When Mark Zuckerberg announced Facebook’s name change to Meta, many of us responded skeptically. Was it a re-brand after the series of negative PR with the big tech company? Do we need a meta-life while we don’t take advantage of the life we have now? But Zuckerberg’s focus on the Metaverse isn’t Facebook’s alone.
Companies around the world are making plans for the future. Dropbox founder joined the club when he stated to Yahoo Finance: “We want to help you get your stuff in and out of the Metaverse from your Dropbox into the Metaverse and vice versa, so creating that experience where everybody could be in the same virtual room and everybody could be seeing the same content.” The current is changing and Web 3.0 will include a new digital world for everyone.
Writers can take advantage of these innovations. As NFTs, digital publications, and other miracles of the internet allows us to monetize our writings through digital assets, we are living in a renaissance ripe for the picking.
How can digital writers utilize the Metaverse?
Stronger Communities in the Metaverse
Writing is nearly impossible without a community. We need others to share the burdens and frustrations of writing; to celebrate the wins; to walk this unpredictable journey together.
Think of the Modernist writers in Paris like Ernest Hemingway and the Fitzgeralds and how pivotal their community was in producing their timeless works. Their early years together helped shape the literature we know today.
Writers have physical communities they can be a part of but as many leave the cities for more affordable living, post-COVID-19, not everyone gets access to influential and high-performing communities. Virtual solutions offer value but it’s a stretch to say they fulfill every need. The energy you feel when you’re in the same room with others is hard to mimic on a 2D Zoom video.
The best example of how a Metaverse changes the need for physical community is online gaming. For those who played video games in middle school or high school, with powerful imaginations, we can remember the friendships we made with people all over the world while playing online. These experiences were pumped with adrenaline and felt so real that reality often blurred late into the night.
We will experience a similar experience as we hang out with other digital writers in a physical dimension. Writers can fully express themselves through their movements, facial expressions, and other micro-social signals.
With digital assets available in the Metaverse, we will have options to customize our space, use tools to fully express ourselves, and build our world– one that attracts like-minded creators.
You can meet with your friend in NYC, London, and Santiago, all at the same time in a virtual living room adorned with your art collection on the walls. Location will no longer be an obstacle for a thriving global community of digital writers.
Digital networking will transform for the first time in years. Traditionally, you network by visiting a chamber of commerce or a conference in your industry. The last few decades changed with the internet, social media, and industry-related platforms. You meet someone online and send them a direct message, possibly leading to a video call.
The online-to-video solution is still a substitution often requiring more than one video call to get the same energy, results, and effect you would get with one coffee meeting, fully present.
The Metaverse offers a digital space to physically interact with others. Imagine meeting a writer “down the street” in your digital world. You run into each other because you’ve passed a common community area known by writers. You sit down somewhere and chat, communicating through voice and body language.
Digital writers will attract like-minded contacts through their online expression. Imagine meeting in a space created by you. The new friend notices a library in the room. On one shelf, you have your favorite books– great conversation starters. On the other, you have all of your writings presented as assets. Your ebooks, articles, insightful comments, and tweets, located in a convenient location to browse and read.
The same personal library can be a gateway for purchases. You would be able to sell exclusive articles or digital books through this spot. It will also provide unforgettable experiences when you can visit your favorite author’s space. Imagine hanging out in Stephen King’s library.
The Metaverse will give writers and creators full power to connect with others, express themselves, and promote their creations.
Monetization with the Blockchain
The Metaverse is the fruit of recent Web 3.0 technologies. Writers will have more ways to monetize their works through the blockchain and cryptocurrencies. This is revolutionary, considering writers only had a handful of options to make a living a generation ago.
NFTs are one example. Authors can sell collectible versions of their book covers or first drafts, adding another revenue stream. They can receive royalties as collectors later sell the NFTs.
Authors can also create limited-edition versions of their ebooks, selling a few copies as NFTs. Collectors can display it in their digital homes or spaces they create in the Metaverse. This creates a community around your brand, promotes your work through word-of-mouth marketing, and adds residual revenue.
This space is relatively new and still developing. We will continue to see the many ways writers can make income through their writing in a digital world.
Virtual Reading Experiences
Digital writers will create immersive, interactive experiences in the Metaverse. One early example of what this can look like is through Holloway, the publisher innovating the online reading experience.
Holloway designed an easy-to-read online book platform. When readers buy a book, they can get access to a bundle of resources. For example, if a reader buys Stop Asking Questions by Andrew Warner, they get the book, audio clips of practical applications, 2,000 premium interviews, video tutorials, and an online course. When a reader purchases the book, they get a deep experience of the author’s world and his subject.
The Metaverse will give us more tools to do this. Imagine someone buying the book. They can enter a room (while reading) where other buyers hang out and discuss it. Occasionally, they might get a surprise visit from you. You can “sign copies”, automatically minting them as NFTs. As they walk around, they get access to all the resources included with the purchase.
If you are a fiction writer, your room could be themed with the book. You could create your mini digital world. Imagine readers reenacting the best scenes in the book with the characters in the room.
The Metaverse offers a foundation to make innovation like this possible. Digital writers can charge premium prices for more value.
New Opportunities Like Metaverse Scripts
As the Metaverse grows, writers will see more opportunities. Many we haven’t predicted yet. One idea that comes to mind is writing scripts in the Metaverse.
The main example we have of a digital universe is games like Fortnight or Minecraft. Users can build their worlds and interact with people all over the world.
We can predict that the Metaverse will honor its original inspiration through its creators. We’ll see games and events within the world. Games that invite players into a story will require writers.
Since the Metaverse will be accessible to all, game designers don’t have to rely on a handful of brands to accept their games for consoles. They can easily host them in the universe, sparking a future renaissance in gaming. More games with stories will require more writers.
We’ll see many other opportunities as the Metaverse develops.
These are a few things to hope for in a Metaverse. We have a long way to go but digital writers can prepare for a new era in the craft.