Forum OSM France

Is the weeklyOSM alert choking low-volume mailing lists?

First of all, a disclaimer: I have a very high consideration of the hard work performed by the weeklyOSM team, most of our socializing and community building tools focus on the local, and they provide an invaluable global glue function!

This said, I am concerned about the impact of the constant flow of weekly alerts on very small communities, and I wonder if this is not having a choking effect.

All computations here are crudely and heuristically executed, using standard unix tools like sed, grep, wc, so there might be errors, and approximations.

I’ve collected, all talk-xx mailing lists that (for whatever reason) are subscribed to the weeklyOSM alert. It’s the following 32: talk-africa talk-bo talk-br talk-ca talk-cl talk-cm talk-cn talk-co talk-cu talk-de talk-es talk-gb talk-gh talk-ht talk-ie talk-in talk-it talk-ke talk-ko talk-latam talk-mx talk-ph talk-pl talk-pt talk-scotland talk-sn talk-tn talk-tr talk-tw talk-tz talk-ug talk-us

Looking at their activity since 2015, I’ve counted the amount of posts and amount of “noise” if you let me pass the term, produced by the weeklyOSM alerts.

While these alerts are hardly noticeable on active lists like talk-us, where of 7989 posts, 342 were the weekly alerts, or talk-gb, with 353 out of 12777, corresponding to N/S (Noise to Signal) ratio in both cases lower than 0.05, for less active lists, the figures are different!

Looking at the data after 2019, in Tunisia there have been 5 local posts against 185 weekly alerts (S/N=37.0), or 1 against 131 since 2020. Scotland had 24 local posts against 190 weekly alerts since 2019, becoming 13 against 134 since 2020.

How many mailing lists are according to me affected? splitting the data at 2018, then 2019, 2020 and 2021, there’s respectively 16, 18, 21, and 22 lists with S/N ratio above 1.0.

My concern regards the impact of this action, and the logic of matrioska subscriptions. You see, if I’m interested in the weeklyOSM as I indeed definitely am, I subscribe to their mailing list, or something like this. If I’m interested to local Moroccan news, I subscribe to the talk-ma, as I have indeed done. I also receive the talk-latam news, which repeats the weeklyOSM that I already receive. Now should I become interested in Tunisia, or Bolivia, why should I receive yet another copy of the same weeklyOSM? boh?

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Ce sujet de discussion accompagne la publication sur https://community.openstreetmap.org/t/is-the-weeklyosm-alert-choking-low-volume-mailing-lists/1849