RHIZOME confesses it’s not the most technically proficient team running in ICON’s P-Rep campaign. They’re not here to design infrastructure. They’re not here to here to build DApps.
What they do is produce good content. They’ve been doing it for a while. And they’d like to do a lot more of it.
“We want to make lots of stuff for people to read and share. That’s a specialty we don’t see out of many of the other P-Rep candidates,” says team lead Brian Li. “I don’t think there’s another team that has consistently put out the amount of content, or the type of content, that we’ve put out. We hope to do more of that as we move forward.”
More than just buzzwords
RHIZOME is a five-person outfit whose members reside all around the world, including Tokyo, Seoul and Tennessee. What unites them is their ability to produce and market content. Each member brings a unique talent to the squad, be it writing, video production, podcasting or translation.
The team’s mission is to explain blockchain to the masses in language they can understand. Brian points to the buzzword-laden proposals made by some of the other P-Rep candidates. “When you read through them, it sounds impressive,” he says. “But to the average person, what does it mean? If you say we’re going to expand the ecosystem, we wonder how you’re going to do that.”
The same goes for ICON’s regular blog updates, he says. Sure, they’re highly detailed, with plenty of diagrams of mathematical equations and the like. But to the ordinary reader, they are almost impossible to understand. Some less charitable readers might even suspect the complexity masks a lack of meaning.
That’s where RHIZOME comes in. Brian says, “Our main focus at the moment is to create content the average person can understand so that they can stay in tune with what’s happening.”
The posts and videos they’ve put on their blog and Youtube channel are generating some high-quality engagement, he says. The team hopes readers not only learn from their posts, but also use what they’ve learned to teach others. They also hope to promote more mature discussions about ICON and blockchain. Brian says, “Instead of focusing on ‘When moon?’ and ‘When can I afford a Lambo?,’ I hope people that read our content ask more questions and learn more.”
Though RHIZOME would like to produce more content, life intervenes in the form of day jobs. THe team does what it does during its free time. Brian himself puts about three hours a week into ICON-related content production.
The desire to do more fuels their P-Rep campaign, in fact. Brian asks, “What if there were some way where we didn’t have to do this during our free time?” What if they could put in 20 hours instead of just three? What kind of stuff could they do then?
Brian says, “We’d love to become P-Reps to receive funding to make more great content for people to receive and share.”
They’ve got a track record to suggest they mean it, too. Brian has been a member of the ICON community since late 2017. The other team members have been around a while, too.
“When we say we’re here to do what we’re here to do, we definitely mean it.”
A name you know
Though nobody would confuse RHIZOME for a band of blockchain engineers, Brian reassures us that they’ve still got plenty of what it takes to run a node. He himself currently works at a webhosting service. His team, meanwhile, was one of the first to get a node up and running on ICON’s testnet.
Brian encourages the staking public to focus on groups they actually know. He says, “As somebody who has been in the community for two years now, I can say there are a lot of teams whose names I’ve never seen before.” Though that isn’t necessarily a bad thing, he says, RHIZOME can point to a proven track record of putting out good content.
The team also plans to incentivize the community a bit through a bounty program. Stake with RHIZOME, and you can help the team produce content by lending your own particular skills, earning token rewards in the process. Brian says he’s seen a lot of talented people in the community. He asks, “How do we incentivize these people to use their skills?”
Setting the mood
Brian has been involved with ICON since its ICO. He was drawn by the way the ICON team approaches the project. “I really liked ICON’s strategy. Unlike a lot of projects, they’re not really focused on building the infrastructure first.”
Instead, they’ve focused on forming partnerships and putting entities on private chains. “And then after that, they’re like, hey, we have all these entities to connect to the public chain,” he says. “And I feel that’s the way you’ve got to do it, because there are so many blockchains out there. Everyone’s focused on building the roads, but nobody is focused on where those roads are going to lead.”
In the coming P-Rep election, Brian encourages people to stake to more than one group. There are a lot of good teams running, he says. Voters should think about what each team is proposing and see what they’ve done in the past, both for ICON and for other networks.
Brian says, “Be as informed as possible because this first vote has the potential to set the tone for the network for a long time to come.”