This article is brought to you thanks to The European Sting’s collaboration with the World Economic Forum.
Author: Tiffany Xingyu Wang, Chief Marketing Officer, OpenWeb
- The way we interact online is shifting away from creator-led content and toward a community economy.
- This gives brands the opportunity to become community builders.
- This includes creating safe spaces for respectful dialogue, protecting customer data and encouraging engagement.
The way we interact online is undergoing a massive shift away from an emphasis on creator-led content and toward more community-driven connections. Web3 is the next iteration of the Internet, where users will be the ultimate content and experience creators, and value will be decentralized in the form of tokens, distributed ledgers, cryptocurrencies, and computing power.
Web3 offers a fairer and more open web – one where “users” are, first and foremost, human beings with rights and dignity. It has the potential to address some of the more negative aspects of life online such as: B. the lack of privacy and the proliferation of disrespectful discourse. In this new phase, decentralization, democratization and full access will create an emerging community economy. In this new online landscape, brands have the opportunity to become community builders.
From Creator Model to Community Economy
The creator economy dominates much of the internet today. This model elevates one person above the rest as the arbiter of the conversation. Communication is one-way, from creator to followers; The creator functions as a celebrity ruling over a fandom rather than a participating member of a collective. Under this system, we’ve seen power concentrate in the hands of a few big tech platforms.
The community economy, on the other hand, is a product of Web3’s decentralized ethos. In this model, everyone has an equal opportunity to join the conversation, as the value resides in the collective community and not in the individual creator. In turn, the power and influence of each community is based on the number of engaged participants. People can make their own choices about how they interact with brands and platforms – whether to pay to access sites with limited advertising, whether to register their information in an app for exclusive benefits or loyalty programs.
In the emerging community economy, all stakeholders – people, advertisers, publishers and brands – are equal. Brands and media serve as catalysts or starting points for connections and can play an active role in cultivating the communities that are building around them. These are the three pillars that brands must adhere to in order to build a thriving, healthy community:
1. Create a safety net for civil dialogue
People should expect civilized behavior when commenting on articles, videos, or social posts. To earn the trust of their customers and followers, brands need to create safe spaces for quality conversations. They should maintain decency on their websites, social media, and comment sections by embodying good behavior and monitoring user-generated content.
2. Create systems to protect customer data
Users must own their data. Under the current system, social media giants use data for profit, but a community economy allows users to choose what they are willing to share to access and operate. Brands that give users this freedom are best equipped to build trust and encourage people to keep coming back to their site – a fundamental element of an active community. This could mean users can replace subscription prices with advertising, like Netflix did. Or consider Brave’s approach, which rewards users who watch ads with Brave coins.
3. Become a target for diverse engagement
Media and brands need to shift their mindset from focusing on content or product production to community building. After all, people don’t return to a publisher’s website just because they like a particular author, or return to a brand repeatedly just because they enjoy a purchase. It’s about a bigger picture that includes shared values and interests. It’s about connecting with the community and trusting the brand.
What is the World Economic Forum doing about the metaverse?
Experts believe the Metaverse will be the next big computing platform that will transform consumer experiences and business models across all industries.
Fashion brands are an example. Over the years, apparel companies have perfected the design, manufacture and distribution of clothing to anticipate consumers’ wants and needs according to seasonal changes. But today, most of their earnings are surpassed by sales of $3 billion in Fortnite digital cosmetics, which have cultural significance that extends far into the physical world.
This is one of the economics of the metaverse – the ability to “assetify” digital content, creating a digital ownership framework for users. When replicated at scale and across industries, entire industries are transformed by changes to their traditional value chains.
However, the promise rests on the advancement of several key technologies, including augmented, virtual and mixed reality (collectively known as XR), as well as blockchain, connected devices and artificial intelligence. How should these be governed in a way that promotes their economic benefits while protecting the security and privacy of individuals?
The World Economic Forum brings together leading voices from the private sector, civil society, academia and government to answer this very question. Over the next year it will curate a multi-stakeholder community focused on metaverse governance and economic and social value creation.
It will recommend regulatory frameworks for good governance of the metaverse and examine how innovation and value creation can be strengthened for the benefit of society. will be updated are regularly published on the World Economic Forum website.
Whether you’re a sports league or an ethical cosmetics company, you have an opportunity to make your brand a destination for engagement. Brands can create metaverse experiences where people can come together and connect; They can create spaces for their customers to have a conversation on their own website or app. They can launch creative activations that merge the experiences of people in their physical locations with the experiences of customers online.
For example, imagine if the NBA decided to take back the center of the conversation from social media and bring fans to their own website to encourage interactions. It could offer custom avatars, host virtual games and develop exclusive features, or create a rewards program for fans who grow their profile and network on the NBA’s website. I call this BYOW (bring your own web), and brands that adopt it will be at the forefront of building the decentralized community economy.
The community economy model promises a new chapter in online engagement, one built on trust rather than authority. Now is the moment for brands to create their blueprint for the future.