This is a long overdue checkin on what I have been working on with my Ambassadorship.
As some of you might remember when I set out, my goals were to:
experiment with tipping galleries and parties as a way of engaging people around the Web Monetization Standard, as well as to do outreach and education around the Web Monetization Standard;
do outreach and education on Interledger and the Web Monetization Standard with Indigenous Communities and with Disability Communities; and
do outreach and education on the Web Monetization Standard with communities of digital creatives, media, and creators of open educational materials, who can easily Web Monetize their pre-existing digital assets, and make this a part of their practice with their future digital assets.
As a part of this I was going to:
host tipping galleries and parties, both to do outreach and education around the Web Monetization Standard and to celebrate and connect our community around our current Web Monetized works and platforms;
work with some young people to experiment with and create tutorials on the different creative platforms enabled for Web Monetization; and
edit and reshare a condensed version of the live, studio audience broadcast recording of the 'Web Monetized at MozFest' Podcast that we recorded at MozFest 2022.
True to typical form for me, I set out on what I thought was a direct path of set goals and deliverables, but instead became a meandering journey of discoveries, lessons, experiments, research, and lending a helping hand to others in the Interledger community. Much in the fashion that the 10-year-old me would walk home from school or my cat takes a wander through the neighbourhood, this became an epic journey, which is why I am still working on it. There are a couple of pieces I still want to address in a more meaningful way, and aside from the side projects that I have helped with throughout this Ambassadorship that took time, I was also met with a few challenges of my own this past year.
This journey began, thanks to a tipping feature that Coil was testing out and a goal of the Interledger Foundation to experiment with this tipping feature at MozFest, as way of doing outreach and education at the festival around Interledger and the Web Monetization Standard.
To encourage people to begin to experiment with Web Monetizing their digital assets, Coil gifted everyone at the festival a 6-month prepaid Coil membership, along with $10 US of prepaid tips. The initial idea was to introduce the presenters to the Web Monetization Standard, so that they could Web Monetize digital assets associated with their MozFest session, making it possible for attendees to tip the presenters, if they desired with their tips from Coil. This ended up evolving into the Grand Web Monetization Experiment in which asynchronous and synchronous options were created to introduce MozFest attendees to the Web Monetization Standard. Festival goers were invited to Web Monetize their digital assets and have them shared in the 'Web Monetized at MozFest Gallery', so that others could peruse their work and spend their Coil tips as a way of celebrating that work.
As is the fashion with gallery showings, we decided to host a party in the gallery to attract more attention to it. This was fun, as it brought new and old friends together from our community and from MozFest's community, introduced them to a vast array of interesting work (including a Treasure Hunt created by @meghan, @hessel and the Free Music Archive team and Exquisite Garden created by @tani and the Mysilio team specifically for MozFest) and interesting people, as well as for many, new-for-them ways of Web Monetizing their digital assets (including with Free Music Archive, Mural, wips.art and Fliptoons from our first MozFest Tipping Gallery and later Hyperaudio at our second MozFest Tipping Gallery). One of the Tipping Galleries / Parties was hosted during the main festival in March, and the other was hosted at the end of the extended festival in June.
To introduce the concept of tipping galleries and parties as a form of outreach and education to our broader Interledger community, and allow them to experiment with the tipping feature that Coil was testing, I built a virtual gallery in Spatial to host a summer tipping party for our community and others interested. This was again made possible thanks to Coil again gifting all attendees with a tipping account with $10 US in prepaid tips.
To date, this has been my favourite gallery, as it visually displayed the community's work in an aesthetically pleasing manner, and was fun to 'walk' around and explore the gallery space and people's work. I see the potential in using a gallery space like this to showcase the community's work long term with this or a bigger gallery space, changing it up to host different themes of work within the community, grant cohorts, or time periods.
This lead to ideas for other tipping galleries and parties in our community, including for:
Unfortunately, only Black Web Fest was ready for an actual tipping party in the Autumn of 2022; and by the time Pipe Web Monetization was ready technology wise and Sonar Muse was ready launch wise, Coil had announced their closure.
There was also talk and interest for tipping galleries and parties:
to spotlight Web Monetized assets and connect people to Web Monetized platforms on the African continent;
to spotlight Web Monetized audio assets and connect people to different Web Monetized audio platforms;
to spotlight and connect people to different Web Monetized social media platforms;
to host a Web Monetization workshop and follow up tipping gallery and party with the Open Education Global (OEGlobal) community, as a community experiment in exploring and provoking conversations around sustainable funding models for open educational resources;
to host a Web Monetization workshop and follow up tipping gallery and party with the Travel Media Association of Canada (TMAC) to introduce these journalists to the Web Monetization Standard and create an incentive for them to begin to Web Monetize their digital assets; and
to celebrate the digital assets created as a part of two Web Monetization Microgrants that I was planning to create for the Indigenous Community and the Disability Community through my Ambassadorship project fund.
These tipping galleries and parties created a great way to work with different communities, creating incentives and actionable steps, not only for those being introduced to the Web Monetization Standard to learn, but also to act on what they learn. With the parties themselves, they created a supportive atmosphere within the communities, encouraging the. communities to discover each other's work, and to celebrate and support one another.
