[OSM-talk] Busy bee

SteveC steve at asklater.com
Sun May 21 09:50:48 BST 2006

Hi everyone

Since the OSMF discussions I've been quite busy with a number of things
including the IoW, Mapchester and Xtech and have sort of dropped the
ball in exercising my defacto benevolent emporor status.

One thing these events did do was allow me to talk in person to quite a
few OSM contributors in person and get a feel for how they felt about
OSM, OSMF and where things were going. Everyone seems to think it'll
take over the universe which is satisfying.

Discussion in person and on the list seemed to stall at the 'what is a
member' stage. In person talking to a number of people (ben deserves
credit) a way out emerged that I didn't get any major disagreement with:

For the initial vote as defined in the IRC discussion everyone on this
mailing list (as of when this email goes out) or an OSM user is
_eligible_ to become a member and can therefore vote. To become a member
you need to paypal me 5 pounds or write me a hand-written snail mail

There are no second-class members, both methods afford the same
priviliege. Parallel to this, people wishing to fulfil positions can be
nominated or self-nominate. The initial people voted in will then decide
on things as per the IRC discussion.

The first vote will be held in three weeks time, the 11th June using the
Single Transferrable Vote. I'm open on how long the poll should stay


Oversight. Someone should verify that I'm not allocating/burning votes
and so on. I suggest that two independent people write simple voting
software and people vote at both sites and then these are compared. I'll
write/reuse one, someone can volunteer for the other. If this is
significantly diagreeable then I can just open up the member list etc to
someone people agree on. I'm not going to ship the entire member list to
everybody, it'd be an invasion of privacy and we don't have a policy.

Why this system? Because it shows effort and covers both bases. Most
people I spoke to are happy to pay some minimal amount of money to
become a member, vote and get on with it. Some people feel that they're
already contributing a lot or that money should not be an issue. It's a
view I can understand, I share it with other organisations I'm involved
in. In this case, sending me a letter shows some effort and costs next
to nothing. Interesting postcards get bonus points :-)

It also tackles in a minimal way the 'I'll register a 100 members'
thing. Well, you now need 500 quid or 100 hand written letters.

In summary, this isn't perfect and we're finding our feet. Rather than
stall on the issue of membership, I've tried to find a practicable
solution and as the IRC/mailing list  discussion went, those voted will
figure out the issues longer term.

Pleas email me to get my snail mail address.

I suggest http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/index.php/Foundation is a good
place to keep track of things.

Here's the IRC summary etc:


I hereby nominate myself for Chairman.

Another issue: A couple of people have mentioned that they'd like local
OSM groups and lists in other languages. The first one will be local-gb
(great britain) and Nick Black'll run it. Drop me a line if anyone wants
a mailing list etc.

have fun,

SteveC steve at asklater.com http://www.asklater.com/steve/

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