When it was established, Utopian.io adopted a set of “rules” to give criteria for the approval of contributions submitted to Utopian.io . These rules offered a binary view of “approved” and “rejected”, creating an unnatural dichotomy between what was rewarded and what was rejected.
After weeks of hard work involving the community managers, company advisors, moderators and (of course) community feedback Utopian.io is ready to ditch the rules and adopt a new set of Utopian.io Policies & Submission Guidelines.
This new approach, combined with the process of scoring the contributions submitted (instead of approving or rejecting them), will allow for a more flexible and scalable process of reward distribution.
In addition, we took the opportunity to rework the guidelines for specific categories, and refine the rules for better readability, as well as a visual redesign (by @ms10398) of the Utopian.io Policies & Submission Guidelines page.
From Rules to Policies & Guidelines
A Utopia does not need “rules”, as such, and so we believe every contributor should be free to contribute to whatever open source project they wish in whatever way they like. That said, it is our primary goal and vision to incentivize and reward only the best contributions that bring the highest value to projects and the open source ecosystem overall, and to be able to continue doing so in the future.
Policies for Participation
Every platform or service in the world has a set of policies in place aimed at protecting the service from potential harm (such as lawsuits or negative brand reputation), its services from abuse, and its users from a negative experience on the platform. As part of the switch from rules to submission guidelines, we’ve separated and emphasized the importance of policies, such as those for code of conduct, content originality, copyright issues and cases of abuse.
Regardless of your intention to submit contributions, it is critical that you get acquainted with the policies as your continued participation in Utopian depends on your adherence to them.
Guidelines for Rewards
Assigning a numeral quantifier to perceived quality of contributions submitted is a harder task than one might think. That is the reason why we’ve worked tirelessly to create synergy between professionally composed guidelines and effectively designed scorecards for each category. This way, we can compare the quality of contributions not only against said guidelines, but also between the different contributions in the category, according to their score.
As previously announced and emphasized, rewards or incentives from Utopian.io are never guaranteed even if all guidelines are followed. The rewards are distributed, as previously announced and detailed, to the highest scoring contributions in every category, rather than to all “approved” contributions (as previously done).
It is our hope that this change in view and mindset will lead to an ongoing growth in the quality and quantity of contributions submitted and rewarded.
Category Specific Modifications
Along with the switch in mindset, this update includes a few much-awaited changes to specific categories.
As mentioned in previous posts and Managers Weekly calls, contributions in the Copywriting category are now only eligible for rewards if they are made in response to public requests by Project Owners. These include Task Requests made on Utopian.io and other verifiable forms of public requests such as website announcements.
To ensure only the most valuable and professional work is rewarded, and to prevent potential abuse and negative experiences of Project Owners with this category, contributions in the Graphics category are now eligible for rewards only if they are bound to a public request from the Project Owners or linked to a Utopian Task Request.
In addition to Influencer Task Requests, contributors wishing to be rewarded for their efforts can now promote their favorite projects found in the Utopian.io Visibility Whitelist, to have their contributions scored according to guidelines.
We hope this opportunity to freely set campaign goals, select audiences and optimize the ad message will let our contributors fully employ their skillset as professional marketers.
To be eligible for reward, video tutorials instructing “foundation level” concepts can now be submitted only by contributors who have submitted more than 20 professional quality contributions in the past. In a nutshell, foundation level concepts are unique to an Open Source project, straightforward in complexity, and in required learning for all users of the project.
We hope that supporting foundation level video tutorials will provide learners with thorough learning resource collections for Open Source projects.
So who gets upvoted by @utopian-io?
The best, most significant and valuable open source contributions submitted for scoring are the ones that enter the voting round to receive an upvote from @utopian-io. The best way to ensure your contribution receives such an upvote is to follow the Utopian.io Policies & Submission Guidelines and exceed the performance of others.
In addition, exceptional excellence is rewarded through Staff Picks. A handful of contributions selected by Utopian.io Community Managers on a regular basis will receive the highest reward for the category and serve as an example of stelar work.
Utopian.io (still) RULES!
Utopian.io will continue to change, improve and evolve for you and with you. While our team invested a great deal of time and effort to set clear guidelines for submission, we trust you, the community, to set the standard and exceed our expectations.