[DRAFT]GF: Phase 1 Proposal - Community Health insights

Project name: Community Health (by RnDAO)

Author name and contact info (please provide a reliable point of contact for the project): danielo telegram: @mrjackalop twitter @_daniel_ospina

I understand that I will be required to provide additional KYC information to the Optimism Foundation to receive this grant: Yes

L2 recipient address: 0x75ab74D82Ddc235F74680ddf42701DdFA8bf5041

Which Voting Cycle are you applying for?: Cycle 10

Grant category: Research and DAO tooling

Is this proposal applicable to a specific committee? no

Project description (please explain how your project works):

If Web3 is all about communities, how do we know if we’re heading in the right direction?

We’ve been advancing a research project to:

  • develop a framework for Community Health with actionable metrics.
  • create an open-source data collection tool (initially Discord-based and with additional funding expanding to include other platforms too).
  • implement the tool in Optimism and others.
  • analyse the interactions and perceptions data to validate the framework and provide insights to advance the Optimism community.

We’re seeking $30,000 or equivalent as grant match-funding to complete the project.

Project links:

Research we already published: https://rndao.mirror.xyz/fsCGRlYR5rieDCVPnAnSAGL98wNWJyFbf1T_A2r-_6Y

Additional team member info (please link):

We combine deep expertise in Network Science and Organisational Network Mapping, Business Intelligence, DAOs and Community Building.

Katerinabc

Ph.D. in Team Dynamics using Social Network Analysis, Teaching Collaboration, and Organizational Performance at Northwestern University (since 2016).

Co-organized Learning in Networks sessions at the International Conference of Social Network Analysis (2018 - 2020), and previously advised a people analytics company on social network metrics.

Twitter: twitter.com/katerinabohlec 3

Linkedin: linkedin.com/in/katerinab 2

Github: https://github.com/katerinabc/ 2

Thegadget.eth

Software Engineer. Previously, Product Manager at Neolyze (Business Intelligence Dashboard for Instagram).

Github: https://github.com/thegadget-eth/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/mr_gadget22 1

Danielo

Previously, Head of Governance at Aragon, 8 years experience in Organization Design consulting (clients include Google, BCG, Daymler, The UN, and multiple startups), and visiting lecturer at Oxford University.

Twitter*:* https://twitter.com/_Daniel_Ospina 2

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/conductal/

Note: Other RnDAO members will participate throughout the process in user research, literature review, tool development, and workshop facilitation.

See additional team members here:

sobol.io/d/rndao/structure?view=circles

Please link to any previous projects the team has meaningfully contributed to:

Previous research in partnership with Sobol: https://rndao.mirror.xyz/gNwffffROGdAp1tEBhkRPEL8OAQqvUOlV5HuM9VBaoM

Previous research in partnership with SCRF: https://rndao.mirror.xyz/1zGqbsh1YZNi3I9yvtk_2VMcpyg_dvHF1GlZ_LAO3p4

Another Web3 product built on RnDAO: https://meetwithwallet.xyz/

And a prototype who won the DAO Global Hackathon last year: https://l1-1.com/

Relevant usage metrics (TVL, transactions, volume, unique addresses, etc. Optimism metrics preferred; please link to public sources such as Dune Analytics, etc.):

Usage by Optimsim for Discord and number of Optimism-based communities adopting the framework and tool

Competitors, peers, or similar projects (please link):

No direct competitors researching Community Health. Some other projects are researching broader DAO Health (TalentDAO) and there’s a number of basic analytics dashbaords for Web2 (Orbit.love, Common Ground) and Web3 (non launched yet but some in early stages) communities measuring number of messages and other vanity metrics

Is/will this project be open sourced? All the research is open source and the data collection tool too.

Optimism native?: not applicable

Date of deployment/expected deployment on Optimism: we’re ready now

Ecosystem Value Proposition:

Like many others, Optimism depends on the health of its community and its vibez—yet understanding and measuring these factors (what we call Community Health) is challenging.

Today, Web3 communities are left to rely on infrequent transactions data (on-chain records), while data from the significantly more frequent social interactions is limited to basic indicators of Discord or Discourse, Web2-oriented bots like Statsbot that give simplistic measurements, or a patchwork of “homemade” surveys to fill in the gaps. These solutions are ill-suited for DAO communities, surveys are time-consuming for community managers and contributors to use, and the results of these approaches, hampered by poor indicators and/or poor sampling, are unreliable.

