Meet Mechell Lord Who Builds Inclusive Human Experience on the DeSo Blockchain
Mechell Lord fills every (virtual) room with her charming voice.
She is one of those people you meet and like instantly.
Even before seeing her picture you know, she is a beautiful person.
The combination of being open, welcoming, friendly, curious, interested, and inclusive is what makes her Clubhouse rooms special. She speaks, invites everyone on stage, hands over the microphone, and asks questions that show genuine interest.
Even the most introverted of us feel like they can say hi and talk a little about themselves and their work.
Together with Katiann, Mechell works hard every day to bring the DeSo community together beyond the blockchain. People from all over the world speak to each other on Clubhouse, Twitter Spaces, ChimeIn, and Connect.Club because these two ladies create a space where everyone feels heard.
Mechell is also a very talented photographer, a business coach, a mom of 2 daughters, and a cervical cancer survivor.
Mechell grew up in a house with a dark room. Her mom was an avid photographer. Her whole life Mechell took pictures. Pictures of her friends, pictures of her surroundings.
For a long time, she didn’t see herself as a photographer. But then she realized everyone loves her photos. Her friends made prints to put them up on the walls of their homes. Or they would share them on Social Media.
“Actually, I’ve been a photographer my whole life. We had a dark room growing up. My mom was a photographer. All my life everyone used the pictures I took. They would post them on Facebook or put them up in their houses. Photography is a constant in my life. Something I’ll never ever go away from.”
It took a while before Mechell would share her photography outside of her personal circle. The only other place she published them publicly was on Google Maps where she is a Local Guide. Her love of gifting to others what she learned about the places she visited led her to become one of the rare Level 10 Google Local Guides in the Tampa Bay Area.
“I didn’t share my work really apart from Google Maps. I became a Top Google Local Guide. I put my photos of the places on there. My photos on Google have been seen over 80 million times. Never got paid for it, though.”
Today she ventures out to take pictures of what she sees:
“I practice guerilla-style photography. That means I do it without permission. I just go out into the urban jungle and take pictures of people and everything I see.”
Some of her work is also an attempt to process the cancer that accompanied her for 2 years. She learns to live with the effects of the radiation she went through as well as the psychological impact the disease had on her.
Creating Welcoming Spaces for Everyone
She shares her story and her work on the DeSo blockchain. It’s the place that first introduced her to blockchains and crypto in general.
“I joined DeSo at the very end of March 2021.
Back then you had to buy Bitcoin and transfer it to Bitclout. If I remember correctly it took 7–9 days. So, my first official day on DeSo is April, 1st. But I had been talking to DeSo OGs on Clubhouse before.
Covid was just happening. Clubhouse was really big. Once people started going back outside some of the rooms stopped appearing.
I like spaces where people don’t talk over each other. Where there’s an opportunity to speak for everyone. In the beginning there wasn’t this feeling that you could ask questions. So, I started to create spaces where you could.
Katiann came to my first space. We had known each other from other Clubhouse rooms a little bit, not too much.
But we had the same goal: to empower the community to share and speak out loud. To talk about what’s going on. Have a space where you’d enjoy coming to and be on audio. That was in June in last year.”
Since then, Mechell’s and Katiann’s club grew up to almost 1000 members. When the Bitclout app took a step back to make space for other apps built on the DeSo blockchain they made a new club to support the change. That club now has about 900 members. People who are active on DeSo join regularly but also drop-ins are more than welcome.
“We host rooms on Clubhouse a few times a week: DeSoChats, Crypto Ladies on the Mic every Wednesday, Friday’s there’s Week in Review. We’re very lucky that Brian and Ed Krassenstein come and give us an update on everything that happened on DeSo that week.
There are also non-DeSo related rooms in which we chat about different interesting topics.
For example on Tuesdays, we got Chats Today, where we talk about crypto.
There’s Music Mondays and a lot of musicians come to that. They play 2 songs, talk about their music. It’s very cool. And it’s not limited to DeSo music. We have a lot of musicians who just come and we chat. They feel so supported that they end up joining DeSo.”
Mechell is definitely a pro when it comes to making people feel supported. You might say it’s because that’s what she learned. She worked as a facilitator and moderator for big groups. But I think, it’s also part of her nature. She’s someone who likes to put herself out there and connect with people.
Being There and Being Early
Before she came to DeSo she was very active on classic Social Media.
