Why are digital scarcity and ownership so important to the business model of creators in web 3? How can an author use a wider fictional world for creative and business goals? Rae and Stephen talk about why creators need web 3 and their fantasy universe, SitkaWorld.
In the intro, I mention the Creatokia podcast with Elf from the Forgotten Runes Wizard’s Cult, a world of story, built upon characters licensed through NFTs. I’m also creating 1 of 1 generative art NFTs from my fiction words on Opensea.io/jfpenn.
Rae Wojcik is a speculative fiction author, freelance editor and journalist. Stephen Poynter is an online entrepreneur, film professional and NFT enthusiast.
Rae and Steven are the creators of Sitka World, a community-driven, community rewarded literature movement based around a fantasy world.
You can listen above or on your favorite podcast app or read the notes and links below. Here are the highlights and the full transcript is below.
- The importance of community ownership
- The difference between web 2 and web 3 tools — and attitudes
- Why digital scarcity and the ownership and resale of assets could transform the business model for creators who value their intellectual property over the long term. Rae also has a great article on Why content creators need Web3
- Different types of NFTs for different levels
- How the NFT model benefits readers
- Using existing digital publishing options alongside blockchain and web 3 options
- How long will adoption take?
Transcript of Interview with Rae Wojnic and Stephen Poynter
Joanna: Rae Wojcik is a speculative fiction author, freelance editor and journalist. And Stephen Poynter is an online entrepreneur, film professional and NFT enthusiast. Rae and Steven are the creators of Sitka World, a community-driven, community rewarded literature movement based around a fantasy world. Welcome to the show, Rae and Stephen.
Rae: Thank you.
Stephen: Thank you. Glad to be here.
Joanna: I’m very excited to talk to you about this. So let’s start with, we’ve established that you’re authors, creators.
Why are you so interested in Web3? And what does Web3 even mean to you?
Rae: I’ve been writing for most of my life, actually. And for so long, I was attracted to the idea of traditional publishing, as many of us are when we get started in this space.
But over the last few years, I feel like I’ve gone on a different journey of thinking of what are some different ways that I can really make writing work. I was attracted more to this idea of being a creative entrepreneur, and loved reading your book, How to Make a Living with Your Writing, and starting to think of that more creatively.
More recently, I’ve become attracted to this idea of community-driven publishing. And what I mean by that is almost taking this idea of the thousand true fans idea and thinking, how can I, instead of just sending a book out into the world to be read by people that I might never meet, trying to get it into as many hands as possible?
How can I really start to build a community and a community of those people who really care about writing, care about fantasy worlds and care about my book?
That’s what drove me to the idea of Web3.
Stephen: I think that as far as why Web3 in the first place, why would we even go that route in terms of publishing, and then sometimes it’s easy for people to be in the mindset of, well, if it works already, why change it? If we can get a book on Amazon Kindle, then isn’t that good enough?
Beyond the community is the fundamental idea of ownership in Web3. I think that a lot of people don’t really grasp all the ramifications that come with that. Because, with Web2, you never really own anything, you’re just renting or licensing the right to be able to view content within a certain big tech platform.
And those platforms pretty much have all of the control over the distribution, over what’s on their platform, over how the finances work for that. And they end up often taking a large percentage of those finances, and you’re just at the mercy of whatever distribution platform is the main one for your genre normally.
With Web3, it gives more creative ownership and control for the artists, in this case, Rae, the author to be able to have more control over what she writes and how she connects with her audience, and how she sells to them and all that.
Joanna: Fantastic. Let’s get more specific around ‘Sitka World.’
Tell us about SitkaWorld and what it is and what you hope to create around it.
Rae: With ‘Sitka World,’ our mission is really to bring the magic of storytelling to Web3. It started out just as a way to publish my upcoming book series, actually, which is called ‘The Sitka Saga,’ which is how ‘Sitka World’ got its name.
But then I was thinking of it more and more. And I was realizing this doesn’t have to just be a book, which is part of what the beauty of Web3 is, Web3 is so much more collaborative in many ways than many creative publishing platforms we’ve seen.
