May 11, 2023
Every new technology wave brings a new form of community. A shift from Web2 to Web3 has led to communities redefining their structure, functioning, and benefits. Communities are the cornerstones of Web3 projects as they provide feedback, support in scaling, and advocate for a project. Web3 project founders and developers form communities before a project’s launch to bring together like-minded individuals to build ideas and drive project success. The key drivers of Web3 communities are education, community management, incentives, partnerships, and diversity. Web3 today needs social coordination as much as it needs technological advancement; this blog dives into what it means to build a Web3 community, its role in Web3 projects, and its main drivers for growth.
What is community building in Web3?
Community building in Web3 involves bringing together, sustaining, and representing a group of individuals with a shared interest and vision of the decentralized web. Before developers launch a Web3 project, they build communities that give members control over deciding the project's future.
Web3 communities host events and provide resources to help educate members on emerging Web3 technologies. A common purpose drives these communities - to work, learn, and grow in the Web3 space together. Communities provide a sense of belonging and an environment to build a strong bond with others having similar experiences, eliminating the sense of alienation or isolation in the Web3 industry.
Community building usually involves two layers:
Technical community members: Web3 creators, developers, and artists drive these communities by building a project by providing their critique and ideas, iterating on projects, and collaborating on achieving a common goal. In these cases, members are a part of the shared decision-making and collectively build the Web3 project.
Non-technical community members: These communities do not necessarily have the technical expertise to build a Web3 project but are highly involved by sharing ideas, creating content, and governing the project.
Successful Web3 communities have a clear vision to guide their decision-making and processes and strong leadership that drives the group's direction. They also have a diverse and inclusive community that provides a safe space for people of different backgrounds and genders to come together and collaborate.
What is the role of community in Web3?
Communities play a critical role in developing and growing Web3 technologies in the following ways:
Providing feedback and support to developers
Web3 communities play a significant role in developing projects from ideation to solution building. Community members should represent the Web3 projects' target audience, making them a minimum viable community (MVC). Involving these communities in the decision-making process will ensure developers can iterate their products and add features to align with market needs. Additionally, developers can get their communities to share their opinions through surveys, polls, or discussions, giving them more project ownership.
Driving adoption and scaling the project
Projects like Bitcoin and Ethereum have scaled and risen to success, owing to their communities that were instrumental in keeping the network secure and operational. However, scaling a project by building a strong community is not solely restricted to layer-1 blockchains like Bitcoin and Ethereum. The success of decentralized Web3 projects is contingent on the strength of the communities they build. For instance, decentralized finance (DeFi) applications depend on the ability to grow developer activity, leading to greater decentralized applications and wallet integration. The Bored Ape Yacht Club, a prominent NFT project in the Web3 space, also garnered massive support owing to the community they built around the project.
Promoting and advocating for a project
Web3 communities include highly engaged, invested, and passionate members of a project. These members are ideal ‘project ambassadors’ who advocate for a venture. Developers must nurture these members by getting them involved in ambassador programs and rewarding them for promoting a project across channels and social media platforms. For example, Bepro, a Web3 company, organized the ‘Bepromoter Ambassador Program’ to encourage community enthusiasts to boost their Web3 technology.
Which are the main drivers of Web3 communities growth?
Education and awareness
People still need to familiarize themselves with Web3 and its potential. Communities are key drivers in providing education in the space by offering upskilling opportunities to learn about Web3 and access to resources like documentation, forums, and tutorials. These networks are great platforms to connect with thought leaders and influencers who can help build a fundamental understanding of the space.
Good Morning Web3, a project fully funded by LandVault, aims to be a channel to onboard the next 100 million people into Web3 with a thriving community.
Landvault’s CEO Samuel Huber said: “At LandVault, we are big believers in the power of community to succeed in Web3. We have already been running many events, but I am proud to officially launch gmw3.com as a portal for members to browse and register for events and build their network. We believe in networking above promoting, so we are setting this up as a separate brand!"
