[Osmf-talk] Fwd: Candidacy: OSMF Board

Steve Friedl steve at unixwiz.net
Fri Nov 24 15:24:38 UTC 2017

> Consequently this also means i am highly critical of the membership fee waiver
> idea which is kind of a light version of the HOT membership concept (existing
> members have to deem you worthy to be granted a waiver).

I'm not sure the membership fee waiver can be characterized that way.

In our discussions in the MWG, the waiver is to be based on far more objective matters, such as the lack of suitable money transfer facilities (e.g., no Paypal, or where wire fees are outrageously large), things that can be verified by outside observers.

These are not judgements made by committee whim based on who the cool kids are.

Steve - who's not speaking for MWG or anybody else

Stephen J Friedl  | Security Consultant | UNIX Wizard | 714 345-4571
steve at unixwiz.net | Southern California | Windows Guy |  unixwiz.net

-----Original Message-----
From: Christoph Hormann [mailto:chris_hormann at gmx.de] 
Sent: Friday, November 24, 2017 3:16 AM
To: osmf-talk at openstreetmap.org
Subject: Re: [Osmf-talk] Fwd: Candidacy: OSMF Board

On Friday 24 November 2017, Kate Chapman wrote:
> I'm curious as to what it means to be HOT affiliated from the outside. 
> I resigned from HOT staff 2 and a half years ago. Since then I have 
> only been a voting member, I don't volunteer for HOT and I'd consider 
> resigning if then I somehow didn't count as close to HOT. I somehow 
> doubt that would change the view though.

I am glad you ask and not - like many other HOT members seem to do - take it as granted that it cannot mean anything.

For me and according to my observation HOT members (and sometimes HOT volunteers working a lot with HOT who are not a member) often seem to have a fairly distinct cultural background that manifests in their reactions in conversations and that often differs significantly from other normal 'mapping their home town' mappers.

This is kind of similar to the specific views and more or less subtle differences in communication style you can observe in OSM community members with a strong Wikipedia background.

I don't know enough about how HOT works practically to analyze this in more depth but my working theory is that when you spend a lot of time on a project like HOT or Wikipedia you pick up on certain things in terms of communication style and problem solving approaches and if you - afterwards or in parallel - get active on OSM you tend to unconsciously transfer these experiences.

Now there is nothing wrong with that in principle - it is not different from the behavioural particularities everyone has because of their individual background and as a culturally diverse community we should welcome and accept all of this.  But as Stefan said it needs to be balanced in intensity.  OSM has over the years developed its own distinct cultural traits in terms of style of communication, problem solving methods and other things.  Changing and developing these should happen from the inside - welcoming outside ideas where they are deemed useful and steadfast in matters where we can be rightfully proud of our culture.  And not with the native culture being displaced by singular dominant external influence.

If i am right about this you resigning from HOT membership would indeed not change anything - even if it would be a visible statement of course.  I don't think many people would brand you as a 'HOT-gal' 
forever if they see you engage with the local and global OSM community as one of them.

You should probably keep in mind that for someone new to OSM it usually takes several years to become a true OSM native so-to-speak.  I started contributing to OSM in 2013, joined the OSMF in 2015 and i still pretty much feel like an outsider in many things.

Me pointing out who is a HOT member in this discussion by the way is not because i keep track of this and have a HOT label on those who are a HOT member.  I just wondered about the strong and kind of uniform reaction of a larger number of people and on a hunch i looked up the participants in the discussion on the HOT membership list.

> I'm curious as to why people think joining a membership where you just 
> pay your fees and become a member is somehow better than first showing 
> commitment to an organization in the first place.

It is not my place to judge how HOT organizes itself and as i have said before i find the payment hurdle of the OSMF membership to be a significant issue regarding democratic representation but in terms of openness and transparency there seems to be a huge difference to a closed membership where existing members have to deem you worthy to be accepted into the inner circle.

Consequently this also means i am highly critical of the membership fee waiver idea which is kind of a light version of the HOT membership concept (existing members have to deem you worthy to be granted a waiver).

Christoph Hormann

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