[POLL ADDED] Proposal: Language Operations Working Group (LOWG)

Situation

I am proposing the funding of a Language Operations Working Group (LOWG) for 2 months ending October 1st, 2021 - to finish at the end of Q3. This will be a new working group to formalise language related contributions and their reward.

What is the core problem(s) you want to solve?

To help the Coop operate in a global marketplace and expand its reach in line with its North Stars and Core KPIs there is a need for communications in languages other than English.

Since February, the Coop has used bounties to recognise the language contributions of its many talented and dedicated members in relation to publishing content, engaging on social media, and translating documents. This method of reward is no longer available directly from the treasury and was no longer suited to incentivising the range of possible activities that best serve the Coop in this area.

The LOWG will begin a program of targeted, results-focused activities that will serve the growth of the Coop’s North Star’s and KPIs outside of the anglosphere.

Why is this worth addressing today?

It is important to address this problem today because:

  • We should retain and develop the great team already familiar with Coop content,
  • We have the opportunity to translate present Coop’s successes into new regions,
  • Strengthening linguistic and regional foundations will create new opportunities,
  • The Coop should have a go-to team when language expertise is required,
  • Funding for language-related activities is not currently formalised,
  • To not work in languages other than English is to leave business on the table and risk trust and credibility

How will you address it?

This working group will focus on two main initiatives:

  1. Support and develop activities in key languages
  2. Prospect and nurture opportunities in other languages as we build audiences around the globe

To begin, in the proposed two month period, the LOWG will focus on China (Mainland), German, and Spanish for its key languages. The selection is based on potential opportunity and current Index Coop capacity.

China: Although a challenging market, the size is large (we are already connected with Odaily - a Chinese blockchain news platform that already had 8 million readers in 2019) and there is support for blockchain literacy right from the top of government. @Tudou is deftly operating WeChat and Weibo channels for the Coop - selecting and translating appropriate Coop content and writing original content while synchronising with @Lanks and the Growth Working Group in the APAC channel. Tudou also reaches out to local media channels and influencers and has taken part in AMA’s.

German: Germany is a hotbed of crypto, Berlin may even be the crypto capital, and from Monday, August 2nd, the country’s $2.1 trillion Spezialfonds can begin investing in crypto. With @ela and @Martin, the Coop has two knowledgeable and committed contributors who are keen to communicate the Coops products. ela has recently begun to consolidate German Coop content under one substack and has begun a Coop DE Twitter.

Spanish: While there are local nuances, the Spanish language is the second most spoken native language in the world and covers much of the Americas, where MakerDAO identified exploding mainstream appeal. @sver blogs several times a week, 14 Coop articles in the last month, and is active daily on the Coop ES Twitter account.

The three languages above will report engagement statistics and seek growth in impressions and followers. Longer-term, as hosting changes take place and new possibilities arise, there will be efforts to attribute sales and other conversions, such as content engagement.

For other languages, the Coop is lucky to have consistent French, Russian, Swedish, and Turkish contributors. During the two months to October 1st, the LOWG wants to reward these contributors appropriately while developing their potential to engage a greater audience.

The LOWG wishes to encourage more language contributions in line with Coop interests and to fund related activities. Recently, for example, Coop members have indicated a desire to produce Brazilian and Japanese content. It will be the LOWGs task to guide these contributions and evaluate their potential for the Coop.

What impact will this project have?

The LOWG will be a supportive group, assisting all other working groups when called upon. It will be independent, so that it is not a burden, but will likely take lead from the Growth and Business Development working groups. For questions of graphical style, we will defer to Creative and Design working group guidelines.

Though currently difficult to attribute, we will seek to measure the impact of the LOWG by its addition to growth and the Coop’s North Star & KPIs. We will seek to increase content engagement, impressions, and followers across the three key target languages (Chinese, German, Spanish). We will assess the promise of other languages that currently have Coop content and work to identify where best to expend resources.

Key languages (Chinese, German, Spanish) will produce 1 or more Coop blogs per week and engage daily on social media. They will deliver statistics relevant to their platforms and channels.

