Proposal: Didathing and Props Templates

Intoduction


At this point we’ve seen that Didathing and Props channels in Discord have been a good (enough) workaround for our Cred-flow needs as we build something better. Many people regularly engage with it and do a lot to advocate for the contributions they and others make to SC.

Now that these channels feel pretty universally understood even if they’re not everyone’s favorite, I want to propose that we tighten up our use of them. I want to do this through how we post in those channels as participants. I’m proposing a simple template we can use in our props/didathing channels. My hope is that using this template will help us evolve even further in the way we think about, talk about, and reward contributions.

I also hope that providing some structure will make didathing/props more accessible for the subset of our introverts who currently struggle with making these posts because the task feels so undefined and open ended. As an autistic person, I know I find the amount of variance in content, scope, and vagueness within these channels confusing and distressing. The desire for these changes comes both from my own personal need for consistency, and because I think it will benefit our community immensely to really start locking in the way we collectively use our most common tool for flowing Cred.

I thought through a lot of different options for how we could tighten up our did/props channels, and the one I feel would be most impactful and feasible is to have a template for didathing or props channel posts. Kinda similar to the meeting-notes bot we use but not a bot, just a universally understood social etiquette. These templates could live in the channel description for easy copy+pasta.

The Proposed Templates:


Didathing Template:

  • Contribution Name
  • Branch: (which Branch or category of work is this contribution within?)
  • Description: (what’s the change you’ve made?)
  • Effort: (how much effort did it take you to make this change? High, Medium, Low or somewhere in-between?)
  • Impact: (what impact does this change have, and for whom?)
  • Artifact: (link to any concrete results of your contribution which others can look at to learn more and gauge its quality. Do your best to have an artifact whenever possible.)

Other contributors would use emojis to show if they think the contribution was quality and relevant to the community’s goals.

Props Template:

(remember: you’re not propsing a person, you’re propsing a contribution they’ve made)

  • Contribution Name
  • Propsee: (tag the person(s) you’re props-ing)
  • Branch: (which Branch or category of work is this contribution within?)
  • Description: (what did they do for you and/or the community that you find above and beyond?)
  • Impact: (what positive impact did this contribution have on you and/or the community?)
  • Artifact: (link any concrete results of the contribution so others can experience the contribution and be impacted by it too.)

Other contributors would use emojis to show if they think the contribution was quality and relevant.

Things I propose we do not use Props/Didathing for:

  • Meetings. There’s a meeting-notes channel that already has bumped up Cred flows. If you loved a meeting in particular, go to the meeting notes channel and slap some emojis on it, Baby! No need to double-dip those bad-boys.
  • Discourse Topics. Discourse flows Cred already whenever you give a topic a heart or reply to it. Post your topic in the Discord channels that are relevant to give it visibility, but let others flow Cred on the Discourse platform itself.
  • Highlighting a participant. Let’s run with the maxim “we talk about contributions, not contributors” and flow Cred to things that people do, not who people are to us.
  • Contributions we’re going to make. In my opinion, these channels are only for completed outcomes. I want to be able to evaluate the impact of contributions I can see and interact with. I do not want to try and guess if a contribution is going to be impactful before it’s been completed.

Conclusion:


Yes, using these templates will require more effort and time to write for most if not all folks, but I think that it’s in service of having Cred-flow mechanisms that are more intentional and more powerful. And that’s our whole jam right? If we can really ask ourselves to think through every contribution we’re trying to flow Cred to and at least write a short sentence on what it was, how much effort it took, and why it’s useful; I think we’ll really start shaping an intentionality and understanding of our personal and collective measures of value.

I’d also really love to see our whole community get in the habit of identifying, completing, and reporting bite-sized contributions within larger projects; then documenting them well so that others can build upon them. So, eventually I’d like to solve for a consistent scope of contributions in didathing/props posts, but let’s take it one step at a time. :wink:

What do folks think about this proposal to use templates for did/props posts? Will it create any big obstacles for you? Will it improve something for you? How do you think it’ll impact the way we understand and measure value in our community? Lmk if you have big Woo Hoo! :partying_face: or Block! :no_entry: feels. Please share any opinions in the comments. (If there’s not a unanimous “woo hoo!” then maybe we could take it to Core for some consensus voting later.)

11 Likes

I think a discord bot might ease stuff a bit, or maybe since what we’re looking for is habit development, I might follow that, as it is great to have such a system would ease analysis, measurement and all that, and maybe getting all like proliferate contributors to follow that might make it the standard since it’s like the main source of cred within the community so far, I dunno, but I’m all for this and would like to see a better and more accessible way for people to express the things they’re proud of and gratitude for other contributors.

