This edition is sponsored by Purple, a DAO whose goal is to proliferate and expand the Farcaster protocol and ecosystem. Interested in sponsoring a future edition? Send us a reply to this email!
Farcaster News and Links
Merkle Manufactory's Warpcast clients now support NFTs as a native embed type. @dwr, a.k.a. Farcaster cofounder Dan Romero, announced the feature Thursday. "NFTs are finally social!," he said. Romero said that mints can now be easily shared in casts and will be embedded with collection name and owner. "Now live on web, desktop and mobile on the latest version," Romero said, noting that links from OpenSea should auto-convert to NFT embeds.
@v, a.k.a. Farcaster cofounder Varun Srinivasan, shared his usual weekly update from the Merkle team's Warpcast Changelog. Among the issues addressed recently: a bug with direct casts on mobile, a redirect issue with
www URLs on the web client, a sync issue between Warpcast clients and hubs, and "an issue where Zach thought he had a banger cast."
@dylsteck, a.k.a. Dylan Steck, and @yashkarthik, a.k.a. Yash Karthik, unveiled a project that Steck said was "a long time in the making" – Casterscan, a block explorer for Farcaster, available now at Casterscan.com. "You can view individual profiles, casts, or the latest feed. Casterscan helps you find info like a cast's hash, a user's followers/referrer, and more," said Steck. "We optimized for viewing pleasure, giving our own spin both on a block explorer and on a Farcaster 'client.'" As part of the launch, Steck and Karthik minted an 'Introducing Casterscan' NFT on Launchcaster, and the duo have also submitted to Purple's currently open Prop House round for additional funding to support running a hub. "Running a hub would be very important to make sure the app is fetching live data and can show more data that a block explorer should," said Steck.
Unlonely.app got a couple updates this week. The updates include showing any channels that are currently live and adding a list of all channels. @unlonely noted in a cast: "We're slowly adding more channels to unlonely! dm @briang if you're interested in creating one"
Romero continues to be on his direct cast grind. As TWIF reported last week, the Merkle team is cooking up something cool to handle end-to-end encrypted direct casts on the web. To help bring this feature over the finish line, Romero put out the call for alpha testers to help identify any remaining bugs and linked to a Telegram group.
You can now link a Farcaster account to your Blobs.lol profile. Blobs is a virtual pet/social pedometer app built by @goki. @pdr was first to note the feature. @blobs chimed in to say, "more to come soon!!"
What's next for Farcaster? In advance of this week's dev call, Srinivasan shared a doc diving into the subject. "With the launch of Hubs now in its final phases, we wanted to recalibrate our priorities as a community," he explained in the intro. Srinivasan outlined the following current goals for the protocol:
Increase the number of people creating useful content on Farcaster.
Increase the number of developers building on Farcaster.
Achieve credible neutrality.
Make money to keep funding protocol development.
Srinivasan also included a list of stack-ranked problems.
Make sure that Hubs are working as expected
Educating users and developers
Developers do not have the freedom to implement new ideas.
Long-term data storage
Make money so that we can fund the ecosystem
The whole doc is worth a read, regardless of whether you are currently developing on the protocol. Some comments Srinivasan received on Farcaster:
@pal suggested that the problems should be re-ranked based on what Merkle Manufactory is uniquely positioned to tackle. Educating users and developers was highlighted as an area where Purple could help.
@billzh, a.k.a. Bill Zheng, said that he thought app-driven signups are important, especially as his DAO-aware Farcaster client Alphacaster.xyz is looking to onboard more DAOs. @jayme, a.k.a. Jayme Hoffman, echoed that sentiment. "New non-warpcast-like clients with sign-up and write features is the best way to increase the number of people creating useful content on Farcaster," said Hoffman.
The biweekly Farcaster dev call was held on Thursday, April 13. Here's the agenda and you can also watch a recording here. Discussed this week were a possible standard for canonical URLS (FIP-1) and protocol support for embeds (FIP-2). @pal, who joined the dev call for his first time, said it was super interesting. "Love the openness - thanks @v." The next dev call will be held on Thursday, April 27.
@timdaub, a.k.a. Tim Daubenschütz, helped land an enhancement to the popular ethers-rs library which adds support for Farcaster-compatible hashes when generating EIP-712 signatures.
A new @farcaster/hub-web package has been added to the Hub monorepo. This package features a strictly-typed TypeScript interface for interacting with hubs from the web. Srinivasan explained: "You can now use a hub directly from a browser, no node-js backend needed!"
