[Osmf-talk] Mike's open letter

Michael Collinson mike at ayeltd.biz
Thu Oct 30 12:51:42 UTC 2014

"This post has a self-certified minimum 2:1 happiness ratio".

This is my summary, a kind-a open letter to the next board and, (at the 
bottom), an acknowledgement of my own role in the crisis that OSMF 
members perceive and what I plan.  It is cut down from a number of 
separate emails I had intended making, so I hope it is understandable. 
Here goes ...

The OSMF has a a crisis of success. We have roughly 25 volunteers doing 
50 substantial already-recognised "jobs" or repeating tasks within OSMF. 
And that is is just the ones that were recognised some time ago.  This 
has not fundamentally changed in the last 3 years, (one board cycle). 
But OSMF membership is modestly bigger, the number of OSM registered 
users has gone up by 4, the size of the database is up by about 2.5, the 
folks actually using our maps/data for something is exploding, and so on 
and so on.

It is my strong contention that all our current woes stem from this one 
factor.  Here are my conclusions from that analysis and reading as much 
as I can of your mailing list contributions, reading private emails and 
talking to folks.  I believe I am  being supportive of the next board 
and not contradicting the platforms of any our new board candidates, 
(thank you all for running!).

*What I ask OSMF members to accept

*o We have basically made sure that the OSMF "supports but does not 
control" by saying that it should do everything on a shoestring, 
(English idiom = tiny budget), therefore ensuring it does not turn into 
a monster.   That time is past.  It is time for OSMF to raise larger 
amounts of money and do things with it ... with OSMF members helping in 
the process of doing that responsibly.

*Want I ask the new board to do that costs $$

*o Commit to a face-to-face meeting.

o Work with the HOT board, (they have shared some of our issues and they 
have experience on facilitated meetings), and arrange at least one 
facilitated meeting.

o Hire a part-time coordinator. Again, HOT can advise.

*What I am going to do

*:-(    I am Management Team chair, License Working Group chair and a 
sort of backup membership secretary.  I am doing an increasingly 
ineffective job.  This is unhelpful to the board, to OSMF members and to 
the project at large.  I have also been at it since at least September 
2007, am losing motivation and also going to be involved body and soul 
with a hot Swedish start-up.  I also have a small, enjoyable, happy job 
creating new mailing lists ... usually milestones that a new community 
is getting going somewhere in the world. But someone else can equally 
enjoy that too.  So, I am going at least freeze my actvity as MT chair 
and relinquish all the other roles.

:-) I am unilaterally starting an experimental project called "Do What I 
Want To Do".  The basic concept is to create an environment where more 
folks want to and can do things for the Foundation on a regular or 
semi-regular basis.  The environment will include things from diversity 
policy and smoothing the way for folks outside Europe/US to mundane 
things like how install and maintain software needed to do a specific task.

There will also be Jobs offered /wanted wiki pages. "Jobs wanted": Get 
people into the OSMF structure who want to do/achieve specific things 
defined by them. "Jobs offered": Break down things that need doing into 
smaller units than we do now and recruit folks who can do them and will 
enjoy doing them.

My personal goal is to increase the number of folks involved with 
OSMF-related work in some way from 25 to 75 by the end of 2015. As this 
also needs to be something that I personally want to to, I will be doing 
it to suit me, i.e. in fits and bursts.  I hope to get some basic wiki 
pages and an introduction made to the main talk list by end Monday.

Happy Mapping to all,

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