Regular contributors should produce at least 2 pieces of content each month and provide supporting statistics appropriate to their platforms, such as impressions, subscribers, link click-through rates. At the end of the initial LOWG period, October 1st, a review of the languages will take place to determine future commitments. Statistics will factor into this review but factors including other Coop priorities, Coop resources, and contributor availability will come into play.

Working Group Lead

Gavin (mrvls_brkfst), stipend - $2500/month, total $5000.

Request for Funding

Proposed Budget

$45,400 maximum. If every language fulfils every possibility and three new languages take part. Funds do not need moving from the FC because they are contributor rewards.

Use of Funds

Current part-time contributors: akonun, Ela, Sver, Tudou, @blurb (nakamomo), Crypto_sova , @cryptouf, @insidetrader, @Laridsaldanha, @pujimak_in

The Contributor Rewards for the last three months were:

April: $2514

May: $2075

June: $3801

We are now ready to level up content in the three key focus languages and to further test the market in others. Whereas we previously worked on two publications each month, there is now commitment to weekly publications and daily social media engagement in key focus areas, and the facility for other markets to grow.

The budget is intended to promote increased engagement by allowing room for a channel to set up and grow. Currently, these statistics may serve as a baseline:

China:

Weibo (socials) - June - 8034 impressions and 4 new followers

Weibo (socials) - July - 10300 impressions and 7 new followers

WeChat (blog) - June - 279 impressions and 24 new followers

WeChat (blog) - July - 703 impressions and 44 new followers

Spain:

Twitter - June - 1,750 impressions and 7 new followers

Twitter - July - 13,500 impressions and 34 new followers

Note: For the Spanish Twitter, July could have been funded by impression mining for between $108 and $135. However, the LOWG intends to fund socials while a channel falls under $200/month, then transfer to impression mining above that - giving a chance to get started. There will be no double-dip - that is, no LOWG compensation plus impression mining.

We will target:

  • 4x or more impressions for China and Spain (in line with budget increase).
  • Up to 5x more blog content for the Key focus languages - Chinese, German, Spanish.
  • Maintaining or increasing other language content contributions for between 2 to 4 blogs per month.

A contributors budget of $19,200/month for two months will keep activities focused on high-impact work while giving a window of opportunity to prove traction for additional efforts.

For German, the consolidated channel is new but we expect similar growth to the Spanish channels and provisionally target 50 followers for the substack blog.

By the end of the working group period, the Coop’s website and blog hosting capabilities are expected to be much-enhanced thanks to the efforts of the CDWG and EWG. A successful LOWG will then be in a position to provide localisation assistance and modify its workflows as necessary. Funding this working group will help retain talent for any localisation assistance the new site needs.

Organization

How will it work?

What will you be doing?

How will you interface with the community?

The LOWG will be managed by mrvls_brkfst (myself). Over the proposed two months, I am keen to mentor a Coop member to become familiar with the work involved with an eye on developing skills for future expansion and the provision of resilience.

Contributors will manage their tasks independently and as they see appropriate for their language. Contributions will be tracked in the Index Coop Content spreadsheet. Feedback and reviews will take place. Contributors will be asked to provide statistics relevant to the platforms they use and these will be reported to the community at the close of the proposed period, Oct 1st.

Due to time zone challenges, there is rarely, if ever, a good time for an all-hands meeting. Communication will be via 1:1 calls, chat, and the Discord #language-ops channel. If the group sees the need, or there are serious blockers, a group call can be organised. Should a weekly meeting become necessary, it will be facilitated.

Direct requests for translation assistance have so far been manageable and requests may continue via the language-ops discord channel or me.

Commitments

I am committed to Index Coop principles.

I am committed to serving the entire Index Coop with my work.

I am committed to open, rapid communication: I know that clear, constant, public communication lifts the entire Index Coop community. I am highly aware and resolutely committed to this style of communication.

Shared learnings: I will share my progress, learnings with the entire community. I will ensure that anything I create is accessible beyond my tenure for future generations of Indexers to access & build on.

Intellectual honesty: I am committed to growth and improvement. I am open to feedback and will use feedback to improve my work for the benefit of the entire Coop community.

