[READY][GF: Phase 1 Proposal] Karma discourse forum plugin

Project name: Karma

Author name and contact info: Mahesh Murthy, mahesh@showkarma.xyz and Stablenode

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

L2 recipient address: 0x627f84bb4bBA3333f253F09fe22A445F195bCF34

Grant category: Tooling

Is this proposal applicable to a specific committee?: No

Project description: Karma is a reputation system for DAO contributors. We are currently focusing on DAO delegate reputation. We aggregate delegate activity by aggregating and curating data from various tools the DAOs use such as Snapshot, Discourse, Discord and on-chain contracts. We pull these metrics for each delegate, assign weights to these metrics and quantify the activity by generating a Karma (reputation) score. These weights are customizable and determined by each community. Also, the scoring logic is open source so anyone can audit and verify the scores for themselves. The aggregated data is exposed through APIs anyone can consume.

Project links:

Additional team member info (please link): Arthur, Amaury, Andre. Our team of devs have experience building hight quality, scalable software systems. You can find our team’s work by looking at our product on www.showkarma.xyz

We are also closely working with the team at Stablenode who are actively involved in the governance at Optimism and various other DAOs in the ecosystem.

Please link to any previous projects the team has meaningfully contributed to: Few notable use cases of how DAOs use our product include:

  • Gitcoin DAO: The steward health cards at daostewards.xyz are powered by Karma. All the stats are calculated by Karma and exposed through API that is rendered by their frontend.
  • ENS DAO: The ENS DAO uses a discourse forum plugin we built that is powered by Karma. Data aggregated through the Karma platform is used to display governance stats of users in the forum on the user’s profile.
  • Idle DAO: The Idle DAO uses our product for governance mining (to reward active governance participants).

Competitors, peers, or similar projects (please link): As far as we know, no one else has a governance plugin for discourse that can be used to display governance stats or have features we propose to capture and display governance data.

Is/will this project be open sourced?: Yes, the plugin is already open source and any new updates will remain open source.

Date of deployment/expected deployment on Optimism: Oct 15, 2022

Ecosystem Value Proposition:

  • What is the problem statement this proposal hopes to solve for the Optimism ecosystem?

Problem 1: Some of the delegates have started creating forum threads for communicating the reason behind their voting decisions on various proposals. This is extremely valuable to the token holders as it provides visibility into the thought process of their delegates and how they are governing the DAO. See here, here and here for examples of how delegates post their reasons behind their votes. While this adds lot of value, there are a few issues with this format

  • It’s not structured, different delegates use slightly different formats.
  • It is difficult to search for specific proposals
  • It is cumbersome for delegates to copy proposal link, add reason and format it
  • This information can not be displayed on other governance tooling websites or even on Optimism’s own website.

Problem 2: Delegates are required to post their commitment on the delegate commitment page. This has the same issue as communication threads.

  • It’s not structured, different delegates use slightly different formats, some of the information is incomplete
  • This information can not be displayed on other governance tooling websites or even on Optimism’s own website.
  • Delegates request to update commitment message and also delegation address and it’s a manual process today to update it and also update the website
  • There is no validation of address, typos happen lot of times

Problem 3: For a proposal on forum to move to Snasphot for voting, two delegates with at least 0.5% voting power have to approve by posting a reply. Right now, it is not easy to know if the users approving have enough voting power, you have to go look elsewhere.

  • How does your proposal offer a value proposition solving the above problem?

Karma has built a discourse forum plugin that is used to display governance stats of the forum users. Our proposal is to enhance the plugin to solve the problems described above.

  • We will create a form on the forum that will allow delegates to select a proposal and add their reasoning. This will be posted on the forum so the current behavior does not change. Additionally, anyone can go to Delegate’s profile and find all the details in one place. This data will also be exposed through an API that anyone can consume.
  • We will create a form on the forum that delegates can complete to submit their pitch. This pitch will be posted on the forum to maintain the current behavior, will be displayed in their profile and will also be made available through our API.
  • Any forum user who has more than 0.5% of delegation power will show a badge across their profile picture to indicate their status.

