• Shift
  • Posts
  • Living It Up: Your Guide to Social DAOs 🍾

Living It Up: Your Guide to Social DAOs 🍾

A Sneak Peek at the Driving Forces of Culture in web3

Living It Up: Your Guide to Social DAOs

A Sneak Peek at the Driving Forces of Culture in web3

Hey There!

It's Lauren, one of the cofounders of Shift, a media startup where we onboard beginners to web3 through educational content written in plain English. We're so excited to be collaborating with Eliot and our friends at Coinvise on a comprehensive guide to Social DAOs. Hope you enjoy :D

Social DAOs are virtual places where people passionate about the same things decide to join forces to build cool experiences together. The vibes are…dare we say… IMMACULATE. 

In this Shift Guide, co-written with our friends at Coinvise, we’ll break down what Social DAOs are, how they operate and how you can get involved!


Before we get into specifics of how to get involved with these clubs, let’s refresh on what this acronym actually means. In its simplest form, a DAO, or decentralized autonomous organization, is an organization governed by a group of people where a set of rules are stored on the blockchain (basically a giant database). Members can vote on proposals related to the DAO through tokens that can be bought or earned.

The idea of a DAO was originally to have all the collective decisions be on-chain, meaning that decisions are enforced through crypto mechanisms (code) to remove human incompetencies in decision making. Despite this original vision, DAOs today look more like Discord groups experimenting with new crypto tools and ways of managing communities. 

Cute. Now get into the social part!

Joining a Social DAO is like joining your university football team. You make friends, share common interests with them, belong to a group, get social status, etc. But there’s a  difference between being on a football team and joining a social DAO. Look no further:

Picture Soho House run by its members instead of some ominous CEO or club manager. The mood is curated by you, not preset.

Social DAOs have shown their efficiency in building amazing social experiences that wouldn't have been possible the traditional way through leveraging crypto mechanisms. Let’s break it down!

Social DAOs use what we call a “Multi-Signature Wallet.” Basically, it's a Crypto Wallet where that stores the cryptocurrencies of the DAO. It’s like a Bank account, except that DAOs have the option to require a predefined number of signatures to confirm transactions every time a decision must be made. 

Why? It is necessary to have multiple team members from the community to validate the transactions in order to execute them. It’s kind of a shared bank account, and it allows Social DAOs to create trust at scale.

No one can leave with all the money as it would require the authorization of all the other members.

Social DAOs are NOT about work. They are first and foremost about culture—vibing and creating together. Culture comes first, while products and projects come second.

But it doesn't mean these virtual groups don't produce anything tangible. Social DAOs are harnessing the power of their community to create new social experiences, bring online to offline, share insights, and organize music festivals,hackathons, or crazy parties. 

All DAOs, even socially-focused ones, are building new experiences and working on multiple projects by leveraging this new ground-up structural model and the power of new technologies.

That’s Cool, but how does it work?

The foundation for Social DAOs is tokens– a cryptocurrency for DAOs. Tokens are the tickets to join a Social DAO. If you want to get into the club, you have to present your pass. In web3-slang, we call this “token-gating.”The true power of Social DAOs is that attaching cryptocurrency to their online community & social club gives members an incentive to make it a fun place to hang out, unlocking new levels of community interactions. 

Indeed, contributors are incentivized to help the organization succeed, as the value of their tokens is directly correlated to the attractiveness of the DAO. In essence, the value of a social token can be directly attributed to its members. That’s pretty neat!

Social DAOs, compared to traditional social clubs, can also set up tools to boost members' sense of confidence or encourage gestures of kindness and support. This can, for example, be achieved by allowing members to send tips (with the native token) to each other as a display of appreciation and recognition.

I can’t believe ordinary people can do this? Do they get any help?

Spoiler alert: YES!

Social DAOs often leverage a set of tools to run smoothly, starting by creating their tokens.

There are plenty of ways to create your DAO, and one used often often used is:

Step 1: Create a server on Discord

Step 2: Create a social token on Coinvise, a platform that allows anyone to create a token easily in five minutes, then send tokens to multiple members at once to grant access to the community. 

Step 3: Restrict the access of your Discord server with the Discord Bot Collab.land

Step 4: Allow members to vote on future strategic decisions by creating an account on Snapshot.

Tada, you have everything you need to start your Social DAO!

Bestie…you’ve talked so much about contribution. What does that mean? How can I contribute?

First of all, contributing doesn’t mean dropping everything you’re doing to go all-in in one DAO. There are multiple levels of contributors.

  • Regular members - are those simply using the product or service.

  • Bounty Hunters - are members that may not be involved in daily DAO operations or planning but are actively seeking and completing interesting bounties, or little tasks for the DAO. Anyone can become a Bounty Hunter. There's usually no need for approval before completing a bounty.

  • Core contributors - are members that actively attend DAO meetings, consistently work on larger DAO priorities, and potentially lead projects with other DAO members. Staff members usually recruit them because they show their capabilities and their involvement in the DAO.

  • Staff members - are responsible for the survival and vision of the DAO, treasury management, and other high-level priorities such as Seasonal community guidance. They are usually hired via a proposal that has to be accepted by the community.

I’m Sold. How do I join?

The first step is finding a community you like that shares your values. We recommend looking at the following databases:

Once you find a community you like, hop into the community! You can introduce yourself and exercise your rights as a member by:

  • Voting on proposals

  • Attending virtual events

  • Working on new ideas

  • Sharing your talent with the community on a project

Final Word

As shown in this guide, social DAOs are all about culture. Culture is not an add-on. It's a core feature. It is what bonds people together and creates trust on a different layer than crypto mechanisms.

It is just the beginning when it comes to experimenting with new ways of harnessing the power of a community to build new social experiences.

Further resources:

If you learned something from this article, make sure you subscribe to stay updated on future educational content. As always, no crypto jargon, just plain English.

Sent with 💜, Lauren "I'm Studying Journalism Not CS" Huttner