This is the first in a three-part series discussing Stellar ecosystem updates. These posts will announce several new initiatives in the pipeline for the Stellar ecosystem. We’re excited to share these updates and look forward to receiving your comments and feedback.
This week’s post focuses on capital ‘c’ Community and details several new community-focused programs being launched by the Foundation over the next few months.
Objectively, the Stellar community has seen tremendous growth in the last two years. The infographic below, shared a few weeks ago by OrbitLens of Stellar Expert, illustrates the magnitude of this expansion:
— OrbitLens (@orbitlens) November 21, 2018
What this growth means, fundamentally, is that the Stellar ecosystem is changing.
The needs of the community are different, starting with even the most basic activities like discovery, learning and engagement. Therefore it’s important that we scale the ways in which our community can participate in the broader ecosystem, engage with each other and better access tools, resources and shared knowledge. Our goal with these community initiatives is to do just that – to empower the Stellar community to more effectively engage with the Foundation, with each other and with their own communities and industries.
Launch of Stellar Clusters
To kick things off, the Foundation is announcing a grassroots initiative to drive increased engagement in the Stellar community by encouraging local gatherings of Stellar users.
We call these groups Clusters.
The purpose of the Cluster program is to foster community by establishing a time and place where people building on Stellar can meet to discuss the technology, as well as share experiences and resources. Clusters are community-owned and led, and have four key characteristics:
Registered – Clusters have a regional identity (ie. city or country) and are officially registered with the Stellar Development Foundation.
Recurring – Clusters meet on a recurring basis, providing a consistent time and place for members to meet for discussion. The frequency of meetings is set by the group, but should be at least quarterly (4 times per year).
Managed – Clusters are formed and managed by community volunteers. Each Cluster should have a registered Group Lead and Technical Lead. These can be the same person, although we encourage two people to take these roles.
Self-Sustaining – Clusters are not funded by SDF. Their activities are organized and funded by their community members, through in-kind or financial sponsorship. SDF will provide support to aspiring Cluster Leads in identifying local resources and potential sponsors, but these resources will be managed and maintained by each Cluster. What this means, importantly, is that Clusters are self-sustaining and 100% community owned.
To learn more about the Cluster program, click here.
The Foundation strives to support an increasingly autonomous and self-reliant network, and believes strengthened engagement between users will prove to be an invaluable asset to the ecosystem. For that reason we hope to see Clusters established in cities around the world. Each new Cluster is a small step toward a more connected and empowered global Stellar community.
Stellar Global Conference
After years of being always the bridesmaid, never the bride we’re finally having our own soiree.
We’re excited to announce planning has begun for the first global Stellar conference! Full details to be confirmed early next year.
Thanks to the efforts of dedicated community members and selfless moderators, the Stellar subreddit has grown to be the largest and most diverse of our community hubs. Everyday, we see developers, entrepreneurs, self-starters, artists and long-time community contributors engage in a variety of topics about the Stellar Network.
Because of our active and engaged community, Reddit selected /r/Stellar to participate in a new experiment:
Using polls and points, r/Stellar now has a tool to help make important community decisions…things like deciding on rules, styling, or even the distribution of points.
“Votes on polls will be weighted based on how many points you have. This is so that active contributors have a say in governance decisions proportional to their contributions to the subreddit. You don’t spend points for voting, and you can see both the weighted and unweighted results (i.e., the number of votes for each option) by changing the view here.”
So what does this mean? It’s an opportunity to participate in a tokenized self-governance experiment in a semi-anonymous social network. Community members now have the opportunity to create governance polls which will help shape the subreddit to be a reflection of its contributors! We’re excited to see how the /r/Stellar community helps shape the platform (so go create some polls)!
Community Champions program
We know that the Stellar community is more than just developers! Many community members are excited about Stellar and eager to contribute in their own unique ways. In collaboration with a few of our Reddit moderators, we’re bringing back Community Champions.
Each month, we’ll create community engagement threads on the subreddit. Some of these threads will ask questions, some will be tasks, while others will be focused on education. Each thread will have a list of goals. Community members who meet goal requirements will receive custom flair based on their contribution and be invited to a “Champions” channel. “Champions” will be invited to a monthly conversation with the SDF community team – where they can express feedback and present ideas for new engagement opportunities. This program will evolve over time and will be shaped by the participants and organizers.
Stellar Community Fund
While the Foundation oversees several active distribution programs, like the Stellar Build Challenge and the Partnership Grant Program, one of the things we’ve heard requested is a method for the community to participate in guiding lumen distribution. Therefore we’re excited to announce the Stellar Community Fund. The goal of the program is to award projects the community deems of high value to the ecosystem. We’ll share much more details on this program next week in the next post of this series.
Over the past several months we’ve updated several pieces of content on our website, in particular the About and Governance sections, as well as the Directory. These types of updates require timeliness, and so remain ongoing, however they are also in preparation for a larger website refresh, to be launched in 2019.
Our goal for the new website is to share updated content and to give users a quick and easy place to find answers. We want to make discovery of the projects throughout the Stellar ecosystem seamless, give developers the tools they need to build best-in-class products and give the community a platform for engagement and meaningful participation in the ecosystem.
Stay tuned for more updates!