Future plans for the journey into the land of dragons
Top priorities, definitions of success, status, and target completion dates for key initiatives in
Creator Analytics and Reporting
Creators must receive prompt, regular, and useful reports about how their content is performing and behaving on the LBRY network.
- Creators have an in-app dashboard allowing them to view content performance, including views, follows, tips/supports, and claim staking status.
- Creators receive regular content reports via email.
- Creators receive notifications related to content performance (for example, when trending, or entering/exiting top for a tag) as well as when URL changes happen or could happen.
LBRY as a protocol is decentralized, but it's organization is still fairly centralized.
While the incentives of the LBRY Inc. are fairly closely aligned with the success of the LBRY protocol itself, they are not necessarily perfectly so.
A community-owned non-profit organization increases stakeholders that care about LBRY and gives a name, place, and framework for anyone who want to build on or with LBRY. It also reduces potential conflicts of interest LBRY may face in terms of community organization and community management.
- Launch a separate organization with a seed amount of LBC that is owned by community members of the LBRY protocol.
- If successful, create a program for creating more of these, especially for different countries, cultures, or regions.
LBRY must do more to encourage and support LBRY-first publishing, especially in moving YouTube creators from YouTube-first to LBRY-first.
Creators with YouTube sync enabled should be able to publish to LBRY and have content show up on YouTube afterward and earn rewards for doing so.
LBRY-first publishing also drives engagement, as users will have the ability to see their favorite content sooner.
- Creators who publish to LBRY-first instead of other platforms are identified, encouraged, and rewarded.
- A creator enrolled in the YouTube program can publish to LBRY first and have that content deploy to YouTube later (and at least 25% of those who sign into lbry.tv do so).
- LBRY apps support optional transcoding when creators supply videos that may not perform well without modification.
Wallets and Passwords
lbry.tv and wallet sync, both added in 2019, introduce a number of complicated user-interface and user-experience choices around password management and wallet custody.
In 2020, we must fill in the gaps, provide clarity about how everything works, and ensure users can use LBRY with an ability to set the slider between user-experience and security to a place that is right for them.
- Users can log in to lbry.tv with a password.
- Users are provided with a clear indication of wallet custody, who can access it, and when.
- Users have a reasonable user-experience to convert between a wallet that is fully theirs (lbry.tv has no copy), secured by them (lbry.tv has encrypted copy it cannot access; no password reset), or shared with us (lbry.tv can access it as well as reset your password). Note that all 3 of these modes are possible now. We do not have a copy of wallets for users of our desktop or mobile apps unless they log in to lbry.tv and enable wallet sync.
LBRY added commenting support in 2019, but it is minimal and not part of the core protocol.
In 2020, we make commenting awesome and decentralized.
- Expected traditional commenting features exist, including but not limited to, editing, replying, and notifications.
- Resolve tensions between where ultimate control of comment display resides via discussion with community. How do we allow the community to police bad actors, without these tools also being usable by bad actors to prevent helpful comments?
- Move commenting API into the core LBRY protocol, with all of the properties of LBRY (decentralized, robust, etc.).
Regardless of whether someone is looking to buy or sell LBC, they face a user experience that only the most dedicated and/or masochistic of users make it through.
The ability to acquire LBC for users as well as for creators to convert LBC when desired is absolutely vital to creating an ecosystem that reaches the mainstream.
- A user can acquire varying amounts of LBC via flows that begin in LBRY apps via a process that is broadly accessible, minimally invasive, and secure.
- A creator can initiate a flow to convert LBC to their desired currency via a LBRY app. Just like with purchasing, it must be accessible, intrusive, and secure.
A LBRY browser is available on Windows, Android, macOS, and Linux, leaving iOS as the only major operating system without a native browser client.
- A LBRY browser exists for iOS that is at a minimum is roughly on par with our LBRY on Android experience.
A lot of creator value-based benefits come from using lbry.tv and LBRY, Inc. itself. While this is sustainable as the company was specifically designed with this usage in mind, it's time we begin giving creators more ways to earn from the content they create and their fans.
