A human way to bridge the Web2/Web3 divide
February 3rd, 2022

My Web2 friends, overwhelmed by Discord servers, bots, and flashiness, have become cynical about Web3.

I don’t blame them. It’s not entirely their fault, but it’s a shame.

It’s a shame because their participation could be a win-win, despite their belief that crypto is a win-lose empty status game.

My friends are smart, talented, and kind people, who are “very online.” They use the Internet well - they make new human connections across borders, they find niche information, they build cool products, and they write online.

They could bring waves of, much-needed, fresh perspective to Web3.

And Web3 could bring them a lot of value, too. Getting in on the ground floor of a nascent new Internet industry that is transforming the future of work, will reward them with bountiful goodies, should they choose to play the game.

Like I said, I don’t blame them for becoming cynical about Web3.

Let me demonstrate what I think is the root cause of the problem.

Let’s say you throw a party in the real world. You invite a bunch of your friends and you’re all having a great time. Then, you start looking around the room, taking stock of who all is there. You realize that everyone in the room is more or less, the same - everyone works in a similar job, in a similar industry, and is of a similar socio-economic level.

You become suspect.

The party ends, but you keep thinking about the lack of diversity.

You decide to throw another party a few weeks later except now you invite some new friends, who you met more recently, while you were out and about living your life - you invite one person who you met at the gym, another person at the coffee shop, a third at the bookstore, and a fourth from a local art exhibit.

The day of the party arrives. Your four new friends show up.

You excitedly greet them, introduce them to a few people, and then mosey away. But, as the night goes on, you realize that you didn’t check in on your new friends. And you couldn’t find any gaps in conversations to loop them into. You’re not feeling great about this.

So, what gives? Did you fail as a host?

No, you didn’t. You just didn’t know your friends well enough to plug them into conversations that they would be interested in; conversations that they could contribute to.

This happens on the Internet, in Web3 Discord servers all the time. It goes something like this:

New people join.

They introduce themselves in #introductions.

A moderator welcomes them.

They lurk around some channels. Maybe they post a few things.

Eventually, they get bored, or busy, or distracted, and they leave the Discord server.

The problem is that no one from the community follows up with them. No one checks in on them. No one gets to know them as a human.

There is something really special about 1-1 connections; about taking the time to have a 1-1 conversation with someone and really listen to what they’re saying.

We should all be taking more time to have 1-1 conversations with people. Not just in Web3 Discord servers, but in real life, too.

Finding a solution to humanity’s biggest problems starts with checking in with another human being, listening to their needs, and then helping to raise them up by making them believe they can do something that they think they can’t.

Even something seemingly trivial like giving another person the confidence that, yes, they can filter through the noise of a Web3 project’s Discord and contribute something really valuable that could change the trajectory of their life.

Tyler Cowen explains beautifully here, in this short call-to-action post, the importance of raising other people’s aspirations. He writes:

At critical moments in time, you can raise the aspirations of other people significantly, especially when they are relatively young, simply by suggesting they do something better or more ambitious than what they might have in mind.  It costs you relatively little to do this, but the benefit to them, and to the broader world, may be enormous.

This is in fact one of the most valuable things you can do with your time and with your life.

Thank you, Astrid for guiding me to Tyler’s post in your latest newsletter entry.

Lastly, I’ll leave you with this nugget: don’t forget where you came from. Remember all of the people who helped you get to where you are today. You didn’t do alone, and now it’s your time to pay it forward. Think of your action as a small investment of time. I promise you that it will pay dividends.

Take good care.

Arweave TX
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