Founded by Satoshi Nakamoto (also the founder of Bitcoin), Bitcointalk is a public forum where blockchain enthusiasts, developers, and crypto investors discuss topics about Bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, and blockchain in general.
As a crypto community, here is where most ICOs promote their projects and start building their communities.
This document contains the guidelines for using Bitcointalk in promoting blockchain-based projects. The main benefits of being part of this crypto community are the exposure to particular niche audience, traffic, and easy access to the perfect platform for ICO promotion.
Bitcointalk.org is a cryptocurrency forum that is one of the major sources of information related to the blockchain, cryptocurrency, and Bitcoin. Satoshi Nakamoto, the original Bitcoin developer, founded the forum in 2009 where most new cryptocurrencies announce their establishment, important upgrades, and events.
For example, Bitcointalk is Ethereum’s first announcement platform. The public forum is also ICOs’ main announcement platform in which you can find all ICO announcement threads (known as ANN-threads) and majority of them launch their bounty campaigns on Bitcointalk, while all trustworthy ICO listings require hyperlinks to ANN-posts when onboarding the projects.
The forum hosts a lot of different sections having sub-forums and threads covering all the major areas of the cryptocurrency world, including one made specifically for Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs).
Thus, it can be said that at the moment, a Bitcointalk account is mandatory. In fact, it is a standard for any project doing or planning to do an Initial Coin Offering.
The domain name, bitcointalk.org is owned by Sirius, also known as Martti Malmi, the second Bitcoin developer after Satoshi.
Satoshi Nakamoto has no true identity yet. He's not an active developer anymore but continues to manage the domain names bitcointalk.org and bitcoin.org while the forum is administered by theymos.
It is not known to the public and can be very well not be a single person and can be a group of people posting under the pseudonym. Before Bitcointalk was created, Satoshi used a SourceForge forum for Bitcoin-related discussions but unfortunately, this forum cannot be found anymore.
Bitcointalk has many contributions to the internet culture such as the term “HODL” which means holding a token. It is a method of cryptocurrency investing which is riding steady through the ups and downs. Another one is about a Bitcointalk user who purchased pizza for 10,000 BTC when BTC's value was very low. He paid for pizza worth $30 USD May 22, 2010. Since then, Bitcoin Pizza Day is commemorated every May 22.
Bitcointalk.org was built using an open source software package called Simple Machine Forum or SMF. The forum’s design and functionality have barely changed from the day it was first published.
The structure of the forum shows the division of different forums such as Bitcoin, Economy, Other, Alternate Cryptocurrencies and Local. These forums also have sub-forums and topics that are split into smaller boards to various topics.
In Bitcointalk forum, community members need to achieve a certain point to rank up. This can happen by posting substantial contents that contribute to the forum.
The points needed to rank up is called "merit" which is awarded to users with quality posts. Rankings don’t just control the posting abilities, but also indicate if the user is truly immersed in the cryptocurrency world.
Members with higher levels have more freedom to undertake more activities such as signature, translation, and other bounty campaigns. To be able to move from one level to another, a combination of activities and merits is necessary.
The ranking and merit systems’ goal is to ensure that high-quality posts are published and to reduce spam in the forum.
As for the membership, a user can opt to pay to lift the restrictions such as posting images by paying for copper membership. A copper member is allowed to post images and has a reduced signature styling restrictions as well as reduced lead time for a post to get published.They can still be banned and has no special treatment. Bitcointalk has a set of community guidelines that should be followed accordingly to avoid being banned in the forum. A member’s reputation in the forum is important and it is based on the feedback given by the other users.
There are instances when a newly registered account may not be able to post due to the reason that the IP address used in registering for the account has evil points. To be able to use the account, the member can opt to pay the necessary amount to lift the restriction. The reason for having an evil IP address is because of having a previously banned account that were linked to it.
Bitcointalk users can be anyone who is interested in Bitcoin, blockchain cryptocurrencies, technology, and investing. Some of them are the brightest minds in crypto space who are also active in the forum, and expert developers, coders, and business owners who mostly operate under pseudonyms. There are also staff and moderators who keep the forum tidy, moderating the chatter and offering technical support to user-posted issues. Thanks to its huge user base (more than 2 million community members), Bitcointalk became a valuable traffic source for everything connected to cryptocurrency. Personas found in the community are Bounty Seekers who always hunt for bounties and ask if there are Translation or Signature campaigns, a Know It All who asks a lot of questions about the project, Newbie Evangelists who always leave complimenting comments and patronize the project, Show Me The Proof are always asking for demo and proof that it is a legit project and Mega Signature Advertisers who advertise their own threads or projects.
Web traffic on Bitcointalk shows around 9 million total visits with 4 pages per visit while its traffic sources come from direct visits, referrals, organic search, and social media. Top referring sites are crypto exchanges while traffic from social media sites come from Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, and Reddit.