So I started to think of how can I make this more than being just about my specific fiction work. I work as a freelance journalist, I do some author coaching. The wheels started to turn a little bit and I started to think, ‘How can I make this really a community that’s not just about my work, but can be about other people’s work as well.’
With ‘Sitka World,’ essentially, what it comes down to is it’s going to be a whole community of writers helping everybody learn more about the Web3 space and being able to build a successful writing career in the Web3 space.
Stephen: And to expand on that idea of bringing the magic of storytelling to Web3, that’s how we best came up with a way of describing and encapsulating what our vision is because it’s partly like bringing the magic of the fantasy world, which is like this is a series that Rae has been writing for over a decade, has pretty much been her go-to passion creative outlet for since she was in high school.
We want to bring the messages and magic of that to Web3 in more interactive and immersive ways that are possible normally. That’s one of the beauties of NFTs that maybe we can get into more later about how you can have this digital proof of ownership and you can get access to more than just a book. And you can continue to build on that, you can add more and more.
When you want to be doing audiobooks and looking at graphic novels and games and metaverse stuff and artificial intelligence and the community aspects and stuff where we can really allow readers to have a more immersive journey in this fantasy world where the book is really just the starting point, and just the base layer sort of introduction to that. So that’s kind of one part.
The other part that Rae was saying is we really are developing this idea of what we’re calling our Writers Guild, and having an inner group of writers within our community that we can help them find work like having a job gig portal, as well as different services like coaching and publishing services and helping them with networking and getting them connected in the world of Web3.
They can actually either bring their own works to life, if they’re publishing their own works and want to maybe launch NFTs, or build a community or brand around that, or helping connect them with other established brands that are lacking in the storytelling.
A lot of brands, I think, especially in Web3, as they mature, will start to realize more the value of the intellectual property, of having a strong story and strong characters that their community will relate to, because that’ll help keep their community engaged for the longer term.
We want to be able to present ourselves to other brands saying, “Hey, we have this group of writers. We could help you get connected with someone that could build out stories for you,” whether that’s lore stuff, or websites, books, graphic novels, comics, game narrative, all that stuff, and to really then help bring that magic and power of storytelling to the broader world of Web3.
Joanna: Let’s get a bit more specific, because I feel like the discussion of Web2 and Web3 can sometimes be confusing. And of course, you’ve mentioned things there like books and audiobooks, we have those right now, those exist right now.
I presume at some point, Rae, you’re going to put these out in print, which, of course, is, we could say, not web at all. They’re very old technology.
You’ve also mentioned almost being almost an education platform or something, your Writers Guild might have services, might have a job board, which could be done just with a website.
I’m really into this, but I feel like people get very confused technically. It’s like, ‘Why don’t I just have a website, and why don’t I just publish a Kindle book?’ So can you try and be a bit more specific, obviously, without getting too technical.
How is Web 3 different to what you can do with just Web2 tools?
Rae: Absolutely. Definitely, to start out, do we want to say, Web3 is not exclusive. So if you do love publishing ebooks, if you love publishing print books, you don’t have to stop doing any of that with Web3.
One of the things that I like about it, and what helped me conceptualize, because I was new to all of this too, and didn’t totally understand at first, but NFTs are really proof of ownership.
I think what’s made a lot of headlines as they’ve started to come out is people hear about them, and they hear, ‘Oh, NFTs, those are just really expensive JPEG images.’ But that’s really just what it is on a surface level.
On a deeper level, an NFT can be a proof of ownership for anything, you could set it up as a proof of ownership to get into your community, if somebody owns your NFT, that’s like their ticket in. You could have it where if somebody buys your NFT, if you’re an author launching your book, that will give the holder royalties for your future earnings, it could give them access to really anything else in the world.
That’s the crazy thing about this new technology is NFTs can really be your ticket to anything.
It’s up to the creator just to use their imagination and think of what that anything can be.
