Draft Governance Proposal for a Community Pool Spend: Proposal #34 - Luna Mission - Funding $ATOM

Thanks for the detailed proposal writeup @johnniecosmos! Really glad to see the Cosmos Community Pool resources being activated to be used for educating people more about the value of Cosmos Hub and clearer transparency into the dynamics of ATOM–specifically with Stargate coming up.

It might be a forgone conclusion, but I really wish I had more time to check this out before the vote went out because I had a few questions specifically about some of the action items on the proposal and also the general guidelines and precedents that may be being set with more non-technical community proposals being put forth.

As a note, I was looking at the fantastic description Gavin had put out on Community Spend Proposals (GitHub - gavinly/CosmosCommunitySpend: Cosmos community-spend proposals education & best practices).

Just for the sake of getting a bit more clarity, could we address some of these topics?

  • Dedicated time for comments on proposals before vote submission
  • How the amount requested was decided and arrived at
  • Clearer KPI measurements
  • Checks and balances on the governance committee (or if it is even possible or reasonable in this situation)
  • Clear steps on conflicts of interest
  • Action item separation (media influencer)

Finally, I would love to see if there could potentially be an amendments process or new companion proposals that can address some of these clarifications!

Dedicated Time.
Was there a particular reason that this proposal was rushed out with 2 days of comments? I have to apologize that I wasn’t able to dive in immediately when the proposal came out in the forum or follow the lengthy conversations on the Telegram.

Amount.
Would it be possible to have amounts vary or adjusted after the fact? The initial amount seemed quite high. Perhaps there could have been more communication and engagement from the community on how much and where it would be used. The breakdown here (Draft Governance Proposal for a Community Pool Spend: Proposal #34 - Luna Mission - Funding $ATOM - #3 by johnniecosmos) was very helpful, thanks!

KPIs.
Could there be clear KPIs measured and communicated to the community or as the governance committee tracks it? I think transparency here with the community would be extremely helpful! I was some of the comments that others had asked on how metrics would be tracked, but with KPIs it would be important to understand success/failure and consequences of those–especially if there is a particular campaign and it doesn’t seem to reach sufficient numbers we could track and cut it out before we continue needlessly.

Checks and Balances.
I’m not sure this is even possible, but it seems like the formation of the governance committee just moved the decision making process up a level to a smaller cohort of chosen members that may speed things up a lot, but may exclude valid community comments or requests. Would it be possible to have some formal way of communicating community comments or checks/balances in case there is an issue that may arise? For example, if the governance committee chooses to choose a portion of the funds for a specific crypto-influencer to market ATOMs but a community member has information of that influencer that may damage the reputation of Cosmos, it would be great to have open hearings for that type of discussion or situation. I realize this may just be an infinite level after level of decision making, but it would be great to have some sort of formalized checks and balances–just in case.

Conflicts of Interest.
I think that the current governance committee members are great and significant contributing members to the Cosmos ecosystem from what i’ve been seeing and following. I don’t doubt that they have the best interests at heart, but could it possibly be seen that there may have been some conflicts of interest here, in the set up and execution? I guess this goes a bit into the technicalities because I think the group chosen is a solid and great group, but how it was chosen and how votes are done may have some issues to people looking in?

What I mean is that on certain proposals, shouldn’t we have it so that anyone who puts together a proposal should not be part of the voting set? I know this may be impossible via pseudonymous addresses being used to signal or sign–but there are at least validators verified on-chain that can signal or withhold voting for neutrality or due process purposes.

Just for theory’s sake. It would be great to address the fact that a conflict of interest could exist if the proposer can affect the direction of the proposal–and specifically since the community’s Atoms are at stake. This could mean anything from how much members are being compensated (though it is specifically relatively small here, but the concept may hold for cases) to how can we be sure that there weren’t prior backdoor dealings for fund usage and other 3rd parties that could or would be involved? Or if there weren’t any biases due to affiliations with the authors of the proposal and the governance committee members. A conflict of interest can occur when a divergence develops between an individual’s private interests and his/her professional obligations. This involves the situation in which an independent observer may reasonably question the decisions as non-neutral and deemed to aid in personal gain.

