[OSGeo-Discuss] What's wrong? (was Re: Proposed process for selecting OSGeo charter members)
Michael P. Gerlek
mpg at flaxen.com
Mon Jun 23 12:46:49 PDT 2014
(just using my buddy Hobu as a foil here...)
So, the membership process is broken because it is ad hoc, difficult to coordinate, and so on? Agreed!
And there are only two benefits to “membership": voting for the board and personal PR? Agreed!
The personal PR one doesn’t count for much with me. Anyone putting anything like “actively involved in OSGeo” on their resume would get full points from me (speaking as a hiring manager type of person).
So, to me, that just leaves the Board election mechanism as the interesting question for discussion? Or is there something else about membership worth discussing? Unless we’re seriously talking about using membership dues as a potential revenue source?
I’m against making our organization any more formal or professional than it is now. We’re a grassroots, low-budget, loose affiliation of projects and interests. If we’re interested in changing the tone and dynamic of the organization, I’d be interested to hear from people as to what we think the change direction should be and to what ultimate advantage.
On Jun 23, 2014, at 9:51 AM, Howard Butler <howard at hobu.co> wrote:
> On Jun 23, 2014, at 10:16 AM, Michael P. Gerlek <mpg at flaxen.com> wrote:
>> I’ve not been following this issue closely, so I just went back through the old mails and I’m still left with this rather basic question:
>> What is the problem that we are trying to solve?
> OSGeo's membership process is completely adhoc, and it prevents people who wish to be members from doing so. Seemingly, the only two benefits of membership are 1) able to vote for board and 2) able to trumpet to world you're a member. A paid membership doesn't doesn't really change that, but it does help OSGeo in a number of important ways:
> * Our organization would look pretty much exactly like all the other similar professional organizations to the IRS
> * It smoothes out our revenue and provides a floor for things like infrastructure, accounting, insurance, etc which are things a proper org needs but OSGeo often lacks.
> * Anyone who wants to be a member can pay the fee, get the tshirt, and be a member.
>> What started this movement?
> I don't know that there's so much a movement, but rather a realization by some that the membership process is a bit broken. To simply let any/all who want to be an OSGeo member has the board-packing concerns brought up during the inaugural organization meeting.
>> What in our organization is “broken” that needs to be fixed?
> * The CRO's administration of the board vote and membership rolls is a hard, thankless job that ends up suffering the brunt of OSGeo's broken membership process.
> * People who wish to be members of OSGeo can't simply sign up.
> * OSGeo's purported revenue model of soliciting large donations from private organizations does not match its real revenue model of harvesting income from the FOSS4G conference.
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