Grant Proposal: Republic of Ocean

Grant ID: 2prdd96

Summary:

The Web3 Ocean Podcast is at the intersection of Audio, Blockchain, Community and Data.

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If available, please enter a link to your project below:

Are you applying as a team or individual?:
Team

What type of grant are you pursuing?:
Long-term (continuous)

Please select the category your project best fits into:
Podcast & AMA Series

Please select who you think will benefit from your project?:
Curators, Delegators, Indexers

How much funding are you looking for? (USD):
10000

Have you received funding from somewhere else?:
Yes

If yes, please describe where you’ve received funding from and how much you have, or will, receive:
I have received $4000 from OceanDAO to kick-start an NFT project for the episodes. https://web3ocean.uncut.fm/

What’s your vision for how your project will impact The Graph and/or web3?:
My vision is to build one of the top Web3 podcasts in the ecosystem that would cater to a lot of Web2 SaaS players who are onboarding into Web3. I had successfully run a top SaaS podcast at https://www.republicofsaas.com/ and I sense that in the coming months, a lot of SaaS founders will be using The Graph. We will be at the intersection of Audio, Blockchain, community and Data.

What can you share about any past work that is relevant to this grant?:

  1. My SaaS podcast - https://www.republicofsaas.com
  2. The current podcast that I am proposing is https://www.republicofocean.com
  3. NFT series at - https://web3ocean.uncut.fm/
  4. Clubhouse and Twitter spaces - Two Sides of the Coin - Clubhouse
  5. Blog & future research newsletters at Saswat

Can you share any information about current/past web3 experience?:
Currently, I am also a mentor at the StatesDAO - https://statesdao.club/ and am active in the Defi space. I participated in the HackFS along with my team at Interakt | ETHGlobal

I am an On Deck DAO fellow - Saswat Sahu — 🎙️ Host of 'SaaS it Up' Pod | MassChallenge (US/Israel) Alumnus — On Deck Community and have started writing about DAOs at Saswat. I am also contributing to the writer’s guild at Tally.xyz.

Quite active in the Optimism ecosystem (Thales, Quixotic - https://quixotic.io/web3ocean) and have contributed to Gitcoin Public goods projects.

In the past, I have been a strategy consultant with 25+ country experience.

Why are you interested in contributing to The Graph and/or web3?:
I have participated in the Graph ecosystem as a delegator - Graph Explorer

In the future, I would like to be active in the ecosystem as a Graph advocate as I bring a strong API (SaaS background) expertise from the Web2 canvas.

I would also like to introduce Graph to my fellows at StatesDAO so that many of them can start building sub-graphs.




Community Poll

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Grant Committee Vote (closes on Sep 25)

Do you recommend this grant to the DAO?
  • Yes
  • No

0 voters

1 Like

Hello,

Thank you for applying for a Community Grant and for providing so many links as resources, I really appreciate it! After reviewing your application I have a few follow-up questions for you. Please be as specific as possible when answering:

  • Can you elaborate a bit on how your strategy to weave together audio, blockchain, community, and data in your podcast and why you think that is important for the web3 and/or Graph community?
  • To what degree would The Graph be discussed in your podcast? What other web3 topics would you be covering?
  • There are currently multiple podcasts in The Graph Ecosystem. Are you familiar with them and if so, what value/need do you think you would be providing to the community that’s not currently being met?
  • Please provide a detailed cost breakdown of how the $10,000 you are requesting would be spent.

Thank you again for applying! I’m looking forward to your responses.

2 Likes

Hi - Thank you for considering the proposal and comments thus far. Please find below my thoughts for your perusal.

  1. Audio - In the Web3 canvas, audio use cases are progressively getting decentralised.
    a) Shift from Spotify/Apple Podcasts/Google Podcasts/Amazon Music to Audius & Fountain
    b) Ownership of original Audio content via Lens
    After producing my SaaS podcast and doing detailed user research amongst Web3 native audiences and stakeholders, we realised that there will be an intersection of the podcasting canvas with the Blockchain and data ecosystem.

So our strategy is to first build a media-collaborative along with our Web3 community. where in Season 1, we will have deep-dive conversations with stakeholders in the Blockchain and Data economy. The engagement metrics will be community-owned within the podcast.

