[VisCom] Re: OSGeo Newsletter

Tyler Mitchell tylermitchell at shaw.ca
Mon May 15 11:03:19 EDT 2006

On Monday 15 May 2006 03:33, Martin Wegmann wrote:
> On Monday 15 May 2006 10:03, Markus Neteler wrote:
> > Hi,
> >
> > I just wanted to bring to attention again the OSGeo Newletter
> > idea - see below. Maybe we get the ball rolling in the next
> > months?
> >
> > Markus
> Hello,
> indeed it is good to bring the attention back to an OSGeo Newsletter, it
> would be good to spread informations.

I agree, this is a very key area for the foundation to help fill.  It is a 
dream of mine to see a newsletter with similar content to the GRASS 
newsletter - it was always inspiring to see.  So, kudos, to you and the GRASS 
team for your work - good job.

At this point I offer a few suggestions:
1) Keep it in a more casual newsletter format for the first edition.  This 
will help keep it simple and will be a good test of how well volunteers can 
contribute.  I'm sure we'll all learn some lessons from it.

Then, if/when it is obvious we have lots of great content and contributors, 
make it professional, get advertisers and roll out something in print.  But 
first, a tiny step to test the waters.

> --> Which part of the community should be addressed (devel/user)?

I like the focus that the GRASS newsletter has had - it has kept the devel vs 
user quite balance (in my opinion).  We should aim for similar things.

> 2) Should it deal with OSGeo stuff only (announcements etc.)  or does
> software chapters exist, where certain aspects/problems of one specific
> package is discussed.

I think that OSGeo information could be part of it, but not the majority part.  
We really (!) do need a better way to communicate OSGeo happenings out to the 
membership (and also to the public) - perhaps having it as part of this 
common media would be good.  I tend to think that it would.

> 	2a) the internal structure has to be discussed and must be clearly
> structured so that the reader can easily find the (for him/her) important
> parts. If sections are created, how many sections (GIS/RS/webmapping/ ...)

Obviously we'd need a clear mandate/purpose/vision as well.

> 3) How often should it appear? monthly/quarterly

For OSGeo "new" we need something monthly, but perhaps there wouldn't be 
enough other material to make this monthly.  Again, a good reason to do a 
simplified test newsletter first.

> 4) One of the main problem will be a) will enough people volunteer for a
> certain section b) will enough users/devel. contribute to the magazine?
> 	4a) Certainly an OSGeo magazine edt in chief, language edt, layout (!) and
> subeditors for sections have to be assigned.

I agree.  Can anyone give their experiences with the workload for an editor 
and for contributors?  I have a good idea on the contributor side.

> -> 2) only  announcements and articles concerning "user problems" were
> discussed, rather module orientated no overview articles

It would probably be good to have at least one overview of a product in each 
edition (as long as it is not just a copy/paste from a web site).

> Something along the lines to start with the "who volunteers" list: I would
> volunteer for a GRASS section as Edt. if something like that exist or with
> some more people to organise/edit a GIS/RS software section.

I'm interested - not for a particular project, but maybe helping doing some 
editing, organising or helping write update/news from OSGeo.  We'll have to 
see how it goes for time commitment, but put my name on a list somewhere :)

> I am stronly looking forward to a OSGeo-Magazine, and I think it will
> increase the visibility of OSGeo and its project enormously.

I am too and really hope we can make something work.


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