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Walk through the (Farcaster) arch, it's worth it

My Farcaster journey & the evolution of Terminally Onchain over the last 1.5 years

Welcome to the 283 new people who joined the Terminally Onchain community since my last post!

I'm thankful for all 7536 of you and I hope everyone is having a great week so far 🔥

If you're enjoying my writing, please share Terminally Onchain with your friends in Crypto and join the /toc channel on Farcaster 🤝

Hi everyone, hope all of you are doing well!

This is my 60th post on the Terminally Onchain newsletter 🥳

Also, this week marks 6 months of the TOC brand...that's roughly 10 newsletter posts per month since January!

Thank you to everyone who has been a part of this crazy journey so far and I'm so excited to share what's coming up next in this post.

Today's post is also my submission to the first Farcaster writing hackathon that Adrienne, Prof, Ted, and I hosted last week! (peep my ratchet logo I made in 5 mins 😂 )

The purpose of the writing hackathon was to create and contribute to the Farcaster canon, solve current challenges within the community, and help create Farcaster's future. Most people don't have the luxury to be able to write blog posts as their full time job. So we thought it would great to organize a 1 week period where anyone in the Farcaster community could put words on paper and encourage each other to get their ideas out there.

Last Friday was the start of the hackathon. We hosted about 20 folks IRL in NYC at the Variant office and then ~30 people joined the livestream online from all over the world.

The rules of the hackathon are pretty simple:

  1. Submit any Farcaster related writing (developer docs, futuristic essays, thinkboi pieces, reflections, fiction, etc.) by Friday June 28th

  2. The content must be onchain (i.e. Paragraph, Mirror, Zora screenshot essay)

There were no length or quality requirements and we specifically didn't have awards or judges. The goal was to encourage as many people as we could to simply get their thoughts out into the community.

Here's a picture of the IRL event in NYC. We had an awesome brainstorming session during lunch where everyone went around and discussed their topics and got feedback.


With that being said, I wanted my essay submission for the hackathon to cover my Farcaster journey, my experience being a creator in this ecosystem, and also serve as an announcement post about the future of Terminally Onchain 👀

Today's post will have 4 sections:

  1. Fuck around and find out

  2. Momentum is everything

  3. Connecting the pieces

  4. Thank you Farcaster

Let's dive in 🚀

Fuck around and find out

November 2021

I had known about Farcaster since fall of 2021. I still remember Dan sending me an invite to join the community back in November of that crazy bull market...for those of you who were around in crypto then, I think it was roughly around the time when ChainRunners had launched. However, at the time, my following on Twitter was popping off so I didn't even think twice to spend energy on a new social app - I was all in on writing twitter threads.

Then, when the market cooled down a few months later in 2022, I finally got around to checking out Farcaster. However, I still wasn't active as work had caught up to me and much of the crypto related things I was doing was still on Twitter.

November 2022

The real turning point for my Farcaster activity was when the FTX fiasco happened and crypto twitter became unbearable. In that chaos, I recall finding a certain sense of calmness on Farcaster. I didn't know many of the people at that point but it was clear that the dynamic was totally different. To a certain extent it reminded me of the super early days of Clubhouse in spring 2020. Good conversation, friendly interactions, meaningful discussions, etc.

Additionally, I had quit my job 2 days before the market collapse to go try building my own thing. I didn't know what I was going to work on but I decided to give myself 1.5 years to experiment and try building a company. And if it didn't work out, no big deal, I would appreciate the learnings and go on to find another job.

And just like that, I entered two new journeys in parallel: starting my own company & being active on Farcaster.

In December 2022, I was brainstorming ideas for what to do in this new phase of my career. As most of my crypto presence was centered around writing, I figured it would be a no brainer to start a newsletter of some sort. Packy and Lenny had tremendous growth in the years before and I thought "hey why can't I do this?".

However, I knew that I wanted to try a unique approach of embracing the "crypto creator" route. I told myself that whatever I did had to be as crypto native as possible. That's when I met Colin (founder of Paragraph) and we hopped on a call to discuss ideas. I was sold on using Paragraph - mainly because I liked Colin, the actual tool was in its early stages. I knew that I would have access to stronger distribution if I used Beehiiv or Substack but I also felt that it was an asymmetric bet to be an early power user of Paragraph in case it popped off later 👀

January 2023

Soon after, the holidays finished up, and everyone was back at their computers ready to attack 2023. I went in thinking that my first idea would obviously pop off and I had "figured my thing out".

Oh boy....rookie mistake.

For the next year I was basically iterating non-stop on ideas and testing what worked and what didn't.

My first newsletter was called Web3 World where I would write small profiles on different products in the web3 ecosystem.


April 2023

Then I tried starting my own podcast called The Bigger Picture. I recorded 4 episodes but only ended up publishing two.


Then I did these "history threads" where I would go through major crypto brand accounts and highlight the most iconic tweets.


