[This article is originally our internal product strategy of 2023]
Within today's publishing landscape, readers and writers have various choices from Web2 and Web3 spaces to read, write, and interact. T2 started in 2020 with an ambitious vision to help readers and writers be more recognized, connected, and easily benefit from a decentralized creator economy, and 2023 becomes our very first year introducing the platform to the world.
Looking at the solutions available in the market, there needs to be more systematic solutions for building autonomous cultural communities where readers and writers can engage with their common interests.
By recognizing, connecting, and economizing through these cultural communities, t2’s mission is to give the world an open internet of ideas, bringing millions of us together through knowledge, culture, and joy.
Helping writers in their early-mid career
For 2023, we’ll focus on solving problems for writers in their Early-mid writing careers. We’ll cherish, support, and grow them, and we believe readers will follow if we make writers happy.
Writers in these stages of their careers have the most to gain from Engagement and Distribution solutions. In addition, they care about the core values we make our tech decisions on: having irrevocable ownership of their content, network, and data.
As we identified through our generative user research, there are three major problems these writers face are:
"Hard for writers to be recognized, connected, and have meaningful interactions around their work."
We see a missing piece of a more forum-like collective publishing tool for writers to connect and collaborate, and for readers to participate and contribute as peers —— We need a community-centric solution for the publishing industry.
"Hard for writers to get enough exposure on their writings."
Writers often have to cross-post on multiple platforms to gain meaningful readership. This setup will fundamentally change in Web3 for the composable nature of content and media, and we need more innovative ways for distribution to happen at ease.
"Hard for writers to make money out of writing."
The revenue gap between an early-mid career writer and a well-established writer is beyond significant. For most writers, writing can only be a side hobby fed by a day job, and it’s hard to get any meaningful income stream from writing.
For 2023, we prioritize providing solutions for "Engagement"
t2 sits at the intersection between a publisher and a social network. Our strategy naturally leans towards engagement and meaningful interactions to prove our social concepts.
For 2023, territories are t2’s atomic units to foster niche engagement, and every territory owns its unique identity, culture, memberships, and content network with on-chain credentials.
Engagement is around Recognize, Connect, and Economize
- Recognize: Creating scenarios for readers and writers witnessed with their effort, content, and ideas, making their voices heard, ideas cherished, and their contribution captured by the network.
- Connect: Make it easy for readers and writers to encounter, share, engage, and collaborate. Help them discover like-minded peers to bond deeper with.
- Economize: Create an economy where value is easily captured, distributed, and exchanged among all stakeholders. Have aligned incentives to grow their territories and the network together. Various currencies will be supported to manifest a widely accessible network (Time points, Fiat, or Cryptocurrencies).
Use effective engagement to support writers in their creative process
As we discussed earlier, our writers are seeking validation and support in their early-mid writing journey, and engagement can help them feel supported in multiple smaller processes to make it easier for writers to start writing, continue with support, and accomplish with recognition.
- Collective Initiation of what to write: Under every territory, prompts help territory members collectively discover worthy topics, gather ideas, so writing no longer feels unsolicited.
- Develop writing together: Since writing’s nature is seeking to have a dialogue, seeing other writers writing for the same topic makes the dialogue externalized and bi-directional, leading to further inspiration and motivation of continuation.
- Post-publishing engagements: While territories helping generate feedback, discussions, and visibilities with a niche, content gets constantly recognized and gives writers further validation and fulfillment.
Some first principles nurturing engagement
- Content-centric: We want all engagement on t2 to be content-centric. This intentional design ensures that t2 is a knowledge-based social network differentiating from other fast social media like Twitter.
- Quality > Quantity: Engagement on t2 shall inherently carry relevance, and integrity to create quality signals only. We proactively mitigate bot activity and alpha seeker behaviors and stay cautious of financial incentives' impact in shaping behaviors.
- Intuitive > Incentive: We are here to assist writers, not to impress, force, or interrupt them. We want users to engage out of curiosity, eagerness for expression, and joy of good deeds. Our user experience design shall be as effective as if it disappears in a user’s goal-achieving process.
Establish content relationships by remixing and building creative context
In this digital era, internet content grow in quantity and speed more than we could ever comprehend. Within this misbalance, we need to gain relevance and control interacting with the compounding information world.
If we zoom out and see how human civilization achieves knowledge and culture through time, creativity is a remix, a collage of ideas through time, a constant evolvement, and a landscape of contexts. Without cultural context, content loses its relevance.
