CityDAO Essay Contest

An essay contest has the potential to generate high quality evergreen content for a relatively small cost. Getting word out now to all similar minded projects and groups may provide a nice start to 2023 and get people thinking about CityDAO.

Some potential prompts

  1. Describe life in a fully established network city of the future.
  2. Why do we need a new kind of city?
  3. Describe the ideal city you would like to live in.

Under 1000 words

Prize money- $1000 in USDC total

1st $700 in USDC

2nd $300 in USDC

Project Lead Zeno- Will read every entry and present the best options to CityDAO. Will also reach out to other network state projects to make sure they are aware of the contest.

Project Lead will receive $500 USDC

I would love to accept entries in other languages but do not have the skills to do so. If other citizens would like to join in on reviewing non english entries that would be great.

Contest would open the day of the proposal passing and end January 31st 2023 at midnight PST. Winners would be revealed 1 week after the deadline.


Love this. It also is a great follow-up to the Taptive Workshop. @MemeBrains actually just had a good post in the “Narrowing our mission” thread. Essentially it is hard to set a mission when we don’t know exactly what we are building. This would be a great thought experiment in imagining what we are trying to do.


consumer facing contests require official rules and involve potential liability. Here is an article from a law firm regarding some key call outs that you should keep in mind:

in particular I will note currently this proposal fails to define how the winner would be selected (community vote?), and also, sort of seems like @zeno is the sole gatekeeper for what ultimately gets presented to the community. While I for one trust his judgment more than many other people around citydao, that sounds like it could create issues with censorship.

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I like the idea, especially following on the heels of the Taptive workshop. In some ways it replicates the workshop, which is already getting people to write essays and content. On the other hand it does incentivize writing, which is good. Maybe we could extend it to the end of February though, to give people more time to write?


I’m sure the legal minds at CityDAO can make sure we are above board for an essay contest. As far as judging goes I think all entries should be displayed publicly as long as they are not shilling or otherwise written in bad faith. This post was a temperature check as much as an exploratory exercise of how best to run this.

I’m happy to be the sole judge if no one else wants to but think it would be best to have a few other citizens step in. The criteria for winning should be simple. Whoever can provide the best answer to the prompt. Personally I don’t care how that’s done and hope we see some out of the box answers. Given the crowd I think we will see people using Ai to augment or completely write entries. I see no harm in this personally.


February would be fine.

What is an ideal amount of participants? Would you be willing to inflate the budget with some money for additional judges (a team of 3 could split the entries and then collectively judge the top entries, or just all collectively judge and then average the scores)? You’ll need clear judging criteria.

I’d also like to see a small prize pool for 3-10 runners up with valid submissions (according to the requirements) so that people are rewarded for participating actively and we can have a great showcase.

Which is my last point, there needs to a showcase and follow up next steps. Love this initiative (it’s like an essay hackathon!) and will support!

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I disagree, but by all means, don’t let legal be the tail that wags your dog.

I agree with you things should be simple but they never are around here. As for who judges and how the “best” is chosen, actually you do need to be much much more clear on those things if you are offering out money or prizes to the open public (arguably twitter and discord would apply since they are not gated to citizens) and all of it needs to be presented in an official rules format for the “contest”. This is a marketing subject and legal doesn’t get involved here in normal businesses other than to tell you what was said above.

To be clear, I am not being a jerk here, I am simply encouraging you to keep in mind how something like this would flow in the real business world and to think it through as you are launching your “product”!!

What if the essay contest were part of the process of properly vetting CIPs? Under the Charter, the “Mission Guild” was supposed to be doing this sort of function to ensure mission alignment of the CIPs, but unfortunately it never happened (and about half of the Mission Guild no longer contributes at all). So basically the idea could be to write up your idea, and you can move to the next step of securing funds, once the community has had a chance to evaluate your idea and qualifications in full (outside of the context of politicking)… and then to vote on it against the other “proposals”.

Maybe we could do this on a quarterly basis, to help stage out the votes and projects better?

Either way I do think your overall point here - about improving the quality of contributors and ideas coming out of CityDAO - is wise to pursue.

I’d also recommend taking a look at the essays that are currently being produced for the Taptive CityDAO Writers’ Workshop. Only a handful of people are participating and there’s no money involved, but I think the quality is high so far: Notion – The all-in-one workspace for your notes, tasks, wikis, and databases.

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