Summer of Content 2007


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Summer of Content 2007 +/-

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What is "Summer of Content"?

The Summer of Content (SoCon) program offers budding creators mentorship and stipends to develop open content and run free culture events throughout the world. Inspired by Google's Summer of Code program, our goal is to support a self-sustaining ecosystem of open content by encouraging growth of contributor communities, and attention to communication and accessibility around projects, where they're most needed.

There are two Summer sessions a year, each lasting approximately 10 weeks: a Northern Summer running between June and August and a Southern Summer running between December and February. (The current Northern Summer 2007 is a pilot run, taking place in August and September 2007.)

Each summer, applicants, mentors, and the open content community define open content projects that need working on. Applicants describe the projects they want to work on and the kind of work they want to do. Mentor organizations describe the projects they can support and the mentors they have available. SoCon acts as matchmaker for mentors and interns, and project work begins! The Summer ends with a series of local Jams around the world to showcase and gather feedback on the new creations. (>>more...)

Why "Summer of Content"?

Open content is at a turning point. While a few big memes such as Wikipedia and Creative Commons have brought the concept of free and open content into the public awareness, it remains unclear to many how to apply open licenses and ideas to their own work. Even the most successful open-content projects struggle to turn readers and users into contributors.

On the other hand, there is a growing demand for educational and artistic content that can be freely reused and repurposed. There is excellent infrastructure in place to support modular learning materials and lesson plans, and a growing number of schools and teachers looking to new sources for texts. And there are local authors looking for collaborators and ways to make themselves heard.

By matching potential interns and creators with mentors in organizations that can guide their work, we hope to contribute meaningfully to the pool of shared knowledge. More importantly, by creating and publicizing processes for individuals, organizations, and caretakers of knowledge repositories to get involved in the open-content movement, we hope to provide a route for others to do the same. (>>more...)

Help us improve

The current Northern Summer of Content 2007 session is a pilot, and we would love to hear your thoughts and ideas on how to build the "Summer of Content". Join the discussion about how we can improve it and let us know what you think about what we can do in the long term - starting with the upcoming Southern summer of content from December 2007 to February 2008.

For interns

Get paid to develop free content in an area you're passionate about - in fact, you'll be designing your own projects and writing your own job descriptions for the term. You'll be paired with an experienced mentor who can introduce you to people and guide you through the process, so if you've always wanted to contribute to open content but didn't know quite how to start, this program is for you. And at the end, you'll have a finished project you can proudly show off in your portfolio. (>>more...)

For mentors

Organizations: Do you want more volunteers? Do you have any content projects you'd like to get done - programs you'd like developed, photographs you'd like taken, books you'd like written, anything? We'll help you with matchmaking, coordination, and organization of volunteers for your projects; this is a low-cost, almost no-maintenance way to get publicity, projects, and new contributors all in one, and in just 6 weeks. Guaranteed to Get Things Done. (TM) (>>more...)

Mentors: Looking for a way to help out your favorite open-content organization? Want to support bright new contributors to your field of expertise? Have a project in mind you'd love to see developed for your organization, but don't have the time to do it yourself? We can help. (>>more...)

For everyone else

Kids and testers: We're creating real content for real people, and we need you to tell us if we're getting it right. Now recruiting brave young (and young-at-heart) testers to help us improve the content we're creating by giving us feedback and suggestions, both online and at local Test Jams around the world in September. (>>more...)

Sponsors: Fund a project... or two... or a hundred. At $500 US for each project, a little goes a long way. We also need materials, advice, and support both for projects and the Jam events where they'll make their debut in September. (>>more...)

You can help! Want to lend a hand, but not sure where to start? We need volunteer translators, hosts, matchmakers, publicists, programmers, entrepreneurs, and more. From sending an email to driving a car, helping us plan for the future, or even open-sourcing your own creations, there's a way for you to get involved, and we'd love to have you join us. (>>more...)

Questions or comments?

Feel free to contact the organizers for more:
  • Mel Chua (OLPC, main SoCon contact) - see userpage for contact details, or text message 847.970.8484 for immediate response.
  • SJ Klein (OLPC) - see userpage for contact details.
  • Wayne Mackintosh (CoL) - see userpage for contact details.

Partners: WikiEducator | OLPC
Mentor orgs: Fedora | Google | | EGAP | Curriki

News and project updates

July 18, 2007 - We've launched! 
Thanks to a flurry of behind-the-scenes efforts by many volunteers, we're up, running, and ready for applications just three weeks after the original idea was hatched in a tiny room in Vancouver. Help us brainstorm project ideas, find out how you can be an intern or a mentor, or catch our sessions at Wikimania!


This is the schedule for the Summer of Content 2007 program. If you'd like to hold an event (for instance, a local gathering of all Summer of Content interns in your city) list yours here.

  • Matchmaking: August 1 - September 14
  • Project work: August 17 - October 26 (each intern, with the approval of their mentor, picks the 6-week period that works best for them within that timeframe)
    • 1 week into project: Interns (with the help of mentors) send project plans to SoCon
    • 3 weeks into project: Mentors send interns midterm feedback reports
    • 6 weeks into project: Mentors send interns end-of-session feedback reports
  • October 26: Last day work on projects can be completed; all end-of-session feedback reports must be turned in by the end of this day
  • October 29: End celebration


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