  • Why will this solution be a source of growth for the Optimism ecosystem?

Meaningful governance participation is a common problem across many DAOs. However, tools like Karma aim to simplify the workflow for both delegators and delegates. By enhancing the forum functionality, delegates can easily and effectively communicate their decisions and their decisions are accessible to other DAO tools and websites.

Hundreds of users visit the forum everyday and having the plugin in the forum will increase it’s adoption and give us feedback to enhance and make it more valuable to the community.

In doing so, delegates will all have a uniform process in their pitches and voting reasoning, raising the standard of governance participation within Optimism.

Has your project previously applied for an OP grant? If successful, please link to your previous grant proposal and provide a brief update on milestones achieved with the grant. If unsuccessful, and this is a resubmission, please specify how you have incorporated significant changes in accordance with feedback.: No

Number of OP tokens requested: 15,000

Proposal for token distribution
This project is purely to improve the governance by providing more visibility into delegate activity. We are requesting a grant to support the development of work of this project and do not plan to distribute the tokens. This is in-line with what is mentioned in the proposal template.

Below is the breakdown of expenses
Frontend dev: 120 hrs X $60 = $7200
Backend dev: 80 hrs X $60 = $4800
PM/BD work (me): 20 hrs X $75 = $1500

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

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


We have received feedback from @bobby and team on this project

  1. We have started discussing with Optimism’s dev team to make sure the delegate commitment data is stored in the right format and is accessible.
  2. For storing the reason for each vote, we have received feedback from few delegates and are continuing to engage other delegates to ensure we cover all the use cases.

Thanks for the proposal! Under the ‘Grant category:’ field, please specify which committee should review your proposal (NFTs and Gaming, Tooling, or DeFi).

Thanks, it’s been updated.

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We supported Karma in writing this proposal and will abstain from voting, but we believe their proposal will add great value to the Optimism ecosystem.

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Hey @mmurthy thanks for the proposal. As a member of the tooling committee I am reviewing this proposal.

I have a few questions.

  1. Much like your other proposal with the dashboard can you provide a detailed budget breakdown of the expenses (and also edit the OP for them)?
  2. What exactly is the delegate pitch? Is it the “commitment” post that one makes when they join the optimism forum and apply to be a delegate?
  3. The reasoning for the proposal would be an explanation of the vote? So a specific response in a forum post? What if the reasoning is split between multiple posts? Also in the screenshot I see a “FOR” checkmark. How does it detect the vote? Do you also somehow connect with snapshot?

Thanks, I have updated the OP with the clear breakdown. I am happy to go into more technical details as to what it will take to build these features.

That is right, it’s the commitment post. I also updated the OP with more issues I learned talking to Optimism team.

Correct, lot of delegates have started posting the explanation for why they voted. The reasoning will be entered in a form on the plugin and when submitted, it posts to the forum thread as one single post. So, it won’t be split between multiple posts.

Yeah, we connect to Snapshot and pull your vote history and display it. When you enter explanation through this new form we will create, everyone will be able to see your explanation right next to your vote instead of going digging in the forum to find it. That explanation will also be displayed in the delegate dashboard we are building (the other proposal).

Happy to answer any specific questions and open to suggestions/feedback on any of these given you are a very active delegate.

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Similar to the other post how would you incorporate the committee work in such a plugin? Since the committees basically make a recommendation and most delegates would just simply follow it OR if not would have to indeed post a reasoning.

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That’s an interesting point. They have to post a reasoning individually because the reasoning is per user per proposal and can’t map to committee as such.

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Interesting proposal. My main concern is that I think the exact features of such an experimental product, in such a dynamic space, might be hard to come up with. Well, at least for me.

