Workstream Proposal — Internationalization: Laying the Groundwork for the Global Push of FOX

Project to Begin Laying the Groundwork for the Global Push of ShapeShift DAO and FOX Token

Introduction

Blockchain is global. Cryptocurrency is global. The human desire to contribute to something special, and the human mind’s creativity is global. At the moment, however, the ShapeShift DAO is only limited to those who understand English.

I’ve been battling in my head whether to wait for the marketing workstream to get started, but had a realization that the longer we wait, the more potential international contributors we may miss out on. This is simply because of the human psychology and how one may become reluctant to join a group that is already seemingly organized and close-knit. We’ve all been there — that feeling of being on the fence on whether to join a discussion with a group of people you do not know.

Let me be clear, however: I am not suggesting that the international community should join the DAO by the droves and overwhelm the community — that is quite frankly inefficient and a huge burden because of the language barrier and misinterpretations that may occur. However, I strongly believe in their right to know about the DAO and how it works, and what it means to be a Fox.

How It Benefits the DAO

If our ethos is truly to become a decentralized organization that believes in equality and transparency for all contributors, I believe that international representation is a no-brainer. However, until a more flushed out and battle-ready marketing workstream is able to begin a true global push with international influencers and community leaders, we must get the attention of the international community. This project’s goal in helping the DAO are:

  • Have documentation ready for the international non-English speaking community that are fascinated by a centralized company transitioning into a DAO — or DAOs in general.
  • The “outsider effect” thats been studied many times by different universities and organizations. In general, the studies showed: better decisions come from teams that include a “socially distinct newcomer.” [Kellogg School of Management, NWU]
  • Begin growing a list of potential future-leaders of the ShapeShift DAO in the international community for when the marketing workstream is ready for a global campaign

How It Benefits the FOX Tokenomics

Liquidity, market making, sound fundamentals, and demand are some of the obvious factors that lead to a token’s growth in value. In just two years of taking a step back from the cryptosphere, I came back to a completely transformed landscape when it comes to the exchangeability of assets. Yes, DeFI is what I am talking about. Simply put, I felt like I was a grandpa being taught how to use the smartphone for the first time. I can set up masternodes and brute force myself a vanity address with ease, but if I felt that way learning the ins and outs of decentralized exchanges, you can be assured that the mainstream is not ready for DEXs yet.

I bring this up because when I was consulting for various projects, we did a lot of project <> exchange introductions. One major component an exchange looks at is the community engagement on an international level. This could be a difference maker of a considerably significant listing fee or a completely free listing. Whether or not listings on centralized exchanges will eventually be a priority for the DAO, there are several metrics that point to an obvious benefit for more international recognition, and even involvement:

  • An overwhelmingly majority of crypto transactions are done on centralized exchanges
  • There are multiple ways to measure adoption — by transaction volume, by percentage of population that owns crypto, by purchasing power, and even by a blockchain development and innovation index. Regardless of what statistic or data you look at, one thing is clear: cryptocurrency adoption in non-English speaking countries is outpacing English speaking countries. The landscape is changing quickly.
  • We simply cannot ignore the enormous purchasing power of investors from Russia, China, Vietnam, South Korea, and more recently, the Spanish speaking Latin countries. Which leads to my next section…

Mission and Goal of this Proposal

Ultimately the mission is to provide the groundwork for future international growth initiatives. This begins by translating key documents that we have in English, including but not limited to: what a DAO is, how the ShapeShift DAO operates (its governance), what it means to be a Fox (ethos), and the ultimate vision of the DAO (financial upside of investing in FOX). Oh, and giving Erik some international recognition for being one of the pioneers in crypto wouldn’t hurt either :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:.

The goal is to carefully vet and select qualified translators (could be already active community members or externally hired) for five key languages: Russian, Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, and Spanish. These five languages were selected by a quick analysis of a mixture of purchasing power, crypto adoption per capita, and leaders in blockchain development/innovation outside of English speaking countries.

Funding Proposal & Timeline

Personnel & Responsibilities

I would like to propose a small team that can vet translators before the translation work, as well as evaluate / quality check the work post-translation. In addition, I would like to lead this initiative, with my credentials in both leading international teams, as well as doing similar work in the process of vetting translators for whitepapers.

