[Osmf-talk] Losing faith

Kai Krueger kakrueger at gmail.com
Tue Jan 15 20:31:06 UTC 2013

On 01/15/2013 12:13 PM, Steve Coast wrote:
> On Jan 15, 2013, at 10:57 AM, Simon Poole <simon at poole.ch> wrote:
>>   Maybe
>> that is a mistake, but the correct way to change it is to engage
>> yourself in the CWG and not to expect the board to fiddle with things it
>> has clearly delegated to that group.
> Simon
> It wasn't clear that it had been delegated. One day the password just changed. Poof. That was it.
> I did spend three months trying to get an answer from the CWG, as did others. Gradually moving up the stack from them to the board to here as you know.
> The answer that came back is absurd. Emailing a group to consider sending a tweet at their weekly meeting is like asking me to send you a telegram for conversion to email. It misses out on the whole point of twitter.

I think that depends entirely on what the twitter account @openstreetmap 
is used for.

If it is used for

a) To tweet announcements and statements regarding OSM and OSMF, i.e. 
basically a 140 character version of the osmf blog. E.g. to comment on 
developments in mapping that effect OSM in some way.

b) to reply to other twitter messages or help twitter users better 
understand OSM that someone else has initiated. E.g. if someone tweets 
"OSM sucks because it doesn't have routing like XYZ". Then one can reply 
with a tweet "Have you checked out ABC or DEF which support routing 
based on OSM". I.e. to use it as a real social interaction.

If the account is used for b) then emailing the tweet and get it 
confirmed by the CWG is indeed not a good idea, as it introduces a 
possibly large latency and looses out on the point of fast tweets.

If the account is used for a), then the suggested methodology seems 
entirely reasonably to me.

OSMF has grown enough by now that it has a certain amount of weight in 
the industry and in the press. OSMF announcements are taken seriously 
and often repeated in various news articles and widely read. So it is 
important that those statements really reflect the views of the OSM 
community, that they are not inflamatory and that the facts are correct.
Particularly with respect to things like license violations or whether 
company XYZ uses OSM data and how and if they are "model OSM citizens", 
can easily be rather controversial and problematic. Sometimes even 
without realising that the statement might be problematic at first.

Although the few members of CWG obviously also might not always hit the 
correct tone to reflect the views of such a diverse group as OSM, the 
chance that someone in the CWG will notice if a statement might be 
controversial is much higher than for an individual person. So it seems 
reasonable for all of those tweets to be acknowledged and accepted by 
all members of the CWG to ensure nothing goes out on the official OSMF 
announcement that one might regret later on.

As a consequence, I'd hope that also members of the CWG don't just tweet 
things with out consulting other members of CWG and getting it approved, 
even though they might technically be able to. In that case Steve, you 
would go through pretty much the same procedure as any member of the 
Board or CWG.

If you agree to adhere to the rules of the board and CWG with respect to 
how to use the twitter account and what needs broader approval, then as 
Chairman Emeritus, it doesn't seem unreasonable that you would have 
password access to the twitter account.

Given that a) and b) are rather different ways to use a twitter account, 
do both purposes have to be done by a single account? Could there not be 
two accounts like e.g. @openstreetmap and @openstreetmaphelp. The later 
one could be used much more leniently and rapidly but doesn't comment on 
any big picture things, while the former is used for things that are 
supposed to represent the views of the entire project as much as is 
possible in such a diverse project.


> Lastly, the board can and does get involved all the time with working groups.
> Why do we have this way to work with CWG all of a sudden when the other working groups are held to completely different standards?
> Steve
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