This is the third article in sequence of articles by MintDice talking about the LBRY protocol and it's largest front-end, Odysee. The LBRY network has become one of the backbones for free speech because it is decentralized at it's core and it is the only protocol of it's kind that exists at any reasonable scale. At LBRY's technological core is a combination of both Bitcoin and Bittorrent technologies wrapped into one. This ultimately creates a robust product to allow users to communicate freely with no fear of being censored or deplatformed in an otherwise fairly hostile environment to free speech on the web today.
If you would like to read MintDice's previous articles about LBRY/Odysee, you can find the links below:
If you are sold on the idea that using LBRY is critical to maintaining free speech moving forward (since no other viable platform exists on the internet), then it's important that you maximize all of the available utility on the LBRY platform to help ensure it's future. Some of these tips have been mentioned in previous articles, but this article will go into more depth.
On the very basic level, it's important to divest your time away from Big Tech platforms and spend your time on either Odysee or LBRY as much as possible. Or if possible, to completely stop your use of platforms like YouTube all together. Your attention has value. And where you spend your time online is very important.
If you are a YouTube user, one very easy way to help you transition faster is to use an add-on into your browser to switch all viewing from YouTube and onto Odysee when the content is available.
If you have a YouTube channel, consider syncing it onto Odysee. It's free extra views and potentially extra money. Furthermore, if you have content that you are willing to create, consider doing so exclusively on Odysee/LBRY. You will likely have a smaller viewer base but you may have an easier time with a more focused group to forward your opinions on than a hostile Big Tech platform that mostly only panders to mainstream cable news TV or established big name sanitized influencers at this point.
Purchase $LBC. LBRY Credits as they are known, are the backbone of the LBRY network. Since the LBRY protocol is a blockchain, all actions require micropayments of $LBC to the blockchain in order for actionable events to take place as all blockchains do. The blockchain element of LBRY is critical in order to make all sure that all of it's media is both uncensorable and decentralized. LBC's functional purpose on the network is multi-faceted, but by purchasing $LBC in any amount, you will be supporting the entire ecosystem. There are a few ways to buy $LBC and one of the better options is on Coinex but you may also do so on Bittrex.
Channel Boosting with $LBC. This is effectively a form of staking without a financial incentive to the staker, but rather with garnering viewing, trending and SEO incentives on the LBRY network. At virtually no cost, you can deploy your own $LBC via boosting to benefit your own channel, your own content, and/or the channel and content of creators that you enjoy in any amount or combination thereof. This is a revokable stake that you deploy each time you boost a channel, be that your own or for other content creators. Therefore, you can end a channel or content boost at any time and reclaim your full stake of $LBC the moment you would like it back.
Boosting is a very powerful tool, because if you want more visibility for yourself, you can boost yourself, while supporting the $LBC network by owning $LBC, while being about to withdraw it at any point in time, which a pretty big win/win.
Importantly with boosting, it's also good in principle to support the quality content creators on the LBRY network that you enjoy. By boosting up high quality content with $LBC boosts you will effectively make the overall network stronger and more inviting for others to want to use LBRY in the future when they are offered higher quality content to look at through curation efforts on your part.
Tipping. Everyone should tip. Literally everyone, and all of the time. This is perhaps the most under utilized technology on the LBRY network in my opinion because it's wildly misunderstood how powerful this technology truly is. $LBC is a cryptocurrency, not a slow and sluggish fiat payment system with KYC and huge fees. Therefore, you can tip in any increment you want. The default tip amounts currently set on the LBRY and Odysee platform are increments of 1, 5, 25 and 100 $LBC which equate to a range of roughly 2c to $2 at the time of writing on this article. And it's perfectly reasonable for a person to say that they cannot afford to send even 2c to a content creator for content they enjoy.
