Friday, July 8th - 2022
It was a quiet week for the Metaverse, but several narratives continued to roll throughout the media. For one, Disney is continuing to invest in the metaverse. As the world’s biggest entertainment company, their investment will further the Metaverse’s legitimacy; however, they continue to view and present the Metaverse as an entertainment proposition. Additionally, some top financial publications continued to attack the Metaverse as part of Web3. At the same time, other tech outlets continued to praise Web3 for its innovations, especially in marketing.
Journalist to Watch
Hugo Castellanos may not have the most followers on Twitter, but by owning the phrase Latinos Who Tech, he has incredible SEO. Before Latinos Who Tech, there was Lesbians Who Tech, which became a media platform that boosted both journalists (Kara Swisher) and top Google execs. Castellanos’s podcast is a who’s who of latinos in technology.
Tweet of the Week
“Shiba Inu welcomes David Kern to the SHIB Metaverse Team”
One of Twitter’s most popular Metaverse tweets came from the controversial Shiba Inu token account. The conflation between crypto and the Metaverse continues to muddy the branding of the Metaverse.
And now on to the most important stories of the week…
The Most Important Stories of the Week
Summary: As part of investments in Metaverse projects, Disney accepted Polygon into its accelerator program. Interestingly, Polygon is a blockchain company that is “a scaling and interoperability framework for building Ethereum-compatible blockchains that seek to address some of Ethereum's significant limitations, such as limited throughput and poor user experience.” Disney identified the candidates for helping create virtual worlds, so it’s interesting that they are hedging their bets and seeing if crypto and the blockchain can be incorporated into whatever virtual Metaverse projects they settle on as part of their long term Metaverse goals.
Key Quote: “Disney says that this year's accelerator class will focus on building the future of immersive experiences through technologies like augmented reality (AR), artificial intelligence (AI), and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).”
Summary: In an op-ed, publicist Davis Richardson argued that legacy brands should market more like Web3 companies. For one, Web3 companies are creating loyal cult followers. They are also marketing through memes that people recognize. Lastly, Web3 companies are embracing “mess.” They are okay with controversy or looking chaotic. The strategy has led many Web3 companies to both press and criticism. There are pros and cons to the approach. If one embraces ‘all press is good press’, one can get easy press, but from an enterprise standpoint, one could also be alienating more corporate or Wall Street-centric customers.
Key Quote: “What is the Vatican but a collection of the world’s most iconic memes?”
Summary: Showing the danger of mess, the Financial Times columnist Jemima Kelly attempted to annihilate Web3, including the Metaverse, crypto, NFTs, and the entire blockchain. Kelly argues that a16z propped up Web3 because they’re tied to Facebook’s parent company. She believes that Web3 will harm people as much as Web2 did, and it’s not decentralized at all–it has all the same investors as Web2. Her biggest issue is that Web3 and the Metaverse lack clear definitions. She believes Web3 is just complex marketing, as crypto was. Once again, the conflation of all of Web3 and crypto as non severable harms the Metaverse.
Key Quote: “Web3 is just the newest way of serving up the same old crypto bullshit.”
Summary: The Financial Times editors aren’t fully against the Metaverse. In yet another review of Matthew Ball’s forthcoming book, the British paper dives into how Ball offers a compelling argument for the Metaverse. Whereas other papers posited Ball’s predictions as likely to happen, the Times interprets the Metaverse as several possible futures.
Key Quote: “For the moment, we remain a long way from Ball’s definition of the Metaverse and it remains ‘only a theory.’ Better hardware, clearer standards and more powerful infrastructure will all be needed for it to flourish in the ways he envisions. But, properly designed, it could emerge as a new platform for education, entertainment and much else besides. One of the biggest challenges, and opportunities, will be how to ensure interoperability between different metaverses.”
Summary: Although three out of four women have heard of the Metaverse (far more than the general public), few women work in the sector. Blockworks profiles Shelley Zalis, CEO of The FQ, who is trying to bring more women into tech. She’s bought land in Metaverse spaces like Decentraland to try to bring more women into the sector.
Key Quote: “It is important that women have the resources they need to get involved in the metaverse.”