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Lisa and Jonathan Ferland on the Promise, Opportunities and Barriers to Web3-Powered Storytelling
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Lisa and Jonathan Ferland on the Promise, Opportunities and Barriers to Web3-Powered Storytelling
In this episode of #StoryFirst we're joined by Jonathan and Lisa Ferland. Lisa is a crowdfunding consultant and a children's book author. Jonathan works in an innovation hub and thinks carefully about how emerging business models and technologies will affect legacy industries.

In this episode of #StoryFirst we're joined by Jonathan and Lisa Ferland. Lisa is a crowdfunding consultant, a children's book author, and a former infectious disease epidemiologist. Jonathan works in an innovation hub and thinks carefully about how emerging business models and technologies will affect legacy industries. Jonathan and Lisa have a unique and clear-eyed perspective on how Web3 technologies, including NFTs, could impact the craft of storytelling, community-supported publications and traditional publishing.

In April 2022, Lisa and Jonathan published a well-received "mapping of current Web3Lit projects and NFTs" in their newsletter.

In this podcast, Lisa and Jonathan focus on:

  • The need for more user-friendly interfaces and guides that can help new participants understand how to take advantage of Web3 solutions
  • Their view of literature in Web3 and what makes NFT-funded publishing projects different from traditional crowdfunding and community engagement activities
  • Where they would like to see the Web3 powered publishing movement go in the future

Lisa and Jonathan Ferland Links
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-jonnystockholm.eth: Research publication on

StoryPrima and #StoryFirst Links
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Speaker 1: I was going wrong. I made a bet with Lisa and she'll talk about her part, but I realized after a few days that I, I was completely, and I had no idea how, uh, web three could impact literature. And like, I, I told her that I was gonna come up with some ideas within like a day. I'm like, yeah, no, we're good. I'm gonna figure out some ideas. We'll go revolutionize everything. And then like a day later, I was like, well, I'm stuck. And so then, uh, then we started changing the past and some of the other really smart people in the face were we're looking into as well

Speaker 2: For support. And at the end of the day, when we're dealing with brand new people who may not be technologically savvy, I am not a three developer. I am not a computer scientist. Um, it needs to be very clear and the directions have to be forward. And even then we need, you know, straightforward guide to help people with updated instructions. So it's kind of like at the very least to have, uh, an FAQ or a guide that goes along with it to walk people through the process.

Speaker 3: Welcome to story. First, a podcast where we shine a light on the web three Mavericks that are leveraging the power of narrative to create immersive NFT worlds. We investigate the art and science of story building through insightful interviews with creators, collectors, and investors. For those who seek a richer NFT experience. This is your portal to a vivid new realm of fiction. Story. First is a production of story. Prima doo, whose mission is to encourage the growth and success of story focused NFT projects through research, education, and project incubation story prima doo brings you the blockbusters of tomorrow.

Speaker 4: Hello and welcome to the story. First podcast. My name is Devin Sawyer and I am joined by my esteemed co-host and co-founder Barry Donaldson, AKA crayon say, hello, Barry.

Speaker 5: Hello everyone. Good morning. Good evening. Wherever you may be

Speaker 4: Together. We represent story prima, which is a decentralized autonomous organization with a mission to accelerate the growth and success of story focused NFT projects through media research, education and project incubation today. On story first, we welcome Lisa and Jonathan Furland, a veritable power couple when it comes to web three storytelling and publishing, I'll let thee tell their origin story in a moment, but I wanted to see how excited we are to host this podcast, because it is clear that we share similar beliefs and values as it relates to the future of storytelling in web three with community and technology is key enablers like us at story prima, we're putting cycles into understanding the space and how it is going to evolve. So let's jump in Jonathan, let's start with you. Tell us your origin story. How did you get, uh, how do we find you here in web three down the rabbit hole with us?

Speaker 1: Um, yeah, I think we're both really excited to, uh, to, to be here. And I think I started into the web three journey probably again from all the podcasts. I look probably very similar to most of the people listening here, where I started kind of dabbling with, um, the Bitcoin Ethereum pieces ramping up and then getting into NFTs a little bit last late last summer. And then like constitution Dow got into the, the Dow pieces a little bit more, just ramping up and then, uh, going full down the, the rabbit hole over the winter, getting really into like the web three spaces, the Dallas spaces, trying to understand that. And then I was going wrong. I made a bet with Lisa and she'll talk about her part, but I realized after a few days that I, I was completely and I had no idea how, uh, web three could impact literature. And like I, I told her that I was gonna come up with some ideas within like a day. I'm like, yeah, no, we're good. I'm gonna figure out some ideas. We go revolutionize everything. And then like a day later I was like, well, I'm stuck. And so then, uh, then we started changing the past and see some of the other really smart people in the face where we're looking into as well.

Speaker 4: Love it, love it. Yeah. I mean it, you know, it definitely starts down the road hole with it. It looks like everything could be different, but then we run into smart people that help us understand that there's a journey we had here in the space. So with that, Lisa, um, tell us a little bit about, uh, your origin story, your background, and how we find you in web three with us today.

