Moderator's Experience Through Creatives Transition

Hey hey community,

It has been an intense week with the escalation of many conversations happening around our collective transition. There is a lot of information swirling, feelings evoked, ideas sprouting… a little bit of everything.

We are all learning and I thank everyone who is contributing to the ongoing conversations. It takes a lot of energy to find a new structure as a community and I know that the pace has been a bit too fast for most of us.

I want to give my input here in an organized way so anyone who wants to dive in can do so (hopefully) without getting overwhelmed.

My personal journey as a moderator in relation to this whole process

Firstly, I’d like to remind everyone that the moderators team are made up of community members that, just like you, have gone through many learning curves. None of us after the amazing founders/first council members of Creatives DAO were picked by NF or had any clearer insight on what NF may expect from us. We entered our roles in February 2022 directly as Creatives DAO was transitioning power from individual votes to DAO voting AND changing their payout method to KYC processing. We learned along with you, figuring out CFCs, google forums, reward agreements etc while getting used to what it meant to review a proposal. At that time there was no standards for reporting and I actually don’t recall even attempting to report basics until March 2022.

April 2022
These conversations around transitioning Creatives DAO began end of April when all original Creatives DAO moderators (@tabear , @chloe , @frnvpr) had already transitioned out of their roles and pushed us newer moderators (@adrianseneca @FritzWorm @ted.iv @Monish016 @hevertonharieno ) out of the nest to fly! @mecsbecs approached us about the uncertainty of the Vertical programs structure and suggested that we begin to prepare a grant to establish a direct relationship with NF. With this also came conversations around the possibility of no longer getting funded and suggestions to develop better reporting so we could show NF the value we all bring.

May 2022
May 9th we introduced these conversations in our weekly call on telegram and May 10th I made a forum post The Future of Creatives DAO Community Converstation to begin slowly easing our way into these concepts.

I hoped that many folks would respond with lots of ideas willing to contribute to building a structure. Initially it felt like folks were excited but as we moved forward the energy seemed to fizzle. At the same time tons of new DAOs were coming into the community and our team of 5 was beginning to get overwhelmed.

We put out a call for 5 new moderators (that we should have put out in April but somehow we made a mistake here) to not only help out with the growing community but also begin our transition out of our positions end of July.

May 10th we got news that all DAOs on AstroDAO would have to upgrade from V2—>V3 by May 25th. When the deadline came around our voting proved to be too slow and we were unable to upgrade.

May 21st we called for an Incubation Period where we decided to tentatively close the Creatives DAO from any new proposals from new DAOs for 2 months so we could do our housecleaning, define ourselves internally and assess how to move forward. We opened that Incubation Period up one month early due to the high level of complaints received by the community.

June 2022
When June hit we had 5 new team members to onboard, an entire community to discuss transitions with, a grant to write, metrics to collect and a DAO to upgrade. Personally this was also probably one of the biggest months this year for my project, The Kin DAO, as we hosted a large event during NFT.NYC on June 23rd. I know there were a lot of moments throughout the month of June where I could have shown up more but I just was not able to. I wish I could have been more present helping the new moderators in and communicating all this information directly to the community in a graceful way.

This July, my last month of moderation, I am interested in becoming more helpful to my fellow moderators and to this community.

So here are some of my thoughts around everything going on…


Grant / Self Sustainability
As stated above, we were under the impression that due to uncertainty around the Verticals Program, we should write up a grant to NF and build out a self sustainability plan to avoid any cut off of funding.

After hearing comments from older moderators, it seems like the urgency we were moving with may have been unnecessary. At this very moment we actually do not know what NF wants or needs from us and how secure we are in our position to continue operating as we have been. I would love to collectively gain clarity on what our best moves should be in terms of our relationship with NF. Until then, maybe we can pause with the grant and focus on our community foundations, governance and operations.

The good news is that we have begun these conversations and I think a lot of progress has and can continue to be made in terms of moving towards self sustainability and becoming a more established entity as a whole. Some of the progress I have been enjoying and believe will do us good regardless is:

  • Having our own marketplace
  • Creating our own website
  • Legalizing our DAO
  • Moving towards becoming more present on social media
  • Moving towards self sustainability
  • Potentially offering our services to the greater world outside of NEAR

It is clear to me that our reporting system has been lacking. Like mentioned above I do not recall any reporting being done in February and even when reporting was done in March and April, I feel it was inadequate.

Regardless of our position with NF, I do believe we need to record the value we are brining to the ecosystem. Not only does NF need to know how much we are offering but we, ourselves, need to learn to communicate what it is that we bring to the table. This can help us recognize our value on a deeper level and move into any other sphere outside of this small community confident and ready to showcase who it is we are and what we can do and say “Here if the proof! We did that!” We do a lot! Record Keeping can be sacred.

I suggest we have Proposed Metrics in our proposals and Actualized Metrics in our reports. This will give ourselves and folks analyzing our proposals a plan and then a report on what was achieved. I don’t believe these practices have to be constricting. I encourage folks to be creative. Supporting 1 women lead project is a metric and an absolutely beautiful one at that. Infuse your own value system into what it is your showcasing. Your beautiful, creative, human based work can be showcased through this, and I actually believe it should be!

Rejections / Moderator Decisions
As we analyze proposals more closely rather than loosely allowing every proposal to be approved, some folks are going to get rejected. It’s not fun but it is one of the responsibilities of maintaining some type of standard, value and safety within an ecosystem. I know there are some folks really upset with this and I encourage our community to continue to voice their feelings if they believe there are better ways to move through rejections. I believe we are trying our best to be graceful and kind rather than robotic and heartless here while maintaining some boundaries.

