The Blockchain Europe project and its community are multi-faceted. There are very different perspectives on the scientific, application and working field of Blockchain. Britta Scherer is manager for communication and community. Her “daily business” is all about science communication around blockchain technology. In this short interview, she tells us how a communications expert views the topic.
Blockchain Europe: You hold the title “Communication and Community Management” in the Blockchain Europe project, what challenges do you face in your job?
Britta Scherer: The topic of blockchain is difficult to understand. In addition, I always say that the community is divided into so-called “blockchain evangelists” and “blockchain agnostics”. Outside the community, there are many, at least in Germany, who have never heard of the technology. So the challenge is to present the technology and its possible applications in a simple, clear, and understandable way, and to appeal to both the newbies and the nerds.
Blockchain Europe: How can you master this challenge?
Britta Scherer: That’s a good question! Many roads lead to Rome. But what always helps is visual language and breaking down what is sometimes highly scientific content.
For example, I have launched the ” inner cinema” strategy. If we ask our parents, grandparents, neighbors or even friends or children, ultimately very few of them understand the latest technologies. This also applies to older “new” technologies, by the way. But if we take a look at artificial intelligence, it seems that everyone can relate to it. One thinks of various movies, human-like robots or smart houses. So you have an image directly in your head and therefore the technology is no longer so foreign to you, even though hardly anyone knows the scientific and technological connections. I would like to create that for blockchain technology as well.
LedgerMan is the beginning. The blockchain superhero in comic format takes us on his adventures and in the process we learn about the application of blockchain. These are not cinema films, but they give a simple introduction to the topic, are suitable for young and old, and for beginners and advanced users.
Blockchain Europe: Since the release of the animated films, do your parents understand what you do and what Blockchain is?
Britta Scherer: (Laughs). No, but they have a rough idea of what the technology can do and is needed for. My nephews are eagerly awaiting the next season, my colleagues have a lot ideas for new episodes, and our community is happy to accompany the superhero on new adventures. It’s not possible to implement inner cinema that quickly, but the start has been made.
Blockchain Europe: Why a comic?
Britta Scherer: Like many digitization or IT topics, blockchain is difficult to illustrate visually – compounded by the pandemic, for over two years I’ve been unable to take photos of real-life appointments or demonstrators. Boring decorative images with futuristic backgrounds and ones and zeros in the foreground or the chain symbol popular in the case of Blockchain are rarely eye-catchers. So we created our own visual language and graphic world. Apart from that, no other activity can really pick up all the different target groups the way a comic can. If you think in terms of categories – and I’m allowed to say this because I’m one myself – nerds love comics. That’s why the comic book was published authentically sealed in the Original Collector’s Edition – for collector’s value. And it’s not just kids who love animated movies. The reasons why The Simpsons or The Minions are so popular with adults, too, are the hidden jokes and hints – the reference to real events. In a comic, the world is also allowed to be black and white sometimes, and a bit of humor can be added.
Blockchain Europe: A comic and the accompanying animated films are a very work-intensive undertaking. Are there other ways to communicate the topic of blockchain?
Britta Scherer: The topic, just like all other scientific topics, lends itself to most classic measures. If we take a look at physics or mechanical engineering, the topics there are also not more difficult, easier or more specialized.
Basically, videos help. Here, several senses are addressed at once, the concrete object of work can be shown and the community can get to know the people behind it. Events are also a very important tool. People need to be able to exchange ideas, learn from the experiences of others and share their opinions.
Sometimes it also helps to go against common prejudices. For example, we launched our “Fake News” campaign. Various prejudices and myths about blockchain technology are circulating on the Internet in particular, and these have also manifested themselves in the minds of some people in a very persistent way. Therefore, we have cleared up some prejudices in short and factual texts.
Blockchain Europe: What else can the blockchain community expect in the next time?
Britta Scherer: Exciting events. Our blockchain practitioner, blended learning format, is starting its second round and our meet-up series continues in April. Our whitepaper series will be published. And, minor spoiler: The second season of LedgerMan launches on March 24. Last but not least, there is new content in our “Projects” section on the Blockchain Europe website. We will present more implementation projects from the community. In line with this, there will also be many videos on our YouTube channel again.