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美国区块链创业公司旨在挑战眼球经济,成为社交媒体巨头

2020-1-11 14:21

Matthew Iles, CEO of Civil Media Company, receives an interview with Xinhua in New York, the United States, Nov. 8, 2019. Civil Media Company, a New York City-based blockchain-for-journalism startup, has set itself an ambitious task of building a trusted web through blockchain technology to challenge the eyeball economy and social media giants like Google and Facebook. (Xinhua/Wang Ying)2019年11月8日,美国纽约,大众传媒公司首席执行官马修·艾尔斯接受新华社采访。“公民媒体公司”是一家总部位于纽约的新闻区块链初创公司,它为自己设定了一项雄心勃勃的任务,即通过区块链技术建立一个值得信赖的网络,挑战眼球经济和社交媒体巨头,如谷歌和Facebook。(新华社/王英)

 


纽约,1月10日(新华)——公民媒体公司,一家位于纽约的新闻区块链初创公司,已经为自己设定了一个雄心勃勃的任务,即通过区块链技术建立一个值得信赖的网络,以挑战眼球经济和社交媒体巨头如谷歌和Facebook。


“我们想让公民平台成为可信内容的可信场所。这就是区块链技术的前景,”该公司首席执行官马修·艾尔斯在接受新华社独家采访时表示。


一个建立在信任基础上的平台


成立近两年的Civil在2019年3月通过区块链和社区治理推出了一个去中心化的平台。已加入Civil的编辑部被授予Civil Publisher等工具的独家访问权,允许它们将内容永久存档到Ethereum区块链,因此它们不容易被删除。


与此同时,社区成员确保这些新闻编辑室遵守一套被称为公民宪法的严格新闻标准和道德规范。社区成员可以对违反标准的新闻编辑室提出质疑,并使用分散的投票积分(即所谓的“公民令牌”)来决定新闻编辑室是否应该被移除。


“区块链,当涉及到媒体和新闻时,确实有潜力在‘假新闻’问题上取得重大进展,特别是当涉及到了解一段内容的来源时,”莱斯说。


这位年轻的企业家表示,该公司的“下一个主要软件”将是公民身份——一种用于网络的通用身份识别系统。“在很多方面,它完善了我们的平台。”


该软件将使编辑部能够验证和控制他们的内容,以及拥有和管理他们的数据,以便更好地保护和货币化他们的原始工作。


“真正的意思是,用户才是控制自己身份支付和数据的人。在一些公司的数据库中没有可能被窃取的密码。”“我们想把这项技术的一些好处带给新闻业。”


这是新闻业在网络上蓬勃发展的一种方式


艾尔斯说,Civil的使命从一开始就是为网络新闻提供一个可持续的未来。他花了多年时间分析谷歌和Facebook的兴衰起伏。“人们的眼球都投向了这些巨大的平台,越来越多的新闻机构倒闭。”


在他看来,少数公司控制着读者所看到的内容,他们的主要商业模式基本相同——“收集尽可能多的关于读者的信息,以刺激和出售他们的注意力。”


“我希望看到新闻机构再次蓬勃发展。我们的基本愿景是,我们必须找到一种方式,让互联网成为一个开放、可信的地方。我不认为只有文华有这样的想法。”


来自世界各地的70多个新闻编辑室和1000多名记者加入了Civil。正如艾尔斯所说,“文明存在于每一个主要的大陆。我们大约有500个代币持有者,除了那些记者,他们是公众的一员,做出了贡献,想要支持这个项目。”


Civil基金会主席薇薇安•席勒(Vivian Schiller)表示,Civil正准备实地测试Civil ID,以在可信的出版商中证明、追踪和盈利内容。


她说,这样做的目的是为新闻编辑室建立一个市场,与他们认为合适的人分享他们的内容,并与他们控制的条款共享。“我们将首先与一些知名的出版合作伙伴进行试点,我们很快就会宣布,以展示民用身份证如何为他们的授权业务增加收入。”


席勒补充说:“我们将使用相同的技术基础设施,通过WordPress Newspack帮助中小型新闻编辑室完成同样的工作,然后是其他常见的内容管理系统。”


艾尔斯表示,Civil还提供了一种名为“boost”的嵌入式筹款工具,帮助新闻编辑部通过提高观众参与度和读者收入来赚钱。


“Project boost”允许新闻编辑室在其网站上举办一次性的筹款活动,以扩大报道范围或增加差旅成本;伊尔斯进一步解释道,“故事推送”使读者可以在每篇文章的底部快速、直接地向编辑部付款,读者可以用信用卡或加密货币进行贡献,同时强调所有的钱都流向了编辑部,而Civil不收取任何费用。

 

根据Iles的说法,读者很快就可以使用Civil ID进行单点登录、一键结账和其他无摩擦的好处,从而使整个民用网络的新闻编辑室值得信赖。


“所有这些都将在没有中央中间人控制身份、支付或数据的情况下完成。这就是我们对可信网络的愿景,”他说。


一个清晰的愿景,一场艰苦的战斗


综上所述,伊尔斯承认了让初创公司成长的困难。


他说:“最困难的事情是,我们实际上很清楚自己的长期愿景,但规划如何实现这一愿景一直很困难。”“但让我们有清晰的愿景和每天起床的动力的是,这项工作必须完成。”


