Talk:Community Jam Boston


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Needs revising

The rest of this page is now out of date.
I'll update it soon so it makes sense with our current plans.
See the main "article" page for the latest info.

How many tracks?

Does splitting into two tracks (technical track for sw development workshop, creative story-boarding track for kids and non-technical adults) sound like a good and workable plan? --Edward F.

Speaking as someone who regularly straddles the tech/nontech barrier, my highly biased opinion is that I'd rather have a single "track" for everyone with attendee-driven spontaneous scheduling of shorter (30min - 2hrs) breakout "workshops." Many OLPC projects happen at the boundaries of multiple fields, coders and teachers and parents and children all enlighten each other when they collide in conversation, and the tidbits of ideas from "other" fields you pick up in the background are often the most valuable idea-sparks for your own project. At least that's been my experience. Mchua 23:45, 7 February 2008 (EST)


To explain the "attendee-driven spontaneously-scheduled workshops" a bit more, I'm envisioning something like the Barcamp scheduling process. A huge schedule grid of half-hour blocks and rooms is laid out on one wall (or blackboard). It's blank except for mealbreaks, opening, and closing.

After the opening (when scheduling is explained - it's also usually explained on the wiki and emailed out to attendees beforehand so people can prep), people can surge forward and write down their names and presentations/workshops they'd like to give in any blank time/room space. That becomes the schedule. It's usually not filled in from the start - blank spaces are populated as the event goes on in response to conversations people have, common questions that pop up, and so on. Schedule collisions are worked out via the people involved talking to each other.

Simple, very little administration required, highly participatory and reactive, and Very, Very Fun. I think this might add more of a grassroots-participation dynamic (and less administrative overhead) than pre-scheduling two separate tracks. Plus we can pull volunteers to run short workshops for kids of various ages (2-3 of those can be put on the calendar ahead of time if needed), and the children and their parents can choose when to come in/out. Mchua 23:45, 7 February 2008 (EST)

Rooms and space

[the number and type of tracks] affects choice of venue for breakout room and appropriate space. --Edward F.

Some Jam space recommendations (some of these can be the same room - I'm describing functions, not necessarily separate locations)
  • eating space / lounging space
  • communal working room - easily movable/groupable tables, copiously available power outlets and wifi, whiteboards and blackboards galore, relatively isolated from outside noise; this is where the Blackboard of Scheduling goes
  • big presentation space for opening/closing - projector and wifi, some way for everyone to see the person talking (standing on a chair/table is an option, though not insanely ideal)
  • little nooks for breakout workshops
  • demo space - think poster session, a way for teams to "set up" their demos on a table somewhere people can walk through during "judging"

Mchua 23:45, 7 February 2008 (EST)


Candidate days are either Sunday April 27 or Saturday May 3. We have some preference for April 27 but can be flexible. Sounds like Mel is not available then, only for May 3 -- right? --Edward F.

Yeah, Seth and I will be presenting on the other end of the country ( - also OLPC, probably running a similar Jam) then. Mchua 23:45, 7 February 2008 (EST)


Also, I'm considering asking attendees to pre-register (at zero cost) so we can anticipate attendance (and cap it if need be). We can set up a web registration mechanism for this. --Edward F.

Very, very good idea. Another good thing is to require people to sign up in teams - *or* commit to being "experts on call" without a dedicated project of their own (they've got to actually be experts, though! things like "I know Python inside and out and will help anyone debug their program," or "I'm a graphic designer and will make art for any project," or "I teach interface design for medical devices and will consult with any medical or interface related group," etc.) Give them a mailing list or wikipage solo people can use to find likeminded teammates beforehand. Mchua 23:45, 7 February 2008 (EST)


Let's do this at the Cambridge Science Festival, if Edward's keen on the idea (I've just pinged him on email).

Basically (to recap the idea under discussion between AuntiMame and Nlee, as far as I can tell) silkscreens with pre-made designs, plus squeegees and various colors of ink, are laid out on a table. People can choose designs and colors and make their own tshirts (or totes, or more or less anything silkscreenable, for that matter) Attendees bring their own things to silkscreen and (possibly) chip in a flat fee per item; we can also get a big stack of white t-shirts for folks who don't bring their own (less of a problem if this gets run throughout the entire CSF on the side somewhere and people can come back bearing an old shirt). Non-OLPC screens can be provided as well (generic CSF screens, etc.) - maybe other organizations would chip in to fund materials costs if OLPC volunteers offered to do the staffing?

You get (1) instant souvenirs, (2) personalized ones, too! (3) attendee participation, yay and (4) no overstock, as all unused materials are "blank" and can be used for any other event afterwards that you like.

Nikki, do you have any numbers from the Open shirt-screening event to give a rough idea on how much this might cost to do? Mchua 11:19, 21 February 2008 (EST)

Don't have any right now, but can ask about it. A lot of the cost is labor - you have to make the frames for the screens, get the screens onto the frames (stretching them out properly), tape the edges so that paint doesn't leak, and then get the actual designs on (photo emulsion works best for this).
--Nikki 00:37, 22 February 2008 (EST)

Contextual information lacking

The page lacks contextual information that the organizers of the event and people close to it would all know, but many of the people that they're attempting to get interested in it may not know.

  • Where is MIT's Stata Center?
  • What else is going to be at the Science Festival/Where can one find out more about the Science Festival?

Note that the second point might not be as big of a deal, except that the Cambridge, UK Science Festival has better google links at the moment.

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