[Osmf-talk] do-ocracy and volunteering (was: OSMF & Video Chat | Re: Next OSMF board meeting on Friday 17 April 2020, at 17:00 London time)

Christoph Hormann chris_hormann at gmx.de
Fri Apr 17 10:28:00 UTC 2020

On Thursday 16 April 2020, Rory McCann wrote:
> OSM is a do-ocracy. 😉 FOSSGIS (or others) hasn't set up or arranged
> an alternative. We have one option. Ergo that options wins. 😉😉

I am sorry for drifting a bit off-topic in this thread - but the above 
indicates potentially a rather problematic mixing of two things that do 
not mix well.  I am not sure if this is meant ironically - but to make 
sure, even if it is, that it is not widely read and taken at face 
value - the following comment.

OSM can in the long term only work as a do-ocracy as far as volunteer 
work of individual independent volunteers is concerned.  Mixing in 
organized and especially corporate activity into the do-ocratic domain 
would destabilize the whole thing.  A company like Google could 
essentially take over the project by donating sufficient manpower and 
resources if do-ocratic principles are interpreted to apply to 
organized and corporate activities as well.

People are much less likely to volunteer their personal time and 
resources if they see these being just used and purely valued as a 
cheap substitute for commercial services.  Saying:  "We take whatever 
option is offered to us according to 'Einem geschenkten Gaul schaut man 
nicht ins Maul' and - should that fail at some point we will take money 
to buy a substitute" is much less likely to motivate volunteers than 
saying "We use this commercial service for testing now but in the long 
term we would rather use and depend on volunteer provided and managed 
services - even if that means we cannot just use our checkbook to make 
them do what we want them to do".

Again - this comment is not meant to criticize what has been done, it is 
meant to raise problem awareness for the future.

Christoph Hormann

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