Paid Discord Support Staff - let’s talk about it

Could a paid Discord staff be a potential proposal for the community?

I am a new member of this community and I am already quite impressed by this project. The products offered are stellar and the community around the project is smart and inclusive.

I constantly watch a few people in the discord explain aspects of the products offered by Abra as well as help users troubleshoot issues that fellow mages encounter along their journey. This is already such an endearing example of what I expected DAO’s to be like when I first heard about them, it’s amazing. As far as I understand the situation, these people helping give assistance to users in the discord are doing it out of the goodness of their hearts, which is admirable to say the least.

Here, most of us are aware of the scammers in DM’s and I agree that it’s important to encourage our fellow wizards to protect themselves by blocking DM’s from the server in general, as they should also do the same in other servers so it’s a good practice to spread. But we have witnessed a few of our frog family get taken advantage of by these scammers and I have noticed a commonality in their predicaments. They came to the discord, asked a question, and didn’t receive the help they needed (quick enough). Even if their questions were phrased erroneously or appeared FUD-ish, their experience with the project should be important to us.

By not responding to these requests for assistance (quick enough), an opportunity arises for a scammer to offer the help the user seeks through DM. I understand we cannot always answer every question within the timeframe the users may expect, but immediate engagement (even to extend the warning of not trusting DMs), could help save Some of these folks from getting rekt. Paying server support staff could help further incentive engagement with users, not to mention potentially free up time for some of the best helpers in the community who might be able to make it their day job to provide assistance.

More than just protecting users from scammers, this would be an opportunity to ensure more users get what they expect out of our products, if not better. These kinds of positive experiences will only encourage further adoption of the project when users who get what they expect have good things to say. These products are fairly simple, it shouldn’t take much to get most folks to their destination. I often witness people trying to accomplish one thing but they are going about it the wrong way. A server support staff could help users avoid these hiccups. Support staff would also be useful to help educate misinformed folks who come thinking they can play with more money than they put in, hopefully steering them in the right direction by correcting misunderstandings.

I would never suggest a support staff actually provide financial advice. In fact, that would be one thing I think support staff would be barred from doing. It should be possible to establish a list of links that can be shared by support staff In-Channel, for websites that can help the user find the financial information they are looking for (eg. tax implications or technical analysis of financial products not offered by Abra but are a part of a cauldron).

I don’t know how that payment structure, hiring process, or what the responsibilities for support staff would be, but this idea has been burning in my mind and I felt I should drop it here to see what you all think of it.

Just so it’s clear, because I tend to insert myself to try and help (@MattMacGyver): I, personally, do Not want to be a support staff member. Firstly, I’ve only been here for about a week so I don’t really know much anyway. Secondly, I truly believe in trying to protect our fellow wizards and that it would be in the project’s best interest to have a support staff that is further incentivized to help users have a positive experience. I don’t want it to appear as if I’m looking to benefit financially from this proposal, beyond the further adoption of Abra’s products providing me a good ROI. It would also benefit me morally, because if we could protect more frogs from getting rekt by f%&$ing snakes in the grass, I would sleep like a prince.

Edited for readability above and added what is below.

As I like to play devil’s advocate against myself, I’d like to list some hurdles I can think of that could arise from having a paid support staff.

  1. Depending on how the payments are structured, what are the tax implications of that sort of arrangement between Abra and the staff members?

  2. Establishing a support staff may encourage laziness in the user base, as they may feel they can simply run to a mod for help instead of trying to read the docs. This would need to be addressed and a strategy created to avoid it.

  3. There may be negative impact on a staff member’s relationship with Abra if their position is revoked for some reason. The stress of helping people changes dramatically when there is payment involved and expectations are set. I would hate to see a community member get burnt out because they were committed to their position as a support staff member and it got too stressful for them.

  4. A support staff member being on a payroll may establish a form of liability onto Abra regarding statements made by the support staff members. This may honestly be the thorniest aspect of this proposal and would be extremely important to avoid.

There are many other issues with this concept, I’m sure. Even with the hurdles I outlined above, I don’t believe it’s an insurmountable challenge. I read about people being rekt in the discord, I want to extend my condolences to them, but I feel nothing could truly express my concern for their experience. I believe a small slice of my return in exchange for having an incentivized support staff on discord around the clock to help avoid the disasters and ensure positive user experiences, would be the closest thing to being able to repay the universe for the losses accrued by the frogs that have fallen along the way as well as protect those who have yet to join the family, not to mention Abra’s reputation.


Replying to myself to add the suggestion:

Maybe their payment structure is a pool of its own, where a member can receive rewards if enough of some function is accomplished, eg. upvotes by members in the forum once a week/month.

This way they are not actually employed by Abra, there is no contractual agreement or stated responsibilities. The member’s statements are still only the member’s own personal opinions, not a representation of Abra’s position on any particular issue, that may help avoid liability issues.

Anyone can receive the rewards, but they must first engage with users on the discord and help out enough to be deemed worthy of the rewards when the votes are cast by members in a forum post for who deserves the rewards that week/month.

It could be a tiered reward system. The top five best helpers get the whole pool, split up based on their rank in the votes.

In this situation I would suggest I, personally, be ineligible to receive rewards as I do Not want to have a financial benefit from this proposal beyond further adoption of the project increasing my ROI.

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