Discourse Director

Hey everyone :slight_smile:

As @decentralion mentioned in this thread, we need someone to organize, maintain, and optimize our community forum.

I volunteer as tribute! I love Discourse and use it every day. It’s a great way to share ideas and build a community. I also love positive-sum games. SourceCred is the best of both worlds. Ever since I heard of the memex I’ve been dreaming of an online community/forum/game like this. It’s really a dream come true. Thank you everyone for all the work that’s been done to make this possible. I cannot express how excited I am for SourceCred and this forum :slight_smile:

Started researching ways that we might improve Discourse and realized a few things. First, this is going to take a lot of work. Second, the work will never end. Initiatives have champions that work towards a concrete goal. What about things that are intangible and require ongoing effort? What about things like supporting and developing a community?

For this @decentralion and I thought that Director positions might make more sense. Directors guide a project forward. They have responsibility for the project as a whole. This might involve strategic direction, operations, and community/contributor onboarding. In the case of the Discourse Director, this would include optimizing the Discourse UI/UX, making sure that everything is organized, and helping community members engage and contribute. If the SourceCred community disagrees with that direction, then they (or TBD) can elect a new Director. The first of these Directorship positions will be the Discourse Director and the first Director will be me (@burrrata)!

Overview

As Discourse Director the first order of business is to define expectations around Discourse Director contributions, powers, incentives, and elections. Here’s my initial thoughts, but please let me know if you feel these could be improved:

Expectations

  • Keep the forum organized so that it’s easy to find information
  • Keep the forum friendly and welcoming so that everyone enjoys contributing
  • Explore new features and mechanisms that will help enhance the community and contributor experience
  • Document forum changes, upgrades, and mechanisms so that Discourse Director changes are minimally disruptive
  • Engage with new users to A) help them understand how the community works, and B) get feedback to help optimize the community

Powers

  • Admin access to the SourceCred forum
  • Moderation in the case of a dispute

Incentives

  • Some (very small) fraction of all Discourse cred flows to the Discourse Director
  • This incentivizes the Discourse Director to help the broader Discourse community generate a lot of cred
  • The main purpose of organizing and optimizing Discourse is to make it easier for people to learn and contribute, so this aligns incentives with the Discourse Director’s goals

Governance

  • TBD determines Discourse Director
  • The goal is to move towards some form of Cred Weighted Voting so that the community can choose Directors

Overall, the goal of the Discourse Director is to support the SourceCred community forum as long as they and the community want them to :slight_smile:

Again, I cannot express how excited I am about this. So happy to help cultivate and grow the SourceCred community with all of you. To start, if you see room for improvement in this proposal please share! Otherwise, if you have requests for Discourse features and see things that could be improved, please share them here.

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@s_ben @Beanow

Thinking to post this to the public Docs category, but first wanted to get your feedback. What do you guys think? Does this look good and/or do you see room for improvement?

Congrats @burrrata!

I like this. We of course don’t want to incentivize spam posts for “cred farming”, but that can always be addressed by tweaking the amount of cred from posts presumably.

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Hmm…This seems like it belongs in the Leadership or Governance categories to me, but still wrapping my head around recent changes, so could be wrong.

Hey @burrrata :smiley:

I’m glad you’re volunteering to help out and took the effort to write this down. :rocket:

As I understand you’re interested in improving the Discourse and championing those initiatives. Also, you’re offering to champion ongoing tasks on Discourse.
See, how I think championing works for Initiatives and ongoing work? :stuck_out_tongue:, but I digress.

Prefer Initiatives

I think you’re right about that. And my suggestion would be to start with using Initiatives to describe the improvements as much as possible. For example:

Organize Discourse categories

The current categories on Discourse grew organically. This Initiative is to look at what we came up with, what’s working and what’s not, plan and implement a new category structure.

Of course, in the future we will probably have different needs again and perhaps need another round of this. But that can be the “Organize Discourse categories, round 2” initiative.

