👋 Welcome to the forum, get involved in the next steps here!

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Hello everyone,

Welcome to the OpenStreetMap Community forums, my name is Rubén and I’m helping facilitate the community discussion around this new tool and its future.

![:speaking_head:](upload://8AWZ1Q1FsgivjOJIhXph2ouw9Rh.png ":speaking_head:") This is an important moment for the future of OpenStreetMap communities conversations and you can be part of it getting involved in this topic! ![:blush:](upload://feHkV1WITNDmSWmGyldOhSnALJt.png ":blush:")

But first, a bit of context.

What is this place and why does it exist?

OSMF has historically maintained a set of communications channels and tools to support open mapping communities and contributors around the world.

These channels haven’t evolved much in the past 10 years, and they are a combination of synchronous and asynchronous:

  • Mailing lists (email) - IRC (chat) - Mumble (voice chat) - BigBlueButton (video)
  • Web forum (discussions) - OSM Help (support) - Diaries (comments)
  • OSM Blogs (Planet) (comments) - OSM Wiki (comments/doc)

During the past years, local communities have also created their own channels using other tools and services not controlled by the OSMF: Slack, Telegram, Whatsapp, Discord, Reddit, Discourse, Fediverse/Mastodon…

Around mid-2020 the Operations WG expressed their interest into modernizing OSM forums and OSM Help (Q&A site) (issue, meeting notes) and in early-2021 decided using the Discourse as an open source (and self-hosted) replacement for those two.

(see how other communities are using Discourse)

Since then, this Discourse instance has been set up (thanks to Grant Slater), including OSM (oauth2) login support (thanks Tom and the rest of the Ops WG), as well as plugins to support topic resolution and canned replies to be able to host Q&A topics.

![:pray:](upload://9PeTmZs3gaRiLXRd53zcy0OA5QP.png ":pray:") We would like to also appreciate everyone who has been active providing feedback during the early technical testing phase: mmd, Tobias, Guillaume, Amanda, Josh, Maggie, pnorman, ian, westnordost, Arnalie, Pete… and many others. Thanks so much!

What’s next? Let’s talk!

There are still a lot of open questions about the future of this platform, and with this topic we open the co-design phase with everyone who wants to be involved.

We intend to keep using this forum to bring transparency and collaboration to its development.

These are some of the questions we want to discuss here, what do you think?

![:leftwards_arrow_with_hook:](upload://8eNOWZC6SW4Bop0u61gpCIB9ayp.png ":leftwards_arrow_with_hook:") Reply and let us know!

  1. Which governance/accountability model do we want for this tool? Who and how should decisions being made?
  2. Which are the initial categories we want to enable? Which communities would they support?
  3. What’s the right use of categories and tags to serve our needs?
  4. How will we handle conversations on other languages than English? And location-based conversations?
  5. How do we ensure proper moderation? Who should have access (and how) to global and per-category moderation?
  6. Are there other open question you want to discuss?

Please reply to this message with your ideas, for clarity we will move/split into separate topics the most popular ones.

After March 31st the group of people who has been supporting this effort will consolidate all the feedback and we’ll present back to the community on this forum for further engagement. Follow this topic to get updates.

![:blush:](upload://feHkV1WITNDmSWmGyldOhSnALJt.png ":blush:") Thanks for your time and interest in helping shape the future of OSM conversations!

PS: Not familiar with Discourse? Check this guide or send a message to @discobot to get tips and tricks.

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Ce sujet de discussion accompagne la publication sur https://community.openstreetmap.org/t/welcome-to-the-forum-get-involved-in-the-next-steps-here/219