Values, principles and ethics of public treasury spending with regard to delivering a 'Web3' mission

In the recently posted Kusamarian proposal to Polkadot there is a budget line included for paid media spend on YouTube, Twitter and TikTok.

After successful experiments promoting content with Twitter Ads and TikTok Promotions we see that a promotion budget of $10,400 will yield at least 3.64 million impressions, 520,000 video views, and 5,700 followers on Twitter and 520,000 video views and 52,000 likes on TikTok in addition to continued organic growth. (Jump to “Promotion Strategy”)

To be clear up front, I am fully supportive of the work that @ChrawnnaCorp and his team do - this is not a critique of the content, the output nor the WagMedia community - it is a general, but important point about what the treasuries are for and what boundaries we should put on them (if any).

Upon further (heated) discussion on the post where I petitoned for removal of the budget line (it could be used elsewhere), it seems that this is not precedent setting and that there may be other examples of treasury spends being used to buy media with the social platforms.

It is (for me anyway) an interesting philosophical, ethical and strategic question - should public funds at the core of Polkadot be used to pay for services from the incumbent data monopolies that the ecosystem aims to replace?

If yes - this is a dangerous drift in a direction of degrading the core values of the ecosystem and a slippery slope to continuing the addiction of crypto teams to the broken incentive models of incumbent digital media platforms. Put simply, paid media is addictive - and pushes producers into a recursive dynamic that serves the algorithm over all else. I could list all the ways the platforms have abused this trust over the years, but I’ll presume people are well aware of the issues.

If no - then we move more concretely in a direction that demands we think more creatively about the technology, talent and resources at our disposal, creating more organic ‘engagement’ through creative partnerships with creators and publishers who are more aligned with the fundamental principles of ‘Web3’. The long and short of it, is you do not need paid media if you use collaborations to your advantage.

Interested in thoughts - maybe I’m alone here, but it feels like a big topic that deserves attention before we move too far down one track.

By reading the discussions on the post, people may find more light ribbing from various token holders than heated discussion :grin:

This is an arbitrary line in the sand. It is well known that the model for “Web2” social networks like Twitter is to sell useful data to advertisers. Anytime we log on, scroll, like, post, or feed it with content we increase the value of its data package which is sells for money. This is not very different than trading money directly to leverage that same data to reach more builders, holders, and community members. Almost all ecosystem projects are already levering (and adding value) to these web2 networks already.

There is nothing noble about Web3 Maximalism. It is a virtue signal like other tribal positions in the space. We are not better than Web2. Despite the promise of Web3, we have a LOT of building to do to come even close to the prosperity Web2 has brought the world. Web3 is being built with Web2 natives using Web2 tools and that’s okay. This is how the evolution works.

Check out this trial post targeted at young rust developers leveraging an interview with TinkerGabe on Space Monkeys. $25 yielded 60.5k impressions of the message, 8.4k video views, and 34 new follows to the page for the delivery of future content. Web2 is awesome and Web3 will be even better if we can build it.


There is nothing noble about Web3 Maximalism. It is a virtue signal like other tribal positions in the space.

And this is where our views part ways. It’s not maximalism at all, it’s a wholly pragmatic view based on the basic incentives that paid media creates and reinforces. I wish you the best of luck.