by: Blake Robbins
Video essays are my favorite medium for storytelling and I'm incredibly excited to start my own channel. This channel will primarily be a place for me to document my learnings from hanging out on the edges of the internet. Incredibly thankful to have the talented Aleks Meiusi helping me with editing and motion graphics.
Please consider subscribing and liking the video
I also included the blog post below, if you prefer written content.
Fans are an essential part of every business, but they rarely see any economic (or social) upside for their contributions.
That is starting to change.
Everyone is a fan of something. You might be a fan of a musician, product, creator, or a sports team.
The definition of a fan has evolved dramatically over the past few decades.
For context, the Oxford dictionary defines a 'fan’ as:
a person who admires somebody/something or enjoys watching or listening to somebody/something very much
Before the invention of the Internet, fandom was primarily expressed through physical goods and in-person events. For example, an avid fan of The Beatles likely bought merchandise, went to concerts, and joined physical mailing lists.
The Internet transformed what it meant to be a fan. Social media broke down the walled gardens and enabled us to feel closer to our favorite celebrities. Our favorite celebrities started to invite us into their lives.
Over the past year, fandom has started to evolve again. Web3, or the decentralized Internet, has fundamentally changed what it means to be a fan of something or someone.
Let me take a step back and give a bit more context...I have spent the past few years studying and participating in Web3 communities. This post is an attempt to summarize why and how Web3 can fundamentally change what it means to be a 'fan.'
For the sake of simplicity, I will primarily focus on NFTs in this post, but this thesis applies to several other crypto-native primitives.
To start, it is important to break down what an NFT is.
At the highest level, NFTs "make the internet ownable" — they are a digitally native property rights system.