[TEMP CHECK] Aave Support Collective

Title: [TEMP CHECK] Aave Support Collective
Author: Name @Essah - Aave Support Collective (ASC)
Date: 2024-02-27

Simple Summary

This Temperature Check solicits community feedback on the establishment of the “Aave Support Collective” (ASC) to decentralize and enhance the support framework within the Aave ecosystem.

The ASC aims to leverage the collective expertise and enthusiasm of the Aave community to provide support across various channels, including email, Discord and live chat, thereby promoting greater community involvement and improving service quality for Aave protocol’s diverse user base.

Background

The Aave community takes great pride in its unwavering commitment to transparency, prioritizing users, and maintaining the highest standards in technology and security.

At present, Aave Protocol users can access support through multiple avenues facilitated by the Aave Labs team behind the Aave Interface at app.aave.com. These channels include email, Discord, and Aave Live Chat. However, given that users may engage with the protocol through various interfaces or directly on the blockchain, the establishment of a community-driven support system seems like the logical next step.

In keeping with the decentralization principles fundamental to the DeFi and blockchain landscape, we propose the creation of a new, community-centric support framework: the “Aave Support Collective” (ASC).

This proposition aims to enhance and sustain the high-caliber community support already in place, while also granting the ASC the autonomy to manage and expand support services according to need.

This initiative is based on the understanding that positive experiences for users are a win for everyone. With the introduction of the ASC, we aim to maintain and enhance this focus, ensuring the Aave community continues to lead in prioritizing user needs and innovation in DeFi.

Motivation

The proposal is driven by the need to further decentralize Aave’s operations, aligning with the ethos of blockchain and DeFi. ASC aims to:

  • Maintain the existing high quality user support.

  • Boost community involvement by empowering the ASC to create and allocate new roles to active community contributors.

  • Improve scalability and flexibility of support services to accommodate the growing Aave ecosystem and user base across various interfaces and access points to the protocol.

  • Increase community transparency and accountability in handling support queries and issues.

  • Foster a more resilient and distributed support system, independent from the Aave Labs team.

Specification

Members of the Aave Support Collective (ASC) will be responsible for managing a diverse array of support channels and functions to enhance user experience and security.

These responsibilities will include:

  • Managing inquiries through email, live chat, and Discord support channels.
  • Conducting initial assessment (1st level triage) of support issues to determine urgency and category.
  • Escalating complex issues (2nd level) to specialized community teams for detailed investigation and resolution.
  • Investigating new technologies and methodologies to increase the precision and capacity of support services.
  • Handling scam reports and reinforcing security measures to protect the community.

ASC is interested in exploring options to offer support chat and tools across various interfaces, aiming to assist users with any issues they encounter at the initial point of interaction. This would benefit the community as should any potential bugs or areas for improvement in the interface be identified during these support interactions, they will be communicated to second-level support and the ecosystem.

Acknowledging the critical role of support and the importance of a seamless transition, it is proposed that the ASC will initially comprise the two current Aave Interface support team members, both of whom have over 3 years of experience in the Aave ecosystem supporting users via the existing support mediums. These team members would transition from the Aave Labs team to be dedicated for the ASC.

Therefore the proposal is that the initial members of ASC would be:

  • essah
  • h3lpfulbro

This approach ensures continuity, maintains high standards of support, and allows for the gradual integration of new community driven processes and improvements.

Requested budget

For the initial establishment and operation of the “Aave Support Collective” (ASC) over a 12-month period, a budget of $200,000 USD is proposed. This budget allocation will enable:

  • The development and maintenance of a decentralized support framework, ensuring its sustainability and efficiency.

  • Operational costs, including the necessary tools, subscriptions, and infrastructure to facilitate effective support services.

  • Expansion of the ASC team to enhance support coverage and quality for the Aave community across multiple channels.

  • Training and resources for community members participating in the ASC, ensuring high-quality support aligned with Aave’s security standards.

  • Engagement initiatives to foster a strong sense of community and collaboration within the ASC.

This budget will position the ASC to effectively support the Aave ecosystem’s growth and its users’ needs.

Next Steps

Should this Temperature Check receive positive feedback from the community regarding the establishment of the “Aave Support Collective” (ASC), the next steps would involve:

  1. Drafting a detailed proposal: This document will outline the operational structure, roles, and responsibilities within the ASC, as well as the guidelines and training programs for community members involved in support activities.

