Revamping Writers Room: Back to Our Roots Embracing Collective Creativity
Gm Writers Room,
As mentioned in Tally Labs Update: The Future of Writers Room; The Status of Azurbala; and an Introduction to Avenue, we’re exiting a recent quieter period, and we’re excited to show you more of what we’ve been working on across every Tally Labs project vertical. This was a necessary period for us to re-organize and dial in long term plans.
Planning ahead in NFT, web3, and crypto projects more broadly has many parallels to sports. You wouldn’t be the first person to point out that we occasionally overuse sports metaphors at Tally Labs, but this one really hits home…so here it goes. Similar to sports, you develop a game plan, you strategize, and you practice your plays ahead of time. But many times, things don’t go exactly according to plan… or you realize there’s an in-game adjustment you should make that brings the whole team up. No matter how much work you’ve put in ahead of time, when new, fast-moving information arrives, you need to be nimble, quick on your feet, and willing to adjust the strategy to find the best outcomes.
Plans set both your vision and the initial steps towards what you hope to accomplish, but it isn’t until you truly get out there if you know that your plan is the right fit and path for your team (community). Web3 is new and uncharted. It lacks a lot of clarity. Things change fast, and while it requires proactive planning and setting your North Star, it also requires being nimble around finding the right solutions to get there with your community.
This is why we’re excited about our revamp of Writers Room. We’re doubling down on the original North Star vision — a diverse community of people leading a reimagination of collective creativity and content development. We’re taking it back to its roots.
The bigger Hollywood media ambitions (book, podcast, and everything else the future holds), aren’t going anywhere. But at the same time, we’re focusing on leaning into (and notably, rewarding) community creativity and content creation. Our goal is to foster an environment that is conducive to these types of interactions and collaboration.
We see Writers Room as a truly interoperable contentverse, where holder-owned IP from different worlds collide and new stories are created. When we ask folks what initially drew them to the Writers Room, it was the ability to come together and collaborate with their peers to make amazing things. Everything you read here aims to help us get back to that goal.
As we continue to push ahead with you all, we look to hit two key points in this article:
(1) Giving Governance Rights Directly to Writers Room Members: What’s changing; why it’s changing; and what it means
(2) Revamping Writers Room to Foster Collective Creativity: Re-brand, re-focus, and re-engage the community to incubate the future of IP development in a way that brings us back to our roots
The overarching punchline and theme is — we are looking to level-up what it means to hold Writers Room NFTs and engage in the community. Getting a novel with a 10x NYT Bestseller and an audio podcast with a leading fiction audio company off the ground are herculean efforts. While we do that, we hear you loud and clear that there needs to be more for the Writers Room to do in between these tentpole projects.
When we originally announced Hawthorn, our vision was a collective community that exercised its creativity in individual efforts as well as in its stewardship and further development over key intellectual property that we have developed together. That vision is still alive and well today. We will be removing a layer of abstraction between Writers Room and Hawthorn to give more of a voice to the membership that matters most in our contentverse — the Writers Room NFT. In other words, the same vision and principles that we previously laid out with Hawthorn are the same that will now be conveyed to Writers Room and unburned B&D NFTs… and we believe this is a better, more sustainable outcome long term. The foundation of creating and rewarding content creation will be done with Writers Room NFTs. A core place where this will happen is on Avenue.
Moreover, the conversation does not end with this article. We will be inviting Writers Room onto Avenue on April 19th into a designated Writers Room space. Here, we will start with an AMA with the Tally Labs team, and also set the stage for engaging and rewarding Writers Room creations in Avenue going forward.
Let’s dive in.
How Hawthorn Relates to Writers Room
Last summer, we introduced the idea behind Hawthorn as a means to take the next steps forward with fostering a decentralized community of people to lead a reimagination of collective creativity. The DAO would have partial ownership of various IP companies that own characters such as Jenkins the Valet, the Mutant, and Goodboy. Tally Labs would look to Hawthorn to join it in other IP endeavors.
