[OSM-talk] [Osmf-talk] A Better Map

Kate Chapman kate at maploser.com
Wed Oct 22 21:46:00 UTC 2014

Hi Serge,

What would you like the board to do to recognize the work of the
volunteers? Within HOT for example we've learned culturally people don't
necessarily even want the same type of recognition. I'm sorry I should have
sent you a message regarding the tirade, it was not empathic of me. I
honestly only read the first paragraph and then ignored it as I thought I
was supposed to do. From a human perspective however I should have talked

On Wed, Oct 22, 2014 at 2:12 PM, Serge Wroclawski <emacsen at gmail.com> wrote:

> Simon,
> The DWG gets a lot of abuse thrown at us, and I think something in
> Kate's email really spoke to that idea of "fun". I've never considered
> the work I do for the DWG to be fun. I find it stressful and
> frustrating. Sometimes I find it sad, but never fun.

I think within volunteering there are a couple different aspects that cause
people to help. Fun is only one variable. If a job is really important for
an organization such as the DWG for example people will do it because it is
necessary, not because it is fun. In my example of working on a farm, there
were volunteers who would come do very not fun jobs because they knew they
were needed. There were also jobs that it was extremely hard to get people
to help.

> We may need a staff to do certain jobs, but whether we do decide to
> hire a staff or not, it'd be great if the volunteers we do have now
> got a bit more recognition for their hard work.

As I stated before I'm a bit unsure how to respond to this. I suppose one
thing we can say now is "everyone is a volunteer and not getting any
recognition!" Anyway, what I mean by that is I'm unsure exactly what people
want. I appreciate the working groups and the jobs that people do that I
would never have the patience to do. The fact that the servers run, we
don't get shutdown because of data licensing and all out edit wars don't
destroy the map is a testament to everyone that spends hours volunteering.


> - Serge
> On Wed, Oct 22, 2014 at 5:04 PM, Simon Poole <simon at poole.ch> wrote:
> >
> > Serge
> >
> > I want to apologize in case you missed explicit support from me (and the
> > board), it was likely just a miscommunication given that the person in
> > question lambasted essentially everybody that he had ever had contact
> > with and you in discussion suggested that we simply ignore him.
> >
> > Simon
> >
> >
> > Am 22.10.2014 22:54, schrieb Serge Wroclawski:
> >> I want to actually apologize for one mis-statement. Michael Collinson
> >> from the MT actually was very good about this and one-on-one, board
> >> members who I speak with have been kind/supportive,
> >>
> >> I want to also point out that this is not about me getting recognition
> >> for my work on OSM, but about the general lack of support that the
> >> volunteers can get from the board, when just a pat on the back would
> >> be nice.
> >>
> >> The board is under incredible stress and strain, and they're
> >> volunteers like the rest of us, but there's a ton of work being done
> >> by groups like the Operations Team, the License Working Group, the
> >> Management Team, the Communications Working Group, the Data Working
> >> Group, etc. All of these folks deserve more support and recognition.
> >>
> >> - Serge
> >>
> >> On Wed, Oct 22, 2014 at 4:15 PM, Serge Wroclawski <emacsen at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> >>> Hi Kate,
> >>>
> >>> Replies in-line.
> >>>
> >>> On Wed, Oct 22, 2014 at 3:24 PM, Kate Chapman <kate at maploser.com>
> wrote:
> >>>
> >>>> I'd say the size of the board to me is not necessarily the issue. I
> do think
> >>>> however having a board elected completely just from the OSMF
> membership
> >>>> isn't the best approach. Those elected from OSM contributors (I
> frequently
> >>>> have seen in the past people post people's OSM edits for board
> elections)
> >>>> are not necessarily the best to be on a board. It does not allow the
> >>>> flexibility to seek out board members with specialized skills. For
> example
> >>>> most of the board would not claim to be experts in finance, or legal
> >>>> matters. I certainly think election from part of the community is not
> a bad
> >>>> thing, but perhaps it isn't the only way.
> >>> I think you're connecting board membership with officer positions and
> >>> that doesn't need to be connected.
> >>>
> >>> It's possible (and often preferable) to have a board of people who
> >>> oversee the officers but are not one of them. That also gives you
> >>> flexibility because your board can say "We will nominate so-and-so to
> >>> be CEO and so-and-so to be CFO, rather than using terms like
> >>> "President" and "Treasurer". It also means the board positions can be
> >>> equal, if the board so chooses.
> >>>
> >>> I think that this argument of separation of concerns makes a lot of
> >>> sense, I think that board members should be members, but officers may
> >>> not need to be.
> >>>
> >>>> Yes, I think that paid staff can certainly help with some of the
> tasks.
> >>>> Financing this is a different issue however. I used to work as paid
> staff on
> >>>> an animal shelter for abused/neglected horses that had many
> volunteers while
> >>>> attending uni. When there was 2 feet of snow in the middle of January
> it was
> >>>> the paid staff usually out feeding the animals and shoveling the
> manure.
> >>>> Volunteers were great for the "fun" tasks such as giving tours,
> grooming
> >>>> horses and giving pony rides at fundraisers. We need to seriously
> look at
> >>>> what the OSM equivalent is of "shoveling manure" and if it is
> appropriate
> >>>> hire people to do it.
> >>> Yes, and adding on, some recognition would also be nice, even for
> volunteers.
> >>>
> >>> Last month I received an extremely nasty, rude email from someone
> >>> about actions that I took as part of my DWG duties. That email
> >>> insulted me, attacked my sexuality, was vaguely threatening to my
> >>> fiancee, etc. and the board was CCed by the original author. None of
> >>> the board members or members of management team (who was also CCed)
> >>> said a word about it.
> >>>
> >>> This kind of dismissal for our feelings as individuals as we put work
> >>> into the project is really disheartening.
> >>>
> >>> - Serge
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