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Grant for the Web

What advice would you give our new grantees?

Chris Lawrence
Podcaster. Counter Culture Enthusiast. Alumini of Loup, Mozilla, Hive, NYSCI, Bank Street, The Hecklers & Stooz. He/him.
・1 min read

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For this week's discussion thread we are asking our past and present grantees to help welcome our brand new grantees! (read about them here)

So the discussion prompt is:

What do you wish you had known at the beginning of your GftW grant or general Web Monetization project.

Let's use our collective knowledge to give these fabulous new projects a running start!

Header image is by Vaishakhi Sharma and was found on Wiki Commons and licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International

Discussion (16)

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omnignorant profile image
Robert Friedman

The GFTW team does a great job at communicating expectations so we've felt pretty informed along the way.

That being said, a couple things to keep in mind:

  • reach out for help when you need it, either to the program team or in this space;
  • look for adjacent projects and connect with their project team to learn from each other – you never know what inspiration or insight you might pick up until you have that conversation;
  • tightly focus your project on the minimum requirements that would demonstrate your concept to yourself or others and allow you to test with the intended target audience;
  • worth repeating: build on small successes and don't be afraid to scope down, less is often more;
  • stay flexible and be ready to adjust your expectations as reality confronts your assumptions – if you need to make adjustments to your project, reach out to the program team as soon as possible, they're 100% on your side and want to see you succeed.

Welcome and good luck!

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chrislarry profile image
Chris Lawrence Author

We have been using the motto "When In Doubt, Reach Out!"

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radhyr profile image
Radhy

Great advices @omnignorant ! Those points you mentioned definitely will be very helpful!

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gfam profile image
gFam

Great discussion prompt!

I would make sure you know the exact dates that your project starts, ends and the dates that you need to submit reports, spend funds, etc etc. The GftW team are super fantastic and understanding, but it helps you plan your project if you know the exact due dates of everything. It's very easy to get distracted by actually doing the project work and miss a date.

Make sure you work out if you'll need to budget for taxes, exchange rates, fees, platform fees, etc etc. A couple of these things took me by surprise and ended up okay but could have been a small disaster.

Use this forum to ask questions or reach out to people here via DM or Twitter to ask questions of. Everyone I've approached has been amazingly friendly and helpful no matter how small or silly I thought my question was. You can save yourself so much time and stress by just reaching out to this community.

You will have to put a bit of energy into marketing your project... the whole 'build it and they will come' doesn't really work. You may need to join or spend more time in a community whose [problems you're solving and let them know. I honestly didn't understand how hard this would be or how time-consuming it would be.

Hope this helps!

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radhyr profile image
Radhy

Make sure you work out if you'll need to budget for taxes, exchange rates, fees, platform fees, etc etc. A couple of these things took me by surprise and ended up okay but could have been a small disaster.

We'll keep this in mind, thanks!

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scallemang profile image
Sam

You will have to put a bit of energy into marketing your project... the whole 'build it and they will come' doesn't really work.

Good tip. I'll add, look for automations where you can – schedule posts in Buffer, template your social images, whatever you can do to shave off 'time overhead'.

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ericahargreave profile image
Erica Hargreave

I always tell my students that ‘build it and they will come’ is a field of dreams. Rather it is ‘build it, find-engage-and-foster a community, and they will come’.

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gfam profile image
gFam

Hahaha, I like what you did there.

I think that's a great approach... the other one I like is find a community you love, find out what their pain points are, build a solution and they'll love you forever.

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ericahargreave profile image
Erica Hargreave

That’s so true.

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end3r profile image
Andrzej Mazur

Given we published our final Grant report two days ago I can toss in a few lessons learned:

  • Don't plan for the perfect circumstances, remember that unexpected things happen, and you need some extra time for things that you'll have to do, but haven't considered in your original timeline.
  • That said, don't be afraid to adjust your timeline and change milestones when needed, if this is going to help you deliver your project.
  • We're all experimenting, which means not everything will turn out as we wanted. Don't be afraid to say "this didn't work", and embrace the fact that we are learning from failures as well. A "failed" project is a successful experiment that proved something eventually.
  • Make sure to communicate often with the team - they are here for you, and want to help you. Treat them as the experts you can ask about anything rather than a boss checking on you. They know what they are doing, have knowledge and experience, and want your project to succeed.
  • Share your progress with others, comment other grantees' work, initiate discussions, try to collaborate. If two or more individual projects can find ways to work together, I guarantee you both will greatly benefit from it. We're a community of lovely people who enjoy doing what they're doing, and I'm sure if you ask, you'll get help and support. Be the same for others - encourage them, give advice, offer solutions. We're in this together.
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radhyr profile image
Radhy

Thanks for the advices Andrzej! Now with others and I newly joined in GftW family I hope the community will be more vibrant from now on 🎉🎉

Also, other grantees and I might decide to start a new competition in the future for our works--I hope you don't mind us asking pointers from you as a veteran competition organizer!
🙏🙏🙏

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end3r profile image
Andrzej Mazur

Sure, reach out when you'll need me and I'll be more than happy to help with the competition!

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radhyr profile image
Radhy

👍👍👍

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scallemang profile image
Sam

Plan for what you do next after your grant wraps up and, if applicable, how to sustain your momentum once you're out of funding. (i.e. can you drive MRR throughout the project? If applicable, that is. If you've got a discrete project that's 'one-and-done' during the grant period, also a smart approach.)

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ericahargreave profile image
Erica Hargreave • Edited

This is a great question. For me, I think my key piece of advice would be to join the various Web Monetization community platforms early and regularly engage with others in the community. This has been invaluable to me, in getting to know others in the community, learning what they are working on and how they are applying the Web Monetization Standard on their various projects, and to make connections with others who know what I am talking about and are experimenting in the space. This has meant that when I have had a question, there has always been someone knowledgeable around to give me their feedback. So far these communities have included Cinnamon, mg.social, @gfam , the Web Monetization and Coil subreddits, and a Web Monetization list I've created on Twitter. Take the time there to learn about what others are up to in the space, engage with them, and share what resonates with you with the wider world.community.webmonetization.org/new

Aside from this, the answer whenever you are invited to any Web Monetization events is always "Yes, please." as this will help to connect you to others in the space, and I find every time, I learn something new.

Oh, and embrace experimenting. You will never know what works for you, unless you try. It doesn't have to be perfect before you share it. This is a dynamic and evolving space, primed for experimenting.

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nescampos profile image
Nestor Campos

From a grantee who could finish his project, my advice is that they can review the projects of the other groups and take advantage of making synergies. No project is an "island" that can grow on its own, and can be empowered by other groups that are working on complementary ideas.