[Osmf-talk] Proposal: Welcome Wagon Working Group

Jorge Gustavo Rocha jgr at di.uminho.pt
Mon Sep 24 10:42:42 UTC 2012

Hi Richard,

"That sounds good"! The Welcome Wagon WG (the name is excellent, even 
translated to Portuguese!) is a very good idea.

I have 2 cents to the topic:

i) It is hard to create such a wide WG to attend the specific 
difficulties and cultures of each community. The support to new mappers 
is better provided by neighbors, I think.

ii) The current OSM web site is the major reason for creating such a WG. 
With a better web site, with a more social oriented and simple interface 
to get in, to find mappers around, the Welcome Wagon work would be easier.

But I know it is very hard to agree in major changes to the web site.

So, such Welcome Wagon could provide some design guidelines to get the 
OSM web site reformulated, to attend new mappers.



Em 23-09-2012 17:59, Richard Weait escreveu:
> 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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Jorge Gustavo Rocha
Departamento de Informática
Universidade do Minho
4710-057 Braga
Tel: +351 253604480
Fax: +351 253604471
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skype: nabocudnosor

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