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Every day design fans submit incredible industry stories to our sister-site, Webdesigner News. Our colleagues sift through it, selecting the very best stories from the design, UX, tech, and development worlds and posting them live on the site.

The best way to keep up with the most important stories for web professionals is to subscribe to Webdesigner News or check out the site regularly. However, in case you missed a day this week, here’s a handy compilation of the top curated stories from the last seven days. Enjoy!

CSS.GUI – Open Source Visual Editor for CSS

Meet Web Push

Mobile-First CSS: Is it Time for a Rethink?

Web5 Is Here, Goodbye Web3? TBD

Nosignup.tools – Free Web Apps that Don’t Require Signup

Hello – The Best Search Engine for Software Developers

Exciting New Tools for Designers, June 2022

Adobe Plans to Make Photoshop on the Web Free to Everyone

8 CSS Snippets that Demonstrate the Power of Shadow Effects

Tango 2.0 – Automatically Generate Step-by-step Guides for your Team

Understanding the Template Element in HTML

Random Emoji Generator – Have Fun with Emojis

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WordPress 6.0 has been released, and another niche jazz musician will be enjoying extra Spotify royalties next month.

WordPress 6, named for latin-jazz musician Arturo O’Farrill, is the realization of a change of direction the WordPress Foundation adopted several years ago.

All versions of WordPress now power around 42% of the web. That’s approximately 810,000,000 sites. If you looked at each site for a single second, without pausing to blink, it would take you over 25 years to see the home page of each one — of course, if you factor in how long a typical WordPress site takes to load it would take well over a century.

Some people (i.e., me) have been predicting the decline of WordPress for so long that sooner or later, we were bound to be correct. And, despite its astonishing reach, there are some signs that its market share may now be in decline. Even the W3C abandoned it in favor of Craft.

Of the 1,930,000,000 sites that currently make up the web, only around 400,000,000 are active. WordPress’s long-term dominance, coupled with a stalling market share, means that a disproportionate number of abandoned sites are WordPress. With site builders like Wix, Squarespace, and Shopify taking huge chunks of WordPress’ share of new sites, WordPress is facing something of a cliff edge.

What the ill-informed naysayers (i.e., me) hadn’t counted on was that WordPress had already seen the writing on the wall and formulated a plan…

WordPress’s problem has always been its legacy code; supporting out-of-date ideas and a spaghetti-like codebase has meant a great deal of work to do anything new. As a result, the last few releases have seen great ideas stifled by labored implementation. Even the most loyal WordPress user has to admit that Gutenberg, while filled with potential, doesn’t work the way it should. However, with WordPress 6, all the work may be starting to pay off.

With version 6, the block editor in WordPress is starting to feel like a design tool that, if not perfect, is at least usable. Editing content no longer feels like you’re fighting against the UI. Most importantly, the bar for creating a site is much, much lower. WordPress 6 also offers improved performance and accessibility, both areas that have traditionally been lacking. Security is still something of an issue, but that is mainly due to the ROI for hackers that massive market shares generate.

WordPress, it seems, has arrived at two conclusions: its main competition isn’t other CMS but other site builders. To maintain its market dominance, it needs to cater not to professionals but to amateurs.

Don’t get me wrong; the WordPress ecosystem will benefit from WordPress 6, at least reputationally. New sites run by amateurs eventually become established sites run by, if not professionals, then at least knowledgeable amateurs.

OK, so WordPress probably isn’t a good choice for enterprise sites. And there are certainly better options for ecommerce. And as for SEO, well, probably best not mentioned.

But in WordPress 6, we have a free, open-source site builder that lowers the bar for making a new site. It’s a credit to the community that has persevered to produce it.

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When you hear the word “leadership,” do you think of a particular person?

If you’d been asked that question anytime before the 1900s, chances are you’d think of an accomplished politician or a battle-tested general. These were the people leading society for most of recorded history. Today, you might have someone else in mind.

