Building The Future Of Online Community
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July 12th, 2022

We’re going back to the start.

Ask any real innovator, and they’ll agree that to truly create something new, from 0 → 1, you need to go back, and solve a problem using first principles.

If you ask me why I’m excited about Web3, it’s not because of the hype, or the bored apes, or the quick-flip get-rich-quick attitudes.

I’m excited because Web3 gives us a new set of first principles to work from. For the first time in a long time, we have a new set of primitives for the Internet. A new set of tools to solve problems with. To innovate with.

What this means is that we don’t need to hunt for new problems to solve, but we can look at existing problems, and solve them in entirely new ways. That’s exciting.

Right now we have the opportunity to step back, unlearn how things have been done over the past couple of decades, and innovate.

So, what tools do we have at our disposal?

Digital ownership

For the first time ever, it’s possible to own something digitally. Not a copy of something, which is what software has been able to do for years. Really, verifiably, own a single digital asset. Something that’s unique, and can’t be copied or replaced.

It’s a subtle but really important difference.

You might own a copy of the latest Ed Sheeran track, purchased through iTunes. With blockchain technology, you could really own the latest Ed Sheeran track. The actual thing.

The concept of ownership on the Internet opens a world of possibilities, which we’re only exploring and discovering now. The use cases we see out there today are just scratching the surface of what’s possible.

And, with ownership, comes a natural human connection of those who share a common interest. If you’re an owner of something that you care about, and you encounter a stranger who cares about it too, that’s common ground upon which to establish a connection.

It’s the entire premise behind car clubs, for example. If I own a vintage Aston Martin and someone else does too, we can bond over that.

Now it’s possible digitally, too.

Community

Humans have been looking for connection for thousands of years. Collecting, bonding, supporting, and surviving together. It’s in our DNA.

In the offline world, we’ve been gathering around common interests for a long time, as well. Car clubs, stamp collectors, radio enthusiasts. If you’ve got one, you’re in the club. Even if you don’t know anyone in that space yet, you’ve found common ground to begin.

Only now are we able to solve this missing piece online, digitally. Owning a digital asset affords you the ability to gather with others who own one too.

With the world becoming more geographically dispersed, working remotely, finding peace outside of city hubs, this connection can be more difficult to find or establish in person. People look to online communities more and more.

The shift away from big-tech driven social media is unmissable. New social networks are more about entertainment than human connection. People are more aware of data privacy, and more careful about how they spend their attention online.

In other words, online community represents a vital part of the future of human connection.

Taking communities further

Sitting at the precipice of this monumental shift, we can’t ignore the opportunity to make a difference. To go back to the start, innovate with the tools and first principles we have today.

The community builder in the next years is going to be one of the most meaningful roles with regard to human impact. A good one will bring people together from all over the world, breaking down barriers, and delivering a sense of belonging. Satisfying a core human need. They will build a vision, a purpose, and gather those who care. They will build movements, and create change.

Beyond’s very purpose is to help them make that happen. We’re here to support community builders on their mission. Because with each one that we help, we’re potentially helping to change the lives of thousands of people.

- Shane


Thank you for reading! Follow us on Twitter to not miss out on anything Web3 community building.

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