What are We Most Excited About for Authors in Web3?

why are we excited for authors on web3

2 min, 8 sec reading time

Last week, we sent out a deep dive focused on StoryPrima DAO. As we mentioned then, we are very impressed with their dual focus areas.

Their first goal is to help authors launch their books using NFTS by educating authors and readers and incubating projects.

Their second goal is to create content to spark discussions within the web3 and literature communities. 

Their new podcast series is a huge part of that, and luckily, they were able to get some pretty good-looking and super smart guests for their 7th episode on Wednesday.

(Hint, it was us!)

We were super excited to talk with the team there and enjoyed the conversation with Devin and Barry. 

We think you will enjoy the entire discussion, but we wanted to give you the highlights below:

Topics we discussed:

1) Differences between Web2 Kickstarter/Patreon vs. Crypto

The main difference between web2 and web3 is that in web2, you’re exchanging money for a product. In web3, you can exchange money for equity and invest in an indie publisher or small press.

Both models can have long-term patronage and co-creation, but it’s only in web3 that facilitates easy investment for equity.

2) What determines an author’s success in the web3 space?

Devin: Lisa, with your experience guiding authors in the self-publishing space to raise money for their projects, what are the things you think might be technical barriers to authors joining web3 today?

Lisa: I think the authors anywhere who are most successful are the ones who are willing to experiment and try new things and persevere. I think those are the core qualities for taking on anything. Of course, you have to have a good story, but if you have no readers, it doesn’t matter. So you have to embrace putting yourself out there, explaining why your story is wonderful, fantastic, transformative, etc., and translate the value to the reader. 

Web3 is no different than web2, and if you try to shortcut or do things out of order, you’re just going to stumble and Bumble and take ten times as long. If you build up your audience and build excitement and buzz, you’ll have a big launch no matter what platform you’re launching on.

3) What are we most excited about for authors in web3?

Suppose self-published authors want to direct their community to web3 for the opportunity to participate in a new kind of equity-based model or invite their readers to invest in them as a writer or creator. In that case, that’s a great way to build an authorship business.

Also, what about read-to-earn? That’s a great idea that incentivizes both authors and readers to join the web3lit space and consume stories in a new way.

We also think dynamic art or dynamic storytelling is possible in web3 in a way that isn’t possible currently. The possibilities are endless.

4) How long will it be until a web3 author gets a Pulitzer or a mainstream award in the future?

Lisa: I think it’s tough because traditional publishing really looks down upon alternate ways of storytelling and is reluctant to make big moves outside the box. I’d rather see web3 authors create their own awards than seek the validation of the traditional literature gatekeepers.

This space moves quickly and you won’t want to miss a thing! 

We put out new web3lit articles every Friday.

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4 Ways in Which StoryPrima DAO Educates and Accelerates Authors on Web3

4 min, 35 sec reading time

One of the most common phrases you’ll hear if you spend as much time as we do in crypto-Twitter (note – not recommended!) is – “We’re so early!!!”

The phrase is an invitation to everyone who hasn’t been mining bitcoin from their basement since 2014 that they haven’t missed out on all the fun times to come.

It also warns people that the space isn’t fully mature yet, and there are hurdles ahead. Technologies are improving with each innovation, but the road is still unpaved.

If you step away from the space for a month or two, you’ll be blown away by the changes you see when you come back.

Exponential growth and development are especially true with StoryPrima DAO, which launched in March 2022.

Last week, we discussed the potential of DAOs. If you haven’t read that yet, you can here.

It’s important to remember that DAOs are like neighborhoods. The communities will be different, so be sure to do your research to find your people.

What’s great about StoryPrima is that you can get a really good sense of their personalities, mission, and approach to web3lit from their podcast.

Click here to listen: #STORYFIRST Podcast
(We’ll be guests on this podcast in a few days!)

Intro & Background 

StoryPrima DAO started after the founders of “Legends of Cypher” created their story-led NFT project. While doing so, they realized that writers in web3 required more assistance. 

As they write on their site, their DAO was “founded to help make the journey of other individuals and teams seeking to harness NFTs to drive powerful and enduring storytelling easier.” 

Their goal is to give authors “tools, resources, and funding to help them develop rich, story-oriented NFT projects.”

Building a Web3 Publishing House

If you build it, they will come

StoryPrima announced that their first research publication will be a “census and taxonomy of story-oriented NFT projects” published this summer. So we are looking forward to seeing what they eventually publish.  

Their podcast is exciting, and they have released seven episodes so far, all delivering on their promise to “highlight the mavericks who are leveraging the power of NFTs to tell the blockbuster stories of tomorrow.”  

