‘The First Eve of March in the Eventful Year of Twenty Twenty One’ - A Raid Guild Story
(This may be TL;DR — feel free to skip to ‘The Apprentices of RaidGuild’ and condense your reading time!)
Hello! And thank you for visiting my very first publication on Medium — it is a pleasure to have you here. This will be one of my pivotal, early acts in the Ethereum community. Until now, I have been acting the quiet apprentice, writing endless notes of how everything works here on the blockchain, with the help of some generous friends to guide the way. I hope to look back on this with nostalgia of when I took a risk, one day. Let’s get started!
I will do a brief introduction of who I am, to help break the ice. My name is Harry Martin— a recent graduate of Fine Art, nearly at the end of my first year as a freelancer. I left the Glasgow School of Art in March 2020, and my interests and work (being relatively inconsistent with my degree, but alas!) are in design, illustration, print/digital marketing, and UI. I love the versatility and principles that make up Ethereum; how embedded it is to work with people from around the world under its decentralised and transparent architecture, and the results one can yield from simply being sat at a desk. I joined my first DFO at the start of this year, with stakeholders Fanny Lakoubay and Matteo Tambussi. We proudly call this ‘ETHLocal’. It is a cool project that I highly recommend you check out, either via our site or over on Discord — if you wish to travel around Europe/UK on Ethereum!
I have interests that I believe can and must be fully realised on Ethereum with great depth. In particular, I am talking about the study of modern and contemporary curation — its discourse, praxis and revisions that occur between participants and institutions. Exhibitions occur between people as well as between artworks, and I am excited to see how NFTs/DAOs can — and are clearly becoming — transformative artefacts and spaces within this democratic network, and how I can also bring my research to the fore.
That being said, I would like to discuss the first DAO I have ever joined — on that ‘First Eve of March in the Eventful Year of Twenty Twenty One’ (this adverbial is given to apprentices at their first ice-breaker meeting). I am talking about RaidGuild. RaidGuild is a respectable and lively cohort of technical/non-technical freelancers that create Web3 products on the Ethereum blockchain. Web3 has been described by RaidGuild as the ‘future’ of work. The common goal of RaidGuild is to ‘slay’ clients’ Web3 product ‘demons’, which could be something along the lines of developing a dApp. It exists to help suppress Moloch’s impact on the Ethereum network. Overwhelmed? Do not worry, I will elaborate!
The Apprentices of Raidguild — #Season0
At the start of the month I was a bit dry on my freelance work. I had no opportunities that were immediate enough to help with any savings/outgoings, and I was stuck. Matteo kindly forwarded me the CTA that RaidGuild puts out throughout the year, inviting new freelancers to join the Guild as apprentices. I gladly responded to the open call. I was surprised at how friendly and discursive the application process was (questions such as: ‘tell us about the last book you read and share it with the Guild’ appearing often). Looking back, this was a good omen. Apprentices were asked to attend the icebreaker call the following Monday — at either 9:30am or 5pm PST.
Upon joining, there is a lot to see on Discord. RaidGuild has twenty channels (and more if you are an established Raider), that are divided across four categories; of which all are bustling with various activities and discussions. These channels denote a similarly bustling town — Raiders can visit the ‘town square’ to attend a ‘shill shop’ (marketing) meeting for instance, or go to the ‘barrack’s and visit the ‘library’ independently. What is so interesting about RaidGuild is that it permits and actively encourages downtime between freelance projects (aka. ‘raids’). This is refreshing, and the mood is, again, friendly; the groovy bot totally slaps in the back of meetings too.
Stylistically — and in tandem with Discord becoming a medieval town — the artwork and sprites seen across RaidGuild’s site are present in these channels; reminiscent of online MMORPGs such as World of Warcraft, and strategy board games like Le Colons de Catan. I did not play these games growing up, or even remotely understand them, however the influence unifies all Raiders in the Guild, even allocating avatars to members based on unique skillsets. I would advise readers to consult the Guild’s handbook and discover their own avatar. I am one of many archers, for example (as a graphic designer and creator of artistic content).
Drawing on the observation of RaidGuild being a respectful cohort, it reserves firm principles in the delivery of Web3 shipments. RaidGuild values professionalism, respect, collaboration, honour and free speech. It is strictly a ‘no-beef’ zone. Such principles precede any consultation, and are brought to everyone’s attention at the ice-breaker meeting. As a freelancer, you are held accountable in seeing a Raid through ‘at all costs’. This publication is an internal raid in which I am held accountable to, for instance. The cohort’s principles are important, as Raiders work across different times and locations. RaidGuild knows where its priorities lie, and the extent of its commitment will surely help build confidence in Web3 as a workplace of the future.
