CWG meeting 2011-11-28

Communication Working Group meeting on 28th November 2011


  • Richard Fairhurst
  • Harry Wood
  • Jonathan Bennett
  • Henk Hoff

(Apologies from Richard Weait)


  • Budget does CWG need a budget. How much?
  • Social media - JonathanB has installed ThinkUp for analysis stats
  • Stats and click tracking for wiki and website
    • discussed google analytics. rweait can probably tell us more next time
  • Communicating the fund raising drive plan


  • Henk writing down some thoughts/plans for things we'd need budget for
  • JonathanB discuss with TomH hosting of think-up
  • Harry - various actions around fund raiser

IRC log

20:49 toffehoff Hi harry-wood
20:49 toffehoff I'm looking at
20:49 toffehoff Look's like there is not word-wrap for the IRC-log....
20:58 harry-wood hello
20:59 harry-wood yeah I've been doing some text manipulations on some of our IRC logs
20:59 harry-wood add italics around the time at the beginning of the line, and add a <br> at the end of each line
20:59 harry-wood but no <pre>
21:00 harry-wood that way it does word wrapping and also linkifies URLs
21:01 toffehoff you mean on ?
21:01 JonathanB 'entered the room.
21:01 harry-wood I haven't done it there no
21:01 harry-wood but I can do
21:01 harry-wood if you like
21:02 harry-wood Hi JonathanB
21:02 JonathanB Hi -- still have a bit of dinner to finish, so may be read-only for 5 mins
21:02 toffehoff There are several line in the IRC log that are not completely visible....
21:02 toffehoff Hi all.
21:03 RichardF hellooooo.
21:04 toffehoff You all had a good hack-weekend?
21:05 harry-wood I had a brief bit of hack weekend
21:05 RichardF very good!
21:05 harry-wood just the Saturday
21:05 harry-wood You there on Sunday too Richard?
21:05 RichardF nope, just Saturday - playing organ and being a dutiful husband on Sunday
21:06 toffehoff RichardW has send his apologies.
21:07 harry-wood toffehoff: There we go:
21:07 harry-wood I have fiddled the formatting
21:07 toffehoff cool!
21:07 toffehoff Thanks.
21:07 harry-wood so that's the previous minutes
21:08 RichardF so what do we have to talk about today over and above the actions from last week?
21:08 toffehoff I've removed Hurricane of the CWG mailinglist.
21:08 RichardF (I think JonathanB has something to say on social media monitoring software, maybe?)
21:08 JonathanB I have ThinkUp to talk about, yes
21:08 JonathanB Can I go second, please?
21:09 harry-wood Fund raising drive comms
21:09 RichardF yep
21:10 harry-wood I'm kind of forgetting about moving the blog for the moment
21:10 harry-wood will try to grab grant and talk over the technical side of that at some point
21:10 toffehoff Do we need to talk about next years budget … or shall we do that next week?
21:11 harry-wood does the budget for each WG start at particular time?
21:11 harry-wood what d'you mean by "next years"
21:11 harry-wood ?
21:11 RichardF harry-wood: let me know if there's anything I can do with helping to move the blog.
21:11 toffehoff was not meant to be plural.
21:12 harry-wood ah the budge over the "next year" starting from around about now?
21:12 toffehoff Yes, so we can submit a proposal to board (via MT) to get it signed of.
21:13 toffehoff Do we want to do anything the coming year that would need some funding?
21:14 RichardF I'm not aware of it having been an issue thus far.
21:14 harry-wood Yeah. My temptation is to argue mostly not. I mean communication is free right?
21:14 harry-wood But maybe something like getting leaflets printed falls under our remit
21:14 RichardF and our funding comes mostly from donations - so we shouldn't spend it if we don't have good reason.
21:14 JonathanB It depends on what actions the board want us to take on -- some may involve advertising
21:15 toffehoff Then it comes back to the "audacious goals".
21:16 toffehoff I'd wanted to write down some thoughts last week. Didn't get to it.
