45 days in Web3
0x2A37
January 15th, 2022

Roadmap:

  • 😅 No one I knew owned an NFT
  • 🖼️ Marking a work anniversary
  • 🐇 The Start of an Adventure
  • 🏗️ Next: four goals until day 90

😅 No one I knew owned an NFT

May 2021. My time as a program manager was over.

I applied to be an engineer for a different team at the same company and got the offer. To celebrate, I set up a lunch with a number of co-workers to break virtual bread over Zoom.

We met. We laughed. We swapped stories. The conversation was fluid and I loved the camaraderie. One of my co-workers brought up the subject of art and asked if anyone collected. I didn’t personally, but many did! As dialogue quelled, I asked them if they could share any artists they enjoyed and any specific pieces they’ve purchased.

I browsed through their suggested galleries and enjoyed browsing.

But nothing compelled me to make a move.

The conversation took a turn when one my co-workers asked:

Does anyone own an NFT?

The silence was telling: no one owned an NFT or understood what they were there for.

Our lunch time quickly concluded, but their question left an impression on me.

I asked myself:

“What are NFTs and why is there so much excitement over them?”

May 2021 to September 2021. I took a break from the crypto space to focus on my new role as an engineer and to take time for my mental and spiritual health.

October 2021. I decided to get back into the space and I remembered Laura Shin’s Unchained Podcast. It had been a guiding light in previous months to get perspective across spectrums. I hopped back in and what caught my attention was this episode when Laura interviewed Cuy Sheffield, Visa’s Head of Crypto. Cuy shared why NFTs were his favorite topic and how they have the potential to level the playing field for black artists (and artists in general).

For as long as I could remember, if I wasn’t paying in cash, I was swiping my VISA. And, to know that a company I had long relied upon was going into crypto sent a signal to me.

I finished the episode and I experienced cognitive dissonance. Up until this point in my crypto journey, the general impression of NFTs were largely based from my peers’ opinions. Many described them as an overhyped scam built on technology that would never stand the test of time. And, I believed it without questioning it.

Knowing what I know now, they weren’t entirely wrong. There are still folks out there that are out to pump and dump. It’s not great, but not every NFT project is like that as I’ve come to find.

I decided to learn more about the space by listening to more podcasts and consuming Real Vision’s articles and videos.

Fast forward to November 2021, I listened to Cuy’s interview with the Bankless team, Ryan Sean Adams and David Hoffman. After that episode, I asked myself:

“What could the positive side of NFTs look like?”

🖼️ Marking a work anniversary with an art NFT

December 1, 2021. My official “start” date in web3. It was my 6th year work anniversary and I wanted to buy a piece of art to commemorate the occasion.

I checked out Foundation, Zora, and OpenSea, but I didn’t have enough ETH to purchase anything that really resonated with me. I had some SOL at the time and I checked out SolSea, the Solana “fork” of OpenSea. I filtered for pieces related to art and AI and I found the Ghost Machine collection.

According to their profile, each piece is generated from an AI trained on hundreds of hours of art history and is 1 of 1 unique and part of artificial intelligence history. It was created by an AI artist and everything was minted on the Solana Chain.

It all started with this NFT:

Ghost Machine 0096
Ghost Machine 0096

Ghost Machine 0096 , also known as “The Woman in White”, resonated with me for these reasons:

  • The composition caught my eye
  • I could afford it

I purchased it, chose it as my avatar in the metaverse, and I acknowledged the author for their work on Twitter:

This marked the beginning of my creative journey into web3.

🐇 The Start of an Adventure

I created a Twitter account after spending years away from social media. I reveled in being completely disconnected from platforms that hijacked my attention.

On the advent of web3, I knew that if I didn’t connect to Twitter, I knew I would be deeply missing out on context and building meaningful relationships with other strangers on the internet who were geeking out on the same stuff I was on.

I yielded. 😎

My first tweet back on was replying to AbJo’s question about an upcoming drop:

From there, I felt like creative dominoes started to fall. I started to see the way commercial investors, culture investors, and creators were interacting in a new fashion unlike anything I have seen before.

Five examples of signal

  • Industry
  • Musician
  • Developer
  • Skeptic
  • Community

[1] Industry Signal: Through Real Vision’s Takeover, I discovered the way investors, musicians, and artists were mobilizing around technology for different causes:

[2] Musician Signal: Through AbJo, I learned about sound.xyz and their listening parties. When you buy a song, you join a community of #sound-holders . I lost my first bid wanting to mint AbJo’s Genesis NFT, but I won my second bid for AllanKingdom’s Reasons. When I became a #sound-hodler , I joined the community and provided engineering and product feedback to team in their Discord:

[3] Developer Signal: Through Chase Barker, I learned about pencilflip.sol, Katherine, and the Mycoverse:

This led me to discover @marcelc63 and their work on smart contract breakdowns along with their project Retro1990.xyz, their NFT project inspired by ‘90s nostalgia. I minted five to show love and acknowledged how it made me feel seen as an Asian person:

[4] Skeptic Signal: With any new advancement, it is important to consider the other sides of the argument. These pieces helped me see where the space could use thoughtful consideration and more activists (like me!) to help shape and make it better:

[5] Community Signal: Technology is great, but can we talk about community?

In my past life, I was a support engineer and a community manager for a large tech company. I wasn’t involved in Twitter in any “professional capacity”, but I re-discovered the joy of spontaneous interactions and social events through Twitter Spaces.

James and I discovered each other over Twitter and Twitter Spaces and I started following his work. He’s extremely encouraging, shows up for other people’s Genesis NFT launches, and is just available to help people when they need help.

One of the first Twitter Spaces that I hopped on as a speaker for was with James and Pat Junior. I took extensive notes, chopped it up, and learned so much from just listening to different perspectives in the room.

That led to another Twitter space debuting #web3 Black Notes. James and Pat Junior are excellent communicators and interviewers and I took a background role in being the “notorious notetaker” (🎩 to JPReynolds for that one 😉) until the security question came up.

From these collective conversations, I learned:

  • One of the most fruitful ways to learn is to ask questions, write down answers, and reflect on them before asking new questions. 💭
  • You can’t embark on any new journey without finding people that will walk alongside you. It’s just, going to be way too difficult otherwise. 💯
  • It’s totally cool to make friends on the internet and sharing what you feel comfortable sharing. Just, please use wisdom. 🤗
  • James and Pat Junior are incredible human beings and I want them to keep making music. 🎶
  • It’s important to make space just as it is to occupy space. Be mindful of what you share and be sure to acknowledge those who go before you, the hosts, and anyone that you recognize in the audience. 🎯

🏗️ Next: four goals until Day 90

  • 📜 Publish three end-to-end smart art+music contract overviews in Almond’s Field Notes and in Twitter threads.
  • 🖤 Launch my Genesis NFTs (poetry, visual art, and/or music). Because gas fees on Ethereum are just way too high, I’m highly inclined to launch on Metaplex and see where it goes from there.
  • 🎹 Continue being a part of the Web3 Black Notes as a notetaker, contributor, and technical advocate.
  • 🏦 Acquire either a McClenney, Pat Junior, or Soulection NFT.

Peace & love be with you. Stay tuned. ✌️

Arweave TX
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Ethereum Address
0x2A372531b1B039Aa8b35046cb4F777399Cd9aE6c
Content Digest
ANiH4RUuf95QxgrceAdMfdOj7BamNcmnBG_8758jmes