You Are Here

Networks, Nodes and Visualizing SocialFi Integrations

This essay is a follow on to Token Constellation Theory where we discussed how the emerging L2 landscape is going to dramatically change onchain behavior from a model centered around object scarcity to an abundant model where networks not objects will accrue value due to increased scale, lower costs and new use cases enabled by a consumer-centric computing stack.

It's not necessary, but probably a good idea to read that before picking up here. Today's article focuses in on treating Farcaster Channels as network nodes which creators can use to manage their place within this new ecosystem.

You Are Here (actually you are the purple oval below):

This diagram is a visualization of the Trust To Toys section of the Token Constellation Theory essay. It shows a series of subsystems that all live within the broader EVM ecosystem. At the base is the permissionless global computer known as Ethereum mainnet, and from there we have a series of less trusted computing environments radiating outwards all the way until we reach Your Channel which is a tiny little subsystem that lives within Farcaster's decentralized social protocol.

The strength of this model is the optionality it provides for creators. On the one hand, your channel and what happens within it is fully interoperable with everything else in the diagram. On the other hand, it's yours and provides you with an organizing model and structure where you can carve out a little world onchain. This optionality is the beauty of networked media, and learning how to manage your subsystem's place within this collection of systems will be very important in the new world.

How should we think about Farcaster channels?

An easy way is to breakdown all the things that can be done there.

The first thing to consider is that your channel acts as an onchain registry of your audience in a permissionless, decentralized manner. When someone joins your channel, they are creating a link between their wallet address and an interest in you. Everyone who joins your channel forms a social graph that is queryable and therefore interoperable with the broader ecosystem.

Because you have their wallet address, you can now enter into deeper relationships with them. For instance, you can create an ERC-20 token specific to your channel and then airdrop it onto members or issue it as rewards for incentivized behavior. Loyalty becomes an aligned two-way street in which you can grow your creator footprint by offering NFTs and coins to your channel for interacting with and seeding your content across the broader L2 system.

Take that a step further and start thinking about nurturing value accrual around your network node. One way to do that is to provide liquidity to your token, but do it in a way that is symbiotic with your audience and recognizes that it takes time to go from a toy to a trusted computing environment.

As we look at the scale enabled by the L2 world, we need to remember that our channel is a wee wane baby in a big world that could get easily swallowed up and spat out by the crypto casino. Unlike memecoins which are launched in the hopes of achieving escape velocity and abandoned quickly (sometimes immediately) if they fail to, audience building is a long term relationship that takes time to both develop and get cemented.

Here it helps to remember that you are in control. You can decide how many tokens to issue at a given time. You can decide whether to provide liquidity to that token. If you do, then you can be considered in your choice of a liquidity pair. For /starholder we are going to initially explore pairing our ATTN token with DEGEN because we think there are a lot of alignments. Then we can take liquidity management a step further and actually do it as a private pool whitelisted only to channel members. This way we have a liquidity facility that encourages growing our channel and also shields activity within it from the broader crypto casino. This creates an Airlocked Economy which is a topic we'll address in an upcoming essay.

That's some of the network interop side of your channel. Let's turn our attention to the more vanilla basic utility of what channels can do.

Simply put, channels are a pub/sub model of networked media. They are like the RSS feeds of old married to social media newsfeeds, conversations and interactions. Whatever you want to broadcast to your audience and the wider world happens via your channel, but with Farcaster's Frames feature they are now programmable. Want someone to mint an NFT or Essay you created? Stick it in a frame so it can be minted right on your feed in your channel. Easy peasy if you use one of the many apps springing up to act as middleware between Farcaster and the broader Base L2 ecosystem.

Then we can take that a step further and start looking at what we've done offchain in the "trad" web2 world of media. This bridge isn't clearly networked the way onchain socialfi media is, instead it's about having your ERC-20 token or other value accrual mechanism act as a claim over that media.

As an example, Starholder has five albums of material on Spotify and Youtube. It has two novels in Kindle and available as free downloads elsewhere. In the past all of those objects only had platform controlled outlets for monetization and networking. KDP and Spotify sends me ACHs after they take their healthy cut of proceeds. There used to be no other way to manage those objects, but now we can start exploring new ways of integrating this traditional media back into our networked onchain model. Just as a quick example, we could put unique QR codes into copies of our novels and issue ATTN tokens to everyone who buys the book and claims them.

There's a lot more than can be done here. We hope to develop and share more models and use cases as they emerge, but the goal of this essay was to introduce a way of thinking around Farcaster Channels as network nodes that provide optionality in both directions. Internally within your channel, you manage your own creative practice and audience interaction. Externally, your channel acts as a node on the network which can interoperate with dapps, protocols and everything else in the broader L2 ecosystem via tokens, NFTs and leveraging the open social graph your channel is a part of.

You Are Here and where you are is very powerful. Start thinking about the networked side of your practice, how to build it, how to manage it and how you fit in as one subsystem within a massively growing series of systems sitting on top of a global permissionless world computer.

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