Yesterday, Nostr users from around the US came together at New York City’s premiere Bitcoin bar PubKey for Nostr Village, a mini-conference focused on the open protocol that enables global, censorship-resistant social media and more.

The name of the conference included a nod to the neighborhood in which PubKey is located, New York’s historic Greenwich Village. It was also a play on Nostrville, the name of a 2023 Nostr conference that took place in Nashville, TN, which Daniel Modell, Head of Marketing at PubKey and organizer for Nostr Village, attended.

“Nostr is something that I was involved with prior to being part of PubKey, and I wanted to bring it to more people,” Modell told Bitcoin Magazine at the event.

“We’re still very early in the Nostr adoption curve and so we have to be the ones to spread the word, just like with Bitcoin in the earlier days,” he added.

The vibe at Nostr Village felt very much like what I’d imagine the vibe at a smaller Bitcoin conference was like in Bitcoin’s fourth year of existence (Nostr went live November 2020) — exciting and illuminating yet a bit awkward, as Nostr is still a very nascent technology and no one yet knows quite what it will become.

However, with so many active Nostr users in attendance at the event, there was no shortage of people sharing what they do understand about Nostr in efforts to educate the other attendees.

On panels such as “Design and Code: User Experience Is Everything” and “Value For Value and Community: Nostr Is For Creators”, everyone from developers to creatives contributed to expanding the knowledge base of those in attendance.

Avi Burra, author of the Bitcoin fiction book 24 and host of the Plebchain Radio podcast, took part in two of the panels — “Can’t Cancel This: Censorship Resistance On Nostr” and “Nostr for Noobs” — and stressed that Nostr is much more than just decentralized social media.

“The biggest misperception of Nostr is that it’s just a social media app,” Burra told Bitcoin Magazine at the event.

“I’m hopeful that Nostr’s design at the protocol level can enable a truly censorship resistant communications platform but also that other stuff that can be built on it — YouTube replacements, Spotify replacements,” he added.

[Editor’s note: Sam Means, co-founder of Wavlake, a music streaming platform built on Nostr that let’s fans stream sats to their favorite musicians — an alternative to Spotify’s model — was in attendance at the event.]

Burra also noted how much of a success the event was simply because it gave “Nostriches” — a slang term for avid Nostr users — an opportunity to connect in real life.

But not everyone at the event was a Nostr pro. Some attendees were there to learn more about what exactly Nostr is and how to use Nostr clients like Primal, Flockstr and Coracle.

Parker Worthington, director of My Trust In You Is Broken, a documentary on BTC Pay Server, also attended the event and commented on how important events like this are to those who are new to the Nostr space.

“One of my favorite things about smaller Bitcoin or Nostr meetups is that there’s always [some] people that have either never heard of Bitcoin or never heard of Nostr in the room,” Worthington told Bitcoin Magazine at the event.

“It rubs off on them so quickly that they now have this group to go to,” he added.

While the event wasn’t technically a meetup, it did have the feeling of a bigger version of one, and this was part of Modell’s intention.

“What we do at PubKey is different than traditional Bitcoin conferences, because we think of ourselves as almost an anti-conference space,” explained Modell.

“We do these smaller events, [but] people who weren’t even here who were watching on the livestream — on zap.stream — posted things like ‘This is a real conference,’” he added.

A real conference it was, and, according to Modell, it will likely be the first of many to come.

“I’d love to be able to do a Nostr Village every year and see how year over year we grow and what technologies develop on Nostr,” concluded Modell. “We’ve only been doing this (referring to teaching one another about Nostr) for a short time, and so there’s a lot more to do.”

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