Zcash Media 2022-2023

So given that even with all that effort and all those incredible skills the videos relased so far hardly had any impact on zcash adoption (or even on creating any meaningful buzz), could it be possible that it is because those are not really the type of skills that are needed to drive Zcash adoption?

Food for thought.

Really looking forward to that second call getting posted.

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This is dangerously naive strawpersoning imo. The Royal We understand why crypto projects and their assets have succeeded or failed to be adopted. (Crypto has been around for > a decade now, and has demonstrated multiple boom and bust cycles)

There is no magic formula, but the driving factors are obvious

  1. exciting price action (attract the masses)
  2. strong narrative (give the masses hope and vision. this allows them to stay the course)
  3. broad community size and engagement (look no further than the Hexicans for example)
  4. accessibility (to buy and hold coins// to engage with community)
  5. influencer content, marketing, hype
  6. underlying, fundamental technologies

Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Cardano, Solana, Dogecoin (maybe), HEX - hundreds of other crypto projects have reached the state of “adoption” and keep in mind that adoption is a segregated state from “valued” (which is a transient state that experiences booms and busts)

Zcash has not reached a state of “adoption” and everyone in this ecosystem is having to look at what went wrong. Where could talent and money have been better invested. Why didn’t it stick?

Natasha, Thanks for the long response a week or two ago. I’m looking forward to the forthcoming revised proposal

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Hi @ZcashGrants, @37L and @David_Heisenberg,

Following-up to ask when is it that the community can expect the recording of the second call with ZCG to be posted.

In my opinion, the main concerns brought up by ZCG/ZF during the 1st call were not really addressed (even ignored) by the second proposal, and that is worrisome.

Posting the call will allow the community to track how/if the feedback provided by ZCG (and that had an impact on 37L deciding to drop the second application) actually gets integrated in the following set of “menu style” grants they apply for.

This should go without saying, but it is fundamental to show transparency when applying for any ZCG grant, and even more so when 1 million dollars is being requested from the community.

Thanks for the consideration.

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Hi @Chammy,

I am sorry to hear that you did not feel our previous reallocation satisfied your concerns. However, it is because we wanted to address the concerns of community members like yourself, we actually started our last meeting with ZCG by telling them that we would like to withdraw our current application and reapply with a menu based plan (as I discussed above in my last few posts), so that the community could be more involved in our process. We had felt a rush to address their concerns as quickly as we could in our reallocation, but after submitting it we didn’t feel it did justice to our idea or the community’s wishes, so we chose to withdraw. They asked us to keep this page open until we reapply, but for the time being, there is nothing for the community to currently consider until we bring a new proposal to the table.

As for your question about viewing the meeting. I noticed above that Adi mentioned the meeting video being posted, but I think he may have misspoken. In actuality, at the start of the call when I asked everyone whether or not everyone was comfortable having the video be posted this week, there was not unanimous approval. As such, we agreed to not post it. However, I reached out to the committee asking if we should perhaps post meeting minutes from the call in the same fashion as typical ZCG meetings. I will let @ZcashGrants speak to what they want the next steps to be.

In the meantime, here is a link to the meeting agenda I had written and sent to the committee before the call. In it you can see that I had included the discussion of our withdrawal and reallocation.

It is good to hear that you enjoyed seeing these meeting recordings - our team can prioritize requesting publicly recorded calls in the future.

We will also be hosting a guided value proposition/video topic session at Zcon so the community can partake in the brainstorming process. If you will be at Zcon, I hope you choose to attend this session and share some of your ideas.

Sincerely,
Natasha

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Well, it is really hard to trust the process when there is not transparency.

I’m interested in the feedback you were given by ZCG, not in the structure 37L was hoping for the call.

I’m also really interested to hear why the participants in the call would not feel comfortable with allowing the community to listen to what was said, I mean, you are requesting a million dollars from us (even if it is ZCG who administers that share of the fund).

