What are we doing here?
The NounSquare is a celebration. It’s a celebration of the daily ritual we call Noun O’Clock. The time when the daily Nouns auction ends, a new person is welcomed into the Nouns family, and the new Noun for the next auction is chosen.
In every new culture, there are new traditions and new rituals. For the in-crowd, those traditions are fun and bring joy. For newcomers, these traditions can seem hard to figure out and make you feel like an outsider—like everyone knows a secret but you. There are new words you don’t know and inside jokes that don’t make you laugh. The NounSquare is designed to help people who are new to the Nouns and even new to NFTs and web3 get acclimated to this crazy new world. But when you are listening to the show for the first few times, it is fast-paced and easy to get lost. The hosts and team explain things but they have a lot to do and so it can still be hard to follow.
This article is your Tour Guide to The NounSquare. Whether you’re about to listen to your first show or have been around for a couple of days, this is your guide to ending your time feeling like an outsider and starting to become part of The NounSquare family.
So, let’s talk about the Nouns…that’s why we are all here.
Nouns are digital art formed by the random combining of various parts. They get their name because nouns are by definition people, places, and things and the heads of the Nouns art are in fact nouns—couch, fox, banana. And every one has those cute, funky glasses. That’s the signature trait of the Nouns–called “noggles.”
“Nouners” are people who buy and own a Noun. The Noun of the Day has a number that tells you where we are in the life cycle of Nouns.
Now, let’s deal with the question that every newcomer has: Why in the world are people paying $150,000 or more for this pixelated-looking image that seems like it’s not worth $1? Lots of people say NFTs are just a scam…is this some overpriced ponzi scheme?
You have to grasp a bigger picture to understand what’s going on here. We are early in a new phase of the internet. Right now is like being involved in social media projects in 2004 when they were just starting. Imagine, if you can, before any social media existed if I said to you hundreds of millions of people will be posting things they did each day for 1000s of followers. Kids will have YouTube channels opening toys that make them a high-level income. You would have told me I was crazy. Not long ago, the idea of paying to get in a stranger’s car as your best option to get to the airport would have gotten you laughed out of any conversation.
The Nouns project is venturing full steam into this new world. The Nouners are leading us on that journey. They are sailing the ships to the new world. They are riding out on the western frontier to see what the land holds for us. And we are joining them on the adventure. The NounSquare is our daily gathering to celebrate what we achieved, to learn about where we are going, and to become better prepared to settle this new world.
The price of these Nouns is not a scam or ponzi scheme. It is a robust admission into leadership of this new world and it all goes back into the treasury to run the new world. You would be amazed at what is happening to build the Nouns “brand” and spread it across the world. You can see it and be a part of it in a public Discord Server (think social media chat on steroids). Some of the brightest minds—devs, artists, creatives, and business leaders are planning and plotting how to have Nouns take over the world and become as popular as Mickey Mouse or Hello Kitty. Millions of dollars are being dispersed toward the goal of “proliferating the meme” a fancy way of saying spreading the Nouns brand.
Hey, I thought we were talking about The NounSquare?
We are, but to understand this new daily ritual and tradition you had to know about the new world we are living in…
There are 5 main segments that frame The NounSquare show.
#1 – FOMO NOUNS…or FOMO for short.
FOMO is the star of the show. It’s a game for the audience to help pick the next Noun. Each possible Noun comes up on the screen and you vote up or down (hot or not). If 60% vote yes, then that Noun is attempted to “settle” (finalize the transaction). If successful we have a new Noun and auction for the next 24 hours!
There are some twists to FOMO though. The amount of time a Noun is up for vote varies—always short—could be just a few seconds or up to 12 seconds. So, if you see one you like you have to be quick! Another twist is you can pick a great Noun, and for some reason, the “attempt to settle” fails and you are back to the drawing board. A third twist, there are times when The NounSquare crowd is picky and slow to choose the next Noun. It’s possible for someone to go behind the scenes and settle the transaction manually and pick the new Noun. It doesn’t happen too often, but if FOMO is dragging on, then everybody better watch their back because at any second someone may jump in and end FOMO (this is called “rugging” or “we got rugged”).
How do you know what a good Noun is? They all look like 1980s pixelated video game characters!
Funny you should ask. When you see Nouns for the first time, you may be underwhelmed at the art. A possible first reaction: “Not only are people overpaying, but they are buying funky little gremlins that don’t even look good.” But a funny thing happens as you stick around and become an insider—a part of the family. These little guys start to have a personality. Certain traits start to look cute or fun. You start to get to know Nouners and the Nouners personality starts to infiltrate their Noun in your eyes.
As you play FOMO on The NounSquare, you are going to hear the team and a few other regulars cheering, calling out what they like and don’t like, and basically having a good time. That’s what’s going on. If you stick around for a bit, you will be doing the same thing in no time.
Last thing on FOMO: There is a twist in that we don’t know the exact time it will happen. There is a set time for Noun O’Clock every day, but if as the auction winds down there is a new bid inside of 4 minutes left, the timer gets reset to 4 minutes, thereby pushing back FOMO by a few minutes each time.
