HYDAO: Private Radio on Web3

Wang Zhong (王众), better known as The ‘Garfield’ Zhong (加菲众, Twitter: @DJWZ ), is a Chinese disc jockey who worked for HITFM, China Radio International, and U Radio & Phoenix TV in Hong Kong. He presented the most popular night show on the air, from southern China to the country's capital.

Zhong has also worked as Music Supervisor of the NIKE Shanghai Marathon, Producer of BMW MINI’s Podcast Show. His jogging music series ‘Run! Baby Run’ is very popular on Chinese podcast platforms.

Zhong is a tech-savvy host, active on the stages from Sci-Fi conferences to hackathons. He has a million followers on Chinese social media and is a key opinion leader in the fields of music and technology. In 2018, Zhong founded a music streaming platform that uses blockchain technology to measure the value of creating, distributing, sharing, and listening to music to accurately and fairly reward all contributors.

Now, Zhong has been in the crypto industry for four years. He wants to use this article to introduce his new project: using DAO to build a pirate radio station on Web3, for Web3, and talking about Web3 - to continue sailing in the Crypto Age of Discovery!

History: From Pirate Radio to DAO

Pirate Radio: Hippies Movement, Cyan Organization, and Holacracy

In 1966, a romantic and passionate change was brewing in the Western world.

A ghostly converted cargo ship floated in the foggy Atlantic North Sea, secretly playing the most famous rock music to listeners living on land. This was the home of the renowned rock radio station in Britain - Pirate Radio.

Many people had the film Richard Curtis directed, "The Boat that Rocked," a glimpse of these free romantic, fun souls on the eve of the hippie movement.

Movie poster of 'The Boat that Rocked.'
Movie poster of 'The Boat that Rocked.'

The early underground DJs were clever enough to evade the censorship of the British authorities by "distributing" their music, which eventually led to a relaxation of the rules to allow rock music to be played on public radio.

And so, the wave of ideas inspired by this history unfolded.

In 1967, the Summer of Love was unleashed from the West Coast of the United States, sweeping the country as young people known as "flower children" rebelled against the war and the establishment of the past. They spread the slogan of "love and peace" to Europe.

The 1969 Woodstock festival at White Lake on the upper Hudson River in New York City was the culmination of the hippie movement and is still celebrated today as one of the most beautiful movements of humanism and liberalism in the last century. As one of the largest rock festivals of all time and a cultural touchstone of the late 1960s, Woodstock was associated with popular culture in many ways. Then "Woodstock Generation" became a common term.

'Summer of Love,' 1967
'Summer of Love,' 1967

In an era when art was going colorful and open, technology was growing by leaps and bounds.

If you read John Markoff's "What the Dormouse Said: How the Sixties Counterculture Shaped the Personal Computer Industry" and David Kaiser's "How the Hippies Saved Physics: Science, Counterculture, and the Quantum Revival," you will know that several inventions and discoveries in computing and the natural sciences were also related to this trend. History has proven that a free and open environment is more conducive to allowing people to delve into the possibilities of art and technology and be amazingly creative!

Pirate Radio used the radio technology of the time to build a decentralized media. The DJs in the movie are very different but equally fascinating to listeners; they have a good-natured supervisor but, in general, share a common ideal, a bit of "flat management," and a bit of utopia, even close to what was later proposed as The "cyan organization" - a concept proposed by Frederic Laloux in his book "Reinventing Organizations: A Guide to Creating Organizations Inspired by the Next Stage of Human Consciousness": the organization is built as an organic living system, capable of autonomous management, flexible evolution, driving On the other hand, it can avoid the drawbacks of over-emotional, pluralistic and sensory actions, and effectively improve the level of decision-making.

"Each person in the Cyan Organization is called by an inner voice and continues to contribute according to their unique potential.

Holacracy is a realistic methodology and paradigm for the cyan evolutionary organization if the cyan organization is idealized.

In simple terms, a teaming system is a management system in which roles are assigned to jobs. A job is viewed as a "role," The same person can choose to take on different parts in arts, work with others to complete the job, and assign authority according to the position. It is considered a "leaderless management style" that decentralizes its organizational structure, shifting from a person-defined job role to one defined around the job and frequently updated.

These tools and methodologies of production relations result from the rethinking of the joint-stock system and the limited liability company system since the industrial revolution. They are another Nash equilibrium of the game between the individual and the corporate strategy, even if there is no lack of practical evidence to prove that it is also a Pareto optimum.

