[Osmf-talk] a receding opportunity
richard at systemeD.net
Mon Oct 1 22:30:20 UTC 2012
A slight step back from this thread, and an alternative view.
OSM has a respectable enough media presence. Not brilliant, not
terrible. We know journalists who we can (and do) approach with our
point of view. We feed stuff out via Twitter and elsewhere - our Apple
cash-in tweet, which I'm disappointed Mikel didn't mention, got our
highest ever number of retweets
There's a lot more we can do, and it would be great to have more
volunteers to help us do so. I run the Twitter feed pretty much
single-handed. I see 20 people weighing in on this thread but only five
people doing the hard work at the Communications Working Group this
evening. That is, I would gently suggest, the wrong way round.
But - sometimes you also have to recognise that what you want to
communicate doesn't fit into the narrative that the media is running
with. Yes, it would be lovely to get OSM inserted into all those Apple
vs Google stories, but the narrative is essentially "Apple fails" and
not much more. Noam Bardin has said really outrageous media-baiting
stuff and barely anyone's picked up on his quotes. What they have picked
up is that there's an app called "Waze" in the app store, and it's a
good alternative to Apple Maps; that's why Waze has had more of an
uptick from the Apple episode than us.
Why aren't all these disgruntled Apple Maps users flocking to contribute
to OSM? Well, it might help if we had an app that actually allowed them
to do so.
Two lessons, and they're not about PR. One's about mailing lists and
one's about OSMF.
This endless wanking on mailing lists is a time-sink. It really is. I'll
point the finger at myself first to save picking on anyone else - if I
had a penny for every OSM list posting I've made, I'd be able to employ
a full-time codemonkey to work on Potlatch, or something. It's
disheartening, too. When we've been working to get the story out there,
reading "we haven't been able to do anything" on some list really makes
you think "fuck it, I'll give up".
So this might be the biggest challenge for OSMF in the year to come. Fix
the community, and OSMF itself. Get us back so we're building stuff, not
just talking about it. Stop the cancer that is killing talk@
Here's a suggestion. Before writing a mailing list message about
something, consider whether your five minutes would be better spent
actually _doing_ something to fix the situation. The answer is pretty
much always going to be yes. I shall now take my own advice and STFU. :)
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