Onboarding new community members can be one of the most worthwhile investment of SC time, but it can also be a complete waste depending on their level and duration of commitment.
The investment to onboard someone is a lottery. We might spend our time onboarding and guiding a seemingly promising future contributor, only for them to disappear a week later. Some people are flakes, and some people are naturally going to abuse or take for granted the time for others. I’ve appreciated the care @decentralion and other devs have taken to listen to my priorities and guide me to areas of the project that suit my interests. However, I’m worried this time spent could be abused as the project attracts more people. In addition, there’s only so much attention/time to devote to new contributors, and focusing on one might come at the cost of another. In this case, we’d not only waste our time, but at the cost of letting potentially great contributors slip through the cracks.
I think this is an important organizational issue to solve, particularly as SC grows and attracts more contributors. Here are some specific ideas I have to address this.
Onboarder Edge Weight (I this one): bringing new contributors into the ecosystem has potentially massive long term upside, but isn’t necessarily the most fun or glamorous use of time in the short term. In SourceCred style, I’m imagining that if A onboards B in a more formal way, that some small percentage of cred from B could flow to A. This leverages the SC graph to naturally reward onboarders.
"Staked" Mentorship / Tribute: this may be overly cryptoeconomic, but to signal commitment, a new contributor might stake some funds that could be slashed if they fall off the map. This helps us gather a rough idea of how serious certain people are and discourage abusers. If someone is acting in good faith, they wouldn’t need to overthink the tribute. The risk here is losing contributors who are intimidated by the staking. How we’d use this signaling mechanism, and how we’d decide to slash are another decision, but this mechanism of putting skin in the game could be useful. Keep in mind I am not suggesting that we give 1-to-1 priority to whoever stakes the most. That feels very un-SourceCred to me.
On a more meta-level, this is asking the question of how recruitment/training/hiring translates into the wild world of web3. I think there’s magical emergent benefits if we get this right, and would avoid a lot of future headache.