Speaker 2: Yes. Um, my journey to web three, a bit different than most, I think my academic background is in epidemiology. Um, so I studied diseases and how they affect population. Of course, everyone knows epidemial after the pandemic. Um, but you know, pre pandemic, no one knew what epidemiology was. Um, and since we moved to Sweden, um, I wasn't really able to, uh, practice epidemiology or work for the government as I wasn't ye citizen. Um, so in that time I started writing and publishing and crowdfunding on Kickstarter, um, store and then, you know, building my own business, helping other authors, kickstart their books and, um, really use it as a platform for, you know, building their audience and organizing their audience around, uh, creative works and coming together and pooling money, you know, together to, to fund these creative works, which is very similar to see the similarities as John was very excited about web three and telling me how it's gonna revolutionize everything.

Speaker 2: I'm like, we already have this, this is crowdfund. You know, we're, we're doing this right now. We don't need web three to do this. So it, I was really challenging him to convince me what web three could offer that we don't already have, or that, you know, we're not currently doing at the moment, cuz it's hard enough, you know, as it is now. Um, and you know, with any new technology, um, there will always be your excited early adopters. And then there will be who are very skeptical. So as part of my work as a crowdfunding coach and consultant, it's my job to explore the space and figure out what's going on and how I can best help my authors either transition to web three and really make the most of it, um, or not, and, and the best way to advise them, um, as it pertains to, to their world building or their audience engagement. Um, so that that's really been my introduction and I'm still very new to the space. Um, I think, uh, I try my best to ask the questions and challenge, um, challenge the, the enthusiasm a little about, you know, putting a damper on any, on anything too much. Um, it is very exciting. I do see a lot of potential in different areas and I think my background in academic offers, uh, a different perspective and I can see a lot of, uh, really novel applications in that field that we can talk about.

Speaker 2: Uh, very exciting. And I'm hopeful for the future of web three post.

Speaker 6: Uh, Lisa, can I ask you, what was it, uh, Jonathan said that sold you on web three

Speaker 1: you're, you're assuming that she sold

Speaker 2: Fair. Fair enough.

Speaker 2: Um, you know, I think that, uh, when I started to see the, uh, so web three has a lot of solutions to problems that don't exist yet. And, um, when we start talking about it and that's why it seems ridiculous when you talk to authors and web two, and you talk about sharing royalties, or you talk about, um, any of these things and as a web two, like please, you know, this is pennies. We don't need to share pennies on, on a book sale. Um, but what web three is quite different than web two is just the, the, the royalty share is almost, um, a misnomer. It wouldn't be a royalty share. It's really equity. You know, you're really sharing equity in the, the project. Um, and so it's much more than a royalty, you know, you're, you're building value and equity when you mint, um, or, you know, depending on how many NFTs you've meant or how you participate in the Dow.

Speaker 2: Um, so it's, it's a much more collaborative venture. Um, I think calling it a royalty share royalty split is, is underselling the value that web three brings to it because it's something completely different than a web two royalty split. So, um, it's kind of like, you know, we need to reframe some things and maybe redefine how we present them so that, um, authors can understand the value more value, cuz again, when we're start to work, um, that has, you know, sort of a, a log log, rhythmic growth potential there, um, that isn't, you know, just selling books, uh, on Amazon and, and splitting royalties that way. So, um, I would say that I can see the potential that's not sold yet, but I can definitely see how, um, it's providing different solutions, uh, that, that are, you know, new, new to this. Yeah, sure. That makes sense.

Speaker 4: Yeah. And it's great. We, um, you know, as we've started on this journey, cause we really started as web three enthusiasts, um, with a passion for storytelling and, you know, we created legends of cipher. Um, as, as a, as a, as a story we want to tell and share with the web through community because the nature of the story kind of is freedom versus control centralization versus decentralization. But as we started to, you know, share that narrative, we came to realize that there's a lot of people creating content using NFT and blockchain technology. There isn't as many people reading it. So the, the, the opportunity to reach audience still really sits and web two. And so what is that bridge? I think, I think the one thing we've come to the conclusion that it's very early days, that the potential is there. Um, so it's really great to see folks like you, Lisa come in with a really practical view, cuz that's really what we're here at this podcast is to educate folks on where we are in this, in the market.

Speaker 4: Um, and how do we mature together? Cause I think there is an opportunity to do it differently, to do it better, to reward creators with greater, um, equity in their intellectual property. Um, so, so yeah, this really excited to have this conversation, um, you know, Jonathan, I wanna come back to you for a second cuz you know, your original, um, coverage where we got introduced, you did a mapping of web three literature projects. Um, so tell us a little bit about, you know, cuz you you're covering the space of providing insight and commentary, um, with, with Lisa's guidance and, and advice as well. Tell us about that. What are you seeing? Um, how are you, how are you assessing the market as

Speaker 1: It exists? Yeah. And so, uh, LA laughing, as you were kind of saying that because, um, I don't think we told you guys, but one thing we wanna do kinda prepare for this is to do research on story prima Dell like focus on the Dow part. So not the story, but story prima,

Speaker 1: Uh, the first draft Lisa like 10 minutes ago, but it's like words and it starts off as like we're so early on this. So it's exactly what you're talking about of building up. Really love how you guys are building up the band for readership. Again, like with the podcast, with the, the, the research that you have as one of the priorities that people can talk and cycle through and, and think about. And then also incubating the stories with the education for the authors, the incubation of the stories to get those, you get the supply and demand piece kind of filtering through and getting that virtuous cycle that's flywheel going so loved what you were talking. Um, and I think that's part of it too, right? That with my work, I spent a lot of time doing research onto some more out there issues and, and technologies and business models for, for, um, for, for, for different executives.

