Today I am happy to announce Vortex, a new social media platform.

Vortex is about creating a new, viable business model for social media. Because most of the technologies used in social media are now commonplace, the most salient questions about social media revolve around business issues: who should be in charge of content, who should get paid, and how should revenue to support the platform be generated.

Vortex presents a business model founded on the principle of intrinsic sustainability -- the revenue in and payments out are directly related to posted content, are sufficient to maintain the platform, and do not rely on extrinsic sources such as advertising or subscription fees.

The initial release of Vortex is therefore long on business interactions and shorter on technical niceties: the former are keys to our success, while the latter are implementation details.

The following bullet point summary will quickly get you up to speed on Vortex. As we bring Vortex to production during the month of December, we will post more information and samples to Vortex itself. You can read these anytime and track our progress at the About Vortex room.

Executive Bullet Points

BUSINESS MODEL

  • The Vortex business model emphasizes monetization of creators
  • Any Vortex user may create a social media "room" (akin to a "topic")
  • Any other Vortex user may participate in a room by purchasing either a write share or a read pass
  • A write share allows a user to post content to a single room
  • A read pass allows a user to read anything in a single room

ECONOMICS

  • Room owners receive a portion of each write share and read pass acquired for owned rooms
  • Content creators receive a fractional portion of the write share and read pass revenues for rooms in which they own a write share
  • A portion of every transaction fee (room creation, write share, read pass) is paid into a resource bank for the corresponding room
  • That bank is used to pay for the resources the room uses (CPU, bandwidth, storage)
  • A fixed portion of every transaction fee is paid to Vortex as a service fee

CONTENT MODERATION

  • All rooms are private
  • The room owner is the moderator for content in that room
  • All room participants (except the owner) are allowed to rate the room both on quality (the typical star rating) and content (currently "adult", "everyone", "unsafe", "pornographic")
  • These quality and content ratings are accessible during the room access purchase process

Media Platform

  • Vortex implements a real-time media share and chat platform
  • To the extent practicable Vortex uses standard Web open source technologies
  • Vortex supports text, images, and <embed> tags from a select list of proven hosts (e.g. YouTube, Spotify, Google Slides, Google Maps)
  • The initial feature set is intentionally limited to support functionality growth based on feedback