June 2023

After getting bored of that, in June of 2023, I started a 30 day writing challenge where the only goal was to get a post on Paragraph and Farcaster everyday. It didn't even have to be about crypto, the goal was to simply put words on paper and publish even if I was traveling, having a bad day, etc.


I successfully finished that and then for the next few months continued writing on The Bigger Picture newsletter. To be honest, it felt half assed and I was really just trying out a bunch of different ideas, topics, etc. Even I can't tell you what my goal was other than just keeping up the consistency and trying my best to be a "full time writer".

September 2023

Then after giving up on that, I moved on to try growth consulting for early stage companies in crypto. I found a couple of clients and ended up working with 3. However, I quickly realized that though the founders were enjoying my ideas, I personally found the work boring and unfulfilling. Consulting didn't feel like the dream I wanted to go for when I first quit my job so I finished up those contracts for the next two months and was back at square one.


November 2023

At this point, it was Thanksgiving, and I vividly remember being depressed and frustrated. Nothing was clicking. I wasn't enjoying my 20s. I was stuck at my computer. I didn't know what I liked. It just all sucked. I was fed up and for the first time even started looking at job applications.

For the Christmas holidays, I decided I needed a change of scenery so I went back home to visit my parents in Houston for the month.

And then I don't know what happened but suddenly things felt like they were turning around...

Momentum is Everything


A week or so before Christmas, I was looking at the calendar and realized that I had 6 months left before I would have to go find a job. Time was running out.

I decided I would try one last go at another newsletter. The truth is that at that point I was so tired of overthinking about whether things would work or not that I sort of just jumped right into it. Initially, the newsletter was called Onchain Letters.

Basically, I would pick someone in the Farcaster ecosystem that I thought was doing something cool and write a letter to them with my thoughts. Here are the first two that I posted to get things started (you can scroll back in the archive of this newsletter, they're still up).


The big difference with my execution on this idea is that I didn't give myself time to worry if it would work out or not. My only goal was to ship and keep the momentum - nothing else mattered.

In fact, on January 1st of this year, I wrote a letter making it clear that my goal was simply to stay committed and be consistent.

So, this year, that's exactly what I'm going to do. Spend less time thinking of what to do and instead just write. I'm not sure how the future will play out and what this journey will look like. But all I know is that in the present moment, my job is going to be to show up daily, put words on paper, and hit the publish button. - Read the full post here

And for the months after, I stuck to publishing 3 posts every week! I was getting roughly 7,000-8,000 words down on paper by every Sunday. It was brutal at the beginning. I was basically researching, writing, and editing non-stop.

But I treated it like a job and didn't give myself the chance to make excuses. Not every piece was great, but I ended up getting a few posts (i.e. Ethereum's Broadband Moment, Prediction Markets) that resonated with many folks on Farcaster. Throughout Q1, more and more people were noticing my writing and giving me shoutouts. The frames launch at the end of January also helped bring in a ton of new readers that found the content helpful.


Then, in March, I was working on a post for Hypersub / Fabric and I couldn't figure out what my thesis was. I realized it was probably best to just give the product a try and go through the flow myself. I was at a coffee shop and spent a few hours brainstorming ideas on what a cool subscription service would look like.

I ended up liking this concept of "ClassPass for OP Stack". Basically, giving my hypersubs access to cool perks, early access, onchain discounts, etc. And then without much thought, I went ahead and launched it just for fun so I could say I did it in my post.

But the next 48 hours after launch was insane - I ended up getting over a 100 paid subs and earned 2 eth then and there. I was simply shocked and felt so grateful for my Farcaster friends. Clearly there was something to the idea and I decided that I would actually take the hypersub seriously and see what comes out of it.


Over the next few months, I did a variety of partnerships and drops for my hypersub in parallel with my newsletter writing. Here are some examples:


As I continued to provide value to the paid community members through the drops and special newsletter shoutouts, my revenue continued to grow and I became increasingly excited about having hypersub as an essential part of my journey.


At that point, I changed my newsletter name from Onchain Letters to Terminally Onchain for brand consolidation purposes.

The Terminal

One issue I was having with the hypersub was that it was difficult to communicate with my paid subscribers. There wasn't an effective way to communicate with them directly about a new drop they had access to!

I had so many subs tell me later on that they had missed many of the drops and thought that I wasn't delivering.

So I wanted to fix this. After Farcon, I couldn't get the idea of building a Farcaster app out of my head. I decided that I would try building a hyper niche client just for my channel and community so that they would know exactly what's happening through notifications.


After some iteration, v1 of The Terminal (what I'm calling the Terminally Onchain app) ended up being a fun game that I let everyone participate in. The tl;dr is Dylan and I built an "Onchain BeReal" game for the community. The game lasted 1 week and the basic premise was that there would be a daily mint launched at a random time. Players would have 1 hour to mint in order to keep their streaks. And the longest streaks at the end of the week would win a share of the prize pool.

