Conversation and Community in One Laptop Per Child


One Laptop Per Child has helped another person improve a career. Anne Gentle has used her experience in Book Sprints for OLPC to create Conversation and Community: The Social Web of Documentation.

It features last August's pioneering OLPC/Sugar Austin book sprint to create Sugar and XO manuals, that we covered here:

And as Web Worker Daily says, the book has lessons for all web workers, whether they are technical writers or not:

The book's coverage of wikis built upon the author's real-life experience with the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) Project and working as a senior technical writer inside a major technology corporation. This is a highlight of the book, because she nails down the challenges of using social media - and wikis in particular - for writers and other content creators through real-life experience, versus the academic pontification that sometimes weighs down technical writing books. She also makes smart and appropriate usage of examples, focusing on well-known wikis.

Anne also makes a key point: planning and management of wiki's is what makes them a success (or failure), not the technology used, as anyone who uses the OLPC Wiki can attest. While there are some good pages in the OLPC Wiki, finding them, and trusting their content is an ongoing issue.

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1 Comment

Thanks for mentioning my book, Wayan! I did indeed see my experience with OLPC and FLOSS Manuals as an apprenticeship for wiki care and feeding. Turns out, the community care was the much more important lesson learned, and I'm glad that comes through in the book.

Thanks for all you do for your communities. :)

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