@Ted - thanks for the clear explanation: very helpful. It is as I feared: you have lost sight of the long tail... but it is very positive that we've been able to ascertain that clearly today. Thanks for that.
I have my doubts that just because a niche does not bring in 6.25 USD per month, it should be deemed an economic dud. Here's why. (If this seems familiar, it may be because we've been over this before on the forums in several forms).
There is no significant extra overhead for the company or the community: ten low traffic niches, or one bigger niche with the equivalent traffic of those ten niches combined, should be virtually identical in terms of overhead, once the system of the content economy is well oiled and efficient. Of course nothing scales perfectly, but the additional overhead should not be terribly significant unless I'm missing something. Ten pieces of content submitted to ten niches, or ten pieces of content submitted to one bigger niche, are still all pieces of content that need moderation, and may give rise to Tribunal appeals, etc...
So from that perspective - turning away from low activity niches is simply turning away from network activity. It is the long tail.
I had a very specific discussion about this with @Michael Farris via email before the ICO took place because in my mind, this long tail was immediately identifiable as a big asset to the niche paradigm... When I joined, I entered into good discussions with various team members about the dangers of rejecting activity that falls below that arbitrary threshold of $75 dollars per year. My memory, which is far from perfect, tells me that the Team recognized these numbers were arbitrary, and that this might need some adjusting to find ways to not turn away perfectly good activity, just because it is taking place on small niches.
I hope those conversations were not for nothing, and that the Team is still aware of these issues.
Some wisdom from the non-profit world which shines light on the economics of the long tail. Contrary to popular belief, most non-profits make the bulk of their revenue from small donations. They have a few big donors who support them, but their real bread and butter comes from millions of working and middle class citizens who part with small amounts regularly to support their work. If they were to dismiss small donations - let's say 6.25 USD per month and under, since that's the figure we're looking at here, they would lose a scary proportion of their income and would have to reduce their activities or perhaps shut down entire programs and lay off staff.
They would never dream of rejecting those smaller donors not only because of the consequences, but because there is simply no upside to doing so.
I'm truly struggling to see any upside to doing so in our situation too.
Please don't let all this talk of economics mask the fact that there are ethical problems with barring low popularity content as well. You would be positioning Narrative in a very unflattering way in comparison to the old big social platforms we're all proposing to improve upon. They don't discriminate at all, against that which is not '6.25 USD per month' popular...
Another consideration that is specific to Narrative's first two years. This is the period where the long tail may actually prove crucial to your success. During that period, with the 75$ threshold, you are setting a very high bar of profitability that the network has to achieve, before it stops losing niche owners and niches. This threshold will always cut of part of the long tail, needlessly. But when the network is a fledgling one, trying to achieve the network effect, losing that momentum could spell failure.
Lets say NRVE is at 12 cents after one year of operation. Lets say there are 3000 niches owned, and 15 million NRVE in the Network Rewards for the year. That's 1.8 million USD of rewards. 10% of that is destined to niche owners, so $180,000. With 3000 niches, there will be an average of $60 dollars rewarded to each niche that year. That means most niches won't be viable in this scenario (which is not particularly pessimistic). Why set the bar so high?
And if you want to stick with $75 USD renewal fee, that still doesn't mean you have to lock the niches when an owner bails. You could let the activity continue. The activity isn't really costing you, and it makes the niche more likely to be repurchased. You're not receiving a network renewal fee for the niche during that period, but you're also not paying out 10% of Network Rewards to a niche owner either! Meanwhile, you keep the users who have adopted that niche happy and contributing to the economy with their content... and one of them is likely to become the new owner.
I am an ethical investor, and this is actually a red flag on both my radar panels: the economic one, and the ethical one: it is a huge turn off, and all the more so because at considerable expense of time and thought, I had done the due diligence to discuss this with your team before deciding to become a founder. I don't regret my decision because I still believe reason will prevail, but the amount of energy I personally put into the process is seeming inordinately high now that long tail doesn't seem to even pass any of your lips...
Almost everything else is coming together so well for Narrative - I really hope you don't overlook this aspect of things when the time comes.