21:16 RichardF we could ask the board for $20k to get an ad on the front page of the NYT. Might not be quite the spirit of the request though
21:16 toffehoff
21:16 harry-wood If we want to scale up to audaciously behaving like big charity organisations, then we'd get into the business of printing magazines and posting people junk mail
21:16 harry-wood but I think we're a long way off that
21:17 harry-wood I mean I think there's a lot more structure and organisation that should/could be built around free electronic communication before we move into that realm
21:18 RichardF over the next year, I think the most valuable thing that CWG can do is get "hearts and minds" of influential commentators - so that when people write about online maps, they mention OSM as a matter of course.
21:18 JonathanB We're only just getting to grips with decent use of social media
21:18 RichardF that's mostly a matter of perspiration (communicating our successes) rather than spending.
21:18 toffehoff All good remarks.
21:18 toffehoff Let me try to write down some thoughts of me.
21:19 toffehoff …. later this week.
21:19 harry-wood I imagine the OSMF might scale to employing somebody, before it scaled to printing a newsletter for example
21:20 JonathanB OK, so are we saying we don't want/need a budget?
21:20 JonathanB Or that we don't know what we need because we don't know what we're going to be asked to do?
21:21 harry-wood for now let's keep in mind that we've potentially got money to spend, if we can think of something sensible around communication, to spend it on
21:21 RichardF yes. I suggest we don't request a budget, but we know there's always the option of going back to OSMF Board and asking for money should a need arise.
21:22 toffehoff and again, I'll try to get something on paper for the next week…..
21:22 harry-wood Next topic?
21:22 JonathanB Social media monitoring.
21:22 JonathanB If you all take a look at you'll see a nifty dashboard app I was made aware of.
21:23 JonathanB Does everyone think this is useful information, worth asking the Sysadmins to install on an OSMF server?
21:23 RichardF that _is_ nifty.
21:24 JonathanB It can monitor Twitter, Facebook and Google+ (but not G+ Pages *yet
21:24 JonathanB I suspect the G+ limitation is in the API, rather than the app
21:24 harry-wood hehe 'This weeks most discerning followers'
21:25 toffehoff Looks very interesting.
21:25 toffehoff … and usefull
21:26 JonathanB Shall I go ahead and ask TomH for an official installation?
21:26 harry-wood Do you imagine showing this to lots of people to help with comms, or as a tool just for us?
21:26 JonathanB Initially just as a tool for us
21:26 JonathanB You can control what's public and what's not
21:26 harry-wood I mean if its just for us, it doesn't much matter what the bas domain name is
21:27 JonathanB and obviously if you log in you can see more.
21:27 harry-wood could stick on a 'dev' URL if you'd prefer not be running it on your server
21:28 harry-wood but for a nice clean official looking OSM URL we'd have to ask TomH for an official installation
21:28 toffehoff If it's for us, we could start of with dev.
21:29 JonathanB I'll talk to Tom -- he may have some ideas about where to stick it.
21:29 toffehoff I would say: go with it!
21:29 JonathanB Cool. Will action that.
21:30 RichardF it reminds me - is it possible to get posterous to stop posting things to Twitter?
21:30 toffehoff Talking about stats: do we have something like an Analytics page?
21:30 RichardF we had the new layers announcement twice on Twitter, once originally, then also when it arrived as a blog posting
21:30 RichardF kinda looks amateurish.
21:31 harry-wood RichardF: sure it must be possible
21:31 harry-wood presume it's setting within posterous account. rweait can maybe tinker with that
21:32 harry-wood But it means we'd have to remember to tweet about blogged stuff, when there's something on the blog which has not otherwise been tweeted about
21:32 RichardF ok. will ask him next time I (virtually) see him!
21:32 RichardF that's fine. we should remember to tweet anyway... and ThinkUp will help with that.
21:33 harry-wood I'm trying to work out what the "step by step" popular post relates to
21:33 harry-wood guess I must've missed something big!
21:34 toffehoff What kind of stats do we have on our blog, wiki, map etc pages?
21:34 harry-wood ah found it!/openstreetmap/status/127312315019309056
21:34 JonathanB harry-wood: The doc sprint book?
21:35 harry-wood yeah
21:35 harry-wood toffehoff : errr… we have google analytics on the blog
21:35 JonathanB toffehoff: Not all of those stats would tell us something useful -- the wiki, for example, isn't a web site in the typical sense.
21:35 harry-wood but I forget how to check them
21:36 toffehoff But it could help in finding out what the click-paths are....
21:36 toffehoff Or other interesting stuff.
