My Internet: Matt Medved
The NFT evangelist/DJ is in a group chat named Chad Team 6.
Every Friday, we quiz a very cool “very online” person to get their essential guide to what’s good on the internet. Except we missed the last couple Fridays, and now we’re back on a Monday!
Today we welcome Matt Medved, the co-founder and CEO of nft now, a web3 digital media platform for NFT coverage and curation. The founder of Billboard Dance and former Editor-In-Chief of Spin and SVP of Content at Modern Luxury, he is also a DJ/producer who has performed at Tomorrowland, EDC, Electric Zoo, and Sunburn. Matt DMed Jimmy Fallon an NFT primer the other day, has been streaming The Strokes since opening for them in November, and, despite its painfully inferior technology, prefers Twitter Spaces to Clubhouse. —Nick
What's a recent meme or other post that cracked you up?
I bought my first Bitcoin in 2013 and this is my third crypto cycle, so the volatility doesn’t really faze me anymore. I still got a good laugh from this meme though.
Do you ever tweet? Why?
I think I’ve actually tweeted more over the past year than in my entire life prior. Twitter is ground zero for the NFT space and it has been incredible to meet so many new friends and creatives through it. Twitter Spaces has become the town square for the NFT community, where much of the discourse takes place. NFT Twitter is also incredibly positive and collaborative, definitely a stark contrast to Media Twitter’s snark!
Who's the coolest person who follows you?
Jimmy Fallon followed me on Twitter the other day after he changed his profile picture to a Bored Ape. I DMed him some nft now resources like our NFT 101 and Bored Ape Yacht Club Guide and he hearted them. Hope they help!
Who's someone more people should follow?
DeeZe is a pillar of the NFT space and regularly hosts some of the best Twitter Spaces supporting creatives (especially photographers) and bringing the community together.
Where do you tend to get your news?
Twitter these days. Even aside from the NFT space, Twitter will usually have breaking news quicker than news organizations are able to mobilize and publish editorial.
What are you willing to pay for online?
I am willing to pay to directly support creatives, whether it’s art, music, writing, community projects, etc. NFTs are finally helping creators capture the cultural capital that has long been squeezed by middlemen and centralized platforms. In the music industry, we went from paying $20 for a CD to $10 for all the music in the world. There’s a disconnect in value there and artists have largely suffered due to it. Many have been surprised to see music NFTs sell for high prices—I’m surprised that we ever accepted that artistry was worth less than a penny per stream.
Are you a fan of any NFT art or artists? Do you have strong feelings about blockchain tech or cryptocurrencies?
Yes, I believe NFTs are the future of culture. This technology will disrupt every field and fundamentally redefine how creators and their communities engage, create, and share in value together. This genie is not going back inside the bottle. We are all part of the last generations to grow up without digital ownership from day one. Future generations are not going to have the same hang-ups as we do. They will grow up owning both digital and physical items and will accept them both for their own unique strengths and appeals. This is the most significant sea change for the creative world in our lifetime and anyone who thinks NFTs are simply a fad is missing the forest for the trees.
Do you subscribe to any Substacks or other independent newsletters? What are your favorites?
Are you into any podcasts right now? How and when do you usually listen?
I’m so focused on building the nft now podcast that I rarely have time to listen to others these days! My dad is a neurologist and I’ve always been fascinated by neuroscience and human behavior, so I was a big fan of NPR’s Invisibilia and Hidden Brain.
Do you have an opinion on Clubhouse or its clones, like Twitter Spaces?
Clubhouse had a good run in the NFT space, but Twitter Spaces has quickly supplanted it despite having painfully inferior technology. Many of the most influential figures in crypto and NFTs are anonymous and would have had to doxx themselves to comply with Clubhouse’s policies. Many promising artists who were under 18 were regularly getting banned from Clubhouse as well. Most importantly, people want to build on their existing social graph rather than start from scratch and Twitter is king for crypto.
Have you ever been heavily into Snapchat? Around what age?
Never. After Instagram Stories ate their lunch, I never opened the app again. Existing social graph beats starting from scratch.
How excited—or apprehensive—are you about the metaverse?
We’re already living in the metaverse. We have been in some form since the invention of the internet. What excites me most about the latest phase of the metaverse is the opportunity for users to be owners, rather than renters, as well as define their own identities. I certainly have some apprehension around the dystopian future we see in science fiction where humans have lost all in-person connection, but I don’t think virtual worlds will ever fully replace the physical world. I’m more focused on the responsibility to build a better and more representative future in web3. It would be a colossal failure if we allowed the same entrenched hierarchies and inequities that exist out here to simply rebuild themselves in the metaverse.
Do you text people voice notes? If not, how do you feel about getting them?
No, and I despise them. I am constantly multitasking and resent being forced to put everything on pause to listen to something that could have easily been a text message. No one wants to listen to you ramble.
Do any of your group chats have a name that you're willing to share? What's something that recently inspired debate in the chat?
I’m in a WhatsApp group chat of notable DJs who are active in crypto called Chad Team 6. It was first revealed to the world in 3LAU’s February New York Times interview, and has now grown to include a lot of NFT artists and builders in web3. There was a recent debate over a prominent figure in the NFT space named Richerd who said he’d never sell his CryptoPunk, then turned down a record $10 million bid after his bluff got called. The members who were more into crypto and DeFi thought he was insane, but those who were into NFTs understood that it was about more than just the money, it was about credibility and identity. I thought that was a really interesting and illustrative divide.
What's your go-to emoji, and what does it mean to you?
🙏 I’ve always been a relentless optimist, and I try to live a life characterized by gratitude. It’s important to keep that perspective when navigating stressful and high-stakes situations. I constantly remind myself how blessed I am to be able to work from a place of passion every day.
What's a playlist, song, album, or style of music you’ve streamed a lot lately?
I recently had the opportunity to open for The Strokes at Brooklyn Steel for Bored Ape Yacht Club’s event during NFT NYC. They were one of my favorite bands during a formative time in my life, so it was a special moment. Since then, I’ve been revisiting their catalogue and it’s timeless. Is This It still hits. Their new album isn’t half bad either.
Have you recently read an article, book, or social media post about the internet that you’ve found particularly insightful?
I often cite Kevin Kelly’s “1000 True Fans” when talking about the potential of NFTs. I believe that NFTs are making good on the original promise of the internet—that a creator anywhere in the world could have a sustainable career by building a community around their work. As Kelly writes, you don’t actually need millions of fans to do this. All you need are 1,000 true fans who will show up to the show, buy the merch, etc.
However, centralized social media platforms put ads and algorithms in the way and forced creators to pay them to reach even a fraction of their following. In web2, creators have been providing their content for free in a likes-and-comments economy to build an audience as a means to the end of monetizing by being a middleman for brands. In web3, creators can directly monetize their content in an actual cryptocurrency economy by allowing their community to take ownership in their work and share in the value being created.
Think about it this way—if you’re an indie band with 1,000 true fans and you release a music NFT for $100, that’s $100,000 in revenue. That’s significantly more than most of my artist friends have ever seen from the streaming services.
What's one thing you recommend for maintaining a healthy relationship with the internet?
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