Academic Consensus on Community Incentives + Extrinsic Incentives for FOAM


#1

I read a little a few papers on the subject of incentives for Innovation Communities yesterday and wanted to share the main take-aways. Academic research focused on incentives for online communities is quite extensive. Consensus currently converges on the idea that economic and non-economic incentives are necessary to maximize quality contribution from online participants in collective efforts. Collective efforts are marked by volunteer-based participation. Antikainen and Väätäjä’s well cited research paper [1] on the subject concluded: “Based on the data, it seems that rewarding definitely has an essential role for the respondents of our survey. The survey results indicate that monetary rewarding is important as well as recognition according to the quality of ideas. Members also appreciate that rewarded members are announced on the web site.”

Incentives can be categorized as intrinsic or extrinsic. The former refers to the internal satisfaction online community participants gets from contributing and the latter refers to external rewards put in place to motivate action. Intrinsic incentives include “fun” derive from an activity, challenge of activity, peer competition, peer recognition, and self-growth. Extrinsic incentives may be monetary or non-monetary in nature. Intrinsic and extrinsic motivations interact, so, a careful balance between both must be struck in order to maximize participation and quality contribution by community members. In this survey paper titled “Motivating Participation in Online Innovation Communities,” [2] the authors, summarizing previous work by Roberts, Hann and Slaughter 2006 wrote, “…extrinsic motivations actually enhanced intrinsic motivations. Specifically, an extrinsic incentive such as money, tokens, a gift or voucher increases the amount of contributed work thus raises a member’s status/recognition in the community, which supports an intrinsic incentive. This process can boost, regulate and maintain a member’s interest in doing a task, thus assisting with the self-regulation of motivation.” They continued, summarizing another previous work, “…In a self-regulatory system described in Sansone and Smith (2000), extrinsic drivers influence intrinsic motivation and interest-enhancing strategies predict continued contribution and participation. Sansone and Smith conclude that intrinsic and extrinsic mechanisms alone are insufficient and the system must provide the right kind of performance feedback to increase motivation.”

However, the devil is in the details. A very important part of any incentivization mechanism is approach. If a design focuses too heavily or solely on extrinsic rewards, participants may only be motivated in the short-term, contribute low-quality work, and lose interest. On the other hand, if incentive scheme is solely intrinsic, the project may miss out on the growth-accelerating boost enabled by extrinsic incentives.

Below, I list economic and non-economic incentives external to the Foam smart contract (off-chain). As with my other posts, my aim is to anchor and aggregate the community’s conversations on the subject. My list isn’t comprehensive but will serve as a nice starting point. I welcome additions and suggestions. It should also be stated that the Foam Team recently published an in-depth article on the subject of incentives (https://blog.foam.space/foam-map-overview-of-the-tcr-design-and-incentives-3a26603d3bab ). Most of the items in this list are pretty traditional but were informed by my reading of academic research on online innovation community incentives. Some have been mentioned in different Foam community channels and a couple are quite new.

Some external non-economic incentives available to the Foam community include:

  1. Leaderboards
  2. Work/excellence badges
  3. Webpage for recognition of contributors i.e. www.cartographer.foam.space
  4. Layered Token Curated Registries (LTCRs). In this approach, privileges, access control, governance rights, and rewards are granted in layers – based on the time spent, tokens staked, or value added to the map by a given community member. [4]

Some external economic incentives available to the Foam community include:

  1. Mapathon events
  2. Contests
  3. Bounties
  4. Work/excellence Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs)

Recognition of previous work and excellence via the non-economic mechanisms listed above lend credibility to participants and their future work. It also bestows respect from peers and thus increased reputation. This interfaces nicely with intrinsic motivations discussed above. Layered privileges, access control and governance rights as the phrase suggests, refers to variable permissions afforded participants based prior work and achievements. Layer advancement must be highly meritocratic. The idea of layers applied to TCRs is quite new and was introduced by Trent McConaghy et al. [4]

Since the FOAM token is strictly a work utility token, behaviors, activities and achievements incentivized should increase the value of the Foam map. Rewarded achievements should also be versatile enough to be attainable by all members of the community – not only members with lots of tokens or early participants. This is what Trent McConaghy et al. referred to as “Diversity Management.” [4] This ensures incumbent community members don’t become complacent and/or monopolistic. It also ensures new members don’t become discouraged by an inability to contribute “recognizable” work. One way to achieve this is by rolling averages – achievements are recognized on a monthly or quarterly basis rather than over the full Foam history. Another strategy is through expiration of reputation status, recognition badges and NFTs. Also, the new ideas of layered age (Age-Layered Population Structure; ALPS) and fitness (Hierarchical Fair Competition; HFC) maintenance [4] can be employed here.

