Hi, Rock Star!
Jeremiah Owyang has been a friend for a long time. I credit him for getting me (as MarketingProfs) onto Twitter in 2007—eleventy-billion year ago in internet time.
In 2007, I didn't understand why I needed to be on Twitter. ("What's the business goal? What am I supposed to do with it there, exactly? What's the point?")
But I gave it a go. And 458K followers and countless opportunities later... I get it. Well, I got it a long time ago.
A few weeks ago Jeremiah messaged me again:
"If you have a community, you can have an economy."
He was explaining Creator Coins, recently introduced by a company called Rally.io
. Jeremiah is an adviser to Rally.
A Creator Coin is a digital currency that represents the brand of a Creator. It helps any one us give unique value to fans and communities... and vice-versa.
I avoided using the word "cryptocurrency" in that last paragraph, by the way. It adds a techie veneer that suggests what C3PO uses to buy Chewbacca's kibble.
Think of Creator Coins like this:
The United States has the US dollar. Denmark has the krone. Armenia has the dram. And so now any creator—Instagrammer, TikTokker, podcaster, or... (you know where this is going...
) newsletter typist like me—can have their own currency, too. (h/t Joe Pulizzi
for the explanation)
I could see creating a Jaybird coin for the MarketingProfs community, for example. I can see other brands with strong communities doing the same—maybe yours?
The best way to learn is from the inside-out: I decided to play with it myself to fully understand it.
I'd Like to Have a WORD With You
On Friday I launched the $WORD coin
, in partnership with Rally.io and with thanks to my Emotional Support Owyang (LOL), who fielded one million questions from me. ("What's the business goal? What am I supposed to do with it, exactly? What's the point?")
History doesn't repeat, but it rhymes.
I chose WORD for specific reasons.
Coin names are limited to 3-5 letters (ANNARCHY was out, ANN was potentially in). And once you choose, you're wed for life. Like The Crown pre-Season 3 Princess Margaret.
The more I thought about it, the more I wanted it to stand for something bigger than myself. And I wanted it to have a little playfulness, because... well, that's my thing.
I asked Twitter
, which delivered a few solid contenders like AHA (marketing/writing inspiration)! Or AHAND (giving you a hand?). Then Ian Gertler
nailed it with WORD.
WORD felt right.
Even better: Rally IDs include the $ before every name, so the name renders as $WORD. "The pen is mightier than the sword," wrote novelist and playwright Edward Bulwer-Lytton two centuries ago.
- "I give my word" is a promise. (Trust is everything in marketing.)
- "Word" in slang signals "truth."
- Of course it's the best-known writing platform (thanks, Microsoft).
- And finally—it's the thing itself: A combo of characters assembled to carry ideas to you, me... everyone, everywhere.
So what's in it for you?
A coin is a symbol of community.
Much of the joy of writing to you every other week is the feeling of camaraderie. The peer-to-peer vibe. I'm writing to you as an individual, not as some amorphous, faceless "audience."
I write TO you—which is why this letter is far more interesting to me than a journal entry. It's a conversation, not a monologue.
So to me a coin codifies something important. It creates a shared symbol of community.
Yeah, yeah.... To what end? Coins could enable some ideas I've tossed around for a while:
- Access to private calls, consulting, podcasts
- Trading for exclusive content
- Rewards for superfans (the most Annarchist!) or newsletter referrals
- Community kudos: Rewarding, tipping, recognizing the good work (and good words) of one another. (Making writing and creating less lonely?)
- The ability to earn $WORD you might pay forward. (I like this one a lot.)
That's only the start.
This is new. We're at the beginning. What else? I don't know... you tell me: Got ideas? (HIT REPLY!) Let's figure this out together.
* * *
>> It's not just cool. It's also a stellar example of Tell Me Without Telling Me
. Tell Me
= We design 3D video ads and experiences. Tell Me Without Telling Me
= Here's a dragon coming
straight for your face.
▶️ Putting Coins Into Context.
Scott Monty takes the complex, confusing concept of digital currency and coats it in human-sized concepts that puts the current movement into context. (Could I use more Cs in this bullet? ...Certainly
"We're seeing lots of change happening now, from cryptocurrency to NFTs, opportunities that may seem like a secret language, alternatively whispered among the cognoscenti and shouted from the digital street corners by trend setters. [But] let's pause the constantly updating present and take a brief look at history to put this in perspective." --Scott