StoryCo, decentralizing Hollywood, one story at a time
A Story about StoryCo
A while back, I sat down with Laika O'Brien, who at the time, was the Director of Experience Design at StoryCo. I wanted to learn more about the community, explore how they are currently using CharmVerse and gather some feedback. Laika has since moved on to pursue other endeavors, but StoryCo continues and I very much wanted to highlight the community
StoryCo is "a platform where creatives from around the world with a unique concept for a story world can come together, pitch that Story World to a community, and find people to collaborate and co-own the IP (Intellectual Property) with them." Sounds great, right? Laika continued to break down the concept of StoryCo as an "online co-op where fan fiction nerds and other kinds of creatives can find community and compensation for the work that they do."
Let's go back to the beginning... StoryCo was founded by two brothers, J.P. and Justin. One, an entrepreneur, and the other, a Hollywood Executive. They decided to come together and use web3 technology to create a platform, a community, and a set of creative tools to bring people together around the above mission.
Here's how StoryCo works
It starts with Hollywood Creators and Visual Artists who create the "Story Worlds," which are the foundation for the story that will follow. These concepts are introduced to the larger community by opening up the consumption side of the platform and taking community members from passive consumers to active participants. The idea is to get people excited about the existing story and then open up the Creators Tools on the StoryCo platform. StoryCo believes it is easier for people to be creative when responding to something rather than starting from scratch.
Enter the Creatives, aka Community Contributors. The Creatives expand these worlds, by proposing settings, storylines, characters, etc. This portion of the process will last a couple of months, at which time the community can begin to create character art. This art will be in the form of NFTs that can then be purchased once that character officially makes it into the production. Once the story is complete, it becomes Intellectual Property (IP). The community has now worked as a team to fund the production of content. This could be a demo, an animated storyboard, etc. StoryCo will now attempt to sell this IP to a studio.
Incentivize + engage the Community
An issue that many web3 communities encounter is a lack of community engagement. StoryCo gamifies the process, which incentivizes the community to engage in story creation. One idea is to use a tiered point system. Certain tasks will earn you points, some tasks will be worth more than others. For example, you vote, you earn points. You apply for a bounty, you earn points. Your bounty is accepted and completed, you earn points. Points earned through a member's behavior will then be attributed to that member's community profile.
Who decides which projects get picked up?
With many contributors pitching story ideas, character inspirations, etc., you might be wondering how it is decided which ideas get chosen.
StoryCo recently launched its first community production. This first project comes from the core team; They will choose the Story Architect and the Lead Artist, and then the community will respond with their feedback. This will allow the community to test the process, integrate the community feedback, and "hone in on what will most deeply serve the Creatives."
The subsequent projects will come from the community. There will be an application process to submit ideas. The contributors will then pitch these ideas to the community. This portion of the process could be hosted online or in real life. The IRL scenario could be an "open mic" format where people have 5 minutes to pitch their idea to the community and in turn, the community would offer constructive feedback in real-time. The community will then vote on these ideas to decide which ones will be adopted and turned into a production. Ultimately, "StoryCo is looking to create a fully functional community production and is making incremental steps to develop that. An important piece of the puzzle is the feedback from the community to learn how it will best work."
StoryCo and its Community
Story Co believes in the "power of people" which is why they decided to be a web3 community rather than a full-fledged company. Really, StoryCo is kind of both a company and a DAO. They have the core team which is a company but they believe in progressive decentralization. Companies can be too centralized and not offer an equitable power structure, while a DAO might not have the strongest leadership team. Once StoryCo is opened up to the community they plan to decentralize. This way, they can find the right kind of leadership within the community, and the core team of StoryCo will be there to facilitate the process.
When we look at the structure of StoryCo, there are Creators, Artists, and Contributors working together on different stories, which will eventually become intellectual property. The idea here is that there is a core group, StoryCo, that will handle governance, treasury, etc., but they want to give agency and freedom to each of the individual projects decided on by the community. These individual projects will become sub-DAOs of StoryCo and will ultimately own the IP and claim a larger percentage of the proceeds once the story is sold. There will be an agreement between StoryCo and the sub-DAOs, that StoryCo will collect a portion of the royalties once a story is sold, which they will use to kickstart future productions.
