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[school-discuss] SchoolForge as a visible entity

Schoolforge is rapidly approaching it's first anniversary.  In this
time many people have learned to work together and share Ideas
within the community.

I think it is now time for SchoolForge to become visible to the
education community itself.  there are many ways this can happen,
and most require the expenditure of real money.   We can buy ads in
magazines, that is real expensive.  We can buy Banner Ads, but that
is real hard to target.  We could buy a list and spam, but that is
not an acceptable approach.  We can ask everyone to call the local
School district and try to find someone to talk to.  Many have
tried, few have succeeded.

A Better Solution is to show up in a place where educators and
administrators are likely to be wandering around looking for a
solution to meet their latest issues or long term planning.  Where
do teachers and administrators walk around looking for solutions?
At teacher conferences.  At education conferences.  At education
showcase events.

There are many of these education events held in almost any local
region you can imagine.  Some are huge, some are small and some are
very well focused.

Right now we have some friends in the Pacific Northwest that may be
able to  take part in the NECC conference in Seattle next summer.
<http://www.neccsite.org> I know it is some time away, but a well
planned presence at a conference of this type can provide some
really fine exposure.  The time for planning always seems long, but
in looking at this event, I just noticed there is a short (for us)
deadline in submitting a proposal for the conference.
This would be a nice opportunity if some of the folks out there have
a product service or approach to present to the education community,
this is a great time and place to begin.  The deadline is October 9
2002 for proposals.

In the past we have taken SEUL.org to LinuxWorld and to a CUE
conference <<http://www.cue.org >>.  At Linux world there were many
interested in what Seul.org is involved in, but almost none were in
a place to position any kind of an OpenSource solution in any
school., let alone in a district.  At the CUE conference held in
Sacramento two years ago,  we had a moderate response, added a few
people to the Seul/edu mailing list.  We were able to keep costs at
almost nothing because we were able to share space with
Mandrakesoft. for this event. The folks at Mandrakesoft, like may
other OpenSource companies, are not real hot on spending money on
tradeshows that do not see an immediate return.

We need to see what local as well as corporate resources can be
marshalled to fund booths at events like this one and perhaps look
at a few "personal" dollars for those that can attend these
conferences, but are not financially independent.

Toss in your thoughts.

Bill Ries-Knight