Appealing to The Masses

This is something I was thinking about and thought I would share before I forget, there might be something in this of value from a marketing point of view. I apologise as it’s a bit of a brain rant.

One thing I have found with SAFE that I am sure many of us can agree is that it doesn’t necessarily appeal to the masses. Data and security experts, military, big business and people in the know generally are aware but for the rest of society they are either indifferent or maybe they care they just are not approached with something that appeals to them enough for them to make a change and of course there are levels to this last part. For example I live in Australia and my wife is German. I find Australian’s to be relatively careless with their online data and that of others whereas the Germans especially the east Germans are far more aware and far more careful I find. This has probably got to do with the fact that the Germans remember what it is like to have SS and then followed by Stasi personnel watching and acting their personal information.

I digress.

But surely as humans we all have a basic level or point at which we can agree maybe not on privacy or security but maybe something connected these things. Just the same as all people want food, clean water, a roof over their children’s and families heads I think there is something in us were all people all over the world can agree upon when it comes to safety, security and privacy online. We just have to dig deep to get that out of them.

Here is something to think about when thinking about this topic, and I think it is this which we need to unravel.

One thing I think 99.9% of all people can agree on is the safety and security of our children. Even in war we generally have both written and moral laws around what can be done. And most people have this sick feeling when they think about what does and can happen to children who say for example are maybe raped and or molested.

And yet people take photo’s of their children and willingly upload them to social networks.

Why is this?

I think it could be because of various reasons but three for me stand out.

1, people want to share, it makes them happy.
2, they are careless with their personal data because they are unaware of the risks.
3, they have a false sense of security.

But how can all this be when we just agreed that people want to keep their kids safe and secure?

I am not a psychologist but I think it is safe to assume that something happens in these people’s thought process or subconscious where they weigh this up and a decision is made, the risk and the benefit is decided instantly for them and the decision is the obvious one. They choose and risk experiencing pain because the pleasure of sending a loved one an image of their child playing outside is instant and in the context far more powerful.

We can explore this some more but I think a big part of this is because there is almost nothing in the media, at least not consistent enough for people to pause and consider (like the Germans do) is this OK for me to do, is this safe, am I safe, are my kids safe and or the deeper thoughts of is my data private, who has access to my data, is it safe, how many people have access to my data, what happens if it is lost or stolen etc.

So where to from here.

Firstly I think we keep the discussion going. Gather more ideas and if possible we do something about it.

Can we really change this though?

It almost seems like a David and Goliath fight.

Us wee little SAFE Net people are going to try and change the way regular folks behave online? Seems unrealistic but every great venture and change in human history always has.

Success is when opportunity meets preparedness.

The one thing we have on our side at the moment is the opportunity, the opportunity is there stirring away. Privacy and security is not a non-topic. It IS being discussed, people are aware of it and becoming more so. We just need to push it along.

I think if we push it along with articles, videos and powerful content, if we cater to that mental questioning we can turn every day folks who wouldn’t think twice into that mother or father in East Germany that grew up with their parents telling them about the SS and Nazi’s and then themselves growing up with Stasi and learning for their own protection to take active measures in securing and protecting themselves by doing the same with their data.

Talking about Maidsafe and SAFE net to people will not effect anything IMHO not to anyone other than people who are already interested in these topics. Maidsafe and SAFE net mean nothing to regular people and it is not a solution for them because the problem never existed in the first place.

Instead; we tell great stories and we share those with everyone. We tell both real and fictional stories. We educate people but we do not bore them.

Once this is done then we can offer solutions, we can build apps that secure their digital photos and messages and then let them go crazy online. We build apps that re structure and protect their data but with the ability for them to share and use freely with things like messenger and whatsapp and instagram.

But what stories do we tell?

Did you ever hear of the world famous model, one of the hottest people on Instagram who was hunted down by an online psychopath, raped and murdered? Neither did I but I just made it up and it’s not a bad thing, not if I tell you I made it up.

What if I told you about a real story, a really real one? You know, one in the news that I didnt make up.

Like the story of Charlie Carver and Kala Brown who went missing, vanished without a trace but then all of a sudden their Facebook accounts seem to come alive, hacked obviously. Charlie ended up dead and the girl chained up like a dog.

These stories exist and they are terrifying.

