Talk:Summer Of Content Proposal/Archive

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Sign up

If you're interested in helping out, put your name and contact information in the list below. This is a list of interested individuals - it does not guarantee acceptance into the program, but it does mean we'll know who to contact once the ball gets rolling for that!

Summer Pilot (Mid-July to end of Aug 2007)

See Summer of Content 2007 page for information on how to sign up.

Winter 2008 SoCon (Dec 2007 - Feb 2008)

Mentor orgs / Mentors

  • One Laptop Per Child
    Mel Chua (firstname at firstnamelastname dot com)

Interested students

Summer 2008 SoCon (End of May 2008 - start of Aug 2008)

Mentor orgs / Mentors

Interested students

Initial feedback

Wow Mel

That was pretty quick! This is a great project concept and I look forward to the community helping to refine these ideas.

Perhaps the first Summer of Content project should be to design the project.

We will need to think very carefully about the levels of summer funding support when working internationally. For example, $4500 in many developing countries is more than the average annual income! Not that I'm saying that students across the world are not deserving of an internationally based rate!

The issue is to respect the dignity of people from around the world and how best to achieve this. I'm not sure tha I have the answers - but together, I know that we will find the solutions. Perhaps we should contact and engage with the professional student bodies around the world for advice.

A great start Mel - this can make a difference.

Cheers --Mackiwg 08:41, 4 July 2007 (CEST)

PS Mel I'm VERY excited about this proposal - smart thinking! --Mackiwg 08:58, 4 July 2007 (CEST)

Thanks, Wayne. (And thanks for your patience! I just got back to Boston in time to crawl out from under a pile of several thousand emails, but my laptop and I are back in action now. :) I'm excited about this too! We should talk to the Google Summer of Code folks about how they've been running things - hear the wisdom of the folks who have done this before, and maybe even see if we can collaborate between the two programs somehow... I think SJ has been in touch with them. Mchua 19:56, 5 July 2007 (CEST)

Mel - you're right - the wisdom of hindsight will promote our success - Anything we can learn from the Google Summer of Code folks is to our advantage - I'd really like us to capture try an capture the innovation angle of the Google Summer of Code project - not sure how we will get this right. That's why smart minds like yours are needed in projects like this!

10% the amounts?

I like the idea of starting with ~10x as many projects, for 10% the amount, focusing strongly on the developing parts of the world where, as Wayne points out, a $4500 stipend is unreasonable.

Then you could do things like offer clusters of funding for groups working together on larger projects, which may make sense for content communities that aren't natively used to using remote collaborative tools, and now only have to have one person per group who knows how to integrate with these far-off entitites (and teaches the rest in the process).

Sj 01:02, 6 July 2007 (CEST)

I think SJ is right here - we need to think very carefully about the quantum amount for a stipend. What is realistic, and what is doable here? Would smaller projects using a bounty approach achieve better results or fewer bigger projects? Perhaps a combination of both? Let's think this through in terms of the realities of our world ...;-(. --Mackiwg 06:36, 6 July 2007 (CEST)

Moving quickly

In Mel's spirit of doing something right away, I think we should think in terms of getting a trial underway immediately, and having a proper start by the end of this year. No point in waiting, and there is a real lens of interest right now. I'm working to get a list of 30 sponsoring orgs this week; this should be enough to get started. If each grant is under $600 in all for the early trials, and we can find $60k, we could get 100 projects underway -- which would likely cross the tipping point for interest and organizational momentum to launch a really good program in the next iteration. Sj 01:07, 6 July 2007 (CEST)

From my experience a 600K grant is not easy to achieve - $60K is achievable. Once we have achieved demonstrable success, the 600K is within our reach. --Mackiwg 06:36, 6 July 2007 (CEST)

Southern summers

We should have a southern "summer of content" that is restricted to creators from the south... cf. also how Y Combinator handles switching between locations every season to launch startups. Sj

That's a smart move to ensure wide global participation. We must remember that in the southern hemisphere the Summer break is far shorter than the North. At most 6 weeks compared with 3 months in this part of the world. --Mackiwg 06:36, 6 July 2007 (CEST)
Perhaps build on other initiatives. For example, extend the groundwork of the Developer Roadshows - renewed energy needed here. Ktucker 08:44, 14 August 2007 (CEST)

Braindump from Mel


  • Sooner is better. A pilot asap (before winter term) will get publicity and work kinks out. Let's not be afraid of not knowing what we're doing - all we need to prove is that we're capable of figuring it out as we go along (and we more than are).
  • Pay: Let's try out a balance point and say $100/wk for 5 weeks for a project scope intended to be a full-time 5-week project for a *beginner* to open content. This lets the beginning students in the developing world who need more time/help to get started compete with the more advanced students in the developed world where $100 isn't much, but who already (say) edit Wikipedia incessantly. We can even say that "preference will be given to students from the developing world."

