While re-reading the topic of long tail public goods funding last week, I sensed a strong resemblance between the power law of distribution of public goods funding and the inverse-square relationship between the brightness and the distance of a star in the night sky. I designed a code-created NFT while visualizing this by hacking some code using the Gitcoin Grants Data Portal. I am sharing this here to showcase a sample of what’s possible using the Gitcoin data and have more folks start tinkering with it to uncover insights and unlock community intelligence.
A small dark patch of the night sky often reveals only a few stars to the distant eye until, with enough focus and exposure, you uncover a cosmos in the making. This NFT unravels a similar story in public goods funding in the form of code-created art using data on Gitcoin.
Each honeycomb bin represents a project that has earned more than $10 in direct donations in 2023 on Gitcoin. Its brightness is proportional to the funding in direct donations from the community.
When the brightness is linear to the amount received, we hardly see more than a couple dozen projects. This is consistent with the power law distribution leading to the most popular public goods getting a lion’s share of funding.
However, every dark bin still packs the potential to be a “star” over time. We simulate “long exposure” to capture the light coming from these seemingly darker spots by rendering the honeycomb’s brightness on a logarithmic scale (versus linear), bringing them “closer to the eye”.
Now, with this renewed perspective, we can see the potential for light in every bin - a signal to the community that even if their direct donations might not be going to the most popular public goods projects, their ecosystem-wide support is essential for the “primordial soup” to create a vibrant cosmos of public goods projects!