July 2, 2021

As of today, Elephant is (closer to becoming) a social media site.

News: as of today, Elephant is (almost) a social media site.

To defeat (let alone survive) a monster, learn from it…without leaving behind your mission or ethics.

Facebook is killing media. Bored yet?

Without media—or, if you prefer, fact-based, independent, mindful, mission-driven information and community—I hope you can agree we’re all at sea. Where fake news travels, fear follows, and hate follows fear.

Years ago, I saw the changes in Facebook starting. It went from a chaotic free-for-all, kinda merit-based, with a home for news and good info…to a place where Aunt May’s cookie recipe earned a place above any journalism in your newsfeed. And it turned out…Aunt May wanted to talk about hating immigrants, not cookies. This was a deliberate change by Facebook—not because they’re evil (they’re worse than that), but because they’re greedy.

Anyways: so I saw the writing on the wall, ’cause I lived it. Some of you have seen Social Dilemma, and know what I’m on about (that film was made by my local pal Jeff).

So I started trying to change Elephant’s direction—from a huge blog (20 million unique readers, 5 years ago, when FB made its change), to an independent platform. If you can’t beat the monster, learn from the monster, and use its power for good.

As of today, Elephant is much closer to becoming a true social media site, not just a big online magazine. We’ve already added accounts and follows and the Ecosystem entire—comments, shares, reads all adding up to a score, that evolves daily, and determines whether an author gets paid for the article you took any action on.

In the next year, we’ll look at adding DMing and groups, so you can communicate through a mindful medium.

And we’ll aim to add playlists/ebooks/reading lists, as well as a Book Club and Elephant Yoga, for highest tier members.

But what’s changed today is that you can now directly “tip/pool/boost” an article you love. Why’s this important? We pay 15 writers, every week. I want Elephant to be able to pay 150 writers, every week. Then 1,500 writers. Then, 15,000. Then, 150,000.

Then, 1,500,000, a week! The sky’s the limit. Anyone who offers something our community values…should get paid.

For now, when you pay an article or author you love that “tip” will go into a pool that will then be disbursed to the top 15 writers, paid by us, as chosen by you. If you all start paying a lot, we’ll expand the number of writers we pay, and how much we pay them. If you don’t, we’ll go more slowly. So far, it’s going well (we soft-opened the ability to pay a few weeks ago).

Two notes, from Brian, who, with William, actually makes this stuff happen:

1.) If the article is recent (last 2 weeks-ish), you’ll increase the score and make the author more likely to get paid
2.) If article is older, the money still goes toward paying writers for the work they do, if not that specific article. 

We call it boosting, because it’s a combo of tipping and pooling. Over time, you’ll be able to publish a whole book, and folks could pay you through this. We’d act like an instant publishing company, with editors, free of charge, working to help you as always.

Boosting is now available on every single article. When you give a few bucks, it’ll increase the score of said article. If it increases enough—based on reader views, shares, comments, boosting…it’ll win, and we’ll pay out (see our site for weekly Ecosystem winners).

​And welcome to Elephant, the social media hub.

Try it here, or on any article on Elephant.

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