By Bryan A Westfall

Web3 has a marketing issue. It lies within a lack relevancy to the broader public. This is easily proved by the fact that most “normal” folks (like me) who’d read that first sentence would reply with:

“What TF is Web3”?

Exactly. Before I go on, however, I’ll take a weak stab at answering that question based on what I’ve gleaned so far. Web3 is simply the term being used for what some believe will be the next (more secure and decentralized) iteration of the internet. Web1 was essentially pre-social networks with static web pages, and Web2 is what we’re using now.

By now I’m sure most of you have seen a lot of hullabaloo surrounding Bitcoin (& cryptocurrency in general), but have no experience with it personally. Same here.

“NFT’s” and “Blockchain”? Most scratch their heads, but have perhaps heard of each in passing. Someone bought some digital artwork somewhere. We see something in some tech blog we skim past because of a lack of relevancy to our real lives.

Therein lies the issue. Without a broader scope of usage and need for this “new net” (which is mainly this NFT & crypto usage), it’s simply not relevant to most of us. It’s not meeting the majority in areas that are meaningful or important to our lives.

The only reason I know what little I do about Web3 is because I’ve *sought out* this information so I can understand it. Having to seek out this information is a marketing issue. A big one. There is a huge opportunity here for someone to step in and re-brand this new net, as the nerds with the mic are speaking in terms (and to un-relatable usage) that are alienating to the rest of us.

For Web3 to gain real traction in the *real world*, it will need to find more usage relevant to the rest of us.

What is relevant to me? Good question. Gaming is relevant to me.

In walks Midnight Society. They’ve found a small way to make this new net relevant by meeting me somewhere that is meaningful to me. Games. More specifically, cosmetics in games.

Their current involvement in Web3 is based in NFT’s in the form of player profile pictures (see images above). They are one-of-a-kind, and owned by the user. Currently, those users are an upcoming 10,000 “Founders” who will be chosen from over 400k applicants for their “Founders Pass” (players who will have input into the development of their upcoming game “Project Moon”).

In their latest press release, they go into some detail on their partnership with Polygon Studios (who are the hub for the cosmetic Web3 aspects of the gaming project). Most relevant to me is how it offers “digital ownership and tradability of in-game items”.

That’s super exciting for gaming cosmetics fiends like myself. I’m speculating, but if this ends up being weapons, weapon-skins, player skins etc, that would be a ton of fun and a huge leveling up from the current usage of cosmetics in games.

Ownership and tradability of these skins is much more rewarding than (for example) gambling on purchasing “packs” in Apex Legends, in hopes you get something cool which can only be used by you in that game no matter how tired you might get of it. Most of the time you get something related to a weapon or character you don’t use. Then…you’re stuck with it. Trading or even selling these items is an exciting prospect.

Ryan Wyatt, CEO of Polygon Studios, speaks to the games dual-citizenship between Web2 & Web3:

“Project Moon is entering the space by providing an off-chain and on-chain experience, allowing gamers to have the best of both worlds. They can own, monetize, and transfer digital assets in-game through the opt-in NFT experience, without it being an obligation.”

Midnight Society is dipping their toe into Web3 in an area relevant to their players, and I’ll be joining them once the game is ready to go (if I’m not one of the lucky 10k Founders). Even better, this meeting point will be somewhere comfortable and familiar: a PC, an Xbox, a Playstation etc.

Before Web3 can fully take off, however, it’s going to need buy-in from a much broader group. It’s the “normals” who need to be sold as there are more of us than there are of those currently obsessed with this new net.

More companies like Midnight Society need to come along and engage with their customers/users in ways that are already relevant & meaningful in their lives through Web3 functionality. That’s where the broader buy-in lives.

Step one for those companies is to take the mic away from your IT department. Give it to Marketing. People in the business of communicating with normal people who don’t care “how the sausage gets made”. People don’t need or want to know how it all works, they just want to know how they’ll listen to “The White Album” on this thing.