy.

Again, I always appreciate your thoughts as it forces me to think more deeply.

 

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I'm actually not all that sarcastic by nature.  It is the flaw of niches not being owned by their 'buyers' that is bringing this out in me.  It is a flaw at the centre of this great journey, and I believe it could be a fatal one.  Another network won't make the same mistake, and people will flock to it instead of Narrative.  I know I will.  

Projects get leap-frogged all the time in this mushrooming digital era of tech startups.  To stand a fighting chance of growing into the sunlight of this jungle, you have to at least not have glaring, evident flaws at launch.  By the time your good, solid start starts to reveal short-comings that can be improved upon, you're up there with a good head start.

Narrative pitches a 'niche ownership' to users which involves 'buying' at 'market price' through auction, but is in fact a lease, holds no accrual of capital gains, cannot be sold by the so-called owner, gets taxed at 20% by the network, then taxed again by the government... and can be de-activated for any reason.

True ownership is far more appealing, and very easy for a rival, upcoming network to implement.  Like today.  It is simply a choice.  People will flock to that, and the quality of the rival network will stand to be better because of the greater care owners take of their property, compared to people on a lease.

This is a flaw right at the heart of our beloved Narrative.  And it ripples outward with disadvantages.  These off-putting renewal fees exists ostensibly because Narrative company wants to make sure people have 'skin in the game' year in, year out.  But true ownership is the ultimate skin in the game!  It is so obvious.  Opt for true ownership, and you gain positive appeal AND bypass needing the kind of leash represented by leasing fees that will piss people off, disrupt the niches when people can't pay, etc...  This flaw cascades, and it is early days - we'll probably discover further ramifications from it that undermine our prospects in other ways.

 

 

 

I'll add my two cents on this...

The "Owner" Term

We can debate whether niche owners should be called "owners" or not and we certainly have no problem considering other terms if everyone thinks it is not accurate enough. 

The reason we chose "owner" is that the owners are receiving revenue from their association/role with the niche. 

I think Bryan suggested using "manager" instead, but that is also a bit problematic because that might imply that they manage the actions/content in the niche, when they do not.  In fact, the system is designed to have a clear separate of powers.  Owners must nominate separate moderators to do the actual management of the niche.  They cannot manage the content themselves. So, IMO calling them managers is problematic.

Ultimately, it's just a term.. and one designed to show that the person materially benefits by taking a stake in the niche.  If there is a better term than "owner" that does not confuse things in other ways, let's consider it... and we have plenty of time to make such terminology changes. I'd probably suggest a dedicated topic on that, though, because this is currently lumped in with a TOS discussion.

Niche Renewal Fees

The renewal fee is the greater of $75 USD (in NRVE at the going market rate) or 20% of the previous year's ownership revenue for that niche.  IMO that is the fairest possible system for the community. After all, if a niche becomes a multi-million dollar earner, the value of that niche should be reflected in the annual fee that niche owner pays compared to someone with a very small niche. (And remember that niche ownership fees are a big part of the Network Rewards revenue base that everyone in the network participates in).

Of course, there is no requirement to renew a niche either, so it does not become an obligation of the existing niche owner to renew or pay.  I don't see it as a tax at all, since there is no obligation. It is merely a way to set fair market value for each new at each point of renewal.  Certainly if that niche simply went back on the market (at auction), it would no doubt bring in a much higher fee. 

This does not make the Narrative organization a middleman, either. These revenues  go into Network Rewards, to be disbursed to everyone. The one thing that should be perfectly clear in the entire model is that there is no middle man... the company always earns a flat percentage of Network Rewards (just like content creators, niche moderators, and EVERYONE else) for the services it provides.

I would argue to have a flat renewal fee would be the most unfair thing to do for everyone.  No one knows how valuable any one niche is going to be.. and certainly no one knows that when the niche is first created.  This system is fair for everyone and always reflects market value.  It's also not onerous on the owners either.  It's only 20% of the previous year's revenue. 

Now, having said that, perhaps we should consider a way for renewing owners to pay renewal fees in installments (optionally) to lessen the burden.   For instance, maybe I do not have enough NRVE to pay my renewal fee, but I want to maintain it. Maybe instead of paying one lump sum I can agree to simply deduct 20% from my earned niche revenue for the upcoming year to pay the fees (until it is fully paid).  That seems fair... and that is the kind of thing we can easily support if the community thinks it makes sense.  

Hope this helps!

I second @Malkazoid with everything he says, specially this: "Narrative pitches a 'niche ownership' to users which involves 'buying' at 'market price' through auction, but is in fact a lease, holds no accrual of capital gains, cannot be sold by the so-called owner, gets taxed at 20% by the network, then taxed again by the government... and can be de-activated for any reason."

I have expressed already my concerns and, later on, disappointment of how this, once great idea, is becoming a project full of shot-comings and competitive disadvantages in comparison to their competitors (which there are plenty of with already functioning platforms; I'm unofficially advising one at the moment.)

That being said, I believe that the time to make decisions have come, both for investors and the platform real owners (the Team.) Either Narrative becomes a textbook example of everything that a "content economy" startup should not do, of it stirs the ship 180 degrees and becomes the story of a nice comeback that, ultimately, saved the day.

Good luck to everyone.

I'd like to encourage (and at this point, I think we're all still in this together) that what's happening here is iron sharpening iron. I think it's important for @Malkazoid and @Eduardo Hernández to continue to share what they see as barriers to Narrative. It, I hope, helps clarify thinking. 

For example, "owners" is problematic for reasons stated above. I have often suggested "managers" but @Ted clarified that it will actually be the moderators who do the managing. So, what's the Niche-Bid-Winner's role? Is it recruiting content? Maybe they are Niche Recruiters. The "finders fee" is 80% of revenue. 

When we're talking about Niches that are near and dear to our hearts, and are specific to some subjective aspect of the world in which we are thoroughly entwined, ownership makes sense. 

But, taking a 30,000 foot view of the idea of "ownership"... and a Niche called "NY Giants"... can you really "own" that? Can Tom McGillicutti of Poughkeepsie, NY really "own" that?

I could see Narrative getting in to some really scrappy legal battles if the granted "ownership" over trademarked, copyrighted, all rights reserved brands and organizations. Now, if it's a Niche like Malkazoid In The Middle or Eduardo's Warm Embrace... those seem much more "ownable". 

So, maybe there is room for both "owning" and "renting" Niches?

Excuse me, @BryanEduardo's Warm Embrace™, please.

But, jokes aside, I think you made a breakthrough that definitely should be considered by the Team. There should be a feature that allows us to buy a Niche OTC (over the counter) at a predefined price (say 1,000 NRVE). The only requisite being that it's unique, non-generic (ex. Cryptocurrencies) and comply with the rules of the platform. Bang! Everyone is happy now.

I say this because I wanna publish my book in episodes in the platform, but my books title is unique and by putting it to bid, they would probably snatch it from me, or bid it so high that to get it, I must throw away all my NRVE.

Comments @Ted@Rosemary?

PS: to make fair, and even profitable for all parties involved, maybe this type of Niche is tagged/flagged as "Sponsored" and gains 5% profit instead of 10% or something. Or maybe it's not even called a Niche, at all, but instead it's a Publication. Then you could have, technically, books (if it's a single author) and magazines (for multiple authors) in the platform as well.

Eduardo Hernández posted:

Excuse me, @BryanEduardo's Warm Embrace™, please.

But, jokes aside, I think you made a breakthrough that definitely should be considered by the Team. There should be a feature that allows us to buy a Niche OTC (over the counter) at a predefined price (say 1,000 NRVE). The only requisite being that it's unique, non-generic (ex. Cryptocurrencies) and comply with the rules of the platform. Bang! Everyone is happy now.

I say this because I wanna publish my book in episodes in the platform, but my books title is unique and by putting it to bid, they would probably snatch it from me, or bid it so high that to get it, I must throw away all my NRVE.

Comments @Ted@Rosemary?

PS: to make fair, and even profitable for all parties involved, maybe this type of Niche is tagged/flagged as "Sponsored" and gains 5% profit instead of 10% or something. Or maybe it's not even called a Niche, at all, but instead it's a Publication. Then you could have, technically, books (if it's a single author) and magazines (for multiple authors) in the platform as well.

I see what you mean here @Eduardo Hernández but you could always just publish each episode to your journal. You have complete control and ownership of that.

I was going to suggest Brands but this wouldn't quite scratch the itch @Eduardo Hernández is talking about. For starters:

Brand Owners and Moderators do not participate in Network Rewards. (Whitepaper, p12)

So, if Eduardo is publishing under his own "brand", how would he generate revenue on Narrative? Would it just be through the NRVE donations by his readership?

The whitepaper does go on to discuss Content Creator Reward Overrides (p13) and sets up a plausibly-analogous hypothetical scenario to what Eduardo is requesting, I think? 

Bryan posted:

I was going to suggest Brands but this wouldn't quite scratch the itch @Eduardo Hernández is talking about. For starters:

Brand Owners and Moderators do not participate in Network Rewards. (Whitepaper, p12)

So, if Eduardo is publishing under his own "brand", how would he generate revenue on Narrative? Would it just be through the NRVE donations by his readership?

The whitepaper does go on to discuss Content Creator Reward Overrides (p13) and sets up a plausibly-analogous hypothetical scenario to what Eduardo is requesting, I think? 

Content creators earn the biggest chunk of revenue and brand channel authors earn revenue like anyone else. The reason that brand channel OWNERS do not participate in network rewards is because they have autonomy over the management of their channels - they appoint their own moderators and can control who can actually post to their channels.

I would suggest that you start new topics if you want to introduce whole new subjects. Will make sure each question has its own focus.

Ted posted:
Bryan posted:

I was going to suggest Brands but this wouldn't quite scratch the itch @Eduardo Hernández is talking about. For starters:

Brand Owners and Moderators do not participate in Network Rewards. (Whitepaper, p12)

So, if Eduardo is publishing under his own "brand", how would he generate revenue on Narrative? Would it just be through the NRVE donations by his readership?

The whitepaper does go on to discuss Content Creator Reward Overrides (p13) and sets up a plausibly-analogous hypothetical scenario to what Eduardo is requesting, I think? 

Content creators earn the biggest chunk of revenue and brand channel authors earn revenue like anyone else. The reason that brand channel OWNERS do not participate in network rewards is because they have autonomy over the management of their channels - they appoint their own moderators and can control who can actually post to their channels.

I would suggest that you start new topics if you want to introduce whole new subjects. Will make sure each question has its own focus.

So although the Brand Owner Eduardo would not receive reward income, the content creator Eduardo would for posting.

Hmmm …ok lots to unpack here. Like some others here, I see some faults in the approach that has been presented after investment…but I am trying to view things from all perspectives. I don't like to be critical for the sake of it, but rather to help build the best thing possible. Most of us have money is in this thing, that means we are all the team now.  I want Narrative to succeed. It's that simple.

I am going to use an analogy, which equates owning a niche to owning a retail business. I have an idea for a store (niche) and I decide I want  storefront to operate out of. Narrative is like a brand new shopping mall that WILL Be Built on the outskirts of town. It WILL be new and exciting…but right now they need our investment to get it built, and to help promote it, since nobody really knows about it. To entice potential Store owners (niche owners) to buy into the project with their Fiat-Neo, the Mall (Narrative) rewards the early stores, by allowing them first pick of location within the mall, i.e.-- type of store(niche) they will be.

These early store (niche) owners understand that they will have to work like crazy to get people to know about both their business (niche) as well as the new Mall (Narrative) and the niche owners accept that risk. They know that they have to renew their lease each year, but what they didn’t know before they handed over their money for investment is that they would have to pay 20% of their income to renew the lease. (and that they could not sell their store/niche to someone else, but that is another thread I guess)

This part does feel a little out of whack with the otherwise transparency of things.

First of all-- in business, if you are to continue with my analogy, the leasing fee for a spot in any mall (or Narrative) is not and should not be based on the success of the store (Niche) but rather the value of mall’s (Narrative platform) growth. Narrative shouldn’t profit more because a niche owner worked exceptionally hard to make hers/his niche viable compared to other Niche owners.

I think a much more appropriate model would be to have a percentage that is in ratio to the growth of the platform from the previous years rate. For instance if Narrative has a growth of 10% from the previous year, then the niche renewal rate increases by 10%. ACROSS THE BOARD. If smaller niches cannot afford this then I would argue that they are not providing enough valuable content, to enough of the community. After all we are striving for excellent content, are we not? Not just idiosyncratic. Isn’t one of the goals, to attract Advertisers? So that the financial reward pool gets replenished each year? Having consistently strong content will be the attractor...not a ton of little micro-niches with modest performance.

Creating a 20% “success tax” disguised as a renewal fee for the successful niches, so that you can subsidize those that have either idiosyncratic topics or did not work hard enough to either deliver content, or develop an audience, hardly seems like a strategy with long-term endurance.

I hope that the 'core team' seriously reconsiders this part of the model. I am certain that more investors will be very unhappy with this, as it becomes broadly understood. Especially as it was not clearly stated in the white paper, but rather part of the terms of condition. At the very least I think it is ethical to immediately amend your whitepapers.  

Kudos, @Emily Barnett! I can see that you are the female counterpart of @Malkazoid we needed in our forums. You and your diplomatic, yet insightful views are very helpful and welcome in this discussion.

Just to make things clear, though, I really want this platform to succeed, and my criticism comes from a good place, with the sole intention to make this happen. I hope I don't come across as harmful or toxic. Although yes, I acknowledge that all these mixed messages and lack of transparency coming to light now would have made me pass on this project on the spot.

I seriously hope this whole ordeal gets a happy ending.

Thank you @Eduardo Hernández. Years in business has sharpened my diplomatic skills a little. 

Also I never thought anyone here was being toxic. I just needed to preface my own intentions. 