Since the industrial era, the US has birthed a pantheon of founders who’ve arguably led our society as much as any statesman or president. We put Rockefeller and Ford right next to Lincoln and Jefferson. Think about it; these guys haven’t just changed the US; they’ve changed how the entire world lives and does business.

Founders of successful companies today command even larger amounts of capital and power than JD and Henry. With the rise of social media, they are often thrust to the forefront of their brands and the public, whether they like it or not. Some manage the responsibility better than others.

In my opinion, the best businesses use all that capital, manpower, and name recognition to do more than simply make a profit. By leading with authenticity, inspiring positive action, and influencing their brand’s vision for innovation – they try to make a change.

I wanted to take a minute to reflect on some modern founder-led brands I think are doing a killer job of creating unique, world-changing businesses and company cultures. I also want to discuss the lessons I have learned from them.

Elon Musk – Tesla

When talking about founder-led brands of the 21st century, it’s hard to pass over electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla and its outspoken CEO, Elon Musk. Love him or loathe him, he belongs in any conversation on influential founders.

While Musk isn’t technically the founder of Tesla, he is one hundred percent responsible for the company’s direction over the past decade. I think two of the strongest leadership points for Musk are his focus on branding and innovation.

Tesla created showrooms and charging stations long before his business had the sales to justify the expense. People saw the name Tesla everywhere, got curious about it, and now that’s paying off big time. Tesla today is at the forefront of the EV industry while all the other car companies play catch-up.

Behind the scenes, Tesla was also early to create a vertically-integrated supply chain – giving it almost complete control over its product and logistics. That’s another feature with a hefty upfront price tag but paid off when the pandemic hit. Now the biggest automakers in the world are rushing to copy that model.

Musk arguably even convinced China to deregulate foreign ownership of automotive companies. That’s hard to prove. However, China changed its rules around foreign ownership of EV companies shortly after he refused to enter the country.

Arguably, Tesla today is one of the frontrunners in redefining how traditional companies run. Musk is known to hate bureaucracy and traditional hierarchies. He hires other people to take care of bureaucratic processes for him.

Musk is also known for hiring relatively young, hard-working employees into high-power management positions in the company and letting them prove themselves. That inspires extreme loyalty from his employees from an early age. Musk’s focus on efficiency and rejection of traditional hierarchies has sparked a small revolution in tech companies.

Finally, I respect Musk because he has goals beyond showing year-over-year growth to shareholders. That’s hard to do day in and day out.

Sara Blakely – Spanx

Sara Blakely is an example of a founder with her hands in every part of her business, from product creation to sales. Most importantly, she created an authentic company culture with values she felt the business world lacked.

For those who know her story, Spanx very nearly didn’t happen. Blakely pitched her slimming undergarment to multiple women’s brands run by men. Most told her it would never work.

It might seem silly now, but men used to think they knew women’s fashion better than women. It wasn’t until one executive gave Blakely’s product to his daughters to try out that he agreed to start stocking Spanx. It’s a great example of how businesses can make a lot of money by listening to their customers.

Besides founding a women’s clothing company that sells products women want, Blakely strived to bring “feminine energy” into the workplace. I saw this poignant quote from her in an article:

“Twenty-one years ago when I started Spanx, I ended up in the paper in Atlanta, and I was at a cocktail party and a couple of guys came up to me and they said, ‘Sara, we read about you. Congratulations! We heard you invented something.’ And I said, ‘Yes I did, I’m so excited.’ They said, ‘Business is war,’ and then they pat me on the shoulder and they kind of laughed at each other. I went back home to my apartment that night. I was 29 and I just thought, I’m not going to war. I’m going to do this very differently. I’m going to honor a lot of feminine principles — intuition, empathy, kindness. Just allowing myself to be vulnerable through this process. And of course, a lot of the masculine energy has helped me also — it was a balance. But I wasn’t going to do it by squashing the feminine.”

Blakely worked hard to create a sales-oriented company culture that was purposely welcoming from that point forward. She regularly scheduled “oops meetings” where employees could stand up and say how they messed up and turn it into a funny story. At Spanx, it was okay to make mistakes and learn from them.

