Community Building at NEAR

“So what are you working on at NEAR Protocol”

This was the first slide of my community audit presentation at NEAR during my interviews

Take money from marketing and put it into providing the best possible customer service. What would that look like in the community space? 🤔

We also had the opportunity to work with some amazing individuals & organizations to help us with this journey through consultations, team trainings and workshops.

Remember the good old days of tech meetups & conferences? Yeah, me neither. NEAR meetups run by our community members in Nigeria and Australia, where public gathering was allowed.

What’s unique about the community at NEAR?

We’re building an ecosystem of decentralized communities (notice how I said communities and not community? More on that soon🙂). But think of NEAR as foundation that enables you to build different types of communities.

The idea of not trying to shove a product/technology down people’s throats, but really try to see how we can partner with them in a meaningful way or empower them with what they’re already doing, was really exciting to me.

With the NEAR Guilds program, it was almost like working at multiple companies at the same time because you’re building so many different types of communities. For my community builder friends-

  • Community of Interest
  • Community of Practise
  • Internal community
A slide that I had used to present the idea of NEAR as an ecosystem of communities. Original Image Credits:Brand Architecture Strategy.

From army officers building out projects and POCs to Xooglers running community & startup initiatives. From fun NFT festivals in Berlin to prison art project for incarcerated individuals in Florida. From creatives and artists to music and VR. From Nigeria🇳🇬 to China🇨🇳, from Vietnam🇻🇳 to Russia🇷🇺, from Korea🇰🇷 to Mexico🇲🇽. We’re really stoked to be able to support a global community with bringing their incredible ideas to fruition.

Over the last couple of months, we’ve deployed over 1.6 Million USD across various community projects. We have supported over 600+ projects with roughly 500k USD in funding just through DAOs. Over the next couple of months, we want to empower more community run DAOs and decentralize funding even more. Speaking of decentralization, we’ve handed over the keys to the NEAR Medium account to the community.

Things I’m excited about

I get way too excited about a bunch of different things that we’re doing at NEAR and projects that our community are working on. But here are 5 things that excites me right now:

  1. Community Operating System: To me, this is a combination of People, Playbooks & Platforms — 3Ps (just because it sounds cooler, is easier to remember, but also is an accurate representation of what we’re building).
  2. Self sustaining NEAR Guilds in the ecosystem
  3. Building regional communities and offline hubs(in countries & cities where it’s safe to do so)
  4. Supporting really interesting community projects like NEARCrowd and Telegram bots that allow you to participate and interact with DAOs.
  5. Jamming on some insane partnership & market ideas with the NEAR collective and community.

Team

I’m excited to be able to work with some really smart people across the organization, some of whom I’d seen on documentaries before🤯! Our guild leads and members also come from very diverse backgrounds and interests.

Where in the world are we?
Normally, I’d put a fun team picture that we took during an offsite or retreat, but now you get to see memes- thanks COVID.

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Shreyas Narayanan

All things open | Community 🧙 @NEARProtocol | 👨‍🏫 @mozilla | ❤️ Startups | Remote work 🌐 | Blockchain ⛓| Technology 👨‍💻