You can read about the complete experience of building The Terminal (in 2 weeks!) here.

Overall, the experiment was a fantastic success.

The game drove 1300 mints on Base, The Terminal has almost been downloaded by 400 people, and we had hundreds of users playing the game everyday!

This game wrapped up 3 weeks ago, and since then I've been figuring out what's next.

And after some ideating, talking to power community members, and working on v2 of The Terminal...I'm excited to share the future of Terminally Onchain with all of you!

Connecting the Pieces

So what's the big news? What's the launch for Terminally onchain?

I mentioned this above, but when I quit I gave myself 1.5 years to figure "my company" situation out. That time period ends June 2024.

Guess what day it is today.....June 28th, 2024 😂

And for the first time in this crazy journey I feel confident saying that I'm a founder and have my own brand & company.

The key insight I got from writing my newsletter, organizing onchain partnerships for the hypersub, and running the v1 game of The Terminal is that there is an increasing need for onchain curation from a trusted voice in the community.

People want to be active onchain but simply don't have the time and resources to stay up to date with the ever growing amount of activity across the chains, crypto social, etc.

In fact, in the last 24 weeks that I've been running this newsletter, the posts that have had the highest open rate are my Sunday editions where I simply send out a list of what I minted on OP stack that week.

So that's exactly the problem I'm going to lean into.

Terminally Onchain will be a one stop shop to get a tl;dr on what's happening onchain and access to the most interesting onchain collabs out there.

Here's the rundown:

  • TOC will provide a daily curation of things you may have missed on Farcaster, Base, Zora, and Optimism (basically OP stack). Examples include:

    1. Profiles on Farcaster that are under followed

    2. Niche Farcaster channels that I believe deserve more attention

    3. Casts that you may have missed but provide value (i.e. feature launches, updates, etc.)

    4. Top open edition mints across the OP stack (screenshot essays, pod clips, experiments)

  • You'll receive a push notification from the The Terminal (the app) and when you open it up you'll see a 1 minute feed of ~5-10 cards that highlight the most important things that happened onchain from the day before

  • There will be a "check-in" button on the home page. Every time you open up The Terminal and click it, you'll receive 10 TOC points

  • As you accumulate these points, you'll be able to cash them in for different perks and experiences I curate (i.e. creator partnerships). Additionally, with your points, you'll be able to submit your own mints or casts to be featured in the daily feed. Key point: to encash the TOC points, you'll need to be a hypersub member!

To drive potential users to The Terminal, I'll be using this Terminally Onchain newsletter to send out daily updates. Subscribers will receive a daily morning e-mail from me (think Morning Brew) that will be a simple list of the same information on the app. And I'll also be posting a frame in the /toc channel with that daily curation as well.

Day 1 of this new phase of Terminally Onchain will be starting Monday, July 1st!
The Paragraph Newsletter, Hypersub, and The Terminal (app) are all now connected in one flow and will be working together to hopefully be the largest onchain native brand in the ecosystem 🔥

Thank you Farcaster

Looking back at all the crazy times since the FTX crash in November 2022, I owe Farcaster so much. The truth is that I was totally dejected after losing so much money in the SBF scandal. So much of my holdings from the years before were frozen and snatched away from me in a blink of an eye.

If it weren't for Farcaster, there's a very solid chance I would have left crypto and not have even made it to the 2024 halving. I can't explain why, but for whatever reason that I ended up on Farcaster back then completely changed my life. And I don't mean that in a dramatic, exaggerated way. It literally did.

My entire company is based around Farcaster. My earnings have come from being an active Farcaster use. A majority of my friends in NYC I've met from Farcaster. A nontrivial amount of my day is spent on Farcaster. I found my true, authentic voice on Farcaster. I've found so many mentors on Farcaster. My favorite conference I've ever attended was Farcon. The list goes on and on.

So I don't take it lightly when I say that walking through the "Farcaster arch" in November 2022 at a low point in my life really did change so much of what happened in the year and half after.

The reality is that no one knows what the future of Farcaster is. It might end up becoming one of the most important products in the next decade. Or it might totally fizzle out in the next year. But the truth is that I don't care. In just a few years of the Merkle team working to make this product and community amazing, I've already received so much value out of it that I will forever be grateful.

My hope with sharing this post that at least 1 person is inspired by my journey to decide they want to spend their energy and time building in this incredible ecosystem. If that happens, then I'd say this post was a success!

Everything up until Monday's launch has just been phase 0 for me in my creator-builder journey. The real test starts on July 1st with Terminally Onchain - for me the goal will be to be the best onchain curator and build the largest onchain media brand out there.

Regardless of what ends up happening, I'll be on Farcaster and excited to hang with my friends there!

See you all on Monday 🤝

If anyone has feedback or wants early access to the product, feel free to DM me on Warpcast!

I hope everyone has a great weekend :)

- YB

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