[SEP #X] Improve Communication in SafeDAO

Title: [SEP #X] Improve Communication in SafeDAO
Authors: @links on behalf of Bankless DAOstewards
Edits: @thinkDecade , @Paulito, @0xBaer
Created: 2022-11-30

Abstract

A recent vote has revealed some communication gaps between the Safe team and the SafeDAO community. This proposal seeks to create a Governance category in the Safe Community Discord and a regular Community Call to help bridge the communication gap over time, and help strengthen us as a community.

Proposal Details

Purpose and Background

The SafeDAO proposal on Enabling Token Transferability went to Snapshot, where 2 large wallets with ~12M SAFE between them voted against the then-majority to swap the vote against enabling transferability.

The reaction on the SafeDAO forum was polarizing - many community members believed that these two wallets somehow invalidated the voting process, while others felt it was all part of a nascent DAO.

A discussion within the DAOstewards group felt that the root cause of the above is a lack of communication between the Safe team and the SafeDAO community. The issue wasn’t necessarily that the vote didn’t pass (full disclosure: DAOstewards voted against enabling transferability), but that the community didn’t understand to whom these wallets belonged and why they didn’t want to enable transferability. This caused speculation and polarization on the forums. A community divided is no community at all.

So how can we cultivate communication and a shared understanding in our SafeDAO community? A start would be to increase the frequency and types of communication available to us. Aside from the SafeDAO forum, there isn’t a place to discuss SafeDAO governance. The medium is the message - that is, the forum lends itself to long-form, back and forth, formal communication. While appropriate when discussing formal SEP’s, it is far less appropriate when building rapport and camaraderie between members. It also has a high barrier to entry which can stifle members - if you’re posting on the forum, the expectation is that you have something important to say, otherwise you’re wasting peoples’ time.

The forum is not meeting all of our communication needs. Discord would be a great way to fill the gap - providing some low-effort way to communicate and create connections between the community and the Safe team. Unfortunately, there’s no category on Discord for governance, so governance discussions quickly get lost in the noise of tech support and feature requests. We propose creating a new Governance category on Discord to house more ad-hoc governance discussions.

[POLL] Do you support adding a Governance category on the Safe Community Discord to house ad-hoc governance conversation?

  • Yes, let’s do it!
  • No, and I’ll explain why below.
  • Maybe, I’ll ask some questions below

0 voters

Another way to fill the communication gap would be to hold a regular community call. Almost every DAO has a weekly or biweekly community call in which they discuss their progress, challenges, and strategy. These calls are a great way for DAO contributors to get insight into the “core team” happenings and thinking, as well as provide a way to plug in new contributors. They also cultivate vibes, which is what DAOs are all about.

Speaking of contributors - not everyone can/wants to engage in text form. Some people would rather listen/view. If we want a united and inclusive community, we need to bridge the gap to get people the information they need in the way that’s easiest for them to consume. A community call that is recorded and uploaded as a video or podcast could increase the reach of the SafeDAO community. If we want to bring Safe to the masses, we need to meet them where they are.

[POLL] How often do you think SafeDAO should hold a community call?

  • Once a week
  • Once every two weeks
  • Once a month
  • I don’t think SafeDAO should hold a community call

0 voters

Effects and Analysis

The effects of this proposal would hopefully be more discussion about SafeDAO governance, and a closer connection between the SafeDAO community and the Safe team.

Potential Benefits

  • More places for discussion
  • More nuance of communication
  • Closer connection and transparency between SafeDAO and Safe team
  • Less barriers for potential contributors to plug into SafeDAO
  • Potential to reduce polarisation with SafeDAO
  • Cultivate positive vibes

Potential Risks

  • Confusion about conversations happening in multiple places (could be mitigated by having clear criteria for each form of communication)
  • More effort involved to hold community calls, moderate Discord, etc (could be mitigated by engaging members of the SafeDAO community)

Alternative Solutions

Do nothing solution - we could continue on this path, but we don’t believe it will yield an engaged and healthy community.

