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The Readocracy Manifesto

Save the internet, and the world, by making how we inform ourselves be valued and valuable.

Created October 13, 2020 / Last edited -

Mario Vasilescu

CEO/Co-Founder of Readocracy

Previous post:

The Click Bubble Is About To Burst

Subscribe to follow along as we rethink the attention economy and our relationship with information

Energy flows, where attention goes.

We refuse to accept the internet’s status quo. Nobody should, and we need to help the world understand why.

We refuse to accept that hysteria, misinformation, negativity, and insecurity are the natural characteristics of modern society. There is nothing natural about that.

The internet is information. At its core, it is the shared home of our species’ collective knowledge and discourse. Imagine taking something so profoundly precious, something that can change the course of humanity just by being 10% better or worse… and making its default value be advertising .

That’s exactly what happened. The information became secondary. Advertising doesn’t care about the quality or integrity of content, as long as it gets attention. The monetization of the medium is the message.

This is what shaped the internet we have today. You can see it everywhere you look, on nearly every page you visit.

The internet is the nervous system of our modern society. It shapes the ideas, beliefs, and topics of conversation, of over half of the 8 billion people on our planet.

We are seeing what happens when that nervous system is optimized for quantity of attention, instead of quality of information.

When our information commons are polluted and sick, our minds become polluted and sick.

It’s time to do something about it. Something systemic that doesn’t depend on simply working around the rotten foundation we’ve been given.

We refuse to accept that this is the natural state of the internet, that a Faustian bargain is our only choice.

We have been taught to believe that advertising is the necessary bedrock of our information commons; that we have to sell out our privacy and mental health and precious moments of our lives to make it work; that we have to poison this nervous system of our collective wisdom, for it to exist at all.

It is impossible that this is the way things must be. How could this be true? Of course it’s not.

It’s an unspoken lie we’ve slowly swallowed like snake oil over the course of 20 years. Ask yourself: is it that Facebook and Google fit the internet - or, rather, that the modern internet is made in their image?

Using our attention for advertising is the dumbest, most destructive way to monetize the internet.

We are going to prove there is a better, more lucrative way.

It’s time to wake the world up.

We will keep asking the question: when you pay attention to an article, or a podcast, or a video - is that learning value, or advertising value? Which matters more to you?

And which value is more valuable, in a knowledge economy?

A knowledge economy where people are spending over $1 trillion dollars annually on their education, and also spending around 6 hours online every single day, yet getting nothing for it. How could that time only be valued for advertising?

Are you starting to see?

The digital advertising market (~$330B) is worth just over half as much as the online education, and learning & development markets (~$560B). This is not a typo.

For S&P 500 companies, tangibles, like real estate and equipment, comprise just 16% of company value. Intangibles, such as IP rights and reputation, are 84%: $21 trillion dollars.

Our relationship to information is everything. Beyond who you know, the world runs on what people think you know, and how well you know it.

What if you could use your attention to prove your relationship to information? To prove your commitment and credibility on any subject.

That’s a world where instead of attention only being extracted for advertisers, it can improve the economic mobility of billions of people, helping anyone to prove themselves; helping any organization prove their culture and credibility, and recognize the passions of their people, simply by valuing how they invest their attention. Helping publishers of high quality information justify their value.

It’s a world where time online becomes more mindful, rather than mindless, because it becomes a vector for opportunity and respect: quality information becomes a quality reputation. How you invest your attention can become a reflection of yourself. Attention becomes social capital.

This is the value we see in attention, making the current system outrageous and unacceptable - a cheap, undervalued distortion.

We are flipping the script and rethinking the attention economy.

Readocracy makes your attention online count as subject matter expertise, and helps you present the best of it to help others learn through you.

Instead of checking your attention for advertising value, Readocracy checks it for learning value. It makes your attention count for your credibility on the subjects you’re passionate about, helping you collect it, prove it, and showcase it.

Instead of an extractive model where others profit off of you, Readocracy is an additive model: you gain the value.

Instead of quantity, it’s all about quality.

Instead of hoarding the value, Readocracy can be embedded in any website, any platform, to allow attention to take on new meaning wherever it’s invested.

Imagine an internet optimized for that, instead.

We are here to be a beacon in the dark, lighting a path to a brighter future, by helping knowledge and helpfulness shine.

We are here to power a new world where being well-informed and helpful with information defines your influence. Free speech does not equal free reach. Influence should be earned.

We are here to show what the internet can look like when quality beats quantity - of information, of attention, of reactions.

We are here to show that the internet doesn’t have to be a swamp. That your time, data, and mental health should be respected.

Readocracy is a platform that makes this possible anywhere online, and a community of people who share these beliefs.

On Readocracy, we become filters for the world we want.
On Readocracy, we become heroes.

We hope you’ll be one of them.

Subscribe to follow along as we rethink the attention economy and our relationship with information

Mario Vasilescu

CEO/Co-Founder of Readocracy

I am deeply passionate about making attention online count for knowledge instead of only advertising. So that our time online can be optimized and rewarded for consumption that is mindful instead of mindless. To unlock the true economic value of our attention online, for a healthier internet and a smarter society.

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