Thank you all for taking the time to issue such thoughtful feedback. After reviewing all the posts, it is our understanding that most people believe 37 Laines should post their videos on an independent channel. We are glad to hear this is the decision you have come to.
Nevertheless, many details came up - so in this note, we try to address most points that were raised, but we are sorry in advance if we don’t get to every single question. Also, please know that 37 Laines has been in good contact and standing with both ECC and ZF throughout the process, no matter what “lost in translations” may have occurred. We very much appreciate both of their help.
In this post, we first provide some succinct answers to the most pressing questions raised, with follow-up details in later subsections.
-Monetization: We will not run ads. Our main revenue streams would be ZCG grants, donations, and the price appreciation of zec. (Please see subsection “Revenue Streams”)
-Licensing: (aka where will the videos go): Similar to most YouTube channels, our original videos in their whole original form will go solely on Zcash Media Youtube and are freely available for viewing. As for the segmenting/remixing of the videos: we would like to use the same style of license that @aiyadt suggested, allowing others to use/quote segments as long as they cite it. This will maintain the freely available and citable content to ensure the long tail of enthusiasm that @Dodger mentioned. However, we will also consult ZF in case any aspects of the trademark agreement limits how we can license the work. (Please see in addition subsection “Posting Videos on ZF and ECC”)
-Name of channel: Zcash Media (please see subsection “Channel Name”)
-Feature documentary: 37 Laines is pursuing opportunities to turn the additional footage we have collected into a longer documentary on surveillance. 37 Laines reserves the right to pursue any and all opportunities to use the footage we have collected to make a feature length documentary. We have been meeting with the producers of the ETH Documentary to ensure we handle this in the best way.
-Raw Footage: Due to the above need, 37 Laines owns the raw footage. (Please see subsection “Raw Footage”)
-Original cuts: 37 Laines owns the final cuts (so that we may freely post them and easily move between social media channels etc) and gives archival rights to ZF and ZCG (so that in the event they need to post the work due to our channel going down or unsatisfactory actions, they have the ability to share the content at that time).
We believe the above points clarify baseline facts that we all need to agree on to have a meaningful discussion about what we see as the big picture question.
Will Zcash Media be an official or unofficial Zcash channel?
Our original intention (way back in August) was to become the go-to synthesizers and presenters of Zcash information - with the Zcash community having ultimate oversight. We believe this is the most effective way to reach a broad audience due to simplicity and convenience. This would not be a mutually exclusive situation, and many other Zcash inspired content creators could (and should exist), but one clear, polished, and community-endorsed channel should definitely exist. Also, from this thread, we can see that (though we have yet to get to meet him officially) it sounds like @Dodger also had the same idea about a go-to place for Zcash content! We hope this means great minds think alike
What would this “official” Zcash information channel look like?
We would work with ZF, ECC, ZCG and the extended Zcash family to aggregate and synthesize Zcash news and ideas into insightful and entertaining content. For instance, we can have monthly meetings and collaborate with people like @anon35140610 (ZF) and Chris Tomeo (ECC) in making a unified marketing voice that leverages their knowledge and insider advice. We could also meet with and help ZCG grantees present their work so ZCG funded grants and devs can get more attention. We can make officially sponsored explanations of certain aspects of Zcash’s core technology from people like Sean Bowe and Deirdre Connolly. There are many benefits to having an “official” channel where newcomers know what they are watching is rigorously accurate.
We believe community members like ourselves are ideal to lead Zcash Media. We are DEEP in the Zcash lore and ethos. An outside company where only one of their arms is dedicated to curating a Zcash Media channel would not have the same passion and instinct to pull this off as well. Furthermore, we don’t have any of the baggage that comes with being a legacy company and having boards of directors to appease. So we are lucky to have the flexibility to speak with all parties more neutrally (and only on behalf of Zcash education).
Another reason we believe Zcash Media should be an official channel is: if the community is going to invest this much money into the videos, it should probably make wherever those videos go the main channel. If there is a future with different channels, the community can do that, but let’s get this main channel done first.
Last year we spoke with @Alex_ZF and the former ZOMG to suggest our idea to be sponsored creators and curators of Zcash content. We were told to prove ourselves with a good video. And we were happy to do so! We are proud to now say that all those parties have seen the content and have expressed their enthusiasm. So we believe it is fair to give us a shot at expressing our vision.
A Case Study for what this could look like
Consider Ethereum: Building A Community Hub
We are big fans of Ethereum’s approach to their website. We have spent the last few months following their Discord to observe how they manage a community of creators and output a unified front of a singular Ethereum.org website. They do this by having the Ethereum Foundation managing the major topics, quality, ongoing content, maintenance, and curation of the page. But anyone can contribute ideas and be paid to make them. This makes it so that an outside viewer new to Ethereum gets a single well curated page to understand ETH (High Value), though hundreds of people are contributing to the effort.
Aside: We would love it if the Z.Cash site were handled in a similar way, but we know all good things come with time Back to the points.
How would Zcash Media be unique?