Blakely wanted everything about her product to be fun, including the way it was sold. She created a mandatory boot camp for salespeople, which, among other things, requires employees to perform standup comedy. Little things like that resonated with people and made Spanx synonymous with “fun.” Even famous actresses were flashing their Spanx on the red carpet.

The lesson we can all learn from Spanx and Blakely is that fun and positive energy are great marketing tools for any business. Many companies try to push a fun culture publicly without any authentic leadership that genuinely exemplifies that narrative, they won’t have the same effect. Blakely’s story of Spanx is not just a story of the brand but a story of her life and the experiences that shaped her vision and goals.

Jack Dorsey – Block (FKA Square)

While better known for founding Twitter, Jack Dorsey has recently been in the news for his move to solely running payment processing business Block. I admire Dorsey because he radically encourages his teams to think differently about how they work.

Dorsey is known for optimizing ways to stay productive and focused throughout the day. He manages through unconventional tactics like communicating only through voice memos on his phone that he runs through transcription apps. He says this prevents him from being sidetracked by distractions on his computer. I think that kind of mindfulness is necessary now more than ever.

Dorsey tries to bring this level of focus to his interactions with his employees too. I saw a great quote from him in this article discussing computer-less meetings at Block.

“When phones are down and laptops are closed, the team can discuss any issue at hand without distraction. We can actually focus and not just spend an hour together but make that time meaningful — and if that time is 15 minutes, then it’s 15 minutes and then we move on with our lives.”

Besides limiting distractions, Dorsey is known to walk five miles to work daily, theme each day, and create detailed agendas and goals for each team meeting. In his former company, Twitter, the culture was frequently described as a space where employees could speak freely to management about things they wanted to change.

On that subject, Dorsey has been known to push hard for employee control in his companies. Perhaps ironically, he was also quoted saying he wants Twitter to break away from its co-founders’- vision and control, calling founder-led companies “severely limiting.” However, it still seems he has some sort of vision for the world that he wants to bring around via Block.

His business goals are visionary, pushing the boundaries of innovation in the financial world.

Dorsey is a known cryptocurrency enthusiast but had pushback from the Twitter team, including his CFO, about making a crypto-centric product. His move to payments processor, Block, seems to be a bid to follow his passion and exert his vision on the world.

Block has since made headlines for being extremely bullish on cryptocurrencies, while many have expressed doubts. Dorsey even changed the business’s name to Block to better reflect its focus on blockchain and famously purchased $50 million worth of Bitcoin in 2020. All the while, Dorsey has been quietly creating arms of his business in the hopes of improving BTC’s usefulness. That may pay off down the line.

Melanie Perkins – Canva

I identify strongly with Melanie Perkins, co-founder of graphic design SaaS, Canva. Besides being roughly the same age, we both came from nondescript beginnings with no background in entrepreneurship or tech.

Canva is an excellent example of a business created by becoming intimately familiar with a customer problem and executing. Perkins spent years teaching people how to use design platforms like Adobe Creative Suite because they were so complicated. Taking that knowledge, she started a simple product to help customers create high school yearbooks. That expanded into a super app covering every aspect of design.

This super-app has unlocked a way for millions to learn design and produce high-quality content at any skill level. The cost to use Canva is many times lower than anything else on the market.

While Canva is an amazing product, what I like most about Perkins is that she believes business serves a higher purpose than maximizing profits.

When she was suddenly thrust into the limelight with a $40 billion valuation, people were even more impressed by Perkins’ philanthropic goals. She vowed to donate a 30 percent stake in Canva to a charity dedicated to eliminating poverty (about $12 billion). She is also known to regularly fundraise for 25,000 different nonprofits through her app. She doesn’t just inspire people with words, but by actions, she’s actually taking.

Canva is very public about its ethos. I like their values because they are general yet avoid the jargon many companies fall into. They are:

  • To be a force for good and empower others;
  • Pursue excellence;
  • Be a good human;
  • Make complex things simple;
  • Set crazy big goals and make them happen.

