Web Monetization Community

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Helping Minority Content Creators Monetize on the Web — Grant Report #4

Rashon Massey
2020 Grant for the Web Recipient for my project: Helping Minority Content Creators Get Web Monetized
・8 min read

Project Update

This is banana’s to think that this is my final project update for this grant period!

It definitely bums me out because I truly have seen my life change in so many positive ways, since both upgrading my content production equipment and introducing web monetization to my existing online communities.

I knew that this was an opportunity that could not only greatly change my life, but understanding the potential of web monetization, I knew that this project could open doors for other individuals who identify as minorities; for this reason, the last two-thirds of my project’s timeline was dedicated towards learning, mentoring and co-producing content with existing content creators. Though this project had: 1. budgeted stipends for my mentee content creators, and 2. time and support to see up to 4 minority content creators successfully launch themselves on the Coil platform, through my months-long mentorship with them, it was revealed that web monetization and Coil may not be suited for every content creator at this time.

As we look towards the successes of this project, the greatest gift that emerged was from pinpointing how to best maximize web monetization tools for the type of content that myself and mentee wanted to produce. Though it took some trial and error that ultimately revealed that web monetization was not suited for three of my four mentee content creators, I found that the best output efforts to maximize profit, engagement and retention efforts for a content creator using web monetization came by adopting successful practices maintained by content streamers on existing platforms like Twitch. In realizing this, I was able to redirect the focus of this project to produce two pieces of original copyrightable content that far exceeded anything that I initially hoped to achieve.

Now, through the blessings of this project, I now have my own live streamed web monetized show that allows me to connect with guests and cover topics revolving around wellness, investments and culture! I hosted my first two episodes in April 2021, with the first dedicated to discussing the benefits of mindfulness with fellow GftW grantee Pamela J. Alexander (Watch here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fy2JV3qaCzM ), and the 2nd episode was a near 4-hour long workshop on branding, social media and web monetization featuring fellow GftW grantee Adam from Australia of gFam and the Founder of BleacherReport.com (watch here: https://twitter.com/micopeia/status/1383073898233663500?s=20) ! MAJOR SUCCESS! Thus far, the second episode has been viewed by more than 900 people! Both episodes, dedicated time was spent towards discussing web monetization, Coil, Cinnamon and the awesomeness of what we’re doing! It was super rad having guests engaging and learning about web monetization especially during the 2nd episode/workshop with Adam from gFam).

This is a clear reflection of being able to produce higher quality content more consistently, while strengthening the creator to audience relationship in such honest and meaningful ways that individuals who have never engaged with my brand have gone from discovery as potential followers/customers to super brand evangelists who purchase my products, follow me on all social channels and sign up for my workshops within thirty minutes of viewing one piece of content for the first time.

I am so very glad that my mentee Grant Henderson allowed himself to be open to this journey, really working to see how and where web monetization would make sense for his existing brand. I had a really great show concept and idea I had been nurturing for some time, and I was able to pitch to Grant an interactive live streamed video broadcast show that would bring to life his new music playlist. I knew that if he was onboard, the show would be an amazingly fun time that pushes the envelope of the future of web content…and I am so glad that he was onboard! Together, we have co-created Winners of the Weekend, a show that brings together a curated panel of guests that discuss and debate which newly released songs are the best! Featuring an open chat box that allows for guest participation across multiple social channels, the show has already been a BIG hit in our dress rehearsals, and I am so excited for when it finally debuts! You can watch an 11 min selection from the first dress rehearsal here! https://cinnamon.video/watch?v=583300921388173049

Progress on objectives

As shared, the objectives stayed the same; however, getting to the finish line did require some changes.

This project showed that web monetization just isn’t the best fit for everyone, even for existing content creators with thriving communities; moreover, for some content creators, preexisting terms of engagements that rule over their established online communities proved to hinder their ability to move forward with incorporating web monetization tools via Coil and Cinnamon.

