[OSGeo-Discuss] Report from the OSGeo Board meeting

Mr. Puneet Kishor punk.kish at gmail.com
Wed Sep 21 06:29:15 PDT 2011

On Sep 21, 2011, at 2:59 AM, Michael P. Gerlek wrote:

> I wrote recently that there three kinds of functions needed here:
> administrative (bookkeeping, answering mail, etc), tactical (project
> management, sys admin), and strategic (fundraising, outreach).  The first
> can be done by a mixture of outsourcing and volunteers, and we're already
> taking steps for that.  The second is done already by very competent
> volunteers.  The third requires a very specific set of skills we will likely
> hire or contract out for;

Agree about the first and the second above, but disagree about the third (in a minor way). Yes, fundraising is something that requires a dedicated person or persona, which, unfortunately and ironically requires funds. Although, there are models for getting around that (in a minute on that). However, please don't lump outreach there. Outreach is what we all do on a daily basis --

- Every time someone responds to a desperate new or (ahem) returning user's email as to why MapServer is returning a broken image or why OpenLayers is not working via a proxy, that is outreach. 

- The hours that Alex and Karsten and others (including, in a very small way, myself) stand at the OSGeo booth talking to visitors, that is outreach. 

- The countless presentations that I have given all over the world in the past 3 years, mostly as a Creative Commons Fellow, but also talking about OSGeo and free and open source geospatial, that is outreach.

- Using pretty much nothing but OSGeo tools for my current largish-money project and converting all my colleagues in academic to appreciating the benefits of OSGeo tools is outreach.

Outreach is a fundamentally volunteer and community effort, not requiring a dedicated sales/advertising budget or agency. This is a significant part of the "open" in OSGeo.

With regards to fundraising -- I am thinking of the sqlite model. As you might know, sqlite is in public domain. However, the developer ha) at least the following funding sources --

1. personal technical support
2. sale of encrypted sqlite
3. (perhaps, most applicable to OSGeo) is corporate sponsorship/membership to the sqlite consortium from big-pocketed private companies that benefit from sqlite. I believe part of the benefit of being a member of the consortia is that they get some tech support, etc., although I am not too sure about that. sqlite.org has details about that.

> in the near term, the board and other non-board
> volunteers will shoulder this (as they have been doing for years, though
> often unacknowledged).  This will be an evolving process, of course, and the
> discussion with the community is now underway.

Yup, this is good. And, absolute no issues with taking decision about eliminating the ED position without airing it on the public list. Besides other reasons, it would have been tremendously inefficient.

Puneet Kishor

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