Decentralized Is Not Easy
Things at RGV Media have been going back and forth when it comes to figuring out where to host content. Here on the Steem blockchain, the promise of immutability and decentralization is attractive. The Steem blockchain ensures that content posted on one site is available on others. Followers carry through from one platform to the next thanks to the common blockchain.
I strongly considered using Minds. Over at Minds, you will find a great platform. However, the content itself is not decentralized. In addition, the tokens you earn can only be redeemed for boosting your content. Minds is relatively polished compared to what we have on Steem. Except, it does not serve the business purpose. Gotta make a buck or two.
Steem also has the benefit of having dapps that substitute for some of the popular centralized platforms. D.Tube is a video site on the chain. Dsound.audio is a podcast site on the chain. Steepshot lets you share photos to the chain. Whatever creative outlet I want to use for RGV Media, there is something on Steem that permits it.
Steem dapps, however, rely somewhat on IPFS storage, which is problematic at times. Whereas centralized platforms run the risk of having your content demonetized or your account shut down, decentralized platforms using IPFS run the risk of your content disappearing off the face of the Earth. Theoretically, the websites should keep a copy of your video, photo, or podcast to seed the Internet when you request the file. It does not always work. It is very common to have a podcast or video that will not play.
If RGV Media is to be creating content and putting it out there, it will be necessary to not rely on IPFS. I have tried a pinning service to ensure that there is a second copy of my content seeding IPFS. That doesn’t work either. Possibly, the trouble is from congestion on the IPFS gateways. It’s hard to say. There aren’t error messages that tell you where the hang up is.
Another problem with decentralized hosting is that it is currently not possible to have a domain point to your content on the blockchain. It is necessary to choose a website like SteemIt or Busy to present your content feed.
To be fair, all of this is relatively new. New dapps are being developed. There are lessons learned. There is a relatively small number of developers who understand how to tie together all the components that make decentralized content possible. Now there are competing blockchains that are working to provide similar features and capabilities that are friendlier to developers. Decentralized is fracturing.
How can a brand maintain consistency with so much that is constantly changing? The solution may be in the works. I think that if I do develop RGV Media on a decentralized platform, it will have to be reliant on traditional social media to bring in audiences to whatever platform contains my work.
RGV Media is a labor of love more than a business. And so it is discouraging to have to walk away from work every time it is necessary to change platforms. The old blog has years of posts. Unfortunately, many of the posts are no longer relevant. It would be pointless to port them over. Yet, they represent work done. If only one could have been rewarded for writing blog posts, posting videos, and posting podcasts. It would have been great.
Perhaps that is the answer. RGV Media can be about current events, information with expiration dates. Thus, there is no big loss if a better platform comes along. No need to port. Simply change the URL to where the new posts can be found. I guess there is no problem after all.