[IAEP] OLPC's bizarre behaviors

Bernie Innocenti bernie at laptop.org
Thu May 22 16:01:29 EDT 2008

C. Scott Ananian wrote:

> I would like to nominate SJ and Adam for the role of interim
> community liason, as they've done a fantastic job to date
> building and nourishing their respective content and support
> communities.

SJ and Adam did a great job in the past to leverage and
organize the community around OLPC, so I think they'd be
perfect fits for this job.

However, it seems most of the communication work needs to be
directed *within* OLPC rather than towards its discontent

Folks were alienated for a number of reasons, most very easy
to grasp even without holding a degree in community building.
One might consider reviewing some of the abundant criticism
published in the open by people including Greg, RMS, Wayan,
Ivan and Mako.  And maybe pick some of their advice.

A very important first step in the right direction would be
suppressing all those secret mailing lists and bring most of
the communication back on devel at .

Yes, there might be a small amount of confidentiality even
within an open source charity.  The same kind of things mommy
and daddy would keep secret for the good of the family.
Transparency is an *essential* precondition for regaining the
trust of donors, volunteers and all plenty of other idealistic
people who believe in reinventing education.
Is there a better argument for secrecy besides "our new business
partners demand us to keep all our agreements secret?"

Restoring transparency would be just the first step, but an
important step.

> Concrete things I'd like to see a liason take charge of:
>  a) monthly  tech "mini-conferences" to present current work and wild ideas
>  b) the same for deployments, to exchange success stories, challenges,
> and curricula

> a)
> [...]
> d)

Good ideas.

>  e) A more broadly-focused "community news", agressively seeking out
> and incorporating local as well as "offical OLPC" content

Restoring the old weekly news posted to devel@ would be a good
start.  Perhaps even publishing the longer version that went by
the name of "below the line" or something like that.

>   f)
> [...]
>   h)

Very good ideas too.

I'd like to stress, Scott, that your efforts towards improving
communication are, as always, *very* welcome.

  _| X |  Bernie Innocenti - http://www.codewiz.org/
  \|_O_|  "It's an education project, not a laptop project!"

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