How We DAO: Cabin’s Media Guild Handbook

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April 21st, 2022

DAOs offer unfettered access for open and fluid contribution, which is great. But the flip side is that without clear processes on how to start contributing and earning, new members are out through the door as quickly as they came in.

At Cabin, we recognize that bounties are a sure-fire way to incentivize the community to get work done. But for the DAO to truly scale, guilds within it like the Media Guild should allow members to be as autonomous as possible, allowing anyone to hop in and start contributing with minimal hand holding. The fluid nature of DAOs also means that members are not contractually tied and can therefore depart at their own whims with no notice period, leaving the founding team to come up with an emergency plan to meet publication deadlines.

To fix this problem and after months of iteration, we are proud to unveil the first DAO Media Guild Handbook. The handbook offers detailed processes to allow anyone to take a piece of content from idea to publication. It offers guidance on the different tasks of the Media Guild such as articles, feedback, distribution and podcast.

The handbook is the collective effort of our community since Cabin’s inception, and is not considered to be the be-all and end-all. As a creator collective, we reasonably expect the handbook to be further iterated on. We hope it will serve not only as a guide for Cabin’s members, but also as a reference point for other DAOs to establish processes that allow them to scale.

In this article, we’ll cover:

  • Why the handbook is important for Cabin’s Media Guild
  • How we wrote the handbook
  • What standard operating procedures (SOPs) look like
  • How a handbook can set DAO’s culture
  • Why every DAO needs a handbook

To get more content from us on how to level up as a DAO leader and operator, make sure to subscribe to our weekly newsletter.

Why the handbook is important for Cabin’s Media Guild

At Cabin, our onboarding calls serve to welcome and assess how new members are most suited to contribute as fast as possible. The next step is for new members to be assigned with a task and to get acquainted with the procedures. Facilitators can help guide members find the information and be the line of support, but the handbook allows members to be as autonomous as possible in completing tasks.

For Cabin to scale operations without sacrificing decentralization, the handbook offers the following benefits:

  • Making processes open and efficient
  • Maintaining quality standards
  • Limiting dependency on members
  • Acting as a contingency plan
  • Allowing regular contributors to take a vacation

Our Process of Writing the Handbook

The handbook is a collection of Standard Operating Procedures (“SOPs”), made up of the different content workflows of the Media Guild, i.e articles, feedback, distribution, and podcast.

But first, what is an “SOP”? An SOP offers a detailed “step by step” guide on how bounties are completed. The SOP follows a simple structure for each step:

  1. Trigger [When this event happens]
  2. Directly Responsible Individual (DRI) [Role]
  3. Action
    1. This is what the person needs to do
    2. Some details about the requirements

At Cabin, we document the SOPs in Clarity, a web3 knowledge management platform and collaboration tool. The SOPs play such a key role in decentralizing our operations that we even have an SOP on “How to write an SOP”.

Even though an SOP offers an effortless guide on how to complete bounties with minimal intervention from Cabin’s regular contributors, feedback from new members indicated that there is still a chasm to cross from Discord onto Clarity. To this end, our weekly community call, which is the pulse and vibe check of the Media Guild, allows us to connect new members to the handbook and untangle any barriers.

Example 1: Our Internal Newsletter SOP

Cabin’s weekly newsletter, released every Monday, was the first process to have an SOP. The newsletter is designed to help community members to take action or contribute to the DAO. For example, the newsletter contains a summary of open bounties, new governance proposals and upcoming events at Cabin. The SOP is meant to teach someone who has never prepared the newsletter before to write and send the newsletter with no intervention from a regular contributor.

Let’s go through the first step of the internal newsletter SOP which supports the member being autonomous.

Read through weekly updates on Discord

  • Trigger: Regular contributors post weekly updates on Sunday
  • DRI: Newsletter Writer
  • Action: Begin by reading through the #weekly-updates Discord channel on the Sunday prior to newsletter release.
    • You should be looking for 1) open bounties and ways to get involved, 2) new governance proposals and consensus, and 3) upcoming events, decisions, and launches.

Even though the new member does not know anyone at Cabin, he/she is being guided where to go to extract the information which has already been shared by regular contributors. It’s the difference between having a map or not in reaching your destination in the minimum time possible.

The internal newsletter’s writer has been rotating on a continuous basis with new members and the SOP has been working like a charm. It has produced the desired outcome week in week out, and allowed Cabin to meet its weekly publication deadline for the newsletter from a member who had never written the newsletter. Moreover, this did not require direct communication from a regular contributor. That is truly irresistible for any DAO to achieve.

