Let me start with a little confession: I've never used Chrome. Perhaps this makes me a bit of a weak participant in this contest, but hear me out. It does make sense. IMHO
When Google launched Chrome, I was using Firefox. I can't remember using any other browser. Besides the "I'm used to Firefox, therefore, I won't switch to another browser" argument, which in my case was more of a habitual choice, I also felt that I did not want to switch to Chrome because I started to become more aware of how much personal data Google already collected about me. I used and still use Gmail. Google was, and partly still is my default search engine.
Adding Chrome to that list just felt like a type of surrender that made me very uncomfortable.
OK, so why I'd switched 100% to Brave.
I took part in the BAT ICO back in May 2017. It's been one of the few ICO's I participated in because let's be honest, ICO's where the wild west and often I had trouble understanding the products these ICO's where linked to. I do not have a background in tech or programming. I'm a filmmaker and got introduced to crypto via Steemit, which I used to blog about a documentary project that I've recently finished.
I took part in the BAT ICO because the product and its vision were crystal clear to me. I immediately understood the problem it tried to solve. It aligned perfectly with what I saw happening on Steemit a new kind of incentive system around social media that goes far beyond the dopamine hits that traditional social media generates.
I'd argue that the current status quo of social media creates a winner takes all construction in which people who use these platforms to build a brand, a non-profit project, or in my case a behind the scenes of a documentary, have to go down an insane rat race to keep up with the algorithmic monsters of Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. Once a user of these platforms does manage to climb up the ladder and builds a solid following, there is some financial reward*. But the real money starts pouring in when creators team up with a brand or a company.
*Actually the only one that pays creators is YouTube
And that's where things start to get weird, awkward en unauthentic.
As soon as creators go down the 'affiliate link in bio use my discount code and referral links' path, I start to lose interest. Specifically, in the case of creative projects, I feel that teaming up with brands can lead to watered-down versions of the project. It takes away some honesty, authenticity, and good energy.
Back in May 2017, I realized that BAT and the Brave browser could create a totally new ecosystem where content creators don't need a 100K following and various deals with brands that turn them into 'human content machines' to get good incentives for the work they share online. In a thriving BAT ecosystem, a creator with solid skills and a strong narrative could be doing great with say a 2.5/5K loyal following.
And perhaps your thinking, hold up! What about crowdfunding, what about Patreon. OK, sure. Those money rasing platforms are incredible, and I applaud them. There are things to be said about whether these platforms should be decentralized, but that's a discussion for another time. Crowdfunding is an excellent social system that has allowed many influential creatives to realize beautiful projects that would not have been made without these tools. Something I've experienced firsthand.
The thing with the platforms mentioned above is that they are somewhat inflexible and miss the option for the viewer/consumer of content to tap in and out whenever they like. Next, to crowdfunding, I think we need a more fluid system that allows people to support and tip creators whenever they feel something is worth a like/retweet/share.
This turns the concept of likes and sharing into a system of real value.
Say you follow my futurefood.io project. I move between a variety of topics that, in my vision, have a lot of overlap. But what if you are only interested in the things I do around minimalism. In a BAT ecosystem, it would be pretty easy for you just to support the parts of my project that are of value to you. BAT + Brave Browser creates an entirely new and flexible infrastructure where a creator can allow himself to dive into multiple topics, within the same project. This is something that the current algorithmic social media giants don't offer. As a matter of fact, they create the total opposite, one where you get niched into specific hashtags that, in my perspective, are deterministic and limiting.
The internet is designed to be a giant interconnected forest in which you can roam around freely. Yet the current infrastructure of the web reminds me more of a rigid high way system.
I've switched to the Brave Browser because we are currently not in a fully thriving BAT ecosystem yet. But the tools are here. There's no excuse not to participate if you somewhat agree with my perspective towards the current situation of social media.
Which brings me to the end of this article and I'm going to do something that might feel counter-intuitive:
If you have not installed the Brave Browser, use this referral link. If you do so and keep using Brave Browser for 30+ days, I get $5 worth in BAT. But you know what, I'll give it back to you. Get at me on any of the socials when you've installed Brave Browser, and I'll tip you the $5 worth in BAT back to you.
Let's do this!