PUBLIQ White Paper

Introduction

PUBLIQ introduces a peer-to-peer distributed network that implements a new vision and approach to the media industry. It changes the way people interact and stay informed, specifically in the fast growing online media environment where no disintermediated way to transact and exchange exists.

The incredible growth of Internet access and speed around the world offers the opportunity to more and more people to be connected to media, anytime, anywhere. However, the media environment is currently under threats. Over centralization, unfair remunerations, poor customer experience, and absence of quality contents are on the rise. The situation is not only affecting our approach and trust towards media, but also our understanding of what is really happening around us.

The PUBLIQ team is building our future media ecosystem based on blockchain technology combined with analytics and artificial intelligence (AI). PUBLIQ is rebuilding trust in media by empowering authors and readers to be part of a safe, impartial and fair ecosystem.

Background

Up to 2003, the world created every two days1 as much information as it did since the dawn of its history. In this ever growing cascade of information one can find a massive number of digital articles, news and stories. The rise of online media2 has radically changed the way people interact with the world but with the boom in self-publishing the quality level of the diffused contents has much suffered. The information issued from the myriad of media platforms makes it really challenging to find relevant or interesting content. Moreover, the increase in clickbaits and other malwares deteriorated the overall user experience, representing a heavy burden for the existing platforms.

The current situation is not only affecting the user experience but also the nature of the content. In order to increase traffic, editorials are pushed to relentlessly post new articles, often leading to the creation of poor contents devoid of substance. From the current revenue model, the whole industry is heading to the wrong direction, ultimately affecting lectors’ visibility and understanding.

Although the practices in the media industry are unfair when it comes to rights management, an increasing number of unknown authors and bloggers manage to post highly appreciated and respected pieces through the current ecosystem. The reverse side of the coin is that talented authors only manage to build a partial and fragile reputation through low remuneration or unrewarded gratifications. At the same time, social media giants are making more and more profits thanks to the content people are posting and don’t get rewarded for. The increasing amount of articles and data users share has also helped these giants to sell personal data to make even more profits.

Today, a lot of articles are duplicated if not pirated. They are shared and disseminated on multiple platforms without traceability, making it more and more difficult for authors to receive the royalties which should rightfully be theirs. These royalties vanish through intermediaries and middlemen who exploit third party creativity and creations to enrich themselves, very often beyond reasonable.

The barriers to entry are very high for any party who would ambition to compete with the existing leaders in the industry. The infrastructure that underpins the current media industry is opaque and raises doubts about its impartiality.

The PUBLIQ Ecosystem

We think at PUBLIQ Foundation that authenticity and independence of media can be achieved by using blockchain and its decentralised nature. The PUBLIQ ecosystem has been designed as a decentralized reliable media platform equipped with an analytics reputation assessment engine, as well as AI algorithms to analyse viewers preferences and suggest articles with diverging opinions.

Technologies

Blockchain as a source of distributed trust

The creation of Bitcoin has allowed disintermediation and increased security by confronting for instance the double spending issue. While Bitcoin proves to be a breakthrough in the way we transact, the blockchain ecosystem has recently been very active, generating a lot of tractions into multiple industries. At PUBLIQ, we are well aware of the essence of blockchain and what kind of problems it is meant to solve. In an environment where trust is an issue, centralization a danger and intermediaries too powerful, blockchain is a tool to consider. The issuance of strong decentralized cryptocurrencies are proving how fast, reliable and traceable money transfers can become.

The PUBLIQ team has experienced different cryptocurrency and blockchain related projects. The PUBLIQ Foundation is convinced that blockchain is made to create open and borderless neutral systems where trust is established by the power of the network and not by more or less trusted intermediaries.

The PUBLIQ blockchain infrastructure allows content creators and readers to build a trusted relationship. Once posted, the content is cryptographically sealed, distributed, immutable, and timestamped. The different events attached to the lifecycle of the content: views, likes, shares and transactions are also recorded into the blockchain to become traceable, and executable through the use of smart contracts. Indeed, more than the security and reliability aspects, the power of the blockchain also originates from the use of smart contracts. PUBLIQ blockchain uses smart contracts to structure a mechanism of instant rewarding and real time follow-up of reputation.

To make the PUBLIQ blockchain infrastructure as efficient as possible, the hash, which represents the cryptographic fingerprint of the article, is stored in the blockchain, and the content itself is encrypted and stored off-chain. To do that, PUBLIQ is using the DECENT blockchain content distribution network to propose to people having free storage space to share, to become “seeders” and receive transaction fees by storing encrypted versions of the articles posted in PUBLIQ. The content is distributed and made available through peer-to-peer data distribution protocols. Anyone that wishes to rent storage space is able to do it by getting a PUBLIQ wallet and becoming part of the PUBLIQ network.

