🪢✨The Nexialist #0064
Nostalgia Ball | Distributed Mentoring and Fanfiction | Mercurial World | Community Building | Exit to Community (E2C) | People x Consumers | Affirmative Jobs | Envolver | Fever Dream
Welcome to yet another glitchy tour of data that recently went through my brain, The Nexialist
Recently I was doing the math and I have shared more than 500 links here. WOW. Did you know you can go to The Nexialist’s archive and search for things? I even do that when I start a new project, to see if I posted anything useful for a certain challenge. Sometimes I really do feel that I’m building a second brain here. Even better, because it’s searchable. I hope you enjoy it too.
This week, I just have to start sharing how proud I am that my grandmother, Liria, made it into an important reporting portal from Brazil, UOL TAB. The piece was written by Camila Svenson, and focused on the pretty intense scene of “bailes da saudade” or nostalgia balls. I dare to say that my grandmother has more energy than all of her children and grandchildren combined, and somehow she manages to go dancing every day of the week, inspiring all of us to do what we love, care less what others think and to belong to a community.
Of course, the reporters saw her living her best life and took some photos and interviewed her. The picture above I got from her via WhatsApp, she was on a dancing cruise a couple of weeks ago. Below is her snippet:
At União Fraterna, at one point during the Friday dance, a woman crosses the floor with her dance partner and greets the reporter with a nod. She moves around the room like a movie star—or perhaps the most popular girl in school. Tall, she has white hair and wears a long, wavy polka-dotted dress and gold-heeled sandals.
Liria Turra, 77, is from Getúlio Vargas from Rio Grande do Sul and has lived in São Paulo for 53 years. When she was single, she was very fond of dancing, but after the marriage, she stopped. "I only danced at weddings, at family birthday partiess. With my husband, I couldn't go out, because he was from Rio Grande do Sul and Italian", she says, a widow since 2019.
"I'm not from this world, I'm an alien, I come from another planet. And when I dance, I go to the supernatural, I go to the clouds. I feel like floating, my spirit is free. Dancing keeps death and illness away", says Liria, who dances three hours a day, every day of the week, accompanied by Alisson Pires, 30, her personal dancer.
🧩Distributed Mentoring and Fanfiction
Cecilia Aragon put tears in my eyes with her inspiring TED Talk. Fanfiction—a story based on characters or setting from another’s work—a.k.a. transformative literature, is also not a familiar world for me. It has been having its pop culture moment: from the top of my head, HBO’s Euphoria and Netflix’s Sex Education both have important characters who write fanfic.
Cecilia’s research “a deep data-dive into the vast world of fanfiction” came to be when she saw the numbers that most American teenagers do not pass writing requirements, though she knew a bunch of teenagers who were writing well and a lot. She wanted to know how Fanfic writing influenced young people, and it brought her (among other findings) to the concept of Distributed Mentoring: when they write, they get feedback on their writing from these communities where they post, and therefore improve their writing (only less than 1% of comments were considered bullying.) I recommend watching the video, but here’s some data I found quite expressive:
This site’s 15 million members write in 44 different languages, and their median age is 15 and a half. Most of the authors are between 13 and 21, and most are teenage girls. 73 percent identify as female, and interestingly, more fanfiction authors identify as gender nonconforming than male. Authors we interviewed told us they wrote fan fiction because they love the characters and worlds. And over and over again, they told us how much they learned about writing from participating in these communities.
A few weeks back I posted a Magdalena Bay’s video, Dreamcatching, with one of the coolest AI arts I’ve ever seen. Since then I have been in love with their album, Mercurial World. It’s a dream-pop, synth-pop, anime-sounds, post-digital vibe, with the end in the beginning and the beginning in the end. Then I found their website, which looks like from a 90s-time capsule. (btw, I also have a little “website” now: thenexialist.xyz)
Connecting this to Fanfiction, I’m understanding that, more and more, what gets my attention is this idea of world-building. It’s the same with many other albums and artists I’ve been sharing here: Rosalía, Lady Gaga, CharliXCX, The Weekend, Agnes, Myss Keta… Now I can’t unsee it.
A few weeks ago, I got to hear her interview at the Let’s Talk Branding podcast and I learned a lot. If you work in communication, you probably noticed in the past few years how “community” keeps popping up as a buzzword. (Even the FutureLaboratory has an event today on their macrotrend report about Neo-Collectivism). Brand leads don’t want followers anymore, they want a Community. But what does that even mean? Zoe brings some examples of community-driven brands that make it clear where we’re heading, such as LEGO, Athleta (GAP’s Athleisure Brand), Corteiz RTW. Enjoy!
