NFT Collections brought to life at SXSW: Doodles and FLUF World

That’s what Cointelegraph journalists from South by Southwest, or SXSW, in Austin, Texas, reported NFTs were everywhere This year marks a new phenomenon for what began in 1987 as a music festival. Since developing into a film, technology and general culture gathering and after a two-year hiatus, SXSW added blockchain programming to the mix with crypto-related panels, blockchain company sponsors and interactive experiences from the NFT community.

Two NFT communities with the largest physical presence at SXSW were Doodles and FLUF World, which hosted immersive, multi-day, and multi-sensory experiences. They built physical installations where participants waited in long lines to enter and interact with these virtual communities in real life. Cointelegraph got to the bottom of how these digital collections came to life at SXSW.

Doodles is a collection of generative hand-drawn NFTs of skeletons, cats, aliens, monkeys and mascots. Doodle owners and curious passers-by could enter a Doodle-themed structure to purchase a drink at the bar, have Doodles painted on their nails, eat noodles and display their own Doodle NFTs throughout the exhibition. When a t-shirt or sticker was purchased from the Shopify-powered gift store, customers entered a raffle to win a Doodle.

Cointelegraph spoke to the founding team of Doodles about their mission at SXSW and the collection’s roadmap. According to co-founder Jordan Castro, AKA Poopie, Doodles hopes to use its brand power, reach, and resources to help NFT owners in their own entrepreneurial endeavors by monetizing their Doodles.

“We are showing the world by example what we believe is the future of brands: communities becoming stakeholders. It is our philosophy that communities will be the future flywheel of brand growth and our approach is to nurture successful creative, technical and entrepreneurial talent from within our community.”

Doodles launched in October 2021 and has since grown its Doodlebank, the community treasury, to over $3 million in assets. Castro explained how Doodle owners can propose enhancement initiatives, products, experiences, or governance ideas on the Doodlebank forum, and all Doodle owners can vote on those proposals. Two of those proposals-turned-companies were showcased at SXSW: Noodles and Coffeedoods. Noodles became an entirely new NFT collection and brand, growing to more than $550,000 in sales and $500,000 in royalties.

Visitors to the Activation lined up to get a taste, while those in need of a caffeine pick-me-up queued at the coffee bar. Coffeedoods is a separate Web3 coffee distribution company founded by Coffeehead Doodles owners with an NFT subscription to receive monthly shipments of CoffeeDoods coffee. According to the company, there are currently more than 5,000 pre-sale customers.

Future plans for the Doodles community include “continuing to bring Doodles into mainstream public awareness through additional IRL activations,” Castro said. The team announced that they will construct a permanent installation in a US city to be announced with the support of local government and businesses.

In the Doodles installation.

Doodles also recently expanded its Joy and Rainbow Puke universe to include Space Doodles, which all Doodlers can claim for free, in addition to an Enhanced NFT License granting them new commercialization rights to Doodle Toys. These toys or collectibles are aimed at users with NFT figures inspired by the original Doodles collection.

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The FLUF World pop-up village appeared a few blocks from Doodles. FLUF World is a metaverse ecosystem of virtual land, music and games known for its 3D bunny avatar characters. FLUF developed the company’s FLUF house arm to create global IRL experiences, from Art Basel in Miami to the Super Bowl in Los Angeles to SXSW in Austin. The FLUF Haus SXSW Edition cordoned off an open area with bars, food trucks, and three huge domes that host panel discussions, VR activities, and artist workshops. In the evening, the NFT community could gather to enjoy DJ sets and musical performances.

According to Alex Smeele, co-founder and chief executive officer of Non-Fungible Labs and F World, SXSW provided an opportunity for industry leaders to meet in person and bring those traditional online relationships to the real world.

“True power comes from the intersection of this digital and physical world. NFT communities are a great way for people around the world to share common passions and form strong social bonds.”

The FLUF team shared that part of the mission for being at SXSW was to advocate for an open Metaverse and get the community to sign the Metaverse Manifesto. Smeele expressed that the crypto and NFT industry “can be very toxic and largely male dominated” and that FLUF World intends to “weave ethics, diversity and sustainability into the fabric of our community” by helping to do so , certain to establish standards for Web3 companies.

Smeele added that FLUF aims to build a “scalable metaverse with play-to-earn mechanics and invent new ways for content creators to engage with their fans”. They have partnered with the NFT collection Seekers, created by the Sylo Network and allowing NFT owners to communicate their wallet address with any other wallet address, and with Altered State Machine, a protocol that allows ownership of AI enabled via NFTs. Together they set up an AR Snapchat experience so users can activate the FLUF World lens and enter the FLUF Dome via the app for a chance to win FLUF characters or a Seeker NFT.

In addition to IRL events, the community has helped the New Zealand-based team raise an estimated NZ$2 million to support sustainability initiatives, homelessness and Ukrainian refugees. Smeele described that her key areas of focus over the next quarter are collaborating with leading and emerging music and visual artists and launching her own token called Mycelium. Additionally, FLUF plans to add more features to its Metaverse-enabled characters and introduce breeding for their bunny avatars, reportedly allowing people to join the community at a lower price.

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Both communities took to the streets of Austin to show what their respective communities can expect from them: interaction, engagement and support to be their own creators. Another company, Blockchain Creative Labs, FOX Entertainment’s NFT studio, also hosted its own Web3 discussions, events and giveaways at SXSW. Their main attraction was a live performance by Dolly Parton on the blockchain on Friday night and the launch of Dollyverse, an NFT drop of Dolly’s latest album.