The blockchain immutability also acts as a support for independent journalism. No centralized entity can remove writings that are already posted unlike on most of the existing platforms (cf 4-D-The PUBLIQ governance). If any amendments or notes need to be performed in an article already disseminated into the blockchain, PUBLIQ offers the opportunity for authors to add notes that will be linked to the initial content. Each of these notes will be highlighted to the readers in order to maintain clarity in the reading experience (cf 4-B-PBQ Token).

The PUBLIQ blockchain and distributed ledger technology will strongly protect contents and transactions from any unnecessary points of friction. The rights and reputation of an author, and his or her pieces of work are transparent and available to everyone in PUBLIQ. Authors can now write, protect and have their pieces safely monetized.

PUBLIQ blockchain implements a modified Proof-of-Stake mechanism that is known to be less computer intensive than Proof-of-Work. The block generators are selected in a deterministic way and depending on their PBQ “wealth”. The incentive for the PUBLIQ “nodes” is to sustain the platform and maintain its reliability by providing validation and distribution of the blocks. They receive a transaction fee for their involvement. Everyone who owns PUBLIQ PBQ tokens (cf 4-B-PBQ Token) can potentially become a node if he or she decides to participate to the process.

PUBLIQ Workflow

 

PUBLIQ Workflow

 

A reputational layer based on analytics

Online reputation is crucial for everyone. Who reads us, likes us, comments our posts: all these parameters reflect part of who we are and what we represent. Corporates for instance, are increasingly analysing candidates’ online profiles to better understand who they are dealing with, what are their opinions and networks. Accurately evaluating the reputation of an author is extremely difficult and technically challenging. So far, existing media platforms and blogs authors did not come up with efficient and convenient assessment tools. Through the use of proprietary formulas (cf. 4-C-PUBLIQ Workflows and Economics), PUBLIQ offers an accurate evaluation of author's’ reputation. Depending of the opinion of the readers and only the readers, reputation and instant rewards are disseminated into the ecosystem securely and in complete transparency.

One main advantage of creating a reputation mechanism is to incentivize authors to post articles that are, as relevant and interesting as possible. Posting a poorly written content may cause poor feedbacks from readers and therefore negatively impact the author’s reputation.

Any user has access to its own profile and ratings. On demand and through the use of API, any third party, for instance a job searching platform, could allow their members to broadcast their “PUBLIQ score”. The PUBLIQ score is an overall assessment calculated to determine the reputation of authors. The “PUBLIQ score” is a weighted average (%) of the different feedbacks given to every single author (number of views, shares, likes, and potential flags).

There are millions of potential talented authors or bright minds that don’t have the capacity to dedicate time to let their talents speak. These talents deserve to be under the spotlight and rewarded fairly. Building a lifetime reputation that is traceable and transparent on the blockchain is the best way to perform accurate democratized rewarding. PUBLIQ empowers readers by giving them the opportunity to independently shape reputations, but also use them to have a better perception of an author’s talent.

PUBLIQ Score

 

PUBLIQ Score 

 

Views - views of the author’s stories.
Feedbacks - likes, shares and flags for the author’s stories.
Stories - the posted stories by the author.
Days - cumulative number of days of the posted stories.

On top of the reputational layer, PUBLIQ proposes a customizable analytics dashboard to allow authors to learn more about their audience. Among the main information and statistics available: number of views, shares, likes, country of origin, industry etc.

At PUBLIQ, we understand the need for independent publishing and authentic minds. We think that we must start rewarding authors for their talents, sometimes valuing different but well-expressed opinions. If authors do not get rewarded for their efforts, we could all be left with several medias controlled and influenced by powerful parties. By engaging professionals, bloggers, researchers and everyone else to be part of the PUBLIQ network, we want to make sure everybody’s voice is listened. In PUBLIQ the users have control but are not in control, which prevents any powerful party to dictate ideologies.

In the meantime, the most important social media and news aggregators (Facebook or Google) announced that they are exploring new ways to fight the spread of misinformation and alternative facts. It is naturally risky to rely on private companies to tell us what is true or not, we think that only readers should determine if a content is or not authentic, interesting, or simply well-expressed.

In a society of instant gratification, PUBLIQ Foundation strongly believes a decentralized peer-to-peer reward mechanism for intellectual creations must be applied.

