[Osmf-talk] [OSM-talk] Balance of power (was: Re: How to vote to match your view)

Richard Weait richard at weait.com
Sat Dec 6 15:53:59 UTC 2014

On Sat, Dec 6, 2014 at 10:35 AM, Richard Fairhurst <richard at systemed.net> wrote:
> [Apologies to talk@ readers for this follow-up to a post on osmf-talk at . I'm
> not an OSMF member and therefore can't post to osmf-talk@, but as I'm being
> spoken about over there, I'd appreciate the opportunity to respond.]
> Steve Coast wrote:
>> See, there was no group that "mobbed" Richard out the board. The CWG
>> took away Twitter access from everyone without any consultation,
>> thinking Ivan's tweet was mine. I asked for it back, used every
>> channel as I outlined. Richard sadly quit feeling CWG was being
>> overpowered by the board but that's not what happened. The CWG took
>> Twitter away from the people using it without talking to anyone, then
>> was surprised this wasn't okay.
> For the record:
> Communications Working Group didn't think Ivan's tweet was yours. We
> genuinely didn't know who had sent it. (From what I remember of the content
> of the tweet, it didn't appear to be from a native English speaker, and at
> first I thought it might have been Emilie.)
> At the time, CWG was aiming for a step change in our communications. In
> particular, we were aiming to follow up our very successful switch2osm
> campaign, and were in the early stages of planning a second campaign aimed
> at recruiting new mappers.
> A large part of that was professionalising our message - bringing sharper
> focus to OSM's outbound communications, to consistently push the message
> that mapping was accessible, enjoyable, and made a difference. Basic
> marketing and not the sort of thing that should come as a surprise to
> anyone.
> To get this focused message across, we needed to ensure that everything
> going out on our Twitter, Facebook and Google+ accounts was in line. In an
> ideal world we would like to have drawn up simple house style and messaging
> guidelines (again, marketing 101) for those with access.
> However, our hand was forced by this badly phrased tweet, from persons
> unknown, endorsing a map which failed to attribute OSM (years later, I can't
> even remember what map it was!). Changing the Twitter password and asking
> those who wanted a message to go out to contact us, which is what we did,
> seemed the easiest and most sensible short-term measure.
> Unfortunately you decided to take this as a personal affront, when no such
> affront was intended, and to campaign volubly for CWG's work to be overruled
> because of this.
> There is absolutely no personal animus in this. Sure, I disagree with you on
> many things, but you're an engaging guy to chat to over a pint and I have no
> doubt we'll do so again some time. But let me make it clear that I did not
> quit because "CWG was being overpowered by the board". I quit because it was
> clear that there was no likelihood of improving OSM through the Foundation,
> in any fashion, when well-intentioned, industrious, and skilled volunteer
> work could be overturned by emotive say-so.
> I see no sign that this has changed, and that is why I have no intention of
> rejoining the Foundation.
> As a postscript, I believe switch2osm was the last substantial marketing
> effort that OSMF has done. All the good publicity for OSM since then has
> been from third parties

I think that the single most effective marketing message since
Switch2OSM.org was Serge's article, Why the World Needs

[1] http://blog.emacsen.net/blog/2014/01/04/why-the-world-needs-openstreetmap/

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