OLPC volunteers portal

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  • Interns - If you are interested in this project, add your name to the Interested interns section below along with a brief description of why you're interested and why you'd be a good mentor for this project, along with any specific ideas for execution you might have beyond the project description.
  • Mentors - If you are interested in this project, add your name to the Interested mentors section below along with a brief description of why you're interested and why you'd be a good mentor for this project, along with any specific ideas for execution you might have beyond the project description.
  • Others - If you are interested in this project in a role other than that of potential mentor or potential intern (example: you are an organization, a potential end-user/tester, may have helpful resources, or want to be notified if the project is chosen), add your name to the Other interested parties section below with contact information and details.
  • Everyone - Contribute to the project description on this page, or discuss this project on the associated talk page.

The deadline for editing this proposal or adding yourself to the list is 11:59pm EST (GMT-5) on August 6, 2007.

Project goals


  • Creating an OLPC Portal that makes the volunteering process easy, simple, and clear and that convinces people join the OLPC community.


  • Organizing a friendly welcome message that gives new users self-confidence and motivation to be an OLPC volunteer.
  • Creating a system that generate personal contact between new users and mentors so that potential volunteers receive help, fast feedback, and are well-guided in projects they are interested in.
  • Creating a introduction section that describes briefly and what the OLPC project is and its importance for the developing nations.
  • Get together a list of relevant communities (By languages, by nations, by activity) in which volunteers can get involved and contribute.
  • Organizing a section with useful links to find tutorials,resources and volunteer's work.
  • Encourage and help volunteers start their own projects and assist them in preparing a clear plan for their proposal.

Project description

The main goal of this project is to help streamline the volunteering process, so that volunteers can quickly and easily find relevant communities and begin contributing to the project. This would involve, first and foremost, construction and organization of a volunteer portal that newcomers would be directed to. From there, they would be introduced to the basics of the project, get an idea of what different communities are working on, and be able to not only identify potentially interesting projects, but feel free to contribute to those projects as well as proposing their own.

Currently, volunteering for OLPC can be a somewhat confusing process; finding one's way to the wiki is in itself quite a task. Potential volunteers are generally directed to the wiki by people already involved in the project, which creates a barrier for those who do not know anyone working on the project. The activation energy required of a potential volunteer who has not been recruited by a current volunteer/OLPC employee is quite high, which is undoubtedly discouraging. My main goal for Summer of Content will be to help alleviate this problem and make volunteering easier to get into, so that more energy can be directed towards working on projects, instead of trying to figure out how to get started (or leaving).

Some steps in this process will include:

  • Organizing a metalist of the various active OLPC communities (art, game development, translation, etc.)
  • Deriving an organizational structure for these listing communities
  • Organizing a new user welcoming protocol (something along the lines of the [Wikipedia Welcoming committee])
  • Creating a coherent volunteer portal that can be linked to from the main page
What I'd like to be able to include:


By the end of the project, there should be a coherent volunteer portal that newcomers can use to navigate the wiki, learn basic OLPC wiki etiquette, and get involved with relevant communities.

Possible extensions

  • Could be split into several projects - making the portal and working with community groups, writing a "how to welcome newcomers" and a "you're new to OLPC - now what?" guide, holding a series of online (or in-person) introductory tutorial sessions for newbies like the Drupal Dojo does.
  • Mel started a braindump here: User:Mchua/Volunteers_portal At some point this should probably be merged back into the main discussion.

Interested interns

Nicole (Nikki) Lee

Nicole (Nikki) Lee - firstname.lastname@students.olin.edu

I'm really interested in making volunteering more accessible, especially after the confusing and sometimes bewildering (but rewarding) experience that was getting involved in OLPC. I worked with Jessi to develop community:Art. Although I don't have specific experience running tutorials, I have a fair amount of general teaching experience. I've done one-on-one tutoring and taught martial arts (teaching one-on-one, in small groups, and in large groups, with children and adults).

Interested mentors

Mel Chua (OLPC)

Mel Chua - firstname@firstnamelastname.com. I'm particularly interested in the creation of a generalizable "welcome!" process for an open-content project; when groups say "how can we get more new volunteers involved in X?" I'd like to have a good guide to point them towards. I can offer experience running both virtual and in-person tutorials for newbies in both technical and nontechnical subjects (OLPC Jams, OLPC Review squad, TAing undergrad engineering classes) as well as teacher training and creating teacher training materials, which is similar to this project's need to "welcome the welcomers."

Other interested parties