[Osmf-talk] [Talk-de] EVERYONE: PLEASE VOTE

SteveC steve at asklater.com
Thu Aug 20 01:12:46 UTC 2009

First I think you just breached the data protection act and are using  
data which even I don't have access to, but lets ignore that and the  
fact that Nick has actually been pushing to make the list more open. A  
list which only you, Mike and 80n have.

I really wish we could just pay people in Kiev to do exactly what I  
say, but we can't. It's insulting to their integrity and intelligence  
to suggest that they simply become members of OSMF to vote for Nick or  
I. Everyone at CloudMade is encouraged to be a member of the  
Foundation. From me, to the ambassadors we had, to our executives to  
our developers. The majority of us have been members for some time. I  
don't know all the details as I don't deal with them on a daily basis  
but from my understanding is that this 'mass joining' was simply  
because they didn't have individual credit cards that would work from  
the Ukraine on paypal.

To be clear, we've not told staff at CloudMade to vote for anyone. You  
clearly have no respect for Nick, me or anyone we employ in the  
Ukraine, but you could ask some of our London team to confirm this if  
you have any respect for them?

We're in a very difficult position and don't always make the right  
choices. CloudMade has contributed tens of thousands of pounds in cash  
to the Foundation for things like sponsorship and servers. We've spent  
man years on coding work. Nick, me and many other in CloudMade spend  
far beyond 9-5 working to promote OSM and make it fly. But if we make  
a small mistake we're hung up to dry by people like Frederik as some  
kind of map-based Darth Vader figure.

If we don't encourage people to join then we're not part of the  
community and engaged. If we do then you can interpret it as being a  
take over. So we walk a fine balancing act. That's just the way it is,  
and we try hard to make the right decisions. This is something we'll  
learn from. But I sincerely hope that the majority of people look at  
how much hard work we've put in and the good we've done for OSM  
despite a sometimes fractious community and the pot shots like this  

 From a practical point of view I have no idea what conspiracy we'd be  
trying to achieve anyway. If we really were deranged enough to try and  
'take over' then firstly we could just register tens or hundreds of  
fake people with hotmail email addresses and avoid this. Second, I  
don't know what we'd be taking over. The data has very clear  
protections all over it to stop people taking it over and I want them  
only to be made stronger (not weaker Public Domain which is what  
Frederik wants). The Foundation has very little assets and I've put  
the last 5 years of my life in to making OSM better since I founded.  
It would be super dumb, gain me nothing and destroy my reputation and  
OSM to be Evil and do any of that.

Anyway, the Ukraine has it's own strong community, just have a look at http://mapping.in.ua/ 
  and I think you have your numbers wrong in assuming everyone in the  
Ukraine works for CloudMade.

I and CloudMade are very open to learning from these kinds of hiccups  
and am all ears for how we can do better. I'd go so far as to suggest  
that maybe we could ask our Ukraine staff not to vote at all, but that  
would lack the same respect you don't have for them.

But lets look at the real issue, Frederik. You're intensely jealous  
that your own firm, GeoFabrik, which you didn't bother to declare in  
your anti-CM email, has had little success compared to CloudMade. Your  
jealous to the point of stripping all references to me out of your  
book on OpenStreetMap. You don't want anyone who's not from Germany to  
come to your German-only German SOTM your planning because you want  
your own little empire and fame.

I wouldn't normally point to all of that because I have a lot of  
respect for you and I want GeoFabrik, ITO World and all the other  
companies using OpenStreetMap to succeed. But you keep doing this  
stuff without getting any push back, and if you're going to attack  
people like this in public then you should declare the other side of  
the coin.

We have a larger goal. OpenStreetMap is going to be the best map of  
the world and we need to work together to make it happen. Let's not  
squabble over this stuff because we're David right now and there is a  
Goliath in terms of TeleAtlas and NavTeq. We need mappers, the  
Foundation, the sysadmin team, developers, academia and companies to  
work together in an ecosystem to make it happen. Let's deal with each  
other in a more respectful way, don't automatically assume people are  
evil and assume that people are acting in good faith.

That way, we can all work on a better map.