Besides revolutionizing how modern businesses design and harness goodwill marketing, Canva was also one of the forerunners of the remote work trend.

Most of Canva’s “Canvanauts” worked from homes worldwide even before the pandemic. Canva showed a lot of tired old businesses that you could still run a successful company without having employees in the office 24/7.

How I Try to Learn From the Best

Finally, I want to talk about what I am trying to contribute to my team and society with my current business, startup acquisition marketplace, MicroAcquire.

As I’ve mentioned, I think it is very much on myself as a founder to set the tone of my business – and that starts with who I hire. When I’m searching for new employees to join the “#Micromafia” I not only look for productive workers, I look for people I genuinely enjoy spending time with. It’s the best feeling in the world to go to meetings where you leave thinking, “That was really fun.”

Besides creating a great team, I’ve tried to address another problem I see again and again at major tech companies: employee burnout. There’s a reason the average tenure of a tech employee is three years.

I love working on startups. It’s like playing a video game for me, and it’s probably why I’m a founder. That said, I know my employees don’t always feel the same way. As CEO, I make sure my team knows I want them to live their lives outside of MicroAcquire.

On the business side of things, I take cues from the best. Like Musk and Dorsey, I want to preemptively create features that I know our customers will love. I knew people wanted an easy way to sell their startups because I wished I’d had one back when I was doing it.

Like Spanx and Tesla, I also strongly believe in the power of innovative branding – and I make sure we spend in areas that will give us significant returns down the line.

For example, we’ve made it easy to get MicroAcquire merchandise online completely free. The extra exposure we get from tech people rocking MicroAcquire t-shirts is more than worth the cost. We also created our own media publication Bootstrappers.com to tell the founder stories we thought major publications had missed. That’s been a huge hit with our customers, who also happen to be founders. These people traditionally have had to spam inboxes and pay for press because they didn’t raise billions in funding.

Finally, like Blakely and Perkins, I also want to actively listen to customer feedback and make sure we create a necessary and desired product. That’s why I make sure we’re constantly engaging with our community both on our website and social media. Many of the features we’ve added are just things we’ve heard mentioned multiple times from customers.

So far, I love the community we’ve created online and in the office. I don’t claim to have the winning formula, but I feel we are making a real difference out there. We’re lucky to live in a world with so many smart people getting their ideas out and making a positive change in the world.

 

Featured image via Unsplash.

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Are you a creative person looking for the perfect career path to take? If so, there are not many more creative professions than that of a web designer.

However, becoming a web designer can be challenging, especially if you do not know where to start. For example, do you need to attend college to become a web designer? And what kind of computer and software do you need to own to be successful as a web designer?

This guide aims to answer all these questions and show you the steps you need to follow to build a career in web design.

Web Designer: Main Skills and Responsibilities

Generally speaking, a web designer is a professional who creates, manages, and maintains content for the web. Nothing is left out from designing pages and visual elements via programming languages and creating user-friendly websites.

Web Designer (Hard and Soft) Skills:

  • UX, UI, and visual design knowledge (web fonts, colors, etc.)
  • Management of design software (e.g., Adobe Photoshop)
  • Coding knowledge (HTML, CSS, JavaScript, etc.)
  • Time management
  • Communication skills
  • Problem-solving and teamwork skills
  • Research skills

Web Designer Responsibilities:

  • Plan and create web pages
  • Design appealing layouts
  • Use codes to create user-friendly pages
  • Ability to meet deadlines
  • Listen and advise clients
  • Able to work as part of a team and effectively solve occurring problems
  • Analyze the client’s niche, explore new web design opportunities/ innovative digital marketing approaches

If you feel overwhelmed reading this table, don’t be! You do not have to master all of the above skills. No one expects you to either. Becoming a top-notch web designer takes some dedication, but ultimately it’s nothing more than a series of steps. Let’s dive deeper into them.

