The Forum that Could Be

I quite like the forum how it is,

I wanted to add this clarification at the top. The ECC is not the Employees. In a project like this, where you get people working under their market value for something they love you can end up with a situation where a critique of the handling of a situation by the ECC is seen as a slight on the person who did the work/suggested it.

It also unfortunately follows back the same route, where the community will blame an employee for the behaviour of the ECC.

This happens a lot in game development too. I want to express my support on a personal level for the employees of the company and can strongly empathise with the level of connection they feel between the company, zcash tech and themselves. The line is fuzzy for them. For outsiders it is not so fuzzy and can lay anywhere, in the bounds of reason or out side of them.

tl;dr
  • I think moving the software away from discourse is a bad move.
  • I think moderation is fine
  • If you take away a the space for people to interact with the ECC and zcfd it will just be else where.
  • Wiki’s are curated spaces forums are not.
  • I don’t see a problem that needs fixing (does this mean I am the problem?)
  • I don’t see how anything that has been outlined will alleviate peoples fears.
  • please read this https://meta.discourse.org/t/what-are-likes/30803
  • “skin in the game” is a specious argument.

The community can and will correct misinformation. All I see as needed at a maximum would be a highlight scheme for official positions. like mod edit. i even put a bounty on it. - This would greatly help containment of the sort of stuff that you wanted, people can move the post to a different category, wiki the post, then add the highlighted official ECC/Foundation response. Putting it in a category called something like “controversy”, “Common misinformation”, etc would greatly help in this regard.

All online spaces go through peaks and troughs. I don’t see how making it more like reddit would help, nor how more censorship helps. I do see what you are try to get at though.

If there needs to be a space for curated information surely that should be in the form of a wiki and its discussion page. In fact I can even make a wiki from threads. I haven’t clicked that button yet, but I will do after this post. lets see if the world explodes. - it didn’t do what I thought it did. It just makes the post a “wiki” post. dunno who can edit it.

A forum should be for all. you cannot tell if someone is acting in bad faith or not. It is an issue, but not one solvable by non human intervention. If a person with no ill intent posts stuff they saw on twitter that is inflammatory this should be a place to correct them.

It took me a while initially to ‘get’ discourse (as in the software and how it is intended to work) but the whole downvote/sage/mark post as true, etc does discourage active discourse of a subject. Don’t just say you are wrong, you need to let people know why/how they are wrong.

Remember if you give awards like “gives back”, “has 10 likes on 10 posts”, etc you are going to have to do the same in the negative.

A lot of the time people will see new people or strongly opinionated people as ‘weeds’ A great example of this would be @boxaex’s advocation of ASIC mining (something he later publicly retracted after he saw what they did) got him labelled by a lot of the community as a Bitmain shill.

In the walled garden/echo chamber model you outline, who here gets labelled the trouble maker the accuser or the accused? It is so nuanced it has to boil down to its all okay or none is okay. if none is okay, use a wiki.

I think you are also doing the moderation team a great disservice. They have always been up for getting involved and correcting misinformation. I cant remember who, but someone posted a link in the asic thread about how geeks talk to non geeks online, it was from the late 90’s I think. it was probably page or sonya. I will have a look.

Many people lurk and don’t post, they are still thinking these things. I said this to Nathan and he strong disagreed. however I haven’t changed my mind. People will be thinking what other people post. And that needs to be addressed, maybe create a space where threads can be moved to, say “controversial” and people can discuss them there.

And I see it more as “the forum that was”. anyway. its all just turtles at the end of the day. turtles all the way down.

Really, for you to see someones’s point of view not detrimental to zec, how much would they first have to own? Them going through a forum like this and seeing the contention, etc is a form of due diligence - because how discourse (the software) was designed.

It has some powerful thoughts and link on this topic in that thread. But I am a free speech advocate. say what you want, as long as it is polite. Expect others to be able to do the same to you.

Since sonya is reorging the place maybe have a “common misconceptions” area, and a “needs attention area” we people can move threads to.

Twitter, reddit, etc, do not really facilitate discussion, they reinforce pre-existing ideas.

@sonya - not quoting your bit about being nicer, you are nice. if you want to get ‘corporate nice’ go do call centre work for a year or so. (complaints or customer service) - or if you just want to be more ‘effective’ go read Wendy’s food chains twitter. I think the latter is a much better idea. also ECC != foundation. :slight_smile:

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I’ve been thinking about the ‘Lounge’ category & private groups along with the ‘stakeholder poll’ thread.

