Hello Zeal! Below please find the latest @ZcashGrants meeting minutes and the Zcash Community Grants Public Dashboard.
We have also decided to start including a “Key Takeaways” section at the top of the minutes per the community’s request.
Also to be noted that the Committee’s new forum tag is @ZcashGrants and their new Twitter handle is @ZcashCommGrants.
Daniel Wolande (ZF resource)
Jack Gavigan (ZF resource)
Winfred K. Mandela (ZF resource)
Danika Delano acting as notetaker
- ZOMG will require applicants to give monthly updates of the forum. If an applicant is 4 weeks past an expected payout (noted on the ZOMG Public Dashboard), Dan will reach out to request an update.
- The committee discussed a Global Ambassador Program and proposed starting with a small hand-picked cohort of Individuals who are active in the community and advocates for the Zcash ecosystem who they give an orientation to (explaining expectations, etc). They all agreed there should be an online component to an event at minimum; they brainstormed ideas including: ZF providing resources (posters, handouts, videos, etc.), ambassadors sourcing merchandise locally, and proof of an event actually occurring - ranging from a recorded event to a Twitter post (to respect the privacy of attendees).
- The committee discussed their top priorities including the Global Ambassador Program, weekly ecosystem updates, note taking for protocol dev meetings, Zecnode lite and Zondax to be included in the app store.
- Jack shared that there needs to be an external team that maintains Zecwallet and will add support for future network upgrades (e.g. shielded assets); ZF is happy to put out an RFP for external contractors but it may be better for ZOMG due to the community discussion about decentralization.
- Jack and the committee also discussed that Zondax (a ZF funded grant) needs a wallet developer team they can work with to implement the Ledger integration they have developed.
- The committee and ZF decided to start a co-hosted Community Call or Twitter Space after the committee decides on the final new name.
- The committee brainstormed 2 names to replace “ZOMG”: Zcash Enrichment Ecosystem Development (ZEED) and Zcash Community Grants Program to be decided on ASAP.
- Jack gave the committee a preview of the new ZF website, and a potential ZOMG microsite.
- Winfred presented a comms SWOT analysis to the committee, talked about addressing branding issues, defining a target audience for grant applicants and emphasized the urgency for ZOMG to decide on these preliminary issues as they would be crucial factors in the facilitation of the promotion of the program.
Discussion of grant follow up process for status updates (handled by Dan)
- Jason asked what the process was for grants that have been funded but have not shown any work or have not been completed (he gave an example of a grant that fits into this category).
- Dan replied that he can use the forum and/or could add something to the public dashboard; he added that the new grant platform might make it easier to send emails to grant recipients from the backend; it’s up to the committee how frequently they want him to reach out to applicants with grants in progress; He asked the committee what they would like to see happen.
- Jason recommended tightening up the process and said that regular updates would be good, but the timing would be different for different types of grants; he likes the monthly updates they require QEDIT to give and that Nighthawk currently provides. Brian asked what the current standard is and supported the idea of monthly updates. Hudson commented that they could push harder to make a monthly update a requirement for disbursal so if someone misses an update, Dan can follow up with them; some applicants could be confused on where to post an update. Jack informed the committee that ZF requires a forum post when evaluating a milestone payout request but it doesn’t cover if they received a grant with an up-front payout but haven’t done anything. Aditya voiced that he likes the idea of a 1 month timeline; if the applicant goes 4 weeks from the expected payout, Dan should reach out. Danika explained that there is a required field for a link to their forum post in the milestone request form in the new platform but that doesn’t cover the time in between.
Global Ambassador Program
- Dan went through a Meetup document he created and explained that it can be used as a jumping-off point for the Global Ambassador Program; he also explained that there is a draft form for a meetup program in the new grants platform.
- Aditya commented that the doc focuses on the meetups but he wants the program to be more holistic; there can be more community-based activities, including online; he pointed out that some potential ambassadors might never use Zoom so there should be open-source options like Jitsi. Hudson agreed that they should have an online option; he brought up that he mentored the creator of the ETH Meetup Support Program so he may be able to get copies of what she made; if people meet up in person, they want a place online to coalesce afterward like Telegram or Discord.