  • Project Leader - Lead the initiative and be the central glue of this special projects team. This includes holding weekly meetings, follow-ups with team members as needed, creating a streamlined process for team members to follow, and providing helpful guidance pulled from past experiences.
  • 4 Team Member - Each team member shall be responsible for their language (preferably the team member should speak the language that they are responsible for), including vetting candidates for translation work, negotiating prices with the candidates, educating candidates on certain topics and concepts that may be new to translators, and checking for quality (even if it means bringing in a 3rd party).
  • What about the fifth team member :sweat_smile:? I will personally take the responsibilities of the Korean language, as I am currently stationed in Korea, and have connections in both translators that have extensive blockchain knowledge, as well as those who can review for quality. It’s one thing to be able to translate regular language, but “blockchain language” requires some special care in certain terminologies. These are all issues that I will guide the team members to check and vet for.

Timeline / Milestones

Ideally this entire project should not take longer than two months. Some languages will be translated faster than others, depending on factors such as availability of qualified translators, translators that quit halfway for no apparent reason, and other unforeseen circumstances. For this reason, although highly unlikely to happen, the project’s absolute deadline to completion is proposed to be set at four months.

  1. Milestone A: Finalize the special project’s team members. Target time: 7-10 days
  2. Milestone B: Hold first team meeting, communicate guidelines and processes. Target time: 3 days.
  3. Milestone C: Begin translators’ application and vetting work, select qualified workers. Target time: 1-2 weeks. From here on, some languages may be ahead and some languages may be behind. Personal follow-ups will be required to try and keep everyone on track, but as we all know, nothing goes perfectly as planned.
  4. Milestone D: Translation works begins. Translated documents begin rolling in one by one, and the initial quality check is being done on an ongoing / rolling basis. Target time: 2-6 weeks.
  5. Milestone E: Work with the centralized Foxes to begin integration of translated documents into main communication channels, mainly the website and blog. If multi-locale integration is difficult to integrate with current website, potentially the development of a basic “international” site on a different TLD or a subdomain. Target time: 2 weeks, or depends on how busy the centralized Foxes are.
  6. Finish Line: Wrap-up the special project, review our processes, document our challenges and successes for any future translation work / global marketing initiatives that will come, and begin discussions with the marketing workstream (which will hopefully be running and kickin’ by then) about potentially integrating our team into a more long-term global initiative project.

Funding & Expenses

To ensure that no one is able to take their allocated funds and run / quit halfway, payments will be made monthly.

  • Compensation for Project Leader: $5,000 distributed over the course of 3 months in FOX tokens at market price at time of distribution
  • Compensation for Each Member Leading a Language: $3,000 distributed over the course of 3 months in FOX tokens at market price at time of distribution
  • Expenses: Allocation of $1,800 per language translation, and $200 for 3rd party quality check (if needed). Maximum of $10,000. Unused funds will be returned back to the treasury, or be distributed evenly to team (need community input on this — I personally do not endorse trying to take the cheapest route, as in translation work, the saying “you get what you pay for” is oftentimes very true, but could be a good incentive for team members to work efficiently). These funds will not be released to team members until the project leader reviews and approves of the translation candidate, and will not be released to the project leader until Milestone D is reached. This portion of the fund, when released will be converted into a stablecoin, as many translators do not accept tokens. Negotiated cost for translation will be put into escrow until the translators’ work is complete and necessary changes are made.
  • Emergency fund of $2,500: to be untouched, unless in case of absolute emergencies (someone fat fingers the gas to 5000 gwei, funds accidentally sent to wrong address, etc). Humans make mistakes. Unforeseen circumstances arise. This emergency fund is in place so that one mistake will not grind the project to a halt.
  • Total Proposed Funding: maximum of $32,500, potentially less if unused funds are to be returned to the treasury.

Please post your comments, concerns, and questions! Let’s DAO it! :raised_hands:

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This is a very well thought out proposal idea and I think the proposed cost is super reasonable for the immense value this would add to the ShapeShift DAO ecosystem!

Perhaps you should also consider adding to the scope of this creating curated discord channels that cater to the proposed languages (I have seen something similar in other discords) maybe even having the identified translators act as community liaisons for their specific language there so they can point them to the right docs/answer questions etc.

Overall I think this proposal is very strong and it has my support, nicely done @LPX !

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I have thought about that, but I was a bit hesitant because that would mean that the translators would have to be onboarded as a long-term contributer (which is great). Finding candidates that are good at what they do, and reliable for long-term contribution may take more time than simply finding qualified translators. It would complicate the process a lot, but it’s definitely something to think about. The initial goal of this project is to first get the translation ready for the international community, then hand off the global marketing push to the future marketing workstream leader to decide how he/she wants to proceed.