This is important for Web3 community as the listeners, hosts, stakeholders and guests will play an important role in this participative canvas. It is important for the Graph community as all the protocols and Web3 projects using (or who will use) Graph will be a part of the narrative. We will engage with the protocol founders/senior leaders in our future episodes and seasons.

  1. We will curate the episodes where the Defi project/ DAO/ Protocols have a touch-point (use/building) with Graph. So the discussions will naturally revolve around the Graph, the Web3 infra/network services and the Data economy.

We will consult with the DAO members while choosing our guests. We want it to be a collaborative project and there is a possibility of some of the members to be co-hosts in the production as well.

  1. Yes. I have listened to both the podcasts in the Graph ecosystem and have taken inspiration from them too. GrtIQ brings in the current members of the Graph ecosystem onto their podcast and the Index Podcast speaks with Industry pioneers and developers behind the Web3 revolution. We’d love to seek guidance from these Wave 1 podcast grantees in terms of their experience within the Graph ecosystem and possibly collaborate with them too.

We’d like to have a softer inclusive narrative in our episodes as each podcast is different in it’s treatment.This will also onboard a lot of future projects into the Graph ecosystem. We had interviewed Hats protocol earlier - Grant Proposal: Hats Protocol: DAO-native roles and authorities - #5 by Lorena

We’d also mint NFTs of our episodes which will be a collaborative effort between hosts and community members and form a community around it.

The distribution is paramount. So we are also speaking with podcast networks for partnerships. We will have a Web2 onboarding onto Graph narrative too in our episodes.

  1. Cost breakdown:

    Season Production (Episodes Curation, research, recording) & Minting of NFTs - $7000
    Hiring and management of a permanent Audio editor - $1500
    New Podcasting gears - $1000
    Activating Community bounties - $500

Thanks again for all your help over the last week in the discord calls! Shout-out to a few of the previous grantees and the current DAO advocates for their suggestions/advice.

1 Like

Thank you for your detailed responses! You’ve answered all of the questions I have currently. The Grants Committee is continuing to review all of the Community Grant Applications and should be informing you of the next steps soon. But in the meantime I’d highly recommend sharing your proposal in the Discord channels to increase community engagement, votes, questions, and feedback on your proposal.

Thanks again @saas!!

Thanks @Mr.1776 for your support! I have spoken with a few of the DAO members and am excited to speak with others in due time. I have started sharing some thoughts here too - Lenster

1 Like

Nice work on detailed and thoughtful proposal :+1:
As TheGraph community size is increasing, we need more Podcasters like above
who continue spread Graph mission towards a multi-chain decentralized future.

2 Likes

I want to give my thoughts on this because I am actually quite skeptical about this proposal.

  • Your SaaS podcast doesn’t seem to have any kind of big viewership, your link is just a self-made website and when I click to the YouTube channel the videos have 50-100 views each max. That doesn’t seem worthy of that much money to me when there are many free podcasts that get as many or more views. What is the relevance of your podcast when something like GRTiQ exists and doesn’t need a grant?

  • I don’t see the relevancy of the NFT thing and it has 14 members, meaning you didn’t even give away/sell all of them. That’s a really small project and I feel like anyone could set something like that up and say they did an NFT series.

  • I cannot join the clubhouse thing so I can’t comment on that.

  • The blog doesn’t seem to have big readership or be very special either. As far as I can tell it has one single article.

Then my most skeptical point:

The community you say you want to build a media-collaborative with looks like a pyramid scheme scam to me. The people there are rewarded with tokens by having other people join and this project doesn’t seem to have any actual utility behind it. I joined the Discord server and the people in there talk about “going to the moon” and the admins encourage such talk with posts like this:

There also doesn’t seem to be any clear explanation of what the project is about, other than something relating to social media, and the Whitepaper for it is “coming soon” with the last update on that being in March this year. That to me reeks of a shady setup.

In conclusion I do not see how the idea for this podcast helps the Graph ecosystem or the AdvocatesDAO and it actually seems to me like it could be a negative and toxic influence on us. The Graph is very much not about “going to the moon” and as we all know price talk about the GRT token is strictly forbidden in our communities. People in “to the moon” communities don’t seem like any kind of good fit for what we strive for and want to do. I honestly do not feel at all like this is something we should support.

