Posted on Jan 25, 2021Read on

Crowdfunding a Community's Writing

I'm busy reading a series of essays from a website called, which they have collected into a book. They're all well-written blog posts, created over years by a community with strong ties and deep commitment to rationality and curiosity and a love of wisdom.

Thinking back about our ideas about crowd-funding essays, it seems quite natural that we would be able to crowdfunding a series of essays in just the same way. A community could propose creating a book together, and funding could be raised and equity distributed. What's nice about this idea, is that the community itself could get equity in the sales...

I don't know how LessWrong chose to fund their book, or where the profits went to (if there were any). But I like to think that they could have air-dropped equity tokens in the publication to all of their contributors - and not just the ones who wrote essays included in the book, but all of the writers who contributed their ideas and feedback over the years. Once airdropped, they could have raised funds for the publication from investors and others who wish to see the book published. Finally, once the book had been written, the rights could be sold, and profits distributed to all token holders.

This seems like a great model, and worth trying out. I'm glad that we're doing the prototype, and will be happy to move onto the next step with these ideas, which will probably be to formalize the "publication" part.

One thing to note is that deploying and initializing the NFT contract will cost a few hundred dollars. We must make that more efficient, and I have some ideas about that. But basically, it doesn't make sense to have one NFT contract per essay - you have to have one NFT contract for all Mirror posts that are going to be turned into essays. So it'll be important for us to get that part right, and connect all of the on-chain plumbing well. Good engineering up ahead.