Loomio
Mon 27 Mar 2017

Website domain

R(
RobJN (Director) Public Seen by 519

We would like some feedback on website domains.

We have a choice between sticking with osmuk.org or moving to openstreetmap.co.uk. There are cases of both in the OSM universe. For example openstreetmap.fr, osm.be and mapanica.net .

Here are our thoughts on the pros of each. Keen to hear your thoughts too. Happy for someone to start a proposal.

openstreetmap.co.uk

  • Keeps openstreetmap in the URL (this is what most people probably google for)
  • Does not depend on people knowing the abbreviation OSM
  • Makes explicit that we are the UK based COmpany for openstreetmap
  • avoids the perception that we are separate from/not related to openstreetmap
  • being a .co.uk may reassure organisations that we want to work with, that we have a legal framework

osmuk.org

  • Represents what we are likely to call ourselves / already are calling ourselves (we can't stop people using the acronym).
  • Aligns with twitter (we have osmuk there)
  • Brings a bit of separation from all the openstreetmap DOT whatever sites:
    • We understand that they are all run by different groups but will the average Joe make the distinction?
    • Means our content is clearly separate from the other OSM content that we have no control over (e.g. the wiki, the "just a map" openstreetmap.org homepage)
    • Allows us to build a separate brand which may be more important in the UK given that OSM started here (so we risk people thinking .org and .co.uk are the same company).
  • It's an organisation about the UK. If people look for to openstreetmap(.co.uk/.com), they are likely to be looking for a map (that includes the UK) where as our homepage focus won't be a map.
  • Is short.
  • Does what it says on the tin - ie the "OSMUK" + "organisation".
DB

Dennis Bauszus Mon 27 Mar 2017

Hi Rob,

openstreetmap.co.uk is regsitered by the OpenStreetMap Foundation.

https://who.is/whois/openstreetmap.co.uk

How would you get this domain to use for our community?

D

R(

RobJN (Director) Mon 27 Mar 2017

By asking! (they could technically say no)

HW

Harry Wood Wed 29 Mar 2017

There's also different levels of "getting the domain name". We don't actually need to transfer ownership. Could just have OSMF own it and point it to OSMUK's webserver. Seeing it from an OSMF point of view, I think that's a sensible arrangement for fledgeling groups, at least until they become foundation chapters.

Or if we stick with osmuk.org I guess we'd like openstreetmap.co.uk to be made a redirect to that (also possible without transferring ownership)

Incidentally, who owns osmuk.org.uk ? B Sykes? Guess that would ideally be transferred to have the new company as the registrant.

DB

Dennis Bauszus Wed 29 Mar 2017

osmuk.org.uk and osmuk.uk are both available for purchase. They are less desirable addresses since it usually better to keep the url short. Duplicates such as uk|uk org|org etc are also deemed to be a waste in a 140 character twitter reality.

It would be nice to get a redirect. Do we have a contact in the foundation? I am a member but the the structure of the whole foundation still mystifies me.

R(

RobJN (Director) Wed 29 Mar 2017

@harrywood @dennisbauszus Returning to the original question, do you have a preference on the main domain? (Any extras can be redirected as you have noted).

HW

Harry Wood Wed 29 Mar 2017

Lots of contacts. What I'm not sure about is who would decide such things, and what would be deemed the main considerations. Ultimately Grant Slater (Firefishy) does a lot of the domain name management stuff for OSM, but he'd probably prefer a message to OWG for him to process (and he would discuss the ideas and policies with others from OWG... all of whom we have contacts with) Additionally it would be good discuss and get buy-in from Simon Poole, since he did a lot of work on trademark policy in relation to local chapters (Him and the local chapters working group). The Communication Working Group might also be asked to decide on such matters, though they're mostly about blogging and tweeting at the moment. The contact for that is... me :-)

The other question though is... what do we want OSMF to do with openstreetmap.org.uk and openstreetmap.co.uk ? Redirect to http://osmuk.org ? or set it up so that the website is at openstreetmap.org.uk ? First we need to make a decision on the canonical URL we want.

For the purposes of that decision, I think we can assume openstreetmap.co.uk and also openstreetmap.org.uk are options for us.

Rob's given a good run-down of considerations for the choice. Although we might consider openstreetmap.org.uk vs openstreetmap.co.uk (both owned by OSMF). The former might be my preferred choice. It underlines it's a not-for-profit organisation versus private profit-making (evil) company. I think the disadvantage of osmuk.org is, as Rob's mentioned there, we want to "avoid the perception that we are separate from/not related to openstreetmap". Openstreetmap domain names form a family of local chapter/group websites which feel like they're under openstreetmap's wing, while the osmuk.org domain name feels a little bit more like a website any old bozo impostor could be running. ....But these are my vague preferences. Any one of those domain names would be alright to my mind.

R(

RobJN (Director) Wed 29 Mar 2017

First we need to make a decision on the canonical URL we want.

Yep, that's the aim of this thread. Other comments are useful but lets work on the basis of "we ask, we get" - we are registering as the Local Chapter after all. If it gets rejected then we revert to something else.

The .org vs .co.uk implies nothing these days. For example Mappa Mercia has both a .org and a .co.uk and we are an informal group only.