Right Now - Pilot pilot!

  • Do we need to set up a legal entity to handle the payments to students for the pilot? If so, that's step 1 (running in parallel w/ everything else.) Where can we find out about the legal/financial issues behind running such a program - ask Google?
  • As soon as the proposal is in less of a state of flux (end of Mon.) put up a webpage and contact the 30 orgs on SJ's list, get mentors.
  • Simultaneously, get funding ($60k).
  • Pilot with 5-week projects and no Jam at the end; 100 students at $600 apiece ($60k total; $500 to each student and $100 to each mentor org), open to all students regardless of location. Announce as soon as we are sure we've got the money. Goal: App deadline July 18, work starts July 22, ends Aug 31. All money to be paid upon satisfactory mentor evals at project's end.

Winter =

  • Southern Hemisphere jam as currently scheduled; 6-week projects (full-time jobs), $1000 apiece this time ($900 to student, $100 to mentor org) but with 50 projects now ($50k funding needed). Worry about this at the end of July once the pilot is underway.


  • Full-blown Summer Jam. Worry about this much later, once the winter jam is underway.

Mentoring projects

  • OLPC (needs a [set of] project page[s])
    mentors: lk, sj, mel; see also xavi, mitchell (pow of 10), ?
  • Free Culture Spaces (needs initial space maintainer)
    mentors: Tim
  • Content Jam / Bar Camps (need organizers)
    mentors: mel, ian?, shimon?
  • Jamendo / Antenna Alliance
  • E.O.Wilson Foundation:
    mentors: charles

Open licensing projects

  • CC Learn, OSI
    mentors: [someone from LOC]
    target publishers, authors, archives

Meta projects

  • Outreach
    mentors: Wayne? Erik Moeller
  • Mesh for open content
    mentors: OERCommons?, CC Learn?, LOC?, Heather Ford
  • Project defintions : what is useful
    mentors: ?

New projects

  • Orphaned books project
    mentors: aaronsw, phoebe
  • Localization
    mentors: Zaheda Bhorat (google), et al, Todd K, Og
  • Mesh of existing collections
    mentors: [librarian], sj
    archives -- museums, libraries, encyclopedias of learning / for kids
    recorded / multimedia versions of same
    subdivide by culture and language


(to come based on responses)

Potential Partners

Organizing Institutions

  • Commonwealth of Learning
  • One Laptop Per Child

Sponsoring Institutions

Mentoring Institutions

  • Commonwealth of Learning (WikiEducator)
  • One Laptop Per Child (Content community)
  • Wikimedia (Wikipedia, Wikibooks)
  • WorldWideWorkshop? (Lesson plans, games)
  • Make Magazine? (Fun/practical DIY activities)

Testing Institutions

  • Local schools (all levels)?

Anticipated Outcomes

Risk assessment

Notes from original proposal

(Comment.gif: I think that we should be creative about different funding models. For example a mentoring organisation underwrites the payment by individual contract with the student. The Summer of Content project pursues funding from the international donor community to help fund institutions who may not have the necessary funds to support the project)

(Comment.gif: Should we also consider coding like projects? - for example the development of a Cool Mediawiki extension that supports and promotes free content development. --Mackiwg 08:46, 4 July 2007 (CEST))

(Comment.gif: I don't think so. If students develop code en route to developing content (writing a Gimp plugin in order to create a photo gallery etc) that's awesome, but the end goal should be the production of content; I believe Google's Summer of Code fills the "develop software to promote free content" niche very well. We should talk to them about that. Mchua 19:52, 5 July 2007 (CEST))

(Comment.gif: I see your point - but I think that we should encourage the development, for example of COOL MW templates that facilitate and improve our ability to develop content. The neat thing about the Google Summer of Code project is that it encourages innovation. Students and young folk are natural innovators before working life stifles innovation. What do you think?)

(Comment.gif: I think that part of Open Content creation on a MediaWiki may necessitate the use of Templates if possible and the associated parsers etc that are available in the content environment. Coding PHP is another story all together and has a heap of issues that are probably best left to Summer of Code, but MediaWiki template syntax etc is not that far from a type of sophisticated grammar with a bit of logic thrown in. We need to think a bit outside the old 'content' box and start incorporating the sub-syntaxes that are actually driving the emergence of a new types of content. brent 04:00, 6 July 2007 (CEST))

(Comment.gif: We may need to get a list of Mentoring organizations on the list before we start. However we also can accommdate mentoring organisations to apply as the project matures and grows. --Mackiwg 00:15, 6 July 2007 (CEST))

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