Polkadot Builder Collective

This idea to create a Polkadot Builder Collective (PBC) is borne out of hanging out in the @giotto -initiated Autonomous Marketing Initiative Telegram Group and the new W3F Decentralized Futures Program announced mid-November. It is one collective of what we imagine to be many collectives.

Motivation: Why create a Polkadot Builder Collective?

Historically, marketing has been led centrally by ecosystem leader Parity in conjunction with the Web3 Foundation. Many of the marketing functions originally performed by Parity are now expected to be performed by new ecosystem teams instead, under the guidance of the Web3 Foundation and funded by the Treasury. From It’s Time To Start Thinking About Marketing On Polkadot (Raul/RTTI-5220), 3 routes exist for the new ecosystem teams to be funded through OpenGov:

  1. Direct Spending Proposals, e.g. widely known Kusamarian #85 (AAG, Space Monkeys), widely discussed KryptosChain #213
  2. Parent Bounty Proposals. This option is not pursued here, but others are likely to pursue this.
  3. Collectives. This route (see Collective-Based, Multi-Asset Treasuries ) is pursued here, and may be one of multiple marketing-oriented collectives.

Many other Direct Spending proposals likely to appear in OpenGov given the activism of 16DG/Giotto, whose strategy is covered by @alice_und_bob in this video: Attract loads of content creators now, become more picky later. Hundreds of prospective content creators have appeared on Autonomous Marketing Initiative Telegram Group given this “whale’s” marketing-first strategy, distinctly different than “the Polkadot 2.0 tech will fix it”, explicitly aiming to avoid a negative spiral (eg if DOT loses its #15 Coinmarketcap due to lack of marketing, the value of DOT will fall, making the Treasury worth less, making marketing harder etc). It is critical to chart a cohesive marketing strategy using the above 3 OpenGov strategies. However, inspection of the content creators in Telegram Group reveals:

  • a lack of following of Polkadot codes of conduct
  • a critical lack of quality standards on shilling, which likely tarnish the Polkadot brand
  • a lack of planning of how to scale from dozens to hundreds to thousands of builders, avoiding OpenGov “clogging”

A Polkadot Builder Collective (PBC), as outlined here, aims to demonstrate scalability of a rank-based system pioneered by Polkadot Fellows to address the above concerns, and is intended to utilize just one of the 3 major OpenGov funding mechanisms. Rather than target the retail public, this collective targets BUILDERS.

Additional marketing collectives may be envisioned differently.

Following RFC 12: Process for Adding New System Collectives (as recommended by @joepetrowski here), I drafted the following Polkadot Builders Collective.

Charter for the Polkadot Builder Collective

Fundamentally the Polkadot Builder Collective is a Collective-based way to answer the following question of the Decentralized Futures program:

How can Polkadot’s social media channels, websites, brand, and design, as well as marketing campaigns for developers and decision-makers, be organized to effectively engage a global community of developers?

The PBC aims to use the capabilities of the Collectives Chain to coordinate:


It aims to develop on-chain systems and coordinated social processes to:

  1. Promote Polkadot to builders concerning the Polkadot 1.0+2.0 technology stack (Parachains+ink!+XCM, and CoreTime+CoreJam+DA+…)
  2. Develop educational content (eg Polkadot Blockchain Academy) to support the above promotions and for suitable platforms (e.g. Coursera)
  3. If appropriate, conduct budgeted advertising campaigns (e.g. Google Adwords) with a high transparency through on-chain motions

The charter does NOT aim to include any of the following:

  • Deciding the short-term and long-term marketing narrative, Polkadot branding or daily management Polkadot web sites (https://polkadot.network), social media channels (@polkadot). These will fall under the purview of the Web3 Foundation for 2024 and beyond.
  • In-person Events (eg Consensus, Devcon, EthCC, EthGlobal). These may be skillfully handled by Events Bounty.
  • PR, Key Account / Enterprise Sales, CRM

Potentially, some of these activities may be coordinated by other smaller collectives. It is highly desirable to develop a model wherein the PBC may work in conjunction with others. All PBC activities must be conducted within the PBC Rules of Membership which aims to support a respectful culture within the Polkadot and broader Web3 ecosystem, and work in partnership with the Web3 Foundation’s marketing objectives.

Individuals and small teams are incentivized to earn DOT paid every 4 weeks based on their Rank. Rank is increased and decreased through on-chain actions in the Collectives Chain, relying on social proof of others in the collective to govern judgements on membership and promotion. This can be augmented with off-chain algorithms that provide measurements to support judgements on coordinated Sybil behavior. Transparency into on-chain decision making on the Collectives chain will be supported by Subsquare or similar from Polkassembly.

