Web3’s Ascendancy: The New Frontier of Community Building

July 12, 2023

Web3 technologies are revolutionizing the way we foster communities online, giving users more control over their data and creators an unparalleled level of ownership and access.

Web3 is like a new type of internet, and it’s changing the game in how online communities connect and interact. Imagine a digital world where everyone has a say and no single person or company has total control — that’s what Web3 is all about. It lets us own our online experiences, leading to all sorts of new opportunities. It encourages us to think differently about building online communities, where everyone involved is also an owner.

Despite the media coverage and early adoption, we’re still at the dawn of the Web3 community movement. The full potential of Web3, particularly in the realm of community engagement, remains largely untapped. With the maturation of emerging technologies and increased awareness and adoption, we are likely to see a significant shift in how communities are formed, interact, and evolve online.

Unveiling Web3 Culture: A Playground for Ownership and Creativity

Web3 technology is like a new tide in the digital world. It’s catching the attention of some early explorers who are eager to dive into this fresh wave. They’re getting the hang of new ideas like owning digital stuff, sharing memes, and shaping this emerging digital landscape.

Web3 culture is about getting comfortable with the idea that you can truly own digital things. In the past, that wasn’t really possible. But now, artists and creators can really profit from their work in a fair and open way, thanks to something called NFTs, or Non-Fungible Tokens.

Think of it this way: as a creator, you can put your work online, and every time it gets sold or traded, you get a piece of the action. We know, there have been worries about the impact of NFTs and how tough they might be to use. But rest assured, improvements are being made every day. And many early adopters are already thrilled about the chances NFTs can offer to digital artists and economies.

Even though it might seem a bit tricky at first, NFTs could be the key for creators wanting more control and money from their work online.

Memes and Tokens: The Fun Side of Web3

Another fun part of this culture is memes. Memes are like the internet’s universal language, spreading ideas and laughs fast. They get even more interesting in the Web3 world, because they can become NFTs too.

How does that work? Well, you can turn a meme (or any digital item) into a token, like giving it a unique digital ID. That means you truly own that meme and can prove it’s yours.

You could buy a digital piece of art or a song, just like you’d buy a real painting or a vinyl record. You can show it off in your digital space, or sell it if its value goes up. That’s the kind of exciting new opportunities Web3 offers.

The first folks to jump into the Web3 world are helping to shape this culture. They’re tech-savvy, open to new experiences, and not afraid to take a few risks — all things you need to explore the exciting, ever-changing world of Web3. Their trailblazing spirit is fueling the growth of this culture and setting new standards in the digital world. Web3 is opening up a whole new era of digital creativity and innovation, reshaping how we think about online interaction and ownership.

How Creators Can Use Web3 Technologies to Build Communities

For creators, Web3 isn’t just a buzzword; it’s an expansive canvas of opportunities waiting to be explored. Blockchain-based technologies such as token-gated communities and new subscription models facilitated by cryptocurrencies are fundamentally changing how creators engage with their communities.

In the Web2 world, creators’ access to their followers is mediated through social platforms, often resulting in diminished control and influence. On the contrary, Web3 advocates for a direct and unfiltered relationship between creators and their audiences.

Take, for example, token-gated communities, a unique concept facilitated by Web3. In these communities, access to specific content, discussions, or experiences is exclusive to token holders. It’s akin to a digital VIP pass, only that it is decentralized and directly under the creator’s control. Friends With Benefits ($FWB), a popular social token community, exemplifies this model. Its members, who hold a certain number of $FWB tokens, gain access to exclusive online and offline events, a members-only Discord server, and can even influence the community’s direction.

Similarly, NFTs present another avenue for creators to foster deeper connections with their communities. NFTs can represent digital or physical artwork, unique experiences, or even elements of the creator’s persona. For instance, digital artist Beeple used NFTs to sell his artwork for millions of dollars, creating an unparalleled bond with his patrons who now hold valuable pieces of his digital oeuvre. In a similar vein, creators can use NFTs to represent VIP access, early product access, or other exclusive benefits that foster loyalty and engagement among their community.