More communication from “whale wallets” on how/why they voted as they do - this feels like a stopgap measure and it would be difficult to compel a wallet owner to do this.

Create a new Discord server for SafeDAO - this is possible if we’re unable to use the existing Safe Community server, but given that we want to close the communication gap, it’s not ideal.

Feel free to add another potential solution for discussion in the comments.

Technical Implementation

No code changes required.

Open Questions

  • Who will run the community call?
  • Who will create and moderate the Governance category on Discord?
  • Is there a budget available for things like community call recording and uploading?

Copyright

Copyright and related rights waived via CC0.

12 Likes

Great proposal raising valid points and providing a great solution, IMO!

First thing to align on: There already is a community call, hosted by @jorge every two weeks.

Would we want to iterate on that call, or set up a separate call?

  • Iterate on existing Safe community call
  • Create separate, SafeDAO-specific community call

0 voters

How about we trial run the next 2-3 Safe community calls on Discord and take it from there?

An open question surely is which medium is ideal.

  • Up until now (three community calls), it was hosted on Zoom with the Q&A-feature enabled so that it could be recorded and uploaded to YouTube for anyone who could not join in real time. Downside is relatively less interactivity than either on Twitter Spaces or Discord.
  • That was preferred over Twitter Space because Twitter Spaces make it harder to share visuals. They were also quite buggy initially but to me it seems that they’re much stable now.
  • That format was also preferred over Discord because Zoom & YouTube seemed more accessible to a broader audience than Discord. In my experience, Discord voice channels are somewhat less stable and reliable than other options and have limited bandwidth, unless our server gets enough (paid) “Nitro boosts” to ramp up the bandwidth. We’d surely find a Discord bot to record the session for us so that we could upload it to YouTube for anyone who can’t make it in real time.

Temperature check on the medium:

  • [audio+video] Zoom (with Q&A feature) & recording on YouTube
  • [audio+video] Discord voice channel & recording on YouTube
  • [audio-only] Twitter Spaces & recording on Twitter

0 voters

6 Likes

Thanks for the info! I can’t believe I missed that we already have a community call, boy is my face red :x

I voted for a Discord community call. I understand the ease-of-administration for organizers to record/upload from Zoom, but in other DAOs I always found Zoom community calls to have less participation than Discord. I don’t know what that is, it’s just my observation.

For BanklessDAO CC’s we use a Discord stage (no visuals), but have an open Google Slide deck and people can add slides and follow along. Our AV Guild records the call with the slides as visuals and puts them up on YouTube. You can see some examples here: https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLxKM96XfN8gCGOxl0wxduL8kfa4wRBvfX

We also have people use OBS to screen record and upload those videos. You can see examples of that here: https://youtube.com/@banklesspmguild5130

All this to say there are a lot of options, and iteration is definitely a great approach

7 Likes

In terms of the timing of Community call meetings. I voted for once a month, but I think that should ideally be the long-term rate. Certainly as things get bootstrapped, there is cause for more frequent meetings, and 2 weeks seems about right in the immediate term.

5 Likes

I joined the most recent community call and felt it was really well organized and informative. I’ve had good experience with community calls on both Zoom and Discord.

A dedicated governance channel in the Discord would be useful, although I wonder if this needs to be subjected to the entire governance process. Does the community need to vote on changes to the Discord? Which changes? It seems like the Safe Community Discord isn’t necessarily officially a part of the DAO. If people are unhappy with the communication there they can communicate elsewhere.

I support this initiative–but it does raise some questions about the scope of governance.

7 Likes

The issue, as clearly stated by the user body, was indeed that the vote didn’t pass.
With this information being shared, it would seem that the actual issue was that DAO Stewards failed to communicate their position regarding the SEP proposal before it made it to vote.