- Jason suggested that instead of creating RFPs, they could approach a couple people to see if they want to be ambassadors; the original intention was to sponsor meetups in other parts of the world as Zcash is currently too US-centric so they should consider only have one American in the initial cohort; they should do more research who outside the US might be good; two people who stand out are [name redacted] in the US and [name redacted] in Russia; the ambassadors could be active on Twitter Spaces or Clubhouse. Dan asked why only one US ambassador. Aditya replied there are some active community members on different continents but the majority are in the US; they should start with a small cohort of strong ambassadors wherever they are located and then improve the program. Jason asked if it’s regional, are they doing it in-person or online?; if they are doing activities online, there’s no reason to not have multiple ambassadors in one region. Aditya replied that there is an advantage for local communities to connect; sharing knowledge in person goes a long way.
- Jason asked if there were other ideas of who would be a good ambassador. Brian suggested having another brainstorm session based on criteria they set; he agreed that online should be an option; they should come up with a basic set of guidelines then invite candidates and have a discussion (tell them that they identified them as potential candidates and ___is what we are expecting). Jason also asked ZF if they have anyone they’d recommend.
- Jason asked what stipend it should carry (a question to think about). Aditya replied that they should base it off of other projects on other blockchains in addition to what the deliverables are; he asked if ZF has merchandise; Jack commented that it may be better to source it locally as different communities will have different trends and desires including size of T-shirt; Dan brought up they could include stickers and digitally distribute a handout that is a poster on one side and follow-up actions on the other side; he could also create educational clips.
- Jason and Hudson both voiced that there should be some guidelines but the ambassador should have creative flexibility. Dan said that ZF can provide some resources and then they can run with it; he brought up that he is working on gathering clips from past Zcons that can be shared at meetups. Jason thought that was a good idea.
- Dan asked, if it’s not digital, how do we make sure it happened? Brian said he likes the idea that an event would be recorded but because they are privacy focused, attendees might not be willing to share as much or show up, if recorded; this is an important requirement to discuss. Jason agreed that they should be sensitive to attendees’ privacy; they could show a couple pics or a twitter post; proof of event is why it’s important they have people we know to get started. Aditya proposed they discuss it further in a future brainstorm session.
Update from Committee on Ranked Priorities
- The committee announced that their top priorities are: Global Ambassador Program, weekly ecosystem update similar to what they do for Tezos (an overview of what has happened in the ecosystem), note-taking for protocol dev meeting, ZecWallet lite, Ledger grant for Zondax to be included in app store, etc.
- Jason said if they know people who would be a right fit, they could network now for good candidates, or could write up an RFP.
- Jack explained that he chatted with Aditya from Zecwallet; he has done the work to update Zecwallet for NU5; the Foundation funded it originally then Aditya applied for ZOMG grants; ZF would consider facilitating support for Zecwallet going forward; ZF is thinking of issuing an RFP for a team to take over maintaining and integrating future network upgrades into Zecwallet (e.g. shielded assets); he is happy to spend Foundation funds on that, but there is the question of decentralization; it may be easier for ZF to find someone, but there is an upside to have an org that isn’t at risk of being perceived as “under the thumb” of the Foundation; Dan has been thinking about what orgs could take this over; Zondax, which is funded by ZF, are potentially willing to do the work necessary to integrate Ledger support into Zecwallet, and ZF is happy to fund that work but it seems prudent to ensure that there is long-term support in place for Zecwallet before progressing.
- Aditya asked if there was an issue for ZF to take control of Zecwallet. Jack replied that there is discussion of decentralization in the community so it may be better if ZF wasn’t giving out the grant; ZF would be looking for an external team to take over and there is an emphasis on team because this is an ex of single point of failure. Jason summarized that it would be the same thing as ZOMG funding (because, at the end of the day, they would both utimately be hiring a contractor) but the optics would be different for ZOMG to fund. Jack added that Zondax hit a point where Ledgers won’t accept the shielded Zcash app without it being implemented into a wallet. ZF needs to have a wallet that is prepared to work with Zondax; it would be great if another wallet developer team could step up. Jason stated that they can discuss this offline if it’s something ZOMG wants to handle or to go to ZF.
- Jason asked what is their best use of time while they wait for the grants platform to be ready. Aditya suggested a forum post about priorities; they could write RFPs on the forum. Brian suggested they prioritize the top 2 projects and work collaboratively; focusing on one thing at a time and doing it well is better than tackling several things at once. Hudson agreed and asked how would be the best way to keep the community updated; maybe they could leverage Winfred and Twitterspaces? Dan put out the idea of ZOMG and ZF cohosting Twitter spaces; they could have guests on like approved grantees; Jack suggested having the first call to introduce the new committee and then having exciting topics like an exciting new grant or the ambassador program instead of just round robin updates. Jason asked if it would be ongoing or one time. Dan replied that he’d like it to be an ongoing joint Twitter Spaces. Brian said he liked the idea of co-hosting. Jason asked if ECC would be a part of it so that it better reflected the Zcash ecosystem. Dan replied that it could be either. Aditya suggested they start with ZF and ZOMG for simplicity. Jason brought up that they get a lot of the same questions in the Telegram group but maybe this could be something more concentrated for true zcashers. Aditya said hopefully they could begin co-hosting after they decide on their final new name.