Whereas-

My brand channels @micopeia are just thriving beyond my wildest dreams, and TikTok has proven to be the channel best suited for the content that I make. The cool part is watching TikTok followers go to my website (Coil-enabled), follow me on YouTube (Coil-enabled) and attend my live streamed workshops and shows (Coil-enabled). Several of my TikTok videos have gone viral to the point of generating sales at MICOPEIA.com, and I’ve been spending the first part of May 2021 writing new outlines and copy for my next workshops! I’d love to do more interviews and dedicated content that spotlights GftW and Coil content creators, but that would take some more support and coordinating.

My mentee Grant Henderson’s web monetized live streamed show is coming along great! We’ve had 3 dress rehearsals so far, and I know he wants to time the debut of the public show with his company’s Summer clothing line release, to generate as much excitement and awareness about the show as possible. More details of when Winners of the Weekend will go live should be known soon.

Key activities

  • Purchased New Production Equipment
  • Improved Production Space & Output Quality
  • Created Original Content (Videos/graphics) promoting web monetization
  • Mentored Content Creators with 1 developing a strong roadmap forward on best navigating web monetization for their online presence
  • Launched a web monetized live streamed broadcast - The BEST Live Show; Two Episodes in April 2021 - (Ep 01- fellow GftW Grantee Pamela J. Alexander, guest; Ep 02 - fellow GftW Grantee Adam from Australia and Founder of gFam, Dave Nemetz - Founder of BleacherReport.com, Todd Walton - Social Entrepreneur and Philanthropist)
  • Launched a web monetized live stream broadcast with my GftW project mentee - Winners of the Weekend

Communications and marketing

This is cool to look back upon, and I’ve included stats from my first grant update, to show just how much growth has come from being able to produce better content thanks to GftW funding.

Grant Report 1 (Feb 2021)

  • Highlights to date: Over 30,000 combined video views from @micopeia  + @RashonMassey on Tik Tok, Instagram.;

  • 76 social media posts from @RashonMassey and @micopeia  tagging @GrantfortheWeb, @Coil, @CinnamonVideo, @PumaBrowser, #GrantfortheWeb, #Coil, #CinnamonVideo, #PumaBrowser, #Mozilla/@Mozilla and/or @CreativeCommons/#CreativeCommons

  • Coil/GftW program acknowledgement from State of Michigan Representative Jewell Jones

FINAL Grant Report (3-months later)

  • Over 160,318 combined video views from @micopeia + @RashonMassey on TikTok, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter (numbers since Grant Report 1 - TikTok - 104,830; Instagram - 24,588; YouTube - +40 subscribers; The BEST Live Show - The first two episodes have been watched over 900 times!);

  • 164+ social media posts from @RashonMassey and @micopeia  tagging @GrantfortheWeb, @Coil, @CinnamonVideo, @PumaBrowser, #GrantfortheWeb, #Coil, #CinnamonVideo, #PumaBrowser, #Mozilla/@Mozilla and/or @CreativeCommons/#CreativeCommons

  • GftW scholarship program shout out retweet by the Founder of #OscarsSoWhite - @ReignOfApril

What’s next?

I’m continuing to book talent to appear as guests on my web monetized show The BEST Live Show, while launching the first season of Winners of the Weekend this summer! I’ll be continuing to strengthen the pipeline of communication with my existing audience that GftW has allowed me to build, by furthering the free educational BTS/DIY herbalism videos that I’ve been creating. I’d like to work with GftW and Coil to see The BEST Live Show become an interactive marketing asset that they too can leverage, as we work together to spotlight talent and developments within the web monetization space online! A curated show featuring the BEST of what we all are doing, I feel, would go a long way, while fostering a LIVE online space for the community to gather and fellowship. I would also like to continue developing new talent that would be great for web monetization, as my return to Executive Producing has proven to be a MAJOR success in this space. I know with my innovative visions and the amazing talent thriving throughout the world, we can launch a strong series of original content much like Netflix, and that really would go a long way with advancing the efforts of web monetization (the creation of original, interactive content not found and/or easily replicated on exiting platforms). This goes in line with research surrounding disruptive innovations, and I speak more on this in the next section below

What community support would benefit your project?