So, on The NounSquare they will track the auction that’s ending and give updates (you can be watching too). No matter what’s happening when it gets to about 30 seconds until FOMO, the music starts playing—even if the guest is in mid sentence–and attention is focused on FOMO. When the star of the show arrives, they get center stage! (unless there is a last-second bid!) then it’s back to the guest for a few minutes.
On weekdays, they have a guest on the show. (Weekends are called “NounSquare Lite” because they don’t have guests and shows are usually shorter). The NounSquare has fantastic guests. They are people that are pioneering in this new world we call the Nouns. They are often building extensions of the main Nouns project or building and doing things to “proliferate the meme” (remember that means “spreading the brand”). You will learn everything you need to know about the culture of the Nouns ecosystem. You will go behind the scenes on all that is happening that explains why this isn’t some crazy scam, but a group that wants the Nouns to take over the world (at least culturally).
Usually, the guest is the first main segment after some music and “vibing” and some explanations about the show for newcomers. But remember when FOMO arrives, the guest is put on the shelf. They usually come back to them after FOMO to finish the interview.
#3 Voting on “Props” i.e. Proposals
Here is a unique aspect of the Nouns Project and The NounSquare. You actually get to participate in the biggest decisions in the project. Stick with me here, because this is remarkable and it’s part of what makes web3 great–ownership is given to the community.
So, here’s how it works. On The NounSquare team, there is a Nouner. He is Noun 142. Buying Noun 142 he basically said, I’m in for leading a ship to the new world. One of the great privileges he gets for that investment is a vote in all the decisions and “governance” of the Nouns. The major way this happens is voting on “props”—just short for proposals. These proposals are ideas people have on how to proliferate the meme–how to spread the Nouns brand across the world. Some of these props are smaller—maybe $20,000. Some are huge, like $500,000 or more. There is a prop to have a float in the Rose Bowl Parade. There is one to spread the Nouns brand in New York Fashion Week. There are all kinds of fun and fascinating props.
Here’s the unique part. Noun 142 believes in this idea of web3 decentralizing ownership so much that he is giving an act of that ownership to the community. He delegates his vote that he paid all that money for to you, The NounSquare audience. Think about that. That’s like somebody buying a membership to an elite club and saying to somebody they don’t know, “here you take the perks.” It’s a remarkable experiment and The NounSquare regulars appreciate it. If you want to really be a part of web3 and learn NFTs, you can really, truly be a part of the Nouns through The NounSquare.
Usually, during a couple of shows each week, there are props up for a vote. They try to have a guest on the night before or that night to talk about the prop—the thinking that went into it and who is implementing it so that you get a feel for the prop. A team member often gives a helpful summary and then on the day the vote is scheduled, they open up live voting during the show. It’s usually open for about 15 minutes. It happens in the Discord channel. You vote with an emoji click Yes or No. Whatever the crowd decides in that live voting is what is officially entered as Noun142’s vote the next day.
The NounSquare runs great contests. They pay real money 0.1, 0.5, sometimes even 1 ETH! They are often art-driven, but not always. Some are writing-based. Some are just fun. They try to include everybody.
But an interesting (and possibly) unexpected thing has happened through contests. Some artists have been “discovered” and have gotten exposure to the Nouns ecosystem. Some have gotten help from The NounSquare team to get set up and turn their art into NFTs to sell to Nounish people. There are some remarkable stories for another time.
Contests usually last for several days. The entries are always outstanding. The NounSquare has drawn a strong crop of creatives and artists as regulars. Contests will be announced on the show, but everything will be put in a tweet that you can find @noun_o_clock (on Twitter).
#5 POAPs (Po…what?)
Stands for Proof Of Attendance Protocol. It’s a token that shows you attended an event. They refer to them as “bookmarks of your life.”
What’s interesting with the NounSquare and POAPs is they’ve taken on a life of their own. Lots of web3 events use POAPs. But often they can be kind of an afterthought. The art isn’t great and they are never used again.
But on The NounSquare something happened early on, and the interest has grown ever since. It started with Noun O’Clock and The NounSquare happening every day. The POAPs became a streak. Who could have the longest streak?
That combined with the fact that from day one the art has been fantastic. There are super talented artists on the team and in the Nounish world, and they’ve been willing to contribute. There has been innovation—the first ever song POAP with a new song created by a Grammy-nominated producer every day for 6 days..it’s just been crazy! A NounSquare POAP-filled wallet looks like a killer collection of NFTs.
The POAPs come at the end of the show. They are free. The window to “mint” them is short—usually 10 minutes and it closes at the end of the show. So, you have to be there and pay attention. They play a special sound to alert people (especially internationals) that it’s POAP time.
The Nouns Project is a remarkable endeavor. The NounSquare is basically a fun, casual masterclass on how to live in the new world. Stick around. Give it 7 days. You’ll be hooked and Nounish by the end of your first week.