Foundation Blocks of Member Participation
When you are launching a DAO, you may be wondering whether you should immediately start with full-on decentralization and leave it to the community to organize itself and whether you should go structureless from the beginning. We sometimes get the impression that a DAO should be 100% decentralized and without any hierarchy.
While that is our goal in terms of governance and autonomy, it does not happen overnight and the process usually needs to be facilitated by the founders or the core community team. In this article, we will see how can we progressively decentralize our community.
Creating an inclusive environment
It is perfectly fine, and sometimes necessary, for a DAO to start more centralized than decentralized. Qvrse is also centralized right now with a CEO leading the organization forward and making the decisions. But our vision is to become more and more decentralized and give more power to our members and eventually exit-to-community.
The Web3 Travelers project, built on Qvrse, also began as a centralized organization, with founders and core members building the community from the ground up. Every community needs a founder and a founding vision to get off the ground.
While your community is forming, you cannot yet expect all members to contribute and set the ground rules for the community. The founders and core members must first create an environment where people can feel comfortable and contribute. Only then can our community become decentralized and autonomous — the core concepts of a DAO.
This process is called progressive decentralization.
It is a concept that a project starts out with centralized control in the hands of the founding team, and as it grows, gradually cedes control to the community and moves toward decentralization. In order to achieve this goal of decentralization, it is important that we create the right environment and clearly signal to our community members that they can contribute with their ideas.
This is sometimes hard to achieve, especially on Discord with anonymous people you have never met in your life. We can not expect random people who have entered our Discord and do not know us personally to start suggesting serious changes and working autonomously. Even when this happens, it usually starts with simple things like proposals to open new channels, host events, etc.
So how can we encourage members to contribute and add value to the community?
It is difficult. It is a long process that needs to be facilitated. Here are some steps that we think are necessary for this to happen:
- Provide a clear vision of your project
This cannot be emphasized enough. The vision you set forth will attract members who will follow it. Try doing the reverse process by envisioning who you want in the community and then write a vision based on that. You can also try discussing this with your initial members/people who are interested in your project.
- Try to have 1:1 onboarding calls with new members
It has been shown that the members we have talked to in real life, or at least online, are more active in the community than those we have not yet met. If 1:1 conversations are too much for you, you can also do group onboarding calls. This makes people feel accepted and valued by the community, and you also get to know them and see if their vision matches yours.
- Show by doing it yourself first
Sometimes, as a leader, you need to take the initiative and show other members where and how they can contribute. Do this by posting some interesting articles, memes, your travel photos, etc. This will give other members the confidence to post something themselves and slowly start contributing.
- Reward good behavior
If you have your own token with financial value, it’s easy — you can reward members for their work for your community. If you are just starting out and do not have your own token yet, it can be a bit more difficult. It can be difficult to get members to participate in your community if you do not yet have a token and can not offer financial incentives in return for their help. We see that we can still provide some value to members who believe in your project from the beginning and are willing to help out without expecting financial compensation. In this case, you can provide them with non-monetary core incentives and benefits as an appreciation for their help:
- Assign them specific roles in your Discord channel
- Whitelist for potential NFT launch
- Distribute POAPs for event participation
- Presale possibility of your token launch
- Shoutout in the Discord channel or social media
Although Web3 Travelers is not yet organized as a DAO, there are signs that community members are interested in contributing in some way. Here are some examples directly from the community:
Example 1: For the Web3 camping retreat in Greece, some participants and community members proposed to host their own workshops and discussion panels at the event without being asked to do so by the organizers. They simply wanted to contribute.
Example 2: A member of the community wanted to discuss the possibilities of setting up a coliving and thus proposed that we open a separate channel for these discussions.
Example 3: A community member has posted an interesting event that is entirely in the spirit of the community.
These are the signals that every founder and community facilitator wants to see — members who participate in discussions and propose small changes on their own.
Long but worthy process
Community building is and should be a long-term process. That is, if you want to build a community with highly like-minded members who are not just in it for the short-term gain, but for the long haul. The way you run your community and the way you set your vision will eventually attract other members who believe in it and will help you build it. That is the goal and beauty of community-based projects.
QVRSE SOCIAL MEDIA