Proposal: Community Project & Communications Management


First and foremost, to the evangelists, working group members, meetup organizers, and everyone else who has been actively involved in the Blockstack ecosystem, thank you for all the work that you do!

While lots of community engagement is definitely a good problem to have, we’ve been seeing requests from community members to streamline communication and project management processes. As Blockstack continues to decentralize, setting up efficient processes will be key to building and maintaining a strong, collaborative community.

Below are a couple of proposals for navigating communication and managing the many projects in which community members are involved.

Basic Communications Guidelines

Discord should be used for…

  • Live chat and brief discussions, e.g. new member introductions, daily community stand-ups
  • Meeting or project coordination, e.g. figuring out a time to host a working group session
  • Announcements and news snippets, e.g. reminders about upcoming events, new blog posts

The Blockstack Forum should be used for…

  • Open-ended, longer form discussions, e.g. sharing thoughts on a big topic like “governance”
  • Soliciting feedback on ideas, e.g. collecting input on draft governance proposals
  • Voting on topics to become official issues on GitHub, e.g. selecting one proposal for community members to refine

GitHub should be used for…

  • General project management, tracking progress of community projects, e.g. mapping out milestones needed to build out a technical feature request
  • Tracking community members’ contributions, e.g. comments on various issues

Example Case: Discord → Forum

  • When a discussion in Discord becomes more extensive (i.e., there are more than 4 active participants, the exchange is longer than 5 minutes, or each response is more than 4 lines long), community members should 1. identify the core problem/topic being addressed and whether it is important for others (who aren’t online at the time) to see, and 2. create a Forum post on it where longer form discussion can continue.

(More info on this in Issue #3 )

Project Management

Where can community members discover projects to get involved in?

I’ve created a repo on GitHub outlining some of the projects that community members are currently contributing to, such as the working groups and general engineering; we can add more to this repo as new projects emerge. Community members should feel empowered to contribute to, and perhaps even take over this repo in the near future.

What about working groups? Where can these groups track progress of their work?

From now on, working groups should manage projects and track progress on GitHub. In fact, each working group already has its own separate project management repo:

What is the proposed process for voting on/adding projects or issues to GitHub?

One idea shared in Issue #3 is the following:

Discord/Forum → GitHub

  • If any community members are requesting a new resource, such as a wiki or infographic, they should ask other community members for their support in creating one. On Discord, voting could simply be in the form of emoji reactions. On the Forum, these kinds of requests should be upvoted. Once a request has attained sufficient community support (minimum threshold to be determined), the request can be added as an issue in the relevant repo and delegated to the appropriate parties. If necessary, the request can also be added as a project with corresponding milestones.

Working groups could even establish a process in which PBC leads work with community leads/representatives to prioritize issues and projects to address. More context on this idea here.

Project discussions in Discord can get unwieldy. How can we manage these extensive discussions?


Where can working groups follow extensive community discussion?

Each working group has its own category on the forum, e.g. “Working Groups > Proof of Transfer (PoX)”. Group members should organize and follow their discussions using these categories.

Any new working groups that emerge can always request to add a new category to the forum.

Where can working group members find upcoming meetings/sessions?

There is a “Working Group Session” category that community members can use to filter event searches (example search).

In the near future, meeting times will also be listed in a Working Groups “Overview” channel in Discord, since most groups will commit to a regular schedule (e.g. every Monday at 11:00am EST).

I believe that implementing processes like the ones outlined above would greatly improve the working experience for community members. Please add any comments, questions, suggestions, or general feedback below and let’s aim to decide on a plan by the end of this week!

Community Meeting (US) - 2.27.2020
Working Group Session - 03/23/20

@jrmith Thank you for great summary. Seems pretty clear. What do you think about adding few smaller points:

  1. Responsible person for maintaining this workflow. It’s not clear if it’s up to you or for example in case of working groups up to different person per group.
  2. Add page for overview of all events. It’s great page, working groups events are there and you can subscribe to events calendar from there.
  3. We should probably mention how are meeting notes shared and where can we find notes from previous meetings.
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