I am committed to making Index Coop a welcoming, fun, and engaging community to work in!

The Language Operations Working Group opportunity

I believe the value of communication in a person’s native tongue is essential for understanding and trust. For me, Language-Ops and its contributors exemplify what is possible when people work together. The Index Coop is a magnificent recent creation that embodies the great elemental possibilities offered by the Internet and the Cryptosphere - it is a global coordinated effort to build a better future. Summed up best in its guiding principles. It is with these principles and thoughts in mind that I will work to make the LOWG a valuable asset to the Index Coop and a credit to its contributors.

Funding the Language Operations Working Group
  • FOR
  • AGAINST

0 voters

19 Likes

Thank you @mrvls_brkfst for putting this proposal together! Providing the local language obviously removes major hurdles for newcomers to crypto. Adding these languages really deepens our preparedness for expansive growth!

As a long-term contributor to language ops in it’s current incarnation I really would appreciate the predictability that this proposal offers us contributors.

6 Likes

Hey @mrvls_brkfst,

I’m so happy for this proposal to finally come out. I’m personally FOR the establishment of LOWG. Simply because of these 3 reason;

  1. With almost exponential growth currently happening in our DAO; it’s only natural that to maintain high impact, we need to grow and expand our presence even more.

  2. As Index Cooperative being view as the leader not only in Crypto Asset Management, but within other DAO’s. They look towards us for guidance and inspiration when they navigate the space. Thus by us continuing setting the standards of how a DAO should operate. We’ll become a beacon for all aspiring DAO’s moving in this decade.

  3. Language has always been a bedrock of any civilisation; as it’s the foundation for the culture that said community bus based upon. Furthermore since the mission of the COOP is to “make crypto investing simple, accessible, and safe for everyone.”, what better way to relay that information in the language the locals understand!

I look forward to great things from this Working Group.

Hoot hoot!!

5 Likes

Appreciate this was a little difficult having to move forward outside of the wider funding grant Mrvls Brkfst, but thanks for following the process diligently.

Clearly you’ve spent a lot of time on the comp numbers and scoping out how this will work. I think for a 2 month experiment it seems ok, but in the spirit of working groups being iterative and accountable, I’d probably want to see a few things at the end of the period:

  • How is the cost of this stacking up against impression mining. I understand some of this stuff can be slow burn for a while before picking up, but perhaps IM will suffice until certain areas are begging for more content and then expand. As you pointed out, IM for equivalent impressions would be cheaper.
  • Identifying/justifying with data the high impact areas, and being comfortable dropping those that don’t drive impressions/signups. Do the 3 key areas identified in your post end up being the most impactful.
  • I’ve seen contributors take initiative as part of this group already, but think of all the work GWG does outside of just content, LOWG should look for opportunities outside of translation to expand reach (Tudou is a great example).
  • Speaking of growth, there was mention of the ability to automate some of this work, would like to see that as part of this proposal, working with GWG to plan and implement that tech over this 2 month period. You or LA can tell me if that’s not appropriate though.
5 Likes

DFC brings up some good points.

One of the most important skills Index Coop needs to develop as an organization is the ability to drop initiatives (or parts of initiatives) when they are not working. Alot of the time this happens organically. But working groups should still outline how they expect to measure results. Sometimes I think we get so sucked into measuring top-line metrics like AUM and user growth that don’t spend the time to think about the actual metrics we control within each WG. Growth has done a really good job with a metrics based approach.

Ideally Language Ops is really the first step towards building region specific pods/Working Groups. I see the core contributors for language ops eventually becoming WG leaders for region specific teams. I.e. @Tudou eventually becomes the leader for our China Working group that is focused on Growth/BD/Marketing/Recruitment etc in China.

