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NFT Packs

Along the same lines of how its fun to open a blind box and see if you got a good/rare/valuable item or a ugly/common/cheap item (or even a duplicate of a good or bad item), packs work much the same way. In fact, when explaining the focus of my online store BlindBoxes.com, I often use the analogy of a pack of baseball cards which is more familiar to some. I’ve enjoyed opening NFT packs for a while, but only recently decided to give creating some of my own a shot.

First Free Pack

I started with a promotional pack that contained one of two images, a common one with 75% odds, and an uncommon one with 25% odds. They were animated versions of my Craft Beer Spots logo, like so:

I really didn’t market it, but simply posted it on my Twitter and Instagram. And they were gone in a second, so it was clear the bots got them all. But just how robust are these bots? They didn’t just get snatched up, but many were listed as packs, some were opened and the NFTs inside were listed. Lower mints were priced higher, the more rare of the two was priced higher. All things you’d expect, but not things I’d immediately expect from a bot.

But the secondary market activity was really surprising. One pack sold for $15, and the number of sales and prices for a single day was quite unexpected.

The NFTs inside the pack also got some action. The common one has now sold >25 times with a high of $1.50 and the uncommon one has sold 15 times with a high of $3.49. In total, my free pack made over $500 (and cost me about a hundred for to mint on demand and host the drop on Nefty Blocks).

Second Free Pack

My first paid pack was to be Explorer Series 1, so I decided to re-run the experiment with a promotional pack to market this upcoming drop. I created a checklist pack with four rarities that would mimic the design and rarity of the real set: common, uncommon, rare, and ultra rare.

This did even better. It also sold out in just a couple of seconds even though it really shouldn’t have– the 780 packs were not well promoted, but it was just a promo and the simple logo pack had done really well, so it seemed appropriate.

The free pack sold 210 times on drop day which was expected given the previous pack and took in about $620. The pack was where it had success; the cards inside got moderate attention:

  • Common – has sold 23 times for an average of about $0.15
  • Uncommon – has sold 13 times for an average of about $0.10
  • Rare – has sold 2 times for an average of about $0.15
  • Ultra Rare – has sold 2 times for an average of about $1.47

Why is common selling less frequently and for less money than Uncommon? There are more of them, and more in the marketplace. And being cheap makes them a very low risk investment to add to one’s collection. But it does get me thinking– could people have written bots that actually buy and sell between accounts to drive up value and interest? If it is automated and across many projects, it is certainly feasible.

First Paid Pack

I paid Nifty Drops (who took payment in ETH) to help promote this one and also listed the drop on NFT Calendar (but never managed to get “verified” before the actual drop happened so it was of no help). So, with some actual marketing investment and my previous checklist promo out there, I was pretty hopeful there’d be some good activity.

A technical glitch tripped up my launch and so for the first several minutes anyone trying to buy a pack got an error. Talk about frustrating. Despite having plenty of resources for the Drop and for the Mint on Demand Packs, I was getting a CPU error. I couldn’t find anything on the error I was seeing, “Unable to obtain signature from CPU payer”, but I believe the issue was that the account associated with the drop did not have enough CPU. I am not sure because the problem did not clear immediately after I took a few actions I thought might help.

As of the time I’m writing this, I’ve sold 80 packs (click here to see how it is doing now) so far with a majority of the action taking place in the first couple of days. Not near what I had hoped, but not bad. As a brand, this is early days and without a huge marketing budget and my personal rule not to spam anyone, it will take some time to grow.

I had set up a Discord server as this is the primary way I see projects communicate with the community in the world of NFTs. Some of the first feedback I got were users unhappy I wasn’t doing more to discourage bots. Given the exposure of my NFT efforts, I think bot activity has actually proven beneficial but I do feel for someone missing out because they were not there the very second a drop took place for a project like this.

Paid drops don’t seem to be an issue, but if you put up a free drop it sells out in seconds even if you limit 1 per account. The only way to discourage bots from consuming all your free packs is to leverage a white list.

There are two ways to go about this: by requiring the user hold a certain NFT in order to access the drop, or by having their wallet ID on a static white list. I decided to try both…

NFT Prerequisite

First, I tried using my Logo NFTs from my first promo pack as requirements for a pre-minted drop. If you had the common logo, you could get a common NFT, and if you had an uncommon logo, you could get a uncommon NFT.

