[IAEP] [Marketing] OLPCorps: an opportunity for Sugar feedback

Sean DALY sdaly.be at gmail.com
Thu Mar 19 07:46:20 EDT 2009

Actually I agree with Mel, we could obtain extremely useful first-hand
accounts which don't involve asking anyone what they like or not, but
simply watching what they do.

To discover how Sugar is not serving its users, we need lots of raw
field data. And to make good use of it, we need that data to be
structured. This is the bread and butter of consumer market surveys...
just needs to be adjusted due to the young age and cultural
differences of the users.

Most kids I know get wise as every year passes and will try to answer
what is expected... so the trick is to talk about stuff that interests
them, and learn while they chat about it. Linguists are constantly
faced with a similar problem: if you tell anyone they are to be
interviewed by a linguist, s/he will put on the most educated accent
they can muster; if you ask in a friendly way what their favorite
football team is, or what kind of music they like, or about an
important event in their life, you are guaranteed to get authentic
linguistic results.

A visiting OLPCorps student could tell us:
* How do kids (& teachers) start their day with the XO - bright and
early, or at a set time every day?
* What Activities do they start with?
* Which Activities do they spend time on in class? in free time? What
do they seem to like the most / the least?
* When and where are the XOs charging (=Sugar downtime)?
* Are the XOs always / sometimes / never, open and in use outside of class time?
* Is anyone left out (i.e. without an XO due to breakage)?
* Are kids helping each other when they get stuck on something?
* Are the XOs used in the evening?

Questions to kids can reveal very interesting information, without
asking for detailed criticism:
* "Show me some photos you took or drawings you made" -> how do they
search and retrieve them?
* "When did you take that photo?" -> Are they concerned about having
enough space for photos, do they delete old ones if they run low? Do
they get the age from the Journal, or just remembering?
* "Do you have brothers and sisters? Do you let them look at your
computer?" -> Kids will never hesitate to talk about siblings and the
answer will reveal: Do the parents look at the computer too?

We can spend a minimum of time and yet harvest incredible information
by making reporting easy:
* standardize a little list like this
* ask OLPCorps volunteers to look at the list and print it out before
departure, perhaps taking notes on the printed page during the short
stay, but never in front of the kids
* ask them to submit the little report upon return (or just before)
through a friendly webform. Thank them!

I am sure OLPC will already be doing something similar. Although the
help these sickly students might bring to the sites might be minimal,
the help they can bring to the OLPC and Sugar projects as "eyes and
ears" using homogenized reporting, leading to usable consolidated
results, is a golden opportunity I think to better know how Sugar is
being used across cultures.


Marketing Coordinator

On Thu, Mar 19, 2009 at 11:21 AM, Bryan Berry <bryan at olenepal.org> wrote:
> I highly doubt that OLPCorps personnel will be useful to Sugarlabs.
> Trying to work w/ them will just be a time sink.
> 1. Few of these folks will know anything about Sugar or really care,
> otherwise they would already be active on the mailing lists.
> 2. They are going from microbe-free Europe/North America to central
> Africa. I conservatively estimate that all of them will spend 1/3 to 1/2
> of their stay in Central Africa sick w/ malaria or intestinal problems.
> I don't mean to judge Africa harshly here, if they came to rural Nepal
> they would spend at least 1 month sick.
> 3. I doubt very few of these people will be able to communicate
> effectively w/ the locals. This is not a language issue but a cultural
> one. If I go to a rural school and ask the locals how they like Sugar,
> they always respond "Yes, yes, it is fantastic. No complaints" If my
> colleague Rabi karmacharya goes, they give him a long list of
> complaints. Locals know not to complain to foreigners, because telling
> foreigners what they might not want to hear usually leads foreigners to
> stop giving money.
> On Thu, 2009-03-19 at 10:57 +0100, Tomeu Vizoso wrote:
>> On Tue, Mar 10, 2009 at 06:32, Mel Chua <mel at melchua.com> wrote:
>> > I thought you folks might be interested in the conversation/questions I
>> > had with Paul Commons about the OLPCorps internship program tonight.
>> > Paul's going to be moving discussions to the grassroots mailing list, so
>> > please reply to Paul on that list if you're interested in the program
>> > itself or the workings of it.
>> >
>> > http://lists.laptop.org/pipermail/grassroots/2009-March/001151.html
>> >
>> > What I /do/ want to discusson this list: given that all these pilots and
>> > all these student internship teams are going to be using Sugar, it seems
>> > like this is an awesome opportunity to...
>> >
>> > 1) get some Sugar feedback love from teachers through the OLPCorps teams
>> >
>> > 2) seed Sugar-savvy groups of university students (who can do things
>> > like deploy SoaS back home right away - there's nothing like a local
>> > deployment to work with to keep you engaged)
>> >
>> > 3) get some great Sugar use stories so we can hear about what our stuff
>> > actually /does/ for kids.
>> >
>> > What do you folks think? How can we make this happen?
>> I don't know that, but how we can help these groups of people to use
>> Sugar more successfully?
>> Thanks,
>> Tomeu
>> _______________________________________________
>> Marketing mailing list
>> Marketing at lists.sugarlabs.org
>> http://lists.sugarlabs.org/listinfo/marketing
> --
> Bryan W. Berry
> Technology Director
> OLE Nepal, http://www.olenepal.org
> _______________________________________________
> Marketing mailing list
> Marketing at lists.sugarlabs.org
> http://lists.sugarlabs.org/listinfo/marketing

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