[Osmf-talk] exit

Steve Coast steve at asklater.com
Wed Jan 6 06:26:37 UTC 2016


I’m out of the honorary Chairman Emeritus position, I resigned today and the board accepted. I’m also out of the OSM twitter account and I’ve asked Harry to remove me from the group tweet tool.

This isn’t one of those “throw the toys out of the pram” things. The CE role has been meaningless for a long time, though I did and do appreciate the gesture. To be honest, the fact that the basic design of OSM remains the same way I built it is a much larger compliment all these years later (quick, Steve likes something, go work on ripping it down! (this is a joke)).

The nonsense about twitter the last couple of days and the renewed public and private threads on “how to kick steve out” are just the nail in the coffin. Honestly, I’m not super angry and going off in a huff. It’s just kind of sad and I’d rather not be a part of it. If you go look at the tweets I sent out (on what’s sadly basically a dead twitter stream) it’s all OSM related. Even the posters use OSM data, and I promise they won’t make any money having done it before.

Speaking of money. When we did CloudMade we broke through a number of the barriers in the “money & OSM” book, in the sense that we were the first who mixed OSM companies and OSMF board positions. CM owned the SOTM conference (in a good way, we paid lots of money). We built a bunch of services to be monetized, an editor and all that. We took a lot of flak for that stuff… and so it’s entertaining that today it’s all completely normal. So when I get these nastygrams about possibly making $99 profit on a kickstarter project... I really think you guys should look around and think a bit harder if you’re concerned about money and OSM.

The recent death of Ian Murdock made me sad. One of the things that he apparently did well was to let Debian go be its own thing rather than be The Guy like perhaps Jimmy Wales did. I’ve been trying to do the former for a long time[1]. Hopefully this is the end of it.

Of course I’m going to stick around and do OSM things, I’m not dissapearing, and I’m here if my time is useful to the project. There’s renewed talk of an advisory board that would probably make a lot of sense if done well. I used to want the OSMF to accomplish a lot more but really, doing little might have been the best possible strategy. Doing a lot might make great things happen or bad things too, in that it avoided anyone taking over the project or drastically changing the license for themselves or whatever. But we can’t go back in time and run the experiment again so we’ll never know which way was best.

I wish OSM and the OSMF well and hope we figure out how to make 2016 a great year for the project.



[1] - Which is another amusing thing for me reading people complaining about a tweet compared to where I could be owning the trademark, domain name, code and everything else… I mean you do know I owned all of it right? It was given up *on purpose*.

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