@betashop, a.k.a. Jam founder Jason Goldberg, joined a thread with Romero and others to talk about how Apple's Sign in with Apple rules will apply to Farcaster clients. Goldberg used Jam's longcast feature to delve into the nuance. "If you only do sign-in with Farcaster, they may not approve it as their rules state that if you offer any other social logins you must also enable login with Apple," said Goldberg. "But then you also don't want the user to have the decision of Apple sign in OR Farcaster because if they choose Apple, they wont be connected to Farcaster. So you need to have signup AND FC logins separated. More like sign up with smth else and then connect FC."
@lndnnft, a.k.a. Landon, shared Orion, a tool that takes events and messages from hubs and pushes them into AWS Simple Queue Service. "Orion allows us to easily consume events in any circumstance or language, without a replacement for hub-nodejs being needed," explained Landon in the repo description. Landon noted that the combination of ChatGPT and documentation from AWS and hub-nodejs got him very far in the development process.
As of Thursday, Farcaster was up to seven hubs on mainnet fully synced with ~1.1 million messages. Srinivasan casted the update along with a screenshot of a Hub Status dashboard.
Ideas worth sharing
@nicholas dropped a new episode of Web3 Galaxy Brain featuring Purple members @ccarella, @osama, @billzh, @kmacbeth, and @phil. The episode was recorded a couple weeks ago on Twitter Spaces. You can listen to the recording on Twitter Spaces or whichever podcasting service you prefer.
Farcaster was discussed on the Build On Podcast in an episode on the future of DAOs. @thethriller, a.k.a. Adam Miller, joined host Nick Shaheen for a conversation about Miller's company, MIDAO, and why Farcaster appealed to Miller as "web3 social come to life." Watch the episode here.
@cameron, a.k.a. Cameron Armstrong, shared a preview of art @0xen has been creating for @FarCon, the unofficial Farcaster conference planned for June 10-11 in Boston. "Keep your eye's peeled for ticket sales 👀," said Armstrong.
Romero has continued his experiments with generative AI art to fund Farcaster ecosystem development. His farcasting no. 3 was mintable this week on Zora for 0.003 ETH plus fees, with proceeds going to Purple. As of Friday morning, the mint had raised nearly .5 ETH for Purple. Earlier in the week, Romero had made available farcasting no. 2, which was a limited edition of 100 items for 0.85 ETH, raising 8.5 ETH for Purple. The prompt and art for farcasting no. 3:
an illustration of a futuristic astronaut's full body, floating in the vastness of the universe, full of stars, a Farcaster - style arch portal in the background, makoto shinkai, trending on artsation, detailed depiction of nature, synthwave palette, many shades of purple
"What's something that's confusing to you about Farcaster?," Romero asked this week. TWIF asked GPT-4 to summarize the responses for us, here are the top 5 issues raised:
Determining the value people get from it and user engagement.
The seed phrase and its importance for non-technical users.
Navigation and thread handling.
Inconsistencies with notifications and search functionality.
Onboarding and sign-up processes for non-technical users, including wallet management and app authentication.
App/service idea for the taking: Farchiver. @pushix asked for an archiving service this week due to the fact that casts only last one year by default in hubs. "This is good generally, but as a user I probably would like to curate some of my (and others?) casts and mark them as persistent and backed up," said @pushix. "Open-minded about the interface (could be a built-in button in a client, a bot, a dedicated app)."
Srinivasan and Romero hosted their latest Clubhouse room on Thursday evening. The Farcaster cofounders gave an update on hubs rollout and talked about the currently open Farcaster Improvement Proposals for canonical URIs and embeds. Romero described embeds as a really rich canvas for developers and shared a vision for everything on the internet being an atomic unit of content, which can be casted/liked/recasted/etc from the protocol. Romero also talked about how UX and usage of token-gated casts in the initial implementation caused them to pull back on the idea. The idea of token-gated casts continues to be batted around, with Romero describing it as more of UX challenge than technical. Plans for moving the follow model into hubs were also discussed, namely how to square the hubs approach of pruning older content to keep storage requirements down with the problem that "purge oldest" doesn't translate to followers, since the first users you follow might arguably be the most important connections to maintain. The Farcaster cofounders emphasized that they don't want users to lose followers because of protocol decisions and they are focused on getting this right early on in an implementation as being important. You can listen to the recording here.
Farcaster By the Numbers
Powered by Farcaster.network. Change calculations based on last week.
Weekly Active Casters: 1.7K (+100)
Monthly Active Casters: 3.2K (+100)
Total Casts: 590K (+16k)
Total Users: 12k (same as last week)
Average Casts per Day: 2,340 (-20)
New Users per Week: 269 (-23)
Sponsored by Purple
Purple is a DAO whose goal is to proliferate and expand the Farcaster protocol and ecosystem. The DAO operates on Nouns.Build, Discord, and Charmverse.
