A Yellow Reflective

Celebrating 55 Days of Based & Yellow Nouns

Today marks Day 55 since we launched The Yellow Collective on BASE, and since there are 55 heads in the inaugural collection, I figured that’s as good a time as any to get a little 'Yellow Reflective.'

What follows is a brief a look back on some of the highlights and takeaways from the first 79 Collective Nouns, and some things to look forward to!

Some interesting stats from the first 55 days of building The Yellow Collective.

Based And Yellow Beginnings

First of all, on behalf of the founding team from The Noun Square, I would like to thank everyone for the tremendous amount of love and support shown since our launch in January. 💛

The First 69

The demand for our daily Collective Nouns auctions on BASE has far exceeded expectations. Token Number 1 went for nearly 1 ETH, and auctions have since ranged between 0.25 and 0.5 ETH, with one Farcaster Arch head even sparking a bidding war and ultimately going for 0.717 ETH.  

In just 55 short days, we have been able to grow our auction treasury to more than 17 ETH, while our grants wallet at basedandyellow.eth, has been funded by generous small grants from BASE & Nouns Builder, plus over 15 ETH in mint earnings and Zora creator rewards. With both wallets combined, we have so far raised over 42 ETH with which to continue our mission of empowering and inspiring artists and creators, and helping them get onchain (in fact we've already deployed nearly 6 ETH of those funds directly to artists and creators already.)

Slow & Intentional Community Growth

Thanks to the innovative daily token emission schedule borrowed from OG Nouns DAO, Yellow has been growing slowly and steadily, and we have been able to add nearly every single auction winner to a Farcaster group chat so far. This kind of slow, intentional, organic community building really can’t be undersold!

The Cabal

It has been incredible to see the caliber of people joining the Collective too; from Coinbase/Base employees like Jesse Pollak, Chintan, Leo Zizzamia, Daryl and Ryan; to based builders like Grant from Rainbow, Pratik from Powerloom, Mason from ATXDAO, Payton from Privy, David from Covalent, JackJack from Base Name Service and Hidayeth from Webhash; Nounsfolk like Brennen, Carlos, Pat Yiu and FattyButHappy; and Superchain fans + Farcaster OG's like Optichad Dicaso, SOV, Redjetcar, Eric Plante, Sean Bren, Santi, b0ggs, YES2Crypto, Billbandito, AlphaLB, Excavator, Mirko Nosenzo, Loudman and Wen; and finally, super-talented artists like Anaroth, Jack Mashka, Kugusha, Dystopic Hippy and Ashe. A collective is ultimately only as strong as its community, and I feel like we are off to a great start! I've gone to great pains to link each of their Farcaster profiles above and they would all make high-value follows imo.

Based & Nounish Collaborations

Despite being less than 2 months old, we have nonetheless been extremely busy building and collaborating with other projects and artists in this space since day one, as well as giving many opportunities to creators from our community to have their work spotlighted onchain. 

During our January launch, we reached out and collaborated with as many based builders as we could cram into one week: We were featured on a beautiful daily Basepaint canvas, customized a Yellow Speedtracer track, collab'd on a Yellow Based Management edition and even released a vibing track from our homies at The Park.

We also commissioned a beautiful limited edition piece by Kimmydeuk, a talented artist from The Noun Square community, which was featured by Coinbase Wallet and minted almost 14000 times! (We ended up surprising Kimmy with a 1 ETH bonus above what we had agreed for the commission since it did so well, and she was over the moon!)

Based & Yellow Artist Spotlights

One concept we had developed for The Yellow Collective, as a way to amplify and support artists, is a monthly onchain event called the Based & Yellow Artist Spotlight. The idea is to collaborate with an artist on a piece that represents the Nouns, Yellow and BASE communities, and drop it together as a free mint on BASE L2 via Zora.

Our inaugural Spotlight featured iconic multi-talented artist Cory Van Lew. He created a stunning piece called "Chief Noggle" and we dropped it on Feb 8, as a one week limited open edition. The illustration was minted over 2600 times, and Cory was blown away by the support. Thanks to Zora Creator Rewards, we were able to share over 1 ETH with Cory for his art, and he opted to donate 0.15 ETH from the proceeds to Yellow as well.

All in all, we counted this as a great win-win-win initiative, as it was a positive experience for the artist, mission-aligning for Yellow, and it also brought renewed attention to both Nouns and BASE. We have our second Artist Spotlight featuring a really fun piece by former Rick and Morty animator and Nouner Sloppy Pencil, coming up next week. If you would like to recommend yourself or an artist you admire for a future BYAS, please drop the suggestion in our Yellow Channel on Farcaster.

Farcaster Frame Mania

Speaking of Farcaster, when Frame-Mania first struck on the purple app, we jumped at the opportunity to join in on the fun. Our resident code-wizard Spencer Perkins from Paperclip Labs helped us put together a novel token-gated frame that allowed Farcaster users to mint one of 2000 limited edition NFTs with Based & Yellow Nounish art commissioned from TNS community member JollyMaw.

The frame was extremely popular, minting out in just a couple of hours. We saw our Yellow channel explode from 150 to over 6000 followers, and the Frame cast was shared 917 times and Liked some 1280 times. This is was a useful lesson about the tremendous distribution power of Farcaster and frames, which we have since been able to leverage at The Noun Square for our onchain minted video content as well.