This is a super small community...I suspect all of us invested financially, coding, promoting, buying niches, and offereing constructive criticism will be here for as long as we can be...this is a really weird thing. First of all it is really democratic. But secondly, it's like we all just showed up where a new town is going to be and all that is there is a pile of lumber, some nails a hammer and a saw. We are looking around at the landscape and each other and just trying to figure it out.

So that is pretty cool.

I still do not fully understand why there seems to be such confusion. I personally believe the Organization has been as transparent as can be reasonably expected and I do not see how the renewal fee of 20% can be described as being unfair when you are retaining 80%. The organization has basically built a "shopping mall" where every "customer" has the ability to receive income simply from constructive participation. On top of that we are being given an infinite amount of possibilities for creating any type of store that passes 2 simple tests and the ability to retain 80% of the revenue that store generates. To me, THAT is the bonus a person gets for investing in the acquisition of a niche. Not only do you get all the rewards from simply contributing and being active, you get rewarded for everyone else's activities and participation in the Niche you invested in.

 

Is this system perfect? No, but to try and make it seem like this team has been anything other than transparent and forthcoming considering everything they have been doing to build this world FOR US is pretty remarkable.

As always, just my thoughts. 

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@ClosetCrypto thank you for that clarification. I guess the confusion comes in that this was not listed in NICHES where the renewal fee is first brought up. Why put it under a different heading? I thought I read all of the white paper but I must have missed this one sentence that refers to the the 20% of income. Clearly I am not alone, so I don't think it was communicated well...even if you did read it. But your point is taken.

And still to my point. Prices are not a fluctuating thing based on how much money you earn. Should a successful person pay more for a McDonalds hamburger than an unsuccessful person?  The person who picks an obscure niche has the choice to pick what ever they want. Pick "Cats" if you think you may need to have your renewal rates subsidized by successful niches.  My beef  (pun intended) is with the sliding scale. Pick one method and stick with it. If this platform is about providing quality content to the community then the 20% annual income renewal fee should be the same across the board, not a two-tiered renewal system. If we want to make sure that micro-niches are nurtured and can be attainable then have a $75 renewal fee for everybody. But having two prices, whichever is greater applies to you, is a super great way to create a lot  acrimony right away. I also think it will lead to a lot of mediocrity. 

I also understand that the core team wants to keep the most amount of the resources in the platform and that is probably the motivating reason why it is demanding only successful niches make less proportionately than others. but this is grossly unfair. That is why I proposed a percentage that is based on the growth of the platform 10% growth of Narrative means 10% increase of niche renewal for everyone. 

 

 

 

Creating a 20% “success tax” disguised as a renewal fee for the successful niches, so that you can subsidize those that have either idiosyncratic topics or did not work hard enough to either deliver content, or develop an audience, hardly seems like a strategy with long-term endurance.

I hope that the 'core team' seriously reconsiders this part of the model. I am certain that more investors will be very unhappy with this, as it becomes broadly understood. Especially as it was not clearly stated in the white paper, but rather part of the terms of condition. At the very least I think it is ethical to immediately amend your whitepapers.  

Hello Emily,

I follow your reasoning all the way through until the above paragraphs.

As I detail in another thread, I support full ownership of niches, with the ability to sell them on, potentially for a profit above the price you once paid at auction, if the platform has become more popular and/or you have grown your niche enough in size and quality for it to be generating more activity.  The ability to see capital gains through one's efforts is one of the primary, fundamental reasons why capitalism is a functional basis for economic success (not perfect, but functional).  I identify other extremely important advantages to real ownership of niches as opposed to the lease system we currently call ownership, here:

https://community.narrative.ne...this-is-the-question

So you'll see that I'm with you on not charging a success tax, which can also legitimately be viewed as rent on something we have all been encouraged to believe we will own, and which we have been told we will have paid fair 'market price' for, through a public auction.

The one aspect of your approach that I cannot get behind is the notion that the problem is that it subsidises other smaller, less successful niches.  I'm not concerned by that at all, and in fact I propose that Narrative generates the rewards it was trying to get by charging rent to 'owners', by instead allowing niche 'owners' to sell their niches, just like any owner can sell their property.  At the time of sale, a commission, or network fee can be charged (I would suggest anywhere between 4 and 10%). 

Niches and their content cannot and should not be judged merely by popularity, otherwise Narrative will become a top 100 of the most popular topics out there, and miss out on perhaps 90 percent of the bandwidth of human expression.  Please be mindful that the 10 percent it would contain would not be the best 10 percent, only the most popular.  This would not represent evolution towards quality, only a narrow focus on what humans focus on through group think.  In a sense, the lowest common denominator would be the predominant factor, and I doubt that's what you want.

Please also note that to cut out less popular niches by out pricing their ability to renew their niches, we would be making an economic mistake of consequence.  One less popular niche generates less income than one popular one.  But there may be 30 such less popular niches for every one top 100 niches in popularity.  We would deny the network an extremely consequent source of income by deciding small niches are not valuable.

So my approach is for us to change the system to allow true ownership.  Niches will be far more valuable in a true ownership system where capital gains can be realised, so they will sell for more than if we are still in the paradigm of paying an initial auction price on a lease scheme.  Also the network will be more successful with true ownership and niches will be of higher quality (reason enough on its own to adopt it), so all niches will fetch higher sale prices.  So the commission charged on selling a niche will net substantial income for the network rewards.

This can be combined with other slight adjustments to the percentages of the Narrative distribution system, so the network rewards remains healthily aprovisionned.

 

Malkazoid posted:

Niches and their content cannot and should not be judged merely by popularity, otherwise Narrative will become a top 100 of the most popular topics out there, and miss out on perhaps 90 percent of the bandwidth of human expression.  

...

So my approach is for us to change the system to allow true ownership.  Niches will be far more valuable in a true ownership system where capital gains can be realised, so they will sell for more than if we are still in the paradigm of paying an initial auction price on a lease scheme. 

I dig the first quote—we don't want to become Pop Content.

The problem I have with the second (still) is that Narrative can't let you "own" a Niche called "NFL", or "NY Yankees", or "Nike". 

Bryan posted:
The problem I have with the second (still) is that Narrative can't let you "own" a Niche called "NFL", or "NY Yankees", or "Nike". 

Hey Bryan,

Awesome - I've been meaning to get to answering your thoughts on that!  Thanks for reiterating them here: gave me the perfect opportunity.

I hear you.  I think you may have expressed something akin to what I'm about to say already - if so, please consider this an endorsement of your expression!

Niches that overlap with brand names are a special case, so it makes sense for a different process to be applied to them?  I have not been considering them in my analysis partly because I am not interested in Brand niches.  If there is a legal hurdle there, makes sense to approach them as niches that have custodians, or rainmakers, rather than owners.

For the other niches that do not overlap with brand territory, true ownership remains by far the best recipe for success for the platform, in my opinion.  And I have not heard any real argument to the contrary to date.

@Malkazoid I have to get ready for an event so I cannot give your post the attention it deserves before i properly respond tomorrow. But i will say this. If someone wants to open a store and sell lets say neon green balls, they may not have a lot of walk in traffic. It is up to them to go out and find all the people who love to own neon green balls. the rent of the store for green ball guy should be the same as the rent for the store that sells shoes for instance, which has a lot more potential customers. Yes the mall is far more interesting if there is a store that sells green balls, but not enough to pay for part of his rent. 

As for ownership, I am in agreement with you. I have been fallowing your other thread. I think it is crappy that we aren't actually allowing us to be owners, but i think the reality is that they will rename the term to Niche Builders before they change the structure. Therefore i am putting my energy to having my voice heard in an area that might still have some effect. 

It does bother me a lot that the price of renewal is two tiered. a small micro niche makes 100% of their 10% minus a small renewal fee. A popular niche earns 80% of their 10% fee. This is about the principle. People should earn the same amount weather they are male- female, black- white or pick popular niches or micro-niches.

Perhaps there is a way that popular niches could sponsor projects to help micro-niches gain in popularity. Sponsor projects that helps attract attention to micro-niches to help them gain followers therefore driving up their revenues organically. 

Also I am hopeful for more responses from the core team, @Ted @Rosemary I am certain that they are reading and discussion this thread, and wanting to take there time to respond. As I said earlier lots to unpack...these are good discussions and points being made, but until they are more involved it is all just chatter.

I’m on my mobile so excuse shortness and typos.

i may be confused but I believe niche owners all share the entire 10% pool allotted  to niche owners out of the 85% allocated to the community. For example,

The 10% allocated to niche owners is worth $100,000. That $100,000 is divided between all niche owners each receiving a portion based on the popularity/reputation of their respective niche. So a niche owner is getting paid off of all niches where’s they are only paying 20% of what their individual niche generates. Additionally, that 20% is based on the average of the year before. Would that not hopefully always be less as the goal is to grow? Since there’s no data from a year ago, is first years “rent” free?

just some thoughts

Emily Barnett posted:

@Malkazoid I have to get ready for an event so I cannot give your post the attention it deserves before i properly respond tomorrow. But i will say this. If someone wants to open a store and sell lets say neon green balls, they may not have a lot of walk in traffic. It is up to them to go out and find all the people who love to own neon green balls. the rent of the store for green ball guy should be the same as the rent for the store that sells shoes for instance, which has a lot more potential customers. Yes the mall is far more interesting if there is a store that sells green balls, but not enough to pay for part of his rent. 

As for ownership, I am in agreement with you. I have been fallowing your other thread. I think it is crappy that we aren't actually allowing us to be owners, but i think the reality is that they will rename the term to Niche Builders before they change the structure. Therefore i am putting my energy to having my voice heard in an area that might still have some effect. 

It does bother me a lot that the price of renewal is two tiered. a small micro niche makes 100% of their 10% minus a small renewal fee. A popular niche earns 80% of their 10% fee. This is about the principle. People should earn the same amount weather they are male- female, black- white or pick popular niches or micro-niches.

Perhaps there is a way that popular niches could sponsor projects to help micro-niches gain in popularity. Sponsor projects that helps attract attention to micro-niches to help them gain followers therefore driving up their revenues organically. 

Also I am hopeful for more responses from the core team, @Ted @Rosemary I am certain that they are reading and discussion this thread, and wanting to take there time to respond. As I said earlier lots to unpack...these are good discussions and points being made, but until they are more involved it is all just chatter.

Enjoy your event!

Don't give up on outright ownership.  One of the team members has said it is being considered for the future, if I'm not mistaken.  I think it may have been @Michael Farris.  If something is crappy, we should not settle for it.  Another Content Economy will crop up sooner than we think, and get this right, and then our investments in passion, time and money will all take a serious hit.

True ownership is a FAR simpler and more effective solution to the problem you are trying to fix with ideas like bigger niches promoting smaller ones.  It is a good idea regardless, but I don't think it would fix this problem.  At the end of the day, there will simply be niches that interest less people, and they will be out-priced if there is a renewal fee that inflates the more popular the platform becomes.  I can't see any benefit to this approach.

In a physical mall, there is finite real estate.  Not so on Narrative.  I don't think we should be considering smaller niches can't have their place.  We just need to make sure we don't price them out of existence with renewal fees.  There is nothing inherently challenging with making sure we don't do that, in my eyes.

ClosetCrypto posted:

I’m on my mobile so excuse shortness and typos.

i may be confused but I believe niche owners all share the entire 10% pool allotted  to niche owners out of the 85% allocated to the community. 

I think that's right?

Additionally, that 20% is based on the average of the year before. Would that not hopefully always be less as the goal is to grow? Since there’s no data from a year ago, is first years “rent” free?

just some thoughts

First year, I think with the current plan, $75 minimum fee applies.

Yes, 20% of the previous year's revenue is likely to be less than 20% of the current year's revenue.  But growth in all years is not something to be counted on, especially once Narrative reaches whatever its market saturation point will be.

My take is this fee is simply not the best solution for the network.

A flat, nominal fee like $75 or $100 dollars, plus charging a commission when niches are sold at auction by their real owner, plus small tweaks to the percentages of distribution, should net the same revenue for the rewards program.

@Ted, has said that a nominal renewal fee would be unfair since some niches earn for more than others, but I disagree.  The niches that earn much more than others cost more to purchase.  That's the whole idea of arguing that niches should be sold at fair market price, something @Brian Lenz, underlined in a discussion about niche proposing a while back.

That's fair.  But once you purchased the niche, there is nothing unfair about renewing it at a nominal fee.

But if there is a strong rationale for charging the renewal fee in proportion to niche revenue, I'd love to hear it.  If that's the case, this can be done, but the most important point is to minimise the renewal fee and cap it at some reasonable maximum, so that it doesn't become a drag force on the dynamic of true ownership.  If there is a sliding scale between say $50, and $500, based on 5% of niche revenue, that might work? 

And the lower the percentage, the less there is a need for a maximum cap.

The important point is the main portion of revenue for the rewards fund shouldn't be gotten through a heavy handed annual tax - but rather through a reasonable commission from niche sales: a paradigm nobody will balk at.  When you auction something on Ebay, Ebay takes a cut.  When you sell a house, the agent takes a cut, and there is stamp duty.  People get that.  They understand that these realities are part of ownership, and the sale of property. 

ClosetCrypto posted:

I still do not fully understand why there seems to be such confusion. I personally believe the Organization has been as transparent as can be reasonably expected...

The 20% was never mentioned on these forums until very recently, and I get the feeling it was not in the Whitepaper until fairly recently as well.  I read the white paper perhaps five or six weeks ago, and that would have jumped out at me.  But it is possible I missed it.  I couldn't tell because I did not download the older white paper that I read.

Anyway, the important point is that several times, a $75 dollar minimum was stipulated in conversation, WITHOUT stipulating the 20%.  The 20% is far more important to everyone's bottom line than the $75 dollar minimum, so it follows that it should have been imparted at the same time, here on the forum.  It wasn't.  That is not being as transparent as can be reasonably expected.