21:36 harry-wood euck. wiki is running slow right now
21:38 JonathanB We have to think of our remit -- knowing what people like or don't like about OSM is our bag, but some of the information like click paths is as much about usability as anything else.
21:38 harry-wood I think the 'most visited pages' stats are disabled on the wiki, probably for performance reasons
21:40 harry-wood Well is our remit to improve the wiki? I think this could well come within "communications" but the big job of improving documentation… is well… very big
21:40 JonathanB Yes -- we as a WG "run" the social media stuff, but we can't say the same about the project sites.
21:41 harry-wood If it's in our remit, I hope nobody's expecting us to "solve" documentation some time soon
21:41 harry-wood but it is a problem I'm interested in. And tracking clicks could be an interesting angle to get an idea of where to start
21:42 toffehoff I also read that EWG is also working on the technical documentation
21:42 harry-wood I note that they haven't solved it yet
21:43 harry-wood I honestly think documentation is a big enough area to warrant a separate working group
21:43 chrisfl_ 'entered the room.
21:43 harry-wood or a sub-team of this working group perhaps
21:43 RichardF yes, very possibly
21:43 toffehoff But other things I may be interested in as well: how many unique visitors, how do they come to the blog, how much time to they spend on the website, etc.
21:44 harry-wood rweait was reporting back with analytics at each CWG meeting at one point
21:44 harry-wood we've forgotten about it for a while
21:45 harry-wood I sort of feel like we can mostly guess what's going to attract attention, without looking at stats
21:45 harry-wood but maybe I'm wrong about that
21:45 toffehoff for starters: good to know we have a G Analytics
21:46 harry-wood yeah its on OSMF blog
21:47 toffehoff OK, I might ask again about it in due time.
21:47 RichardF toffehoff: you know we have Piwik now?
21:47 toffehoff No, I don't.
21:47 RichardF ah. it's excellent. open-source analytics not run by a competitor of ours, which helps
21:48 toffehoff … actually …. I think vaguely remember something about this....
21:48 toffehoff
21:48 RichardF I don't know who admins it, but I'm sure if you were to ask Tom he'd set you up with access.
21:48 toffehoff You have a link?
21:48 toffehoff OK, will ask Tom.
21:48 RichardF (we use Piwik for our work websites - can testify how good it is)
21:49 harry-wood is it tracking visits to the main website?
21:49 RichardF yes
21:49 harry-wood diaries, browse pages and all
21:49 RichardF yes, I believe so
21:49 RichardF you'll see every page-load triggers an include from
21:50 harry-wood was this done by OWG to inform some optimisation or something?
21:51 RichardF I _thought_ it was a request from the board, or from Steve, or something.
21:51 harry-wood ah ok
21:51 harry-wood so anyway…. we have that
21:51 toffehoff Might have come from Strategic ….
21:51 harry-wood We can revisit the stats topic I guess
21:51 harry-wood what's next?
21:52 harry-wood Shall we talk about fund raising drive?
21:52 RichardF yay!
21:52 toffehoff Bring it on!
21:53 harry-wood I was too busy to think about it recently
21:53 harry-wood matt emailed with some technical details
21:53 toffehoff reading Matt's reply
21:53 harry-wood I suggest we bung that in a wiki page
21:53 harry-wood just as something to link to from the blog post
21:54 harry-wood I think the blog post is pretty much good to go
21:54 harry-wood (in the google doc)
21:55 toffehoff One tiny thing:
21:55 harry-wood It's a big "news" story, so another situation where ideally we'd have some cleverly worked out procedures and lists of contacts in the press
21:55 harry-wood we dont really have that yet
21:55 toffehoff Since we're global organization, should we be communicating in Dollars or Euro's
21:56 toffehoff is realizing he's asking this to a couple of UK residents ...
21:56 harry-wood Yeah I wasn't sure about that
21:56 JonathanB It's a fair point.
21:56 harry-wood Where the server being ordered from? U.S. company?
21:57 RichardF we have to be slightly careful about communicating the fund-raising appeal.
21:57 RichardF on the one hand, we want to get the money.
21:57 RichardF on the other, we don't want to seem parochial and small compared to GMaps etc.;
21:57 RichardF nor do we want to give the impression that OSM is perpetually on the verge of falling over.
21:57 RichardF so the overall message probably needs to be "this will help us grow".
