Requesting feedback for transition from Forum to Discovery

Hi NEAR Gov Forum members,

Exciting news is on the horizon! Pagoda, in partnership with Proximity and many other contributors across the ecosystem, is working to transform Discovery (e.g. / into the ultimate hub for community, governance, and discussion. We want to start the conversation early to ensure a smooth transition and gather your feedback on the functionality you want to see in Discovery.

The NEAR Protocol provides a truly decentralized backend, ensuring censorship resistance, and cryptographic authentication of everything from identity to posts. Discovery allows for different gateways with unique views and designs, along with their own moderation and community rules, while still using the same identity and content across all of them. The composable decentralized frontends enable new ways to tying together of content and action, streamlining the governance process, and creating specialized interfaces for browsing proposals for different use cases.

In the near future, free and easy onboarding via biometrics on your phone (FastAuth) and prepaid initial usage via meta transactions will be available. Additionally, improved search and notifications will provide better engagement.

Feedback about groups and community features is crucial for us to continue to innovate and make it the best place for our community.

We are also excited to announce that Chat is part of the functionality already on the further roadmap. Our goal will be to transition the main NEAR Protocol Telegram and Discord channels to NEAR Chat, but we welcome your suggestions and requirements for it in a separate section of your response.

Join us on this exciting journey towards progress and growth. Let’s work together to shape the future of the NEAR Ecosystem and create a home for community, governance, and discussion.

Stay tuned for more updates and provide your feedback to help us make Discovery the best it can be!


Awesome! Over 30 regional community leaders are ready for the transition as well.


@illia, this is fantastic news!! The ability to move governance onchain is a testament to the innovation, technology stack and forward-thinking NEAR protocol has brought to Web3!

Cool features needed beyond the Markdown editor that is already in test, include Select Text Comments, Emojis, Permission Editing and individual Communities Moderation based on their Guidelines and Manifesto.

The governance working group (GWG) has started to discuss the Community Spec for NEARSocial and would welcome collaborating with Pagoda and Proximity.

The key characteristics seem to be Language, Locality, and Vertical. The primary tags for Collectives are Communities, Workgroups, Projects, and Nodes. A directory based on these and other tags would create a great combo for discoverability.

There also seems to be a great need for individual skilled resources to register themselves to a registry for gigs along with service providers on NEAR and cross-chain that provide services to the ecosystem…

Looking forward to the bright governance and community collaboration onchain!!

A diagram of the NEARVerse/NDC was recently created. It will never be fully representative, just another view.



Would be nice to finally switch from Google forms to similar functionality on Discovery/NearSocial


One problem I see with the full transition to near social is the cost of making a content.
Today, creating a content in gov.near is easy and free. Anyone can easily create many accounts, make many posts and attach images for free.

While tools may solve the attachment problem (storing images in a web3 storage solutions, or centralized solutions), and meta transactions can solve user onboarding, the ultimate higher cost will persist. Probably a layer-2 will solve most of that issues in the future.

Moving chat to near social will also have big challenges, and i think we are not ready yet. Two major use cases for chat are:

  • real time conversation, must work excellently (nobody will use a chat which will lag), and usually will require some sort of privacy.
  • calls.

So, I think there is a space for all of it:

  • near social being the place for most valuable data
  • telegram/discord for real time chat
  • discussion board (this one probably will slowly phase out with layer-2 adoption).

A migration using the discourse API would be needed for archival purposes and to translate from past reputation. Also a way to make a post that allows people to enter their .near account on the forum, and then for near accounts to sign this. Expansion of GitHub - ilblackdragon/near-mappings: Mappings for NEAR acocunts would be ideal.

Also AstroDAO transition and a quicker rollout of DAO tooling.

Some additional features

  • Notifications around post
  • Ability to edit with version history much like widget
  • @frol nontransferable nft badges streamlined for roles after discourse migration
  • Ability to see post information with a link (currnetly it all has the same metadata and for sharing and link previews this is a hurdle)

Some existing widgets that maybe of inspiration


There should be no cost to switching between forums like and messengers like Telegram, but there is an obvious huge value in consolidating communication under I think both can only be achieved by seamless syncing of messages and posts between and current platforms – we need bots that repost messages. It is very typical for social platforms and messengers to have lots of bridges like that.


My two cents … It’s too early

  1. Inferior UX/UI and functionality - compared to specialized tools (Discord, Discourse)

In the case of Discord (telegram shares most of the traits)

  • people would prefer discord because its already a tool they use,
  • notifications desktop wise is easier to accept than browser push notifications
  • who and how the data storage is going to be paid for?
    (We still have people asking for gas Near to do swaps (or take out their stake from validator) and we would require them storage for data to participate in the “community” channels ?)
  • It’s way easier to do “realtime” communication (mentioned earlier)

We have to agree that these methods of communication (be it discord or telegram) mainly exist due to the community demand/request. So, either let “unofficial” communities/groups/channels to be formed (unsupported as they won’t be official) or the support efforts will be doubled (mods and team will have to check on alpha/chat/discovery) too

  1. Far less familiar for most (if not all users) (probably less than 50% of active accounts know about social to begin with)

One side of the argument would be that if done now (asap) the reach (in current times low) would be even less and distance/separate us even more (right now if you want to be active in the community and get to know most of the ins and outs - you have to be in like 10+ telegram groups 1 discord, all/most media channels + social)

On the other side might be best time to do it since people who are active in the community would probably move and help on establishment.