 

 

and I do not see how the renewal fee of 20% can be described as being unfair when you are retaining 80%. The organization has basically built a "shopping mall" where every "customer" has the ability to receive income simply from constructive participation.

Its not so much that it is unfair: it is that it is not the best paradigm for the network's success at attracting new members who will be powerful connectors and trend setters, purchasing niches, and bringing together the content under them that makes Narrative special.

Sure you can look at shopping malls with their leases on stores.  But in the real world it is also possible to own real estate.  The question is simply which paradigm will bring about a better Narrative network.  That's the discussion that we need to be having.

If another network offers true ownership, rather than a lease, with a consequent renewal fee every year which is actually no different from a 20% tax, then that network will scoop up all the invaluable connectors and trend setters.

Despite the significant investment I have made in Narrative, if I become aware of another network that allows true ownership of niches, I will cut my losses and move over to that network.  Throwing good money or time, after bad, is poor investing.  The important thing is to go with the platform that employs the better paradigm for long term success.

You should definitely feel free to debate the pros and cons of renewal fees for niches, but I can tell you pretty confidently that we have no intention of changing that model.  I say that because it sounds like you under the (false) impression that it is something we are talking about changing.

IMO the renewal fee requirement for niches is a very fundamental part of the model.  It helps to ensure that every niche has at last some minimal amount of value. If a niche is not worth the equivalent of $75/year, then it probably does not have much appeal.  We want each niche to have a real purpose and the annual fees helps to reduce the junk niches over time.

The annual fee in essence forces a recurring economic decision-- does the niche have a base line value to at least one person in the community?

And remember the whole goal of a niche is to be a subject with some global appeal (to at least some people).  You can always just post your own content (on your personal journal).

Also, the price of renewal is not two-tiered at all.  Tiers have different rates.  In this case, the rate is the same for every niche- 20% of the previous year's total revenue, subject to a $75/year minimum.  This is completely fair and the same for EVERY niche.

The Narrative model is to create economic incentives for proper behavior.  The recurring annual fee forces each niche owner to consider the value of the niche for them personally at least once per year... and if they no longer see the value, allow someone else to take it over. This fits in perfectly with everything else devised in our model.

If you have a successful niche that is generating nice revenue, the renewal fee is well worth it.  You are still seeing a nice return on your money so long as you maintain it. 

If you have a niche that is not generating much revenue, then you have a judgment call... is it worth spending the equivalent of $75/year on? If not, then the owner can let it go (and perhaps someone else will see the value).

Let me present a slightly different mental model for an identical fee structure. Perhaps this will help the hang-up people are having with the 20% niche renewal fee.

At least one of the concerns has to do with receiving a niche renewal bill at the end of the year and not having the NRVE to pay it. This scenario is similar to under-withholding your income tax on your paychecks and having to pay the tax man at the end of the year. Poor planning and hard times are certainly scenarios that can cause this situation, but that doesn't keep the tax man from expecting to be paid. With Narrative's model, the onus is on the niche owner to be responsible and ensure they retain sufficient NRVE if they want to renew next year. You'd just need to set aside 20% of each reward payment.

As a thought exercise: what if Narrative instead automatically deducted your 20% fee from each payment? The economics are identical, but does it "feel" different? It's certainly easier to "let go" of your money if it never was in your hands in the first place. This is similar to the model Ted proposed previously.

I think the thing to keep in mind is that there is real economic value in niches and you will only pay a fee according to the revenue that you've actually earned. The fee structure is built in such a way to ensure there is a viable economy. If we dramatically undercut or limit the niche fees as some have proposed, that will greatly reduce the revenue in from which the rewards are fed which has potential to collapse the economy.

Finally, one other comparison: think of Apple's App Store. Apple provides a highly valuable distribution mechanism to deploy apps reaching millions of people around the world. In exchange, they take a 30% cut of all revenue. Narrative is providing a platform to niche owners to build a great niche and earn revenue from it. Narrative's model is far more generous in that the fee is only 20% for niche owners. On top of that, 85% of the niche fee is returned back to all positive contributors of the network.

Niche "ownership" (and selling niches) is a separate topic to be discussed in my mind, but I wanted to at least throw out some food for thought for those struggling with the niche fee structure.

Keep the ideas flowing 

Hi Mal

I can say the the 20% may not have been mentioned on these forums until very recently, but I can say it was in the Whitepaper since as far as I can remember.

Maybe you could see it as a lease holder agreement, does that help bro ?

Ted in my eyes is very right when he says "the renewal fee requirement for niches is a very fundamental part of the model."

Hope that helps the conversation

 

 

Malkazoid posted:
But if there is a strong rationale for charging the renewal fee in proportion to niche revenue, I'd love to hear it.  If that's the case, this can be done, but the most important point is to minimise the renewal fee and cap it at some reasonable maximum, so that it doesn't become a drag force on the dynamic of true ownership.  If there is a sliding scale between say $50, and $500, based on 5% of niche revenue, that might work? 

I think a cap of might have merit, but then you really do have a fairness question... obviously caps are great for the whale niches, which will pay a lower percentage rate than smaller niches.

Harj posted:

Hi Mal

I can say the the 20% may not have been mentioned on these forums until very recently, but I can say it was in the Whitepaper since as far as I can remember.

Maybe you could see it as a lease holder agreement, does that help bro ?

Ted in my eyes is very right when he says "the renewal fee requirement for niches is a very fundamental part of the model."

Hope that helps the conversation

 

 

It's ALWAYS been in the white paper. 

Doesn't mean we can't debate it of course.   I enjoy seeing the different perspectives. We all want the best for Narrative. Just realize we aren't always going to agree. Hopefully no hard feelings when that happens.

Ted posted:
Malkazoid posted:
But if there is a strong rationale for charging the renewal fee in proportion to niche revenue, I'd love to hear it.  If that's the case, this can be done, but the most important point is to minimise the renewal fee and cap it at some reasonable maximum, so that it doesn't become a drag force on the dynamic of true ownership.  If there is a sliding scale between say $50, and $500, based on 5% of niche revenue, that might work? 

I think a cap of might have merit, but then you really do have a fairness question... obviously caps are great for the whale niches, which will pay a lower percentage rate than smaller niches.

Why a fairness problem?

One pays at auction far more for the bigger niche than someone who buys a much smaller one.  That's all the fairness a free market has ever needed: why would this be different?

But the core issue is ownership...

That's the part I'm interested in understanding: why you feel a leasing program is a better way to go despite the time-tested benefits of allowing real ownership.

By that scenario, any business owner that pays taxes to the government doesn’t actually own their business then. But that’s not the case. It’s the cost of doing business. But unlike Narrative, the government doesn’t redistribute 85% of all revenues they collect directly back to the people.

 

 

 
Brian Lenz posted:

Let me present a slightly different mental model for an identical fee structure. Perhaps this will help the hang-up people are having with the 20% niche renewal fee.

At least one of the concerns has to do with receiving a niche renewal bill at the end of the year and not having the NRVE to pay it. This scenario is similar to under-withholding your income tax on your paychecks and having to pay the tax man at the end of the year. Poor planning and hard times are certainly scenarios that can cause this situation, but that doesn't keep the tax man from expecting to be paid. With Narrative's model, the onus is on the niche owner to be responsible and ensure they retain sufficient NRVE if they want to renew next year. You'd just need to set aside 20% of each reward payment.

Hi Brian,

Good to hear your voice on this.

What you say above is completely true - but nobody benefits when members don't plan ahead, or experience hardship.  There is a learning curve to successfully operating anything, and niches are no different.  Why encourage a situation where people who have been through that learning curve suddenly can get ousted (completely avoidably), and are replaced with someone who has to learn the ropes of successfully operating that niche (or discovering they ultimately can't), all over again?

I'm really happy you do seem to agree it can be avoided:

As a thought exercise: what if Narrative instead automatically deducted your 20% fee from each payment? The economics are identical, but does it "feel" different? It's certainly easier to "let go" of your money if it never was in your hands in the first place. This is similar to the model Ted proposed previously.

Yes.  I proposed something similar - whatever the renewal fee ends up being, much better for it to be subtracted monthly from rewards, like how uber takes its commission.

I think the thing to keep in mind is that there is real economic value in niches and you will only pay a fee according to the revenue that you've actually earned. The fee structure is built in such a way to ensure there is a viable economy. If we dramatically undercut or limit the niche fees as some have proposed, that will greatly reduce the revenue in from which the rewards are fed which has potential to collapse the economy.

Of course there is real economic value to niches: that's why people will pay a lot of money at auction time for them.  That, I think everybody accepts and embraces.  What is far more difficult to convince people of is that they should then also give up 20% of the income from the investment they bought, every single year, before government taxes.  This goes to the question of true ownership: when you buy something at auction, the desire is to own, not rent.  You'll be fighting that natural desire every step of the way if you do not allow true ownership, and I don't see the upside of choosing that uphill battle.

As mentioned, there are other more intuitive sources of revenue to fund rewards.  People expect to pay commission and stamp duty when they sell a house.  They expect to pay Ebay a commission when they sell a product.  Why not take your revenue that way, instead of annually?  

Supplemented with a much more reasonable annual renewal fee, I see no reason why the same financial result is not achievable?

 

Finally, one other comparison: think of Apple's App Store. Apple provides a highly valuable distribution mechanism to deploy apps reaching millions of people around the world. In exchange, they take a 30% cut of all revenue. Narrative is providing a platform to niche owners to build a great niche and earn revenue from it. Narrative's model is far more generous in that the fee is only 20% for niche owners. On top of that, 85% of the niche fee is returned back to all positive contributors of the network.

The Apple store doesn't make people bid to buy their store front!  So they don't have the better option of taking commission/stamp duty at the time of sale of a store front.

There is no conflict in their paradigm.

With Narrative there is a conflict.  Ownership and leasing has been strangely blended in a way that does not allow the benefits of ownership to kick in and benefit the network.  

Niche "ownership" (and selling niches) is a separate topic to be discussed in my mind, but I wanted to at least throw out some food for thought for those struggling with the niche fee structure.

Keep the ideas flowing 

I don't think true niche ownership is a separate topic: it goes to the core of why a 20% leasing fee, or tax, or whatever we want to call it (it can legitimately be seen as either one), is not necessary.

The ability to sell niches, and for Narrative to charge commission and/or stamp duty on such a sale, is probably the biggest contributor to a replacement for the revenue you are trying to get by charging 20% every year.

Ted posted:

You should definitely feel free to debate the pros and cons of renewal fees for niches, but I can tell you pretty confidently that we have no intention of changing that model.  I say that because it sounds like you under the (false) impression that it is something we are talking about changing.

I think I was mostly under the impression that there was an openness to considering arguments on their merits, and that if a better solution is proposed by the community, that it would be considered for implementation.

Was that impression false?

IMO the renewal fee requirement for niches is a very fundamental part of the model.  It helps to ensure that every niche has at last some minimal amount of value. If a niche is not worth the equivalent of $75/year, then it probably does not have much appeal.  We want each niche to have a real purpose and the annual fees helps to reduce the junk niches over time.

The annual fee in essence forces a recurring economic decision-- does the niche have a base line value to at least one person in the community?

That makes perfect sense.  I never argued a renewal fee should not exist and I understand very well the purpose that it serves in your panoply of incentives for Narrative to function smoothly.  I'm arguing that there are tangible benefits to shifting the emphasis away from bringing in that much revenue from the renewal fee, in favour of gaining it from niche auctioning between two members who are true owners of the niche.

A lower renewal fee moves you away from the dangerous hybrid of selling niches at market value AND leasing them to the buyer, and closer to a tried and true, and demonstrably preferable model of true ownership.

ClosetCrypto posted:

By that scenario, any business owner that pays taxes to the government doesn’t actually own their business then. But that’s not the case. It’s the cost of doing business. But unlike Narrative, the government doesn’t redistribute 85% of all revenues they collect directly back to the people.

You are conflating two things, the benefits of ownership, and taxes.  Being taxed does not negate the benefits of true ownership in the real world.

A business owner in the real world can accrue capital gains and can sell their business.  That's what makes them a true owner.  The fact that they pay taxes has no bearing on that.

With Narrative, you can make no capital gains, no matter how much time and energy you put into building a niche over many years.  And you cannot sell the niche.  You are effectively leasing it, after paying a 'purchase' price at auction which works more as a lease entry fee than a purchase price (and should be called that).   Hence, it is not ownership.

Harj posted:

Hi Mal

I can say the the 20% may not have been mentioned on these forums until very recently, but I can say it was in the Whitepaper since as far as I can remember.

Fair enough.

Maybe you could see it as a lease holder agreement, does that help bro ?

Ted in my eyes is very right when he says "the renewal fee requirement for niches is a very fundamental part of the model."

Hope that helps the conversation

Hey, thanks Harj, but I don't think you have been following the conversation closely enough.  I am the one who has been saying since the beginning that it is a leaseholder agreement, not ownership.

I have presented what I think are clear and strong arguments why ownership is feasible and far more beneficial to the network, than lease agreements.  

And finally, nobody is disagreeing with Ted, about renewal fees being a requirement for niches, and a fundamental part of the model. 

 

Hi Mal

I understand your point but do you not think lets say "Bitcoin" is already going to be HOT property ?

Not much work needed really especially with the fact that you wont have to compete with others calling there Niche ie Bitcoin1 or Bitcointherealone as Narrative have removed your competition not bad for 20% really tax.

The guy who gets that one will not be complaining at all. I would gladly pay 60+% tax! 

your still going to make a killing and have to do nothing just get your mod in place and chill....Bitcoin sells itself especialy in a monopoly.

