Infusing storytelling into your anything triggers attention, persuades, and motivates potential customers — all the things we need to make a sale. At the same time, it fosters intimacy and cultivates trust — all the ingredients for a meaningful relationship
Telling stories is one of the most powerful means that leaders have to influence, teach, and inspire. What makes storytelling so effective for learning? For starters, storytelling forges connections among people, and between people and ideas. Stories convey the culture, history, and values that unite people.
In blockchain especially crypto there are various ways stories are levered to drive impact towards the desired outcome. There are several ways to communicate a story that resonates with the target audience, one such way is MEMEs. One such incident that comes to mind when referencing memes in storytelling happened on the 18th of
December 2013, a week before Christmas, and the price of bitcoin has dropped sharply to around the $500 mark. Two weeks ago the price was over $1100 – having risen from the $100 mark a couple of months before that. The feeling of joy, excitement and hopefulness is slowly being replaced by dread and anguish in the crypto world. So much for Christmas.
A person going by his netizen name Gamekyuubi, having had quite a bit of whisky, takes to a popular bitcoin forum to express his feelings and thoughts on the recent price movements. He types a 250-word post, riddled with spelling errors, that would go down in bitcoin folklore.
GameKyuubi reasons that they are simply not a good enough trader to predict the volatile movements of the market, and despite whatever the market does they are going to simply ‘hodl’ – a misspelling of hold.
That moment was transcribed by others on the forum into what became known as the Sparta hodl meme – perhaps the most popular meme in the cryptocurrency world. In the face of price volatility, and the emotions that ensued, those in the world of cryptocurrency were to be brave and hodl – that is, to not sell their cryptocurrency.
Through repetition and reworking the term, ‘hodl’ or ‘hodling’ came to invoke a moral sentiment within the community, it became a way to discipline oneself, and to look to the distant horizon beyond short-term volatility. The meme transported the original story of GameKyuubi, but also came to be used by others to express their feelings towards price movements. The stories told through the hodling meme did not merely reflect price movements or market sentiments, but soon came to influence people’s actions. These hodling stories were not merely a ‘camera’ that captured the sentiments of the cryptocurrency world in the face of uncertainty but also acted as an ‘engine’ that would influence price movements and market sentiments (MacKenzie, 2008). Hodling invoked certain practices and ways of speaking about uncertainty within the cryptocurrency world (that my research looks at) that came to influence the market
We explored the curbs and corners of storytelling with Bobby Anyadike, broadcast journalist and media consultant, and he shared with our community.
Q1. Tell us about your work in Blockchain and what your work at Cryptotv plus
A1: First of all, I’d like to express my gratitude to you, Linda and the entire Techonomy Africa team for this opportunity to be a part of this amazing platform, Crypto Chats. I feel honored and excited.
Well, I am a Broadcast Journalist, Content Strategist, Content Writer, Voice over artist, amongst other gigs that come my way. Lol. My Blockchain Story started when I joined Cryptotvplus, unarguably the No.1 online media agency that focuses on telling the African narrative of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. My work at Cryptotvplus speaks for itself. Let me briefly explain.
Now, In the world of technology, Africa is usually the last continent to adopt the latest tech, and even when we do, it is not perceived the right way. My primary purpose at Cryptotvplus was (and will continually be) to lend my voice to let the world know that Nigeria, and by extension, Africa is providing “value” in the blockchain space. We are rewriting the African Blockchain narrative with the objective of driving massive mainstream adoption.
Q2. Simplify the term “Storytelling” especially as it applies to Blockchain.
A2: Simply put, Storytelling is the clear description of ideas, beliefs, or personal experiences using stories or narratives. I believe that stories matter. I also believe that how stories are told shapes the general perspective. Stories define the perception of a person, a people, a state, a country or tribe. Stories have the ability to make or mar your reputation. Story telling in Blockchain is one of the vital tools that will help in driving massive adoption. Story telling is necessary to define how we want our startups or projects to be perceived by potential investors or clients. How we tell our Stories, How we solve real life problems, How we provide value to people… all these are interwoven in Storytelling.
Q3. I strongly believe that NFTs presents a world of opportunities for crypto storytellers – what are your thoughts on this ?
A3: NFTs – Non-Fungible tokens… If I’m not wrong, I think that was one of the most searched words in 2021, next to Metaverse. In as much as I have my bias towards NFTs. I’d say that NFTs are conduits to a world of limitless opportunities for creatives, artistes, musicians, visual storytellers and the creator economy. Nevertheless, Most NFT projects I have seen lack real world utility. Some of them are just cash grabbing stunts. One thing I’d like to see NFTs do is to create “Utility and value”, and this goes beyond the financial gains that come by flipping them. Take BITCOIN for example, BTC serves as a store of value or medium of exchange. Now that is utility. I’d like to see more NFT projects solve real world problems, rather than what we have now.
