Onchain Communities

It was my first time minting my writing on Zora, collect this article for free here!

Content Creator: artist, writer, photographer, musician, YouTuber, TikToker, short-form content writer (Twitter), literally anyone with the goal of forming a community/audience through creation and make $$.


Do y’all remember this guy?

Ryan Higa, Fred, and several others were some of the earliest people to become popular content creators on platforms like YouTube back in 2006-2009. Since then, content creation has evolved a lot. Platforms like YouTube and many others started to build tools to support the content creator journey since creators were the driving force behind platform traffic. Major social platforms including Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook all have their own analytics tools which they provide to creators to grow their communities. Analytics tools sparked greater interest and opportunity in the content creation space.

Onchain Data

Insight and analytics were crucial pieces of the content creation puzzle. Until then, creators were shooting in the dark in terms of their content and marketing strategy.

Right now, most onchain content creators are having to do exactly this. There’s a lot of onchain data available: wallets contain extensive transparent data on transactions, mints, and airdrop activities daily. However, this data is not presented in a user-friendly format. There’s only so much you can understand from this…

Once Upon (below) makes it a little easier to digest this stuff above, but even then, it’s not meant to fulfill the goal of providing insights to content creators.

In case you’re wondering what Dan Romero is up to lol

Adam Levy discovered this gap while building his own community through his Mint podcast and newsletter. To address a prevalent issue faced by content creators, Levy and his co-founder Ellie Farissi started hacking on a project at ETHAmsterdam to eventually start Bello, an onchain analytics platform for creators to better understand and grow their communities.

Bello

Bello is a no-code onchain analytics platform that provides rich insights into NFT holder behavior and preferences. As a content creator, one could customize unique dashboards about their community’s onchain behaviors. For example, using Bello, a creator could see # of other NFTs their holders have, what other NFT communities they’re in, etc. Bello also takes it a step further by providing actionable insights for pricing strategies, optimal engagement timings, and intersections with other communities. It’s crucial to remember that all of this information is already onchain, Bello just makes it easier for the creator to translate that information to actionable strategy. This will be especially crucial to onboard creators who may not be too familiar with the crypto aspects of content creation data.

Example Use Cases

Why is it such a big deal to know more about your NFT holders?

As a musician, you may:

  • drop your new song based on when your collectors most actively mint

  • look into overlaps with other NFT communities and host a collaborative event or collection with another artist

A podcaster may:

  • invite guests based on which podcasts were most minted in the past (basically what kinds of topics or guests interest the community the most)

  • invite most active minters or minters of a specific episode to a more intimate AMA with a guest

Even a restaurant could benefit from these kinds of insights, they could:

  • curate menus and specials based on NFT holder preferences and their other activity at different restaurants

  • hold special events based on other NFTs their customers may hold. For example, there may be a lot of frequent customers at a restaurant that also hold a new Marvel NFT. The restaurant may hold a Marvel trivia night and even provide some deal to NFT holders that bring a new customer to the restaurant (you could get as creative as possible with the insights).

***I wanted to specifically mention the restaurant use case because a company called Blackbird is already creating an interesting token-driven restaurant economy.

Onchain communities have the potential to take things like brand loyalty and fandoms to the next level by better optimizing for events, content, merch, and more things that the community actually likes (communities may even be able to directly vote on what they want).

The NFT Narrative

Even within the crypto community, NFTs are primarily known for their pfp collections, trading, etc. However, in the past couple of months, there’s been an influx in minting and collecting NFTs.

Increased minting and a constant growth in number of Ethereum addresses over time, demonstrates a general increase in onchain activity and thus more onchain data. Platforms like Warpcast, Lens, Zora, Interface and more have played a huge hand in making it more commonplace to collect and mint NFTs for the content behind it. For example, Zora’s co-founder Jacob Horne discusses why people should “mint first.” He expresses that minting content is not meant to limit people from distributing on traditional platforms and could be the transition to generating more onchain data while still sticking to platforms the creators may be comfortable with.

Depending on their specific goals and scale of community, creators may just stick to the second phase of the above flow, which makes complete sense too. Some creators may use onchain communities for specific purposes like connecting with a superfan community. These communities may serve as a supplement to current fanbases rather than become a replacement for them. Basically, even amongst onchain creation use cases, some may stick or make more sense depending on the nature of the content, the communities, and the creators.

Li Jin’s framework on Love versus Fame on social applications is an interesting approach to understanding how and why creators may try to build an onchain community. While traditional social networks tend to focus on “fame” because of their ad-based business models, onchain communities may be the key for creators to deepen relations with their community in ways that mature social networks don’t efficiently enable them to.

New Tools, New Opportunities

Revenue from traditional content creation is highly dependent on the size of a creator’s fanbase. Onchain communities could change this so that quality > quantity for a creator’s success. This could lead to the emergence of more “microcommunities” where creators optimize for a very specific niche for their community.

Overall, I believe the growth of onchain communities will enable the following changes:

  • Onchain communities as a supplement or for a very specific use case like creating “superfan” communities.

  • Revenue for creators based on quality of community and content rather than quantity.

  • Enabling more people to become content creators for very specific niches → increased knowledge/content sharing (more on this later!)


Curious to learn more about what kind of changes onchain data, NFTs, and crypto will enable for content creation and consumption. I’d love to hear what above ideas/thoughts y’all agree or disagree with or if you have any other recommendations - shoot me a message on Twitter!

This article is more of a general overview of onchain data and content creation. For the next few weeks, I’m going to dive deeper into some of the topics I briefly introduced in this article. Be on the lookout for those if you found this article interesting! thx

Mint on Zora here

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