Harj posted:

Hi Mal

I understand your point but do you not think lets say "Bitcoin" is already going to be HOT property ?

Not much work needed really especially with the fact that you wont have to compete with others calling there Niche ie Bitcoin1 or Bitcointherealone as Narrative have removed your competition not bad for 20% really tax.

The guy who gets that one will not be complaining at all. I would gladly pay 60+% tax! 

your still going to make a killing and have to do nothing just get your mod in place and chill....Bitcoin sells itself especialy in a monopoly.

Hi Harj,

Thanks for the thought, but I prefer not to look at it that way.

I think there will be plenty of work required, and the platform needs niche owners to work hard in order to be successful.

Yes, popular niches will have an advantage, but why should people read about and discuss Bitcoin on Narrative rather than the thousands of other places they could (and already are)?  The thing that will bring them here, is if niche owners work hard to attract the right content.  Continually identifying and courting star content producers.  Continually verifying the level of quality of materials coming onto the niche.

Lastly - never say never is certainly a thing, however one thing I advise you NEVER to say is "I would gladly play 60+% tax".  There is no upside to that sentiment!

Emily Barnett posted:

@ClosetCrypto thank you for that clarification. I guess the confusion comes in that this was not listed in NICHES where the renewal fee is first brought up. Why put it under a different heading? I thought I read all of the white paper but I must have missed this one sentence that refers to the the 20% of income. Clearly I am not alone, so I don't think it was communicated well...even if you did read it. But your point is taken.

And still to my point. Prices are not a fluctuating thing based on how much money you earn. Should a successful person pay more for a McDonalds hamburger than an unsuccessful person?  The person who picks an obscure niche has the choice to pick what ever they want. Pick "Cats" if you think you may need to have your renewal rates subsidized by successful niches.  My beef  (pun intended) is with the sliding scale. Pick one method and stick with it. If this platform is about providing quality content to the community then the 20% annual income renewal fee should be the same across the board, not a two-tiered renewal system. If we want to make sure that micro-niches are nurtured and can be attainable then have a $75 renewal fee for everybody. But having two prices, whichever is greater applies to you, is a super great way to create a lot  acrimony right away. I also think it will lead to a lot of mediocrity. 

I also understand that the core team wants to keep the most amount of the resources in the platform and that is probably the motivating reason why it is demanding only successful niches make less proportionately than others. but this is grossly unfair. That is why I proposed a percentage that is based on the growth of the platform 10% growth of Narrative means 10% increase of niche renewal for everyone. 

 

 

 

Hi @Emily Barnett. I think I get the sentiment of what you're trying to say, but if I dust off my economics textbook, and you consider the 20% renewal fee a tax on income, then it is regressive in effect....which is good for the successful niches.

I mean, if you think about it this way, the unsuccessful niches will pay the highest percentage compared to all niches, so technically, the unsuccessful niches will subsidise the large niches (e.g. if your niche only had income of $75 the previous year, you would still have to pay $75 to continue, so your 'tax' would be 100%, not 20%).

If we forget about quality over quantity for a second (only for a second), in terms of income within the whole model, we would actually benefit from having lots of unsuccessful niches subsidising the larger niches...to use an analogy, it's like owning a gym, and having lot of members on the books that pay a monthly subscription, but never attend the gym...they are in fact subsidising those actually using the facilities.

I thought the $75 minimum renewal fee was meant to act as a deterrent to a proliferation of pointless and unsuccessful niches...a barrier to entry, not a 2-tier system....I feel like you have this all on its head as you are thinking about absolutes and not percentages

@Gerbino My suggestion is still one of percentages. I suggested it be based on the percentage of the increase of Narrative. That is fair across the board. if Narrative increases as a community by 20% or in advertising revenue for instance then a 20% increase of your initial bid for your niche seems fair, both in the niche popularity and in my mind the fee structure. If Narrative is generating more of an audience for my Niche then I feel it has earned a 20% increase. I don't see how it earns 20% of the yearly take. 

EXAMPLE: right now the niche NEO is sitting at auction with a bid of 5,501. NRVEand Learning Chinese is 448.87 adding 20% equally to both or whatever the growth number is for the entire platform seems to be a much more constructive method to me. It is reasonable to say that if 20% more people are on the platform that there Learning Chinese will have a proportionate amount of that topic. If they do not feel it is worth the extra money then that is a business decision they need to make...perhaps a different niche owner of that topic can do better job at it. 

I have rented a lot space to run a business out of...landlords don't typically take a cut of the profit and call it a business expense. I understand that Narrative is a disruptor or a paradigm shift....that is why I am here by the way. I just think that there is a better way to increase the annual renewal fee. 

I also recognize that the team probably won't change this. But I think it is at least worth bringing to their attention...it has given me pause --taken a little enthusiasm away, and I will admit has made me look at the alternatives that are out there, which are fast and furiously coming to market. 

Will I proceed with Narrative...yes. My money is in it. Do I wish this aspect was different. Absolutely. 

I was ready to jump in at several points but then there would be another post to digest.  First and foremost, thank you for considered writing with real points and arguments.  Most UNsocial-media-like !!  It bodes well for Narrative content.

The biggest thank-you is for shifting the discussion on to a real content economy where real transactions have real-world effect.  I am in despair in Telegram with the "when exchange" crowd who think that Narrative exists for them to cash in their NRVE for a lambo.  What we're talking about here is where Narrative will shine, or not, in Q4+ when the economy of hard-work, innovation, and quality gets translated into the rewards. "Content entrepreneurs" is my go-to phrase, as you know.

A couple of thoughts from the perspective of one on the team looking more at reputation algorithms than the payment systems.  

I hear @Malkazoid 's point about "owner" and his concerns with what a niche owner can and can't do. Lots for me to consider. I still stick with "owner" as the best term in the way it applies to, for example, a franchise owner.  A McDonald's or a sports franchise "owner" doesn't have full-on property rights and "owns" these items within defined terms (point taken about the need to spell them out).  They also return substantial fees to an organization. So that's my two cents on "owner"

The other place where things potentially veer into the ditch is characterizing the 20% as a *tax* (fingernails on the chalkboard for the entrepreneur!) There is no winning response once we are talking the T-word, but I'll try.

The 20% goes to the rewards pool, not the company's bottom line.  In other words, it goes to the people who are making your niche great.  Or, to put a point on it, people who, if they are not being rewarded, may go elsewhere and leave your niche making *less* revenue.

Or, if you want to stay with the "tax" metaphor, it funds the society that lets you build your business in the first place and without which, you're not in business at all.

All that being said, there is a healthy debate on how that 20% gets used.  I'm up for it .....

Stay with the discussion, please.  I genuinely have thoughts you planted which we'll talk about in the team.

  

Nice to hear your voice on this thread @Michael Farris and for the thoughtfulness in the response. I like to articulate my thoughts and try to proceed slower than my immediate tendancy (only took nearly 5 decades to hone this skill) so I will ruminate for  bit.  

p.s. yep i get it about the telegram feed...sheesh...but there are some real core people here who get it and are invested in "making it happen". That is exciting.

Emily Barnett posted:

@Gerbino My suggestion is still one of percentages. I suggested it be based on the percentage of the increase of Narrative. That is fair across the board. if Narrative increases as a community by 20% or in advertising revenue for instance then a 20% increase of your initial bid for your niche seems fair, both in the niche popularity and in my mind the fee structure. If Narrative is generating more of an audience for my Niche then I feel it has earned a 20% increase. I don't see how it earns 20% of the yearly take. 

EXAMPLE: right now the niche NEO is sitting at auction with a bid of 5,501. NRVEand Learning Chinese is 448.87 adding 20% equally to both or whatever the growth number is for the entire platform seems to be a much more constructive method to me. It is reasonable to say that if 20% more people are on the platform that there Learning Chinese will have a proportionate amount of that topic. If they do not feel it is worth the extra money then that is a business decision they need to make...perhaps a different niche owner of that topic can do better job at it. 

I have rented a lot space to run a business out of...landlords don't typically take a cut of the profit and call it a business expense. I understand that Narrative is a disruptor or a paradigm shift....that is why I am here by the way. I just think that there is a better way to increase the annual renewal fee. 

I also recognize that the team probably won't change this. But I think it is at least worth bringing to their attention...it has given me pause --taken a little enthusiasm away, and I will admit has made me look at the alternatives that are out there, which are fast and furiously coming to market. 

Will I proceed with Narrative...yes. My money is in it. Do I wish this aspect was different. Absolutely. 

I agree with you Emily.

I think a fixed renewal fee is perfectly fair because niches fetch more at auction the more popular they stand to be - no need for niche operators of popular niches to also pay more than other niche operators every single year.  If there is any sort of sliding scale, I think it really should have a maximum cap.  Likewise, I think the minimum might be better off being lower than $75 so as to not make it impossible for people of lesser means to jump in and potentially grow a small niche into a bigger one.

Your comparison to space rental, I think, is warranted.  My gut reaction to the 20% of revenue approach to annual renewal is immediately that it is an intrusion on the business of the niche operator that is not warranted.  My expectation had always been that primary revenue for the network would be advertising and brand channels.  After all, other big social networks do very well without charging the general public for their channels: why should Narrative need to?  In my mind "channel ownership fees" meant primarily Brand channels, and a reasonable renewal fee for niche operators, not a tax on them.

In email correspondence with one of the team members before I bought into Narrative, I was told:

"Our goal is not to extract revenue from niche fees but to spur an  entrepreneurial spirit in diverse areas."

To me, that claim is incongruent with a 20% tax on all niches. 

I think it's fair for the renewal fee to increase as the network increases in popularity: and perhaps if there is a small sliding scale, the maximum cap also increases in proportion to the network growth?

Conceptually, niche operators are more like normal users than they are like Brand owners.  We're ordinary people with certain areas of expertise, certain connections and an entrepreneurial spirit, but we are not deep pocket corporations with huge advertising budgets.  Narrative's trumpeted goal to want to pay the people who create the success of the network through their work and their connections, should not be achieved by taking from the pockets of those same people in any significant way.  

85% of network rewards go to the network rewards pool.  Niche operators get paid from that pool.  To then say the model only works if 20% of what niche operators raise in revenue has to be given back to the same pool they are getting paid from, the model is flawed.

True ownership stays safely within the paradigm of a niche owner receiving her reward for the success of her niche: the pro-rated 10 percent of niche rewards as advertised.  The niche rewards pool is meant to pay them, not for them to pay it.  True ownership allows for the paying of a reasonable renewal fee that is there not to extract revenue, but to represent a small barrier to entry that weeds out the disinterested.  When an owner wants to sell a niche, the network is completely justified in charging a stamp duty to cover some administrative aspects, and a commission to cover the auction facility provided to sell the niche.  That can generate substantial income, although some modelling would be required to project niche turnover rates.  

My answer about proceeding with Narrative is also a yes, but a more guarded one.  I am already holding back almost 50% of the resources I would have devoted to buying niches, because it now looks like I will not actually own them, and will lose about 55% of revenue to the 20% renewal fee and taxes.

Why?  Because I know a network will come along and offer true ownership - it is only a matter of time, and probably not a matter of a lot of time, at the break neck speed this arena moves.  Why throw good money after bad?  

These are the earliest days of this sort of Content Economy.  Every dollar you spend on the network that ends up getting this right, will be worth 1000s of dollars in 5-10 years.  The one thing you have to get right, is to choose the right network, and have the strength to recognise if you have chosen the wrong one, so you can shift your resources to the right one.

Keep some of your powder dry if you know this could be done better, so you can use it when that better implementation comes along.

This is but one of the many ways in which this choice of not letting people own their niches, sell their niches, and make capital gains, is already hurting Narrative, long before the effects of a leasing paradigm bring about their suppressing characteristics on peak niche operation levels, and lower adoption rates because people will have other choices where they are allowed to own.  People like me are already less willing to pay top dollar for niches in Chaucer, the very first impulse of the network.  I was looking at buying more NRVE before the end of the ICO, to put into niches - before I realised the paradigm was not looking like it might not allow true ownership.  Now I'm trending towards retaining half my NRVE and selling it once that's possible, so I can put it into another network.  Diversification is wise, even if you think your investments are completely sound...

Right now, there are no bids on 25 out of 47 (more than 50 percent) of the first niche auctions, almost half way through their bidding windows.  These are niches proposed by the very people who would ostensibly want to buy them.  My guess is that because of the way Chaucer was designed, where proposed niches are vulnerable to being snatched up by anyone richer than you, some people are holding back the niches they are actually interested in, waiting for people to spend all their NRVE in the first rounds.  My guess is some of them have proposed niches they don't care about for this first round, hence the very high number of zero bid niches.

Design choices carry consequences, and the wrong choices depress the vital signs of the network.  Investors look at precisely these sorts of vital signs, to tell whether they're looking at a good investment or not.  

So I am moving forwards, but with eyes wide open.

 

 

Hi @Emily Barnett,

I like your reasoning. I must agree with @Eduardo Hernández that your argumentation is really sharp 😊

Now I am referring to your comments from the previous page of this discussion.The comparison with mall is interesting and it helps to see the whole problem on a deeper level. You say that the niche renewal rate should increase in accordance with a growth of the whole platform. It seems as a fair proposition if you indeed aim to achieve the setting where the more (or enough) popular niches with higher reputation remain on the platform and the smaller ones (either with low reputation or witch small community of narrators) will be abolished.

@Malkazoid you already discussed this here. I agree with you and I am not really sure if this is a purpose and vision of Narrative…With a renewal rate being fixed on a certain percentage (as 20%) you could support more diversity of niches that would be rewarded according to the quantity and quality of their content. If someone wants to own the niche which is very specialized and earn just a decent (if not minimal) money from it, it should be allowed to stay there (at least in my opinion). I do not perceive the space in Narrative as being limited to only large enough niche or niche with enough narrators involved.