StoryCo meets CharmVerse
It's a tale as old as time, Web3 Community meets platform meant to serve web3 communities... Ok, so maybe not a tale as old as time, but you know what I mean.
For those not familiar, CharmVerse is a web3 community platform that is powering the future of work through web3. We are the solution for token communities to build relationships, work together and vote. StoryCo has been using CharmVerse and these are the features they're currently using.
Our first question to Laika was, Why CharmVerse? What made StoryCo choose our platform? Upon landing in CharmVerse, they saw a similarity to Notion, which StoryCo has been using regularly since its creation. There was an immediate familiarity with the design, lowering the onboarding friction. Laika also found that CharmVerse offered many features they were looking for, allowing this to be an all-in-one community tool for them.
StoryCo has used the CharmVerse Proposal Builder to build its first two community proposals. One pertained to membership structure and the other was about running their first bounty. Laika prized the ability to see community feedback in a document that could then be directly converted to a proposal and from there, sent directly to a vote. When voting in CharmVerse you are offered voting options of Yes, No, or Abstain, or you could create custom options that best suit your vibe. Other capabilities include setting a voting deadline date/time, as well as a pass threshold for each individual vote. Laika expressed an interest in quadratic voting specifically, which CharmVerse supports with our direct integration with Snapshot.
Earlier we mentioned a tiered point system and the potential of earning points through bounties. Bounties would be a great way for StoryCo to engage members and encourage them to complete tasks such as, pitching a back story or providing feedback on a proposed storyline. And, again, these bounties can then be used to track a member's contributions to the community.
StoryCo wants to be inclusive and approachable to web2 users. CharmVerse recently implemented Google Sign-in which makes it a great fit for this! You don't need a wallet or Discord, you just need to have a google account. It's that easy!
As StoryCo continues to develop its process and grow its community we are excited to further support them with the below features which are a great fit with their use cases:
Token-Gating: StoryCo could token gate their space to create VIP Access to certain content that would be available to Producer token holders only. Once they have Character NFTs available, there could also be specific content pertaining to those token holders.
Member Directory: This feature allows you to see who is a part of your community and shows their contributions. Remember when we were talking about the points system? The Member Directory is a great way to see how members are contributing to the community.
Forum: This new feature allows the community to share information, and have conversations, as well as upvote and downvote. A great alternative to Discord and Discourse. This is the feature many communities have been waiting for.
Notion Import: For teams currently using Notion, we make it easy to import your Notion workspace into your new CharmVerse space!
Google Form Embed: In addition to Google Login, you can now connect Google Forms to a CharmVerse Database. As new answers come into your Google Form, they will also be sent to your Database.
There are always going to be some pain points
While we love to hear what is working for a community and promote the features, it's also important to talk about the pain points encountered when using a product. This feedback allows the CharmVerse team to better analyze the platform, address bugs, and implement features that best serve the user.
Laika experienced an issue when voting. The voting deadline function wasn't clear, and the voting period closed before the intended time and wasn't able to be reopened. Of course, by reaching out to the CharmVerse team, we were happy to help and manually reopened the vote for them. Thanks to this feedback, users now have the ability to change voting deadlines in the platform.
This goes for all of our users. Feedback from our users is strongly encouraged and integral to us building the web3 tool of your dreams.
The story continues
Stay tuned! StoryCo also plans to host writing workshops, story-sharing events, and meet-ups to allow people to share their ideas and get real-time constructive feedback from the community.
Interested in becoming part of this community? StoryCo's target demographic includes Hollywood creatives with experience in the field, disenfranchised artists who haven't found the support they deserve or a place for their work to go, and creative people that don't have the professional experience to feel confident going into a pitch room.
StoryCo is not only looking to create stories, but they also want to "educate and empower people to speak that language and to be able to tell the story of the work they want to do in the world in meaningful ways." StoryCo provides an opportunity for people to break into an industry that they may have not been able to get into otherwise and have their voices heard.
While StoryCo continues to develop the DAO and its story-creating process, they plan to use CharmVerse as a way to hear the voice of their community. We're thrilled to be their platform of choice and look forward to following along on their journey.