Ideas for community onboarding and improved transparency

Hi all,

As a relative newcomer to ThreeFold community, I wanted to share some reflections from my experience with the project so far and some opportunities I see for improvement in the process of welcoming new users around here. Let me first congratulate everyone responsible for bringing ThreeFold to where it is now. I see an experienced team working from a solid set of values who have already developed an awesome functional product built upon an open ecosystem that’s being utilized through an ever growing set of respectable partnerships. This is the coolest thing I’ve seen happen to the internet in a long, long time.

I first learned about ThreeFold through the Hackernoon article published in late June. Seeing the clear potential of the technology and a life centered focus that’s rare in this industry, I got very excited and spent most of the rest of that day reading the wiki and watching videos. Soon enough I was shopping for farming hardware while trying to understand all of the nuances of capacity measurement, the coming certification program, and ROI projections. Since then, I’ve brought my first node online and even deployed a little test project hosting a website accessible over public internet. All of that was impressively easy, even though the tools and documentation are undergoing rapid development.

In my quest to understand ThreeFold—what it is now, where it’s coming from, and where it’s going—I have spent substantial time reviewing the available resources. At this point, I’ve covered the majority of wiki pages, read almost 400 posts here on the forums, scrolled through the relevant Freeflow pages and Telegram groups, watched a number of videos including some of the presentations and Zoom calls, browsed through circles.threefold.me, reviewed code and documents across many repositories on Github, read all of the Google Docs I’ve seen links to, and… I still have a lot of questions.

To share some of what I learned along the way and seek clarity on certain aspects of farming, I made this post with the hope of getting input to develop a better resource for potential and new farmers. To be honest, I feel like I’ve run into a wall in deepening my knowledge of and involvement with ThreeFold. The sense is that most of the conversation and decision making happens separately from public communication channels (plenty of good reasons for this, I know) and substantial updates to these channels are rare. This forum, for example, is surprisingly quiet for the existing momentum around ThreeFold. I see many questions here left unanswered and at least one request for help that received no reply at all.

Therefore, my first suggestion is making a commitment to provide regular updates (posting simultaneously with Telegram announcements like the recent July community update would be a great start) and also respond to all posts here in a timely and complete manner. I know that you are all very busy right now building the tech and partnerships, but a little more attention in this regard would go a long way.

Community participation here currently comes with a requirement to register a 3Bot and complete various forum requirements before posting. It seems that this barrier is very effective in curating a high quality conversation, but not everyone will want to take those steps right away. I am surprised to see that ThreeFold does not have an option to sign up for email communications. This would be an excellent, low barrier way for individuals to stay connected even if they’re not ready to go deeper immediately. I hope that this is under consideration for the next website update.

Communication from ThreeFold and between community members is currently fractured among a number of different channels, lacking clear distinction about how each one is used. If I have a question about farming, do I post it here in the farming section, on the FreeFlow page for farmers, in the farmer’s Telegram chat, or ask via the contact form or support chat on the main page? If I want the full scoop on the new tokenomics, do I read the wiki, look around these forums, or go try to find links to the Google Docs and recordings of Zoom calls where details were hashed out? I’m sure I can’t be the only one who is bewildered over all the different places answers about ThreeFold might be hiding. Providing a clear sense of the intended use of different communication channels and aggregating links to harder to find resources like meeting/presentation recordings and Google Docs would be a great start here.

Transparency for ThreeFold’s operations is theoretically good, but suffers from the fragmentation of information I just described. One example is the relationship between ThreeFold and Mazraa, especially with regard to the IEO. It was only by scrolling up Telegram that I learned Mazraa is intended to become part of the TF Foundation. It’s still not really clear to me what’s happening with these 70m tokens that were “donated” to the foundation but are being sold by Mazraa while it is still a separate legal entity. Are IEO participants being encouraged to buy from Mazraa or go buy on an exchange? Why haven’t all existing Rivine TFTs been created on Stellar yet? What percentage of already farmed tokens are owned by the foundation? How exactly is this plan to protect the price of TFT during the IEO supposed to work, and is the “marketmaker bot” still a thing? Et cetera…

An easy transparency win, as I see it, is in the minting process. It frankly doesn’t look good, if TF is serious about bringing farmers and investors onboard, that the details of minting (past, present, and potential future changes) are currently hidden. You really don’t want it to appear as if nearly a quarter of all available TFTs were farmed under an arbitrary and opaque rule set that’s being changed just as the project is going public. I know that the new minting logic is supposed to be as good or better for farmers, that expected ROIs are still very good, and also that serious investment has been made by early farmers who are making the current launch possible. But with greater publicity will come greater scrutiny, and I think that attending a bit to transparency in minting will help a lot with convincing potential farmers and investors that the token is sound. Specifically, publish a full specification of both the new and old minting logic and release the minting reports (which I see are in the tube for this summer) sooner than later.

Finally, I think that some explicit resource on ways to get involved in the ThreeFold community would be very beneficial as more and more new faces arrive. I really want to help out and think I have a lot to offer here, but it’s not clear to me who to talk to or how to get engaged. Maybe I’m seeing some natural growing pains here for an organization that’s been running in stealth mode for a long time, but now that ThreeFold is going public, I think it’s essential to provide a warm welcome for all of the new guests who will want to participate in one way or another.

Thanks for reading and for your contribution to this exciting evolution of planetary consciousness :slight_smile:

7 Likes

Dear Scott, thank you for your input once again. As your questions span across our whole projects I currently collecting the best answers from all stakeholders in each area. I will get back to you asap!

