[Web Comm] content creation, and current content

Jo Walsh jo at frot.org
Mon Oct 2 23:56:18 EDT 2006

dear Jody, all,

On Mon, Oct 02, 2006 at 03:48:53PM -0700, Jody Garnett wrote:
> >I have been quiet for a couple months but thought I should check back 
> >to see how things are going (and if now is a useful time for more 
> >involvement).

I would say: slowly, and yes! This is a good time to re-involve
yourself especially if that helps along your project's goals for
making "convincing" material and inculcates a feeling of "message
envy" in others thus causing them to create more useful stuff. :)
> -http://wiki.osgeo.org/index.php/WebCom_OSGeo_Site_Focus#Convincers
> Some suggested content was listed as "convincers" (interesting term), if 
> no progress
> has been made on these items we could assume little interest and try again.

I try not to blame my tools *all* the time but have often found the
centralised process that we go through with CN presents a barrier to
engagement. Yet jotting stuff down on a wiki doesn't get one far
enough through that a piece of writing can be edited/completed unless
there is some external real-world timepressure. Thus the quick drupal
experiment which is http://community.osgeo.org/ right now. I have
found this to be an effective sketchpad and it is still in a very flux
state; if that would be interesting or useful to you at all then if
you register an account there, i'll give you full-on edit privileges.  

> - Announcements (do we also have Press Releases)

Only when VisCom sends the buggers, e.g. when there is something to
announce. As Jeroen pointed out OSGeo missed the ball on FOSS4G
coverage, partly because VisCom's attention was caught up by practical
organising matters. I think we'd just have different classes of news
though - PR, software releases, special occasions... 

> Hunting through "documentation and files" I can find a lot more 
> artifacts from the visibility committee. And can see in their mandate that
> the have some of these concerns listed as part of their "mission":
> >    * creation and use of OSGeo marketing materials (brochures, logos,
> >      etc)
> >    * aiding in the creation and dissemination of case studies, white
> >      papers, etc
> So perhaps I should switch groups to chase after marketing goals, and 
> leave this list in peace. Or we should work on making the artifacts they 
> have produced accessible to website visitors. My concern is coordination 
> and having a consistent message fall between the gaps of these two 
> committees.

I totally click with these concerns. There is a bit of historical
context which might clarify 'em. Sometime between when you
disconnected from it and i connected to it, WebCom died right back.
At and after the F2F in San Jose there was a long discussion about
killing it off by merging it either with SAC or with VisCom. Neither
of these really fit right for a focus on content development. Jason
dug around in Vis/Web's original remits and discovered that WebCom had
been originally envisaged as just VisCom's publishing arm. So there's
no "fun" in the work, just editing and maintenance. So WebCom got
rescoped to be much more 'active' potentially about message creation.

And VisCom already have so much dumped on them; because so much of
what OSGeo members are doing is about outreach, visibility, public
representation: shouldn't that be *everyone's* responsibility?
A consistent message comes best from as many minds as possible.
VisCom did a lot of seed work developing a library of presentations,
templates, but that's all piecemeal. Coordination you identify as
missing pretty clearly and I would see that as coming from the WebCom
side - here is big picture, fill in slot X. Completeability i would add 
- it would be of benefit to set milestones or pare down the 'convincers' 
/ other user story features to something that could come out in one 
set complete.

Why are we, the current active inhabitants of WebCom, here? 
I'm here because I wanted to help fix a platform problem; 
if the problem goes away, then likely so will I. 

I'm also here because I cannot resist kibitzing on every $Â*$@! 
osgeo mailing list that exists and looking for cross-connections 
in what is going on. (Ultimately all of this gets driven by personal
connections; by people who are just at a certain node in a network 
map, listening for the right intersections of stuff.) My preferred
solution would be to kill off all the committees in an enormous,
bloody putsch, have one integrated osgeo-see-the-guts mailing list,
and have real activity break down into working groups of 3 or 4 people
which is all that is basically represented inside the committee
groups anyway. It's amazing to me how fast control structures harden.

At the most F2F was some talk about internal-outreach tools, shared
blogs for the committees, board etc, i implemented this in the
noddiest way in that drupal install whereby one can create a blog post
and attach it to >=1 committee or project category then it automagically
appears on the relevant committee's homepage. So it becomes all about
people and what they are working on, and not about the category driven
governance structures that they are working through. 



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