21:58 JonathanB still has nightmares about seeing Steve staring out from
21:58 RichardF quite
21:58 RichardF (JonathanB: so you've not seen the redesign then? )
22:00 harry-wood I think we probably will seem a bit parochial and small just based on the amount we're targetting. £15,000 is peanuts
22:00 harry-wood I think it's kind of funny really, the impact we have on the GIS industry, and the amount we spend doing it
22:01 RichardF oh, absolutely. we just need to be a bit careful about where we target the fundraising publicity.
22:01 harry-wood Only way to avoid the impression, would be to not mention a target amount perhaps
22:01 harry-wood but that'd be a bit uninspiring
22:01 RichardF sending a press release to the Register saying "we want £15k" would mean that, next time they wrote about us, they'd describe us as "home-grown community mapping site OpenStreetMap" rather than "fast-growing GMaps challenger"
22:02 RichardF I think we mention the target amount, we just make sure that we principally focus communications on people who have heard of OSM already and want to help it grow, rather than spreading the net too widely.
22:02 toffehoff Maybe starting of with the "We're buying a new server" is not very strong. (especially the "a")
22:03 toffehoff This compared to Google stating "We're building a new server farm"
22:03 JonathanB We phrase it more as "OSM is improving its reliability and performance"
22:03 RichardF yes.
22:03 toffehoff I like that JonathanB
22:03 harry-wood ok
22:03 RichardF as OSM becomes more and more popular, it's doubly important that we can ensure it's always there for the people who need it - that sort of positive message.
22:04 RichardF spin it as "this is part of us stepping up into the big league".
22:04 harry-wood ok. I guess I'll try to weave that in
22:05 RichardF would buy a beer for harry-wood were it not for having just missed the chance to do that
22:05 toffehoff RichardF: we're already in the big league
22:05 harry-wood We maybe need other copy, worded in alternate ways to send to press anyway
22:05 harry-wood any ideas around this?
22:05 RichardF toffehoff: the galacticos then
22:05 harry-wood RichardF: yeah. I missed out on the beers
22:06 toffehoff Via which channels are we communicating this?
22:06 harry-wood Mainly the OSMF blog
22:06 harry-wood but could fire the exact same message to the talk mailing list
22:06 toffehoff Having a public message and an "inside" message might be a good idea.
22:07 harry-wood right yes. the other question (which didn't get on to) is whether to "communicate transparently" this whole plan to the OSMF list some time soon
22:07 harry-wood of course it's now in the minutes again
22:07 harry-wood It should be in the OWG minutes and Management Team minutes too
22:08 RichardF should we just encourage people to read the minutes? that might garner more volunteers for the WGs, and so on
22:09 harry-wood what? encourage people to read the minutes by never telling people about stuff?
22:09 harry-wood it could work!
22:11 harry-wood I'm thinking quick blast message to the OSMF mailing list… link to minutes…. link to techie wiki page…. Nice friendly blog post appears a few days later to kick things off
22:11 toffehoff It's in the minutes. We could start this fundraiser of with a message on OSMF talk first.
22:12 toffehoff And this message to osmf-talk could be a bit more in crowd message than our public "improving reliability" message.
22:13 harry-wood yeah. Well that's what I was thinking… apart from it would pre-warning "we're starting the fund raiser soon"
22:14 toffehoff What would this pre-warning add??
22:14 harry-wood I dont know
22:15 harry-wood it's a tricky one
22:15 toffehoff It would only start of discussions about "for what", " is it really needed" etc if you do not give the details.
22:15 harry-wood Kai's comment was that we should pre-warn to the OSMF list because otherwise it will seem like the OSMF is running around taking decisions without consulting again
22:16 RichardF osmf-talk is generally less hostile than talk@. it's not a huge priority but I don't think it hurts to tell people, albeit very briefly.
22:17 JonathanB Including a caveat that a "proper" announcement is coming, so not to pre-empt it?
22:17 RichardF yep.
22:17 harry-wood the blog post is the nicely written friendly explanation of what and why, so there is a danger that without that, it will prompt questions/hostile reaction …..hence the dilemma
22:17 harry-wood but yeah quick message linking to minutes?
