Summer of Content 2007/Archive


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What is the Summer of Content?

In a nutshell, Summer of Content (SoCon) is a program where open-content mentor organizations are matched with interns to create free and open content (anything from writing textbooks to organizing free culture conferences to shooting movies to translating books, and more). SoCon provides matchmaking and a stipend to all interns who successfully complete a project (according to a final evaluation the mentor writes). And t-shirts, of course. It's similar to Google's Summer of Code program but aimed at a different demographic; with a larger number of smaller stipends, we're hoping to encourage people (both students and non-students) in the developing world with less experience in "free culture" to begin contributing to open content.

For more information about the Summer of Content program overall, click here; also see the Summer of content page.

The proposals above are still very much a draft; we're looking for people and organizations to work with us on it so that we can run a full round with projects starting in December, a "Southern Summer" (focusing on contributors from the aforementioned hemisphere). If you're interested, please contact us, and consider this an invitation to edit this page and the Talk page with ideas.

Summer of content 2007: Pilot Round

In the meantime, several organizations are collaborating on a small pilot run (Aug-Sept 2007) to test out the idea. We're looking for more - if you'd like to join us, let us know.

To get the SoCon pilot ("Summer of content 2007") off the ground quickly, OLPC is coordinating matchmaking, testing, an open development community, and audiences to use the results immediately. Note that OLPC is "coordinating" for the Summer 2007 round only - we're hoping to pass coordination duties to another group for the Southern Summer round, perhaps rotating coordination duties between the partner orgs, or having us all collaborate to start a tiny nonprofit group to handle this - it's something to discuss.

To make things simple for this summer's trial of the initiative, no central group is providing funds; sponsor orgs provide both mentorship and a ~$500US stipend for each intern they'd like to sponsor. If you can offer only one or the other, we'll try to further match you with another half-sponsor. This should be the first of many summers of content -- two summers a year (one for each hemisphere) -- and future instances will likely involve larger stipends, more students, and better centralization of funds.

Who is the Summer of content program for?

  • 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 5 weeks. Guaranteed to Get Things Done. (TM)
  • 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.
  • 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. (If you've contributed to open content before but would like to do more, we want you as well!) Plus at the end, you'll have a finished project you can proudly show off in your portfolio.


If you'd like to hold a Summer of Content event (for instance, a local gathering of all Summer of Content interns in your city) list yours here! Major official program dates have been outlined in yellow.

  • Jul 16 - Jul 23 - launch, begin publicity work, recruiting mentor orgs and mentors, interns begin applying
  • Jul 23-25 - large publicity launch
  • Aug 2 - external project suggestions end; interns continue to work on applications
  • Aug 5 - applications due
  • Aug 6-8 - mentor orgs and SoCon match up mentors with interns
  • Aug 10 - all interns and mentors have been notified
  • Aug 10 - Kickoff, project work begins
  • Sep 24 - End celebration, project work ends

Get involved

We're still reaching out with organizations to collaborate with (if you're interested, please let us know).

Right now, you can Sign Up (leave us a way to contact you), propose a project, or propose a mentor/sponsor org. This talk page will soon be refactored into a page of its own.

In the meantime, talk to clever students, teachers, retired folks, and anyone else who would be interested in creating open materials for children... and have time to work on such things this summer. Once we announce the program, we will only have a matter of a few weeks to spread the word and take in and process applications.

If you're one of the aforementioned clever students, teachers, retired folks, or otherwise an open content enthusiast, you can also drop us a line (contact information below) and let us know if you'd be interested in being an intern, a mentor, or contributing in some other way.

If you're interested or have any questions about the Summer of content program or the current Summer of Content 2007 run, contact Mel Chua or sj.

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