"which feel like they're under openstreetmap's wing"

Is this desirable? Some thoughts:

  1. OSM UK will be a group that promotes OSM in the UK. Hopefully we will represent a lot of people in the UK but not everyone will want to be a member.
  2. Will making us look like we are under OSMs wing result in us receiving a lot of requests that are outside our control (e.g. requests to change the global OSM set-up/rules/software?
  3. There isn't an OSM "wing" anyway. There is no hallmark system, no guarantee of quality, no consistency. OSM is a collection of assorted things, or to use your words a group of "any old bozo impostor[s]" (the only legitimate part of OSM if you like is the OSMF.

By the way, the other communities have split on this. For example:

Just 3 are registered with OSMF:

DS

Dan S Wed 29 Mar 2017

My 2p on domain name choices:

  • openstreetmap.co.uk - yes, it's good, clear, people will find it memorable, lots of people in Britain have been saying "dot co dot uk" for decades and we find it straightforward. It is also different enough from openstreetmap.org so not too much confusion - a very British feeling domain name.
  • openstreetmap.org.uk - I like this a lot and I like being an "org.uk" for the reasons Harry mentions, BUT there's a large risk of confusion with the main openstreetmap.org site, and it's also a little less common to be telling people "dot org dot uk" so I don't see any benefit to this option. I think people would forget whether it's org or co or uk or what.
  • osmuk.org - I don't like this because I can't imagine it tripping lightly off my lips, ever. For the naive reader it's not a meaningful word-based URL like the others so not appealing to the general audience.
RW

Robert Whittaker Wed 29 Mar 2017

My preference would be osmuk.org (shorter, and more obviously different from openstreetmap.org) followed by openstreetmap.org.uk (emphasising non-profit status) and then openstreetmap.co.uk

R(

RobJN (Director) Wed 29 Mar 2017

My preference is for osmuk.org. It is short, aligns with our Twitter handle and is the abbreviation we are almost guaranteed to refer to ourselves as.

When describing ourselves I think:

"We are OSM UK - a company that supports OpenStreetMap in the UK - find us at osmuk.org and osmuk on Twitter"

Works well. My concern with OpenStreetMap.co.uk is that we loose the link with Twitter and we may loose people to OpenStreetMap.org or .com. We would spend ages explaining the brand:

"We are OpenStreetMap UK at OpenStreetMap.co.uk, but we don't do openstreetmap.org or wiki.openstreetmap and to contribute to openstreetmap in the UK go to openstreetmap.org not openstreetmap.co.uk"

Maybe I'm worrying / thinking too much here!

JH

Jon Harley Tue 11 Apr 2017

I agree with you. People who're NOT already involved in the project don't know that we call it osm, so osmuk will be meaningless to them. Openstreetmap will most likely be what they've heard of.

OpenStreetMap CIC is a (nonprofit) limited company so openstreetmap.co.uk seems the best to me.

GM(

My personal preference was osmuk.org, for most of the reasons given in the first post on this thread.

We need to make a decision, so how do we reach that?
I don't think this should need a full AGM/vote to make the decision. Is a loomio straw poll aceptable, or should it just be a vote of the directors(who vote on what they think the community want) and people trust that?

R(

RobJN (Director) started a proposal Thu 20 Apr 2017

Let's stick with osmuk.org Closed Thu 27 Apr 2017

During the April Directors meeting we agreed to stick with osmuk.org. Do you agree?

Results
Agree - 9
Abstain - 9
Disagree - 9
Block - 9
12 people have voted (25%)
R(

RobJN (Director)
Agree
Thu 20 Apr 2017

IC

Ian Caldwell
Agree
Thu 20 Apr 2017

PO

Paul Oldham Thu 20 Apr 2017

If you were my customer I'd recommend you have osmuk.org, openstreetmap.org.uk, and openstreetmap.co.uk and then, assuming that you prefer osmuk.org, you redirect all traffic, be it email or web, to the .uk domains to osmuk.org.

DB

Dennis Bauszus
Agree
Thu 20 Apr 2017

MW

Matt Williams
Agree
Thu 20 Apr 2017

DS

Dan S
Disagree
Thu 20 Apr 2017

B

BC
Disagree
Fri 21 Apr 2017

RW

Robert Whittaker
Agree
Fri 21 Apr 2017

GM(

Paul of course, the plan the is that the other domain (and any additional that we might happen to control) would point to the one we choose to use & promote.

PB

Paul Berry
Agree
Fri 21 Apr 2017

It also aligns with the osm.org domain.

PO

Paul Oldham
Agree
Fri 21 Apr 2017

JH

Jon Harley
Disagree
Fri 21 Apr 2017

B

blackadder
Agree
Fri 21 Apr 2017

B

blackadder Fri 21 Apr 2017

OSMUK.org works fine for me though I would like to see openstreetmap.co.uk point to the webserver too if that's agreeable to OSMF. In the short term I see no need to make a fuss about it, ultimately if both are available for use one can be promoted over the other.

R(

RobJN (Director) Fri 21 Apr 2017

To to end user openstreetmap.co.uk would effectively redirect (assuming OSMF agree) to osmuk.org. When this closes we will ask the relevant OSMF group.