Newsletter: Community-as-Media

Welcome to issue 134: This week we cover @newmodels_io team on community-as-media, Twitter open sources its recommendation algorithm, Water & music latest report on fan journey <> Web3 music, Substack community fundraiser, FedNow, Metaverse and more mainstream...

By Forefront - Apr 3, 2023

Welcome to edition 134:

▹ Community-as-Media
▹ Twitter Open Source Algo
▹ Patrick Rivera on Web3 Gaming
▹ Water & Music on Fan Journey <> Music/Web3
▹ Creator Economy 2.0 feat Substack & Epic
▹ FedNow, Metaverse and more mainstream news...

---This edition is brought to you by primitives

Week’s Highlight

New era of media collective: Community-as-Media

Media is evolving at breakneck speed, but our conceptions of it are still lagging behind the possibilities. The team at New Models published a piece on "holographic media" that is worthy of exploration.

The article discusses the evolution of media over the years, from the mainstream era to the current era of community as media, and how it has shaped the nature of content and audience responses. Each era of technology has unique "physics" that determine the nature and "natural motion" of content through a network. Composability has become an indispensable quality of the current mediascape, where a community itself becomes a form of media, accessed through various platforms, and individuals with strong connections across multiple communities become literal interfaces for information.

The article then speculates what this new era of community as media may produce, such as illegibility, dark forest expansion, scam realism, and influencer sensemakers. As scamming has become a societal scale, and people increasingly trust only those to whom they are directly connected, influencers and their wider communities will continue to fulfill the role of Trusted Sensemakers. To gain agency in today's media space, individuals need to overcome the physics of its software and think meta, building new protocols that allow truth and trust to emerge.

Overall, the article explores the changing nature of media over time and how it has shaped the content and audience responses. The emergence of dark forest spaces and the need for composability has led to a shift in the taxonomization of present-day media, and the future of media will come from experiments taking place at the level of protocol. The article provides a thought-provoking analysis of the media landscape, and the implications of these changes for the future of media.

In an information abundant world, sensemakers are the new kings of the internet. Media will need to evolve to reflect those realities.

What's Poppin'

The "Open Sourced" Social Media Era. Elon actually did it. Twitter has released the code that chooses which tweets show up on your timeline to GitHub and has put out a blog post explaining the decision. It breaks down what the algorithm looks at when determining which tweets to feature in the For You timeline and how it ranks and filters them. According to Twitter's blog post, "the recommendation pipeline is made up of three main stages." First, it gathers "the best Tweets from different recommendation sources," then it ranks those tweets with "a machine learning model." Lastly, it filters out tweets from people you've blocked, tweets you've already seen, or tweets that are not safe for work, before putting them on your timeline. This is an interesting move by the Twitter team, and while there is still plenty of mystery around the algorithm, it's a step in the right direction. Meanwhile, Bluesky, the open social media protocol built by Jack (Twitter co-founder), announced that they're building a "marketplace of algorithms" from which you can choose your own experience.

The Nouns Project. The Past and Future of Brand Building. A brand is a way to differentiate one product from another and transform a common element into something valuable by telling a story about it. Brands have shifted from mass transit to mass media and spent billions telling a consistent story about who they are, what they make, and what it says about the buyer. The internet has shifted who controls the brand's story, with communities shaping the narrative through their interactions. Some major players in the NFT space, like NounsDAO, are focused on creating a brand first and figuring out what its characters represent later, using community funding to support interesting projects and make finding and funding artists extremely easy. This is a great essay on the history of brands and brand development, and how Nouns is changing the brand model using web3 principles and technologies.

Mapping the Fan Journey in Music and Web3. This report from the Water & Music team maps the fan journey in music and Web3 from project discovery to post-mint community engagement, based on interviews with 22 music NFT collectors and subject-matter experts in the field. Their main takeaways were that there were low expectations for shared experiences beyond the music itself in NFTs --- which suggests that there is a significant opportunity for artists to engage with and please collectors through engagement and innovative design. Additionally, transparency, peer-to-peer support, and participatory collaboration are all reasons for fans to continue investing in an artist's community long-term. As usual, the W&M team provides us with in-depth knowledge on the state of web3 music and the interactions between fans and collectors. This is a must-read for anyone building at the intersection of music and crypto.

