SourceCred (The Organization) Is Winding Down

I. Intro / background

The organization that is SourceCred has been struggling for a long time now. The contributors who remain have decided to let the organization die to make room for new things to grow.

It’s been a wild and wacky time here at SourceCred. We were preparing to do a big organizational overhaul, and a question arose: did everyone actually want to be working on the product that is SourceCred? There were some “no”s and some uncertainty. The current team is very small, and there did not seem to be enough collective will to continue. The continuing lack of a functional onboarding structure made it seem unfeasible to onboard new contributors to continue the organization as it has existed. So, we’re letting it die.

This isn’t the end of SourceCred the product – just the organization surrounding it.

We intend to have a call in May to reflect and process what went well and what went poorly at SourceCred, and to have a Discourse post for discussion. This is not the post for that – this is a post to say where the org is going now.

II. The Changes

Historically, there has been a SourceCred organization wherein we pay people via the SourceCred algorithm for working on SourceCred. That’s changing pretty dramatically. We are switching from a moneyed organization to a more standard open-source model, wherein people are welcome to contribute to the product and its useage/spread, but where doing so is not necessarily compensated.

That means that SourceCred will no longer be paying contributors for tech support. The #tech-support channel in Discord will continue to provide support from the wider community. However, more labor-intensive responses may have lower priority and longer response times, e.g. deep dive debugging, help with non-SC related issues, etc. Users are of course welcome to contact devs and create alternative arrangements.

A. Money Stuff

As part of this shift from an organization to a network, we’re emptying the coffers. Leaving money in our accounts would require people that the whole community trusts to act as stewards to that money and decide who to hand it over to. That’s a fraught process from every angle, and we do not currently have contributors who feel willing to be those stewards and/or to craft the conditions that would need to be met for someone to receive the money.

We ask all projects tithing to us to stop doing so. If you want to put money towards the development of SourceCred, we encourage you to do so by creating bounties. It is possible for people to get grants for working on SourceCred, and we encourage that! People will still be around on the Discord, and it is totally possible to collaborate there. There just won’t be an overarching organization that obtains and distributes money for work on SourceCred.

So, what are we planning to do with the money?

We’re asking all grain-holders to sell their grain by May 1st. Grain will no longer be redeemable after that date. As has been the case since Winter Break, Grain is pegged at $0.37 and all redemption caps are lifted. Contributors can check their grain balance here. Request a grain sale by:

  1. confirming your payout USDC address in the #bot-commands channel using the /setpayoutaddress function. Simply send “/setpayoutaddress address:INSERT_USDC_ADDRESS_HERE” to that channel. Then,

  2. submitting this form.

Once that’s all said and done, we’ll have final numbers for what money / tokens we have left to distribute. There are some options about what to do with what is left over.

Some options that have come up, which could be combined:

  • We want to pay people who have been working to make this organizational wind-down go as gracefully as possible. That work includes:

    1. The Code: Thena / @blueridger (with help from @amrro and @HartVyne / Gabriel) has made sure the repo is as clean as possible and has all the documentation needed so developers can come in and tinker as they desire.
    2. Treasury: @s_ben / Seth, Thena, and Ezra have been working on getting our books in order for taxes and the wind-down. They are heading the multisig so people will get paid.
    3. Communications: Seth, Ezra, and @AL0YSI0US are working on communications with grain-holders, community members, and the ecosystem to keep them in the loop with the wind-down.
    4. Administration: Aloysious and Gabriel are working on server stuff, ending subscriptions, general tidying up.
    5. Emotional & Relational Care: @marcie has been hosting Play Time and helping people process their grief about the changes. Marcie and Sandra are putting together an event to process the changes and grieve the death of SourceCred as-it-was.
  • Return tokens to projects that have tithed to us. We appreciate the support we have received, and we’d like to show our support by returning tokens to those projects’ coffers.

  • Give tokens to other projects that we like and believe in, such as Land Back projects and Black-led artist collectives.

