Welcome to our final Grant Report for the gFam Grant for the Web project!
We can't believe it's been 6 months since we were selected for a Flagship grant. While we'll still continue to do monthly web-monetization reports, this is our final grant report.
Firstly I just want to say thank you for GftW for selecting gFam.live as a flagship grantee, it's been an absolutely amazing experience and I'm still completely blown away with everything we've been able to accomplish because of it. It's been phenomenal and I'd absolutely recommend to anyone interested in the web-monetization space to put in an application for the next round.
This is me in my latest post on gFam.live... you can see the full post here including the comments and tips I received.
gFam.live is a platform that easily allows content consumers to reward and encourage their favourite creators to create the content they love. The mechanisms for those rewards are via Coil subscriptions or tipping via the XRP ledger.
gFam is the hub for rewards. Creators can create their content on any platform anywhere, and then create an additional post on gFam and link back to their content.
From the 1st of October 2020 (start of the GftW project) to the 31st of March, here is gFam's statistics:
Number of users: 313
Number of posts: 3791
Number of tips: 3766
XRP tipped: 13233.785
From gFam's inception though, our statistics are:
Number of users: 313
Number of posts: 5338
Number of tips: 6409
XRP tipped: 33371.824
Honestly, we're really proud that creators on gFam have earned nearly $20k ($19,776 to be exact) USD since it's inception. This doesn't even include all the web-monetization rewards that creators have received.
gFam.live doesn't yet make a profit, and probably won't for a little bit yet, so the Grant for the Web funding has been absolutely essential for our development efforts.
Despite our project ending on the 31st of March 2021, we are, unfortunately not on schedule. We still have budget left and we still have features on our original project plan not yet completed.
I originally planned 86 days worth of development effort for this 6 month project. Due to the unforeseen conflicting schedules of my developer he's only been able to do 44 days so far.
A quarter of our budget was designated for marketing and what a journey this has been.
Going into this Grant for the Web project, I had intended to run ads on Instagram and Facebook. I had an agency lined up, timelines, milestones, content strategy, ad spend, etc all ready to go. As soon as the funds from GftW hit our account, I contacted the agency, they were super excited - their first blockchain product - and they asked a few questions:
"What's your marketing message?"
"What's your mission statement?"
I had no idea... I had some vague concepts but nothing concrete. I explained that I assumed they'd create that for me and the agency told me they don't do that.
I honestly believe I probably could have come up with something pretty solid myself, but I really wanted to do this properly. I found a firm that could help me and they were amazing. Since I'm a sporty guy, they interviewed a bunch of people in the fitness industry to find out what their social media pain points were and helped me developed a really strong marketing message.
They also advised me away from advertising on Instagram/Facebook and instead steered me towards working directly with influencers, since they might, themselves, love gFam.live.
I've spent a lot of time researching Instagram and influencer marketing platforms and speaking to influencers myself... and we're now steering away from influencers. Influencers are the exact opposite to who gFam was built for. The platform was built for creators who have a passionate audience (or not, honestly) and don't want to dilute their content with sponsorships spots, brand ambassadorships, Patreon call outs, merchandise, training courses, native advertising, etc etc. The gFam platform will allow creators to be rewarded directly by their audience, either actively through tips or passively through web-monetization. A $5 Coil subscription that rewards all creators is a much easier sell for creators than a Patreon subscription or expensive merch.
Essentially gFam is for people passionate about creating... not creating purely for those influencer paychecks.
Here is a list of our objectives:
Currently in progress.
I'm really thrilled with our progress so far and I'll be using the remainder of the budget as a stimulus to encourage/reward/assist creators in funneling their audience to gFam.live. We'll be paying the creators directly and/or providing incentives for their audience to tip them or get Coil subscriptions.
We also completely revamped our About page with all the marketing messaging and a Cinnamon video that explains what gFam is all about. We honestly had no idea education was going to be such a huge part of our marketing efforts.
Users can log into gFam.live if they've hooked up their XUMM wallet.
Not yet started
Users can tip from the home page, but tipping comments doesn't exist yet. I'm really super excited for this functionality though.
Our https://gfam.live/home page has been completely updated with all the information that our marketing focus group wanted. It's the page that people from Instagram will first hit.
We were super excited to unleash this functionally and our users were super excited when it was unveiled to them.
This will help me verify users, reset passwords and other helpful things...
Earlier this month we accidentally got super popular which almost ground our site to a halt story here... and the hardest part was trying to look after all the new users on our super slow, slightly broken site. I would have loved this to be up and running so I could have brought on some help.
This would also be part of the admin/moderators dashboards... and we need this in before we get popular again.
We've got the badges, etc designed, we just need to implement them. We had so hoped to have this implemented by now.
Enable ILP for Coil users so creators can receive micropayments for time spent on their posts by Coil Subscribers
We've had this in for a long time, but it was actually broken for months without us realizing it. It took days and days to fix and we literally fixed it a couple of hours before the RippleX Developer twitch stream we were on More info. It was the most stressed I've been for ages.
This is what we've spent most of March doing. Our site is now faster, more optimized and we want to thank the amazing Wietse Wind for providing the essential clues and tips to get us started on this journey. For so many reasons gFam wouldn't exist without Wietse.
We've spent time researching how this will be done, but we haven't spent any time on development yet.
The Hive Blockchain has a large community of creators familiar with blockchain technology. Tipping comes easily to the Hive community because it has an inflationary reward mechanism and the tippers get 50% of the creators rewards.
We've also added some functionality that wasn't in our project plan like Gated Content. This feature allows creators to create content that needs to be unlocked by a specified amount of XRP. This is perfect for creators whose audience trusts them and want something exclusive.
Again, this last 6 months has felt like a whirlwind of excitement, development, learning, chaos and progress... but we're also nowhere near where we'd thought we'd be by now.
The last six months have been all about development, marketing and learning.
I really have so much respect for people who specialize in these areas. It's really hard and really confusing. Development seems so more straightforward... you build something, iron out the bugs and it works. Marketing just seems to have unlimited variables.
Before this Grant for the Web project I had never thought much about communications and marketing. I never considered that it would be as hard as it's been... after all, who doesn't want to earn rewards for their content? Turns out, a crowd draws a crowd and people want to be where the eyeballs are.
We've put so much effort into this area, and have learnt a lot. The main thing we've learnt is that we need to put all our effort into education. gFam.live is a complex system with lots of new ideas... and many people don't understand the drawbacks of the Facebooks/Googles and being constantly influenced for advertisers.
We're still working... hard... to finish the items in our project plan. The Admin dashboard is absolutely essential. We're really excited about the badges, etc for users.
We've also got lots of ideas for features after this project. We're excited to work with both the Hive blockchain (community of creators) and the Koinos blockchain (ability to run gFam smart contracts without fees). We want to create a gFam xApp to work within XUMM. We will absolutely be moving our blog and pages from Coil onto gFam.live to drive more search engine traffic to the site... maybe even build in a forum to help converse with our users. We need mobile apps... people automatically look for us in the iOS and Google Play stores. We've also got ideas to get brands involved to micro-motivate/reward instead of advertise.
If you know creators that are passionate about their content and don't want to dilute it with the usual monetization techniques please send them our way.
Again, I just want to reiterate what an incredible experience the Grant for the Web has been and I still can't believe how lucky and amazing it's been that we were selected. We've never been provided funds to build something we really wanted to build. I keep waiting for the catch and there just.... isn't one.
Thank you Grant for the Web for everything. What an incredible program!