I think there’s a couple of advantages to this:

  • Being clear about expectations, status of something and building an archive of work done.
  • It’s easier to value something when there is a finished result. (Even if the real value becomes apparent later, you have a concrete Initiative to point at and flow more Cred to.)
  • It offers granular freedom in deciding exactly what you do and don’t want to champion. I prefer having as many as possible autonomous leaders (e.g. Champions) over elected/appointed public service people who must follow the community’s bidding.

Note: I think it’s ok for Iniatives to take a long time. Discourse mirror revision for example started somewhere October, till a few days ago.

Ongoing tasks

I wrote about this a little here Supernodes: Moving past raw activity

But regardless of how we describe these and put them into the nodes / supernodes. There’s several that make sense to me.

  • Keep the forum organized so that it’s easy to find information.
    Yes please :smiley:
  • Keep the forum friendly and welcoming so that everyone enjoys contributing.
    There’s a shared responsibility there, but certainly welcome leadership in this effort!
  • Engage with new users to A) help them understand how the community works.
    Even more shared responsibility, but welcome leadership!
  • and B) get feedback to help optimize the community.
    This is a nice concrete task I feel makes sense with a Champion.

Not ongoing tasks

  • Explore new features and mechanisms that will help enhance the community and contributor experience.
    These should be Initiatives imo.
  • Document forum changes, upgrades, and mechanisms so that Discourse Director changes are minimally disruptive.
    Most of these would be part of Initiatives. Others more a good practice.

Powers

Yes, for things like overhauling and maintaining the categories, I say go for it :+1:.

With the unfortunate sidenote of Discourse Admin trust model that access to private information is something nobody should have if it can at all be avoided, whether I trust them or not.

A resolute no for me on this front. But I’m glad you bring it up, because I don’t think it’s been discussed explicitly yet (that I’m aware of). I feel this should include our TBD @decentralion and anyone else with the power to edit/censor someone else’s posts.

I have a huge faith in our current community to be capable of constructive arguments. I also have faith that should there ever be abrasive or toxic disputes, it will be called out by the community and people will self-moderate.

Should I be wrong on both accounts and we wind up with constant toxicity problems, I would want to call a meeting and decide together how to react, as opposed to someone with power taking matters into own hands.

I think exceptions to that would be something actually illegal or damaging, like disclosing private information without consent (like doxing), or trying to spread malware. That’s something where I would want an admin / moderator to step in without needing to wait for a community mandate, but should be transparent about having stepped in, so it can be discussed afterwards.

Incentives

Of course there should be rewards, and incentives should encourage you to work in favor of the community, not against it. But I think there’s a couple issues with this specific construction. For example, what if we want to completely stop minting cred based on raw activity (see Supernodes: Moving past raw activity)? Would this still give you an amount of Cred that reflects your contribution?

This incentivizes the Discourse Director to help the broader Discourse community generate a lot of cred

Why not always incentivize everybody to make our Discourse better, including the Director? :smile: I feel the positive-sum game should be as inclusive as possible. That said, here some context from the original motivation for the Champions term.

The sentiment for me hasn’t changed. As a Champion / Director, you’re adding value beyond the sum of contributions and I don’t want that to be undervalued.

My inclination is that’s best done with recognizing you as the Champion/Director of a mixture of Initiatives and ongoing tasks. But I’d like to hear a how other people think about that as well, especially @decentralion

Governance

Yuck :confused:

  • Appointed by authorities.
  • Appointed by popular vote.

No thank you.

That’s more like it! :smiley: I think like Champions, the basis should be self-nominating / voluntary commitment. Unless the community puts a stop to it.

Yes, to be given admin powers you’ll have to ask TBD @decentralion for purely practical reasons. And I trust they in turn do a good job of gauging the community support for it as they see fit. If not, the community is free to raise their concerns.

Let’s do this in public

I think this Leadership category is now the private category. In my opinion it’s not something we should use for drafting things in private unless there’s a compelling reason why that would be too sensitive to do in public. So I would urge to move this to a public category and have these discussions in the open :slight_smile:

So if that’s ok with you @burrrata would you do the honors of moving it? Want to make sure you agree before I move anything.