But that's the part that is missed. $LBC, like all cryptocurrency, is divisible. You can send, for instance, 0.01 $LBC to a content creator. Two hundredths of a penny. Far less than the electrical use for any device consumed during content consumption. Anyone on the planet can afford to do this. Meanwhile, in doing so, you'll be supporting your favorite creators, supporting blockchain activity on the LBRY network and further legitimizing the utility of the $LBC cryptocurrency. As more people are able to see you use $LBC either in hyperchats, channel support or otherwise, you will spread awareness surrounding $LBC and make them want to get involved as well. And by spreading around more $LBC to new users who formerly didn't own any, they may be intrigued to learn more about what it is that they now own. It's easy to realize from here that the more $LBC is in use from it's overall utility, the more value $LBC has, which is a huge with for both LBRY and free speech.
And because this is one of the powers of cryptocurrency and one of the limitations of fiat currency, you should really leverage this aspect to your advantage. You simply cannot send $0.0002 worth of fiat to support a content creator on YouTube. Not even close. But you can on Odysee. So start making tipping a habit and support your favorite content creators in whatever $LBC increment is comfortable to you.
Engage with the Odysee platform as much as possible with high quality engagement. Fire or slime any video if they are good or bad. Write high quality comments on the videos that pique your interest. Use high quality replies to interesting comments that you see. Hyperchat on your comments to support content creators and increase visibility of both $LBC and your comment itself. Find new channels. Find new content. The more you engage with the LBRY platform in high quality ways, the more others will be encouraged to do the same as the platform grows in quality. The underlying platform for LBRY is ultimately only as good as the sum of it's users are. So make sure you are a top quality user if free speech is important to you.
If you wish, you can also engage in content curation by reposting the work of others onto your channel. This will give more visibility to the original creator and potentially allow you to grow a following for yourself simultaneously as another way to engage with LBRY technology.
Or otherwise consider becoming a premium member on Odysee to gain access to early features, an ad free experience and to support the overall project and ecosystem. It only costs $1-3 a month if you're willing to pay for it in fiat. Odysee signaled that after the SEC case they may then accept $LBC in payment for the premium memberships.
Spread the LBRY gospel online. It's not worth it to get overly preachy about anything, LBRY included. But when possible, share links of interesting content directly from Odysee to your friends on the social platforms that you use, like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and others. If you find a video particularly interesting, share it with a friend or family member to get them used to the idea of Odysee as a website. If you use forums, blogs, or other, feel free to write about the importance of Odysee or link a video you recently watched from Odysee to your users.
This is doubly important because having a decentralized voice out there to spread the message about the LBRY protocol helps because Big Tech is invariably going to downrank Odysee relative to their own mediums in an effort to stifle decentralized innovation threats and continue to entrench themselves however possible. But they can't censor direct peer-to-peer messaging nearly as easily.
And by spreading more links for Odysee and LBRY out there in the wild, you'll not only entice people to click on them to drive traffic there, but you'll also increase the SEO power of Odysee making these platforms increasingly powerful with time.
Keep up to date with the latest news about LBRY & Odysee on LBRY's social media platforms. You can get involved with LBRY in a number of ways on Twitter, Reddit and BitcoinTalk just for some examples.
Twitter (LBRY): https://twitter.com/LBRYcom
Twitter (Odysee): https://twitter.com/OdyseeTeam
BitcoinTalk (LBRY): https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=1541268.0
BitcoinTalk (Odysee): https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=5116826.0
Reddit (LBRY): https://www.reddit.com/r/lbry/
Reddit (Odysee): https://www.reddit.com/r/OdyseeForever/
The more people there are creating buzz around LBRY/Odysee's posts with likes, messages and retweets, the more traction this protocol will gain on the mainstream Big Tech platforms. And this gives more awareness to others about LBRY's existence in order to ideally get people to also divest their attention from corrupted Big Tech platforms and onto hardened LBRY decentralized technologies.