This Week in Purple
Purple's first-ever Droposal is available to mint! The interactive, dynamic artwork by @ChrisCoCreated can be minted on Zora. The artwork is a composite representation of the Farcaster arch featuring the most recent 1,941 casters, with minters and Purple members both highlighted through unique design touches. You can explore the artwork fully here. Mint cost is 0.027 ETH, with proceeds split 50/50 between Purple and the artist.
PRPL 23 Remove the Founder Allocation for the Founder multisig ends today. The proposal, which would remove the 10% allocation of Purple tokens to the Founder multisig, currently has 26 'For' votes and 1 'Against' vote. "Purple is a mature, sophisticated and highly aligned community with some of the brightest minds in Ethereum as our membership," said Purple instigator @ccarella in voting for the proposal. "We have outgrown the Founder Allocation." The sole 'Against' vote comes from @borodutch, who explained in a Vote with Reason: "you can never make me remove jihad from the token allocation." (@jihad is one of the signers of the Founder multisig, along with @ccarrella, @osama, and @evaav.)
PRPL 24 Extend Deadline for Hub issues Funding also ends today. This proposal would extend the deadline for merging a PR that closes an issue on the Farcaster Hubs repo. In PRPL 7, Purple allocated 4 ETH to this bounty pool, with ~3 ETH currently remaining. The proposal would extend the deadline to May 13, 2023. The proposal currently has unanimous support with 18 'For' votes.
In an update on cross-DAO collaboration, a BuilderDAO proposal to make a 50 ETH grant to Purple was defeated with 37 'For' votes and 41 'Against' votes, with a late 15-vote 'Against' vote by zora.eth being the difference-maker. The proposal would have directed the grant funds towards amplifying funding for public goods and Nouns Builder promotion and allowing Purple to double down on its implementation of Nounish tools and practices. "While we are generally supportive of the idea and vision behind the proposal, ZORA will be voting No for now," explained Zora in making the vote. "We believe that the current proposal lacks sufficient details, particularly in terms of the justification for the amount of funds requested, funds allocation, and expected ROI for BuilderDAO." The DAOS plan to engage with each other to come up with a proposal at a lower funding level which includes additional budgetary details to satisfy compliance requirements. Representing Purple will be @billzh, who was previously delegated responsibility for voting Purple's BuilderDAO token, acquired via PRPL 9 Purchase a BuilderDAO Token at Auction.
Get to Know Purple
This week, meet Purple DAO member @jonbo.
TWIF: Why did you want to join Purple?
Purple is the first DAO I've wanted to join because its goals are aligned with what I want to see and it has momentum and a realistic shot at achieving them: making Farcastser better and incentivizing and rewarding work around it. It's a wonderful experiment in funding public goods and the governance feels easy enough to understand and follow, and meaningfully contribute to.
One more reason was serendipitously bumping into the friendly Chris Carella in an adjacent community I'm a part of (hi DEF!) and having a great conversation about all things Purple, Nounish DAOs, and art.
TWIF: What excites you most about Farcaster?
Like many others, I'm watching the fires happening over at Twitter HQ and wishing for a more transparent, composable architecture for public social media communication. Online communities are a core component of our experience of the internet today but our tools for keeping track of one another and creating media together are severely lacking. I believe Farcaster has a genuine shot at building out a layer of infrastructure to help solve this problem and invite new patterns and interfaces for engaging with our online tribes.
TWiF: Can you give us a few recommended follows on Farcaster?
Upcoming Dates of Note
NFT NYC Farcaster Meetup
Saturday, April 15, at 5 p.m. EST - Betaworks
Have an event we should add to a future edition? Send us a reply to this email!
Contract Designer (@dwr)
Merkle Manufactory cofounder Dan Romero said that he's looking for a contract designer who's comfortable implementing designs in React/React Native and who has experience building information-dense UI. Interested? Send Romero a direct cast at @dwr.
Senior Engineers (Discove)
According to founder David Furlong, the ideal hire "already uses Farcaster, believes in it & wants to see it succeed 💜." The stack includes React Native, Next.js, and TypeScript. For more information, DM Furlong at davidfurlong.telegram for more info.
Have a job listing we should add to a future edition? Send us a reply to this email!
Casts of the Week
This newsletter is published with Paragraph.xyz. The format of this newsletter was inspired by Week in Ethereum News. With questions, comments, or other feedback, please send a reply to this email, or access the "farcaster-weekly" channel in Purple's Discord.
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