Mechell is driven by aiming to be early to everything that is new and then share her experience with others.
“I was the Social Media queen.
I remember when Facebook launched. I was early.
I am 52, I think. So for me, every time a new social media platform is up I want to understand it, and I want to secure my name on it.
I love to be early on things. It’s also part of my job to understand if there is an opportunity in it for my clients.
I’m not active on Facebook anymore.
I let my centralized Social Media take a hit since I’ve started DeSo.
Lots of friends and family are reaching out because they suddenly stopped hearing from me on these channels. I mean, I went from being very active, then having cancer and being sick for 2 years, to radio silence on my classic social media.
I realized in the last 3-4 months it was not a good idea to stop the other stuff completely. I am a big fan of LinkedIn and continued to post there. But for the others, in hindsight, I realize it wasn’t a great move. It suffers. Now I started again, my engagement is very low now.”
Making her way towards DeSo actually started with a chat Mechell had with her daughters. Both of them were talking about getting Bitcoin. It was absolutely clear to her that she needed to look into it herself to support them and explore the space together.
So she ventured out to different Clubhouse rooms that were dedicated to crypto and NFTs. Mechell wanted to learn everything she could and put what she heard into practice.
“It was a learning experiment. I went to these rooms to hear what they were talking about.
One day I stumbled into a Bitclout room. They were just the nicest people: they let me up on stage, they said my name, said hello. It felt so much different from the other rooms I’d been to.
Before, I’d spent weeks not getting up on a Clubhouse stage. There were these rooms where always the same 3 or 4 guys were talking and you could only listen.
For Bitclout though, there were smaller rooms available, explaining it, helping, and onboarding people. It was really supportive, and the people were so nice to each other. Definitely a community I was attracted to. I was onboarded by Elena, who was super sweet.”
Community is Everything
The community is what made Mechell stick around.
DeSo is a safe place where people can learn and grow together.
Asking questions is welcomed, vulnerability and authenticity are the status quo. Interest in blockchain and technology live alongside sharing art, thoughts, and ideas.
“I feel blessed to be able to have the people around that I do. Having access to these incredibly smart and kind minds, that I have now, I couldn’t have imagined that before I came to DeSo.”
DeSo brings people together that are special in a way as the overwhelming majority is friendly, positive, and generous with their time and their support for each other.
There will also be an opportunity to earn money at some point. Mechell is very well aware of that. But for now, she wants to build an inclusive community. One that opens its arms for everyone, that’s diverse and appreciative.
“I would like to achieve a community that feels connected and appreciated. It should be fun and make people want to share, play, and engage with each other. That’s why I am here. There’s an opportunity to make money in the long run, which is awesome. In the short run the aim is to bring everyone together and let everyone shine.
Diversity is great. When you build something you have to have strength from diversity from the beginning. If it is missing, a lot is lost. Cultural viewpoints and languages are missing, perspectives that are not seen.
When you start with a very narrow group of people, who come from the same ideals or backgrounds you end up with a certain amount of information.
When you start with larger, more diversified group of people in the long run you don’t have so many problems with retention.”
Fighting for Keeping People Onboard
Retention of the community is a big topic for Mechell. Obviously, it’s close to her heart to make people stay. And she sees it critical that the core team around Nader Al-Naji isn’t tackling that topic. For that, certain structures and roles are missing. She knows how Corporate America and Startups work. With the latter more often being messy and less organized. But what’s lacking, from a community perspective, is the communication from the DeSo blockchain’s builders.
“Start-ups are messy. But you know, if you don’t communicate to the people who are your team or your customers, then they not gonna stay. Mess is good, we’re early, we’re here for the mess! But talk to us. Say hey, ask us to stick around. Let us know what you’re working on. Let us know where you will hold our hand, and where we can fly.
Retention is a huge issue. People come and then they do not stay. They leave, because they didn’t get excited enough. There wasn’t any guidance. They didn’t get any engagement.
Retention needs to be solved. That’s a whole conversation, right. I am happy to be hired. I cannot give all that for free.
I tried to reach out to Nader but there’s been no response from him. I was a little salty. I tag him almost daily. He’s never been on Clubhouse that I know of.
Even when we had the DeSo Beach Meetup he didn’t react to it.
People ask me every time what’s going on, and where are we headed? But I don’t know. They think I might know. But there is zero communication. It could change any day. I do what I can do. I do good for a lot of people, I onboard them, but it’s limited.
