Open Meta: Community Matters with Alastair Band
Community is the foundation of #web3 experiences. With more builders using Emergence and entering the Open Meta community, we took time to sit down with Alastair Band, the new Community Manager.
Emergence has achieved lift-off.
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With 23,000 downloads in 44 days, the Unreal SDK is now in the hands of 3% of the monthly active developers using Unreal.
This kind of traction feels like a clear demonstration that there’s interest in #web3, and especially an interest in easy-to-use tools for incorporating avatars, inventory, EVM libraries and personas into games and worlds.
As a key utility of Open Meta, and a clear demonstration of how the Open Metaverse can be built, Emergence is attracting a new community of developers and builders.
To help nurture that community, Alastair Band recently joined the team as Community Manager. We talked with Alastair about his role, and how it includes reaching OUT to communities as much as supporting those who arrive on the Open Meta Discord server or social channels.
Q: Welcome to Open Meta, Alastair! Tell us a bit about yourself.
Alastair: Well, to begin, I was actually a professional ice hockey player!
After that, I started working in recruitment and came across very early opportunities within web3.
I had a few clients in that space and a friend of mine wanted to run an event teaching people about Bitcoin, blockchain and crypto space at a really high level. This is 2017 when Bitcoin has gone from $900 to $3,500 and everyone's wondering, what is this technology?
And that really got me down the rabbit hole.
From there, I joined a project as Head of Community and Events and then moved on to Head of Business Development for Europe and the Middle East.
More recently, I was head of community for Boson Protocol, where we grew our community to be over 27k and raised $36.8 million across private and public sales. I also worked for a venture capital firm on the marketing side, assisting them with marketing initiatives and community development.
Q: What is it about Open Meta that intrigued you and convinced you to come on board?
I think the biggest thing is that there's an actual product, which is a wild concept in #web3 sometimes!
But, you know, prior to that, the idea of an Open Metaverse really appealed to me. Traditionally, the whole mission of game publishers is to encapsulate people, get them to finish one game and then buy another, then buy another, then buy another. There's no interoperability.
We’ve seen how people turn to online communities to get that personal kind of relationship and satisfaction, and I think that's only going to grow.
Why should one online digital world not be able to talk to another and why can't you take your persona across them? I think Open Meta shares this big vision.
Q: Since you joined Open Meta, you’ve had a chance to engage with some of the developers using Emergence. What have you observed so far?
The overwhelming feedback we're getting is that Emergence just makes things so much easier to integrate #web3.
It makes it so easy and that they can get started in about 10 minutes.
We're seeing people building these open worlds. We're seeing people building indie games and experimenting with the technology that we've built. While we are launching our Unity version very soon, we've actually had people come over and say, “You know what, I learned Unreal Engine just to use Emergence” - and that is super cool to hear!
Q: How do you see your role in helping to guide community?
Part of my role is to induct people into the community and make them feel welcome.
But there is also a big element of developer relations and outreach as well. Finding community groups that might not have heard about us and introducing them to the concept of Emergence through conversations, webinars and events.
We're planning a series of events, both online and offline, where we can do hands-on workshops with developers and key community groups.
We’re also thinking about other members of the community. These are people who are not necessarily developers themselves but they want to learn about it. As we grow, there's going to be opportunities for people from all sides.
There are lots of creators out there. There are lots of more business-orientated people. And there are lots of people with great ideas that we can bring into our community.
My dream is that some people say, “Hey I've got this idea” and someone else says “I can build that, let’s team up”.
Q: Amazing. So tell us some of your early wins and tactical plans for the months ahead.
We've got a couple of online webinars to introduce Emergence on a technical level.
If you want to come along, everyone is welcome! Keep an eye on our social media channels where we will be announcing the details of them.
We’ve also been looking at doing a roadshow. You know, in the real world!
And then on the community side of things we invite folks to just jump in. Get involved.
If you have any questions then we're here to answer those for you. Similarly, if you’ve found some success and someone else has a question and you can answer it for them then that's awesome. We're all in this together.
Q: Any words to share with developers who are using, or considering using Emergence?
I think the value of getting engaged early is that you can help shape the tools that will be used to build the Open Metaverse. Your feedback is super important because at the end of the day, we're building these tools for you so please jump in and give your feedback.
We're not trying to build a prepackaged license software that you buy off the shelf.
Emergence is here to be a catalyst that makes it really, really easy to harness the power of Web3 interoperability and to build some really cool Metaverse experiences.
We’re pumped to have Alastair on board. And in the weeks ahead, there will be a LOT more to announce.
If you’re interested in partnering with Emergence or Open Meta, have a project you want to share, or want to know how you can help, please do reach out. You can connect with Alastair at firstname.lastname@example.org, or hit him up on Discord.
Thanks for being part of our extended community.
The Open Meta and Emergence Team
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