Becoming a Web Designer: 7 Essential Steps

1. Gaining the Knowledge Needed: Theory and Certifications

Let’s start with the most common question, “Do I need to go to college to become a web designer?” Research shows that more than 65% of web designers are self-taught (fully or partially). Of course, that does not mean you can jump into design from the start.

Instead, we recommend that you learn some essential web design elements and how to use them in your future projects. This includes UX (user experience), UI (user interface), protocols, and patterns. The same goes for technical knowledge like programming languages, frameworks, and design software.

2. Developing Certain Skills

So, there are numerous aspects you can explore regarding technical skills. To be specific, your first steps in web design include developing the following skills: 

  1. Theory and certifications: Learning the theory to understand how the web and the market work
  2. Web design tools: Finding the web design tools you need to start designing (.e.g Webflow, Sketch, Figma). This will allow you to learn how to prototype web design mock-ups.
  3. Graphic design tools: Becoming familiar with software like Photoshop, Illustrator, etc.
  4. Programming languages: Especially if you think of becoming a freelance web designer, you should at least learn how to use fundamental languages (HTML, JavaScript, CSS).
  5. SEO (Search Engine Optimization): Learning how to optimize your web pages to rank on search engines is crucial.  

3. Mastering Web Design Software 

What software do you need as a beginner to start creating web designs? There are numerous apps that will help you gradually enter the fascinating world of web design. 

When it comes to CMS platforms, WordPress is by far the most popular in the market. The good thing about WordPress is that it is very beginner-friendly and comes with thousands of pre-built themes and plugins that you can use when creating a website.

But the same is true for InVision Studio. Unlike WordPress, InVision Studio is specifically designed to help web designers prototype and design a website. Finally, when it comes to graphic design software, we recommend you start with Photoshop (for creating visual samples and prints) and Sketch (for UI designs). 

4. Learning How Much Computing Power you Need

Although online CMS platforms like WordPress do not require special hardware, that’s not true for web design and graphic design software. To be precise, both InVision Studio and Photoshop have quite demanding system requirements. 

Still, a mid-range desktop or an entry-level gaming laptop can easily handle such applications. You need a reliable CPU, 8 GB RAM, and a dedicated graphics card.

I find working with two screens perfect when it comes to prototyping. You do not need to spend thousands of dollars to buy a laptop or desktop for web design.

5. Practice, Practice, and Practice

As with any other profession, practice makes perfect in web design. Therefore, the good idea is to get involved with personal web design projects before you start seeking clients or applying for job offers. This way, you can gradually acquire the technical skills you need.

Also, by working on some personal projects first, you can build a professional portfolio.

6. Creating a Professional Portfolio

If you want to draw attention to your talent, you should have a comprehensive portfolio as a web designer. This way, potential customers to trust you by having a look at your work and previous experience.

When creating a portfolio, make sure to showcase all aspects of your work and make it user-friendly. In other words, think of your online portfolio representing your talent and treat it accordingly.

7. Choosing the Web Designer Type That Best Suits Your Needs and Preferences

Last but not least, before working as a web designer, you should know that there are three main types of web designers: Freelance web designers, Agency web designers, and In-house web designers.

If you prefer to be self-employed and believe that you have the required soft skills, freelancing is probably the best path.

On the other hand, working for an agency or a company is usually easier (especially for beginners) and will provide you with a stable income. But, in the end, it all depends on your needs and preferences.

Wrap Up

Being a web designer can be an exciting career. As long as you have the necessary dedication and willingness, nothing will stand in your way.

Learning different aspects of the profession and mastering specific software will only make you better. All you need to do is respond positively to (and ask for) incoming feedback and practice!

 

Featured image via Pexels.

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In recent years, an increasing number of enterprises began to use data to power decision-making, which yields new demands for data exploration and analytics. As database technologies evolve with each passing day, a variety of online analytical processing (OLAP) engines keep popping up. These OLAP engines have distinctive advantages and are designed to suit varied needs with different tradeoffs, such as data volume, performance, or flexibility.

