Revised Cultivation Trunk Strategy Proposal

Intro:

SourceCred as a whole seems to be collectively evaluating a question: are we ready to intentionally expand our project in the form of new User Communities and SC Participants? The answer seems to be a resounding “no, that would harm us if we did it right now.”

The question that followed was: what would we need to do or change to be ready for an influx of attention?

This proposal topic evaluates this question and provides a potential answer for the Cultivation Trunk specifically. What -from the perspective of Cultivation- needs to be accomplished before we would feel comfortable green-lighting the intentional expansion of our internal community?

This is a proposal for the Cultivation Trunk’s strategy in the coming months and/or until we are ready for that expansion.

Note that there are more improvements which I think are needed for expansion overall than are listed in this proposal, this topic only focuses on the parts that Cultivation touches.

Resources:

Some resources that may be useful while reading this topic:

The Problem We’re Facing:

It feels apparent to the Cultivation Crew that our internal community would be damaged by a very fast and large influx of newcomers. We are not prepared to support a large number of newcomers in terms of onboarding them into our space, or in our community’s ability to deal with the stress fast growth could cause.

This means newcomers could be lost, confused, and potentially leave with a bad taste in their mouth due to lack of onboarding support. Our community, while kind and loving, is a very confusing place to try and start doing work right now. This could cause unaligned and/or uninformed contributions as well as emotional strife.

Another issue with quick expansion is that our community culture which we hold so dear could be lost in a flood of newcomers who don’t yet understand the way we do things. Communicating culture is difficult and requires a high-touch experience which we would not be able to provide in our current state. This could also leave us vulnerable to gaming and those with harmful intentions which we may not be able to see or correct before the situation gets difficult.

It’s not clear how long it will take to get to a state where this problem isn’t relevant anymore, but I do believe it’s completely achievable. We will employ and hone our Release Rhythms tactic as a means of keeping this relatively long-term work moving forward.

The End Goal:

The mission of Cultivation for the next long while will be to create an internal SC environment that is robust and well supported enough to allow for a large influx of new participants with minimal distress to the existing participants and newcomers alike.

This will include a few key elements:

  1. Existing community members are able to work together and collaborate with ease. Across the project, participants are able to easily communicate their ideas, create plans, use platforms, and get support when needed.
  2. Our community culture is unshakeable. All participants understand both implicitly and explicitly what our values are, how those translate into actions, and how to uphold and communicate our culture to others who are violating our community agreements.
  3. Onboarding is a robust and well-oiled system that makes a newcomer’s transition from capitalism into our community a smooth experience. Resources are available and accessible, expectations both social and contribution related are understood, and work is easy to get started with.

Simply said: we want to create a state of strong culture, effective collaboration, and clarity of purpose for contributors new and established before any rapid expansion.

How We’ll Know We’ve Accomplished Our Goal:

Once our project as a whole feels like a place where working together is smooth and effective and there is a strong and unshakeable sensation of culture, we’ll know we’re close if not ready to bring in a lot more people (from the perspective of Cultivation).

That includes some key components:

  1. Our community culture is thriving, strong, and well understood by current participants.
  2. Operations are tight, and participants can easily collaborate. Work procedures are clear, easy to partake in, and improve our effectiveness.
  3. The newcomers who naturally gravitate to our project are well held and have a relatively easy and clear transition into our community.

When the Cultivation Crew stops pulling faces in meetings about growth and can enthusiastically endorse rapid expansion based on the good health of our community, we will have accomplished our goals.

Once our roots are strong, we’ll be ready to grow quickly towards the sun.

Our Strategy for Getting There:

Cultivation’s strategy to prepare and strengthen our community for growth has a few major components to be executed in this order:

  1. Create more bandwidth for the Cultivation Trunk specifically.
  2. Evaluate and deeply improve our community’s operations for collaboration across the project.
  3. Explore and define the essence of our values and culture as a community, making them explicitly/implicitly understood and easily communicated.
  4. Create robust onboarding mechanisms, resources, and support that effectively and humanely bring newcomers into an understanding of both our work procedures and our culture. Ideally with resources for making the transition from capitalism to SourceCred.

The Tactics that Make Up Our Strategy:

We will utilize Release Rhythms to orient and make progress on each of the 4 Strategy Phases listed above. Each Strategy Phase will be given one or more Rhythms in which the entirety of the Cultivation Trunk will focus on the specific goal as it relates to their expertise.

The tactics listed below are a rough estimate meant to give perspective on how things may progress. This will potentially change as we actually work through the strategy.