Funding / Strategy for the Polkadot Builder Collective

Funding for the PBC will be entirely from the OpenGov Treasury supporting a set of builders helping builders

Seeding the Polkadot Builder Collective

This Polkadot Builder Collective aims to reward builders with the work with funding provided by the Polkadot Treasury, with an OpenGov based referendum that will solicit funds from the Medium Spender Track of ~25K-100K DOT every 12 weeks as needed to continue operations. These funds are directly transferred from the Polkadot Relay Chain to the PBCTreasury upon a referendum’s passing.

However, this stream of funding can only be sustained if the quality of the work from the PBC is deemed to be sufficient value to justify payments and matches the Web3 Foundation guidelines. If this work is consistently of low quality, or inconsistent with the token holders expectations according to the PBC Charter and Rules outlined here, the PBC funding + existence will be short-lived. Thus PBC members have a strong incentive to perform builder education work as a collective that is of demonstrable value as a whole, in addition to individuals seeking higher rank.

All activities should be within the bounds of PBC Rules of Membership (drafted here), itself adapted from the Polkadot Alliance. At the very least, its membership must follow Principles of the Polkadot community.


The PBC aims to use the same pallets used by the Polkadot Fellowship on the Collectives Chain. However we target 50-100x as many members by the end of 2024, and with some luck, 5-10x growth in 2025-2026.

For 2024, we are driven by the following 2024 EOY Member targets and accompanying budget for decentralized marketing. We use the same language of Rank from the Manifesto.

The precise mechanics of how the existing pallet can be used to promote / demote people and ultimately get the impact at this scale is an important topic we would like to design given the Polkadot Fellowship’s design as a solid foundation.

The document tries to detail how promotion/demotion works, but we have to study the Collectives Pallet design and how the RFC #50 Salaries will work. This is work, but its already been developed, we just have repurpose it under a decent design and learn, just like in OpenGov, how to adapt it.

Web3 Decentralized Futures Program

We propose to use 3-6 months (Winter 2024 and Spring 2024) to develop the ideas here from Westend Collectives testnet to the Polkadot Collectives chain. We suggest the following resources:

  • Design Assistance from 1-2 Substrate knowledgable Collectives pallets changes required to make the PBC work
  • 1-2 ex-Parity / W3F Dev Relations /Educators, familiar with social media and influencers for developers
  • 1 Team from Subsquare or Polkassembly to make a UI that works for multiple collectives on the Collectives Chain in Westend or Polkadot

Related Work

We are an exciting time of change! The coming few months will see many different ideas related to Polkadot’s Decentralized Future that have overlapping concerns. Here are a few:

  • Marketing-related Bounties. A parent bounty for Content Creators, Influencers and Social Media may be usefully developed to be broadly complementary to this, using the Events Bounty as (a parent bounty with over 183 child bounty payments).
  • Marketing-related Collectives and Other Collectives. Collectives other than the Polkadot Fellowship (highly active) and the Polkadot Alliance (largely inactive) have not been developed, but with the Decentralized Futures other collectives may form, with a charter in marketing or otherwise. It is highly desirable to coordinate these multiple collectives and parent bounties together.
  • Other ideas These ideas are closely related: General Model for Content Creation Initiatives , Modular Marketing Materials, Events: Familiar Faces Fund – there will be more as more people chart a future.

Next Steps

We’re at the design stage for the Polkadot Builder Collective collectively, nothing is set in stone anywhere. I hope you’ll be excited enough to lead it.

Please share your thoughts on how a Polkadot Builder Collective should work here on this topic or in the Polkadot Builder Collective doc here:


I see the Polkadot Builder Collective (“PBC”) as a subDAO of the larger Decentralized Marketing Collective (“DMC”). DMC should be divided into smaller subDAOs/Councils which would focus on different areas such as operating social media, events, design, marketing, performance, etc. The DMC should focus on setting the long term vision and direction of Polkadot marketing strategy and keep the its subDAOs/Councils in check. We should also think about including the Polkadot Ambassador Collective, because it feels like its focus is pretty similar and Ambassadors could help us innitially seed this collective. Specific subDAOs/Councils would be in charge of specific Bounties that would allocate funding to achieve different goals and objectives.

Critical aspect is to figure out who should innitially seed this Collective and what will be the system for new members joining and being promoted. The Fellowship model is a great starting point, but unfortunately we cannot use Git Hub contributions to the codebase to evaluate contribution of the members so it will be necessary to come up with a different system.

I know this collective is being worked on behind the scenes, so I am looking forward to contributing to this discussion as it evolves.

All good ideas – but why can’t we map developer activity to youtube calls, github commits, and other measures of builders-helping-builders activity?

I found this list to be inspiring:

as builder-focussed actions that, if recorded in the Collectives chain in the PBC, are the kinds of things that are ranking-increasing worthy.

1 Like

Of course we can use them, my point was mainly focusing on the importance of initial seeding of members and how it is important to think it through properly. I also believe the dev commits should be used for establishing members activity, but as the collective would focus more on marketing, I think it should be wighted much differently. On the end for builders we already have The Technical Fellowship and Polkadot Alliance so giving to much weight on developer activity could lead to many skilled i dividuals to be overlooked because as content creators/marketers they do not use Git Hub.