To break some of the concept down. There can be primary interests which are the crux of the proposal and secondary interests that exist to possibly serve both the primary and personal interests. Secondary interests are not wrong but can become objectionable if they’re believed to have greater weight than the primary interests.

In this case, how can we be certain that there are no secondary interests that may weigh much heavier than that of the primary interests. In this specific case, the primary interests being the understanding of Atoms and potential secondary interests being potential prior agreements or biased relationships. Just to be clear, I’m not saying that these exist, but if there is an ironclad way of proving to the world that we can show no conflict of interest, then any criticism that we, as the Cosmos Community, might face will fall flat because we took responsible steps here.

Action Item Separation.
At face value there were some action items that may be seen by some members of the community and external observers that were a bit questionable and that could have some requested modifications while other action items are fine. I know that time has already passed on proposal draft modifications because this is already gone to a vote, but it could possibly have been better if these action items could have been separated into different proposals so that people could choose or request to modify them. Having all these action items under one proposal would necessitate that the proposal be rejected if someone strongly disagreed with one of the action items or begrudgingly accept it if they wanted to go ahead with the other action items and concede to accept the one action item they disagreed with. It kind of reminded me of some sort of omnibus bill where all were being accepted even if there were certain components that people took issue with…

Perhaps a suggestion to any further action item separation would be to implement some sort of quadratic funding mechanism. I know that Gitcoin integrates many networks (and I think I heard that Cosmos was getting integrated soon). But it would be really awesome if these certain action items could be matched from the Community Pool, governed by the committee, and quadratically funded with the community as a whole supporting, proportionately specific action items to determine where we thought was important.

An example I was thinking could look something like this:

Quadratic funding on usage of the 129,000 ATOM community pool war chest being requested by Proposal #34

Proposal #34 Actions are broken down into separate grants:

  • banner ads on CMC, Coingecko, staking rewards

  • PR agency

  • media influencers

  • meme contest

Cosmos community members use a Cosmos wallet (like Keplr) to donate to each of these grants and the number of unique donations from members will apply the appropriate quadratic funding multiplier that that grant would get funded from the 129,00 ATOM warchest.

Wallet: Keplr

Grant access interface: Gitcoin

Funding backer: 129,000 ATOM community pool war chest

Sorry this got so long! Just pretty excited about the potentials for this campaign and want to make sure that no one can say anything bad towards us in the way we go about doing this–especially since narratives can take lives of their own in this space. It would have been really great to have had a bit more time for public comments to allow us to engage before the vote went out. Is there any possibility we can make this happen? Maybe amendments?

Thanks!

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Just a great idea! I have been an ATOM holder for a long time, but I still have not been able to find anywhere what is the real value of this coin.

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Hi Dan, great to see your thorough response on the proposal. I am sure others will join this conversation soon and cover your points.

In a nutshell, in respect to the allocation of resources please refer to my response to @ebuchman Unfortunately, due to the pushing by the community for the marketing initiative to coincide with the Stargate Upgrade proposal there was not enough time to get quotes, then come up with something more concrete. However i am most concerned with the question about Checks and Balances. & Conflicts of Interest.

So what i suggest for us to do is run a vote for all important decisions:

i think we should make a group in Telegram and get the community to vote through TG polls:

  1. on each influencer chosen,

  2. on the marketing firm appointed,

  3. decision making process for meme contest (you can see the exact amounts in my previous post this should remain unaltered),

  4. each banner company hired

  5. also in the event the allocation of funds deviates from what has been quoted above we could deliberate again through voting and decide alternate allocation.

So although the community may decide to allow us to proceed at will i am all up for some extra rough consensus.
i am sure by setting up the Telegram group we may get the odd trolls that are unrelated to the Hub but this is the best i could see as a solution.