I was already worried with the political economy behind this grant, but now I am extremely worried.

What is it that needs to remain hidden from the community, and why?

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I just want to set expectations here. Transparency does not require ZCG’s calls with prospective or active grantees to be made public to the community. We often have calls and rarely, if ever, record and post them. We do, however, communicate key takeaways and decisions in our biweekly meeting minutes or forum posts. A good example is a recent call we had with Taylor Hornby about his Zcash Ecosystem Security Lead grant proposal. @wobbzz did an excellent job summarizing the call to the community in a post on the forum.

Other times the grant applicant provides the transparency as Natasha did in her forum post last week when she summarized the meeting and relayed key decisions to the community, which included putting the Zcash Media: 2022-2023 grant on hold while they re-think their strategy and propose an alternative package-based proposal and, in the meantime, apply for a bridge grant to continue working on Twitter, Interviews at Zcon, and Social Media Cuts. The rest of the meeting was a very casual brainstorm session, and some of the ideas tossed around by ZCG/37L may or may not make it into their revised grant proposal. 37 Laines is under no obligation to incorporate our feedback, and at the end of the day, we make the decision whether to approve or reject the grant.

37 Laines has done an outstanding job being transparent with the community throughout their previous and current grant proposals. I will go so far as to say that no other grant applicant has engaged with the community in the open manner that they do. I very much appreciate that and value their presence in this community.

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With that kind of attitude from the powers that be it is no surprise the crypto masses think Zcash is little more than a honeypot to said powers that be, and also the exact reason why the crypto masses won’t touch Zcash with a stick. This really needs to change.

But you did decide to post the 1st call with 37L, so it is the “selective transparency” with this grant application (which happens to be the largest one ever!) is what is worrisome/suspicious. I’m sure you can understand why.

Well @aiyadt seemed to think it would be very relevant for the community to get to hear what was discussed, but you make it sound like it was not really relevant and that “there’s nothing to see here”. Interesting.

Of course they are not obligated, but If grant applicants will keep coming with million dollar applications without taking into consideration the feedback previously given by ZCG then they are just wasting ZCG’s time, aren’t they. An attitude like this reminds me a lot of that famous “eff, you pay me” quote from Goodfellas.

I would be surprised if this new strategy does not involve 37L holding on presenting the next set of applications until exactly around the time members of ZCG who were against the proposal finish their tenure, but hey, maybe I am wrong.

We shall see.

It is not my intention to sound like I’m saying “there’s nothing to see here.” I’m sure there were things said that would be of interest to some community members. But, that’s not really my point. I personally do not object to the call being posted. However, posting a recorded call requires the consent of all participants, and it is evident that we do not have unanimous consent. Therefore, I respect the decision not to post it.

I do want to note that I recall Natasha saying on the call that she wanted the meeting recorded for internal purposes (e.g. note taking). Not all key members of 37L were able to attend the meeting, and having the recording ensures all important details are relayed to those who were absent.

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I really like your exactingness and sharp questions, but in this case I cannot agree with you. And it’s not that I consider this money to be someone else’s, like do what you want with it. Absolutely not.

I was sorry to accept a grant of 3,000 for a parachute jump, but I absolutely do not regret either 1 million or 2 million for a high-quality series about Zcash.

I estimate the number of potential contacts with the audience. We could sponsor an America’s Cup yacht for about that money, like Algo or Near.


But again, what is the efficiency of such costs?? I mean, the number of potential contacts per dollar invested is disproportionately less. Why is there no difference of 1 million or 2 million for me? I’m just not good at pricing this industry. I trust the people involved and their numbers, Or let’s announce a contest for these videos if it is considered that it should cost much cheaper. It is not difficult to describe the requirements and criteria for the video. But these videos are critically important to us because they offer an accessible way to explain the core of our mission, its whole essence.