Image Credit: https://storyprima.io

We generally listen to one crypto-related podcast each morning when we walk the dog, and their episodes feature entertaining and thought-provoking conversations.

If you’re interested in learning more about the importance of stories in the NFT world, check out their episode on “How to Build a Blockbuster Franchise.”

Also, their interview about “AI & Community-Powered web3 stories” raised many questions about how AI and web3 technologies can be combined in the future.

Overall, the “getting readers excited” workstreams are off to a promising start, which should create a DEMAND for story-led projects.

For all the Authors in the House

If you’re an author who is interested in web3 for future publishing projects, then you’ll want to head to StoryPrima’s website for more information and contact them if you want to join their DAO.

StoryPrima states that their goal is to educate authors by explaining the “benefits and drawbacks” of web3 technologies and business models. 

StoryPrima can provide authors with a safe place to learn how web3 unlocks new community engagement and storytelling capabilities. 

It can also ensure that authors understand the “chaotic NFT market” demands and don’t expect that simply launching an NFT of their book will make them a million dollars overnight. 

Educating writers about realistic expectations will benefit the whole space and bring much-needed content and readers to the space.  

Attracting Readers to web3

StoryPrima DAO is also focused on building a readership for the writers within their DAO. This is unique as some other DAOs are focused on the more technical aspects of web3lit.

Building a readership is core to every publishing project and if you can have DAO community members help you with that aspect of your publishing journey, that’s a huge value add.

Incubating Selected Publishing Projects

StoryPrima DAO plans on offering an incubation program for projects selected by the DAO members themselves.  

While the application process isn’t yet finalized, the goal is to provide up-front investment to the project in exchange for “royalty or revenue shares.”  

In other words, an advance.  

This is very common in the traditional publishing world, but now the book deal decision-makers aren’t a major publishing house – they are anyone holding a Prima Token.  

Because we care about you, we promise NOT to go into the technical details of how they create and allocate these tokens (i.e., what is known as token economics or, more commonly, tokenomics.) 

Just know that holding these tokens will allow someone to help make strategic decisions in the organization (i.e., which projects to incubate). 

The tokens will be able to be traded for other crypto coins (i.e., Ethereum or Bitcoin), which can be exchanged for actual money. 

(Note – StoryPrima has a lot of details on their site that do go into these details if you want further reading.) 

Is StoryPrima Similar to a Traditional Publisher? Well, not really.

Last week, we showed some examples of how DAOs can be considered the “corporations of web3.” Now let’s see how that works with StoryPrima. 

Traditional publishing houses are corporations that identify books they think should be published. They then (may or may not) help promote and market the books to readers.  

Web3 publishing houses (i.e., StoryPrima DAO) are decentralized and empower the community to identify books they think should be published. 

Using their established podcast, social media, and community members, book promotion will be a DAO-led effort.

One notable difference is that anyone passionate about publishing in web3 can help make decisions for the DAO, while traditional publishing decision-making is top-down.

Hopefully, this can allow amazing new authors to connect with the communities waiting for their stories authentically.  

Summary

We know we’re so early, and StoryPrima DAO launched in early 2022, so there is a lot of potential there. 

It’ll be great to see how they grow in the future.

By focusing their priorities on growing the demand side (i.e., readers) and the supply side (i.e., authors) of web3lit, they are creating the potential for a “virtuous flywheel.”

  • Have a great story
  • Promote Story on Podcast/Media Channels
  • The story reaches passionate readers and is a financial success
  • More authors hear about it and become interested in the web3lit space
  • Incubate more great stories and begin again

Overall, we think this DAO would be great for anyone with publishing industry experience who is disenfranchised, frustrated, or recently quit their publishing job. 

 Also, this DAO is perfect for any author with talent, passion, and a niche audience currently underrepresented by traditional publishing.

Be sure to contact them for more information about what it means to join StoryPrima DAO.

Website: https://storyprima.io/

Podcast: https://storyprima.io/story-first-podcast/

Twitter: @storyprima_dao

This space moves quickly and you won’t want to miss a thing! 

We put out new web3lit articles every Friday.

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Can DAOs disrupt traditional publishing as we know it today?

2 min, 45 sec reading time

We understand if your eyes immediately glaze over in confusion when you hear the term DAO, but we think this overview is worthwhile. 

Web3Lit DAOs are still very, very new, but we can only imagine what they can offer to authors and readers over the long term. 

In all honesty, we believe DAOs can help web3 disrupt and redefine the publishing industry.

