[Osmf-talk] Community, criticism and diversity

Frederik Ramm frederik at remote.org
Sat Nov 1 19:36:40 UTC 2014


On 11/01/2014 05:40 PM, Randy Meech wrote:
> As I've said elsewhere, the fact that the voting membership for the OSMF
> is so tiny -- which is the case because the problems we see here driving
> others away, presents a real danger for the project. It's good to focus
> on your healthy local organization, but don't forget that the OSMF owns
> the servers, is responsible for the license (and its changes &
> clarifications), and runs the main State of the Map (which *should be*
> the biggest and best-organized conference we have).

It's not been the biggest for two years now, and I wouldn't say it
necessarily has to. (Also, OSMF could conceivably pull out of SOTM and
have that independently done by locals, or go the other way and muscle
in on SOTM-XX conferences if it so desired.)

Apart from owning the servers and being responsible for the license
(within a relatively small envelope), the OSMF also owns the right to
the name and could therefore, at least in many countries, limit its use
by non-approved entities.

> It's essential to pull the communities you're talking about into the
> foundation to ensure things work well for everyone.

Ironically that was one of the conclusions we reached at the board's
Berlin meeting. We discussed at length about whom we (the OSMF) are
there to represent. The mappers? The users? The companies? And so on.
Because we saw that this was going nowhere, we more or less said that
we'll simply be there for our members, and at the same time try and grow
our membership base to improve our legitimacy. If a significant portion
of those who are more than casual mappers were to join OSMF, then the
organisation could also be more sure of itself when making decisions.

At the time we still had the AoA/membership issue where it wasn't really
clear how to deal with our concept of membership which had somehwat
deviated from what was legally required, hence we felt that before
embarking on a big campaign for more members, we better get that sorted
out first. That resulted in the AoA change at the Birmingham SOTM where
we introduced the regular and associate members. After that was done, we
were finally free to start acquiring more members but somehow we got
bogged down in other stuff.

So yes, we do need more members. And if at all possible, I'd even like
to have members who take an interest in the organisation above and
beyond paying £15 a year.

Coming back to the "diversity" thing from the subject, this year's AGM
includes a proposal by the board for the membership where we suggest the
introduction of a membership fee waiver programme that would allow
individuals to join the Foundation without paying a penny. This should
make the organisation more accessible even to those without the
financial means to pay a membership fee.


Frederik Ramm  ##  eMail frederik at remote.org  ##  N49°00'09" E008°23'33"

More information about the osmf-talk mailing list