What can be the counter force here is for us to discover innovative ways to contextualize, organize, and curate content, or, making sense of content, and reveal their internal links of their creation as chains of ideas.
Originate content’s cultural root
Territories on t2 function as content’s cultural roots when they get created inside the group. These DNA will be visually traceable, keeping content and context always in check simultaneously.
Generate nodes and links as nouns and verbs
Every piece of content on t2 can be replied to, linked with, and remixed into new creations. The content network will grow within a constantly evolving knowledge graph as these nodes grow with the inner connectivities between them generated by people's engagements.
Default territory distribution with composable Lens apps
Without being the prime focus of 2023, we still aim to address the distribution problem with territory-assisted distribution, emails, and default distribution to composable Lens platforms.
- Territory-assisted distribution: As the atomic unit for content creation and distribution, t2 territories can easily promote its own writers and content to help them growing the audience base. Within the territory distribution, an automated email distribution will be introduced to all territory members to ensure the completion of the loop.
- Lens ecosystem: Posts, comments, and prompts on t2 can achieve automated distribution on all composible Lens platforms. This allows bigger content discovery opportunities across projects and an organic audience growth for all t2 & lens users.
How t2 product will look like in EOY 2023
The highest level hypothesis we wish to validate this year is that niche communities help writers to grow better than being on their own. We aim to establish a fully-rounded product MVP with a branded identity, ease of use product, and high product performance.
In Q1, we delivered the fundamental layer of Proof-of-Attention and launched our alpha app, ****almost in a reader-only mode.
In Q2, We started adding social elements to the app so users could find each other (likes, previous readers, territory levels). We also launched our native editor with a much better writing experience, and our first awareness campaign The future of Social Manifesto to communicate our vision to the world.
In Q3, we primarily focused on shipping territory features (Territory V1)to establish niche engagement solutions, and Lens integration to solve preliminary distribution.
In Q4, we’ll double down on solving engagement problems by introducing more innovative ways for readers and writers to interact, and make it easier for new users to join, explore, and engage with an optimized App UI/UX. Beyond that, we’ll start establishing content relationships on the network and offer better community management toolings to migrate towards territory autonomy.
How we prioritize our roadmap using Web3 tech
There are two fundamental innovations Web3 technology provides for a social network: One is innovating on ideology, one is innovating on asset.
The ideology approach focuses on elevating users’ values and ideals, building towards making the internet widely accessible, portability of content and social relationships, data privacy, and censorship resistance.
The asset approach focuses on users’ desire to profit, through digital ownership, monetized content and social relationships, so users can easily earn, spend, and exchange values as the network’s stakeholders.
If we go with the ideology first approach, we’ll first find PMF(product-market fit) in the cold-start stage, then add the asset layer on top when we already gained meaningful adoption from our validated product solutions.
If we go with the asset first instead, what we’ll have is a hot-start stage, attracting users from financial incentives, then we’ll need to fast build out the product features to retain the users in early traction.
The second approach is much more risky, considering the early user motives there do not match t2’s long-term mission. Early speculation can be harmful and potentially dilute the users’ relationships we want to nurture on the platform.
On the other hand, building ideologies first can solve real user problems, have better synergies with the rest of the features, and buy us more time building killer utilities shoulder-to-shoulder with our vision-aligned users to seal our PMF as a top priority.
So for 2023, we’ll focus on building Web3 ideologies, including storing content on Arweave, providing composability for content and social graphs, and tackling data sovereignty around users’ identity, memberships, and content.
On top of that, going towards 2024 we need to keep innovating on product to discovering unique Web3 features making sense and adding unique value for our readers, writers, and communities, which is the hardest part for all Web3 products and inevitable for us to answer. Directions include but are not limited to composable user Identity, Creative IP, Curation, Social graph, and content relationships.
Where we’ll be heading in 2024
After establishing t2 as the Social Network with meaningful engagements, in 2024, we will start tackling monetization and expand the product focus to community builders and readers too.
While the content grows on our app, 2024 t2 will start developing its Open Knowledge Graph to establish a fully-contexted content network with the remix and contexting of our combined creativity.
The daily work on t2 is inspiring, the team put so much love and grind in their everyday work, and we have no doublt t2 will become a timeless product of our era. We wish to help every individual t2 encounter to have more meaningful interactions in their lives, and make knowledge and culture the driving force of our societal development.