For the first week, I only had the link visible to those on my Discord server, but that was less than 10 people. A couple came and got theirs, then I made the links public and a few more have picked some up since then.

This method works for sure, but participants have to be well informed to understand the requirements. I’m pretty sure there are no bots taking advantage of this method due to there being such light activity.

Static white list

While a bit more manual, I wanted to give this a try to complete the experiment. I created a #whitelist-request channel on my Discord server for users to drop their wallet addresses. In 2 hours, 130 users had come to add their addresses. I did not even tweet about it, I just created the drop and included a link to the Discord server where they could get white listed.

These must be bots right? This is where I think the evil/unfair advantage of bots may skew. It could be that some have bots with enough intelligence to join the Discord server and get whitelisted, but it is more likely that many people have bots (scripts) simply watching for free drops on Nefty Blocks, so they can take action right away. Simply creating a free drop therefore notifies a sizable number of people right away there is something to come and get; many of which may need to manually take the simple step of whitelisting their accounts.

I realize that Discord has its own mechanisms to help root out bots. A project for another day…

In time, I hope these early efforts are of value to collectors but it has admittedly been a learning process, and one I’m enjoying. I’m planning to take this to other areas in the future commissioning artwork to support projects focused on Craft Beer Artwork and even BlindBoxes. Check out the roadmap here!

Craft Beer Spots NFTs

I’ve been having a good time collecting NFTs on the Worldwide Asset eXchange (WAX). I guess it was only a matter of time before I ended up minting my own NFTs. I pondered which of my content was most appropriate and landed on my Craft Beer Spots effort. I’ve documented hundreds of breweries, bottle shops and bars over the last few years and have taken many photographs of each. The initial concept was that of a “trading card” so I looked through this site and created some collections of related venues to serve as themes for a series. I’ve now executed two series, the first being that of the chosen theme– craft beer spots that specialize in sour beers (among my favorite styles).

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The Weezer NFT Situation

Like many, I’d been hearing about NFTs for a while and at first it didn’t make sense— and then I was able to wrap my head around it. I’ve always been a collector, so it got my interest. I also play with crypto some so I drank up some rather complicated explanations which I’m sure are a turn off to many.

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Craft Beer Artwork

I love craft beer and am regularly impressed by the graphics I see on cans and bottles. Some are much better than others of course, but it got me thinking that it would be a nice thing to somehow capture. I had conceived an idea where I might build a contraption that would allow me to move my phone around the cylindrical object smoothly in order to leverage the panoramic photo feature to get a nice flat image.

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Problems with the new Book Book iPhone case

I’ve been using Book Book for my iPhone case for my last few iPhones now and was cautiously optimistic about Twelve South’s latest design. After using it for a couple of weeks, I reported the following complaints to the company and got not response. I’m going with no case at the moment and carrying a separate wallet; something I’ve not done for several years.

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Grandson – Live at the UnderGround CLT (Sept 2019)

What a great show. I had the pleasure of seeing Grandson play once a year earlier at the same location when they opened for Nothing But Thieves. I attended that show exclusively to see Grandson, but it is always a bit disappointing to have such a focus on an opening band. Not only does an opening band not get to play long, but the stage setup is is sub-par and the sound is frequently poor as compared to the headliner. I recall at this show in particular, the sound was way too low and so the powerful moments in the songs really lost their impact as a result.

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The Mike O’Meara Show

I enjoyed the Don & Mike show when I lived in DC, when it was on the air many years ago. I made it to a live show one time, but mostly listened on my drive home from work. A few years back I discovered that Mike had his own show now and I’ve been listening on and off ever since, especially when driving long distances.

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Atmosphere 2018

I caught Atmosphere touring for there great new album Mi Vida Local in Charlotte last week and was happy to get a great spot up front where I could shoot the show while barely looking down at my phone. I enjoy recording shows, but being up front I didn’t want to hold my phone up at all. The result is very little zooming but it wasn’t really necessary given my position.

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Application Book Forward

I first got a copy of The Application Book by Tim Mangan as an early look of something I would review online. It was outstanding. Having edited several books in the past, I was compelled to provide lots of unsolicited feedback which he happily accepted. Later Tim asked that I provide a forward for the book which I was honored to do.

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