Established in late May of 2021, the “NEAR Degen Army” (henceforth, Degens) started as a community-led, grassroots marketing program to boost NEAR’s visibility on social media and support core marketing initiatives.
Our mission statement is simple: externally, boost NEAR’s visibility on social media; internally, support the growth of the NEAR community.
The Degens employ a meritocratic and dynamic membership policy. This means that at the end of every month, those who were either inactive or fail to meet performance standards are eliminated based on the collective decision of the council, and are replaced with new recruits.
Members are selected from a pool of applicants after a pre-selection and interview process by the Degen DAO council, and are compensated if they prove their value after a month’s trial.
As of August 27th, there are 44 members in the Degen Army in total, consisting of 5 council members (i.e. Degens DAO) and 39 non-council members. The full list of members eligible for payout are on this list.
From the beginning we have maintained a baseline rate of 300 NEAR per month for each member, for 20 hours worth of work a week, either in quality or quantity. The rate of 300 NEAR, which is fixed regardless of NEAR’s market value at any given point in time, was determined in order to motivate our members to engage in various activities with great zeal and deliver quality achievements, while also compensating for the uncertainty of NEAR’s price action. This method has proven to work, as we observe most of our members to be highly engaged and active throughout the month, many of them spending more than the minimum 20 hours a week on Degen activity, and even branching out to take on greater responsibilities in the general NEAR ecosystem.
As of August 27th, the Degens operate in teams, led by four council members, which perform the following initiatives:
- Goal: Boost NEAR’s social volume and network on Twitter
- Objectives for August: Create a balance between (1) mass tweets/RTs/likes to boost NEAR’s social volume, and (2) higher-quality original content to grow the Degens into KOLs
- Main actions: Coordinated RTs and likes for tweets from NEAR projects and degens; daily tweets and content creation about NEAR (memes, infographics, threads, tutorials etc); coordinated crypto influencer targeting
- Methodology for tracking performance: Twitter analytics
- Goal: Provide informative videos + visual content on NEAR for crypto audience
- Objectives for August: provide videos summarizing news from the NEAR ecosystem (YouTube) for existing users and newcomers; audience building (Twitter and Instagram)
- Main actions: making news videos, planning video interviews with the Human Guild / Game Guild / Cheddar farm. Working on requests (online and offline). Started filming content for the Russian community. Posted news graphics on Instagram. Started a news thread on Twitter.
- Methodology for tracking performance: In-site analytics on YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter
- Goal: Boost NEAR’s visibility to crypto audience, inform readers on NEAR’s technology and ecosystem updates
- Objectives for August: Regularly amplify news, events, announcements from NEAR in relevant subreddits and threads on BitcoinTalk. Bypass Reddit and BTT moderation to maximize output. Popularize the MetaBUIDL Hackathon; Draw attention to the Reddit AMAs on r/NEARprotocol; draw attention to NEAR NFTs during the NFT bull market
- Main actions: Daily publication of content on the main crypto subreddits and BTT. Bypassing moderation through the generation of unique, original content. Cooperation with the Reddit OPS Team.
- Methodology for tracking performance: manually tracking the number of posts/upvotes/comments
- Goal: Get crypto Youtubers to cover NEAR in their videos
- Objectives for August:. Increase of interest from small bloggers to 50k subscribers.
- Main actions: Creating comments and posts on YouTube and Twitter aimed at bloggers. Participating in discussions in YouTube content. Negotiations with individual bloggers about cooperation + discussion of the terms of cooperation for relevant bloggers on YouTube. Cooperation with related directions of marketing with NEAR core.
- Methodology for tracking performance: manually tracking the number of posts and responses from Youtubers
Out of 46 accounts run by degens, over the last 28 days,
- Average # of tweets = 88; Profile visits = 3873; Mentions = 146; new followers = 114; Average # of impressions = 63,975 (+42%); median # of impressions = 41,850 (+44%).
- Distribution: 5 accounts accrued less than 10K; 10 accounts fell between 10K~30K; 22 accounts between 30K~100K; 6 accounts between 100K ~200K; and 3 accounts over 200K.
