This is a proposal for managing Polkadot’s social media accounts. A new decentralized social media initiative for Polkadot would incorporate the strengths and agility of a structured marketing entity, while also creating a mechanism for the community to contribute in an organized way.
A hybrid model with two “branches” contributing content.
Day-to-day operations and “business-as-usual” content is handled by an Auxiliary that sits within a Marketing Coordination Layer (the agency, collective or coalition that will set Polkadot’s marketing strategy moving forward).
An Editorial Board of 7 members elected by the community, also may contribute content and strategy.
What does decentralized mean exactly?
This framework uses the definition provided by the Fellowship Manifesto:
“…a system which is decentralized in this way aims to systematically reduce the level of influence of any single participant in an effort to maximise the chances that the overall system performs as intended.”
This definition then prompts the question: how is it determined if the system (Polkadot social media, in this case) is performing as intended?
The answer relies on a defined intent, or purpose, of the Polkadot social media accounts.
The content shared across Polkadot’s social media accounts should:
Educate: Help new entrants to the Polkadot ecosystem (and the crypto-curious) understand what makes Polkadot the #1 network.
Inspire: Motivate VCs, entrepreneurs, devs, enterprises, crypto enthusiasts etc. to join the ecosystem.
Build Community: Nurture the community by offering a platform for engagement, discussion, and feedback.
Create Awareness: Capture mindshare by showcasing innovations, successes, partnerships etc.
Capture Insights and Feedback: Track sentiment, trends, community input.
Others: crisis management, thought leadership, networking, collaboration
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To fulfill the requirements of decentralization as defined above, the management of Polkadot’s social media accounts must transition from a single contributor (Parity) to multiple contributors, representing diverse voices from across the community.
This framework aims to give DOT holders a greater voice in shaping the direction of Polkadot’s social media.
The challenge is to do this in a way that is organized, so that Polkadot’s messaging is coherent and avoids looking like a signpost, with everyone clamoring about their project, token, conference, event, video etc.
If done incorrectly, a decentralized social media account may end up looking like a signpost…
This framework borrows from the decentralization process discussed in “The Starfish and Spider.”
It is a hybrid model; it incorporates the strengths and agility of a structured marketing entity, while also creating a mechanism for the community and ecosystem to contribute to the social media accounts in an organized way.
The structure should not be overly complicated. On the spectrum of centralized-to-decentralized, the optimal point is where Polkadot finds the most advantageous position among competitors. Polkadot’s social media presence should be quick and responsive in order to compete with centralized actors, while also inviting the many talented Ecosystem Agents from across the community to contribute.
No system will be perfect from the outset, so rather than try to engineer a system down to every last detail, it’s prudent to lay out guiding principles, which allow the system to evolve organically over time, so long as the principles are adhered to.
The proposed system shall:
Allow for community contribution. The system ultimately answers to the community of DOT holders.
Be agile in decision making, which is essential in the fast-paced world of social media. It should streamline processes, not complicate them.
Aim for content neutrality, every project in the ecosystem will have equal opportunity, however it’s reasonable to assume the projects with better user traction may end up getting more “airtime”.
Ensure a coherent marketing strategy by coordinating with other marketing entities in the ecosystem via the MARKETING COORDINATION LAYER (see definitions).
Coordinate with appropriate legal teams to limit existential risks to Polkadot, and avoid using language and imagery that may invite regulatory action.
Community: DOT holders
The Editorial Board (EB): A group that takes input from the COMMUNITY and works closely with the AUX and MARKETING COORDINATION LAYER. (In “The Starfish and the Spider” this is referred to as a “circle”)
- EB may create content, manage a content bounty, and help guide the direction of Polkadot’s content, in coordination with MARKETING COLLECTIVE or AGENCY.
- Composed of seven Editorial Board Members (EBMs), who are appointed in the first iteration, and eventually elected on-chain in PHASE 2. (Several members of the Technical Fellowship have confirmed such an on-chain election is possible).
- Those wishing to join the board should fill out the EBM application.
Auxiliary (AUX): A person or group that supports the EDITORIAL BOARD and ensures the COUNCIL’s wishes are upheld. Akin to a “catalyst” in “The Starfish and the Spider.” Can also be thought of as a social media manager that sits within the MARKETING COORDINATION LAYER.
Marketing Coordination Layer (MCL): The larger marketing group responsible for Polkadot’s overall marketing strategy and narrative moving forward. TBD by W3F Decentralized Futures Program, but may exist as an agency, an on-chain collective, a coalition of guilds, or some combination of the aforementioned.
Ecosystem Agents: Individual contributors in the Polkadot Ecosystem. You know who you are
This framework does not propose to solve the question of Polkadot’s wider marketing structure/organization in the decentralized future.
Rather, this framework will “plug-in” to the MARKETING COORDINATION LAYER, that is to say, whatever wider marketing organization is adopted by the Web3 Foundation Decentralized Futures Program, whether that is a coalition of guilds, an agency, an on-chain marketing collective etc.
The social media function will coordinate closely with other marketing functions such as performance marketing, CRM, events etc.
