Saturday, October 22, 2011

Google Summer of Code Mentor Summit 2011

This weekend I am spending at the Google Campus for the Google Summer of Code (GSoC) Mentor summit 2011. Just as in the previous years this is organized as an Unconference, a self-organizing conference without a prepared program. Instead the conference starts with the participants developing the program together. This year is the largest Mentor Summit ever and we are about 100 people over capacity (In total we are more than 300).

Hands up, "Who has edited a Wikipedia page?" almost every hand goes up. 

Some GSoC 2011 stats: 

This year Google accepted

48 new organisations 175 total orgs
1115 students
There were over 2k mentors
Students from 68 countries

Session Planning
If people want to organize sessions they have 30 seconds to say what topic they want to propose and write the title on a post-it note. The note will be put on a white board. Then people will vote on what sessions they want to attend. Finally the notes on the board are arranged according how the crowd likes.

After two minutes of planning a line is starting to form and many people are excited to propose sessions. Since so many people are proposing sessions the recommendation is to propose only one session per person.

Small selection of topics:
(too many to mention them all)

Wikipedia integration sucks.
How to build a million dollar computing infrastructure for free.
Open source (OS) gaming
How to pass the 5 developer barrier
OS for international development
LibreOffice: How to revive a project
Open Source for open science
How to build your own internet
GSoC What worked what did not work and how to improve next year.
Creating a cover archive for music
How to integrate semantic web into scientific applications
Visualisation of biological networks
Organizing the effort for documentation
How to get students to become long term contributors
Programmer oriented web semantics
Forming a non profit, how to fundraise for it
How to do telekinetic control of user interfaces
Refactoring the music industry
What to do if you have 100+ sub-modules
Community building
How to make the experience more local
How geeks give away their power with body language
How to get an keep female developers
Open source in Asia
Aging project infrastructure
OS in higher education
How goverments can sponsor open source projects
Contribute to Openstreetmap

Detailed Program

Some Pictures

I like the built-in power plugs in the meeting room tables

The Google Tyrannosaurus

Session - Integrating  Creative Commons content

Demo: software to create music videos from Flickr.
Problem: nobody can get attributions right.

Flickr has 200 million CC images. However they are not all using the same variation of CC. Different types of CC are not compatible with each other.

now commenting on Etherpad:

Open Science Session

Your Wikipedia Integration Sucks


Cycling at the Google campus

Non-Profit Infrastructure for Software Freedom

Fundraising 101 ("Free as in Freedom So Who Pays for the Beer?")
- plan
- don't depend on only one sponsor
- types of sponsors: indivduals, small businesses in community, businesses that use your software, local, foundations
-per-feature fundraising (-sometimes, be careful)
- What does a sponsor want to buy? - don't sell your email list. not everything is for sale. Virtue, in some cases forgiveness. Hiring
- And what are you prepared to sell? - ads on website, sponsored emails. Non-profits might have tax issues with certain types of ads. (depending on how they look)
- How to find sponsors. Ask everybody, look at your logs, use your mailing lists, be create, brave, hear no, be tenacious.
- Prepare your elevator pitch. Can you explain the benefit of your project in one sentence to an eight year old. Include your contact information. Make it easy to help. For events: plan and be realistic.
- Ask for help and offer help.
- Build a relationship, they might be able to connect you with somebody else who can sponsor.
- Make it easy to contribute, have a "donate now" button. Accept credit card, send thank you email.
- Enable Microdonations
- How to get graphic help. You need to go to where the artists are.

At lunch: a drone, remote controlled from a phone:

Walking around the campus

How to build your own Internet using open wireless