Champions, as you described, show up consistently. Not only that, but they have a high degree of integrity. Their goals are aligned with the goals of the platform/community. They start relevant discussions, they help shape those discussions into actionable goals, they contribute to doing the work, and they stick around to ensure that things get done vs just perpetually staying at the idea or prototype stage. In addition, they do all the menial things that no one else wants to do, but is essential to making everything run smoothly. These tasks/actions will be specific to every community, but the overall theme is that champions are aligned with the community and work to add value to the community, vs working so that the community can add value to them.
In the context of open source communities, there’s usually two sides of the funnel: technical work and meta-level work. It’s important that people do their best to meet in the middle. For people contributing to high level ideas and discussions (like me), it’s important to also explore the code, run the prototypes, and contribute feedback where helpful. For technical contributors, it’s essential to engage with the community to help shape discussions and understand how a specific app/widget fits into the overall goals of the community. That’s a really naive way to break things down, but I’ve noticed that these two groups (technical and non-technical) are often the main divide in open source communities. When devs share their work and get feedback the apps are always better. When community members actually understand how the tech works their ideas and insights are always better. Champions on either side do their best to engage with all stakeholders in the community so that everyone can work together harmoniously towards a shared vision and goal.
In the context of SourceCred specifically, on the forum we’re starting to think of ways to make ideas more actionable so that we can link Initiatives to GitHub activity. On the GitHub side, we’re trying to make SourceCred easier to use and explore so that people can understand it and provide feedback. This is an ongoing process that takes a lot of time and coordination, so really champions are the only ones who are suited to do this work. It’s cool that SourceCred has the slow payout category to reflect this so people who show up consistently get more weight than those who check in every once in a while. As Cred is used more and more for governance and/or incentives around boosting it will be essential that the long-term consistent contributors have more weight than those who just showed up.
I’m looking at this all and it’s still really vague. Does this make sense or should I go back through and try again? lol