[Osmf-talk] logo update

Dermot McNally dermotm at gmail.com
Tue Dec 20 00:19:09 UTC 2011


On 19 December 2011 22:03, Frederik Ramm <frederik at remote.org> wrote:

> 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."

In the spirit of finding agreement rather than disagreement, I'd like
to address this paragraph, with which I agree and, having sat in the
board meeting during which we discussed how to attract more users for
our data, I'm happy to suggest that the core sentiment you express
here is shared by all who were present. I really hope that we can now
take this as read and use it to frame any more discussion that may
arise about this matter.

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

I'll suggest that you shouldn't see that danger - or at least, that
you should recognise that it's not the intention of anybody who is
suggesting change. That being so, rather than predicting doom and
gloom if we even pursue the ideas, it would be far more useful to
identify carefully where any danger might lie. So far in this thread
we have failed to identify anybody who would wish to see the "good
stuff" get lost, so you will be pushing on an open door.

> 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".

This is indeed what I want to see. I want an osm.org site fulfilling
the following wishlist items:

* The uninitiated can quickly understand the power of OSM (that
includes not just the data/editing advantages, but also the use cases)

* Things that can be easy and understood by "normal" users are so.

* Things that are less easily understood are still introduced in as
logical, reasonable and, importantly, discoverable a way as possible

* The messages that we as a community want visitors to see, basically
the stuff Frederik is most afraid may be buried, never to be seen
again, are all retained and we take trouble to find ways to ensure
that visitors see them (noting that a visitor who bounces today on
seeing the home page currently doesn't see the good stuff).

* Conversely, the site should avoid clutter and be well structured
around expected use cases. I claim that not all of the users will be
mappers from day 1 and that this is one reason end-user features are
important for community building, so it's not unlikely that we will
need to be creative to find an approach that caters well to _all_
users. But, as Matt said a little up the page, these problems can all
be solved through cleverness, something that is not in short supply
around here.

Dermot

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