Governance Forum on Lens


Why we want this

  • Showcase a new use case for Lens: on-chain governance posts & persistent reputation for DAO governance using Lens Profiles
  • Gain adoption of Lens from a new user segment: DAO politicians & governance participatoooors

Additional background (if any)


Right now, DAO governance forums have user experience pain points:

  1. Users have to create a Discourse profile for each DAO (i.e., one profile per DAO forum)
    1. Sometimes the username differs across each forum (e.g., their preferred handle may have been squatted on)
  2. Readers of proposals don’t know how legitimate or ‘trusted’ a proposer is
  3. Proposers don’t know how legitimate the feedback of the proposal responders are

In addition, the Discourse experience is separate from the core Web3 governance experience of on-chain voting, wallet connection, reputation of voters/proposers/commenters.

Users impacted

  • Proposal writers
  • DAO delegates/voters
  • Feedback givers (i.e., proposal commenters)

A Solution

High-level features
  • A forum that has governance posts and comments that will be written into Lens Protocol using the Lens API
  • Wallet sign-in where the persistent identity is the Lens Profile NFT
  • Additional Web3 native features: token-gating for posting, showing POAPs and other badges/attestation

How it might work

  • The same feature set that governance forum users know and love
    • Posting proposals
    • Commenting on proposals
    • Rich text editor (i.e., heading and other simple formatting)
    • Creating and logging in with an account (in this case, your Lens Profile)
    • Seeing when proposals and comments were posted
    • Add relevant links to proposals (e.g., snapshot link)
    • Get notifications for updates on proposal
    • Like, save, and share proposal
Below features must be scoped and prioritized based on user research
  • Additional Web3 features to create a differentiated experience:
    • Persistent identity across multiple DAO forums (i.e., Lens Profile NFT)
      • Connect wallet / SIWE (sign in with Ethereum)
    • iFrame with embedded snapshot vote (i.e., vote in the forum)
    • Token-gated permissions for posting
    • Displaying lens profile NFT with ‘badges’ to show verified profiles (not an impersonator) and highlight the reputation of high-profile DAO politicians

How it might look

  • [Easy option] A reskinned version of Discourse that uses Lens in the backend
  • [Hard option] A reimagination of governance based on Web3 user needs and current pain points with Discourse (e.g., connection to on-chain activity)

Benefits and risks

Impact to personas

  • DAO participants have a delightful, Web3-native experience with governance, proposals, and voting
  • Proposal readers know when a proposal is ‘legitimate’ based on the reputation of the poser
  • Proposal creators know when comments/feedback is ‘legimitate’ based on the reputation of the commenters

What Aave gains from this

  • Running the defacto governance platform on top of Lens Protocol
  • A new user segment (DAO participants) using Lens in order to further drive adoption beyond the web3 social use case

Risks and limitations

  • Status quo user behavior is too strong; people prefer to use Discourse out of familiarity and convenience even if it’s a worse experience
  • 👉
    this is mitigated by having a differentiated value prop that makes people come to our platform instead of Discourse
  • BD slog of onboarding individual DAOs to use the platform
  • 👉
    this is mitigated by having Aave Companies dogfood the platform with their own governance activities
  • long development cycle of trying to re-create forum capabilities like rich text editor