Maybe we could have a ‘Hodlers Lounge’ ? Price of admission is a signed message proving you hold some ZEC. Doesn’t have to be much, doesn’t have to be sybil resistent and anyone capable of producing a signed message has already done the ‘rite of passage’.

Perhaps such a group could be read by anyone & only posting restricted to those holding coin? We’re looking for ways to get input/opinion from holders & this could help focus it. Allowing anyone to read such a group takes away bad things like suspicion etc.

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Everybody can buy some ZEC, submit a signed message and sell the ZEC the next day.

While it would garantee some noise-free place for some “choosen” it leaves as well room to further split the community than to unite them.

It doesn’t seem to be a problem for placehoder, Blocktown Capital, others to post in a regular forum.
Make a discord channel for such closed & choosen group would fit better than this forum.

Just some thoughts, nothing more…

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I don’t think there is currently a way to prove holding on z-addresses and that would be a huge issue in this scenario.

I do not use or hold ZEC in t-addresses. I’m not quite sure why anybody would hold funds in a t-address because in that case he should much rather use something like Bitcoin Cash or Dash with minimal fees (assuming it’s petty cash for spending). The only case I would imagine, is the lack of z-address support from hardware wallets, which is something the ecosystem team at ECC should have the highest priority for.

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True. I only hold in shielded as well but would un-shield some (briefly) to get access to such a group. Actually its a bad idea, what we want is more shielded use & this would not help that.

What I miss most about what the forum ‘used to be’ is when the deep-thinkers would hang out, its actually what got my attention in the first place. If memory serves I had a (very) basic question on network difficulty & ended up with detail from daira, snippets of code from str4d & others.

These are extremely bright & busy people with better things to do than read a troll infested forum, if we could tidy up the place & provide a better environment maybe they would spend more time here.

Edit: Better idea (maybe). Create a zaddr ONLY for forum access & send the viewing key to the forum. Provided the balance is over X amount you can post to the private groups. There’s progress being made on view keys so should be possible soon.

Edit: A bit of reading, Discourse has an API that can assign badges to users which can control access, shouldn’t be hard to make something to interact with a node. Might play with that next week.

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Posts with multiple flags are automatically hidden. Moderators still have a chance to reverse that in case folks are abusing the feature.

One could equate flags to a type of down vote. But if we want to get more granular with tagging content there are plugins we could consider:


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I concur with much of what Josh is saying. I was just chatting the other day with someone about how the overall tone of commenters on the forum has been more negative than I can recall in the nearly 4 years I have been here. But I don’t think the answer is as simple as weeding out users who we disagree with, that could have even more of a negative impact on the overall tone of the forum than just letting the conversation flow as-is.

I also agree with Sonya that its the Mods job to try and remain neutral on most topics (when acting as a Mod) and enforce the rules fairly and consistently. Its tricky to strike a good balance of hands-off to let users converse normally and knowing when to step in to say “hey knock it off”, or take a break. That said I think we have in the past been too lenient on certain users who have gotten several flags and suspensions only return to continue the same behavior. Modding fairly and balanced is not an easy task but as a team and using the rules we have set for ourselves I think we can come together to help each other out if we get stuck. I also need to work on taking of the “Mod hat” and spend more time conversing about general stuff.

I propose that rather than focusing on specific users as the issue we should make efforts to change the tone of the conversation ourselves. The two biggest topics for the last few months have been about the FR ending and the Price Speculation. The FR conversation literally breeds conflicting opinions (which is a sign of a healthy community!) and the Price Discussion thread is superficial and swings up and down largely based on how the rest of the market is doing.

Where has all the optimistic forward-looking discussion gone? What is next for Zcash? @joshs @nathan-at-least I’m going to kinda pick on you guys a bit with this one. I follow along with the Blog and Twitter and most of the “future” information is broadly optimistic (ie: Zcash to 10 Billion) or about past accomplishments or about development funding. Users need a outline of what you guys are working on at the moment and for the next few years in a clear and easy to read format. End-user stuff like UX and adoption efforts also need to be highlighted.

