Sanka Academy

The journey to build a metaverse community - Myna from Metaani


Last Update: Aug. 17, 2022

The followings are an interview with Myna, who is the community manager of Metaani - a leading metaverse / 3D avatar project.

10 Community Building Tips to Learn 🧵

  1. Myna emphasizes the importance of delivering a unique experience (metaverse) - define why your community is different.
  2. Communication - internally or externally - is everything. You cannot deprioritize communication no matter what.
  3. The team uses Notion to organize all the project information. Get your team organized and get more things done.
  4. When you onboard new members and teach them how the project / NFT works, think of it as you're teaching your child. The documents must be insanely easy to understand.
  5. Use visual assets wherever you can. Texts are boring. Images are better. Videos are the best.
  6. Leverage video channels (Metaani uses Youtube) to give updates to your community in a more engaging way. Also hanging out IRL boosts engagement.
  7. Lower initial commitments to join your community. More people will start engaging.
  8. Partnering with other projects and running access lists work. Do it.
  9. Myna recommends Cool Cats (for promo), NEO TOKYO PUNKS (for comms) and CatRescue (for community engagement) to learn from.
  10. On a day off, turn off your notifications and get refreshed. Learning from non-crypto fields is important.

Full Script 📜

Today's interview is with Myna from Metaani. Thank you so much for joinig us.

Thank you for having me. I don't know how much of a help I can be but..

I'm pretty sure we are going to learn lots of things from you! First, can you introduce yourself? What do you do at Metaani?

I am a community manager and also a bilingual staff, so I support the team and the community in both Japanese and English. I mostly run Discord and Twitter with all the announcements and events like Metaani Party. Whatever to support the community.

You seem to be having busy days. Haha. Tell me what Metaani is, what this community is for, why do people even bother joining Metaani?

Metaani is the first 3D avatar project from Japan. Our characteristic is that our Metaani, the avatars, can wear any type of crypto arts. So, if you're a creator, you can collaborate with us to create your own Metaani. If you're a company, you can have them wear your company logo and utilize it for advertisement and promotion.

Also, our team is capable of building the metaverse, as we have a strong tech background. Why bother joining us? You can have your own avatar to explore in the metaverse, and it could be your representation, which is super awesome. You can also choose your favorite art to wear, so that's the fun part too.

Interesting. Now let's talk about how you build Metaani community. How does your day to day operation look like? How do you start your day sort of stuff.

I start off by checking all the Discord notifications to see what the team is working on or if they have any requests for me. I also check Twitter, all the replies, mentions, and DMs. And I do ego-search by searching with the keyword "Metaani" to look for people who deserve a shoutout or need support. So that's how I start off my day. We also live stream biweekly on our latest info through YouTube so that people can go back and check out what we've been up to and what's coming next. We do these events while gathering in the metaverse to have fun together.

One thing that we're aware of is that our project is a 3D avatar project. So we want to offer an experience to explore the metaverse with Metaani. We can't just show screenshots or videos on Twitter; people need to have that experience. So the purpose of the Metaani Party it's kind of lure people into the metaverse and show them how to have fun. And it's actually really fun. I want them to experience the excitement.

When you say sharing updates on YouTube, how does it work? Just gather in front of a computer talking about updates?

I'm the MC for the live stream. Our creative director also joins as hosts, and we go through accomplishments and upcoming events. For instance, we share pictures from physical events so that people who weren't aware or couldn't attend are updated. Just sharing what we've been up to and our experiences can be very important sometimes.

For the upcoming events, we share detailed information on when and where it will be, what types of exhibition or event, and who will attend if there's a talk session. You know, physical events and experiences have been important these days. So we want to give people a place to gather in the real world to connect and communicate with our team and other community members. I want to have them the experience, and that's what we're aiming for.

Awesome. I'm sure there are lots of frictions to onboard people to metaverse. Do you have any lesson you can share in terms of creating tutorials and articles? Any tips you can share when it comes to educating people to be a part of your metaverse community?

What I think important is to prepare those documents or 101 explanations for people who don't know anything about blockchain or NFT. I started off with zero knowledge about blockchain and NFT this year, but I had to write Metaani description articles, and I was like, "I don't know what to do." So it was 101 for me, too, but most of the information on the internet was hard to follow. So I totally understand those people having a hard time trying to take the first step into this crypto thing. That's why I try to be as easy and detailed as possible. It's like teaching elementary schoolers, using very easy words, absolutely no technical terms. I try to avoid technical terms because I don't even know what they are.

Also, we need visual support. Images and screenshots are essential. And if you're describing something, it has to be one step at a time. So it's like, 1) Go to this website, 2) Click this link and download, and so on. You can't just say, "Connect your wallet and mint an NFT." You can't do that to beginners. Think of it as you're teaching your child. And finally, ask yourself, would you prefer to read that article? Is it informative? Is it straightforward?

That's a great pierce of advice right there. Let's move on to challenges that you're facing or you faced while running a community. What are biggest challenges for you as a community manager? Like maybe getting 100s of notifications you can't even consume?

I hear that many community managers are really busy checking all the notifications and messages. I don't have that problem, actually. My main concern and the pain that we are facing is that our community is not so active. That's the biggest obstacle I'm facing. I'm still learning how to make them speak up in Discord. Even if I say GM, how are you doing? How's your weekend? Any plans for this weekend? or anything like that, I have zero response. That's the problem here.

What are the things that you tried to increase community engagement?

The first thing I tried was saying GM every day on Twitter. And all I got was a few likes. Maybe one or two will say GM back, but that's it. From my past experience, without providing any tangible project update or any visual support, like screenshots, videos, or sneak peeks, people are just not interested. They're busy checking other projects having momentum.