Gaining a status symbol in Bitcointalk is mandatory to ensure the launch of the ICO or the blockchain-based project. This is usually done through announcement threads, commonly referred to as ANN threads, which are the main form of advertising on Bitcointalk. It is a well-designed thread with posts that announce the main aspects of the project with the following details:
What the project is about - explains the overview of the whole project
Value proposition - concise explanation of what the project is all about and the unique value it offers to the market
ICO details - details about the token allocations, use of proceeds, token prices, and dates of token sales
Links to the website, whitepaper, social media, GitHub - links to other social media channels of the project to show the activities of the project
Team - the development team and management that is behind the project where LinkedIn profiles are usually attached for reference
Roadmap - the timeframe for the strategic plan that defines the goals, and includes the major steps or milestones needed to reach of the project
To know the effectiveness of the thread is through the number of comments and views of the ANN thread. The more comments and post views, the better. Advertising on forums via signature campaigns and forum ads create real traffic for the project. For direct traffic to the website and other social media channels, hyperlinking their URLs to the posts in the thread would help direct the readers to the website and other channels. When links are posted, the Google search results rankings will also improve because of the large number of sites that link back to bitcointalk.org.
Bitcointalk has a large number of community members who are mostly Bitcoin and crypto enthusiasts who will be the future investors for ICO projects. Having an ANN thread for the ICO would result in high exposure to these niches.
Promoting bounty campaign in the Bitcointalk community to reward members with high levels in exchange for their likes, shares, posts, and token signatures is a great way to spread the word about the ICO and build up a community.
It is done by creating bounty campaign announcements in the Bounty section of Bitcointalk. Aside from signature campaign, translations of threads into other languages is another way of growing members. It’s a good practice to translate ANN threads into their native languages and post them in appropriate segments (local) when the project is working with a multilingual audience.
The best strategy to increase community participation is to retain people on the team who are active Bitcointalk members and care about the community.
A good ANN thread or announcement thread features a quick and easily understandable summary of what the token is all about. The thread will likely include a brief introduction about the token, the development team, and where they’re located. All of these things matter. It also matters where they are located because some countries are crypto-friendly and some are decidedly not. Here are the ways to effectively promote ANN thread in the community:
• In setting up the ANN thread, it is important to make a good impression so make sure that the title of the thread uses emojis that will give readers a clue about the ICO project. Posts should be visual thus, messages should be clear and strong. Infographics and use cases can convey the message much more effectively than words. Moreover, it is important that the big picture consists of smaller clickable bits (hyperlinks) in case one decides to read the white paper or get more detailed information regarding the different aspects of the ICO.
• Create hype for the project by inviting as many readers as possible to check out the ANN thread. Promoting the ANN thread on various online platforms and inviting people to check your Bitcointalk announcement is crucial to encourage comments and views. Responding to them promptly is important because every new reply would bring the entire thread to the very top of the whole Altcoins forum.
• Allowing members to post negative feedbacks in the thread would help in keeping the ANN thread on the first page of the forum. The negative comments are the best when giving arguments to their objections to prove that they're wrong.
• Implementing bounty campaigns is a great way to spread the word about the ICO and build up the community. Create an announcement of the bounty campaign in the Bounty section of Bitcointalk.
• Update the thread from time to time by posting updates about the project. As long as there is a post, the thread will remain on top. Keep the audience engaged by posting news of the project into the thread and keep track of what people say in the comments and do not leave any comment unanswered. Since the big and serious news doesn’t happen to a project every day, focus on smaller events such as new members of the team, new small features, mentions of the project on other websites, and joint PR with other projects.
Having an organic content is always great and it’s an indicator of good direction. With monthly users, advertising crypto projects is also commonly done in the forum. In Bitcointalk, there are many services that are being offered by the community members that vary from community management, bounty management, ICO marketing, to writing a whitepaper. Posting it in Service announcement thread is the way to avail these services and make a local arrangement with the people involved.
The traffic on the Bitcointalk is large and relevant, and also quite profitable. It is cheaper than advertisements on Google Ads, advertising platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, where ICO ads are banned. In order for you to attract maximum traffic in Bitcointalk, you need withdrawal and retention on the first few pages of the forum. In the case of the most popular projects, this happens naturally. A large amount of interest causes a large number of discussions on the branch, and it falls on the first pages automatically.
Seed accounts are double-edged swords that can give great competitive advantages but with some headaches. These are also commonly used in the online marketing space in generating initial momentum when launching a campaign to trigger virality that will later be sustained by organic growth. This is also similar to "fake accounts." The benefit of having seed accounts in Bitcointalk ANN thread is the retention of the ANN thread on the first page of the forum. Having a constant pump of the thread would help the ICO announcement reach more audience in the community and keep it trending. If the thread has more views and comments, it will attract more audience in which Jr. members, Members, and Full members can comment to increase the visibility of the ANN thread. Having seed accounts is an effective way of being proactive in the community and thus, triggers discussions to keep the thread in the spotlight.
The risk of using seed accounts is the possibility of getting banned from the forum for the accusation of excessive spamming or bumping of the thread to keep it on page one, but having a legitimate dialogue among other users using the seed accounts will keep the thread active and visible. Using a seed account is a growth hacking activity that requires cautious execution of plans to avoid the possibility of getting banned from the forum of the entire project’s thread.
Exposing the usage of seed accounts to the public may cause some harm in your reputation. But hey, you’ll be surprised by the number of crypto projects employing this kind of strategy. With the right moderation, getting completely banned will be avoided.
Bitcointalk is one of the pioneer crypto communities that launch ICOs and crypto-related projects. It is the place where crypto space began to sprout and led to other crypto channels. Even with other channels, Bitcointalk remains a reputable platform every crypto project must consider building a community on.
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