I think it is these stories, if persistent enough can be the key that effects the collective enough for them to look for or at least identify solutions like SAFE.

I wrote this a while ago

As you can see people dig these types of stories. There is something creepy and yet alluring about them. Kind of like a good Stephen King book or that new series Stranger Things.

Now I am not suggesting that the odd fictional story written on Reddit is enough to turn the tide, no way. But if collectively we hammer out these and similar, news, videos, articles, hacks, events and the like I honestly believe it will make a difference.

The big picture.
Whether people are motivated to keep themselves and their families safe, secure, happy and healthy or whether they are motivated by money there are deep seeded human motivations and things that make us tick which we need to tap into.

And when it comes time to bring our solutions we do it the same way only in reverse. So the same features that make snapchat fun are also the same that can and should make it scary. An employee at snapchat who has access to your nude selfies takes a liking to you and now he’s outside your home, watching you in ultra HD…

What I got from this is that you are suggesting we scare people into using the SAFE Network? Use SAFE to share your photos or your children will be abducted and chained up inside a shipping container? Seems a big extreme.

I’m hoping we will be able to come up with more positive ways to promote the network. Safety and privacy are important aspects of the Network, but there should be more positive ways to promote these aspects than trying to scare people. People are becoming more aware of the “dangers” the current internet poses to their privacy. Here in the Netherlands some journalists wrote a book about it, and I’ve gifted this book to a few of my friends. One of them used Google for everything, and now he’s migrated his email to a paid email service and is taking other precautions to guard his privacy.

To convince the masses to join the SAFE Network we’ll have to build applications that offer the same convenience with more privacy and security. In the end people will be willing to pay for this if it comes at a reasonable price. Being able to make Safecoin by contributing to the Network we will make it easy for them to earn currency to pay for these services.


You seem to be paranoid, and think that’s the correct position, and want others to be paranoid as well.

A lot of people are concerned about privacy, but won’t spend lots of effort seeking it, or achieve it with any inconvenience.

Safe will make enable a level of privacy that’s better than vpns and tor, and it’ll be much easier to access for non technical people.

I think that by making privacy simple & accessable, Safe could appeal widely as the go-to way for ensuring privacy online. That should be enough without trying to scare people into using it.


A lot of the marketing will be in the product itself. If it’s easy to use, intuitive, nice graphics, and has a fun interface that will go a long way.


Gotta disagree here.

The masses don’t care about privacy or security much, but they care a hell of a lot about what those ‘boring’ things do for them… FREEDOM!

I don’t see the connection here? My kids aren’t more likely to be raped, abused or attacked simply because their images appear online?! I mean, it’s possibly someone will misuse the images in some way, but I don’t think that puts my kids at risk?

I think safe already has all the appeal it could possibly need. Everyone I know, young and old, will be using it and not because most of them realise they care about privacy that much, mainly just because it will be so ridiculously useful to them in their day to day lives.


And they can make money doing it. Farming rewards should be at the center of our marketing efforts imo. Money appeals to the techie privacy seeking and non techie convenience seeking alike.


I won’t personally contribute to fear mongering but that is something the OP could do and yes it will likely have the desired effect although people have enough to worry about already. Unfortunately I’m not sure I have enough faith in the masses to follow the logic of safe because of being ill informed but in many cases that’s not entirely their fault. People have to work non stop to get by, they were raised to be part of a system that fails to properly educate them or be self sufficient. Part of the reason why people justify doing nothing about online security is because it’s a low priority. The internet usually works and no one ever thinks it will be their identity stolen.

I think the proper think the proper way to sell this is, acknowledge the problem(s), maybe at a high level explain how safe solves the problem(s), but most importantly show how simple it is. All the security is under the hood for simplicity and usability sake. If it solves a problem and it’s dummy proof everyone will use it.

I think a key issue for mass adoption is ease of use.

One of the main reasons we have the impression, false IMO, that people “don’t care” about privacy etc is that doing anything about it at the moment is hard. Rather than admit they don’t know the issues, or how to address them, people tend to say it doesn’t bother me, and make excuses, rarer than admit it is too hard.

One of the other important factors has been lack of awareness that there is an issue, but this has lessened a lot. When people become aware, they do tend to care. I think if we make SAFE useful and easy to use, this combined with other factors will help adoption more than we might expect.

