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

Jorge Gaspar Sanz Salinas jsanz at osgeo.org
Tue Jun 24 03:31:40 PDT 2014

El 24/06/14 10:58, Duarte Carreira escribió:
> Well I just have to chime in...
> I do promote osgeo projects all the time. I don't get paid. I am a Charter Member. This sometimes is useful for people to understand the sense of community that exists in Open Source projects, as opposed to "other associations" who are in fact many times seen (and are in fact) protectorate systems for a profession or market/business (also lobbying) generally benefiting a well defined group of individuals and companies.
> So if I have to pay for membership I will have no feedback for that money since all the work I do promoting and educating on open source in gis is volunteered. And I still am requested to pay on top of that...
> This is to say membership has value *for OSGeo*. Many times it has no monetary value for volunteers. So I can flip this and say, OSGeo should be paying me and thousands of volunteers around the world. At least a small recognition should be given that OSGeo reach is based on people who will not pay the fees, have no income from open source, and still do the work because they see some kind of social/community/long term general benefit from open source. Paying fees seems to undermine the open relationship between OSGeo and its bases. 
> I am not 100% against fees but there should be always a way to not pay fees and keep the open free model, volunteer based, membership. If you want, you can have the fees as donations and not compulsory. Give a badge to those who pay.
> Best,
> Duarte

Thanks Duarte, you tackled an important point that was bugging me.

I want to believe OSGeo inspires people to do things because we think is
good in a general sense (for business, for education, the merit good,
fun, whatever.). Involving money on the relationship IMHO could take
that intrinsic motivation out of the equation: "if I'm already paying a
fee, let others do the job", "why I'm not paid if I'm doing this hard
job?", etc.

A membership should be related with people willing to participate with
OSGeo efforts on projects, committees and local chapters. If we want to
channel personal money to the foundation, I'd prefer something like an
individual sponsorship program* and give that good people the credit and
acknowledgment that kind of support deserves.

* maybe you have money but not time to participate? i.e. I've been doing
that with Red Cross for many years.

But that is very different from what I see as the organizational body
that has the obligation to drive the organization with direct elections
or delegating to a board. That group of members should emerge from a
motivated community*.

* following mi example, I don't want to have any decision power on Red
Cross or my labor union just because I pay an annual fee.

What is more important, what do we really *need* more, an active
membership or funds? Sure that both but if I have to decide between one
or the other I prefer a low-profile organization with a healthy
community and look for money on other places (events, sponsors, etc.)

I don't see OSGeo as an association that ask for money on the first
place to be a member, but as an open community where anyone with the
enough time and motivation can participate and influence. Of course as
others said, if a paid membership is what the current membership wants,
I'll support that decision but I'm afraid we will drive off some
valuable people.


Jorge Gaspar Sanz Salinas

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