Also i will be more than happy to self exclude from the mutli-sig.

As a side remark i cannot commit to this extra work unless all committee members agree. As you understand setting up groups, compiling offers, managing groups, running polls adds a lot of work to us.*

Looking forward to your response.

I think the best would be to have a separate spending proposal for each of the marketing campaign/meme contest/whatever you want to run. I understand it would be ideal to start the campaigns at the same time as the stargate upgrade, but doing things in a rush is always a very bad decision.

A lot of ATOMs are requested with this proposal, and the risk of wasting funds is huge. I read this whole proposal just as a “budget allocation for marketing”, where you 5 will then decide how to spend it. I don’t have any doubt you will try to follow the “general community sentiment” about how and where to spend the funds, but is this really needed? I don’t think so, the community can express its opinion on every single subject way better if you create a separate proposal for each topic.

A lot of holders are not even in the Telegram group or discord server, so I don’t see how can you reflect their opinion as well.

Honestly, if I was you, I would never take the responsibility of 700k$ worth of ATOMs knowing that is very hard to understand what the community really wants without being biased with personal opinions or short terms interests.

Lastly, I don’t know very well you all, but have you any previous marketing experience?

Notice: This is only my personal thought, and could be different from what stakefish will vote on this proposal.

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Hi @dimiandre

Many thanks for the response. i know little to nothing about marketing, neither did me or anyone claim that they are experts. The community decided on actions that make sense through polls and rough consensus achieved on governance and the proposal is on chain for everyone to deliberate over. To this end AiB and a marketing firm will deal with this part (hiring marketing firm, approaching thought leaders/influencers, getting quotes for banner ads). The actions are outlined as follows and have been decided through i repeat a rough consensus process by the community on governance:

i. One set of actions for incentivising, educating thought leaders so as to engage through media (Twitter, YouTube) for a period of 3 months and educate their audiences about $ATOM without any unnecessary hyperboles, something that would go against the values and ethos of our project;

ii. One set of actions for engaging the blockchain and crypto communities for 3 months via 3 monthly meme contests whose intention is to make $ATOM going viral on Twitter.

iii. One set of actions for a 3 month header banner and/or homepage banner advertising campaigns on 4 platforms with high and/or relevant traffic to the Cosmos Hub such as CMC, Coingecko, Blockfolio and Staking Rewards platforms, whichever of them have available spots.

iv. A maximum of 10% from the budget will be used to engage a high profile PR Agency to help with the Media and Marketing efforts. AiB and/or committee members will request and share offers from different PR Agencies and the offer containing the best marketing plan will be selected by the committee members through vote. AiB will maintain the relation with the PR Agency and will report to the committee on the status of deliverables.

The proposal sets out the types of actions to be taken. Based on that, AiB will contact the parties (influencers, platforms, marketing firm) and upon getting quotes/invoicing/delivering work AiB will make the payments once the committee approves the release of funds.

So i propose that it is wise - at this stage - that we set an extra check and create a group whereby people will vote and deliberate further before the committee approves each action.

Everyone who wants to participate can join the TG group that we will set up immediately after the proposal passes (if it does) and can vote.

Hard to think of anything more appropriate than this. This in my view is as open as it gets.

Finally any unspent funds will be refunded to the community pool.

As a side remark i cannot commit to this extra work unless all committee members agree. As you understand setting up groups, compiling offers, managing groups, running polls adds a lot of work to us.

Also the community or multi-sig does not undertake any responsibility for the efficiency of the plan. But in the absence of similar initiatives from teams/groups/entities that have traditionally profited from operations on the hub, the community requested this initiative.

Dan,

I really appreciate your ideas and also want this to be executed as well as possible. With that said, we will follow all of your demands if and when stake fish pays us to work on this for all of the time required, We have full time jobs Dude… I’m a peasant, not a lord. shouldn’t be a problem due to how large of a validator stake fish is. If that’s not cool, then I’d love for you to put up a better marketing proposal, get consensus, and execute with all of the professionals within your firm. It would save me a shit load of work :joy:

Thanks :blush:

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This is an uncalled for snarky comment. Where is all this negativity coming from?

