Web3 and the Creator’s Economy

Text of my newsletter from 17th January.

Prefer to listen? Just the first part, not the links:

You will have heard the murmurings about Web3 – it’s all the rage at the moment, but what does it mean?

If you ask around, you will hear common themes (‘decentralisation’ or ‘democratisation’ of the web) but, beyond that, if you ask 5 people, you’ll get 5 different answers.

‘Decentralisation of the web’ means enabling creators and businesses to break free of their dependence on Google, Facebook, Instagram and the rest, to the point where they create their own communities and grow a sustainable income…

…Independent of algorithm tyranny.

I’ve often talked about the need to avoid basing your business on Facebook. Having your own website, on your own domain, that you control, gives your business a secure platform that Facebook can’t ban.

Web3 takes that to the next stage.

A ‘Web3’ business owner would have their own platform (an online shop, membership website or email list) hosting a group of people who follow them and buy their products or services.

Once their group is large enough it would start growing organically, through referrals and introductions.

They would now be earning their income independently, i.e., without the need to rely on the traditional big tech platforms.

Taking that to the next stage, the ‘Web3’ business owner could enable the members of their group to buy and sell from each other, thereby creating their own mini economy (more details in a bit).

To me, that’s the exemplification of Web3.

Most of the technology that would enable that is already around, although it is still fragmented and requires some technical chops to pull it all together.

Email service providers enable you to host and manage your email list, and eCommerce ‘market place’ websites, membership websites or Facebook groups enable you to create and manage communities.

Technology developments will bring these functions together, making it easier to create your own personal economy.

Technology is the key enabler of Web3, and that’s why you will hear so many different explanations for what it is.

You will hear talk of NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens) and creator coins.

NFTs lock ownership of your creations to you, and enable you to get paid securely for your work.

Creator coins enable you to create your own currency that will underpin your personal economy. Here’s a good description of both: Creator coins and developing your own personal economy.

The number of ‘creator platforms’ is growing, too. These platforms enable you to publish content and attract followers, who pay you directly for whatever you’re creating and publishing.

Patreon, Kickstarter and Substack have been around for a while, and many who discuss Web3 refer to these and other creator platforms as the basis of the creator economy.

To me, though, they are just platforms – like Facebook, Twitter and Tik Tok (frequently mentioned in the same breath as Web3).

And who’s to say that the existing platforms won’t develop the same functionality?

To me, Web3 is about decentralisation. Achieving independence from the big tech platforms, so you can run and grow your income free from the tyranny of algorithm updates.

The big tech platforms will always be around in some form or another, of course, and they will play a part as businesses start to create their own economies.

You will use them to grow your business initially, but they won’t hold the controlling influence that they do today.

Web3 is very much an evolving discussion – it’s both fascinating and exciting!

This week’s links

This week is about the growth of the creator economy, which Web3 will facilitate.

I’ve linked to articles on why creators in Mexico are ditching the traditional platforms, what the future of the creator’s economy looks like, how creators need only 1,000 true fans to make a sustainable income, and a list of 19 creator tools and platforms.

Why creators are ditching traditional social platforms

This article discusses businesses based in Mexico, but the sentiments and message are the same everywhere: see why the trend is towards ‘creator-friendly’ platforms, that help creators earn more from their work.

Creators ditching traditional social platforms

Web3 is the future of the creator economy

Matt Cimaglia takes us on a quick view of how the creator economy may look in the future – one that’s getting ever closer.

The future of the creator economy

How creators can make a sustainable income from 1,000 true fans

Chintan Zalani explains that all you need is 1,000 true fans to make a sustainable income. He explains how to get there, and how to keep growing.

How to get to 1,000 true fans

Top creator’s tools and platforms

Werner Geyser lists and describes 19 tools and platforms for creators, broken down into:

  1. Media platforms
  2. Other creator platforms
  3. Content creation tools
  4. Patronage platforms
  5. Frequently asked questions

Top creator’s tools and software

Cool (and smart) people and businesses to follow

Smart, current and insightful tips from:

Ann Handley (@MarketingProfs)

Jeremiah Owyang (@Jowyang)

Useful resources

Small business tax advice

Free graphic design tool

Fun flashback

Here are two fantastic performers who are, sadly, no longer with us. David Bowie and Freddie Mercury of Queen with Under Pressure:

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Martin Malden

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