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This Week in Farcaster - June 24, 2023 - Sponsored by Purple

App updates. Dev notes. Ideas worth sharing.

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

App updates

Nouns Builder is working on a Farcaster integration. @neokry has a pull request in progress that will pull casts related to DAO contracts through FIP-2. The integration will also allow users to Sign In With Farcaster and post on the feed. @jord also casted a sneak peek of the integration.

Jam, which is currently in search of a new home, added POAPs this week. @betashop, a.k.a. Jam creator Jason Goldberg, said that the Farcaster clients now support viewing user's POAP events on profiles, searching for events, seeing which Farcasters attended them, and easily following all attendees. As reported last week, Goldberg is currently seeking interest from parties who may be interested in running Jam going forward.

Dev notes

It was a busy week for Farcaster Improvement Proposals.

@horsefacts and @cassie have posted a FIP for Flexible Storage. This proposal would let user increase their storage limits to have more casts, follows, and reactions. @v, a.k.a. Farcaster cofounder Varun Srinivasan, shared a video explaining the proposal in greater detail. "Storage is a scarce resource, and we have to have some kind of system that actually manages it in a fair way that prevents over consumption by any one user at any point in time," said Srinivasan. The FIP describes a solution of introducing a rent-based model for storage, wherein users would be able to rent a certain number of storage units on an annual basis. The FIP notes that while an ERC-20, asset-based solution could work instead of the fixed price, rent-based solution, the rent-based solution will be simpler and help prevent inefficiencies from tokens being hoarded or forgotten/lost. Read the full FIP here.

@cassie also posted a FIP this week for Direct Casts. "Direct Casts has been appropriately field tested and battle-hardened, and should be in a good position to be moved to hubs," said @cassie in the abstract. The proposal makes use of a cryptographic technique called Asynchronous Triple-Ratchet, with the third key allowing for users to revoke access to a given device or application for subsequent messages. The current Warpcast direct cast architecture does not need to make use of this third key, instead employing Double-Ratchet with metadata stored in a Merkle Manufactory server. Read the full FIP here.

Srinivasan finished out the week with a FIP on Instant Recovery, which would remove the time-delay for fid recovery that's currently in place. Srinivasan noted in the proposal that the time-delay system, which was designed to support allowing semi-trusted partners to recover an account by allowing the recovery to be cancelled if needed, hasn't appealed to users in practice due to what he calls a "barbell" in their preferences. "They either want to use their own primary wallet because they trust no one else, or they want to delegate the entire problem of recovery to a third party without worrying about 'semi-trusted' situations. In both cases, the delay adds unnecessary friction," said Srinivasan. A pull request for the contract change has already been created so that it can be merged prior to the mainnet launch. Read the full FIP here.

The Farcaster biweekly dev call was held on Thursday, June 22, with the meeting recorded and shared on YouTube as usual. Find the agenda here. Discussed during the call were a few Hubble developer experience issues, an update on FIP-3 Links, which was shipped earlier this month, and two FIPs that have been pushed back until after the mainnet migration, Multi-Signatures and Canonical Serialization for Hashing Messages. Srinivasan said during the call that a decision on the L2 for the mainnet migration is expected to be made within the next two weeks. "We want to be on an L2 that has a credible path to decentralization," said Srinivasan, although he also noted that it won't be a permanent decision and Farcaster could move to its own sidechain or another chain in the future if needed. Srinivasan also gave an update on the ENS Usernames FIP, which makes use of CCIP. The ENS Usernames change was discussed in greater detail in last week's edition of TWIF and will introduce a one to many mapping for Farcaster users to valid fnames/ENS names.

@teleyinex, a.k.a. Daniel Lombraña, has shared the source code for a Farcaster bot built using Google Sheets as the database and Github Actions as the serverless environment/task runner. Lombraña also published a blog post explaining the rationale behind the bot architecture. Lombraña notes that the bot is live now and casting about "science, stoicism, and coding" at @stoicism.

Ideas worth sharing

Goldberg started a conversation about how, if he was running Warpcast, he would be "laser focused on Search & Expertise type features. Goldberg said that "Warpcast as a social network is ok," but that "Warpcast as a way to find and connect with people with specific expertise in web3 is unparalleled." @tldr, a.k.a. Tim Reilly, noted that an 'open to work' feature like LinkedIn has would be valuable on Farcaster. @dylsteck, a.k.a. Dylan Steck, drew a connection with keyword search, which he said he's wanted since Day 1. @molo weighed in and said that "endorsements is a terrible feature and nobody should build it."