With Web3, the ‘owned’ social graph becomes a reality. Unlike Web2, where creators rent their social graphs from platforms like Instagram or Twitter, Web3 enables creators to own their social graphs, maintaining full control over their community interactions. With technologies such as decentralized identity and self-sovereign identity, creators can keep their audience data on the blockchain, ensuring their relationships with their communities aren’t at the mercy of any single platform.

In essence, Web3’s promise of decentralization, direct relationships, and user ownership is revolutionizing how creators can build, nurture, and engage their communities. By leveraging these technologies, they can foster stronger, more involved communities and forge a more sustainable and rewarding creative career.

How Creators Are Using Web3 to Reach a Wider Audience

The advent of Web3 technology has revolutionized the way creators interact with their audience, giving them an expansive platform that transcends traditional boundaries. This section delves into how creators are harnessing the power of Web3 to broaden their reach, tapping into a global audience and transforming the way they showcase their work. Here are a few examples:

  • Eulerbeats, a music producer, employs Web3 technology in the field of generative music. His musical compositions are derived from algorithms designed to adapt to user interactions, enabling listeners to manifest unique renditions of his music. Eulerbeats has launched a series of algorithmic music albums on the Ethereum blockchain. These collections empower listeners to interact with the NFTs and construct their distinctive musical experiences.
  • Seerlight is a digital artist leveraging the power of Web3 to craft NFTs. His creations often incorporate interactive elements, providing unique and fresh exploratory experiences for the viewers. The NFTs developed by Seerlight offer an array of interactive possibilities. For instance, one of his NFTs is designed to change its color when interacted with, providing a whole new dimension of engagement for the viewer.
  • pplpleasr1, a renowned crypto artist, is recognized for her extensive NFT projects. Her noteworthy project is a long-form animation series titled, “Shibuya,” which aims to crowdfund the production of long-form visual content like movies and TV series by selling unique NFTs termed “producer passes.” This disruptive approach challenges the conventional studio-driven methods prevalent in the industry. The maiden project under Shibuya is an interactive Web3 anime called “White Rabbit.” While this series will be available for free viewing, “producer pass” holders can stake their NFTs to influence the narrative by voting for alternate episode endings.
  • Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence — The film’s producers, in a groundbreaking storytelling experiment, are collaborating with developers to create a Web3-based interactive experience. A pivotal part of this integration involves releasing the film’s soundtrack as NFTs, each symbolizing a unique note from the main theme. By purchasing these NFTs, fans secure a piece of film history, safeguarded on the blockchain.

Nagisa Oshima, the film’s director, sees this as an opportunity to elevate awareness about the potential of the Web3 movement and inspire fellow filmmakers to explore this technology.

How Brands are Harnessing the Power of Web3

In addition to creators, brands are also experimenting with Web3 to forge stronger connections with their audience. Several companies are already making strides in this new paradigm, exploring avenues such as branded NFTs and metaverse experiences. This direct reach to users, devoid of intermediaries, is a compelling proposition for brands looking to amplify their user engagement. Here are some notable examples:

  • Starbucks has ventured into the world of NFTs with their collection called “Journey Stamps.” These digital stamps were priced at $100 each and quickly sold out within 20 minutes of release. Starbucks began its NFT and Web3 initiatives in December with the Starbucks Odyssey membership program, where members can earn rewards and immersive coffee experiences by participating in games, quizzes, and making purchases. NFT purchases contribute to members’ points, allowing them to level up their tier. Despite being a late entrant, the Starbucks NFTs have already attracted 1,164 owners.
  • Reddit recently launched its third-generation NFT collection, featuring over 100 artists and themed around future realities. This collection builds upon previous releases that showcased Reddit’s alien mascot, Snoo. Artists were given creative freedom within the framework of the Snoo character. The supply mechanics of the Gen 3 NFTs follow a tiered system based on artist popularity. Reddit has purposely avoided using the term “NFT” in its marketing, focusing on a user-friendly experience to attract an audience unfamiliar with blockchain technology.
  • Nike has developed .Swoosh, a platform utilizing the Polygon blockchain. With nearly 18,800 holders on OpenSea as of May 18, 2023, .Swoosh has gained significant popularity. The platform boasts over 330,000 members and offers various features. Nike also organized the “Your Force 1” contest, where winners received cash prizes, their own digital AF1s, and royalties on future sales of their creations.
  • Adidas has introduced the ALTS collection, leveraging the Ethereum blockchain. These NFTs bear the Adidas branding and provide holders with exclusive benefits. Holders gain early access to physical and virtual products, attend exclusive community gatherings, possess IP rights to their characters, and access token-gated Discord channels. The ALTS collection has garnered substantial traction, with 10,587 holders and a trading volume of 1,144 ETH as of May 18, 2023.

