Cabin’s Media Guild is partnering up with Gnosis to build a content library for DAO pattern languages. This is one of the many exciting projects to accelerate Cabin’s place as the embassy for DAOs and for the Media Guild to be the Creator Town within Cabin’s decentralized city.
If you’d like to support, we have a Gitcoin grant proposal open until March 25, 2022. If you’d like to learn about why we’re taking on projects like this (and about the other projects we have in the pipeline), read on.
If Ethereum is triple point money, then the vision for the Media Guild is as a triple point creator platform.
In thermodynamics, “triple point” refers to the equilibrium of pressure and temperature that allows a substance to exist as a solid, a liquid, and a gas all at once.
Based on the trifecta of economic superclasses Robert Greer outlined in his 1997 paper, What is an Asset Class Anyways?, Ether can be a capital, a consumable, or a store of value asset all at once. Thus, Ether is known as a triple point asset.
Analogously, for the Media Guild to fulfill its mission to be Creator Town within Cabin’s decentralized city, we need to work on 3 subsystems within it:
But before we get into the details of what those mean ...
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This vision is a roadmap for the guild to grow, transform, and improve while decentralizing our operations. DAO leaders worry about our content teams and that decentralizing content creation leads to a deterioration in quality. To combat this, this vision outlines a system that aligns incentives so that quality goes up as we decentralize.
This vision is a filter to navigate the myriad of projects we could take on as a guild. This helps us actively seek out opportunities like starting a podcast, building a library for a DAO pattern language, or minting articles as NFTs, while giving us a criteria to say no to opportunities that would otherwise sound good.
Finally, this vision serves as a context document for new contributors to the guild. This will galvanize creators who align with the vision and help them think about proposals to make and bounties to pursue. This will also turn away creators who do not align with the vision.
The vision is encapsulated into three subsystems. Cabin’s Media Guild aims to be:
... All at the same time. Taken together, this triple point vision ensures that we:
Let’s get into what each of those subsystems look like.
First and foremost, Cabin’s Media Guild will be known as a web3-native, writer-first media publication to accelerate Cabin’s vision of decentralized cities and creator economies and grow the DAO and web3 ecosystems.
How we create our content matters. Currently, we have cross-functional squads that work on each article. Each one is a collaborative made up of writers, thought leaders, designers, and editors.
Once the piece is approaching completion, any member of the squad can initiate a "LGTM? 👍 👎 " vote. In the future, we can test having a "test reader" to raise the quality bar for each successive article or we can launch an internal or external write race to decide which pieces to commission for the next season.
We've overcome a few bumps in the road with regards to a collaborative writing model and having too many cooks in the kitchen. But we are publishing and are confident we can structure each team's workflow and composition to produce the top quality articles, depending on the topic and objectives of each project.
How we monetize our content and finance the guild matters, too. Sure, we can put ads in our newsletter. But that would be perpetuating a system with misaligned — albeit profitable — incentives. We’re not against putting ads in our work, but we want to prioritize experimentation with web3-native business models that can only happen because of web3.
As a former freelance writer myself, I know how crappy writers, journalists, and other media folks have it in terms of working conditions and pay. Our guild will compensate writers and editors for their articles and for the long term impact of their work (ex. long tail views, conversions, reach, etc.).
Our writers don’t just receive bylines on our blog. The Media Guild is a way for them to build careers in web3 and earn equity in the form of Cabin tokens. Moving forward, we’ll continue to experiment with various compensation structures such as minting articles as NFTs (with 100% proceeds going to the writers) and paying writers in ETH or USDC. We've also bounced around ideas like retroactively rewarding contributors based on conversions or impressions. This allows a writer to earn true passive income, in addition to the fixed rate for each article.
To paraphrase Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi in Flow, for communities to flourish, they must be both differentiated and integrated. Differentiation means that each contributor is encouraged to develop their individual skills and reach their own goals. Integration, in contrast, unites everyone’s individual growth towards a shared cause, so that one person’s growth will help others.
Cabin’s Media Guild is no different.
One aspect of the community is as a creator apprenticeship. The Media Guild will be a place where new creators can build in public and get compensated for their skill. This will begin with an online writing apprenticeship, and eventually branch out into other kinds of content, including audio and video as we launch into other content channels.
Our feedback squad and newsletter squad are landing pads for new contributors to get their first bounty or new writers to learn the ropes of online content creation and gain context into web3. Someone can join the guild with zero writing experience, work on progressively challenging projects with seasoned writers and editors, and eventually take on a Tier 1, white paper-esque article themselves (like this one).
New contributors start out writing our Cabin Postcard or Twitter threads. They can also help edit or give feedback on others’ work. They receive rapid feedback on these projects and begin gaining skill and context into Cabin and our writing workflow. From there, our senior writers can take them on as apprentices and co-write articles with them until they’re willing and able to take on articles on their own.
The second aspect of our community is as a creator collective. Experienced online writers will find mentorship, community, and further education beneath our decentralized roof. We intend to hold regular workshops with industry experts, salons on interesting topics, and feedback sessions with other creators to help each other improve as creatives. Cabin also has residencies for DAO operators that Media Guild members can participate in.
This apprenticeship model gives new contributors and creators a graduated, step-by-step process to hone their skill and their taste. We’re not just recruiting the best writers — we’re developing the best web3 writers, thinkers, and philosophers, too. Intentionally cultivating talent means we have a pipeline to “hire internally” rather than look externally for hard-to-fill roles within the guild.
Media Guild builds Cabin’s network of networks. Our distribution revolves around recruiting contributors to share our content natively on their favourite channels so they don't have to create net new content. We also encourage and equip our creators to build audiences on Twitter and other platforms.
Our Twitter has grown exponentially over the last year. It remains one of the top if not the top way people hear about and interact with Cabin. We currently have two kinds of distribution bounties:
These thread bounties are a distribution mechanism, a vehicle for writers to improve as copywriters, and a micro-experiment for writers to learn how to work in a Cabin-structured collaborative writing group. Getting good at writing threads → Getting good as an online writer in general.
We empower our contributors to build their own audiences and become influencers themselves. This system allows our creators to fill their feeds with quality content without having to write net-new content themselves. Of course, the ultimate effect of our creators amassing audiences is that Cabin’s network and influence grows, too.
These systems will not be built out in one season. The guild will need multiple seasons to test, refine, and iterate towards this proposed vision, taking into consideration...
What worked in one season might not work in the next. But we can keep marching forward, if we have a specific vision in mind.
Finally, we’d like to include an amendment clause to this vision: Updates and modifications may be made to our vision document once every 2 seasons, including the cadence for updating this document. This is to ensure that the guild gives any approved ideas a good try and won't fall prey to Shiny Object Syndrome, even as leadership changes hands.
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