SourceCred

Proposed new landing page prose

The prose on the SourceCred landing page is quite outdated, and focuses SourceCred narrowly on attributing cred within open-source projects, rather than on the broader scope of recognizing people for contributions to communities generally.

I’ve taken a stab at re-writing the intro prose to reflect the narrative we were developing together at the Odyssey hackathon. Please let me know what you think!


SourceCred

SourceCred is a tool that enables communities to recognize and reward the people that contribute to them. SourceCred does this by mapping out the network of contributions that make up a project, and then assigning every contributor a score, called ‘cred’, based on how their work was connected to the values and priorities of the community.

As an example, imagine that you’re part of a community building an open-source software project (like SourceCred itself). There are lots of kinds of contributions that people make:

  • welcoming new members on the forums,
  • filing helpful bug reports,
  • designing accessible user interfaces,
  • implementing new features,
  • giving presentations,
  • and more.

Right now, it’s hard to keep track of all this work, with the result that many people get overlooked. Going unrecognized for valuable work is disappointing and demotivating.

SourceCred fixes that by creating a consistent framework for recognizing and valuing contributions. Data about contributions is imported automatically from sources like GitHub, Git, or online forums, and then augmented with manually-entered contributions. These contributions are organized into a network, and the PageRank algorithm assigns a score to every contribution. We can even compute cred relative to particular values or priorities; for example, one person might have a lot of “design cred”, another might earn plenty of “emotional labor cred”.

SourceCred enables communities to clearly communicate what they value and prioritize, and to give everyone feedback about how they’re helping accomplish their shared goals. Since SourceCred assigns quantitative scores, it can also be used to transparently split rewards (like money) between community members.

SourceCred is a young technology and community. Currently, we’re focused on dogfooding SourceCred within the SourceCred community; we want to prove that cred can help support a thriving open-source project. You can see the current cred within SourceCred here; bear in mind that it’s still a first draft. (We’re aren’t yet recognizing lots of important contributions, like design work, or posts on the forum.)

If you’d like to learn more or get involved, a great place to start is our forum. Come say “hi”! If you’re a coder, take a look at our GitHub repo. We have a lot of issues marked “Good First Issue”.

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“Since SourceCred assigns quantitative scores, it can also be used to transparently split rewards (like money) between community members.”

Maybe write - “cred can be used as a transparent measurement tool / metric / ____ when splitting rewards (like money) between community members”

I think it’s important that “cred” is still a metric that can be used for quantitive measurement like how much someone should get paid.

Just a formatting nit; you can use bulleted lists or commas, but not both.

Thanks for the feedback @atitcomb and @noman.

I took a stab of converting the prose in the first post into the sourcecred landing page. Honestly, I didn’t think it worked well as landing page content–it looked like a wall of text and my eyes naturally wanted to skim past it.

@LB suggested re-framing the copy more tightly around the basic questions of “what, why, how, when”, etc. So I took another stab at the copy. Please let me know what you think:


SourceCred Landing Page

What: Recognition for all Contributors

SourceCred is a tool for recognizing contributors for the value they contribute. They could be contributing to an open-source project, to growing an online community, or throwing a rad party. SourceCred calculates their cred, a quantitative, community-generated score that represents their contributions.

Why: We get what we Measure

Right now, we’re bad at measuring the value that matters most. We can count a post’s upvotes, but not how much it contributed to healthy discourse. We can quantify lines of code changed, but not the logistical and emotional labor that builds a thriving open-source project. We can measure how much money something earned, but not how much it contributed to health, happiness, or fulfillment.

We think that to build a healthier internet and society, we need better tools around measuring value. That’s why we’re building SourceCred: a tool to let communities decide on what they value, and then recognize the people who contribute to those values.

How: Open-Source Graph Algorithms

SourceCred views value as a graph (or network) of contributions, values, and people. Graphs are all about connection: people are connected to the contributions they make; contributions are connected to each other, and to the community’s priorities and values.

We use the PageRank algorithm to assign scores to the nodes in the graph. Basically, contributions earn cred if they are connected to values, or to other contributions that earned a lot of cred. Every value defines a different “type” of cred—so one person might earn a lot of “design cred”, while another has tons of “emotional support cred”.

The data backing the graph comes from many sources. It can be automatically imported, as with commits, issues, and pull requests from GitHub. It can also be manually curated by the community in question. SourceCred is built around a plugin architecture, so that any kind of contributions can be recognized.

Next Steps: Dogfooding SourceCred

SourceCred exists now as a prototype which assigns cred based on contributions to SourceCred’s GitHub repository. The prototype shows a lot of potential, but still has a way to go before it accurately reflects contributions to SourceCred itself. We’re focused for now on dogfooding the SourceCred technology on the SourceCred project. We want to prove that cred can help grow a flourishing and engaged community, starting with our own.

Get Involved

If this sounds interesting to you—come earn some cred! :wink: You can get involved by posting on our Discourse, hacking on our GitHub repo, or chatting with us on Discord.

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I like this section, I would add that the stand out feature of “open source algorithm” is the the SourceCred software allows communities to customize their “Algorithm” choosing what they define as contributions and to what extent they value those contributions. This brings the “open source” mindset to the metric itself.

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Hey @decentralion it’s great that the project is evolving into this broader vision. As someone who is relatively fresh to Sourcecred (though familiar with the concepts), I feel this version of the prose doesn’t speak to me as a landing page. It is more suited to the level deeper, once I am hooked. Therefore, on landing I want to very quickly get why? == the pain this will solve for me personally. e.g. “Get valued for your contributions” &/or “Build communities that value all contributors”

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Based on our recent discussions @decentralion and @Brutalfluffy I am thinking this content serves better as a medium post than as the landing page.

Thoughts?

Thanks for the feedback @ig-shaun!

Did you get to check out the v2 landing page prose (the “What/Why/How” version)? If so, did you find it any more compelling?

I would say that we should use both platforms for that kind of content. But here is couple of points for us to think about:

  1. For a landing page - answering “golden circle” questions is not a traditional way of delivering the message to the audience and mostly are covering question “about the problem”
  2. For a medium post that content suits really well, but i will suggest then to create three articles, divided by these questions. To heat up the audience, to get more reach, to not dive that deep in one single article.
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