Rewarding Our Community's Contributions

Feedback Systems Are Important to Inspire Community Participation. There are many smart and passionate people in this community, but it’s not clear how the core team perceives the value of our community beyond the obvious “communities are important . . .” mantra that every blockchain leadership team chants. On one level, this is understandable because the core team is busy, but on another level, not having meaningful feedback and communication with the core team creates a psychological disconnect between the community and the team, which might have some unintended consequences over time.

Rewarding the Entire Ecosystem. I’m not concerned about being rewarded for my ideas or efforts here because I’m amply compensated in my professional life. Plus, I really enjoy the interaction and spirit of our community; so, I don’t need/expect any compensation. However, there is real value to what we are building here and this is the epicenter of the worldwide Cardano movement. Additionally, Charles himself has talked about how important it is to find ways to financially reward the entire ecosystem of a blockchain, not only the miners who make USD millions with their ASIC-powered supercomputers.

How can we reward the most active, thoughtful, and creative members of our community? One way is to replicate the Steemit system for our community. Then we could reward members who contribute high-quality content (as measured by how many views, hearts, and bookmarks they get) with a certain amount of ADA, depending on how popular their content is. Steemit is a general-purpose blogging platform, but we could create a more focused system for our community here (and possibly make it more general-purpose later to draw in more people). That would encourage our members to think creatively and be rewarded for their contributions that are specifically focused on Cardano Land.

With a Multibillion-USD Market Cap, there’s No Excuse Not to Share the Wealth. Innovators and entrepreneurs should certainly be generously rewarded for building great companies, but it’s disgusting and short-sighted when founders/executives pay themselves 8/9/10-figure compensation packages while their lowest paid employees literally have to depend on government assistance just to survive. The same is true for any of these blockchain projects that generate huge mountains of wealth for a tiny number of people. This is one of the most significant failures of Capitalism today, which is destroying the middle class in many countries.

Sharing the Wealth Is Smart Business & It’s Easy to Do. I’m not a fan of Dan Larimer, but his Steemit platform has proven that sharing the wealth is easy and incredibly effective at incentivizing millions of Steemit/EOS zombies to support his half-baked ideas. Just imagine what a superior platform like Cardano could accomplish if we had our own rewards-based community here? Investing the modest time and resources to replicate Steemit’s simple system for our community would be much more cost-effective than spending USD millions on PR/marketing in the future. And sharing the wealth would inspire and incentivize every single member to do everything possible to draw attention to our community and the entire Cardano ecosystem.

What do you think we can do to maximize our collective superpowers and share the wealth? I’m sure our community has many other ideas on this topic; so, I’m looking forward to your comments.


Seems like a great idea in principle but what concerns me is the effort that it would take to replicate Steemit (which, coincidentally, I signed up with just a few minutes ago), and where that would come from. Would it be worth delaying Cardano development for this?

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ADALove I think also that your discussion should be looked at in the light of the treasury system.
For the treasury system to work well we need to have some incentives for all that needs to be done that is not directly coding, stuff like debates, PR, think-tanks and so on and so on. In that respect I actually think some form of reward is crucial for the whole treasury / governance system to grow/thrive.

@RobJF From a technical perspective, Steemit is just a blogging platform, which is a relatively easy system for any competent Ruby developer to design and develop. (This “Discourse” forum software is written in the relatively simple Ruby language.) For context, Zuckerberg slapped together the first version of Facebook in PHP (a harder language than Ruby) in a few days; and all we need is a simple Discourse plugin that hooks into the Cardano blockchain API, which could be created with an IELE-based smart contract. So, it wouldn’t take very long (a couple man-hour months) to do it right.

In fact, a visual icon representing “ADA Earned” next to the “heart” icon of each post could be integrated right into this Discourse-based forum without changing the aesthetic flow of our existing GUI. And “Discourse” is an open source forum software with a robust API, which can be customized to achieve this functionality and any other functionality the community votes for in the future.

No Delays to the Core Cardano System Would be Necessary. IOHK is already spending USD millions on many projects, some of which are by contract from other organizations that pay the IOHK team to develop bespoke features for other blockchains. For those projects, the team hires more devs so that the core Cardano team is not distracted. There’s no reason that the same approach could not be taken to build a simple ADA reward-based plugin for this Discourse forum software.

Showcasing Cardano’s Social Capabilities. This plugin would be one of the first Dapps built on the Cardano blockchain; thus, it would also simultaneously serve to showcase Cardano’s capabilities in a mission-critical social environment. This would enable the team to simultaneously demonstrate Cardano’s social capabilities and invigorate our community with a fanatical impulse to share and contribute. It would easily pay for itself within 12–24 months.


Agreed, I thought about that, too. That’s probably what will happen by default. However, this functionality would be such a powerful way to maximize the total possible contributions from our community that I thought it was worthwhile to start building a consensus around the idea as soon as possible.

I agree with everything else you wrote, too.

