+4 more that haven’t been active for over 6 months
Current volume of messages on the former platforms, if any (per week/per month)
The OSM-US Slack is very active, with probably hundreds of messages per week.
The talk-us@ mailing list can have up to 30 messages per month.
The subnational mailing lists might only have a few messages per month, if any at all.
Is there a transition plan for the old platform to this new one? (please link or describe)
No plans, just vibes.
Due to the high volume of existing communication platforms, we don’t expect to discontinue them anytime soon. Slack hosts the majority of our discussion right now, though there are enough US mappers with reservations about discussing an open data project on a proprietary platform that we can’t rely solely on Slack to reach the entire community. So we tend to have more consequential tagging discussions on the mailing list.
But Discourse hasn’t had the same problem as Slack, since it’s open source, and more transparently connected to the OpenStreetMap web infrastructure. Ultimately, I think there’s enough incentive for the US mapping community to transition towards this platform. It’ll just take time.
(Optional) A link or list of the category specific guidelines
While we wait for the proposed moderators to comment here they are OK with the role, it would be great if you could edit the initial message adding next to their usernames a brief description on why each moderator was proposed. This is asked as part of the process to provide transparency and allow a community conversation to happen here.
As per the current Moderation Selection Criteria note that for the list of moderators to be approved, 5 days of community discussion will need to take place here (always including weekend days) and then a voting poll to validate the list by the community will be open for another 5 days too.
Another aspect is that Discourse, like the mailing lists and the old forum, is a different form of communication than a real-time chat platform like Slack. Even though OSMUS Slack is on a plan that allows for permanent archives, older content isn’t designed to be very discoverable. Discourse archives have the potential to be more digestible than either Slack for this reason, and more usable than the mailing list for technical reasons.
In the medium term, Discourse could be useful for discussions about, for instance, tagging policy, with Slack taking a less prominent support role. Slack meanwhile would continue to be a good place to get help with spur-of-the-moment questions and socialize with other mappers.
Nothing is for certain, but I think it’s worth taking advantage of this platform and seeing how it works out.
In my personal capacity, and not speaking on behalf of OSMUS where I serve as a board member, I endorse all three proposed moderators, based on their history of working with the community, and effective communications on difficult topics. I would specifically point to Ian’s long-standing moderation of the OSM US Slack space, Zeke’s charting the course on difficult global discussions on the meaning of highway=track, and Clay’s interactions with many competing interests on the OSM Americana project spaces as evidence of their suitability as moderators here.
I also offer my hearty two thumbs up to the proposed (/ nominated?, even if self-nominated or self-volunteering?) moderators. It’s great to see familiar, solid, long-term OSM US-based community members with such enthusiasm to help this nascent and promising online forum.
Again, I have had truly productive and/or delightful interactions/collaborations with everybody here (except Rubén, you are new to me, I am cheered by the great work I see you extending into the Discourse side of things). I have read the Moderation Selection Criteria and all of the volunteers here should easily sail through with flying colors; I’ll call all of them “top shelf.”
It truly is exciting and inspiring that we are building this community here like this with august members in the USA who are so obviously dedicated to OSM. I offer big thanks to the (proto-) moderators for standing up. OSM keeps getting better and better, and greatly so with this open platform!