[Osmf-talk] OSMF board elections - slight repost

SteveC steve at asklater.com
Wed Aug 31 15:53:03 UTC 2011

I'll give you the facts and then the real answer.

This year we tried multiple things. We started on the phone monthly and 
then doubled to every other week and then weekly. this was because not 
all members could make the calls, some had bad phone lines and so on. 
With increasing frequency it was hoped that more members would be able 
to attend at least one call here or there. Weekly simply became too much 
for those attending all the time and thus we are trying the management 
meetings. This both puts the board back and pushes the working groups 
forward. So in theory the board will meet every 3-6 months as a normal 
board would. Then the management meetings happen monthly and consist of 
the heads of the working groups to throw tasks at each other, the board 
or the other way around. Then working groups can meet as often as they 
wish, but weekly seems to be common.

Thus the working groups can deal with their specific issues frequently. 
Occasionally the working groups need to exchange tasks or information 
via the management meeting. Infrequently something is required of the 
board like approving a motion for the Articles of Association or 
something like that.

In addition the board tries to meet face to face twice a year next to an 
OSM event, like SOTM. Almost everything else happens on the phone and 
for some working groups, IRC.

Now the real answer is that the commitment is very low (those 3-6 month 
board meetings) but those of us who care deeply will of course be 
spending a lot of time in the working groups, helping make SOTM happen, 
answering emails, dealing with random administrative issues and so on 
and you can easily spend 20, 40 or more weeks on OSM if you wish to. HOT 
and some of the local groups have set up their own boards and finances 
but if you consider them part of OSM(F) then you can add a lot more 
hours in too.

As Mikel highlighted, the main thing you should be prepared for isn't so 
much the time commitment but the fact that it's a thankless task. You 
will have to make choices between two equally bad options and take the 
flak for it. Those kinds of things. But for the author of Potlatch, I'm 
sure that's not a new issue :-)



On 8/31/2011 5:54 AM, Richard Fairhurst wrote:
> Oliver Kühn wrote:
>> I think everybody who is seriously considering a candidate should talk
>> to current or former board members.
> That's why I'm asking here. I figured maybe board members might read
> osmf-talk, which from the fact you've answered is happily the case; and be
> prepared to extend a public hand to prospective new board members,
> wherever they might come from, which sadly appears not to be.
> I am genuinely astonished at this, and am torn between not running because
> it's so difficult to find out even this basic information, and running
> because you appear to be a shower of blithering incompetents and could do
> with a large dose of clue.
> FWIW, I am a former board member myself. But I have no idea, for example,
> about the frequency of board meetings now that the Management Team is in
> place. I also don't know whether meetings are still facilitated via a
> telephone dial-in; IIRC CloudMade provided a dial-in for OSMF meetings at
> some point and I doubt that continues now. And so on.
>> Have you ever seen a "prime minister manual" to decide if you want to
>> become prime minister?
> There certainly is one of those for the British Prime Minister, yes. In
> addition, all candidates for Government office (i.e. the Shadow Cabinet
> before an election and, if deemed necessary, the equivalent in the third
> party) are given verbal and written briefings by civil servants.
> My little sister works in the Cabinet Office a couple of doors down from
> Mr Cameron. Do you want me to see if I can get you a copy of the
> manual?[1]
> cheers
> Richard
> [1] for the avoidance of doubt and for the future benefit of people
> reading the archives, that is not a serious offer ;)
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