Stephen: I think that the fundamental idea going back to the idea of ownership. In Web2, I think the two main distinctions, if I were to distill it to its essence, Web2 is about platform, the platform comes first. Everything has to be created for that platform. And the platform ultimately has the control over it.
Web3 is about community ownership, everyone that owns that NFT actually owns part of the network and the platform and brand. You don’t have to surrender your intellectual property rights. Some do.
There are some sets where if you want to go that route, as a creator, you can actually allow your holders to use the characters or whatever their NFT represents and make their own works with it and own the rights but that’s not how we’re doing it. And it’s certainly not how you have to but they own in the actual success of the project.
The biggest ramification of that is that your users actually feel more engaged. Think of it as a difference between some subscription, if it’s some sort of club where you have to be paying, say, $100 a month to be part of some I don’t know, golf club or something. Well, that’s a subscription and it’s a financial drain on you. Every month you have to keep on paying to be part of it. As soon as you leave, then you actually start saving money because now you’re no longer having to pay for it. That’s kind of what we’ve become used to with Web2.
But with Web3, it’s more like you pay once upfront to actually take an ownership in, say, this golf club, I’m into golfing. But there’s probably some golfers out there. And now there’s only say a thousand owners. If that golf club does well, and if you help it do well over time, your stake and value in that ends up actually growing, and you could resell that membership to someone else and end up actually not being any of the worse out for it financially, because you’re actually now like an equity owner in that golf club instead of just a paying subscriber.
Ownership changes the nature of the community.
You see a lot of very engaged NFT communities for that reason, because people actually feel like they want to be part of this in the long-term, they want to help it grow it because they just feel more tied to it, rather than just being like, ‘Hey, you’re my fans, so I want to make money off of you. So just pay me money each month,’ which can end up being a little more of a transactional, one-sided, maybe sort of relationship.
Joanna: I do think it’s such a different mindset. That’s why I keep asking these questions, because let’s just say Amazon, as you mentioned, sort of platform-centered approach, which is we drive readers to Amazon, or Amazon has its own readership.
Then the author is just one of many, many millions of authors. But the benefits of that kind of centralization are that one big company is helping build a brand. And what you were talking about there is like community ownership.
So let’s say ‘Sitka World’ is not Amazon, obviously right now. Who knows what it could be in the future. The onus is on the community and the creators to drive readership into this world.
How do you see that happening? Because I feel like I’m almost frustrated right now. Because I feel like there’s not enough of a community for this stuff to take off. And you mentioned there that engaged communities might take off, like you mentioned, the golf club might take off. But there are lots of these NFT collaborative projects that don’t take off.
How can we bring people into this? And how are you thinking about building a world that will be successful? Because it’s like starting from scratch again, basically, when many people are worried about that.
How are you thinking about finding readers, finding people who want to engage in Web 3?
Rae: I think that is a pretty big challenge. And I’m sure that 5, 10 years from now, there’ll be plenty of people launching books on Web3, and it won’t be as new as it seems.
To start out with, being user-friendly is incredibly important. One of the ways we’re planning to launch the book to start is with using a platform called Readl. They’re an NFT book platform that allows readers to make a purchase with a credit card. So they have an online reader and with the credit card option it’s going to be super accessible to people who aren’t used to the space.
You don’t have to start to talk to people about here’s how you create a crypto wallet, here’s how you buy cryptocurrency, because that is so new to so many people, and can be a huge challenge. So I think having a platform that’s user-friendly, and really utility focused is going to be a way to get some of those people to slowly start coming over who aren’t used to the space.
Stephen: And along with that, the reading experience is, of course, important. At the end of the day, we can add a lot of other things on to the book. And we’re doing that with all the different, say, services or perks and collaboration. But you have to have a good book, and you have to have the reader actually want to read the book.
There’s been some Web3 attempts at launching books that were more just like a PDF sort of style. And a PDF isn’t a good reading experience for anyone that’s tried to read anything longer than a few pages on a PDF, it’s not the same as a true Kindle reading app, say. But Readl is working on building out a real reading app that would compete with Amazon Kindle app reading experience.
