South American Voices Needed at OLPC News


Uruguay and Peru are competing to be the global capital of One Laptop Per Child action and OLPC News editor Christoph Derndorfer is doing an amazing job at covering the action. But he can do only so much, and even though my family is from Mexico, I'm the gringo cousin, unable to speak Spanish. So we have a coverage gap in South American action and I ask for your help.

Who are the new voices that should be heard on OLPC News?

olpc subsidized sales
Pointing to a OLPC News future

Which people have in-depth insight on OLPC-related activities in any country south of the Rio Grande (be they North, Central, or South American), and especially Uruguay, Paraguay, and Peru? And how can we incorporate their work in OLPC News coverage?

For the writer, there is a unique benefit. No one gets paid in cash at OLPC News, but every contributor has found fame and sometimes fortune with the connections and high profile that OLPC News posts can generate.

The future of OLPC News is Spanish

In the long term, OLPC News itself may need to change, and become Una Computadora Portátil por Niño Noticias (or something like that). It sure seems like that now, as South American deployments eclipse all other continent's activities combined. That future OLPC News may not even have me at the helm.

In a Spanish context, I am out of my element, and I'm okay with OLPC News growing beyond my skill set. I've always thought that OLPC News' very existence was a marketing failure by OLPC. But that's another post.

In this one, I ask again for Spanish voices for OLPC News. If that's you or someone you know, send us an e-mail and start the discussion: editor_at_olpcnews_com

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On August 4th, 2006 I bought the domain name with three pretty simple but ambitious goals: [more]

9 Comments was available as of noon central. How serious are you about a Spanish language blog? Would something work where the blog, posts, etc would be different, but a running tally of comments/posts from *both* blogs shown on the right side columns?

BTW, the intensity, practice and even desire to communicate and community are much lower there, people tend to be much less likely to stick their necks out, and they are usually right and wise in their retisence. Most managers have very thin skins, and get really upset and frustrated if criticism or even difficult questions are asked, and are quick to try to find someone to blame - shooting the messenger becomes a real sport of multitudes. If it were possible, it seems that the desire to share information and listen to others is even less than here, more initiatives are affairs conducted behind doors. An interesting example from a couple days back: an upcoming Etoys event that is being organised by some individual even has garnered an official letter of support from the President of Uruguay, *BUT* local Etoys people have not been told about it, much less invited, and this individual is not answering emails or even FcBk pokes...

A site which shares updates from both languages - even if it were mostly English, especially at the beginning - might help a current to start, but it definitely needs to be in the lengua mostly so it can be used by those who only speak Spanish. And then, who knows. Might be history waiting to happen. The (huge) numbers are there.


I'm dead serious. OLPC is fading around the world - its only South America that has the resources and commitment to make OLPC a success at a national scale. To be relevant, OLPC News needs to go where the action is. And that doesn't mean two blogs.

I envision one OLPC News, mainly in Spanish, with just a few English-language posts, reflecting the real balance of XO usage and innovation. At the same time, the Spanish OLPC News does not need to have the same tone or even purpose of the English one. Times have changed, let OLPC News change with them.

If the Spanish incarnation needs to be less confrontational and more cheering, good for it. Let the community make it in its image.

Maybe I am slow ;-)

You mean that, from now on, you'll publish posts in Spanish in the one and only olpcnews (and that you expect those to soon overwhelm the channel). ¡Oye chico, bien jugado!

nah, I wouldn't care about trying too hard to tweak things to suit a perceived or real difference in sensibilities. If I am right that us sudacas are hurt more easily, we need to change that, and also need to learn to communicate without hurting others, everybody wins that way instead of stepping back out of fear.

I find it funny to be discussing this out in the open (as it should be) instead of having been warned in a private email. But I guess fair is fair, and yes, the times they are a-cambiando!

I no-o speak-o Espanyolo-o so no, posts are not going to be in Spanish from tomorrow onwards. But they should be, and I cannot take OLPC News there myself. So its time for a handover.

an oh-ehleh-peh-ceh news will face a few different-culture hurdles, one of them showing up already: people in mi tierra like to be invited, cooed, made feel special. Here also (who doesn't?), but at least the US culture celebrates us big-mouths, and there is at least enough of us around that the prim virginal laddies notice they are getting left behind and eventually join in.

If y'all want response, you need to send personal invitations, follow up in one-on-one, eventually maybe somehow someone will risk home and carreer and voice an opinion. Wonder why there's no meaningful Spanish OLPC blog yet? Why apart from a few hardy souls, the Sur list doesn't seem to get to 400? even though there's over 10.000 teachers involved in this?

Most think they will not be allowed to speak, the rest are waiting to be proclaimed as dictador supremo. Very, very few dare speak, and fewer among those are interesting, reliable and knowledgeable.

Then, of course, just as teachers in the US got the stupid idea that they should not allow Wikipedia, down south olpcnews is seen by many as a liability, because we dare say what the official painted heads won't or don't. Such behavior is seen as, bad manners, at best, at worst sedicious or destructive, and thus only those who repeat the official party line are welcome.

Things are changing. The comments section for the Diario El Pais are VERY active, but only an innocent as I did expect that connectivity + laptops would mean thousands of blogs and trillions of comments and the best wikipedia articles ever. Today there's maybe one blog post or comment in Spanish per dozen in English. Let me see... google blog search gives me 585 results for the last week, English, and 185! for Spanish! same period. Wow! I didn't expect that - very happy to be wrong - and some look really distinctive and even relevant, well I already knew the official Planet was no good, here's a confirm there's things happening we need to revisit.

(BTW some of those down there were VERY upset about the O.N. April Fools'...)


A Spanish version of OLPCNews is actually a very good idea.
Yama brought up a number of valid points that suggest that the rest of the word is not like the US :o
Things are changing but you can certainly not transplant the site in Spanish.
My 2 cents is that a Spanish OLPCNews version should “launch” by corralling 3-4 people to write the introductory posts that will give the “tone” of the site, whatever this might be. Hopefully, introduce constructive criticism and a sense of freedom and independence without hidden agendas that people will be immediately suspicious of and try to “prove”.
Is not an easy task. But if you _know_ your audience, cover an existing need and get some trust, will fly. If not will remain an "outsider" attempt to interfere.

Well, I think it is an excellent idea, so count me in!! Id be glad to help. The body might be far from home, but the soul is still there.

A silly idea, because it will be 'preaching to the choir', as the two target nations are OLPC converts.

Have you thought about what *exactly* you would be trying to accomplish? Because if your interests are truly altruistic, your energy might be better spent promothing worthier initiatives. This one has been dead for 3 years.

A rather belated comment which I don´t know anybody will read. I am afraid that as a Uruguayan I agree with many of Yama´s comments. It is a sad reality of Latin America. I would welcome a Spanish blog, if it: a. were widely announced among people working with OLPC; b. a serious, non-aggressive debate could be generated.