  • Do a big final airdrop to all contributors to thank everyone who has worked on the project for their contributions.

We’ll be discussing which path(s) to take at a Town Hall currently scheduled for Monday, May 9th at 11AM PST, alongside a Discourse post where people can chime in asynchronously. We will decide what to do via cred-weighted vote later that week.

B. Other bits

The Discord, Discourse, and GitHub will still be around, and we encourage people to use them to stay connected and contribute to SourceCred.

1. GitHub

All are welcome to contribute to the codebase on GitHub.

2. Discord

Aloysious and Gabriel will be moderating the Discord. Gabriel is currently winnowing down the channels, figuring out what can be archived vs what may be actively used. We do not intend to delete any channels, only to archive them.

3. Discourse

It will still be around, moderated by Aloysious.

4. Twitter

Aloysious and Seth intend to continue tweeting.

III. Final thoughts: Composting SourceCred

Under capitalism, death is evil. Organizations must grow and grow and grow, or be swallowed by another organization, to be “”successful””.

Fuck that. Sometimes things need to die. When things aren’t working, the only way to grow is to acknowledge it. We’re composting the SourceCred organization, thereby returning nutrients to the soil. I look forward to seeing what new things will sprout and grow.

IV. Summary

  • SourceCred (the organization) is dissolving, leaving the network of SourceCred community members to work on the project in an (unpaid) open-source model.
  • We’re releasing all our money. Tithers, plz stop tithing; Grain-holders, sell your grain by May 1st. Everything else is TBD at a meeting Monday, May 9th at 11AM PST.
  • We’re gonna gather to digest these changes. We’re having a grief ceremony soon (date TBA), and we are planning spaces to discuss what we can learn from our experiences at SourceCred (the organization).
  • :mushroom: :deciduous_tree: :mushroom:
5 Likes

Thank you @ezraU for spelling this all out // facilitating transparency.

Wouldn’t hurt to have a pocket of funds kept for bills / to keep the lights on. as I am consolidating the outbound billing I am seeing a way to use dework as a bounty board for the thing we know we will need / may want support for in the future.

Honestly im opposed to depleting all funds and im open to airdropping to other communities. Could be smart to have a little startup funding for the next crew.

I have solid leads on communities to consider based on over 6 months of observing the ecosystem as it has developed. I bet @s_ben and @benoxmo might have some insight here too.

I also think we could give to a handful of projects at giveth to create a small currency flow back to a community wallet.

6 Likes

Ellie here from Metagov/Metaeth. If you are a current or past contributor and are willing to be interviewed about your experiences working on/with SourceCred please reach out. I’ve been conducting ethnographic research on SourceCred since mid 2021 and this seems like an appropriate time to gather as many individual testimonies/reflections as possible. My email is ellie.rennie@rmit.edu.au or DM me on Discord (Ellie R). You will have the opportunity to approve/check/change the transcript before it’s used in research outputs.

It’s been an honour being present in the SourceCred Discord server and I am grateful to everyone who tagged posts, came along to discussions, been interviewed by me, and generally offered wisdom for the sake of research. Feedback on forthcoming outputs is welcome always. These will be posted to the Discord.

5 Likes

As someone once said, “the best way to get a correct answer on the internet is to post an obviously wrong answer and wait for someone to correct you.”

Metagov has been invited to facilitate a ‘wind down forum’ on Thursday May 12 at 6.30pm (PT). See announcement channel in Discord for link if you’d like to join (please do come!). I wrote a piece that summarises some of what I’ve been observing and thinking about in relation to the CredSperiment, which I posted it to the forum here.

I also put together a questionnaire which was intended to gather input for the forum, but didn’t receive enough responses. So this is in lieu of that, but I’ll keep the questionnaire open for anyone who’d like to write anonymously. Feel free to leave comments on the post or DM me in Discord if you want to discuss further.

3 Likes