Ideally the team leaders would need to fluently speak the language they are in charge of, so perhaps the team leaders could take on that role. For languages like Russian and Vietnamese, it might be a bit tougher. International “ambassadors” are definitely going to be needed in the future so I am on board with expanding the scope, but right now might not be the best time, imo.

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Wow… if there is such thing as a perfect proposal, this may be it :open_mouth: This is a great proposal and a perfect example for other proposals to follow. I look forward to supporting this proposal and seeing the Internationalization Workstream evolve! :fox_face: :rocket: :earth_africa:

Thanks @LPX

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Fair point and good thoughts. May be best to keep the scope narrow for this initial project and let the community mod workstream take over/onboard the international reps for the long term (and maybe those end up being some of these initial translators but doesn’t have to be the case).

Either way, strongly support this effort and I think it’s important.

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Love this initiative.
The timeline seems very aggressive. Do you have team members in mind yet?
You asked a very reasonable amount of fox. I’m a huge fan of sablier streams. This also seems like a great test for colony @willy

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I do not have team members in mind, but I plan to begin the recruitment process as soon as the proposal is set in motion officially on Boardroom and (fingers crossed) is receiving enough votes to look like it will pass.

The timeline is aggressive, because I have a sense of urgency in the need for this, so that once the marketing workstream gets organized and started, that workstream can quickly initiate global outreach (hence, the title ‘laying the groundwork’). Crypto moves fast, and if we wait too long then the DAO-ification of ShapeShift can easily become “old news” and may not have as big of an impact when it comes to marketability.

I also want to mention that there’s a good possibility that certain languages may not meet the timeline, so I was hoping that the community would understand those particular bottlenecks and either give an extension or scrap that language altogether for the time being, which would mean that the unused funds for that language should be returned to the treasury, or released later than the other language teams.

More flexibility would of course be great, as quality over speed is just as important as getting the word out to the international community, but I wasn’t sure how the community felt with too much of a “loose” timeline and deliverables deadlines.

Please, feel free to suggest potential alternative funding release schedules/methods that’s both responsible and safe :slight_smile: As a newcomer to the community and as a brand new DAO, I was being extra careful to prevent any problems that could arise.

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Also, I am in the process of creating a list of important documents, blog posts, presentations, etc., for the initial translation work to be done on. But I realized that there may be additional content that may need to be created for those unfamiliar with DAOs to fully understand a grasp how ShapeShift DAO or DAOs in general work. Perhaps we can get the community more involved by allocating the requested emergency fund to those that take initiative and write a basic DAO 101 and ShapeShift 101 series, along with other core concepts that will need to be understood. Thoughts on that would be great too.

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Let me be the first then to offer a counter-view :slightly_smiling_face:. Not because I believe ShapeShift shouldn’t be globally decentralized (it absolutely should), but because there are a some assumptions that are unconvincing to me, and it is not clear what the expected return is for the investment.

  1. I’ve been battling in my head whether to wait for the marketing workstream to get started, but had a realization that the longer we wait,
    the more potential international contributors we may miss out on.
    This is simply because of the human psychology and how one may become reluctant to join a group that is already seemingly organized and close-knit.
    We’ve all been there — that feeling of being on the fence on whether to join a discussion with a group of people you do not know.

    ShapeShift was already a close-knit group right before DAO-fication, because employees naturally share a history and have a tighter bond with the company. Yet, community participation (measured by forum/discord members) has soared. A DAO by definition means open to join and contribute and people picked on that.
    I would like to see the assumption that people are reluctant to join validated, perhaps by a count of the new-member countries.
    I’m also not convinced the participation rate will be lower in the future because of this and that it warrants the need to act quickly.

  2. Most international crypto content (or online content in general) is in English. When writing something for an international audience, English is the natural choice - even for non native-English speakers. How can it work if some DAO-related documents are translated to other languages, but the Discord channels, the Forum posts, the video meetings, the proposals etc. are all in English?
    As our mission is to bring financial sovereignty to all, our i18n effort would be better focused at the users (the people using our apps) instead of DAO contributors, of which there are far fewer.

    The public marketing website, the web/mobile applications, maybe newsletters could all benefit from translations to bring more users from around the world to the ShapeShift platform. For DAO contributors, I sadly can’t help but see that an inability to communicate in English will hurt your ability to contribute. Not only in the ShapeShift DAO, but in the broader international crypto space as well. The best long term investment would be for the individual to work on their English skills.

