The Iconist News Platform Reboot Proposal

THE ICONIST NEWS PLATFORM REBOOT PROPOSAL

Summary

  • Project Category: Community (public relations, marketing)
  • Brief Description: Daily news website and PR platform
  • Project Duration: 6 months
  • Project Milestones: Rebuild The Iconist website, relaunch The Iconist, publish regular content
  • Funding Amount Requested: USD 60,000 (USD 10,000 / month)

Background

G3 Partners is one of South Korea’s top international-focused marketing agencies, based in Seoul. We began working with ICON in August 2017, reviewing their initial whitepaper and running a number of PR campaigns during and after their highly successful ICO.

In 2018, we were contracted by ICON to launch The Iconist, the first official news site for the ICON Republic.

The Iconist is the longest-running dedicated news platform for the ICON Republic. Since August 2018, we’ve published over 500 high quality articles, delivered to thousands of people every week. We cover news of all topics ICON-related, from P-Rep profiles and deep dives into ICON announcements to insider interviews with the ICON team themselves. We also deliver a wide range of blockchain-related news from South Korea, ICON’s homeland, so that Iconists around the world can keep tabs on everything that might affect the project and the price of ICX.

Here are some key stats on The Iconist’s performance since launch in August 2018:

  • Over 61,000 unique visitors from across Asia, North America and Europe
  • Over 101,000 sessions
  • Our top article had over 7,000 views
  • Our popular articles regularly get thousands of views each
  • Despite not posting any new content since July 29 last year, we are still receiving daily visits, proving the high quality of our article archive.
  • We broke stories about the ICX price inflation and ICON’s Korean blockchain projects, as well as a plethora of updates about ICONLOOP, ICON and key players in the ecosystem.
  • Our most popular articles include informative pieces about the top ICX wallets, where to buy and trade ICX, Korean crypto laws and Korean government initiatives.
  • We were the first regular source for carefully curated English news about the Korean blockchain ecosystem.
  • In its heyday, The Iconist had:
    • ~15,000 monthly unique visitors to our news site
    • ~25,000 monthly reach on Facebook
    • ~2 million monthly impressions and over 4,000 followers on Twitter
    • A weekly newsletter with a ~15% open rate (~4,000 opens / newsletter)

Over the last year The Iconist has been put on the back burner. There are a few reasons for that:

  • The ICON Foundation initially covered the cost of running The Iconist, with the expectation that it would eventually find a way to fund itself. We attempted the transition to self-sustenance in early 2020 by launching a node and becoming a P-Rep.
  • Unfortunately, we lack the technical know-how within our team to maintain a node — we’re marketers and journalists, not coders — and we weren’t earning enough through our node to hire a specialist.
  • We unregistered our P-Rep node in the autumn of 2020 and The Iconist was officially put on hiatus as we waited for the Contribution Proposal System to be implemented.

We strongly believe in the value of The Iconist and we’d love to see it thrive again as a resource to build and inform the ICON Community!

Given the increased public interest in blockchain as a result of the ongoing crypto bull run, now — perhaps more than any time in ICON’s history — is the perfect time for ICON to focus on getting as much public exposure as possible. The more people who are attracted to ICON, the higher the ICX price will soar, but that can’t happen if nobody knows about it!

To this aim, we propose to reboot The Iconist’s news platform. As a funded project under the Contribution Proposal System, the G3 Partners team can focus on what we do best: pushing out top-quality daily news updates on the ICON and Korean blockchain ecosystems.

We offer complete transparency and unbiased reporting, guaranteed — since we are no longer P-Reps ourselves, or being paid directly from ICON, we can operate separately from the politics of ICON’s decentralized governance. This will allow us to focus only on the news, and lots of it.

We strongly believe that online journalism has intrinsic value to the ICON ecosystem. Articles can be easily shared online, even linked in social media ads, to attract new people to invest in ICX and develop on ICON, thereby driving up the price of ICX even further. Furthermore, as online print journalism is more easily quoted on other media platforms, including cryptocurrency news media and traditional news media, it is the key to reaching the attention of the mainstream global public.

We believe that G3 Partners is best positioned to reboot The Iconist, being the exact same team that made The Iconist great in the first place. With four years of experience promoting ICON and many more years managing marketing, PR and business development for tech startups and other blockchain companies, we have what it takes to make The Iconist a successful marketing platform for the ICON Republic.

