Welcome to Create Your Rainbow - a newsletter to help you understand why we build culture, community, and marketing at the edges of the internet. 🌈
I bring you insights, teachings, and inspiration for your adventures. We get a little vulnerable at times. If you’re here, thank you!
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Writing while depressed is hell.
Doing anything at all while depressed is hell.
Even though I talk about mental health occasionally, I don’t do it enough. The work I do isn’t backbreaking manual labor, though I’ve done that work before. I worked in construction for a couple of years and even that wasn’t as horrible to my body as the tension and stress of poor mental health.
What most of you probably don’t know is that because of the struggles and inconsistency of freelance work, the havoc wreaked on my body and mind, unable to obtain vital medicines throughout this year have left me in this very strange liminal state that is so difficult to talk about or even describe.
Writing this newsletter is one of the few joys I get out of each week, yet some weeks I feel I have nothing interesting or acceptable to say at all.
I simply haven’t felt myself, which goes far beyond writer’s block, and it’s not for a lack of putting myself out there and trying.
It’s about the value we place on the non-technical (or at least non-developers— I’m actually quite technical), the content writers, and the insights of people in the space who have super valuable insights to add to teams.
The fact is, this is the one time each week I get to actually “work in public.” This is where I test out new ideas, describe what I’ve been learning through the week, or just share little bits of myself.
Though, if I’m honest, a few issues of this newsletter haven’t felt particularly authentic, and I’ve had a bit of shame and guilt because of it. I also realize that’s being too hard on myself and we should all give ourselves credit for trying our best.
I attempt to leave something in the sections of this newsletter so readers can expect these bits and choose to read the updates and insights and skip others that aren’t interesting to them.
I’m thankful that a lot of founders and community professionals I learn from do talk about mental health but others don’t and I wish some did more often.
Working with cutting-edge technology to build community bonds for various projects is very exciting. Most weeks, the world we’re living in feels entirely surreal that we have so much pain and suffering on one end and boundless possibilities through tech that foster innovations beyond our wildest imaginations.
💖 I just want to take a moment to thank everyone who has supported both me and Cloud Scouts through all this time. The invaluable partnerships and care for doing things differently have been a source of comfort. I truly could not have pulled off half of what I’ve done so far without loving friendships and community connections.
If there’s one other newsletter you read this week that mirrors my feelings, check out Joan Westenberg’s account of how she’s doubling down on being a writer after also leaving her 6-figure tech career. I did the same, leaving a career in engineering in the finance field. Her thoughts on the creator economy and the way it treats writers are so spot on.
Now is the perfect time to think about long-term sustainability for your thriving community. I am available for freelance community strategy and writing. Wanna chat?
Do you have it within you?
It’s well past time for me to talk about The Scout Mindset in this newsletter. The Scout Mindset: Why Some People See Things Clearly and Others Don’t by Julia Galef is the perfect book to detail the ethos of Cloud Scouts.
Especially considering the increase in misinformation and the need for truth-seeking in a time of AI-driven media.
Some of my favorite fictional characters embody the Scout mindset. Fox Mulder and Dana Scully from X Files, Sherlock Holmes, Captain Picard, Spock, Samwise Gamgee, and others.
Many of my mutuals already follow her work but I realize that readers might not know about this book and her work detailing the Soldier and Scout mindset, so we’ll take some time this week to introduce it and get into more detail in the following weeks. Follow Julia on X/Twitter.
Before I introduce the Scout mindset, we first need to discuss the Solider
While the Soldier mindset is useful in certain situations, note that there are distinct differences that set it apart from the scout. Use this way of thinking sparingly and with the intention to meet a goal.
Personally, I find myself working through a Soldier mindset when I feel lost with a need for certainty and stability, even to a fault. It hardly ever works in my favor to stay in a soldier mindset for too long and you’ll see why.
Defense of Beliefs: doubling down despite evidence to the contrary of their belief
Emotional Attachment: the primary aim is to win rather than understand
Confirmation Bias: rationalizing pre-existing beliefs in the face of conflicting evidence
Resistance to Change: loyalty to a group’s shared beliefs over independent thinking
Binary Thinking: us vs. them or right vs. wrong
Fear of Uncertainty: doubting one’s beliefs is seen as a weakness
On the other hand, the Scout mindset is precisely what Cloud Scouts strives to promote. A more expansive view of exploration and curiosity.
