[DISCUSSION] Increasing Engagement for the 90%

Proposal Title: Moss - a central news & event hub
Authors & Co-founders: Ivan Yang; Naila Jahan; Sean Oh; Kevin Chan
Date: 12-July-2022


Problem We Are Addressing

Having spoken to hundreds of web3 contributors, moderators, and organizers, it is clear that within any web3 community (DAO or NFT project), only c.10% of the community is actively engaged. The remaining 90% are interested in the project, but can’t keep abreast of the news flow and events of interest because of time constraints, more active involvement in other projects, or just feel that they have relatively low skin in the game. These barriers to engagement affect the long-term health of a community because it keeps most of the community as passive lurkers instead of active contributors towards the collective’s goals.

To increase overall engagement in these communities, one tool that we’ve seen successful communities utilize are weekly digest emails that summarize the most important community news or events (e.g. FwB’s TL;DR newsletter).

However, these solutions are piecemeal and often create more confusion if a user is part of many projects. Further, many online communities don’t have the scale, time, or resources to employ someone to write these digests on a weekly basis. As such, a large part of the community is left to wade through the noise and chaos of Discord or Telegram to keep up to date, impacting the engagement and overall health of the community.

Moss is a better way for information to be disseminated to the 90%.

Moss Overview

Moss is a content curation platform that offers users digestible information on their web3 communities. Moss aims to intelligently parse the information flow and lower the barrier for contributing so they can participate more actively and on the terms that they want.

We believe that our product will lead to a ‘flywheel’ effect in online web3 communities: higher user engagement leads to more discussion & events which lead to higher participation rates which lead to a more active community which leads to more users joining and so on

Product Details

Moss synthesizes a community’s Discord and Telegram feeds into a central hub of concise summaries, follow-on actions, and an event calendar which can be exported to external apps (e.g. Google Calendar or Outlook etc.)

We are currently developing v1 of the project with these features:

  • Access and wallet-connection through a webapp (iOS and Android apps to come in later versions)
  • Discord and Telegram bots to scrape information feeds
  • Home feed with news parsed into a summary form (e.g. reddit thread)
  • Begin training natural language processing (NLP) models to create automated summaries in future iterations of the product
  • Token-gating to verify what information (e.g. holder-only channels) a user can access and to also ensure a user is added to all their relevant communities

Benefit to BitDAO?

As below, we are proposing to launch a pilot partnership with BitDAO to receive feedback from the community and to begin demonstrating the value of the project.

BitDAO itself will benefit from increased engagement within the community, particularly by people at the fringes of the network. While BitDAO is unique in its very high engagement rates, there are still many users who don’t participate as actively as they would like due to the sheer volume of information across the many communities that they are a part of.

Further, we would like to offer this pilot service to all of BitDAO’s current portfolio investments, to enable them to better engage their communities. We believe that by working with these growing companies, we can grow with them and service their communities’ needs better.

More people are joining web3 communities than ever before and given that most of them are not crypto-native, it is critical to the long-term sustainability of this ecosystem that we provide a channel for accessible, accurate, and actionable information so that users know why and how they should contribute. We are aligned with BitDAO’s vision for collaboratively creating the future of web3 and believe a product like Moss will help forge the path for better engagement with members across any community.

The Team

Moss is founded by four MIT classmates with backgrounds in web3 engineering, NLP development, product management, finance, strategy, and partnerships;

  • Kevin Chan is responsible for technical development. He worked as a technical consultant and developer at Deloitte’s Blockchain Labs, helping corporations implement blockchain solutions. He is also a web3 founder and investor, and also leads BeaverDAO (a part of EduDAO).

  • Sean Oh is responsible for technical development and product. He worked as a product manager at Microsoft, where he led the design of user tools for Windows 11 and led NLP projects for Bing.

  • Naila Jahan is responsible for business development and strategy. She has extensive experience developing product partnerships and user communities, having done so globally at MassChallenge.

  • Ivan Yang is responsible for operations and finance. He worked at Goldman Sachs in both investment banking and in principal investing / special situations. He is also active in the blockchain ecosystem, and has authored a microinsurance study for the Celo Foundation.