There would be of course another issue and that is if the potential of niche is wasted because the owner is not promoting the niche enough. Your model with mall was designed I believe to avoid this scenario. You are definitely right about this possibility. It will probably be happening but I still think that the model proposed by narrative team (fixed 20%) would be a better option in this case. If you would focus on the tempo of growth of the whole platform, you would put in advantage those niches that are popular and have a larger audience. I think the tempo of growth can differ among the niches. If you consider the niches that are more popular, more general and has overaly larger audience (which also means larger group of all narrators, also larger group of narrators with higher reputation, larger group of moderators to choose from etc.). I would expect for those niches to rise more quickly in reputation just because there will be more people involved, so easier to select the skilled ones.

On the other hand, I think that more narrowly specialized niches would not grow that fast from the same reason again. It would need time to accumulate the number of people who are in the same time interested in the niche AND skilled. But it does not mean that those smaller niches would not grow in the future, when there are many more members.

I would say that if the niche has a content of quality and is developing in a sensible direction, it should be allowed to stay on the platform.

But again, it still returns back to the previous question: if Narrative should be a platform for topics that current and relevant as of today or if it should allow also smaller groups of specifically focused topics. I am personally for the number two.

As for the topic about whether it is fair of not to pay the tax… Lets consider two examples:

  • I own the niche but I dont do any other activities.

Here I suppose it is just fair to pay those 20% because I owe my niche popularity not only to myself but also to those who are (beside me) working on a my niche – moderators, narrators. My niche wouldnt be successful without them…

  • I own my niche, I moderate and narrate in other niches.

I still pay those 20% to those who help me with my niche AND other niches owners also contribute to my wellbeing by supporting my moderating and narrating skills by their 20%. I find this again fair. If I moderate and write I think it is just to be supported by the owners of niches where I write.

Also I saw somewhere here mentioned that it would be good to distribute those 20% that owner pays within his own niche. It is an interesting idea but still it would put in a  disadvantage those niches which are smaller but where are still writers and moderators with high reputation...

So in overal, I perceive the system to be now as fair as you can get. I dont know, perhaps it could be even more fair but I dont think anyone could judge that until it is put into motion and working for some time…

I think that is my longest piece I have written here so far. it really helped to organize my thoughts. But as it is really late in my time zone, I feel that my brain will shut down any minute so I will better stop just now.

To all members participation here. This discussion is one of the most interesting one that I found (and there is lot to choose from), there are many great ideas so keep it up and continue !

Michael Farris posted:

I was ready to jump in at several points but then there would be another post to digest.  First and foremost, thank you for considered writing with real points and arguments.  Most UNsocial-media-like !!  It bodes well for Narrative content.

 

A couple of thoughts from the perspective of one on the team looking more at reputation algorithms than the payment systems.  

I hear @Malkazoid 's point about "owner" and his concerns with what a niche owner can and can't do. Lots for me to consider. I still stick with "owner" as the best term in the way it applies to, for example, a franchise owner.  A McDonald's or a sports franchise "owner" doesn't have full-on property rights and "owns" these items within defined terms (point taken about the need to spell them out).  They also return substantial fees to an organization. So that's my two cents on "owner"

Narrative niches do not function as franchises.  Franchises bring you your clientele.  In Narrative, especially for us Founders and earliest members, we will be bringing our clientele to Narrative.

Franchises bring you a proven business model, provide training - it is basically a turn-key business.  In Narrative, it is quite the opposite: these niches have to be built from the ground up.  

But my concern isn't even centred on whether the comparison is accurate or not: I've got to be frank - I didn't buy into Narrative to own a franchise!  That is not at all the kind of business that appeals to me.  I dislike the idea of it, and I think that the type of people who will make successful niche owners will also often be people who don't fit the franchise model.  I think some psychological profiling of the type of person Narrative needs to run a successful niche might be in order, or the way we message will not be as successful as it could be.

A successful niche owner needs to be able to connect with and motivate skilled and influential people to participate in their niche.  That sounds like the exact opposite of a person who would be drawn to a turn key business solution like a franchise.  These are people who know they are capable, and who know the value of their capabilities.  Such people tend to own their own businesses, to innovate, and to enjoy the creativity of the process.  Such people tend to consider that owning a franchise isn't really owning the business.  Franchises are not for trailblazers.  They are for people who require a cookie cut solution.

I'm afraid I get the same sinking feeling hearing you liken niche operation to a franchise, that I got reading @Brian Lenz describe niches as unimaginative, and not a valuable contribution from the community - something that could have been replaced by merely grabbing a list of trending topics from another social platform.  There's a pattern here, and it is one that does not recognise the creativity that in fact should be considered your primary asset.

Offering a lease model, you'll attract lots of people who don't look at the offer too closely, and who think they'll do well operating a niche.  But will you attract the precise demographic that you want to run niches optimally?

I don't think you will, even now that you are one of the only games in town.  When more Content Economies spring up, and some do offer true ownership - I think your success rate at attracting the people most suited to running stellar niches will drop into the single digits.

The other place where things potentially veer into the ditch is characterizing the 20% as a *tax* (fingernails on the chalkboard for the entrepreneur!) There is no winning response once we are talking the T-word, but I'll try.

The 20% goes to the rewards pool, not the company's bottom line.  In other words, it goes to the people who are making your niche great.  Or, to put a point on it, people who, if they are not being rewarded, may go elsewhere and leave your niche making *less* revenue.

Why is the 20% needed to go towards the people who are supplying great content?  Isn't that what the 65% of network revenue is for?  To pay content producers?  What am I missing here?  It feels like there is fundamental confusion in the design of the basic distribution model.

If your basic distribution model is flawed, tweak it.  Why create an extra level of complexity by making niche owners pay back into the pool they are paid from?  It is messy, AND it traps you in the leasing rationale, which to this day, nobody has been able to demonstrate any upside for, despite my attempts to discover the Team's reasoning.  Meanwhile, I've detailed numerous downsides to the lease paradigm, and offered strong upsides to true ownership.

Frankly, I don't get the attachment to this unnecessary and problematic convolution, but I don't need to - at the end of the day the flaws in the model are manifest and the only question an investor has to ask himself is whether they will be fixed or not.

Or, if you want to stay with the "tax" metaphor, it funds the society that lets you build your business in the first place and without which, you're not in business at all.

Even the government, which has the luxury of being a monopoly (Narrative doesn't and isn't), does not tell the population that they need to be taxed an extra 20%, AFTER 65% of the revenue generated by the population is already being designated as sufficient to fund the society.  

The advertising revenue and Brand channel fees will come in because there are people to advertise to.  There will be crowds to advertise to if the niches attract crowds.  65% of the advertising revenue and Brand channel fees (raw income to the system) is designated clearly as being there to pay content creators.  Why do niche operators need to pay them extra?  Can't they simply be considered as fulfilling their role within the community by insuring the success of the engine (niches) that makes the presence of the natural funders of the system possible (advertisers and brands)?

Good niche owners aren't corporate deep pockets.  We're ordinary people with the experience and the connections to grace Narrative niches with quality content.  Please make the model reflect that.  Don't leave us staring down the barrel of 20% Narrative tax, plus 25-60% income taxes.  It is disrespectful of the true worth of the people you are trying to attract, and it is a mistake that will make the network less attractive and less competitive.

All that being said, there is a healthy debate on how that 20% gets used.  I'm up for it .....

Stay with the discussion, please.  I genuinely have thoughts you planted which we'll talk about in the team.

Soňa posted:

There would be of course another issue and that is if the potential of niche is wasted because the owner is not promoting the niche enough. Your model with mall was designed I believe to avoid this scenario. You are definitely right about this possibility. It will probably be happening but I still think that the model proposed by narrative team (fixed 20%) would be a better option in this case. 

The best way to avoid niches being wasted is true ownership.  Owners put more energy into their property because the capital gains they can achieve will reward them for it if/when they decide to sell.  Income + capital gains is better than income alone.  It is as simple as that.

They will also have an incentive to sell their niche if they start to lose interest in maintaining at peak performance, because they will achieve the best sale price while the niche is still at peak performance, not after months or years of neglecting it.  This is a very significant upside to true ownership, and a downside to leasing - one that will significantly impact the quality of Narrative, but very few people seem to understand or care enough to engage the matter, and so far those who do care have been general members, not Narrative staffers.  It's worrisome.

But again, it still returns back to the previous question: if Narrative should be a platform for topics that current and relevant as of today or if it should allow also smaller groups of specifically focused topics. I am personally for the number two.

Me too (for number two).  And the news is better on this front: Michael Farris has told me clearly that Narrative wants these sorts of smaller niches to exist on the platform. 

 

  • I own the niche but I dont do any other activities.

Here I suppose it is just fair to pay those 20% because I owe my niche popularity not only to myself but also to those who are (beside me) working on a my niche – moderators, narrators. My niche wouldnt be successful without them…

There is no more of a reason for niche operators to pay moderators than there is for moderators to pay niche owners.  We both depend on each other - it is not a one way street.  

The primary distribution model of Narrative already puts aside 6% of network revenue to pay moderators!

It already puts aside 65% of network revenue to pay content creators (narrators)!

It is in their own pie chart of rewards distribution.

Revenue distribution

To all members participation here. This discussion is one of the most interesting one that I found (and there is lot to choose from), there are many great ideas so keep it up and continue !

Thank you for the time you are devoting to this!

Eduardo Hernández posted:

I second @Malkazoid with everything he says, specially this: "Narrative pitches a 'niche ownership' to users which involves 'buying' at 'market price' through auction, but is in fact a lease, holds no accrual of capital gains, cannot be sold by the so-called owner, gets taxed at 20% by the network, then taxed again by the government... and can be de-activated for any reason."

I have expressed already my concerns and, later on, disappointment of how this, once great idea, is becoming a project full of shot-comings and competitive disadvantages in comparison to their competitors (which there are plenty of with already functioning platforms; I'm unofficially advising one at the moment.)

That being said, I believe that the time to make decisions have come, both for investors and the platform real owners (the Team.) Either Narrative becomes a textbook example of everything that a "content economy" startup should not do, of it stirs the ship 180 degrees and becomes the story of a nice comeback that, ultimately, saved the day.

Good luck to everyone.

Eduardo - I would have PM-ed you rather than posting here for this, but that functionality is currently disabled.

Could you let me know which project you are unofficially advising?  I would like to explore other possibilities at this point.  I'll still be involved with Narrative for the time being, but it's time for me to diversify.

@Michael Farris I am back to respond. First I will say this. I am Canadian so by nature I am more socialistic...I do like everyone to succeed. But I want to dissect to points you made and I will try to be brief. 

 

Quoting Michael Ferris:

The Franchise does feel like an appropriate analogy. However what you are leaving out of  your analogy,  is that every franchise owner has the right to sell their business. The Football team can sell the franchise it just still has to be part of the NFL. Same with MacDonald's. This needs to be taken into consideration. Niche owners should be able to sell there built up asset to another community member before renewal if they are so inclined, for your analogy to be accurate.

You are also correct their usually are franchise fees that go back to the Main Franchise owner, or in this case the platform community, but they are usually very small often 4-8% and often have caps. (also it very often is allocated to cover marketing which in turn benefits the franchise owners, which isn't happening in the Narrative senario) ESPECIALLY when the franchise chain is completely unestablished. I think it is naive to believe that Narrative is comparable to Macdonald's at this juncture. There is not even a platform here. this is just a belief system that it will be great. It seems a bit much to ask of your financial stakeholders, whom if you take out the Pump & Dump investors, is a much smaller core. 

Again this is why I suggested a sliding scale of growth that is connection with the growth of the Narrative platform. In this way Narrative itself-- team & content makers,  are invested in it's growth...not just Niché owners. If the content makers want the niche owners to pay a bigger share, then they two need to get involved in recuriting more people to the platform for the annual growth of the platform to increase their fees...in turn the growth will strengthen the case for ad revenues. This feels like a far more sustainable model to me, then the head eating the tail model that is proposed.

Regarding your second point:

I understand that the 20% goes into the reward pool in an effort to reward the pool of content makers. But that is what the 60% of all the investment we just contributed is for. To reward the content makers, whom by the way  didn't buy into Narrative before the platform even existed. They did not risk their income.  The Niche owner's money is already set aside for them. It isn't that I don't feel I should pay an annual fee...i do agree with an annual fee, it's just how you are calculating it that doesn't sit perfectly with me. 

 I think it is wiser to charge a fee that is based on the growth of the platform for every niche owner consistently. The Auction prices will take care of the mega and micro niche affordability. I just really like the idea of fees that are built on the sustainable growth of the platform, not on the work of the niche owner. 

And my last point is this. I intend to be a content maker of my niche and other niches alike. I think without quality content to begin with from the niche owners you will not attract other quality content makers. I am most excited for when the platform has video capability. I think it is near sighted for anyone to think that Niche owners that pick popular niches won't have to do much, and there for it is "easy money". Believe me,  I am not picking out my shade of Lambo yet!  But I don't want my fees to be a sliding scale based on my work load...I want more incentive than that for my investment. And I do wish I had seen that part of the whitepaper in the Niche section which I reread several times. I honestly missed the 20% renewal sentence in Stake section, until someone pointed it out on this thread. I am not sure i would have invested, if I am to be honest. but rather just wait for the platform to launch and make content.

Anyways that's probably more than my 2bits. I have said all that I can. A percentage based on the growth of the platform is far more ideal from where I am sitting.  Failing that, I hope the team gives the notion of a cap, some serious thought. The renewal fee  as it stands right now seems like a high rate  for a small percentage of of the over all profit. The content makers are doing alright by earning 60% -- telling me that I need to chip in again -- 20% of my 10% isn't really a compelling argument. I would be a lot more comfortable with a 10 - 20% increase on my initial bid and leave my over all 10% of the content activity alone. That seems fair.