I think that’s important. Some of that is just the maturation of the industry. NFTs as we know them only really came onto the scene about a year ago. And it’s crazy what’s happened in 12 months.
Imagine where we’ll be another 12 months from now, it will be certainly continue to just get better.
I think that the other thing in terms of getting readers on or why would people be interested is really making sure that you’re really clear with what you’re providing. I see some NFTs, and this is true for any brand, but you can’t just launch and be like, ‘Well, we’re just going to try to have a good book and a new experience.’
You have to give them a real reason to want to be part of the community.
There’s also a lot of NFTs brands that are just kind of like ‘Well, we’ll just have you know, I don’t know metaverse, and fun and money or just join our community,’ and it’s like, ‘But why, what sets it apart? What’s your mission? Who are you serving, and what are you helping them with?‘ So I think just having a real clear mission and audience of course is key like with any business.
And then growing that community and having it strongly incentivized for them to let it grow. That’s where with us too, not only do you have, if you’re a community holder, not only do you have the natural sort of incentive, like we discussed to want the project to do well because of an ownership stake, but we’re having the royalty sharing built in where a future launches, 50% of all royalties will be given back to owner.
That way, we’re publishing it serially, three acts for each book, and at least three books. So it’ll be over the course of the years that we’re really building out this whole series. That should encourage word of mouth, as long as the books are good, and people like it, then that you basically have an army of fans that are able to help spread the word of the books to their other fantasy communities and whatnot.
Joanna: Okay, loads to unpack there, which was really good. I appreciate everything you said.
First of all, Readl, I also love Readl, as we’re recording this in April 2022, they’re still not quite ready. But I totally agree with you. It’s early days, and there are different companies. And hopefully, I think it will emerge in the same way as the kind of Web2 companies, we go wide with all these different things, and I think it will be the same. So I just wanted to give another thumbs up for Readl at the moment.
I wanted to ask about your business model, then you just mentioned 50%, royalty fractionalization, which if people don’t understand that, it means say you sell, let’s say you sell it for let’s just say $10, five of those dollars after the fees, and there are always fees, five of those dollars will go to holders of that NFT smart contract for that book. Right? That is a very large royalty percentage.
I’m very interested, what do you see the business model being with this? Is it just for one book, how are you thinking about the future business model? Because obviously right now, that’s not your full-time income. This is a future business model.
What do you see the business model being with web 3?
Stephen: I think a few things to clarify with that. The 50% wouldn’t be tied to an individual, but would be spread among all individuals. And actually, Readl has ways that they’re building out to do this. So think of it as more like a royalty sharing pool.
Joanna: Oh, no, I get that. You guys only get 50%. From the author perspective, 50% is a lot to give away. It’s like a traditional publishing contract.
Stephen: That’s really because we see it as a community movement and kind of like a Kickstarter idea. So if the project does well, we recognize that would be because of our early supporters and the people that join in and buy into that first launch and help it do well. We can’t do it without the community.
And I think that the potential, even if it’s 50% cut on our end, so to speak, the potential for real community movement, much outweighs the cost of that royalty share.
That’s part of what I love about Web3 is cutting out the middleman by taking away the power from the platform, like we’re talking about Readl.
They aren’t a platform in the sense that Amazon is. You can’t go exclusive with them, they don’t get exclusive rights to your distribution or anything. They’re just a tool and the actual NFT that you own is still decentralized in your wallet.
So say that we ended up not liking Readl and going with someone else later down the road, that’s fine. There’ll be competing apps that can also view the same NFTs. It’s platform agnostic because you actually own that book in a way that is not possible in Web2.
[Note from Joanna: At the moment, in April 2022, you can view other NFTs on the same blockchain, but the cross-chain applications are still being worked on.]
Readl doesn’t own it. And they can’t stop you from going to a competing platform and using it, if they have a different reading app, not Readl, but a different app. And they say, ‘Hey, you have this NFT,’ maybe you minted it, or bought it through the Readl site, but if the information is still there, you can still port it out to other platforms. Readl only need to have a 2% fee, like 2% is astronomically lower than 65% for Amazon.
