What has happened to Web3 communities?

If you manage or are a part of any Web3 communities, you’ve probably noticed how much quieter it’s become lately. 

So what is going on? And how can you restart your community engagement if you are struggling with a quiet (or dead) community?

First, some context: fear is at an all time high.

We’ve now lost over $12 billion in Web3 funds thanks to grifters and scammers in the space. 

Even Coachella NFTs were affected by the recent FTX controversy (they had partnered with FTX to distribute the NFT’s, many buyers had left their NFT’s in FTX accounts which are currently not accessible). 

Web3 communities and projects have been impacted by major industry news such as the FTX collapse.

The fear and greed index is well and truly in the fear territory right now. 

But fear can actually strengthen relationships in communities as people look to seek comfort from others who are going through the exact same situation….

So why are there so many Web3 communities across Discord servers and Twitter spaces struggling to get the same engagement that they used to?

Problem 1: Shaky Foundations

Many Web3 communities were built on shaky foundations with an insane focus on catering to the short-term traders and flippers in the community. They built up the hype and cared about selling out the mint and keeping the floor price high – which is not a sustainable strategy to building a long term community. 

This strategy may have worked in the middle of 2021 – when money was piling into the space at time when there were fewer Web3 projects and crypto was being pumped higher… but now you have a saturation of projects, crypto has been hit hard and trading volume has generally taken a hit. 

Once money had dried up, communities built on these shaky foundations were left with an empty shell – members didn’t have any other reason to stick around. 

Problem 2: Perception vs. Reality

Many people who “bought into” these web3 communities were speculators who didn’t actually care about the true goals or purpose of the projects. They instead cared about how others perceived what the team was doing: did the project have future utility or add value from other people’s perspectives? Speculators did not care about the mission of the project; they were just interested in short-term profits.

It then becomes difficult for the team to recruit engaged members of their community to achieve their mission/goals (especially if the majority of their membership is motivated by short-term profits). 

Problem 3: FUD to recoup losses

Now when we’re in a bear market, and money has been taken off the table, all of these people that were speculating are just trying to recoup any losses or take profits where they can before exiting. They may be creating further fear and destruction in the community so that they can actually buy something cheap, sell it to make slight profits to recoup losses and then get out.

Results from all of this?

Now many of these communities (if they are lucky) have members in the community that are left trying to pick up the pieces, the ones that truly care about the project. 

Not only have they had to deal with this short term fear and destruction that’s been taking place in their community, they’ve also had to watch how the project and team has dealt with this toxic behaviour. If they haven’t liked the way that the toxic behaviour has been dealt with, they may also be questioning whether they should be a part of the project.

This can sound really depressing for Web3 communities. 

It’s difficult to stay in the Web3 space, especially if you’re building a community, especially during a bear market. But I want you to know that all is not lost during bear markets; it can actually be your greatest opportunity to build your community with the right people in it. 

This is the time to take your time, build community in a SUSTAINABLE way, and be consistent.

 There are still people working in the construction zone. And I’d highly recommend that you go and watch closely what they’re doing, how they’re treating their community, how they’re engaging with their members, and how they’re continuing to innovate. 

And I think you’ll find that it’s truly inspiring to see people who are continuing to push through during these difficult times.

Here’s one of the projects that continues to build:

Web3 communities that are not concerned by bear markets: Adam Bomb Squad

I strongly recommend that you check out Adam Bomb Squad – one of the better web3 communities that I’ve seen. 

Adam Bomb Squad was founded by The Hundreds- a popular streetwear brand that have been around forever. They’ve actually built a solid and much-loved brand by their community over the many years, and have stuck around through the good AND hard times. There were times that streetwear completely went out of fashion but they stuck through that. And they’ve been sticking around during this difficult Web3 time too. In fact, I’d argue they have doubled down on their efforts. 

They have always been big on community, right from the start. Their mission and purpose has been clear, and during this bear market they just released a second NFT collection that encouraged even more interest in their project overall. People were asking the founder, Bobby Hundreds:

“Why you were doing this – launching a new web3 collection in a bear market? Isn’t that a really bad idea?”.

Bobby responded that when they released their first NFT collection, Adam Bomb Squad, they didn’t launch their collections based on market conditions. 

When they launched Adam Bomb Squad, they just happened to do so when the market was in a bull market at the time. But that was unplanned.

They were just building something they thought was awesome and relevant in the space they were building because they were passionate about what they were doing. 

It doesn’t matter whether it’s a bull or a bear market; they’re in it for the long haul. 

This is an important takeaway for all web3 communities. 

if you’re looking to launch a new NFT or Web3 community and you’re worried about doing so in the bear market, then know that there are people who are hugely successful and have been around a long time, and they’re still going ahead and launching their projects during this time.

So what's next for Web3 communities?

Beyond generating short-term goals, your primary focus should be on creating utility for the people who join your community. It’s going to actually help you build a sustainable community. 

You should be creating powerful moments for your members that truly sets you apart from other communities.

You should also ensure that you have built the best onboarding possible so that you can encourage new members and ensure they have a better experience with getting acquainted with your community members and the goals/purpose of your project. If you have a Discord community, consider checking out tools like Daolens or you can create your own onboarding experience. 

You’re going to have to get creative; you’re going to have to think of other ways to keep people around to participate when they’re not focused on money.

If you’re looking for more examples of Web3 communities that have done well and built on solid foundations you should look at the Nouns community. I highly recommend you reading more about how they have built their community from the ground up and continue to engage their members in the web3 space.

Focus on bringing people together for the long term usually does NOT involve paying them to stick around. 

This is what solid community managers (in Web2 AND Web3) focus on. 

In Web3 communities we can do BOTH – people can contribute for reasons beyond money in their pocket AND they can rewarded for these contributions. 

Need more help?

I’ve included my Twitter and Youtube channel below – both of these places I share more advice on how to build a successful community for your brand or business. 

If you’re looking for more personalised attention, you can check out my Community Coach program to help you launch (or restart) your community – which includes personalised mentoring. 

I'm on Twitter & Youtube!

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