The underlying goal of Hawthorn was to create a place where co-creation was possible, and collective imagination was rewarded and valued. When we look in the mirror, that is exactly what we have with Writers Room: a group of NFT holders who are eager to come together to create.
As previously introduced, Hawthorn was to be governed by “fungible” Hawthorn tokens that would be earned via staking Writers Room / Bored & Dangerous NFTs.
The most important takeaway in this post is that the vision, governance principles, and member experience of this original vision are not changing.
What is changing is the way we get there — removing abstraction, simplifying the experience, and making Writers Room membership easier to understand and more obvious. We’ve written more below to explain how this will come to life, driven by an increasingly unclear and challenging regulatory landscape, combined with revamping Writers Room as a whole and connecting dots underneath one umbrella.
What Exactly Is Changing?
Put simply, we will not be launching a “Hawthorn” token. There will be no staking NFTs for these governance tokens. This is for a few reasons:
(1) The regulatory backdrop has grown increasingly unclear and inclement over the last year. The stance on ERC20 tokens remains unclear, and that’s evident in how the vast majority of them perform upon release.
(2) We believe that WR / B&D NFTs already provide a better means of governance than adding another layer of abstraction with a fungible governance token, and there is no strategic need to do so.
What has not changed is the ethos and vision behind the introduction of Hawthorn and our desire to contribute partial ownership and governance over a treasury that includes popular Web3 characters like Jenkins the Valet, Jenkins the Mutant, and Goodboy.
As such, we feel “powering up” Writers Room NFTs with governance rights is a more strategically sound move for holders versus having them link to a fungible governance token that ultimately would do the same thing. As we’ve all seen in many case studies of pure governance tokens — these could very well end up being completely illiquid, while also being a less effective means of ownership/governance. All the while it would add further complexity. This is a sure recipe for disaster in the space when thinking over a longer-term horizon.
Put simply, we need to focus. This shift represents a focus back to our original genesis collection. We have lots of work to do with Writers Room before introducing something like this.
How Does this Impact WR and B&D Holders?
Writers Room NFTs themselves will be the key pieces from which we look to build our vision of community collective creativity. We’ll elaborate more on this below in the section titled “Revamping Writers Room.”
Both Writers Room NFTs and unburned Bored & Dangerous books will play a role in governance over a treasury that includes partial ownership of the likes of Jenkins the Valet, the Mutant, and Goodboy.
Writers Room governance will follow a directionally similar structure to that initially set out with Hawthorn, tiered from the top down with Bored & Dangerous as multipliers:
- Yacht + B&D
- Stand + B&D
- Key + B&D
- Ticket + B&D
For Bored & Dangerous, if you choose not to burn your B&D NFT for an Azur Root NFT, you’ll receive two things:
- You’ll be able to pair it with a Writers Room NFT to boost your governance tier.
- You’ll receive a physical copy of B&D that we’re putting a ton of work into to be made more meaningful.
To summarize and recap the overarching points discussed in this first section:
- The “why” behind Hawthorn has always been to foster a community of people leading a reimagination of collective creativity. The “what” has been a group of people that ideates, collaborates, and creates various forms of content while also having partial ownership of a treasury that includes popular web3 IP characters. These elements of Hawthorn are not changing. While we won’t be using the Hawthorn name going forward nor the initial structure, the way the ethos and vision behind it comes to life is being simplified via incorporation into Writers Room membership. This represents a narrowing of focus for us and a prioritizing of existing Writers Room NFTs.
- The mechanics of “how” this comes to life is what’s changing via the simplification explained above, all done in a directionally similar way as to what was set out initially with Hawthorn
And now with all that said… what’s the vision for Writers Room moving forward?
Revamping Writers Room
When we bought Ape #1798, created Jenkins the Valet, and then launched Writers Room, we envisioned a place where creatives came together, worlds merged, and new forms of content could be created and celebrated. This was the vision, and while Bored & Dangerous was a great proof of concept around the output of community-generated content, we haven’t done a good enough job of creating this environment on the community interaction and content-creation level.
So… what is the identity of Writers Room? What do we hope to accomplish with this revamp?