By cutting out that power of the middleman we have a direct relationship with our readers.
And then between us and the readers, we get to accrue that value of the IP, you could say, so the value of that book, instead of the majority of going to a centralized platform, it all gets to go to the author and the readers.
In that sense, it’s like, we’re happy to share that value with our community and still be doing approximately as well as if we’re going with Amazon or other platforms like that.
Rae: What really drew me going back to this idea of community-driven publishing is this idea that your community with NFTs really becomes on your side. So there’s so many ways that that could work. Part of that is we can collaborate with other authors.
For example, you can do a launch where you collaborate with somebody else, say, you reach out to that author’s community and say, ‘Okay, everybody who owns let’s say you as an example, say everybody who owns like Joanna Penn’s NFT, like, we’ll take 100 people who own hers, and they can join our community.’ So it’s a great way to start to make those collaborations as well.
Another thing that we didn’t talk about either was the idea of secondary royalties.
With NFTs, authors can actually structure it where you get secondary royalties, meaning somebody who initially bought your NFT, can go sell it to somebody else later down the road, and you’ll get some of that back, which is really, really huge.
Because as we know, in the traditional publishing world, you only get those initial purchases. If somebody is done with your book, they go sell it at a used bookstore, you don’t see any of that money.
So it’s actually a really interesting way, because this is kind of the first time that we’re going to start to see if the value of your intellectual property increases, the original creator can start to get in on some of that, which I find really, really intriguing.
Stephen: Kind of like the example of an artist, say that if Picasso can go ahead, like sold a painting when they were young, and before they’ve been famous, that painting might have only sold for a few dollars. And then later on in their career now that painting’s worth millions, well, do they benefit from that at all?
They created that brand, and the value and their fame, and everything is something that they created, but they no longer have any ownership stake. And the person that bought it from them benefits from it, which is fine, of course, the person that bought should benefit. But it also seems like shouldn’t the original artist get some benefit from that because they are the ones that grew their brand and the value of their name.
I think this will be really interesting because it introduces that concept to all forms of art, not just paintings or books. It’s after you release something, you as an artist, it’s the norm to have the secondary royalties normally somewhere around 5% to 8% or 10%, on resales, and that can be baked into the contract so it’s enforced by the blockchain forever indefinitely.
When you release something out there to the world, you aren’t just incentivized to keep on pumping out more and more new stuff, if you’re only making money on the initial selling of it.
You’re incentivized to keep on growing the value of what you already put out there because you’ll always have an ownership stake in it and always be benefiting from it growing in an intellectual like branding.
Then it becomes the way to monetize yourself as a content creator is anything under the sun that increases the value of your brand.
So anything that you’re doing to increase the value of your brand, and really the sky’s the limit, it doesn’t have to have a direct monetization, whether you’re getting on billboards, or having collaborations with other well-known projects, or getting into other forms of media, making movies or whatever it can be anything you want, that increases the value of your brand, because that’ll always come back to you in the form of secondary royalties.
If the original content that you created is increasing your value, then the percentage that you’re getting is increasing in value. And there are NFT brands that are making thousands of dollars, tens of thousands of dollars a day just in those secondary royalties.
Rae: Which is really, really great for me, because I’m admittedly a very slow writer. As Stephen mentioned, I’ve been working on this series for 10 years now. So the idea of this high volume publishing, where you’re putting out a new novel every single year is probably never going to work for me just because of how slow I am. So the idea of secondary royalties, I think, would be a lot better fit so that I don’t feel that pressure to try to write that way.
Joanna: And just to add to that, so I want people listening, if you still haven’t got this yet, this ownership as a reader means that, and this is for digital books, we’re talking about digital versions.
If you own the copy of the book, as an NFT ebook, for example, you can then sell it to someone else. And let’s say 5% goes back to the original creator.
I’ve also seen there are these lending things coming out now with NFT. So you could potentially be lending out your special NFT books to other readers. I think that’s an interesting secondary market too.
