sustainable funding, collaboration modes, invitations to play
by: Jon Borichevskiy
Some thoughts summing up the past few days of conversations on buzzard & honeycombs.
As per our conversation yesterday, buzzard is open to sustainably funding itself via several different arrangements:
- contracting/commissions: build us this bridge & flavor of honeycombs. All work goes into public domain but the requesting DAO/org/working group gets a say in how it’s built and some level of support.
- consulting: a subset of us logging onto a call and yammering with our guests about whatever they feel needs yammering about
- Grants/crowdfunding: more murky but viable option as well: get many people excited about seeing something in the future and allowing them to pitch in for it
- Traditional styled investments from R&D-minded investors with a shared conception and attitude towards ROI and timelines
Regardless of the method, it is important the dollar amounts are not tied explicitly to hours worked — at least as tightly as the W-9 world typically expects and measures “productivity” by. Instead the focus should be on a “paying the squad” and funding our central treasury in a transparent and publicly-verifiable way.
There’s also an element of [[retroactive public goods funding]] here. We’d like leave most of the value in itself to be re-invested back into buzzard as well as the ecosystem more broadly.
To help figure out what might make most sense here and who these people are we need to talk with them. This attention will hopefully float in once we’ve pushed out a cohesive self-contained post about who we are and what we’re doing. This aligns nicely with getting our v1 built and publishing our first block of blocks together.
It will hopefully contain thoughts about:
- who we are
- What we’re building
- How people can join and help (invitation to play)
- how you can talk about us
- How you can find us in the future (subscribing to updates, feed, our “squad home page”?)
- How you can start your own squad
We’re toying with these ideas of various “[[social APIs]]“. As of now these are defined modes of communication with the outside world such that input/output and our objectives are clear to both everyone in buzzard and those interacting with us on the outside. For now it’s mainly going to be squad-to-individual collaborations; Arthur joining to build a pr in a [[Garage Door Session]] or Phil Lao joining to walk us through Uniswap in [[Understanding Club]].
In both of these interactions (and hopefully more types soon), there is a defined level/depth to where the guest is joining into, a standard interface through which they are doing it (pull requests & Github or Zoom/Discord) and a shared social understanding of what the purpose is.
This is contrast to inviting the entire internet to our Discord and letting everyone run around like barn animals. Certainly inviting people to Discord will be a wonderful step in engaging with the community, but not quite yet. We’ll need to figure out fencing to contain the “passing through and lurking” amount to a minimum and help preserve quiet, generative communications free from destructive attention/feedback loops.
“Lurkers”. Not sure how much I like this word. It implies stealthily hanging out at the back of a room hoping to snag some free snacks or information. As a Lurker in many an online community, I don’t think that’s how that interaction should be framed. Rather it’s usually when I have an interest in a community or project but not enough time at this moment to fully invest and keep track of what’s going on in it. I want to be close enough to see large developments and around enough to see the small sorts of messages coming through.
We want to welcome that sort of member, up to the fully-engaged community contributor. They’re already embedded in the community they’re likelier to engage with synchronous events. The goal would be to provide every lurker an easy-to-understand map of where they can join and help build honeycombs or find their own squad to co-publish with.
Probably these two modes of beings are more closely related than we think. Ideas/roadmap/future plans will mostly be spawned by people using honeycombs and it somehow not fitting their needs. These people will be embedded in the contexts where they want these things to exist. There might also be another set of people: members who want to contribute but don’t know how.
If there is a central place to be able to talk to one another and watch other squads building, perhaps such people can be paired up to build together: tightening the feedback loop of figuring out what to build and then creating in the most boots-on-ground, high-context way possible.
How do you start your own squad? A few possibilities come to mind:
- every squad having a “fork and spawn” flow baked into their social API. A way of saying “I like what you are doing but I want to do it with someone else or around a different idea”. This potentially forms an implicit squad-to-squad relation opening up a new collaboration mode (in contrast to squad-to-individual modes). This is relatively self-serve but the new squad has at least some connection to other humans doing things in this way.
- a generic, disconnected way to spawn a squad, purely based on the protocol and GitHub repo. Not related to any other squad. In such a flow it feels important it be possible to locate & explore other squads to avoid being silo’d on an island as Kristen put it. This is a pretty unlisted event and potentially leaves even a group of people fairly isolated from the rest of the hives.
- a directed invitation to play: as the “buzzard squad” we can walk over to a group of people doing things and invite them to create their own squad. This is similar to the first option but opens up space for a guiding role in which we help them get started and show them the ropes, and perhaps work towards publishing an inaugural squad-squad post together.