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On the contrary I’ve been very impressed with the level of transparency on the part of ZCG and 37Laines through this process. After all, ZCG is an elected body with delegated authority (by the community through ZCAP) to make decisions about grant distribution. You may disagree that this is the best process by which to distribute funds, but I see nothing fishy, or problematic with ZCG presenting the details of its interactions with grant applicants and its own internal deliberations in summary form. Selective disclosure is the inevitable byproduct of any body tasked with decision making on the behalf of a larger group - hence the reason why it is so important to have high quality candidates with a good base of community trust (which I believe we do!). ZCG is answerable to the community in the form of elections and not in the form of granular recaps of all their activities - the process of soliciting community feedback is one to help ZCG with their decision making but is not the core of what ZCG does and ought not be determinative - if it were, what would be the point of ZCG as opposed to just having community members vote on all grants?

I have been of the impression that ZCG have bent over backwards to accommodate the concerns of what I believe are a very vocal minority with a great deal skepticism over grant, and have worked to provide more visibility into the process than is strictly necessary for a functional process here. I have inferred the positions of ZCG members from watching the calls and reading the debate here, and I think (though without some sort of robust polling system, I can’t do much more than speculate) that they are broadly reflective of where the community is.

I see every reason to believe that 37laines IS taking ZCG/community feedback into account if incompletely, after all, they have already proposed meaningful modifications to the initial grant application and as @aquietinvestor points out, they are an independent group and are free to do as they please. I hope we can reach an acceptable compromise proposal that funds 37Laines adequately for the work they do and keeps them on-board for the future. I am firmly in the camp that the work 37Laines has done (and I hope will continue to do!) is of excellent quality and critically important to the furtherance of Zcash, even if quantitatively it has yet to make a major impact. I see it as a deferred investment in the future. The scale of the proposal is a lot of money (in a relative sense, particularly in comparison to most of the other grant proposals we see). However, given the resources of ZCG and the fact that it is not, as far as I can tell, having to turn down other quality grants for lack of funding, it is far from unreasonable. Not to mention the genuinely high cost of quality work in this area.

I fear that we are falling into the trap of “penny-wise, dollar-stupid” and not considering how to best maximize our resources - and in the process risk alienating what I think is an important asset for Zcash.

PS: I don’t at all mean to pick on you, @Chammy, and like @artkor I appreciate your critical eye and believe it’s absolutely important for folks to hold and debate contrary view. I think you and @noamchom in particular have given very valuable feedback even though I disagree with some of your positions and thoughts on strategy.

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I want to quote @Angst01 's post and repost it again and again

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There aren’t compelling reasons not to share all meetings in full to the public. It is particularly absurd to avoid sharing this easily creatable-sharable content, because of the subjective opinions of one or two transient participants in the meetings.

It is relatively standard in this wfh-zoom collaboration tech era that defacto consent to recording and sharing is granted intrinsic to attending a live meeting.

  1. some ecosystem members may not be available to attend live
  2. significant risk of loss of nuance due to note taking abbreviation
  3. sharing original content allows for independent verification that note takers/ abbreviators are doing a good job (not creating error by omission, or arbitrarily filtering context that is valuable to folks not originally in attendance)
  4. the audience for recorded meetings on youtube is extremely small, but those like @Chammy who are interested - we should not prevent. practically speaking nobody will be watching these uploads anyhow (take a look at arborist call view counts as evidence)
  5. an archive of video calls is valuable to future community members that aren’t with us yet
  6. allowing public direct access to these meetings allows for independent evaluation of how well the contemporarily elected ZCG members are doing at their responsibility to represent the community.

In short, hit the record button, then upload the meetings to YouTube (this is an extra 10 minutes of time). As others have implied, it is borderline absurd to be even hosting a debate about whether or not this is a reasonable deliverable for situations like this (discussions about spending more than 16,000 community fund Zcash coins, for more than 1 year of labor, etc)

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I would like to state for the record that @Chammy has continually slandered Zcash Media and myself both on this thread and on Twitter: https://twitter.com/checkmatehere/status/1552060391735398401?s=21&t=LLgX9AzolQpj5nCDsq4yjA.