1 Like

Appreciating the heck out of this post. Thank you.

I have a handful of fluttering thoughts:

  1. Executive function: Having more steps to complete a task makes me immediately think it will be harder to accomplish (I know for the sake of this topic though that will not be the case - My functioning is offset by the fact that gratitude is a practice that has always been valuable to my belief system)

  2. I feel more encouraged to fill something out if there is a template because that takes less cognitive functioning on my part!

  3. EVERYONE holds bias. With what you have outlined this template can set the context for an individual’s behavior so that another individual can weigh the event against their own biases and will ultimately be more informed in their opinions. I believe this is better for the psychological safety of our discord users.

  4. This template will help me feel like I am not questioning whether I am witnessing performative behavior from my fellow community members because I certainly do question these things, I do it in all aspects of life because it is a thing people do.

  5. I learned a new word recently exploring this container: oppression Olympics oof! I never heard that before and now I can’t unthink it. I know the behavior but I never had a vocabulary term for it. While the behavior itself is not cute by any means it also highlights a possibility that an individual may experience a difficult time advocating for their wants or needs. We see this noticeably in people pleasers. When we are avoidant of harm we are also avoidant of ourselves. Oppressed folx are prone to developing shitty tactics for getting social needs met and often lack the resources to get care or support around mental health to change undesired habits. This all makes me think of another word I learned in different community Hurt-people Hurting-people. There’s just so much layered here.

  6. There being a template proposed may bring it to fruition, if this happens there will be another opportunity to witness a change in this container and therefore the algorithm and overall the product. I find those things interesting from an observational standpoint and cuz numbers fascinate me and change creates fluctuation but it all happens as a byproduct of humxn behaviors reacting to events.

  7. I predict that with what goes on the template it creates this nuance of whoever holds the most knowledge of the matter might hold strong opinions of how the props are filled out if they are not the person to do it. Possibility for biases to grow in other places.

  8. I would expect to see some pushback because a great deal of the population does not like the way change feels in general and are defensive to the proposition of such almost reflexively.

This template would have changed the way I wrote a recent props for @LB . I could have attested to the fact that their work was in connection to the care work and accountability branches. I would have stated the hours I was privy of occurring labor-wise in regards to the conflict…which is not the actual time spent on the conflict but certainly more than the general population was aware of. And if I had this template I may have sat with it, reached for @panchomiguel, and talked about how I wanted to write one but wanted to make sure it properly encapsulated the labor I was trying to highlight and see if they could offer some feedback/ help me make it happen.

I like the idea of both proposed templates for many reasons.

I cannot see a reason for not having a baseline standard for the channel unless it would deter people from being able to complete the task at hand. I too am curious how other folx feel about it. I am currently re-calibrating the ways I use our tools based on all the information am holding about the algorithm as I’ve come to learn of its culture shift at the beginning of this year. Templates like the ones proposed would allow me to use those channels confidently. One less place for me to have to worry about what people will think about my behavior.
But that’s just my context from my vantage.

6 Likes

Copy and pasteable:

Did-a-thing

**Title**
**__Branch:__**  
**__Description:__**  
**__Effort:__**  
**__Impact:__**  
**__Artifact:__**  

Props

**Title**
**__Propsee:__**  
**__Branch:__**  
**__Description:__**  
**__Impact:__**  
**__Artifact:__**  
6 Likes

I am a fan of the idea of having a template for props/didathings - it feels like a precursor to having a creditor where users will likely fill out a form for adding their contributions. I am also very curious about @hz suggestion of how we could have a bot supporting our users to make that easier.

I also want to thank @AL0YSI0US for sharing their thoughts on the topic - I appreciate the heck out of the way you seek understanding and share about your seeking.

I also expect that there might be some pushback with this suggestion, and I know it will likely be challenging for us to learn a new way to do things in those channels, and also as we built out this software (still very much in its beginnings version) we are going to need to be nimble as we try to figure out better ways to do things. We are so far from SourceCred being a technology that is accessible for people to work on building and also to work on using, and there are going to be a lot of uncomfortable changes that we will need to go through on the journey to building out our product.

4 Likes

I think this is a great idea for the reasons already mentioned.

I’m curious if we could go one step further and cobsider standardizing not reacting to one’s own didathing/props.

As the SC emoji is weighed higher, I feel as though posts that have that seal ‘cracked’ from the get go get more SC emojis and in turn mint more cred as subsequent readers/reactions follow suit of what’s in place already.

Really appreciating this effort, LB! I think it’ll definitely help create a bit of a stop-gap solution for our current needs.