Speaker 1: And so I come from that background and then like you heard Lisa talking how she thinks about things from her side. And we were having a lot of really fun conversations. Like we were walking the dog and this could work and how they could inter interact and how they could be the good parts could stay, but new, um, new things could be unlocked with web three pieces. So we were having all these conversations, right. Uh, I think the kids were getting sick of us talking about it at the dinner table. And so eventually we were like, all right, let's just actually write these down up there and just kind of see, see where it goes. Cause I think, again, it is early, you need to have the community piece, you need to have the, the content piece, you need to have incentivization piece. But then, and I think Lisa has talked about this before the core people, the same, right? The, the, the community and the audience. And I think that's one thing that, that she's brought up a lot, uh, when we talk all these kind of the bells and whistles and other really important pieces are there, but if you don't have that community part, that audience part, it's not gonna not gonna kind of go anywhere.

Speaker 4: And so Lisa I'd love to, you know, cuz in, in the ethos and web three kind of the idea being, um, in a decentralized community and having a Dow, a decentralized autonomous organization creates an opportunity for flat hierarchy for the fans to be more involved. I mean, in the ideal state to have the fans more involved directly with the creators. So to kind of, you know, remove barriers between the owners and or, or originators the, the writers, the authors, the creators of the intellectual property and their fans, it creates this opportunity, but it's an, it's an ideal opportunity where, you know, the, the fans can directly fund and there's similarities to, like you said, um, the communities that exist through traditional independent publishing through Kickstarter fundraising and those types of things, what are you seeing in the, is there parallels, differences, contrast? What are you seeing in the differences between, between the opportunities web three communities and the communities that you've been working with to in the self publishing space in web two, if you will.

Speaker 2: Yeah. It, it's funny, you mentioned, you know, Kickstart's a traditional method cuz it's by far the most disrupt of, you know, web two publishing, um, it, but yes, I think there's, there's a lot of parallels and um, you know, a lot of models that are, are quite similar. So if you look at Patreon, um, that's a long term patronage model where patrons at different levels get access to different, you know, elements and authors can offer low co-creation and collaboration in that way as well. Um, the, the main differences with web three is that you, your investment is going in not only into the, um, the, the project itself, but you know, hopefully return on investment. So again, much more equity based. And I think that's something that we haven't seen in the publishing space. We've seen a lot of crowd funding, equity building in startups, um, tons, tons of startups, tons, tons in, uh, biotech companies, um, FinTech companies, but not in publishing.

Speaker 2: You know, we're no one's offering equity in books cuz it's simply not there. Um, you know, to invest in a, there, there hasn't been a model or a mechanism to really invest in an author catalog of books, or if you have a favorite author, who's very prolific and writing lots of stories. There, there really isn't an opportunity to do much more than consume, um, as a reader and you know, maybe interact in the fan club or get behind looks, but, but not really the opportunity to co-create. Um, and so, so that is a new, a new element. I think that's really exciting with three that if, if the community's up for it and the writer is up for it for that type of collaboration, I think it takes a special as well, the special creative person to allow for that level of co-creation and co collaboration into their work. Cause at the end of the day, they're doing all the work. Um, so it, it, it is a lot to release the reigns of control a little bit. Um, so it's not 41 and I don't think that model needs to be for everyone. Um, but it is there. And it's interesting that, um, the platform offers that not the platform, I guess the, the model, you know, the models are there to offer that if that's something that the community wants.

Speaker 4: Yeah. Good point. I think, um, you know, I think, yeah, that's embed in the web through community, this idea that nftd blockchain technology cryptocurrencies allow for that. I don't want to call it instantaneous, but, um, it certainly makes it very easy for community to create, um, to create funding that could provide enough capital for a project or an author or a creator to get something off the ground. Um, and then in doing that to share equity back, um, some of the technologies that you cover Jonathan, um, that are out there, uh, you know, web three platforms, for example, mirror, um, as a web three platform, we recently, um, published some content in after an evaluation saying that it's not quite ready for prime time. Can you share with our audience, um, cuz that's a key platform, uh, that, uh, has a lot of awareness in the space today, but let us know some of your thoughts there. Um, what are some of the gaps and how do we,

Speaker 1: It's very likely that this messed it up. Very likely if I know my ability with technology, very likely that happened, but also we've done a lot within the crypto space. Like again, moving money around and investing in different spaces. So again, probably mess it up cause it does seem to be something well regarded in the space and well thought of in the space and that it should work, but I'm, we're not brand new at this. And we have two collectors to our first, which is fantastic. And uh, we can't get the, the Ethereum out. Like we've tried, I think I spent just as much money in gas fees trying to get it out that we have in there. Um, and I have no idea how to do or what to do. So I think that money's just kind of lost now or that Ethereum is just kind of lost.

Speaker 1: Uh, yeah. So, but, and I think that's just part of it, unfortunately again, going back to the word so early is yeah, this, like some of the user experience pieces aren't quite there yet. Some of the, the transaction fees are yet even some of the language, just calling it gas fees instead of just transaction fees. It's just a lot of pieces are still just being built up. Um, with the mirror piece we might try, I think they just launch a new update to writing NFTs a week or so ago. Um, so maybe that will make things a little bit easier to use, but yeah, we wanted to, to try it out and start trying out all the tools that are available within the space and that one hasn't worked for us. Right. Yeah. As much as we were hoping.

