I came to this conclusion back in 2014-15. The internet runs on ads because no micropayment solutions existed when it got started. The payment amounts are so small that you can't do real payments, you have to do ads.
I actually spent some time with another Bitcoiner looking to do a startup on coming up with an alternative. At the time Lightning was nascent, but we realized then that this could be the solution.
Here's the problem. The amount of attention you need to give to figure out whether you want to pay 1/30th of a penny is not worth 1/30th of a penny. This is why subscriptions are so popular. It reduces the decision fatigue you're likely to get from having to decide every time whether a song, a book, or a podcast is worth paying for. And this is where you start running into problems.
You need some automated way of making these sub-penny decisions. And that requires a lot of code. I'll pay for articles that my friends recommend, which has a keyword that I'm interested in, or has a certain ranking on stacker news, etc. These are not easy to write and every person is going to have a different one. Heck, some people, especially people with a lot of time on their hands, will totally be willing to watch ads instead of paying 1/30th of a penny.
That's the hard part about microtransactions. The decision has to be with the user but too many decisions fatigue the user. Thus, you need a second brain that's very like you to make those decisions on your behalf. Writing that is very, very hard.
Hence my thought that it's going to take a long time to replace ads.
That said, there's at least one way which can work and that's offering to pay websites the ad revenue they would get and not showing you the ads. The problem is there's no way for you to know how much they would have made so it's easy for them to lie.
Some random thoughts, but this is not an easy thing to solve once you dig into it. Decision fatigue is real.
Yeah I think this setup has a place, you just have to understand what that place is. I sort of see this fitting in with the 3-6 month expenses savings (If you're out of the job and you need money to pay bills until you find another one, this is the savings you pull from). However, cold storage multi-sig for larger amounts is focused around geographic separation of the signing devices all in locked secure locations.
I just ask:
"What is monero trying to accomplish?"
Privacy, anonymity, censorship resistance. Monero has accomplished these things. Now what? How do we onboard Apple, governments, and my church? How do we get Monero companies to go public?
"What is bitcoin trying to accomplish?"
Separation of money from state. To establish a new global base layer of trust. To absorb the value of everything in the world. To be the money and payment network (L1/L2) that everything of value travels on and the money everything is settled in. To hard fork humanity. To incentivize the use of wasted and stranded energy. To subsidize energy infrastructure. To demonetize the political class and eliminate their ability to make (fund) war. Dematerialize borders. Bring us closer to the next Kardashev level.
@k00b On the trusted side, have you ever considered exposing upvote and traffic metrics via API, and allowing users to create their own WoT algorithms with the raw feed of posts to SN. Everyone could be free to create their own filters/algorithms, and I can imagine an emerging a marketplace for filters/algorithms of the raw SN feed. This provides ultimate freedom to the users and relieves you of the burden of being the sole arbiter of truth and spam. One could apply various algorithms and see how their feed shows up - pick one. Mix and match.