Osmosis Support Lab Funding Round September 2023 - March 2024

***This and the competing proposal have been merged and a new discussion topic started ----- https://forum.osmosis.zone/t/revised-osmosis-support-lab-funding-round-september-2023-march-2024/255***

Purpose

The Osmosis Support Lab is requesting 150,943.69 OSMO from the Osmosis community pool to fund an additional 6 months of operation.


Details

Who we are:

The Support Lab stands as a beacon of excellence in the Osmosis ecosystem. Rooted in our commitment to the community, we pride ourselves on delivering unparalleled services, including:

  • Social Platform Management: We’re not just about moderating. Our team drives engagements, fosters positive interactions, and ensures that every Osmonaut feels heard and valued across our platforms.

  • User Support & Education: Day or night, our dedicated team ensures every user query is met with precision and warmth. We provide 24/7, live, personalized user support, complemented with a rich repository of educational content.

  • Developer Engagement: Our relations with community developers go beyond the formal. We’re actively involved in pre-launch product testing and QA, ensuring every Osmosis release is robust and glitch-free. This synergy with the developer community streamlines user experience and drives Osmosis’s innovation.

  • Feedback Channel: We act as the pulse of the community, channeling user feedback, emergent issues, and constructive criticism directly to Osmosis Labs.

  • Tech Solutions: Beyond immediate support, we’re constantly innovating. We’ve developed tools addressing recurring challenges, like IBC relaying and channel clearing.


Our team’s composition reflects diversity and expertise. Comprising well-known community members, we’re not only active in the Osmosis community but also significantly contribute to the larger Cosmos ecosystem. Our endeavors, such as in-house support materials and user-friendly tooling, have elevated the Osmosis ecosystem’s user value. The ripple effect of our contributions sees users returning, confident in the support and knowledge base available to them.

The dedicated members[1] who make up the Support Lab DAO include:

  • coldchain
  • Crypto Assassin
  • GP
  • jasbanza
  • Kych
  • Maquina
  • Max Power
  • Mikebarb
  • moonzॐ

Introduction:

Over the years, our community has come to understand the pivotal role the Support Lab plays in the ecosystem. The Support Lab is proud to represent Osmosis as an independent, self organized group of community members with an unwavering commitment to bettering Osmosis, offering an intangible value addition.

As the digital landscape evolves, so does the Support Lab. Today, with a keen awareness of the ecosystem’s shifting needs and challenges, we stand poised to redefine our operations. We are constantly striving to improve and iterate. To this end, we will be reworking our internal management structure. Three managers will be tasked with handling day-to-day decision-making, overall guidance, administrative duties, as well as keeping Support Lab members and each other accountable to the organization and the community.

Marking a new chapter in our governance model, we are transitioning from the SDK multi-sig account to a DAO DAO multi-sig. This move resonates with our ethos of pioneering decentralized decision-making and robust governance mechanisms.

Our unwavering commitment to the community compels us to handle resources prudently. Cost saving measures that have already been implemented in the current operational period have enabled us to conserve approximately 59% of our proposed budget, greatly reducing the amount we need to ask for in this proposal. Despite these budgetary constraints, we’ve managed to preserve the essence of our services.

We thank our friends at Interbloc for putting up their own bid. We recognize that competition breeds excellence, and the community is well served by having multiple potential contractors seek public goods funding.


Budget Overview:

As we pivot to meet the evolving demands and realities of our current market situation, it is imperative that we lay out a transparent and accountable budget. This budget has been tailored to uphold our key services, while also seeking out efficiencies and areas where we can streamline without compromising our core mission. Here’s a breakdown of our proposed funding allocation for the upcoming cycle, with the figures from the last proposal for comparison:

Support:

Amidst our restructuring, one of the significant changes we’ve instituted is in our payment approach. Previously, compensation was structured around worked shifts on a per admin basis. Now, in the interest of clarity and efficiency, we’ve transitioned to a per-hour basis. This not only provides more transparent budgeting but ensures our dedicated team is fairly compensated for their exact hours worked.

  • Support: Here’s the math behind our revised budget:
    – Optimized Staffing: We’ve streamlined our support to have a single agent available across all platforms at any time.
    – Billable Hours Basis: Instead of flat shift payments, we are now budgeting based on actual support hours worked.
    – Calculation: 24 hours/day x 7 days/week x 26 weeks = 4,368 billable hours.
    – Budget: 4,368 hours x $30/hour = $131,040 for support.

  • Support Software: An allocation of $1,430 is specifically set aside for our chat software. The platform we use, HelpCrunch, is embedded in the Osmosis support website to facilitate seamless communication with Osmosis users

  • Bot Integrations: To ensure the smooth moderation of our social platforms and enhance the user experience, we’ve incorporated the use of the Discord bot, Dyno, and the Telegram bot, Cosmobot. These tools assist us in maintaining a healthy atmosphere and keeping our communities safe.


Tooling:

Our ongoing commitment to enhancing the Osmosis user experience involves continued investment in critical tooling infrastructure. These investments not only ensure smooth inter-chain operations but also play a pivotal role in hosting essential resources for public goods.