A glimpse Into Creator Economy 2.0. This week, Substack announced that it is allowing writers to invest in the company through a community round, with the hope of building a platform where writers have control and readers have agency. Substack has already built a network with more than 35 million active subscriptions, and the team sees a path to hundreds of millions of subscriptions and a significant cultural impact. The move has drawn both praise and criticism, especially given the valuation in current market conditions. Meanwhile, Epic Games announced that 40% of revenue generated by creator-made media on Fortnite will be put into a pool and shared with creators. This is a massive step forward for the game economy, which previously didn't allow creators to monetize whatsoever. Epic has framed their move -- similar to Substack -- as "Creator Economy 2.0". Meanwhile in web3...

Web3 Gaming and Consumer Trends. In this piece, Patrick Rivera explores some of the primary benefits of web3 gaming and where the ecosystem may be headed. He begins by exploring NFTs as a pre-registration tool, helping build hype and generate revenue before the game is played. Additionally, he discusses the benefits of NFT airdrops to OG holders over the promise of a liquid token economy, and how NFTs may actually be a better way to monetize whales. Game design is really about system design. It's about understanding a combination of consumer psychology, marketing, product design, economy design, monetization, technology, and more to develop a system with a sustainable business model and compelling consumer experience. Patrick sees a clear path for effective consumer experiences in web3 gaming.

Arbitrum Governance Drama. Arbitrum ran into some issues with their first proposal. AIP-1 was put to vote to ratify the foundation and move 7.5% of the token supply to the foundation's control, managed by three core multisig signers. While the community voted no on this proposal, the team continued with their plans regardless, moving funds before the proposal could even fail. This weekend, the team clarified that the proposal was simply a ratification, and that the allotted token supply for the foundation was lower than similar organizations had earmarked for foundation operations in the past. Still, many community members are deeply disappointed with the process and what they believe to be a poor showing in the DAO's first governance vote.

Latest on Mainstream...

To further concrete her anti-crypto standpoint, Elizabeth Warren has launched an anti-crypto re-election campaign. Her statement comes at a time when the US has been scrutinizing the cryptocurrency industry. It all began with the closure of cryptocurrency-friendly banks, followed by the SEC tightening its regulations and suing cryptocurrency behemoths.

Next, according to the Fed, the central bank's Fednow payment service will start operating in July, and participants will be certified in April to leverage the Fednow Pilot Program. Ken Montgomery, the Fednow program executive, is urging American financial institutions to make preparations to join the central bank's new payment service. Economist Richard Werner, however, believes the timing of the Fednow rollout is "suspicious," and he suggests that "maybe it's all about rolling out" a central bank digital currency (CBDC).

Finally, the "metaverse is dying", at least within the biggest companies. Zuckerberg, who has pumped $36 billion into the metaverse despite the reservations of his partners, is letting go of the technology. He said his company will now focus on cutting costs and streamlining projects in his "year of efficiency." Disney has said it will discontinue its metaverse division. It plans to lay off up to 7,000 employees in the next two months, hoping this will improve profitability. Microsoft is in a similar boat.

Signal Bites

▹ Read - Sequence
▹ FF Library - MPC vs. AA: The Facts
▹ Report - State of DAO Funding
▹ Deep Dives - NFT MEV Landscape
▹ Cool - The Lexicon of Lorecore
▹ Opinion - Humanness In The Age Of Ai
▹ Cool - #tickettomarsDAO
▹ Interesting - UNICEF Exploring DAOs
▹ Watch - Congressman on War on Crypto
▹ Tooling - Utopia Bookkeeping
▹ Tweet Check - Balaji on AI

Check out Signal  for daily top web3 social headlines

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The information in this newsletter is not intended to constitute legal, financial or investment advice and should not be construed or relied upon as such. Any opinions reflected are the opinion of the author(s) of the newsletter only and not necessarily of Forefront. Please DYOR.

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