  2. Community Engagement: We will engage with the Aave community through forums and discussions to refine the proposal based on community feedback and suggestions.

  3. Formal Submission: With community input incorporated, the proposal will be formally submitted for a community vote, adhering to Aave’s governance processes.

  4. Implementation: Upon approval, we will initiate the setup of the ASC, including setup of support tools and channels, and implementation of training programs.

We are committed to transparency and inclusivity throughout this process and will provide regular updates to the community. We value your support and look forward to collaboratively enhancing the Aave support ecosystem.

5 Likes

This is an excellent proposal! As AAVEs discord community mod, I fully support the notion of an official support group given the increasing amount of scam attempts and support requests. As more and more markets are added to the platform, we will only see more of this malicious activity. Users need an official support group to be able to distinguish from the bad actors. If approved, I am happy to provide any assistance I can to the ASC!

3 Likes

Fully supporting this proposal. @Essah and @helpfulBro have both been doing God’s work in managing protocol-related support questions and contributing to community management across multiple platforms for years. @helpfulBro has been contributing to supporting protocol users since the early days of ETHLend, and Essah has been doing so for years as well. It brings joy to see that this function is finally becoming community-driven.

5 Likes

Hi Essah,

I have to admit I don’t understand this proposal. While I totally agree and support the decentrailzed ethos, I just don’t see any benefit in decentralizing support for Aave.
Right now the support is managed under the umbrella of Avara/Aave Labs.

So my first question would be, why change it? Avara asked for funds in 2022 which included “Information & Support”.

If we approve the ASC

  • what would be the scope of support?
    Please name the full scope, where it starts and where it ends.

  • Do you have any stats about the current support?

  • How many tickets or requests are you handling per day right now?

  • What channels are you supporting right now?

  • How much time is needed per request/ticket?

  • How many hours per week would you say do you currently actively need to answer those requests?

  • Which tools are needed, as those mentioned in the proposal are from my understanding mostly free, maybe some bots could be a cost factor, but from what I know there are plenty free alternatives (source is a friend whose job it is to setup big discord server for projects like Agora, XBorg, Swissborg, etc.)

  • Who is making sure, that people, who ask for support is being helped? We cannot control nor see this while Avara is able to check this right now and probably tracking it.

  • Will you publish weekly/monthly support reports which can be checked by the DAO? Similar to what AGD does to show where funds went to.

  • Whats the justification for 200k for a year?
    Imho this is a huge amount to what I know from my job in a company that is the 4th biggest retailer in the world. Our support is being paid good, but 200k is way more than anyone here gets. If thats the web3 salary for support, I need to change my profession. (jokes aside)
    Also I know there are other web3 support companies like AmaZix, that have been been working for companies like Bancor who did all the support for way less money. And I do know from others projects that community manager/support is sitting at somwhere between 55k-80k per year.

  • Will the ASC basically be a service provider and thus creating a new entity for it? Who will be in charge of it? Can the DAO decide who will be working there?

If we switch it from Avara to the DAO the only thing that changes is the cost centre.
If I was at Avara I would have proposed to charge a fee for using the frontend similiar to what Uniswap did, but then offer premium features like support, extra information etc.
If the support will be decentralized there is no option for the future to implement this anymore.

I appreciate your answer

6 Likes

It is great that you took this step to formalise your role within the DAO, however, we would appreciate it if you could demonstrate the value you have created in this role over the past three years, any proof of work would help convince the DAO to approve this.

I kinda agree with all points raised by @EzR3aL here.

Perhaps a more reasonable start to “decentralize support” would e.g. be to decentralize the docs which wouldn’t really cost anything. A lot of ppl have issues here and ironically currently the only way to get things fixed is trough avara support. There have been grants applications in the past to rebuild the docs, a proposal here on the forum and it was raised on aave-grants meetup in instanbul (both, the lack of possibility to contribute & the lack of quality).

4 Likes

Improving the documentation is a solid idea, as we’ve used AI to scale support over the past year this also had the knock on effect of uncovering out of date or incorrect documentation.

I completely agree that uplifting the source of truth improves the ability for developers to self help and increases the accuracy for any services like bots that reference the material.

What is missing is the ability to interpret the ask in an ever changing landscape, dig deeper into the cause and provide support relevant to the user’s ask.

Which cannot be achieved solely by improving the documentation alone.

