On August 19, 2021, OnlyFans announced they "will prohibit the posting of any content containing sexually-explicit conduct." This sounds like business suicide. Most people just shook their heads in disbelief.

Side note: OnlyFans was forced to take this step. Their statement clearly says that "these changes are to comply with the requests of our banking partners and payout providers." More precisely, Mastercard's changed payment regulations for sellers of adult content. For an even bigger picture, feel free to read this thread on Twitter.

Whatever the reason, this is another prime example of platform risk. That is the risk of losing all your content and/ or your audience due to policy changes, or temporary or permanent blocks. And Li Jin is right to be mad. Well, she basically saw it coming.

How to solve this problem? How to mitigate platform risk? Let's do an idea brief.

Clearly, every new platform is out of the race. Simply saying "we've built OurOwnOnlyFans" does not reduce the risk, it's just another disaster waiting to happen.

So are most decentralized/ distributed/ federated solutions. You did not understand most of the words I just wrote? Then you have understood the problem. Sorry to all tech idealists (I'm one myself), but the majority does not get it and most of all, will not get it running.

I truly believe that the most promising solution is the renaissance of the personal website.

With your personal website, you have full control of all your content. And your website will always be available unless the world runs out of hosting solutions, domain brokers, and DNS servers. (Sorry for the tech babble.)

One building block is the IndieWeb. Here are some quick ideas, which I consider as great opportunities. They all revolve around the notion that creators want to focus on content, not tech. And to help them do their job, these could be ways to take the tech burden off their shoulders:

  • Provide courses or guides/ ebooks about setting up your own website, including POSSE or PESOS approaches
  • Provide personal services to set up the above. This is easy to test with regard to market demand. And it does not scale, which leads to...
  • Productized services doing the same, but with a standardized scope and automated execution
  • If whole websites are too broad a scope, find ways to provide just parts of the solution. For example, automations to spread content across different platforms.
  • Provide boilerplate code to get started quickly. Think Gravity or Divjoy for creator sites.

"Isn't this just freelance website creation services of old?" Yes, basically they are. But laser-focused on the Creator Economy. And of course, you would even niche further down, i.e. you would not target the "general" creator, but focus on video, audio, text, image, etc.

These are just brief, first ideas. What do you think? What solutions do you have in mind?

This post is based on Basic Problem issue #45.

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