Leadership and community management
Community managers and teams can foster engagement and build trust among members. These managers are long-standing supporters of the Web3 project who help spark discussions and assist members by answering questions and comments regularly. Some primary duties of Web3 community leaders and managers are:
Moderation across platforms
Daily engagement in community chats and groups
Technical assistance to community members
Incentives and rewards
Token-based reward systems can attract and retain Web3 community members by incentivizing them to engage more and contribute to a project. Incentives could include airdrops, special events, giveaways, and prizes. Project founders sometimes reward members for undertaking a particular task on social media platforms. On the flip side, these reward systems only boost vanity metrics like followers or likes in some instances. Unscrupulous members can exploit project founders or developers through harmful activities where they artificially hype up a project to claim a reward. Developers must execute these activities with caution to avoid any backlash.
Some popular rewards and incentives in Web3 communities are:
Airdrops: Project founders airdrop digital assets to early adopters in the community to drive engagement during the project build.
Bug Bounties: These rewards encourage developers to identify security threats and bugs in the project.
Competitions: Web3 project founders also run competitions to encourage innovation and find solutions to complex problems in the project.
Collaboration and partnerships
Joining forces with other Web3 projects and communities is a great tactic to scale, expand reach, and establish your role in the ecosystem. Collaborations like co-hosting panel discussions or Ask Me Anything (AMA) sessions with founders of other projects or thought leaders in the Web3 industry also effectively reach new audience bases, giving your project greater exposure. Polygon and Hermez Network merged to build a larger community that focuses on achieving a common goal of scaling their Web3 network.
Inclusivity and diversity
The Web3 industry, though primarily male-dominated, can be more diverse by encouraging participation from women and other minority groups. Web3 is decentralized, meaning it distributes ownership among users and is permissionless, giving everyone equal access to participate. These features create an opportunity for Web3 projects to welcome further diversity, which project founders can ensure by developing codes of conduct for communities that echo the values of inclusivity. Greater diversity will ultimately drive Web3 project innovation and support building inclusive products.
Who runs the best Web3 community?
There are many successful Web3 communities, each with its strengths and characteristics. Some leading Web3 communities are:
The Ethereum community
Ethereum is a leading decentralized blockchain platform with a peer-to-peer network that allows developers to build various decentralized applications (dApps). Ethereum has one of the most influential Web3 communities with its rapidly expanding network of developers, technologists, designers, and users, among other enthusiasts. While the platform is ideal for members to meet like-minded individuals, it also allows them to earn a living. Individuals have several ways to get involved with Ethereum’s community, from joining online forums, chat rooms, and events to contributing to projects. Community groups also give users ownership and voting rights through decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs). Users can also apply for grants to build a project on Ethereum.
Filecoin’s orbit community
Filecoin is a decentralized cloud storage platform with its own Web3 community called the ‘Orbit Community Program.’ The community program, launched in 2022, brings together members with technical and non-technical backgrounds to gain equal access to Web3 tech and its applications. While members are called upon to amplify Filecoin’s place in the ecosystem, it is also a safe space to create and access educational resources, events, and content around Web3. A flagship feature of the Filecoin Orbit Community Program is its four-tier milestone system that rewards members for achievements with gift hampers and invites them to special events. Apart from encouraging individuals to join as members, Filecoin also drives enterprise community participation with incentives like opportunities to showcase new use cases and event sponsorships.
The Polkadot community
Polkadot is an open-source Web3 project that connects blockchains, enabling data transfers across previously incompatible networks. It has its native network token, the DOT token. This decentralized web project nurtures a community of artists, developers, and event organizers, among other members, allowing anyone to contribute to building the project.
Developers can join the Polkadot community by contributing to the codebase on GitHub or participating in hackathons. Members can also join online communities on Reddit and Discord or participate in local and virtual meetups. Like Ethereum, members can apply for project grants or get funded by Polkadot’s treasury arm.
The Polkadot community also has an ambassador program dedicated to project advocates who want to be involved in the following tracks - content creation, community well-being, events, or on-chain Activity. As of December 2020, Polkadot had 415 ambassadors across more than 65 countries.
Web3 communities are vital for the development and growth of decentralized projects. These communities unite individuals, including developers, creators, and designers, with a shared interest and vision, giving them control over a project’s future. They play a fundamental role in providing feedback, driving adoption, promoting projects, and fostering collaboration. Education, strong leadership, incentive programs, partnerships, and inclusivity drive Web3 community growth. Drawing inspiration from some leading Web3 communities built by Ethereum, Filecoin, and Polkadot, upcoming decentralized projects can tailor their strategies to build strong networks that drive innovation and adoption in the industry.
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May 11, 2023
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