mvexel has commented on the following diary entries
|A Social OpenStreetMap.org Without Groups||2 months ago||
I think I understand where your skepticism comes from, but I don't subscribe to your arguments. What happens right now is that folks seek out alternative group contexts for their OpenStreetMap social needs. Meetup is one. Facebook is another. The Forums are also divided up into topical and geographical entities you could see as groups. You see this as a reason not to build our own, but I feel strongly that this is one of the most important reasons why we should. We should make a strong effort to reel that social energy into our own web site, and to add our specific flavor to it in the form of local groups defined by geographical boundaries, benefiting from the OSM internals such as OSM user's set home location, changeset feeds, diary feeds etc.
You state that most conversations don't require groups. I would like to propose that most conversations don't even happen because there is no obvious context for them. As a new mapper just signing up and setting my home location, wouldn't it be great if I were made aware of a local OSM discussion happening right here on osm.org? Right now, this user gets dropped on osm.org and with some luck, he or she finds the forums (hit or miss, no obvious connection or integration with osm.org other than single sign on), the mailing lists (don't even get me started) or perhaps even a local Facebook or Meetup group. This all feels very disconnected, and chances are that this new user will not engage in any discussion at all, overwhelmed an not sure where to start.
I see it as our responsibility to provide new (and existing!) users with our own native platform to gather around topics or places of interest, to take away the confusion about the social dimension of OpenStreetMap. You say it's hard to get it right, an argument I don't get at all. If we keep it lightweight and flexible and start out modestly, I think it's not hard at all.
The part of your argument I have the most trouble digesting is that you suggest yet another third party platform (Discourse) to route our users to. How does that not just add to the confusion? Discourse is shaping up to be a great discussion platform, but it doesn't offer the tight integration with OSM data that our own groups will be able to benefit from. To my mind, this is one of the big benefits of rolling our own groups - we can connect local mappers to each other and to the data.
Some of your suggestions for improving current functionality make sense, but they don't add up to anything nearly as powerful as a group context.
|What a fantastic State of the Map US||6 months ago||
Agreed, a great conference excellently captured. Looking forward to working together more and keeping the momentum.