💖 Metrics are Dead. Long Live Metrics.

data collection, a new toy from OpenAI today, and are caring communities a thing?

Happy Monday friends 💖 

Welcome to Create Your Rainbow - a newsletter created to understand the role of community, culture, and meaning at the edges of technology. 🌈

Time to read - 5 minutes

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Happening in tech:

  • Today at 10am PST, OpenAI will unveil a new toy. Sam Altman says it’s not going to be a search tool OR GPT5, but some secret third thing. My new theory is either an agent tool or a super-capable voice model. In the past week or so, both Altman and a few other VCs/AI guys have stated the next release will feel “like magic,” so of course, I’m eager to be blown away while remaining skeptical until I see it with my own eyes.

🫂 The State of People is a monthly show on Unlonely, the onchain live-streaming app. The next show is this Thursday, 5/16 at 3pm ET!!

Subscribe below to support us for only 0.003ETH/month (~$10) for regular drops, recaps, and rewards before and after each show.

This week, we’ll hear from guests Christin, who hosts the /spirituality channel on Farcaster and her own show on Unlonely, plus Katerina, who is building Together Crew, a brilliant analytics tool for community management.

This week I hop on my soapbox for a little rant on metrics and how we are measuring relationships at the edges of the web. Then we move into one of my favorite topics, communities of care! Enjoy your week!

Metrics are Dead. Long Live Metrics.

I have more than a few bones to pick with the powers that be.

While I haven’t been especially pining away for taking on dozens of interviews or conversations about the subject for a while, the obsession with metrics, particularly vanity metrics, still lingers like the smell of an average NYC sidewalk.

I still hear the moaning about metrics, KPIs, OKRs, and whatever other corporate speak you want to add here regarding community and social media.

It’s time we use and imagine metrics for a more caring, playful, wholesome internet.

If you or your team are still focusing a significant portion of key metrics on things like followers, likes, and impressions, maybe these can open your mind to deeper relationships with members either in your audience or community. The thing is, most community analytics tools suck. Even when you find the best of the best available, there’s always something lacking, and even what’s there feels like it’s only halfway there or behind a massive fee.

Together Crew: First up is one of the neatest tools for tracking the actual, real-time health of your community on Discord. Look, I don’t care if you have 100 or 40,000 people in your server; most of that means nothing unless you know some type of tangible sentiment of members, who are being active, what times they are active, and the overall health of your conversations based on multi-dimensional analysis. That’s exactly what Together Crew offers. With Together Crew you get to really drill down and uncover problems in your community before they are felt, before they fester into a wound, or worse. To learn more about this awesome project trusted by teams at Optimism, Polygon, AAVE, and more, get in touch here. Oh and Katerina from the Together Crew team, who does network and data analysis with communities, will be speaking this Thursday on The State of People.
Another in this category is Astronaut, which adds even more AI on top of your analysis, bringing deeper insights, trends, and reporting.

Magnetiq: I recently got a chance to demo the Magnetiq platform built for brand communities and creators by my friend Kaylan. While it’s a slightly different vibe from the web3 we may be used to, that’s a good thing. What makes Magnetic special is their use of onchain data totally in the background to help community builders, brands, and creators see in plain English what their members or consumers are completing, how far they got, and how to best retain their loyalty.
Another in this category is, of course, friends at TYB who are huge champions of brand communities and have all sorts of community management features built into the CRM and analytics products in-app.

There are a dozen other tools to tap into, including Dune, Airstack and Neynar for Farcaster, and the likes of Zealy and Galxe. The point is this New Internet we’re creating is shifting quite fast, and not only are there more intuitive tools to utilize, but the things we are capable of measuring are more nuanced than ever. Open your mind to the possibilities of new ways to connect members and you’ll find all new opportunities for growth beyond my very least favorite sentiment of Volume at All Costs and Everything is a Casino!

Let’s imagine this scenario: you offer a free claim on a digital ticket, receipt, collectible, or some other sort. Your goal is to track what the receiver is doing with their energy to better understand their behavior. If you’re a brand, you simply can’t do that the traditional way unless you can get onchain data. With onchain data, a free claim gives such deep insight into a vast amount of untapped business potential for your community, if used correctly to build connections instead of more extractive behavior.

These new insights allow for smaller, tighter communities that don’t need to rely on inflated numbers or counting vanity metrics that lead nowhere. I think, instead, this leads to an era of connection that helps toward a new internet transformation. We already have analytics tools for our money, it’s time to imagine new ways to connect all the dots between real people and not all the bots that have taken to squatting on our digital spaces while keeping privacy and consent top of mind.

My hope, and I have faith in this future reality, is that we can share the tools we’re using, give more in-depth feedback on how we imagine each improving, and convince developers to build for us in mind, not the VCs. Otherwise, what’s the point, right?

Communities of Creativity and Care

In this weekend’s Rosieland newsletter, Rosie Sherry shared an article by Professor of Learning Research at MIT Media Lab Mitchel Resnick, who explains the nature of cultivating communities of creativity and care.

This is almost exactly what I’ve been preaching about for the past—I don’t know, it seems like forever now—this need for and desire to create communities where the pull towards kindness and service to another’s heart, rather than mind or fear, is prioritized.

For quick reference and setting expectations, a community of care is just like any other community style, like a community of practice or a product community, the two we see most often. It is not necessarily a community focused on wellness or self-care.

In his Medium article, he goes on about how:

When people feel welcomed and supported and safe within a community, they are more willing to experiment, try new things, and take the risks that are an important part of the creative process.

He describes the framework his team at the Lifelong Kindergarten group uses as the Four Ps of Projects, Passion, Peers, and Play, and Resnick hopes these values lead to another P: Peace. I believe these Ps work very well for the purpose here, especially with children. I wonder if any of these Ps would change when geared for adults. What do you think? Let me know if you’re working on a Community of Care or have any ideas on how they might look in the future.

Hunting and Gathering 🔗 

Watch This

  • From this week’s YouTube watch history, here’s a short video by Studio Leonardo on the importance of the Plaza as a great public place. Studio Leonardo is one of my favorite channels on urban planning from a community-building lens. I’ve been thinking about this idea of place > space a lot recently.

Read This

  • I recently re-read Nick Bostrom’s Letter from Utopia. If you haven’t read it yet, maybe it’s useful (with grains of salt) in some way.

  • This co-written piece by FWB & Lukso tells of a better, more empathetic internet.

When you’re ready…

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