Perhaps even direr, the lack of real-time analytics leaves DAO community leaders and members without established baselines to measure against to understand the impact of community-focused initiatives, identify best practices, monitor shocks to the system, or rapidly gauge the effects of system-wide changes (such as market crashes, protocol migrations, etc.).

Specification

For the conceptual framework, we have assembled a team including two PhDs in network science and an organisation designer with significant DAO and community building experience (myself) to bridge both theory and practice. We’ve reviewed over 50 papers on the topics of Community, Social Network Analysis, Resilience, Trust, Engagement, and more. And are synthesising all of these findings to define the key indicators that have high validity and high predictive capacity for community health, while also taking a holistic perspective that accounts for member’s wellbeing and planning to collect data across communities to offer an ecosystem health scrore too.

For the data collection tool, we’re going beyond traditional surveys.

This research proposal focuses on the use of two critical techniques as a starting point:

Organizational Network Analysis (ONA) is a structured way to visualize how communications, information, and value creation occur through an organization based on interaction graphs. ONA has been shown to provide a wide range of insights to improve contributor retention, avoid member burnout, predict team performance and community resilience, identify key contributors, enable decentralization, and improve coordination. Although relatively new, ONA is gaining in popularity over traditional survey tools.

Pulse Surveys are frequent and automated micro-surveys that provide qualitative and quantitative insights. In traditional organizations, they have been shown to increase employee response rate and employee engagement with related initiatives. They’re also used as a tool for culture design and implementing culture change. Lastly, Pulse Surveys significantly reduce admin work for community managers and related roles.

The data is anonymised and collected in a central repository for this first phase (we’re exploring decentralised hosting) and managed by a team having received ethics training and at risk of losing their credentials should it be misused.

Rationale

The techniques used (ONA based on communication and Pulse Surveys) provide maximum insights on Community Health compared with exclusively on-chain data analysis. And provide minimum disruption for community members and minimal admin compared to long-form surveys and user interviews. Crucially, the techniques selected and the usage of Discord messages increase participation by those less likely to respond to long survey e.g. those less engaged and thus likely with the most valuable feedback to give.

Although our initial focus is Community Health metrics, the proposed approach sets the foundation for further applications. The combination of ONA and pulse surveys offers unprecedented actionable insights in real-time. Some of the potential applications and insights for Optimism DAO and Optimism-based DAOs are:

  • Generate baseline metrics for Community Health / vibez to quantify and better understand the impact that a specific event is having on a community and/or sub-groups within the community
  • Predict which contributors are likely to leave the DAO and take preventive action (without breaching privacy)
  • Build funnels to track member onboarding and identify areas for improvement
  • Identify measurements of decentralization to serve as KPIs or Insights metrics
  • Monitor specific topics like contributor wellbeing, alignment, community experience, etc. in near real-time
  • Attract talent and investment with objective Community Health metrics instead of proxy metrics like member count or proposal count, or financial metrics such as TVL
  • Help new contributors find context-rich mentors outside of the existing pool of well-known but time-poor candidates

In addition to the initial research on Community Health, the potential applications mentioned above (and others to be found) can enable more effective and targeted efforts to build healthier DAO communities.

This research also helps reduce the tooling gap in DAOs compared to the employee and stakeholder experience at traditional corporations.

Benefit to Optimism: As part of the grant we’ll deliver a full community health report on Optimism’s community and a workshop with the team and/or community members to share the findings and discuss initiatives to further improve the community.

Has your project previously applied for an OP grant? no

Number of OP tokens requested: 30,000

Did the project apply for or receive OP tokens through the Foundation Partner Fund?: Yes/No/In Process

If OP tokens were requested from the Foundation Partner Fund, what was the amount?:

How much will your project match in co-incentives? not applicable

Please provide any additional information that will facilitate accountability:

Previous research: rndao.mirror.xyz
website: rndao.info/about

Milestones:
0) Kickoff (grant approval)

  1. update of the conceptual framework and publication - estimated week 2-3 from kickoff
  2. implementation of the tool in Optimism - estimated week 3-4 from kickoff
  3. delivery of the Community Health report & workshop - estimated week 4-7 from kickoff
8 Likes

yoooo this is really cool!

kinda sad to see theres no feedback or convo happening here yet.