First, Writers Room is a membership pass for a collective of creatives, also allowing holders to leverage their individual IP rights to various media works and govern a treasury that includes popular web3 IP characters (including Jenkins the Valet).
Second, Writers Room is an interoperable contentverse, where holder-owned IP from different worlds have the ability to merge together to create new forms of content. It’s where lines are blurred and crossover stories and content can occur. The podcast is a longer form example of this — but we want to see, foster, and lean into this with community content creation.
Writers Room is a mashup episode of your favorite characters across worlds, blurring lines between IP you own across your favorite projects. Think of Writers Room as one massive crossover with tons of offshoots that branch out. At its best, it’s Family Guy meets The Simpsons and we’re all the writers. We want to be the place where this occurs with web3 and NFT content. If you own your IP, this is the place to create content that spans across worlds with your fellow members.
Third, Writers Room is an incubator of community-generated ideas, creations, and content, where holders are rewarded and celebrated for their content creation and contributions. Content contests, rewards and prizes for content creation and input, inclusion in social graphics, re-introducing Jenkins’s short stories… we want to incentivize content creation and reward your creativity in Writers Room. You can see these rewards manifesting in ways like a Jenkins short story about your character, inclusion in a social graphic, $APE rewards, NFT giveaways, eventual gamification points on Avenue, and more.
Simply — Writers Room is home to an interoperable contentverse fueled by community creativity and a shared desire to dream, develop, and incubate the future of IP. It’s a place where creatives come together to create, workshop, and collaborate on what they can imagine. Where amazing people can earn rewards for their creations.
That’s what we’re moving towards, a project that values and rewards collective community inputs and creation versus one that is solely focused on outputs.
First Steps Forward — What’s Changing?
We’ve addressed that we are looking to “revamp” Writers Room in a way that takes it back to its roots. To us, it’s also important to demonstrate some first steps of implementation that set the path to getting there.
We note that none of these “first step” implementation changes are “revolutionary” in nature, but that’s sort of the point. We don’t want to attempt to reach our goals in private, because Writers Room is about building together. Our entire ambition is to get back to that place. With that said, we believe that reaching our goals together means embracing the power of incremental, consistent steps forward, and building momentum from a starting base. These changes will help cohesively set us up for our following steps with you all, and help solidify the starting base to build from.
We map these first step changes below, as well as what you need to know:
(1) The Name: Writers Room
The first change may seem like a relatively small one at face-level, but a bigger one in meaning. Jenkins the Valet is the origin of the Writers Room, and also the leader and an advocate. But he is not the project..
It’s an important distinction. The project is Writers Room — it’s the collective group. And it always has been. By changing the name from Jenkins the Valet: The Writer’s Room to “Writers Room”, this name change:
- Hits at what the project is in a punchy way
- Standardizes naming convention everywhere (not The Writer’s Room, or Writers’ Room, or Jenkins… but simply — Writers Room
- Gives us all an opportunity to scale this membership to heights beyond a single character
To be very clear… Jenkins is NOT going anywhere. He is and forever will be the key advocate of Writers Room, and we look forward to expanding his character IP alongside you all. He’s partially owned by Writers Room. His voice will play a key role in amplifying the creations and other characters developed from within the community.
(2) A Writers Room Logo
Consistent with “revamping” Writers Room, it’s overdue that we give the project a true visual identity via a logo.
We unveil the new Writers Room logo and logo mark here, drawing inspiration from our “We Are Book People” slogan, where it all started.
It’s important that we also note that this logo was developed by another classic Writer’s Room contributor, Nic, who famously asked “Let me know if you need anything.”
…Just kidding. But what if we weren’t?
(3) Writers Room Project Twitter Page
As previously mentioned, Jenkins is not going anywhere. But, it’s an important distinction again that Jenkins is not the project. He’s a character IP that is partially owned by Writers Room and its greatest advocate.
