[Discussion] Questions surrounding what it means to be a Metanaut

I have been involved in the mStable community for well over a year now and there are many listed Metanauts in our discord that I honestly don’t know, and have not seen contribute recently (or ever). From what I can tell, there is no listed criteria for what it means to be a Metanaut. There is no definition for what a Metanaut is, or what expectations a Metanaut has.

What does it really mean to be a Metanaut? Should a Metanaut be an active contributor? What types of contributions separate a Metanaut from a typical community member? Once one is given the role and recognition of being a Metanaut, can it be taken away? Is it a privilege that must be maintained, or a right once earned?

My worry is that with how blurry this all is, and how so many Metanauts are inactive or less active than many of our regular community members, the prestige and value of the Metanaut title has been diluted.

I think it’s important that being a Metanaut really means something and is given to those that are going above and beyond in the community.

I want to know how the community feels about:

  • At a personal level, what does being a Metanaut mean to you?

  • Defining what a Metanaut is

  • Defining expectations for being a Metanaut

  • Thoughts on off-boarding inactive Metanauts

Creating multiple tiers of Metanauts i.e. Core Metanaut for over-achievers and Partner Metanaut for individuals that are part of partner protocols (i.e. Jeremiah with Gelt).

Thank you in advance for any contributions.

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The tier idea is fun. I wonder if we could use Coordinape to determine tiers rather than a centralized authority.

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It means that I do my best to uphold community norms and values, and that I comport myself as a ‘public face’ of the project. I do things that add to the community, not subtract from it. In return, I get access to the protocol and developers, as a credible voice, for input into how the project as a whole is developed.

Further, being a metanaut might be a minimum qualification toward fulfilling certain duties. Certainly, I feel that being a signer on one of the several multisigs should include the requirement of being a metanaut-in-good-standing.

I think it can be generalized as being a brand ambassador. What, exactly, that entails is something else though.

I feel that defining expectations is important. When I was invited to be a metanaut initially, I was hesitant, mostly because I take public personae seriously and accepting the title meant some level of self-censorship. I don’t do that easily, and so I thought about it for quite awhile before finally accepting. Even during that process, I was never told “please do x, refrain from y, never do z.”

We are talking about online communities though, and so some wiggle and boundry-pushing is to be expected, especially as people come from different cultures. So the expectations shouldn’t be too narrow.

This is kinda hard because, since so many were onboarded with no clear rules or expectations, it’s difficult to punt people out.

On the one hand, what is given easily can be rescinded easily. And we’re talking about people who haven’t done anything with the role, and seem non-participatory.

If the community is willing to tank some potentially negative feedback from people who lose the title, then a good spring cleaning might be in order.

Broadly, here are my opinions to some of the embedded questions.

  • I think Metanauts should be active, consistently, somewhere in the project. Usually this is going to mean discord, but the forum and twitter, etc count as well.
  • I think the consistency matters more than the type of contribution. I’m not a community manager though, so I’ll refrain from attempting to (poorly) characterize what kinds of contributions are desired.
  • I think it should be able to be taken away, both for undesired behavior and for neglect.

To @Jeshli 's point, I’m not big-brained enough to figure out intuitively how to tie Coordinape to a tiered approach to the title. It feels like it could work, but I couldn’t tell you how.

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To start simplistically, we could just take Coordinape points and tally them to determine rank score. Average rank scores over each Coordinape round. And average scores in a given range get a certain title. Thinking of that. If users are not already doing this we should probably be being incorporating Forum quality engagement with a proposed Coordinape allocation.

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@Jeshli @trustindistrust I appreciate the thoughtful answers. I’m going to write up a draft document that outlines agreed upon attributes we can review and ratify. It can list a general definition, expectations, benefits, and anything else the community finds pertinent.

It’s also telling regarding your self-awareness when considering whether or not to become a Metanaut. As you’ve said, nobody has ever tried to micromanage your conduct, but there is often an implicit social contract in these situations.

Regarding the risk of negative feedback if some Metanauts are off-boarded: It’s sometimes necessary to risk this type of response, but if it’s done for the betterment of the community and protocol, then the answer on what to do becomes clear.

I think off-boarding can be done is a delicate, respectful, and professional manner. I also think the users can be told about an impending loss of the role and invited to re-engage with the community. If they choose not to, they understand the consequences and thus won’t be blind-sided.

Regarding tethering Coordinape and this tiered approach together: I also think it’d be pretty cool, however it may be best to try and get Coordinape off the ground and stabilized first. At a minimum, let’s try to get things rolling next epoch, and perhaps the one after, we can look to established thresholds for a tiered approach. I’m glad you guys see value in it.

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What if we just give them something like “deep freeze” or “cryogenic freezing” status or whatever space travelers do when they go long distances in sci-fi.

Life gets hectic sometimes, I know for me personally I’m just treading water atm. So I think it would be cool if it’s relatively easy to “reanimate” metanauts by them simply recieving more than zero coordinape points. (I’m gonna keep leaning on this coordinape usage, because to me it’s so cool.)

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That’s a really good idea @Jeshli. We can put them into cryogenic sleep :smiley:

We can explore incorporating something like this, which would remove some of the potential divisiveness of removing users outright.

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At a personal level, what does being a Metanaut mean to you?

Having a stake in the protocol, both gov and savings, my PERSONAL goal is to do as much as I can to make the protocol succeed. I want to have best savings yields, and I want the governance to be as transparent as possible. I want to know what’s happening, where are we going, and to do so getting involved as a Metanaut is probably the best way to do it. Very selfish, I know :smile:

Defining what a Metanaut is

Contributions that might be too small for an employee to do, but too big for a community member. For example, creating a sense of community is very important, so being vocal about it in social media, sharing tweets, joining calls, is critical for any protocol to stay alive.
Reporting bugs, spams, and others are funneled easier because you have higher level of trust. There are a lot of integrations with other protocols, dashboards, and other platforms that we can bring to the table, and being vocal about it is what it’s part of being a Metanaut.

Defining expectations for being a Metanaut

I think we should be expected to be active within moderation. It’s not our source of income and for me for example, i have had weeks where I not even checking my social media. We all have ups and downs and I don’t think the community expect a timesheet or a standup.

Thoughts on off-boarding inactive Metanauts

Being franc upfront should be the best. We can ask each other “what happened, why you not active since x months, are you ok? need help? Are you still interested in being a Metanaut?” Transparency is important, since it creates a sense of friendship, community, and professionalism.

I love the @Jeshli idea of cryo sleep.

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