Also, @boxalex understand that lately you have been commenting in just about every-single-thread that gets posted about anything by anybody. This and your gigantic (while thoughtful) posts have been seen by some as a effort to steer every post where you want it to go. As you admit, lately you have been bearish and this tone comes through in many of your posts. If you are the person posting the most, how does that impact the overall conversations? I think you have lots of time to think about both sides of the conversation and this kind of introspection is a valuable tool, how can we use it to support Zcash rather than portray the negative side if the conversation? What can the Foundation or ECC to bring you back from the bears :wink:?

This forum is not lost, and it doesn’t have to become an echo-chamber to become fun again. We can revive the “good news” thread, “What are you listening to” can also include what are you watching. Whats going on in advanced crypto-land? STARKS and SNARKS and the cool tech that we all joined Zcash to see? What about the Community Collaboration section? What other collaborations can we come up with? @nathan-at-least would it be possible for you or someone on your team to post small things that may not be difficult but may be time consuming that the community could help the developers out with?

@paige I also like the Idea of the retort plugin, it seems like it could be useful for some users who want a reaction rather than having to make a complete reply to a post. It could be what @mistfpga was looking for in another thread as a pseudo thumbs down option.

Going forward, we have all have to participate to be the positive change that we want to see.

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This is so refreshing! Thank you @Shawn. And this is great feedback for me, @nathan-at-least and others at ECC.

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:ok_hand:t3::ok_hand:t3: agreed …

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How could we encourage discussion on weekly updates? Both ECC and ZF to them and that’s where a lot of “here’s what we’re working on” info is.

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I have seen few times where the conversation is being driven in a different direction than what initial post was asking for.

I don’t think community here has gone rogue. They are trying keep zcash alive. Most of times, either from community or ECC or ZFND, gives straight answer to some speculations or wrongful accusations.

Giving straight answers when we could helps avoid any speculation or accusations.

IMHO, clear roadmap is missing for next 5 years including 2020. Are we going to launch z2z only transactions by 2020/2021? How much scaling are we going to accomplish rough ballpark)?

I see these tasks on GitHub tagged with fully-shielded: https://github.com/zcash/zcash/labels/Going%20fully-shielded Not sure if this list is exhaustive.

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Also don’t feed in the trolls + don’t ignore the real questions, which are generally upvoted :slight_smile:

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I think the nitty gritty detail of the weekly/monthly updates is great, especially what you post in the newsletter. The only problem with what gets posted here is the fact that its often only posted here.

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I don’t think I understand, can you elaborate?

I’m referring to the ECC and Foundation weekly updates don’t seem to get much distributing on social media (ie: Twitter, Reddit, Facebook, etc), or maybe they do, perhaps I just miss them

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I link to them on Twitter and usually on Reddit as well, but they don’t get a lot of attention. If you’re regularly on Twitter, you see a lot of the individual items as tweets anyway.

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That’s for sure a wrong impression many have than. Maybe due the languae non-native language barrier? No idea, but comparing myself with a majority of the hardcore line posters i would say i’am even the one that agrees most often to discussion opponents, even like their posts, enough it’s good argumented.
In my opinion no such thing as ever be right excists, thoughts, action, details, arguments, facts, etc. change which should lead often to a change of an initial taken position.
Often it’s playing devils advocate play, like the “increase the monetary base” proposal. It’s an valid option, i’am defending it to some degree but not because i want it to happen, but because it’s interesting to have such proposals and to see indeed what the community thinks about such option and how it reacts to it, including the foundation and ECC. I advocated POS in the past as i saw it as a solution to create an incentive to hold ZEC and to counter inflation. It didn’t work out, but it was worth fighting for it in my opinion, no matter it had about zero chance.
No idea, but i can ensure you it’s NOT that everything has to be like i want it, but this shouldn’t as well mean to question, ask, discuss short or long why a given thing is done that way and not another way.

So does the tone of the bullish posters. Just be sure that there are more bullish posters than bearish ones. I just lack the possibility to say great if i’am convinced a given move/call is a bad one. I can’t make a bullish price prediction if every single calculation i make points to an bearish BTC/ZEC outcome this year. And last not least but maybe most important, bullish or bearish just reflects the Zcash/ECC/ZF performance all over.

Actually i have not really much time, it may look like that but i don’t have, i take the time from breaks and other tasks, doesn’t matter much anyway. But yes, i try to think always about the other side as well, it’s one of my personal principles of fairness to try to understand the motivation/intention of the other side and if needed, to excuse myself. Maybe this is exactly what i’am missing from the ECC, they make their point/move/call but don’t think about how the community reacts to it.

