DAMN. It has begun.

Welcome to the Folklore blog. If you are a token holder and member, please register here: guild.xyz/folklore. Otherwise, you can join the adventure at the launch announcement link.

A few pieces of technology are consolidating into a new form of participatory media, blurring the lines between curation, consumption, and creation.

Historically, these functions have been perceived as separate agents. Creators create and consumers consume. Meanwhile, algorithms control curation and embed advertising non-consensually as the price of participation. Both creators and consumers are left below the API.

This isolation meets in the infamous Feed. Consumers engage in parasocial relationships,  yearn indefinitely for attention from their admired creators, and pay platform taxes through advertising and contextual collapse.

It’s clear why we hope web3 provides another path.

The Feed Highway, via Kiran and Gaby on DAMNs
The Feed Highway, via Kiran and Gaby on DAMNs

In late 2021, Kiran and Gaby described a new form of possible organization called DAMNs:

The next step-function innovation in consumer crypto will be DAMNs: decentralized autonomous media networks. If DAOs represent the next evolution of the corporation, DAMNs represent the next evolution of networked media.

Kiran and Gaby, DAMNs

In their proposal, Kiran and Gaby share three core characteristics of these networks:

  • A tokenized network owned by its users
  • Built-in incentives for users to coordinate in adding value to the network
  • Singular utility: create and distribute media

These entities enable ownership for creators and consumers, ideally providing a path to the middle-class, or even the crypto-bourgeois.

However, I speculate that there’s another web3 media entity emerging. Hints of its essence are appearing across selected communities: JokeDAO, Rehash Podcast, Foster. Maybe it is a proto-form of the DAMN.

Similar to DAMNs, they have a token and a utility focused on content creation and distribution. That being said, it may be foolish to try and project what they should be named, or what they may become. Unlike DAMNs, we know in practice that these new entities have some divergent behaviors:

  • They are not automated, they are human managed.
  • They use non-speculative coordination mechanics.
  • They accrue value to the creation, not the coordination mechanic or treasury.
  • They use governance as entertainment, not as management.

Furthermore, they may or may not be autonomous – they are heavily dependent on web2 platform infrastructure for distribution, messaging, and interaction. And I’m not sure they mind it.

In other words, while DAMNs intrinsically trend towards efficient autonomous growth due to its automated design, economic goals, and governance minimization principles, these new entities trend towards sustainability, optimizing for engagement and creator satisfaction regardless of their tech cyber-politics.

As a result, it seems like the new entities are converging towards good-enough curation as creation:

  • Smaller networks (constrained by human-to-human coordination)
  • Deeper relationships (nurturing mutual play and entertainment)
  • Tech pragmatism (choosing tech first for entertainment, then for composability)
  • Lean businesses (minimizing financial activities, investment is not a primary goal)

Folklore is intended to be another case-study of this new media species.

Want to join the adventure? Collect the launch announcement token here.

Our community will not seek automation or efficient governance as a priority. Instead, Folklore will be intentionally optimized for consensual entertainment and relationship development. In short, we’re in it for our folks’ lore (pun intended). As I mentioned in the launch, quality imagination is the north star.

For now, Folklore’s starting playbook will look something like this:

  1. Gather: Create a fully public mindspace, shaped by a tightly curated information flow. Find up to 150 paid members to kick-start the community.
  2. Chill: Launch a single-channel token-gated async discussion forum, for playful discussion and meme exchange. (Hello Guild!)
  3. Entertain: Launch a single-channel governance channel, optimized for entertainment (Hello JokeDAO!)
  4. Spend: Operate as a zero-profit entity, we either buy new content or donate to charity. The treasury should have the least amount of money possible and invest directly in the development of a creator middle class.
  5. Share: Make it as easy as possible for others to mimic the model. Win and help others win.

What will this look like in a year? Maybe nothing.

Or maybe something interesting. Can’t wait to find out.

All earnings from collection of this post will be split 50-50 between the non-profit I support (Obras del País) and Folklore’s community treasury. Treasury funds will be fully utilized to commission new essays related to our new digital realms.

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