[Osmf-talk] Proposal: Welcome Wagon Working Group

Mark Iliffe mark at markiliffe.co.uk
Sun Sep 23 19:41:25 UTC 2012


Dear Richard,

Barring the basic +1, that would be something I'd like to get involved with and IMO it's a good idea. I think that you're asking the right questions with regard to initial then dormant membership. Personally I think this is a core issue that we as a foundation face.  

Where do you see the boundaries (by their nature they'll be fuzzy anyway) of the proposed group and the communications group?

Best,

Mark


On 23 Sep 2012, at 17:59, Richard Weait <richard at weait.com> wrote:

> Dear All,
> 
> I would like to suggest a "Welcome Wagon[1]" Working Group.  An OSMF
> Working Group dedicated to learning, understanding and promoting best
> practices relating to new mappers.  In this email I outline my
> "vision" for this potential Working Group.  I seek your comments,
> participation and ultimately, community and Foundation approval to
> proceed.
> 
> Background
> 
> Many OSM accounts are created but never used to contribute data to
> OpenStreetMap.  Many more accounts contribute a single changeset and
> are not used again.  It seems logical, though it is unsupported by
> data at this time, to suggest that "more mappers, mapping more often,
> is better for the OSM project and data set."  It seems likely, though
> again, unsupported by data, that these many new accounts are an
> excellent group to study, with a goal of creating more and better
> mappers.
> 
> Goals
> 
> Test, record and learn what works best to encourage responsible
> mapping in new mappers.  Test, record and learn what non-mapping
> social interactions improve mappers and mapping.
> 
> Tasks
> 
> Tasks of the WWWG are largely To Be Determined.  An example is,
> "Contact a percentage of new mappers with one of a series of
> semi-custom emails. measure the responses and differential responses
> between the semi-custom emails and the mappers who were not contacted.
> There are many unanswered questions, and questions that have been
> answered through experience but without hard data.  WWWG might be the
> way to answer questions like, "For what reasons are n% accounts never
> used?  What percentage of mappers are frustrated by their first
> attempt at mapping and leave the project?  What series of tasks or
> goals provide the easiest learning curve to new mappers?  Are there
> different types of mappers?  If so, what are the differences? How do
> we recognize them? How do we assist them in becoming reaching their
> goals?"
> 
> Working Group vs. Community
> 
> Some aspects of new user welcome and guidance are already ably
> executed by individuals in the wider OSM community.  This should
> continue.  I suggest that some aspects of new user welcome and
> guidance are better suited to a formal OSMF Working Group.  i see the
> benefits of a Working Group as:
> 
> Coordination - by using a uniform procedure and tools, a larger corpus
> of response data can be collected and analyzed.
> 
> Institutional memory - individual community members who welcome others
> may know what works and what does not, but that information is not
> necessarily shared in the form of project wide best practices.
> 
> Privacy - While initial work may be performed using only public
> information, the group may find that sensitive data provides
> additional insights.  This data can only be accessed and evaluated
> within the terms of OSMF privacy policies.
> 
> Efficiency - If tools are developed to assist in this research, having
> the unified tools available within the working group is an advantage.
> 
> WWWG vs. other WGs
> 
> There is a small amount of overlap in interest between this proposed
> WWWG and other Working Groups.  WWWG is primarily a communication
> function, but to a more-restricted audience than the mandate of the
> Communication Working Group.  I don't see and exact match in
> responsibilities and so I suggest that this be a new group, rather
> than an additional task for an existing group.
> 
> Next steps
> 
> I hope that this email will garner some measure of support in the form
> of "that sounds good", and / or "perhaps this idea can be included"
> and / or "yes, somebody should definitely do this" responses.  Even
> better would be responses in the form of "Yes, I want to do some
> specific tasks in this area" and / or "We are doing similar things in
> our sub-community and want to participate on a broader scale".
> 
> So, let's hear it.  What do you think?
> 
> Best regards and happy mapping,
> Richard
> 
> 
> 
> [1] Welcome Wagon is / was a business in USA and Canada from the
> 1920s. It greeted new home owners with samples, coupons and
> advertisements for local participating businesses.
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Welcome_Wagon  I'm not suggesting that
> OSMF start such a business.  I'm suggesting that we learn the best way
> to welcome new users, then eventually, make recommendations to do a
> better job of welcoming new users.
> 
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