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

Christoph Hormann chris_hormann at gmx.de
Sun Nov 11 12:06:29 UTC 2018

On Saturday 10 November 2018, Frederik Ramm wrote:
> I was thinking maybe:
> "If you are an employer and you want to encourage your OSM-involved
> staff to become members of the OpenStreetMap Foundation, that's a
> great idea and we welcome it. However, as a grassroots project we ask
> you to respect our decision making processes and refrain from
> suggesting to your employees any particular use of their
> participatory power, like recommending a vote for certain candidates
> in an election. Becoming a member and exercising their membership
> rights must be the sole decision of the individual."

I would remove the introductory 'welcoming' - this can be easily misread 
and confuses and distracts from the actual statement of the 
expectations from employers.  And as you said there is a significant 
voice being critical of any 'nudging' of employees to become an OSMF 
member so it should be either discouraging that or not suggesting 
anything on that at all and specifically welcoming an 'encouragement' 
of employees should not be on the table.

I get the intention to start with something positive before getting into 
the negative of what not to do.  But i would rephrase the introduction 
into something like:

"We welcome and encourage people involved with OpenStreetMap as part of 
their employment to contribute to the work of the OpenStreetMap 
Foundation, for example in its working groups, and to become members of 
the OpenStreetMap Foundation."

This in addition to what i already mentioned has the advantages of

* making clear that involvement in the OSMF is not exclusively about 
being a member and voting but in particular also about actively 
engaging in everyday work.
* being more consistent with what follows.

> Would that be something that everyone could get behind? Or is the
> "grassroots project" term maybe too much of a political one and
> should be replaced with "a project conceived and run by individual
> volunteers" or so?

I think "grassroots project" is a fitting term here.  "crowdsourced" has 
a different connotation but grassroots is IMO more to the 
point.  "crowdsourced" is more about who does the hard work 
while "grassroots" is about who carries and defines the project.  And 
in that sense OSM is definitely not only crowdsourced but also 
grassroots.  And politically i think grassroots is an almost 
universally positive concept not tied to any specific political 
direction like left or right.

Christoph Hormann

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