Interview with Conjure Network CEO Max Helsel
To start things off, can you give us a brief description about Conjure?
Conjure is a multimedia content platform, allowing creators to upload content in a wide range of formats.
The two main problems we seek to rectify:
How will Blockchain benefit your operations?
Firstly, we can leverage NEO’s Smart Economy (Digital Assets and Identities) to allow content creators and advertisers to enter into mutually beneficial monetization agreements.
Content creators will no longer have to deal with the automatic algorithms that have been causing problems. The benefits extend to the advertisers as well – Conjure’s taxonomic structure and direct monetization options allow brands to target audiences with precision.
Next, there’s the idea of incentivizing quality content on the Conjure platform using Blockchain.
The Conjure Rewards System will distribute a quantity of Tokens to content/creator(s) in fixed time intervals, according to the quality contributed to the platform. This incentivizes the creation of quality content, and serves as an indicator of value for advertisers.
The quality metric will be determined by a formula that considers views, “like to dislike” ratio, comments, among other factors. This value will also be used to sort and aggregate content within communities.
Keep in mind that these rewards will be available to all users, dependent on their contribution type and relative quality.
As Conjure grows, we anticipate adding more options and uses for the Conjure Token: to purchase merchandise and digital goods, and access premium content from creators. We want to reward participation and provide a worthwhile outlet for those rewards.
Can you tell us exactly how the idea for Conjure was started?
Back in the summer of 2017, I spent my summer term trading derivatives. After the market closed for the day, my schedule was pretty much free – I spent a lot of time on YouTube to decompress.
Up to that point, I remembered hearing about some issues that content creators were dealing with, but I didn’t realize the magnitude of those problems until I started watching more and more videos. Everyone was talking about the same thing: the YouTube Adpocalypse.
I dug a bit deeper out of curiosity, and soon learned how bad the situation was. Creators were getting less traffic, mass demonetization, and losing as much as 80% of their monthly revenue in some cases.
Then came some hands-on research – launching my own YouTube channel. I spent a good amount of time creating content, testing niches, and discovering the best ways to reach users. It grew much quicker than I had expected, settling around 16k subscribers. With the knowledge gained from that experience, I switched focus to finding a solution for these creators.
While exploring potential solutions, I began to learn more about DLT and Blockchain technology. I saw the possibility — and practicality — of leveraging it to address the problems that plague content creators across the web.
When I got back to East Lansing in the fall, I was eager to share my findings with my good friend Shane, now Conjure’s COO. After some discussion, Shane and I teamed up. From then on, these ideas and concepts gradually merged together to become Conjure.
So, there it is – the story of Conjure’s idea and founding.
Do you guys have any plans for partnerships in the near future?
Yes, we have a few potential partnerships that we are currently seeking out. Conjure is planning for long-term cooperation with top-tier companies who will help us to provide added value to the content creators that will be utilizing our platform. We’ll announce them as we begin to acquire them.
Who are the competitors in your industry and what is distinct about Conjure?
When other blockchain projects, that may appear similar to Conjure, seek to create a better alternative for content creators, they identify monetization (creator revenue) as the key issue. This is true, however, they fail to capitalize on the new ecosystem they create as a byproduct of decentralizing monetization.
While content monetization is a large component of the problem, it isn’t the entire problem. The other half is the idea of content discovery — how users find content and creators.
By shedding reliance on centralized monetization, there’s no longer an obligation to adhere to the outdated methods of content discovery. We decided to not only solve the issue of monetization, but to capitalize on it and provide a new architecture for content discovery.
To do this, we looked for classification systems that scale with the growth of information. Eventually, we began toying around with Linnaean Taxonomy. This system has been around for a few hundred years and has successfully organized all life on Earth into a logical framework.
We chose to take this structure and incorporate it within Conjure. Where Taxonomy sorts organisms based on characteristics, Conjure will sort content based on community. We call this the “Depth Engine”, our software system that combines aspects of both horizontal and vertical search.
In summation, I would say Conjure separates itself from other similar projects through its unique approach to content discovery.
This is a huge topic difficult to condense, so for a more in-depth explanation, I recommend checking out “How Conjure is Different” on our Medium.
Are there any other important factors that you would like people to know?
For me, the thing I’ve found most exciting has been new UI and content discovery. Over time, I think we’ve all become so accustomed to the traditional search bar, related videos, and #tags, that it’s difficult to imagine fresh ways of interacting with content and the web in general.
We’re incredibly excited to share more about Conjure and what we’ve been working on in the near future, so stay tuned for more and sign up for our newsletter to get updates on our token sale beginning on February 1st. https://conjure.network/