This week we published an update in the Web Monetization Community Space to announce our name change and give an update on our work building a Web Monetized publishing platform powered by Solid's Personal Online Datastores.

Of the various things we announced or discussed, I'm most excited about Gates. An enormous number of the use cases we've found over the last year of building and experimenting have revolved around lightweight Web publishing with some level of social functionality. The Web is an incredibly powerful tool, and I think it's critically important that this tool be accessible to the whole of humanity. While nearly 4.93 billion people have access to the internet, only a tiny fraction of those are able to publish in a space they could call their own in any real sense. Social networks are certainly happy to let people publish in their digital feifdoms but this type of publishing on the Web is fraught with peril, especially for those who end up dependent on a particular platform for their livelihoods.

Our vision for Gates is one of easy, flexible Web publishing built around the named multimedia blobs we call "notes." We'll be developing a collection of Gates, each of which will be a simple Next.js website that pulls in one or more notes from a Digital Garden. We will automate the process of publishing one of these notes, and will make it easy for people to do so at a custom domain name. Because each published Gate will be backed by its own git repository, it will be easy to extend a particular gate as much as a publisher's technical skills allow, and our hope is that the growing Understory Garden community will soon provide options for those who need help with this customization.

I'll be writing more about Gates in the coming months, and showing them off at our May 7th event - if this is interesting to you I hope we'll see you there!