Gitcoin Forum Improvement Project

Hello, all users of Gitcoin Forum!

We have started our improvement project to enhance your user experience and to make the most out of our discussions here.

The project started by doing a quick survey and gathering initial feedback. We have received a great response from Gitcoiners, and you can find the summary later in the post.

Our overall project plan is as follows:

  1. Gather initial feedback through the survey :white_check_mark:
  2. :arrow_right: Have a design thinking session to find and prioritize what we want to improve
  3. Create a solution and have another session to finalize it.
  4. Implement and use

Everyone who has been using Gitcoin Forum can sign up for the first design thinking session on Thursday, April 14, at 2:30 PM EDT.

Here is a link to the invite or you can submit the initial questionnaire and include your email.

Plan for the WS n.1

The plan is to go through all the input shared via the survey and get into more granular issues, basically to root causes why something is not working as we want, but also to identify what is working well and we would like to keep doing it.

Below is an outline of what we will be doing at first WS, but don’t worry, no preparation is needed for you to attend.

When this is finalized I will take all this input and start designing a “perfect” solution and we will reconnect in a few weeks, where I will pitch the solution to you and would like to get your feedback again.

You can sign up for session #1 which will be on Thursday, April 14, at 2:30 PM EDT under this link.

Summary of the survey

There are only 3 items but I think, generally, people like the discussion on Gitcoin Forum and they are happy with it. 90% of respondents replied that they can eventually find everything they need.

We want to create a standard for the forums and that’s why we asked what are any good examples we can learn from. And it’s good to remember that also web2 forums can be useful.

There are some things that can be improved, a lot of responses have been around structure and introducing some guidance for newer participants or even having lighter topics who are just not ready to engage in budget discussions, etc.

Those are great points and I would love to see more people engaging here.

And lastly, we ask what topics you would like to discuss on Gitcoin Forum, and this is very related to our structure, as the number of topics and participants is increasing we need to introduce new categories to fit those needs.

Do you have any questions about the project or would you like to get more involved let me know.

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This is a fantastic initiative. I’m looking forward to participate in the workshop next week!

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Starting now: meet.google.com/jgj-uudo-ppt

Vision and categorization

A forum is an organized, easy-to-navigate active community space where people post their well-thought ideas to get feedback and build a consensus that lasts over time.

Based on your responses, this is a vision statement, and our whole project will be heading to accomplish that vision.

As the most significant problem, we have defined the categorization of the Gitcoin forum; therefore, the first step in our Forum improvement project is to focus on that.

Categorization approach

There are a few possible approaches to it. Discourse enables the creation of categories, subcategories, and tags. But that doesn’t mean that we need to use all those options. Many forums do not heavily use subcategories. And I think the reason is that there are not that many categories where you need to break them down and create a structure around them. In other words, if I have 100 categories, it will be hard to find something; therefore, it would make sense to create 10 top categories and 10 subcategories per each for more straightforward navigation. But If I have 10-20 categories overall, why I would make the system more complex.

That’s why I have excluded subcategories from the design considerations.

What about tags? I love tags, and as I saw on other forums, it’s a very nice and casual approach to flag something across categories to “notify specific stakeholders”.

One example of a stakeholder who needs to be notified across categories is the steward. But there is no such a thing as this is steward only topic. One example can be Partnerships. Stewards need to comment on those topics and eventually vote, but it doesn’t mean that those topics are Steward only.

Another use case where flags can be used rather than categories is to support cross-workstream collaboration. We currently have many workstream silos, which we have identified as one of the key issues during our all-team session in Denver. And if we create categories for each workstream, we would create another silo.

I propose to use Tags to identify the right stakeholder.

Identification of the stakeholder should be part of the post creation; the creator should be able to identify their audience, and they should be able to know who they are targeting and who they want feedback from.

Here are some examples of tags:

  1. Gitcoin Community
  2. Stewards
  3. Holdings
  4. Newbies
  5. MMM
  6. Moonshot
  7. Technical
  8. Product

The full list can be found here, please review.

Why are we tagging the potential reader?

By tagging the reader, we introduce a new easy way to keep track of all the items the reader should be involved in, which will introduce three new behaviors:

  1. The reader will be able to target better the post they need to be involved in; therefore, those topics get more attention.
  2. The readers will be more willing to participate in the forum as it will be a better experience and require less time to find stuff.
  3. The readers might ignore topics that they are not tagged in, but previously they have randomly visited those and contributed.

Those are predominantly positive behaviors, but it’s important to be aware of those negatives and closely monitor them.

If you are following closely, you know how we will be using tags and that we are not going to use subcategories.

In terms of categories, let’s be rather unrestrictive and let the community decide. When you look at another popular forum such as Reddit, the most popular categories are at the top and then the less popular. In the same way, we should manage our forum:

  • Step n.1 - Suggest categories - open to everyone; put any category you have in mind on the list here and help to prioritize it.

  • Step n. 2 - Poll - Let’s run a quick poll of what categories people want and pick the top 15-20.

  • Step n. 3 - based on the n. of votes, create categories at Discourse.

  • Step n. 4 - actively manage the hierarchy of the categories based on the importance and activity.

And by that, we should be able to solve a most important issue - categorization.

In the next iteration, we will explore the self-hosting of the platform, sign-in with the wallet, and how to attract people from different communities to provide insight.