Here’s how we will make The Iconist awesome!

We have some big plans for how to take the same recipe from the original Iconist website and dramatically improve upon it to create a top quality marketing platform for the ICON Republic:

  • Korean blockchain news: We’ll increase our focus on Korean blockchain news, providing on-the-ground reporting in South Korea and Korean language research. We believe that this is one of The Iconist’s unique value adds, so we will focus on ramping up that value.

  • Multimedia content: We’re interested in exploring more multimedia content on our site. In addition to video interviews, we also plan to introduce a regular audio podcast, so Iconists have access to their news in whatever format is most convenient for them.

  • Community promotion: We will create a new section on our site that lists blog posts and video content from all other media influencers in the ICON ecosystem. The Iconist will therefore also function as a community-funded news portal for the entire ICON ecosystem, free from P-Rep bias or favoritism.

  • The Iconist website redesign: We will redesign The Iconist’s website from the ground up to function as a news portal for both text and multimedia content created by us and curated from the community, with a strong focus on creating a mobile-friendly, user-friendly viewing experience.

Where The Iconist stands right now

The Iconist is currently on an extended hiatus, but it has not been that long out of use. We still have all of our assets in place:

Furthermore, G3 Partners still employs the same seasoned journalism team, ready to jump back on task at a moment’s notice:

  • Robin J. Wolf (pen name), lead reporter
  • Dean J. Baker, editor in chief
  • Nathan Millard, community builder

Our Proposal

Following is how we propose to reboot The Iconist.

Project: The Iconist News — Platform Management

Requested Payment: US $60,000 over a 6 month engagement (US $10,000 / month)

Milestones:

Website Redesign

As a first step, we will immediately start redesigning The Iconist’s website as a community news portal. However, we do not have to put The Iconist on hold while we work on the new site—we can start reporting on ICON news as soon as our contract is signed, and the articles can be migrated to the new site when it’s complete. We estimate 3 to 4 weeks to launch the new site with all 500+ articles intact.

Includes:

  • Design of a new website as a community news portal with mobile optimization as a top priority
  • Implementation of the new design
  • Migration of all articles to the new site

ICON News Reporting — Online Print Journalism

With full funding restored, we will be able to launch right back into intensive coverage of ICON and Korean blockchain news. In fact, the opportunities for great articles are even hotter now with such a wide range of P-Reps to interview, ICON and ICONLOOP projects in the works and governance-related issues to explore.

Includes:

  • Publication of at least 5 articles / week: a combination of news reports, interviews and researched long-form journalism
  • Regular interviews with ICON, ICONLOOP and P-Rep representatives for the purposes of gathering story leads. Interviews can be recorded and published as video when it makes sense to do so.

ICON News Reporting — Audio Podcasts

We also intend to step up our game a notch with the introduction of a regular audio podcast. Podcasts will feature a range of topics, including interviews, educational content, deep dives into blockchain issues, and weekly recaps of Korean blockchain news.

Includes:

  • Production of at least 1 podcast / month, released in audio format
  • Regular guest interviews, co-hosts, etc.

ICON News — Spreading the Word

Just publishing the news is not enough. We need to get more and more people reading it.

Includes:

  • Media outreach to other established news publications to try to get further coverage on the hottest ICON news topics (once per month)
  • Weekly newsletter covering all of the ICON news highlights of the week
  • Sharing all articles and podcasts on social media (primarily Twitter, Facebook, Reddit and Telegram)
  • Social media advertising spend on articles and podcasts to increase public awareness about ICON with the aim of attracting new people to the ICX investment ecosystem and driving up the price of ICX (when available — cryptocurrency topics are often blocked)

ICON News Portal — Supporting the ICON Ecosystem

You are funding The Iconist, so let’s make sure The Iconist supports you in turn.

Includes:

  • Searching out and partnering with all new and existing ICON blogs, vlogs, media sites, etc.
  • Daily monitoring of all partnered sites for new ICON-related blog posts, videos, etc.
  • Daily listing of all new ICON-related media on a new ‘Community Portal’ section of The Iconist website
  • Creators of useful media posts may also be mentioned in our longform articles and Newsbytes as sources

Monthly Report — Maintaining Transparency

We’ll keep you up to date with our progress, making sure everybody in the ecosystem has access to accurate and transparent data about The Iconist, should they wish to view it.