Like @Malkazoid I will be spending much less than I first anticipated on niche ownership. Currently, it seems more financially advantages to just concentrate on being a content maker. I suspect others may have come to similar conclusions as well.

Thank you for the opportunity to voice my opinion, no matter what the outcome maybe. That in itself is refreshing. 

 

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Quick correction @Malkazoid  The analogy of franchise was used to say that "owner"  is a perfectly good term even when property rights are limited and that fees are paid for said ownership to an organization. Nothing more. Narrative is not a franchise.  I know that and you know that so don't take the argument there.

I'll say the same about the "tax" analogy proposed in this discussion.  It scores rhetorical points (everyone hates taxes) but doesn't do  much more than that since no one in Narrative said it was a tax.  In fact, it's a dreadful analogy, probably fatal to understanding what the 20% is about.

Try these analogies instead.

A company put 20%  of its revenue annually into R&D as a way to future-proof their revenue stream in an ever-changing field.  Smart move, right?  

Another company puts 20% of its revenue stream into dividends for its customers (the people who make the revenue possible) as a strategy for growing its long-term customer base.  Business 101.

Still another company realizes that its future market share depends on marketing aggressively so it spends 20% on promotion.  No surprises here.

In each analogy, no one freaks out about 20%.  It a way the business works and works well once it's understood positively. 

In the new Narrative economy, we're saying that there must be a rewards cycle for the whole social economy, not just the owners.  One part is that 20%  going back into rewards. It's part of the model we are betting is win-win for all, including the owners of niches.  We're not going back to the old content economy where owners maximized their take-home by giving users as little as possible from the revenue stream. We see a bigger, better  -- and growing  --  type of content economy built on 85% of revenue (including niche renewal) going back to all users.

[[PS - you didn't think the 20% was going into the team's pockets did you?. Just checking, in case]]

Sure, I get that you want the biggest possible return on your niche.  Under the old economy model, you need to reduce fees, cut expenses.  In the new economy, we're saying the greatest return looks past short-term "cut-the-fees" thinking to the larger cycle where the 20% is amply repaid by the growth of the new kind of content economy.

When we use the term "new content economy," it's not a marketing slogan. We mean the "new" part.

In any economy, people vote with their feet. It will happen here. It could be that the Facebook, Twitter, Steemit model to maximize profit for "owners" wins the day. Or we could be right that a new content economy produces higher revenue AND higher quality social content too. 

Michael Farris posted:

Quick correction @Malkazoid  The analogy of franchise was used to say that "owner"  is a perfectly good term even when property rights are limited and that fees are paid for said ownership to an organization. Nothing more. Narrative is not a franchise.  I know that and you know that so don't take the argument there.

@Michael Farris - it is precisely to the franchise-type use of the word "ownership" that I reacted... by pointing out that the profile that best fits the connectors and influencers who will naturally produce good niches also does not tend to be interested in franchise-type ownership.  I'll say it again - these people tend not to consider that ownership at all.

It doesn't matter if you consider it ownership, or a valid use of the word - it matters whether the people you want to attract do.

Sorry - I know it's not what you want to hear.

The most important issue here is one that nobody on the Team wants to face head on.  I say this after having very patiently and painstakingly tried, multiple times over the past month, to discuss it.  The most important issue is to be able to sell the niche on.

The silence on that particular front is deafening at this point.  

As Emily observed, a franchise can be sold.  

 

I'll say the same about the "tax" analogy proposed in this discussion.  It scores rhetorical points (everyone hates taxes) but doesn't do  much more than that since no one in Narrative said it was a tax.  In fact, it's a dreadful analogy, probably fatal to understanding what the 20% is about.

Try these analogies instead.

A company put 20%  of its revenue annually into R&D as a way to future-proof their revenue stream in an ever-changing field.  Smart move, right?  

Another company puts 20% of its revenue stream into dividends for its customers (the people who make the revenue possible) as a strategy for growing its long-term customer base.  Business 101.

Still another company realizes that its future market share depends on marketing aggressively so it spends 20% on promotion.  No surprises here.

In each analogy, no one freaks out about 20%.  It a way the business works and works well once it's understood positively. 

In the new Narrative economy, we're saying that there must be a rewards cycle for the whole social economy, not just the owners.  One part is that 20%  going back into rewards. It's part of the model we are betting is win-win for all, including the owners of niches.  We're not going back to the old content economy where owners maximized their take-home by giving users as little as possible from the revenue stream. We see a bigger, better  -- and growing  --  type of content economy built on 85% of revenue (including niche renewal) going back to all users.

[[PS - you didn't think the 20% was going into the team's pockets did you?. Just checking, in case]]

I do understand what the intent is for the 20% - it has been clear to me since the very beginning of this thread.  If I hadn't, I'd be accusing Narrative of greed.  

Instead, the core of my problem with this situation was expressed in the very first post that started this thread:

"I know of no business in which you're told you own something, but the same person telling you you own it takes 20% of your income issuing from that possession every year, AND forbids you to sell what you 'own'."

No, business I know of, including franchises, proposes such a model.  There is a reason for that.

Everyone here wants a win-win solution for all.

If niche operators were in fact true owners, I wouldn't even have a big problem with the 20% renewal fee.  I'd still wonder why the convolution of charging it, when a slight tweak of the PRIMARY distribution percentages would amount to the same result, without confusing people.  When you tell people they're getting ten percent, and only quote a 20% annual renewal fee deep in the white paper (never in conversation as far as I saw, and I've been very active here) until the ICO is practically over, then it is perfectly natural for people to have two reactions.

A) 10% really meant 8%.

B) Why not plainly say 8%, instead of burying the hefty annual renewal fee out of plain sight?

These reactions are natural, Michael, and it would be great to see you, or somebody on the team, acknowledge that.

But again, if niche operators can sell their niches, this shifts things into the realm of income + capital gains.  It is a game changer.  Especially for the people who are proposing to build this thing with you.  

Right now - you're saying to prospective niche owners, whose time is just as valuable to them as your's is to you, that they should build fantastic niches from nothing, but if they ever walk away from them, the network will be able to sell them on and pocket 100% of the value the niche owners were directly instrumental in building.  

Even in socialist democracies (I've lived in a couple and enjoyed many aspects of them), people get to earn capital gains.  Sell a franchise, and you'll pocket whatever extra value you brought to the franchise branch while you operated it.

Here, instead, the Narrative network systematically sells the work of niche operators on again and again, taking those capital gains away from niche operators, and giving them to everybody else BUT THEM!  It makes no sense.

I've said it before - true ownership is at the core of this argument.  Fix that, and you won't hear a peep from me about 20% renewal fees even though I'll remain concerned they weren't more transparently integrated into the primary distribution model.

 

Sure, I get that you want the biggest possible return on your niche. 

I am completely sincere when I tell you that the biggest possible return on MY niche simply isn't my primary concern.

20% annual renewal fees will be nothing compared to the losses we'll all make if the growth of the whole network is stunted because niche owners are offered true ownership on another network.  I don't know if I have any new ways to say it, and none of them are eliciting a direct response to the problem.

My primary concern is the competitiveness of the Narrative network.  Any decision you make that puts off the influencers that can make this place by their presence, or break it by their absence, jeopardises the entire castle of cards.  It's a beautiful castle, but it is very fragile right now.  A community member has identified a weakness in the foundation, and has been met with avoidance of the topic for weeks now.  We're here to help: we're here to pool our brain power and help you cover bases you may have not covered.  We can't force you to act upon what we bring you, but I certainly expected someone to at least engage properly with the question of true ownership.  Nobody has.

"New" doesn't mean good.  I've been laying out clear arguments why selling a lease as ownership is not good.  Nobody has taken the opportunity to counter them.  Sorry - but everyone's patience has limits, and I think any observer will agree I have tried repeatedly to create opportunities for rational discourse about it.  I've failed.  Team members are happy to talk about everything but the core issue of true niche ownership.

This is your platform - we've just thrown money at it, some time, and for some of us, some passion.

But we do expect you to have a rationale behind such a monumental decision to assume niche operators should 'buy' niches at auction, pay 20% annually on the niche income, AND not see a penny when the niches gets sold, despite the clear negative ramifications for Narrative's competitiveness, which affects everyone here negatively.  If all you take away from that sentence is: "I don't want to pay 20% because I want to maximise my niche returns", then you're wilfully throwing away the value of my contribution here without even giving it the time of day first.

You don't know me.  You may in time know me better.  But I'll tell you this much now: you couldn't be further from the truth if you think the thousands of words I've posted here are all because I want to make 20% more money on my niches.  I've spent the past 10 years putting 90 percent of my resources into an entirely non profit endeavour.

Meh.

I feel like a broken record since over a month ago:

https://community.narrative.ne...53#10039807108131953

All it takes to shut me up is what every investor expects - a good rationale for your process.

 

 

Under the old economy model, you need to reduce fees, cut expenses. 

No - that's not the old economy model - that's still the real world the majority of people live in.  You're competing for people's time, energy, passion, connections and resources.  You're competing against millions of pass-times, obligations, business opportunities, and investments that all follow that economic reality.

Why should the kind of person you want to run a niche spend their efforts doing so, when there are countless other pursuits that are more financially viable?  That's not a rhetorical question.  It is the most basic question we should all be asking ourselves here.  

In the new economy, we're saying the greatest return looks past short-term "cut-the-fees" thinking to the larger cycle where the 20% is amply repaid by the growth of the new kind of content economy.

Great...  Love the sound of it.  Any thoughts on true ownership?

The thread is here:

https://community.narrative.ne...this-is-the-question

In any economy, people vote with their feet. It will happen here. It could be that the Facebook, Twitter, Steemit model to maximize profit for "owners" wins the day. Or we could be right that a new content economy produces higher revenue AND higher quality social content too. 

Indeed.

Sorry, I’ve been quite busy with my job and life in general so I haven’t been as active. Just a quick question, I thought I remember reading somewhere that eventually, we will have a tribunal. Is this something that the tribunal can discuss and change eventually? I see a lot of really good points from the community... and for what it’s worth, @Malkazoid@Emily Barnett@Bryan, and @Eduardo Hernández, y’all have my vote when the time comes. You’re all articulating some of my thoughts so I’m glad you’re being very vocal with some of your concerns.

Hello again, 

I adress this mostly to the narrative team (@Ted, @Rosemary@Brian Lenz and others). There is a lot of discussion going on here and although you adressed it in some way, you pretty much avoided the key questions which is quite frustrating. I read the whole discussion yesterday evening and this morning for more 3 hours being all the time disturbed by my kids and it was just dissapointing reaching the end of it and still not hearing some explanation. 

I usually prefer to stay objective and look at things from different points of view. I believe that you want to support fairness and quality in your model but in the same time the arguments presented here by many active member seems reasonable and fair too. The thing is that many really active members here have presented the arguments why their adjustments/modifications to the system would be better than what you presented. They spent a lot of time and energy on that. So it would be in my opinion respectful to adress these issues and explain those questions that are hanging everywhere over this discussion and using straightforward and clear answers. 

There are several issues but lets start with ...

1)  Owner thing...

- As I followed the discussions, I think that the main concern is about not being able to sell the niche. I see why the idea of selling the niche could be redundant when the niches are already established and have enough members. But I agree with Malkazoid that if you create the niche from nothing, you spent a lot of enthusiasm and ideas on it, it would be fair to have some rights to it and those rights would be nicely presented if you would be able to sell it. 

Again it would be great to hear why this is not a good idea.

2) Those 20% that niche owners have to pay back. It is ok with me, if you explain yourself why you constructed it in this way. And please dont write "because it is then redistributed among everybody participating". It could be your reason, why not, but you have to explain it more. Do you expect niche owner to become super rich so they should give back 20% of their money back to the pool? Because I can imagine this scenario just fine but I can also imagine a scenario where niche owner earn just as much as other participants and on top of that they send 20% of their earnings would be redistributed. Not to mention that those niche owners are the guys that invested in the platform..

3) Then there is this strange loop where a niche owner receives money from the pool and then returns 20% of it there only for it to be redistributed among all participants. So the participants receive first and then second payment? It is just a minor question already adressed by other members ( @Malkazoid, @Emily Barnett] better than by me. Couldnt there be a simpler scheme? Please explain.

There are other topics discussed in detail by Malkazoid, Emily Barnett, Eduardo Hernandez and others but I wont focus on them.  

I suppose generally it would be nice to hear why is your model better? While preparing the model you surely must have considered several versions. What made you choose the one you settled for?

(Even if you do not have the whole idea figured out yet in all aspects, it would be good to share this piece of information. )

I think many people here follow the discussions and there are a lot of people enthusiastic about the idea. As you mentioned several times you appreciate the discussions here. I hope those are not empty words. Because if you really are thankful for those discussions here you should adress this issue more clearly rather sooned than later because if not I am afraid that those enthusiastic members will slowly become more apathetic and there will be lot less discussion going on. 

And I really like the discussion here. It would be shame to take the enthusiasm down just because some issues were not explained thoroughly.

Thanks and hope for a reply coming soon

 

Ted posted:

 

If you have a successful niche that is generating nice revenue, the renewal fee is well worth it.  You are still seeing a nice return on your money so long as you maintain it. 

If you have a niche that is not generating much revenue, then you have a judgment call... is it worth spending the equivalent of $75/year on? If not, then the owner can let it go (and perhaps someone else will see the value).

I´m trying to grasp the aspects of this discussion.

For most parts I agree with Ted , but have some thoughts of my own I would like to share.

For me the renewal fee seems like a good solution to a future problem I think will arrive. A popular niche, with an owner that is not going to be as committed in the future as before. The niche still generates a good amount of money, but the owner will be investing less time to the niche and might end up doing the bare minimum of work to avoid losing the niche.

