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Getting Started : Writing @ Superteam
The sign you've been waiting for...
If you’re a Superteam lurker, contributor or member who is looking to learn about or contribute to the Solana ecosystem via writing, this essay is for you.
Fyi - anyone can be a lurker, just join the discord. The sufficiently motivated will find the discord link ;)
What is Superteam?
Superteam is a network of individuals and companies building products in the Solana ecosystem. Simply put, it is a gated discord server for those who satisfy the membership criteria. There’s no treasury, take-rate/commissions or a token sale. From its inception, Superteam has chosen to be a collective of sovereigns over a sovereign collective. All members may participate as much as or as little as they wish, including the core team. Any revenue generated is captured by the individual members or teams that self-organise and win a bounty, secure a grant or venture funding for their ideas.
The community is the product. And members have exclusive access to the product.
Access to the community is gated via proof-of-work – that is, bounty winners and grant recipients are invited to be full time members. The goal is to create a network of peers all working in web3 (rather than speculating in it). Members who have benefited from the community are encouraged to bring back value directly to other members via full time jobs, grants & investing opportunities. We’ve already seen projects born out of Superteam like Wordcel, CandyPay, StellarSol etc. contribute to the community GDP through bounties, missions & jobs.
What do you need to get started?
Same as always - an internet connection, an idea and a laptop.
Why should you write online?
As an aside, you don’t have to be a “writer” to write. There’s a lot of wisdom out there on the benefits of structuring your ideas & building public distribution. David Perell puts it best in this essay,
“Writing online is a guaranteed way to shrink the world. A well-written article can change your life because the internet rewards people who think well. Each post is an advertisement for the kinds of people and opportunities you want to attract, and if you have a voice, you can build a platform”
Here are some great reasons to write tweets, essays, comics, poems, raps (?!) as you navigate the web3 space:
Build your own understanding: Nothing helps you understand a concept better than by writing about it
Make friends: As you put your thoughts out there people who share similar interests will emerge.
Build public proof of work: Your first step to earning in web3.
We’ve already seen this funnel play out for some Superteam members. Yash Chandak (Atomic) who has been contributing to Superteam’s monthly updates for around 6 months, is now the content lead at huddle. Rahul, the first ever deep-dive bounty winner for Superteam, is now working as part of the product team at third web. Yash Agarwal who has regularly been winning writing bounties recently announced that he’s going full-time web3 & starting his own venture. And finally, I myself got noticed by the Solana foundation for a grant after winning a string of writing bounties.
How can you leverage Superteam to write better?
Research. We have some of the top web3 developers & contributors in our community. Whatever you’re writing about, it is likely that someone within the community has explored or is an expert on this. If you are a member or contributor use the #help-wanted channel, if you’re a lurker use the #questions channel.
Keep in mind people aren’t obliged to help you. Try and be specific (e.g. has anyone tried gamma scalping on mango markets?) instead of vague (e.g. can someone help me with my DeFi essay?). The easier you make it for people to help you, the more likely you’ll get help.
I can’t emphasise how scarce of a resource this is. Most people can only unlock this after building sufficient distribution on their blog or twitter. Make the most of it.
Feedback & Co-authoring. Share early drafts of your writing on the #writers-talk or #find-collaborators channel. It is tempting to sit on your writing until it is finally ready, whether from fear of judgement or plagiarism. But you may find that sharing an early draft with specific questions provides valuable feedback, a potential co-author and the social pressure needed to actually see your essay to completion.
Community Call [Members Only]. Request for a spot to talk about your essay, invite feedback and ask for help.
Office hours. [Members & Contributors Only] Sign up for the weekly writer office hours for synchronous feedback. Please share a public link in the #writers-talk channel at least one day ahead so people have enough time to review.
Superteam will never require you to exclusively publish on a collective publication/social handle. Ideally, each member builds their own distribution and social media.