  • Group Video Conferences where projects have the option to present (if they choose) updates, talk challenges, etc. I think now that the framework of how to publish updates has been paved, the opportunity to video meet, discuss and vocally support fellow grantees would be incredibly beneficial for grantees. Based on my conversations, most grantees hit a wall somewhere around month 4; however, great progress was made once we found opportunities to connect, ideate and grow together. Big shout out to Chris Lawrence for being the person to facilitate these conversations, helping to connect grantees where there were potential synergies. I know this really helped me reevaluate my project, in order to make some 11th Hour decisions to see me finish successfully! I received a recent email about an informal zoom meeting happening, but some formal ones to keep enthusiasm and foster connections during the process would’ve been massive.

  • Web monetization is a vehicle that will be a behemoth for content creators willing to develop original copyrightable content that can’t be sourced elsewhere. Under the lens of author Clayton Christensen, web monetization is a disruptive innovation, and I think we will really see more content creators succeed when more focused effort is directed towards identifying, developing and successfully launching NEW content exclusively available through Coil. Clearly, through Coil Experiments, I am seeing this effort executed, but if we appreciate web monetization for the true disruptor that it is, we potentially can’t see it’s full success by following models of old content creation and distribution, backed by a marketing title that immediately says to the viewing audience that “this content is an experiment so its okay that it fails because we’re just happy that you’re watching.” So I see this as a GftW opportunity to fill this void! I think this concept needs to go FULL STEAM…or might I say…FULL STREAM and take on developing live streamed content that opens the door for real time engagement and monetization. I’d love a job and a seat at the table, if there is a team that wants to bring me on for a more hands-on role! Having launched my own show with another FIRE concept and interactive show coming, I'd love to scout, recruit, mentor and help develop talent here! I already see some great powerhouses within our online communities and spaces who would GREATLY benefit from support, encouragement and would LEAD in championing web monetization for us. JUUUUUST SAYIN! <3 <3 <3

Additional comments

GftW literally changed my life, at a time when I really needed funding support to take my brand, business, visions and goals to the next level; moreover, this incredible gift saw me not just grow as a content creator but further spread my wings as a mentor, brand advocate and executive producer, by being given the opportunity to mentor other minority content creators throughout the process. This project was both incredibly successful and eye-opening towards the vision of how content creators can utilize the power of web monetization. It would be a bummer if this ride stopped here, but hey - I am beyond grateful for the past 6-months of support!!!!

Thank you to Ayesha Ware, Chris Lawrence, the Grant for the Web team, Coil, Interledger and entire online community who really showed up for me! Can’t thank you all enough for this blessing!

Discussion (3)

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erikad profile image
Erika

What a great final report, Rashon! Glad the grant and your involvement in the community have been so rewarding 😍 Congrats on the launch and success of The BEST Live Show. Can't wait to see the first episode of Grant Henderson’s Winners of the Weekend!

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micopeia profile image
Rashon Massey Author

Thank you, Erika!!! I actually forgot to include a link to an 11min highlight select from the first dress rehearsal of Winners of the Weekend. I just made an edit to the post, but in case you haven't seen it, here is a link cinnamon.video/watch?v=58330092138... ! I'll make sure to promote and share links to the official live first show. It's awesome because just within his network, theres already an average viewing and participating audience of 25-30 people who LOVE chiming in and participating. So looking forward to sharing and producing more of these shows!

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Pamela Alexander

Rashon, congratulations are in order on the launch and success of The BEST Live Show. You are such generous host. And you are an inspiration. Can't wait to see where you take this next!