This most likely will have the niche fade in popularity and the user base finding other places to contribute. If that where other niches, it might not be so bad, but if people lose interest in Narrative because one of there favorite niches slowly decline in quality, the hole network will lose traction.

With the 20% renewal fee, current owners are "forced" to consider if they for the next year is willing to put the same effort into maintaining there niche, or if the time might be ready for a shift, with a new owner. The current niche owner will have an incentive to give it a more thoroughly review, because of the full revenue + niche sale vs 80% reward of revenue and the lower price for the niche next year.

Hi [email protected],

I think you have misunderstood - but you're right that the question of flagging of motivation is an important aspect of this discussion.

I have two stories for you that will hopefully make the situation clear.

Story 1: The SAD story of the unmotivated niche operator who can't sell his niche

Niche owner Wally has become lazy, doesn't shave anymore, and has let his garden patch go to seed.  He also isn't maintaining his Narrative niche anymore.  It was once a happening place, but he just is more interested in sitting on the couch picking his nose these days.

He watches his niche go down hill:

August 1st: revenue $1250, minus 20% = $1000

September 1st: revenue $900, minus 20% = $780

October 1st: revenue $810, minus 20% = $648

November 1st: revenue $800, minus 20% = $640

December 1st: revenue $805, minus 20% = $644

Although Wally is lazy, he still like the Doritos that money can buy.  And he notices that even though his revenue has dropped from $1250 per month to plateau around $805, the 20% fee still leaves him receiving around $640 dollars every month.  That can still buy him a lot of Doritos!  And the best part of it?  He's now doing nothing, and still getting that money.  To celebrate, he gets up to dance a jig but then remembers sitting on the couch is less effort, so he sits down again.

And picks his nose.

He thinks to himself: this isn't so bad!  If I give up the niche, I get nothing.  Narrative auctions the niche to someone else, and gives all the sale proceeds to the network rewards fund, even though I, back in the days when I used to leave this couch, built the niche up from scratch, finding the best contributors that now call my niche home.  If I keep the niche, I keep getting my $640 per month.  

What's better?  Zero dollars, or $640 per month.  He pauses and frowns, unsure of himself.  Then he smiles.  $640 per month just sounds better - though he doesn't quite know why.  

Eventually the income might fall to $10 per month, but that day is a long way away, and even then, with the $75 minimum fee per year, he'll still be earning $45 dollars in the year, and that will still buy him quite a few packs of Doritos.

Satisfied with his efforts for the day, he falls asleep, spilling Doritos into the couch.

Story 1: The HAPPY story of the unmotivated niche owner who can sell his niche

Niche owner Wally has become lazy, doesn't shave anymore, and has let his garden patch go to seed.  He also isn't maintaining his Narrative niche anymore.  It was once a happening place, but he just is more interested in sitting on the couch picking his nose these days.

He watches his niche go down hill:

August 1st: revenue $1250, minus 20% = $1000

September 1st: revenue $900, minus 20% = $780

October 1st: revenue $810, minus 20% = $648

November 1st: revenue $800, minus 20% = $640

December 1st: revenue $805, minus 20% = $644

Although Wally is lazy, he still like the Doritos that money can buy.  And he notices that even though his revenue has dropped from $1250 per month to plateau around $805, the 20% fee still leaves him receiving around $640 dollars every month.  That can still buy him a lot of Doritos!  And the best part of it?  He's now doing nothing, and still getting that money.  

But then his wife Trudy stomps in and pulls him up by the ear.

"You oaf, Wally!  Look at the offers you've been receiving to buy your niche from you!"

Wally looks at the offers he's been receiving every month:

August: $18,235

September: $14,010 (PS So sad to see your once awesome niche go down hill!)

October: $12,500 (PS What happened to you man?  You used to be beautiful?)

November: $12,000 (PS I would bring back your niche to its former glory!)

December: $10,000 (PS Your niche is losing its mystique - but I still have a reasonable offer for you...)

Wally frowns.  His frown has more to due with the rolling pin Trudy is holding above his head... but it does force him to think.

If I had sold the niche in August, I'd have $8,235 more dollars than if I sell it today.

The lost amount of Doritos $8,235 dollars represents makes Wally sad.  Trudy sits down by his side and reassures him: a smarter guy would have sold the niche before he let it sag like that, but the good news is, sell it now, and you can buy a cart, and a huge stock of Doritos with your $10,000, and then I'll go and bring the cart in front of the houses of all your new couch potato friends who are too lazy to go to the supermarket!  I'll sell the Doritos at a 20% mark up, and we'll retire at 40 and move to Costa Rica, and live it up!  I hear the Doritos are super cheap down there.

With their new found dream to fund, they sell the niche and live happily ever after.  Or at least we're blessed with not knowing what happens to them next, and ignorance is bliss.

-------------------------------------------------------------

The takeaway from this cautionary tale of two fools, is this.

Niches can't be sold by niche operators

If the Narrative network doesn't let niche 'owners' actually own their niches, meaning they cannot sell them when they become lazy, old, sick or simply disinterested, then those niches slip into mediocrity, and stay there because the niche operator still has a strong incentive to keep what revenue is still coming in.  Why would he give it up and let the network auction his niche, giving none of the proceeds to him, and all of the proceeds to everyone else on Narrative?

Wally isn't too bright, but he knows that's not fair.  Like when the store sells you a bag of stale Doritos.

Niches can be sold by niche owners

Wally's dumb as a frog who left frog school in grade 2.  So he waited 5 months after stopping putting effort into his niche, and watched it lose $8,235 in resale value, before his wife helped him realise he should sell and use the money to fund a bright new, idiotic dream.

Still his niche gets sold before it becomes completely stagnant, and the new OWNER, motivated that he will see income AND capital gains from his new investment, builds the niche back to its former glory and vows to not be as dumb as Wally!  If ever he becomes lazy, he'll sell the niche straight away while it is at peak performance, so he gets the best sale price at auction.

He marvels at the wisdom of the Narrative team for making it so niches tend to stay stronger than on other networks, and pities the sods on other networks who watch everyone else but them be rewarded when they move on from the niches they built up from scratch.  He picks up the phone and calls a few of his friends who use such networks, and convinces them quite easily to move to Narrative.

THE END

Hahahaha @Malkazoid i love your tenacity. Don't give up! You are right in this we should be able to sell in order to recoup our investment of time and money. I have no idea why the Core team seems to oppose this. It is absolutely no skin off their nose. The fact that they are unbending to make the investment team a little more comfortable with the level of risk to investment when it doesn't cost them nor the narrative platform any financial loss is beyond me.

If nothing else you have gained a loyal supporter of your writing when the beta version comes out. Your two tales of lazy niche owners is hilarious yet dead on.

@Malkazoid I might have been confused about the auction of a niche, but the thing I stated remains the same. If you lose interest in a niche which you are the owner of, you will still have an incentive to thoroughly consider if you would benefit from renewing your niche, or let somebody else take over.

It would be more beneficial for the content creators of a niche that the owner is active and involved in the niche.

On average, human self interest outweighs considerations of what is best for the community.  Especially if the niche operator bought the niche at auction, and gains nothing from selling it: the sense people will have is the niche is their's to keep as long as it serves them, since no other scenario does.

I'd like to think maybe one in ten people might think of giving up the extra income, just for the good of the network, but I doubt it would even be that many - and remember, the person first has to even have the self-awareness to know they're not doing what they could for the niche anymore.  How long is a piece of string... to one person, emailing a content producer one a week to suggest they submit something is 'a lot of work'.  To others, it is nothing.  And our perceptions of these things change over time.  Before people can consider handing over the niche to someone else, they have to first judge themselves as falling short.

Self-awareness isn't very widespread either, amongst us merry human bunch.  

A suggestion trying to meet both parties, could be that you where first going to pay the 20% renewal fee, once you had earned the amount you payed at the auction. 

I think that's a neat idea - whatever the renewal fee is, make it start once the person has earned back what they paid at auction.  Nice.

But it doesn't even begin to approach the benefits of real ownership, both for niche quality over time, and competitiveness of Narrative in this brave new world where every new tech startup is looking to get the edge on the existing tech companies.  There is probably a Content Economy implementing it right now.  That's what you're supposed to surmise when you have an idea you think is new: chances are one or more people out there has already done it and failed with it, or is developing it and about to release it.

@Malkazoid Thanks for your reply yesterday !

I agree, the niche ownership, and mostly the ability to sell the niche makes sense... now that I contemplated this topic more, the model presented in white paper seems to me not so well thought out. I really hope that Narrative team will address those issues and questions eventually. 

Anyway, I am really looking forward to see your storytelling skills officially in action, hopefully six months from now

Sheesh... I take two steps away from a conversation and have to spend an hour catching up... thankfully, the conversation hasn't changed much. I would like to throw in my towel (I've already tossed my two cents) and say that I believe both sides have stated their case. 

And, it is my hope that Reason prevails. Both sides believe Reason to be on their side, and they're probably both right. If I might call upon my own analogy, that of the Aspiring Parents... I might suggest that when a couple is having a difficult time getting pregnant, sometimes taking a break, changing the scenery, "letting go", are just the catalyst the body(ies) need in order to function properly. 

As the platform evolves during this formative year, it might be that Narrative decides that "ownership" is the wrong/right term and abstain-from/proceed-with changing the Niche structure to accommodate the most reasonable, rational point of view. But, if it continues to escalate, walls get higher, convictions are held tighter, and animosity (coupled with reluctance to change) multiplies. 

In the end, whatever the rules are that govern the platform, it is still a tool. And people will use (and exploit) any and all tools any which way they can. 

Bryan posted:

Sheesh... I take two steps away from a conversation and have to spend an hour catching up... thankfully, the conversation hasn't changed much. I would like to throw in my towel (I've already tossed my two cents) and say that I believe both sides have stated their case. 

And, it is my hope that Reason prevails. Both sides believe Reason to be on their side, and they're probably both right. If I might call upon my own analogy, that of the Aspiring Parents... I might suggest that when a couple is having a difficult time getting pregnant, sometimes taking a break, changing the scenery, "letting go", are just the catalyst the body(ies) need in order to function properly. 

As the platform evolves during this formative year, it might be that Narrative decides that "ownership" is the wrong/right term and abstain-from/proceed-with changing the Niche structure to accommodate the most reasonable, rational point of view. But, if it continues to escalate, walls get higher, convictions are held tighter, and animosity (coupled with reluctance to change) multiplies. 

In the end, whatever the rules are that govern the platform, it is still a tool. And people will use (and exploit) any and all tools any which way they can. 

Hehe - well I love the spirit of your message, but unfortunately both sides have not stated their case when it comes to real ownership of niches.

That topic has been mostly ignored, without giving even a glance at the pros and cons I've laid out.  It is frustrating and leads me to believe that silence is being maintained for one of three reasons:

- the answer is something we wouldn't like

- the topic is actually being discussed internally, and is pending a decision (in which case it would be respectful to let us know this)

- or nobody has actually taken stock of the arguments made, in which case this has all been a phenomenal waste of our time

But yeah - not much we can do about it except draw our conclusions.

Soňa posted:

@Malkazoid Thanks for your reply yesterday !

I agree, the niche ownership, and mostly the ability to sell the niche makes sense... now that I contemplated this topic more, the model presented in white paper seems to me not so well thought out. I really hope that Narrative team will address those issues and questions eventually. 

Anyway, I am really looking forward to see your storytelling skills officially in action, hopefully six months from now

Thanks @Soňa@Emily Barnett...

I only know the one story, so that's all the content I'll be contributing.  Maybe I can recycle the characters and have them eating Oreos, and picking each other's noses instead of their own.  That's as far as my imagination stretches.

alkazoid posted:
Bryan posted:

Sheesh... I take two steps away from a conversation and have to spend an hour catching up... thankfully, the conversation hasn't changed much. I would like to throw in my towel (I've already tossed my two cents) and say that I believe both sides have stated their case. 

And, it is my hope that Reason prevails. Both sides believe Reason to be on their side, and they're probably both right. If I might call upon my own analogy, that of the Aspiring Parents... I might suggest that when a couple is having a difficult time getting pregnant, sometimes taking a break, changing the scenery, "letting go", are just the catalyst the body(ies) need in order to function properly. 

As the platform evolves during this formative year, it might be that Narrative decides that "ownership" is the wrong/right term and abstain-from/proceed-with changing the Niche structure to accommodate the most reasonable, rational point of view. But, if it continues to escalate, walls get higher, convictions are held tighter, and animosity (coupled with reluctance to change) multiplies. 

In the end, whatever the rules are that govern the platform, it is still a tool. And people will use (and exploit) any and all tools any which way they can. 

Hehe - well I love the spirit of your message, but unfortunately both sides have not stated their case when it comes to real ownership of niches.

That topic has been mostly ignored, without giving even a glance at the pros and cons I've laid out.  It is frustrating and leads me to believe that silence is being maintained for one of three reasons:

- the answer is something we wouldn't like

- the topic is actually being discussed internally, and is pending a decision (in which case it would be respectful to let us know this)

- or nobody has actually taken stock of the arguments made, in which case this has all been a phenomenal waste of our time

But yeah - not much we can do about it except draw our conclusions.

Let's stay positive. There could still be a fourth reason:

- Someone from the team is as of now kindly compiling an informative message overflowing with explanations long expected and consequently received with a single tear of happiness...

Although I agree with Bryan that every system (and tools) would naturally get misused in some way over time, I still hope that Narrative system will address those issues more openly and that the platform will be in its final version built in a way to be more or less prone to such inefficiencies.

 

Malkazoid posted:
I only know the one story, so that's all the content I'll be contributing.  Maybe I can recycle the characters and have them eating Oreos, and picking each other's noses instead of their own.  That's as far as my imagination stretches.

Now THIS is something I think I can actually help with!

