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:
- Support and develop activities in key languages
- 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
$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
The Contributor Rewards for the last three months were:
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:
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
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.
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.
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.