After only about half a year of public existence, the DeepOnion project looks destined to conquer the cryptocurrency world. Of course, great features and a fast-paced development have been of crucial importance to the project's success, but the swarm-like way of spreading the word might very well be the most major reason why public awareness has already reached such a remarkable level within just a few months. Well, other cryptocurrency projects also have communities, right? Some of them indeed have, most don't. Even if another project has a community worth speaking of, it simply doesn't compare to DeepOnion's community. At least I haven't found another one so far. So what is the difference and why does it make all the difference in the world? Let's take a closer look.
Swarm Vs. Traditional Marketing
Wherever people go, some form of advertisement is almost always present. Billboards, commercials, product placement, you name them. Some of them jump right at you, others are rather subtile. The one thing all traditional forms of advertisement and marketing have in common is that they are expensive. At least compared to doing it the swarm way. Traditional methods have also worn off quite a bit. People have become tired of them and they no longer work as well as they used to. Does anyone still pay attention to commercials? Maybe to some of the highly creative ones, but on average they have pretty much turned into an annoyance. If you want to hammer home your message this way, you might be entirely out of luck.
Using the swarm strategy is quite the opposite approach. Instead of hiring expensive specialists and having them produce shiny commercials, the swarm strategy utilizes the potential of the people who already believe in the value of a project. This method was first described by a guy named Rick Falkvinge who put it to work for an election campaign for the Pirate Party of Sweden. The success was astonishing. The new and completely unknown party immediately got elected with only a very small fraction of the competition's budget. The methods described by Rick Falkvinge don't only work in the context of politics, but can be applied to just about anything. When executed correctly, this revolutionary method allows projects to run circles around their competition. Of course, projects still need a legitimate message they want to deliver. If the idea you want to promote is no good, then no method in this world can help you out. In DeepOnion's case, the swarm method is combined with a set of great ideas and therefore it's no big surprise that it works just as well as it did for Falkvinge's party.
How A Swarm Works
From the outside, a swarm may look pretty hierarchical and centralized, but in reality it is about as decentralized as it gets. Running any operation this way requires some serious mental adjustments. People are pretty much used to running their businesses with a solid hierarchy in place. Decision making only happens on top of the chain and usually takes a long time. This leads to some serious problems, unknown to a swarm. The first problem is slow reaction times. A second one is lack of motivation because the average employees or volunteers usually have no say at all. Last but not least, there is the financial aspect of running a business the classical way. The overhead is considerable, people often spend more time in meetings than they do putting their creativity to work.
A swarm on the other hand keeps things extremely decentralized. There is a small core team inside of the swarm, steering things into the desired direction, but that's pretty much it. In DeepOnion's case you only need to take a look at the forum. The moderators you can find there more or less form the core team. They lead the way by posting tasks and challenges. Everybody is welcome to contribute. A lot of power is delegated to the masses, they can basically act on DeepOnion's behalf when accomplishing tasks. Community members are encouraged to contribute in many ways. Everybody can basically pick something according to personal preferences and talents. It is all about what everybody can do instead of focusing on what people must do. Just pick something you like and off you go. What a difference this approach makes! Check out the DeepOnion forum and you will be amazed at the level of activity. People keep contributing useful stuff all the time while enjoying the freedom to pick their tasks without any supervision other than the soft guidance by the core team. Dedicated community members can claim bounties and enter competitions after contributing something of value. They don't get paid with traditional money but with Onions (the name of DeepOnion's cryptocurrency). Of course, people appreciate getting paid, but it's by no means only about earning some cryptocurrency tokens that one day could be worth a fortune. It's way more about being able to contribute to a great project at your own pace without much supervision at all. Whether you write an article, produce a video or create some artwork, you always enjoy the unique feeling of being part of a great movement.
Reaching The Masses - One By One
A forum is a great place to gather for a highly decentralized community, and DeepOnion has a great forum for sure. Still, pretty much nobody in the DeepOnion forum needs to be convinced, they already are. That's why they probably joined the forum in the first place. The real magic when it comes to spreading the word happens outside the forum. Every community member has real-life friends and these members most likely will talk with their friends about DeepOnion whenever they get a chance to do so. Not so much because they want to persuade anybody, but because they belief in the project's future and want to share the great news with people they know. Community members talking about DeepOnion in real life is the most powerful way to deliver the message. People trust their own friends way more than some random celebrity in a commercial. Community members also know the project by heart and can therefore answer questions. An actual communication takes place while on the other hand a commercial is a one way street communication-wise and most people have stopped paying any attention to them. Having an ever-growing arsenal of committed supporters talking about DeepOnion in real life with genuine enthusiasm is a gigantic difference maker. It may not seem very efficient at first glance, but in reality this is exponential growth! Of course, this sort of growth isn't sustainable for a longer period of time because eventually you will simply run out of new people to talk to, but it has the unique power to deliver a message at an incredible speed. On top of it, the message is spread via personal contacts and in the most cost-efficient way imaginable.
Let's look at an easy example to illustrate the point. Let's assume there is a single person with a great idea and this person wants to spread this idea without spending a single Dollar on advertisement. Everyone who already believes in the idea spreads it to exactly one friend every single week. After one week the person who initially had the idea manages to convert another one into a believer. Now there are two people entering week two. Each of them spreads the word to another friend, so now there are already four. Still doesn't seem like much, does it? But here comes the power of exponential growth! It starts out slowly but the pace picks up quickly, just like the proverbial moon rocket. The sequence, starting with week zero, would look like this: 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, 256 and so on. After ten weeks the idea would have gathered 1,024 supporters. Still, this doesn't seem like a whole lot, but after just half a year the number of supporters would have grown to more than 67 million! Another seven weeks and the whole planet would have been converted into believers. The power of the swarm is simply unstoppable. Try to accomplish this with commercials. Even if you manage to be successful, it will surely cost you a fortune. No method could possibly be more powerful than the swarm method and the DeepOnion project makes perfect use of it.
Why DeepOnion Will Succeed
It requires some serious outside-the-box thinking to run an operation the swarm way because people are usually afraid to let go of their power. DeepOnion is a prime example of how the swarm concept can be applied with tremendous success. Forum members seem to double every month and the critical mass has probably been reached by now. The power of exponential growth is fueling the DeepOnion rocket and it simply can't be stopped any longer. The members of the DeepOnion core team made a gutsy decision to delegate most of their power to the community and now everybody involved is reaping the rewards. There are a few cryptocurrency projects out there that may have a similar vision and also a great developer team, but when it comes to running the operation, none of them comes even close to DeepOnion. The Pirate Party of Sweden may not have taken Sweden by storm, but they proved that incredible things can be accomplished with very little resources. DeepOnion is about to deliver more proof, but on a way larger scale. It's a project where a great vision meets cutting-edge marketing. The more research I do on DeepOnion, the more convinced I become that this project is simply bound to succeed. The real good news is that you can easily become part of the project. Just visit the website and the forum and be amazed at what can be accomplished when the swarm is unleashed!
Disclaimer: This article only represents my personal opinion. I am not a financial advisor, so please do your own due diligence before making any investment decisions.
About the author: I am a software developer who lives in Berlin, Germany.