Those with a true Scout mindset are rare but not too difficult to find in tech spaces. Observers like myself see through the ego-fueled exteriors where folks will say one thing and act in a completely different way, even on a transparent ledger.
The thing is, when someone says they are a truth-seeker and rational, they aren’t always the type to change their mind, which is a driving force for Scouts.
In future issues, I’ll dive into more detail on the Scout mindset. For this introductory issue, here are qualities to look out for when seeking relationships and business opportunities with a Scout:
Pursuit of truth: epic levels of curiosity, developing an open mind to asking questions and seeking answers to find the truth of the matter before arriving at conclusions
Intellectual honesty: self-reflection through continual questioning of beliefs, using an evidence-based approach to learning and information gathering
Adaptability: openness to change based on new information, accepting that not everything is black and white
Separating Ego from beliefs: embracing and even celebrating being wrong, using the act of detachment not as a sign of weakness but as strength
Continuous learning: pursuit of knowledge, growth, and development of new ideas to expand ourselves and our peers
Nuanced thinking: though the Scout recognizes there is right and wrong (especially when it comes to the care of others), balanced judgment is critical to understanding complex concepts
Fostering a Scout Mindset in Cloud Scouts ☁️
The scout mindset is vital to the growth and proliferation of Cloud Scouts in forming our collective identity within the tech world and beyond.
Though we will fail at times and will certainly make mistakes, we’ll acknowledge them as they come and give feedback to the community to help each member and each troop grow as one.
In her book and during her talk at The Long Now (linked below), Julia shares insight into how Reddit implemented Deltas ∆ to reward folks on the subreddit r/ChangeMyView as a form of community building.
We will discuss in future issues the ways Cloud Scouts intends to reward and honor those who challenge their existing beliefs so that beyond our badge system for demonstrating excellence in using decentralized technology, Scouts are attributed for their efforts in holding a Scout mindset.
In the next issue, I’ll talk about how the Scout mindset allows folks in decentralized tech spaces to become more effective in decision-making.
If you’d like to learn more about Cloud Scouts or want me to speak about how the Scout mindset can benefit your community on a podcast or a session with your team, please feel free to reach out via my website below.
Hunting and Gathering 🔗
Here are some things I found through the week
✥ Did You Know? For more than two months, Cloud Scouts has been featured on the Zora homepage in the PDF section!
As Scouts, we are explorers, adventurers, and observers. It is our mission to add thoughtful art, frameworks, forecasts, essays, and more to breathe life into our shared spaces ☁️
Thank you to all the collectors of Expansive Communities. A total of 246 editions were collected, totaling 0.1ETH in Zora protocol rewards.
If you have any questions about the writing, please let me know.
Expansive Communities is minted as a 15-page PDF including extra details and visualizations, the first of the series to live in The Nursery. 🪴
Your weekly source for all things upcoming with our lovely Scouts. Learn more at our website!
Bringing Scouting Onchain ☁️
Show your support by Bookmarking this newsletter issue, sharing it with others, and collecting our membership.
Artizen Season 3 has begun! Visit our page here. Sponsors for our mint are Funding the Commons and Juicebox!
Starting now, you can purchase art from Anna Berlett Vargas, Scout and occasional designer of Cloud Scout artwork. Each one mint for 0.01ETH or around $20 plus a gas fee.
This AI-assisted illustration by Anna is her vision for a united Scouting organization blending the past with the future as we continue to adventure together.
artwork by Anna Berlett Vargas for Cloud Scouts
Every Thursday, we come together for Patrol meetings, feedback sessions, and updates.
Want to partner with Cloud Scouts? Have a new feature you’re launching we should know about? Send me an email or DM to discuss how.
Disco is your Friendly Data Backpack 🎒
Verifiable Credentials (VCs) and DID (Decentralized Identifiers) allow you to take your identity, including memberships, GMs, self-attested credentials (shirt size, dark-mode preference, etc.), and Badges 😏 anywhere and keep them private!
Oh… and it’s totally free! You just need to have a web3 wallet to claim!
Here’s my video tutorial on how to set up Bookmarks for your own newsletter.
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