FOAM biggest use case


I have heard today about FOAM (from Outlier Venture) and it looks a great project.
Anyway, I was kind of surprised to not see on FOAM website initial page what it seems to me the biggest case: advertising!
Advertising is a huge industry, and location based advertising will play a huge role in the future. If google maps is the monopoly player in this segment, Google (or Alphabet) will make huge profits on personal data given for free, without any concern about privacy. Well, this future is already coming. Please check out this article:

A blockchain based, decentralized solution can give back to people the control over their own data. People need to be able to choice which personal data they want to give away, and they have to be fairly repaid for that. But this will never happen without enabling technologies and appropriate regulations.

P.S.: Apologies if this topic has been already discussed in other posts


You are correct, although I see something more like BRAVE’s Basic Attention Tokens rather than Google as the model to follow here. Tone is important as well. The incumbent players in this space are catering to an audience used to divulging personal info for free; to receive free services. Something like BAT upends this model and it’s success or failure will be illustrative here.

First principles must be closely examined as well. A userbase that is expecting free things, may not be able to accept the value proposition of self ownership of personal data. This is where Gamification of the UI of FOAM for dPOL can assist with teaching an empowerment message.

While advertising is a huge market, it can cheapen the value of the individual. Especially if this becomes the sole focus. Youtube did not start as a Google company, they were acquired, and thus the inherent functionality built into their DNA was championing the Creator. With the Google ownership, we have seen a strong push to monetizing the channels, and content. This is now causing a slow pivot in the online video industry as Youtube begins ejecting content that is not ‘Brand Safe’.

Activists strongly countered the profit motive in the internet business that was unfolding back in March of 1999:

These markets are conversations. Their members communicate in language that is natural, open, honest, direct, funny and often shocking. - Cluetrain Manifesto

  1. These networked conversations are enabling powerful new forms of social organization and knowledge exchange to emerge.

Pursuing Advertising as a key feature of FOAM as an ecosystem will fail. The successful use of advertising for FOAM will be closer to Craigslist than brands such as these:

  1. Gucci
  2. Off-White
  3. Balenciaga
  4. Givenchy
  5. Dolce & Gabbana
  6. Vetements
  7. Versace
  8. Fendi
  9. Nike
  10. Prada

It is the person to person component that will succeed, going back to Cluetrain:

  1. Markets are conversations.
  2. Markets consist of human beings, not demographic sectors.
  3. Conversations among human beings sound human. They are conducted in a human voice.

Building an ecosystem that supports the connection of individuals to one another will succeed. Trying to copy the business model of one of the largest companies in the world will fail as FOAM does not have those deep pockets.


Hi yinzeus,

Thanks for your reply.

I totally agree with you: Google is exactly the model to not follow, I think your are totally right when you say that pursuing advertising as a key or even main feature will not work for a community project. However, I believe that if the team is also considering advertising as a use case, even if not the main one, they should not be afraid to admit it. Of course it should be perfectly clear the message that it is a total different type of advertising: ethical, voluntary, where anyone can freely decide to opt in and be fairly rewarded for that, or opt out but still being able to have access to the platform, exactly like with Brave.


This is a thread for thought. I believe that Advertising is antithetical to Communication.

Wrapping it up and calling it a present does not make Advertising a substitute for Communication.

When one participates in Craigslist it is an effort to communicate. It is not Advertising.

Definition of advertising

1 : the action of calling something to the attention of the public especially by paid announcements

Definition of communication

1a : a process by which information is exchanged between individuals through a common system of symbols, signs, or behavior