“What is the metaverse?” The answer is both complicated and incomplete. For all the ways we think we understand the metaverse now, it will change and grow in others that cannot be imagined.
The metaverse as we know it is a powerful new way to connect, trade, and represent yourself in a digital setting. It is the next frontier in communications. Like with any new frontier, everyone is eager to stake their claim.
Those of us who understand the potential of this transformative technology need to start a presence there. To flippantly claim the metaverse is the next generation of the internet is to misunderstand it. It also ignores the amount of work it will take to reach mass scale in a way we’re proud of. It assumes success for anyone who is an early adopter.
The reality is, those who are able to migrate their existing communities into this new space will also shape its future.
Creating, building and making trust
As with any major change, the key is to act with a thoughtful, comprehensive strategy based on your community, fans, and followers.
It’s a marriage between what we feel compelled to create while taking their best interests to heart. I moved my existing fans into the NFT space with strong social connections, unique offerings based on years of experience with physical art, and an incredible amount of hard work and patience. I’m here to tell you how.
We hear a lot that the metaverse is all about community and connection. At first blush, this seems like a new concept.
But what we’re actually talking about is trust. It is the foundation of society as we know it—both in real life and online.
I have built my entire career around strong relationships and trust in my work. I bring people to my studio and show them my process, show them my failures. The metaverse is no different.
I cannot stress the importance of fostering a strong community from the beginning. In a way, we are leading people into this new frontier. You cannot do that without building trust, without being vulnerable. Only after cultivating a loyal following and fans did I consider moving towards our collective metaverse experience.
This migration should feel natural. My community is learning and discovering alongside me. It will never feel forced. There is no need to announce to your followers that the metaverse is the only way to interact. Indeed, there’s no need to close off other channels at all.
The goal is a comfortable, step-by-step shift. First, you should build interest in the metaverse as an idea full of potential. Have an opinion on the space. Make it understood why you’re interested.
Then, encourage your community to socialize in a metaverse-friendly venue. When your friends, fans, and followers share your excitement, you can unveil new ideas and experiences that are most valuable or only possible in the metaverse.
I chose NFTs for their potential to reshape the old guard of the art world just as the metaverse will reshape communication.
NFTs are uniquely suited to the metaverse. As works of art and media one owns primarily online, it’s not just how they are structured for profitability but maybe, more importantly, their potential to democratize art collecting.
I’ve made art for Dan Gilbert and Elton John and am honored that my work is on the walls of many household names. But the 1% should not be the only people able to purchase and own original artwork.
While NFTs can sell for truly outrageous prices, the space also allows artists to price pieces affordably. So that any of their fans can participate, through the metaverse, with its translation of ownership into the digital space, it will allow my fans to own my work and display it in their home or on their avatar online.
My decision to drop new and existing artworks as NFTs is thus not about hype. Rather it is about matching a product to the medium. As digital music has thrived on the internet, so too are NFTs a perfect match for the metaverse, and tokenization may well be the future of art the way digitization was for music.
My NFT work is in collaboration with AI, as computers are now part of my creative process. The output has been exciting and unexpected for me as an artist and something I’m proud to share with my community.
Whatever product or idea you choose to offer in the metaverse, make sure it’s something uniquely suited to bring out both your strengths as a creator and the advantages of this new online world.
Infinite potential and smart exploration
The metaverse isn’t the final frontier of human interaction any more than the internet or telephones. Just like the internet, the metaverse in a decade or two (or sooner) will be nothing like we first imagined. For now, it represents infinite potential and will reward smart exploration.
For those of us who plan to be part of the birth of this new universe of exploration, connection, and commerce, it will pay to cultivate a loyal community—transitioning into the metaverse and having a product ideally suited to our new digital lives.
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