Below, I have listed cartographer achievements that can be recognized

  • Age of POIs: Oldest POI or oldest average age of POIs. This can be global, regional, countrywide, statewide, or district-wide.
  • Number of POIs: most installed POIs. This can be global, regional, countrywide, statewide, or district-wide.
  • POI token staked: individual POIs with largest staked token.
  • Successful challenges: cartographjer with highest number of successful challenges.
  • Frequent challenger: **may introduce perverse incentives
  • Challenge voting: cartographer with the highest number of participation in winning side of challenge votes.
  • Governance voting: cartographer with the highest number of participation in governance votes.
  • Leaders of community discussions, articles, and knowledge-based efforts deemed valuable by the community.
  • Tag leader: largest number of specific tags. This can be global, regional, countrywide, statewide, or district-wide. For example, cartographer with largest number of “restaurant” tags in the Bay Area, CA or Thailand).
  • Ground verifications: largest number of on-the-ground verifications.
  • Large token holder: largest participating token holder.

As always, I welcome comments, rebuttals, additions and suggestions. What do you think?

[1] Rewarding in open innovation communities – How to motivate members? (http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.628.9113&rep=rep1&type=pdf )
[2] Motivating participation in online innovation communities (https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/d1d7/f8536c0eff28d06400039eb69a912e07d79a.pdf )
[3] Authentic Incentive Systems (http://danielbayn.com/authentic-incentive-systems/ )
[4] The Layered TCR (https://blog.oceanprotocol.com/the-layered-tcr-56cc5b4cdc45 )


The benefits of building POIs
#2

Well done and thank you for this well researched, clearly written and thought provoking piece. I enjoyed it immensely.

I will pick up the gauntlet you laid down inviting others to engage in discourse on your piece and add to your list of extrinsic motivators.

I would like to add two big-picture motivators for individuals motivated by long term, big-picture incentives.

One is positive; to help get the map ready so we can use it as a more fair and accurate platform upon which to build the best dApps.

The other is negative; to disrupt google maps and apple maps, increase privacy and increase ownership and control of our own data.

Kinda wordy. So here is a possible short answer

  • · Disintermediate
  • · Create

They are possible just flip sides of the same coin so maybe it’s only one motivator but can be looked at through either a positive or negative lens.

Finally, if you don’t mind, I would like to respectfully joust with you (and others) about providing rewards for older POIs. I feel strongly against this recognition and feel it is at odds with what we are trying to create, which is accuracy.

Just because something is old it should not have more importance in the FOAM map than something that is newer. Rather than age I would suggest quantity; ie. quantity of successful “ground truthings” it has received. What I am suggesting is a little more complex than the simply verified age of a POI. It would be built in a second layer and record how many successful presence claims have been made through a POI… if it’s linked to a zone anchor. Though I am not sure if a POI can be linked to the hardware of gateway. Would be cool if it was but as dynamic proof of location has not yet been fully revealed by the team I don’t know if that’s an option or not. Either way, I’d like to find other ways to increase the trustworthiness of a POI rather than time (which enables legacy systems and stifles accuracy and innovation). I would either ignore or discourage the value of time on a POI.

That may be a controversial POV. But I welcome a robust discussion and would like to hear your views on the matter.

I love your list by the way! It’s thorough and fun and thoughtfully curated.

Continuing on further down your list of achievements that can be recognized:

· POI token staked: individual POIs with largest staked token. This will be an interesting achievement and I expect it to change regularly.

· Successful challenges: cartographjer with highest number of successful challenges.