That said, we think the best approach with socials going forward is to leverage two primary accounts:
- [New] @writersroomnft will be home to all project announcements, activations, community highlights/spotlights, and the “home base” project account of Writers Room on Twitter
- @jenkinsthevalet will continue to amplify Writers Room voices and content, retweet WR content, be an advocate voice of WR, while also being a character himself and creating story content with you all
- Writers Room to have a dedicated space for announcements and community highlights that is a bit easier to follow, and
- Jenkins to re-establish some of the voice and content that originally made him special (short stories, interviews, etc)
You will see this account up and running imminently — so please be sure to give it a follow here!
(4) New Writers Room Website
We will be revamping a Writers Room website as part of this process. It will generally skew simple, clean, and hit at the heart of the identity of Writers Room.
More to come here — but consistent with the revamp / level-up theme.
(5) Introduction of Writers Room on Avenue
Avenue is a software platform designed for community members and projects to connect and collaborate to drive growth of their respective brands. We envision Avenue being a “creative headquarters” for Writers Room, where holders can collaborate on, create, and post different forms of content, brainstorm ideas, and dream up new IP.
While Avenue is starting in beta and there’s a lot down the line via gamification that we are excited to implement, a key focus of Writers Room will be an emphasis on content creation activities and contests. We won’t only run these activities but we’ll reward those who participate and in some cases “win”. This will take shape in a number of different ways, but our goal is to incentivize exactly what you all do so well — lead with imagination and dream big.
Beyond that, the Writers Room on Avenue will be a place where any community member can tap into the collective imagination of the community with prompts of their own, stories they dream up, and more.
We look forward to welcoming Writers Room onto Avenue on April 19, starting with an AMA with the team, and shortly thereafter getting into our first WR content contest!
Longer Term Focus — What You Can Expect Going Forward
As mentioned before, our ambition and focus on making in-roads with Hollywood aren’t going anywhere. We still have big plans for Bored & Dangerous and of course for our fiction podcast with SALT.
That said, the very thing that has always excited this group has been the ability to create characters, stories, and worlds that start in Web3 and have the ability to escape into the mainstream. We need to do a better job with the “start in Web3” part, and we really look forward to doing it together with this community.
Going forward, alongside the longer-form media ambitions, we want Writers Room to be a place where community creativity is showcased, rewarded, and celebrated. Where worlds merge and lines are blurred. Where a Bored Ape can tell the story of when he met a Renga. Where character art depicts scenes across multiple worlds. Where holders can freely celebrate their IP and can brainstorm collective creativity to help build its potential.
To us, this means:
- Incorporating regular content contests + implementing meaningful rewards for creations
- Creating spaces for collaboration, brainstorm, and idea generation to occur in Avenue
- Furthering Jenkins / other character IP alongside you with various prompts
Writers Room previously was very focused on tangible longform outputs, which was important as we proved the concept of community generative media with Bored & Dangerous. We’ll now look to put emphasis on the inputs that go into the creative process, and think this will be beneficial for outputs that come from Writers Room as a whole.
As book people, we’ve certainly given you a lot to read this week. Coming out of this quiet period for us, we are really excited about the go-forward for Writers Room.
To summarize key takeaways:
- We’re bringing Writers Room back to its roots, with a focus on collective creativity and content creation
- We’re wrapping everything that was envisioned with Hawthorn into Writers Room and B&D NFTs, and doubling down on those
- We’ve made a few first step changes that you will be seeing soon in an effort to get us off on the right foot in taking these steps forward together with you
- We will be welcoming the Writers Room community onto Avenue on April 19 with an AMA with the Tally team. We can discuss the contents of this post and more.
- Longer-term, we’re focused on creating a sustained environment where content creation is valued and rewarded… where worlds collide and new stories, character, and forms content are created with and by the community
A world class creator, Lin-Manuel Miranda, once wrote a hell of a song with the lyric, “I wanna be in the room where it happens.” For us, we want Writers Room to be the room where Web3 creation happens. Where we all build together across projects and storyworlds. Put simply, we’ve gotten away from this. We believe these changes that we’ve outlined above will help us all get back to what makes Writers Room special.
As always, thank you again for the patience and support, and we will see everyone on Avenue on April 19th (more details to follow).
Long Live Writers Room,
The Tally Labs Team