I’m old enough to remember when you could only join Facebook if you had a college email address. That was in spring 2005, my senior year of high school. Less than a year later, Facebook opened up to anyone 13 and older. It was inevitable on the platform’s path to 2 billion users, but it also made it a lot less cool.
That tradeoff came to mind this week when Mirror, the buzzy decentralized blogging platform, opened its gates to everyone . Prior to that, you could only get a mirror.xyz blog by finishing in the top 10 in its weekly WRITE Race , a popularity contest for two hours every Wednesday in which existing Mirror token-holders distribute votes to aspiring members. If you made the top 10, you’d earn one full WRITE token, which you could immediately spend on minting your own Mirror domain.
When Mirror launched the WRITE Race on February 26 , it used a lot of idealistic language. Mirror pitched itself on its homepage (at the time) as: “Writing as usual. Publishing like never before. We’re writers . We always have been and always will be.” And it said the thinking behind the WRITE Race was: “Are we, the Mirror team, the sole gatekeepers of the platform? Is that at all in line with our values? Do we even have time for that? The answer is no, no and no… Nepotism and scarcity take a backseat to hive mind and reward. It’s a collective rally behind the best writers and a way to discover them.”
That sounded very appealing. There was just one (big) problem that quickly emerged: the people getting voted in were not all writers. Every week, a handful of the top 10 finishers were rich crypto VCs or DAOs. They weren’t independent bloggers, they were projects looking to fundraise, since Mirror’s unique platform lets you create and sell posts as NFTs (the writer Emily Segal crowdfunded her next novel via Mirror).
is there a decentralized publishing tool where i don’t have to go through a popularity contest to just sit down and publish something? https://t.co/kdRPyki1OK
— santi.eth License.