I was thinking about this as a reader because of course, we have to remember the readers are the ones who are going to be hopefully buying our books, but I’ve been on Amazon, I got an Amazon Kindle as soon as it arrived. I was living in Australia at the time, but I have ‘bought’ or licensed, nearly 3000 Kindle books, and that’s not including things borrowed.
So basically, for over a decade I have been buying, I buy books every day. I’m looking at that going, okay, I knew I was locked in to the platform, but I really locked into the platform because if I decide I don’t want to read on Kindle anymore, I lose all those books, because they are not mine.
What we’re seeing with NFTs is if I buy your book, Rae, number one ‘Sitka World,’ then I own that, and I can in a decade’s time, as you say, I can look on whatever blockchain and find that again, I can sell it. I actually own that.
And as you say the NFT shows that I do and that’s in the smart contract.
This really is an incredibly different way of thinking about digital.
I feel like people haven’t necessarily understood that from the hardcore reader perspective even, it is a very good business model, right?
Rae: Absolutely. And that goes back to what you said earlier, too, about how it’s so early now. We don’t know which reading apps in Web3 are going to take off.
So like you said, if you purchase an NFT book, that is 100%, yours, so even if 10 years from now, let’s say you start reading on Readl, but 10 years from now, they’re not around and you want to read on something else, because that book is 100% yours, you can port it over to whatever reading app you’re using at the time.
Joanna: I think that’s really important. The other thing, talking there, I wanted to ask you both about what you think about NFT books.
I have a thing about digital scarcity. I don’t want to publish 1 of 50,000. I want to publish one of ones, but also maybe one of hundreds. For people listening, we’re just limiting the number of this edition of book. By limiting the number, we’re making it more valuable.
[Note from Joanna: I create 1 of 1 generative art NFTs which I sell here on OpenSea.]
I see some platforms going down the route of making them unlimited and putting very low prices on things, which I just go back and forwards. I’m not really sure. So what do you think? Maybe we just do all of these different things.
What are you going to do with your books?
Stephen: I think that’s very much a balance that we’ve been considering. Because on one level as for building a brand and following and, from our standpoint, getting the message of our books out there, because the books have a lot of important messages that we want the world to read. So you want widespread distribution on that side.
But at the same time, in terms of having a real tight community and creating that value, you need to have some form of scarcity, which is something that Web3 has introduced that Web2 never really had.
In Web 2, for any sort of content, it’s very hard to have scarcity, because you can just copy and paste things and things do go viral. And then it’s like, as soon as something gets leaked, it’s out there, whereas Web3, you can’t have a real sense of there are only so many owners in this. And that’s the limit.
What we’re doing is a dual approach where there will be a core set of NFT holders that will give them more access to the online community or services that we’re wanting to provide, the royalty sharing, all that will be for what we’re referring to as author class NFTs, more built for the author community.
And then there will be the reader class NFTs where it’s just a manuscript. And for those ones in Readl, we don’t know exactly how many will have it, we might be able to have it be unlimited in Readl. But those will be more like traditionally priced, might be $15 for your copy of your book. And it doesn’t come with royalty sharing or with any of the other benefits. It’s just the manuscript just like you would on Kindle, and so that we’d want to get out to as many people as possible while still having the scarcity for the people that are really in the community.
Joanna: I really think this is important. For people listening, if you’re thinking about doing an NFT book, please don’t price it at what you would have priced the Kindle or the Kobo or the Apple copy, because again, readers don’t own those copies.
I think it’s so important that we set a floor price for even, I don’t even know how you can have an unlimited NFT book, I feel like there has to be some number. It’s so new, we don’t even know this, right? We don’t even know whether you can set a limit.
The smart contract to me has to have terms on it in terms of how many there are, how long the smart contract will last, and all of these things.
But what I don’t want to see is this race to the bottom that we’ve had with the digital abundance model, which is essentially an unlimited, the subscription model for digital which we don’t want that. We want it to be these are digitally scarce assets.
And I guess that’s the other thing. These are assets, right? NFTs, certainly, I think in the U.S. and here in the UK, are classed as assets. So they are different to what we think of as products.