“我们能够突破噪声,得到全世界的关注,因为我们谈论的是如何真正彻底的改变需要为了引入任何形式的改进系统,可以有一种lift-of-all-boats效应,”他说。


艾尔斯说,民用航空要想最终获得成功,就必须推出能让新闻机构赚钱的产品。“这是通往长期生存的道路。”


伊尔斯还表示,在媒体技术快速发展的时代,年轻一代的记者更有商业头脑,更有创业精神。


他说:“作为一名记者,即使不真正了解新闻机构的业务也会很困难。”

 

by Xinhua writer Yang Shilong

NEW YORK, Jan. 10 (Xinhua) -- Civil Media Company, a New York City-based blockchain-for-journalism startup, has set itself an ambitious task of building a trusted web through blockchain technology to challenge the eyeball economy and social media giants like Google and Facebook.

"We want the Civil platform to stand for being a trusted place for trusted content. And that's the promise blockchain technology holds," the company's CEO Matthew Iles said in an exclusive interview with Xinhua.

A PLATFORM BUILT ON TRUST

The nearly two-year-old Civil rolled out a decentralized platform in March 2019 through blockchain and community governance. The newsrooms that have joined Civil are granted exclusive access to tools like the Civil Publisher, which allows them to permanently archive content to the Ethereum blockchain and so they cannot easily be taken down, according to Iles.

In the meantime, community members ensure these newsrooms abide by a strict set of journalism standards and ethics known as the Civil Constitution. Community members can challenge a newsroom that violates the standards and use decentralized voting credits known as "Civil tokens" to determine whether the newsroom should be removed.

"Blockchain, when it comes to media and news, does have the potential to make a big dent in the 'fake news' problem, specifically when it comes to knowing the source of a piece of content," Iles said.

The company's "next major piece of software" will be the Civil ID -- a kind of universal identity system for the web, said the young entrepreneur. "In many ways, it completes our platform."

The software will enable newsrooms to authenticate and control their content as well as own and govern their data, in order to better protect and monetize their original work.

"What that really means is that the user is the one who's in control of their identity payments and data. There isn't a password stored in some company's database that could potentially be hacked or stolen," Iles said. "We want to bring some of the benefits of this technology to journalism."

A WAY FOR JOURNALISM TO THRIVE ON WEB

Civil's mission from day one has been to provide a sustainable future for journalism on the web, said Iles, who spent years analyzing the ups of Google and Facebook and the downs of media outlets. "Eyeballs were going to these giant platforms and more and more news organizations were going out of business."

In his opinion, a handful of corporations are controlling what readers see, and their principal business models are largely the same -- "collect as much information about the readers as possible in order to stimulate and sell their attention."

"I want to see news organizations thriving again. The vision fundamentally is that we must find a way for the web to be an open, trusted place. And I don't think that Civil is alone in thinking that," he said.

More than 70 newsrooms from around the world with over 1,000 individual journalists have joined Civil. As Iles said, "Civil is on every major continent. We have roughly 500 token holders, apart from those journalists who are members of the public who have contributed and who want to support the project."

Civil is getting ready to field test the Civil ID for proving, tracing and monetizing content amongst trusted publishers, according to Vivian Schiller, chairwoman of the Civil Foundation.

The idea is to build a marketplace for newsrooms to share their content with whoever they see fit, and with terms they control, she said. "We're first piloting with some well-known publishing partners we'll be announcing soon to demonstrate how the Civil ID can increase revenue for their licensing business."

"We'll use the same technology infrastructure to help small to midsize newsrooms do the same via WordPress Newspack, followed by other common content management systems," Schiller added.

Iles said Civil is also offering an embeddable fund-raising tool called "Boosts" to help newsrooms make money by increasing audience engagement and reader revenue.

"Project Boosts" allow newsrooms to host one-off fund-raising campaigns on their websites for things like expanded coverage or travel costs; "Story Boosts" enable quick, direct payments to newsrooms at the bottom of every article, and readers can contribute with credit cards or cryptocurrency, Iles further explained, while stressing that all the money goes to the newsrooms and Civil does not take a cut.

Readers will soon be able to use the Civil ID for single sign-on, one-click checkout and other friction-free benefits across the Civil network of trustworthy newsrooms, according to Iles.

"All of this will be done without a centralized middleman controlling identity, payments or data. This is our vision for the trusted web," he said.

A CLEAR VISION, A HARD BATTLE

All that said, Iles admitted the difficulty of getting a startup to grow.

"The hardest thing has been that the long-term vision is actually quite clear to us, but mapping how to get there has been difficult," he said. "But what gives us clarity of vision and the energy to get up every day is that this work must be done."

"We were able to break through the noise a bit and get attention around the world because we were talking about how really radical change was required in order to introduce any kind of improvements to the system that could have a lift-of-all-boats kind of effect," he said.

For Civil to succeed ultimately, Iles said it needs to ship products that make news organizations money. "That's the path to long-term viability."

Iles also suggested that the younger generation of reporters be more business savvy and more entrepreneurial in an age of fast-evolving media technologies.

"Being a reporter and not really even understanding the business of your news organization will be hard," he said.

原作者: 杨石龙 来自: xinhua