Creator Stories Episode 1 : Joyce Yang
Joyce's journey on building a community using $GCR Token.
This article is a transcript of a live interview conducted by Jenil on Coinvise’s Discord. If you want to attend our next Creator Stories episode, join our Discord and follow us on Twitter. We hope you’ll enjoy the conversation as much as we did! 😉
Joyce, it's good to have you here. To kick off this interview, could you tell us more about your background, what you do, and what's Global Coin Research?
In my past life, before crypto, I was working in Finance and then became a TechCrunch journalist and a reporter for the Information, reporting on tech and software companies. Since I've jumped into crypto 5-6 years ago, I've focused on Global Coin Research. Global Coin Research (GCR) is a media platform and a crypto community. You can look at it in two separate entities with a very close and tied approach, anywhere in the media and publishing platforms.
Today, Global Coin Research has three main aspects:
Firstly, anyone can contribute to creating quality content around crypto topics. In return, we showcase them to our quality readers that we've been accumulating and working with in the last five years, including founders, such as Brian Armstrong from Coinbase, and investors and also various media partners, such as the Wall street journal or The New York Times. Writers are, on top of that, earning $GCR tokens.
Secondly, we have a robust community and a Discord server. We host weekly workshops, AMAs for founders, and showcase projects that are about to launch or that just launched in the crypto space. We're also helping teams get a little bit more information and contact in the space.
Thirdly, we make crypto investments as syndicates inside the groups. In the past, we have made investments in projects such as space X or several other crypto projects, and we try to be more involved with those projects, being more hands-on as a community.
Love this. I also find it interesting that the GCR community was already a very close-knit, engaged community even before launching the GCR Token. Could you tell us what made you decide that you wanted to do the token and what were some goals that you had in mind?
Yeah, for sure. Coming from a background of being a journalist myself and seeing how the traditional reporting space runs and the infrastructure there, it often feels like the writers do not get enough credit and never received the value they deserve in writing and contributing quality content. With platforms such as Substack and Medium, it's effortless to start and write something, but it's tough to monetize and build a brand and traction. You have to keep writing and get new content at least once a week. It doesn't work for the crypto community because people are busy doing everything else, such as contributing to the communities they're involved in or trading crypto tokens.
That's why we've decided to build Global Coin Research, to create a novel platform where it makes sense for the writers to come to earn value and earn a living from day one. We initiated this campaign when we first launched the GCR token to allow anyone to earn tokens when contributing to the media. Those tokens are immediately liquid, and folks can actually make a living from them because they can withdraw them from our dashboard and then be able to sell them on exchange.
To be honest, I was resistant to a token until a few months ago because I didn't want to become just a token project for its sake. But virtual community tokens are pretty helpful when you think about incentivizing community and being more innovative around token economics. It's becoming the norm, and we're seeing more and more media platforms introducing a token such as Mirror, The Defiant, Bankless, etc...
I agree. We spend a lot of time on the internet, and writing becomes crucial as it's how we communicate with most people. Diving deeper into what role the Token plays, could you tell us more about what sort of decision-making you made when launching the $GCR Token and how you've rolled out phases? Also, what advice would you give to someone that wants to introduce a token for its community?
As a piece of advice for folks who are building tokens, I think it's important to introduce a very simple story that everyone could understand, especially if you're introducing innovative ideas.
We first told all our writers and audience that they could now write on our platform and get $GCR Tokens in return regarding how we rolled out phases.
Recently, we introduced the second phase of our Token. Now we allow more robust tooling for the writers and more immediate rewards for them. That means that writers are able to contribute and write on our platform, but over time, they will also be able to use the Token for other things, such as joining our discord community. We've been trying to introduce our discord community slowly cause we know it can be overwhelming for newcomers joining large projects. We try to do it slowly, introduce each of these products separately, and build them up over time.
The last thing we introduced is letting token holders access quality content. We push out high-quality content, and we're able to Token-gate them and offer the best essays to our token holders.
I like the way you're approaching this. Regarding Social Tokens and community members, there are usually two dynamics. Community members that are in it for the Token price (speculative aspect), and community members trying to participate in attending events and joining the discord server. How do you use the $GCR Token to grow the community, incentivize more participation and less speculation?
I think there's one tip I received from the founding team of Index Coop that helped us. When rewarding your community through Tokens, it's better if the core team managed the token supply and transactions and kept the voting power centralized. By doing so, you'll have a firmer grasp of the token prices. Instead of giving a lot of tokens to a community from the first day in, you could provide them ETH or give them stable coins. It lets the initial team know where the Token is going, so there's no unexpected selling coming from your community. When it comes to community rewards for us, sometimes we give away gifts (e.g . apple headphones), instead of the Token itself because we think controlling our Token's distribution is essential.
What's also important to prevent bad token behaviors is to share what you're building with your community; otherwise, a part of the community will get lost in the building. If no one knows what you're working on, they don't have this incentive to participate in becoming a member and helping you grow. So make sure to communicate well and don't be a lock at a loss in the building.
Finally, don't overthink too much about bad token behaviors. Speculative members don't last long in a community, and it's important to just be able to continue to build, continue to ship, and grow the community.
I agree, it's crucial to focus on your token economics, understand how to allocate your total supply. A follow-up question to this is how do you promote your community to more people and promote the Token's utility? A great way to do it is to crowdfund your project, so how was the crowdfunding process like, or when you did do the Liquidity pool, was it complex or straightforward?
Setting up Uniswap and setting the liquidity pool was one of our biggest pain points. We thought about it starting small and relying on some community members that we trust because many of our community members are angel investors or part of larger funds. They have the capital, and we can offer them the reputational value of being an early community contributor and member.
We started with a very small pool , I think it was like $50-100K, and I think that's what most folks should do when they're starting, as I honestly don't even think that big size of a pool is needed. It's an all-new kind of problems that we face in crypto like liquidity pool or Tokenomics, and you almost need another team member to figure it out. So in our case, we just wanted to start a small and gather folks that we trust.
It's a question that we get a lot, and it's nice to hear an opinion from the creator. To close this interview, I would love to know the next steps for what you see the community evolving are? What are some next steps for GCR, and how do you see the future of this idea of decentralized journalism evolving?
Interesting question. Because we're in the Social Tokens space and building a decentralized writing platform, we really have to think about what's going to be next because no one else will be setting the example for that at all. I think there are a lot of great and exciting things coming up in decentralized journalism, and, as I mentioned before, lots of platforms are exploring it. I think there will be some cool products being used and tools being built on that front.
Our primary mission for the future is to continue generating and maintaining the quality content that we have and maintain that high-quality audience. It is one of the most important things that I care about because that's where you build your brand and reputation. We don't put too much weight on not having the largest discord community because I think ultimately, the quality folks will still stay in the space for a long time, and our goal is to create good quality content for them.