This article compares two popular open-source engines, Apache Druid, and StarRocks, in several aspects that may interest you the most, including data storage, pre-aggregation, computing network, ease of use, and ease of O&M. It also provides star schema benchmark (SSB) test results to help you understand which scenario favors which more.

Source de l’article sur DZONE

The email channel is known for multiple advantages. It is convenient to implement practically, offers many options, and has a fantastic ROI of up to 4200%.

But we also face problems, the most disappointing of which is people ignore emails, not performing the desired action, or worst of all unsubscribing. Why does it happen?

The web is constantly progressing. It offers many tools like modern HTML template builders, ESP services, and other digital assistants that help us at all stages. But even the best tools are not enough; the secret of success still rests with us.

In this post we’ll cover the 7 cardinal sins of email marketing, to help you avoid them.

1. Being Too Late

I can define this mistake as probably the worst. It’s worse than broken links, incorrect dates, or prices. Even more harmful than ugly design.

We lose a lot when postponing email strategy implementation. Beginners often focus all their attention on the content, social media activities, SEO issues… All that is important, right. But ignoring email campaigns is a hard fail.

Thousands of visitors never come again to your website. In other words, they leave the very first levels of the marketing funnel. While regular emailing keeps them engaged and prevents churn.

So delays here are only profitable for competitors. Don’t wait until you collect “enough” contacts. Start as soon as possible. 

Frequency matters too. Don’t bomb people with emails; it annoys and causes unsubscribes. Email frequency is an individual parameter depending on many factors.

2. Disregarding Clients’ Expectations

A fundamental axiom: people unsubscribe when emails are irrelevant. The same goes for neglected expectations. Even the best content with next-gen features won’t save the situation.

I mentioned the email frequency a bit above. Notice that if you announce the weekly emails but send them every day, this is an example of ignoring expectations. Be honest with readers.

Another typical issue is off-topic. If your subscribers are waiting for content related to smartphones, send them newsletters about smartphones, not dresses or domestic turtles :)

But in some cases, getting off-topic can be good. It all depends on the target audience, actual situation, and communication style. 

3. Bad Segmentation 

Once again, relevance is vital. So we must avoid generic emails. Instead, especially if your contact list is extensive enough, apply all the possible parameters: age, gender, location, customers history, etc.

Where to get the respective data? A typical solution is to use update preferences forms in emails or on the website. Let clients choose the topics that are interesting for them.

Use surveys, sign-in forms, AI-based techniques of segmentation… Smart algorithms are great helpers that track clients’ behavior and then process the data for segmentation purposes. 

The better we know our subscribers, the deeper we segment the contact list. It allows sending precisely targeted newsletters to respective segments.

4. Insufficient Personalization 

As Hubspot stats say, personalized emails’ open rate is 26% higher, and their click-through rate is 14% better. But even besides index data, poor personalization is just nonsense today.

Clients are looking for content that matches their preferences, so marketers have to consider these expectations. Segmentation and dynamic range are essential here, but they are not the only techniques.

Everything is much more sophisticated here, in addition to personalized subjects and content. Another solution is to generate recommendations that include the previously browsed products.

AI-powered automation comes to help. Machines will upgrade the classical personalization to the next level called hyper-personalization.

5. Underestimating Mobile-Friendliness 

It’s simply unacceptable to send non-responsive emails today. With so many people opening email on different devices, this is a huge fail.

The modern world is full of gadgets and devices. Email has been opened on smartphones more frequently than on desktop PCs and notebooks in recent years. Up to 70% of readers will read messages on mobiles very soon. No wonder that responsivity turned into a mobile priority.

Regarding layout and design, there are no problems: modern template editors are featured with automated responsivity. But mobile-first means not only layout/design adjustment for mobiles, full-width buttons, or larger fonts. We have to work with content too. Don’t overwrite text remember that recipients read inbox emails on the run. 

Just imagine yourself reading emails in the cafe or cab. And ask yourself: is everything convenient? Would you take the desired action on the run?

