[Osmf-talk] Draft New Corporate Membership Tiers

Frederik Ramm frederik at remote.org
Wed Apr 27 22:04:43 UTC 2016


On 04/27/2016 11:28 PM, Christoph Hormann wrote:
> But if someone pays 15k for four chats in a year we all know this is not 
> just a chat.  Just through the possibility of not paying these 15k the 
> next year there is an influence.

There doesn't need to be a membership scheme for that. Anyone can give
15k to the OSMF today, and if they then write an email asking for a chat
("in which we will discuss giving the same amount next year") do you
really think we'd ignore that opportunity?

> IMO the problem is also not that companies paying several thousand bucks 
> per year get an additional open ear and special consideration in 
> decisions in the OSM project.

I think you are twisting this the wrong way. I don't know if you really
believe what you say or if you just want to point out a perceived worst
case in a "devil's advocate" way, but as far as I am concerned, this
"talk to a board member" option is really more like a gilded "subscribe
to our news channel" thing. It doesn't make the board an executor of the
wishes of whoever is on the other end of the line!

Do they get a bigger chance to influence the organisation? Yes, just
like today when someone emails the board and we know them because
they're a past sponsor or a corporate member, there is more goodwill
towards them than to an unknown third party. But that influence is still
negligible compared to the influence any private community member in OSM

If you're a high-paying corporate member and you upload SEO rubbish to
OSM, then you might get a different treatment: The message with which we
block the user might be a little friendlier ;)

> But if you offer and have these chats in private it does not really 
> matter if they influence decisions because there will be doubts just 
> from the mere possibility such an arrangement implies.

Do you believe such chats do not happen today? I don't. There's no
requirement for board members to disclose whom they chat with. Of course
they do so as private individuals and not as board members but does it
make a difference?

I think it would be great if board members, when approached for comment
by some company or other, would in the future say: "Hey why don't you
buy this membership" ;)

And I would like to say one very fundamental thing about this whole
discussion. For me, we're talking far too much about which "services" a
corporate member "buys" for their money. In my opinion, the underlying
idea is that you buy a clean conscience by becoming a corporate member:
If you make (or save) money with OSM, then you *should* reall sign up
for the membership class that you can afford, whether or not you are
interested in the little things that we offer in addition. These are
just there to sweeten the deal - make it easier for the OSM advocate in
the company to sell the membership to their bosses.


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

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