  3. Having 5 team members + vetted long-term translators per supported language is a large investment having unclear gains. Since the amount of required translation work is vaguely known, especially in the future, a better option might be to outsource to a translation service or a freelancer. A quick search on professional translation services shows that, for example, the Foxifesto translation to Chinese (trad.), Vietnamese, Korean and Spanish costs around $150 total. A look around Fiverr might net us a gold gem of a translator (i.e. into crypto) willing to translate for around $20 per 1000 words.
    We can also work with bounties per document and open the translation task up for anyone on a per job basis.

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I appreciate the continued community effort in composing proposals that are as well written as this. I agree and have mentioned previously on the topic, that translation/internationalization is important for community function. I of course will vote to push this sort of project forward, however the specs. don’t make complete sense to me.

I agree that aggressive action should be taken in relation to community development/support (that includes this exact topic of translation/language support services). However I believe that determining the need of language barrier reduction (specific to an individual language) is likely going to take some analysis and observation on the part of marketing & growth. I believe that this workstream falls under the ‘growth’ function of that already soon to be established workstream. Further, the project leader for the things that you would like to achieve here could surely work under the workstream leader for marketing and growth IMO.

Thank you for putting this together, and I appreciate what you’ve brought up here as being important.

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This is a great proposal. To clarify for me, do I understand correctly this is a one time proposal to translate the current website, marketing materials and instructions around the DAO and governance?

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I am all for internationalization, but there are several ways to go about this. If the goal to produce media content for social apps: facebook, tiktok, youtube, ect…, that is one thing, if it’s to translate written text it’s another.

개인적으로 저는 국제화에 찬성하지만 이에 대해 여러 가지 방법이 있습니다. Facebook, tiktok, youtube 등 소셜 앱용 미디어 콘텐츠를 제작하는 것이 목표라면 … 서면 텍스트를 번역하는 것이라면 다른 것입니다.

gaeinjeog-eulo jeoneun gugjehwa-e chanseonghajiman ie daehae yeoleo gaji bangbeob-i issseubnida. Facebook, tiktok, youtube deung sosyeol aeb-yong midieo kontencheuleul jejaghaneun geos-i mogpyolamyeon … seomyeon tegseuteuleul beon-yeoghaneun

Google translate does wonders for quickly translating written text. There are other tools too for any video content that translates and superimposes speech in a target language over the native video. A team overseeing the deliverables is a great idea though. Also, proof readers in the native language is probably a good thing, as I’m not sure how accurate all the transaltions are.

Any static page in any language can be translated in the browser with a plug-in, but a “how to” guide might be something this workstream produces.

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I agree. I think the ideas in this proposal are awesome, but I also feel that this should fall under the growth workstream. Then it can be an ongoing project as new translations will be needed regularly.

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I think it would be fine to have a special project for these initial translation efforts (what the proposal currently is suggesting as I understand it) and then other workstreams like community mods and growth take over these things long term for maintenance and moving forward. Since workstreams will still take some time to get fully up and running I would support this proposal moving forward as a special project for now in the interest of speed.

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you make good points!

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Thanks for the inputs everyone! As I wrap up this weekend with some long-needed relax time away from the computer, I will take every input into consideration and on Monday post my thoughts :slight_smile:

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Hello, I like this plan. I believe this improves our financial inclusive a lot.
I hope next time Japanese please too.
Japanese people’s English like me also are very limited.

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I think supporting Japanese in the near future would be great as well! Thanks for the suggestion @Yas

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Japanese was actually one of the languages that I really wanted to include – this proposal is still in the discussion stages, if you are interested in helping with the Japanese language, please feel free to contribute to this thread!

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Thoughts regarding @bonsaifox counterviews:

ShapeShift was already a close-knit group right before DAO-fication, because employees naturally share a history and have a tighter bond with the company. Yet, community participation (measured by forum/discord members) has soared. A DAO by definition means open to join and contribute and people picked on that.

Absolutely, and the community participation soaring is an awesome metric that the DAO should hold proudly. That doesn’t mean, however, that it wouldn’t benefit from even more participants, in this particular case, the international community. Regardless, crypto investing has changed, and I was surprised at the amount of Korean communities taking it upon themselves to DTOR (do their own research) even when translated documents weren’t available. Definitely different from the last bull run where they invested in anything and everything left and right. As the market matures, I would like to think that the investors’ strategies mature along with it – and I may have confirmation bias, but that is what I have witnessed this bull run.

Whether or not they want to actively participate in the DAO is one part of the proposal’s benefits. Truthfully, I’m sure it would benefit the FOX tokenomics more than the DAO’s operation itself, but that doesn’t mean that we should simply ignore the international community.

