Signaling Guidelines (Old)

This is a collation of suggested guidelines for the creation of signalling threads. These are currently, and will always be open for debate. Last updated: 15/12/19 - LFW

Edit: These guidelines should be considered deprecated, newer more comprehensive guidelines can be found here: Practical Guide to the Signaling Process

Signalling Guidelines

If you want to get the communities opinion on something related to current affairs or the future of the DAO, or if you have a proposal you would like to see implemented these are the suggested guidelines for doing so.

1. Use the signaling tag
Using the same tag across the forum makes it easy to find all the signaling topics, it helps keep everything organised, it helps the community see if there are things to signal on, etc etc. This is virtually costless to do, please do it.

2. Give the topic a title in the form of a neutral question
Giving the topic an appropriate title makes it easy to see what the signal is about. Neutral framing is to ensure that you do not prejudice other community members into voting a particular way. This is vitally important no matter how strongly the author feels about the topic.

3. The topic should seek to gather signals for only a single issue. If you want multiple signals, make multiple topics.
This keeps the topic from becoming a confused mess of different conversations. This is not to say that there must be only one poll, only that all the polls should seek signals on the same issue.

4. Original Poster runs the thread.
A party needs to both maintain and push a signalling thread to its conclusion (on-chain polling.) This responsibility falls on the original poster of the polling thread. The original popster does not have to remain neutral on the issue, but does need to maintain a balanced summary of the discussion in the initial post.

5. A summary of the essential information and progression of the discussion should be included and kept up to date in the original post.
This should take the form of a advantages/disadvantages, pros/cons, positives/negatives to the area being discussed. Disagreements and the reasons behind them should be detailed as they surface within the thread. In order to signal, the community should not need to read through the entire discussion, only the initial post. It is the thread owners responsibility to keep this summary as balanced and succinct aspossible.

6. The aim of a signalling post is to create consensus.
When you create a signalling thread, you are trying to gather consensus around a specific proposal, be aware that the proposal may need to compromise to suit as much of the community as possible. The aim is consensus rather than majority-rule, if there is irreconcilable disagreement, the proposal needs to change.

7. Polling Results should be made visible after a vote has been cast. ‘Show who voted’ should be enabled.
People are susceptible to voting with the majority. Conformity bias is a real thing, hiding the results until after someone votes gives an extra incentive for voters to think critically about the issue for themselves. Making votes public after a vote has been cast allows the thread owner to prod dissenting signals to provide evidence-based reasons for their disagreement.

8. Provide a summary of the discussion in the thread and explain any major deviations from the original proposal. This step should only occur after the debate has ended in the thread and there is a sense that consensus has been reached.

9. The proposer should finally post to the end of the thread a completed template for the poll (PR’s are preferred for those who are familiar with git) so the governance facilitator(s) don’t have rewrite or fill in any blanks. This is to avoid the possibility of misinterpretation and to allow the debate participants the chance to vet the wording of the poll.

See these threads: 1 and 2. for a more detailed look at how signaling threads have progressed over time in the past.

  • Signed and agreed.
  • I disagree with one or more guidelines and will comment below.
  • I am undecided about these guidelines for reasons which I will detail below.

0 voters


This looks great, thanks for the clean up. The small font is pretty hard to read on a desktop though.

The Foundation needs time to set up the backend for a formal poll and we should allow a buffer between the end of the signal and our ability to promote them externally in the blog, chat, socials, calls. In the near future I can envision a need for additional time so people to do some public ‘campaigning’ for issues they feel strongly about.

We also need the additional time to deal with deadlocks and establish that consensus has been reached. There could be last minute voters that tip the scales or attempt to sybil the forums just prior to moving it to the portal.

For the asset priority signalling poll here I set it to end a week before we are scheduled to put it live.


Upped the font size, I was trying to keep it compact, but I was also concerned about the readability.

I’ll think a bit on the keeping open thing. What do others think about this?

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Why would you need to ‘promote’ signals externally? You should only promote forum - people interested in governance will read it, others will ignore it.

Is there a way to change your vote? I can’t seem to figure it out if there is.