· Frequent challenger: **may introduce perverse incentives I agree wholeheartedly that “frequent challenger” is likely to induce perverse incentives.

· Challenge voting: cartographer with the highest number of participation in winning side of challenge votes. This is the Janitor Reward, cleaning up the map. I like it.

· Governance voting: cartographer with the highest number of participation in governance votes.

· Leaders of community discussions, articles, and knowledge-based efforts deemed valuable by the community. This is brilliant and helps the protocol and community in profound ways.

· Tag leader: largest number of specific tags. This can be global, regional, countrywide, statewide, or district-wide. For example, cartographer with largest number of “restaurant” tags in the Bay Area, CA or Thailand). This is a fun idea.

· Ground verifications: largest number of on-the-ground verifications. This is pretty cool! We could even create bounties with a smart contract. If you’re wallet address is the first to make a presense claim, “ground truth” and verify 100 POI’s the smart contracgt will pay you out a reward.

· Large token holder: largest participating token holder. This would be interesting to know but I don’t believe we can accurately know who the largest participating token holder is because the tokens can be held in several wallets.

I can already invision fun little icon badge/stickers for each achievement. These badges may even become NFT themselves! Great work here. Thanks for your contintribution.


#3

Thanks Kilo. Your words are too kind. I’m very glad you liked it and have taken the time for quite an elaborate response.

I love these because they conjure participation motivated by grand narratives.

I added POI-age recognition as a mechanism to combat premature POI withdrawals. I do however see your point. In fact, your point is agreement with the argument I made in the last paragraph about Diversity Management. Your suggestion, though more complicated, achieves my aim and also does away with the ‘age vs accuracy’ conflict. So, I subscribe. Clarity from the Foam technical team on the interplay between POIs and zone-anchors/authorities will be useful here.

This is fun. People will eat it up

A nice brain-exercise will be thinking up valuable uses, privileges, or permissions granted to the owners of work NFTs. For example, reimbursed POI-installation gas fees or 1.x voting power, or installed POI highlight (the equivalent of ‘boosted’ POIs), etc. Such utilities will consequently increase demand for said NFTs and increase their value. With utility, demand, scarcity, and transferability, a market may develop. To mitigate misuse by attackers who may purchase such NFTs for ill-purposes, it could be written into the smart contract that NFTs can only be sold to wallets that have achieved certain participation, privilege and/or permission levels.

Cheers


#4

Finally had the time to sit down and write some of my thoughts on this post,

First off, thanks @cryptozen for the amazingly detailed write up/primer! Had to re-read it a few times to fully digest it personally. I love how you first explained the theory behind it all then move on to the suggestions

I’ll just share some personal thoughts of my own on the Cartographer Achievements because personally, i’ve always loved the theory of gamification and Achievements on the FOAM Map would be no doubt pretty cool to have! We could also implement badges along with achievements , for example

Cartographer - Set up 10 POIs
Challenger - Challenge 1 POI
Voter - Vote on 1 Challenge

Just throwing some personal thoughts and suggestions out there, dont take it seriously :wink:

Also side note, @Kilo one thing to note that achievements wouldnt last and if we were to confer NFTs each time an achievement is made there would be 1) Gas Fees expense incurred and 2) The logistics of transferring the NFTs would be difficult as the Token holder would have to sign off the transaction for that.


#5

Thanks Daryl. Yes, badges will be a great motivator.


#6

Very insightful. Intrinsic incentives being the reward models within Foam for cartographers, zone anchors.etc, and extrinsic incentives could be the value of Foam token and adoption.
For example, if we achieve a community consensus around the minimum Foam tokens required for staking a POI, to be deflationary; the value of Foam token will increase which can also serve as an extrinsic incentive.
In addition to your proposal, it may be worth looking at different consensus algorithms such as:
Proof of importance (used in NEM) - to build reputation score for cartographers based on their activities
Proof of stake time - to arrive at incentives on basis of POI’s age


#7

Exactly! I’d like to note that once the governance tools are introduced, The FOAM Map core parameters such as the minimum stake can be voted upon and changed.

More on that here
https://mapguide.foam.space/governance/what-are-foam-map-core-parameters