Ergo has a problem, and it's not tech related.....How can we bring USERS into the ecosystem?

I’ve been part of the ergo community for around 2 years and for those of you who know me I tend to ask a lot of provocative questions on the various social media channels (always with the best intentions…). I want to cut through the crap and try to understand the impact of the ergo technology and the projects.

The community is still relatively small consists of mostly developers or people with deep technical blockchain technology (I don’t include Air Drop hunters….) . At least that’s the impression I get when reading the various posts, comments and watching youtube videos.

Ergo has a problem and it’s not tech related:

How can we bring more USERS into the system? The piece that I see is missing is the word many dread…“marketing of use cases…”

There are a lot of great projects on Ergo but it’s really hard for anyone new to really understand WHAT the technology can do for them.

Why should I use ergo?

If you ask that question on any of the available social media channels the answer is usually:

  • "because the tech is great, developer friendly and it’s open source and decentralized".

  • “have a look at Github which explains the logic and use cases for {insert project name here]}”

If I was a developer that’s a great answer. If I’m a user, that means nothing to me.

New users want to know “What can Project X /ERGO do for me as a user? What does MY experience look like and how does it make my life better?”

I’m not talking about price or shilling a coin…but real life use cases and benefits using simple language and infographics.

There are some great interviews with projects on youtube, but even those can get very technical and they are often way to long (great for nerds like me, but not for a users who is curious about Ergo).

Are there plans to approach marketing at more foundational level, perhaps through a cross project collaborative initiative that talks to the end user benefits rather than the tech?

Could the ergo foundation help fund such an effort?
Perhaps a cross project collaboration initiative to expose Ergo’s benefits to end users?

And I’m not talking about paying youtubers to shill the coin…
Could we build a marketing repository that the ergo community can tap into and share through various social media channels.
Short videos, infographics and writeups that answers the basic questions, demonstrates the power of the technology and covers the benefits to end users in words and graphics that is non-technical and easy to understand.

I’ve had these thoughts for some time and I’m trying to ask questions in various channel but so far I’m not seeing these questions addressed. And I think they have to be….if Ergo is to be the “hero of the next bull run……”

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I have mixed feeling about the use of EF funds to directly pay for marketing, but I really appreciate your post. Everything you brought up warrants discussion.

I have been thinking about this today, a bit.

For Bitcoin, they say the BTC price is the marketing department.

For Ethereum, and the many other solidity based projects, the marketing department is financed by the VCs that dominate the coin distribution.

Algorand keeps casting around from one sponsorship to another, trying to catch fire. Honestly, it is embarrassing for them.

I applaud the EF for funding the Ergo Hacks, and other attempts to build the tools that folks need to lay hands on once they engage with the project. Additionally the ergoplatform.org website is excellent, and the social media presence is steadily growing. Exponentials look frustrating slow at the start, and shockingly fast when they turn the corner. When that time comes, we need folks that become aware of Ergo to have a use case, as you convincingly explained.

Another point: It may be impossible to outcompete VC-funded projects using conventional marketing during a bull market; however, we will survive the bear market by focusing on development and utility, whereas they will look at failed projects as a tax write off. This is a long game.

One more point: For Ergo, like Cardano, it seems that the community is the marketing department. That inoculates us against some of the worst effects of the bear market, and enables us to build a solid core that is not just some astroturf fad.

It does seem like we need that killer app, though. I hear you.

Thanks for the post.

3 Likes

We absolutely need an easily web-searchable repository of Ergo Ecosystem propaganda.

Examples:
-JPGs/PNGs that anyone can utilize for sending P2P in group chats, independent analysis videos on Youtube, etc… These should showcase statistics such as hashrate distribution, ERG wallet distribution, number of transactions that have been processed in a single EUTXO box, Github activity, etc.

-Short 10-15 second videos that are interesting for entry-level crypto users and can be shared on TikTok, Reddit, messaging apps ,etc. The Weekly Dev Update and Weekly AMA have this content already, but someone needs to go through those videos and extract clips.

Below is an example:

It is possible in Matlab to take continuous data input that auto generates infographics. We could have a repository with real-time ecosystem infographics. This is helpful to content creators that want to discuss Ergo and need media to display on their presentations.

Ergonauts are generally anti-shill. I don’t think I’m alone in saying that I feel uncomfortable “hyping” the ecosystem. Real data in a digestible format is a way to state the facts and allow natural spread of information. I often meet people interested in other crypto projects. I notice that they keep folders on their phone with media about their project. I want the same folder on my phone. Currently I point people to the AMAs.

