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olpcMAP retreat in NH! January 18, 2011

Adam, Nick and I drove to Nancie’s house in Lebanon, NH early on Sunday. The house is very spacious and could very possibly host next global OLPC Summit 😉
Between 4 of us we started working on our 7 computers (including XOs) in the dining room next to the window overlooking beautiful valley.
Our main goal was to create immediate action plan for the map:
1. Raise awareness. Not all OLPC/Sugar contributors know about the map. We thought that the best approach would be to find active volunteers in each country and ask them to map themselves, together with their colleagues and local deployments if any. We identified countries/regions that are either not represented or underrepresented like Japan, Middle East, former Soviet Union and others. Then we divided continents. Nick wrote in Japanese to someone from the localization team in Japan. He also wrote to Bruno, the creator of GCompris activities. Adam wrote to OLPC Morocco and promised to follow up on the whole Middle East section of the map. Nancie decided to cover Asia and I – Russia and adjacent territories. By the end of the day Bruno (France) together with Moroccan group and three new Russian deployments appeared on the map.
2. Updates. We want to feature updates about the map and OLPC. I want it for content delivery via some kind of newsletter or datafeed. Nick told us about (anti- Facebook) that summarizes all Facebook updates that are public by search engine, say, OLPC. We want all of these updates to be fed into the map. The same with new activity on the  map itself (new dots appeared, etc.) Now you can see recently updated pins at these links: in Google Maps and in Google Earth (download once, it updates each time you open Google Earth)

I wrote to Alex, who is designated to be the Voice of olpcMAP, to ask for her opinion on what should be in the newsletter/datafeed and how often. Possible ideas: (featured volunteer of the month, student of the month with his/her work sample, question of the month, jobs/internships posted, new events, new achievements, other highlights, maybe new contributor program recipients, Sunday talk announcement, or recordings from those talks, quiz/trivia question, etc. Newsletter is a summary of latest updates, similar to SJ’s We still need olpcMAPblog  on the map and twitter updates to go on the map… Nancie insisted we create Facebook page olpcMAP.
3. Redesign Help. We discussed a more transparent version of support gang support integrated into the map. We could prompt people to try their questions through the search window and get the best close answer from our magic archive, that would have 100 FAQs, and ask real-time human section, which would be forum for all, so that public, including active OLPC volunteers would answer and comment on. Both are still work in progress. From Adam: “Peer mentoring/tutoring is much more than a slogan, much like age-old comparison-shopbots like Consumer Reports, and we should learn methodically from it. Something similar, but better than: Yahoo!_Answers and“.
4. Develop Profile page. Nick said: “A separate profile page would make it easier to beautify your map point and edit new sections, without working inside Google Maps on a multi-part form. More on this later. My first, un-stylish design for a profile page is“.
We also watched two videos, both relevant to what we do: one about motivation RSA’s Drive and the other about why people volunteer and what to do next from National Conference on Volunteering and Service 2010 in NYC.
On the way back I asked both Adam and Nick, what triggered creation of  olpcMAP in October 2010. It turns out one of the triggers was ok from official OLPC, another – good timing due to big gathering of OLPC supporters in SF and other ones. I was wondering because the portal/map was asked by many and not ones, including me both in person during my meeting with Adam in Jan and on my blog back in March 2010.  That is why I was so happy to go to the Summit in SF and help with the map creation, as my wish was coming true. I guess, time was right this time.

Thank you, Nancie, for your hospitality and incredible chocolate chip cookies, Nick for delish brownies, Adam – for organizing the trip and its logistics! For more info, see Nancie’s post.


One Response to “olpcMAP retreat in NH!”

  1. Nancie Severs Says:

    It is both fun and productive for volunteers to meet face to face!

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