I'm very contactable by anyone who has any concerns over this and  
encourage people to judge me and Nick on what we do and not what  
Frederik says. Feel free to phone me, IM or whatever. Details here: http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/User:Steve

Yours &c.


On 19 Aug 2009, at 16:55, Frederik Ramm wrote:
> Dear everyone,
>    this is a personal call on every OSMF member to please cast a vote
> in the election to the board of directors.
> List of candidates is here:
> http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Foundation/AGM09/Election_to_Board
> and you can vote for (up to) 7 of the 11 candidates. You have  
> roughly 24
> hours left at the time of writing (voting by email closes at midnight
> BST (GMT+1) on Thursday).
> To vote, include the (up to) 7 names of people you want to vote for in
> an E-Mail and send it:
> To: secretary at osmfoundation.org    (Blackadder, OSMF secretary)
> cc: osmvotes2009 at randomjunk.co.uk (randomjunk, Independent scrutineer)
> cc: osmvotes2009 at bleah.co.uk  (sward, Independent scrutineer)
> Subject: OSMF Board Vote 2009
> I am writing this to increase member participation because I feel that
> unless enough members participate in the election, it will be largely
> controlled by one single business entity - CloudMade. Read details  
> below.
> Last year, about 30 OSMF members participated in the election of board
> members - that's probably one in four members who cast a vote or so.
> At the time, about 5 OSMF members were also employed by CloudMade, and
> assuming that they all cast a vote, that's somewhere between 15% and  
> 20%
> of actual votes cast by CM employees - no big deal.
> This year, more than 30 OSMF members are employed by CloudMade  
> (about 20
> of which, based in Kiev, have joined en-bloc very recently), plus a  
> few
> who are not employed but who are CM investors or consultants.
> If election participation is about the same as last year (i.e. one in
> four OSMF members vote at all), and assuming that all CloudMade
> employees intend to vote (why would 20 of them join OSMF a few days
> before the vote otherwise?), then this would mean that roughly 50  
> votes
> will be cast altogehter, more than 30 of which will come from  
> CloudMade
> employees, putting 60% of the vote in CloudMade hands.
> I find this situation deeply disturbing. Especially given the
> discussions we had about the question of how many board members should
> be allowed to be from one company; Nick Black and Jim Brown, both from
> CloudMade, were adamant that this should be the decision of the
> electorate - I wonder if, at the time, they did the same maths? It
> sounds a bit hollow now, given these numbers.
> And that's why I hope that many people actually bother to cast a vote;
> if not one in four, but one in two OSMF members vote, then the  
> CloudMade
> employee portion of votes would only be 30% which would feel better to
> me (no matter what the outcome of the vote is).
> As you probably know my personal preference is not to have any
> commercial influence on the OSMF board - but I am democrat enough to
> accept a different outcome if it is carried by a majority of  
> members. I
> would just wish that if a majority of members decides to vote for  
> Steve
> and Nick, that majority is not one consisting of their own employees.
> I must apologise for not being able to give exact numbers - all the
> "roughly"s and "probably"s and "approximately"s stem from the fact  
> that
> I only have access to the list of members of this mailing list and  
> must
> assume that this is more or less equivalent to the list of OSMF  
> members.
> When I say that 21 CM employees joined "very recently" then I mean  
> they
> have been subscribed to this list only a few hours ago but since  
> this is
> not an automatic process, their membership applications might also  
> be a
> few weeks old. Whether I count someone as a CloudMade employee is  
> based
> on looking at their E-Mail address and/or checking with Google and
> that's of course another possible source of errors. Also, no exact
> information is available about last year's vote (how many people were
> eligible to vote, and how many did vote). But while all this has the
> potential to change the numbers slightly, it is very unlikely to  
> change
> the overall situation that CloudMade employees are very likely to cast
> more than half of the votes at the upcoming election if the
> non-CloudMade members vote as lazily as they did last year - and hence
> this E-Mail.
> Bye
> Frederik
> -- 
> Frederik Ramm  ##  eMail frederik at remote.org  ##  N49°00'09"  
> E008°23'33"
> _______________________________________________
> osmf-talk mailing list
> osmf-talk at openstreetmap.org
> http://lists.openstreetmap.org/listinfo/osmf-talk

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