Photo by Nicole Baster on Unsplash
How to enter the promised land of Decentralized Social and start curating your work on the Blockchain
You must have lived under a rock if you aren’t well aware that NFTs are the hot sh** right now.
Sorry, language happens when I get excited.
I wasn’t sure for a while, when and what to write exactly about my experience with DeSo — Decentralized Social — the new world of social media.
And now you might ask: Wait… how is that related to NFTs?
Take a breath, bear with me.
DeSo is where I chose to turn some of my drawings into NFTs.
But before we get to the whole minting process: a few other things.
I will explain why I choose to get on board with the DeSo blockchain. And why this is the place I do the minting.
DeSo: the technical basics (if you’re interested)
The definition of DeSo and its documentation can be found online.
A brief one to look at is this:
DeSo is a blockchain built from the ground up to support a fully-featured social network. Its architecture is similar to Bitcoin, only it supports complex social network data like profiles, posts, follows, creator coin transactions, and more.
Now, here is my attempt to explain it:
The DeSo protocol is the technical basis to build and run social media applications on top of it.
I use DeSo with the Diamond App on my browser and CloutFeed on my mobile phone.
The cool thing is the blockchain stores the information and data about my profile. This way developers can build all kinds of apps that have very different looks and functionality for the same data.
For example, if you only want to look at the NFTs that have been minted on DeSo you could use Polygram.cc or NFTZ.zone. If you want to interact with others you’d rather go to the Diamond App, Bitclout, or use the mobile phone app CloutFeed.
I think it’s smart, that I don’t have to maintain 5 different social media pages.
I use one of the apps to update my profile and to post or mint NFTs, and it’s seen across all the other apps. Based on what I am interested in at the given moment, each app gives me different cuts of the same thing. I’m logged in once at the DeSo protocol across the different apps, the data is on the blockchain.
It also means my data is not stored on specific applications. It does not belong to anyone who is building any of the apps. A big difference from the classic social media companies we know and use today.
The DeSo Community: The kind, the friendly, the visionary
I started using DeSo on 28th September this year. It’s been around since March 2021. Statistics show daily active users at around 3–4k since I got on board. There are a lot more profiles created though and the highest engagement was mid-April with 20k active users in one day. You see, there’s potential there and the biggest crowd is yet to come.
Today, there are mainly people who are very engaged with the platform.
They are artists such as painters, musicians, digital artists. There are developers, photographers, writers… (Medium writers are there as well. (Tim Denning and Mark Manson have profiles). And of course, there are investors and general web3 enthusiasts.
These people are creators and visionaries who strongly believe in the — to me inevitable — future of the Internet.
More importantly, the vast majority are extremely friendly, kind, and helpful.
I haven’t felt such positive vibes from an online community in a long time; apart from the moment when Medium created a kindness monster with their 100 followers policy.
Of course, there are the occasional scammers who try to make a quick buck. Typically, by pretending to be someone they are not.
I’m not going to hide that. Let me just say, while you’re early, play around but stay away from directing a lot of money into creator coins as long as you don’t fully understand the investment.
And now: DeSo and NFTs
My go-to social media became DeSo. Something else, that went on in parallel and was propelled by using it, was about the other part of me. The one that loves to draw.
Yes, I used to belong to those people who thought that it is crazy to invest in a profile picture of an Ape or a pixelated persona. It makes a whole different article — that I’m sure someone else has already written — about why it’s actually a good idea.
However, looking through the art shared on DeSo I found that there are actually very different kinds of artists out there minting NFTs.
If you take a look at Opensea.io you can see that, too. NFTs are not only about the hyped Apes or the Punks, they are also about normal people buying art they like.
There’s a whole universe of those who are willing to invest in the work of artists. They see a piece, fall in love with it, and want to support the creator directly.
At DeSo, there is no middle man that takes a large piece of the cake. It’s just you, the blockchain, and the artist. (DeSo’s minting fee is less than a penny.)
I also learned that NFT art isn’t necessarily expensive. The artist sets the floor price — the minimum bid. Then it’s up to the bidder if they offer exactly that or more.
When an NFT gets sold the artist also decides the % of royalties they receive as the creator, and the % that goes into their creator coin (I’ll get to that later). Your art that is now “stored” on the blockchain remains trackable and profitable whenever it might be sold again.
Finally: Minting NFTs on DeSo
There are several ways to mint an NFT on DeSo.
I’ll explain 2 of them in more detail.
First of all, I’ll assume you have created your profile on DeSo. You can use my referral link to start the process.
It will give you DeSo worth $25 to play with. Since it’s my referral link, I’ll get $5 in pocket money. I’m not a big affiliate type but while the referral is available we can as well use it.
Keep an ID or driver’s license nearby as you might need it in the signup process to prove you’re a real person. It’s a typical procedure on the blockchain.
If you need a walk-through of the account creation process, check out this video.
Mint NFTs from your posts
(Please note that I created NFTs with the freedomxx account for demonstration purposes. My drawings are minted with another account.)
Now, we’re logged in:
This does not look much different from other social media. Do you see the big “Post” buttons on the bottom left and the middle top right? This is where you can click, upload your picture and post it.
