Every new technology is fuelled by a strong minority that popularizes it and funds it. For SAFE to take over, you’ll need more than just “This is cool technology”. You need something that has a broader appeal. What would that be? What would that killer app be that people will want to try out? What’s that huge advantage over anything out there that will attract Jane Doe to join? For the internet, it’s been porn and gaming. What will it be for the SAFEnet?
I can think of these things:
This is an obvious one, but I’m not convinced that this will move a lot of people. You’ve already got free storage solutions from various providers that people use and trust. Why would they want to learn a new interface, etc. for the same service?
There’s only one thing I can think of: Popularize this as a service to keep your most important documents safe forever: Copies of birth certificates, passport, property purchases, etc. This is a platform people can trust to never share or lose their most private data. This will not be anywhere near “Big Data” demands, but it’s a way to brand the network, create positive associations and establish it as a useful service for a small niche. The service needs to exclusively talk about this. It’s not a competition with general hosting. It’s a specialized service that helps you keep your most private and important data at hand in case you lose originals. It needs to hold the user’s hand and help someone set up the safe storage, i.e. “Scan your birth certificate. Upload it HERE. Scan page X of your passport and upload it HERE. Scan document X and upload it HERE.”
You need to keep pushing the fear of what can happen if you save this stuff outside the SAFE network. People are already doing it and you need to tell them why they shouldn’t.
Another application would be sensitive, medical data. This may be more difficult because of all the regulations around this. I’m not sure how easy it would be for a clinic to switch to SAFE. They’d also have to have someone in charge of this who will never ever lose any keys. But there’s already been at least one outrageous case in Sweden of sensitive data of millions of people being leaked in a way that would be impossible in SAFE.
A distant third would be something like a diary app. But there’s already a million of those out there and most people don’t value privacy and security nearly as much as us. They’ll blurt out anything and let companies have their passwords saved in cleartext. As long as they have to enter a password, it’ll sound safe enough to them.
What games could SAFE possibly provide that nobody else can provide? I can’t think of anything.
Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc. are so popular, I don’t see any added value that SAFE could provide to make people switch or add this to their portfolio.
It’s already ubiquitous. Only the bad kind would find some innovative use in SAFE. That’s not the publicity we want or need for this to take off. So please stay away from this as far as possible.
Hosting your site
Wordpress is making it so easy, it’s ridiculous. You don’t need a domain. You don’t need to worry about hosting. You sign up and you write. Doesn’t get easier than this. That doesn’t mean we don’t need services like this. We definitely do! It just won’t be THE killer app.
This one looks hot. No way to take things down. Unlimited storage. Data security. Always accessible. It’s easier for people to offer pirated media as well. If someone can come up with a way to create an app similar to Popcorn Time, that may be the killer app. Developers can anonymously keep building on it and will not be able to be forced by any court to take it down. It needs to be easy to access movies and shows and once any media file is added, you don’t need to worry about the amount of seeders or anything like that. It’ll be there forever. Another use case would be sci-hub. Running that must be stressful for the current maintainer. If they could switch over to SAFE, that would make their lives much easier and would provide consistent means for people to access those services.
If those services would take off, there’d be a lot of demand for people to contribute to the network. Miners would come and we can have nice things. Normal people don’t have bad associations with pirating I think. They just want to consume media. And then on top of that you can add the service I’ve seen circulated around here multiple times: Artists can upload their media onto the platform to be monetized with safecoin, like spotify.
Unless you’re trying to discuss something illegal, it’ll be impossible to compete with what’s out there. So let’s focus on the harmless illegal things:
Oppressive regimes. We need people who speak those languages to create online communities for dissent. This is something that anyone in the West will be able to get behind. There’s a humanitarian aspect. Charities may find this useful. China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, are the most notorious offenders, but there’s plenty more. If you could use the SAFEnet to spread news and help people in difficult situations, that would be really cool. I think it’s important to really push this quickly. The name SAFE is already amazing and difficult to propagandize. If it’s publicly associated with helping people in need and creating a safe space for the oppressed, then this will be very strong publicity and a great counter to any propaganda against the project. If anyone has any ties to organizations like this, they should start pushing this to them as soon as the network becomes useable. Help them set up a SAFE-site. Show them how to use it. Spread the truth about human rights abuses. Popularize tiananmen.safe in China and other things underground. Make sure to teach them how to use this safely. You can still get caught if you’re not careful about what you reveal about yourself. The organization can talk about this in their newsletter to its donors, thus spreading the word.
People WILL use this for things others disapprove of. That’s kind of the point. But I think the first priority needs to be to create positive associations to allow people to see the SAFEnet as a kind of extremely useful, but “neutral” internet in which good and bad people act instead of seeing it as something only used by criminals and extremists. This will work best, if there’s a solid group of respectable or at least not unrespectable power users who depend on this service over against the old internet and keep adding to SAFE’s growth.