Rather than worrying about motivation, I think it is the difficulty and usefulness side that will be most crucial for us.

Difficulty in terms of ease of use of the basic network is something I think that we’re dealing with in leaps and bounds. MaidSafe take it very seriously, and clearly the community are not slow to point out areas that can be improved :wink: - and these problems are then addressed. Compare what we have already with the start of bitcoin! On this I think we’re good though.

What I think is going to be most crucial is usability/usefulness because anything requiring new things to be acquired/installed (SAFE Browser), new ways of working to use them (I have to remember a keyword, password and a PIN!?), or letting go of things which work well enough right now (eg Facebook) etc. create difficulty that needs to be overcome by usefulness or another compelling incentive.

There are lots of ways to address this, and that’s a strength. People will come for different reasons, and once enough people are using SAFEnetwork, that itself becomes a compelling reason.

This is where I think we can get most leverage, and reach the largest number of people fastest. Making it easy to get on board, and easy to get things done. Things need to be either at least as easy, or worth the pain of getting set up and working because they offer so much more. But our best bet is to eliminate the pain wherever we can.

How to Help Make Things Easy

Just one suggestion. Maybe think of one thing that you value and hope to be able to do on SAFEnetwork. Then consider how to make this so easy for anyone, that it will be easy for you to persuade people you know to do this on SAFEnetwork too.

For some things there are lots of hurdles needing careful consideration: social networks for example. It’ll be very hard to get others to join SAFEnetwork to use a social network until, well, a long time! Fine for this community, but much harder for others.

Others are more self contained: a backup system, photo library, office suite. Anything that is useful if just the user themselves is on SAFEnetwork.

In between are things that have some use if nobody else is using them, or just a few people you know, but which become more useful the more people adopt them and the network: Safecoin wallet, messaging/email, website, blog, website builder etc.

So, lots to pick from and get involved in for anyone who wants to generate ideas and help those building things - both MaidSafe and independent app Devs. Anyone can come up with ideas about how to make something easy to use. You don’t have to be able to program to do that.


The timing couldn’t be better. New use cases are emerging every day. Unfortunately.
Trump bans government scientists from sharing their work with the taxpayers who funded it


Our generation is pretty much fucked in terms of privacy. But at least we can build one for our children to use. So they don’t grow into the same enviroment, where we are the victim for holding such data.

If we have social media on safenet, it’s still almost impossible to collect data. If pedos want those pictures, they need to be friends with them, and the user needs to allow pictures to be accessible for this pedo. If not, he’s SOL. But once it’s leaked, it’s leaked forever.

We had this discussion a year back.

Anonymous is the default.
Overtime, it gradually becomes pseudo-anonymous. It is based on entropy, that is to spread more information about themselves in public. The more one talk, the more one tend to expose oneself. Being anonymous requires delicate work and process. If one does it right, one can have a complete different character than the rest, and they wouldn’t even suspect a thing. As for the sharing photos to the family, if you happen to see it outside of the family network, then you know one of your family members is at fault. You can blame them and make an action to hold them accountable. People need to take things seriously. Instead being ignorant by putting their head in the sand. They need to be educated about saving information on the network. It can have repercussion.

It doesn’t even matter if you build the best privacy protection in the world, if one can take pictures of you in public, and post it online for others to see. So really, the damage has been done. That’s why people are looking different forms, such as wearing futuristic mask, and clothing to distort cameras perceptions. And gov doesn’t like this of course. In some countries, it is illegal to wear mask in public.


Hahaha LIKE

Look it was a random brain fart moment.

But I think there is something to it.

You have to understand, regular joes have ZERO and I mean ZERO reason to use SAFE.

BUt if they know that Facebook has 50K employees worldwide and that most of those people he has no idea who they are have access to his data, his images, his kids and his personal life, that might make him think twice…and when you turn around and say ‘hey well we have this app that takes your photos, locks them down and then you can do whatever you like with them online and no one wil ever see them other than the people you want’ that might tweak him, thats all i am really suggesting

Wrong. I have shown safe to many people, almost none of them get it except for the techys and even them are kind of like OK i get it, its cool but meh… however when I show my East German friends they lap it up. The connection is in the mind, marketing is 99.9% psychology

Look, im not fear mongering. I was simply brain ranting an thought I was unraveling. There are bad people out there but for some reason regular joes don’t think about that when online, they feel safe in their homes but little do they know someone is trawling through their data, could be thieves, could be pervs, but thats the reality. Showing someone the reality to change their mindset is not fear mongering.