One could even be fooled into thinking that the DAO Stewards actually didn’t care at all what the user body wanted.
With the result in SEP2 nobody could even dump or burn their tokens in protest against the vote, because they’re hands are tied.

It is vibrantly clear that whatever is going to happen will happen, regardless of what the entire user base wants, if the stewards want it to happen, so what was the point of starting SAFE token distribution with the token unable to be traded?

Seriously?
A community is an ecosystem, ecosystems require equilibrium to survive and thrive.

Balance can only be found if the ecosystem is allowed to balance itself.

With the token locked, those who want to dump and run cant, those who want to join in and participate cant.
Balance can not be found.
So naturally the first action that safe community would want to take is to unlock itself and find balance.

It is pretty obvious from the structure so far that the entire DAO is set up to cater towards the Stewards and the investors, leaving the actual user base as a marginal seat at best.

Don’t make sense to you?

Have an analogy:

The stewards are trying to break in a wild brumby, but they’re holding a short rein instead of a longe line, It’s only a matter of time before the wild horse kicks the steward in the face for being to close and too controlling when there is no trust yet.

Nobody in the community of users cares what the stewards have to say until they’re free to do what they want with their tokens, because until then we have no say. That has already been made quite clear.

**
edit

Average replies to all posts ~15?

Replies to SEP2 in forums? 250+.

Don’t tell me “The issue wasn’t that the vote didnt pass” I wasn’t installed yesterday.

As far as I’m aware, Discord is not a property of the DAO. So consider this a signalling proposal from the community to have a less formal communication medium.

Crypto communities used to be very active on telegram, and now, due to the ease of origination, many prefer Discord as a viable alternative for quick and easy communication.

IMO, Zoom calls also have the same problem as the four i.e somewhat formal.
I prefer using an easy-to-access platform for the community.
With the help of minimal AV magic with OBS, it’s possible to stream directly to youtube and even use the chat function.
IMO ideal combination will be Discord stage + youtube for visuals. The community can use the chat to add comments and opinions.

1 Like

Appreciate your thoughts!

Agree that the line is fuzzy between the DAO and “the community”, but isn’t the DAO supposed to be synonymous with the community in the long run? Isn’t that the whole point of a DAO? Or am i missing something?

Obviously we could start another discord, but that would have the opposite effect that we’re aiming for in this proposal - to facilitate informal communication to make us feel as one community.

I think the idea of “if you don’t like communication, communicate elsewhere” is divisive, and the main draw of a DAO is to be united by purpose. Surely adding a discord category isn’t such a burden that we have to encourage people to peel off their own subcommunity?

1 Like

I didn’t mean to imply that the communication should be fragmented–we should make a Discord channel for governance.

That comment was meant to be a reason that this shouldn’t be subject to a vote: changing or creating a communication channel can be done by anyone at any time. If we proposed this and it didn’t pass, then someone would probably just make a Telegram or a new Discord server for this purpose.

Making a Discord channel is pretty different from using the treasury or changing the governance structure, for example. I’m trying to figure out how this decision should be made, and I’m honestly not sure. I’d love to hear from others whether they think this type of change needs to be voted on. I don’t think we have anything documented about whether the Discord is controlled by the DAO.

Totally agreed that we should pursue unity!

2 Likes

Good point! I guess it’s the nature of nascent DAOs to have a lot of gaps in places like this. Personally I would want to see us iterate so that things like adding a new Discord channel could be handled by a group in the DAO rather than a community vote. My decentralization model is: delegate authority to the places with the best information to make decisions. An Ops group or something like that would be what comes to my mind.

In the absence of clarity, getting community consensus is always my default, hence this post. Does SafeDAO have a wiki or something that tells us a bit more about the structure?

1 Like

Great arguments above!

