[Osmf-talk] logo update

Frederik Ramm frederik at remote.org
Mon Dec 19 22:03:21 UTC 2011


On 12/19/2011 09:15 PM, Matt Amos wrote:
> i think the point that frederik was trying to make is that changing
> the site to not advertise the freedoms, diversity and community that
> we all value in OSM would be to lose something special.

I reacted in the way I did because I had the impression that not only 
was there a tendendcy to not advertise these factors (and instead try 
well-trodden mass-market compatible marketing messages like "it's fun to 
be in OSM") - no, people who care for these things are increasingly cast 
as "ultra map geeks" or something, and pushed to the sidelines. (Think 
"They're holding the project back!!!!")

The thinking seems to be that "they may have got us where we are but now 
we must look <buzzword>look forward</buzzword> and <buzzword>take things 
to the next level</buzzword> and we cannot allow ourselves to be held 
back by that tiny minority who would make our web site run on command 
line switches if one let them".

Steve talks as if those ~ 20k human beings in the world who are in 
between themselves responsible for 99% of what OSM has achieved are a 
liability, "ultra map geeks" to whom we're grateful for what they did 
but could they now please make room for those who don't know or care 
what "free and open" means because we need to suck up to the masses if 
we want to be successful.

My main point is: Just because the average Google Maps user, or whatever 
target audience Steve has in mind, does not understand a concept, that 
is *not* reason enough to play it down.

I am perfectly happy to have, in OSM, only users and participants who 
actually understand "free and open" & that you get the raw data and for 
whom this is important. I won't - and that is something Dermot mentioned 
- try to hold back others who want to make OSM palatable to different 
crowds, but I would prefer if those others were different from OSM(F). 
Anyone can take our data and try to make something interesting for the 
masses from it (take e.g. MapQuest).

But if people come to openstreetmap.org, then I want things to be clear. 
No hand-wavy dumbed-down web 2.0 "welcome to this fun web site where you 
can do cool stuff easily!" message but a clear and concise "We're a free 
and open collaborative mapping platform in which anyone can edit the 
map. All our data is available for download."

And I see a danger of these things getting lost in an almost fanatic 
desire to cater to non-geeks.

There may well be a way to open the project up to more and more 
participants from all walks of life without dumbing it down to a "fun 
activity for your spare time".

If my messages help to steer the project towards one of those ways then 
they have not been written in vain.


PS: Even if we were not to open up to the masses, we're a long way from 
having exhausted this world's reserve of ultra map geeks. Those who 
won't contribute to GMM because it's not free and open.

Frederik Ramm  ##  eMail frederik at remote.org  ##  N49°00'09" E008°23'33"

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