[Osmf-talk] Losing faith

Oliver Kühn oliver.kuehn at skobbler.com
Wed Jan 16 10:09:18 UTC 2013

Dear Ivo and all those who support the comment,

you are absolutely right with your mail. And I also fully support what 
was written here.

Nonetheless, I want to give a short explanation what has happened in 
OSMF and put it into perspective:

(1) There has been tensions in the past. Steve sometimes has his own way 
of communicating - while being mostly right in what he is saying. This 
has caused wounds that haven't been healed despite being very old.
(2) There are long-standing people who are very active in OSM. Those who 
made OpenStreetMap what it is today. However, some of these people seem 
to have tried to escape the real world and find "their" world in the OSM 
project - with the intentions to find a world of real democracy, 
politics-free, competition-free, free of bad habits of big corporations 
- an isolated world that is much better than the real world.

And instead of adapting to current situation, accepting that competition 
has evolved for volunteers in the mapping space from Google and co and 
therefore trying to improve an environment for volunteering mappers and 
map data users at the same time - these people fight for keeping the 
organization as they found it in the beginning. This leads to the fact 
that too much energy is put in "dealing with ourselves" rather than 
looking outwards and fight and outperform our competition from Google 
and co.

We are currently seeing one of the typical - non avoidable - crises that 
organizations run through as part of their growth process. The 
organization is facing the challenge of professionalizing. Unfortunately 
the difficulties on they way are carried out to the non-active members.

This said you should take away that OSM and OSMF is on the right track 
but dealing with the typical challenges of growth and a changing 
environment. Don't worry much about the "drama" which is part of the 
growth process. And Steve is good guy with his heart beating for OSM.

Happy mapping!


On 16.01.2013 00:08, Ivo Stankov wrote:
> I am fairly new to OSM (since August 2012) and very new as an OSMF 
> member (this is virtually the first thread I am seeing since 
> enthusiastically joining a month ago).
> None of the names in this list, apart from Steve Coast, say anything 
> to me and everything I know about Steve comes from the contents of his 
> Wikipedia entry. What I want to say with this is, I know none of you 
> personally and have no knowledge of prior politics and feuds amongst you.
> As a wide-eyed newcomer, all I can say is, guys, this is just too much 
> drama from all sides! "I gave you everything!", "I'm resigning!", 
> "Bullies!" etc. Seriously, do you even comprehend how much creative 
> energy is lost for such a petty ego fight?! Quite disappointing.
> From following the discussion, my personal opinion is, that the whole 
> thing boils down to two questions:
> 1. Is @openstreetmap an ultra official channel of the OSMF, dealing 
> only with official announcements?
>     From reading the tweets, I think the answer is no, some are 
> playful, some are not that relevant to OSMF, etc. And this is the way 
> it should be.
> 2. Can the community trust Steve Coast, the founder of OSM and 
> definitely the most well known face of OSM from the point of view of 
> the broad public, to be sensible enough to write tweets from 
> @openstreetmap that are beneficial for OSM and not partisan or 
> potentially questionable?
>      I do not know him well, but somehow I think this should be a given.
> If you ask me, this Grouptweet solution, where the author of the tweet 
> is even visible to the outside users, is quite a good idea.
> - Ivo

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