[OSGeo-Discuss] Report from the OSGeo Board meeting

Daniel Morissette dmorissette at mapgears.com
Wed Sep 21 07:54:01 PDT 2011

On 11-09-21 09:29 AM, Mr. Puneet Kishor wrote:
> 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.

Hi Puneet,

You've got a very good point about what outreach is and I fully agree 
with you. This is one of the parts of OSGeo that actually goes very very 
well. Thanks to all community members for their work on that front!

I believe that what Michael was alluding to as outreach (perhaps 
incorrectly) and requiring another set of skills is outreach to larger 
public and private organizations who have an interest in seeing OSGeo 
flourish but just don't know it yet... so those people are unlikely to 
meet you at the booth or listen to one of your talks.

Reaching those people requires some marketing work upfront to polish the 
OSGeo image and message and make it more widely heard, and then one has 
to wear a suit and knock on their door, discuss their needs and 
demonstrate how OSGeo can help them... and then walk back with their 
commitment to support the mission of OSGeo, in the form of public 
statements combined with $$$. (Did I just describe a sales job?)

In my opinion this type of outreach (or whatever we call it) is not well 
addressed by our community and this is an area where we need new blood 
to help. This was one of the drivers behind the decision to terminate 
the ED position.

Daniel Morissette
Provider of Professional MapServer Support since 2000

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