PubDAO partner agreement/rules

This is an attempt at some publishing rules that all PubDAO partners would agree to. Feedback, pushback, and suggested changes welcome.

  1. Every site that runs a story from PubDAO runs the same story – once it’s been edited and approved, sites would not make their own further edits or tweaks. All should run the same exact story (same copy, same length) for consistency’s sake and accuracy sake. (Small house-style cosmetic tweaks can be made, for example Decrypt capitalizes the names of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin, while other sites may not, and that’s Ok to change.) Agree?

  2. Every site obviously has its own visual look and tabs, and that’s fine, but every site runs the same matching disclaimer at top of all PubDAO stories: This story comes from PubDAO, a media DAO with members across the crypto space who collaboratively ideate and approve stories that can run on multiple outlets. Agree? and should that disclaimer run at top of story or bottom? Dan votes top…

  3. When a PubDAO writer is just about ready with a story, they give the Discord members (contribs and up) a limited amount of time, to be agreed on (3 days?) to suggest changes or critiques to a story draft, after which time the window for group input closes and the story will be finalized.

  4. Other suggestions for rules of the road to establish ahead of time?

  1. I think pubs should have the option to pull from stories as they need to. This is what wire services are for, no? To supplement existing reporting. Wire service is different from a syndication service, which presumes complete reproduction.

  2. I think we need something a lot shorter that goes at the end or in the byline. Even something like ‘by Dan Roberts,’ is sufficient IMO.

  3. Maybe, but we also need a circuit breaker mechanism so edits don’t continue forever. This also would seem to preclude any newsy things. Maybe only certain classes of stories get this treatment.

  4. Will have a think

thank you for replying!

  1. You’re right, sites should be allowed to just take parts of a story, but what I don’t think they should be able to do is add to one / make changes to the copy? others may disagree. are there any potential problems with a site taking three grafs from a PubDAO story and then adding their own writing and reporting around it? maybe not. but what if their additions completely change angle and tone of the original? for ex, just to play devil’s advocate: Protos takes a few grafs from Andrew’s story on selling Lobby Lobsters and giving the proceeds to Coin Center and turns it into a screed about corruption in crypto lobbying?

  2. I’m with you on making disclaimer shorter, but I’m pretty committed to having disclaimer start: This story comes from PubDAO. (maybe a much shorter ID line though.)

  3. Def agree on tightening time that Discord members are allowed to contribute suggestions / critiques. We could come up with a default time period for story? 48 hours after writer files draft? Or maybe 48 hours after editor says it’s edited and ready? (and yes, I don’t see PubDAO ever being for breaking news posts, do you? nor for high-sensitivity investigative scoops where the publication working on it won’t want to work on it in the open.)

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some further thoughts on point 3.:
-i think it’s a case of sizing the community control correctly. i dont think the community should be intervening at the story level.
-what should the community do then? i think they get involved a layer or two upstream. they can vote on whether a certain beat is set up, whether that beat should cover certain things, etc. they should be voting a few times a quarter at most.
-trying to think of a good analogue. maybe they are more like masthead editors rather than story editors.


100% agree on not necessarily letting community have deep input on the content of stories – and not just because it’ll slow stories down. I got some pushback on that from some folks who were saying it’s only a true DAO if the stories are ideated fully in the open, total group input welcome, etc etc. we should discuss further with the key constituents, or here in this forum.

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Perhaps the discrepancies here could be resolved by having the wire service add some kind of metadata or category label that indicates if a piece belongs in one of several possible categories, ex: “Press Release”, “Briefs”, and “Data” – pubs can take what they want and work it into own stories, ex: PR Newswire, Cision. If its a “Syndicated Story” then no or limited edit rules apply, per explicit guidelines set by the DAO, ex: AP, Reuters. Later could add a separate category for “Crowdsourced Report” (rules tbd by DAO/ Editorial).

The DAO wouldn’t have to roll out all categories at once, but by adding category labels now we leave room to grow into more categories without boxing ourselves into a particular model. We could work the category into the disclaimer text: “This Syndicated Story comes from…”

Seems like AP does a version of this, they have a “category” tag in their RSS feeds (most stories have multiple), examples include “Partner Content” (seems Sponsored), “Awards”, “Data Journalism”, etc:

Good idea re metadata, I am not the tech guy so not sure how that would work. but from an editorial perspective, I think easiest option right now at the outset is to lock in a tight disclaimer that all partner sites have to put at top of post (or bottom? any objections to top?), so in the spirit of Joon’s idea to shorten it, how’s this:

This story comes out of PubDAO, a decentralized news wire ← and make PubDAO a link to either the Discord or the Notion site?

agree with @joonian re: point 1 that pubs should be able to edit stories and take from them, just like they would any other wire. If they write the entire story unchanged, then the byline stays intact. If they modify it, then maybe it makes more sense to have joint bylines to signal the story if the product of two organizations. This addresses the point about changing the angle or tone.

agree on all the rest.

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Thank you all for the input. Taking it all into account, I’ve come up with new ‘rules of the road’ that I propose as final – FOR NOW at the outset. These can certainly continue to be tweaked by the group as PubDAO evolves:

  1. Publishing partners can run PubDAO stories once the stories have been placed in the ready-to-publish channel in the PubDAO Discord. They must include the byline of the writer and the PubDAO disclaimer (see No. 3) but otherwise can add their own additional reporting if they wish, add additional byline, or only use selected parts of the original story, a la AP wire stories. Each site can also format in their own way visually, choose their own headline, use their own art, swap in links to their own stories, etc.

  2. Publishing partners cannot change the spirit of a story. In other words: if the original PubDAO story was a straight feature about a project, a partner site cannot manipulate the original copy to turn it into an opinion piece slamming the project.

  3. Publishing partners run this disclaimer at top of PubDAO stories: This story comes out of PubDAO, a decentralized news wire. And make PubDAO a link to

  4. PubDAO stories that are edited and ready will go in the story-ideas room 24 hours before anyone publishes, in google doc form, so that publishing partners have a day to check it out and make any big-picture critiques or suggestions (not line edits). This will also give partners time to prep/plan their timing if they want to run the story.

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