22:18 toffehoff so they can read *this* discussion
22:18 harry-wood Yes. This is all a bit circular. (I just want to say a big "hello" to all the people reading this back in the future)
22:19 JonathanB CWG, now being shown on Dave +1
22:19 harry-wood hehe
22:20 harry-wood How about… if the wiki page has the techie details AND the full fund-raiser explanation
22:20 harry-wood then the blog post appears a few days later, timed to coincide with the launch
22:21 toffehoff Setting up the wiki page, refer to that in a pre-warn message "This is what we're working on"
22:23 harry-wood yes. Pre-announcement (sort of). We can also say to people on the OSMF-talk lis "hold fire on shouting loudly about this plan. We'll be announcing on the blog on the day of the launch, but have a think about how you might help us to spread the word at that time"
22:24 toffehoff Sounds like a plan.
22:24 harry-wood OK!
22:24 harry-wood So how about the timing of all of this?
22:24 toffehoff Looking at time: I'd like to drop off in a couple of minutes.
22:25 harry-wood D'you think we should kick off the fund-raising on Thursday 1st December?
22:26 toffehoff Do we have everything ready by then?
22:26 harry-wood yes apart from a plan to reach out to press
22:26 harry-wood We'll just have to try and do our best with that on the day I think
22:27 toffehoff Let's say: before Friday.
22:27 harry-wood but that's definetely something for CWG to improve in future (have a list of press contacts etc)
22:27 toffehoff Friday is a day where people start browsing around in preparation of the weekend.
22:28 toffehoff So that's the time when we need to be public.
22:28 harry-wood yes but I want to pick a fixed date now
22:28 harry-wood to mention in an email to OSMF-talk
22:28 harry-wood 1st Dec is a nice round date
22:29 harry-wood that was my thinking
22:29 toffehoff Fine.
22:29 harry-wood JonathanB RichardF any preferences on date?
22:29 JonathanB 1st works for me
22:30 RichardF yep
22:30 toffehoff Shall I create a gDoc for us to collect addresses of press-contacts?
22:30 toffehoff … or is there already something like this …. ?
22:30 harry-wood toffehoff: sorry… I was supposed to email that to you
22:30 toffehoff ok
22:31 harry-wood (we have a spreadsheet already… but with no entries in it yet)
22:31 toffehoff Ah, right!
22:31 toffehoff ]
22:31 toffehoff I'll put it on my todo list for this week to have a look at it.
22:31 harry-wood So to recap… the plan is to set up a wiki page with content from Matt on techie details
22:32 harry-wood …AND some of the nice explanation of the blog text
22:32 harry-wood and then the post to OSMF-talk with a link to that
22:32 harry-wood hopefully I'll get that done tomorrow
22:32 harry-wood and the email will also mention the launch date of Thursday
22:33 harry-wood Only other thing to check, is whether grant's OK launch on Thursday. But I think he will be
22:34 harry-wood He needs to setup the donation target display
22:34 harry-wood — End of recap ---
22:34 toffehoff what about the blog-post?
22:35 harry-wood That'll go out on Thursday along with the actual launch
22:35 toffehoff Does it need a bit tweaking on the message?
22:35 harry-wood i.e. it will include a link to
22:35 harry-wood oh… yes..... tweaking
22:35 harry-wood need to do that too
22:36 harry-wood I'll probably work on some of this tonight
22:36 toffehoff Has somebody already mentioned you're awesome!
22:36 toffehoff ?
22:36 harry-wood (you're all welcome to help!)
22:37 toffehoff is working on getting the SotM call for venues out…..
22:37 toffehoff Will have a look a the blog post tomorrow.
22:38 harry-wood JonathanB RichardF: OK? Scream now if there's something wrong with the plan
22:38 harry-wood otherwise fire some emails around
22:38 JonathanB I'll certainly take a look at any text during the week, but the overall plan seems ok
22:40 toffehoff If there's nothing else to do, I'd like to drop off
22:40 harry-wood There's management team meeting on Wednesday eve by which time we'll be imminently about to launch the fund-raiser
22:40 harry-wood yes. Time to go for me too
22:40 toffehoff Good to announce it there as well.
22:41 harry-wood yep
22:41 harry-wood OK so CWG same time next week?
22:42 RichardF fine with me
22:42 toffehoff ok
22:42 JonathanB Yep
22:43 toffehoff Thanks all! Till next week.
22:43 harry-wood bye!