And after the rise of DAO, the related nascent infrastructure has further improved this way of organizing, where people can build the organization's rules from the top-down, and discuss and iterate on the organization itself from the bottom-up, to better construct the organization.

DAOs: Become the digital native dream of the future of work

Decentralized autonomous organizations - DAOs - are reconnecting people across all domains. People are coming together under consensus in this unprecedented way - no matter where they are on the planet - to achieve visions, reach goals, and accomplishments through DAOs. This is an area that is becoming more and more powerful as cryptoists actively explore it:

Just this past 2021, DAO's total assets under management "increased from approximately $380 million in January to a peak of approximately $16 billion in mid-September"; "DAO's user participation also increased significantly, with the total number of DAO members and token holders in December at approximately 1.3 million, a 130-fold increase from the beginning of the year." - This 2021 annual report from DeepDao offers us a yearly summary alongside the claim that "DAO**s are becoming the digital native dream of the future of work."

DAO Landscape, from coopahtroopa.mirror.xyz
DAO Landscape, from coopahtroopa.mirror.xyz

At the same time, the infrastructure and tools for DAOs are coming online, making it easier and easier to build and run a DAO.

In the present day, early 2022, anyone can create a DAO using Colony, Notion, or Gitcoin, organize members through various collaboration, discussion, and social media tools like Mirror, and then use milestone tools like Coordinate to enable performance reviews and incentives.

DAO Tools, from 1kxnetwork
DAO Tools, from 1kxnetwork

An iterative approach to governance through discussion and voting, combined with sound tokenomics, will enable a DAO to be self-contained and equitably distributed and ultimately achieve the project vision.

A sound tokenomics is essential for a DAO to ensure that its members actively collaborate within the framework of the overall project vision. Mechanism design has been discussed in depth in economics, where it was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2007. As a "reverse engineering" of game theory, it states that the key to designing any mechanism is "incentive compatibility."

DAO is a change in the collaborative engineering organization and a way to rethink the meaning of work and the possibility of creation.

The Chinese World Needs a Web3 Podcast

Podcasting in the Web 2.0 Era

Let's talk about a very Web 2.0 concept: Podcast.

In 2004, the concepts of "Web2.0" and "Podcast" emerged almost simultaneously, and podcasting is a form of content that fits perfectly with the characteristics of Web2.0: user-generated content, hosted and distributed through a centralized platform. The content is hosted and distributed through a centralized platform.

The technical protocols associated with podcasting have also been used since the rise of RSS. Today's podcasters can still publish content using any ubiquitous podcast client and sync it to subscribers via an RSS feed, allowing users to play the audio content across apps and devices.

According to Listen Notes data, the total number of podcasts in the world grew like never before in 2020 -- with more than 1 million new podcasts added. More than 1.61 million podcasts are currently in English, nearly five times the number of Spanish-language shows, ranking second in volume.

In the U.S., nearly one-third of the population (104 million) listens to podcasts regularly, and advertising revenue from podcasts has reached $842 million in 2020, up 19% year-over-year. And according to IAB forecasts, U.S. podcast advertising revenue will double again to $2.2 billion by 2023.

Total Market Podcast Revenues, IAB
Total Market Podcast Revenues, IAB

However, Chinese podcasts are hardly comparable to the US market in terms of quality, quantity, and the size of the developed market. Despite such a large user base in the Chinese language world, there are few success stories on the road to commercializing podcasts. The market lacks a podcast that is both popular and has a complete business model. Chinese podcasts have never formed a large-scale, universal influence compared to short-form video and live streaming.

As public goods - a form of sound media, podcasting has apparent advantages - its production and broadcast process is relatively simple and can quickly form content, thus ensuring its timeliness; it has its unique use scenario, whether it is driving and commuting or before bed, it is very suitable for listening; the podcast accompanying listening experience, also inherited since 1930.

But at the same time, the podcast listening scene also limits further on-screen interaction, making it difficult to test the effectiveness of the central business model of advertising through the back-end count of interactions; the overall performance of the production and broadcast level is not professional enough because of the lowered threshold, which is reflected in the difficulty of ensuring quality and efficiency. According to reports in Taiwan, most podcast programs do not last more than six months, and the average lifespan of a creator's program is only 5.8 months.

The lack of professionalism leads to the inability of podcasters to consistently provide practical information, and their commercial value is inevitably compromised; the failure to explore the ability to cash in often makes it difficult for program producers to continue.

