Zodiac.wiki Begins
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August 11th, 2022

zodiac.wiki is a living resource for DAOs. The wiki houses documentation, a library, and a pattern language for organizations.

Learn how to contribute at zodiac.wiki, engage in discussion in the Gnosis Guild Discord, and reach out on Twitter for information on partnerships.

What may have the most impact on the future isn't decentralized digital technology alone, but the governance patterns it culturally normalizes. For this reason, at Gnosis Guild we deal in patterns. Patterns could be defined as events, methods, or ways of being that recur. They reciprocate their environment. They are something that a world shapes and that shapes a world in turn, like intervals of sloping sand dunes formed from wind currents.

In the 1970s, a group of architects spearheaded by the late Christopher Alexander proposed the idea of a pattern language, a series of small descriptions that could inform how we approach our built environment. For example, the design of a house could be arrived at through connecting patterns, such as planning light on two sides of every room or cultivating a garden growing wild leading to a sun facing outdoors.

From The Timeless Way of Building (1979) by Christopher Alexander
From The Timeless Way of Building (1979) by Christopher Alexander

Rather than suggesting one universal pattern language to govern our built environment, the idea of a pattern language encourages many shared cultural vernaculars. It aims to support “a quality without a name”, a feeling of aliveness, interconnectedness, and autonomy in the built environment we inhabit: a certain viriditas. This feeling comes through responding to a place, rather than imposing on a place, and becoming a custodian in turn.

The idea of a pattern language went on to influence more than the field of architecture. In the following two decades, software developers picked it up too, which led to events like the annual Pattern Languages of Programs conference. Key figures behind the idea’s expanded influence, the Cunninghams published a book on a pattern language for software development, which suggested practices for approaching collaborative programming. However it failed to catch on, they admitted, until they began to think more about the medium required for a pattern language to become a shared cultural vernacular. This led them to become the credited creators of the first-ever wiki, the WikiWikiWeb from 1995, envisioned initially as a medium to cultivate collaborative pattern languages.

That the idea of a pattern language directly led to the creation of what would become a primary medium for knowledge commons, the wiki, should be well-known internet lore. Furthermore, the insight the Cunninghams had regarding finding an appropriate medium for an idea should not be ignored.

Just as a book presenting a pattern language did not catch on but a wiki did, best practices guides often do not make the most of their potential. While helpful for onboarding, best practices guides have the tendency to become outdated soon after they are published. Ultimately, we need resources that incorporate outside knowledge to produce knowledge commons, as well as custodians stewarding their living development over time. While pull requests on code repositories bring us closer toward a feeling of aliveness, wikis take us even further. What is commonly known now as web3 should build upon this lineage of new, generative mediums.

Announcing zodiac.wiki

In the tradition of a pattern language, zodiac.wiki is an open, living resource for DAOs. The wiki is home to a shared library of reading materials, documentation, and a pattern language describing common problems and offering practical responses for organizations.

While initiated by Gnosis Guild, zodiac.wiki is grounded in collaboration. DAOs steward the resource, and key contributors from these communities take responsibility for its maintenance. Contributing partners to begin with include Cabin, Gitcoin, Colony, Forefront, Snapshot, PrimeDAO, GnosisDAO, DAOist, Kernel, dOrg, Metalabel, PROPS SUPPLY, DAOhaus, Protein, Gardens, Trust, Raid Guild, DAODAO, Songcamp, RadicleDAO, BlockScience, Black Sky, RnDAO, DarkFi, Guild.xyz, Black Swan, Govrn, Neighbourhoods, RADAR, Moving Castles, JokeDAO, Convex Labs, Future Foundation, and Myco. Using the open source software behind Wikipedia, the Mediawiki software, ultimately the resource will allow anyone to make an account to contribute patterns, documentation, and library items.

Learn how to contribute at zodiac.wiki, engage in discussion in the Gnosis Guild Discord, and reach out on Twitter for information on partnerships.

Patterns

The patterns on zodiac.wiki describe a range of common problems and practical responses for DAOs today, such as decentralizing treasury management, creating tempos for meetings, and coordinating between smaller subgroups. For example, the Pods, Guilds, and Squads pattern suggests how smaller member groups can be assembled to tackle discrete tasks and solve issues by focusing on specific workstreams or clusters of duties.

