Talk:OLPC News

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News or opinion?

The score so far:


  • Homunq suggested OLPC News as a source of news.
  • Wayan Vota, the publisher and ex-Director of Geekcorps, says it's an "independent source for news, information, commentary, and discussion" (at least get it right, guys)


  • Walter Bender says that OLPC News is a source of opinion, not news.
  • Mokurai says that OLPC News has a biased (negative) editorial policy, but does publish news. And rumor. On the other hand, Wayan will accept articles expressing positive opinions. Mokurai, a well-known OLPC booster, is a regular contributor to OLPC News.

Your views here.

Boosters vs. Naysayers


Original Discussion

Moved here from Talk:Main Page#OLPC_news_blog.

OLPC News is an independent source of news on OLPC. It is generally a better source of news than this wiki, because it is just news, with no additional goals of volunteer organization, documentation, recruitment, or fundraising. This lets it be more critical of OLPC project weaknesses, though it is intended as constructive criticism. Also, being a blog rather than a wiki is a friendlier format for news. Homunq 22:15, 3 November 2007 (EDT)

OLPC news is a source of independent opinion of about the project, but it is a real stretch to refer to it as a source of news. It also has been the source of speculation and misinformation about the project. --Walter 22:11, 6 November 2007 (EST)

Oh Walter, don't be so bitter. OLPC News is an independent view of One Laptop Per Child that often scoops even OLPC and its wiki on news, speculates on the impact of XO distribution that you refuse to explore, and discusses all aspects of OLPC information - the good, bad, and ugly. And as Homunq rightly points out, its all about constructive criticism - a key aspect of learning and education in every society. Might it be part of OLPC's culture too? Wayan Vota, editor, OLPC News

As a contributor to OLPC News, I can confirm Walter's assertions. It isn't all, or even mostly, constructive. It is a forum for the naysayers, the armchair analysts, the envious, and me, the lone supporter.
Wayan Vota tells me that he supports the goals of the laptop project, but doesn't believe that OLPC knows what it is doing. He has invited every possible complaint about the project, justified or not, to counter what he considers to be hype from Nicholas Negroponte. I disagree with this strategy, and spend most of my time there shooting down rumors and other misinformation. But I also get to talk about the good the laptops can do.
I don't know where Homunq gets the idea that you can't criticize the project on the wiki. I have aired many complaints here. You can even post misinformation here, as you see. ;-> --Mokurai 19:59, 7 November 2007 (EST)
I didn't mean that criticism was out of bounds here, just that here it must coexist with some (healthy) boosterism. I think that things like the OLPC status by country page here are... optimistic to the point of stretching credibility,
Yes, they turned out all wrong. Instead of six or eight countries buying a million units each, we have three countries ordering 410,000 so far. But it's early still.--Mokurai 13:51, 2 December 2007 (EST)
but I also think that extreme optimism is the right of, and the proper attitude for, someone involved in a change-the-world project like this one. In general, the attitude here on the wiki minimizes the work left to do. A ground-up redesign of UI, security model, user filesystem, and networking (both physical and user-model); porting of applications; deployment in a world where relatively few ministries of education own their own textbook content (and thus development of mountains of content); training 10**4 teachers then scaling to 10**7; with Microsoft sniping and others just honestly competing at every step; and I'm sure there are items I forgot; these are huge tasks, and while I have deep respect for what's been done, there's a long way to go and success is by no means guaranteed.
It is entirely appropriate that this wiki NOT be a place to say things like "this will never work". It is also appropriate that there be another place where such sentiments are not out of bounds. And it is more healthy if those two fora are linked. No regular user of OLPCNews is unaware of the wiki; I think it would be best if the reverse were true too. Maybe you wouldn't feel like "the lone supporter" anymore... Homunq 20:22, 14 November 2007 (EST)
I created an OLPC News page here on the Wiki. Let us take this argument to the Discussion page there.--Mokurai 14:05, 2 December 2007 (EST)
I'm sorry, but as a long-time but esporadic reader of olpcnews, it reads to me that the editor(s) take _every_ chance to put down olpc project and ideals, even when they might superficially be praising it to the heavens. For an anedoctical example, all photos on the blog have cynical subtitles for it. It is also known that right in the beginings of olpcnews, there were ads plastered on olpc and simillar search terms in google. Now, for a non-ad blog, non-revenue blog, putting down money to promote oneself smells fishy to me.

