Over the past few years, we’ve seen an increasing amount of people asking to what extent advertising — as the web’s current dominant business model — advances and empowers or exploits and excludes the people the web was created to serve. The harms created by current advertising practices in threatening democracy, funding racism and hate, and fueling disinformation about climate change are well documented. While there are plenty of ideas for improving digital advertising practices, we also know that alternative business models that put people and privacy first are needed.
Interledger is an open source protocol that connects all types of ledgers to allow simple transactions, no matter the location or currency. On the web, an Interledger-powered ecosystem provides opportunities for creators and publishers to benefit from new financial models, especially through using the open source Web Monetization API.
Grant for the Web’s goal is to help kick-start and support a healthy, vibrant ecosystem of web monetized tools, content, and resources. This Call For Proposals focuses on funding for practical activity to catalyze Interledger-driven business models for the web that expand financial inclusion. There are four award tracks:
- Business Plans for Web Monetized Content
- Web Monetization API & Interledger Prototypes
- Research on/with/for Web Monetization API & Interledger
- Advocacy and Public Education
“This is a great opportunity for people who are curious about exploring business models for the web not rooted in data surveillance,” says Janice Wait, Senior Program Manager at Mozilla. “It’s time to level the playing field, put people first, and decentralize the economic power of the web. We hope you'll join us in building a better web.”
Grant for the Web will award projects up to six months in duration at three funding levels: Spark (up to $15K), Mid-Level (up to $50K), and Flagship (up to $100K).
All funded projects will need to promote good web design principles, ensuring that the emerging Web Monetization ecosystem supports scalable, global, and open standardization.
Additionally, recognizing that the dominant business models of the web are controlled by the same institutions, companies, and algorithms that reinforce systemic racism and inequality, Grant for the Web seeks to support communities that have — and continue to be — systemically and deliberately excluded from opportunities around financial inclusion and empowerment. Therefore, a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) component is mandated for all proposals. That can manifest itself in one of three ways:
- The lead applicant is a person of color or the team represents a diverse group of people.
- The output of the team benefits communities that have been historically underrepresented.
- Funds explicitly earmarked to address increasing participation of historically marginalized and underrepresented communities.
The Call for Proposals runs through September 15th at 19:00 UTC. To learn more about how to participate, visit Grant for the Web's Call for Proposals: https://www.grantfortheweb.org/apply.
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If Interledger Protocol and Web Monetization are new to you, we’d recommend these resources as a good introduction:
- The Akita Project, led by Sharon Wang and Elliot Evans
- Web Monetization like I'm 5 by Akintunde Sultan
- How to Web Monetize your Content and Support Creators Online with Micropayments by Amber Case
- See examples of Web Monetization tools, platforms and past Grant for the Web supported projects here