I really honor and appreciate this comment. I can speak only for myself and it’s going to be longer, you know but i will take the time:

  • ECC is in my personal opinion too technical focused, partly the foundation too. I know, that’s their main work, that’s where they are experts and outstanding specialists, no doubt. But to have a good product you need more than only high tech. It hurts, how nearly to nothing is done to counter inflation, stabilize price at least to some extend, that nothing is even tried, damn, not even discussed. It just hurts that such non-action even hurts the current ECC funding while there are literally 1001 possible legal honest moves possible. Why not make a workgroup/forum group with people that have ideas, why not involve placeholder and the other VC’s? The inflation the next years is serious and there is no other option than having a short-mid term bearish view if nothing is done by nobody that lowers supply and/or increases demand. And i underline here, nobody is talking about pumping or similar intervention, but actions, improvements that have or at least could have an impact on price/demand/supply.

  • Community involvement. There are a lot of people here and outside the forum that have a lot of ideas, a lot to bring in. Even a lot of people i often disagree have good ideas. A good idea, thought or argument is just that, no matter who makes it. Just involved the community more. There is a community governance panel that could be used for sooo much polling, researching the community streams, upfront checking how the community would think about given actions, non-actions, upgrades, importane of different roadmap targets and the list goes on and on. This community panel is such great instrument, no matter it’s not binding, that someone can only wonder why it’s not used at least every 3 months.

  • Founders Reward. This one really bugs me and i know many others as well. It’s not that the founders get a big amount, that’s perfect. But it’s that the ECC and Foundation at the end of the founders reward even didn’t get half of it if my estiminations are correct. I know it’s a hot potatao topic and nobody wants to touch it publicly, but i don’t think the distribution is good designed to say it diplomaticly. A good move would have been, prior to the whole dev fund discussion if there is reall good will shown and the distribution voluntary be changed for the good of the ECC and Foundation. This would have signalled way more than some “All-in” slogan, this would have build up again trust, would have shown that the guys are behind Zash, this would have been such a great effect that i’am pretty sure many that oppose an extension of a new dev fund would have changed there mind. There is no way someone should be bullish when several activities by the ECC are cut, while in general there are enough funds available from the FR, enough the other recepients would be fine with 25% for example from now until the end.

  • Transparency: Especially in the current new dev fund discussion i awaited way more transparency. I awaited that the ECC, even the ZF would improve upfront transparency and yes, while the ZF transparency can be seen as ok there is still room for improvement. But the ECC lacks a lot, this transparency report afford was ok, but all over nothing special either, but more the introduction for the dev fund discussion. That’s why i really like the Non-Profit option for the ECC. The fact that the ZF itself isn’t aware of many aspects in the ECC just underlines that there is transparency missing. If the ZF doesn’t know a lot of things, what’s left for the average joe and jane? I’am not sure about others, but for me transparency is especially important, too many scams have been around, Zash gets such accusations on twitter as well daily, people should know what when with how much funds happen, especially with a new dev fund.

This got again too long, just making some short points: simple road map, work on something real innovative that makes Zcash again outstanding, make researches on what people think which directions/researches/innovations/feature Zcash should have. The whole dev fund process is a mess if we are honest, immediate improvement should be taken place. Include some damn roadmap for what funds are needed into this discussion, Even the placeholder guys need allready weeks for making it ready, what’s left for average users like me and some others? Honest talk about money and funds, it should not be handled like a tabu. More open discussion on possible improvements of Zcash and more involvement of the ZF/ECC in such. That’s it for now, too tiered to think further …

This should be maybe a content for an extra topic where not only me shares their views what could be improved but many others as well. Without the opinion of other members mine is absolutly worthless anyway.

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Thank you for this response @boxalex , I think a little understanding on everyone’s part can go a long way.

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I have a suggestion which might help, its meant constructively.

Your posts are really long & give the impression you want to dominate a discussion - maybe try keeping them short & see what happens?

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Bob, maybe you as an native English speaker or English with degree speaker are obviously able to do so. Actually i tried to improve it and it works on some not that important matters, but somehow it never
works out with posts where a lot of thinking of mine is involved.

But i will try of course, it’s not in my interest as well to have something written with 10.000 chars if it could be written with 2.000, that’s a lot of time i loss as well.

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