If you’ve done and data security training you will know they make you read a ton of shit and watch a look of shit like this to open your eyes to the real and tangible threats.

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You get it. And if im not mistaken are you in the EU somewhere?

That’s exactly my point, you’ve only shown them the theory, or some esoteric technology; you can’t have shown them a functioning SAFE network or the world that opens up because it doesn’t yet exist, so no one has seen it. It is the network, the things it will contain and the things it will enable you to do, that’s what will drive users imo, not marketing. Obvs a lot of people find the idea of privacy or a safelauncher etc a bit dull or uninteresting, most people don’t see the implications or relevance to their lives immediately.

When people see that they actually need safe to do the things they want to do then they will use it - presuming it is easy to use.

I don’t see SAFE as a ‘product’ anyone needs to buy into. No one needed to sell me the idea of the internet, or streaming/dl’ing my media etc.

I don’t think it will take SAFE very long to have a huge number of uses and useful apps. I’m betting that’s what will drive the ecosystem and adoption rather than any marketing ploys.

All true. BUT… the internet already exists, social media already exists, email already exists, youtube already exists… and guess what people go where their friends go, they go where the masses and markets are. SAFE apps will have implied security and privacy but that doesnt mean shit to avg joe, thats my point. So either some big tech gurus take SAFE up and they use their networks and money to push it and it slowly takes root or not, but if not what then, then we need to attract people to use it, and like i keep saying regular folks don’t even know what the clear net is or what TOR is etc, they’ll have no idea but if you can educate them and slowly pick them off one by one, it will grow, believe me. It will grow with those people like the ex soviet nations people, the chinese, people who know what real invasion of privacy is and it will take root from there with the ignorant west. But you have to educate them and the way you do that is with popular media, people they trust, stories and emotions, they dont care about privacy but they care when their bank is hacked and they lose money or when their childs social account is hacked by sicko’s and when they hear and read about these things online.

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exactly. so what doesn’t already exist that might? and what happens if you’re the monopoly in said market?

truly censor resistant publishing?
truly safe/secure and affordable storage?
a simple system for people to monetise their spare resources?
unregulated and untraceable marketplaces for data and value exchange?

the list goes on…

I don’t disagree with that. You seem to be missing my point… The security and privacy will enable them to do all the many things they want to do. They don’t care about it, they care about not having a youtube message pop up saying ‘not available in your country’, or thinking they might get caught torrenting because they aren’t using Tor, or they might want to buy some medical cannabis for their sick auntie, or they might need to access a scientific paper that would cost them a lot of money elsewhere, or they might want to cheat on their spouse and feel safe that they won’t be “ashley madison’d”, or they might just want to make some money from having some resources blah blah blah.

Having a monopoly on SAFEty is HUGE imo. If there were any real competition for the kinds of things SAFE hopes to provide it’s users through a very simple UI then I’d agree with most of your points. I really don’t think there is though, not yet anyway. Until there is I don’t think anyone will need to care much about ‘security’ to be wanting to use SAFEnetwork.

Just my thoughts anyway, not got any issue with trying anything. I’m just not worried about adoption, it’s inevitable if the tech works and is easy to use imo. It’s unique and therefore has a monopoly on the functionality it brings to the table

Looking back a few decades in History and a slightly sidestepped example.

People didn’t know how transistors worked and there were tons of Valve Radios available to buy.

Then came the transistor radio. It only picked up the same radio stations, so no advantage there, the sound was typically worse actually. But people flocked to them, bought them in the billions

Why? Because of the things the underlying technology brought to the radio, portability, smallness, long life and so on. People didn’t care in the least how the transistor worked they cared about the abilities it gave them. How many people took a value radio to the beach, then how many took the transistor radio to the beach.

