In this brief essay, I’d like to break down the shift that’s happening right now on the internet towards new decentralized models, and why it matters for creators.
Web3 has begun to shift the emphasis away from big tech companies like Facebook and Google, towards individuals who can create and fully control their own digital assets.
Examples of “owned assets” could be music, artwork, book publications, and online courses.
Imagine a world where individuals own 100% of their creative output, and true fans can also own part of that success rather than large corporate entities whose only motive is profit.
There's also an aspect of trust built into Web3 because the technology that governs transactions is programmable, and therefore in theory has less chance of external manipulation.
For example, you might not need to work with banks to get a loan in the future. You could get financed directly be those who support your work, or other creators interested in partnering with you to create something new.
A Web3 social platform may not make you subject to algorithmic changes aligned with advertiser interests that have become far too common in the world of Facebook and Instagram. This is because there would be no company behind these new platforms - simply users who share a common interest.
Essentially, Web3 is an internet that is owned by people with shared interest and passion without middlemen exercising control purely for profit.
Is this system perfect as it stands?
And to that point, there's quite a bit of high-profile rejection of the concept at present.
For example, Elon Musk was quoted as saying "it seems more like a marketing buzzword than a reality right now" and tweeting, “Has anyone seen web3? I can’t find it.”
I don't have a crystal ball to tell what the future holds, however in the short time I've been inhabiting this world, here are two rather large observations I've made that are relevant for creators and marketers right now, and not in some far distant world:
There's a very real opportunity to connect with new audiences quickly.
You can get your content in front of thousands of new people, simply because of lack of competition on emerging platforms such as Mirror.
Want to talk about meditation? You could be one of dozens.
Want to talk about email marketing? One of a handful.
Want to talk about sewing? The category probably doesn't exist yet.
Visit Ask Mirror, plug in your niche or topic, and you might very well see your category has yet to be claimed.
The people that are championing Web3 are extremely passionate about it and want more than anything for it to succeed.
Therefore, people seem much more willing to share your work, and to lift you up simply because you are valued as a contributor who wants to be part of something new.
As an added benefit, content published on the Mirror platform seems to rank quite well for SEO.
This very much feels like the early days of blogging circa 2006. It's the wild west, and there's a higher barrier to entry (sort of like how it used to be MUCH harder to launch a blog), but I believe that those that establish themselves now as category leaders will be rewarded.
There's a community for everyone.
Discord is the primary means of networking right now in the Web3 world, and I've generally found that if you can find the right communities aligned with your passions, and goals, the level of engagement and conversation happening in these channels is pretty incredible.
I saw this tweet the other day that Web3 is sort of like all the world's smartest people exiting the economy and started a new one:
It sort of feels like that, but without any strong pretense of elitism or snobbery. People all seem genuinely interested in learning together, collaborating, and supporting each other's projects.
I'd love to close out with a simple visual and breakdown that might be useful for understanding the shift from where most of the internet began, to where we find ourselves today:
Web1 (1990-early 2000's) was read-only.
Web2 (early 2000s-today) was where we saw the emergence of social media.
The rise of Myspace as a predecessor to Facebook. Reddit, Twitter, Quora, Instagram, TikTok, and a host of other companies rose as giants, and have made a business out moderating the social fabric of our daily lives, and leading millions of people to contribute content to their platforms in hopes of one day "making it big" like some of the early Web1 giants.
And don't get me wrong - many have! But the tech giants who have enabled this have enjoyed the riches in far more excess than any creator could ever hope for.
Web3 (2020- ) is the new online economy in which users can fully own their content without reliance on large corporate-owned media platforms.
They are able to "tokenize' their work directly. You can think of this very loosely as issuing fractional shares. These shares can be offered to supporters for shared ownership, and building community. The platform technology that enables this is not owned by large corporations, and is instead decentralized. This means it is built off of a network of computers whose resources are contributed by the users themselves.
Here's an example of a high-profile collaboration created by Snoop Dogg, who plans to turn Death Row Records into a Web3-enabled label. Here’s his Twitter profile he uses to talk NFT’s.
Looking to explore this world, and not quite sure where to start?
I highly recommend joining The Invisible College. The Invisible College is a learning DAO that gives you the skills, network, and opportunities to make an impact.
It is a school owned by the students where you can learn, build, and create in this exciting new world of Web3.
Joining this organization has been the best decision I've made this year so far for my growth and learning, and I'm excited to see how the organization evolves.
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