Hi Zcash fam,
In this thread, we would like to gather community sentiment around starting a new YouTube channel called Zcash Media to place and promote the videos we are working on thus far (Zcash Mini-Documentary & Educational Series and The Ceremony, Powers of Tau, and Halo Video), in addition to future videos we hope to make.
Summary of Points covered in this post
-We believe creating a YouTube channel called Zcash Media is the best route to distribute our work
-There is an ongoing conversation about whether to put our videos on a Zcash Media YouTube channel versus hosting them on the ZF YouTube channel.
-We outline the pros (decentralization, disintermediation, neutrality, consensus, our experience, and starting with a blank slate) and cons (starting a new channel, additional costs, our relative newcomer status) of starting a Zcash Media YouTube channel versus hosting the videos on the Zcash Foundation’s YouTube channel
-We would like the community’s feedback on this topic
First, we would like to discuss our vision for Zcash Media. As writers, filmmakers, Zcash enthusiasts, and community members, we want to create a hub where anyone can go to learn and be inspired about Zcash, its mission, and its enabling technology. This is why we applied in the first place: to unify the disparate information surrounding Zcash in a short documentary and series of educational videos. And why, after having our application approved, prepared diligently to identify the key elements of Zcash’s story and turn them into >100 interview questions, fervently traveled across the country, staying and filming at our family and friends’ houses to stretch our budget, and worked many a late night to create accurate animations and edit the over 30 hrs. of footage into comprehensible and entertaining stories. The world is changing at an ever increasing rate, and people need easily understandable information in order to help them make empowering choices. We see Zcash as one of those empowering choices and do not want people to miss it simply due to a lack of outreach on the part of the Zcash community (we perceive this is the biggest barrier to Zcash’s success).
We want the Zcash Media education hub to be independent from both ZF and ECC so that we can work without restraint as we create the content we think will be most effective. Zcash Media’s independence will also give it the ability to take a different stance than ECC and ZF if necessary. In the long-term, we want to foster a place for community members new, old, and yet to arrive to be able to work together to channel their enthusiasm for Zcash into much needed educational material, thought pieces, etc. We envision a similar process to how the Ethereum website is managed where community members made up of artists, writers, and designers can gather to suggest and build what they think will be best for the project.
The two videos we are working on have brought significant positive feedback from people in the Zcash community (interviewees, ZF leadership, previous and current ZOMG/ZCG members) as well as from outside the community (our advisors, friends, and family who have acted as test screeners). Towards our goal of creating a home for these videos in Zcash Media, we would like to continue to produce this level of content for the foreseeable future. After our general introductory video and our video on the Halo upgrade, we would like to make videos on a range of relevant topics that we believe can help inform crypto newbies, crypto natives, large institutions, and crypto/Zcash skeptics alike. The footage we have collected from over 15 people, along with new interviews with Vitalik Buterin, Erik Voorhees, and Kevin Owocki coming in mid-February, will give us material for interesting videos for months to come.
We are excited to plan how we can achieve a consistent output of high quality videos and are developing a proposal to accomplish this, much in line with the previously suggested idea of long-term grant support suggested by Nate Wilcox and others. However, before we do that, we need to know what the community’s thoughts are in regard to whether we should start a Zcash Media YouTube to put our videos or put them on ZF’s YouTube. We outline what we perceive to be the major pros and cons below.
-Decentralization. Placing videos on either ECC/ZF YouTube pages would give additional control to the top two decision makers in the Zcash ecosystem. Placing videos on the Zcash Media page would help to give control to additional players in the Zcash ecosystem. We hope that through our grant process, we have shown various Zcash stakeholders that they can trust us to make and continue to make decisions that are in the best interest of Zcash and its community. We will continue to thoughtfully heed their feedback and respect their advice in every step of our process to always do what is best to move Zcash forward.
-Disintermediation. We believe it is important to have minimal friction between content creators and their distribution outlets. This can be seen in the massive rise in popularity of user generated content as audiences prefer to get their media “directly from the source.” This also removes an additional layer of control allowing content creators to work solely to the best of their artistic ability and not to a distributor’s wishes. Further, disintermediation will prevent bias from the distributor to try and shape the narrative to their liking. Our expertise is in storytelling but authority lies with the distributor. We have experienced the effects of a separate distributor approving content and feel it diminishes the freedom of storytelling and experimentation.
-Neutrality. As community members, we believe that hosting the content on an independent platform from ZF/ECC will lend authenticity to the content as it is not coming strictly from entities that are already strongly tied to Zcash, but instead from independent third parties enthusiastic about Zcash. In addition, hosting the videos on a platform separate from ZF/ECC helps to avoid getting involved in the politics surrounding those two entities.
-Consensus. We believe that by acting as neutral content creators and surveyors of the Zcash ecosystem, we would be able to work with ECC, ZF, and ZCG to gather and synthesize information on the happenings of Zcash. We would strive to work with all Zcash entities to put out a holistic messaging strategy, thereby achieving consensus in our outreach efforts while still maintaining decentralization - just like a blockchain
-Experience. Our team is experienced in not only producing cinema quality videos and synthesizing highly technical subjects, but also in promotion of YouTube videos. Members of our community have had YouTube channels with 10,000’s of followers and millions of views. In addition, we have connected with various people with successful large-scale content creation and distribution efforts to act as advisors to the Zcash Media channel and ensure its success. We believe that the combination of our community’s experience and the experience of a panel of outside advisors would give us sufficient expertise to promote Zcash Media. In addition, we would ideally hope to work with ECC and ZF to grow the Zcash Media channel since we believe it would greatly benefit all of the Zcash ecosystem to bring broader attention to Zcash.
