[Osmf-talk] Elections: Avoid Mandate Creep

Tom Chance tom at acrewoods.net
Sat Nov 12 18:10:08 UTC 2011

On 12 November 2011 15:35, Serge Wroclawski <serge at wroclawski.org> wrote:

> In my view, the Foundation and its board are not merely "keepers" of the
> data, but community leaders chosen by the community to aid the project
> in ways they believe will benefit the project.
> I agree with the sentiment that the community should be grass roots, but
> sometimes things need to be done that are aren't fun. I think we're in
> agreement that some functions aren't controversial to pay for, like
> bookkeeping.
> I think there's value in OSMF exploring expanding the project's
> capabilities and that could mean equipment, funding software
> development, targeted outreach, etc.
> I agree there's a healthy debate to have about OSMF spending and
> fundraising. I know I don't agree with all the spending OSMF made last
> year.
> So instead of saying "OSMF should do as little as possible", we should
> explore exactly what we want OSMF doing.

I completely agree with Serge's response.

By the way, I think there's a major flaw in applying Yochai Benkler's
theory of "commons-based peer production" to OpenStreetMap.

In a free software project there's a clear difference between production
and use. Participation in its development is necessarily technical and
difficult, and most communities who want to engage more people in
production tend to develop communities for art work, documentation,
translation, marketing, etc. In production, everyone really is a "peer"
with roughly similar skills and aims. Communities that then want to ensure
their product can be used by a wider range of people take a structured
approach toward usability.

OpenStreetMap aims to engage a much wider range of people in production,
people who aren't all peers in the same sense. So we need to take a more
structured approach toward aspect of production, both in collaborating on
our core data and on producing useful spin-offs like maps and data analysis.

Often when I read Frederik's emails I get the feeling that he can't
recognise any form of organisation outside of Ronald Coase's "market
prices" or "managerial command" models besides an anarchic interpretation
of Benkley's "commons-based peer production". People don't study sociology
and political science for nothing.


http://tom.acrewoods.net   http://twitter.com/tom_chance
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