I think, he built it for the developers, then expects them to market it.
In interviews, he is not sharing what an average user’s experiencing. We don’t want to hear him talk about Kim Kardashian’s potential to make a lot of money on DeSo. A normal person cannot relate to that.”
A Space to Stay for People That Care
Still, Mechell sticks around, even if it can be frustrating to give so much to make it work and keep the community happy. It’s a responsibility she carries with her every day.
“I always think I gotta stay positive. If I am not anymore, others might become nervous.”
I believe it’s just fair to share what you experience. Mechell is basically working full-time on her DeSo activities for more than 6 months and she is not getting paid for it. What she gets though, is contact to people who inspire her, who she can get feedback from regarding her artwork, how to improve and what tools to use.
“The inspiration I get and collaboration are invaluable to me. I can share my work and get feedback on my projects.
DeSo creates opportunities to make my art better every day.
Also, I learn about the apps people are using. They share how they edit their pieces, how they create, how they make their work. It’s such a nice caring environment. People are excited to help you.”
A Space for People to Get Introduced to Blockchain, Crypto, and NFTs including the Social Connection
“I guess one of the things I really like is: I’ve learned to mint NFTs and I have sold those NFTs. The whole process was simple. Now, that I mint on other blockchains I realize how special DeSo is. Others have too many wallets. Your NFTs don’t always land in your wallet, you gotta go and fetch them, use Etherscan to pull up the hashs. Elsewhere, the gas fees are high. There isn’t a social layer on many of them. That means you have to create your own promotions, make marketing or just hope someone sees it. DeSo has Social included. It’s so much easier to make a campaign and tag people who you know that might be interested.”
If you aren’t familiar with blockchain and NFTs DeSo is a good place to start. People who are already there are typically happy to help and share what they learn along the way.
There’s a huge potential for the Decentralized Social blockchain to become the Web 3.0 version of Google. Log in once and you’re able to use very different apps that are built on top of it. May it be a voice app like ChimeIn, or an NFT marketplace such as Supernovas or NFTz. You’ll use the apps and don’t even have to care about the underlying blockchain.
“One account for endless opportunities. The developers are doing an incredible job to come up with new apps every day.”
What Mechell finds missing is a space for photographers as well as a space for community builders. These two groups have no corresponding node yet and thus, getting connected to the right audience or receiving compensation for community-building efforts is very difficult.
Earning money through DeSo is also a different story to Mechell than others who are active on there.
“I’ve lost much more money than I ever earned on DeSo.
When I came in the price was high. And it just dropped.
I sold an NFT today, that feels good. It helps.
I’ve been doing DeSo almost full-time for 6 months. I am just not making any money.
I am choosing to do something that doesn’t offer compensation. The community says it’s great but it doesn’t pay the bills.”
What she loves though are diamonds as a way to instantly tip someone for the content they share.
On the other hand, Mechell thinks that creator coins are flawed in a way as they rather make people mad at each other the moment someone wants to sell.
“I am a big fan of diamonds. They are an incredible opportunity to tip for valuable content. When I’m inspired, touched, or entertained I can tip instantly.
Creator Coins… I don’t know. Though, early I was into it.
But the moment you have to sell others’ coins everyone gets crazy.
If you want to sell your own coin, those who have invested in you get mad. Somehow, you end up being stuck with whatever you bought.
I rather buy people’s NFTs or give them diamonds.”
Mechell’s stats from OpenProsper look as follows:
- 329 days on DeSo
- 4726 Followers
- 58.51 DESO earned (current value USD 2,396)
- 7485 Diamonds received (current value USD 640.20)
- 20.4 meaningful social engagements on average per day
- 158 coin holders of Mechell Lord coin (current value at USD 76.63)
Wait, See, And Continue to Hold Space for Others
Asking Mechell about her prediction for DeSo for this year and years to come, she is hesitant to make a definitive comment.
The lack of communication from the core team bothers her and makes it hard to really know what’s going to come.
For now, she will continue to build connections and community on the DeSo blockchain. At the same time, she stays curious about everything technology and what’s new.
“DeSo could become the Google of blockchain, it could. But it could also end up with everyone leaving. Really, everything can happen.”
Getting on Board
If you got curious come and join us! Looking forward to having you on the Decentralized Social platform!
When you arrive, follow my profile freedomxx and say hi!