Encourage major influencers to join and sync on Odysee whenever you see a good moment to do so. Deplatforming, shadowbanning, demonetization and all kinds of other nonsense censorship tactics went from unthinkable a decade ago to rare 5 years ago to beyond commonplace today. There's not a day that goes by where presumably dozens or hundreds of channels are deplatformed by Big Tech because they don't fit some specific mainstream narrative. Among these deplatformed channels can be sometimes be huge million+ follower individuals that need a place to continue hosting their content. When these influencers get attacked by Big Tech, let them know there is a safe haven that would be happy to welcome them in with Odysee.
For users that are still live posting on legacy Big Tech without issue, encourage them, if you know them, to sync on Odysee to back up their content at the very least. This gives them more views at virtually no cost. And importantly, if anyone were to become deplatformed after syncing to Odysee, they have their safe haven already set up and their user base will already know about it's existence. It's important that all content creators are posting somewhere that they can't physically be deplatformed in the future such as on the LBRY network.
Add liquidity to the $LBC networks. This is a more advanced topic, but if you now own $LBC, you can use some of your $LBC to create content, boost content and tip users as mentioned earlier. But you can also start to create $LBC buy and sell orders on exchanges like Coinex or Bittrex. This may give you the ability to profit from trading activities and it will also inject more trading liquidity into the network so others can more easily buy and sell $LBC themselves. Many seasoned crypto traders know illiquid networks are very toxic. You can help others overcome this problem by yourself increasing the liquidity on these networks. And this can even be a profitable venture as well as mentioned earlier if you execute a proper trading strategy.
A super advanced option, is if you happen to know people that run any cryptocurrency exchanges out there, is if you can ask them if they would consider adding $LBC to their network. This would give a huge boost to the overall $LBC economy and help ensure it's longevity for it to get off the ground. And as a growing and undervalued cryptocurrency, it could be a nice bet for such a company to place it on their exchange earlier than others and reap the liquidity rewards with being an early adopter to the technology.
Build out LBRY architecture. There are so many different directions that you can go with this if you are a talented programmer and entrepreneurial type, either as a volunteer passion project or as a for-profit company start up type. You can either try to work on the base LBRY protocol itself or join current front-ends like Odysee. But, like Bitcoin or Ethereum, you can also just build out architecture yourself, because LBRY is just an open source protocol. And if you are one of the early movers on this technology and LBRY were to make it out big in the future (this is a very risk-on venture), you could have a huge early mover advantage.
Take OpenSea for instance. They took a risk on creating a NFT platform on Ethereum before NFTs were a thing. Fast forward a few years and they are now worth billions. If you take a risk on LBRY and build out a very high quality front-end project that people end up using and the LBRY network really catches on simultaneously, a project like this could end up being extremely valuable in the future. It also has the added effect of making the LBRY ecosystem that much better and more robust as you profit from your activities.
Use the LBRY application if you are so inclined to do so instead of Odysee. Odysee is a great platform for convenience since it is a web-based front-end. But such a platform will be forced to censor some content, since Odysee chooses what to curate on their platform since it is their own business. LBRY, however, does not suffer from such an attack vector.
If you are more principled when it comes to free speech, open source software and using the uncensorable base technologies, please feel free to use LBRY instead of Odysee. But don't feel bad about using Odysee if that is your medium of choice.
This is a short-term suggestion, but apply pressure in any way you can against the SEC for their case against LBRY. Engage against the SEC or ratio against Gary Gensler on Twitter if you feel so inclined. Or write to your local politician if you are based in the USA to let them know the SEC is being hostile to blockchain companies and innovation by targeting LBRY.
The SEC has committed millions of dollars of damage to LBRY and stifled it's innovation in the process by forcing them to commit tens of thousands of employment hours to the lawsuit rather than productive development.
Hopefully in the end, months or years from now, LBRY wins. But until then, it's a good fight to watch and support LBRY on in any way that you can to fight for and demand free speech on the internet.
Advocate against poorly constructed “alternative media” platforms like Rumble. Rumble is deceiving at best to it's users as a platform based on free speech principles. But make no mistake, this is simply not the case. Rumble is a website running on the exact same centralized censorable technology as YouTube. They are effectively a re-skinned YouTube prone to the same corruption long-term that has captured all of Big Tech.
