Umumtu ngumuntu ngabangtu
The African philosophy of Ubuntu can be summarised as "I am because we are." As writers, we are both reader and writer because there are other writers. There is no line between writer and reader just as there is no line between genres, stories and influences.
Qwyre.com is the beginning of an experiment in collaborative publication.
We offer you, firstly, a free ereader. As long as the work is formatted as a standards compliant .epub, you should be able to open it here, manage it in your library, and read it offline on any device. No software installation required.
We also offer creators a free service to convert any properly-formatted Word .docx file into a standards compliant .epub. This allows you to prepare your work for publication, and then read it directly in a standard reader to see how it looks.
Finally, Qwyre is a collaborative publishing platform, allowing you to earn streaming micropayments as people read your work. And we can do this because of Web Monetization.
Grant for the Web and streaming micropayments
Grant for the Web is a program at the Interledger Foundation to boost open, fair, and inclusive standards and innovation in Web Monetization. In July 2021, we received a grant to support the development of Qwyre, and integrate streaming micropayments into our service.
Web Monetization is the conversion of web traffic into revenue. There are multiple ways to fund web services, including advertising, paywalls, subscriptions, and data mining. At best, these models are inconvenient. At worst, they violate our privacy, expose us to malware, needlessly increase our data charges, and are nearly impossible to track.
Interledger Foundation envision a healthier ecosystem that builds micropayments natively into the web using open standards which will give all of us more independence and control over how we distribute and pay for content, and generate better, more privacy-centric business models for the web.
Qwyre starts with the following simple principles:
- All Qwyre users are creators,
- A creator can perform any task of:
- The path to publication requires appointing an editor and letting them decide when a creative work is ready,
- Editors and curators are first-class citizens in the creative process and should be paid,
- A forum of peers is there to resolve disputes,
- Popularity can be gamed and is no guide to what a reader may enjoy,
- All writers should have an equal shot at being read.
In practice, this implies moderated publication. There is no gatekeeping. We do not assign an editor and decide who gets published. All we require is that a writer recruit and appoint an editor, and that their editor gets to decide when their work is ready for publication.
Join the Qwyre. Open your veins and bleed.
Gavin Chait is an economist, engineer, data scientist, sometime-traveller, and author. He is fascinated by the frontiers of human progress: innovation vs ignorance; wealth vs poverty, migration vs stasis. He also drinks a great deal of coffee.