Web3: New opportunity for Chinese podcast

The concept of Web3 was first well-known proposed by Gavin Wood, co-founder of Ether and founder of PolkaDot, and the core idea of Web3 is to use cryptocurrency and tokenomics to realize the value of each information and data without the constraints of the platform. The Metaverse, NFT and DAO, all of which are being hotly debated today, fall under the umbrella of Web3.

'The Evolution of the Web.' by Fabric Ventures
'The Evolution of the Web.' by Fabric Ventures

In the seemingly great concept of Web3, industry news and gossip are never spread through centralized information channels; a crypto-ist active in the Web3 field has long been accustomed to getting information in different ways. In the past, media such as "Chain News," which discussed Web3 but structured on Web2.0, could not stand in the harsh regulatory environment for a long time. At the same time, the multiple and extensive information channels and noise made it more difficult to process information and tested the information processing ability of content creators.

Web3 is full of cluttered information, and the few people who can extract valuable information from it often follow the info directly to pursue the first opportunity to enter. Without the need for game theory, common sense tells us that those who find the treasure never share its secrets unless the sifting, processing, and distribution of such information bring real benefits within the time limit.

Because of this, a subscription system, which was popular in the email era, has been revived as a source of information for many Web3 practitioners; information sharing mechanisms through social media groups are also prevalent, even taking the form of DAO and Holacracy.

However, the distribution scenario for this content remains on the screen rather than in the headset, and audio-enabling this content will allow Web3 world explorers to access information in a more relaxed and fragmented way.

The rise of Clubhouse and Twitter Spaces in 2021 is an excellent example of this -- any conversation about Web3 in this kind of public discussion on social media can always gather popularity - there has never been a field where there is a massive asymmetry of information in time and space and a vast and growing user base like Web3 and cryptocurrencies.

Yet ClubHouse and Twitter Spaces have only lowered the bar for live audio and open audio conferencing, with minimal information density. The associated payment mechanisms have never been incorporated into product planning from the beginning. They have been for knowledge-based products, so the same problems as in the podcast industry remain.

A well-produced podcast, or a live show, with quality information and timeliness is Chinese Web3 world needs. It will validate the Web3-based content organization and distribution model and enable the revenue of audio content on the Internet of Value. This is the reason why we launched HYDAO.

HYDAO: Tribute to Pirate Radio

Okay, so we've come up with a vision for a Web3 Chinese podcast, and we've also taken Pirate Radio as an example to retrace the evolution of media, zeitgeist, and organization, so let's talk about why we need to combine DAO with a Web3 Chinese podcast, and how to achieve a specific path.

First, let's see if we can do this without DAO.

Obviously, for a "just right" podcast, meeting the weekly update rate and providing essential information gathering, organizing, programming, and publishing is a task that can be accomplished by just one person - when we look at the podcasts in the Chinese world today It is easy to see that many podcasters are solo performers.

But when more is required in terms of update rate, show length, and quality, it takes a team, an organization, to get it done. Headliner podcasts do precisely that, gathering anchors and approximating the management model of an MCN, often improving the quality and efficiency of the podcast's output.

Whether its content focuses on music, city traffic information, or news and financial information, a professional radio station must have at least twenty people to ensure that it can cover live time slots and daily uninterrupted broadcasting, seven days a week.

The refinement of the division of labor makes the professional output of the content possible. Also, it provides a stable salary for the personnel in different positions and a career with increasing professional skills.

ON AIR! DJ 'Garfield' Zhong in the studio of HITFM, China Radio International, 2006
ON AIR! DJ 'Garfield' Zhong in the studio of HITFM, China Radio International, 2006

DAO is not the solution to all the collaboration and organization problems. Currently, DAOs often use "Proof of Contribution" as the basis for incentives. Still, it is difficult to standardize the quantification of "contribution," and it is easy to calculate by the number of hours worked. Still, it isn't easy to reflect the quality of work. Moreover, it isn't easy to use a straightforward way to quantify performance in various organizations' positions.

A clear and quantifiable way to make the distribution process as automatic as possible through smart contracts and avoid unfair artificial distribution is to achieve the crypto-punk proposition of "code is law" and "code is justice."

However, podcasts' production process is quantifiable, which is the fundamental difference between podcasts as audio content and other media properties.

The length of the podcast, the size of the content, and the listening metrics are all quantifiable - we can quickly look at the backend playback data to draw the conclusions we need about which topics are more engaging, which types of information are more popular with listeners, and how we should evaluate the effectiveness of an episode. This will ensure transparency in the distribution mechanism of linking content to contributed value.

It follows that DAO is not only well suited for the podcast scenario, but it also provides a constant stream of topics and a fully self-consistent formal content logic for a Web3 podcast.