- Jason announced the top two names to replace ZOMG: Michael came up with Zcash Enrichment Ecosystem Development (ZEED) and another popular option was Zcash Community Grants Program; they don’t want the name to change every year and they haven’t made a decision yet. Aditya pointed out that most grant programs have “grant” or “funding” in their name. Jason asked why the previous committee changed from MGRC to ZOMG. Hudson explained that they didn’t like that it didn’t have anything to do with Zcash and it sounded better. Brian said, while he likes “ZEED,” most of the members forgot what it stood for. Jason brought up that many call it, “Zcash Major Grants” so it sounds nice to add “Community.” Aditya replied that the community is unique to Zcash because funding comes from the community; the committee takes funds from the community and brings it back to them.
- Jason asked what ZF thought. Jack replied that ZOMG grew on him and admitted that while he usually refers to it as “major grants;” there is a rationale for including community in the name; he agrees it should be something consistent; it’s hard to establish as a brand if it keeps changing. Winfred explained that there are pros and cons to rebranding but the most important thing is to decide on a name that will stick long term; some people think MGRC and ZOMG are not the same body; she admitted that, at first, “OMG” sounded unprofessional but it’s catchy and it grew on her; rebranding would mean reintroducing.
- Jason suggested doing a forum poll to gauge community sentiment around a name change. Aditya pointed out that the people that vote on the forum are a small subset of Zcash users that are already familiar with MGRC and ZOMG but they want to introduce it to a bigger ecosystem and blockchain users; we can put out a poll but we need to make the decision that is timeless. Winfred added that the committee might want to consider taking advantage of the word “zcash” in addition to including “grants” or “funding” as it facilitates their searchability by people looking to apply for grants. Aditya agreed.
- Jack informed them that work on finalizing the new grants platform is blocked on choosing the new name, as the grants platform CSS depends on it.
Quick sneak peek of ZF’s new website
- Jack showed a comparison of the existing website and a preview of the new website and gave credit to Winfred’s hard work; he then showed the mockup of a ZOMG microsite within the ZF website that has a Wordpress backend instead of GitHub; he asked the committee to think about it.
Comms planning (i.e. promoting major grants, attracting applicants)
- Winfred presented a comms SWOT analysis. Strengths: availability of funding, a qualified committee, backing of the Zcash brand, ZF comms & admin resources; Weaknesses: a lack of exposure, ZOMG branding extremely inconsistent (ZOMG, Zcash OMG, MGRC, Major Grants), low quantity of applications, some outsourcing can be time-consuming; Opportunities: there exists a need to better define the ZOMG brand, ZOMG needs to leverage campaigns but in order to do so, grant applicants’ personae need to be defined, comms plan curation & implementation, harness ZF media and PR contacts (including extending reach beyond the Zcash community, we are currently not announcing major grant decisions outside ecosystem when major grants are approved), cross promotion on ZOMG/ZF platforms and grant recipient platforms, social media management (ZF has been taking care of Twitter since October and is happy to support additional platforms if requested by ZOMG); Threats: lose grant applicants to other ecosystems, loss of momentum, stagnation in the ecosystem development of Zcash (recommend setting a clear tight and realistic scope and ZF is happy to support).
- Coming up with a name is a priority, and then there’s the logo; the committee needs to figure out who the audience is, Winfred and ZF are on board to help with attracting them.
- Jason said he liked Winfred’s idea of press releases and thinks this should be a priority going forward. He expressed how he wished that they had done a press release for ZSAs because of the massive potential ZSAs bring to Zcash; he would have loved to see an article on it in Coindesk or another popular crypto publication. Winfred replied that major publications have a lot of demand for both articles and ads so ZF would have to reach out in advance i.e. in Q1 you need to be thinking about Q2; Winfred mentioned in addition to major publications, there are alternative distributors ZF has access to so we can focus on both options, that ZF can get the word out there but the committee needs a solid plan and to figure out its brand name; Winfred told them that it would make no sense to send out a press release, if the committee doesn’t have a name. All members agreed.