AIP-144: Establish Moderator Response Time Guideline

Proposal Name: Establish Moderator Response Time Guideline

Proposal Category: Process

Abstract

Using current and past proposals as a data set, here is the average length spent in each proposal phase:

AIP Idea: 7 days
AIP Draft: 23.17 days
Live AIP: 6 days

The AIP Idea and Live AIP time ranges are appropriate, but the length of the average AIP Draft phase is suboptimal. There is a good opportunity here to improve upon this process and make it more efficient, allowing the DAO to accomplish more.

Motivation

Having a moderator response time guideline will help speed up the proposal process and make it more efficient.

Rationale

The guiding value this proposal most aligns with is Collective Responsibility: We leave everything better than we found it. It seeks to improve the proposal process that was initially setup.

Specifications

A guideline will be imposed to have the Moderator Team respond back to all author messages on the proposal threads within 7 days.

There won’t be any penalties for failure to do so, but this will be a metric that can be shared in monthly, quarterly, and yearly reports and be the first of a series of benchmarks that can be used to analyze the efficiency of the proposal process.

Steps to Implement

  1. Set guideline for Moderator Team to respond to all author messages on the proposal threads within 7 days.

Timeline

This will be implemented right away.

Overall Cost

$0

4 Likes

This is a nice improvement for authors, thank you Vulkan!

I’m just wondering, this would establish guidelines only? There’s no repercussions if a moderator doesn’t respond within 7 days?

9 Likes

This is a great question and one I didn’t have a good answer for.

It wouldn’t be a good idea to say something like “if no moderator response within 7 days proposal automatically moves to Live AIP phase.”

I also don’t want to penalize members of the Cartan team per se. I just want a more efficient process where more can be accomplished in a quicker manner.

Open to ideas on what a repercussion could look like.

8 Likes

Thank you! This is my thinking as well. We don’t want any AIPs to slip through the cracks straight to voting because of a timing issue, and we don’t want to penalize the Cartan group.

Thank you for clearing this up! I think we can safely add this to their job description without damaging the process in any way. :slight_smile: I’m curious to hear what they think.

7 Likes

100% agree on this. I think the very nature of decentralization means no black boxes for anyone in the DAO. Everyone has to adhere to a transparent structure that everyone agrees on, no excuses, code is law.

Is there a way to make stuff like this permanent so there isn’t executive creep on it?

4 Likes

This makes the most sense IMO. If you are pending a response for longer than 7 days, the AIP shall automatically be moved forward.

Do we know how many moderators exist and how much time each moderator dedicates weekly?

1 Like

Having the proposal automatically move forward in the process is risky though imo. What if something makes it to voting stage without necessary research and questioning done by the Ape Foundation? And then the DAO votes to approve it.

I believe there are 10 moderators. Not sure about time committed. I would also like to point out the AIP Draft phase involves many different sub-phases (for things like compiling and reviewing DAR packages) involving multiple groups within the Ape Foundation so there’s quite a bit of coordination needed as well.

6 Likes

It’s a valid concern. I suppose that a non-compliant proposal could be pushed through to voting and cause legal damages if approved.

7 days seems reasonable. I’d suggest using business days in order to eliminate any confusion during weeks with holidays.

10 moderators is A LOT. There are only 42 open AIPs and some are over two months old. Obtaining some insight into Cartan’s weekly budgeted or billable moderation hours would be helpful to understand the root of the problem.

2 Likes

Hey @RedVulkan

Appreciate the proposal ! This idea seems to makes sense given the current framework and process of the DAO. I do wonder if this directive would create some unnecessary level of difficulty for the moderation team as DAO activity scales up. Some draft analysis review packages are noted to be 15-25 pages long, so there maybe some added processing time for certain proposals. Maybe it would make sense to have different time guidelines for different proposal categories (Process, Informational, Core)? Do we have the data for the average length spent in each proposal phase, for each proposal category ? That information could help indicate if the same time guidelines are appropriate for each proposal category, or even an average that’s suitable for them all.

-Lost
:gorilla::orange_heart:

5 Likes

Thanks @Lost that is a great point. I’ll look into it.

2 Likes

Well me being an idea guy, I know for SURE I would be frustrated if I had submitted an idea, it was caught up in the black box moderator process, and other ideas were getting through to vote, and there was no explanation why.

Perhaps modify this idea to say that ideas must be moderated in the order given, or if there is something that is done out of order, there must be a public explanation.

4 Likes

I do agree we could make updates to the proposal phases. As my understanding, the 4-week AIP draft is to give time for authors to write a formal draft following the template. However, most of the proposals follow the template from the idea phase. The drafting phase could be accelerated if the proposal has already followed the template.