I agree with Max that if that would be the way forward transition has to be helped with automation to some extent (reposts etc)

I would also agree that ultimately that would be an awesome achievement however there are other takes for moving tools:

  • Google forms - The poll for NEARCON location two weeks ago
  • Google documents (published on alpha 7 hours ago (as of writing NEAR)
  • Airtable - Used in various parts/teams altho I can’t recall recent examples

That’s a call to essentially move from well established tools to a whole new infrastructure which is in it’s alpha that almost certainly will require a lot of support both developer and community/mod wise.


It is great to put our ecosystem of tools at test, and it is going to inform us on where we are heading with them.

I tend to agree that at the current state of things, we are not ready yet to pull the trigger. I see a risk of collapsing the community due to the:

  • lack of features (notifications, mobile UX, groups, re-shares, etc),
  • complexity with signing transactions where you only want to send a message or like (Meta Transactions and Zero-cost account storage paved the road on the protocol side, but AFAIK, Alpha NEAR does not provide a service similar to Aurora that would cover the costs of transactions), and
  • clumsiness of the UI (tons of loaders, interactivity does not match Web2 experience unless optimistic updates are implemented).

I look forward to seeing all the pieces come together!


Hey man! The community Moderator team try to keep this space open and free for members of our community. All of us, including myself strive to make sure we all have the room to speak our minds and share our individual insights. :grinning:


Hey BOS,

Glad that this topic has come up. I’ve been keeping a close eye on what @nearmax is doing with Developer DAO/Gig board and I like it. As I start thinking through the process to determine what would have to happen for Marketing DAO to migrate over, I can identify several issues ranging from mere bureaucracy to more complex tech.

  • Bureaucracy. At the moment the form to request funds from NF (payout once M DAO has approved) requires both a link to the gov forum and to the AstroDAO poll. NF is constantly evolving, people shifting roles, other priorities, etc. and every time we’ve required or they’ve implemented changes regarding M DAO there are significant delays, etc. If it’s not broken - why fix it.

  • Overcoming Bureaucracy - expanding on the above. M DAO is in the process of spinning out as a separate legal entity and receiving funds directly from Community Treasury. This should grant us a window of opportunity to revise processes (payout from AstroDAO directly, KYC?, etc). I would support M DAO proposals shifting over to Discovery then.

  • Reputation as exciting as the prospect of migrating gov forum to Discovery is I would prioritise the work around reputation: I loved learning more about the ability to ‘give kudos’ to people, Proof of Human, etc. at ETH Denver. The main pain point from gov forum is that it has become a very toxic place where every account is deemed equal even if it is clear one unhinged person created them all one day ago (from the same IP address).

  • Privacy, Moderation I’d also like to see more work and conversations around how moderation looks like in a world of decentralised posting (see unhinged people above). Also, there are considerations around privacy: can people link two or more separate accounts to demonstrate their on-chain history without actually revealing the identity of the other account? i.e. Alejandro.near is my public facing account, I do most of my personal transactions elsewhere. While it wouldn’t take long for someone to figure it out if they really wanted to, there are several tings to consider if we do end up migrating fully to on-chain.

  • Encryption by default I would not consider any chat application if it is not encrypted by default.

Addressing some of the other points raised by other people:

  • There are features which are easy to identify. I propose setting up a UI/UX taskforce - we need real users and to gather real feedback from them beyond the obvious. I believe the customer segment of people who use forum now would be the perfect guinea pigs. Being an early adopter and experiencing friction is fine as long as there are clear pathways to provide feedback and there is ongoing improvement (couldn’t anyone technically contribute themselves to make the entire platform better? Open-source, widgets, etc?)

  • I am not particularly worried about cost. I’ve been on near social binges where I click on a Moo Cow 400 times in a row (400 txs), follow people, poke everyone, etc. and the cost is negligible. Even then, acknowledging the cost should be zero, I would support a proposal to create a Vault that automatically covers the cost of a user on NEAR Social - there needs to be some parameters to avoid bot abuse, but overall we have a TON of NEAR, seems like a winning proposition to burn some of it initially as we onboard a lot of users.


Please pay attention to the problem of the forum. Moderators block accounts due to questions about the work done. For questions about the reports limit the account. Do not give freedom of speech to the community. Thanks


@illia Hello, Forum moderators come up with rules and block users from the forum. No one cares about your rules. We ask you to review the forum moderators and appoint new ones. Current moderators don’t work for the sake of the community, they only allow comments to be made by their friends.

Absolutely agree with your assessment. The cost considerations in transitioning to Near Social are significant, especially when compared to the current ease of content creation on gov.near. Layer-2 solutions might indeed hold the key to addressing these challenges.

Your points about real-time chat’s demands for seamless performance and privacy are spot on. While Near Social could house valuable data, platforms like Telegram and Discord would likely remain go-to choices for real-time interactions. And as you mentioned, the concept of Telegram Group Links seamlessly fits into this evolving landscape.