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This is the technical followup article to my opinion piece: Where a lightning powered microtransaction paywall beats a #value4value bitcoin ask: A nuanced breakdown
Satoshi’s Journal believes content creators should be compensated for their work, and I agree! Similar to how they pay their writers some satoshis for each article published, this guide will breakdown how authors can empower readers to happily pay some sats for each chapter of their books in a seamless microtransaction way.
Author’s note: My aim is not to attack anyone personally. I will use specific people’s articles for my examples, but my intent is to respectfully challenge ideas, not attack people. Healthy debate of ideas in good faith helps Bitcoin, so I hope they understand.
In the bear market of 2022, builders keep building. For the content creators, I present you the #PayAsYouEnjoy architecture plans to further your high signal meow out of the chaos.
Following in the footsteps of Knut Svanholm, author of “Bitcoin: Everything Divided by 21 Million,” my book “The Bitcoin Dog” is lightning powered with the help of Mash.
- Creator controls their book’s git repo, site, and pricing
- User’s Mash-managed sw wallet holds sats, not “Mash Dollars”, and can send/receive anytime over️⚡
- @getMash GatsbyJS web components’ content-first focus process payments & donations for user with seamless UX
As Gigi wrote, “The powers that be will neither step away willingly nor silently. And since the battle for self-sovereignty and freedom is one that matters, it will have to be waged again and again.”
This self-sovereignty is crucial, and with Bitcoin we have a tool to wield it. As a content creator, Gigi is able to have full control over the whole chain of content he produces for loyal readers. In particular, he’s explored how through Bitcoin and lightning he can implement the #Value4Value model.
But clicking this button really disrupts the reading experience. It takes the reader to a whole new BTC Pay Server page, and they have to get out their lightning-enabled wallet, etc. And THEN go back to keep reading if they still want to.
By the way, setting up your own BTC Pay Server lightning node is no easy feat. There’s pages and pages of documentation to read through, with plenty of pitfalls along the way. Just ask self-custody guru Parman the Mentor!
Furthermore, the reader doesn’t see Gigi’s “Give Value Back” button prompt until well into the article. If they saw something they liked earlier in the article, if there happened to be a Boost button that floated on screen with them while they were reading, they might have been more inclined to hit Boost the moment they felt good from what they read! And in getting an emotional boost as a reader, they get to give that monetary boost back to the Content Creator.
On BitcoinDogBook.com, because the reader has already created a small Mash-managed lightning wallet, they participate in a seamless pay-as-you-enjoy monetization service facilitated by Mash.
The exact moment the reader feels a spark of joy from picturing puppies screaming to their Grandma, “Bitcoin! Bitcoin!” they have a Boost button that’s been scrolling along the page with them that they can hit to give value to the author. It doesn’t impede their reading at all, and they get to feel extra good knowing they’re giving value back.
There’s even a bright yellow flashing lightning bolt animation to go along with their pay-per-click! ⚡
The code for my website BitcoinDogBook.com is all hosted on my private GitHub repo. It remains entirely under my control, as the content creator.
In the code, I get to edit the metadata in the markdown .md files for my chapters. I have full control over which are free and which my readers will have to pay for.
Additionally, I set the monetary policy for my book through my earner’s dashboard on Mash’s website. I set the parameters I want to monetize my content, and that gets a monetary policy ID. Ultimately, I enter my earner wallet ID and monetary policy ID into my GitHub code, and that’s where it gets applied on my website. Again, this is where Mash provides a service. I set how I want the policy to be and the mash wallet to be paid through a simple dashboard UI, and then their web components implement it for me!
The coolest part that I control is that I can set a max budget for my readers. They’re welcome to pay as they enjoy one chapter at a time, but if they pay the amount that I feel gives me full value for my work, they’ll have free access to my book for a month. No subscriptions! Each chapter they pay for is theirs to keep, but if they reach the threshold I’ve set (of course reached before having paid for each chapter of the book) then the whole book becomes free to read for a month!
And as a reminder, readers are still welcome to boost or donate. Let’s check my earner’s wallet to see if any transactions have come in!
It’ll show money received last 30 days in Unit of Account as USD.
But the actual balance that stores earner’s and user’s value is not dollars or “Mash Dollars”, but satoshis!
And because it really is stored in sats, anyone can send their balance to themselves from their Mash wallet to their preferred wallet any time over lightning.
So content creators may maintain their private git repo on GitHub, but how do they deploy their website? One method is netlify. It can link to a GitHub and auto deploy!
The website is the creator’s and it’s live. They can buy a domain name if they’d like from netlify. I purchased BitcoinDogBook.com
Since the content creator controls the website, let’s say they want to make some changes. They may want to update the free default favicon.png provided in the Mash lightning starter SDK https://github.com/getmash/mash-lightning-book-starter. This is the image up in the tab of a browser when someone opens the webpage. Here is the default image:
As an example, I go to my GitHub repo and delete the existing favicon.png and git commit. That actually immediately breaks my website since netlify auto-builds, and is now missing a file dependency!
Not to fear, because then I upload my new image with the same name into my git repo:
And like magic, I don’t have to do anything! Netlify detects the commit I made to my git repo, and auto-builds. Success!
1. Creator controls their book’s git repo, site, and pricing
2. User’s Mash-managed sw wallet holds sats, not “Mash Dollars”, and can send/receive anytime over️⚡
3. @getMash GatsbyJS web components’ content-first focus process payments & donations for user with seamless UX
To not get lost in the technical weeds: The team at Mash makes it easy for content creators to monetize with anyone anywhere in the world at any time no matter who they are and with minimal friction between creators and consumers, with Bitcoin!
Will Schoellkopf is author of “The Bitcoin Dog: Following The Scent To The Bitcoin C++ Source Code,” and host of the Bitcoin podcast “It’s So Early!“. Will publishes a weekly newsletter featuring his favorite Bitcoin Tweets of the week! He is published in both Bitcoin Magazine and Satoshi’s Journal. Follow him on Twitter @realBitcoinDog, or email will [@] realbitcoindog [.] com
This is a guest post by Will Schoellkopf . Opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of Satoshi’s Journal or Satoshi’s Entertainment Company.
That was a very good read!
I never thought of paying to authors by chapter, that is a very good idea.
Thank you a lot for sharing this amazing article, can’t wait to read more of your great work!