So SAFE like other technology improvements that initially gave similar functionality to an existing technology, people will adopt the new technology when they can do what they want better. Like you say @Jabba SAFE will ENABLE so much more functionality than the current WEB and Internet. People will finally get a secure replacement for FaceLess FaceBook, secure mail where they feel free to say what they want to their friends, just like the old Pub/street conversations. There is a reason people in Australia are flocking to the secure messaging systems like Wickr etc. A lot of the younger generation who we think of as lacking desire for security are now using the secure messaging systems. Its why Apple have made a token gesture of secure encrypted messaging.

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This is an interesting discussion because appealling to the masses will be make or break for SAFE, and also because there is more than one audience within ‘the masses’ and what appeals to one won’t necessarily appeal to another.

For example, in most respects Linux is a superior operating system to Windows, but its share of desktops is tiny. Microsoft and Apple have always been heavily focused on the UI and UX, which for the open-source community has generally been an afterthought, as remains the case to this day. Linux is secure, versatile and clunky, a Landrover rather than a Ferrari. On the other hand techies love Linux and couldn’t care less about the UI as they often use it headless, so Linux powers the majority of servers today. It’s a totally different market.

Selling Linux to techies is a piece of cake, selling it to your neighbour much more difficult.

Then there’s the applications. I had a look at ZeroNet recently and tbh it’s just like a really bad version of the web, going back 20 years. Rudimentary sites, slow, no search engine. Sure it can’t be censored, but for most people that’s not much of a draw.

Whatever apps emerge on SAFE will not be the equivalents of current web-based applications (with the exception of messaging etc). Forget about creating the new Facebook - there are already hundreds of Facebook alternatives, including secure private non data-sucking ones, but the network effect means no-one uses them. It’s winner takes all. Likewise I wouldn’t bother creating the next Netflix as the existing one works just fine.

What needs to emerge is something new - I think the personal information economy would be a good place to start and was interested to see that Meeco is looking into engineering partnerships in another thread. Making it easier for people to control their personal data might be something SAFE will be better at than existing systems, particularly if a rewards system can be built in, so people who choose to get paid for sharing certain aspects of their lives (e.g. I’m in the market of a new car).

Fortunately SAFE has more than one string to its bow with networking, storage and the application layers all covered, so there is potential for something very interesting to emerge. Rather than focusing on one market over another it’s a question of which to focus on first.

For me these are potentially promising areas for SAFE but it’s kind of off the top of my head and I’m sure there are many more.

  • Scientists and acedmics - infinite cheap, reliable storage for massive datasets e.g DNA data; archives; data sharing; Trump-proof backups; possibility to earn money through farming rather than spending it on a SAN.
  • IoT / automation - secure connectivity without reliance on insecure non-dependable cloud services
  • Consumer - personal data stores, personal information economy interface, crypto-wallets
  • Privacy / security enthusiasts: obvious!
  • Crypto-crowd: I happen to think the energy consumption of the Bitcoin blockchain and the centralisation of farmers may be its downfall. Could a replacement look something like SAFE?

Maybe a good starting point would be a list of what SAFE will do better than the Internet and where it is always likely to fall behind?


I guess I understand what you are thinking and I believe you’re right insofar that most humans don’t behave very logically. You can tell them facts all day long - most will just get bored. You have found the right approach - feelings. Most people, me included, need feelings and experiences to understand and learn. Maybe that’s not exactly what you were thinking, but it is the approach you are writing about. Make them feel so they understand.

And basically, that’s also what the others here are saying. Logic won’t make the safenet successful. If we want as many people as possible to use it, we need to show them in ways they care about - ease of use and convenience, for instance. And they need a good reason why they should use it - no constraints, being able to do what they want like watch, read, listen and talk to whatever and whoever they want whenever they want. No negative consequences like punishment from a government. Jabba said it like this

@JPL made a superb comparison, one that I always try to explain to linux ppl. If you want people to use Linux rather than some Microsoft or Apple stuff, don’t tell them that they have to learn and understand everything >you< already know - just make something that they want to use! Because it’s not their duty to do what you want them to do.
This is why Ubuntu and Firefox did so much for Linux and open source in general - they just made it simple and good (for a lot of ppl).

I think this is the approach that has the potential to make safenet a success - nothing else. Because people don’t have to understand and comprehend anything - they can do whatever they want. And if you want them to do something - make it worthwhile for them.

In any case, I appreciate your brainfarts!