Excitement!

Me too! I had lots to comment on, but I’m glad you want to lead this effort.

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@Beanow raises some good points here. If the Discourse Director does a good job, they will get a fraction of all the cred flowing through the Discourse, because a fraction of the Discourse cred will flow to the Discourse artifact, and the Discourse artifact will flow cred to the initiatives / tasks that the Director was responsible for.

Therefore, we may not need a “flow Cred directly to this title” mechanism, since the title should just be a proxy for doing the work, and we can reward the work directly. This would be good, since flowing Cred directly to the title creates a lot more risk of “cred favoritism” (e.g. I appoint my friends to Directorships and they get a ton of Cred regardless of how much work they actually do).

(Just for the record: I was the one who originally proposed to @burrrata the idea that the Discourse Director would get cred directly from the Discourse artifact during their term as Director.)

Hmm, I don’t think I agree. I think there’s real value in having a DRI–someone who is concretely and specifically responsible for taking care of outcomes. In a self-nominating mode, I expect we’ll have many DRIs, which arguably is the same as no DRIs–who makes the final call when it’s contentious? And do we fall prey to the bystander effect?

If we need one DRI, then we need a selection process that produces only one Director (whether a vote or appointment).

If the Director is responsible for ensuring that the Discourse community is healthy, respectful, and collaborative: maybe when problems start to arise, the Director’s job is to bring the problems to the community’s attention, and drive discussion about what changes we want to make. Then, once we’ve collectively decided on changes (possibly including a more active moderation policy), the Director can make sure the changes are implemented.

So we still benefit from having a DRI, but it’s much less top-down use of power.

I agree. I was the one who suggested @burrrata draft this in the private forum to get initial feedback from you and @s_ben. Having seen the feedback (love it!) I now totally agree that we should move this thread into public (maybe #governance?).

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Thank you all for the feedback.

Regarding creating a lot of initiatives:

  • My favorite thing about SourceCred is that it “just works” I open the forum, I start engaging and doing work I love, and SourceCred takes care of the rest. While initiatives are good for some tasks, they also add friction. The thought of filling out a form every time I want to contribute does not bring me joy. Furthermore, Initiatives must be clearly defined. I don’t exactly what will be involved in optimizing the forum so that it’s easy to find, use, and engage with. I also don’t know how long it will take or how long I want to keep doing it. I do know, however, someone needs to do it, and today, I want to do it. It’s really that simple.

Regarding tasks and expectations:

  • Yes, there will be lots of people who contribute to these initiatives. Someone, however, needs to onboard and support these people. Someone needs to know what’s going on. Someone needs to set the direction.
  • Exploring new features and documenting them is an ongoing task because SourceCred and the SourceCred community is a train that’s laying the rails as it moves.

Regarding powers:

  • I’d rather create a community driven dispute resolution mechanism than do this myself. That being said, someone needs to do this work. It would make sense that the keeper of the forum does this if there is no other option. If TBD or a moderator wants to help out, the more the merrier. I do not want to have this burden, but someone has to do it.

Regarding incentives:

  • Frankly, I don’t care how the Cred flows to the Discourse Director. I just care that contributions are rewarded and recognized. The reason that an additional mechanism was suggested is because the Director is not just optimizing for their own performance inside of a system, but for the whole system itself. This is a different game than just being a community member.
  • It will also involve work outside of the SourceCred forum game in order to optimize that system. For example, the hours I’ve spent learning how the Discourse UI/UX works. Then there’s the work that will be done to optimize Discourse. Does the SourceCred graph take into consideration UI changes or badge creation? Does the SourceCred graph take into consideration increases in engagement due to having information organized and maintained? These are important things. If we’re optimizing for contributor experience as well as community experience we need an incentive system that rewards and recognizes that.
  • The game can and will be as inclusive as possible. Everyone engaging on the forum (except for in private categories) gets Cred for their contributions. This is, however, limited to the things that can be measured.