What are your thoughts around that?
Rae: I think this is going back to where that idea of value comes in. Authors will have to start having this mindset shift that when you’re publishing in the Web3 world, you’re not just giving people a manuscript, you’re giving them access to a community, something that can be resold, you’re giving them opportunities for fan fiction, however you want to structure it, it is something that brings more value to your reader than just reading a manuscript.
That’s where we were talking about too, that has the potential for your intellectual property for your NFTs to grow in value over time. And as they do grow in value, that becomes an asset to your readers and if they want to resell it later then perhaps the price has gone up.
It has to be starting this fundamental mindset shift there that we’re not just putting out unlimited work for everybody to read. This really is something that has the potential to benefit our readers.
Stephen: I think as both an opportunity and a responsibility. Because if you’re a creator and putting out these assets, you can’t think of it as just a product where I just sell it and forget about it. And that’s where we see a lot of NFTs that haven’t done well is because that’s what creators did.
They thought, ‘I’m just going to put it out there and just hope it sells and goes up in value.’ And it’s like, no, it’s not going to just magically go up in value, if you aren’t putting in the work. It is a full-time job, essentially, to manage a brand of any form, including NFTs.
If you’re creating this new class of assets, so to speak, for your community, then you’re essentially signing up for the long-term responsibility of increasing that. It may not be for everyone, if you just want to sell something and forget about it, then maybe more traditional launches are appropriate, or you just then sell it and price it more as a traditional mass market paperback book just on the blockchain and you aren’t promising any other benefits or expectation of it doing well, long-term. You’re just like, this is just another way of buying it on the blockchain.
I think that’s definitely something to consider in terms of figuring out what’s really your goals and structure long-term for why you’re launching a brand.
Joanna: I actually disagree with you, though, on this, I think the community NFT is completely different to the asset NFT. I think that just an NFT book, which I will have as scarce, will be something that the reader can, as I’ve said, the reader will buy, they will be able to read it and they will be able to resell it.
And also they’ll be able to let’s just say ‘flex’ in the metaverse, put on their bookshelf and the background when they do whatever the metaverse Zoom equivalent is going to be, that kind of thing. I think that as a reader, that’s what I want.
I have to be honest, I’m not really a community-type person.
I just want to create my stuff, and I will do limited edition scarce digital editions. And they will be what they are. They don’t have to have a community token.
What you guys are doing is actually a different model, which is a community movement, community site. And so you’re incorporating different types of NFTs. But I think that’s really important. Because for some people listening, there’ll be more like me, which is well, I don’t want to do all of that kind of thing.
I can just do just these limited editions, scarce resellable NFT books, right?
Stephen: Absolutely. I think that’s a really good clarification.
Joanna: I also did want to ask, you’ve mentioned longevity, I think not just for the community angle, it is also for our intellectual property value, as you mentioned, and that this is not just a ‘fly by night get rich quick scheme,’ which I think is one of the issues around the news articles on NFTs is like, it’s a get rich quick scheme. It’s a scam. It’s all of this kind of thing.
There’s a lot of fear of, ‘Oh, I’m just going to get scammed with this stuff.’
How are you communicating long-term value, and how are you trying to reach out to people who might be interested and also helping with people’s fear?
Rae: That’s what we’ve seen with the initial just super excitement about the NFT movement. And it has been a huge bubble, as we all know.
Personally, I am all for that bubble bursting, because I think when any new technology comes along, people get super excited about it, and start to speculate about it before the real utility comes out.
But it’s really once that initial kind of frenzy of investing starts to burst that you see, ‘Hey, actually, there is some real value and some real utility behind this technology,’ which is what we’re going to be communicating to our community, especially in our sense too and for ‘Sitka World,’ this is going to be a series that we’re planning to launch out over months over the course of years.
We’re being very upfront with people saying, this is a long-haul project. This isn’t just like a, you invest in this and hope to flip it tomorrow. This is we’re in here for the long haul to build that kind of community.