I also see that you are listed as one of the multi-sig members. How can I know now that you will make objective level-headed decisions? Unlike @johnniecosmos who has at least taken the time to properly read and address comments, you just went straight to negativity.

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It’s very easy to add a huge list of things for us to do to make you happy. But we will be to the ones doing the work and spendings our time no?? What’s more level headed then valuing ones own time and energy. Feel free to vote how you wish and put together your own marketing proposal if you want. I would gladly let you do all the work and spend your time and company resources.

Thanks and please vote how you wish :blush:

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I don’t understand this self-victimization that you are doing here. No one is asking anyone to put in work that they are uncomfortable doing. I hope you are able to engage in more productive discussions.

As a side note (this doesn’t reflect our validator’s official opinion), I don’t consider marketing to be a priority. I value projects, developers and community builders currently building on Cosmos and think funds should be entirely directed there. Still, nonetheless, I am keeping an open-mind and weighting the pros and cons of this proposal.

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Ok…here’s what you should understand…I signed up to do everything entailed in this proposal that currently has an over 85% yes vote for… I didn’t sign up to whatever work someone on the Internet is telling me i need to do to make them happy… I encourage you and your team to vote how you wish.

I understand why marketing isn’t your top
priority at the moment, as an engineer I agree for the most part. But I did sign up to do my best to represent the community and make sure these atoms are only spent when it is proved they were earned…

I encourage you to make your own proposal if you have better ideas on how to spend community funds and to vote how you see is fit. That’s about all I can say brotha…

Thanks, I appreciate the clarification and dedication to the proposal. We’ll keep monitoring the discussions and come to a conclusion on our vote stance soon.

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Hi JK and thanks for the input.

None from the committee so far seems interested to take up on producing extra work on top of the already undertaken responsibilities described - in as much detail as possible - on the proposal. Still we would be happy to listen to ideas that contribute actual value to the proposal without creating unnecessary burdens on the committee.

A suggestion of a good marketing firm within the specified budget limits, a suggestion of a thought leader/influencer etc. contacts, could go a long way. You can communicate you suggestions directly to AiB if you wish, as they will present the options to the multi-sig.

We care not if it is you or someone else who proposes/gives ideas (we actually encourage as many suggestions of actionable stuff as people wish to contribute) we care that the Hub gets known and discovered across the space.
We care that people are converted to believers in the value of the Hub and get educated into understanding its value proposition.

Let us not forget a couple of things here: 1. AiB a reputable entity respected across the ecosystem is hired to the end of effecting this proposal and 2. the committee also comprises of two people that enjoy the full trust and appreciation of the community: Zaki and Jack.

I am sure like with all things in life, you cannot please everyone but we as a community tried to take all steps to ensure enough checks are in place without putting unnecessary obstacles to executing the plan.

We do hope that you can see this and in the end this initiative will have your support too. I fully respect and admire what you do and deem your support important.

Finally marketing (in my limited i confess understanding) is trial and error…some choices will be bad and some even worse. But the community - through rough consensus - decided it is worth a shot to put up a proposal and embark upon this.

One more thing: This plan was decided entirely by the community. Through deliberation, polls, discussion prior to being submitted for voting on chain. It now remains to pass and be executed given.

It should be admitted by all though that small holders like us volunteered and tried to do something that others yielding profits from the hub did not try before. It turns out these small community guys will be the least benefited if this plan succeeds. But we do not do this for profits. We are just passionate about the Hub. Isn’t it apparent?

Furthermore, tweets like Chun’s on Twitter, do not contribute anything valuable to this conversation. I quote his tweet that i would expect from someone that wants to hurt not help the Hub:

So the “massive step” for $ATOM would be how to make better memes? When was the last time @satoshi spend 129,208 $BTC for making memes or buying Facebook ads?

