Web3 Lexicon: What is a Community?

In the context of web3, a community refers to a group of people who share a common purpose, interest, or goal and actively contribute to a project, brand, creator or protocol to see them succeed.

Key characteristics of web3 communities include:

  • Shared Values & Beliefs: Members believe in the vision and ideals of the creator/brand/project and share common values around their mission.
  • Sense of Ownership: By engaging with, supporting, governing, building for or evangelizing the creator/brand/project, members feel an ownership stake in their overall success.
  • Aligned Incentives: Community members are incentivized to participate through token rewards, governance rights, reputation building, shared economic upside, or other forms of value access.
  • Participation Beyond Consumption: In addition to purchasing/using/listening, members create value by creating supporting content, governing, critiquing, debugging, moderating, promoting and more.
  • Long-term Mindset: There is a focus on sustainability and loyalty over longer time horizons vs quick wins. Participants show steadfast support.

In essence, web3 communities feel like more than “fans” or “customers” - they feel like partners and stakeholders of a creator, brand or project who play an active role in shaping their future because of aligned interests and values. It harness social incentives and purpose-driven participation centered around communal ownership.

Value Creation in Web 3 Communities

Web3 enables multi-directional value creation amongst creators, brands, community members and related stakeholders, reinforcing participation for all:

  • Creator/Brand → Community Value: The visionary founders, artists, influencers and brands behind projects in web3 generate value for communities by providing access, purpose, incentives, identity and more through their creative output and platforms.
  • Community → Creator/Brand Value: Engaged community members then provide immense value back to creators and brands by evangelizing, spreading awareness, giving feedback to better serve customer needs, amplifying content,moderating, collaborating on new drops/content and more.
  • Intra-Community Value: Members also create value laterally for one another through peer learning, sharing resources/ideas, collaborating on projects, forming sub-communities and bonding around the broader identity/purpose.

As creators, brands and various community members create value for each other in an ongoing flywheel, it further reinforces participation for all constituents. Members are incentivized to continuously pay value forward given the recognition, access and ownership opportunities it drives.

Over time, this self-reinforcing value exchange strengthens the social fabric, binding brands and creators ever-closer to their community members as partners and co-owners. Multi-directional value creation develops loyalty, social capital and durable competitive advantages for platforms that tap into it effectively.