Proposal to subscribe to an email platform for all of OSGeo committees

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Proposal to subscribe to an email platform for all of OSGeo committees

stevenfeldman
I have been talking with Malena about a replacement for our MailChimp account for FOSS4G. 

Our current subscription is paused as it was costing us about $100 per month for 10-15k contacts even though we weren’t sending emails, we can restart the account whenever we need to and start paying the bill again.

We have been looking at lower cost ways to send bulk emails to potential delegates for FOSS4G and based on some recommendations and reviews we think Sendy.co would work for us. If anyone has experience of Sendy please chip in now with your views. There is a one time cost of $59 for a Sendy license which we would need to install on our own server and then a cost of $1 per 10k emails for the Amazon SES mail service plus a bit more for attachments.

If we sent up to 100k emails per month (10 campaigns to 10k contacts) with a few graphics our costs would be about $25 per month which is a fraction of the costs with MailChimp.

I propose that OSGeo purchases a Sendy license, sets up the self hosted service on our infrastructure and signs up for the Amazon Simple Email Service. We should set this up in a way that allows our Marketing Committee, Regional FOSS4Gs and other groups to have access to the service for managing and sharing (with appropriate privacy controls) mailing lists. This would provide continuity from year to year for our events organisers and could also form the basis for an ongoing dialogue with sponsors

Malena and Maria are keen to move our contacts out of MailChimp and to get started mailing people re FOSS4G2021 as soon as possible.

Cheers
______
Steven

Unusual maps in strange places -  mappery.org

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Re: [OSGeo-Conf] [Marketing] Proposal to subscribe to an email platform for all of OSGeo committees

delawen
Hi!

On Tue, Sep 15, 2020 at 5:44 PM Jonathan Neufeld <[hidden email]> wrote:

Hi All,

 

I think the conversation about saving money and aligning digital practices with group values is important, and I’d like to add some additional context.

 

  • FOSS4G is a major event with a major budget, Calgary was expecting to spend ~$1M for 1,200 people

Not all FOSS4G have the same budget, this is very dependent on the country it is hosted in. Unless we grow in numbers a lot, I don't think outside the USA and Canada the budget will get close to 1M soon.
Comparing for example with last 2019 FOSS4G in Europe, the planned budget was less than half a million[1]. Which is even higher than usual budgets outside Europe (2018 Dar was even lower[2]).

But for simplicity, let's say we have a 1M budget every year.
 
  • Saving $75 per month sounds like a lot, but over a year that’s $900; that’s one Bronze sponsorship.
    • That’s 0.09% of a $1M budget
  • Is the time and effort required to research, install, migrate, manage, learn, and support a new system worth more or less than $900?
    • Could that time be better spent seeking out a $1,000 sponsorship?

This is a fair question.

But we can turn it around: let me ask you if those $1 000 could be better spent yearly on some OSGeo codesprint funding or project feature development.

Also, consider that our mail base is growing. Checking on the pricing page of mailchimp, those $75 will soon be converted to $130 (if not already). So it would be close to seeking out sponsorship for $2 000. And counting.

Personally, I would prefer something hosted by OSGeo or, at least, paying for some hosted version of a FOSS service. Our aim this year is to have a basic ready to use FOSS stack for all events, so using a FOSS version instead of Sendy or mailchimp fits on the plans.
 
  • Will the next FOSS4G team be able to run with the system as easily as this team?
We don't know about the next FOSS4G team. We can only assume they will be as ready to use Mailchimp as to use Sendy.

We are for sure ready for it, especially because they are very very similar.


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Re: [OSGeo-Conf] [Marketing] Proposal to subscribe to an email platform for all of OSGeo committees

delawen
In reply to this post by stevenfeldman
Hi!

> I'd like to see SAC make a recommendation of what they think is best for them to support at a high level where we don't find ourselves unable to send email for a week or so.  I'll send something to the SAC list asking for input.  Can someone monitor that?  (or maybe SAC will provide feedback here.)  My schedule doesn't allow me to be a reliable participant right now.
>
> I see one of OSGeo's most limited resources to be volunteer system administration.  There is some paid system administration that helps some but even combined SAC resources are limited.  Just to be clear, I think that SAC does a great job with a lot of demand!  Here is part of what is on SAC's plate, https://trac.osgeo.org/osgeo/query?status=assigned&status=new&status=reopened&component=Systems+Admin&order=type&col=id&col=summary&col=component&col=type&col=status&col=priority&col=milestone
>
> I'm inherently concerned about running mail servers, especially mail servers sending images and html messages with links, and things that could have more of the characteristics of spam.  Getting incorrectly listed on a blacklist has a lot of consequences and is not easily or quickly reversible.  See for example, https://trac.osgeo.org/osgeo/ticket/2475

In my experience, and due to the oligopoly of companies "owning"
internet, running a web server properly is very very hard. It is very
easy to be marked as spam if you are not running your mail server on
one of the "big" ones. Did you know that sending a CC to 15 gmail
accounts from your personal mail server is usually seen as highly
suspicious by Google so they bounce the email? That kind of stupid
stuff.

So, with a teared heart, I would totally understand if SAC can't or
won't take care of a mail server that will send "suspicious" emails
like the proverbial "last minute email" to all attendees.

Cheers!
María.
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