Speaker 2: Yeah. Yeah. I, I can't recommend a tool if I can't figure it out myself, teach someone how to use this tool or help onboard them. I need to have a clear understanding and really at the core of that, my main gripe with mirror, um, that I don't know if it's been fixed, is there was no direction, the, the instructions on their website weren't even updated. And then, um, I couldn't get any, if I had a quest absolutely zero customer support. And at the end of the day, when we're dealing with brand new people who may not be technologically savvy, I am not a three developer. I am not a computer scientist. Um, it needs to be very clear and the directions have to be forward. And even then we need, you know, straightforward guide to help people with updated instructions. So it's kind of like at the very least to have, uh, an FAQ or a guide that goes along with it to walk people through the process, cuz this can be a lot of money and you, you do the headlines saying, you know, 4.8 million of E or locked, locked in a wallet that no one can access.

Speaker 2: And that would discourage someone from even trying, not that that's a problem that I anticipate we're gonna have. Um, but a

Speaker 4: Pretty good don't

Speaker 2: Steer people away. Yeah. You don't wanna scare people away from even trying because of the, the terminology is a bit off and strange and the instructions are unclear. So, um, when it comes to testing it out, I'm, I'm very happy to test out platforms so that, you know, be, you know, a, a beta beta tester. Um, but yeah, I just think again with the early technology, there's gonna be a lot of grows and we need to, um, be patient and circle back and try again.

Speaker 4: Yeah. I love, I love that you guys are, are, you know, digging in and sharing honest opinion because you know, we, in web three, we need people like yourselves that are encouraging teaching other folks from web two about the opportunity here. And if the platforms aren't, aren't working, you know, that's how, that's how we're gonna lose people really quick on the adoption curve. Um, and we're looking for scale and we're looking for speed of scale, but if the experiences aren't there, it's better to be warned away from it and directed to something that does work while another protocol or platform may have the potential it can fix itself. So, you know, um, would encourage folks to follow

Speaker 2: And the space is moving quite quickly. Oh, sorry. Yeah, the, the space is moving quite quickly. Um, so I was able to, you know, add a WordPress plugin for meta mask so I can accept, you know, E on my WordPress plugin on my WordPress website, wow. Even need a web three site minting, you know, the they're moving forward in terms of making web two more compatible with web three. So I think we're gonna start to see, uh, blending and bringing people tools on both platforms that are, you know, can talk to one another or interoperable, which I think is absolutely cuz that's how you're gonna get more crossover is if you can allow authors to either stay where they're comfortable and create new tools, um, as a stepping stone before moving, you know, completely over to web three.

Speaker 4: Amazing. So there's a WordPress plugin that allows you to what, again, your,

Speaker 2: Uh, connects, you can accept to your meta mask wallet. So accept E into my meta mask wallet, but I, I plugged in my address and added the key and did all that stuff. It worked. Wow. So

Speaker 4: Amazing. Yeah.

Speaker 2: So it's coming, so, and there will be more I'm sure that was just a very simple plugin

Speaker 4: In your research. Um, Jonathan other, what other platforms have you explored and, and would you say might be getting close to hitting the mark that, you know, would support Lisa and some of her community and self-publishing in

Speaker 1: Web three. So we've looked at a few so far. We have like a long list of ones that we want to, to, to go to get us for a while, but the ones we've looked at so far, um, one was the tales of El Lato. Uh, that's one there again, they've done a fantastic job. And the reason we highlighted that is because how interestingly they're using NFTs. So they have dynamic NFTs. So it changes based on like the time of day and their fictional world. It changes like when you refresh the data, um, it's modular. So when you first mint, when you first create the NFT, you get both a weapon and a character and then you can swap and mix it as you go. And then one thing I liked a lot is that like Lisa was talking about before that creating the story based on, um, kind of community feedback can be hard. Right. Cause Barry, you, you would be hard for you to write a story, be like, oh, I need to get this done in the next week. So we get the next vote. Right. Like I know, I don't think you guys are doing that, but if you base it based on votes, that makes it really hard. And the important part is getting a good story.

Speaker 6: Right? Yeah. It's, uh, it's the idea of, so it it's, it's kind of like the idea of, uh, like it's a choose your own adventure story from when like 40, when I was 10 and I'm sure they had 'em yeah. Before that, too. Right. When I was a kid, they had these books choose the way it ended.

Speaker 1: Yeah.

Speaker 6: And I think that thing, that idea is going to is being worked on in like the web free space mm-hmm but I don't think it can be open ended. Yeah. It has to be some preset, like whoever, whoever the creative vision is needs to have like two or three or some small number of options from which to choose otherwise mm-hmm it just goes off the rails. Yeah. So,

Speaker 1: Yeah, exactly. But then with tales of El Torah is interesting, is that they've launched a discord based role playing game, which let's say, let's say a week or a month or a few months to write that next chapter. Right. Instead of having the community check out that next kind of vote is, is possible. Now they have a role playing game. So use your NFT in the game and it gives the community an incentive to keep checking back and keep staying active and engaging with it. So I thought the, and again, at least, and I talked about it a lot, but both the dynamic NFTs and the engagement strategy that they had were really interesting. So we, I think we were really impressed with their project.

Speaker 6: We've we've found that, uh, I'm sure this is common across the space, but the attention span is pretty short. And so there has to be something. Yeah. Like, so we're working on a series of like short comics right now. Right. Um, but so the idea of an RPG or like a discord based RPG or like forgotten ruins wizards cult is creating an actual video game. Um, perfect. Any sort of thing to keep the community engaged between releases of whatever, like your main, um, exactly your main, the main threat project is.