The patterns on zodiac.wiki come initially in two forms. One form borrows from how software developers incorporated pattern languages, mimicking a problem-solution, or if this, then that, statement. This style can be seen on the Hackerspace patterns wiki for managing a shared place to work. The second form exists more wildly and poetically and more directly alludes to the work of Christopher Alexander, who may have been somewhat perplexed by the problem-solution statement format. This style can try to describe the feeling of a pattern, rather than typify its solution.

To contribute, see this guide.

Library

The library on zodiac.wiki begins humbly with a small selection of texts related to decentralized governance the team finds rich, informative, or historically important. Suggestions for the library do not have to directly reference DAOs but can ideally bring in syncretic thought interesting for their practice.

To contribute, see this guide.

Documentation

The documentation on zodiac.wiki is initially only editable by admins, in order to limit any potential security risks for operators of the Zodiac tools. However, for the nascent promises of DAOs to take root, their technical, organizational, and social knowledge must be accessible as a commons. That is why this wiki is also the home for technical documentation of tools built on the Zodiac open standard, with the possibility to expand to other protocol documentation reflecting similar values.

We separated the new tutorials on Zodiac tools into three categories: DAO Operators, Members, and Developers. While we recognize most of us wear many hats, we hope this distinction will make using Zodiac tools clearer for all.

Governance

Gnosis Guild initiated the Zodiac open standard to encourage interoperability, and we commit to making the Zodiac tools available as public goods. Since its announcement, the Zodiac open standard as the “expansion pack for DAOs” has been built on by several teams. While Gnosis Guild sees itself as one keeper of the Zodiac open standard, ultimately the Zodiac ecosystem can be stewarded by many DAO practitioners. The launch of zodiac.wiki marks one crucial step towards this.

When creating an account to contribute to zodiac.wiki, you will have the option to associate an Ethereum address with your account. Please keep in mind this a public address. In the shorter term, addresses that contribute over time may be eligible for the Wand NFT mint occurring later this year. This is the method by which wiki admin, lore, and custodial stewardship will progressively decentralize, despite beginning with more centralized curation. While we’ll share more soon on the NFT model for the Zodiac ecosystem, which includes governing not only the wiki but also the code repository and decision-making platforms too, it is important to note that governance rights will not transfer with Wand NFTs nor should there be any expectation of profit. Instead, with the Wand NFTs, we will initiate a new model of NFTs that evolve over time in relation to one’s quests, a model which we hope will be deeply helpful for the crypto ecosystem at large. After all, most meaningful wisdom comes through experiences that must be felt, rather than just bought.

In the longer term, we plan to change the zodiac.wiki software as the resource progresses. While the earlier web mastered a medium for distributed contributors, web3 seeks to distribute its underlying database as well. A web3-native wiki would be a hyperstructure: a protocol that is unstoppable, free, valuable, expansive, permissionless, positive sum, and credibly neutral. A living resource for DAOs should have multiple interfaces, allowing for different curation, categorization, and vibes, not subject only to a single team’s influence. For this reason, ultimately zodiac.wiki seeks to match-fund a candidate project to develop a protocol for the resource into the future. As was the case with horseless carriages, it may be that the medium of a web3-native wiki becomes known as something else entirely.

Learn how to contribute at zodiac.wiki, engage in discussion in the Gnosis Guild Discord, and reach out on Twitter for information on partnerships.

Disclaimer: zodiac.wiki is an open-content collaborative resource and for informational purposes only. Several organisations and third parties may permissionlessly contribute information and alter content. None of the content on the site has necessarily been reviewed by people with the expertise required to provide you with complete, accurate, or reliable information. We therefore cannot guarantee the validity of the information found on the site. There may be errors.

We nor anyone else connected with this zodiac.wiki in any way whatsoever may be held responsible for the appearance of any inaccurate information or for your use of the information contained in or linked from zodiac.wiki.

The information on the site is being provided freely, and no kind of agreement or contract is created between you and us, the contributors or users of this site, or the owners of the servers upon which it is housed.

The content of zodiac.wiki should not be taken as the basis for making investment, legal, or tax decisions, nor be construed as a recommendation to engage in any transactions. You are solely responsible for your own investment decisions and transactions.

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