Did I forget to mention — everyone works around the clock? Literally! Freelancers of the Guild collaborate across various time zones — PST, CET, GMT-5 and good old GMT (not that I am biased, or anything) to name a few. Of course, this makes sense. Under the autonomy of the DAO, freelancers are empowered to decide how to tackle Raids independently (granted they are available) while also balancing other commitments. This is a great benefit of the decentralised structure and ethos of RaidGuild (and Ethereum’s DAOs in general) — and it is surreal to hear so many accents in a day! Decentralisation takes some getting used to, but it puts the direction and idea of workplaces into perspective.
RaidGuild has its own lore, too, which helps ground it in reality in opposition to a very real threat. The power of DeFi and the advent of NFTs in recent weeks and months have gathered significant attention from global media. The Guild stands in opposition of such attention, commonly referred to as Moloch — the ‘god of human coordination failure’. Moloch was accurately coined by Ameen Soleimani, creator of MolochDAO, in describing an influx of market participants during Ethereum’s ‘cycle’ which causes inflation within the blockchain. Those that work on Ethereum operate their products and services at a setback during this period. RaidGuild is one of many DAOs seeking to raise general awareness of Moloch, and his detrimental presence within Ethereum. This is a big talking point in the community, and I would definitely recommend reading this excellent article by David Hoffman to learn more. In short, the Guild’s principles of collaboration and honour occasionally branch out as a larger initiative to support like-minded DAOs operating on the blockchain, and this is another very attractive quality of our cohort.
This lore is then put into practice in collaboration with MolochDAO, which is where I am currently at with RaidGuild. This week, apprentices have been given access to our first sandbox DAO, so that we can fully understand how DAOs operate on the blockchain. As a graphic designer, this has been enigmatic to me ever since joining the cohort. How on earth do you make a DAO? What does it comprise of? How do I contribute in this format? I can only express gratitude to RaidGuild for their willingness to answer most of my questions in meetings and channel discussions. We work together, craft bespoke Web3 products, and get paid for our efforts. At such strange times, RaidGuild comes as a welcome gift unto freelancers!
If you are looking to extend your knowledge of Web3 and Ethereum, you would be doing yourself a favour in joining the Guild. As you can imagine, RaidGuild is a growing community, which currently holds seven developer positions:
‘Archer’ — Design (artistic, graphic design and illustration speciality)
‘Druid’ — Data Science/Analytics (research, SEO and data analysis speciality)
‘Paladin’ — Backend Development (Java, Python, Rust, Node or any backend development speciality)
‘Necromancer’ — Development Operations (technical configuration and optimisation speciality)
‘Ranger’ — UX/User Testing (user experience, feedback and testing expertise)
‘Warrior’ — Frontend Development (React, CSS, HTML or any other frontend specialities)
‘Wizard’ — Smart Contracts (Solidity, Vyper or any other smart contract specialities)
And nine, non-developer positions:
‘Angry Dwarf’ — Treasury (accounting and finance speciality)
‘Cleric’ — Account Manager (hybrid comms or project management speciality)
‘Hunter’ — BizDev (business and sales development speciality)
‘Monk’ — PM (managing, budgeting and documentation speciality)
‘Mystic Alchemist’ — DAO Consultant (expertise in DAO user, advising and consulting)
‘Rogue’ — Legal (legal advising and analysing capabilities)
‘Scribe’ — Content Creator (expertise such as writing, video taping and podcasting)
‘Tavern Keeper’ — Community (managing community related activities)
‘Healer’ — Internal Operations (managing internal operations of the guild)
These can all be reviewed in full by consulting RaidGuild’s Handbook, which gives finer detail to principles discussed in this publication, as well as topics such as escrow, our social channels/community, and even our own dialectal glossary used within the Guild. You can also hire us if you have a Web3 product ‘demon’ that requires slaying on your behalf!
I am currently working on an internal Raid with a few of the very friendly Archers and Warriors of the Guild, which many amount to exciting changes in the near future. I have had lots of fun getting acquainted with this community, and it would appear that ‘The First Eve of March in the Eventful Year of Twenty Twenty One’, truly was eventful!