Community is a buzzword. Niche is often a misused word, if not just another buzzword. Even though we toss these two keywords around a lot in marketing and business, Web3 is not even tossing the word around but rather sprinting in a straight line with it between its two big hands.
Web3 is empowering the collaboration between financial incentives and intrinsic motivation, from the leaders perspective to the members. Tokenization and blockchain utilization paired with a strategized content distribution, can potentially enhance the experiences for your community dramatically.
Financial access and viability can increase the “quality” of the communities. Integrating a monetary system, payment-gated access, and token-gated content or events unlock a whole new level of control that community builders have never had. Not only does this create an extra incentive for the members along with the community leaders, but this also unlocks more ability for community leaders to enhance their community.
Before we get into how and why this change will happen, we need to break apart what exactly a niche is, or can be. Because Web3 is going to change that even more.
Starting with #1, this could be considered in terms of location, hobbies, skills, talents, religions, etc. So when we describe a niche community, imagine your local pub, or a rock climbing gym, artists, companies & associations, non-profit organizations…you get the point.
A habitat, as used in #2 refers to the way that we may feel different levels of comfort in other habitats. When we have found our niche habitat is when we can feel a positive effect of the environment we are in. And this ties into #3.
The ecological role in a community. Have we even found our niche role in our environment? It is human nature to progress and evolve throughout a lifetime, and the search for one's niche role is not an easy quest.
Quite blandly rounding out the uses of the word niche, #4 is a specialized market. However, last but not least, it is an important distinction to tie in with Web3. Because Web3 is where the people create a fusion with the market. They have the chance to make the specialized market evolve and improve their role in the environment to change their environment.
Everyone is different, we all like different things, and we also like lots of things. Hobbies. As we’ve evolved throughout the 21st century, we’ve created categories, sub-categories, and sub-sub-categories for hobbies, activities, and more. There are 1000s of niches and counting.
And one thing Web3 is doing its best at is covering niche after niche and connecting them. DAOs are bringing together members from all over the world to join community servers and discuss topics for their intrinsic value. Connecting money, to passions, to internet profile, and career succession.
Niche communities will be given opportunities, if clever enough, to manifest rewards and sustainability in progress toward a common goal. A prime example of that will be eco-focused communities integrating Web3. In the past, individuals who wanted to be closer to nature, or out of the rate race, had to be isolated and excluded. Communities are formed from the shared passion to grow and build together, Web3 enables leaders to create a self-sustainable community. Dually Web3 connects monetary value to a network of individuals throughout the world.
Typically, when you think of niche communities you would imagine something like a photographer, maybe a woodworker, or a birdwatcher. There is only a small number of individuals living through this passion compared to labor or service jobs.
These niche career types have always had to rely on themselves or piggybacking off of another platform to sell their services. Now, these individuals can own their own content and not lose ownership when they want to share, but can monetize the sharing of the content and the community that surrounds their content.
Artist communities, that deal with the same issues, will now be able to control and own their personal communities, which can lead to their enhancement. Hobby communities, Educational, Spiritual, and more. They will all now be able to connect deeper and come together to create more meaningful experiences.
Web3 empowers small niche communities and enables the ability to reward the amazing people who are the backbone of these communities. The community builders, managers, and moderators can all be rewarded for the effort they put into creating and building their community.
Tokens are a fundamental feature of Web3 and in effect, communities who utilize this power. On-chain connections are created between the users' wallets and smart contract addresses. Decentralizing our data, using the blockchains as storage instead of centralized platforms owning our data (i.e Facebook), tokens define the relationship between a community and its members. Users can easily use a dApp that will recognize their assets without needing to know anything more about a new user.
Niche communities also come in the form of PFPs or your “identity” as you exist in Web3 and on the blockchain. These features help connect people and you might be able to find or identify people who share the same interests or might be a part of the same community through the internet.
As much as we all love financial incentives, they could also be a detriment to our community. Money has extensive power in the psychology of humans and in worst-case scenarios, could also destroy the culture of the community.
Can you be sure that people will join the community out of intrinsic motivation and passion for their respective niches? Or are they only there to make a quick buck and the only topic of their interest is floor prices? These are the questions that bring us to a tough reality. The truth is that most people will be inclined to make a choice for their financial benefit.
It is hard to define which niche or community type will be more prone to this situation, however when you are offering any kind of financial incentive through the growth of your project, there will be people who act selfishly. Founders must be aware, they must be cautious and ready to withstand any grief that might be thrown at them.
When introducing any payment or token-gated structure, the project aims to have a good reception from its audience and that they are in full support. With this promise comes the pressure to provide. If you are asking for any money for the action of your project, it is essential that the project returns in action or results for the members of the community.
Not doing so may result in any distrust or unsatisfied members. This should be taken with caution as any unhappy member or client could be the catalyst to spread a message that can harm your project. It is important to stay on point with your promises and expectations.
There are plenty more incentive possibilities that you could bring to your community, and we are only able to touch on the surface here. Stay connected to Beyond as we will be releasing more articles to dive in even deeper on the subject.
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