Because this is a bit of an “out-there” topic, we’re going to do a quick intro to the idea of DAOs today with the promise to do a Deep Dive next week.

annakin and padme meme about dao complexity

Background

 

 

There are two high-level views of DAOs right now:

1) They are “group chats with bank accounts”

OR

2) they are an “essential tool in the new set of crypto-economic primitives that will change how humanity coordinates capital and resources.”

DAO vs Company_Aragon
Image Credit: https://aragon.org/

While they differ in scale, both describe the idea of a “web3-native” business.

And based on what is taking place in the crypto-marketspace, that seems to be about right. 

While some of these businesses are smaller – more like collectives or co-ops – a number of them are big businesses that have millions or even billions of dollars in their bank account (treasury).

They work in very different ways than traditional companies as well. Instead of a traditional hierarchy of processes and rules, DAOs are much “looser.” 

DAO members can decide what projects to fund, what decisions to make, and even how much contributors are paid. 

And lastly, DAOs are being found across almost every industry. 

This DAO Landscape graphic shows a bit of the complexity – and it was completed in the summer of 2021 – BEFORE DAOs really became popular.

Image Credit: https://coopahtroopa.mirror.xyz/

Now you can easily find DAOs that:

1) Run Podcasts (we are part of this!) – https://www.rehashweb3.xyz/

2) Launch Wall Street style investment tools – https://indexcoop.com/ https://syndicate.io/

3) Fund big projects that benefit the Open Web – https://gitcoin.co/

4) Are trying to buy a professional sports team https://www.krausehouse.club/ or a country club https://linksdao.io/

5) Fund BioTech Longevity research https://www.vitadao.com/

6) Create a crypto-media network 

7) Literally anything…there is a DAO for basically everything now! 

(We even joined a DAO that tried to buy a copy of the US Constitution so that it could be kept in a museum for everyone to see…that didn’t work out so well.)

Overall, DAOs create a super democratized approach for how people work together to develop businesses within the crypto/web3 space. 

 It can get MUCH more complicated than what we’ve described, but we’ve promised not to go too deep here. 

If you want further reading, feel free to dig into these articles:

 

With all that said, what do DAOs mean for web3lit?

Glad you asked!

Get excited for next week when we dive into StoryPrima DAO and what that could mean for the future of publishing.  

This space moves quickly and you won’t want to miss a thing! 

We put out new web3lit articles every Friday.

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Our disappointing experience using mirror.xyz – the lights are on but no one’s home

a woman in a red shirt sitting at her laptop with her head in her hands in frustration

3 min, 26 sec reading time

What is mirror.xyz?

Mirror could be a potential onramp for Web2 writers to enter the Web3Lit space. However, at the moment, some of the bugs and issues with Mirror can complicate, frustrate, and discourage new users from using the tool.

If you follow the crypto space at all, you know that mirror.xyz is THE publishing platform for Web3 creators. 

Billing itself as the “essential Web3 toolkit for sharing and funding anything,” it’s been valued at over $100m USD. 

It became extremely popular in 2021 because of the success of its “$Write Race” competition that had authors competing for “articles of the week.”

Since then, the reason it is viewed as the best publishing platform for Web3 is because it allows authors to easily generate value for their work. 

How does Mirror Differ from Medium?

Compared to most publishing platforms (i.e. Medium, etc.), Mirror allows creators to monetize their content with Web3 plugins for crowdfunding, minting their articles as NFTs, and even setting up a crypto-based “tip jar”. 

It also promises easy “splitting” of any funds across multiple authors, so if for instance, you were part of an amazingly-attractive-and-intelligent-husband-and-wife-team writing together, you could easily split any funds received from your work.

Because of this monetization strategy (and cache among the Web3 community), Mirror has become the site where authors publish technical documentation, deep dives on topics that they care about (like Meagan Lloysts “Metaverse 101”), and even crowdfund their novels (like Emily Segal in April 2021). 

Testing Out Mirror Ourselves

So, before we can help more authors figure out how mirror.xyz works in Web3, we had to try it out ourselves and report back. 

In our case, Lisa is an expert in Web2 publishing tools and has extensive experience collaborating using cloud-based platforms with authors worldwide. 

Jonny is not an expert by any means, but has played around with a number of Web3 platforms and has minted a few NFTs in the past.

Together, we make the perfect semi-experienced novices who would seek out publishing on Mirror as the first step into Web3Lit.

With all that said, we have been really disappointed in our Mirror experience and won’t be recommending it to others until some things are fixed.  

Our Experience Publishing on mirror.xyz

Initial Setup

When first going to Mirror, you find a polished background about the site and some promoted articles/projects. Only once you connect your Metamask/crypto wallet do you get to a completely different toolbox site that allows you to start creating.  

screen shot of mirror.xyzs homepage says create and connect your world on web3
jonny stockholm's mirror dashboard with two articles

Off the bat, things were easy. 