Personally, my gut feeling is that we’re talking about two different kinds of community calls, serving distinct purposes and catering to different audiences. My take:

Safe Community Calls as they are currently hosted (link):

  • Purpose: Provide updates about Safe, including the core product, Safe apps, ecosystem projects as well as updates from SafeDAO and the forum
  • Target audience: Diverse and not specific, but mostly suitable for those who prefer visuals/calls over newsletters/Twitter and want to use the call as a way to be sure to not miss out on any relevant activity across Safe and its ecosystem
  • Medium and format: Zoom ‘webinar’, one way communication, text-based questions via Q&A, recording shared on YouTube

Potential governance-specific community call:

  • Suggested purpose: ‘Watercooler-like’ discussions specifically around SafeDAO and current proposals; complementing the text-based forum with a more informal, more interactive space for any non-binding discussions around the forum and Snapshot, which would remain as the only source of truth and only place for decision-making as part of SafeDAO’s governance process
  • Suggested target audience: Anyone interested in SafeDAO’s governance process and looking for a more informal platform than the forum to discuss topics; proposal authors, Guardians and other key players in SafeDAO
  • Suggested medium and format: TBD, anything that allows for a relatively interactive discussion with as few barriers to entry as possible and, ideally, a way to share visuals. I’m torn between Twitter Spaces (highly accessible and a great way to onboard anyone from our Twitter networks into SafeDAO when they see the Space happening by chance, but no visuals), Zoom calls (supports visuals and accessible for some community members) and Discord (supports visuals and accessible for some community members). One a more pragmatic note, a Zoom pro plan is available whereas a Discord video channel with proper bandwidth may result in extra costs through Nitro subscriptions.

I tend to believe that we’ll be best off keeping the original community call as it is, and set up a separate governance-specific call separately, but keen to hear everyone’s thoughts on this once you’ve had a chance to join the fourth call or watch one of the recordings.

1 Like

Pretty sure we can agree that we’ll need to experiment and iterate a bit until we’ve found a good enough medium, structure, frequency and other details of a governance-specific, interactive community call.

The polls above hint at certain trends, although I’m not sure if we’re all having the same idea of a ‘community call’ in mind and may be voting on the same options with different things in mind.

As a practical next step, what do you think about everyone interested in a governance call to join Monday’s community call to make up their mind whether this is a format to iterate on, or whether it would make more sense to have a separate, governance-specific call?

Safe’s fourth community call hosted by @jorge is happening this Monday, December 5th at 4pm CET: https://twitter.com/safe/status/1598699508791009280 If you can’t make it, there are also recaps and recordings available of the third, second and first community call.

Afterwards, we should be all on the same page on the current format and could continue the discussion here. Wdyt?

3 Likes

After attending today’s community call I think incrementing on this time slot is a good approach.

A. Timing: As a globally distributed org finding a workable time for live interaction is a challenge. Some live interaction is important and this time has seemed to work well for the first 4 calls.

B. Structure: The calls so far cover core Safe team, product, and community updates, as well as the ecosystem featuring at the end in the existing 30 min spot. Adding SafeDAO could be a dedicated 30 min spot after this call.

  • There would be 2 cal events. 1 “Safe Community/Product Call” and 2 “SafeDAO”. That way if call 1 ends earlier than 30 min participants can hop off and rejoin the 2nd 30 min time slot.

C. Platform: Because live interaction is important, can Safe’s Zoom account support the scale of group audio/video? If so, that might be best to start as participants are used to signing up for the existing community call through there. If it cannot support the scale of an interactive group call than Twitter Spaces seems the most accessible + usable.

4 Likes

@quasimatt to your question above on whether the community‘s desires matter at all to the administrators of the Safe Community discord, I’ve been told that they DO NOT want governance discussions on Discord: Discord

@theobtl since you mentioned this in
The SEP #3 post, perhaps you’d like to explain your reasoning? Why shouldn’t we be able to talk about governance in Discord?

Up for discussion of course. IMO, we shouldn’t discuss governance on Discord and keep those discussions on this forum to make it simpler for anyone to follow the DAO‘s decision making process.

