The charm of NFTs has captured the imagination of people worldwide, spawning a new era of digital creativity and entrepreneurship. Though they may be characterized by images, visual appeal is not the sole driving force behind NFTs’ success. Rather, it is the sense of community they have created that has led to the enduring appeal and relevance of these JPEGs.
We all witnessed countless NFT communities come and go, but the ones that have endured are the ones that focused on delivering an experience and a sense of belonging. Even if community building has been the most challenging task, especially for emerging digital cultures, Web3 technology is the right tool to make an impact on a much broader audience.
Tuning the Art
Many got attracted to NFTs after the $69 million sale of Beeple at Christie’s, a world-leading art and luxury auction house.
While creators saw NFTs as a unique opportunity to monetize and share their work with a global audience, it is the communities that have emerged around NFTs that are truly remarkable. NFTs have created a sense of belonging in a world where physical distance is no longer a barrier, bringing together people who share a passion or interest.
It is the communities we build and the values we share that ultimately determine the longevity and relevance of these digital cultures.
Although the art is not vital, it can still play a significant role in the values that the community holds dear. The art that is created by an NFT project can reflect the community’s shared interests, beliefs, and aspirations. It can serve as a visual representation of the community, and a source of inspiration and motivation for members. The pixelated art style of CryptoPunks, once a reflection of the playful and irreverent spirit of the emerging NFT culture, is now representing the narrative of the first breakthrough in original blockchain art.
Lack of belonging
If NFTs are only a technology that enables and boosts digital communities, we can see how they succeed and fail for similar reasons than “traditional” ones. It is common for communities, NFTs and non, to have failed due to a lack of engagement and belonging. The successful ones are thriving thanks to recognition, rewards, and shared purpose between members.
Even if the potential for financial gain can be a motivating factor for new members to get their foot in, finding the right people who are happy to stick with the project outside of financial gain is key to thrive in the long run..
Without these elements, members are discouraged from participating or investing time in the success of the community. Luckily enough, the transparency and financial alignment between founders and members are very easy to leverage on blockchain.
Empowering decentralized coordination
NFTs communities have a clear advantage compared to traditional ones. The unparalleled transparency, financial alignment and rewards to members that simply can’t be found elsewhere.
It’s hard to say if it is the Web3 ethos driving a more engaged community from day one, but what seems clear is that blockchain is breaking the barriers between communities and brands. The way blockchain can track the contribution and give legitimization to holders to coordinate events, activities or even build businesses on top of the original IP, is becoming groundbreaking for how we think about community building.
Coordination on the blockchain presents unprecedented levels of flexibility, trust and inclusivity, allowing for decisions to be made by members directly rather than a central authority. This participatory approach leads to more agile and transparent decision-making processes that are beneficial for all parties involved. Furthermore, community governance on the blockchain is highly resistant to external manipulation and thus ensures fairness especially when it comes to vote casting or adhering to rules.
In these respects, community governance and coordination on the blockchain is opening up a world of opportunities in terms of secure collaboration between members and projects alike. While a lot still needs to be figured out, empowering community members to contribute to the success of the projects has been the key to successful NFTs projects so far.
After all, there must be a reason if Starbucks, Nike, Adidas and many more established brands are experimenting with NFTs.