In the second session of this 12 part series, join status' core contributors as we discuss and debate to which degree we uphold our principles, how we can improve our performance, and what we're adding to our Wall of Shame.
We believe in fair and widespread access to our software, with an emphasis on ease-of-use. This also extends to social inclusivity, permissionless participation, interoperability, and investing in educational efforts.
Seminar Opening presentation
Inclusivity Session Notes (reprinted below)
Presented intro slides. Company/product discussion. Have levels of activation on how involved and active someone can be wrt Status. Call to action, e.g. reporting a bug, helping someone install Status, we all have a role in driving engagement. Lack of education is a bottleneck for crypto in general.
Broadening our contributor network is not the same as hiring. Core contributors can be thought of as stewards, and people in the network are funded by other people in the network who like their ideas. This permissionless model negates the need for coordination.
Need better contributor metrics to track our success in developing the network. The value is in our network.
Fair and widespread access - does Status work on many devices? Or are we ashamed because this didn't happen yet [it's the latter]. Devices and OSs are older - is this something we can even tackle?
Living in developed countries, have Apple devices, not all of our users have the same access to technology, are we being inclusive of everyone, or just people who are like us?
On being more inclusive on a technical level - what about a light client that can run on older devices, with pared back functionality?
IRC was popular for years and was super lightweight, could we do a text-based version of Status?
Possible, but couldn't run light client.
Ignorant of how inclusive we are with regard to devices.
Can’t install on any of my chromebooks (one off the fastest growing devices for young people)
Looking at DApps that can broadcast over Whisper. Metamask e.g. connects with nodes that's not running with Whisper enabled.
Setup difficulties deterring people when building Status.
Status Desktop build repo not accessible to the average developer. Lots of different components.
Need more community-driven contribution into the content itself around education. Should make content freely accessible and not retain revenues from it. If we do have incentive models within the education realm, should be in a closed system, i.e. we are not trying to profit from it and the system sustains itself. Need to make content easier to find, navigate, and access. Translations, access by geography, etc. - could do things differently and be even more inclusive and collaborative.
One of the good approaches at ConsenSys was to be as open as practically possible with collaborations - so companies that wanted to do free translations of our content or foot soldiers outside core org members who wanted to go teach our content etc. There was then of course discussion, debate, and possible trade off in doing that vs. maintaining quality of content etc. but the attitude definitely was to try and be as open as possible towards maximum collaboration with outside parties.
Taking community on a journey through familiarity with Status to contribution to the project. Want to give people more mechanisms and options to contribute. Not everyone needs to be a CC, but people should be given options to contribute in a way that suits them, e.g. making a one-off translation.
Attended an event with real-time translation - can we do more with our events, e.g. Town Hall to increase accessibility?
Would be interesting to see, in a hostile environment, how using Status actually works. What would it take to get something up and running there that would be useful?
Could partner with groups in e.g. conflict zones, to stress-test Status.
Action item - explore partnerships with groups/networks to stress-test Status
Get complaints about Status Desktop not having certain features, e.g. Windows compatibility.
Known problem, working to solve.
Slack made good use of bots for automation, something we could look into. From a DApps perspective, could educate people on how to use them.
Lacking geographic diversity - impacts our ability to create an inclusive product. Do we have a blind spot when testing our products, what perspectives are we missing?
Before going to China, had no idea how widespread/popular WeChat is. Didn't see how people use this software in other contexts. Missing perspectives, only someone with a lived experience of being in these contexts can really tell us how our product works. How can we reach these people more efficiently?
Doing research on how Status can benefit LatAm community, lots going on politically and in economics. Not being able to use Status with an outdated phone is an issue. Mesh networks, looking to connect with vendors/SMEs to see how they use this technology. Have to be culturally sensitive and not try to apply one Western way of thinking in how we approach people. Most important is education - not just about blockchain, but technology in general - how can this benefit people? General tech awareness is not taught at schools/unis, particularly public schools. Were lucky enough to be invited into a public school to present on Status, students were excited to hear about the possibilities.
What about a multilingual our.status.im? As something we strive towards, may not immediately be able to implement.
Excluding huge swathes of the globe as not everyone speaks EN. When people can access content in their native language, they can engage with it - there's a lack of localised content.
Action item - expand linguistic presence in social media / events
Naver as an example in KR - biggest blogging platform in that region, trying to replicate content in local language is important, but - audiences will use platforms that are familiar to them in their local regions.
We want to be able to show that we're trying and taking steps to localise content. Though i feel we're taking steps in the right direction.
SITG3 - all white males involved, can't help but notice that. Lack of diversity may perpetuate the issue.
Accessibility - need one simple message that people can believe in. Can we roll up the Principles into a common belief that everyone can identify with?
Need a mission statement that's easily translatable, and that resonates across cultures / languages.
Interoperability - IM services typically compete for users. Users as products. The user is not our product, they can use other applications that can communicate with Status.
Need to inventory within the org whether the design language is accessible. Don't currently have a framework. If we want to act with a decentralised design system, need to agree on it and test it for ourselves.
Thinking about forking a client - MSN Messenger Plus was a hacked version that violated ToS, but people used it because it had superior features. Maybe we should incentivise customisation of our client. People are going to do it anyway. Whatsapp+ is customisable, e.g. black background that's energy-efficient.
Action item - incentivising forks, other usages of Status. Making customisations available. Define separation of status protocol from it's reference implementation
Being decentralised already provides value, the reference for the protocol needs to be specified clearly and create their own software. Status becomes a platform that people can build on top of, not just DApps.
Wall of shame - Inclusivity
- Status developed with new/expensive devices or latest OS' in mind
- Won't install on some tablets (e.g. Android)
- Building Status not accessible to the average developer
- Need to make educational content more accessible, with more community-driven input
- No multi language direct collaboration stuff
- EN-language orientation of our social media
- Principles only in english
Join the discussion about Inclusivity here.