He has never spoken to us, never reached out, and has no evidence of our perceived ulterior motives. Every single person who has commented on this thread that has actually met us vouches for us.

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To help moderators with their work, any active forum participant can report problematic post.

No one has the right to demand people to give up their privacy. While I understand the context of providing transparency to the community, it’s also a dangerous precedent to set if all ZCG meeting have to be recorded and shared publicly. ZCG sharing their meeting notes already is a great effort in being transparent.

I also want to commend Zcash Media team for sticking with their plan and modify the single grant into menu items.

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I did comment that the political economy behind this grant is the exact thing I always found very worrisome, didn’t I?

Yes I did.

I will summarise my main concerns about spending so much money in such a suboptimal way:

For starters let me clarfy, I am all for spending 1M+ on marketing, but things should get funded based on the impact they will have either on development or adoption. What kind of impact can we expect from 6 or 12 additional videos, that could possibly justify spending 1M-2M million on it?

I mean, the return on investment of a video revealing Edward Snowden was “the mystery man involved in the creation of leading privacy cryptocurrency Zcash” was abysmal, was it not?

It is unlikely that any new documentaries will match the potential to go viral of such a grandiose revelation.

As I said, I’m all for spending 1M+ on marketing, I even believe it is a must given the enormous size of Zcash’s addressable market, but that money needs to be spent on marketing initiatives that will effectively (and measurably) drive adoption, on marketing initiatives focused on mass enrollement of vendors who will accept Zcash, on holistic marketing initiatives that promote Zcash wallet downloads, not on marketing initiatives that are not backed by what academic research has found has an impact on the adoption and difussion of innovations (ie. expensive documentary films).

I understand why people would want to rush to anything that even remotely promotes Zcash, and even more so when their bags are severly underwater, but this would be a very irresponsable and suboptimal way to spend USD 1M + million dollars “on marketing”.

As it was mentioned several times before, most crypto projects that have done well have done so while just having one high quality educational video, why in the world would Zcash need 10-15 of those?

Not one person has given a rationale for this so far.

I very much hope common sense prevails.

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This implies something confusing. Is the public invited to attend these meetings as they happen live?

@tokidoki have you got a few minutes to respond with your opinions about points i raised above?

Public Meetings
@noamchom As I stated above, we are happy to prioritize public meetings with ZCG going forward. I am glad to know this is valuable to you and will keep this in mind when we return.

ZCG Meetings with Grantees
@tokidoki Thank you for your help in managing the page. Since we have already stated that we are willing to prioritize public meetings in the future, I think any further conversation about how the ZCG should manage their meetings with grantees in general should be moved to a different thread.

Grant is Withdrawn
@Chammy As we stated above, we have withdrawn this current grant, so no further discussion to its makeup is relevant. The only reason this page is still open is because the ZCG has requested it stay open for history when we return.

Behavior on Thread
@Chammy I would also like to remind you that in a setting where we are trying to hear and satisfy the community’s needs, those who speak excessively cruelly or unfairly attack our character are simply invalidating their own points. When we return, our team aims to hear your feedback, so please provide it constructively and without cruelty if you would like us to be able to listen.

Sincerely,
Natasha

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To clarify here, there were no objections to the call being recorded before the start of the meeting and the idea was to decide later whether to post the call. There might have been sensitive items that were discussed during the call. If any 37L’s private(not-yet-public) ideas were discussed in the call, @37L is free to retract or skip posting this call.

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Hi Everyone,

After speaking with ZCG we have approval from all attendees to post the video from our last session. As this video shows and as we have repeatedly stated, all grants in this thread have been officially withdrawn. Any further work will come in the form of a new long term grant posted here in the future, or a short term bridge grant that would be posted in a separate thread.

Thank you,
Natasha

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