This makes sense but you’re assuming here that everything is tangible. My thoughts aren’t tangible unless I write them out, but thinking and talking (when there’s a team) is 80-90% of doing product and design. Not every step in this process makes sense to turn into a tangible output, let alone something you can interact with (beyond reading and replying, I guess).

This is precisely the frustration I’ve raised for several months about the immense emphasis of micro-contributions getting enormous value in Props and Didathing, systemically disadvantaging design work to the point of costing me (in this case) countless hours at this point going wasted on completely unnecessary considerations like:

  • should I try and write up this new idea in a post so that I can didathing it?
  • should I share this doodle that I made to help refine my thoughts, so that I can didathing it?
  • should I spend another hour cleaning up this set of UI sketches so that it makes sense to anyone besides myself looking at it, so that I can didathing it?

…etc. etc. etc. You might answer “yes, you totally should” but please note that that often doubles or triples the amount of work for the same outcome, just so I can shill it on didathing.

I’m really exhausted from having to advocate for design work and spend hours trying to get people to understand how it works, only to not really listen and then repeatedly undermine my actually doing the design work they want to see me do.

Design is :clap:t3: how :clap:t3: it :clap:t3: works :clap:t3: !

And in order to get to the how of something like a piece of interface that you can click on and interact with, there first needs to be a thorough discussion of why it should even exist to begin with, and what it is trying to accomplish. Those are big, long, and comprehensive conversations that need to happen with stakeholders from design, engineering, community and ecosystems (and ideally: business), before it even makes sense to open a tool like Figma.

Those conversations are all intangible contributions that have no artifact, and unfortunately, as a result of months of this cycle repeating itself in SourceCred, the most obvious artifact now is posts like this one wherein I’m once again trying to advocate for Design solely for the purpose of me actually being able to get to do my job.

Yes, crafting interfaces in Figma is part of doing design. But it is the last step in the process, and either I or other key members of the product team need to be in the key conversations that happen elsewhere about the product, in order for product design to know what should actually be done.

Take a deep breath with me for a second. *inhales*

*exhales*

Look, I don’t like being frustrated about this any more than anyone else likes my being frustrated about this. I’m perfectly aware of that, so let’s switch tracks and end this on a happy note.

These templates are a great first step towards making our super-basic rudimentary Creditor alpha prototype using just the Discord channels, and so big big hearts ( :heart: ) for that! The templates discourage some degree of micro-contribution obsession (good), while creating an explicit distinction between micro–, medium, and macro-contributions (even better!), and facilitating us experimenting with Creditor-like interactions (best!). In fact, you just did some actual design work :slight_smile:

So I am grateful for these templates and this post, and look forward to seeing what impact they have on improving our community crediquette behaviors and the subsequent social dynamics that get affected by them. Thank you for this contribution :pray: :slight_smile:

3 Likes

I like reacting to props that are given to me, to express gratitude to the person who sent the props. This seems like a pretty sensible tendency, and I see other people doing it, too. Attempting to discourage this behavior might feel like fighting a natural current. Instead, we can just change the code to not mint cred for your reactions on your didathing posts or props sent to you.

2 Likes

I like this idea.

:pray: Thanks for the proposal, I think it’s a good step towards a more transparent accountability for the contributions made.

  • Although being near inactive for some months now, I do share the same feeling when scrolling these channels and giving emojis. The artifact section suggested by @LBS is I think on spot to mitigate this impact.This section can solve your concern too ( “systemically disadvantaging design work”) if you put “design thinking”, no?

  • In response to @AL0YSI0US , I agree with @wchargin that emojis on posts are actually what makes this discord and the exchange of information inside it much more human. It displays to anyone the current emotion state of SC.

@blueridger > you’re the best. straight to the point…no blalabla. Sharp like a :switzerland: :hocho:

1 Like

What’s the artifact that they can see and interact with that you’re thinking of, here?

I meant that as the author I think we should standardize not reacting to your own props/didathings. But maybe there’s an important distinction to be made between props and didathings.

Reacting to one’s own didathings seems like patting yourself on the back. Reacting to a props I see can be a different story as in the case you mentioned.

More clarity behind crediquette in the two channels is what I - and I imagine most of the community - want, and to that end, maybe LB’s post as it stands is the best way to start. Thinking through what the new posting guidelines suggest, I think that the ‘artefacts’ take care of my potential concerns, and without imposing guidelines on reaction. Consider me convinced.

1 Like

I really appreciate hearing the different ways people interact with the server.

As a newcomer, I have heard the opinions of many and few are the same. Makes it hard to know what’s socially acceptable within this space.