Regarding Champion/Director:

  • As was discussed in this thread, we started with the idea of a Champion, but then realized that the scope of the effort was really a bit different. As a result, we’re here discussing SourceCred Directors.

Regarding governance:

Regarding the private Leadership category:

  • We were testing it out. Good to dogfood. Now moving this to Governance.

Closing notes:

  • Again, what excites me about SourceCred is that it “just works.” No politics. No bureaucracy. No bullshit. Just focus on creating value and you’ll be rewarded and recognized for that value creation :slight_smile:
  • As mentioned in the please help us organize this discourse thread, organizing all the information in this forum will help us (and new users) get clear as to “what is SourceCred?” Then we can create a high level overview of SourceCred, a SourceCred light paper, and an easy onboarding experience for new users. I guess we could just do this in a GitHub README too, but that wouldn’t have the same feel.
  • The SourceCred community is just as important as the SourceCred algorithm itself. This is because SourceCred is a multi player game and it’s more fun to play with friends. I want to help optimize our shared game to make it the easier and more fun to play. The bestest game ever! That’s why I volunteered to become Discourse Director.
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Loving the debate. After thinking about this a bit more, finding myself gravitating away from the idea of titles and elections generally…Naming @burrata the Discourse Director feels fine right now, as we’re a small and trusting group, and it’s useful to have roles generally. But adding titles with fixed powers/permissions I think introduces some issues.

Issues I’m imagining:

  • Baggage: Even if we define titles a bit differently, nearly all new contributors will come into the project with experience working in coercive hierarchies. They will see titles, and assume they need to curry favor with those holding them. They potentially accrue more power to title holders than we intend.

  • Exclusion: Certain actions are only going to be doable by those with certain permissions (e.g. deleting forum posts, merging code, banning a user, etc.). That’s unavoidable. But many aspects of these roles are doable by anyone. E.g. project management, reporting, enforcing rules on the social level, educating, doing little chunks of work here and there, etc., etc. In a permissionless model, if a contributor sees something valuable that needs doing, they can just do it. No needing to go through this beurocratic process of finding out who’s allowed to do what, having to “run it by” people that “own” some thing, potentially being told they can’t, not because they aren’t qualified but for power games or accidental neglect (e.g. person X didn’t respond, what did I do wrong? (person X is just too busy to respond)). Even the existence of titles might have people second guessing whether it’s OK to perform an action, even if they can do it.

  • Bandwidth: People get busy. Especially in OSS projects, where people may bounce around. Assigning someone a fixed role, it’s possible they become a bottleneck. What if they disappear? Go on vacation? Drop out? Are we going to just keep holding elections all the time?

  • Elections: I could see these for some important positions. E.g. maybe the SourceCred Foundation needs someone to perform certain legally necessary functions. Maybe investors need something like this to feel comfortable. However, our current electoral democracy I think is a cautionary tale here. The laws we pass now have a nearly 0 statistical correlation with the will of the people, and high correlation with the will of corporations. Delegating your power away to another person tends to centralize power, which then eventually gets abused (or simply neglected). Delegated proof-of-stake systems in crypto are generally falling victim to that, with nearly all considered failures. To date, none of these delegated systems are working well IMO. As I’ve said before, when people are aware every interaction they have affects the graph (and therefore cred/money), every like is a vote. I don’t know about you, but that definitely already is starting to factor into my interactions. Not trying to be stingy or anything, just judicious. It would be irresponsible even if enough cred/money/power was flowing around based on my actions. That continual “voting” I think we should “harvest” and make use of. Just like Google is able to create pretty useful I’d say indexes for searches based on people “voting” with each link they put in a webpage. Let’s not add friction/work/centralization vectors if the base algorithm and super nodes are already allowing us to reach consensus where we need it. I do think cred weighted voting will be useful for more “direct democracy” votes. E.g. deciding to mint cred. Perhaps kick someone off the island if they’re toxic and abusing people. Though even that introduces some big challenges (e.g. voter turnout if cred it too centralized (why vote if it doesn’t ever change the outcome?), sybil attacks if we try something more democratic like quadratic voting, etc.). So I think we should be wary of over-relying on voting.