The results of the SayMore + FarCon Essay Contest were released this week by @cameron, a.k.a. SayMore founder & FarCon co-organizer Cameron Armstrong. @adrienne took the Best Overall prize of 0.5 ETH with her essay on The Power of Scenius. @m-j-r won for Boldest Essay with The Possibility of a Seldon Crisis, @bli won for Best DAO Essay with Delaying Token Liquidity for DAOs, and @j4ck, @kenyiexyz, and @alditrus received Honorable Mentions with Farcaster: My Favorite Place on the Internet, A Call for Building a Forever Home, and What a mushroom can teach us about decentralization, respectively. Find all the submissions here.

It wasn't quite a Net Promoter Score prompt, but @billzh, a.k.a. Bill Zheng, polled Farcaster users this week: "On the scale of 1 to 10, how enthusiastic do you feel about Farcaster right now?" With 31 responses, the average and median was 8, while the most common response was 9. Using NPS methodology, it'd be a score of 41 – 47% Promoters and 6% Detractors. "Feeds been getting a bit weird but hard to tell if that's FC or just me," remarked @dawufi in voting 8. "Making adjustments on the fly." @uncledavo, voting 9, said that he's "been ranting to lots of friends recently about how much I'm liking it." @colin-, a.k.a. Colin Johnson, also voted 9. "It feels like accumulation mode before takeoff," said Johnson.

Goldberg and @pixel, a.k.a. Vincent Liao, collaborated on a Farcaster user activation analysis in which they considered casting as a primary signal of activation. "We focused on casting because our hypothesis is that for a content-based social network to thrive, there needs to be a consistent supply of content created by a growing number of regular participants," explained Goldberg in a longcast. Goldberg laid out 25x casts, 50x casts, and 100x casts as possibly, probably, and definitely Hard Activated, respectively. However, he noted that, "An alarming number of users from older cohorts casted 100x+ times and didn’t cast last week." Find the analysis and underlying data here. Purple is currently exploring how these insights might be implemented for a 'welcome wagon' program to push users over the Hard Activation threshold in a targeted manner. "I'd 💜 to see @purple and @purpler fund ongoing and regular reports like this," noted Goldberg.

@syed, a.k.a. Syed Shah, took the opportunity of his 30th birthday (Happy Birthday! 🥳) to wax on why he loves Farcaster in "a love letter to the future of social." Not to spoil the ending, but Shah says that the future is brighter with Farcaster and it's why he's "so excited to get to be a part of it and watch it grow from the beginning."

Farcaster By the Numbers

Powered by Change calculations based on last week. Note that total casts and total users are both rounded to the nearest 1,000.

  • Weekly Active Casters: 1,400 (-50 compared to 4-wk avg.)

  • Monthly Active Casters: 2,800 (no change compared to 4-wk avg.)

  • Total Casts: 774,000 (+17,000 week over week)

  • Total Users: 14,000 (no change week over week)

  • Average Casts per Day: 2,553 (-170 compared to 4-wk avg.)

  • New Users per Week: 214 (+24 compared to 4-wk avg.)

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 second Retroactive Funding Round, passed in PRPL 31, is currently accepting submissions. Anyone with an Ethereum address can propose that their own project or someone else's be considered for a retroactive gift. Proposals will be open until June 29, followed by a one-week voting period.

Get to Know Purple

This week, meet Purple DAO member @benersing.

TWIF: Why did you want to join Purple?

There were three reasons I joined Purple.

(1) Purple’s mission to proliferate Farcaster really resonated with me. It is an excellent way to directly impact the direction and growth of the ecosystem. Put another way, it is the clearest way to go from a consumer to an active contributor.

(2) Purple is still in the early stages, it is easier to navigate and get involved in than some of the larger more ‘mature’ DAOs I've explored over the years.

(3) Purple is one of a few ways to potentially share in the future financial upside as the Farcaster ecosystem grows. This last reason was the least important to me as there's no guarantee economic value will accrue to projects such as Purple, but it is worth mentioning.

TWIF: What excites you most about Farcaster?

There is so much energy and excitement today across the Farcaster ecosystem that it is hard to pick one thing. If I must pick, I’d point to the unknown potential of a permissionless, sufficiently decentralized social media experience, as well as the chance to get to know and work alongside other humans to bring the future we all know can exist, into reality.

TWiF: Can you give us a few recommended follows on Farcaster?

There are so many people I enjoy interacting with that it's hard to highlight just a few. If I must, in addition from the obvious few names I'm sure everyone lists, I always appreciate the Base inside scoop from @jessepollak, and the philosophical musings of @july. @cameron is also a pretty decent follow ;).

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Casts of the Week

This newsletter is published with 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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