I have also heard from some folks that we are not transparent enough in our decision making. I will be making a point this month to comment my personal opinion in proposals this month as to WHY a proposal is rejected or approved.

Lastly, I want to remind you all that moderator approval/rejection is not the final say. Ultimately it’s up to the council of DAOs. Unfortunately I don’t feel every DAO has capacity to do the work of reviewing all proposals bringing us an opportunity to figure out who how this responsibility can be held in the most efficient yet decentralized way.

@FritzWorm has been going in hard the last few weeks trying his best, in my opinion, to ignite the movement of our community to make some decisions around how we want to move forward. I know a lot of us haven’t had the chance to fully digest this information and it feels too fast. I know a lot of folks are feeling angry and afraid that we are moving backwards towards more centralization without proper conversation or voting.

I hear you all.

I also feel overwhelmed at moments by the massiveness of it all and I support us in slowing down and deciding what works best for everyone. Now that the grant does not seem to be as urgenly needed, I feel more comfortable moving slowly and intentionally (my favorite way to move). What @FritzWorm has proposed does not have to be the route we take nor do I believe he intended it to be that way. What I have heard from him consistently has been that this was his contribution and proposal to us around what he thinks would be best for us all.

I believe the pace and the way all of this was communicated by us as moderators who are holding positional power caused much of the discomfort we are all feeling today. We can do better and I encourage everyone to respectfully find ways that moments like this can move with more ease. Like mentioned above, I feel I could have been more present with you all in June and hope to do so more in July.

Now we all get to decide how to move forward and I hope that we can do so while building relationships of reciprocity and care between us. Like @blusw continues to remind us, we are all coming from different places and need to respect those differences within each other!

Next, I will be diving deeper into my ideas around the V3 set up. Talk soon everyone!


Hi Adrian, thanks for this thoughtful and honest review of your personal experience as a Moderator of Creatives.

Mostly because of the strong start, aided by well established community members and NEAR Foundation members, we have all mostly trusted that the Creatives DAO was functioning smoothly. However, a closer look reveal several issues that need to be addressed if it were to continue.

Some very concerning issues that you’ve briefly touched upon:

  • Lack of Accountability from Voting DAOs. It may have been a noble experiment, but I believe it has failed. Power got spread across so many parties that any notion of responsibility got diluted.
  • Conflict of Interest there seems to be a pattern where the DAOs that vote (merely a formality as anything that fit the right format got approved) are closely connected with the DAOs receiving funds. In many instances, the same Council members continue to create new DAOs and put more proposals through all of them. This only caught my attention as they also tried to request funding from Marketing DAO. We raised some concerns at the time and have been increasingly cutting funding to these projects for weeks now. This clear conflict of interest makes it extremely hard to raise the topic, which has led to the many heated conversations. I’ve only been privy to some (but a lot is shared with me privately), but one thing is clear - some people in power are going not going to give up their unlimited funding from the foundation without a fight.

I agree with Adrian, Creatives should cease operations until these challenges and addressed.

I believe Creatives have a major role to play in the ecosystem and I know most are acting with good faith, even if in naive ways that may need more guidance and support. Hence why I feel so strongly about calling potentially bad behaviour from a minority which could be detrimental to the ecosystem as a whole.


Peace @satojandro thanks for your input. I’d like to clarify that in no way am I inferring that Creatives DAO should stop operations. Like you mentioned we have a major role in the ecosystem and the only way to step into that role in a fuller way is to go through these growing pains together while upholding the values of the blockchain itself - with transparency and decentralization.

Not only do we contribute to the ecosystem through our creative efforts, we are also the largest group of DAOs operating in a decentralized way creating a huge use case for global coordination on NEAR. We may not be perfect but even while we move through our learning curves we still bring in so many valuable projects!

I notice that Marketing DAO has been very quick to shut down any movements towards decentralization due to lack of time and eager to put down Creatives DAO as we transform and grow. I respect the sentiments of accountability and protection yet wonder if your energy against us would be better used to uplift us? I would like to believe that we would all be moving in collaboration rather than competition. If your systems are working well, why don’t we collaborate to empower everyone, resulting in a stronger and more united NEAR community overall. I have personally expressed these feelings to you and will state them again; Marketing and Creatives should build a better relationship with one another in operations and education to make our NEAR environment more successful and supportive.

Ultimately, stabilizing full proof systems of decentralization is going to take work - work that the Creatives DAO community is willing to do. We are already improving immensely in our proposal analysis, collecting and creating standards for metrics, putting together Q1 & Q2 reports, working to establish ourselves more clearly and collectively finding new systems of voting that balance decentralization and responsibility. I think it is always easier for folks on the outside to ridicule those who are pioneers forging new paths. The old systems we have all been using for lifetimes are outdated. I stepped into Web3 with an intention of building new ones and I believe many others, especially in Creatives DAO, are here for the same.

Lastly, this is a serious yet vague - let’s be transparent and have the necessary conversations to clarify this:


There are so many ways to solve the problems that have been arising, some of them even with web3 tools, like voting-with-NFTs, tokens, limited # of votes per DAO, etc, but folks just seem to prefer shutting things down :confused:



Yep, but sometimes is not even possible.

There was a team of 10 good members from the community in the position of moderators who had a lot of meetings and work to get some agreements in what could be the next path, it might be too much of work because even then somethings get missed like more communication, even when things had been expressed in the forum and other channels as test/draft and Twitter spaces opened for DAOscussion, even then there is strong resistance to change instead of using that energy to understand more and add value is used to block changes.

So maybe we don’t have enough resources to solve the problems. That’s not bad, let’s keep positive, if improve is needed it will happen regardless any individual effort to stop it.