I would much prefer if this would be more feedback-based, iterative process. I can’t say if proposed features will lead to a perfect addition to OP’s discourse. IMO this proposal could use a bigger budget, longer timespan, and community feedback after delivering each tiny piece. I would love to know what others think about this.

I am on the same boat as yours. Its all depends on foundation goal with Dicourse, how long are we going to use this ? We are working on iteration so it might happen that from next season we are using a new platform. Are we going to use Discourse for Citizen house too ? There are many assumption and point to consider here, best approach in this dynamic fast moving space is to, like you have said, work in iteration.

The team has already done similar plugin for other DAO so, I assume, doing it again would not be a problem. I am not able to understand the future use case because of uncertainties but in current state, I would support this proposal. If the team has a bigger plan then I agree that a more detailed proposal is needed.


Not sure if something specific needs to be tailored for committee work since a recommendation doesn’t remove responsibility from delegates in making a decision, but simplifies the process of making an informed decision.

Especially if individual delegate compensation becomes an option in the future, delegates should still state their reasoning, whether or not they are following a recommendation.

This plugin simplifies the workflow in governance and brings a level of needed transparency within governance, as we can see in ENS and Gitcoin. As previously mentioned, we supported Karma in the writing of this proposal and will abstain, but experimentation is a big part of governance, especially Optimism.

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Thanks @krzkaczor. I can say we are committed to maintaining and enhancing this plugin and are willing to work with the community. Our hope is the learnings here can be easily carried over to other DAO forums as well.

I can update the proposal to longer timespan and bigger budget, I am looking for advice from the committee on what is reasonable :pray:

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@krzkaczor @lefterisjp would appreciate any feedback on next steps or anything else I can answer.

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Appreciate your proactive approach towards feedback. Please update your proposal to reflect as part of Cycle 7 and make sure to include your proposal to Cycle 7 Roundup thread, once you have support from two delegates.

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I am an Optimism delegate [Delegate Commitments - #18 by katie] with sufficient voting power and I believe this proposal is ready to move to a vote.


Thanks for sharing!

I am an Optimism delegate [Delegate Commitments - #37 by linda] with sufficient voting power and I believe this proposal is ready to move to a vote.


1. Presentation

We are an officially recognized Tooling Governance Committee, responsible for assessing proposals related to tooling and infrastructure (wallets, bridges etc.).

2. About the project

Karma is a reputation system to show DAO delegate activity and rank them by that activity. They are already being used by other DAOs, notably the gitcoin DAO to help token holders decide on who to delegate their tokens.

The proposal is for the project to enhance an already created discourse forum plugin that provides delegations/activity stats for users.

3. About the following

Karma submitted a proposal on the 6th of September: https://gov.optimism.io/t/review-gf-phase-1-proposal-karma-delegate-dashboard/3411. Various delegates interacted with the proposal including a committee member (@lefterisjp).

4. About the proposal valuation

In this part, we focus on the following aspects:

  • Added value (good to bad): neutral**.** Having a discourse plugin designed to help with delegates and how they review proposals may be helpful but hard to quantify.
  • Impact or expected usage (high to low) low: This proposal will only work for people who use discourse and use the plugin
  • Current Status [Development stage/¿Open Source?] (early to ready) ready: The project already has a plugin. The proposal is to do a few enhancements on top.
  • Expenditure plan and distribution (appropriate to inappropriate) appropriate: After a query from our committee member the team provided a budget breakdown that makes sense.
  • Amount requested (high to low) low: The amount seems good for the effort needed

5. KPIs and impact tracking

The best way to track the impact of this proposal would be to:

  1. Have the enhancements implemented.
  2. Perform a user survey to the optimism community to provide feedback on the plugin and how they use it in the governance forums to determine whether such an experiment is a good idea or not.
  3. Depending on the feedback given by the users continue with another small grant based on the results of that feedback



Voted yes - Following the Tooling Committee recommendation and I am also a big fan of DAO tooling.


Voting YES following the recommendation we published with the tooling committee of which I am a member