NFT communities have certain ways of communicating and building their membership count.
The NFT communities have certain ways of communicating and building their membership count.
Something important to keep in mind is that many of the members of these communities are digital natives, crypto enthusiasts, and general blockchain and Web 3.0 supporters.
This means that there is a strong internet culture within these groups. Memes, acronyms, aliases and other characteristics of forum-like platforms such as Reddit are the standard of how NFT communities work.
There is also a general anti-system, anti-corporate and pro-decentralisation sentiment that dominates these spaces. Many members join this world to try and escape their ‘normie’ job, and have a very optimistic and somewhat utopian view of the future of the Web 3.0. Hence, the introduction of big brands to the NFT space will be a big breaking point where we will see how the communities react when more of the big money starts to flow into this market.
Why do you need a community?
People see communities as one of the indicators before they decide to invest in an NFT project. What type of people are following it? Do they see themselves fitting in? Do they see it as authentic? Do they see growth and potential opportunities?
You can launch and NFT collections without a community and just release it to the market, but unless you are a huge brand or celebrity, you will need to build a loyal base of supporters who will be ready to buy some of the NFTs the day the collection drops. Ideally, you want it to sell out the same day so that others can see the level of support that the collection has.
Projects released without a community or that don’t pay attention to this aspect are usually judged as ‘money grabs’, ‘scams’ or possible ‘rug pulls’, where there is no real intention and the creators are just looking to make money and exit with the profit.
There are four main channels that NFT projects use to communicate with members of their community.
The most important communication channel used for community building. Discord plays a crucial role in the NFT space and is perhaps the most complicated aspect of community management to take into account.
The main social media platform for NFT enthusiasts and crypto investors.
Twitter is essential to provide updates, make official announcements, and interact with NFT influencers. It’s also the preferred social media for running giveaways and any other kind of contests. Twitter Spaces (equivalent to Clubhouse) is also used widely.
Many users go to Twitter to see the recommendations or projects that big investors are buying in, so the right retweet or like from the right account can help an account blow up in a couple of hours.
Instagram acts most of the time as a sort of portofolio where the art can be displayed, so that people who quickly want to see the creative can see some of the pieces. Some also use it as a channel to provide official or important announcements, but taking into account the amount of scams going on in the NFT space, most of that is usually done through Twitter and Discord.
Some NFT projects don’t even have an Instagram account, and they restrict themselves to the other two channels to keep things simple and avoid miscommunication.
Just like any other digital project, an NFT collection needs an official website where people can go to learn the basic information about the project. It is also the place where people can find the official links to the respective Discord server, Twitter and Instagram account.
Common practice is to have a one-page, scrollable and well-designed site that provides all the information necessary but it’s also nice to see. Some examples:
Besides the front-end aspect, the website is also the place where users will go to ‘mint’ the NFT the day of the release. A button is usually available where they will be able to click and activate the smart contract to buy the NFT.
A ‘mint’ or ‘to mint’ refers to the action of buying an NFT directly on the blockchain. It involves activating the smart contract set up by the creator. It is a word used to say that a person will be the first buyer of a certain NFT, and they will be first ones to officially sign it on the chosen blockchain.
You will need a wallet with sufficient funds in order to successfully mint an NFT project, but depending on the network there are certain fees that will need to be paid in order to complete the process.
With a network like Ethereum which has become overloaded from the activity caused by the NFT boom, a situation such as gas wars can happen. This refers to a chaotic scenario where the gas fees (transaction fees) increase dramatically due to a lot of people trying to mint the same project at the same time. The miners of Ethereum are capable of charging higher prices for validating transactions; there are enough people in the network willing to pay for those fees and hence they drive up the prices.
Different mechanisms are implemented in order to avoid this, such as allowing the mint for a longer period of time (e.g. 24 hours), or executing the mint through a process of whitelisting a group of potential buyers (see below).
NFT projects used to allow any user to mint the NFT if they were fast enough, with many allowing you to mint more than 1 if you had the funds for it. The project accounts would just announce a minting day on their channels, and people were free to go on their website and sign the smart contract.
Although some projects still do this, the practice of bots buying hundreds of NFTs in seconds, and ‘whales’ (big investors) doing something similar to artificially inflate the prices has caused the migration to a whitelisting process.
To whitelist means to register a specific wallet address and allow it to sign the smart contract the day of the launch. Hence, only people who have been selected will be able to buy the NFT directly from the creators. It is a sort of pre-sale that many communities employ in order to make sure that real humans are the ones investing in their project.
The process of creating the whitelist, or selecting the users with their wallet, varies per project. Generally, it involves a system of picking users who are active, engage and support the community. Also, people who join the Discord very early (e.g. first 300) are sometimes given a whitelist sport right away.
Projects usually decide to:
- Whitelist a part of the collection (e.g. 4000 out of a 8000 collection) and make the rest available to the public.
- Make the whole project only available to whitelisted users. The rest of the public won’t be able to mint, and could only buy the NFTs as second hand sales.
Some methods for whitelisting users include:
- Handpicking. Mods select manually users from the Discord that interact, create fan art, participate in quizzes, or generally show support and collaborate something to the community. Very time consuming.
- Grinding / Leveling up. Going up in levels as you accumulate messages and time in the Discord server. This helps at keeping people active, but can result in a lot of spamming.
- Invites. Asking users to invite a minimum amount of people to the server. This is usually done in combination with the leveling up mechanism.
- Contests / Giveaways. Organising online events and contests where people can participate and the winners will win a whitelist spot.
After the collection is live and has ideally sold out, some steps that follow are usually:
- Announcements about benefits for the now holders of the collection.
- Staking benefits, play-to-earn games, metaverse integrations.
- Future deals and collaborations that were previously not announced.
- Brand collabs, clothing, merchandising.
- Exclusive Discord channels that will only be visible to the holders.
- For sharing private information for holders only.
- Secondary drops to alter/mutate/evolve the original artwork.
- See Mutant Ape Yacht Club, a derivative NFT from the original Bored Ape Yacht Club.
NFT Community terminology
Acronyms and terms commonly used by people in the NFT and crypto space. Useful to make sense of online conversations on Discord, Twitter, Instagram, etc.
This is a list of useful definitions for the most common terms encountered in the blockchain, crypto and NFTs space.
Popular and famous NFT collections
This is a list of NFT collections that have achieved mainstream success and are now considered solid investments. In the NFT space, some of these are referred to as ‘blue chips’.
Most NFT projects are ‘collections’ – a set of NFTs which are all based on the same concept.
February 3, 2021
The blockchain can be defined as a decentralised, distributed and (most of the time) public ledger.
February 25, 2021
Non-fungible tokens (NFTs)
A non-fungible token or NFT is a unique and non-interchangeable unit of data stored on a digital ledger (blockchain).