[OSGeo-Discuss] Proposed process for selecting OSGeo charter members

Howard Butler howard at hobu.co
Mon Jun 23 09:08:56 PDT 2014

On Jun 23, 2014, at 10:13 AM, P Kishor <punk.kish at gmail.com> wrote:

> Membership dues for OSGeo could very well work, but they would change the nature of the organization.

Yes, that may be true, however it is also true that OSGeo as an organization has significantly evolved significantly two or three times since it was incorporated. OSGeo is not the "GeoApache" once envisioned and partially implemented. The sociological structure of open source projects, as elucidated by Fogel and modeled by OSGeo, has changed a ton in the past eight years. OSGeo has evolved to keep up and remain relevant, and it must continue to do so.

Does the membership see paid membership as a radical change? I don't have an answer to that, and presumably it is something that would have to be voted on. 

> While it makes sense for those who are professionals and thus want to belong to professional organizations, many OSGeo members are not "professionals" in the sense of depending upon OSGeo's projects for their living—many are educators, volunteers, govt. folks, hobbyists and so on.

Except for maybe hobbyists, all of these groups of people you've listed often pay for membership in professional organizations. A professional organization does not have to mean you make a living doing the thing that the professional organization coalesces around. Instead, in my mind, it means you have an interest in participating in that particular profession. Geographers. Soil Science. Geophysics.  Watermelons [1]. They lobby, educate, and host on your behalf.

> That said, not everyone has to be a member of OSGeo to enjoy its products and its community, and believe in the ideals of the community. I have no particular objection to membership dues, but it is not something I would pay. Hence, I would agree to forsake my Charter Membership, if that is what's entailed.

Do you lose a significant benefit by not being a Charter Member? Just the ability to vote for the board and the ability to tout your exclusivity on a vita/resume. Anything else? Lack of membership does not prevent anyone from participating now, and we wouldn't want it to (unlike many other professional organizations). 


[1] Seriously. http://www.nationalwatermelonassociation.com/membership.php

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