-Blank Slate. Both ECC and ZF’s YouTube channels are filled with hours long webinar content that are (although riveting to the diehard Zcasher), not inviting to general audiences. We believe that starting with a blank slate and filling it from the start with high quality videos optimized for presentation on YouTube will result in a much better long term curation and user experience.
-Starting a New Channel. Starting a new channel may make it harder to attract as many viewers as hosting the video on ECC or ZF’s channels, which both have thousands of followers and brand name recognition among crypto enthusiasts. However, we believe this is a short term problem as Zcash Media will strive from the beginning to grow its audience using both high quality content and significant outreach (see points above). Also, the Zcash Foundation YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCi01v05DNTUEC_eB0c9rpgQ) has ~1,000 subscribers and the most popular video (ZK Rollup: Ethereum Scalability with ZKPs - Alex Gluchowski - YouTube) has 2,860 views. That video is 2.5 years old and is about an Ethereum scaling solution. We believe that Zcash Media has the potential to gain more subscribers and views rather quickly given the high production quality and strategic promotion of our videos. In other words, we consider that both ZF and Zcash Media YouTube channels would be starting from a similar point in terms of number of YouTube subscribers and viewers.
-Additional Cost. ZF and ECC are both putting resources towards outreach and marketing in 2022 and beyond. By creating a Zcash Media YouTube channel with its associated organizational and promotion costs, we would be asking the community to put additional resources towards education and outreach. We believe this is a worthy endeavor nonetheless for several reasons. First, increasing the adoption of Zcash around the world is a huge task that requires a concerted effort. We believe that by working together with ECC’s and ZF’s teams, we can all help to increase the awareness of Zcash. Second, ECC and ZF both have their own mission statements that shape their outreach and marketing efforts. By having a channel such as Zcash Media that focuses exclusively on the Zcash currency itself, we can provide a neutral place for audiences to learn holistically about the entire ecosystem. We envision working synergistically with ECC and ZF to prevent redundancy in outreach efforts and support each organization’s goals.
-Newcomers. We are relative newcomers to Zcash, having first gotten involved directly in the community in Summer 2021. But we have been fortunate to meet many community members firsthand through our interview process and subsequently work with them on the videos. We have provided rigorous updates on our work thus far - in line with Zcash’s goal of transparency and our goal of building trust with the community. In addition, we are known entities with a brick and mortar business and address on file with ZF, we are not going anywhere Lastly, although we are relatively new to Zcash, we are not new to the pursuit of dedicating ourselves to what we see as worthy causes. 37 Laines’s most recent short film was about a Black single mother learning how to balance her own career and take care of her autistic child. This film was done in collaboration with the autism community, debuted as a fundraiser for autism research at UCLA, and made freely available on YouTube, where many in the autism community saw themselves represented in a film for the first time. They have also worked on campaigns for various healthcare/science initiatives, going as far back as their work with MD Anderson Cancer Center in 2014. David Boyer has worked in science for more than a decade, originally performing biofuels research to help create more sustainable energy sources, and he has now worked for over 6 years studying the underlying causes of neurodegeneration to battle Alzheimer’s and related diseases. During this time, he has been an avid advocate of people recovering from addiction, raising funding to start the first university sponsored office for the support of students in recovery from addiction at UCLA.
We have already signed a licensing agreement with ZF to use the Zcash logo in our videos, and we will work to remain in good standing with the community, ZF, and ECC to be good stewards of the Zcash logo. Also, we will make sure viewers of our videos know that we are a Zcash community (ZCG, to be precise) supported channel that is delivering free educational material that the Zcash community has approved.
Open Source Policy
In harmony with the open source nature of the work funded by ZF or ZCG grants, the work we produce will be freely available. In addition, as mentioned above, we would make it clear that Zcash Media is a community supported effort. When posting videos on YouTube, we will likely use the Standard YouTube license so that reuse of our posted videos has to be done with the permission of the creators of the video (us). Further, since the Zcash trademark license agreement does not permit sublicensing, we would need to consult with the owners of the Zcash trademark (ECC/ZF) for reuse requests. In other words, we would work with ZF to decide on a case by case basis requests to re-use the videos posted on Zcash Media.
After getting feedback from other members of the community on this post, it was pointed out to us that a potential pitfall for starting Zcash Media would be that it may make ZCG feel obligated to approve future grants we may submit (which may lead to a sort of “rubber stamp” approval process for each grant we submit). In order to avoid this, we are thinking of ways so that if we and ZCG could ever not come to an agreement on the production of new videos, and we have to actively give up managing the Zcash Media YouTube channel, we could make sure the videos can remain freely available.
We believe this is enough for now to get the conversation started ;). Please let us know what you think.
Thanks for reading!