Here’s two ways the community can help you with that:
Member's distribution. Individual members are free to share high quality work shipped by the community. You would’ve seen community amplification happen with recent products, memes & open-source launches, the same is possible for good content. The more immersed your writing is with the community, the more likely this happens.
It helps if you introduce yourself (#intros) , write consistently, help others whenever possible, help people see why that essay is relevant to the web3 & Solana ecosystem, etc.
Superteam Social Media. High quality writing may be syndicated in the Superteam blog or amplified by the twitter account.
Solana Foundation Grants. These have been instrumental at spawning successful products out of the community. Applying for a grant is a great way to support your writing & introduce your work to the community. I personally feel like they’ve been under utilised for producing high quality content. I’ve seen two concerns hold people back.
First, does the essay need to be only about Solana? We’d say - no, it needs to bring value to the Solana ecosystem. There’s a difference. For e.g. an essay on DAO governance that summarises research about Bankless, FWB and top communities across chains is valuable for communities on Solana.
Second, how much value does the essay add? Grants are designed to help fund initiatives that the market can’t effectively price. So, let the grant administrators worry about this. Use good judgement and be reasonable in your ask. For e.g. anywhere between $200 - $2000 dollars seems fair depending on the complexity of the topic, depth of research, output, etc. You are free to go above or below that but trying to eek out the “max” is a sure shot way to have your application rejected.
Partner projects. Superteam has worked with over 50 projects from the Solana ecosystem to set up bounties, jobs, etc. If you’re writing something that you feel will be interesting to a project, request Kash or Abbas for an introduction. A great example of this was Yash’s essay on DAO payments experience for the Samudai writer grants.
FAQs to get you started
What format should I write?
Whichever inspires you at the time. Twitter threads, long form essays, poems, comic strips, raps, etc. are all fair game.
Where should I publish?
Wherever you want - substack, medium, wordcel, notion, google docs, twitter, etc. As long as you can share a public link to your work.
What types of essays can I write?
Product Document with RFPs: Write deeply about a problem you think web3 can solve, be specific about what the first version of the product will look like, how it will go-to-market, include mock ups and screenshots, etc. For e.g. our essay on building a loyalty program.
Project deep-dives: Don’t wait for a bounty, pick a project & go. Checkout the deep-dives section of our blog for inspiration.
Compose existing content: If you see a good essay, write a thread about it. If a member gives a talk, podcast, etc. help carry it through to written mediums.
Data-led pieces: One of the biggest benefits of public blockchains is that all data is in the open. Yet, few people who are web3 savvy actually know which metrics to track or how to track them. If you’re comfortable with numbers, block explorers, charts, etc. write a piece that helps others follow along.
Primary research: Step out of your google doc, speak to people who are working in web3 & convert your findings into actionable insights.
Any specific topics I can start with?
Yes, here’s a link to a living document with writing prompts. I’ll update this weekly.
If you’re a community member, DM me your ideas to get them included.
How do I measure success as a writer?
This is a deeply personal question. Here are a few thoughts,
Discipline. Think of writing regularly as success itself. This works if you’re doing it around a full time degree or job.
Ads & Subs. Follow the traditional model of measuring followers & paying subscribers.
Inspire builders, contributors & investors. This is the approach we’re taking with Superteam media. Here’s a link to the metrics we track.
What kind of Superteam branding can I use?
Accurately state your membership level (today - Lurker, Contributor or Member)
We request that you don’t designate yourself as a “Superteam writer”
Follow the brand guidelines.
How can I claim XP for my writing?
[Members & Contributors only] Fill out this form.
Resources & General Reading
Readability by Pamel Hurley
The ultimate guide to writing online by David Perell
Jpeg your ideas by Eugene
Long term games from Naval’s almanack
Resonance by Shreyas
A shared repo of writer’s resources could be a great idea incase you want to set it up…
Thanks to Akshay BD for feedback on drafts of this essay.