[Osmf-talk] Question to board members

Mikel Maron mikel_maron at yahoo.com
Thu Aug 23 14:10:10 UTC 2012

> Could you set out what those problems are, and what has been tried to date?

I'll start with one, which is retention of new users. While registrations just recently climbed above 700K, active users are roughly 18K/month. Active users have maybe doubled in the past 3 years, while registered users has increased nearly fivefold. We've known about this problem for years, and should have taken steps to increase retention, while we've seen a significant decrease in retention rate.

We've tried redesign competitions, design discussion lists, user stories, blessings by the Foundation for initiatives by individuals, hack weekends. There's been UX research, eye tracking, and recent data research (http://www.mdpi.com/2220-9964/1/2/146). There are at least a dozen appropriate wiki pages listing all the problems, possible solutions. There have definitely been improvements here and there, but nothing has fundamentally changed. But in some ways, it's simple. New users need to be better welcomed and oriented to OpenStreetMap. And users whose participation has dropped, or never took off at all, need to be reminded of what's going on in OSM.

My conclusion is that this point is so important, and so difficult to organize ad-hoc, there must be an intervention, even if a small one. Someone must have the responsibility, within the context and goals set by the OSM community and the OSMF, to take this forward and set the pace. The license change was important enough to temporarily hire someone to lead the charge, and that was a success ... it actually led to more contributions to the effort, not less. This kind of intervention should become one of the tools in the OSMF toolbox, and one of the first things would be a focus on redesign and other developments for user retention. It's at least worth a try, everything else but has been tried.

* Mikel Maron * +14152835207 @mikel s:mikelmaron

> From: Tom Chance <tom at acrewoods.net>
>To: Mikel Maron <mikel_maron at yahoo.com> 
>Cc: Richard Weait <richard at weait.com>; "osmf-talk at openstreetmap.org" <osmf-talk at openstreetmap.org> 
>Sent: Thursday, August 23, 2012 3:26 AM
>Subject: Re: [Osmf-talk] Question to board members
>On 22 August 2012 17:39, Mikel Maron <mikel_maron at yahoo.com> wrote:
>Poorly. We're still in the status quo that OSMF has been in the past four years. We're stuck on mostly the same problems, no reliable way to resolve them. Things need to change, constructively, with leadership that has a practical approach.
>Could you set out what those problems are, and what has been tried to date?
>http://tom.acrewoods.net   http://twitter.com/tom_chance
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