Example 2: Our Podcast Episode Description SOP

Our Campfire podcast launched in March 2022 which brings together DAO leaders and operators to discuss how to scale online communities is another example on how autonomous distribution can be achieved.

Each episode contains a general episode description, guest and DAO introductions, and a breakdown of the different topics during the episode.

The following step comes right after the episode has been edited and members notified on Discord.

Listen to the episode and write main topics covered

  • Trigger: Episode uploaded on Drive & notified on Discord
  • DRI: Podcast Copywriter
  • Action: Listen to the episode and take notes of topics covered. Include timestamps of the episode in bullet points. Let the listeners know specifically what they’ll learn before listening. (You don’t have to use complete sentences - refer to previous episodes for examples)

By listening to the episode first and taking notes of topics covered, the rotating bounty hunter is then able to easily write the general episode description and guests’ and DAO introduction.

Example 3: Our Article Feedback SOP

Before writing articles at Cabin, we encourage new writers to first give feedback to other articles to learn our process. The handbook outlines the 3 main feedback goals at Cabin:

  • Ensure that the piece is properly communicating its ideas and conclusions to the reader

  • Help the writer's skills and vision shine

  • Align the piece with CabinDAO's position as the go-to media source on DAOs for DAOs

    The following step outlines the feedback process when an article has been submitted for review.

Provide 1st edit

  • Trigger: After being added as Article Editor

  • DRI: Article Editor

  • Action: At the end of the article, use the following template to provide feedback

    (i) Summary - Provide a summary of what the article is about, why and for whom it was written

    (ii) Overall impression - Share whether the article conveys what was intended, and whether the writer did a good job

    (iii) Use the CRIBS acronym and share your opinion for each (Confusing, Repetitive, Insightful, Boring, Surprising)

The above step allows the feedback process to capture the 3 main feedback goals at Cabin. Even though the Article Editor is the first line of contact for providing feedback, we encourage any other member to jump in and share their opinion on how the article can be improved.

A handbook sets the DAO culture

While Cabin offers a gateway for anyone in the world to earn tokens with zero commissions paid, unlike web2 platforms, trust between regular contributors and new members requires nurturing. Contributing to Cabin requires a mindset shift from employee (web2) to owner (web3). This shift requires a contributor to take initiative and reach out to the appropriate Cabin members in order to get the job done. We want to clearly communicate this mindset shift to new members joining.

The handbook complements the onboarding experience by immersing the new members into how things are done in the DAO. For example, when providing feedback on an article, the handbook helps the writer understand that the article editor is in service of the writer's work and the vision of the assignment. Our handbook stresses that feedback is not a judgment on the writer's skill, but rather a conversation between writer and editor to help the piece fulfill its promise.

Upon reading the handbook and noting that the editor’s job is to help the writer's skills and vision shine, we expect both parties to develop a relationship that confers trust from the get-go.

Why Every DAO Needs a Handbook

The handbook was written in line with Cabin’s vision to be a Triple Point Content Creation. This vision is a roadmap for the Media Guild to grow, transform, and improve while decentralizing its operations.

At Cabin, we don't have a hierarchy and we don't want one. The goal is fluid contribution through very lightweight systems. The handbook creates a personalized onboarding experience for any member who are DAO curious and have the skills to contribute, but don’t yet see how those skills can be translated into web3. It complements Cabin’s approach to be a bounty-first DAO and removes any friction for any new members to earn their first ₡ABIN token.

We believe a handbook made up of SOPs is the glue that binds DAO’s scaling via asynchronous, remote, and distributed work. Just like Cabin, other DAOs would greatly benefit from a handbook by making it easy for their members to contribute and earn.

The Media Guild Handbook is the new addition to the DAO landscape, where we keep experimenting with web3-native business models. The handbook will serve as the bedrock for communities who value transparency and decentralization over everything else, and make it compelling for anyone over the internet to start contributing and earning from Day 1.


About Cabin

Cabin is a decentralized city built by creators, for creators. Cabin believes in the power of bringing people together IRL, especially for decentralized and distributed teams. We are the DAO to help other DAOs accelerate their work by getting together IRL.

Our mission is to build a decentralized city with nodes all over the world, empower creators to pursue an independent career online, and build the products for creators and DAOs to achieve the first two goals. Our decentralized city is made up of various nodes around the world, starting with Node 0 outside of Austin, Texas.

For more information, please visit https://www.creatorcabins.com/

We invite you to follow us on Twitter for updates, check out our blog for information, subscribe to our newsletter, and visit our Discord to help build the future.

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