  • Public RPC Hosting: Distributed nodes support a healthy, decentralized network. Public RPC endpoints allow interaction with the network without the need to provide the back-end server infrastructure. Running this infrastructure is a vital public good for the Osmosis community, as it allows developers and users to experiment with Osmosis in a cost-minimized manner, ensuring that cost doesn’t deter necessary activity.

  • Relayers Fees: We’ve begun relaying IBC transfers back and forth from Osmosis to certain chains on a 24 hour basis including Archway, Evmos, Juno, Quasar, Mars, Medibloc, and Stride. This allows us to clear stuck packets as soon as a downtime is reported, rather than having to track down the entity relaying on that channel. This helps ensure smooth UX for Osmosis users as they move their assets across the Interchain.


Admin:

Central to our operations, admin encompasses:

  • Administration: Compensation paid to the three managers and includes all management duties, accounting, scheduling, and handling subscriptions and billables.

  • Legal: We don’t currently anticipate significant legal expenses in the upcoming period. Our proactive approach aims to minimize potential liabilities. Legal spending is undertaken only as needed

  • Software Subscriptions: Our software suite includes but is not limited to: Slack, Webflow, Zoho, Gitbook, Medium, Bitwarden, Backblaze

In essence, our proposal embodies a holistic approach to restructuring, optimizing costs without compromising quality, and ensuring continued premium support and user experience in the Osmosis ecosystem.


Deliverables:

In-App Live Chat Support Widget


Having made the switch to HelpCrunch on 12/06/2022, our team has impressively addressed 2,818 tickets. The numbers speak volumes about our efficiency and dedication:

  • A swift median response time of 34 seconds.

  • A resolution time with a median of just 31.75 minutes.

  • An impressive 97% satisfaction rating from users, with 91% rating our support as ‘Excellent’ on a scale comprising ‘Poor,’ ‘Average,’ and ‘Excellent.’


Official Support link on sidebar


After a major frontend redesign on March 31, 2023, the Osmosis Support Lab home page was integrated in the Osmosis frontend, populated with insightful articles[2] produced by the Support Lab. This was complemented by the integration of our HelpCrunch widget, resulting in a notable surge in daily ticket submissions, averaging approximately 15.9.


User-friendly IBC Channel Clearing UI


In our continuous endeavor to enhance user experience, we’ve run passive relayers on several high-traffic channels[3].Additionally, we introduced The OC[4] (OSL Channel Clearer) — a groundbreaking tool designed to allow both Support Lab members and end-users to swiftly address issues in problematic channels with just a few button presses.


Community NFT Collection


The Ozzy NFT Collection[5], featuring our beloved Support Lab mascot, Ozzy, was launched on Stargaze and minted out. The mint garnered 57,284 STARS, all of which were sentto the Osmosis community pool. This initiative marked a milestone as the first community-owned NFT project in Osmosis history. We’ve retained 902 of these NFTs, earmarked for future giveaways and community incentives.


Ongoing Osmosis Community Updates


Lastly, the Osmosis Community Updates blog[6] stands as a testament to our commitment to communication. Not only does it host our signature Governance Corner and Update Blog articles, but it also features summaries of the bi-weekly ‘Updates From the Lab’ show. While this platform no longer enjoys direct funding, we remain committed to curating and publishing crucial support-related content. Moreover, we are open to community contributions, such as the chain upgrade articles authored by our esteemed Support Lab alum, RoboMcGobo.


Changes Ahead:

  • Support Structure Reimagined: While we previously had two members per shift during peak hours, we’ve adjusted to ensure continuous 24/7 coverage with at least one dedicated member at all times. This ensures that no query goes unanswered.

  • Content Revisions: The tough decision to bid farewell to our talented graphic designer will undeniably influence our content aesthetics. His contributions to OSL branding and Osmosis core visuals have been invaluable. Meanwhile, the scaling down of our content budget means we’ll be even more strategic, focusing on vital topics and filling evident gaps in the ecosystem’s knowledge base.
    While content creation and engagement campaigns are undeniably vital for a flourishing community, we have taken the tough decision to reduce our content spending. Despite it forming a modest part of our overall budget, we’ve decided to prioritize essential services. That said, the Support Lab remains committed to producing and updating support content. However, our focus will now sharpen towards critical topics or areas where no existing content alternatives are available, ensuring our community still has reliable and comprehensive resources.

  • Transition to DAO DAO: To foster greater transparency and trust within our operations and towards the community, the Support Lab multisig will transition to DAO DAO. This move aims to make our processes, decisions, and financial transactions more transparent and verifiable. In order to ensure internal processes run smoothly the Support Lab managers will be empowered with additional voting weight to rapidly make decisions.

  • Ensuring Continuity: Despite the modifications, the mission of our organization remains unchanged. The Support Lab promises that there will always be a touchpoint across all our platforms to cater to most concerns.


In the face of adversity, the Support Lab remains resilient. Our primary aim is to keep the wheels turning, ensuring the Osmosis community continues to benefit from our expertise. This proposal, while reflecting necessary changes, reaffirms our dedication to the Osmonauts and the broader Osmosis vision.



