[Talk-us] Local user groups

Martijn van Exel martijn at openstreetmap.us
Wed Jan 22 16:37:45 UTC 2014

I dislike relying on volatile third party services as much as the next
person, but:
* As stated before, it does get you unparalleled exposure outside of
the regular channels, targeted at people actively looking to explore
new interests / meet new people. Sure, many of these folks may just be
grazing and will not turn into long term contributors, but some of
them may, and we need both dedicated and casual contributors.
* Setting up our own thing requires resources (time and commitment)
that is hard to come by in a volunteer run organization with lots of
other things on their minds.
* Meetup is pretty well established, and if it were to go away, it
would be pretty straightforward to take our business elsewhere.

I second Richard's and Clifford's observation that in terms of growing
a local community, there is really no perfect script, and the most
important ingredient is not any single tool or design or words, it's
perseverance. After two years I still have meet ups here in SLC with 2
or three people attending, but sometimes it's more, and I get new
folks from time to time, and that keeps me motivated. I make sure that
our meetup group always shows a next event with a time and place (I
have two monthly recurring events: Geobeers and Saturday Mapternoon.)
I believe that helps.

If there is one single piece of technology I would like to invest some
time in, it would be an automaton to grab the new user feed from
http://resultmaps.neis-one.org/newestosm.php for a given area and send
them an OSM message tailored to the area (announcing next meetup or
something). Anyone done anything like that already we can reuse?


On Wed, Jan 22, 2014 at 9:10 AM, Clifford Snow <clifford at snowandsnow.us> wrote:
> On Wed, Jan 22, 2014 at 4:59 AM, Richard Weait <richard at weait.com> wrote:
>>   The publicity aspect of Meetup really gets people to your events.
>> Though i wonder if these people are the long term contributors to OSM that
>> we want.
> It is in part a numbers game. Only a small percentage will become regular
> mappers and of that only a small percentage will become uber mappers.
> Certainly the planning for and running the event can positively impact those
> numbers. Something cause people to sign up for an event. Hopefully the
> people they meet and the satisfaction of mapping will appeal to them.
> BTW - I don't have the "right" script yet either. I just keep blindly
> trying! The bad thing is that even if you do have the perfect meeting, you
> don't know until much later if it worked.
> But Meetup also creates an awareness to OSM. People just looking for a
> group, will see our Meetups. They may not join, but they see OpenStreetMap.
> --
> Clifford
> @osm_seattle
> OpenStreetMap: Maps with a human touch
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Martijn van Exel
President, US Chapter

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