I was looking at the OSMF members list, and saw that it has no members from Albania. Not a single one.
Some companies are paying employees to join, and there are rumors of them giving voting instructions, so it’s important that all kinds of mappers join to balance things. It’s definitely good if Albania is represented.
https://join.osmfoundation.org/normal-membership is the form. It’s £15 (around 2100 lek), and it’s done in 4 minutes. I’m a candidate in the board election, but you vote for anyone you want of course.
There’s the possibility to ask for a fee waiver for starving students.
Having lots of members would also be wonderfully positive for your bid to host the State of the Map in 2020 - I’ve been telling everyone about it and how great OSCAL was, and people are very interested.
Thank you for sharing Guillaume, I can proudly say that I am officially a OSMF member
Hopefully other members from Tirana or other cities will join.
https://join.osmfoundation.org/fee-waiver-program/ now explicitly waives the fee for the Western Balkans, and has a convenient form.
Good to see new members from Albania
And good to know that there is now a Fee Waiver Program !
That being said it would be even better to have some people in the board from those under-represented groups ! All the OSMF board members are from Western Europe (or US) if I’m not mistaken and I’m pretty sure the next candidates will be as well !
Let’s have (or at least try) a Albanian board member (as long as one of you would be interested of course).
PS : Our OSM Belgium board member Joost Schouppe is also candidate for those elections
In my opinion, one of the reasons that there are not much members from Albania is related to the fact that it is not clear what the structure of OSMF is. In addition, it takes a lot of work to maintain the momentum at a local level, which has an impact on spending time on improving organizational structures of international floss organizations. The last 1.5 year OL members have started to focus more on exposure at big organizations (and exposure gives more job opportunities), which has certainly had some impact on the further development of the local floss ecosystem. Unfortunately OSM has not been one of the organizations in the radar of the members and the lack of travel support has influenced negatively.
This means people from Western Europe meet with each other easily due to the lower travel cost (and based on Eurostat, higher wages and higher work safety. In addition, international events happening more in Western Europe than in our region although we are trying to change that - LibOCon is an example. At Open Labs we have been working lately to restructure the way memberships work in order to prioritize the further development of floss ecosystem at a local level, but without spending less time in influencing big floss initiatives such as OSMF. We aim to achieve this by:
- having a dedicated working group that will be the bridge between the local community and ‘outside’ organizations such as OSM BE, OSMF, Document Foundation etc.
- push to have more international events here (there are members that will propose to have SotM in Tirana in the near future.
The above hopefully will also have an impact on getting more local floss activists get involved in international initiatives, but without hurting the growth of the local ecosystem.
Totally agree with you !
Basically being an OSMF member give you the opportunity to vote for the board members election ! That’s about it ^^ (and it’s also a way to sponsor OSMF, of course).
Looking forward (and willing to help) for building such bridge between OL and OpenStreetmap Foundation and OpenStreetMap Local chapters (like we are now as OpenStreetMap Belgium).
I already stated my opinion about organizing SotM, it hasn’t changed : it will be a challenge but I know you can make it happen ! I’ll provide all the help I can to make it happen because I believe it will put Tirana and Albania (even more) on the international (open-source) map (pun intended :P) and everyone will benefit from it !
Yes, I think SotM coming to Tirana could be key step forward in raising Albania’s profile in the FLOSS community.