In this dynamic, brands are becoming an integral part of the Web3 ecosystem, making it incumbent upon creators to stay updated with these developments. Those who align their brand collaborations with Web3’s emerging possibilities can tap into new avenues of engagement, monetization, and community building. Whether it’s creating an exclusive NFT series for a brand, partnering for a DAO project, or integrating a brand into their token-gated communities, creators who stay at the forefront of the Web3 evolution will likely find themselves at an advantage.

How Web3 Will Give Users More Control Over Their Data

One of the defining elements of Web3 is its commitment to user data sovereignty. Technologies such as zk proofs provide a way to share data without compromising privacy. Unlike the Web2 paradigm, where user data is often monetized without clear consent or benefit to the user, Web3 gives users the power to determine the value of their data and decide how it’s used. This increased control is likely to lead to a paradigm where users reward brands, creators, and communities that provide value and restrict access to those who do not.

How Web3 Can Be Used as a Fundraising Tool

Web3’s potential as a fundraising tool is embodied in the concepts of token sales and Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs). Token sales, akin to the initial public offerings (IPOs) of the traditional business world, allow creators or projects to raise funds by selling tokens that represent some form of utility or equity. Consider the rise of initial DEX offerings (IDOs) on platforms like Uniswap or Sushiswap, where projects can raise funds by issuing tokens that could appreciate in value or offer utility within the project’s ecosystem.

Moreover, DAOs represent another groundbreaking aspect of Web3’s fundraising potential. DAOs are essentially organizations governed by smart contracts on the blockchain, where decision-making power is distributed among token holders. By buying tokens, fans not only financially support their favorite creators or projects but also acquire a stake in decision-making processes, fostering a deeper sense of involvement and ownership. An example is the recent purchase of a rare Wu-Tang Clan album by a DAO, where each member contributed funds and now collectively decides the album’s fate. Both these fundraising methods amplify community engagement, fundamentally altering the dynamics between creators, projects, and their supporters.

Embracing the Web3 Revolution: A Paradigm Shift in Digital Community Building

As the digital world continues to evolve, Web3 is positioning itself at the forefront of this revolution. Its promise of a decentralized, user-centric internet has far-reaching implications for how we build and engage with online communities. With its potent mix of increased user control, new monetization avenues, and direct creator-follower interactions, Web3 is set to redefine the digital community landscape. Despite being in its early stages, it’s a movement that creators, brands, and users can ill afford to ignore.

If you’re a content creator curious about how Web3 can boost your influence and engagement, we invite you to explore our new initiative, Creator Circle. Recognizing the unique hurdles faced by content creators, we champion the idea that our collective strength leads to greater success. With Creator Circle, we’ve thoughtfully designed an initiative to address content creators’ distinct needs. It not only offers exclusive perks but also nurtures stronger interactions, thereby fortifying the crucial connection between creators and their audience.

About BlockchainSpace

BlockchainSpace started off as a physical space in Makati City Philippines, where its founder Peter Ing successfully organized over a hundred in-person gatherings and meet-ups of various Web3 evangelists, investors, and founders to help grow the crypto industry in the region.

Today, BlockchainSpace powers Southeast Asia’s communities with blockchain technology to provide secure and transparent community management, fostering trust and loyalty among its user base.

Its solution suite includes WE3, a community management platform, trademark community programs such as the Guild Partner Program and Creator Circle. Since 2020, BlockchainSpace has empowered over 100 communities and raised $20M from top investors, including Animoca Brands, CoinGecko and Crypto.com Capital.

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