I might suggest converting the following elements of your story into variables that can then be swapped out to provide an endless supply of story combinations:

  • reverse character genders,
  • embellish with elaborate clothing descriptions,
  • swap out the type of snack (don't forget to include breakfast, lunch, dinner options as well),
  • explore a variety of pickable body orifices,
  • swap synonyms for the verb "pick" (dig, churn, scrape, itch, raze),
  • change the type of furniture being lazed in/on,
  • change location of furniture (room of house/apt/condo/hospital/treatment center...),
  • add colorful dialog with variations for dialect between the two characters, 

 

Those are just from the starter set. Coming to Kickstarter soon!

These are good discussions.  Don't think because I'm not replying each time, I'm not reading and the team is not paying attention.  We talk about these matters and consider where things pinch and where they are misunderstood and where a tweak is warranted.  We don't write up policy changes in a forum discussion and there are 4 "Founder" members of the team along with other advisors.  A lack of a speedy "we'll do this, now"  doesn't mean we're ignoring you, it means we're thinking  -- at length.

You are right that "ownership"  is at the heart of the matter and I hear what you're saying.  A few comments to soften what you perceive as unbending.  Ownership is not a binary, all or nothing kind of thing in many areas, including Narrative.  My entirely ill-fated franchise analogy was simply to say that "owners" frequently work in situations where their property rights are constrained.  A McDonald's owner can lose his sign and brand rights for poor performance. A sports franchise must get league approval to sell the team.  My 'planned neighborhood' house can only be painted one of 6 colors and God help the "owner" who wants hang clothes out back.   All that being said, a McDonald's, a team or a house is "owned" and can be sold, just not simply at the owner's say-so.

Narrative is not a franchise -- but ownership behaves in some ways like one.

@Malkazoid -- I entirely hear your points.  Don't think I am dismissing them by what I say next.

A core value in Narrative is community governance of things like moderators and what sort of advertising appears with what requirements in our Niches. The "owner"  is constrained by these values in his/her niche and so ownership is never absolute.  So the question is how "ownership" should be transferred to preserve the governance model and the structure of the larger economy.  On reflection, I think letting a niche lapse and then putting it up for auction has little to recommend it! 

I'll be the first to say that what happens in the life cycle of niches is not  spelled out.  I'll also say that the model will evolve  (look at bidding in the auctions -- it has raised all sorts of questions)  Doubtless Niche ownership will do the same.  Actually, already HAS raised questions in this topic.

Soňa posted:
alkazoid posted:
Bryan posted:

Sheesh... I take two steps away from a conversation and have to spend an hour catching up... thankfully, the conversation hasn't changed much. I would like to throw in my towel (I've already tossed my two cents) and say that I believe both sides have stated their case. 

And, it is my hope that Reason prevails. Both sides believe Reason to be on their side, and they're probably both right. If I might call upon my own analogy, that of the Aspiring Parents... I might suggest that when a couple is having a difficult time getting pregnant, sometimes taking a break, changing the scenery, "letting go", are just the catalyst the body(ies) need in order to function properly. 

As the platform evolves during this formative year, it might be that Narrative decides that "ownership" is the wrong/right term and abstain-from/proceed-with changing the Niche structure to accommodate the most reasonable, rational point of view. But, if it continues to escalate, walls get higher, convictions are held tighter, and animosity (coupled with reluctance to change) multiplies. 

In the end, whatever the rules are that govern the platform, it is still a tool. And people will use (and exploit) any and all tools any which way they can. 

Hehe - well I love the spirit of your message, but unfortunately both sides have not stated their case when it comes to real ownership of niches.

That topic has been mostly ignored, without giving even a glance at the pros and cons I've laid out.  It is frustrating and leads me to believe that silence is being maintained for one of three reasons:

- the answer is something we wouldn't like

- the topic is actually being discussed internally, and is pending a decision (in which case it would be respectful to let us know this)

- or nobody has actually taken stock of the arguments made, in which case this has all been a phenomenal waste of our time

But yeah - not much we can do about it except draw our conclusions.

Let's stay positive. There could still be a fourth reason:

- Someone from the team is as of now kindly compiling an informative message overflowing with explanations long expected and consequently received with a single tear of happiness...

Although I agree with Bryan that every system (and tools) would naturally get misused in some way over time, I still hope that Narrative system will address those issues more openly and that the platform will be in its final version built in a way to be more or less prone to such inefficiencies.

 

Yes - that 4th possibility is the best of all!

Bring on the tears of joy.  I really hope we make the right call on this - I believe it will be central to the platform's success, which is what we all want.  It is less about the niche revenue for me, and more about the energy I'm putting into Narrative.  I want to be sure I'm putting this passion and brain cycles into the platform that makes the right calls that allows it to grow as much as we all want it to.

Process for Niche Reselling

First of all, thank you to everyone who has invested time and effort into discussing the ins and outs of how Niches might be transferred from one person to another (i.e., the “ownership” question). This is exactly the type of intelligent and nuanced content we hope to see on Narrative itself once it launches. We have been paying very close attention to the conversation.

In the white paper, we actually never spelled out the exact process for what happens if someone wants to no longer be the owner of a Niche.

This is the way the Niche reselling process is going to work:

  1. Niche owner decides he/she doesn’t want to own the Niche any longer, for any reason.
  2. Niche owner submits their Niche to public auction for the community, and has the ability to set a minimum starting bid.
  3. The auction timer starts immediately when the Niche hits the auction block. It stays available for 30 days.
  4. Once the Niche is successfully auctioned, the original Niche owner receives 95% of the auction price, and the Narrative Rewards Pool receives 5%. If no-one purchases the Niche during the auction period, it remains with the original owner.

Niches cannot be put up for auction within 45 days of the renewal date (to avoid collision with the renewal fee process).

When a Niche has been auctioned, the renewal date remains the same; therefore, the new Niche owner will be responsible for the renewal fee on the same schedule.

Note that the entire history of the Niche will always be visible, including earnings, activity, etc., so the prospective bidders will have all of the information they need to make an informed bidding decision.

Hopefully this clarifies our desire to incentivize and reward successful Niche owners.

There are many details similar to this where we are “putting meat on the bones” of how the platform will function, so stay tuned, and please keep the passionate input coming!

Bryan posted:

Somewhere... I believe, a @Malkazoid is weeping tears of joy.

Hahahaha...well he worked very hard and was very articulate. I too am very happy with this news. It feels truely wonderful to present compelling arguments and have it be respected. 

Thank you @Rosemary @Ted @Michael Farris and the rest of the core team (I call you 5 the core, because I think all whom invest feel a part of the team now).

Now lets make this thing shine!! 

I still have a question about ownership. I can imagine that owners are only interested in a niche because of the popularity of the name without the will to put effort in it at all. Only to sell it later with profit. This could be bad for the community willing to put effort in the niche. Will it be possible to force a owner to leave his ownership by votes of the community and make it available first to for example the elected moderators which are respected and voted by the community already?

I understand that an owner should have the time to prove him or herself first so this is probably that needs time to be figured out.

Mean focus should be to better the quality of any niche and prevent misuse at the cost of the community.

The right path will form I have no doubt reading all of the above! Great work at such an early stage 😀

Michael Farris posted:

These are good discussions.  Don't think because I'm not replying each time, I'm not reading and the team is not paying attention.  We talk about these matters and consider where things pinch and where they are misunderstood and where a tweak is warranted.  We don't write up policy changes in a forum discussion and there are 4 "Founder" members of the team along with other advisors.  A lack of a speedy "we'll do this, now"  doesn't mean we're ignoring you, it means we're thinking  -- at length.

You are right that "ownership"  is at the heart of the matter and I hear what you're saying.  A few comments to soften what you perceive as unbending.  Ownership is not a binary, all or nothing kind of thing in many areas, including Narrative.  My entirely ill-fated franchise analogy was simply to say that "owners" frequently work in situations where their property rights are constrained.  A McDonald's owner can lose his sign and brand rights for poor performance. A sports franchise must get league approval to sell the team.  My 'planned neighborhood' house can only be painted one of 6 colors and God help the "owner" who wants hang clothes out back.   All that being said, a McDonald's, a team or a house is "owned" and can be sold, just not simply at the owner's say-so.

Narrative is not a franchise -- but ownership behaves in some ways like one.

@Malkazoid -- I entirely hear your points.  Don't think I am dismissing them by what I say next.

A core value in Narrative is community governance of things like moderators and what sort of advertising appears with what requirements in our Niches. The "owner"  is constrained by these values in his/her niche and so ownership is never absolute.  So the question is how "ownership" should be transferred to preserve the governance model and the structure of the larger economy.  On reflection, I think letting a niche lapse and then putting it up for auction has little to recommend it! 

I'll be the first to say that what happens in the life cycle of niches is not  spelled out.  I'll also say that the model will evolve  (look at bidding in the auctions -- it has raised all sorts of questions)  Doubtless Niche ownership will do the same.  Actually, already HAS raised questions in this topic.

Thanks Michael.  I really appreciate what I sense of how your mind works.

Community governance is fantastic.  Ownership in every instance in the analog world is also constrained in one way or another, by laws and by-laws (see what I did there?).  

I'm not sure I can fully express how relieved I am to see that the aspect of ownership I was concerned about - the ability to sell and realise capital gains - is something that will be a part of Narrative.

On a personal note, I am only buying niches that embody interests I know will be with me for life, and do not plan to sell them except perhaps in late retirement.  But I am convinced the network will benefit greatly from other people being able to work hard at their niches, and sell them if the need arises.

I'm coming out the other side of this tunnel of doubt over ownership with more enthusiasm for Narrative than before I entered.  There are few things I hold in higher esteem than people (and teams) who have an ear for dissenting points of view, and who see them as an opportunity rather than an obstacle.  Your team is clearly capable of this - and that's one of many reasons to expect great things will come to this network.

Thank you again.

Jeroenski74 posted:

I still have a question about ownership. I can imagine that owners are only interested in a niche because of the popularity of the name without the will to put effort in it at all. Only to sell it later with profit. This could be bad for the community willing to put effort in the niche. Will it be possible to force a owner to leave his ownership by votes of the community and make it available first to for example the elected moderators which are respected and voted by the community already?

I understand that an owner should have the time to prove him or herself first so this is probably that needs time to be figured out.

Mean focus should be to better the quality of any niche and prevent misuse at the cost of the community.

The right path will form I have no doubt reading all of the above! Great work at such an early stage 😀

It will be interesting to see whether significant problems arise around niche squatting.  If they don't, then there is nothing to fix.  But good to have some measures up our sleeves that are ready to roll out if need be?

There is already a threshold of activity slated for inclusion in the model, below which network rewards do not occur, if I remember correctly?  This threshold could also be used to determine whether a member can sell their niche or not?  Perhaps the minimum activity has to be exceeded for at least 6 out of the previous 12 months?  Or 9 out of the previous 12?  Or 3 out of the previous 6?  Or 3 out of the previous 3?

Or the algorithm could be more advanced, defining the required past activity levels dynamically based on the complete history of activity since the niche was acquired?  If your activity levels have been, on average, 3 times the minimum activity level, perhaps there would be no minimum requirement of activity at all, for instance?  And the minimum requirement could increase in severity, the lower the average activity has been?  It would be quite funny for a niche squatter to realise that one year of doing nothing with a niche would mean he has to achieve 5 times the minimum activity level for 12 consecutive months before he has the right to sell the niche?  Just examples to convey the drift of what could be implemented.

Perhaps more appropriate than forbidding a sale, a high score on the niche squatting algorithm could increase the commission paid to the network on a sale. 

These are my initial thoughts.

Bryan posted:
Malkazoid posted:
I only know the one story, so that's all the content I'll be contributing.  Maybe I can recycle the characters and have them eating Oreos, and picking each other's noses instead of their own.  That's as far as my imagination stretches.

Now THIS is something I think I can actually help with!

I might suggest converting the following elements of your story into variables that can then be swapped out to provide an endless supply of story combinations:

  • reverse character genders,
  • embellish with elaborate clothing descriptions,
  • swap out the type of snack (don't forget to include breakfast, lunch, dinner options as well),
  • explore a variety of pickable body orifices,
  • swap synonyms for the verb "pick" (dig, churn, scrape, itch, raze),
  • change the type of furniture being lazed in/on,
  • change location of furniture (room of house/apt/condo/hospital/treatment center...),
  • add colorful dialog with variations for dialect between the two characters, 

 

Those are just from the starter set. Coming to Kickstarter soon!

There was some sort of 19th century gadget that jumbled things this way - the name of it is on the tip of my tongue!

I just was informed by this wonderful news by @Malkazoid. I have been increasingly disappointed by the way things have been planned and the stubbornness of the team, to the point of absolutely regretting participating in this ICO at all. Now I am more confident that it was not such a bad call. Thanks a lot @Rosemary for this change. I hope that other things can be improved along the way (like the void between Chaucer and the Beta.) Then I will be fully a Narrative believer and full-on supporter.

A friendly reminder to the @Narrative Network Team that the Terms of Service need updating to reflect how niches can be sold by their owners.

The TOS as linked to on Chaucer Alpha, still currently says:

III. OWNERSHIP AND/OR CONTROL

The Company owns the software and all intellectual property used to deliver the Service, including all Service logos and copyrights. Users are permitted to use the Service for as long as the User’s account is active and in good standing. 

The User controls all personal data and can delete or edit it at any time. Niche suggestions and Niche names become “owned” by the Network as a whole, and Network members can approve or reject any particular Niche. If you purchase a niche, you are only purchasing the right to control it for a specific period of time, in terms of electing moderators for the niche and becoming eligible for Network Rewards* through your “ownership”. You may not sell your rights to anyone else via Narrative Network or any other process or service. To maintain your ownership rights you must continue to pay annual fees, as well.

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