As many of you know, I decided to conduct a survey asking for reader responses to some questions about Substack and Paragraph. Here’s what I discovered.
With approximately 160 subscribers on Substack and a handful on both Paragraph and Mirror, plus the thousands of followers I have on various social media websites who could potentially read and take the survey, I received only 15 responses. That’s somewhat disappointing, especially considering I always get several times more opens from Substack readers, who were the primary target of the survey. Nevertheless, I’m encouraged by the responses. Here are the results.
The first question was: Have you heard of Paragraph?
53.3 percent of survey takers had heard of the Web3 alternative to Substack.
On the question regarding where readers prefer to read Cryptocracy, 46.7 percent prefer to read on social media outside of Paragraph and Substack. 40 percent prefer Paragraph and only 13.3 percent said Substack. I’m sure more non-Substack subscribers responded to the survey than did Substack subscribers.
The next question was meant for Substack subscribers only, but 14 people answered the question.
As you can see, 64.3 percent—an overwhelming majority—said they would approve of me importing their current Substack subscription to Paragraph. However, given that 46.7 percent of 15 respondents prefer reading on a Web3 platform other than Paragraph or Substack, I suspect that the majority of that 64.3 percent are not current Substack subscribers. That skews what the real sentiment is among current Substack subscribers. Still, I find it interesting that these readers would answer this question with such a strong tilt toward Paragraph. I should have asked whether respondents are currently subscribed on Substack or Paragraph.
I may have to perform a Substack subscriber-only survey to determine the real sentiment of those readers about migrating their subscription to Paragraph.
Among current non-subscribers, the platform of choice for new subscriptions is overwhelmingly Paragraph. This is the most encouraging response of all.
Given that response, I plan to start promoting Paragraph as the primary place of publication in future issues of Cryptocracy, not Substack.
The next question indicates no clear preference among Cryptocracy readers, but it reveals something important about my audience. First, the highest percentage of respondents (33.3 percent) said they would consider subscribing to token-gated content. 26.7 percent said they don’t know what that is.
Fair enough. It’s time for some education.
20 percent said maybe they’d subscribe, and 20 percent said “no way.”
Finally, I got around to asking if respondents have a Web3 wallet. 86.7 percent said they do.
Thanks to everyone who took this survey. It was a huge help in assisting me with the decision to jump from Substack to Paragraph, but my main concern is in losing subscribers in the jump.
What Is Paragraph?
For readers who may not be familiar with Paragraph, here’s a short introduction.
Short answer: Paragraph is a Web3 alternative to Substack. See a comparison here.
Paragraph has some cool features not offered at Substack. Because it is Web3, Cryptocracy could offer NFT memberships; provide off-platform benefits to subscribers that could include exclusive access to content on my website, Discord, or other places around the internet; token-gated content (which means exclusive premium content available only to paying members); multi-community token-gating (a really cool feature that would allow Cryptocracy to niche down into different aspects of crypto, DeFi, Web3, and other topics with premium content geared toward each audience); and immutable content storage on Arweave.
While Substack has none of that Web3 functionality, the race is almost neck-to-neck on Web2 functionality.
Note that both offer the ability for multiple writers to post to the same newsletter (I am contemplating opening the door to other voices on Cryptocracy), embedded subscription buttons, advanced theme options, and custom domains (I’ve been reluctant to do this until now, but I am seriously considering a custom domain linked to Paragraph).
The one place where Paragraph has the edge over Substack is in tagging, a really cool feature that seems like a no-brainer.
Another area where Paragraph leads is in the fee retained for paid subscriptions. Substack charges 10 percent of paid subscriptions whereas Paragraph takes only 5 percent of token-gated content.
None of this means Substack doesn’t have an edge in any way. Recently, Substack rolled out Notes, a cool feature that should facilitate more interaction and create a network effect for promoting one’s newsletter to a broader audience. Substack also facilitates the creation of audio and video content on platform while, currently, Paragraph does not. And Substack also has been around longer, so it’s familiar to more people.
Despite these advantages to Substack, I think it’s important that a newsletter focused on Web3 culture to use Web3 tools. Therefore, I’m leaning toward Paragraph.
One more thing about subscriptions: On Substack, subscribers must subscribe by email. There’s no other option. On Paragraph, subscribers can subscribe by email or wallet address. That’s a cool feature that allows Web3 citizens the ability to keep their email private, and they can disconnect their wallet at any time.
One note about Paragraph NFTs: Since NFTs are owned by the wallet that holds them, when a subscriber grows tired of a newsletter, they can sell the token on the secondary market and the newsletter publisher gains access to a new subscriber. It’s a win-win.
That concludes this issue of Cryptocracy, a decentralized newsletter published several times a week. Cryptocracy is published at Paragraph, Mirror, Substack, and other places around the Web.
Not to be construed as financial advice. Do your own research.