🪢Exit to Community (E2C)
Thomas Klaffke’s Creative Destruction newsletter is another one that I enjoy reading a lot. This week, Thomas filled us in on the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) and Yuga Labs huge deal:
And then also just recently, Yuga Labs, the creators of BAYC, announced that they acquired CryptoPunks (the #1 NFT project, period) and Meebits (another super popular one). This means that Yuga Labs now controls three of the most valuable NFT collections (or communities) in existence. And as they did with BAYC, they are now giving full commercial rights to all individual NFT holders of CryptoPunks and Meebits. This will enable these holders to create artwork and products based on their NFTs the same way BAYC owners have, further building out their massive community and brand.
Also, he introduced us (or at least introduced me) to the concept of Exit to Community (E2C):
Well, what BAYC or Yuga Labs did here is basically an Exit to Community. It’s a way of giving back to early backers, to those who believed in BAYC back a year ago, when they were small and their future was uncertain. Web3 enables “Exit to Community” with these so-called airdrops (amongst other things), which is why they have become quite popular lately in the space.
This link has been circling in a few of my WhatsApp groups and I felt like it was a mindreading link. I cringe when I read/hear the word consumer where the word people could’ve been easily used. Another obligatory reading if you work in communication/advertising/marketing:
Taylor says we’re at an inflection point in how much consumers can influence the makers of that which they consume. Never before has the public clamor been louder for fairer practices at work, more honest marketing, and less damage to society and the planet.
But if the fundamental relationship between producer and consumer is here to stay, maybe arguing about the word itself is just semantics? Maybe not. A lot of people have been calling on companies to act more ethically for years. It seems possible that the noise has finally reached a pitch that’s impossible to ignore.
Read: There’s a growing clamor to stop calling people “consumers” by Cassie Werber | Quartz
This week there was a lot of buzz and outrage in Brazil about LinkedIn (and Microsoft) and I think you need to hear about it. In a nutshell: LinkedIn blocked a job listing that was exclusive for black or indigenous people. For LinkedIn, this goes against their rules (which is what they were copy-pasting at anyone criticizing the decision). The practice is legal in Brazil and it’s called Affirmative Position, a kind of racial quota tool to achieve more diversity in companies. It had happened before that similar positions were blocked by the platform and some Linkedin creators were talking about it. This time, however, it ended up in the main media channels and big companies positioned themselves against LinkedIn’s decision, to the point that it reached the Consumer’s Defense and Protection Program (PROCON) and the Federal Prosecutor's Office. Finally, LinkedIn gave in and changed its policy in Brazil, accepting Affirmative Positions as a practice. I think other countries that committed historical damage against certain communities should look at this and learn.
As a gay Brazilian, I have the duty to share Anitta’s deed, in case you haven’t heard. Last weekend our Pop-funk-carioca-princess-to-global-star was the first Brazilian ever to reach #1 on Spotify’s Global most played songs. And she did that on her own merit and with a killer strategy, which always includes her fandom. From singing her hits in English, Spanish, Portuguese (even Italian and French), to creating tiktok-ready choreographies, to then simply asking her fans to stream her hit “Envolver,” she clearly understands how to activate her community. When she noticed it was working, she even asked the same effort to take Bolsonaro out of office (The General Brazilian elections are this year FYI). Is there anything not to love about her?
I shared another video of Cannons here a few weeks back, Hurricane. Turns out Cannons released a new album last week, Fever Dream, and listening to it feels exactly like that. Thank me later, it’s one of those albums that gives me chills.
❤️If anything made your brain tingle, click like and don't hesitate to share it with the world. It helps The Nexialist to reach more curious minds. See you next week!🦦
🫀If you enjoyed this newsletter, please share it with your friends. If someone amazing sent it to you, tell them you love them, and you can subscribe at thenexialist.substack.com. If you want to know what a Nexialist is, click here.
If you like what you see here and your project, brand or business needs some ideas or inspiration from outside your bubble, maybe you need a Nexialist to help you out 🙋🏻♂️ I can participate in brainstorms and workshops, guide inspiration sessions, or provide you with creative research. You can always send me an e-mail to figure something out together.