6. Non-Professional Approach 

People are quite skeptical of new brands. We need to do our best to attract them. So everything must be done professionally.

The best solution: be a perfectionist. If newsletters look amateurish, they are likely to repel.  

Being amateurish will also ruin your brand identity and reduce customers’ trust. Pay close attention to design, stick to your corporate style, analyze each detail in the context of overall harmony.

7. Overlooking Tests and Improvements 

Testing is vital. Before sending an email campaign, check it via Litmus or Email on Acid to be sure that message looks just as planned. These tools allow testing email rendering by +90 combinations of email clients, devices, and OS.

Knowledge is power. Always try and test your marketing strategies. Are you satisfied with your actual performance? Run A/B tests and focus on the most significant wins and failures. 

Summing Up

Of course, threats are not limited to these seven failures. The last piece of advice: never ignore trends. 

Accessibility? Don’t forget about clients with special requirements. Get whitelisted and incorporate these technologies in your campaigns.

And constantly strive for perfection. With this doctrine, you’ll win!

 

Featured image via Pexels.

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With all the marketing aplomb of basement-coders worldwide, NFTs were named with an acronym that does little to clarify their utility.

You probably know by now that NFT stands for Non-Fungible Token; what is perhaps less clear is what “Fungible” actually means; in this context, it means interchangeable.

Consider an ounce of platinum. That platinum is fungible, meaning it can be exchanged for any other ounce of platinum. Now consider a piece of jewelry made from one ounce of platinum. That jewelry is not interchangeable with any other ounce of platinum; it has the same core materials, but it has unique characteristics that may be artistically valuable, such as shape, or craft. The jewelry is non-fungible.

The letter that actually matters in NFT is T for Token. Tokens are little chunks of a blockchain that is a universally agreed dataset. You don’t need to know how it works any more than you need to understand how a computer processor works; you just need to know it’s in there.

Like any new technology, NFTs are surrounded by propaganda, counter-propaganda, skepticism, evangelism, and Facebook-confusion. In this post, we’ll look at some of the common misconceptions so you can develop an informed opinion.

1. NFTs Are Bad For The Environment

We’ll tackle this one first because it’s the classic argument leveled against anything in the crypto-space, whether Bitcoin or NFTs, and it’s nonsensical.

The root of this myth is that cryptocurrency transactions use vast amounts of electricity, the generation of which is terrible for the environment. The answer is threefold:

Firstly, electricity is used to run computers that maintain a blockchain, such as Ethereum. The blockchain is maintained whether NFTs are minted (registered) or not.

Secondly, NFTs tend to be minted on blockchains like Ethereum that are moving to less resource-intensive models, blockchains like Solana that already have less resource-intensive models, or blockchains like Algorand that are already carbon-neutral.

Lastly, the fact is that electricity is not inherently planet-killing. Renewables like solar and wind are perfectly capable of powering the grid; it’s just that power companies make higher profits by burning fossil fuels. That swanky new electric car you’ve bought so you can drive guilt-free is fuelled with fossil fuels on the power company’s end (and that’s before you consider the damage done getting those minerals out of the ground).

Until the computer you’re using is solar-powered, repairable, and upgradable, anything digital is terrible for the environment; NFTs are as bad, but no more so, than anything digital.

2. NFTs Are Just [Insert Patronizing Economic Metaphor Here]

NFTs, and crypto in general, are frequently referred to as a Ponzi Scheme. In the 1920s, Charles Ponzi duped investors into handing over cash. Returns were paid to early investors with the income from new investors. Early investors made a lot of money, and later investors lost everything.

One of the key characteristics of a Ponzi Scheme is that it’s a confidence trick that presents itself as low-risk. NFTs as an investment are widely understood to be high-risk. Calling NFTs a Ponzi Scheme is an excellent way of letting people know you don’t know what a Ponzi Scheme is.

In the 17th century, the price of tulip bulbs reached astronomical proportions. The Dutch tulip trade was a complex economic investment system that eventually collapsed, thanks in part to a global pandemic. Ever since, Tulpenmanie (Tulip Mania, in English) has been a byword for an economic bubble.

