Behind the scenes at Des Femmes Magazine
Launching a bitcoin “DAO” and all that craziness
Hope you’re all having a great year so far in 2022! These past six weeks have been bonkers for me, so I’m excited to catch you up on everything. In addition to publishing another TechCrunch article and organizing a virtual holiday party for Bitcoin Magazine, Des Femmes Magazine finally launched in December 2021!
I also spent some time this winter reflecting on how my career got here. When I started this newsletter in July 2020, I was still a staff reporter in Manhattan who imagined herself having a traditional career trajectory.
Instead, in this time of love and coronavirus, I’ve published a variety of writings, while also co-founding a bitcoin-friendly print magazine (Des Femmes Magazine) and the nonprofit Association of Cryptocurrency Journalists and Researchers, now spearheaded by ACJR president (our first election-winner!) and Bloomberg editor Joanna Ossinger. Ossigner is the former president of the Society of American Business Editors and Writers (SABEW) and I look forward to seeing her continued impact as a leader in the journalism industry. As for myself, I’ll focus more on the Des Femmes community in 2022.
Several of the subscribers to this newsletter, including Danielle Leong and Jaye Harrill, became bitcoin keyholders in the first Des Femmes DAO (aka, a multisignature bitcoin wallet managed with the help of community voting). This collaboration reflects my desire to co-create with my audience rather than view readers strictly as passive consumers. While all of us learn together, Leong and Harrill are now both simultaneously starting their own respective DAOs. Yet, I won’t overhype this or claim it’s easy.
Every bit of decentralization in the media production and distribution process makes the project slower, more arduous and more expensive than an alternative with a centralized structure. This process takes time. It is not optimized for quick, venture-scale profits. However, there are many benefits that make building a business with cypherpunk tools worth the trade off, at least in some cases.
The main benefit is freedom. You don’t have to wait for permission. You can simply start building, along with whoever wants to join. Together, we get as far as we can go, rather than being too scared to start because it is hard, or blaming the broken world for all of the missed opportunities we wanted to seize. One way to think about it is what kind of conversation do you, as a writer and creator, want to be having with readers?
If, unlike me, you want to get the most attention possible, screaming at the top of your lungs about sensational topics will collect the most eyeballs and reactions. That is the mainstream media’s business model, evocative and trendy content at-scale, because mainstream media sells access to the group, so they want the biggest group possible.
What I want to do is completely different. I want to have specific, memorable, uplifting conversations with my readers. That means publishing with smaller and highly engaged groups in strategically crafted settings. This scenario highlights the difference between attending a private dinner party versus a concert in a stadium. Consequently, I’ve started approaching what “success” means for me very differently. Here’s to hoping that you enjoy following that journey!
So far, Des Femmes Magazine accepts bitcoin payments and operates a community bitcoin wallet with the help of a customized Casa onboarding program. We primarily use Ethereum for fundraising, including NFTs and crowdfunding platforms like Gitcoin, while relying on bitcoin for security and longevity. We also offer and promote a variety of opportunities beyond the cryptocurrency space, such as the HF0 accelerator program in Miami. (Read more about that here via the Des Femmes newsletter.) The next HF0 session starts in March. Feel free to DM Ariana if you’d like more information about the HF0 experience or contact the HP0 Accelerator directly. We’ve been very selective in choosing the first business partners for Des Femmes and I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by this opportunity in Miami.
As for this Substack newsletter, here I’ll continue publishing a mix of poetry, fiction, essays and interviews throughout 2022, along with broader insights into my work and creative process.
Are there any specific questions that you want me to answer this winter? Lmk! In the meantime, I hope you are all having a healthy start to the new year.
Until next time, take care!