In these posts we take a look at some unique members of the OpenBazaar ecosystem. Today we interview a vendor - Virus Media - selling various items, among them handmade crocheted items. You can find Virus Media on OpenBazaar at @virusmedia, and on Duosearch here.
Tell us a bit about yourself?
First and foremost, virus media is a family operation. My brother and I, along with our families (11 of us altogether), feel that even though alternative media has been exploding these past few years, which has benefited everyone, alt media shouldn’t strive to just replace the corporate media. Instead it should seek to innovate and educate to the point that the very idea people get in their heads when they hear the word “media” is something completely different than today. If I could sum up our vision for the future in a word, it’s “decentralize.” As cliche as that might sound right now, we think that there is so much more work that can be done in this area, and OpenBazaar is at the tip of the spear. We’re slowly working toward this ideal ourselves, while we’re in this creation and brainstorming phase, we decided to get a headstart on one of the major problems all media faces, no matter the size of the group, funding. We, like so many others recently, believe that “ads” are not the way of the future. We believe a multi-faceted approach that brings even more value to the reader is the way to go. OpenBazaar is a perfect example of what one of those facets could (should) be for the decentralized media of the future.
What do you make?
Our goal is to tap each family member’s natural skills and passions that could bring value to other people’s lives. Currently moderation services and textiles have taken the front seat and we are looking to expand our offering of all natural beeswax and essential oil based products. Fun fact, we now source our beeswax from another OpenBazaar vendor, PexPeppers. In the near future we plan on adding leather products and a number of privacy protecting tech products and services.
Why are you selling your product on OpenBazaar?
We want to encourage transacting in bitcoin, we see it as a matter of conscience. We want to be an example others can follow. Second, we can easily see our media operation ruffling feathers in the future and we want to do what we can to protect our supply lines from bad actors. We all know what happened to wikileaks, but countless other alt media outlets with less of a voice have suffered the same. Third, it’s FUN! Rediscovering the bazaars of old with a modern twist has brought a whole new level of enjoyment from making and spending money.
How has your experience been with OpenBazaar so far?
We’re proud to be part of this pioneering effort! The community has been great, the developers have been gracious and we’ve been having a blast using the chat feature. The way the chat feature has been implemented really makes you feel as if you’re walking into someone’s shop. We’ve met some old friends and made a good many new ones! ProTip: Talk up vendors with the chat feature, you’ll often find hidden products or discounts!
How familiar are you with Bitcoin?
One of the things that has slowed our progress is that we all still have our day jobs, for now. Nevertheless, we have been receiving 100% of our wages in bitcoin for a good year and a half. So the entire family has become intimately acquainted with bitcoin during this time. It’s been our most liberating move as of yet. Keep an eye out, one of our first articles, or series of articles, will be an in depth look at how to live 100% on bitcoin. When we become fully operational, you’ll be able to find us on steem, yours network, watchmybit and popchest (when they get out of their startup accelerator) and search for us with goodgopher or duckduckgo. Our website will be hosted on IPFS and will mirror a lot of the content. Until then, I suggest you look into each of those cryptocurrency based technologies and services and start using them, so you’ll be ready for our first articles!
What changes would you like to see to OpenBazaar to make it more useful for you?
First, the amount of features available already completely blew me away, what OpenBazaar has already accomplished is impressive. As a developer myself, I think I have a little more insight into what it takes to pull something like this off. I also know that the feature request list for e-commerce sites is literally never ending. My day job is customizing e-commerce solutions to the visions of the creatives. It is a tough job! That being said, yes, I do have a list. ;-)
1. Inventory Management
2. Promo Codes (discount, free shipping, buy x get y, etc)
3. Custom CSS
4. xpub key import for refund and vendor receive addresses
5. Product ordering for All and Category Pages
6. Free shipping icon displays for customer based on customer country.