If you hit ‘Hide Results’ it should take you back to the voting dialogue, at that point you can choose another option. This works for me, but possibly there is a difference for the creator of the poll?

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This worked. Awesome. I don’t know how I managed to not realize it was that simple haha

Use the signalling tag called ‘signaling’ :slight_smile:

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Ugh, thanks for this. I’m trying to stick to American English, but I miss things a bunch.

Yes, but did we reach a consensus about using American English? :smiley:



What do you think about the owner of a Signalling thread being recommended to edit the main post with a section at the bottom detailing legitimate pros and cons to the various sides of the issue?

Kind of like a running TLDR of the thread.

If we give special community members admin privs, they can even add to those TLDRs themselves to ensure the entirety of the points are captured week-to-week.


ie: the problem this solves is the need for every person to read through the entire thread when they are just trying to get a snapshot of the points raised.

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Agree, that’s been part of my toolset for a while.

This can be done via wiki-posts. Not sure if we want to go with this yet, but yeah, potentially we can source pros/cons from trusted members of the community.

I’m going to go through this and other threads in the next week, try to bring them up to date, and generally get things rolling a bit more smoothly on the governance front.


I have updated these guidelines based on recent feedback and the recent signalling processes that have developed. Note that there aren’t too many differences, but even so, I have reset the ‘Signed’ poll denoting agreement to the guidelines.

In summary I have:

  • Removed Point 8 which insisted that polls stay open until the poll moves on-chain. I am no longer convinced this is always wise, and have removed it so that it can be judged on a case-by-case basis.
  • Removed Point 6 ‘Proposal changes, poll stays the same’ as this was overly restrictive. The format of polls can depend on the issue.
  • Added a new Point 4, highlighting that it is the Original Posters responsibility to run the thread through to completion and to at least consider following these guidelines, and the suggested signalling process.

I think there is a post that looks like this one, it’s in the editing section i think but not sure. But it looks like the same privilege , that would need to have there to achieve this .

Looking for comments on potentially updating signaling guidelines!!! Depending on the feedback these updates may be simple or more thorough.

Recent discussions/events have highlighted uncertainties in the signaling guidelines. I am looking for people’s opinions, questions or anecdotes around the signaling process. How has the process worked out so far in your opinion? If you think its a silly unnecessary construct tell us! There may be an argument there, who knows?

Here the recent discussion centered around whether “foundation members” should or should not follow the signaling guidelines. The thread states foundation members, but alot of the discussion is in the context of domain teams (who are funded by the foundation).
Signal Request: Precedent for on-chain polling

Other points brought up by various folk:

Should multiple choice polls be required?

Is a majority (one option gets over 50% of the votes) or plurality (whatever has the most votes wins) required for consensus in a signaling thread?

How should emergency procedures occur? Everyone probably agrees that emergencies should bypass signaling stuff, what constitutes an emergency, who decides? Is there a spectrum of emergency/urgency? Should different signaling processes accommodate that spectrum

Should there be other exceptions to the signaling guidelines? Should we make proposals to streamline governance for specific domains or individuals within domains?

Is the signaling process something we believe is worthwhile to keep developing?


Hi @Mitote

You guys are doing great so far. I wish i could have been more involved lately but here is my comments about updating signaling guidelines:

  • SIgnaling guidelines should be clear and regroup all guidelines in a single post.

Emergency signaling :

  • We should all use a sort of online form and maybe incorporate new stuff into the pooling UI
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I’d like clarity on the schedule associated with signals. i.e. proposal posted, one week debate, one week poll, one week for formal proposal, etc. Obviously the cadence is up for debate.

I’d also like for the final post in those threads to be a summary of the thinking expressed. It should also contain a completed template for the poll so the governance facilitator(s) don’t have rewrite or fill in any blanks. Best to avoid the possibility of misinterpretation.


I agree with the emergency signalling requiring some sort of quick poll to determine whether its a signal. Something akin to a twitter poll that can quickly gauge community sentiment on the subject. Forum polls are great but if you need something done quick what is the best way to mobilize action? Perhaps that is even too slow and we relegate authority to a certain group or entity like we do now. Not sure what the best option is long term.

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Updated guidelines provided here: Practical Guide to the Signaling Process