I think the key part here is to set a timeline for the moderator team to respond. For me, that’s the bottleneck for all steps. For this part, we probably need moderators to get involved because I don’t know how much work they have and what is a reasonable time for them to provide feedback. But I think 7 days is long enough and it should not be longer than this time unless there are too many proposals coming at one time.

I will not agree to move proposals forward to the voting step without having responses from the moderator team. We still need to control the quality of Live AIPs. The way to solve this would be to have new rules for moderators.

4 Likes

Here are the average times each proposal spent in the AIP Draft phase broken down by proposal category:

  • Ecosystem Fund Allocation: 23.96 days
  • Brand Decision: 32.62 days
  • Informational: 21 days
  • Process: 12.41 days
  • Total Average: 23.17 days

I totally understand the concern about adding unnecessary level of difficulty for the moderator team as DAO activity increases, but at the same time if activity levels increase doesn’t that mean these averages are likely going to increase as well? I don’t want to see an already long process get even longer.

We’ve already seen proposals posted as AIP Ideas with specific timelines/deadlines in mind that were missed, which lead to missed opportunities. The DAO needs to find a way to make the proposal process more efficient so it doesn’t miss out on opportunities like that.

I’m still trying to work through the optimal solution/balance of improving the process without putting any person or team in a difficult situation. I do appreciate your feedback. It helped view things better as categories and I do think some compromise like “only proposals in certain categories are subject to guidelines.”

5 Likes

Thanks, yeah I agree with all of this.

If a proposal takes many weeks to work through due to a lot of back and forth that is more acceptable imo. The problem I’m trying to solve is a proposal author responds to questions and doesn’t receive a response back for weeks.

Agreed feedback is likely needed from the moderator team. If they feel they have enough staff to get it done, great. If not, do they need to hire additional people to accomplish these goals?

4 Likes

Happy to consider this concept with you ! As usual, your data analysis is incredible and appreciated. These stats are very interesting, and this data is surprising. I see a few possible conclusions or assumptions here based off of this data, and also drawing from our personal experience here in the DAO…

  • Contributors who are submitting Process proposals will likely have more in-depth knowledge of the DAO than a regular token holder. They are likely to present a rough AIP Idea in the Draft template, like you’ve done here. It seems like most of these authors understand the ethos of the DAO, and they author proposals which easily pass Moderator review into Snapshot voting. (For now)
  • Contributors who are submitting Ecosystem Fund Allocations/ Brand Decisions spend considerable time answering questions and including edits during the drafting stage. This is likely a combination of the authors being unaware of the proper content for the Draft and Moderation working through questions to understand unique individual proposals.

I’m also wondering what a solution for this is, we’ve discussed this a bit in the past in other channels as well. I think starting with time guidelines for ecosystem fund allocations and brand decisions may make sense based on this data. That could help decrease the average time in Draft phase for all AIPs, and set an expectation to be maintained if DAO activity is consistently rising.

I do wonder if a time guideline will also lead to unnecessary contention between the Foundation and the community. I’ve seen @maariab mention a Governance Dashboard several times, I believe a platform like that could help streamline much of the whole proposal process. Maaria do you have any thoughts about this subject?

4 Likes

90% of the proposal should spend no more than 2 weeks in the draft phase, win or lose. Current lead times point to tardy approach to reviews.

1 Like

I think the mod team tries to do its best to remain neutral and do due diligence on the legal/regulatory ramifications of a proposal. If mods can’t find the answer, I feel like this may cause some of the holdup in some proposals. Because people are 1. still waiting on answers and don’t want to respond until they have certainty, or 2. embarrassed they can’t provide guidance as to regulation on a proposal, which they are supposed to regulate here.

I still believe the best solution is a time limit (2 weeks) and reporting if a later proposal gets a response faster than an earlier one. This does not limit mod’s ability to discern the regulatory ramifications of a proposal, because all I’m after is a report. Some people don’t pick up the phone. I just want to know that they didn’t pick up the phone and my admins are still on the case to make them do it.

If my assumptions about mods are wrong, I’m happy to entertain responses from mods. Just try not to take two months on the response.

(You see what I did there?)

2 Likes

Yeah I’m not necessarily saying it’s the moderator team holding up the process at times. There are many teams, individuals, and factors at play here.

But all the DAO community can see are comments on posts saying when someone responds to a question or has a question. The current process is sort of a black box right now but I would like to see more transparency around it.

I want someone to be able to look at a proposal and know exactly why it’s being held up. Is the author not responding to email? Is the contract being worked on? Is the author’s background being looked into?

5 Likes

This is an incredibly dangerous precedent. I don’t think this is the right way to go. No AIPs should go directly to snapshot without review.

5 Likes

This is crypto - move fast and break things.

2-3 months lead time kill enthusiasm and renders time sensitive proposals useless.

2 Likes