Praise is a powerful tool that can be used to build and strengthen communities. In the Giveth community, Praise has become an essential part of the culture, allowing members to support one another and recognize each other's contributions. But how has the use of Praise impacted the Giveth community, and what role does it play in the overall sense of community among members? In this blog post, we'll explore the history and evolution of Praise within the Giveth community, how it is used to acknowledge contributions and recognise achievements, and how Giveth ensures that Praise is given fairly and in a way that reflects the diverse contributions of community members.
In the following section, we'll dive into some questions answered by a longstanding member of the Giveth community, Dr. Suga with the essential support of Franco, steward of the rewards working group. Danibelle, one of the first contributors to Giveth, familiar with its transformation since 2016 also contributed to the first answer.
Giveth is a community-driven platform that uses blockchain technology to enable transparent and accountable giving. Their mission is to create a world where charitable giving is frictionless, secure, and accessible to everyone.
Praise is essential. I don’t think anyone in the community could imagine not having it. Praise is an integral part of the community, that is to say, being able and encouraged to support one another and recognize each other’s contributions forms part of the basis of what the Giveth community believes in, whether or not, I would say, there are rewards tied to it. I think that is the nature of Giveth and of the Giveth Galaxy. We care; we have a vision for a better future, and we start with each other: showing support and gratitude.
The rest of this section is based on information provided to Suga by Danibelle: Praise has changed within our culture as our team grew. When we first began, the first version of Praise was called the Reward DAO and was a project on Giveth TRACE. It was created specifically to reward contributors who were not official contributors with Giveth, and we wanted to encourage them to join and contribute and be rewarded for it. We wanted to support them to continue to get to know the ecosystem because it was such a sharp learning curve. Praise was a way at that time to incentivize people to keep learning about crypto and keep contributing to its positive development.
A key point in the original version of Praise included contributors introducing themselves: “Hi, here’s who I am and what I did!” From a cultural standpoint, besides rewarding, Praise was implemented to build community, and, again, to have them share who they were and that they were present in the community and could share what they worked on. In fact, in order to receive Praise rewards, you had to claim it by saying who you are.
Praise at that time had two main purposes:
How do we get people to stick around and keep learning?
How do we build community around the Giveth projects and encourage people to speak to each other and get to know each other in this online community.
Giveth evolved and grew. Praise was always a constant and grew with all those DAOs that grew out of Giveth like Commons Stack and the TEC. It continues to foster cross collaboration and encourage knowledge sharing.
Praise has many effects, not just rewards. I would say two of the most evident effects are individual encouragement and community building. When I am praised, I feel gratitude for the Praiser to have “remembered” and acknowledged my contribution. It’s a great feeling to know that someone is noticing. Naturally, these feelings also encourage me to want to bestow the same on others in the community. It is not about pride or acclaim. I don’t think Praise initiates those kinds of conceit. It really fosters something deeper and crucial for community-building. It fosters the development of a sense of mutual respect and familial attachment to the community.
Different working groups including Communitas and the community call take time out of the start of their meetings to give Praise. Of late we have been increasing our efforts to possibly change how we vocalize Praise in the community call, so as to hear more voices and highlight more, as the community grows. For example, we find it important to regularly encourage more Praise by devoting the beginning of the community call to announcing Praise, and some other WGs do that too. Since the community in the community call is growing, we’ve had to limit the number of Praises shared, and now as of mid-winter 2023, we are looking for ways to share more Praise faster and have tried having Griff read it out while everyone types it in (or type it in in advance. In this particular instance, I think Griff chose to read it out “in real time” as a way to get more people engaged.
Our community also uses Praise as a means to keep different contributors from different WGs in the loop when big events happen. For example, when we launch a new feature on our platform, those working more closely with that feature receive Praise, and this itself actually becomes like a sharing of the news, and it spreads through the community. Others can then also offer Praise for these contributors so that those large scale events get properly acknowledged. We feel that this helps us inform ourselves about who’s doing what and how important the contribution is.
We are still in the process of catching up on quantifying all our Praise from the last couple years, and we are looking to analyze that data to see if we can extract the best methods.
Right now we are not using Praise with any other system, but there are ideas and plans to integrate for instance the Karma analytics dashboard. We are also developing an “ambassador” or referral program that will offer rewards and could in theory function alongside the Praise system.
In fall 2022 Giveth developed a Rewards Working Group as a way to engage systematically with Praise across the DAO. We want to evaluate and improve not only on how Praise is rewarded but (therefore) how it is initially given. We have made efforts to help the community write better Praise through workshops and Praise parties for example. We want to provide tools to the community to support efforts (and the understanding behind it) to write more precise Praise and why it matters.
We currently use the Praise bot (since October 2022) to help support these efforts by providing a template where users know to include the recipient of Praise and the reason. One of our latest implementations will be to modify (or in addition to) “reason” by including “why”. In this way, we believe, it will demand the Praiser to reflect more precisely on the reason (and not just “is a great colleague”, for example).
When we give the community these tools and support, the Praise comes to reflect even better the diversity of contributions and what the actual impact is –and of course, the community is strengthened through these small gestures that produce a wonderful global effect.
It is important to note that in every community call, Griff explains what Praise is – every single time. New and old contributors alike are encouraged every week to “dish Praise” before the call and at any point during the week. It becomes an automatic part of being in Giveth. Praise is given freely and constantly. It is ensured because it is part of the Giveth culture. We know it works, and we enjoy it. It’s great to feel good about yourself and about your community members and the work that you are doing and building together.
We are also currently also evaluating how to praise internal and external contributors - namely, how to incentivize external contributors by possibly offering a Praise bonus.
For most of us at Giveth, myself included, we have only been in Giveth after Praise. We cannot gauge it without Praise. However, we can reflect on how Praise has affected the community based on the changes we are trying to encourage as mentioned above. For example, we can look at Praise before and after October 2022 when we started using the Praise bot, developed the Rewards WG, provided more information about Praise to the community and held workshops (e.g., “how to Praise better”). We see, for example, a major development in the articulation of Praise from “great teammates” to evolving into something much more precise that can be quantified better. Overall, the quality of Praise has gotten better. We also see a huge increase in Praise building up to a peak in July 2022 and then back down again. We have not analyzed that data, but we have our eye on it as we continue to collect for this year as well.
Yes! New contributors find Praise hugely impressive, cool, inclusive, community-building. It hooks you into the community! It’s fun, engaging, comforting, and produces positive feelings of being connected, acknowledged, and recognized.
For newcomers, receiving recognition for actions or contributions makes you feel appreciated. That also makes you feel part of the community and really enfolds you in the community. It serves as good motivation to continue doing the meaningful work that you are doing. You in turn want to offer the same to others: you dish Praise to show how you admire the contributions of others and of course to make them have a positive sense of self to receive that feedback. Praise provides an opportunity to express that admiration and simply to make someone feel good and to express how important you think their impact is.
At Praise, we believe in the power of communities to drive change and create meaningful impact. Our mission is to empower communities and help them become more intelligent, productive, and inclusive. With our tools, members can easily acknowledge each other's contributions, generating a contribution graph that can be used to build community intelligence, establish reputation, and reward those who make the greatest impact.
Praise is open source and available now at givepraise.xyz.