The system would benefit from shared resources of content across various formats, as outlined in the Modular Marketing Materials concept. This would streamline content creation by the EDITORIAL BOARD, ensure consistency across all marketing functions, and would empower the COMMUNITY and ECOSYSTEM AGENTS to disseminate key messages.
The AUX and EB will coordinate with the body tasked with creating Polkadot’s overall marketing strategy.
One possible way marketing functions may coordinate in a decentralized future.
The framework is broken into two phases. Why phases?
Decentralization is a complex and transformative process, and cannot be done overnight. Segmenting the transition into manageable phases allows for careful evaluation and adjustment at each step, and ensures that any unforeseen challenges are addressed effectively.
PHASE 1 (approximately 6 months)
The AUX and MARKETING COORDINATION LAYER (MCL) create guidelines for the EDITORIAL BOARD (EB) to operate within.
The AUX helps set the plan in motion, and provides support to the ED.
The Editorial Board Members (EBMs) are appointed by Web3 Foundation.
The COMMUNITY can submit content ideas or completed content to the EB via a dedicated Channel (#ContentSubmission) on the Official Polkad Discord Server.
The EB may work with the community to curate content. For example, EBMs may work with Ecosystem Agents (EAs) or an Agency to create an educational thread on a technical subject.
- The EB may decide to go to the Treasury to curate a content bounty.
The EBMs discuss content in a private Discord Channel, and vote (off-chain) to decide what to submit for publishing to the AUX.
The AUX and MCL manage day-to-day or “business-as-usual” content
The AUX and MCL approves content to be published.
The AUX and MCL may create content as well, and manage day-to-day or “business-as-usual” content such as announcements, event support, roundups, admin, reporting etc.
Phase 2 begins when the system proves it is able to create high quality content and able to operate without controversy, with the community’s approval.
The EB has direct publishing capabilities.
EB membership moving forward is decided on-chain in a staggered election, by DOT holders.
An earlier version of this framework laid most of the responsibility for content on the EB; however after sharing the concept with several members of various parachains, it was decided to revise the framework so that the AUX is a dedicated, full-time role responsible for creating content in coordination with the marketing roles within the MCL. In other words, the concept was revised to be slightly less decentralized and more of a hybrid model to ensure consistency across all channels.
In this hybrid model, there are TWO “branches” creating content: the AUX which sits within the MCL, and the EB which operates in coordination with the MCL, but is editorially independent from it.
In this way, the EB can be viewed as the conduit through which the community’s content and voice is channeled into the social media accounts.
Content may be created by either:
The AUX, working within the marketing guidelines created by the MCL and coordinating closely with the MCL.
The EB. Content is sourced, discussed, edited and voted upon in a Discord channel on the official Polkadot server.
- In PHASE 1, approximately the first 6 months, the EB can draft content, but not publish, it must be approved by the AUX to ensure it meets quality standards and regulatory requirements. If the content meets both requirements, it should be published without delay.
After this system has proven to work without controversy, the EB will gain direct publishing rights.
Note: The diagram above does not represent on-chain decision making. Day-to-day operations of the social media account should be managed and decided off-chain due to the responsiveness necessary for a high functioning social media team.
All seven Board Members are expected to contribute, on average, at least 10 hours per week, and therefore should be compensated.
Suggested compensation = $X of Locked DOT per 6-month term, per board member, based on the EMA7 DOT price at time 00:01 UTC, on the first day of the 6-month term.
Initially the compensation should come from the DFP, and then sourced from the Treasury after the first 6 or 12 months.
Above all, act in the best interest of Polkadot.
Be impartial and neutral, and not promote projects in which they have a financial or other interest above other or competing projects in the ecosystem.
Sincerely listen to feedback from community members.
Other tenets to be determined by LEADERSHIP, AUX, EB and COMMUNITY.
A staggered system is proposed.
In PHASE 1, the W3F DFP committee appoints the 7-member board. Those interested in being an EBM should fill out the Application.
EBMs should be:
- A prominent content creator in the community as determined by community consensus (in the voting PHASE 2)
- A current or former member (within last 12 months) of:
- Polkadot/Kusama parachain team or team building in the ecosystem
- W3F or Parity
- ChaosDAO, Kusama Society, or other recognized social organization in the ecosystem.
Ability to convene by video meeting for two hours, 2x per month, between 7:00 - 17:00 UTC
(Author suggests one member from the W3F on the first iteration of the EB.)
- AUX educates EBMs on legal and regulatory issues
- EB adopts guidelines set by MCL
- AUX ensures all EBMs have 2FA enabled on their personal Twitter accounts (Typefully uses Twitter SSO for access)
- AUX shares invites for Typefully
- AUX shares design asset folders, and audience personas with EBM
The drafting and publishing of content will be facilitated by Typefully, a tool which allows for multiple users to draft content, and for users to have various draft/publish capabilities. ~$240 if billed annually.
SproutSocial (optional but suggested), industry leading social media management and analytic platform. ~$8,500 if billed annually for three users.
Adobe Creative Suite - $720 billed annually.
The ideas presented here are not intended to be final; but dynamic and open for discussion.
This framework does not intend to conflict or replace other marketing proposals. It is designed to complement and “plug-in” to whichever marketing group forms to lead Polkadot’s marketing efforts moving forward.