I'm probably not the only one noticing the highly biased "independent news" of olpcnews, so I'll just finish now, and carry on interested in this new, mad, funny internet of ours :) .HoboPrimate 22:45, 14 November 2007 (EST)

Well, according to this Ars Technica forum poster, Wayan Vota is a marketing and sales person with a close affiliation with Intel. Especially interesting is the link to the US State Department letting us know that Vota is a member of the Intel Corporation NGO Advisory Board.

I'll repeat my long-standing assertion: OLPC News is a source of opinion about OLPC. It is not source of news. It also has a long track-record of obfuscating its relationship to OLPC, as evidenced by the number of complaints we at OLPC get about them. --Walter 23:06, 28 November 2007 (EST)


What is the point of this conversation? Complaining? Is anyone suggesting a solution?

OLPC news isn't saying anything that isn't being said in many many many other places. If you have problems with what you consider faulty reporting then we should be responding to OLPCnews in a constructive way. Wayan is correct when he says that he is providing news well before OLPC's PR Channels or the Wiki can. A wiki page is not a stable platform to announce events. A blog is far more conducive to the distribution of information.

I will be glad to help organize responses to negative articles and opinion. I'm in contact with much of the Dev team, and am pretty much constantly on IRC. And I feel confident that Wayan would love to to partake in open conversation.

If there has been a lack of this, or any error, it has been in OLPC's mishandling of PR. Let's fix it. is for Insects 14:41, 3 December 2007 (EST)

The point is not to complain about the quality or accuracy of OLPC News--it is no better or worse than many other alleged news sites. But the fact that for over one year I have had people complain to me about things they are writing--the most recent being this evening--reenforces my argument that they have not done enough to make it clear to their readers that they are in no way affiliated with OLPC. They are the only 'independent source for news, information, commentary, and discussion of One Laptop Per Child's "$100 laptop" computer' that pretends to be otherwise in order to gain audience share and credibility. I am not and have not asked that they stop saying what they are saying--as much as their being fast and loose with facts annoys me--it is their steadfast refusal to come clean in terms of their lack of affiliation. Their masthead disclaimer is about as useful as the warning label on a pack of cigarettes--designed to be ignored. --Walter 03:07, 6 December 2007 (EST)
By being the first strong poster about OLPC in blogspace, Wayan Vota has established his blog as the main OLPC blog. Google and Technorati blog searches point people to his site before all others. I have no doubt this harms the project and its goals. Take a look at these posts and their comments: from 12/1/06 and from 8/21/06. If you don't think the aggressive tone and the concatenated insinuations damage the program, then you're tone deaf. If you think responding "in a constructive way" will accomplish anything then you're hopelessly naive. I don't think Vota is an agent of any commercial rival, even the one he works for. I think of him more like the boy Buddy Pine in the movie "The Incredibles", who, his help rejected, became Mr. Incredible's resentful enemy Syndrome. The guy's a nightmare. Walter, perhaps the OLPC Foundation's attorneys could suggest a more strongly-worded disclaimer for Mr. Vota's masthead. ~ Hexagonal 12:46, 12 December 2007 (EST)
A much bigger problem is that typing "olpc" into a browser URL bar won't get you here. It goes to a site that, among other things, tries to sell you non-OLPC laptops. Compared to this horror, olpcnews is really nothing at all. There is some method involving WIPO and/or ICANN for OLPC to get that domain name. It's well-justified in this case. 22:02, 13 December 2007 (EST)