The Essence of Web3.0
— By Sam Zoghbi
Almost everyone you meet in the space, and most people who have made the complete shift, have one thing in common: A strong feeling of freedom and responsibility at the same time.
People in the space also acknowledge the fact that this power comes at a price and the price is their presence and being part of a community.
This is why the community is the main player in most projects that succeed and stay in the space.
What makes and breaks any project in web3.0 is the community that stands behind it.
What is a Web3 community?
Web 3.0 was built for communities; the basis of this whole space is equality decentralization, equal opportunities, and unrestricted access.
For web3.0 people can form communities called decentralized autonomous organizations, or DAOs, and vote to collectively manage the decision-making and direction taken by a platform. This is designed to reduce the power of third parties where leadership and management are only carried out by a few select individuals.
Web3.0’s community-centric foundations lead to better-scaling communities where members can still feel involved and contribute their expertise to the growth of the brand. This system of empowering community members to become self-starting contributors and create value, however, leads to a potentially fundamentally different working style when maximally utilized: Web3.0 projects are much more decentralized and have a focus on directing the community’s diverse talent on overarching strategic initiatives, whereas most Web2 companies are much more centralized and rely on finding and hiring talent that belongs to the company.
Moreover, the core essence of web3.0 is:
1) taking away the middleman by enabling true peer-to-peer social and transactional relationships.
2) rewarding people based on their actual contributions, both financially and through social recognition.
What is the purpose of community building?
In the modern world, more and more humans feel the need to create more meaningful connections and find and offer support to other humans with whom they can build relationships and systems of exchange.
“Community.” The key word everywhere
Web3 has brought the value of community building into the spotlight. The most successful blockchains, DAOs, NFT projects, defi protocols, and decentralized marketplaces all have one thing in common. They are all powered by engaged communities.
These communities create real value for their members. They drive real connections and offer the opportunity to be part of a shared idea or movement. Web3 communities provide a framework for members to contribute to what is being built and to benefit from its success. In turn, community members act as a viral marketing machine accelerating the growth of the community.
For the most part, web3 communities use a public-facing platform (usually Twitter) to communicate their vision, share announcements and attract new members. Communication on this channel is about generating interest and enticing people to join the community’s primary platform (usually Discord).
The majority of community interactions are happening at this second level. Discord allows community managers to create an efficient, organized structure for communication. Automated messages and other tools can be used to streamline the experience of new users coming into the space.
New users should be greeted and provided with information about how the space is organized. Channels for topics should be clearly marked. User experience is key. The faster a new user starts to engage with others in the space, the more likely they are to stick around and contribute to the community.
Web3 communities are brought to life by effective storytelling. The story paints a picture of what the community might accomplish together, and what problems it might solve. The story gives life to the project and attracts individuals who feel aligned with its stated purpose.
“NFT projects are the perfect intersection of storytelling and community building.”
There’s nowhere in the web3 space where this is more apparent than NFTs. NFT projects are the perfect intersection of storytelling and community building. If a team can craft a story that creates a strong connection with even a niche group, a community can grow very quickly around that story.
Members of a community using an NFT from the project as their profile picture is an incredible viral marketing tool. They are sending a message to the world that they are aligned with the goals or the attitude of that project.
Transparency in Project Development
Keeping your community engaged means keeping them informed on the development of the project. Successful Web3 projects typically maintain and update a public roadmap outlining near-term and long-term initiatives. Founders are vocal on Twitter.
Project teams make themselves accessible to the community on a regular basis via live AMAs (ask-me-anything) and community events.
Discord voice channels and Twitter Spaces are great for hosting these events.
It’s not enough just to be transparent. Building an engaged Web3 community requires creating a framework for community members to actively contribute to the project.
One of the most effective ways that projects are encouraging community participation is by organizing as DAOs. This allows community members to submit and vote on proposals to move the project forward. The ownership of DAO governance tokens also allows the community to benefit financially from the success of the project.
How do you give power & freedom to the community? Enter Web3.
Web3 is a recognition of the fact that communities are at the heart of it all. Combined with the mechanisms of crypto/blockchain technology, Web3 provides a mechanism for community members to become shareholders in projects they believe in. This is a boon for brands as well: they can start raising capital internally from early project backers without intermediaries and complicated term sheets. Of course, investing comes with risk, but it is a way for community members to support the project even with small amounts of capital based on their conviction and then benefit from the upside.
A game-changing feature of Web3 is also the ability for projects to recognize their community members that have provided intangible (non-currency) investments. Based on their contributions to the community, Web3 projects can provide roles, bounties, and rewards for early members who share their time and support the project’s goals. This provides two things: a way for projects to effectively leverage niche experience from the community and a system for retaining community members and encouraging engagement.