I would love to see the possibility for the tipping galleries and parties to continue once we have new pathways for Web Monetization with tipping options. I'd encourage that we begin that with some of the entities that we were getting set to host tipping galleries and parties with, when Coil closed. Specifically I am thinking about:
- Pipe Web Monetization
- OE Global
My hope is that the above entities will just be a start, as this is a great incentive to encourage people to Web Monetize their work in a timely fashion.
Logistically, in setting up these galleries, you need a way on whatever platform you host the gallery and / or party, to link to the Web Monetized assets, so that attendees are able to visit the digital asset directly in order to tip the digital asset. The links to the Web Monetized digital assets should open in a new tab, so as not to take the attendees out of the tipping gallery. Aesthetically, it is also pleasing to have an image associated with each asset in the gallery. With these galleries, while most people attended during the scheduled party, others did enjoy and benefit from the ability to peruse them at their leisure, on their own time.
Some other things to keep in mind for future Web Monetization tipping galleries and parties, that we learned from our early galleries and parties:
1) Pick the tipping gallery / party venue to suit the host of the event and their community.
For MozFest, as their festival spaces included Slack, Spatial Chat, and Mozilla Hubs, it made sense to host the gallery and party in one of those spaces. Due to time constraints and people submitting Web Monetized assets right up until the start of the event, I focused on what was feasible within the time constraints, which was building the tipping gallery and party space in Spatial Chat. This worked well, and I was told by @gunnar that it helped inspire Gradual's Emergent Encounter Greenhouse and Garden at MozFest 2023. You'll see a snippet of the Emergent Encounter Greenhouse below. Gunnar and Philo created two most beautiful and whimsical spaces for Emergent Encounters, which has inspired to play and create further with Spatial Chat.
Had I had more time available to me before the second MozFest tipping gallery and party, I would have built that second gallery in Mozilla Hubs as things built on that platform exist outside of the time constraints of the festival, allowing people to peruse the gallery after the festival is done.
For Black Web Fest, their needs were different, as they needed a closed, invite only space, as some of their films could not be publicly displayed due to rules pertaining to the film festival circuit. As such, we used Hopin, as that is the platform their festival community was familiar with and felt comfortable with.
2) An educational plan is needed to teach people how to Web Monetize their work and to teach people how to tip projects. Preferably this should include both asynchronous and synchronous learning options.
At MozFest, the asynchronous learning resources we shared, included:
- Web Monetization Standard and Coil tipping tutorials in the MozFest Slack and in the Interledger Community Forem
- an email from Coil on how to sign up for Coil and use the tipping function
- offered a variety of MozFest sessions on the Web Monetization Standard
- hosted a Web Monetization Education Space in Spatial Chat with drop-in office hours
- shared an overview on how to tip at the beginning of the tipping party
With our Interledger community already knowing how to Web Monetize their digital assets, for the Interledger Community Tipping Gallery and Party in the summer of 2022, we simply shared an Interledger Community Forem post and email with an invitation to the event. This was followed by a second email to attendees who RSVPed with instructions on upgrading to a Coil experimental tipping account and how to tip. I also shared how to tip in the event welcome and checked in individually with many of the guests to see if they needed help in navigating how to tip the Web Monetized assets on display.
For Black Web Fest, I drafted an email for @victoriac to send out to her community inviting them to participate in a Web Monetized Tipping Screening Party and explaining how to Web Monetize their films. With this, my calendar was shared and the filmmakers were invited to book an individual coaching session on Web Monetizing their films, if they so desired. These coaching sessions had the added benefit of filmmakers Ivan and April Mbakop taking a broader interest in Interledger and attending the ILF Summit.
Anyone who signed up to attend the screening party was sent an email with instructions on signing up for their Coil tipping account and how to tip the films at the event. We further reviewed how to tip the films in our welcome to the screening party.
3) It needs to be clear that the host of the event should invite their community to the tipping party, in addition to the Interledger community being invited to the event.
4) @mariabustillos wisely suggested that when hosting the event in a gallery that requires a higher bandwidth, that we also create a lower bandwidth catalogue of the Web Monetized assets being showcased in the gallery. This accompanying catalogue could be created in the Interledger Community Forem or via a Google doc.
5) If the event involves a sponsor, like Coil providing the tipping accounts, then the needs of the sponsor in reaching a broader audience should be considered.
For instance, rather than hosting a tipping party to reward your early, invite-only beta testers, think in terms of a launch event with a broader community. This way the beta testers will also see a greater reward from the event, in the form of a larger number of people tipping.
In summary, I hope that once there are new pathways to tipping through Web Monetization, that we see more Web Monetization tipping galleries and parties. This acts as a great way to educate new groups on what the Web Monetization Standard is and creates incentives for them in Web Monetizing their digital assets in a timely fashion. In addition it helps to spotlight and reward current Web Monetized assets, and connect the community around celebrating each other's work. As these are singular events, it is also a form of incentive that does not make a platform feel they constantly need to be rewarding their user base (as Cinnamon, gFam, and mg.social have at times faced) or that attracts in a user base that are mainly there for the rewards (as happened with mg.social's user base, once monthly incentives were offered).
If you have ideas on how tipping galleries and parties could be used in the future, I'd love it if you'd share your ideas in the comments below.
More to come on my Interim Report in Part 2. Thanks for reading!