[Temperature Check] Should Radicle evaluate the health of its community?

Authors: @katerinabc and @danielo from RnDAO

We propose to conduct a Community Health Evaluation of the Radicle Community on Discord.
Similar to a health check with a general practitioner, the health evaluation will give community managers/leaders, and contributors important vital signs about their community. This will help them shaping interactions between contributors. Our health check goes beyond traditional measures of community engagement by focusing on the interactions between contributors and not just merely posting. We see interactions between contributors as core, as people don’t work in isolation from each other, but with each other.

Why measure community health?
Community health is one of those squishy things that often fads into the background, while being a driving force of success. It’s like teamwork in traditional companies: People need to be able to work together to do good work.

Community health checks can be done when things aren’t going well, creating urgency and pressure for change. This higher pressure can lead to sub-optimal decisions. Therefore, it is good if the health is evaluated at regular intervals.

How we are evaluating community health
Our building block for measuring community health are the relationships between community members. This is based on several assumptions:

  1. Good work requires technical and social skills. People need to get along with each other (collective intelligence)
  2. Mapping the interactions between members shows “soft incentives” (people influencing people). It’s the real organizational chart.
  3. Information, knowledge, ideas, good/bad energy “flows” between members (just like a virus).

Using the interactions, we build a network (graph) and compute several social network metrics (e.g., decentralization, fragmentation). The metrics are selected based on scientific research and actionability.

What have we done so far
We have published our initial framework and recently delivered the first community health check (Aragon). We are gearing up to do one more this month (MetaGame). Our community health checks are currently static reports while we design and develop the dashboard.

I see two ways the community health check will be beneficial to Radicle, but happy to hear about others:

  1. It can set the baseline measure of how the community is feeling before the transition to the DAO is complete.
  2. It could evolve into including data from Radicle as a form of Radicle Analytics (depending on the progress of the product). An example of how this could look like is the collaboration analysis Multitudes offers.


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Hey @katerinabc! Generally would be in support of this initiative. We are trying to implement a version of a regular “health check” within Radicle (see this post), but I think it would be helpful to have a third-party assessment of the health of the community.

A few questions:

  • What is the budget you are thinking of for this initiative? I see the Aragon proposal was for 30,000 USDC (or equivalent). Would it be similar to this?
  • How will your analysis be shared with the community & beyond? I think it would be great if the findings from our community could be open sourced so others can learn from it as well. Do you have a public data base for all of the evaluations you have done?
  • Would it make sense for us to think about some things we would like you to analyze specifically (e.g. maybe issues we know exist?) or is it best just to leave it open and see what comes up?

Would love to hear @abbey 's thoughts here. Looking forward to the discussion!

Thanks @shelb_ee for your questions.

  1. Budget:
    Yes it would be similar. Assuming we are not building a new data pipeline (Radicle git-type data)

  2. How will the analysis be shared:

The answer to this depends a bit on when we do the health check and on the progress of our dev team. For Aragon we made a custom written report (google doc) that will be shared with the community before the workshop (which we are currently planning) and of course discussed during the workshop.

The dashboard (which is being developed right now) will have a function to share the results and/or have the dashboard open to all.

We do not yet have a public database for all the evaluations we have done or the results of each of them. We did Aragon last month, and I’m currently doing the check for MetaGame. Next month we are doing MetaCartel. We have received other grants and hence are planning more health checks (but @danielo can better speak about that than I).

  1. Shall we think about things to analyze:

We do have a standard set of metrics we are calculating that will be shown in the report/dashboard. However, to make sense of the numbers context knowledge is key (and as a scientist is always love digging into data). Therefore it does help us if you have questions in mind or things you have noticed an want to have confirmed.

Your regular health check
I had a look at your regular health check, specifically the questions you ask. It sounds like it focuses a lot on mission alignment and progress. We would be able to deliver the other side (member wellbeing based on how they interact with each other). Taken together you could answer the question “Are we reaching our goals while enjoying working together?”.

There was one question that caught my eye “What Core Teams have you been dependent on? How are you coordinating with this Team and has coordination been successful?” With some limitation (we currently only work with Discord data) we can answer that question. We work with network graphs and this type of coordination question is one of the first I discuss with my students.

Happy to answer any other question you have.

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Seems like this is now being discussed in the Grants category so I will add my thoughts there!

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Yes, I moved it over to grant section. Thank you for taking the time to read and ask questions.