Speaker 1: Yeah. So I think that's, I think that was what we really like there. So, and that sounds really cool what you guys should working on as well

Speaker 2: We're or just tag everyone in every discord update you post that's. That's what some of my disc servers are doing. I keep getting, you've been tagged in this and I'm like, I, I go and check and it's just a generic, uh, update. Um, but yeah, you could see that try that method too.

Speaker 4: Yeah. Spaming is a big problem in web three and certainly discord. Um, so any, as far as platforms now, we, uh, I think you've tweeted about in talking with some other, um, authors that are studying the web three space read mm-hmm as a decentralized platform. What's your view and take on that. Would you consider that ready for prime time as far as author's publishing users consuming? Not sure.

Speaker 1: Yeah. So that's again, on our list of pieces, we wanna look into re we wanna look into soul type. Um, we wanna look into a number of the other tools that are out there, um, page do as well. I think they're also doing really interesting things from the Dow. So, um, but where I do this, when Lisa is working late at night with clients, so we're, we're, we have stuff out a little bit. Um, but they're on the list. Cause I think again, you need to have the infrastructure there, you infrastructure to, to make it work. And so very excited, hopefully that those, the, the read and the soul types and the other ones are, are as good as we, as we hope them to be. I'm sure they are. Yeah.

Speaker 6: I know that. Uh, I, I read a little bit, and I've talked to the guys from page now, and actually we're gonna talk, we're gonna have 'em on the podcast, but both those projects are building infrastructures, working on publishing, uh, some sort of on chain publishing and then page Dow is trying to build their own, uh, EVM cosmos blockchain, uh, for publishing. So I don't know how that works. I'm not a coder, um, yeah. At all school , but that, but that's the infrastructure, right? Like people are building it. Yeah. So, yeah,

Speaker 4: Yeah,

Speaker 4: Yeah. I think we'll, we'll definitely stay in touch and, you know, encourage the audience to follow, uh, you Jonathan and, and Lisa for continued perspective on these platforms as they evolve. Um, and we'll stay in touch if, if we get paged down on the show, um, and you know, we're, we're starting a weekly spaces as a, as a decide note, um, in the hopes that we can kind of keep these conversations live and going as we nice, um, evolve the community of infrastructure, community of practice, uh, together. Yeah. Um, so as far as, um, you know, the overall storytelling in the space, um, you know, Jonathan, you, you covered, um, uh, um, was it a Batman, a DC comics entrance into, um, so that's, you know, a, a popular legacy based web two web, one web zero, um, brand, I mean, uh, brand coming into wet

Speaker 1: Creek.

Speaker 4: Yeah. Pretty wild. Tell us, tell us your learnings, uh, thoughts about, about that project, how it landed.

Speaker 1: Yeah. So I think that was the second one that, and I did. And the interesting part, there was again, how kind of accessible they made it, that they had a lot of the, the, the bells and whistles. Like whether you can decide how the story goes or how you can use your NFT in interesting ways, but you can also just pay with credit card again, like talking about with being, once you start integrating the web three into the web two, and it's a seamless connection, that's a good entry point, cuz then someone has their NFTs. They can get into it. They, that, that demand of readers who are reading in the web three space and then they can go from those more like the big tent project that can, uh, raise, raise the opportunity for everyone, I think.

Speaker 2: Yeah, exactly. I mean, I think web three is so new to, to authors and then of course, to read, have no idea really what it is or what you're offering. Um, so what I liked about that project again was just, yeah, the ability to pay with credit card. Um, they didn't even have to deal with, uh, crypto or, or under create a wallet or worry about losing their passcodes or whatever scary things that come at them. Um, especially because you know, that man is a pre-internet. Um, so the demographics are a little older and maybe not as, um, open to create accounts on websites. Um, so it was, it was a very, I think mindful approach to reaching a new D of people and any large, um, any large project like that is good for everybody. It's good for the community because it brings more in, it introduces, um, the, the concept in a new way and maybe opens the doors, um, to new readers that, you know, may not have really been in the space, uh, before.

Speaker 2: So I think it's always a, a big positive when we see, um, a large company coming in and, uh, trying something new. Um, but what was really interesting. Um, and I think Jonathan, you brought this up was just the number that they minted was the same as like the board apes yacht club. Right? So, I mean, in terms of, of, you know, an indie launch versus a huge established launch, they were quite comparable. Um, so the, the possibilities for in right now, you know, very similar to, you know, you don't need to have DC comics behind you to be successful. Um, you can be successful as well. Um, but we're talking a year ago compared to now. So we need to factor in all of the, the, the elements there, but I thought it was a really interesting, um, element to that launch.

Speaker 1: Yeah. And I, cause I think, again, these Batman are huge projects are huge IP, but they weren't doing anything that these independent publishers are doing. Right. They were, they were doing all the things, but they weren't doing anything more. Right. Doing all things that are accessible to the new, new project that might be coming out next week. Right. So same tools that are available. And then like Lisa was saying, they did a really good job of the needle on their audience. Right. That I think they released like 200,000 NFTs, something like that because they were like, we don't want to sell out. We don't want people to get into gas wars, like transaction wars. We don't want to upset any of our core customers. Right? The people that love the brand that they've built up over the last 50 years, they didn't want them to go away empty handed and upset, but they monetized on that passion.

