Social media has been dominating lives since the internet blossomed into the information superhighway it is today.
As we made the transition from one century to the next, the new millennium brought forth emerging technologies that have reshaped our lives and created stronger waves of communication amongst our peers. Within the last 20 years, technology has advanced exponentially. A mere phone call was all we had to connect with others across county lines. Now, we can see what someone is doing on the other side of the globe, in real time.
When people in the internet industry realized the human need to connect with others was such a demand, social media platforms became a prominent focus with online applications. Geocities emerged within the 90s when dial-up was our only way to connect. It allowed users to create pages about themselves- highlighting and bringing forth a greater sense of “self” within this “Wild West” of code, spawning autonomous presences of individuals everywhere online.
Yet, online forums dedicated to different niches in society were mainly the only way for people to actually converse. Over time Friendster, Myspace, then Facebook popped up, and “becoming social media famous” was the new nomenclature for music artists, models, and comedians. Some of the newer generations that grew up with the internet a household staple, cater to social media and aspire to make money off their profiles and content. It’s a new socioeconomic phenomenon that could not have been foreseen before the birth of the net.
Although social media has paved new roads for entertainers to make money, it's not all good news. The main problem with these social media platforms is that everyone’s personal information is stored on the companies’ servers. It’s basically resting there and waiting for it to be sold to third-party marketers.
AKASHA, the newest decentralized social media network, was created by Mihai Alisie (Bitcoin Magazine creator and Ethereum co-founder).
A Next-Generation Social Media Network
Powered by the Ethereum world computer
Embedded into the Inter-Planetary File System
AKASHA, according to their website, is an acronym for Advanced Knowledge Architecture for Social Human Advocacy. It was born from a story Mihai heard while he was on a train headed towards the Zurich airport. Mihai decided to make the birthplace of AKASHA in Switzerland due to their strong privacy and freedom of press laws.
The first prototype was developed in Meteor. After weighing their options, they decided to go with the standalone Dapp built with Electron, React, and Redux and Node.js. After expanding their team and operations in Romania, they celebrated World Press Freedom day in May of 2016 where they unveiled the AKASHA project to the world. They also opened signups for their alpha release due out September 2016.
What can users do with AKASHA?
Similar to Medium and other modern publishing platforms, users can publish, share and vote for entries. User content is published over a decentralized network, opposed to being saved onto AKASHA’s servers. Votes are bundled with ETH micro-transactions; good content is monetarily rewarded. As AKASHA describes it, “Mining with your mind.”
Do users need to be computer and code savvy to use AKASHA?
No. AKASHA states, “You don’t need to understand the concepts behind electricity in order to flip a switch to turn on the lights.” They note that they’ve uncluttered the UX design, and have created a clear focus on publishing content easily.
When does AKASHA launch?
Their alpha version is going to be gradually released for Linux, MacOS, and Windows on the Ethereum testnet over the course of September 2016. The beta version that will live on the Ethereum main network is expected to launch later.
Together with a group of independent thinkers working under the AKASHA International umbrella we are bravely experimenting with new disruptive technologies in the search for solutions that can make the web a better place for everyone living on this planet.
When others say, “Why bother?” we say, “Why not?!”
To learn more about AKASHA, head over to their site and stay tuned for AKASHA’s alpha launch announcement.