Hey @259tim - Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts. As DAO-native thinkers, we are all inclusive of everyone’s opinions. Let me first address your scepticism:

  • I am not building Phaver but I am aiming to build a community on Lens. If you don’t have lens NFT access, you can engage on Phaver to first become Phaver frens to obtain your Lens NFT so that you can participate in Web3 Social.
  • The reason I am focussing on Lens and not on Twitter is because of multiple reasons (e.g. Integrations). You would have built an audience on Twitter but as the Web3 social graph evolves in 2022, you would like to be closer to your quality Web3 native audience.

I can sense that you haven’t produced a podcast from your pointers. You are right in saying that anyone can produce a free podcast and as audio evangelists, we indeed encourage that. To produce a successful tech podcast with a high-value listenership is a difficult art. I have been podcasting since 2020 after years of tech consulting in multiple geographies, so the value and quality of conversations that we bring into our discussions are a mix of experience, research (knowledge) and humour. Each podcast caters to the host’s persona and listenership.

As a Graph delegator, at this point in time, I am new to the network and am learning the Web3 Data ecosystem. So you are right that the NFT project is small. But it has the potential to become large as listeners like you start owning NFTs to be a part of the podcast. The power of Web3 is the power of collective imagination. If you have ideas for Audio NFTs, which I have been researching this year, happy to brainstorm with you in our Discord.

GRTiQ and the Index Podcast exists since Wave 1 and had to start from somewhere. Similarly, we are in our early days (Wave 7) as we started the podcast in April 2022 and have got the structure in place. We haven’t focussed on the Youtube (Video) distribution as yet and are evaluating Lenstube.

Wishing you a Happy weekend!

Thank you for this submission. I have spent some time checking out the resources provided in the application. Listened to stretches of the The Web3 Ocean podcasts and I feel that the quality is very good. The contents go deep and @saas demonstrates a great knowledge of the web3 space along with great moderation skills.

What initially drew my biggest curiosity is that Republic of Ocean seemingly has its brand tied to The Web3 Ocean project, which has also provided $4,000 in funding. The ask for the grant from the Graph AdvocatesDAO is $10,000. It is certainly not uncommon to co-fund grant proposals with other sponsors, but it is more of an exception to do so for a team that has positioned its brand closely with another co-funding project. Also, the ask from the Graph AdvocatesDAO is even higher than the funding received from the brand-aligned project. Would love to hear the thought process behind that. Thanks!

1 Like

Hi @Oliver - Thank you for your constructive feedback and also for listening to the episodes. Happy to get on a call with you to share more about the scope and narrative of the project that we are trying to accomplish.

After completing the deliverables of the Initial funding that we received, I researched the success metrics of a Web3 project. Based on our analysis, the budget requirement will be higher (Marketing & Distribution, Community development) in the initial seasons. Also, going forward we’ll clearly call out the sponsors of our episodes in our podcast to have brand consistency.

Some of our learnings in this space are:

  • Community development for a Web3 Podcast is a huge task in the initial seasons. The viral loops are multi-channel and to progressively decentralise the podcast production over a few seasons, we need the curation of a listeners/fan(supporter) community for the podcast.
  • Web3 is ever-growing and every protocol/project in this space is a node. The future seems to be multi-chain and interconnected play of multiple nodes. So we don’t want to limit the narrative to a singular node but we want to connect the nodes in the network to shape an inclusive story.
  • DAO-specific engagements take a lot of time. As we further decentralise this project, we will have to attract the right co-hosts, marketing experts, editors, researchers, consultants, design experts and advisors.
  • We have a bias towards Audio and Data guilds. These are of interest to me as I see a lot of future use cases converging. I’ll share about these in our call.

Hence we are scouting mission-aligned sponsors in the early days so that we have the right guidance, and network to craft the project. We are testing out this concept with multiple listeners (Web3 VCs, Founders, Protocol advisors et al) to absorb their feedback too.

I do indeed not have any podcasting experience so I agree with you that I am not that qualified to judge on that matter! You make a good point about what is necessary to produce a podcast and I understand your points about them. I think there could be some merit in the podcast!