Please, if you have any questions or feedback, leave your comment below.

Also please review our current set of categories and tags and help me finalize it.

CC: @Pop ; @Fred ; @krrisis ; @Hammad ; @Fishbiscuit ; @0xRachael

3 Likes

For collective curation and prioritization processes like this, I can highly recommend a Pol.is conversation followed by a quadratic vote.

Happy to facilitate these if you like, Puncar.

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Great idea @leone , thank you, yes it will be great to set it up. Currently, I am tracking it in Google Sheets, and it’s not perfect.

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Awesome — here’s a Pol.is conversation around this issue: Polis. Please feel free to circulate the poll in GitcoinDAO and the wider community.

Let me know if you’d like to make edits to the descriptions I used.

In any case, I’m looking forward to see what categories will get the most plural community support. Let me know when to close the poll and generate the full report with the results.

Thanks for the writeup Puncar. I appreciate the methodology you are using to solve this problem.

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Thanks for the write up, this feels like a great step in the right direction. I’ve added some comments in the google sheet with my thoughts regarding categories and tags.

The Pol.is results are here, @puncar-dev: https://pol.is/report/r7bjuaeufyws8mcjapxkn.

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Thanks, @leone, I will combine that with the outcome of yesterday’s Workshop and prepare a report to post here.

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The next steps for the forum, which I am suggesting implementing for Season 14.

Create standard categories that moderators will actively manage:

  • DAO Governance and Metagovernance (to be merged with the Metagovernance category)
  • Vision, goals, roadmaps, and partnerships (to be merged with the Proposal category)
  • Budgets and financial matters
  • Ideas and open discussion ( to be merged with the Workstream discussion category)
  • User and Community Experience (how to / tooling)
  • Grants
  • Products
  • Newsletter, Digest, and Daily thread (to be merged with the Community hangout category)

Create tags to notify appropriate stakeholders about the new post;
That enables any stakeholder to set up the notifications based on those tags or search for the tag within the forum and target only relevant posts.

There will be three categories of Tags - standard, technical, and vibes. The community will manage those tags to ensure that we are not excluding any stakeholders.

Additional material to be created:
How to write new post and determine what category and tag to use.

Sources:
Miro Board
Forum categories and tags spreadsheet

Please let me know if you have any questions or comments on the suggested changes and approach.

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@Fred @seedphrase could MMM help me with some visuals for the Forum? as you can see I am not a designer :slight_smile:

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Thanks for writing this up Puncar!
I think the tags are OK but I think we need shorter category names, eg if you look at forum.giveth.io you see why.

Plus, also some things missing when I look at recent posts + how we are evolving as a DAO. We have the following priorities for the coming 18 months (to be ratified tmrw)

  • Grants Protocol
  • Financial Sustainability
  • DAO Organization
  • Grants Program Mission

… and would propose to align the categories to this as much as possible/relevant.

Wdyt of the following:

  • DAO Governance & Vision
    → how we coordinate within our DAO + where we are going

  • Grants
    → where we talk about the Grants 2.0 protocol & roadmap + grants program mission

  • Budget Proposals & Partnerships
    → where workstreams & other interested parties post their proposals for budget & partnerships

  • News & Community
    → where we share our weekly newsletter & other dao-wide recordings

  • Ideas and Open Discussion
    → where anyone can join in

On the others:

  • User and Community Experience (how to / tooling) → I think this fits under dao governance, other how-to’s should live on notion?

  • Products → I don’t think we need this, our product = grants

Apart from this I think ALL previous posts need to be evaluated after merging old categories IF they are actually in the right category & reassigned if needed. Would be great if you could reserve enough time for this + also add a timing for doing these things.

Let me know what you think & thx for all the follow-up!
Note: I will also mention these thoughts for an updated categorization during CSDO (if time allows) but will tweak if I get your feedback in time.

cc @Pop

I would like to wait until we ratify in the CSDO call today vs putting this out and front-running any comments or amendments. It avoids any double work or confusion - both in the broader community and internally…

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I like that point; we should definitely follow our main goals / northstar

Both topics are pretty substantial.

  1. how are we coordinating - DAO Governance
  2. where are we heading - Roadmap, vision

When we have done voting, each of these categories received many votes from the community, and we would be basically merging the top 2 categories. Because of those reasons, I would like to keep those 2 categories separate.

I think the primary purpose of the partnership should not be budget requests. It should be about synergies and supporting the overall vision. Putting it into the budget category would imply that our partnerships are only financial.

Therefore, I want to separate financial matters like budget proposals from business partnerships as originally proposed

I know that our main product is Grants, but we have some other products coming from different teams, and I believe it will be great to have product discussions on the forum, to get community feedback on those products and shape their development.

Thank you very much for all your suggestions; I have updated the categories based on that; here is the updated list in the order of priority based on community feedback:

  • DAO Governance
  • Vision, roadmaps, and partnerships
  • Budgets and financial matters
  • Ideas and open discussion
  • Grants
  • Products
  • News & Community

Additionally, I would like to add that when those changes get implemented, the main page will have categories on the left side and the latest on the right side as the default view. It will look very similar to Giveth; see the screenshot below:

@Pop, has CSDO ratified the approach, and can I implement this new category & tag structure on Friday, May 27?