Includes:

  • Monthly report published on The Iconist website
  • Report will include the following data from the past month:
    • Upcoming articles and story ideas, to give the community more involvement in setting the direction of content
    • A database of all past articles
    • Readership statistics (if they are desired):
      • Number of unique visitors
      • Number of pageviews
      • Number of articles posted / month
      • Top articles, with # of views per article
      • Country demographics of our readers
    • Social media reach, impressions and engagement
    • External media mentions

Sounds like Eye on Icon will find a home on your site :grin:

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I think it’d be great to reblog community-created content like that, yes! For content creators that prefer to keep their content on their own sites, we can include a web portal with outbound links, mention them as sources for articles we publish, etc. The goal is to give the community a place to both keep tabs on ICON happenings, as well as get exposure for their own content through a central platform with a strong social media presence and great SEO.

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I have been wanting a one stop shop for all things Icon. Glad to see this is what is being done.

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Could you clarify how big your team is?

We currently have a core three-man journalism team, plus a designer always on standby and an intern to help with various daily tasks.

  • Dean Baker is Editor in Chief – Dean has a Bachelor of Journalism and over a decade of experience in copywriting and community building.
  • Robin J. Wolf is our lead journalist – Robin has well over a decade of serious journalism experience.
  • Nathan Millard is our community builder – Nathan has a decade of journalism experience and a wide network, and is CEO of marketing/PR agency G3 Partners.

We are also able to draw further support from G3 Partners’ other team members whenever necessary.

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Welcome back! Our team did a couple interviews with your site in the beginning of our p-rep career that gave us a nice introduction to the community. Looking forward to seeing more content like that.

Do you guys have a sponsor p-rep?

Thanks for the welcome!

Don’t have a sponsor yet. Need to find one.

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Perhaps you could put out a tweet or create a fresh thread here asking if any P-Reps would be interested in sponsoring your proposal. Would be great to see you guys up and running again asap

ICON DAO has graciously offered to sponsor our application. Thanks! :smiley:

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That’s fantastic news!! Figured they might be from their comment above. Look forward to seeing your application come through :sunglasses::+1:

I do have a couple questions.

How do you plan to continue funding the ICONist after the 6 months?

How is the money going to be spent?

60,000 icx to make a blog site? This has to be joke? you guys left icx before because no money, and you will leave when this project is not approve. such a shame money grab I think, my friends to.

Hi all, thanks for commenting. In response to your questions:

  1. We will submit a new contribution proposal every 6 months. We are happy to keep the site going indefinitely if we continue to get our funding renewed.

  2. The money is being spent on salaries. A portion of the money every month will be allocated to an advertising budget. We also have a few regular service expenses to pay, such as Creative Cloud, Shutterstock, Mailchimp, etc., and annual fees for the webhost, domain server, etc. But the majority of our income will be used to pay the employees that keep The Iconist running.

  3. Yes, 60K for 6 months / 10K per month is the bare minimum we can afford to keep the site running at peak efficiency. We tried maintaining The Iconist with lower funding for a while in 2020, but this was extremely inefficient, got poor results and we lost money in the end.

Furthermore, keep in mind that we’re not only offering a daily news site, but also regular PR every single month with the goal of getting ICON stories placed in both crypto and mainstream news sites. This is something that ICON themselves have spoken with us about as being something they sorely need, and we’re already in talks with them about collaborating on press releases, etc. We’ll be building partnerships with news sites around the world, building relationships with journalists and performing a ton of organic media outreach.

It’s also important to point out that we’re not a team of investors or developers. We’re a marketing and PR team with journalism backgrounds, and we love working on blockchain projects – and with ICON especially – because it’s a movement we feel we can really stand behind and get excited about, with a great community and cutting-edge technology that’s set to make a major change in the world. Our proposal is not just a money grab. We are proposing a large-scale marketing + PR campaign at the absolute lowest price we can offer – and we’re doing it because The Iconist was an absolute blast to operate for the 2.5 years of its initial run and we’d love to work with the ICON community again.

1 Like