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Yes, agree with your sentiment.

I do feel we are rather insulated from the bear market. I have watched peers getting frantic this market cycle watching their net worth shrink and questioning if their funds are locked in rug pulls. With Ergo we know we will be here after the bear and core development keeps chugging along. We are building for the future and should have the tools available for exponential growth.

Your concern about directly financing marketing is valid. EF funds should be investments, such as paying for developing the core protocol. If we pay for marketing it should be something self-sustaining instead of one-time shilling.

Wasn’t there supposed to be a marketing component to Huobi exchange listing?

There have been a few campaigns focusing on this. The #DiscoverErgo event on Twitter, not to mention all the great infographics the community has pumped out. (Linked at the bottom of this post). The editorial team has also created almost 100 articles this year, many aimed at end-users.

This is linear marketing, and a vital component in kicking off exponential growth-- providing the right foundations are in place.

Poor retention is a killer and vital for growth, so before worrying about getting as many people as we can through the door, we must first ensure that the ones we get stick around. Best case scenario, they feel empowered to become active and help shape and grow Ergo.

To do this, you must first optimise for agency. Make sure everyone has appropriate alignment and remove any barriers that prevent them from taking ownership and growing Ergo. If you get that right, you’d have a well-oiled grassroots open-source economy that could grow exponentially. In the long run, centralised projects with tons of funding to throw about don’t stand a chance against a passionate decentralised community with agency.

The Sigmanauts programme is the main attempt to improve these frameworks and has come on leaps and bounds thanks to all the great people drawn to Ergo. Almost 50 members are strong now with constant activity, but they appreciate that their discussions aren’t public, so it is mostly unknown to most. We’re hoping to shift some activity to this forum as DAOs emerge, so keep an eye out (or apply if you’re keen!). One notable contribution that comes to mind that is valuable for end-users in ergcube.

Similarly, we need to first optimise the user journey. before opening the floodgates. When we hit $20 the first time with the launch of SigUSD - the ecosystem was still in its infancy. There needed to be decent wallets, better developer tooling, community guidelines, structures, and many other things to prevent users or developers from getting frustrated or bored and leaving the ecosystem.

This is what I’m always working on, whether it be via writings, the launch of ergonaut.space, relaunching the website (with lots of community input on ‘Ergo’s Voice’) or most recently docs.ergoplatform.org, where I’ve been collating, structuring, rewriting and simplifying all available information on Ergo.

Sure it could. The Foundation is conservative in its spending, but it will always be put to vote if you have a concrete proposal. Remember that the Foundation is just a small group of people elected from the community who vote on spending. We’ll push anything within our capacity that will benefit Ergo. Still, the EF doesn’t have the bandwidth to plan every aspect, with the responsibility here falling on ecosystem projects and each and every ergonaut.

We have awesome-ergo, a shared dropbox and figma space. The Get Involved page on the docs is the central place to find resources like this.

Concrete steps for what you’re proposing would be something like

  • Collaborate with the community to get a document with some catchy phrases/text for use on marketing materials
  • Paste in the community marketing chat and get someone to help throw it on a graphic

Or

  • Come up with a more concrete plan and create an ErgoRaffle

Or simply, if you have 0 free time but recognise an area for improvement, start a discussion (on a non-transient platform like this forum or r/ergonauts), say your bit - and someone with more capacity can take over.

All ideas are welcome, and I hope these clarifications will not dissuade you. I don’t remember seeing anything specifically asked in chats, but you can always feel free to @ me directly.

I agree we are ‘getting there’ on many aspects, with lots of exciting developments on the way - so there will be a shift more towards linear marketing materials as well as the structures to maintain them without the EFs help.

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Very interesting proposals, especially on repo!

On bringing users, I think, it makes sense to use different languages and tools for different groups:

  • people who are already in crypto, for Ergo and projects no need to invent anything, people who are already in the space usually do understand Proof-of-Work, limited emission, DEXes, etc
  • tech-savvy people (digital artists, developers): they need for some showcases usually, eg. how can an ordinary artist from Brasil to sell his works on Ergo marketplaces, how can a developer start to develop on money (which is excitingly mind-blowing I suppose for many developers!)
  • ordinary people who know very little about crypto (and usually not good things), like Kenyan farmers I am talking with sometimes via EXLE: for them we need for showcases also, and also have them connected with reality
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