Cover photo

How NFT’s and AI tools complement Web3 Social Media

How NFT’s and AI tools complement Web3 Social Media

User avatar

Fred Blauer

Introduction

NFT’s and AI complement web3 social media. For example NFT’s can be used for access to exclusive content, voting rights, raising money to fund projects, the ability to create and own digital art, and trade with other users for collectibles, ticketing etc. When you combine this with social media and AI, it is even more powerful. With AI tools for creating images and blogging for example, almost anyone can be more productive and creative. So far the AI is mostly being used for text content and images, but will soon we will be able to use it for videos, sound and music as well. People are experimenting with new types of creative expression, and value based social interactions which were not possible before. I will give you some examples of “nextgen” social platforms that I have been using and evaluating.

Platforms

Deso/Diamond app, NFTz etc.

Here is a high level summary of the Deso platform. Onboarding is pretty easy, and you don’t require a special invitation. You will need a tiny bit of Deso for gas, but it will go a long way. You can buy a few dollars worth with fiat currency, and that will be more than enough to get going. You can always earn more. Deso is the least expensive platform that I have seen. Compute and storage is very cheap (see summary above). There are lots of different dapps and new ones appearing all the time. They all integrate and share the same social feeds, identity and social graph (followers etc). So for example you can have a discussion about a particular NFT on NFTz, where you can mint, display and sell NFT’s. The NFT can also have a social feed with likes, microtips and comments. The social feed will show up in other Deso dapps. You don’t have to login again to other Deso dapps since they share the identity.

There are also ways of monetizing popularity or influence with creator coins. So, you can invest in creators who you think have a lot of potential, or buy your own coins to push up the price. This social platform is more mature than most of the other ones, and most of the important elements are in place like NFTz market that also does streaming music NFT’s, streaming music and video apps, online video (like a decentralized zoom), blogging platforms, group conversations etc.

The deso blockchain has a lot of features planned, and is moving to “proof of stake” consensus in the new year. According to the stats, Deso has the most adoption for Web3 social media which makes sense since they are the oldest and they don’t limit users with required invitations.

Polygon/Lens, Opensea etc.

Most people are familiar with the polygon sidechain, if you have used Defi for example. It uses the Ethereum EVM, and Matic tokens for gas. This is the platform on which Aave has chosen to build Lens. You will need an invitation, and the Metamask wallet to onboard. Your identity will be minted as an NFT. The UI is pretty nice and reminds me of tumblr. The various dapps are compose-able with one another and share social feeds, identity and social graph. There is a rudimentary NFT platform called Lensport, but you will have to use Rarible or Opensea to mint your NFT’s. You can also monetize posts by selling the content as NFT’s. There is an interesting dapp on the Gallerydao which makes it easy to create NFT’s with some Dall-E AI themes and then allows you to mint them directly. There is a good aggregator of music NFT’s called Ooh La La, which will also work with many other EVM platforms. There is also a youtube like video platform, and various other dapps for mobile and desktop. They all share common feeds. Lens has some good integration partners on polygon, and I have heard some talk of them moving to the new polygon ZKEVM platform for further scalability.

Solana/Solcial, Rarible etc

Solcial came out recently, and is already gaining a good following. The UI is very nice, and it is pretty easy to use, especially if you are familiar with Solana. The chain is fast, inexpensive and there is a lot of development going on. The social feeds are pretty straight forward. You can chose who to follow, you can vote posts up and down, it shows you popular posts etc. You also get to monetize contributions with a creator coin, and tier 2 access level . Each user can create and sell premium content, which can be blog posts or free NFT’s for example. The profile section will allow you to mint NFT’s directly to the blockchain, and they will show up on Rarible NFT market. (I am in the process of becoming a verified creator). There are many improvements planned for the new year. There aren’t a lot of integrated dapps yet, except for a very nice blogging platform called bulbapp.io. I expect them to partner up with other Solana dapps and developers, like NFT markets, gaming etc.

Near/Near.social, Paras etc.

The Near chain is pretty fast and inexpensive. It also has a sister EVM chain called Aurora. There are 2 social dapps on native Near. One is called Myriad and the other is near.social. Near users will find them both pretty easy to use. The second one is newer, and I have been spending more time with that one. You can mint NFT’s on Paras, and they will show up on the Near blockchain and near.social. The social feed is similar to the one on solcial, but not as extensive yet. There isn’t a lot of content yet, but I expect it come as more people find out about it.

Web3/Farcaster

I havn't been able to evaluate this one until recently. So, I am still testing but it looks promising. There wasn't a web client until recently, and the only way to run it on the desktop was with a Mac, which I don't have. But there are now a few web clients, so I am able to start evaluating. Its definitely interesting and there is a good community with quality posting to read, and interact with. There are several integrated dapps and also a blogging platform in the ecosystem called paragraph.xyz, which works well and has some very good articles. Its handling of multi-media is pretty rudimentary, and it doesn't seem to incorporate NFT's yet.