I’m also not convinced the participation rate will be lower in the future because of this and that it warrants the need to act quickly.

That may be true, but I fail to see the disadvantages of acting swiftly. Again, this proposal is to set the groundwork for the future marketing or growth workstreams to have a ready-to-go arsenal of already translated documents.

The public marketing website, the web/mobile applications, maybe newsletters could all benefit from translations to bring more users from around the world to the ShapeShift platform. For DAO contributors, I sadly can’t help but see that an inability to communicate in English will hurt your ability to contribute. Not only in the ShapeShift DAO, but in the broader international crypto space as well. The best long term investment would be for the individual to work on their English skills.

I don’t think it’s fair to say that they should work on their English skills as opposed to providing translated documents to pique their interest. If their interest is piqued, and they decide upon themselves to improve their English, then great, but I think this is a narrow-minded way of thinking. I understand where you are coming from, and it makes sense, but it also makes sense in the long-term that having a more welcoming “Get to know ShapeShiftDAO” type documentations in their native language would be beneficial. If it wasn’t, every projects’ whitepaper and documentation would be in English only, but we all know that isn’t the case.

As our mission is to bring financial sovereignty to all, our i18n effort would be better focused at the users (the people using our apps) instead of DAO contributors, of which there are far fewer.

Documentation on how to use ShapeShift’s services and products would most definitely be included in the list of “to be translated.”

Having 5 team members + vetted long-term translators per supported language is a large investment having unclear gains. Since the amount of required translation work is vaguely known, especially in the future, a better option might be to outsource to a translation service or a freelancer.

I am open to reconsideration of the 5 team member idea – it’s something that I definitely want some more community input on. The reasoning for the team members was actually multi-pronged:

  1. Get more DAO members involved in this process
  2. Have DAO members that can be easily integrated into future marketing/growth workstreams
  3. To be able to delegate work and assess performance to raise more leaders in the DAO itself

This is a project that I could take on alone, in all honesty, but I wanted to test the DAO’s health and ability to “self-generate” leaders, and members that would take on initiatives not only for this special project, but in the future as well.

Also, the amount I allocated per language translated was for about ~10-15 pages of crucial documents, as @Josh mentioned: website, marketing materials and instructions around the DAO and governance, along with additional documents that we may seem fit to get the international community at least familiarized with what the SS DAO is trying to do, and the significance of SS transitioning from a centralized company to a decentralized one. Imo, the historical significance alone warrants a translation of ShapeShift’s latest posts, manifesto, and governance process.

A quick search on professional translation services shows that, for example, the Foxifesto translation to Chinese (trad.), Vietnamese, Korean and Spanish costs around $150 total. A look around Fiverr might net us a gold gem of a translator (i.e. into crypto) willing to translate for around $20 per 1000 words.
We can also work with bounties per document and open the translation task up for anyone on a per job basis.

I would not recommend using Fiverr as a translation service, speaking from past experiences. In technical and blockchain related translation services, you really “get what you pay for.”

@goodfaith

Google translate does wonders for quickly translating written text. There are other tools too for any video content that translates and superimposes speech in a target language over the native video. A team overseeing the deliverables is a great idea though. Also, proof readers in the native language is probably a good thing, as I’m not sure how accurate all the transaltions are.

I’m sure you posted this in good faith (haha), but to suggest that Google translate would be a good option is… let’s say very optimistic. Even the sample translated text you posted is full of awkward sentencing, hilarious nuances, and is just not something professional that an organization should (or would) present.


To summarize: I think many missed my main points in the original proposal – this special projects / workstream, whatever it may become, is to set the foundation, the groundwork for

  1. Future workstreams to utilize as a tool for international growth
  2. To begin culminating a small international community that may one day become future leaders in the DAO
  3. Providing information about the DAO, the significance, the processes, and the upside of holding the FOX token and what the FOX token can do

I am open to the idea of removing the “team leaders” and leading the workstream myself, tackling languages one by one and selecting potential long term contributers one by one. However, I thought that this would have been a great opportunity to raise some new leaders within the DAO.

Perhaps this can be an ‘ongoing’ workstream, instead of the aggressive timeline and deliverables I have set forth. For example, instead of trying to proactively find leaders within a timeframe, let them come to us and develop more languages as we grow. For example, @Yas just mentioned that he/she hoped Japanese would be on the list of translated languages. Members can step up to take upon the leadership role, instead of forcing to get certain languages out ASAP.

As always, open to ideas!

Hope none of my counterarguments were offensive in any way – there was zero intention of that. Keep 'em comin :wink:

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