Like the Ethereum Foundation that helps support a vibrant ecosystem of independent individuals and business, we would like to also be one of the companies in a vibrant ecosystem supported by ZF/ZCG. And our product would be Zcash Media, which we hope to build into a similarly Decentralized Media Outlet. We can start Zcash Media by releasing content to establish a quality and style. But then other content creators can submit their content ideas. If they align with the mission of the channel and the quality, we can post them. If they don’t we can turn them down. And if the creator feels we did something wrong, they can go above our heads to the ZCG and tell them. Then, the ZCG will be able to ensure that we are supporting the curation in a healthy way.
Other considerations regarding official Zcash Media channel managed by 37 Laines
If we own the channel, we maintain the control necessary to make the rapid decisions and marketing choices that @NaomiBrockwell referred to (including things like sponsorship deals etc). But if it is ever deemed that we are not doing justice to the community, ZCG can stop funding us. Simple as that.
Termination of 37 Laines relationship with ZCG/Zcash
We have always agreed to give archival rights of the cuts to the ZF. So if at any point our channel stopped, then ZF could move forward posting the content we have made that has been directly funded by ZCG as they see fit. We can make a contract with ZF stipulating this arrangement, but we believe there will be a reasonable way to work this out so that ZF and ZCG can make free decisions about the content should our relationship end.
Obviously, Zcash Media’s status does not stop ZCG from funding as many YouTube channels as they like. If they decide we and the Zcash Media community contributors have our hands full and there is another topic that needs addressing, then they should always be able to fund other content creators.
Posting Videos on ZF and ECC
The whole point of Zcash Media is to make something that gets a following. As others said above, if you put it in multiple places, it dilutes the algorithm and spreads out viewership (so that they are missing out on all the other wonderful curation we are doing). We think this is not a great strategy and would not endorse this plan. However, as we said above, if our relationship with Zcash comes to an end, ZF should be free to do as they like.
We have made subtitles for our videos in the past (we have even made disability friendly cuts of videos for those with auditory sensitivities). If we put in a subtitle budget, we can make as many subtitles on the content as ZCG wants. People can also post comments on the video if they want it in another language and we can add that set of subtitles.
- ZCG Support
Our main source of support will be ZCG. We believe this is the best entity to fund education since it is most directly tied to the community. We also believe that this is a mutually beneficial funding relationship whereby the videos they help fund will bring further awareness to Zcash, which may lead to price appreciation of the zec asset and subsequently a larger ZCG budget. In addition, since 37 Laines gets paid by ZCG in zec, and holds zec on its balance sheet, 37 Laines would benefit too by having more resources for production quality. This is the main virtuous feedback loop we have our eye on. We believe everyone in this thread will be happier, including us, if this is our goal and we don’t get distracted thinking about anything else.
- Running Ads
So NO, we do not think we should put ads on this channel.
And for extra clarity, we will run through some additional cons. The amount of money made from Ads will be pocket change compared to what we need to make these videos (our understanding is the same as the number Winfred provided: 1M views = $1000). Further, certain channels depending on content can’t even run ads. And crypto content has been one of these flip flopping topics. So overall, best to not even worry about it.
- Getting Sponsors/ Affiliate Links
Zcash media content falls into the category of branded content (meaning it’s advertising for Zcash done in an authentic educational package). So, perhaps there is some way that we could get a different brand to sponsor a video. However, since this is a Zcash Branded channel, this will likely be hard as most brands will think they are sponsoring Zcash. In addition, we would certainly not be eligible for any science video grants, because they don’t support ‘branded content’. Therefore, getting other sponsors / affiliate links besides ZCG is very unlikely.
- Community Donations
Both our team members who had successful channels made almost all their revenue by donations (ads did nothing for them monthly). These were donations from fans (in their case through Patreon). If people love the work, and they want to directly support us, we could take donations through Patreon or shielded zec - there is a tip system on the grant page
We agree with @anon35140610 and several others that making the channel name as obvious as possible is the best route forward so that newcomers can find it. We are making “media” about “Zcash”.
Raw footage belongs to 37 Laines. This is an industry standard practice and non-negotiable for us. If 37 Laines wants to make a feature film using the footage we shot, that should be a benefit we maintain. If 37 Laines does not maintain ownership, we cannot turn our work into a feature. It would be unsellable if it were already spread out all over YouTube. We can discuss how to credit the community in the creation of a project like that (like the Ethereum film does), but this is a point for much later down the road since the feature film is not on the table at the moment.
Final Thought on Trust
Unlike Halo, fruitful relationships are not trustless
Despite all the detailed words and considerations we and everyone has outlined above, we believe the main thing to make all this work is trust. We have been extremely flattered and grateful for the support everyone has shown to us and we love working on Zcash. Right now, our eyes are on the prize to release our first two videos in a big way, and we think this will be a big trust building event.
We believe ZCG is going to be giving many big projects shots in the coming years. And we believe that these big projects are important. So we are not shying away from dreaming big here but also dreaming rationally given our skill sets. This is a huge task, but one that our 5-50 person team of freelancers is ready for.
- Decision by ZCG/Community agreeing or disagreeing with the points laid out here
- Feel free to bring back the voting if you want now @GGuy
- Posting a grant for distribution funding (so we can begin to make trailers, etc)
- Creating a long term proposal for ongoing content
- David and Natasha will need about 2 dedicated weeks to make this proposal thoroughly (after they get the distribution effort going at the company)