1 Like

My opinion on this:

  • I’m familiar with the work of essah and h3lpfulbro in the past, and definitely both of them have a long history in the Aave ecosystem, working for Aave Labs for multiple years. From my experience, they have always been really good professionals and definitely appropriate candidates to lead this effort.
  • I echo something previously commented: if the objective is to contribute to the DAO, it should be strictly via channels held or created on behalf of the DAO. For example, Aave Labs should relinquish control of the aave Discord to ASC, getting permissions per channel if required (e.g. GHO related topics, or any other).
    If not willing to, then additional channels should be created.
  • app.aave.com should not have any extra focus compared with other Aave entry-points. Sure, it is a major one simply due to the exposure with aave.com, but the community at the moment has no say on 1) what gets included 2) how gets included.
    However, I think it should be part of the proposal defining some guidelines for this. For example, an interface could be considered as supported by the ASC (and potentially other DAO perks) if fulfilling basic requirements (basically being property of the DAO). If not, it simply makes no sense for the DAO to provide direct/systematic technical support on something that doesn’t own:
    1. Licensed to the Aave DAO.
    2. Putting Aave somehow in a spotlight position, with priority over others.
    3. Properly maintained in terms of bug resolutions (some type of SLA, or at least not hurting the Aave DAO brand).
  • Budget can be acceptable in my opinion, but assuming that a good part of the funds will be used to fund a full support team to have the best possible service to the DAO.

Generally, glad to see initiatives like this appearing, and the discussion going forward.

4 Likes

I have no opinion on this proposal. To make the temp check a bit more useful, I would like to push people to comment a bit more on the cost. Do others feel this is a reasonable price for the services offered? If not, what kind of price or price structure do people think makes sense?

It’s encouraging to see key players in the Aave ecosystem adopt a more decentralized approach. Decentralizing support is crucial for fostering growth and ensuring neutrality within the Aave ecosystem. I strongly support the Aave Support Collective (ASC) initiative, as detailed in the [TEMP CHECK] Aave Support Collective by @Essah.

In my early years at Aave Companies, the core team, including myself, actively participated in Discord & Telegram to assist with user onboarding and enhance their experience. I can attest that providing 24/7 support is a challenging but vital task. @helpfulBro & @Essah have been involved since the early days, their expertise and commitment have improved user understanding of and engagement with Aave. I confidently endorse their professionalism and expertise, they are in the best position for leading the ASC mission.

Shifting to a decentralized support model under the DAO embodies the essence of blockchain and DeFi. This approach ensures that support evolves in tandem with the community’s needs, enhancing transparency, accountability, and active participation from the community. It’s crucial for the ASC to set clear KPIs and a roadmap to achieve decentralization and become a neutral entity within the DAO. Key focus areas should include:

  • Gaining independence from any specific entity or user interface (excluding UIs that charge fees)
  • Assuming responsibility for social channels like Discord, Telegram, and Twitter
  • Overseeing Aave documentation, transitioning it to open-source, and encouraging community involvement
  • Providing 24/7 multilingual support to make the ecosystem more inclusive and accessible, thereby attracting a diverse user base. For this I believe the support team may need more members
  • Supporting Aave grantees & content creators in developing accurate educational material, thereby strengthening the community’s knowledge base
  • Continuously striving for innovation in support functions, for example exploring the use of Aave Support AGI
  • Monthly reporting with KPIs related to the support mission to maintain transparency and foster ongoing improvement, such as the number of tickets resolved, user experience feedback and thematic statistics.

Considering the extensive demands of providing 24/7 support, the proposed budget is entirely justified. I believe the additional costs of having an experienced, Aave native dedicated team are worth it.

In conclusion, establishing the ASC is an important move towards a more decentralized, accessible, and user-focused Aave ecosystem. My positive experiences with @helpfulBro & @Essah me confident in their ability to successfully spearhead this initiative. The proposed budget is reasonable for such a comprehensive mission. I am enthusiastic about supporting the ASC and look forward to its beneficial impact on the Aave community.

5 Likes

As the developer of AwesomeQA, the AI bot that has been helping with user support in the AAVE Discord since July 2022, I support this proposal.

We saw that both @helpfulBro and @Essah (as well as others) helped the users whenever our AI did not know the answer. This automatically also improves the knowledge base for the AI.

It will be great for the ASC to have their own budget to spend on human support as well as on tooling like ours, since this has been an issue in the past.

I also agree that setting up a process to make the team more decentralized makes sense.

2 Likes