Speaker 1: They said, we're opening this up for like two days or a week, whatever it was that they did. So they said, if, if you love our kind of story and you want to get an NFTs now is your chance. You can min as man, as you want, you're, we're not gonna sell out. But after that it's closed, we gave you your window. And so they still have that, um, kind of the, the, the tight, tight limit of how many NT are there, but it's created based on the fan passion, not the kind of, or just top down decision making. So the scarcity was created through the window of time. Exactly. The fans created the, the scarcity. Okay. Very cool. Which again was an interesting way for them to go about it. Yeah.

Speaker 6: Barry, well, yeah, yeah. Uh, well, two things. Well, talk, you talk about the scarcity. There's, there's the idea that, that, uh, something in, in crypto is, is valuable because it's scarce. Right? Mm-hmm because there's not very many of them, but I think when you get on the creative side of it, things become valuable. Not because of scarcity, but because people enjoy them. Right. Like I like the books. I like you can get an infinite number of those books. Like it doesn't, there's no like monetary or, well, I don't wanna say that anyway. There's there're value reasons. Um, mm-hmm

Speaker 1:

Speaker 6: But my other, my other, my other question you talked about, uh, you, you brought up that, that they didn't really do anything for novel when they released the Batman, uh, uh, those NFTs, um, mm-hmm, , I'm curious what, what you guys think, uh, this new technology might enable that is novel for, uh, writing in particular, but then just creatives in general. I mean, I've got my own thoughts, but I'm curious what you get.

Speaker 1: Yeah. And so, sorry, when I, I meant they didn't do anything novel within the web three space compared to what an indie or publisher could do. So like the web three stuff is still cool. Don't don't get me wrong on that. Yeah.

Speaker 6: Oh yeah. No, no, totally underst I, uh, and, and you're right, but I'm curious, like that's a big company with a ton of money. Right. If they had a, if they had a vision, they could hire a bunch of developers, uh, and something, and see if it works. I'm just curious if so, like, I think that we're gonna be able to combine, um, so, so like I brought up the, uh, oh my God, I forgot. I lost my train of thought, the, the, choose your own adventure stories. I think that's gonna become a viable that really will be able to be fleshed out, utilizing NFTs, uh, as we progress and this technology gets better and better curious if you guys have come across any ideas of things you might, um, that might become possible, uh, with this new technology.

Speaker 1: Mm-hmm, Lisa, anything from your son,

Speaker 2: Um, you know, to not, to take it in a completely different direction, but I think, um, going back to academic publishing, I could see academic publishing doing really well in terms of, uh, you know, paying the, the writers, um, and, uh, having a more equitable access to academic published, you know, peer reviewed, uh, published, uh, journals. Um, just because right now, I mean, especially, you know, we're talking, uh, current pandemic, post pandemic. I don't know what phase we're in right now, but we've had multiple years of the pandemic. Um, and what was interesting during the pandemic was that all of the academic journals dropped their paywalls. So they made all of their information freely available. And we finally saw the power of what happens when we share peer reviewed information freely with everyone and everyone's brains can work on it. And so I really see the power of, and I'm sure other people do, um, the power when the community comes in and says, we value this and we want access to it.

Speaker 2: And we're willing to min NFTs to this academic peer review journal that makes all of their, their articles free to the public, uh, free to access. Um, I could see the community really, you know, coming into that. And then also from the author side, from the academic side, saying, I'm gonna publish my work there because they value what I do. They value my work and are willing to pay for it, um, and make it freely, uh, available to the public. So I think it could really revolutionize, um, not only scientific advancement technology by making more academic publishing freely available without, without the very expensive pay walls journal to journal, um, that we have now. So, uh, what, what they did for COVID when they dropped the, the paywalls and everything was available is we had huge advancements in vaccine technology, huge breakthroughs in other vaccines and other diseases that had nothing to do, uh, with COVID whatsoever. Uh, we have, uh, major vaccine improvements, uh, for cancer, uh, coming Alzheimer's. I mean that the possibilities are really endless and really exciting. Um, and so I see that, you know, in a way, you know, this is publishing related. It's not, it's not, you know, super, uh, creative, um, but it's exciting in terms of the impact that it can have on, um, our, our human population and how we manage diseases and health in the Fu

Speaker 6: Yeah, that's that, uh, a hundred percent. And I think that speaks to like one of the, the key underlying, uh, this move towards decentralization with Ethereum in particular, cuz I mean, Bitcoin obviously, but Ethereum is a bit more community focused like people work together and are nice to each other. Um, but they're working on sharing information and open kind of permissionless way. So basically crowdsourcing all. So, you know, some of the, literally the smartest people in the world building this technology sharing information. So it's so cool.

Speaker 4: I think the idea of a public blockchain enabling a public internet enabling public good, becomes very viable when you remove walls that are erected by centralized organizations, centralized governments, centralized banks, um, you have a frictionless opportunity for commerce that can be created from the ground up. And, you know, I, I think it's a great example to think of, um, academic journals, um, and in the same context as publishing for creative, um, storytelling, it's the opportunity for community to support the projects that they love versus what has been curated by, you know, not to downplay experts and executives and, and executive producers and, and what, and whatnot, but, um, decentralized promises the idea to great, great structure and governance that would allow communities from the ground up to great opportunity together and, you know, vote on what is most important and make sure that, um, you know, equitable dis equitable distribution of funds to the people doing the most work, um, is properly disseminated.

