Making a Name for Yourself on Farcaster

03/30/24

gm everyone, and I hope you are having an excellent weekend so far!

Don’t forget that today is the Season 2 $degen drop!

I wanted to write a quick piece on some things I've seen and experienced in my short time (only around 2 months ish) on Farcaster so far. I get a lot of messages asking me for the best way to increase $degen allowances, to get followers (hate that term), to engage with people, etc.

So here's what I have to say about that.

It’s a Different Beast

The first thing you have to understand is that Farcaster is NOT X. Many things that fly on X or CT are kind of looked down upon on Farcaster - I’ve found things like sarcasm, ripping people, “engagement farming,” etc, don’t get nearly the reception that people expect coming over for the first time. This post from Tervo in his newsletter is a great example of why that is.

Simply put, Farcaster really did start out (and largely still is) as a place for serious builders/creatives. And if you’ve been around crypto any length of time, you know there is occasionally some in-fighting between the “traders and builders,” so to speak. Recently, this has been changing, as people more on the left side of the curve (like myself) make the switch to Farcaster. However, like Tervo mentioned, there is a specific etiquette here on Farcaster, and that’s something we should respect.

Just like when you travel to a different country you should be respecting their norms and trying to speak in their language as a sign of respect, so should you respect the norms that have been on Farcaster far before our arrival.

As I mentioned above, these are things like:

  • Being kind to people by default

  • Being genuine and engaging

  • Not posting low-effort posts/replies

  • Avoiding engagement farming

Being Genuine

Speaking of being genuine, I’ve been in crypto for 12 years, and I can tell you unequivocally that many of the people on Farcaster (especially the bigger accounts) are very smart and can smell the BS from a mile away. If you come here with the wrong intentions (how do I make money by farming $degen???), you will be sussed out and ejected from the social hierarchy. I’ve seen many big follower CT accounts try to make the switch over to Farcaster and fizzle out very quickly - if you’re not willing to put the time in to build up your reputation organically, then why should anyone else waste time interacting with you?

The best way to build up a following, I have found, is to be as genuine as possible and interact (reply) with people as much as you can. Pick a few channels that you want to focus on (that match your interests) and reply, reply, reply. Work your way towards being a recognizable name and even top caster status - but do keep in mind, this is not necessarily how you increase your $degen allowance per se, and therein lies the rub.

It’s a Fine Line

With the incentive that $degen provides for people to come over to Farcaster, it’s a fine line between doing things “the right way” and doing them “the wrong way.” Read this post I made the other day on the $degen ecosystem for a little more information on that if you’re not already aware.

$Degenerates

In terms of the $degen/farcaster ecosystem and how they work together, there’s a few issues at play here:

  • The way to increase your $degen allowance “is determined by several factors, with a primary focus on recent reactions to your original casts.” You can find the exact formula here.

  • Because you receive more $degen allowance by reactions to original casts, it incentivizes people to post things that get a lot of engagement - let’s take a giveaway for example.

  • However, most people view giveaways as spammy and generally scroll past them (myself included) - unless they are of somewhat significant monetary value, a physical item that people want, or a trade for goods/services (custom PFPs by a legit artist, for example)

You have this very fine line where the types of things that get the most engagement are also viewed as engagement bait, automatically turning people off on your account/posts, especially in a place like Farcaster. At the same time, unless you are a builder/creator (of which we now know many people incoming are not), you are somewhat hamstrung when it comes to increasing your allowance, leaving these methods as the “easiest” and most accessible way to increase your allowance. So what are you to do as the average joe?

As I said above - it’s a fine line. There really isn’t anything wrong inherently with a giveaway, for example, but it’s important that you aren’t doing anything low effort or giving away something that nobody wants. If you make an NFT of some low effort AI art you made, you have 100 followers, and you expect people to tip you $degen and interact with your post, you’re probably not going to find much luck. On the other hand, that means you are probably somewhat forced to give away something of legitimate value, which not everyone has the ability to do.

How Do I Strike the Balance?

So, ultimately then, how do you balance being genuine and engaging, allowing you to build a good reputation for yourself, when there are incentives to also post what traditionally would be known as engagement bait (which would probably detract from your reputation)?

Well, I certainly am no expert, but here’s how I kind of view it, and here is my recommendation to most newcomers.

  • The first and most important thing you should be doing is replying to people and genuinely engaging them. This doesn’t mean low effort “gm” only, but literally responding to their posts, asking questions, finding out about them, asking about their art, their hobbies - whatever they are posting about.

  • As you engage with people and they realize you are genuine and here for the right reasons, they will naturally be attracted to you (who doesn’t like good vibes), and probably end up following you, liking your posts, supporting you, etc.

  • You turn around and do that exact same thing - continue to reply, support those who support you, etc.

  • The more you reply, the more followers you get, the more engagement you get on your original casts.

  • The more engagement you get on your original casts, the more your $degen allocation goes up.

Notice, however, that there is no shortcut here. To tie it all back together, if you’re not willing to put the time to get to know people and support them, then why should anyone else waste time supporting you?

It ultimately all comes back to one thing:

Reply.

BFG

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