That's why I came up with the idea of the Metaani Party. Providing a place for people to just enjoy the time together with Metaani. This is not holder exclusive; anyone can join. Be surrounded by Metaani and enjoy the atmosphere. I can also take a lot of screenshots while we're in the space, and I can use them for tweets and other occasions. We're all in Metaani and other avatar forms, so it's such a cute space. Metaani Party's been working better in regards to engagement. Of course, it's not enough yet, though.

That's really cool. So what you said is that you are not getting enough reactions in Discord. But once you create a place everyone can just hang out, you see more people showing up. So it's like lowering what you need to do to get values right. You don't have to even be an NFT holder. We often talk about how to engage communities and what you just said can be one of answers.

Yeah, so engagement is our key. Our project is not just a PFP; we're a 3D avatar, so we need to be able to let the holders have those experiences. I believe providing a place to gather and have fun together is crucial, and by running these initiatives, people are starting to get more active.

Also, we've been getting more engagement through collaborating with other projects. Having exciting partners allows us to run AL/WL collaboration and share creatives with each other - it's making our community quite happy. Collaboration with KPP was a great experience for both team and the community because we witnessed a huge accomplishment, the collaboration models performing on the Coachella stage. Also, people were excited over the design of the kawaii collab model. We try to keep the excitement by looking back at these moments and continuously collaborating with other cool projects/artists.

Every community manager's dream is growing community - both the number of member and the depth of engagement. When it comes to community growth, can you tell me how you approach to grow your community?

We are fairly known in the Japanese NFT community already, so Japan is kind of off the checklist. We're now trying to go international, but the obstacles are the language and culture barriers. So currently, we're figuring out our clear brand identity and vision that can go beyond Japan. The biggest difference is culture.

+1 on that. Culture is too critical to miss for any NFT project. Successful projects always have a very unique culture. One question I wanted to ask is, do you have any mistake that you made along the way as a community manager which you can share it with the audience?

That is a very good question. Let's see. Maybe the most recent mistake I've made was revealing event schedules that were not yet to be informed officially. Actually, I didn't really announce it, but I listed it on the Metaani event calendar that we share with our community. But that wasn't supposed to happen yet, so I got a message from my boss saying, "Can you delete these because it's not announced by the hosts." I'm like, oh, shit. lol

So that came from miscommunication - understanding what's okay to make public and not. I need to communicate and share information with my team more carefully. The main lesson is communication. I mean, communication is everything, right? With your team, with the community, with your collaborators, and so on. In the crypto and NFT field, we don't have much opportunity to talk in person or actually communicate with one another. So you have to be very clear on the details.

Do you have any tools that you recommend for other community managers to run communities in a more efficient way?

The problem for all of us is that we have too many items we use when we run the project - Discord, Twitter, Telegram, whatever. We still use all of those, but what's been working for our team is Notion. We use Notion as a place to combine all the information and keep track of everyone's tasks in addition to using Discord as a quick communication tool. But we still have a hard time finding the right balance.

Yeah, communication, like as you said, is very critical for every project but it seems every project at the same time is struggling to fnd the right communication tool.

The information is all over the place. It's insane because everyone uses everything. All the pieces of information are scattered throughout multiple applications and services. You forget where it was, and it becomes a problem. I don't usually use my personal accounts for work, but I bet our founders struggle multitasking across many accounts.

How do you spend your day off?

Yeah, I just shut down everything. I try not to look at the notifications. I do check them, though, because instant action might be crucial. You know, something like an important press was released, or a user needs quick support. So I do check them, but if it's not urgent, I ignore them on my day off to keep sanity. I also like to focus on non-NFT areas. I listen to music, watch movies, have a cup of tea, wander about my future, etc. I also like online gaming, so I often hang out with my online friends on Discord. So yeah, on a day off, I shut down the crypto stuff 100%.

Nice - resting is important :) Are there any communities you look up to or respect and learn from?

I look at different projects' different aspects. To name a few:

Promotion-wise, I'd say Cool Cats. On Twitter and Discord, they have a lot of visual support and impressive ideas.

Transparency-wise, NEO TOKYO PUNKS. They provided their team information, such as team members and who is in charge of what. Also, their future plans and ongoing projects were easy to follow. Our team lack transparency and updates, so I'm learning a lot from them. With that being the inspiration, we've created a Metaani event calendar for people to have one place to look at when they need our overall schedule. We got really positive feedback for it.

Lastly, engagement-wise, CatRescue. They are a social good NFT project to support cat welfare and the killing of cats. Their Discord has constant activity. It's a community of cat lovers. I'm also a cat lover living with two adopted cats from the humane society. So yeah, I'm passionate about rescuing cats. Their Discord is really fun. Cat photo contests are happening every now and then. You can seek advice from fellow members, like I asked, "Any auto-feeder recommendation?" and got many replies. Someone definitely replies so it's really engaging and down to earth.

Awesome - I should interview them. Anyways, this is the last question. Please tell us your advice on how to run communities better to your fellow community managers.

I don't know, I'm not in a place to give advice yet. But if I am, 1) Enjoy what you're doing. It's very important because if you're not enjoying your project or don't have a love for it, it's impossible to make it work. I love Metaani, and I see a lot of potential in it, and that's why I joined the team. Of course, it's not all fun, and sometimes I don't agree with the team member's decisions, but I don't give up because I love Metaani. And 2) Shut down everything on your day off. Just shut it down. Sometimes you need to be away from what you're focusing on every day. Go explore the world and learn new facts and tips from different fields, which might give you hints and new ideas for your project. At least it's been working for me.

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