The AI assistant

PUBLIQ is meant to be a highly diversified platform broadcasting a wide choice of articles from authors around the world. In order to offer an optimized customer experience for the readers, PUBLIQ uses an AI-powered recommendation engine making suggestions based on what readers chose to read and what they like about articles. Depending of the searches, readings and feedbacks made by a reader, either on the PUBLIQ interface or the channels partner (cf 4-C- Public workflows and economics), the AI assistant will recommend articles that are in line with preferences ( topics, length, style, language, country of origin etc.). Readers may as well be notified that their favourite author has posted a new article. They are able to shape the recommendation-engine based on their preferences or simply decide to view newly posted articles.

PUBLIQ does not want to intervene in favor of any subjects and aims to be a platform cleared of any influence. In order to maximise the chances for readers to form their own opinions, PUBLIQ AI algorithm proposes diverging-opinion articles next to each articles. Our goal is to facilitate the opinion-making process for the readers who are currently influenced by wrongly calibrated recommendation engines. PUBLIQ AI algorithms establish and guard an environment sterile from adverse influences.

PUBLIQ also uses an AI algorithm to assist advertisers in optimising their ads placement into the PUBLIQ ecosystem (cf 4-C PUBLIQ workflows and economics). The AI algorithm provides an advertisement placement mechanism based on readers’ preferences but also on the nature of the articles (Topics, industries etc.). The AI algorithm helps to determine which ad might interest which readers and channels more than others based on the PUBLIQ activity. It is important to note that the revenues made from advertisements are redistributed to the PUBLIQ participants into the ecosystem and that PUBLIQ does not sell any personal data to third parties. The AI based approach includes reporting and analytics feature for advertisers.

PBQ Tokens

PUBLIQ provides a cryptocurrency utility token, “PBQ”, which can be transferred between accounts and used to remunerate participants.

The PUBLIQ instant gratification process gives the opportunity for authors to receive merit based tokens. Every single PBQ holders is granted with a wallet and a key pair to sign transactions. Authors are free to spend PBQ anywhere across the PUBLIQ network, donate to others or exchange PBQ into other crypto-or-fiat currencies through the partner exchanges.

The PUBLIQ infrastructure relies on smart contracts to install trust and convenience into the reward mechanism. When a reader wishes to support an author, the simple fact of expressing a positive opinion will participate in improving the “PUBLIQ score” and ultimately result in the dissemination of a larger amount of PBQ into the author’s wallet.

Readers do not want to go through a cumbersome payment process every time an article is read or just opened. They also want the information to be free to access. The seamless PUBLIQ rewarding infrastructure is safely managed via blockchain and the smart contract capabilities. PBQ cannot be counterfeited or reversed arbitrarily.

The workflow would look as follows:

  1. An author spends a minor amount of PBQ to post an article.*
  2. The reader reads the article and can like it, share it, or raise a flag.
  3. A smart contract takes care of communicating the feedbacks to the analytics engine that updates the author’s PUBLIQ score.
  4. Another smart contract takes care of crediting the author’s wallet with an amount of PBQ commensurate his PUBLIQ score at the rewarding batch that take place at the time of the Reward Offering (RO) every 24 hours.
  5. The author can use the PBQ received to post more articles or exchange them.

* PBQ also represents a security against spamming. Indeed in order to discourage abusive modifications and malicious attempts, posting an article or adding new notes on top of a posted article costs a minor amount of PBQ (PBQ that are fully redistributed to the ecosystem).

It is essential to note that PBQ transactions are dispensed automatically and instantaneously at a zero cost.

PUBLIQ workflows and economics

Content distribution

The Power of the PUBLIQ Network

 

The Power of the PUBLIQ Network

 

The authors are the “key players” of the ecosystem. They create and post articles that once validated and disseminated into the network, are broadcasted:

  1. On the PUBLIQ interface where all the articles posted through the PUBLIQ network can be found.
  2. On the channels that decide to use the PUBLIQ API to broadcast the content posted in PUBLIQ.

The channels are the principal partners of PUBLIQ in content distribution and promotion. They cannot censor articles but have the right to decide what type of content they wish to make available for their readers. Filtering features (by topics, dates, number of likes and other parameters) are also available for channels to facilitate their choices. By promoting the content posted in PUBLIQ, the channels get the chance to be rewarded depending of their PUBLIQ score. The channels’ PUBLIQ score is determined depending of how much traffic channels generate through the PUBLIQ contents they broadcast.

PUBLIQ is designed to serve the need of the society by distributing censorship-resistant information from around the globe. Readers are the free thought leaders of the ecosystem, helping to fuel the reward mechanism with their readings and feedbacks. Readers can get free access to all the information PUBLIQ has received and stored from authors.

The Author’s Workflow

 

The Author’s Workflow

 

The Use Cases

The Use Cases

 

Wealth generation and distribution

In PUBLIQ, advertisers have the possibility to be part of the ecosystem by buying PBQ in order to place their advertising. PUBLIQ smart-contract engine enables the distribution of advertising revenue among ecosystem participants: Authors (according to the PUBLIQ score), Nodes, Seeders, and the Channels that broadcast the contents.

