PIG: Bringing $TASTE On-Chain

Title: Bringing $TASTE On-Chain - Micropayments for the Memecoin economy
Team: Daisy Alioto and Maya Bakhai


Dirt Media is the first decentralized platform built for tastemakers, enabling direct connection between publishers and their subscribers. We are bringing tastemaking on-chain.

Solving the ownership problem creates a new class of tastemaker which has never existed around media before. This in turn allows us to create a transparent system of rewards on top of the blockchain, to keep consumers engaged with the brand and actively evangelizing their taste.

You don’t have to be a subscriber to unlock Dirt content, you just have to have a wallet. Exchange $TASTE to unlock stories for non-subscribers and earn curation credit in perpetuity. Exchange $TASTE for restaurant rewards or digital fashion.

Through secondary distribution mechanisms, like Farcaster’s Frames and similar mechanisms, we will embed our $TASTE exchange in other networks in order to increase the surface area of our market. The publisher benefits in ways micropayments have failed before.

What is the existing target protocol you are hoping to improve or enhance? Eg: hand-washing, traffic system, connector standards, carbon trading.

“As we think of the next generation of consumer applications, we expect to blur the lines between exchange and a publisher, forging new experiences that combine money and attention.” –– Shayon Sengupta, Multicoin

The target protocol we are hoping to improve is twofold: the lack of curation around the current, attention-based memecoin economy that is built on top of the blockchain. We are also improving the micropayments landscape for digital media by creating new incentives to unlock content.

What is the core idea or insight about potential improvement you want to pursue?

Our core idea is that taste is the backlash to scale––which drove traffic-driven ad-based media in the digital era (Buzzfeed, Vice) quite literally into the ground.

What we are calling The Taste Economy is the next era of digital culture. The Taste Economy is the idea that there are essentially only three business moats: proprietary technology, supply chain innovation and taste.

The core premise of The Taste Economy is that for the past 10 years, taste couldn’t be monetized. Soon it will be one of the only things that can be. The more stuff AI produces, the more publishing platforms will be necessary to curate what is worth paying attention to, whether that curation is top down (editors) or bottom up (user-generated content)––here, an exchange market emerges.

“Crypto enables the ability to quickly create new assets around attention, and the ability to trade them where that attention is aggregated: consumer-facing applications,” writes Shayon Sengupta, at Multicoin Capital. We believe the most valuable assets will be accrued around tastemaking.

What is your discovery methodology for investigating the current state of the target protocol? Eg: field observation, expert interviews, historical data analysis, failure event analysis

Much of my experience of the target protocol is firsthand through running a media company that token-gated stories––first natively on the Ethereum network, then migrating to Base and introducing credit card payments.

In February 2024, I held a symposium for independent publishers at the offices of Metalabel where we also discussed issues of funding, monetization and scale. In 2023, I sold out an event called The Taste Economy, which was attended by over 100 people. Panelists included Reggie James (Eternal), Drew Austin (Kneeling Bus), Andrea Hernandez (Snaxshot), Naj Austin (Somewhere Good), Tina He (Station), Emma Bates (Diem), Jose Mejia (FWB) and Tony Lashley (Marine Snow).

In what form will you prototype your improvement idea? Eg: Code, reference design implementation, draft proposal shared with experts for feedback, A/B test of ideas with a test audience, prototype hardware, etc.

We will prototype our improvement idea under the umbrella of Dirt Media, which currently includes two publications––a culture publication called Dirt and a design publication called Prune. We have over 30,000 subscribers, 50% of which engage with us every day. We also have 500+ people holding token-based subscriptions to Dirt.

How will you field-test your improvement idea? Eg: run a restricted pilot at an event, simulation, workshop, etc.

We will be running experiments on partner platforms like Farcaster and Zora and with $TASTE partners like Blackbird, TYB and Draup.

Who will be able to judge the quality of your output? Ideally name a few suitable judges.

I would love to put these experiments in front of other web3 thinkers and technologists that I admire such as Seyi Taylor (Shopthru), Reggie James (Eternal), Ruby Thelot (13101401 inc.), Jose Mejia (SIC) and Tina He (Station Labs).

How will you publish and evangelize your improvement idea? Eg: Submit proposal to a standards body, publish open-source code, produce and release a software development kit etc.

I will publish a white paper with the results of our experiment as well as blog posts on the protocol improvements that will become a permanent part of Dirt Media’s strategy. I will also be giving a mainstage lecture about The Taste Economy at FWB Fest in August 2024.

What is the success vision for your idea?

Success to me looks like the permanent incorporation of a new $TASTE-based payment system for Dirt and likeminded publishers.


Excited to see this come to life.

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Jose mentioned, but even if I hadn’t been, very interested in the continued experimentation at the edge of media, culture, and technology that Daisy is responsible for.

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Daisy has cultivated a very (large) strong community around Dirt Media through her consistent culture thought leadership.

If anyone can harness the immense cultural value around the taste economy, it’s Daisy.

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I love this proposal. It addresses a few major problems with present internet - particularly the impersonal content glut (that AI will only increase), ad-driven clickbait, and the need for new curation paradigms - and looks at a way for the next generation of digital technology to solve those problems via new incentive structures. Dirt has been one of the most compelling experiments in protocolized media over the last few years and this team is well-positioned to make interesting progress over the summer, having already implemented various elements of what they’re proposing here.

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Daisy has been committed to making crypto philosophies and technologies accessible to mainstream audience since day one of Dirt. The vision for creating a decentralized platform that empowers tastemakers and fosters a direct connection between publishers and their subscribers is an important and timely one. Thrilled to see this proposal come to life.

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Thank you so much Jad

Thank you Jose it’s a pleasure sharing the space with you

Taste would be a valuable asset in the digital era and this suggests a shift towards quality content curation rather than sheer volume. But how would we define taste and how to quantify it?

My thesis is that “taste” is something that can be defined in a healthy relationship between community and a publisher––whether that is a solo operator or an established brand, like a magazine that incorporates many voices. A healthy relationship to me means that the incentives of the reader and the publisher are in alignment. The era of scale (Buzzfeed, etc.) is when we really saw those incentives get misaligned. Because the goal of the publisher was to generate as much traffic as possible while the goal of the reader was fast access to interesting things. The reader learned to devalue viral media––because why would you pay for that. In this proposal, I am working to serve both the core reader (the person who wants to signal their taste by evangelizing your publication, like The New Yorker tote bag owner or the person with Popeye magazine on their coffee table) and the new class of audience that is interested in a cultural landscape where everything is tokenized. $TASTE is designed to let people speculate and exchange the asset without touching the quality of the core product, which is excellent media and storytelling. In this way, our incentives stay aligned. You might like this interview I did with W. David Marx, the author of Status and Culture. In my current experience running Dirt Media, our community (through Discord and token-based votes) is interested in both influencing the taste of our brand and being influenced by it. Our taste arises out of that push and pull.

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Thanks for the clarification.