This post demonstrates

  • a clear lack of understanding of the initiative;
  • an intentional distortion of the truth as the amounts he quotes or the activities he describes are either imaginary or cherry picked (two of you from Stake Fish are here so i am sure he knows what this is about),
  • a total disrespect for the community, and
  • a misalignment with the ethos of Cosmos.

I would - at least - expect a little more respect from someone whose company has been yielding profits from the hub.

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I think a clarification is needed: everyone is free to think as they want and disagree, and Chun is exercising that right. Comparing Chun to the importance of the words of one of the trustees makes no sense. In any case, pointing fingers at each other never makes sense.

Personally, I expect the trustees listed in the proposal to keep their wits about them and not give knee-jerk answers. Especially considering the fact that Dan seems to have spent several hours studying the proposal bringing several ideas that could improve the proposal itself a lot in terms of transparency and organization, unlike many others who vote based on the name of the person proposing it.

I strongly believe that Cosmos at this moment doesn’t need “feuds” between its main actors and that we could agree to organize with Gavin’s help a Governance Community Call in which we can reason about how to proceed and the community can ask the trustees all the questions they need.

CC @Gavin

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Re: your comment on Chun’s Twitter feed. His tweets are his own. He has every right to speak his mind, as do any of our team members. If we have any official announcements or stances, we do that from our stakefish handle. The fact that he (and I) go out of his way to post anything is because he cares at the end of the day about the future of Cosmos.

Now back to your response that starts with “Hi JK and thanks for the input.” I’ve been thinking about what is at the root cause of this proposal not sitting so well with me. I think it’s because fundamentally, I don’t believe Cosmos lacks awareness. Any serious blockchain developer is aware of Tendermint and the stability of Cosmos SDK. So then, I’m left wondering who the ideal target audience would be. I’m currently only seeing short-term speculators being attracted. While they shouldn’t be shunned, I also don’t think community funds should be spent to attract them. I’m curious to hear your thoughts on this.

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Hi JK,

Thank you for your response again.

I am not going to argue over your partner’s/associate’s tweet. Nothing more that can be discussed about it really. People can draw their conclusions based on his tweet i am sure.

Going back to your response to me about the proposal, i fully respect your views. But unlike with a monolithic approach on reaching out developers solely, this initiative is about creating a follower base of true believers by reaching out to as many people as possible, namely to a wider audience. There is no doubt that failure IS an option.

In a nutshell the purpose of the initiative is to make an effort to increase awareness on the value proposition of $ATOM and the Cøsmos Hub.

The consensus among community is that the value proposition of $ATOM is not as apparent (among communities across the space) as the qualities of the code of the Cosmos stack among developers. So although i agree with your claim that the quality of the code is well known this has nothing to do with the $ATOM’s value proposition that is our concern here.

Actually, the value of $ATOM is constantly being disputed even by people from within the Cosmos ecosystem. Hence the initiative.

For us $ATOM is the hub, Cosmos stack may (and does) refer to the wider ecosystem not just the Hub.

Furthermore, we community members of the Hub, do not undermine the importance of communities or the value of growing communities (and we resent elitist behaviours that are not on par with the Cosmos ethos).

It is communities that drive projects forward and upwards. So according to the community’s demand, influencers/thought leaders should evangelise the merits of the Hub, memes will play a part by engaging community with the project, banner ads on mainstream media (see the proposal) will point to the hub and ATOM2021 initiative whose success the community have deemed as quintessential and existential.

So to make this clear this is about the Hub, the Cosmos Hub and $ATOM.

PLEASE NOTE: The initiative may miserably fail or not have the desired results. But the community asked for this and delegators are about to decide if it is worth a shot.

Again i respect your opinions and i respect anyone who remains respectful while engaging in such an important conversation as this. We will also look forward to suggestions how to better promote this cause which i repeat is about $ATOM and the Hub. The Cosmos ecosystem may be benefited because of this initiative but the focus here is - as repeatedly stated - the Hub.