- Quality-wise, we have seen an increase in quality-driven original content from the Degens in the form of infographics, info-threads, original banners for announcements, blog-posts, tutorials, and NEAR-related memes.
(^Growth calculated based on July metrics)
(^Growth calculated based on July metrics)
- Last 28 days, total # of tweets = 12; impressions = 45,500; Profile visits = 1,166; Followers: 467 (+40%)
(^Could not calculate growth due to lack of comparable data from July. )
- Total posts: 9 (8 infographics, 1 video)
- Followers: 55; Content interactions: 83; Accounts reached: 451
(^The team only switched to a business account recently so growth could not be calculated.
- Comments posted = 265 (+188%); Total views on degen’s threads = 4130 (+232%); total number of comments on degens’ threads = 592 (+230%)
- Total posts = 70 (+259%); Likes = 690 (+280%); Comments = 346 (+150%)
- The most popular post (71 likes)
- Total number of comments posted: 196 (+190%)
- Results: replies and likes from the targeted Youtubers. See examples here.
In addition to the overall increase in performance metrics, the Degens have also provided valuable contributions to the community which are unquantifiable.
One of Degens’ value propositions is being NEAR’s “community on tap”. That is to say, the Degens offer the merits of mass mobilization + 24/7 availability by virtue of being a strongly knit collective of 40+ zealots who are located all over the word. At any given point during the day, we can
get 30+ people at a time to quickly like/RT/share a NEAR Official tweet or article, giving it the early visibility it needs to appeal to a broader audience. For this very reason, official announcements are often first dropped in the Degens group by NEAR Core.
The same goes for event participation: Degens show up for important community events like AMAs, live streams, Townhalls, and launch parties, to boost the event itself and tweet about it to give it visibility.
Incubating Community leaders: In the span of three months, 6 members of the Degens have each found a Guild, cultivating their own communities and acting as hubs for various NEAR projects:
AVB: Silicon Craftsmen
Naveen: NEAR NFT Club
Garik: NEAR Games Guild
Zardoz: Wizards’ Guild
In addition to this, a couple degens work as a part of Merchants of Guild, while others are currently planning to launch a guild to facilitate outreach and onboard skilled individuals onto the NEAR ecosystem.
- Telegram moderation, Community engagement:
- Degens have been deployed in the NEAR main chat as admins (labeled “Degen Specialist”) and make up 12 out of 43 admins in total (9ce, Sanket, Margik Baxi, Simeon, Crypto G, Kanzy, p0k, Tran, chronear, Rimberjack, AVB, Ratatoeskr)
- As the screenshot shows, according to Combot, 9 out of the Top 20 active users in the NEAR Official chat are Degens (Sanket, Rimberjack, AVB, Kanzy, 9ce, Margik Baxi, Simeon, chronear, Tran)
- Additionally, Degens have also provided moderation support for Skyward and Ref.finance chats during the Community DeFi Quiz
- Degens also provide manpower for early testing of NEAR products and research, data scrapping, etc by request.
- Rewards: We request rewards for 43 members in total
For a minimum of 20 hours of work per week and notable contribution to NEAR marketing and community building, we request 300 NEAR for each non-council member.
For the four council members who lead team initiatives and perform further managerial duties apart from working as degens themselves (such as recruitment, evaluation, metrics reporting, strategy, and organization), and thereby spend close to 30-40 hours a week on Degens, we request 400 NEAR each.
Incentives for Top Performers: To reward those who show outstanding dedication and achievements, and to incentivize others further improve their performance, we would like to allocate 200 NEAR as incentives for top performers among non-council members.
General expenses: 100 NEAR to finance special projects (e.g. community giveaways or contests, opening a Mintbase store for Degen NFTs), organizational resources (e.g. subscriptions to Basecamp or a dedicated website), and other potential miscellaneous expenses (e.g. analytics services to measure Degens’ social media influence, fee required to start a DAO on sputnik.fund).
In sum, the total funding we request for August is 13,600 NEAR
(^ Any remaining funds will be stored in the Degens DAO and reserved for any future expenses concerning the Degens)