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Wow, these are in-depth recommendations. Great that you take the time to give such a valuable feedback.

I can only directly answer on 1 questions, I thought it would be useful already to give that information?

Why haven’t all Rivine tokens migrated to Stellar yet?
The answer is easy: because they can’t move without the token owner allowing his private key to start the migration. The migration has been implemented only in the 3bot connect app, but it still requires the intervention of the token holders to start the process. According to the decentralised setup of a blockchain, without this key, there is no way to do anything on the tokens.
We also know about a few tokens that have been lost, simply because the private keys to access the Rivine blockchain have been lost. So the number of tokens on the Rivine blockchain will never really go to zero. Next to that I suspect that there are a few token owners that have not taken the time yet to upload their private keys into 3bot connect (before there was the Threefold app, being fully phased out now), despite the fact that Threefold has tried to contact all known token holders to take action.

For the rest, you have given really valuable input, thanks for that ! But it’s a lot to consider, also on Threefold side. So it can take a while before all is digested :sweat_smile:.

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Thanks @Roel, I’ll look forward to hearing more.

@Geert, I appreciate the clarity on the question of token migration. I’ve read a bit about that process and applaud the fact that it’s all been done via the distributed ledgers with users in control of their tokens. What wasn’t clear is if it would resemble a fork, where new tokens are assigned to old keys, or as I’m guessing now, some kind of atom swap mechanism that generates TFTA on Stellar. Very cool, and leaving lost tokens behind is perhaps a nice side effect. Will the foundation keep Rivine online indefinitely then?

Thanks again everyone for taking the time to read, consider, and respond to my post. I am excited to be a part of ThreeFold in my own little way, and I hope I have managed to help :slightly_smiling_face:

At a certain moment balance will have to be made whether conversion remains automated (which requires a running Rivine) or it’s switched to a manual setup. In the end, only thing required is the proof that the private keys are ‘able’ to control the public Rivine address. I imagine that then a small procedure can be implemented to execute this conversion ad hoc. Balance to be made with need to maintain an auto running Rivine and the infrastructure for it.
(I wonder BTW whether Rivine-Stellar conversion is first migration that happened in the blockchain space or not)

Scott, would you be open to having a zoom with me? I think that might help clear a lot up and would also love to get more input from your side.

That sounds good, Roel. I’ll message you to schedule something.

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Thanks a lot for your constructive comments Scott! Although I have certainly not been delving into the tech as much as you, I concur that a lot of things that users, and simple small-scale farmers, must do to get going is not very transparent, and in some cases cumbersome. That really needs to be addressed if the grid and the movement is to grow. My wife and I have been involved for about 2.5 years now, and we still maintain great expectations and enthusiasm for the project. I think these issues you raise are a matter of resources (i.e. money), of which there is way less than needed. But now there seems to be some movement, we all hope to keep that momentum growing! Again, thanks for your participation and comments!

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Hey Bruce,

I am glad to hear that you found my post interesting and constructive. It’s also nice to get some perspective from someone who’s been around for a while longer than me as a community member :slight_smile:

Your point about limited resources certainly makes sense, but I think it is also often a question of priorities. For example, the new tokenomics logic was released some time ago as a Python program linked from a thread on this forum, but no mention of that file or explanation of what it contains exists on the wiki. Presenting this information in an easy to find, easy to understand way seems like an important step for a project with a cryptocurrency that’s trying to attract investors. To do so would take someone’s time, yes, but isn’t expensive otherwise. Probably these details will be released in a coming major wiki overall I’ve been advised about, but even “details coming soon” would be better than what we have now!

I too hope that the momentum will keep growing, and I’d love to suggest to more of my friends that they invest or set up farms. However, until we can answer basic questions about things like token distribution in the past and future and how the current token price relates to the value of the grid, I am wary to share too broadly, either with those who don’t have the savvy to evaluate the risk themselves or with those who do have the savvy to raise these questions for themselves. I tend to trust the TF team because of the values I see at work here, but not everyone will feel the same way.

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hi scott, couldn’t agree more, indeed the wiki has not received enough priority.
We are making lots of improvements over last days, but still lots to do.

About forum, 100% agree, we are pushing to do more with that one.

Emails, you’re right, we will implement, just as a news channel, will happen < 2 weeks.

FreeFlow pages we will remove, we can’t keep everything updated.

The IEO is something we tried to do but didn’t do, we now have the TDE and this is planned to be done end of summer with help of some partners like Dash & Digibyte.
IEO has been removed from wiki, TDE we are improving content.

Minting process, completely redone, please let me know what you think.
We have the minting reports ofcourse but we need to visualize them, summer work indeed.
Indeed we need much better info here, will include it in our work to be done.

PS: there has been a project defined to organize our projects where people can contribute in case you would be interested: see https://circles.threefold.me/project/despiegk-contribution/kanban

As a final note, do you have time for a zoom, would be super nice to meet you. Please contact me on telegram: @despiegk.

AND many many thanks for your contributions, very valuable

Kristof

Thanks Kristof, it was awesome meeting with you. These are great updates, and I’m looking forward to seeing/helping to create what comes next!

Just getting into the August update (glad to see it posted straight to the wiki, though it’s occurred to me that these might fit best in the blog. Tagging @Roel here to consider), and loving what I see of the new site so far. I’ve left some corrections/suggestions over on Github and was happy to see what I think is my farm now on the map :slightly_smiling_face:

Finally, regarding minting, I do have some thoughts in development on the current minting process to share soon. For now, let me leave a reference to my post outlining the second version minting logic for anyone who’s curious.