[Osmf-talk] Proposal: Welcome Wagon Working Group

Mikel Maron mikel_maron at yahoo.com
Mon Sep 24 13:46:53 UTC 2012

I think the concept is great. But how about we just simplify the name, to the Welcome Working Group?

(Welcome Wagon is apparently some kind of creepy marketing http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Welcome_Wagon)

* Mikel Maron * +14152835207 @mikel s:mikelmaron

> From: Jorge Gustavo Rocha <jgr at di.uminho.pt>
>To: osmf-talk at openstreetmap.org 
>Sent: Monday, September 24, 2012 12:42 PM
>Subject: Re: [Osmf-talk] Proposal: Welcome Wagon Working Group
>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
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