Joanna: Are you going to publish these books in the old-fashioned way, and have them on Amazon and all of the other sites as well?
Rae: Yes, but after we’ve published to the community first. We’re going to do Web3 first, and then also do Web2 and have all of those options out there.
Joanna: That’s fantastic. I do want to come back on what you said about the bubble bursting; I agree with you. I was working back in 2000 in the dot com, boom. And I remember when loads of my friends went to work for various dot com companies, and then 2000, 2001. And then the whole thing came crumbling down. And everyone was like, ‘Well, that was a mistake.’
But now of course, we’re 20 years later, which is kind of hard to believe. And we’re all making a living on using the internet and it’s become core. So I guess that would be my final question because we’re almost out of time, which is, how long do you think this is going to take because of course we don’t want it to be 2001? We’d rather it was a bit later than that in terms of, we don’t want to wait 20 years for this to become a mature situation.
What do you think in terms of the timeline of adoption for web 3?
Stephen: That’s anyone’s guess, of course, we don’t have any magic special foreknowledge there. I do think that what we see is that the rate of technological change keeps on appreciating.
I was reading an article about that recently about just how not only does technology keep on increasing, but the rate of change of that increase keeps on increasing. The amount of change that we’ve seen in the last five years is much more drastic than the amount of change, say, between 1900 and 1905.
Even now, just with the power of computing too, all the and artificial intelligence and all that, we’re seeing massive growth in the way that Web3 is already being used. Like I said, like NFT is pretty much I mean, the crypto punks, whatever, they were kind of like an experiment a few years ago, but really NFTs started gaining any sort of real attention about the start of last year.
A lot of stuff behind the scenes that, I’m in on calls and messaging with a lot of different project devs every day, there’s so many really cool stuff being built behind the scenes, but it’s just not in the public yet.
Because it takes still many months, years to develop good projects. A lot of the quality projects are still in development. Even then, once they’re released, it takes a while for it to gain user adoption and awareness.
I would say from what I’m seeing, we’re probably talking within the next year, I think we’ll start to really see some more mass adoption. And certainly within a few years, a lot of those tools and all the different areas of the web that really help people with Web3 will be functioning and be out there. I don’t think it’s going to be decades this time is what I would say.
Joanna: Rae, of course, you’ve been writing these books for you said a decade, you must be just desperate to get them out into the world and all of this. What do you think in terms of the adoption?
Rae: I’ve been attracted more to the idea of serial publishing. We’re going to start out by publishing just Act I of my book following the three-act story structure. So that will be coming out. But then the whole process of getting all of these out will likely take several years, which I’m prepared for on the one hand, like you said, 10 years is a long time to be writing a series.
On the other hand, I’m also a very slow writer. So it gives me like a lot of time to be able to really hash out the stories to be what I want it to be, because as I’ve been working on it for 10 years, I also want it to be the best it can be. So not having that pressure to be constantly putting out work after work right away is actually really great for me.
Joanna: That has been such an interesting chat. I really appreciate everything you’re doing to also educate the community. And maybe we’ll have you back again in another year. We can see how much further you are.
For now, tell people where they can find you and everything you do online.
Rae: Our project has a website called sitkaworld.com. I also have my own website with my writings called northernwords.blog. And I actually recently published an article called Why Content Creators Need Web3, which goes into a lot more of these ideas a lot more thoroughly that we’ve talked about as far as the utility for Web3.
We also have a Twitter for ‘Sitka World’ which is SitkaWorldNFT. We do have a private Discord. Like I mentioned, the community aspect, that’s not going to be open all the time, it will be invite only, but whenever this podcast is up, we will share it on our Twitter and we can share a link so if there’s anybody listening who wants to join, they can join that way.
Joanna: Thanks so much for your time. It’s been great to talk to you.
Stephen: Absolutely. Thank you, Joanna.
Rae: Thank you, Joanna.
The post Creating A Fictional World In Web 3 With Rae Wojnic and Stephen Poynter first appeared on The Creative Penn.
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Author: Joanna Penn