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