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My experience with Minds+ so far

Moonlit🌙MonkeyJan 21, 2021, 11:18:11 PM

As a creator and as a user, I have some positive reflections and also some criticisms of the way this service functions currently. 

It's brilliant that a social media site uses a freemium model rather than surveillance capitalism as a profit model. It offers the potential for creators in new fields to at least earn side money online.  

It's a good model.  

But the way it specifically functions could be improved.  

From a User Standpoint

From a user standpoint, minds plus isn't exactly as advertised. There's a good portion of content that isn't original. Meme's, news articles and the like. Even in some cases, others photography work (with no value added, or specific additions). 

Which from a user perspective is less than ideal - if they see the blurb about minds+ being creator centric, perhaps higher quality and then find it a process to specifically find original posts, pictures and videos on the service - with a good portion of what's there being similar to the normal feed. That's a missed expectation.  

There is however some good photography on there, and no doubt more creators will start to add to the platform. But it would be FAR more ideal if there was a flag people could check to indicate it's original, and belongs to you so that it could be displayed on a separate tab. Even better, separate tabs for original music, art, video or similar.  Ie to actually separate by category of original work. This would not merely help users but also creators.  

Now, the ability to switch off boosted content is a godsend (although I recommend the occasional look in on the boost feed under discovery, to stay a part of the conversation). 

Mainly because the boost feed is often dominated as a political soapbox of similar, already heard ideas; which the majority of the site really isn't. That's not to say someone shouldn't voice their opinion, but because it's used like that, minds plus can be seen as an 'ad free' variety. Sometimes it's nice to not have that. 

And being verified is also a plus. So overall for users, it's not a bad deal, although to me personally, the quality of content on plus should improve before I can really recommend it at the price. Which will only happen in part, if people join. So if you have the tokens feel free to support and give it a try. 

From a Creator Standpoint

As a creator, the platform, at least so far is okay. I've posted only a few posts there, some are completely ignored, and get less interactions than on the normal feed.  Things that are time consuming like slow loading gifs, music, long form videos are naturally going to get less interaction. 

Some, especially anything visually pleasing can get more interactions by being showcased on the trending + feed. Certainly if one was a photographer who took certain kinds of shots, this could prove quite worthwhile. 

However, if the service user count goes up, it may be increasingly hard to rank in that trending feed. Much like a single page of a search engine, the more creators on the platform the stiffer the competition. And the level of profit, at least right now, is really marginally better than a big channel might get with organic traffic (in terms of tokens). So it works, and it clearly has a use for some creators, but is it scalable?

Also, with meme's and so on getting more interactions than creative works, is that really enticing creators to join and post on Minds+? If Minds wants to get premium content from big youtubers, well known musicians and the like, they might have to consider how the 'spoils' are divided.  

Because if Minds+ is generally enticing to creators, Minds could well explode with both creators and their followers. It's almost a no brainer that this is what you want, and if there are obstacles in the way of that they should be removed.  

At the very least, the layout, and specific monetization of Minds+ content needs some serious thought. 

From a Platform Standpoint

There are potential copyright issues here. It's a great model, for sure. But if someone were to say, post a direct link to a YouTube music video (or reupload), and the record company became aware, it's legally dicey territory. The same is true even for a news article. We know record companies are happy to pursue even the most trivial pressing of copyright law. And there are other large, wealthy companies that may think similarly. Just look at the laws news organizations have lobbied for in Australia and the EU regarding linkage. 

Whilst the platform has not yet become mainstream, it's not an issue - now. But if it does, eventually all those easy target posts, stored in perpetuity on the platform may become an issue. Specifically because it involves cash. Tokens do not count as currency. But the moment someone is paid revenue from content in cash, including Minds as a company we might have a problem.  

There are certain forms of content that are more likely to face copyright complaints, as we know - particularly Movies, TV shows, Music, Video games, News Articles. Minds really should be moderating such content on Minds+. Because if they don't it seems almost guaranteed eventually they will face lawsuits (not just the posters, because Minds makes the majority of the money from the service).  

And we all know the platform does not need any points of vulnerability, as it's most certainly already in the crosshairs of the silicon valley oligarchy, and basically the entirety of the ultra-progressive orthodoxy.