This is the first in a series of articles interviewing our advisors. These esteemed individuals have helped the Subsocial team in a massive way, and we would like to give them some exposure as well as showcase who they are, and why they have chosen to advise us.
Today we are hearing from Edward Thomson. Previously the Grants Manager at the Web 3 Foundation, Edward is now working as an advisor and consultant to various projects in the Web3 and blockchain space.
Could you tell us about your background in the crypto/Web3 space?
I've been following the space since the early days of Bitcoin (since 2010), but despite blogging on-and-off since 2021 I never got fully immersed until 2017. That's when I knew I had to make a change and be more committed. Gav Wood gave a talk on Polkadot in the summer of 2017 and that's when I became hooked on its potential. Soon after I got a job at Web 3 Foundation (W3F) in early 2018. I eventually left in summer 2020 and have been advising/helping teams since!
What led you to start your advisory role at Subsocial?
I was involved with Grants at Web 3 Foundation which is how I met Alex. Subsocial applied for a couple of grants and was successful in executing them. I was impressed with his dedication and found the meaning of Subsocial to be something that resonated with something I believe in. We had a couple of discussions just as I left W3F in summer of 2020 and soon after I was helping to write the lightpaper and get the pitch deck prepared.
Why do you think Subsocial is important?
Power abuse in social networks has become more problematic as everyone in the world has become connected via social media. This was no more apparent during the pandemic when it was impossible to meet people in person, so we had to resort to social media, however the influence that social media companies can exert over their userbase is incredible. I think we need to step back and assess whether they can be trusted with that power. Essentially, I think they can't.
Subsocial offers an alternative where communities can congregate in their own 'corner' of the Internet while also having the ability to join other communities easily. The power once captured by a previous social media giant will now be spread-out over the larger Subsocial community.
What aspect of Subsocial are you most looking forward to?
Naturally, I'm hoping for a thriving ecosystem where people are sharing knowledge and creating plugins for Subsocial. This will be something that could be completely different from what we've seen before.
I'm also very curious to see how governance emerges within communities and then between communities. I'm not sure I could accurately guess how that will progress, but I feel it is an important aspect of Web 3 technologies. How do we govern ourselves such that the community is sustainable while also maintaining the core ideals of Web 3? I hope we will get a better feel for that with Subsocial.