Welcome to the Internet Computer community!
Here are a few ways to get more involved and start contributing:
1. Buy Some ICP
Buying ICP will give you some familiarity with crypto exchanges and will be necessary for a few of the later steps in this guide. It doesn’t have to be a lot. You could even just buy 0.1 ICP. But you’ll learn a lot from going through the process. ICP is currently listed at Binance and Coinbase, but I’m sure additional exchanges have listed at this point. Pick your favorite exchange and buy some ICP!
2. Get an Internet Identity
Many apps in the internet computer ecosystem right now use Internet Identity as the login system. So go to https://identity.ic0.app/ and authenticate with biometrics or a physical key (Yubikey). Note that you need to have a laptop with a fingerprint reader or a phone with fingerprint or face ID in order to authenticate a device with Internet Identity. If you don’t have biometrics on your device, you should buy a Yubikey to use as a physical authentication method. There are a few other more involved ways to authenticate, but we’ll stick to the simple ones for now.
3. Stake Some ICP
You currently have to stake at least 1 ICP (can’t stake less than that), which may be cost prohibitive to some people. So only do this if you can afford it. You can follow my How Do I Stake ICP guide for detailed steps on how to stake ICP. Staking is important because it will give you more familiarity with the Network Nervous System community governance structure which is one of the core defining features of the Internet Computer.
4. Explore the Internet Computer Ecosystem
There are a lot of really cool projects popping up all hosted on the Internet Computer. To be included in this list, you have to have a public-facing product that currently allows users to sign-up and do something on the app.
Type: Social media app similar to Reddit
Notes: There are portals (or content categories). You can post questions or comments in a portal. You need DSCVR orbs in order to do things on the app. When someone likes your post, you get 2 orbs. When someone likes your comment, you get 1 orb. Then it costs 50 orbs to change your username and 500 orbs to create a new portal. Things are still new but I’m excited to see where it goes.
Type: Chat app similar to telegram
Notes: OpenChat is still fairly early in their alpha, but everything is functional (although still in test mode). But it functions like any other chat app.
Type: Hosting service
Notes: If you have any developer skills, you can deploy a static frontend to Fleek that will be hosted on the Internet Computer. This is the fastest way to get a website up and running on the Internet Computer right now.
5. Get Involved in the Community
Join and follow the ICP Guide portal on DSCVR. A place to ask questions, post feedback, and learn from others interacting with the ICP Guide.
Join the ICP Maximalist Telegram Channel. The ICP Maximalist Network is a group of Internet Computer enthusiasts of all shapes and sizes: developers, investors, ICP stakers, and other fans of the Internet Computer. The group provides 24/7/365 support, answers questions, and helps newcomers learn how they fit into the Internet Computer ecosystem.
Join the official Dfinity subreddit. This is more focused on developer questions and general community questions. No ICP trading speculation allowed.
Join the ICPTrader subreddit. Allows all sorts of talk on the price of ICP.
Join the Dfinity developer Discord if you have technical skills.
Join the DfinityNews portal on DSCVR. The main source of DFINITY posts on DSCVR right now.