Snapshot of a newbie

Hi, I’m new to SourceCred at this point and I’m here to assess the value of my contribution of this snapshot in time. How you ask? Well, I’m creating a discourse topic which I’m told in and of itself does not mint cred but if “hearted” or replied to (is generative) that it will be - by virtue of being valued by other contributors - a minter of cred. So, how valuable am I? How valuable is this snapshot in time? This tangible share of an intangible on boarding experience?

Where were we: I think that this topic will, though, in discourse, create a “node” on the sourcecred algorithm - the cred-giving algorithm - the cred-giving to all things source. The node will identify me in the matrix of discourse collaborations and mint cred to me depending on how generative my post is…. Right?

Here’s some of my SourceCred story: I poked my virtual head in to the SourceCred Discord in… November, I think? 2020. I felt very non-committal. I felt curious and I was dubious that this high-tech, crypto-cult community was going to welcome or know how to value me.

I was pretty sure that, as a person of unique abilities, I would not be seen; that as a person dedicated to care work I would be undervalued; that as a person who values the intimacy of folks in need of care, that my labor would remain invisible so long as folks held intimacy to be private and personal. I felt strongly that my work in the world and the way I find purpose was a good candidate for challenging the sourcecred model - whatever it was. I was pretty sure that I would break SourceCred or leave it knowing that it could never serve me. Luckily it is far more complex then that.

Well, here I am. It’s January 2021 and I’ve just had my first uninhibited, week-long engagement with all things SourceCred. I’ve attended almost all the public meetings, posted to threads to my heart’s content (random chit-chat is a gemini’s delight), and read over a dozen discourse posts. I’ve talked to 3, 4, maybe even 5 people one-on-one and some more than once. I’ve decided to collect stories for a zine. And I’ve scheduled a film showing. So come Friday I decide I would break from screens - and thus SourceCred - beginning sundown Friday until sundown Saturday at the very least.

Today is Saturday. I’ve been experiencing serious withdrawal. I thought I was joking when I tapped my inner forearm, arm extended, and shared with friends that I was johnsing for SourceCred on the daily. Apparently I was more accurate than I realized.

Although most nights this week - and this year so far - I’ve been on a schedule winding down by 9pm, off screens and lo fi by 10, candles before bed and light meanderings of the mind lying in silence or with de-escalatory music, last night I lay awake myriad hours - intermittent and mercilessly - unable to turn off my brain. I ran cred sourcing scenarios, asked endless questions, and listed discourse topics I wanted to start. I started writing paragraphs in my head. I made a meme. Still, I persevered and did not return to the tech of screens. I gave myself pep talks. I was taking my break seriously. I took to pen and paper to scribble down notes at 2 and 4 and 8am to fend off the sleeplessness of the night.

And I’ve made it. It’s sundown now and the dark becomes us in PST as I write this. This contribution. This node creation. This snapshot of a newbie. My very last first post.

Lookout for my next post about rest and breaks

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So I want to share some of my perspective on this topic and your musings on value.

I think one aspect I want to draw attention is the difference between these two consecutive lines:

These are two very different questions that are both really relevant in this space as we learn how to talk about quality, impact, and value together.

One piece of mindful etiquette we’ve tried to embody and remind ourselves of thus far is: “we talk about contributions not contributors.”

This doesn’t mean that we’re completely omitting the value of an individual, but points to how we are trying to talk about value in the space. When we talk about measuring the value of an individual, it can be really harmful; and frankly, who’s to say how valuable an individual is? Talking about the quality and impact -and therefore value- of a contribution has often yielded much more constructive and helpful conversations.

And I think the difference is perfectly illustrated in the two questions you ask above. This Discourse topic could never capture the value of you as a person. You are so much more nuanced and expansive than a single snapshot of your experience.

If we instead focus on the value of this contribution it becomes more potent.

The contribution intended is a glimpse into the world of a newcomer. The confusion, the connection, the assumptions, the thrills, the challenges; the communication of your experience.

So if the contribution’s goal is to communicate: improve an understanding of the newcomer experience, to provide some camaraderie to fellow newcomers; then we can examine it’s quality based on how well the topic does that.

If the contribution of this perspective helps to improve our onboarding flows, or if it helps other newcomers feel safer in sharing their perspectives in their own discourse topics; that’s a tangible impact that we can tie back to this contribution.

Both of those things quality and impact are ways we can stimulate conversation and measurement around what creates value in this community.

I believe every human is valuable. Sometimes it takes time for a valuable person to learn the right way to make a valuable contribution based on the context of the community they’re in.

Not trying to make any big conclusions here, these are just the thoughts that were stimulated by what you wrote. :slight_smile:

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Beautifully reflected.

When working one-on-one with people regarding community care we talk about the behavior separate from the person. If you’ve done something to cause someone harm, we focus on the behavior that is causing harm. And when it’s the behavior then there’s something we can do to rehabilitate or change the behavior if we’re motivated. It makes it easier at least and less shame-spirally then if we say a person is wrong or bad - value assignments which aren’t helpful to addressing harm and holding people accountable (though real feelings that happen nonetheless).

A person’s value is not what is up for debate here it’s their contribution. And if their contributions aren’t being valued to the extent that they could it could mean they need to be altered in order to be noticed and then we can call that growth.

An example that comes to mind is changing languages to address a given community: switching from one language to another language that is shared with more intimacy by that given community can lead to that contribution being weighed more heavily by the community.

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