There's a Lot I Don't Know
When it comes to WordPress and Web3, there's a lot I don't know. I mean a ton. So how can I write about something I don't know? Easy, I can take you on the journey with me.
Let me give you a bit of background on how I got here.
First there's this tweet I authored just a bit ago.
What I wrote there is still true today. Community is key. Building one around your offerings is critical. Making it easy to let people pay – that's important too. And none of that requires Web3. Additionally, for as much as there are “experts” out there, no one (not me, not anyone) can tell you what this will all mean in 5 or 10 years. We're at the beginning of something.
But two stories brought me here.
That Time Someone Stole My Course
Years ago I paid for time in a studio, had a videographer light and shoot video, and recorded a course on memberships. In the first few months it made good money. Then it dropped to zero. It was a bit strange.
Until I discovered someone had stolen the entire course and was selling my work elsewhere – without any reference to me, or without paying me anything.
I moved on. That's the internet. But it stuck with me.
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That Email I Got From Brian Clark
Over the last months I've seen all sorts of folks I know (from the WordPress community) get into NFTs and Web3. Most of them weren't talking about WordPress and Web3. They were just jumping into Web3 on its own.
Most of them were buying NFTs.
If you don't know what a non-fungible token is, neither do I. Not completely. But I do know that it's about ownership – it declares the authenticity of both the creator and the person who has made a purchase. And this is based on a smart contract that sits on a register (called blockchain).
Here's the thing. Most of the NFTs that people were buying were digital illustrations – many that I didn't understand why someone would want to own.
But then I got an email from Brian Clark about a new conference he was working on. And he talked about buying a ticket to the conference as an NFT.
That made me pause. What a second!
Can an NFT be used for more than images I don't care about?
Here's What I Care About
When it comes to WordPress and Web3, what I care about is eCommerce, memberships and online courses. You know that because of all the blog posts I've written (352 this year).
Here are my starting points:
- I want to be able to protect content on WordPress
- I want that content to be articles or course lessons
- I want people to still be able to pay with Stripe
- I want people to be able to pay with crypto currencies
- I want to be able to define how long they get access
- I want them to be able to resell my stuff (and get something for it)
- I want to know who bought my stuff
- I want them to know that it's officially my content
- I want this to be easy for customers (like using their in-browser wallet)
- I want this to be easy for me (already using WordPress)
That doesn't seem like a lot to want. Right?
Here's How I've Started
This weekend I created an account on BlockFi.
I was able to fund that account via a connection with Chase. From there I could buy Ethereum.
Then I opened an account with MetaMask to be my wallet. And I placed an order to move my Ethereum from BlockFi to MetaMask (after pulling the mobile app down and installing it, and sync'ing it with my in-browser wallet via their Chrome extension).
That's so I can test all of this out as a “buyer” of a membership or course.
Then I spent hours reading everything on this site – https://unlock-protocol.com/
Guess what? It has a WordPress plugin. Soon, if I've done everything right, you could see something like this (this is from their example of selling event tickets).
Step One: The Button and Pop Up
Step Two: Selecting Your Wallet
Step Three: Paying with Digital Currency (or Stripe)
No offense to people who are into CrossFit but you know the idea that once someone gets into it, everything they talk about is CrossFit. I've seen similar things with people who look at Web3, Blockchain, Cryptocurrencies, and more.
This blog isn't shifting to that space. But I am investigating to see what I need to know about how all of this will impact the things I care about (eCommerce, memberships and online courses). As I learn more, I'll selectively share it.
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