I do however still disagree with your web3 strategy. Sadly Lens is still difficult to become a member of but I think that is exactly why we should currently focus on the (it feels weird to call it that) traditional distribution channels like Twitter and YouTube. To me it doesn’t seem productive to be promoting unaffiliated communities that we have no control over just to get people on Lens and then get them to find content you make! Sadly Web3 is so early that in my opinion we cannot focus on just Web3 related systems yet, and we would be unnecessarily limiting our outreach by doing so.

There is potential in a podcast and after listening to some snippets of yours I am more convinced that you are making good content, so I have less reservations about that general idea. Thank you in any case for the levelheaded response, I appreciate learning what you’re thinking and harbor no hard feelings!

2 Likes

Thanks for your kind words @259tim. You also inspired me to write my latest blog post. Yesterday’s mentorship call with @Oliver inspired me too in the right direction. #WAGMI

P.S: Try Farcaster until you have access to Lens. I checked with Dan and the community features are not there in their immediate roadmap but the rest UX/UI is brilliant.

Happy weekend!

2 Likes

Hi @Oliver @259tim @Estie @Colson @pdiomede @poptones @ashiskumar.eth @hronche - Thank you all for listening to the proposal yesterday. I have collected feedback from many of you and incorporated it into the roadmap.

Some of the deliverables (not exhaustive) for Wave 7 would be:

  1. Production of 7 - 10 Podcast Episodes
    Some of the broad themes will be:

    • On Chain Permissions with Metropolis (Chase Chapman)
    • Decentralised Social Graph on the Data Layer (Lens Protocol, Farcaster)
    • Data Linkages in L2s (Polygon, Optimism, Arbitrum, Zksync, Starknet)
    • Retroactive Funding for Public Goods (Gitcoin)
    • Future of Graph (Yaniv Tal, Jannis, Brandon)
    • Audio & Data Convergence Predictions (Fountain, Uncut, Audius)
    • Data DAOs and Guilds (DIA, Chainlink)
  2. 7 -10 Mirror posts for education

  3. NFTs for the episodes for community architecture.

I’ll reach out to many of you as I shape the episodes in the future. Thanks again!

6 Likes

Congratulations! The majority decision of the Grant Committee has concluded to recommend this proposal to the DAO.

In order to receive official approval from the DAO, a corresponding on-chain vote needs to be conducted on DAOHaus that will determine the DAO decision. A member of the Grant Committee will reach out to you via email with instructions on next steps in order to prepare for the on-chain funding proposal.

Thank you for all your effort to present a strong proposal aiming to grow The Graph and web3 ecosystem! :slightly_smiling_face:

2 Likes

Thank you @Oliver and the members of the DAO for your suggestions too during the entire process.

3 Likes

I hereby agree to this grant agreement of the Graph AdvocatesDAO with the GitHub commit-hash 3858eb9315ef3a0a93d0701961ffbc2a57d45205. That document forms the legal agreement of the proposed grant with the following terms:

  • Scope
    • Publish web3 education focused podcasts and Mirror blog posts across a wide range of deeper topics.
  • Deliverables
    • Production of 7-10 podcast episodes
    • Anticipated topics (final themes and lineup may vary):
      • On Chain Permissions with Metropolis (Chase Chapman)
      • Decentralised Social Graph on the Data Layer (Lens Protocol, Farcaster)
      • Data Linkages in L2s (Polygon, Optimism, Arbitrum, Zksync, Starknet)
      • Retroactive Funding for Public Goods (Gitcoin)
      • Future of Graph (Yaniv Tal, Jannis, Brandon)
      • Audio & Data Convergence Predictions (Fountain, Uncut, Audius)
      • Data DAOs and Guilds (DIA, Chainlink)
    • NFTs for the episodes for community architecture
    • 7-10 Mirror posts for education
  • Total Grant Amount
    • USD Value: $10,000 USD
    • Token: GRT
    • Token Amount: 83,333.33 GRT
  • Disbursement Schedule
    • Initial Funding: 33%
    • Upon Completion: 66%
  • Receiving ETH Address: 0x543b556c1b16804d2a39f054f06df4cecf2f167e

I understand that the agreement will only be executed upon a successful completion of a corresponding on-chain vote by the Graph AdvocatesDAO. I also understand that the grant will be disbursed on Gnosis Chain.