- Paid content is supported on lbry.tv.
- For content priced below that which an advertiser would pay, a viewer can watch an advertisement rather than pay.
- Non-authenticated users on lbry.tv receive advertising, with portions going to creators.
- Explore and then implement or decide against the following features:
- Paid, recurring subscriptions
- Content releasable via assurance contract (kickstarter-style release mechanism)
- Paid memberships that distribute funds automatically along users followers
Stronger Data Network
While the LBRY data network is relatively strong (especially for popular content), we must ensure it remains strong as lbry.tv increases in usage. Additionally, users who are contributing to the network are not sufficiently rewarded.
- Ensure all data is well-hosted without our participation.
- Utilize disk space provided by users pro-actively. Offer rewards and benefits for this.
- Test, rework, and re-enable code for market-based data payments.
- Host-only setup process is user-friendly to do at scale.
- Form partnerships with data providers in other countries.
(This is labeled Q4 because we will be improving performance for all time. However, we expect improvements to come here with each quarter.)
Performance. Can it ever be good enough? Probably not, so let's make it better.
LBRY performed much better in 2019 than it did in 2018, and much better in 2018 than it did in 2017. We must continue the cycle.
In 2020, performance is about end-to-end stream times (especially from cold app starts), lbry.tv, and wallet servers.
- For all broadband users, lbry.tv stream start times and buffering events are comparable to a site like YouTube or Vimeo.
- lbry.tv provides varying video qualities, either because it has been added to the LBRY protocol, or by proxying and transcoding.
- Mobile users can click a notification and begin watching a video in a time comparable to the YouTube app.
- The desktop app can start and be kept running with minimal footprint. Stream start times between a docked desktop app and lbry.tv (browser open but not loaded) should be comparable.
- The LBRY SDK adds support for callbacks in places where polling is currently being used.
- Wallet servers can be brought online and synced quickly (presumably, limited only by bandwidth).
- LBRY URL resolutions happen in under 100ms under typical load and network conditions.
On platforms like YouTube, Facebook, and literally all of them, the relationship between creator and fan is owned by the platform. If possible at all, a creator can only engage directly with her fans by taking steps to circumvent the platform itself (e.g. building a mailing list of fans outside of YouTube).
Currently, it’s no different on LBRY -- if anything, it’s worse! While a user can subscribe to a creator and receive notifications, it’s difficult for creators to directly get message followers and impossible outside of a LBRY application.
Subject to compatible user and creator preferences, creators should be able to collect and access certain data about their users, up to and including messaging credentials (like email) that would allow the creator to engage outside of LBRY entirely.
Related: Creator Features
- Users have personal profiles and preferences about sharing info with creators.
- Users that follow creators share certain information with them subject to preferences. Creators are able to access and use this information.
- The system provides proper incentives (whether emotional or financial) to encourage usage.
Improved Content Discovery
(This is labeled Q4 because we will be improving discovery for all time. However, we expect improvements to come here with each quarter.)
Providing decentralized content discovery mechanisms is absolutely central to the success of the LBRY protocol.
While LBRY is possibly already the best system in the entire world for this, our design has plenty of room for improvement, particularly around inaccurate or malicious contributions.
This issue is substantial and everything necessary is not likely to be enumerated below.
- Develop finer metrics to ascertain whether various algorithms are doing a better or worse job at returning relevant results.
- The problem of inaccurate tagging is eliminated or substantially reduced.
- Requesting trending content, whether by tag, channel, network wide, or other factors returns content that is maximally desired and germane to the request.
- Incorporate more user-specific information into claim search results. For example, leveraging what channels users follow or what content they like. Investigate weighted web-of-trust algorithms.
- Clearly document and communicate how discovery algorithms work. Run a campaign to encourage broader participation in the problem solving process.
- Investigate and implement other changes to align user behavior. Seek to maximize incentive that when content is prominent and easily discovered it is also desired.
- Continue to experiment with home page, search, following, and other discovery paradigms based on our own experiences and through listening and collecting to user feedback, both explicit and implicit.