There are great pioneers in the Ravencoin space, and then there are people who take it a step further. They are innovators, using the blockchain in ways that haven’t yet been tried. Here we speak with Tyler Hess, who is busy innovating with Squawker, a project developing self-publishing and content distribution in the form of a Twitter substitute, minus one big thing – Big Tech.

 

  1. Tell us about the idea behind Squawker and how it uses Ravencoin.

 

I can do better. I can show you the birth of Squawker!

https://discord.gg/BC4XKEQu(Discord Invite. Join first to view the link below.)

https://discord.com/channels/429127343165145089/429127343165145093/887723202141360159

I wanted to create an NFT game where you would be able to combine or use assets, like cryptokitties. I had an idea (that I might still use someday), but I needed to have a way to sign people’s intentions. There was no app or browser extension which made that easy. I knew I wanted people to send their intentions/setup as part of an NFT transfer and attach it to that transfer. The results would be deterministic based on the state of the blockchain and its next few blocks. Then, people would be sent the outcome in NFT form.

 

I was ideating on this when that discord conversation happened (link above), and I realized I could get halfway to making my game by making a decentralized twitter substitute. This would remove big tech from having the power to influence you. We will eventually need to create some endpoint level controls chosen by the user to filter down their desired subsection of conversation to something manageable. I also expect people will design recommendation algorithms for the content that people seem interested in. This will all be on the blockchain and chosen by the end user and not from someone that thinks they know what you want.

 

Then there was the realization that you could post any content. This lead down the path of posting sales of content, which lead to monetizing content options.

 

     2. What aspects of the project are completed?

 

The protocol is defined, but nowhere near complete at github.com/Tylerlhess/squawker.

There is a (currently bare-bones) website, https://squawker.app. For now, the usability of it is lacking. However, you can sign in with a RVN address and send signed proxy messages with that address.

 

You can also get an asset encryption tag made under the Squawker main asset. These will allow receiving encrypted messages like decryption keys for encrypted content.

 

     3. What aspects of the project are still in the works?

 

Better UI.

Profile posting.

Market item posting.

All other media posting.

 

Object encryption and distribution is where Squawker will really take off – in the content self-publishing and distribution space. Using any AET (Asset Encryption Token – RIP 11), you can sell NFT’s to addresses and encrypt their decryption key to the content within the IPFS message for the NFT transfer on chain. Whether that decryption key is the end all, or if there is some back and forth to prove you have the NFT in your wallet, is up to the content publisher. Either way, this allows direct p2p sales and distribution, un-censorable over the blockchain.

 

I also now need to build out a test stack and automated testing suite for future development. Now that I have the site working, I would like to keep it that way, and testing should be done elsewhere.

 

One aspect of the project that is not in the works, but that I want to happen, is to get some funding. I would like to take this on full-time, but that is far from happening without some capital infusion. I am always open to discussions on this topic from interested parties.

 

      4. Where should we go to follow for Squawker updates or to assist with testing?

 

The website is a place that you can test. There are some things I need to work on, obviously.

 

To contribute to the Squawker protocol, you can make suggestions on GitHub or hit me up on discord. The wxRaven discord has been co-opted by me and we have a Squawker section there.

 

For news I have created the @squawker__ account on Twitter. I also have my personal account @badguyty, where I have been promoting Squawker for a long time. Now that using the website is possible(ish), I may leave updates there also: https://squawker.app/

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