When the word got out that the frames spec would soon be expanded to include in-frame transactions, we immediately began work on developing two separate Day One tx-in-frame concepts: The first ever auction in a frame (which was built by Paperclip Labs and has already been receiving daily use in our channel), and a collaboration with Slice and Base to mint a limited run of SUPER BASED hoodies, with proceeds to The Yellow Collective. The latter frame is still open for a few more days, but has already grossed over 7 ETH for Yellow. (Thank you to Jesse and Jacopo from Slice for making this drop possible.)

Some General Lessons and Observations on Building Yellow So Far

  • Leaning into Farcaster has been key. From Day One, we have built Yellow as a Farcaster-first organization. No Discord, no telegram, just an active public channel on Warpcaster and a token-gated private Group Chat. I think this has paid dividends both in terms of the aforementioned closeness of our community, and also in terms of the attention we have received from Farcaster natives, many of whom have joined the Collective or reached out to collaborate in other ways.

  • Finding your niche community can be daunting, but it's important. In the days of early planning for Yellow, we worried about demand for auctions in "yet another" Nouns fork. (Nouns ecosystem members could be forgiven for perhaps having a bit of fork fatigue after all.) So it was important for us to find a mission that would unify people both inside and outside of nouns -- supporting and empowering artists and creators -- and to focus a lot of our early energy on creating a nounish community that folks from the BASE and Farcaster ecosystems might be interested to join as well, rather than 'just another place for nouns fans to hang out.' A cursory review of the Collective membership so far will show that this intentionality has so far been paying off, with the majority of our membership coming from outside the traditional nouniverse so far. We are excited to be in a position to blend the world of nouns with the communities of the most values-aligned L2s (BASE, Zora, Optimism) and the most decentralized social network state (Farcaster.)

  • Leading the way on creating a positive "minting culture" in Nouns. One of the numbers I am most excited about on the chart at the top of this essay is the total number of Yellow content pieces minted over the past couple months -- 23,500. That's an average of more than 400 mints every day!

    There has been some talk recently from Noun 40 and others about the importance of encouraging a mint-what-you-enjoy culture both inside and outside of nouns, because of the potential new paradigm of patronage this kind of model could unlock.

    The corollary to that 23,500 number I mentioned above is the one that's just a little further up on the chart: over 15 ETH earned so far from minting revenue. The fact that our Collective has so far earned nearly as much from minting community art, content and collaborative drops as we have from our daily auctions is (hopefully) an early indicator that we are in the arena doing some things correctly.

  • BASE REALLY Understands Distribution. I can't say enough positive things about the level of support we have received since day one, both from core BASE team members like Jesse, Drew Coffman, Chintan from Coinbase Wallet and more, and also just from the broader community of based builders and enjoyooors. We spent a long time deciding which L2 we should deploy our Collective on, and there were good arguments to have launched on other networks like Zora or Optimism instead. Honestly, any of these choices would have been fine. But our decision to deploy on BASE has helped us hit the ground running in a way we never could have imagined. BASE understands that its chain will live or die by the strength of its builders, and the team is not afraid to leverage their reach and distribution to help those builders survive and thrive. Of course, you still have to bring the energy and build interesting things, but if you do, they will help you find your audience. This is something that most ecosystems do not understand. (It's also something many ecosystems could stand to learn, imho.) If you are planning to launch something on an L2, my recommendation is... launch it on BASE and you won't be disappointed.

What's Next for Yellow?

The past 55 days have been a whirlwind, but we are just getting started. We are currently in the final stages of preparing our second Based & Yellow Artist Spotlight featuring a piece by Nouner Sloppy Pencil, which will drop next Thursday, March 21.

The custom Yellow Collective Swag Bags containing hats, hoodies and custom Precious Plastic Noggles have all arrived at Toady HQ and I will be packing and sending them out to the first 30 non-founder token holders in the Collective as a thank you for their early support. (A few lucky Yellow folks whom I ran into in Denver got to grab theirs already!)

We have even lined up our third Artist Spotlight as well in the legend Yon (Botfrula). Expect an amazing Based, Yellow & Nounish piece to drop from him mid-April!

We have already hosted several really fun art contests this year in conjunction with The Noun Square, and you can view all the incredible entries on our Uplink Profile here. We have also been minting the winning entries and runners up and you can view (and mint for free, if you like) all these pieces on our Based & Yellow Zora Profile. We have more great contests coming up soon, including a competition to add 50 new community-drawn heads to the Collective Nouns descriptor! This will be in collaboration with the Noundry team, who are nearly finished deploying a bespoke Yellow.Noundry version of their site, where pixel masters will be able to draw and submit their heads and accessories for consideration, with the potential to both win prizes and have their art added to the Yellow collection!

In closing, I just want to say a huge thank you to all those who have helped and supported Yellow since launch, from the artists who have blessed us with their talent to the based builders who have jumped at every opportunity to collaborate. A special personal thank you to Jesse Pollak from BASE, who saw the Yellow vision early on and has supported us with encouragement, opportunity and amplification at every turn. Much love. 💛

We are excited for the future and we hope you are too-- keep it Based & Yellow. ⌐◨-◨

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