Oh got it – The Technical fellowship is for people building Polkadot, and this PBC is for people building with/on Polkadot. Not sure how to rename it, please suggest something? Concretely –

PBC is about:

  1. CoreTime buyers/sellers helping each other
  2. Substrate builders, up to the point where the parachain is launched but even thereafter – helping each other
  3. ink/WASM contract builders – helping each other
  4. dapp builders (who need help with XCM, etc.) – helping each other
  5. CoreJam+CorePlay builders, DA builders – helping each other
  6. builders on builder-oriented parachains (MoveVM! CairoVM!) – helping each other
  7. how to build your own collective (ha!)

Please share other cases! But the core is “helping each other”.

PBC is not about:

  1. building Polkadot itself (the super engineers of the Polkadot Fellowship do this)
  2. serious business/technical issues of maturing parachains (which would be the Polkadot Alliance, or a Parachain Technical Fellowship)
  3. any kind of general retail/investor focussed “you should {stake, buy} Polkadot and its parachains” or let us help you use the dapps/staking dashboard/find out where your crowdloan DOT went – all helpful, but not about building

Seeding is absolutely essential, please share your thoughts! I believe a good PBC seeding would be people who have educated, want to educate + help others, or are learning something new and can teach others. The end result should be builders building more, buying CoreTime, ideally visible in github and working products that are used by thousands of people every day. This kind of education is the best form of marketing and increasing awareness, and does not have to be in the form of expensive events and hackathons – small, even one-on-one online meetups are fine.

In this seeding, we definitely want technical and educational “content creators” who can teach (through code-centric activities) and help people in an online meetup in any language – but if they are reading translations and not directly actually actually helping builders, and we’re counting how many views/retweets/likes, we will have seeded it badly. The act of content creation is secondary to the offer to help. There should be no reason to require that a PBC member is a Paid Member of the Polkadot Builder Collective any more than a current educator who gets paid to educate people on Polkadot does. You may go so far as to say that a PBC member has to be a software engineer, but I think that’s too much. But a “content creator” with just a camera, mic and video editing skills and “oh, I don’t know any code”… epic fail. In between you usually have “oh, I don’t know the answer to that, but I know X who does”. So its a spectrum to navigate.

On “github commits”, I often see this as a coarse measure of developer activity (Polkadot is the #2 ecosystem, supposedly, on this measure), but I find it superficial for simple reasons mentioned here:

  • commits are akin to hitting “save” on a Word document and do not necessarily reflect meaningful progress,
  • developer counts do not reveal whether projects involve “10x engineers” who do disproportionately more work than others, and
  • more lines of code could be a sign of poor code structure rather than new features.

If the promoteMember in the PBC is based on subjective metrics rather than superficially crappy metrics like “github commits” (or good heavens, “lines of code”), in addition to the people-level seeding, the way we promote/demote people for being “high/low impact” (as opposed to just putting more work hours) is just as critical. Using rank to indicate knowledge as well as monthly impact is problematic – people should be able to take a summer vacation and get their rank back. What are your thoughts on this?

We need a strong open welcoming, inviting, supportive, collaborative builder community in the PBC. How would you like to help?


Are you sure such collective for builders is needed with the existence of Fellowship, Alliance, Developer Heroes program and many other parachain communities? Is this really necessary to have as a collective on the systems chain? Wouldn´t it be better to use existing platform rather then create a new one?

1 Like

The Fellowship program (highly functional, what this most every ranked collective would like to be initially modeled after) I’m sure should NOT be messed with but should inspire the direct design by like forking the code. The Polkadot Alliance has no on-chain regular activity that I’m aware of (share if otherwise) but probably should form into a Parachain Fellowship encompassing all parachains (I think it was discussed and outside my domain of purview). Those are literally the only 2 collectives, and the only actual functioning one is the Fellowship itself, afaik.

On the Developer Heroes program and the Polkadot Ambassador program, from the CRM-like way it operates, We should attempt to seed the collective with builders from those groups and connect the dots, definitely! And I’m sure we can try something new in a decentralized futures way learning from the people who managed it before – you want to take the lead on that?

We’d like to manage it BETTER with a collective, and work with others doing similar things like Easybuild and Evan Thomas on social media. I think there will be more. I think it will be difficult to accommodate every single team and fit a PBC into a Giant Map of Decentralization Activities – very useful/important (and I hope someone does it!), but … it will be very fuzzy for a while and not essential to have perfect boundaries on charters. Does that make sense? Or, where do we need a top-down way of thinking being critical?

At this point, we would like to have bottoms-up learning following this. Perhaps a call in December after we tinker a bit with whatever is on Westend would be appropriate?