I was struck by an idea for a podcast that seems to exercise many of the skills I want to hone while also providing a useful “product.” The key concept is that I make a video episode of me answering a question from the audience while using a drawing monitor to visualize the explanation. At the end of each question, you can mint an NFT off the explanation and tie it to the video episode.
In the beginning, the explanation illustrations will probably suck as I re-learn how to draw a explore the process of “whiteboarding” explanations again, particularly the new tools required to record the explanation professionally. Over time, I’ll develop a few skills: Explaining complicated topics to people, drawing, minting NFTs, learning broad parts of the ecosystem, gaining a better understanding of what people don’t get and are interested in. This is still valuable to people even if the NFTs themselves are not. Over time, if an audience is grown, the NFTs will potentially start to gain value, thus funding the show. At the very least, I keep my brain tight with learning topics well enough to explain them via visualizations.
In the beginning, it may make sense to give the NFT away to the person who asked the question. This gives an audience member something to connect with and own. Over time, these may be used as badges of honor or access on some community platform for the show (Status Communities).
Good play on words for Hashing It Out, so it makes sense as a sub-series. The tone would be just me explaining things in a casual and fun way. There has to be room for error, so resulting NFTs don’t have to be right. Focus should be that these are encapsulations of a show, which is about me explaining things the way I understand them. It isn’t always that I will have researched these things and developed a well though out explanation.
A draft of a proposed process
In my head, it goes a little something like this:
- field questions on some platform
- allow users to vote on questions to boost them to the top
- every X period of time, take the highest voted question(s) and do an episode on it(them), mint associated NFTs that are produced during the episode.
- every Y period of time, take a personally preferred question and do an episode on it. This episode could potentially be more thorough and thought out.
- Do something with the NFTs.
- Profit? At least I get to learn things and try to explain them, that’s fun enough for a podcast.
If we take “period of time” to be ambiguous or ill-defined, then this process is not burdening at all to me to create it. It combines multiple things I already enjoy doing that also help me in my career and job:
- I actively attempt to learn things well enough to explain them
- I practice explaining complicated topics in clear and well-defined ways
- I actively use the technology I work on everyday. This allows me to understand things that need fixed or improved.
- I attempt to build a community of like-minded people who are curious and interested about the same technology I am.
Things that are needed
Before this could be done, there are a few things off the top of my head that would need to be done or thought of:
1. A method for taking in questions would need to be established and published somewhere on the internet.
People got to have a place to go to ask questions which has persistence. It also rids me of the task of constantly attempting to figure out what I should explain. This process also engages the audience and becomes a place of discussion and community.
As an addition to this, this platform would need a method for signing in via a crypto address, or at least requires attaching a crypto address to a user who asks questions and votes. This does a few things. It solves the problem of how to assign an address to a question so that the winning question can be rewarded somehow.
This address requirement is also somewhat of a gating function. People who ask questions will have had to gotten to a point of signing in with a wallet. I’m fine with this, as it keeps me focused on deeper issues that are more technical, and not building a very easy knowledge-base that isn’t as valuable. Hard explanations are not being done, there are plenty of easy ones. I could always field the easy ones with my “personally preferred” episodes.
2. method for voting on questions
There needs to be a voting process that is well defined. Obvious choice is each registered user signs up and gets one vote on each issue. Obvious some sybil resistance would need to be implemented to keep people from cheaply spam voting on whatever their question is. Probably not a problem in the beginning, and if it is, it can be addressed quickly by me because it’s just a podcast show.
Token voting is an option, but seems overkill to start. Additional token dynamics can be introduced later on after the basic idea is fleshed out and sustainable.
3. Altered podcasting setup
Considering an episode is inherently visual, the video should have both me and my drawing surface in view, with the focus on my drawing surface. This means I’ll need an additional camera from what I currently own, and one that can focus from the top well. I could also share my screen if drawing is done digitally.
If I do the explanations digitally, I will also need to purchase a drawing monitor to draw NFTs live on. It makes sense to use a drawing monitor for this (I am buying one anyway for Status work). It allows me to share my screen if I don’t want to use a camera, develop a consistent template for each episode’s canvas, quickly save finished explanations, and they’re sweet.
4. Platform for posting NFTs of finished questions
Each finished NFT needs a place to live. My initial thought is the Avalanche X-chain. Using this will allow me to mint quickly and cheaply on a platform that will continue to be around for a while. NFTs are native to the X-chain and can be minted via the wallet, but not so cheap that they are meaningless. Eventually more infrastructure for selling, trading, etc will be provided which can be leveraged down the line.
A downside of this is that I don’t think the native NFTs on the X-chain are compatible with the C-chain solidity contracts that deal with NFTs, so the wider ecosystem and infrastructure isn’t immediately available for people who own them if they’d like to transfer or trade them. This can be alleviated later, or at the very least if there is demand, push development of native X-chain NFTs into products or make new ones.
There’s a lot more to flesh out, but I wanted to get this down and brainstorm it to see if it has any legs at all. The success definitely hinges on the quality of the actual explanations, the quality of the visualizations that facilitate them, and the ability to entertain or educate while doing them.