I know a group of social scientists that may be working on a study and piece soon that i think will have some interest regarding the current narrative of the OP grants. one of their member has previously published some pieces on “sense-making” and also “trustless autonomy” in defi.

lmk if you want to get connected with them. even just for networking and making some friends in the space of DLT social science application.

2 Likes

Hey thanks! We’ve been working on this for months and actually had a couple of calls with one of the community managers here who thought it could really help by providing meaningful KPIs for the community side. We’re not supper connected with the Optimisim community yet but looking to change that so any intros are most appreciated :slight_smile:

I’d love to connect with the social scientists you mention. We’re also exploring a partnership with Maastricht University so we can provide the anonymized data we collect from a few DAOs and that way they could advance a lot more research than our team could do alone. And like that partnership, we’re very open to exploring other collaborations! Stronger together and all that jazz

will dm you my details

2 Likes

cool cool. i have a meeting with them this tuesday to help guide them through a grant application as well. ill be showing them your proposal here as an example and they will see these comments. i assume they will make a forum account of their own and can contact you directly.

yeah, the KPIs and milestones. looks like thats gonna be a req for the next season of grants along with tranches so to say, with grant funds being paid out at each milestone achievement.

also, i think the study will defo need to be OP community centric in nature therefore benefitting the OP eco, community, and foundation more directly, as opposed to DAOs in general. idk ofc but seems like that would provide a little more appeal as well.

Ah yeah good point. We were also thinking of doing the community health report on Optimism itself, I guess the proposal wasn’t clear enough in that regard. I updated it now to reflect that

1 Like

I like the idea of having metrics involving DAOs health. I read the rndao report, my takes:

Interviewing 30 individuals seems like a small scope but depends on the DAO size you are researching.

While the talk about DAO units it’s nice, specially for those who never worked on a DAO, for this experiment it’s some how basic in content. I don’t want to disrespect all the work you guys did here. I put myself in a position where if this was the Optimism report you do, I don’t have actionable items to promote engagement, active delegation, marketing actions wtc, I’ll just have an idea of “do DAO units, it works”.

On the other hand I feel you will need to create a baseline study and come back in a month or two, redo the study and check the differences and what did worked and what not.

The OP amount it’s good, and the proposal it’s different from everything we have.

Is the OP distribution, use and accumulation part of your study? Things like this:

Hey

I’m a bit confused. Not sure which report you’re referring to. Also, we’re not suggesting to interview 30 people (the proposed research uses more scalable methods than interviews). And not sure what you’re referring to with the talk of DAO Units. Is it about the research we did in partnership with Sobol? (that led to these two articles: Top 9 Challenges of DAO Unit Success and Why and How we SubDAO )
Or is it about the talk I did for the governance learning sessions? Or something else?

To clarify, none of those are related to the Community Health Project. RnDAO operates as an incubator for multiple Project Units, with this proposal specifically being made by the Community Health Unit (called TogetherCrew). The Research into SubDAOs was from a different Unit and had a specific scope for the needs of Sobol at the time, and the talk I gave for the gov learning sessions was more of an informal sharing of ideas we’re exploring in how we structure RnDAO internally, not our formal research. Hope that makes sense.

To get a taste of the depth of the research we’re carrying out related to this proposal, this is perhaps the best example: What is a DAO Community and when is it healthy: a working paper by RnDAO

In the above working paper, we have created the baseline framework. The grant will help us put it in practice, assessing Optimism and validating/refining the framework. We’re also automating a lot of the processes, so running the study again will be a lot easier in the future and we can even think of a higher frequency (near real-time insights into what’s working and what’s not) :slight_smile:

As for the OP mount, maybe I’m confused, but the idea is to use it to compensate our researchers and builders (who’re creating the tool we need for the project) for all the work executing on the proposal.

Yes, I read this:

Thinking it was a paper from this team, sorry. I’ll give it a read and come back to you guys thank you for clarifying all this.

2 Likes