Championing I think is already achieving some of our aims here. In championing the podcast and community call, I definitely have a sense of responsibility. More so than at some jobs I didn’t care about, tbh (notes for last call coming soon!). And it seems pretty clear to other people that I’m taking on that role. It’s also a fairly flexible and open process to become a champion, which I think is good. All the community really needs to know is whether to trust the person will follow through. Cred scores gives us a good metric to judge that. We still have @decentralion as our TBD generally deciding if someone can champion something. But I imagine this is the kind of thing that can be gamefied. If you have above X cred, you can take on this role. If you don’t follow through, your score gets dinged.

I’ve been drawing inspiration lately from some orgs I have experience with that coordinate large groups of people with little hierarchy. Burning man camps, vipassina retreat centers, Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), etc… One common feature is that they realize the need for roles, a system, but are generally self nominating and fairly easy for anyone to pick up. When I volunteered at a mediation retreat, every role (cleaning a building, operating a station in the kitchen, etc.) could be learned in 10 minutes from smart infographics. Roles with more responsibility people weren’t generally clamoring for…it was mainly more experienced and committed people that stepped up. I was amazed at watching a group of 20 strangers come together and just put together the whole thing on the fly. Similarly at Burning Man. There’s a pattern where noobs don’t really do as much building/service. But over time people gravitate towards service. I got a Rickshaw ride once from a guy that pedaled tourists around for his day job. He was with a camp of rickshaw drivers that spent their burn talking people around on Rickshaws. You see similar dynamics in other orgs. Some with roles with decent responsibility. In AA, for instance, each group (of thousands worldwide) has a number of service roles, including treasurer. They handle donations, pay rent, etc. By definition everyone in the group is an addict. Many openly share about stealing for their addictions. Some groups have a rule. You have to have 6 months sobriety before you can become treasurer (we could find a similar cred threshold for handling money). And theft is rare. The shame of betraying your community is a strong negative incentive. Likewise, much of Burning Man (a temporary city of 60,000 people off their mind of drugs) has almost no crime or need for police. As a founder has said in interviews, shame is a powerful motivator. I will say all these orgs do have a central entity with basic governance. The Burning Man Foundation is a decent sized org at this point, with execs pulling in 6 figure salaries. The Vipassana org has a board of trustees that oversee construction of new centers, HR for a small number of full-time employees, etc. But these orgs are small, have limited responsibilities and typically democratic co-op style governance (e.g. a board elected by members). They do not tell members how to organize, enforce rules, etc. Power is very decentralized into individuals and small groups. I could see something like a SourceCred Foundation operating in a similar capacity,

I worry a little bit that we may be adding structure in anticipation of problems we don’t have yet, and that this puts at risk the ‘videogame’ experience of just freely exploring and getting rewarded for any value you create along the way (the magic of SourceCred @burrrata is referring to, which I think we already have). I’m wondering if champions and artifacts and boosting are enough to chew on right now?

All good points! I guess I could just create an initiative to “make Discourse better,” but that doesn’t have the same feel.

Also, then who gets admin powers on Discourse? Will the tyranny of strucurelessness just lead to strange social hierarchies that are not formally documented? I don’t have a crystal ball, but I would imagine it would.

Overall, I was excited to help. I saw an opportunity for something that was not being fulfilled currently where I could contribute a lot. My goal was to do work that makes contributing easier and more fun. As a contributor myself, I have to have fun the process too. I contribute to SourceCred on nights and weekends instead of watching movies or going out to dinner. I’m here because I love it, but I’m sensing a disturbance in the force.