We were able to quickly create an entry and the content blocks to embed images, tweets, and URLs were all simple and easy to use. 

So far so good.  

But then we started running into three major issues:

1. Outdated/Confusing Guides

Again, we are not experts in the Web3 space, but we also aren’t brand new.  And we really struggled to get our first publication posted correctly.  

While they have a guide available, a lot of the directions are incorrect.  

For example, the $writerace that mirror.xyz became famous for was discontinued months ago, but that first day we were trying to figure things out and found a page saying that we “need $WRITE tokens in your wallet to compose, publish, or create an account on Mirror.”

This is simply untrue – and we know this because we follow the space closely – but a new entrant in the Web3 space would be really confused. 

The Editor Guide’s instructions were not the most helpful either. 

Definitions and terminology in the Editor guide differed to what was on the site, and so without a helpful Editor Guide to assist us, we headed to Mirror’s Discord server for more help. 

However, once there, we could not view any previously asked questions or get an answer to any question we posted. 

The Discord server sat empty and erased our posted question clean after a few minutes like we were never there. It was an experience that was not only unhelpful but also quite frustrating.

2. Inability to Collaborate

This was a huge disappointment – mirror.xyz does not enable authors to co-create on the platform itself. We had to draft our article in Google Docs, edit using Grammarly, and copy/paste the final version into Mirror. 

To co-create our initial draft, we needed multiple tools in Web2 before dropping in the final version into mirror.xyz that needed to be reformatted.

We wish mirror.xyz enabled authors to share the same drafts and co-write articles prior to publication.

3. Features Not Working Properly

Embeds not working

We used the URL feature to visualize people’s Tweets in our main article. While that feature worked during drafting and preview, they reverted to ugly links upon publication. 

The same happened with the image link display on social media. 

When we shared the published article on Facebook, the assigned main image displayed properly, but it showed up as a blank square on Twitter.

How are Twitter folks going to recognize our genius with a blank square next to our headline?

It looked unprofessional and incomplete. 

Issues Splitting Royalties

One of the huge benefits of publishing in Web3 is the promise of easier royalty management among co-authors.

Despite two wonderful people minting our article, neither of us has any ETH in our wallets from the SPLIT. We’ve tried to “claim” the split, and spent ~$10 worth of ETH in transaction fees, but didn’t actually get any of the value. 

Will we ever be able to access it? We don’t know!

split screen image of a man smiling saying

Actual Site not Loading

After we published our second article, we received a comment from a reader who had tried to access the article using multiple browsers and devices and could never get it to load.

If people can’t even read our content, then Mirror is not doing its most basic job. 

Lisa attempted to create a new entry in Mirror and was met with text that simply said, “Patience” in the center of a blank screen. 

What is going on? Is the site down? Should we come back later? Never?

Patience
Unfortunately, not a joke, this is what Lisa’s screen looked like when she tried to create a new entry in mirror.xyz

Suggestions for Mirror

At the moment, if you decide to publish on Mirror, know that you’re going to experience some challenges. 

Even though Lisa has coded in SAS, R, and designed WordPress websites for years, we were left scratching our heads numerous times during this process. 

We suggest the following:

  • Update the directions on the site and have them user-tested.
  • Conduct a user-experience test with non-Web3 people to find holes in directions.
  • Allow for all articles to appear in all Dashboards that have linked wallets. 
  • Update the Editor Guide
  • Update the website to remove aspects that are no longer relevant ($WRITE token)
  • Explain to users why there is a super ugly URL slug to those who are used to customizing Web2 slugs. I learned recently that the URL is linked to the location in the blockchain, but I had no idea that was what was happening and the URL is usually optimized for SEO.
  • Link to your Mirror blog that explains helpful tips rather than direct people to a vacant Discord server. I found some articles here helpful but again, I had to search for them: https://dev.mirror.xyz/
  • More user support is needed, even if it’s from the community. Mirror could provide Frequently Asked Questions or allow fellow users to help one another on the Discord server. No community Discord server should be radio silent.

When all of these issues are fixed, I think mirror.xyz will be great, but until then, proceed with caution…and patience.

We do not recommend using Mirror for crowdfunding until you are experienced in extracting funds from your crypto wallet.

From now on, we will not be publishing our articles on mirror.xyz, but instead, will house them here and incorporate Web3 tool plugins to our WordPress backend.

What about you? 

Have you published on mirror.xyz?

How was your experience? 

Let’s chat in the comments below.

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