@satoshi999 (This is one way to to encourage propagation of files in IPFS storage.)
I think one reason people are leery of hosting an unknown person’s files is because of liability. People would be far more willing to support IPFS storage if they were only storing a part of each file.
As an example, think of cat.jpg. It may or may not be a picture of a cat. It might be a dog. If you don’t like dogs, you might decide not to host any files at all. If instead of hosting cat.jpg, it is first made into a mosaic of 64 smaller segments of the original, then sure, somebody wouldn’t mind hosting that 1/64th of an image. The fur might be cat fur or dog fur, but you couldn’t actually know. Somebody else would be hosting another piece of cat.jpg, maybe the eye. If you had 64 people, the image could be distributed perfectly.
I believe there is some work underway already on such a system, but can’t remember for which project.
Another system which would help would require a unified method for “liking” content that could be used across applications. You would start by deciding how much love you had to give. (By love, we mean storage space.)
Whenever you saw content you appreciated, you would “like” it, and this would translate to willingness to store a part of its mosaic on your disk. (The number of mosaic pieces stored could additionally be increased by an expression of intensity of like, ranging from like, love to adore, for example, representing 1, 4, or 16 pieces of mosaic.)
When somebody else requests cat.jpg as a download, it would be retrieved piece by piece from the 64 or so people who were hosting it, and then using local CPU processing reassembled.
At this point, the person could discover whether it really was a funny cat or a dog, if they hadn’t seen it already.
In addition to “Loving” files, it might also be possible to hold a place in your heart for users. These could be content providers you wish to support, because they regularly make funny cat videos on their channel. You might also wish to offer some storage to users who are fulfilling a useful purpose in the IPFS ecosystem, like indexing or something like that.
Sadly, love doesn’t last forever, and your storage might not either. You could optionally love “long time” or “short time”. Each user would of course decide what “long time” actually means, a week, month or year.
“Short Times” might be very efficient at alleviating intense though shortly lived urges for content.
Periodically, one might “renew one’s vows”, or “reaffirm one’s love” by extending ones love for yet another month or year, depending on how much your love has been returned, perhaps.