3 Likes

A massive shout-out to @mrvls_brkfst for spearheading the lang-ops working group. I think contributors from outside the English-speaking world are equally passionate and committed to growing the coop as those from English-speaking regions. I am uber excited to see content and growth efforts in international markets finally institutionalized. But do bear in mind that growth may not come in a linear fashion with each month and there could be a period of ‘slow burn’ before we see a tipping point. However, at any rate, lang-ops is off to a wonderful start as our contributors already know the drill to drive impactful content creation. As for specific metrics, we should be agile and always have an open mind for changes. Personally, I am not bothered by being underpaid/overpaid a couple hundred dollars, as long as I agree with the vision of the organisation and the work I do is making a dent. There can be and should be mini/interim reviews to adjust KPI’s or compensation. For example, it makes sense to use IM statistics as a key driver for measuring socials impact. However, the compensation scheme should guarantee a safety net for lang-ops contributors. It might not be the most healthy way to build the Coop brand If we are entirely centered on creating viral content. For example, a technical article might appeal to a crypto VC but offers no interest to retail. This discussion can continue during and after the two-month experimental period. Thanks everyone who joined this conversation and offered their insights.

4 Likes

Thanks for the feedback @DarkForestCapital , very keen to get this right for the Coop and everyone involved!

With regards to impression mining - the idea behind the $200/month was to incentivize the setup of a social channel and the testing out of time input and the response the channel gets. I see that this could be expected from intrinsic motivation, rather than needing such a carrot, but I felt the cost incentivization here was not too great with respect to how important socials can be for the blog content and region growth we’re focusing on. If it is a deal breaker, we’ll reconsider.

On the point of whether the 3 identified key areas are going to end up being the most impactful - These are the 3 areas we can have the most impact now. We have the people, the platforms, and content production and outlined why we think they are interesting. We will focus on nurturing them over the 2 months but if we gain traction elsewhere, in Japan or S.Korea for instance, we will be ready to re-prioritize with respect to impact for the Coop .

The entire LOWG situation will likely evolve over the next 2 months and perhaps a focus area will develop into a greater initiative, allowing the LOWG to refocus on developing other impactful opportunities. This speaks to the third point, which I wholly agree with, in exactly the way @BigSky7 mentions, and I know current language ops contributors see such developments regional pods or groups as a desirable future way-point as well.

On the last point, the new site is coming along awesomely and the CDWG and EWG guys are doing a great job. I now understand that the site is being rolled out in stages and that blogs and localisation will come slightly later than the initial new pages. @DevOnDeFi @DefiJesus please jump in and correct me if I am wrong, or provide further colour, when I say that on-site blog localisation is unlikely to be fully implemented by the end of September. A further consideration is that it won’t be full translation automation and will still need knowledgeable editorial oversight - largely similar to the process our blog translators may use today.

3 Likes

Correct re site and localization @mrvls_brkfst

1 Like

POLL ADDED. Bumping this up!! Voting close in 4 days.

Strong FOR

But can we get a cooler name than LOWG ??? :joy:

Impossible to say

3 Likes

Working group much international

Wgmi for short :+1:

3 Likes

I would actually pronounce its as…

“log’ed”. 🪵 with the “W” silent. :joy::rofl:

Or

Can be a short one… LangWG (LWG); “we’re from Lang WG”…

1 Like

Lang Ops does sound cool - easy to say

1 Like

OWL = Organization world languages

2 Likes

Just want to add, we had some feedback from 1kx - one of our major investors - that localisation is important. They suggested pushing local content translation with the eventual goal of expanding hubs into the most impactful regions.

Wanted to flag as it’s important external validation that this initiative is worthwhile.

10 Likes

Aha, I’ve privately taken to pronouncing it the low ‘g’. In a Snoop dawg style.

1 Like

That’s great to hear and I am sure it will further stoke the flames of enthusiasm within the team!

:fire::fire::fire:

2 Likes

I love this community because it has strong will to share our value with people all over the world!
From this point of view, I am FOR this proposal.

4 Likes

Hey @mrvls_brkfst based on the positive feedback and the diligent post/responses we are going to fund this directly from the FC. Can you confirm it’ll still be a max of $45.4k and that this can remain with the FC wallet to be distributed as rewards, and that you don’t require anything to be sent to a LOWG wallet?

6 Likes

Thank you @DarkForestCapital, yes, $45.4k that can remain in the FC wallet and distributed as rewards.

6 Likes