A subscription model is available for those readers who wish to receive ad free content but contribute in sustaining the PUBLIQ Foundation.

The authors’ reputation is calculated by a proprietary formula taking into account number of cumulative views of author’s stories, cumulative number of days since the first posting, total number of stories, and cumulative number of likes, shares and flags. The second formula converts authors’ reputations into corresponding tokens.

Score

R=∑  V+KLL-KCC
T

R - Author’s rating
T - Days passed since the publication day of the article
V - Article views
L - Article likes and shares
C - Article flags
KL - Coefficient of likes and shares (initially: 10)
KC - Coefficient of flags (initially: 20)

The second formula converts authors’ reputation into corresponding shares. The reputation along with the corresponding token allocation is activated once an author posts his or her first story. The number of shares that each author gets is subject to real-time changes depending of authors’ activities in PUBLIQ. Reward allocation is realized in accordance to the daily Reward Offering.

Share 

P=  R  x 100(%)
TR

P - Author’s share in percentage
R - Author’s rating
TR - Sum of all authors’ ratings

PUBLIQ Governance

PUBLIQ self-regulates through blockchain and smart contracts eliminating influence and the need for traditional centralized authorities that have shown to be ineffective and under control of powerful external parties.

The PUBLIQ Foundation values diversity, freedom of speech, respect for others, and wants to avoid offending readers with articles and ads that are inappropriate. To reach this objective, the PUBLIQ Foundation introduces a mechanism of community governance to make sure the readers are protected from undesirable contents.

The PUBLIQ Foundation will grant the right to the most active and appreciated authors (depending of their activity and PUBLIQ score), from different nationalities and backgrounds, to be active members of the PUBLIQ community.

The PUBLIQ community is originally made of 50 authors worldwide (the community will grow gradually) with the mission to help determining if a content that has reached a certain number of flags is or not violating the integrity of the PUBLIQ network.

Indeed readers are able to raise flags and add comments intended for the community to better understand the nature of their concerns.

In order to be compliant with the PUBLIQ governance, it is highly encouraged for authors to:

  • Clearly state what an article is about by choosing the right “descriptive topics”.
  • Correctly set the age group access.
  • Avoid duplication of contents already posted.

Also, PUBLIQ Foundation discourages the promotion of any of the following content:

  • Discrimination, threats against a person or a group, advocates for the infliction of physical injury on oneself or another person.

In case an author is not complying with the PUBLIQ governance, or if an article is promoting some of the topics stated above, the PUBLIQ community members are entitled to take actions:

  • Suspend access to a content for a certain age group. (under 16, 18,21 years old).
  • Contact the author to remind him about the community rules.
  • In case of repetitive inappropriate posts that disrespect the community rules, the community members can temporarily or definitively suspend the wrongdoer from posting articles into the network.

The PUBLIQ Foundation actively involves the PUBLIQ community into the structural decisions that will be taken. A voting mechanism is implemented to make sure any significant organisational and structural decisions are made by the community itself. The PUBLIQ community will be endorsed with the right of voting for reforms into the infrastructure. The PUBLIQ Foundation will keep the community aware of any significant decision that needs to be taken by vote, or any other decisions taken by the Foundation to maintain or enhance the ecosystem.

Conclusion

PUBLIQ restores the balance of power by giving back authors and readers the right to be free in expressing their minds, and in this respect the ecosystem built by the PUBLIQ Foundation is and will remain independent from unnecessary third parties.

Wealth distribution in the media industry has been controlled for too long by powerful intermediaries and platforms enriching themselves with people’s creations. Time has come for authors and publishers alike to be freed from this unacceptable situation. The decentralization implemented by PUBLIQ with the innovative use of blockchain technology brings back trust into the media ecosystem. It also offers a unique opportunity to create a democratic and efficient rewarding mechanism for content creators.

The PUBLIQ community plays an important role in ensuring the platform is made and structured for user’s needs and safe from ill-intentioned external parties. For the first time, people can leverage a media platform to reach anyone and create their own wealth and reputation.

PUBLIQ is meant to be an inspiration for everyone to rethink our ecosystems. We are living amazing times where new technologies have the power to disrupt the way we transact and address inequalities in our societies; we believe it’s time to act and contribute to make the world a better place.

Citations

1 Schmidt, E. Every Two Days We Create as Much Information as We Did UNtil 2003. 2010.

2 Grabowitz, P. Tutorial: The Transition To Digital Journalism. Advanced Media Institute, UC Berkeley. S.D.