NFTs are frequently linked to Tulip Mania, thanks partly to the prices and the expectation (or hope) that the market will collapse. However, if you drive through the Netherlands today, you’ll see vast fields of tulips. They’re not being grown because they’re worthless.

While demand may fluctuate, it doesn’t fluctuate as much as media hysteria implies. And ultimately, tulips are nice.

3. You Can Buy And Sell NFTs

This is where pedantry plays a role. You cannot buy and sell NFTs; NFTs are the vehicle by which you conduct transactions for digital (or, in some cases, physical) goods and services.

If you have software installed on your computer, you probably have a license key. The license key identifies you as holding certain rights over that software, such as being allowed to use it to produce digital goods of your own. The license key is how the company identifies you as the individual to whom it has sold those rights.

NFTs are license keys for digital goods that are recorded on a blockchain instead of being held in a single database.

4. NFTs Can Be Easily Copied

When I was a kid in the 90s, I would record music off the radio with a tape player. I’d make mix-tapes and give them away. I was, in every literal sense, pirating music. And it wasn’t just me; home-taping kept the cassette industry going for decades past its use-by date. Despite this, the music industry did not collapse.

Art is even easier to copy than music because there’s no risk of a vapid DJ wittering over the intro to I Wanna Be Adored.

On my morning commute, I pass a shop that sells art prints. Around 80% are screen prints of Marilyn Monroe. They are original prints made by an artist and sold for not inconsiderable amounts. Not one of those pieces diminishes the quality, importance, or financial value of Andy Warhol’s Marilyn Monroe prints in New York’s MoMA.

The difference is that MoMA’s Warhols have provenance — they can be tracked to a time and place and authenticated as by Warhol. Precisely the same provenance that NFTs provide digital artists.

5. You Can Get Rich From NFTs

Earning money, potentially a vast amount of money, is one of the main driving factors behind the boom in NFTs.

But the truth is that while it is possible to make a lot of money — some NFTs sell for millions of dollars — most NFTs sell for a modest amount.

If you are an accomplished artist with original ideas, you may make money from selling your art as NFTs. If you are an accomplished trader capable of recognizing quality, you may make money from buying and selling NFTs. However, very few people get rich.

6. NFT Resale Rights Undermine Value

NFTs have many potential uses, but the earliest adoption has been in digital art. The main economic benefit to artists is not just an easy way to sell their art but a widely accepted royalty system in which the original artist receives a commission every time the artwork is resold. It represents the ongoing investment the artist is making by continuing to produce and promote their work.

It might seem a strange way to approach ownership, but resale rights are not new in the art world. In the EU and the UK, the resale rights of artists are legally recognized. In France, the legal rights of the artist or the artist’s descendants to be compensated from the sale of artwork have been established in law for over a century.

Despite high-profile artists like Robert Rauschenberg fighting for resale rights, and legislation in New York and California supporting the concept, resale rights are still not recognized in the US.

NFTs introduce a fairer system that grants the same rights to all artists, that Europeans already enjoy.

7. NFTs Are Worthless

Anything with value, whether physical currency, NFTs, or a block of wood, only has value because two or more people agree it has value.

The most expensive baseball card in the world is reportedly a mint-condition Honus Wagner, priced at $3m. It might be hard to understand why anyone would pay $3m for a piece of cardboard with an image of a 1950s sportsman on it, but apparently, someone would.

All goods, all the things we spend money on, are worth what we agree they are worth. To me, a tulip bulb is worth more than a baseball card, but who knows, perhaps you don’t like tulips.

There are plenty of flaws in the systems that use NFTs, and there are plenty of detractors, but if you want to create and sell artwork and someone wants to buy it from you, NFTs are an excellent way of facilitating that transaction.

 

Featured image via Pexels.

Source

The post Myth-Busting NFTs: 7 Claims Fact-Checked first appeared on Webdesigner Depot.

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