HYDAO not only means a Hybrid DAO - a decentralized autonomous organization with a hybrid strategy - but also has a "Hello world!" quality to it as if to say. "We are physically saying hello to this new form of organization and are ready to open up a whole new experimental scenario!"

(In Mandarin, HYDAO sounds precisely like "pirate." There's a bilingual pun here.)

HYDAO is a podcast that uses DAO to organize the power of its members and community to spread the latest Chinese information in the Web3 world. It is both a podcast and a self-contained DAO in form and content.

How does HYDAO work?

MVP: Minimum Viable Product

Since the purpose of HYDAO is to spread the latest Chinese information about the Web3 world, it should have these basic features and essential criteria from the beginning of the MVP phase.

  • A free, regularly updated podcast.
  • Live podcasts can be done on Twitter Space, Clubhouse.
  • Recordings can be on Apple Podcast or Spotify.
  • The show should include sections to provide audio content with varying focus areas and formats.
  • The segments should range from time-sensitive information to more in-depth industry reports and authoritative commentary.
  • The quality of traffic should be tested from the beginning and guide content strategy development.
  • Content should include information collection, pre-editing, recording, post-editing, uploading, and dissemination functions.
  • On the operation side, it should include functions such as tokenomics (mainly POAP, NFT) design, DAO rulemaking and iteration, data analysis and graphic design, marketing and organizational management, and coordination.

Output content like a real media

Lean startup theory tells us that an authentic product should correspond to an adapted market (PMF) to acquire users and reach critical operational metrics to achieve profitability. This is not difficult for any entrepreneur who has undergone the production process to understand and has fixed experience and methodology.

But an actual media outlet that achieves professionalism and gains industry credibility and brand value needs to meet higher requirements. It is not enough for the industry to recognize a general discussion of a phenomenon that can be seen everywhere and output a middle-of-the-road view. At the same time, any lapse in reporting and loss of timeliness will compromise the media's brand and credibility.

This places higher demands on the selection, production, and promotion of content and means higher standards for output efficiency; with the same quality, a daily program must be more likely to emerge and be discovered faster than a weekly program.

HYDAO's production and broadcast model is more like that of another series, 'The Newsroom,' than 'The Boat the Rocked.'
HYDAO's production and broadcast model is more like that of another series, 'The Newsroom,' than 'The Boat the Rocked.'

Ensuring the frequency of updates and the quality of content will be the biggest challenge after the DAO has gathered a consensus membership - the ultimate potential for HYDAO to grow is to develop a community of members through the DAO, comparable to that of professional media professionals. For individual members, this is a test in the highly speculative world of Web3. Still, it will also pay off handsomely for the long-term members of HYDAO's future membership: the acquisition of skills in the media industry, the development of solid information gathering and exporting capabilities, and most importantly, the realization of these capabilities and rewards in the form of a DAO.

HYDAO's current progress

Over the past weeks, HYDAO has begun some initial preparations. By the time you read this article, we have done these things.

  • Conducted initial discussions and market research about HYDAO.
  • Created internal discussion groups for Discord, Mirror, Notion, and Telegram, which we will gradually open up access to future community members.
  • Explored ways to use DAO tools and connect with entrepreneurs in the field.
  • Opened Twitter social media accounts.
  • Purchased and registered ENS domain name: HYDAO.ETH.
  • Drew and designed static and dynamic logos, and established basic visual specifications.
  • Aggregated some English and Chinese sources of Web3 information.
  • Contacted the Chinese general-purpose podcast platform and confirmed the preliminary partner and cooperation intention.
  • Audio production-related hardware and software are ready.
  • Explored audio live streaming options and tested related applications and audio hardware.

We need more power, and this article means that HYDAO is now open for community recruitment.

HYDAO's current needs include, but are not limited to, the following functions:

  • Reporter: Gather or provide information about Web3, regardless of breadth or depth.
  • Compiler: Compile English material into Chinese material.
  • Copy Editing: to plan the selection of topics for information and output copy.
  • Operations: Optimize customer acquisition and conversion paths in social media and podcast platforms to achieve growth.
  • Design: from audio to visual, more creative design is needed.

If this article has given you an initial idea of our vision and path, don't hesitate to contact us via Discord.

We hope that your participation and building of HYDAO will also allow you to use your talents and fulfill the podcast DAO practice by getting a fair and reasonable reward for your "digital native dream of the future of work"!

Let's build the most professional and up-to-date Web3 Chinese podcast together -HYDAO!

Welcome aboard!

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