Information Journeys and Builder Pathways: How the Website, Wiki, Docs, Open Web Atlas and Community OS fit together

There are a number of projects being built right now which solve informational challenges in the ecosystem. We’ve had a lot of confusion about how these pieces fit together, so I want to provide some more clarity about the bigger picture and leave future posts to fill in the details about each of these projects.

Overall, we have 3 major types of builders coming to the project looking for information and support:

  1. Developers
  2. Founders
  3. Community builders

In line with the vision laid out for the NF, our goal is to get them oriented, building and successful as quickly and easily as possible. To do this, we’ve historically just had two major information sources:

  1. The main project website (near.org)
  2. The developer documentation (docs.near.org)

As the project has grown and its ecosystem has become far more complex, we’ve needed to produce a lot more information and handle a lot more journeys than just developers who are building apps.

Thus, we need to fill in some gaps.

The near.org website will always need to be tight and it’s really designed to grab someone in their first 3-30 seconds and help them find the information they need to get curious enough to explore deeper. We’ve always given them some CTAs to follow but there have been pretty big gaps which led to lots of people shrugging and moving on. The redesign (visuals 1, visuals 2) is shipping very soon.

The NEAR Wiki (link) is a project meant to fill in the next step by providing people with plain-English explanations of what’s going on in the NEAR ecosystem over their first 30-300 seconds in order to either answer their question or route them to a more action-oriented pathway.

The action-oriented pathways are designed to catch each of the 3 specific user journeys I highlighted above – developers, founders and community builders. Each of these pathways provides a container in which each of these builder types can accomplish their goals by accessing:

  1. An index and taxonomy of relevant apps, projects or communities so they can see what else has been built and form good mental models for how the ecosystem looks
  2. A guide or wiki which provides them with a roadmap and compass through all of the tools and information they need for building their app, project or community. This includes access to everything from funding sources to operating procedures to example apps.
  3. Toolkits filled with helpful apps and tools which are designed to make their lives easier, for example reference implementations of contracts, accounting tools, DAO front-ends and onboarding wizards for core components.
  4. Connection to peers who they can learn from along the way, for example communities of other developers, founders or community leads.
  5. Connection to support channels where they can get help to answer specific questions and find guidance through their journey.
  6. Connection to early users or members who can help kick start their app, project or community by providing product feedback, social buzz and early usage.

So each pathway is a container which has everything a builder should need to bring their creation to life. Initially, they are primarily resource bases with link-outs. Over time, they will become more enriched with human elements.

The pathways are:

  1. Developers: Docs. (link) the trusty pathway for anyone who wants to integrate with, build on or contribute to the NEAR protocol.
  2. Founders: Open Web Atlas (OWA). This is a comprehensive series of resources designed to help founders with everything they need on their journey from ideation to IPO and beyond in a web3 world. It is meant to answer tough questions like how to handle tokens, communities, recruiting, regulations, legal, payments, DAOs, etc with all the complications of the blockchain-enabled ecosystem.
  3. Community leads: Community OS (COS). (link) This “operating system” (OS) for communities is the equivalent of the OWA but for communities, such that anyone who is trying to use web3 tools to implement or augment their community has everything they need to understand the journey and take it to completion.

These are emphatically community-driven projects and today they are in their very earliest forms. The OWA hasn’t been formally instantiated and will probably incubate within the main Wiki. The vision, though, is that each of these projects is supported by an active community of contributors whose mission is to make their respective journeys as clear, quick and well-supported as possible.

Additionally, NEAR’s vision expands beyond just the NEAR ecosystem and to the entirety of the token-enabled, web 3 ecosystem. Thus, our goal is to produce information which empowers builders from around the world to create better apps, businesses and communities powered by web3 technology. Our mission as an ecosystem is to produce crazy amounts of value through our technology but it’s equally important to produce crazy amounts of value by helping people build on top of it.

If we create tons of value and lead the charge to open-sourcing great tools and information, we’re going to bring a lot of that value back in to the NEAR ecosystem regardless.

Next steps

The NEAR Wiki is live but bare-bones and needs your contributions. Join the forum thread here for context and see it live at https://wiki.near.org/. You can contribute via Github.

The Community OS is in late formation and also has a bare-bones implementation up. Join the forum thread here and see it live at Welcome & FAQ - NEAR Community OS.

The Open Web Atlas is in early formation and will have more posted soon. During early days, it will likely live within the NEAR Wiki.

For any of these projects, leave comments or questions below and I’ll try to direct or address accordingly. Hopefully this helped clarify the overall shape of what we’re trying to do and gives you some pathways to get more involved with specific areas.

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It would be nice to see how the Wallet and Explorer integrate with these overall funnels. Many people enter the ecosystem via Wallet and then venture to the explorer next. This key “end user” audience is generally focused on dApps and could very well use the Bridge as the first engagement moving forward.

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