Q4. Web3 is redefining storytelling for creators and fans through NFTs attributing to a surge in the creator economy, how do you think the African creator economy can leverage this to drive down unemployment?
A4: Well, in addition to what I previously said about NFTs, Web3 is another fascinating concept that, in all honesty, is yet to be fully unraveled. Despite the Web3 industry being in its infancy, builders and developers are working hard for a sole purpose; driving mass adoption. Web3 is the next stage of innovation with the internet that is built with a purpose: to take away the centralized powers of big tech giants and regulators and bring the power back to the everyday person and creators. Unemployment has always been an issue in Nigeria. Year after year, the rate of unemployment keeps rising, and the government doesn’t seem to have a hands-on solution to this.
Web3 has ushered in a new world of opportunities for people, especially in the creator economy. We have seen Visual Storytellers such as Shutabug, Osinachi create art works, tokenize them as NFTs and make profits. If more African creatives can key into this, the rate of unemployment could be curbed.
Q5. In your opinion what role does story telling have to play In marketing Blockchain products?
A5: Late Prof Chinua Achebe said, “If you don’t like someone’s story, write your own”. Now this goes to show that at the core of marketing, whether its Blockchain products, or you trying to sell water to a fish, you are simply telling (and selling) a story to your prospective clientele, and the way you tell your story is as vital as the story itself. You tell a bad/negative story, you will leave a lasting negative impression in the mind of your client. Stories define us as a people, stories define a brand, stories define a product. As much as story telling is important in marketing Blockchain products, another key factor that is inevitable in this discuss is “Value”. When you marketing a Blockchain startup, Ask yourself “What value am I providing or What problem am I solving??”.
Q6. Tell us about your work in Blockchain and Crypto and what inspired you to take the journey.
A6: To start off, I first got into the Blockchain space in Q1 of 2021. Having previously worked in one of the leading Electricity Distribution Companies in Nigeria for over a year, I was very skeptical about the blockchain (or in a more native sense, Crypto) ecosystem. Not only because I was new to it, but because I had my fair share of the seamy side of various Ponzi schemes, which were undoubtedly rampant at the time.
As I earlier mentioned, my Blockchain journey started with Cryptotvplus, and I’m grateful for the experience and remarkable individuals I met along the way. My primary inspiration has always been to provide value to people, to lend my voice and skills to tell the African tech stories in a way that would reflect our true aspirations and values.
Q7.Let’s take a quick detour from storytelling , I know that you have picked the minds of some of the best storytellers in Blockchain, what do you think they all have in common and what lessons did you take along the way?
A7: Well, I feel blessed to have met some wonderful pioneers in this Blockchain space. One Man I respect so much is the CEO of Cryptotvplus, Tony Emeka. One vital thing I learnt from him and I’d like to sum it up in one sentence; “Improve yourself, Create value and you will be sought after”. A wise man said, No calm sea ever made a good sailor. What do I mean by this? Some of them have experienced massive setbacks and financial losses at some point which could have triggered them to quit, but they chose not to give up. Frankly, there is nothing more inspiring than that.
Q8. What are your thoughts on NFTs and metaverse projects – do you think many of them are scalable ?
A8: Time will tell. We have seen many projects come and go. Especially in this present bear market, a lot of projects have gone underwater. I’d like to emphasize, the key factor for me is Utility and Value. If an NFT or Metaverse Project can check these 2 off their list, then I think they can stand the test of time.
In addition, Scalability has equally been an issue for most Blockchain projects. Building sustainable and scalable products that real humans can use should always be at the forefront of every start up, local or foreign.
Q9.What are some of the hottest web 3 trends you follow and why ?
A9: DAOs, this stands for Decentralized Autonomous Organizations. This is a community-led entity with no central authority. It is fully autonomous and transparent: smart contracts lay the foundational rules, execute the agreed upon decisions, and at any point, proposals, or voting can be done publicly by every member.
I believe this is the next step in the evolution of Web3. No doubt, it is still in its infancy, but with more research and adoption, it will definitely disrupt the status quo.
Q10.What exciting things are you cooking and should we expect to see from you in the coming months to come?
A10: Definitely. I’m currently undergoing series of Upskilling, self development, and working on a couple of exciting projects. All will be revealed soon.
Q11.We have a growing community of blockchain virgins and Crypto newbies – what are the 3 top things they should know as they embark on their Web3 journey
A11: There is no easy path to success or greatness. Never stop learning. Join a community. Provide value and you will be sought after.
Q12: final thoughts
A12: Its simply incredible that a piece of tech designed to power cryptocurrency a decade ago is having a profound effect on the way finance, art, games, real estate, organizations and even the internet operates. Time will tell how far the Blockchain revolution will go, but I’m certain that we are in for the long run.