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I think this is a great idea because I’m sure there are many very capable people passively watching. These people would be more apt to contribute with a system like SteemIt. Is it worth it for the dev team to work on this? Up to them, but it is critical to foster an engaged community because they will become your biggest marketers. It also ensures that new members that experience issues are engaged right away, even if their issue is not able to be resolved immediately.


ADALove we could displace both LinkedIn and Facebook with such a system no? Except we close the economic loop Steemit left open by allowing marketers to pay for ads on the social platform using ADA. THis would mean that ADA or whatever token/crypto would have usage beyond speculation and building dApps.

This social element could help sustain the network effect momentum of Cardano as it will be a longer roadmap to convince nation states to move onto the stack.


I think it’s too early/difficult to speculate about creating a platform to compete with the dominate players today, but I’m confident that we could attract orders of magnitude more people to our community with a self-sustainable, rewards-based social platform fueled by ADA.

Yes, this is actually an interesting idea, which is associated to something I’ve been thinking about and working on recently. Anything that we can do to encourage the use of ADA in real commerce will help the community in many ways.


When will you share said project! :slight_smile:

Always with these great contributions :smiley:
I’m just gonna give big thumbs up to all of ya’ll! and hold tight for more updates.

I’ll put this little Cardanian Steemit post by me here,
as an early swallow :slight_smile: for many more to come

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ADALove, interesting and relevant point. Let’s look at it from a perspective as to what motivates persons to be actively involved and committed to work on an initiative. Several extrinsic and intrinsic motivators that could apply to the Cardano forum with some thoughts around them:

  • Recognition: this has two dimensions: appreciation by forum members that translate through views, hearts, bookmarks, replies (certain types). Being part of ‘community’ is important for most persons and meaningful and respectful engagement is an important motivator. Recognition by the Cardano team that can translate through ‘Great thought, we’ll look at this’, ‘Could you expand on that’, ‘Have you thought of this, what’s your feeling about…’, ‘Actually, we are looking at this’ or ‘Well, this is the way it actually is’. It’s easy to do (but needs attributed resources, and an active monitoring of the forum and input of Cardano team members who have direct links to key team members to be able to inject ideas or obtain feedback. I think this is important in making the ‘connection’ to the forum. In the issues that I find interesting I have not seen any of this. Either there is no interest from the team or it is missed. It is clear that if there is no engagement with specific threads by forum or team that the threads die, and with it comes a demotivation to further engage in the forum.
  • Payment in ADA: an option and certainly a motivator, ADALove has worded these well. I understand that the Cardano team has no real financial issues (for the moment), so contributing would show a commitment and recognition of the team to the contributions of members. A caveat here though is that different persons come to the forum for different reasons, some come for support (technical ‘:angry:, this doesn’t work as it should’, mental ‘:cold_sweat: the bottom is falling out, hold my hand…’, understanding ‘:thinking: how does this work?’), some help by giving ideas/ approaches how to do things, some are interested in trading/ making it big, some want to see how they can ‘use’ Cardano in their work/ life, others are more interested in exploring the potential social/ financial/ political implications of Cardano/ the blockchain. All of these are valid, but not all of these are equally popular, by using only ‘easy indicators’ like hearts you may push the forum in a certain direction. The incentives should be used in a way that all real contributions that add value are supported. Incentives steer, and I don’t want the forum to only have messages like ‘got an ADA tattoo today’ or ‘HODL, HODL, HODL…’ (luckily we’re far from being there for the moment, but if the incentives are used in a wrong way it could go that road). Incentives should be based on added value brought to the forum and the Cardano movement, and measuring this has to go beyond ‘likes’ (ADALove: not saying you’re advocating for this, I just want to add some additional thoughts). We also need to understand that this forum is silo-ed based on language, There are parts that are inaccessible to most of us, and these may get very little attention because nobody can read them, yet may possibly yield the most insightful posts… Another caveat is that bringing in ‘money’ changes dynamics and perception, so it has to be managed carefully.
  • Being part of a movement: reading comments I have the feeling that many actively choose for Cardano, not because it will make them ‘big bucks’, but because of what it is and what it could bring to society. Feeling part of this ‘movement’ and better understanding Cardano, and feeling that we may be contributing to this will also be a motivator for many I think. How motivating would it be to get a message from a key person in Cardano saying ‘Great idea, we’ll be looking into that’ or a question to the forum ‘what are thoughts around this…’? Involve us, drill into and use the quality of thinking on the forum, from what I’m reading it is clearly there.
  • Understanding: many probably want to have a better understanding of complicated and complex domain that is trying to find its place in society (and that could potentially be a very disruptive - and positive - technology).
  • Opportunity: both extrinsic and intrinsic, opportunity to use insights or technologies to advance ones own work and activities/ priorities, possibly even at some point get professionally involved around Cardano and its roll-out. Financial by playing the markets cleverly, and a whole wad of other opportunities that involvement in the forum and Cardano could bring.

There are probably other elements to mention but I’ll leave it at that.

