[Osmf-talk] Question to Board Members - Taking Responsibility

Steven Feldman shfeldman at gmail.com
Sat Aug 25 08:06:11 UTC 2012

Fantastic discussion that has IMHO been long overdue.

If I can summarise the discussion has ranged from the effectiveness of the board through the license change to user retention/motivation, completing the map (addresses and navigation) and incorporating routing on the site. There is a common thread - can an organisation that seems ideologically opposed (my view) to paying either freelances or staff members continue to grow and achieve it's goals (whatever they may be) solely on the basis of unstructured volunteer effort? I don't think there are many examples of organisations of the scale of OSM that successfully operate without some staff and without some direction of those resources to get things done.

Today I don't know who is responsible for ensuring that OSM supports it's new users and motivates them or who has set priorities for what and where we focus resources with regard to functionality on the site and how that connects to our objectives with regard to mapping activity. It can't be the board meeting a few times a year as a part time role, it probably isn't the MT who are also juggling full time roles with their involvement in OSM. 

Steve suggested that now might be the time to consider an OSM staff team, I think he is right. OSM is a big project, it needs people to commit time and take responsibility for some of the key strands that have been discussed endlessly of the lists and most importantly those people need to be given the trust to get on and do something by the community rather than having to gain consensus on every detail. It would be a big change and it would ruffle even more collars than the license change but I think it would be worth it.

This is a discussion that we should be having, it is possibly the key strategic decision for OSM. 

Steven Feldman


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