[Osmf-talk] Financing the OSMF

Jaak Laineste (Nutiteq) jaak at nutiteq.com
Wed Aug 28 07:27:58 UTC 2013

On 27.08.2013, at 23:10, Michael Kugelmann <MichaelK_OSM at gmx.de> wrote:

> Am 27.08.2013 11:09, schrieb Roland Olbricht:
>> We lose this best-reputation-funding once we start advertising. So I strongly oppose that idea.
> +10

It depends what do you mean by advertising. 

a) Technically, we could make OSM a cash machine, like wikimapia does - google ads everywhere, maximize user flow to clicks with all the nasty tricks. Obviously no one wants or needs this. 

b) Aggressive self-advertising a la wikipedia with "personal message from the founder" and all the other similar messages which is also campaign which is professionally run and well optimized to maximize revenues. Eventually this has turned the project, or at least the campaign to a bit different, but still just a cash machine. They call it fund rising, but for me it is even more disgusting as it is less transparent than just plain ad sales.

c) Limited number of carefully planned, moderated and OSM-related paid logo/text placements in certain places, including OSM front page. Companies pay a few thousand euros per year to be there, and they get very clear value from that, compared to the vague corporate membership. The advertising is only in as-needed amounts, pre-approved by OSM board, so there are only OSM-related companies. There would be no wikipedia-style revenue optimization, no need to pollute user experience. You may even call it "corporate supporters, who get logos/names in front page", but for the company it is still just buying a placement. And the good thing is that advertising customer never gets any expectations of having any control of your activities, compared to members or even sponsors. 

My point is that we already have a pile of easy cash lying around, we could pick up some of it, or should waste our energy and disturb focus. Corporate membership is tricky, corporations could have non-transparent agendas. Web logo is simple and transparent - you pay X eur, get Y clicks/impressions. Fund rising campaigns and NGO-style projects are nice, but also big waste of time and energy.

The only risk what I see with controlled advertising is that I overestimate value of it, maybe proposed moderate amount of logos/texts just does not bring enough cash. If this is really the case, then other sources should come to the picture.


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