Some thoughts/ramblings on recent G&R Calls and the proposed new format

Joined the G&R call last week (9/9/21), and although hadn’t been for a few weeks try to attend as often as I can, and I was personally excited to see one of the main topics was to change the focus of the call - because I for one found it became something where really I could just go and read about everything that was spoken about quite easily, and often found myself coming away with no new extra information.

I was though left quite disappointed with the proposed new format (which doesn’t really feel that much different) - mainly just a list of updates and little space for discussion around really what is happening on the protocol, in the wider ecosystem and what could be done - and hearing from the various stakeholders to gauge possible options. For me, the G&R seems to have become more ‘Whats happened’ as oppose to this is currently happening, how do we feel about it, and is there maybe something we could or should be doing to react to this - and if so, who is going to take the lead on this and provide relevant updates and further discussion points.

Now I may well be the only one, but for me, the governance and risk call should be for MKR holders to discuss Governance, hear and understand the current and potential risks of what is happening to the protocol and hear and discuss proposals for the direction of the protocol.

If we want to engage a wider audience to use their MKR (or to become MKR holders) to participate in governance and the community in general, I think it’s unrealistic for them to dive straight into the forum currently - it is incredibly busy, and even as someone who has been directly involved in the protocol for several years, the forum is incredibly complex and complicated (again in my opinion). I do believe the 1 hour a week G&R call should be a great way to get a good summary of what is currently happening with the protocol, with a good proportion (majority of the call IMO) around a discussion about what should happen in the near/medium term and what effects it could/couldn’t have. It’s also a perfect place for those people that may have been following the Protocol a little from the sidelines, but want to get more involved, simply by raising a point or joining in a discussion which they may have a lot of experience in, either inside or outside the crypto/defi bubble.

This post is in no way meant to come across as an attack, instead, this is meant as just some food for thought. However for a while, the G&R call, for me, has felt a little bit like a closed club, you’re either in or you’re out. And if you’re out you may come and listen, but there won’t really be anything for you here, and there is nothing for you to add - but feel free to spend hours a week trying to understand everything in the forum. Last week I even saw some comments about ‘Oh maybe we should have another call for MKR holders’ - but this made me think, why actually isn’t there another call just for the core units to catch up and discuss, and actually maybe discuss between them, how they are going to collaborate and achieve some the issues that are arising on the protocol best - and let’s be honest, there are quite a few issues and risks that probably should be addressed. I will add that I do believe though these issues are continually being addressed, but just behind closed doors and without any real possibility of someone from the outside (either as an MKR holder or someone maybe considering investing in MKR because they like the idea of the project and think they might have something to add) being able to come in and put forward opinions or suggestions.

Would love to hear others thoughts on this though, perhaps I’m in the minority of one - which is fine, perhaps I just need educating and I missed the purpose of the call somewhere :slight_smile:

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I hear this a lot as well, especially on places like Reddit, where there are interested people, but not ones willing to commit a ton of time to some random protocol

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Yes, I think the scope of the call is still a work in progress. Hard to determine if it should be a call for Core Units, community folks, noobs, or MKR token holders.

Listening to OG Ethereum Thought Leaders talk about the Maker G&R call—from back in the days—it has been described as an open debate to figure out how to maintain the peg. Nothing else. Again, that’s from back then—when such folks used to join the call. Now it’s taken a different path, and I believe eventually we’ll find the right path.

During the call, Artem of Gov Comms does a nice job IMO in updating folks on the happenings of the Maker Forum. Is it sufficient? Definitely not, but I think it’s a nice attempt to help folks catch up on what is being talked about in the forum.

Also, maybe the Forum Discourse format is just too sloppy. Whenever I visit other Forums—like Sushi, etc—it’s quite confusing—you have to know how to navigate—and you need to know which post are worth spending your time-on.

But ya, I myself have requested that CUs provide a more simple descriptions and write ups. Not sure if that will help but sometimes noobs come around and they need to understand in simple English what is going on in Maker.

IMO the only way this happens is if we incentivize folks. Nothing more in the world motivates people than incentives, again IMO.

