Support Cred

An idea I’ve been noodling on for a while is “Support Cred”. Basically, Support Cred is a way for contributors to self-identify which people or entities are supporting them, and flow cred to them.

The basic idea is that every month, each contributor will post which people supported them (along with weights). As an example, I might say that @protocol supported me with a weight of 2x by paying me a salary, and that @ianjdarrow and @LB supported me with a weight of 1x each by having lots of SourceCred-related conversations with me.

Then, we could have an edge tranche with a weight of say, 20%, so that by default 20% of every contributor’s cred will go to their supporters. If a contributor hasn’t listed any supporters, then that cred will get recycled to seed, so it’s a “use-it-or-lose-it” dynamic.

In the example above, 10% of my cred would go to @protocol, 5% to @LB, and 5% to @ianjdarrow.

This would provide a lot of flexibility for people to express gratitude within the system, and provide a good outlet for people providing emotional labor to get cred.

This system could be abused if people form “cred cliques” (I promise to only support you if you promise to only support me). In the limit, someone could make a Sibyll account and flow all their support cred to their Sibyll. But I think the mixture of community dynamics + this being public would mitigate these effects.

What do you think?


Hmm…I think this could be a big Sibyl/collusion attack vector. While the community is small and not too much money is flowing, it would be fine. But scale this up and I think it’s going to be hard to fight the scammers. The recent botched Stellar airdrop comes to mind,

They has a lot of resources behind this effort, and were using GitHub accounts as a filter actually, but scammers started using old hacked GitHub accounts to bypass it.

That said, the goal here is good. When I imagine the ideal system, it basically has flowing value in the way you describe. Kind of like Patreon for everyone. Perhaps one could just have a tool that automatically boosted by some set % the people you supported? Making it free to give away sounds dangerous, as the cost to collude would be zero.

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This is a really cool idea, but I fear that it might:

  • provide a vector for collusion/cliques
  • add too much complexity to the core protocol/game

How would the “Support Cred” mechanism differ from creating an artifact someone/something that supported you? (assuming that anyone can create an artifact for anything and then link their Cred to it if they want)

@s_ben, I think the Sibyll attack potential is much lower than you think. In the example with Stellar, every Sibyll account gets to drain from a shared pool. However, in this case, every single person is directly curating where their support cred goes; if you make 10,000 Sibyll SourceCred accounts, you won’t get any of my support cred unless you’ve personally helped me with one of those accounts.

Supposing we instituted this, consider the case of your own support cred. Who would you flow it to? People that onboarded you into SourceCred? Your community or partners maybe? Probably not a bunch of spam accounts that showed up yesterday. :slight_smile:

@burrrata, this is sort of like if every month, every person posted a “support artifact” that they flow 20% of their cred into. But by establishing it as a convention / easy thing to do in the UI, we make it a default behavior.

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If it’s easy, I’m into it. If it’s a bureaucratic burden that takes away joy from the game, I’m not. Totally onboard to support supporters. So would this be different from creating an artifact, or would it be creating an artifact? Also, what if people are lazy and don’t take time to fill out their support Cred very well?

Conceptually it has some similarity to creating an artifact. We would build a streamlined UI for it, of course. For now it could be as simple as a monthly topic where everyone who wants to designate supporters will add a reply on thread saying “this month I’d like to thank …” in a consistent format.

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Awesome! We’ve been doing this in the Aragon community as thing called “nominations.” Essentially, every week if someone does something awesome or helps you out with something you can nominate them. Then people vote to allocate a weekly reward among people who did cool things. The SourceCred version is much more elegant, but at the end of the day all that matters is that people feel recognized and are rewarded for their efforts. From a community contributor standpoint this is really a magic moment :slight_smile:

Have seen similar features in other DAOs, where you can nominate someone to get reputation/money, and the community votes on it.

It would be great if we could find a way to fill that gap, give people cred for things that aren’t adequately captured.

This seems like a recurring theme. Is the end-game to create a protocol/game that covers everything, or do we want to constrain our initial efforts into an MVP focused on a specific use case?

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I think the core of the value/game is still the pagerank algorithm. Without that base of intersubjectivity, much magic evaporates into just another corruptible, tedious voting system. I think the game is mainly modifying the algorithm to support more platforms while still retaining magic of it just working. Solving a real problem in creating fairer games. That said, making sense of its outputs, tweaking parameters, flowing money according to community consensus, is another set of problems. Here clever mechanisms in the game that capture things like emotional labor, or spontaneous bouts of creativity, etc. could be really valuable if not abused.

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So finding a balance between an out of the box solution that just works, but that also has parameters and plugins that can be used to customize the game if so desired?

Basically, yes. Though I do think the “lean” strategy is good generally, where we let people experiment and see what gets used. While the current SourceCred Beta Roadmap presents a smart path to a fully fleshed out product, basic timeline cred could have lots of exciting use cases we’re not even aware of.