If Director positions are not something the SourceCred community (really mostly 3-5 people at this point) then that’s fine. But then, Discourse still needs to be organized. My vote would be to do whatever allows us to build and iterate fastest as we’re still at trust level 1 and we’re still very much in the experimentation phase. Not sure what that looks like, but I’m sure we’ll figure it out together :slight_smile:

Sharing control of infrastructure, transparency are certainly important. I’m glad we’re exploring these issues for Discourse in the Discourse Admin trust model post. I think we can mitigate these risks but not eliminate them entirely (humans gonna human). Just having the permissions public, as we’ve decided here, I think is a step in the right direction. Lowering technical barriers to forking is another.

I’m reminded of Reddit. Specifically the r/ethtrader community DAONUTS are based on, which you probably know a lot more about than I. There the admin of a large group (221k members) used their admin powers to fire all the mods opposed to their plan to issue tokens with governance rights, resulting in the community “forking” into a new subreddit, r/ethfinance.

Scanning both subreddits just now, it appears r/ethfinance only took ~13k subscribers with it, but the engagement levels of both seem about the same…I wonder if it’s a roughly equal split of active community members? Are there lessons to learn from this?

This is really tricky, because centralized platforms (which are convenient and powerful and almost all communities using SourceCred will use), do have hierarchical permissions. Does it matter if you have a title if someone with permissions above you can delete your account if drama goes down?

Super glad you’re here! I am perhaps intentionally causing a disturbance in the force just to play devil’s advocate. Because it’s still early and we trust each other, it’s easier to be open about these issues now. I would maybe just challenge you with, “Are you not having fun already without a title? Will being Discourse Director address an issue you’re having now, or one you’re anticipating in the future?”. As for rewards, it seems like you are getting a good amount of cred for your efforts already. In the last cred distribution, I see you have more lifetime cred than me. When I saw that I though, “Huh, well, that’s maybe not entirely accurate as I’ve been contributing longer, but good I guess because I want @burrrata to come back to the project and contribute more. It feels like a wise boost”. And I’m glad to see you become more active lately. I think you’re filling a missing role right now, and having fun with that role. I suppose though this was largely a subjective judgement by our TBD @decentralion. Which we want to move away from over time. Do you think something like a Director position is necessary to get fairly credited as we decentralize? Is it just that creating initiatives is too tedious (a fair concern)?

I’m still open to this. Just wanted to voice my concerns early to be part of the discussion. I also think a voice chat could be useful here, if people are open to it. I know that raises other issues (e.g. I understand if you don’t want to compromise your pseudonumity @burrrata (this is an option that is generally critical to protect IMO)) . It’s just that while these forum discussions are really good (and document our decision-making), it’s really time-consuming. Especially as I’m a writer and it physically pains me not to wordsmith my posts. Sometimes live conversations can move much quicker, and also help build trust, even if you disagree with each other.

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As I see it, this thread has a few (valuable and important) lines of discussion happening simultaneously. I’d like to draw attention to them individually.

  1. @burrrata is excited to take on a very important task–namely organizing and stewarding the SourceCred Discourse. How can we empower them in this task, and make it fun and rewarding?
  2. How do we want to organize the SourceCred community as it scales? Do we think having titles like “Director” (and perhaps defined Cred rewards based on title) will be a net benefit for the project, as it creates a definite DRI and makes it clear who has the “right” to own and authorize changes? Or do we think having titles will make the community feel less inclusive and unnecessarily hierarchical?
  3. Do we all feel psychologically safe in this discussion? @burrrata, do you feel undercut or discouraged by the pushback against the implications of having a Discourse Director at this time?

My thoughts on these three threads:

  1. I think we’re all in agreement on trusting @burrrata and being excited to have them leading the charge on re-organizing the Discourse. I’ve already given them admin powers on the Discourse, and they’ve already been putting them to good use.
  2. We’re seeing that we don’t have consensus on whether Directors should exist, how they differ from Champions, how Directors are rewarded, and how Directors are selected / elected / appointed. Therefore, I think we should hold off on creating these formal positions until we know a bit more about why we need them, and what we expect from them.
  3. @burrrata, I want to emphasize to you that I’m really excited to have you involved in the project, and for your enthusiasm to help the Discourse! I know that it can be a downer (and trigger natural loss aversion) to get offered a cool title, and then have that evaporate. In my mind, the role is unchanged: I’d like to see you empowered to take ownership of improving the Discourse and onboarding, and to see you earn cred for your hard work. It’s just the associated formalisms that need more work.