  1. Cultivation Bandwidth
    • Get together internally and spend a Release Rhythm finding ways to prepare for and improve the onboarding experience for the Cultivation Trunk. Specifically in order to bring more Cultivation participants in and increase the bandwidth of our Trunk for the coming work.
    • Spend a Release Rhythm recruiting and onboarding a few emotionally intelligent and capable people into our Trunk. Ramping them up and getting them ready to start working on the next phases of our overall strategy.
  2. Operations Improvement
    • Spend a Release Rhythm getting feedback from our community and surveying the ways our community operates; to deeply understand the way we’re working together and to draw conclusions about the successful aspects and the areas that require improvement.
    • With our new understanding of the holes in our Operations, spend multiple RRs on gathering/creating and testing out platforms, resources, and systems that could improve our collaboration across the project.
  3. Defining Culture and Values
    • Spend a RR gathering information from different portions of the project and potentially hosting group discussions about the values/culture of our internal community specifically.
    • Spend at least one RR refining and documenting our values/culture. (value statements, CoC, etc)
  4. Onboarding Improvement
    • Spend a RR evaluating the needs of newcomers from across disciplines, creating user profiles, and evaluating the strengths/weaknesses of our current onboarding resources.
    • Spend (likely multiple) RRs focused on refining existing methods, creating new resources/systems, and improving basic onboarding flows across the project.

Requests for Feedback on this Topic:

  1. From Cultivation Leads: do you think that onboarding more folks into our Trunk will alleviate our bandwidth issues? (Assume that they are competent and well onboarded, and that you have support from me in supporting/leading them). If not, what do you think would make the biggest impact on accomplishing your Cultivation work without feeling burnt out?
  2. Is this proposal topic clear, or do these ideas need better communication for you to understand?
  3. In your opinion, is this proposal feasible? If not, what would you change to make it more realistic?
  4. Do you see any glaring issues, or large holes in this proposal? If so, what are they and how would you tackle it?
  5. Do you like this proposal in general? Why or why not?
1 Like

Hi @LB :slight_smile: The pain points that you address here and in the Release Rhythms explainer feel important and true. I can definitely relate to capitalism induced trauma / toxic memes which create productivity-obsession and lead to overwork. For this reason I found it so refreshing and nurturing that this community takes a more holistic view of contributor’s emotional and intellectual life. I think in the medium/long run this approach will actually be more competitive, which is why is must be protected!

Looking through the various strategies you’ve proposed, my conclusion is that 1) you’re trying to do too much at once and 2) item 3, Defining Culture and Values is the root from which all other improvements flow. In short, my humble suggestion is first formalize culture and values, then the other tasks will fall into place more easily. For example, a core value could be avoiding burnout and overwork, a huge problem in the tech industry and capitalism more generally.

Actually, I think that there is a relationship between this tasks and @KuraFire’s discourse reorganization post. Perhaps the purpose of the discourse is to enable scaling of SC community while keeping culture and values intact. Looking over sourcecred.io/docs, it seems many technical issues are covered thoroughly, but culture and values are largely missing. Perhaps this is intentional since the latter are more fluid and thus appropriate providence of a discourse style dialogue. If this is the case, then a reorg that pins / highlights the key subset of discourse threads which define the culture and values, and can thus constitute a reasonable canon of required reading for newcomers may be useful.

2 Likes
  1. I think onboarding more people onto our branch will definitely help with general bandwidth. It’ll be work itself, but in the long run, it’ll be a massive help and make us stronger in general to have more brains working on our slice of the project.
  2. This feels very clear to me.
  3. Even if I don’t have more people in the Community Care branch, I don’t think this is too much to handle. Mostly I think that deciding if it’s feasible for me is completely based on the timeline, but because we’re doing it in Release Rhythms, I think it’ll be doable.
  4. No. The previous issues we are trying to fix (IMO) were bandwidth/burnout, structure, and direction, and I think this plan addresses all of those.
  5. Hell yeah. I am excited to see how the branches all support each other and are so interwoven between each other, and how directly that relates to the project’s goals/needs as a whole. It sounds kind of “duh” but I still really like seeing it so concretely.
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Hey, it’s been off the shelve but I do think that an info bot would be helpful in response to the onboarding of a larger crowd. It can provide a gateway to meaningful resources & discussions from SC’s contributors. I had make an attempt to list some of the topics here.

Maybe we could have the bot to display like 4/5 topics in which we’ll list some links.

The main topics could be :

  1. SC algorithm
  2. community
  3. crypto economics
  4. philosophy
  5. Ecosystem
1 Like
  1. It’s the tricky question of the chicken and the egg - should we work on the onboarding process to prepare for newcomers? Or should we get newcomers to help work on the onboarding process? I don’t have an answer, but would like to know, what are you currently needing bandwidth-wise? More creative energy/ideas, time, people to jump on tasks or keep them going, emotional labor, etc.? Do you think bringing new people in will create that for you?

  2. I’m currently running at about 20%, so nothing really makes sense anymore. I understood the gist of it, but couldn’t tell you what steps we are taking from the Tactics section. I’m not clear on what would be our first step. But I believe in you and am here for it! (and could maybe figure it out with more sleep)

  3. I think this connects to my last answer, I think we may need more concrete steps.

  4. The only concern I have is that figuring out SourceCred’s values and being able to communicate about them clearly has proven to be a large, difficult task. I think that in and of itself is a project, and hope that this step does not keep the overall plan from moving forward.

  5. I do like this proposal - It tackles some big concepts, which we’ve struggled with in the past, and I’m excited to see your strategy around that. I think whatever strategy you use can be applied to other big concepts that feel difficult to approach.

2 Likes