Our team also currently has three superstar software engineers working on the project (their work experience includes developer roles at Amazon, Google, and Tableau), and an UI/UX graphic designer who currently works at Salesforce.

Timeline & Key Milestones

For our v1 beta product, we are expecting to finish development in mid-late August. We want to partner with communities and active users to run a pilot test on the beta product and to collect feedback for product iterations and improvements.

Following the trial and the status of our success milestones, we will look to raise capital in order to ramp-up development to continue improving the product and to further expand to a broader list of web3 communities.

Request & Next Steps

We are submitting a multi-phase proposal:

Immediate (now)

  1. We would like to propose a pilot partnership with the BitDAO community
  2. We would provide this service at a nominal cost of $10,000 in USDC to cover server costs, deployment costs, and general development costs
  3. This is low-risk structure for the BitDAO community - we propose to run a private beta where we deploy a Discord bot into the existing server with limited read-only permissions. From there, we will agree on a pool of test users to run a private beta to trial the product and to provide feedback

For transparency, we are also currently in conversations with a number of other DAO projects and corporations who we will also be running pilot tests. This is so we can get the broadest amount of feedback from a variety of users.

Future (post-pilot)

  1. After running our trial, we would come back to the broader BitDAO community with an update as to results of the pilot project and with feedback from test users.
  2. From there, we would formally ask for a budget and investment from BitDAO to further develop and improve our product - this will be subject to the success of the pilot.
  3. We would continue to partner with BitDAO and provide preferential pricing to BitDAO and its portfolio companies as a foundational pilot partner.

Further Information

Pitch deck: view here
Website: moss.social
Reach out here or via email: info@moss.social


Please let us know of any feedback or comments you have - we are happy to chat more about what we’re building.

Temperature Check Poll

Would you like to see the partnership proposal go to vote?
  • Yes
  • No
  • Needs work

0 voters

6 Likes

This product is great and has a lot of potential, while there are many news aggregators there’s none that is tailored specifically towards web3 communities. My concern here would be further lowering the bar for minimum effort may also decrease engagement from the borderline active portion of the 10% actively engaged community members you mentioned.

Maybe I’m missing something here, but could you further elaborate on how providing a TL;DR of 20+ communities for a casual dabbler with minimal skin in each community could increase interaction? I agree with your flywheel effect, I just need help understanding how to get it started.

3 Likes

Thanks Selitos, that is a great question.

It might be useful to address your two questions by splitting up the different customer segments that we are targeting. Let’s assume within any community, that members are spread on a spectrum from 1% to 100%, where 1% are the most interested (i.e. the inner sanctum), and 100% is the most passive (e.g. bots, speculators etc.).

1) The borderline active portion of the 10% (let’s call it the 8-12%): We completely understand your concern that some of these folks might be less inclined to participate if the minimum effort is lowered. However, based on the user profiles that we’ve been building from customer interviews, we found that these folks are usually passionate early adopters, who are interested in the communities they are in, but deprioritise 100% participation and engagement because of time constraints (e.g. they’re a founding member, or have a higher position in another DAO). We think that regardless of our product, their prioritization is going to remain the same, but at least by cleaning the critical information flow of noise / making it quickly digestible, they are more likely to contribute in some form or engage more meaningfully.

2) The remaining 12-100%: As above, our premise is that a TL;DR summary lowers the information barrier to participate. Here, when we spoke to these groups of users, we found that people who have invested into the project (regardless of how low their economic ‘skin in the game’ is) also have a genuine interest in the community, but are less likely to put effort into catching-up or maintaining news flows (e.g. people with local memberships in FwB, or people staking only small amounts in Compound). We propose that if they are able to receive timely updates and news more easily, they are more likely to do things like vote, remember to join calls if they can, attend IRL events etc. (which is where the flywheel starts). Given how early we are in the DAO adoption cycle, we think that even people on the fringes are still technologists and enthusiasts, but maybe only part-time, so need that extra help!

We recognize that all the above is just our hypothesis/thesis and while we have some positive validation from our customer interviews, we want to test it more broadly with the pilot we outlined in our proposal.

Please let me know if this at least partially addresses your concerns? Happy to keep chatting because we’re still early, and appreciate the feedback!

3 Likes