A beginner's guide to Social DAOs

Hey there! This essay is a collaboration between Coinvise, a web3 platform that helps creators & communities build and manage their Social Tokens and Shift, a platform helping onboard beginners to web3 through educational content. If you like the article, make sure to join Coinvise’s community here and follow them on Twitter. You can also follow Shift on Twitter. Enjoy! 🔥


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

Let’s break down what a Social DAO is, how they operate and how you can get involved!

SLOW TF DOWN! What is a DAO?

But before we get into specifics of how to get involved (and even build) these clubs, let’s refresh on what this acronym of sorts actually means. In its simplest form, a DAO 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 decisions enforced through crypto mechanisms (code) to remove human incompetencies and bad behaviors in decision making. Yet, despite this original vision, DAOs today look more like Discord groups experimenting with new crypto tools and ways of managing a community.

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 what’s the difference between being on a football team and joining a social DAO. Look no further:

Traditional Team:

  • No ownership
  • Decisions made by one person
  • Little/no reward for putting work into the team

Social DAO:

  • Ownership
  • Help make key decisions
  • Rewards proportionally to work put in the community

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

Social DAOs focus on social networking, and they have shown their efficiency in building amazing experiences that wouldn't have been possible the traditional way through leveraging crypto mechanisms. I know, that can seem overwhelming, so let’s break it down!

Social DAOs are using what we call a “Multi-Signature Wallet.” Basically, it's a Crypto Wallet where they store the cryptocurrencies of the DAO. It’s like a Bank account, except that they have the option to require a predefined number of signatures to confirm transactions every time there are expenses.

Why? It is necessary to have multiple team members from the community to validate the transactions in order to execute them, it prevents unauthorized access to the fund in this wallet. 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, about vibing and creating together what ones have always wanted to create. Culture comes first, 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, bringing online to offline, sharing insights, organizing music festivals and 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 the DAO. 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 and hype 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 — directly correlated to the attractiveness of the DAO — can gain an almost infinite value. 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, two critical elements of great culture and successful social DAOs. 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 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!

Ok…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 actively seek and complete interesting bounties. 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.

Wow, 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.

Liked this essay?

Make sure to follow Coinvise on Twitter as we continue to document our journey and post daily about Social tokens.

Thanks for being here 🔥

Subscribe to Coinvise
Receive the latest updates directly to your inbox.
This entry has been permanently stored onchain and signed by its creator.