Language & Web3


We have a language problem in web3. We use terminology that is too technical, too abstract, overly academic and sometimes, just plain inaccurate.

Moreover, this insular jargon means we keep talking to each other, reinforcing the language we use and ascribing credibility to it.

This is common for emerging industries and I'm sure our jargon will evolve naturally (remember when we moved from "IoT" to just "smart" - upgrade,) but would pushing this along potentially aid us change perceptions of the space, inviting more people to participate?

One of the sessions at this past week's Schelling Point event in Paris, John from Toucan walked us through a list of principles for how might choose our words more wisely (I hope he can share the presentation at some point here.)

We discussed a collective effort - a documentation of language. I've seen a lot of web3 dictionaries published, but to me, the signal that sends is that we're ok to keep using this language and for anyone who doesnt understand it, they can read the dictionary or too bad, they just won't understand.

Seems a little crazy for organizations trying to grow. You have a website people come to and need a dictionary to use? Couple that with the major UX challenges and it's no wonder we are where we are with adoption.

So, what if we actively partnered to change this? Could we create a library for ourselves, committed to evolve our language? Holding ourselves accountable to use more accessible, inclusive language?

I'd love to see an open source initiative emerge that includes research and insights gained across our ecosystem around language. We have so much to learn from each others' progress (both successes and failures), then I'd love to see us pledge to move the needle together.

Anyone who's keen on partnering to drive this forward, lmk.

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