  1. Osmosis Support Lab · About ↩︎

  2. Osmosis Support · The Library ↩︎

  3. https://relayers.smartstake.io/relayer/ED8B925441EB510D ↩︎

  4. https://oc.osl.zone ↩︎

  5. Ozzy: Gen 1 | Stargaze ↩︎

  6. Osmosis Community Updates ↩︎

Now this is why I love competition. I am glad Interblock by form of @luisqa has taken up the challenge to poke in the Status Quo. I now see 2 competing proposals, one from a “newcomer” and one from “the title-holder”.

I personally would like to see both proposals go on-chain for a direct “fight” to see where the preferences go from the community / validators.

I do agree with @luisqa in the proposal that a clear reporting on achievements (exposure of content, tickets solved, etc etc) could greatly help in determining the effectivity of the spend. And I have seen some discussions about some responses of OSL members; I think it might be good to create some kind of guidelines how the OSL (or the ISG for that matter) expects admins to behave; at least in working hours, but preferably also outside, since people will still associate a person with the OSL / ISG in any case whether on the job or not.

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Thanks for the meaninful response! In regards to the first statement, we did include some metrics which one of our team had to actually build an API to track and gather (ive chat/support ticket stats, top of ‘Deliverables’ section) and some other major notable achievements or projects, but you’re right there is actually quite a bit more that we do or have done that just gets lost in day to day operations. I took the time now to consult colleagues and dig for a more expansive list of works we’ve undertaken and accomplishments made during the current period.

One of them actually was the testing and migration from Commonwealth to this forum we’re using now! Actually I’m still slowly chipping away at finishing up this commonwealth export parser tool to parse+format the historical discussions from giant non-human-readable JSON export-files my colleague Moonz pulled from their API just after the migraion was made official… This has been one of the more fun side-projects to take on actually.
On the same topic, we also deployed a new governance bot on telegram [@osmogovbot] for the Osmosis and ION groups. It announces any new proposal discussions created here to the relevant chat groups, as well as on several channels in the Osmosis Discord group. It’s an improvement on typical ‘on-chain proposals’ announcement bot IMO, since those also announce the ‘standard’ or recurring proposals that don’t really need highlighting, and even scam proposals if someone is brave enough to burn the osmo for them!
Hopefully this additional reach helps grow governance participation and overall discussion/activity here.

Several of us recently have been directly working with the development team in testing several frontend changes/additions, pre-launch Concentrated Liquidity testing, soft launches of the MultiWallet feature including In-app functionality and frontend testing of Leap and Cosmostation wallets, as well as various Osmosis-ecosystem dapps like Quasar, Streamswap, TFM bridge, Levana, Nolus, ION-Dao, Autonomy, Suitdrop and reported numerous bugs (minor and critical), which were acknowledged and fixed by the developers.
This is a new undertaking which is in addition to our day-to-day communications with the team regarding any reported errors (any we can’t solve ourselves), emergent and ongoing issues , and general feedback and suggestions from the end-users who ultimately come to us for everthing.

One minor but critical item was the OSL’s implementation of the ‘Good Knight’ Discord bot, due to a rash of incidents involving several ecosystem-related Discord servers becoming compromised. This proactive measure is a strong passive security layer, preventing the Osmosis Discord server from being harmed in the event of a compromised Discord account.
Following this theme, we were recently approached by the ION DAO group in regards to the security of their own Discord server, and are in the process of auditing their server for any latent vulnerabilities or gaps in security practices.

Highlighting another unique and difficult to quantify activity, the OSL collaborated with Interchain.fm/RockX, conducting monthly community engagement events on Discord where prizes were awarded to participants from the community, both tokens and NFTs from our ‘Ozzys’ collection.

There are probably a dozen more little things I’ve overlooked. Most of us have been doing this so long now it’s just part of the standard daily stuff… things like adding or updating chat bot support comands, responses and images, updates (usually just the images, but occasionally content changes) to past support materials, maintaining the information on the support site, and so on…

Finally though, I don’t want to ignore the serious point you raised at the end… however, can you be more specific about the questionable responses or behaviors you’ve seen? You don’t have to name any names if you prefer.
I assure you your feedback is taken seriously, but not personally. You can DM me if that is preferrable, either on here or telegram [@BasementNodes].

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Congratulations on lowering the ask amount to accomodate the current conditions.

The only thing I’m not clear on is what changes will be made to the structure to prevent having another change in the OSL next funding round. I don’t think the OSL has remained the same between any funding round thus far. Do the admins have power to fire someone? How will they hold support members accountable? Who will verify there was actual work being done during claimed hours? Any data besides help crunch tool?

We had a great twitter space today where both the Interbloc and OSL teams discussed their respective proposals. You can watch the recording here if you missed it:

https://twitter.com/i/spaces/1lPJqBOZlWmxb?s=20

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This and the competing proposal have been merged and a new discussion topic started HERE

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Might be good to close this thread in that case.

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