This is akin to some politician saying “Sure our last fiat currency hyper-inflated away, but trust our new fiat currency, this one is great and will never be hyper-inflated away.” It doesn't matter what promises Rumble makes, they will erode over time. Market forces will dictate this or governments will or any other attack vector will force them to fold or at best renege on some of their initial principles. Don't believe this? Look at how any other platform started be that Reddit or YouTube or Twitter and how they started one way with free speech and degraded over time. History is doomed to repeat itself in this scenario without fundamental technological change.
All of this, by counter example, is what makes Bitcoin so strong – it cannot fold to pressure from governments. And you should demand and expect the same kind of technological resiliency from your social media platform and underlying protocol. With nearly no exception, LBRY is one of the only platforms on the planet that does this, especially so at any reasonable scale that matters.
So make sure that people aren't flocking to just any other alternative site, but that they are using a website or application with longevity built directly into it's codebase.
Run a full LBRY node or mine $LBC. While the LBRY network is probably the most robust and decentralized free speech protocol in the world, it is a far cry from being able to survive an attack from a nation state let alone even a Big Tech company if they had the drive to undermine LBRY's integrity. A decentralized network is only as strong as the sum of it's total working components are. And with LBC's market cap of around $15M at the writing of this article, it isn't presently strong enough to fight the digital wars needed for it's future survival.
Therefore, if you have the technical know-how and capacity to run a LBRY full node, run one. And if you can profitably mine $LBC, go ahead and do that as well. It's one thing to make money from mining a cryptocurrency, but it's even better if you can support a network that matters to you simultaneously to lock in two wins at the same time and secure this growing network.
Store LBRY data if you can. Currently, there's no rewards for doing this and there's no roadmap as to how the LBRY network gets there. This may change eventually. In the mean time, this is strictly on a volunteer basis. Presently, Odysee is doing the heavy lifting for data storage to make sure things operate smoothly on their website. But in order for the LBRY network to survive long term though, this data storage will have to come from multiple entities or yet again, as just mentioned on #15, LBRY will be prone to vulnerabilities from bad actors and nation states. The more decentralized the LBRY network is the better. So, if you have spare data storage that you can offer up to the LBRY network, consider doing so.
When you are having conversations in real life with your closest friends and family, at some point bring up the idea of the attack on free speech and why LBRY and Odysee matter to you and how you see this technology helping situations moving forward into the future. It's one thing to say various things on the internet to strangers who don't care about you, it's another thing to engage in intellectual debate and thought with those who care about your opinions. Free speech is always on the right side of history so it will be a convincing argument to say the least. Let them know about the technology, and encourage them if nothing else to give it a try or to at least explain that LBRY exists out there as an option. Your chance of making a conversion from Big Tech here will be a lot higher and more meaningful in this context than almost any other method.
It's important to fight for free speech, because it isn't an inalienable right as any person with a few live brain cells can figure out today. A major issue right now is that through a private-public partnership between Big Tech and government, the major Big Tech platforms are able to censor individuals while assuming the rights of a private business even if this is all happening at the request of government. This needs to be fought back against.
To an extent, it doesn't so much matter how we as a society end up in a place where free speech prevails so long as it does prevail. The scary part though is that this is not a guaranteed trajectory for society. It will take a lot of work from distributed individuals across the planet to fight for and protect this right.
Presently, there's no better vehicle to get there than with the LBRY network. LBRY has the most history, it has the biggest in user base and has the most development for this particular class of technology. Therefore it can be reasonably stated that it's worth putting in some efforts into this medium given it has the best chance to survive long term to help ensure it's continued success and growth.
You can see by these objectively created SEO charts that Odysee and by extension, LBRY are still growing in popularity with no signs of slowing down any time soon.
As a final ending note, if you can add even a single one of the bullet point suggestions listed up above, that can go a long way in the fight to help secure a future where free speech prevails. You'll be part of a huge piece of the momentum demanding basic human rights be protected into the foreseeable future.