The goal of this post is to get community input on the implementation of SourceCred on the forum. This tool allows a community to identify and incentivize online behaviors through reward mechanisms. As a community dedicated to connecting industry and academia in the web3 space, it seems appropriate that we implement web3 tools that allow us to accomplish our mission of facilitating and rewarding long-tail discussion and thoughtful contributions in the web3 research space.
The implementation of SourceCred is not just so that SCRF can have a web3 tool, however. This fits into our overall engagement strategy of elevating thoughtful, researched, and insightful contributions to the forum. The type of on-forum engagement that we seek to encourage takes effort from researchers and other members of our community. There are obviously hourly and grant incentives that are in place to recognize this work, but SourceCred helps us additionally identify and value content that makes an impact on how people think about the content that they read on the forum.
The cred system described below rewards thinking that may have been missed initially, but people come back to months later with new perspectives and appreciation. This is the result of SourceCred’s retroactively updating system that reflects new information and engagement with content. For example, someone might write a great forum post that goes overlooked initially. At first, it earns little Cred, but once it gets discovered, the Cred score will retroactively increase. This frees participants to focus on doing great work, without needing to worry that all of it gets appreciated right away. Additionally, this tool can be configured to reward SCRF cultural norms, such as visiting the forum often, engaging heavily with certain content categories, or other norms that we can discuss in this post.
SCRF plans to implement SourceCred in mid-March of 2022, and we need to make some community decisions to help accomplish this implementation.
- Cred generating nodes
- Weighting nodes and edges
- Initial pool of DAI to allocate
- Eligibility for allocation
When enabled, SourceCred produces user cred scores based on their contributions and actions. These are called nodes. Each discrete Node represents you and every contribution you make.
These contributions are automatically tracked and measured for its value and impact to the community. The value is denoted as a Cred score, which is how much Cred you have at the moment. Cred is not transferable as it is meant to be something that stays with you, like a reputation. In other words, it isn’t thought of as an asset to be bought, sold, or traded.
SourceCred uses a modified PageRank algorithm to determine the cred score of each node.
For example, posting this thread might generate +1 cred and an additional +1 cred for each like and/or response. Those are decisions we get to make. I would like us to discuss what those actions on the forum might include. The engagement team did a little brainstorming and generated the following:
- Research Summary post
- Discussion Post post
- Likes to posts or comments
- Having people reply to your post or comment
- Replying to a post or comment
Obviously, there are potentials for gamification here. SourceCred discusses this in their documentation. We can also modify these nodes or their weights as we observe actual user behavior.
Using this post as an example, I would potentially have +1 cred minted. That does not have to be the case. It could mint +30 or +.0001. When discussing the nodes that generate cred, it is also valuable for us to consider how heavily weighted that behavior should be. Long term, aligning our values for high-quality contributions and engagement best practices with what SourceCred rewards are the aims of SCRF’s implementation.
The SourceCred Docs define Edge Weights: Edge weights determine how Cred flows once it is in the graph. Suppose we have a Discourse post with exactly two edges out: one edge to the author of the post, and one edge to a person mentioned by the post. Who should receive more Cred: the author, or the person mentioned?
Community’s weights determine how much Cred each type of contribution earns. Cred allocations are distributed not just to the individual taking action but to all the supporting nodes and their respective stakeholders. Cred is calculated and distributed in what SourceCred refers to as the Contribution Graph which is the network of nodes for every contribution and participant in a project, and how they’re connected to each other. In other words, the result is that every contribution earns Cred if it was connected to, or depended on by, other things that earned Cred. \
The choices we make about how nodes are weighted is not set in stone. SourceCred weights can be discussed by the community and adjusted throughout the life of the instance.
For those that have been reading the SourceCred documentation, you’ll notice that they use the Grain Token as their exchangeable token. The Grain Token is given to members of the community by an amount that is determined by each user’s individual Cred Score. When Grain is distributed it recalculates Cred for all the users. Once that calculation finishes the Grain distribution is sent out. This keeps Grain distributions as close to the moment as it can be. The distribution policy and schedule for Grain is something we have control over.
Every project that uses SourceCred uses its own independent Grain token. Our community then can decide what the Grain token is worth. The value can be defined as monetary or simply as internet points. Typically, Grain is offered as having monetary value by exchange with a stable coin such as DAI. When paired to a stable coin the value of the Grain token is fixed to $1 each.
SCRF’s plan is to allocate DAI based on monthly cred scores instead. As a community, we need to determine what our initial pool of DAI should be that gets allocated. Perhaps a poll would capture this better, but maybe we start somewhere between $5 and $5,000.
Similar to the Comment of the Month initiative, there is an open question regarding the eligibility of participants. Many of the people participating on the forum are also compensated for their time. As a community, we should determine whether we want those already compensated for contributions to be eligible for cred based contributions as well.
There is a lot for us to discuss as a community, and I am looking forward to working on this as a group.