All in all your thoughts are appreciated—hopefully with due-time we’ll get it right.

I appreciate you taking the time to draw up these thoughts and offer some opinions on direction @ChrisB. From a moderator/meeting organizer standpoint I’m in alignment with a lot of what you would like to see in the call.

This point highlights a lot of the struggle with producing an effective call. We are making the change in format because the call had become almost entirely updates and with more Core Units getting added it seemed like that was not going to get better on its own. I would love to see more discussion on the direction and future opportunities for the protocol, our approach was to select a few topics for discussion and see where that takes us. Do you have thoughts on how we could more organically encourage this type of open discussion?

This is definitely something we want to avoid and are hopeful that the new framing will help with. The G&R is often a place new contributors get directed to and if we can make them feel more seen and welcomed I think we’d see a lot of benefits. The hard part is finding a way to do that in an engaging fashion that spurs high quality discussion. We still seem to struggle with keeping the call short so I’m hesitant to add sections, but perhaps we could start dedicating one of the discussion topics to people not in a Core Unit.


We are still very much in the work in progress stage with changing up the G&R call and if there’s any methods/ideas you’d like to see us attempt please don’t be shy in suggesting them. Your candor here about the lack of effectiveness is very important to discuss and things will only improve if we get some good thoughts on what’s not working now.

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This is actually a really great memory. I think back before even MCD, in fact, leading up to MCD when Sai was well below the peg, and the weekly calls were really focused on that - and we had several market makers giving updates on their Sai inventory and what they were doing, and what they would like to see. And then we had the ‘internal’ guys, Cyrus etc, giving their thoughts opinions too - and the state of the peg updates.

I personally though don’t think we’re in much of a different spot right now - just with more open questions to deal and juggle with, such as how do we grow Dai demand, Vault demand, the USDC issue etc. I would like to say those ‘how to maintain the peg’ days were the good old days for the governance calls with lots of discussions.

I agree - I find these updates useful too, and a much-needed addition to the call given the intensity of the forum. If you see/hear something interesting in that update, you can go and find it in the forum to dive in deeper. this is how it should be IMO.

I think it depends on how you look or define incentives. I for one feel that if have a space to raise my points or concerns, and I feel listened to and included in the conversation - that’s an incentive enough. I like to know that my time is being made use of in some way - it makes me feel good if something I have added can be seen to add value. I don’t think incentives always have to be money orientated, or badges etc - I think if you can make someone feel ‘part of the team’ and valuable to the ongoing discussion, that leads people to firstly come back again, and hopefully (probably) get more involved. I think we can get caught up sometimes working out how to reward people, when for a lot of people, the passion is what drives them - but they don’t know how to help, or if they try saying something, don’t feel like they are listened to.

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Not really. And I should have added in my first post that I appreciate that this job is an incredibly hard one - and I’m really not trying to take away the effort that is going into making these calls as useful and productive as possible. It’s certainly not something I’d be able to do - so hats off for the job your already doing.

With regards though to some ideas though, I actually think choosing and highlighting the primary topic of the call in the days leading up to it. Ideally this is where some sort of marketing team would be helpful to the DAO to spread the message of say ‘This week on the Maker G&R Call, we’ll be discussing how we can address…if you have any thoughts or comments, come and join us etc’. And this message needs to be spread as far and wide as possible IMO.

I also think though that the topics need to be carefully chosen, and they need to be seen as important, relevant topics for the time. I see there is a new post today too about prioritisation, which is going to be hugely important, and I think these calls can work side by side with that prioritisation. From a Product point of view, I’d like to see at all times what the DAO considers the biggest and more important problems to address and solve, and these should be the primary topics of discussion - in my opinion. These are also the juiciest topics that would likely too get the most attention. And most importantly, I don’t think there should be any fear of addressing the negatives. We’re only going to make progress as a protocol if we can publicly accept the negatives and downsides to doing certain things, and not just pretend it’s all rosey. Controversy often attracts, and just maybe, for the most difficult of topics, you might attract the new people you need to help grow it further and faster.

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