Cointelegraph journalists at South by Southwest, or SXSW, in Austin, Texas reported that NFTs were everywhere this year, marking a new phenomenon for what began as a music festival in 1987. After a two year hiatus, SXSW has evolved into a film, technology, and general culture gathering. It now includes blockchain programming, crypto-related panels and sponsors of blockchain companies.
Doodles and FLUF World were the two largest NFT communities at SXSW. They ran multi-day, immersive and multi-sensory experiences. These communities built physical installations where people would line up to interact with the virtual communities in person. Cointelegraph found out how these digital collections were created at SXSW.
Doodles are a collection of hand-drawn NFTs that can be used to generate skeletons, cats and aliens. Doodle owners and curious passersby could visit a Doodle-themed structure and buy a drink, get Doodles on their nails, eat noodles, and display their own Doodle NFTs throughout this exhibit. Customers who purchased a sticker or t-shirt at the Shopify-powered Gift Shop could enter a raffle for a chance to win a Doodle.
— doodles (@doodles) March 12, 2022
Cointelegraph spoke to the Doodles founder team about their mission and the collection’s future. Jordan Castro, AKA Poopie (co-founder of Doodles), stated that Doodles hopes leverage its brand strength and reach to assist NFT owners in their entrepreneurial endeavors by monetizing their Doodles.
” We are showing the world what we believe the future is for brands by being a community that becomes a stakeholder. We believe that communities are the future of brand growth. Our approach is to encourage and support creative, technical, and entrepreneurial talent within our community. “
Doodles launched in October 2021, and has since grown its Doodlebank, the community treasury, to a balance of over $3 million. Castro explained that Doodles holders have the ability to propose expansion projects, products or governance ideas through the Doodlebank Forum. All Doodle holders are eligible to vote on these proposals. Two of these proposals-turned-businesses were showcased at SXSW: Noodles and Coffeedoods. Noodles became an entirely new NFT collection and brand that grew to generate more than $550 thousand in sales and $500 thousand in royalties. Visitors lined up for a taste while caffeine-hungry customers waited at the coffee bar. Coffeedoods, a separate Web3 coffee distribution business, was founded by Coffeehead Doodles owners. It offers a subscription NFT that allows you to receive CoffeeDoods coffee monthly. According to the company, there are more than 51,000 pre-sale customers.
Future plans for the Doodles community include “continuing with Doodles in mainstream public consciousness” via additional IRL activations. With support from the local government and businesses, the team announced that they would set up a permanent installation.
Doodles also recently expanded their universe of “joy and rainbow puke” to include Space Doodles, which all Doodlers can claim for free in addition to an extended license NFT that grants them new commercialization rights into Doodle Toys. These toys and collectibles will be based on the original Doodles collection.
The FLUF World pop-up village appeared a few blocks away from Doodles. FLUF World, a metaverse ecosystem that includes virtual land, music, and games, is well-known for its 3D avatar rabbit characters. FLUF created the FLUF Haus division of the company in order to create IRL experiences worldwide, such as Art Basel in Miami, the Super Bowl in Los Angeles, and now SXSW in Austin. FLUF Haus SXSW edition obstructs an area that includes bars, food trucks, and three huge domes, which can be used for panel discussions, VR activities, and artist workshops. The NFT community was able to gather for DJ sets and musical performances in the evening.
— FLUF (@flufworld) March 17, 2022
According to Alex Smeele (co-founder and chief executive of Non-Fungible Labs, F World), SXSW provided an opportunity for industry leaders and innovators to meet in person and extend their online connections into the real world.
“True power is found in the way these digital and physical worlds interact. NFT communities allow people from all walks of the globe to connect around common passions and build strong social bonds. “
The FLUF team shared that part of the mission for being at SXSW was to advocate for an open metaverse and get the community to sign the Metaverse Manifesto. Smeele stated that NFT and crypto industries can be toxic and male-dominated. FLUF World is working to establish standards for Web3 companies.
Smeele stated that FLUF hopes to create a “scalable metaverse with pay-to-earn mechanics” and invent new ways content creators can engage with their followers. They also partnered with Seekers NFT collection, which was built by Sylo Network. Seekers allows NFT owners communicate their wallet address to any other address and with Altered State Machine, which allows AI ownership via NFTs. They created an AR Snapchat experience that allows users to activate FLUF World’s lens and enter FLUF Dome via their app. This will give them the chance to win FLUF characters, or Seeker NFTs.
The community has enabled the team based in New Zealand to raise approximately 2 million New Zealand Dollars to support sustainability initiatives, homelessness, and Ukrainian refugees. Smeele stated that the team’s main priorities for the next quarter are collaboration with top visual and music artists and launching their own token, Mycelium. FLUF will add functionality to its metaverse-ready characters, and allow members to breed their rabbit avatars.
Both of these communities took to the streets of Austin to showcase what their respective communities can expect from them: interaction, engagement and support to be their own creators. Blockchain Creative Labs, FOX Entertainment’s NFT studio, hosted its own Web3 discussion, events, and giveaways at SXSW. The main attraction was a Dolly Parton live performance via blockchain on Friday evening, and the launch of Dollyverse, an NFT drop Dolly’s new album.