Web3 Attention Economy: Lessons from the Threadition Phenomenon


Web3 Content Creator, @NotThreadGuy, has kept the CryptoTwitter timeline buzzing this past week with an ongoing saga about whether he should change his profile picture (PFP) or not. If this is your first time hearing about it, you might wonder why a man’s decision to switch from a cartoon monkey to something else is newsworthy.

It’s a valid question, but consider the other more egregious topics we’ve been subjected to recently, such as ben.eth and his brutal reign of terror on our eyes and ears. When the “man of 1000 project launches” isn’t unsuccessfully attempting to arrange boxing matches with fellow nuisance, 0xPauly, SEC Chair, Gary Gensler is busy trying to nuke the markets and crush our hopes and dreams.

Suddenly, it doesn’t sound so bad, does it? However, this story is much more than it appears at first glance. It offers an intriguing look at how our digital identities define us, how they can be leveraged, and the potential rewards that come with it.

“Who Is tHreadGuy?”

ThreadGuy, as the name suggests, began his time in Web3 writing threads on NFT projects which caught his eye. It’s a common angle for many writers trying to get noticed in 2023, but back in 2021, he was one of the first who really gained traction doing this and made a name for himself doing so.

Over time, he transitioned from writing threads to forging relationships and using his personality as a tool, eventually becoming the “Director of Vibes” for Jenkins the Valet.

Today, TG is a prominent voice hosting Twitter Spaces that draw large crowds, and has grown to become a well-known and popular figure in the Web3 community.

“Your Move TG”

The story begins with Opepen maxi @BoredOpepen offering TG a first edition Opepen in exchange for his MAYC, an asset that has become synonymous with TG’s brand. TG declined the offer, but more offers flooded in, testing TG’s resolve and his attachment to his beloved PFP.

This generated significant attention, with TG amplifying many of the offers through retweets and replies. This, in turn, encouraged more offers and sparked widespread commentary about what TG should do with his PFP.

Days later, with TG remaining steadfast in his refusal to part with his Mutant Ape, Jack Butcher, the creator of Opepen, posted a customized Opepen featuring TG’s MAYC.

This gesture finally broke TG’s resolve, and he promptly changed his PFP to the gift from Butcher.

Opepen Threadition

Butcher, whom you can read more about in “Checking In On The Creative Brilliance of Visualize Value,” seized the opportunity to go a step further by launching the “Opepen Threadition” – an open edition of TG’s new PFP. Butcher stated that all proceeds would go to TG, whom he described as “a massive contributor to this ecosystem.”

At the time of writing, the Opepen Threadition has been minted 42,893 times at 0.001 ETH each, amounting to 42.893 ETH ($81,600) that will go directly to ThreadGuy.

Final Thoughts

As with any event in the NFT space, there are mixed feelings about the happenings of the past week. Breathing will generate an argument here during the bear market. Some complain that it’s yet another case of influencers gaining attention and money, with conspiracy theories that TG, Butcher and other influencers planned it all along – albeit this sentiment pertains to only a smaller portion of commentators. On the whole, the feeling is positive.

Even if you hold such views, it’s only fair to acknowledge the cleverness of how this unfolded. TG leveraged his brand to generate attention around what is a trivial matter (the PFP change), but in doing so, he pounced on it and cultivated a captivating narrative with different stages of development. It became monetized for his benefit, and the money came from willing participants who expected nothing in return – a rarity in the NFT realm. This project may very well be the only one where holders won’t be impatiently demanding utility within the next 24 hours.

Furthermore, platforms like Rarible and OpenSea, along with influential Web3 figures such as Loopify and Beeple, have jumped on the bandwagon, adding fuel to the fire. In my estimation, it’s been a masterclass in capturing attention, and given that Web3 thrives on attention, it’s wise to take note of how it all unfolded and consider how you can achieve something similar – or perhaps even better.

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