[Osmf-talk] Voting "recommendations" by employers (straw poll)

Simon Poole simon at poole.ch
Fri Nov 2 09:49:17 UTC 2018

I'm not surprised.

We've deliberately constructed the OSMF so that it is easy to join and
you can do so practically anonymously, this is a good thing, and I would
never want to replace it with a different system, be it the self-elected
elite in HOT or the democracy a la carte of the WMF.

It was always clear, even before we "fixed" the issues with OSMF
membership back in 2013, that the system could be gamed, and if anything
is surprising then it is solely the lack of finesse in doing so. The
only reasonable way to address this can be to increase the membership of
completely normal mappers and make the OSMF more representative of the
people that actually create OpenStreetMap.

A word to our organisational and corporate stake holders:  you do
realize that one of the major reasons that we have a "tiny" OSMF is
because lots of people were and continue to be concerned that an OSMF
that does more and is even slightly larger would become an effective
tool of corporate control of the project. You are just proving them
right. Take a step back and reconsider what you are doing. Would you not
be better served by attaching less strings to your involvement and not
trying to form OSM as you believe would best suit your short term interests?


Am 01.11.2018 um 20:44 schrieb Frederik Ramm:
> Hi,
> recently two different people who used to work for (different) large
> companies dealing with OSM told me that their employers regularly
> suggested that everyone became an OSMF member, reimbursed them for the
> membership fee, and also circulated "suggested voting" instructions for
> the OSMF elections.
> (I have no idea if this is true and no way to verify it, but it doesn't
> sound far-fetched. I'd be happy to hear if anyone has witnessed such
> dynamics first-hand.)
> I've discussed this with a few people and the reactions ranged from
> "this is outrageous" over "what did you expect" to "this is totally ok,
> after all there's enough other people publishing their own voting
> recommendations on the lists too".
> What's your opinion on this?
> I've tried my hand at setting up a "LimeSurvey" instance which asks the
> question and if it works all right it will show some statistics directly
> after you've replied:
> http://survey.gryph.de/index.php/528658?lang=en
> Though I am also interested in a more detailed discussion on the topic.
> Is it an issue? Are there lessons to learn from other nonprofit
> organisations?
> Bye
> Frederik

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