[OSM-talk] advertising

Sebastian Spaeth Sebastian at SSpaeth.de
Mon Jul 2 08:33:47 BST 2007

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I hope that people have calmed down a little by now. I would like to add
my comment on why I also don't like this way of advertising on OSM
without getting personal.

OSM is a community, and besides lots of fun with fine people it has one
concrete outcome: a map. This is what we produce, and it is displayed
right away to every of our website visitors.

I understand that finances are probably not in good shape and that we
need some source of income. So people would probably put up with google
adverts next to the map (even if that confuses some visitors) because,
hey it is there to *support* our endevours.

An advert blob ON the map however, is a psychologically totally
different beast. Now, adverts don't support the project anymore; Our
product is but a means to put adverts on, we are effectively producing
nothing but an advertising column to put stuff on. Objectively I do see
that there is probably little difference to Google ads, but
psychologically it makes a big difference. People hate to work for free
for commercial companies, and if my mapping efforts are to be covered
over by a McDonalds logo, I would feel rather offended too. So this is
something which needs to be handled with a little more care and
discussion probably than has been done. (I am not saying that mappam is
a bad product or anything, far from it. But using it in this instance is
a little controverse at least).

On the issues of foundation members, finances and stuff:

- - Please don't try to connect non-membership with non-contributions.
This is bound to hurt feelings. E.g. I donated all the money needed for
the new hard drive directly to Nick Hill, which was 60GBP or 4 years
worth of membership fees. I never received as much as a thank you e-mail
(which is OK and I did not expect one either), but trying to imply that
I did not do enough by not being a foundation member is not very helpful
to solicit further donations.

- - There had been tons of offers (well, I remember 3) from Universities
for computers and other hardware to be used by OSM. None of the offers
have been taken up or been reacted to by people who could make good use
of it for OSM purposes. Shouldn't we rather see how much support we can
get there before plastering over our collective public good?

- - Can we get an estimate on how much money the foundation expects to
need and how much Google ad had been bringing in?

- - Last of all, a big thanks to all those contributing to the foundation
and the SOTM conference. I really appreciate your hard work and will do
my best to match it with whatever efforts and money I can put into the

End of rant, sorry for the long post.

P.S. If you agree/disagree, I will be willing to discuss things with you
over a pint or two in Manchester :-P.
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