After your post is up, you can see 3 little dots on the top right of it. This is where you can choose to create an NFT.
You get to choose from a few options:
Type of NFT: Is this a single art piece or multiple editions? E.g. one artwork can have 5 editions that are purchasable.
Price: The floor price (minimum bid) can be set in USD or in DeSo. Be aware that the value of DeSo is moving up and down, which will impact what you’re making in USD when it gets sold. If you want to ensure you get a certain amount in USD, choose the price in USD.
Royalties: Pick the % you will receive in royalty as the creator whenever the piece is sold. Here, you can also choose the % your coin holders will receive.
(When you create an account on DeSo, a creator coin gets attached to you. You and anyone can choose to invest in it. Your coin might go up and down based on its demand. The details of that are for another article.)
Unlock once purchased: add an exclusive text or URL with further content. This will become available to the buyer after purchasing your NFT. Often, these are high-resolution downloads of the artwork. Sometimes, artists offer to send a physical print. The more creative you get with this kind of stuff, the more attractive your NFTs might become to potential buyers.
And there you go, you minted your first NFT! Congratulations! This is what it looks like in your profile:
Others will see your NFT like this:
Mint NFTs directly through NFTZ.zone
Again, if you got your DeSo account, you’ll be able to get onto NFTZ.zone with that same account. This is what the main page looks like:
On the top right, you see your profile picture and name. Simply click on it to get to the screen that shows you the option to mint an NFT.
Right on top, you got it: Create an NFT or Post. You can still decide to only create a post. But well, we’re here for the real deal. So let’s go and do it.
The structure is only a tiny bit different compared to minting from your post.
Text for your NFT/Post: Choose a text to explain or promote your NFT. What makes it special?
Drag & Drop your image or Browse: Easy transfer and upload of your picture via drag and drop or by searching through your files.
Post Only (do not mint): This box is unchecked by default. So, if you still want to opt out, this is where it’s done.
NFT Options: I won’t get into the details again (see above in the Mint NFTs from your posts). Go ahead, choose the number of copies of your artwork, the creator royalty, coin holder royalty, check if there is unlockable content, and choose the Min Bid Price.
Here you can see the examples in your own NFT gallery:
For the sake of this article, I created NFTs with the freedomxx account on DeSo. Since that’s actually not the aim of that account, I will burn them.
Burn my NFT?
Yet another term of the NFT world. And, it’s actually meant quite literally. If, for whatever reason you want to delete your NFT from the blockchain, you burn it.
See the orange button under your NFT picture to Burn/Transfer?
Click it and choose Burn. Your NFT evaporates into nothing. (In reality, it might take a moment until it’s removed from your gallery view. Nothing is perfect.)
Enough with all the technicalities — what is in it for you as a creator?
From what I see, there is a huge potential for creators to become part of DeSo and curate and sell their work from there.
- It’s still early. Join now and get a headstart in building your community. Find those people that like your art. It’s actually much easier when there is less noise from too many active users that all want to secure people’s attention at the same time.
- Create your own gallery on the blockchain. When you start minting your NFTs it also means your work is going to be stored online for everyone to see. You don’t need to program your own website or online store.
I know that there are DeSoers like GDS out there who build beautiful 3D virtual galleries. Something with the potential to become the gold standard and that will make your work look more attractive.
- You own your content and the income that’s generated with it.
We can stop making big social media corporations rich with what we are creating. This is one of the main parts of the (r)evolution of web2 to web3, from centralized to decentralized internet.
I haven’t talked about it in detail — but there is a built-in tipping system (Diamonds) that’s widely used to give money to creators that make good content. And, you don’t need to mint and sell a single NFT for that.
- Fresh inspiration. There are so many talented artists and creators on DeSo. It’s a daily dose of creative input. You will see things you haven’t seen before. In turn, it gets your own creative juices flowing.
- Potential for connection and collaboration. Artists who meet on DeSo start to work on projects together. In a place that values art and creativity, it’s relatively easy to find like-minded people who want to work together.
- It’s basically for free. It might cost you time to learn your way around. But the minting of your NFTs is less than a penny. And if you sign up with the referral link, you even get $25 as a gift.
- And, with Matt’s words:
Sorry, this article got long. While writing it, I realized there is a number of branches you can take. I always had to be careful to not get lost. Still, my hope is that the article was helpful. That it answers at least some of your questions and removes doubts. Let me know in the comments!
And even though, this is way too long already: I still need to say thank you to Birgit Renate (Medium writer) for the inspiration to write it. May it be useful to you to mint your own NFTs. I’d love to see you, your art, and everyone else who got interested in DeSo on the platform. Make sure to connect with freedomxx — and maybe my other account will find you, too ;).
- Learn more about DeSo: https://www.deso.org/blog/introducing-deso
- Jump right in by creating a profile: https://diamondapp.com?r=RnQCGDZf (signing up through this link you will receive $DeSo currency worth $25, I will receive worth $5. So you can right away start off with some play money.)
- Check out the search across DeSo: https://www.cloutavista.com/
- Get an idea of the stats: https://www.prosperclout.com/