There are several ways to communicate with your validators. Ultimately, it would be best to find a way to feel comfortable engaging with your validators. Common platforms for direct communication in the scene have been proven to be Discord and Telegram.
The most common platform for direct validator communication has proven to be Discord. As a result, most projects have implemented a separate, closed area for their validator communication. Due to this, most validators have created a monitoring system for Discord channels to notice all announcements and updates.
Some projects request validators to adjust their server names so that mods can quickly identify them:
NAME | VALIDATORMONIKER. Furthermore, there is no clear trend if the closed area on Discord is only dedicated to the active set of validators or to everybody interested in requesting the role. While the restriction to the active group might be connected to a high maintenance effort within Discord, it increases the quality of discussions and can prove critical for problem-solving during emergencies.
It’s recommended to set up a verification method to make sure your channel stays effective. For example, to verify validators, the Cosmos Hub asks them to send an email with Discord handles from their publicly listed domain. Other methods include sending a transaction with a custom memo, but this can be a rather cumbersome process.
Slack or Telegram have proven to be effective channels for private conversations with validators. In emergency cases, this setup can help you maintain privacy, which might be helpful during highly sensitive security incidents. Those setups can also help to discuss delegation or validator rounds.
Implementing the appropriate platforms is vital for providing validators with the essential information needed to ensure the smooth operation of your network. With these platforms in place, regular communication should, at a minimum, focus on the following core aspects:
- Software updates and releases
- Significant governance votes
- Network performance metrics
- Potential security risks or vulnerabilities
Offer clear timelines and guidelines to help validators prepare for various events. Seek to provide at least 24-48 hours of advanced notice if you can, enabling validators to coordinate their activities effectively. Furthermore, it is advisable to schedule updates during the work week, from Monday to Friday, although earlier in the week is generally better.
Once you’ve picked a block time for your chain upgrade, make sure to keep your validators informed of the estimated date and time for this block. As block times vary, the actual upgrade time can shift. Some block explorers like Mintscan offer a dynamic estimation of the exact blocktime.
Establish an announcement channel dedicated to sharing crucial information with validators, as they will likely automate their information intake. This channel will ensure urgent updates and instructions are visible during network-wide emergencies or critical issues. In addition, consider setting up a separate channel for non-critical updates.
While validators compete with one another, they also support each other due to their mutual interest in cultivating a positive environment to help the protocol succeed. Providing additional information, such as network performance metrics like uptime, allows validators to monitor the network's health, identify potential issues, and optimize their collective operations.