Proposal: Creator Contests - a Nounish Funding Middleware


Fund the Calabara team to continue developing Creator Contests for a 3 month trial.


Hi NounsDAO, we’re nick and weez, the tandem behind Calabara and Creator Contests.

Our Nounish Journey: part 1

Both of us were introduced to Nouns by way of SharkDAO, which we first joined over a year ago. We were fascinated by the Nouns protocol and community, and soon began building out sharkish tools to ease some of the unique challenges of a Nounish subDAO. We created a dashboard for SharkDAO, which included widgets for a snapshot client, calendar, and token gated document center. We wanted to build a simple interface for casual members to be able to quickly catch up on the latest in SharkDAO and Nouns. Soon after, other communities asked if they could have their own dashboards. We open-sourced the code, modularized the components, and invited other web3 groups to join. Today, we’d describe Calabara as an open-source design house for public infrastructure and applications.

By prop 62, we began to get excited about many of the ideas being communicated by the Prop House team. We’d been thinking deeply about community funding protocols for some time ourselves, and were eager to experiment with the Prop House model. Unfortunately, we weren’t yet able to run our own Prop House rounds at SharkDAO (because we don’t use an erc721 for governance). Prop House wasn’t open-source yet, so we decided to fork the core ideas of Prop House and build something of our own: Creator Contests.

Creator Contests … WTF?

Creator Contests are a nounish middleware for distributing funds to creatives.

Creating scalable funding infrastructure at all levels is a critical building block in establishing Nouns as the worlds largest open source brand. Creator contests build upon the strong foundations developed by the Prop House team, while experimenting with novel features to create unique incentive systems and new ways to fund builders – allowing any Nounish community with an ENS the ability to start running their own contests.

How does it work?

Similar to Prop House, participants create submissions in response to a contest prompt, and voters choose the best ones. Once the contest is over, funds are distributed to the winners. All contests follow this basic model, but administrators have full control over the contest settings to layer-on additional components. Here’s what we offer today …

  • Submitter Rewards

    • Define 1 or more winning ranks (1st, 2nd, … nth place)
    • Define 1 or more rewards for listed ranks (ETH, ERC20, ERC721)
  • Voter Rewards

    • Voters that accurately choose rank N submission will split X reward.
    • Can be used to create unique incentive systems.
    • NOMO-style games can be created, where voters join forces to try to choose the 2nd best submisison without pushing it to first place.
  • Participant Restrictions

  • Voting Strategies

    • Token – Voting power based on token holdings
    • Arcade – Uniform voting power for all qualifying voters
  • Twitter Integration

    • Collect submissions via twitter interactions
    • Inherit all existing infrastructure while proliferating via twitter
    • in action
  • Additional Parameters

Our Nounish Journey: part 2

Before Spring 2022, we had bootstrapped the project ourselves. We were lucky enough to receive support from SharkDAO, and they funded us with 7 ETH to develop an MVP of Creator Contests. We launched our first contest in September, and have helped fund creatives with ~3 ETH and 25k ERC-20 tokens since. 2 months ago, we received a small grant of 8 ETH from NSFW to develop the Twitter Integration mentioned above. We have groups like SharkDAO, Composables, TNS, and the Society of Nounish Cartoonists running contests as we speak. We are now ready to take Creator Contests to the next level.

Goals for the funding period

For this funding period, we’d like to focus on “Top of the funnel” funding infrastructure. This means implementing a scalable protocol for funding creatives in the 0.069 - 3 ETH range. Our goal is to fund 50+ nounish creatives in the 3 month window.

While bringing the codebase out of “MVP mode” so it can sufficiently scale to other Nounish pods (and make it easier to fork), we’ll work on the following upgrades:

  • Support native video and other media formats
  • Add voting capability for Noun delegates
  • Experiment with new voting strategies
  • Simplify contest initialization process.
  • Improve our twitter algorithms
  • UX redesign - It’s time for CC to get Nounish

We’d also like to answer the following questions:

  • Are voter rewards a feature or a bug?
  • In the voting period, how impactful are visible vote totals on a communities ability to choose the “best” submissions?
  • Does submission history serve as a relevant talent repository for other pods?
  • Are deep Twitter integrations viable for other tasks, like governance? (Nouncil, Nerman, etc)
  • Are there ways to maintain a certain level of submission quality without directly moderating submissions?
    • Prop House already sees a certain percentage of “low quality” submissions, and we’ll see higher levels at this funding tier. Are there ways to ensure a certain quality standard without direct moderation? Learnings from this experimentation could be layered on top of Prop House and other applications.

Defining success

Success at the funding tier we are targeting is tightly coupled with onboarding. We’ll define onboarding for the scope of this project as the following:

  • New creatives
    • Introduce new creatives to Nouns and extension communities
  • Existing creatives to larger funding tiers
    • Support creatives in the earliest stages of ideation that can translate to quality Prop House or NSFW proposals
  • Between Nounish extension communities
    • Increase the discoverability factor of extension projects and communities through different contest designs and synergies, i.e.
      • TNS and Composables co-host a round
      • Multi-community voting
      • Twitter contests

Of course, success for us also hinders on our ability to proliferate the meme. Twitter integrations drastically increase our proliferation potential – elevating contests from a siloed webapp to a publicly discoverable and interactable experience. We’re focused on lifting the stack as close to the “public edge” as possible, and see potential for these integrations in other Nounish areas.

Defining success is one thing, measuring it is different. For this funding term, we’ll do so manually by following up with participants and winners while exploring ways we can automate and better measure this in the future.

Prop House

Why not just fork Prop House for real?

While we haven’t really heard this much, it’s a valid question that we anticipate some Nouners might have.

Halting further experimentation to go back and layer our changes on top of the PH codebase feels like a step backwards at this point in time. We envision a coordinated approach where both PH and CC are able to sandbox and test different ideas and merge the ones that work. Ultimately, the far more relevant component to fork will be the smart contracts for a trustless implementation that the PH team is leading, which we fully plan on doing.

At worst, CC is an alternative client for Prop House. At best, it is an experiment in funding infrastructure, working alongside Prop House in developing sound protocols for high velocity, trustless, and scalable funding infrastructure for web3 communities – all powered by Nouns.


60 ETH for continued development

3/5 Multisig tasked with sending 30 ETH of project funds to the team wallet upon execution, and setting up a 3 month stream for the remaining funds.


Nick: nickdodson.eth
Benbodhi: signed.benbodhi.eth
Juan: juanx.eth
JoshuaFisher: joshuafisher.eth
ToadyHawk: toadyhawk.eth

Proposed Transactions

60.0 ETH


Is it already live and is there a link?


yep! We have been live since September and there are 3 contests running right now.

The Noun Square
Society of Nounish Cartoonists


Bumping this. We’re planning to go on-chain very soon

1 Like

I think this is a reasonable ask.

The only real feedback I have is listing out the team members.

I would be happy to sponsor this for you if you are looking for help to get on-chain.