Creating the first true content economy

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Spanning three markets: Social Media (5.7B+Users), Publishing ($8.6B) and Advertising ($393B)
Early traction: 8,600+members, 14,000+posts, and 1,000+ Niches (min $75USD each) sold in beta
Content is created and discovered via the platform's monetized Niche topics that are purchased annually by members. Like domains!
Solving the challenges of censorship and account take-downs with decentralized governance

Our Team

Online publishing is struggling and traditional online platforms are not rewarding their creators fairly.  Current platforms are are also infiltrated with fake accounts, bots, and trolls that are commenting and rating content. We wanted to flip the script and reward people who are creating good content where quality and reputation matter.

The Story of Narrative

Our Narrative founding team has gotten an up-close and personal look at human engagement, content sharing, and interaction over the last 20 years. We've built a series of innovative community platforms that emphasize people and usability.  Our co-Founder, Ted O'Neill is widely known for being the inventor of the modern discussion forum, along with BBCode and other tools that are now industry standard. Online community is our jam.

The idea for Narrative had been brewing in Ted's mind for several years---what if we could solve the challenges facing "big social" and publishing platforms by doing something radical? What if we put total control in the hands of the people using the platform, and gave them the lion's share of the rewards too?

So, in the Summer of 2017, Ted published a White Paper describing a new content publishing platform called Narrative. The biggest reaction we got was, "how soon can you make this?"

The timing was right to get started. It's been a crazy ride, but we're excited to be tackling issues that are front-and-center of the Internet's conversation right now.

First, we had to raise some funds

Our other company was bootstrapped (funded from profits) for the last 20 years (yay us), but Narrative would need a structured rewards system to jump-start the "content economy." We decided to create a utility token to be used within Narrative for various functions (like buying Niches, tipping, and getting rewarded for creating great content).

We launched a private early Narrative alpha focused on one aspect of our platform - Niches - and concluded a successful token sale (which is like a Kickstarter for crypto, no equity is given) that provided us with approximately $2.5 million in funds to accelerate development. We vetted our token sale contributors with KYC/AML and got legal advice that our utility token was indeed a utility. 

People got it!

Even though we are a publishing platform, during our private Alpha period, we did not support the creation of content.  We were focused solely on the build-out of our Niche (subject-area) system.  Amazingly, even without any content, our community of members understood the promise of Narrative and saw the benefit of owning Niches, which could generate rewards as the content within them became popular over time.

We use an eBay style auction process for Niche purchases, and we sold more than 800 Niches before we even launched the Beta! While the minimum bid is $75 per year, we had many bidding wars, with some selling for over $1,000.

Niche owners get 10% of the monthly Rewards revenue, so if you own a Niche and it is full of quality content, you are rewarded accordingly.  The real power of this system is that our Niche owners are great ambassadors for attracting quality content creators to the platform.

We launched the Narrative beta

On April 2, 2019, we launched the Narrative beta (and content creation and discovery) to the world.  We've seen great content on subjects ranging from Independent Music to Vegan Recipes to Space Exploration.

Members are rating content, voting and bidding on new Niches, and nominating themselves to be moderators. Reputation is at the core of the autonomous system, and the impact of all actions are weighted according to the member's reputation. 

Narrative is creating a content economy that provides economic incentives for good behavior, with the concept of “good” determined by the collective wisdom of the entire community, not a single entity. Personal reputation will influence each member’s impact and that reputation will be based on actions within the network.

A little more than three months into our Beta, we have more than 8,600 members and over 14,000 pieces of published content.

In June 2019, we distributed the first rewards to our members. More than 2.5M reward points were distributed.  Payouts are now done monthly.  In July 2019, we rolled out the ability to redeem reward points as NRVE.

What is Next?

Publications are coming late Summer 2019.  This is a brand new revenue source.  

Publications are branded spaces that offer powerful editorial controls - choosing writers and editors.  But they offer something even more important--the opportunity for amplified reach. In other online publishing platforms, you post content and cross your fingers that the algorithm will allow your followers/subscribers to see it. In Narrative, your Publication's followers will see it, and you have the opportunity to cross-post to up to three relevant Niches (and then the Niche followers will see it too). We amplify reach, rather than suppressing it with algorithms.

Next we will be adding elections, advanced notifications, tips, and more tools for combating trolls.  In addition, we have advertising, premium content options, and in-app purchases for more revenue streams. We will also be building a mobile app, and offering non-English versions of the platform.  

Our plan to support a premium content option is another example of our desire to give creators as many tools as possible for monetizing content.  In our model, creators can choose to charge a premium for their content and set their own rates for premium memberships. By default, however, content is not premium.

Ultimately, our goal is to be the fairest way for content creators to earn, to be the most transparent member-run platform, and to be the best way to consume content of interest to you.  

Stay tuned for more updates - we are working fast! 

Why Invest?

We are flipping the script on Big Social — building something revolutionary and cutting out the middle man so that members are rewarded for the quality of content they produce.  

When we launch advertising, we won't be tracking users! Instead ads will be aimed at subjects and approved by the community.  We are mitigating trolls and meaningless accounts by establishing a reputation system.  

In short, we are restoring trust back to online content. 

From an opportunity standpoint, we have huge ambitions. By using reputation and member-driven content moderation and quality scoring, we offer an attractive alternative to the big content platforms. We are starting with text, images, and embedded content, but the sky is the limit in terms of the different content types we can offer. 

Also, we will be able to drive revenue from sales of Niches and Publications in other languages as we roll out non-English versions of the platform.

Funds raised will help us with marketing and scaling the platform.

It's time to try something new, and Narrative is ready to roll.