Regarding the potential tedium of creating initiatives, and feeling like you need to fill out a form before doing any work–the great thing about Cred is that it’s retroactive. I would say, focus on doing the work and adding value, but keep a record of the changes you’re making and why. Along the way, as we’re seeing the patterns of related work and the impacts they delivered, we can create retroactive initiatives that properly value the work you’ve been doing.

I’d also like to second @s_ben’s suggestion of having a voice chat together, if you’re open to it.

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We could even do an encrypted video chat where you use a voice modulator to make you sound like a genderless robot. Very cypherpunk:)

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Yeah this is a real problem. I don’t know all the internal details of the situation, but this seemed sub-optimal from a governance perspective. At the same time, it resulted in one of the coolest experiments on Reddit and Web3 moving forward (which had been blocked for 6 months due to internal debates in the community). It’s complicated…

Yes. Freedom to fork is powerful. Building things with the end in mind is also powerful. As soon as you create something you should also think about how that thing will be sunset or transitioned. Whether it’s consumer goods or political powers, if there’s no endgame it becomes a mess.

It does until it doesn’t. That’s kind of the thing with any voting since voting can create or destroy lots of things. The most concrete example is token balances. We like to think, esp on Ethereum, that tokens are “ours.” That they’re immutable. The history is immutable, but the future may not be. It really depends on the way a contract is written. Most devs build contracts where they have the keys. Some contracts give governance powers to token holders. DAOs explicitly give token holders powers. This can result in tokens being minted or burned, even “your tokens.”

100% ! It’s so much cheaper to think through and discuss decisions before they’re made rather than after lol

Oh I’m having tons of fun! That’s exactly the problem. I only have a limited amount of time to contribute and all these discussions (as important as they are) are taking away from time I could be organizing and curating all the beautiful ideas buried in these threads. The fun/bureaucracy threshold can’t cross 80/20.

That being said, it’s interesting to analyze this from a meta perspective. At first I was approaching this as a blocker to doing work that I really wanted to do. Now, however, looking at it from the perspective of how humans get motivated (rewards, responsibility, community) is really interesting… I think we’re touching on something that is at the heart of every community, esp SourceCred: recognition and rewards.

The main value prop of SourceCred (as I see it) is that you can focus on doing the work you love and you’ll be rewarded and recognized. You don’t have to ask anyone for permission. You don’t have to log your hours. You don’t have to do anything that’s not directly related to the work. Obviously, as we can see, this only works within a certain context. You can create organized sandboxes that people can play in.

For example creating SourceCred plugins, organizing threads/ideas, creating artwork. Those things are permission-less because they are additive. You’re not changing anything that is, you’re creating something new. There’s only upside, but no downside.

Some things, however, have downsides. These things are often decisions. Some decisions are one way doors that you can’t go back on. Some decisions are reversible. Often it’s not the day to day that dictates how our lives turn out, but the irreversible decisions we make. This is one of the reasons why (ideally) executives are paid so much. They make decisions that affect the success or failure of ventures. Often, the more decision making is involved in a role the more it gets a fancy title. Titles do not infer decision making abilities, but those with decision making abilities are often given titles. Ironically, however, the outcome of decisions are hard to measure. As a result, people who give the impression of competence are often promoted rather than those who can actually think clearly. This is due to many factors, but a key contributor is that decision making is a complex non-linear process. In addition, outcomes do not reveal themselves until much later (if ever). Would be great if this was better.

