Online communities DAO , communities of common interest on the Internet, can include social networks, grassroots organizations, and customer communities. We as a society are by nature collaborative, so it makes sense to engage with other people’s ideas and interests online. Whether we build relationships with people directly or indirectly, community is built. However, the way we do this is different.
In 2006, web expert Jakob Nielsen proposed the 90-9-1 rule, which is based on the inequality of participation in social media and online communities. According to Nielsen, 90% of users in most online communities are lurkers, i.e. observers who make no contribution, nine percent of users make little and only one percent make a large contribution.
But as the influence of online communities continues, their nature is beginning to change. The previous era was one of user, customer, and creator relationships. However, now we’re starting to see online communities taking responsibility for what they want to share.
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Property and Creator Economy
With COVID-19 forcing many of us to work from home and be socially distant from our loved ones, digital connectivity has played an important role in how we stay connected. For many, this has resulted in a greater reliance on online communities. According to a study by Facebook in collaboration with New York University’s Governance Lab, 77% of respondents said the most important group they participate in is online.
Today we live in a world where content is easy to create and share. This creative economy, based on human creativity, intellectual property and technology, is a concept that is constantly evolving. And after a year of shutdown, now more than ever is the time to pay tribute to the creative industries. As governments seek to rebuild their economies amid the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic, creative industries will play an important role. So much so that Deloitte figures show the sector could grow 40% by 2030 and create more than eight million jobs.
The next logical step is the transition from the sharing economy to the ownership economy. Jesse Walden, founder of the Variant Fund, calls a property economy something that is “not only built, operated and financed by individual users, but owned by users”. An example of the coming together of the creative and property industries are unusable tokens (NFTs). NFT enables creators to bond more closely with their followers while removing the problems associated with middlemen. In this way, and thanks to the blockchain, the creators have full ownership of their work and royalty-free control over their creations while ensuring their authenticity. NFT offers creatives a unique opportunity and establishes creative ownership.
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And it’s the advent of cryptocurrency and decentralized funding (DeFi) that is helping to take online communities to the next level. Since the sector uses assets shared by all shareholders to create something that suits their interests, cryptocurrency and DeFi naturally go together. Driven by smooth finances, the ownership economy enables new approaches for real communities to use digital tools to create, capture and share value.
The ownership economy was pioneered by Bitcoin (BTC). By 2009, Bitcoin proposed a new economic path to wealth using computer technology. In this way, anyone with an internet connection is given an incentive to mine the newly minted bitcoin, helping to secure the network, while at the same time making claims on the network itself.
Since then, the cryptocurrency market has grown exponentially and with it, online communities are seen through new tool designs and incentives, including today’s trend known as organizations: decentralized autonomous organization (DAO).
DAO. Online community
The DAO is essentially a programmable organization of people who were founded around a common mission and who maintain an emerging online community. They jointly control a multi-sig crypto wallet and ensure that their goals decided by DAO members are achieved. The management of DAOs and their operation is written in smart contracts, including automated if-then statements, making them transparent and verifiable.
The great thing about DAOs and their role in online communities is that the way they interact with one another is a huge open space and a lot of work is done in that area. Anyone can join the DAO, no matter where they are. All that needs to be done is to set up a fund, which is a great building block for engaging with the community. DAOs are not walled gardens and therefore their participants have internal and external motivations to work with other DAO communities to improve each other’s skills while sharing the responsibility and direction of each project. There is no central party in the way, everyone has the right to say how or should do something.
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The DAO and DAO2DAO partnership is still very much “crypto stuff,” but the real power for positive change lies in them as the movement creates methods, ownership models and tools that affect communities large and small in the real world.
Michael O’Rourke is Co-Founder and CEO of Pocket Network. Michael is a self-taught iOS and Solidity developer. He also attended the Tampa Bay Bitcoin / Crypto meeting and advisory, Blockspaces, with an emphasis on training Solidity developers. He graduated from the University of South Florida.