Daily Fintech is 2 years old today. For the record, here is the first post on June 29th, 2014. It is worth a read and, as it had only a handful of page views, it is quite possible that you missed it 🙂 Here is our Happy Birthday Post on June 30th, 2015 (it is more about how to create high quality content in the digital age than about Fintech).
Today we are launching a peer to peer knowledge network that we call the Fintech Genome (using “genome” from genetics and DNA simply to connote the complexity and importance of Fintech). We need mass collaboration to decode the Fintech Genome. That is why, on our second anniversary, we are asking for your help to decode the Fintech Genome.
Anybody who is a parent will know that you start by celebrating days, then weeks, months, years, decades and that you celebrate all achievements no matter how small, but even this proud parent does not want to record how many eager readers we had on June 29th, 2014.
For our second anniversary we have something to celebrate – our baby can crawl! Yes we have a committed and influential group of subscribers. As of today, that number is over 10,000 (you can see the number on the right side of the front page where it asks you if you want to subscribe) and has been growing rapidly month to month. We are happy to report that we have used no marketing gimmicks to grow that subscriber base. We believe that organic growth is the only sustainable growth.In this way, we are very old fashioned – evan a bit purist. We reckon your time is precious and that as long as we keep delivering value, you will keep coming back.
But we discovered a problem on the Internet.
The problem is how to have good conversations online. Comments are broken. So the conversation moved to Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. That fracturing is a pain because we don’t know where the conversation is taking place. We have to jump between comments here on the blog to LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter because the conversation is happening in all those places. If somebody says something insightful and contextually relevant on Twitter, you won’t see this if you are commenting on Facebook.
Some entrepreneurs have tried fixing the comments problem, most notably Disqus. However Disqus feels too much like a Social Graph. Daily Fintech is more about the Interest Graph. Our readers are not interested in each other’s comments across all subjects in a chronological river. We want to be informed by subject, in context, by our peers. We want answers that will make us more effective at work, the digitisation of financial services.
That is why we are launching the Fintech Genome today. It is a 24/7 digital party where you can have some great conversations about Fintech. We call it the Fintech Genome because the digitization and democratization of financial services is such a complex subject that matters to all of us (like the structure of human DNA). After two years writing every single day at Daily Fintech, the need for a place where everybody in the community had a voice and where we could all have a great conversation became apparent and pressing.
Fintech Genome is where you can learn from each other and make connections.
Anybody who has studied how college education works finds something interesting (and rather annoying to professors). We learn more from our peers than from our teachers. So we want the Fintech community to have that benefit. That is the 24/7 digital party that you are invited to. This is a party where you can stay as long as you like. You can come and go as you please. Hopefully each time you come, you will find some interesting conversations that make you more effective in your work and some people that you want to get to know.
The digital conversation problem
We have been studying the digital conversation problem for some time. It is an area where there has been remarkably little progress despite the massive growth of the Internet. If you go to forums and Q&A sites in 2016, you find yourself in a weird time machine, transported to a late 1990s era (an era that is now taught as history to people who were too young to experience it). Some sites, catering to a more technical and early adopter community have made great progress – think of Stack Overflow, Reddit and Hacker News. What all of them have done right is to use peer ratings to “float the good stuff to the top”. So, we have incorporated community ratings. The community will rate how knowledgeable you are on a specific subject based on what you write about on that subject. You benefit from writing insightful and useful stuff by getting the respect and attention of your peers (which may lead to profitable business). If you just want to consume content, that is perfectly OK, we understand that most people want to read and only a few people write; you use the Genome in whatever way suits you best. However, to gain the trust of your peers in the community that will allow you to go from simply reading, to opening a new topic, and later to editing a wiki topic, you need to engage on the Fintech Genome platform.
If blog comments are broken, why not simply use social media sites?
The people running Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter clearly want us to do this. We will be using Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to amplify the conversations and bring more people into the conversations. However we don’t want those conversations fractured across multiple sites. It would like having a great conversation in one party and then running out to a different party across town because the conversation on the same subject has moved to that party – pub crawls are fun if you are walking with your friends, but frantic rushing between venues is just a time suck. We want to bring all the conversations about Fintech into the Fintech Genome.
The Fintech Genome also fixes a problem we have been facing that has been created by our success. As Daily Fintech started to grow in reach and influence we were being inundated with requests to take guest posts or write about specific ventures or do more interviews or write about a specific news event. This was a conflict because we have a very firm signal to noise ratio policy. We only do one post per day. It is fun to remember the days of wondering if there would be enough material to fill a daily schedule! Today we could easily have 2 or 3 posts per day. The community is offering us the content and there is plenty enough happening that is interesting to write about. However, sipping from a firehose is neither fun or useful. We respect your time, so we don’t want to inundate you with information. Daily Fintech is highly curated. Our experts are hand-picked and work on a specific schedule on specific subjects. We can also see a large number of experts who have a huge amount to offer who do not want the constraints that Daily Fintech experts accept.
We created the Fintech Genome for busy people who have a lot of knowledge and insight to offer, but not the time to write full articles/research notes on a regular basis who want to contribute in little time snippets by:
- offering an insight/opinion on an existing topic
- answering a question by contributing to an existing topic
- asking a question that starts a new topic
- editing a wiki to contribute new data or augment or correct an existing data point.
The Daily Fintech experts play an important role in the Fintech Genome as peers, but we will not be curating or rating the content. The Fintech Genome is an open, permissionless network where any registered user can create and rate content from their peers.
Our role is three-fold.
- First we intervene where needed to ensure a civil conversation. Spammy and hateful stuff will usually get down voted and ignored, but the ingenuity of promotional spammers, scammers and haters is unlimited. So we may occasionally have to intervene to ensure good behaviour.
- Second, more positively, we create the content structure. This is needed because Fintech is such a broad subject (and we take a broad interpretation of Fintech as outlined in this post). Fintech includes technologies such as Blockchain and AI. Fintech also encompasses range of business models and is changing the landscape of the financial industry directly and all business indirectly (as Finance is so important to business). Fintech also encompasses societal and demographic change, as well as economic development and economic empowerment. These are all good conversations. Our job in structuring the content is to help you find the right rooms where these conversations are taking place. We will show you linkages. For example, you may decide to go in the room where the Blockchain conversation is happening and then hear how it is being used for real time clearing in capital markets and so you decide to go to the room where the real time clearing in capital markets conversation is happening. Some other folks from the Blockchain room may join you in the other room. What we are doing by creating the content structure is simply putting a sign on the doors to each room so you can easily see which room to enter. For now, we start with only three categories – WealthTech, InsurTech and General FinTech.
- Third we invite people from the Fintech Community to make contributions.
Click here to join conversations happening right now (email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need help).