Imagining FashionText

Let’s imagine a software application that would allow a Buyer to pay a Seller in return for performing the following tasks:

1) Buyer attaches a collection of texts to a “spool” within the app, and the app would also provide a terms of service agreement and a content moderation service for the purpose of holding back Buyer from doing bad things, such as attaching texts in violation of copyright restrictions, etc.

2) The spool would also specify a number of threads that Seller would be expected to “pull” from the spool, prior to a “closing date,” where pulling a thread could refer to the concept of selecting a “string” from the collection of texts and then inviting the puller to ask a question about the string and then maybe supply zero or more answers to their own question, and the question could also be a statement, or the answers could be totally satirical, because these threads and the spool from which they are pulled could be as serious or silly as the collaborators in question want them to be.

3) The spool would also define a closing routine that might involve an hour long video chat between Seller and Buyer followed by a payment, at which point the app would “certify” the spool for distribution and resale via the app’s platform interface, and so on and so forth.

There would be lots of design variations for entrepreneurs in this space to explore, and I would like to create an open source reference implementation of this idea so that lots of people can run online services that generate and market these sorts of virtual spools of threads.

“Threads” would be like any other tree structure of text based comments that might appear on a computer screen, but grouping them into spools that could be created collaboratively by buyers and sellers might facilitate the development of libraries of spools that could be resold at higher and higher prices over time.

For example, if I acted as a Buyer and someone else with a bigger following than me (or maybe just a different following) acted as the Seller, in order to generate a spool of threads that were pulled from this article, “our” new spool could create extra distribution for the ideas in this article, and there might eventually be more and more people who would pay a premium over what I paid, as the original Buyer, so that they too can exercise the right to resell the spool at their discretion, and the original Seller and all of the previous owners could potentially collect additional royalties each time the spool is resold.

And, the price of well-formed spools that are based on this article might keep going up over time is because this article could become a foundational text for a whole class of successful apps that might eventually challenge the potentially unsustainable grip on power that Big Tech’s algorithms currently hold in relation to human beings.

Finally, each “spool” could be like a new crypto currency or maybe an NFT, but the value creation that I have in mind would be an elaboration of such ideas in the form of working code, and, in the long term, libraries of spools could become a record of useful training data for future AI.

For every reason in the book and then some, my articles on Medium are designed to speak for themselves.