I’ve heard lots of people across DAOs complaining about how hard it is to follow DAO governance. Too much information across too many channels and people loose track of when and where important discussion take place and decisions are being made. If we can avoid that in SafeDAO by keeping governance discussion to this Discourse forum, that’d be a win I think.

As argued earlier, I’d be for a channel in Discord if it’s e.g. push discussion in the forum to Discord, notify of Snapshot proposals, provide a Q&A space for unclear processes about the governance itself, maybe even for informal chit chat or a watercolor-like voice channel for spoke communications.

Although none of that should be mandatory to follow for anyone looking to be part of SafeDAO. That’d be too much to ask and a waste of our collective attention — which DAOs already require way too much of these days.

Do you see where I’m coming from? How would you approach the ‚source of truth‘ question whether that remains on the forum or is extended to Discord? If the former, what’s the purpose of a Discord channel then? If the latter, how can that a reasonable ask to all SafeDAO members and the attention they have to pay?

1 Like

From what I’ve seen, people find it hard to keep up with DAO governance not because of multiple channels, but because of the effort it takes to read, understand, and have an opinion on what is being said. Most voters do NOT read everything that is written on a proposal before they make up their minds.

It’s normal - governance can’t always be everyone’s priority. That’s why reducing the barrier to engagement is more important than ensuring all conversations are in one place. Some people will engage with governance better in long-text form, some in real-time chat, some via audio/video. If our goal is to have people engage in governance, having more options to engage is vital.

I can sympathize with the idea of not having all the info you need to participate in governance. In fact I am dealing with that myself with this SEP. I’m not sure why it hasn’t been given a number like other SEPs or who even decides to give it a number. Are these kinds of vital information expected to be searched for in the forum by new members? Do you believe the forum should be the only software property the DAO has?

If we really want a “source of truth” for SafeDAO, I think it would be better for us to have an updatable wiki (like Notion) which becomes and easy-to-consume index for SafeDAO. In it, we could have a page explaining the history and mandate of SafeDAO, up-to-date explanations of governance processes, and links to other places of note (ie this forum).

Depends on the goals of our group. Do we want more people to engage? The votes above seem overwhelmingly in favour.

2 Likes

That’s a great suggestion. Any other thoughts on that? An updatable wiki in Notion seems quite approachable. I’ve been thinking about using GitBook to have a similarly user friendly formatting/UX but better version history and the functionality to manage commits in a more transparent and decentralized way. Discourse also has an inbuilt-wiki feature.

Any other suggestions how to maintain a ‚source of truth’ document? What would people choose?

  • Notion
  • GitBook
  • GitHub
  • other (please comment below)

0 voters

Such a wiki could work well as a source of truth document. Although my original remark also included the discussion process itself which arguably benefits from reduced complexity of channels, I.e. preferably only this forum for official governance discussions so that we’ve got a level playing field for everyone to comprehend how SafeDAO came to make a certain decision. Introducing secondary channels quickly leads to shadow governance nobody would want and jeopardize SafeDAO’s very own principles of decentralization, I’m concerned.

2 Likes

@links To your other point in the other thread, I’ll link my response here so that we can continue the communications issue in this thread.

That’s one of the many things our current governance process needs to be improved on, I think. Currently, forum mods label SEPs manually when they seem mature enough.

Would you consider this proposal ready for phase 1 and 2? IMO, it first needs to be updated based on the existing community call format and a suggestion how to (or not) integrate with them. The proposal also has several polls but we can only have one poll on Snapshot.

1 Like

I think we can narrow it down to the question of a discord channel:

Do you support adding a Governance category on the Safe Community Discord to house ad-hoc governance conversation?

  • Yes
  • No
  • Make no changes

RE: wiki. Personally I don’t care about the technology that we use, just that there is some DAO member-editable wiki somewhere. This could be another proposal