Speaker 4: So yeah, early days, but yeah, there's certainly a lot of possibility there, if we can get over the experience hurdles, um, and experience hurdles being one thing I wanted to pivot maybe, um, Lisa, with your experience in, in kind of guiding, um, authors in, in the self-publishing space to raise money for their projects, what, what are the things you think that might cuz you mentioned kind of the, the authors and some of the technical barriers that might exist that, um, just happen to be the way web three works today. Is there any behavioral or mental models that maybe craters and authors have to kind of change their thinking a little bit to embrace the space, um, as it might be in the future?

Speaker 2: Uh, I think the, the authors anywhere who are most successful are the ones who are willing to experiment and try new things and persevere. I think, you know, those are the core qualities for, for anything. Um, whether it be, do trying something new in web two or doing something web three, um, at the core of it, you know, of course you have to have a good story, but if you have no readers, it doesn't matter. So you have to really, you know, embrace putting yourself out there, explaining why, you know, I think really tapping into why this is important and why this platform is gonna, and, uh, really translate the value to the reader and say, this is why you should participate in this new way. That's very, this is why I'm asking you to, to do it over here. Um, and engage with me on this side.

Speaker 2: Um, I think really capturing the value, um, and uh, some people will join cuz it's new as will be, you know, persuaded cuz, oh this is so cool and they'll, they'll they'll get on. So I think at the core of it, you know, the, the marketing approach of, uh, tapping into a very strong why being super clear, uh, messaging with your target audience and then of course building the social proof and the excitement, all of it, all of it is exactly the same. Um, web three is no different than web two and if you try to shortcut or do it out of order, it's fine. Um, you're just gonna stumble and Bumble and it's gonna take 10 times as long. Um, if you build up your audience and, and have communication and build excitement and buzz you'll have a big launch, it doesn't matter what platform they're launching on.

Speaker 2: Um, but thes of marketing, um, those have held true regardless. So again, the, the novelty of web three will wear off. And, um, I think in the beginning, people were able to capitalize on that and just say, Hey, I'm launching over here on web three and go check it out. Um, and that was enough to draw attention, but, um, even now the, the marketplace is, is saturated and there's, there's so much. And so it's gonna take more, um, concerted effort and a targeted approach, um, in terms of, you know, audience building, um, it, you can't just get away with, oh, it's new, so I'm doing it. Um, you have to really, you know, explain, explain the why and make that clear to your audience.

Speaker 4: So authors self-publishers really, if they want to kind of direct their community, um, to a new, to web three, for the opportunity to participate in a new kind of equity based model, invest differently in them as a writer or creator, um, becomes, um, something that they have to possibly educate their audience about as much as they would educate and inform their audience about the, the great story they're telling as a great project they're launching makes sense. Absolutely.

Speaker 4: Um, coming up on the hour, um, would love to just close on a couple of questions, uh, you know, first off, um, we'll part two part questions. So part one will be, um, what are the, what are your key learnings? Like? What's the one thing you've learned coming into the web three space as it relates to storytelling in web three. Uh, and then what are you looking forward to learning like, what's next on your agenda? You mentioned you've got a list of things, Jonathan, but love to hear from each of you kind of, what is your one key learning to date and what are you looking forward to diving into, uh, in the future?

Speaker 2: Oh, he's, uh, I'll go first. Um, my one key learning to date with web three is just, um, you know, I I'd say the community is passionate and what a wonderful, what a wonderful entry, what a wonderful way to, to join a discord than to be welcomed and get the fire symbols. And everyone's super excited. Um, we have a very small newsletter. Uh, we have the highest email open rate I have ever seen. I've had a newsletter going for years. Um, my newsletters about web three have a 70% open rate and incredible, I mean, it's insane. , um, you know, people are really about this and about the potential and are willing to learn. Um, and it's a small group, it's a small group of dedicated, passionate people. Um, so I would say that the takeaway is that, um, you know, embrace the community and, uh, don't be afraid to introduce yourself and jump in, uh, cuz it's a very warm, uh, passionate and welcome community that I have found.

Speaker 1: Uh, yeah. And I think kind of matching up with that. I think that like we've talked about, we are still early, right? That if you look at just what is available today and that is static and that's what it's gonna be in the future, that might be kind of right. But seeing the potential of how things can grow and how you guys are developing and launching and how these other, um, read and how these other products are, are launching other books and, and stories will come out. That's the exciting part, right? That it's a totally different ecosystem than it was a year ago than it was six months ago. And so understanding that and seeing how quickly things move, that's really fun part for, for me. And so that, that's what I enjoy. And I think like with the second part of the question, like, and it kind of ties into what Barry was asking me for as well.

Speaker 1: One thing that I'm excited is looking outside of the literature space. Again, we looked at Batman, we looked at tales of ator. We looked at you guys and we want to look more what, like what's going on in music NFTs, right? Are we gonna get a step in for book where it's the, the, the read to earn instead, like, are we gonna start taking those ideas and integrating them into reading books and reading stories and literature, cuz that would be really cool to take those ideas that are out there and just reapply them into the, the story space. So I think that's one thing again on our list of things to do, but that's making notes on a lot as

Speaker 4: I go. Well did you just, I've never heard of redder. Did you just invent that here today on story first? Have you like, re-earn like isn't that it was in't everything.

Speaker 2: Yeah.

Speaker 4: It okay. Maybe I missed that. Okay.