Web3/Nostr/Iris.io

There are various app clients like astral.ninja or Iris. I prefer the second one since the UI is nicer. This is the most difficult of the lot to get running because its in the very early stages, but I got it working and it looks interesting. You can chat directly with Jack Dorsey since he seems to be on there frequently. I will report back when I have more time to spend testing it, and there are more features to test.

Web2/Twitter/Mask

Twitter has been losing a lot of users since Musk took over, but I won’t get into the politics of censorship and the like. Suffice it to say that they still have a lot of users, and its a pretty good platform despite all the complaints. They may be able to resolve the current problems and turn it around. In the mean time Mask.io is a good twitter add-on (browser extension) It has various “nextgen” features like Web3 wallet support, NFT support, encrypted direct messages, Mask profile/ID, fundraising, token swapping, decentralized file storage, fiat on-ramp, decentralized governance etc.

Web2/Post.news

A very easy to use and well designed twitter replacement, but it does have a wait-list and requires an invitation. It does have tipping for content. But it is centralized, and there doesn’t seem to be a lot of info available about how it works on the back-end, governance, and plans for the future, like web3 support etc. So, it works well for people fleeing twitter, but I don’t know enough about the long term.

Web2/Meta/Instagram

Facebook (Meta) and Instagram have the same owners. They have started introducing NFT’s on Instagram in some regions and are slowly rolling it out. Facebook has been working on its metaverse platform, and I assume that it will incorporate blockchain and NFT’s in some way. In the mean time, they still have a lot of users, but many of them are looking at moving away from centralized control, lack of privacy etc. I won’t get into the controversial topics here. Instagram has a lot of interesting images and a large audience and many people already have a lot of followers there. It will be interesting to see how the NFT rollout goes. It is not available in my area yet.

Tools

app.yup.io - combines feeds form various sources (Farcaster, Lens, Mirror blogs)

Conclusion

NFT’s are a new way of monetizing culture. Here is an example of my Rockstarz collection on Polygon/Opensea. Here is a similar collection of mine on NFTz, and another version on Solsea/Solana. They all contain a series of images of famous musicians which I created with an AI tool called Stable Diffusion (see my first blog post in this series for more details). My intention was not to make money per se, but to see what could be done with some of the new AI tools, NFT markets and social media. The various new technologies are converging and will be more powerful than the sum of the parts when they seamlessly work together. We are already starting to see 3D virtual art galleries which add another new dimension.

But for now, the various platforms are only compo-sable (integrated) within the same blockchain, so those barriers need to be broken down. We are going to have to see co-operation between the different Web3 social platforms for truly mainstream adoption. It will also have to get less complicated to use. For example you shouldn’t have to know or worry about what an EVM (Ethereum Virtual machine) compatible chain is, or even what chain your app resides on. This should be abstracted for the user and be simple and straight forward to onboard and use. As an analogy, when you switch from one automobile brand to another, you don’t have to know what kind of engine it is. Most people just want to get into the car and drive. When it breaks down, they take it to a mechanic (technical support). Most of the Web3 tech support for now is done by the community discord forums, which is still ironically, web2 based. Dao's, decentralized governance and funding alternatives are evolving and will be the subject of a future article.

There are probably too many social media alternatives right now. Between Web2 and Web3, they can’t all survive. They will be too fragmented and isolated unless they can all connect to each other. That won’t happen in the web2 world since there are proprietary interests involved. Web3 has a different business model which is community based. For now, each platform offers its own set of features, strengths, and weaknesses. Users will have to evaluate their needs and preferences and decide which platform is best for them in the short to medium term. Its hard to know now how things will play out in the long run but you will still benefit by using them now.

In the mean time, the space is evolving very fast, and I am already getting some good value from using the Web3 dapps. I am gaining experience with AI tools and applying them to practical social situations like creating images and blogging. The content will only improve as more users join in, and the features will also improve as we attract more quality developers. When we see more dapps that can span multiple chains, and simple user interfaces that hide the complexity of the back-end blockchains, we can expect more users, and mainstream adoption. There is so much happening in the space right now it is hard to keep up. New features and products are being launched constantly, despite the bear market.

Personally I prefer organic growth rather than hype and promotion but that is what attracts the users and the funding. From my testing and kicking the tires, I have no doubt that Web3 will be a quantum leap forward from what we have now in Web2. Its already happening. Start off with post.news , and then get your feet wet with Deso. Or chose one that runs on your favorite chain. Go down the rabbit hole. You won’t look back.

"The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn." ~ Alvin Toffler

Short Summary

NFT's are a new way to monetize culture. Platforms like Twitter and Facebook have slowly been introducing NFT's, but many users are searching for alternatives in decentralized and censorship-resistant networks. There are Web3 alternatives like Post.news but they lack NFT's and decentralization. Chosing a winner at this stage is difficult because the space is fragmented, and still being developed. To truly maximize the potential of NFT's and Web3, platforms will have to cooperate, and work together. and support information flow from one to another to succeed.

Embeded NFT

#nft#social#web3#ai
  • Loading comments...