Ultimately, everything is about cost and benefit. For me, working as consultant, the time I put into writing for the Cardano forum is time I’m not prospecting for future assignments, developing new approaches and tools, studying or that I use to strap on the snow rackets (we have 40cm snow for the moment) and dashing off into the woods for a 2-hour stroll with the dog enjoying nature while doing a work-out … The last weeks I was quite active on the forum, but the balance makes that I will not be able to continue maintaining this level of engagement. What is the cost, what are the benefits? Just to make clear, my main motivator is not money (though we obviously need to survive). While as an individual I’m not important for the forum, I think that there are others like me on the forum who will ultimately have to balance their commitment. What type of forum do we want, one-liners, or a forum that tries to go a bit deeper?

The key message to the Cardano team is: if you see value in having a rich and vibrant community, that could potentially feed innovative ideas to you, and who could potentially help in rolling out specific parts of the programme, then do identify and analyse what extrinsic and intrinsic motivators makes people want to get involved, and create the forum you want by pushing the right buttons…


took me a second to get it :slight_smile: lol

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Think its a good idea to increase participation of contribution. I have been using Steemit since October. I had really not posted much on any platforms before including facebook. The rewards incentive helped me to come out of my shell. I think the same would be true for many just watching and holding ADA now if there was a bit of reward incentive. I hope it would be better then the Steemit system, a fair distribution of reward for contribution that is not based on or influenced by power or amount of ADA held. Linked is a recent post on steemit about ADA wallet.


@Afridev and @ADALove I’ve really enjoyed reading through this thread… some tremendous thoughts and I love a lot of the concepts.

We are looking at this - amongst a long list of other projects :rofl: - feel free to send me a PM and introduce yourself - we are very keen to get to know the people contributing in such a valuable way.

Best wishes,

Jon :slight_smile:


@saline09 I’m not sure–hopefully within the next 60 days or so. There are actually two Cardano-based projects that I will reveal to the community when I feel the projects are ready for our own peer-review process here.

Everything would progress so much faster if my body didn’t require any sleep.


This was such an intriguing mystery that it inspired “The Ethereum of Japan is a Ghost Town!” I also enjoyed the rest of your post.

ADALove I look forward to hearing more about your projects.

@ADALove, I’m trying to wrap my head around this, and having a bit of a hard time envisioning a system that rewards honest effort over political demagoguery. Especially if views, likes and bookmarks are the measure for rewards. Seems like it would turn into a popularity contest, and it might clutter the space with outrageous, half baked ideas and poorly researched proposals. It might also lead people to post propaganda counter to the community’s interests.
Besides, I thought we all wanted to get money out of politics. :wink:

Don’t get me wrong, I believe participation in the community should be rewarded. I just think we should give a great deal of thought to what we want to reward.


I understand your concerns. Here are a few thoughts to consider. . . .

Money Is Not the Problem; Broken Incentive Structures Are the Problem. In general, money is not the problem; it’s the incentive structures within any institution that become problematic when they encourage counter-productive behavior. For example, if politicians’ salaries were directly tied to their performance, then money would actually create positive incentives for them to make more effective governance decisions. In contrast, the problems with money in politics today are based on the influence it buys for narrowly focused special interest groups, which is what corrupts the governance process in many ways.

We All Recognize Quality When We See It. In our case, the ADA rewards would only be granted based on the quality of the contributions; and we know this would create a positive and viable incentive structure because every conscious human can distinguish between relatively good contributions and relatively bad contributions. Thus, as a post accumulates more hearts/bookmarks/etc., it rightfully should receive more ADA. Garbage posts and pure propaganda could be down-voted and/or ignored, which is what already occurs on Reddit and many other online communities.

Popularity Contests Are Good if They’re Based on Substance. There are many kinds of popularity contests. Some people in this community are popular because they’re smart and they contribute meaningful content to the forum. Nerds are popular at MIT when they invent amazing technologies. We give these people lots of hearts/bookmarks online and in our minds already. There’s nothing wrong with this kind of popularity; and it’s this kind of popularity that would be duly rewarded in an ADA reward-based community.

Culture Drives Behavior. This is true in online communities, organizations of all kinds, and entire countries. Our community culture here is uniquely thoughtful and supportive. This results in a substantial level of self-discipline in our community with respect to moronic comments. People intuitively sense that morons and childish behavior feel out of place here; so, they usually refrain from doing stupid things here. And we collectively deal with the bad apples pretty effectively already by unleashing generous cans of respectful and intelligent whoop-ass on them. Our community culture will never change as long as we continue nurturing the community with substance and thoughtful contributions.


I sincerely hope this will be the case, but what will happen as DL tech gains traction?
Imagine a time when Cardano is the premier crypto platform, with hundreds of millions of users and trillions of dollars of transactions. Will community participants be as altruistic then? What happens when a really smart bad actor plays the long game, accumulating wealth and followers over time, only to use that wealth and support to accomplish unscrupulous goals?
Most of the corrupt super rich types are philanthropists with sterling biographies on Wikipedia, and they’ve been trained to play the long game and win popularity contests since birth.