We firmly believe that a strong Cosmos ecosystem cannot exist without a strong Hub and a valuable $ATOM and this is not “whenmoonism” but a firm belief across a wide base of dedicated holders who stake with businesses such as yours.

Still i cannot stress enough that a choice to vote NO or ABSTAIN should be respected by the community. I believe the community is educated and reasonable enough to understand that all opinions including dissenting ones have some utility as long as they are grounded on reason and respect the community. I thus need to point out, having followed these conversations really closely down the community channels for months, that the community has nothing but good intentions here.

Currently, my personal opinion is that this proposal had not enough public discussion around it before being created.

My concerns mainly revolve around the fact that some of the most though-out comments had very simple and repetitive answers to them. An example of such is Jelena’s comment on the GitHub PR of this proposal, which you can see here.

The only answer that has been provided to that comment, which was indeed raising the point of measurable success, was the following:

I will forward this message to the Hub Governance Working group. Again thanks for the extremely valuable and multi-dimensional feedback.

Unluckily, 6 days after the original comment, no further answer has been provided.

Currently, I am not inside the Telegram group and I honestly don’t plan to be. For this reason, I would like to better understand the following points as well:

  1. Who is the community you are referring to inside the proposal’s text?

selected by the community

  1. How have the 5 members been selected by the community? Is it possible to have full details?

Thanks for your patience and work.

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I appreciate your candour here, but the approach seems to begging the question. Deciding on marketing activities is exactly something that an agency can help you with, particularly if you have no existing expertise. I am not sure about the makeup of the Governance Working Group or particular contributors from ‘the community’ but unless they have specific experience and expertise in publicity then perhaps it would be better to focus on hiring a good agency and benefiting from their specialism in order to choose effective actions.

This is another key question (also asked in long form on the PR) and does not seem to have been adequately answered insofar as ‘why?’

I find the idea of bribing ‘thought leaders’ ~$30k USD for their constituents somewhat repulsive. It contrasts awkwardly with the idealistic rhetoric of the proposal. Surely this sort of manipulation belongs more to the bad old world of ‘siloed and centralised hegemonies’?

More practically, that is an excessive amount of money for a rather paltry reach of 100k followers.

I would urge you to drop this from the proposal both on value-for-money and moral grounds.


Personally I would support a marketing proposal tilted away from froth and hype (‘true believer’, ‘thought leaders’, meme contests, …) and towards emerging applications on Cosmos. And rather than paying for influencers I would support genuine education materials (tutorials, webinars, etc) for prospective atom holders on how to participate in governance, staking, and the long term returns of supporting a well-run set of network validators.

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Hi Riccardo,

Good to see your post here. I do value your views for they have reasoning. I will agree that everything was done faster than normal but i am afraid i will have to suggest that you visit the governance and price channels so that you see why. Community wanted it to be submitted asap.

Also, i agree to the point you raise about Jelena. To this end i forwarded Jelena’s message to the Governance group the morning after she sent it on GH and requested two esteemed members from AiB to review it and revert. This was done so that her comment on GH receives the necessary publicity and attention from people more relevant to the questions raised and the community’s review and consideration. Noone has responded to it to this date but i do not know how much can be done now before the proposal passes. Perhaps they already work on some of this? I do not know.

The five members selected by the community (governance/price channels/atom related channels etc) were selected via a rough consensus reached among members while no objections were raised about them. The discussion is on Governance, it is lengthy and i am afraid you will have to join and review for your self.

It is important to stress out here that this preliminary consensus had never been a prerequisite for submitting a proposal in the past, so what we did - in my humble view - was to go one step ahead of traditional governance and have a gathering of denizens and some rough consensus reached before we submit the proposal. But the main point is: There is a vote going on as we speak. How much more consensus than this could be expected? If it passes it means the community and delegators approve it. I think this should suffice. Still i felt it was right to respond to your latter comment.

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