Speaker 1: No we that's one of the first things we talked about around the dinner table through the day. Okay. I'm like, like when are we gonna get the read to earn going? Like you kind, when you get it as you go, like, again, I'm not a programmer developer either, but like that would be cool. I would enjoy that.

Speaker 4: I think

Speaker 2: That's tomorrow. I mean's busy walking. You walk to earn, we walk every day we earn a sweat crypto, um, on our app. And so it's like, why not? I'm reading anyway. You know, why not? Why not get me some, some read coins or, or reading coins, whatever coins you wanna give me to read your books. I'll take 'em, I'll take 'em and count date.

Speaker 4: Love it. Lisa, what are you, what are you looking forward to learning or seeing in the future?

Speaker 2: Um, I'm looking forward to seeing all the, the things we don't even know about yet. I think, um, it's really exciting to talk to people about this and watch their brains work. And I, I get to work with such amazing authors, um, who have, uh, universes of, of books and games and animations and toys and they, they already have these worlds and there can see easily how they can apply in the web three space. Um, and how, you know, people can really enjoy their artwork in a different way. Um, how it can be dynamic. I think dynamic art is really cool and um, unique in the web three space in terms of, uh, enhancing the reader experience in a really visual way that we can't do with current eBooks, you know, the eBooks even, um, they, they do have some animated eBooks as well, uh, that, you know, I think Amazon experimented with a little bit.

Speaker 2: Um, but if we had, you know, even more dynamic eBooks, you know, where the book kind of comes to life and the animations and the, the, the graphics change, um, as you read them, that would be so cool. I, I don't know what's possible. Um, I think that's the exciting part. Um, so I'm looking forward to just looking back on this and being, wow. We had no idea where it was gonna go in the future, smart people out there and, uh, creative people and, uh, wonderful people to work with. So it it'll be really exciting to see what they come up with.

Speaker 6: I, uh, you mentioned the, the, the eBooks, I think that over the next decades as film, like, as movies get easier to make and more people have, I don't know if more people can have screens cuz like everybody's got a smartphone, right. Um, but as movies get easier to make, I think we're gonna see some types of books combined with movies. And so we'll have some, some hybrid like a Netflix series or Amazon series, uh, and kind of move away from just static words on page to a more visual experience, not gonna take like mobi Dick, turn it into a visual experience. Right? Some, some types of literature are gonna stay just a literature cuz people just wanna read the words. But I think people assume the stories, uh, in a different way just to be entertained, uh, more visually than words on the page. So I'm only excited to see how that plays out over the next, uh, well some amounts of time so

Speaker 4: Yeah, I think there's, I think there's the convergence of different forms of storytelling coming together, you know, in web three and metaverse type experiences is one thing. And like you said, there's lots of excitement and passion in the space to do things in unique ways to carve out a unique space for web three. And then when you combine that with the confluence of the economics, between, you know, royalty licensing models, equity, new new opportunities to invest and gain equity in an author. Now all of a sudden you've got the creator truly owning the IP, um, on their terms, whether, you know, they've sold 10, 20, 30% of their intellectual property to their community, it's on their terms. But then everything that is created around that, whether the initial story becomes a comic, a short film, a movie, a blockbuster, an academy award winning, whatever, you know, to me, the opportunity for the creator to retain more rights versus selling them outright to a studio and a publisher, um, is pretty exciting.

Speaker 4: So when you see DEC the opportunity for decentralized models like re and you know, there's gonna be a decentralized Netflix, somebody's working on it. We know they are, um, there's already a decentralized, um, Spotify out there with audience, these organizations, like you said, Lisa, they have a lot of passion, a lot of excitement they're welcoming. Um, uh, and it's very early. So I do think that we're gonna see some really exciting evolution in the space. So I wanted to, um, bring this to a close, but we do have one last question. Um, uh, we, if we think about sort of community developed story, whether it be a writer or an author at the center of the community and their intellectual property, but the author becomes bigger because they've invested their time in building a community and the community's invested their time and money in the author or creator. How long until you think, um, that type of community will be accepting a mainstream award in the future.

Speaker 2: Um, that's a good question.

Speaker 4: A Pulitzer or academy award, like what do you think decentralized community accepting a mainstream award

Speaker 2: Yeah. In literature as it is now. So I think it it's tough because, um, traditional publishing is pretty snobby and they tend to look down on, um, alternate forms of storytelling. It's really a shame. Um, I I've just seen the reception, it, the, the smashing success that Kickstarter has had for authors and just how traditional publishers care. Um, so it, it, web three is even, I think they probably care even less about web three than they do about what's happening web to their detriment. Um, so if we're seeking traditional awards awarded by traditional gatekeeper, let's make our, our own awards. Let's make our own web three awards. forget them. Right. Like, why do we need their approval?

Speaker 4: I like that. And that's the best answer so far. Let's forget that. Great. Our own awards. Yeah. Love it. Fun.

Speaker 2: We don't need, we don't need king bakers over here. Right.

Speaker 4: well, that was amazing. I want to thank you both for your time. Um, really love to hear what you're learning in the space and, and, and as thought leaders and leaders of community. Um, we're really excited to have you, uh, on the show, um, and engaging with us in future collaboration. So, uh, thank you for your time today and we'll, uh, we'll stay in touch for sure. Thank you guys so much. Thank you guys. This is fun.

Learn about the PRIMA Airdrop and Our First Incubated Project: Legends of Cypher
Learn about the PRIMA Airdrop and Our First Incubated Project: Legends of Cypher
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