Hey, I'm Daniel, the BAT Regional Leader for Vancouver Canada 😄

#1

Hey everyone! My name is Daniel and I’m a huge fan of Brave and BAT. I’m really excited about this project and the big picture vision the Brave team is working toward, and I truly believe that Brave and BAT can fix the web.

You’ve probably seen me around if you’ve been part of this community for awhile: I’m Daniel James on Telegram and @dcwj on reddit and Twitter. I’m just @daniel on here, which I’m pretty excited about—I don’t think I’ve ever had the @daniel handle on anything before.

Anyway, a bit about me and why I’m here:

I’ve been very interested in the digital advertising space for about four years. During my undergrad, I spent a couple years working for a small digital advertising agency. One day, I sat back proudly and looked at the banner ad I had just finished designing in Photoshop, and then I thought seriously about where it was going to live: between paragraphs in an article someone was reading, next to a YouTube video they were watching, or in the middle of a game they were playing. I knew deep down that the kind of banner ad I was making was cluttering up web pages, making people accidentally click on things they didn’t want to, and leading more and more people to install adblockers.

From that point forward, I became pretty jaded toward advertising, and my contribution to this machine that had become so broken. I thought a lot about how advertising is the backbone of the web, and how many people (especially young people) have gotten used to browsing the web with an adblocker. The more I looked into it, the more problems I saw with the digital advertising ecosystem. And almost nobody seemed to understand or talk about them!

When I finished my undergrad in Toronto, I applied to a master’s program in Vancouver. Part of the application was a short essay about anything related to digital media, and because I’d been thinking about it a lot, I wrote a rough draft of what eventually became this piece. That post went viral on Medium, and the CEO of a Toronto startup saw it and offered me a summer job, it got mentioned in a book by a famous futurist, and Google’s VP of Design recommended it (this was before Medium had switched to claps). I wasn’t expecting any of that and had just written the post for fun, but a lot of people angrily disagreed with me in the responses over the next few months after posting it, so I kept playing devil’s advocate and learning more about the ways the system is broken.

I then got accepted into the master’s program, and moved to Vancouver. During my final term, I got caught up in the 2017 hype around Bitcoin, blockchains, and cryptocurrencies, and “went down the rabbit hole.” One of the projects I stumbled upon was Brave and the Basic Attention Token, and I was instantly fascinated. From the creator of JavaScript and co-founder of Mozilla and Firefox, no less! Learning about Brave and BAT led me to write a follow up article of sorts.

So I spent the summer of 2018 building a cryptocurrency portfolio tracking app with some fellow students as my capstone project. That experience ended up connecting me with a local blockchain startup, whose CEO was impressed with what we’d built, and offered me a job as a product manager. I then spent 4 months working with that company, and learning as much as I could about how to be a product manager. While I was there, I heard about the BAT regional leader volunteer position, and applied to become the regional leader for Vancouver.

Now, for 2019, I’ve decided to focus on all the passion projects I haven’t had time for until now: writing more content for my Medium following, launching a YouTube Channel as an extension of my Medium page, working on some website ideas I’ve had but not yet acted on, and of course, participating in the BAT community, and trying to build a community around BAT here in Vancouver :slight_smile:

Anyway, this ended up being kind of long, but I figured I would tell my whole story, and why I’m so passionate about this project. Feel free to ask me any questions you might have! I’m excited to be here!

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#2

What a fantastic story! So glad you shared it. Glad to have chatted with you and can’t wait to talk more. :slight_smile:

I’d love to see that tracking app some time!

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