It doesn’t matter whether the tales originate from our pals, TED Talks, Marvel Comics, or open-world games like Cyberpunk 2077; we’re all immersed in them. The legendary roots of each narrative may be traced back to ancient parables. “What is the tale that Web3 aficionados are eagerly telling?” I’ve been wondering as I’ve been working with companies, startups, and storytellers interested in a strategy based on Web3.
World Wide Web, not Web1, what the name given to Web1. Customers were informed, “There is a computerized method to send letters with a keyboard,” and they believed it. AOL exploded throughout North America in the mid-1990s, enrolling a new subscriber every six seconds. It wasn’t until the late ’90s that web sites became more dynamic and interactive. In their day, they were the greatest orators in the world. A single voice was in charge of all the stories, thus it was a one-way street.
Cat films could then be shared on Web2, a social network where you were tracked across the web by advertising for cat chow. Social media stars and influencers were born as a result of this trend. In Web2’s core, data analytics have been used to change the tale in order to maximize the number of clicks and social shares..
The term Web2 was never used. A new social layer has been stitched into the internet. Where platforms housed producers who created crowds around niche fandoms while marketers gorged on user data. Everyone was chasing the algorithm and technology became the tail-wagging the proverbial creative dog in the digital world. Everybody and their dog (and cat, of course) is now a storyteller. Previously, storytelling was the preserve of a select few.
Then, in 2014, Gavin Wood comes along and tells us that Web3 has here.
The epic journey has begun
Gavin Wood is an expert in the field of distributed ledger technology (DLT). While a founding member of Ethereum, he also helped establish Polkadot and Kusama, two platforms that aid in the creation of other blockchains. Wood claims that Web3 will lead to a completely decentralized internet where firms like Amazon and Google do not have a monopoly on the market share of the internet. A wonderful concept, but one that seems more like a fabled quest than a practical reality.
It makes me think of the line from Silicon Valley’s Richard Hendricks: “I want to build a new internet.” Does it truly make sense to build a new Internet?? Or should we allow things to develop naturally and not designate them as in progress? For some time now, blockchain technology has been boiling in the shadows. However, the ICO bubble burst in 2018 and the subsequent course correction have been like riding a roller coaster. The “metaverse” term and the promise of an interoperable social and gaming system employing NFTs to connect this brave new world are now the most often used buzzwords. Like Oasis in Ready Player One, Web3 is expected to be a completely interoperable 3D internet.
Brands come to the rescue?
For risk-oriented businesses, the “metaverse” has become the new destination, even if they and their agencies can’t describe it in a 15-slide PowerPoint presentation. It’s the subject of literature. It’s something that’s being discussed by professionals in the field. As a result of the belief that social and gaming will merge, video games and the metaverse are now being referred to as one and the same. Free-to-play and streaming services need to generate revenue in some other way.
Gamers, on the other hand, aren’t interested. The desire of gamers is to play games. League of Legends skins costing $5,000 USD are more appealing to them than a Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT costing $250,000 for entry into the “metaverse” of the Otherside, where land is even more expensive. It makes me happier to have paid $20 on Cyberpunk 2077 and lost myself in the storyline of CD Projeckt than it does to hope Yuga Labs will create something amazing for its costly monkeys and a universe that looks like it came out of the mid-2000s.
When it comes to Web3, how do brands get around?
What we know as fandom
To begin, avoid following the herd. A creative economy, not one based on Web2 algorithms and data interpretation, will be the genuine breakthrough of Web3. Web2 took Web1’s static data and made it interactive. Web3 will be based on dynamic data, similar to the way characters in a role-playing game gain experience points as they go through levels.
The information will be in continual flux as users engage the system and artists develop inside a dynamic platform. To construct Web3, we’ll need a lot of data. Companies will have to discover creators that embody their world vision best and include them into their metaverse tale as characters. You’ll either have to stay in closed 3D ecosystems with a compelling story or connect to established locations inside the platform’s infrastructure until an open metaverse is available. Web3 enthusiasts on Twitter and LinkedIn claim it will all take two to three years.
Unfortunately, the finest examples to examine are already in the fandoms we enjoy from Star Wars to Pokemon. As the system grows, so does the number of media nodes that link these dynamic communities. Like any great narrative, the first step in building a fanbase like this is always taken from a real place. It’s a location where the creator is also a fan of the universe they are creating. My favorite Spider-Man toy was the one that came out of the Marvel toy box when I was 11 years old, and now I get to pull it out and go on adventures with him 30 years later. We need to work together to create a future where the customer is both the creator and the one who recognizes the true worth of a brand better than the company itself does today.
Plumbers have arrived
Web3 does not exist as evangelists claim. People are sowing seeds and establishing the groundwork for something monumental right now. You can see the investments, announcements, partnerships, panels, studies by consulting firms, individuals abandoning their employment, and so on….. How all the many ideas, cultures, and ideals will come together to reflect the greatest aspects of our digital humanity is the huge question mark..
In order to develop a future that combines creativity with technology, we need to listen to our predecessors’ myths and acknowledge our own hubris, as well as pay attention to our collective past. We may even be able to develop the democratised, decentralized internet that Gavin Wood and Richard Hendricks promised us!
Subtly charming pop culture geek. Amateur analyst. Freelance tv buff. coffee lover