One of the future looking examples of SourceCred is when a teacher inspires a student and then receives Cred from that pupil years into the future. Could this be used to also evaluate and reward the outcome of decisions as well? I don’t know, but I’d be curious to explore this more. Would there be a way to directly measure the outcome of say, voting to make ABC person a director of XYZ thing? Would there be a way to measure the decisions they make, and if so which ones? In the context of Discourse it’s relatively easy because you can measure engagement, but… what if that engagement is actually due to the work of someone doing amazing marketing on Twitter or via the Podcast or something? How do you measure and reward those correlations? I honestly have no idea… @decentralion any ideas here? lol

I think it helps because optimizing a system is a little different than being an actor in that system. Now… I don’t care how much Cred flows to the Discourse Director at the meta level. That was never established. I just think it makes sense that a director of an initiative should have incentives tied to that initiative as a whole vs just their own person. This incentivizes high-leverage work that benefits the whole system over just an actor within that system.

Also, just want to emphasize that it’s not just about the Cred. Titles such as “Director” might seem arbitrary and pretentious, but they also recognize responsibility. Responsibility creates a sense of purpose. This sense of purpose and ownership drives engagement and action.

Now… I’ll still do most of the work without the title, but… this is interesting to explore. Giving people responsibility and ownership is really important because people with purpose do great work. While we should strive to make systems as transparent and inclusive as possible, we should also recognize that DRIs are a thing for a reason. At some point someone has to make decisions. Committees create bureaucracy. The more people you have to run ideas by to move forward the more time you spend lobbying and the less time you spend doing.

Not sure where the optimal balance lies between a flat organization and a hierarchical one, but if we can figure that out we’ll unlock some serious awesomeness.

Yeah I really don’t like filling out forms, but that’s just because I’m lazy lol

Yeah totally. Still haven’t setup Discord yet, but it would be awesome to chat and say hi to everyone :slight_smile:

I totally feel that too!

Yeah definitely. Happy to chat anytime via Jitsi. Will also setup Discord sometime relatively soonish probably maybe

Yes! And also every task and the whole SourceCred game. I think this is really one of the most magical aspects of this whole thing: making work fun, engaging, and rewarding :slight_smile:

Both! lol

Thanks for asking :slight_smile:

It’s not just the small game of this topic, but more that in the larger game of my life I’ve had a really intense week. Dealing with a lot of the same questions, concerns, and situations in community after community gets exhausting. I love you guys, but decentralized async communication and coordination is hard. A foundation is trust is already hard to build IRL, but It’s even harder to build async. Aligning incentives and interests is hard IRL, but even harder in an async decentralized space. We’re changing the world. No one said it would be easy.

SourceCred (and DAOs) has a lot of potential to help here, which is really really exciting! What I love the most (well at least a lot) about SourceCred is that it makes it easy to just show up and do stuff that you love. Just do it, SourceCred takes care of the rest.

The thing is, SourceCred doesn’t take care of everything. Some things require decision making, esp across a wide initiative. Not everything can be solved with likes. We’ll find a way to optimize this in an amazing way, but I don’t know what that looks like yet. Directors seemed like one way to move forward, but there’s probably others too. I’m happy to explore any option that “just works” and also keeps the tyrannies of structurelessness at bay. Things rarely “self organize” in a harmonious manner.

Life tends towards entropy. Organization takes work. Literally. From an information theory and physics perspective, it takes work to organize stuff. That’s why Bitcoin works. That’s why it’s easy to destroy things, but hard to create them. That’s why there’s mostly space in the universe, and relatively few planets and things, esp ones with life we can recognize. Left unattended, things tend towards chaos. Life and success is a constant struggle against the nature of reality.

With SourceCred we can put in the work ahead of time to create a system that incentivizes work and guides actions towards organization in an organic way. Then we can let the computers do most of the work in the background. Yay. This stuff is hard so I’m glad we’re figuring it out together :slight_smile:

Yeah totally. Happy to chat anytime, but a little wary of the recorded group calls. I’ll probably change my sentiments on that soon, but time will tell…

One of the Grin core developers did that. It was kind of cool, but (in my opinion) didn’t build much rapport. Happy to just talk lol

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